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Speaking as an Ulster Unionist MP in 1975, J.

Enoch Powell said, "until the Cons

ervative party has worked its passage a very long way it will not be rejoining m
e." I have to say, I'm beginning to understand how he felt.
Just as I am beginning to sympathise with those people I previously wrote off as
nutters for saying British politics essentially involves the transfer of power
from one social democratic party to another.
You see, at the age of 25, I have never conscientiously lived through a Conserva
tive government, nor experienced, as so many have done before me, a party with m
y support so utterly turn their backs on the ethos with which they won it.
In a way I feel sorry for them in the cabinet. Scarcely six months in power and
already they have succumbed to the lobbyists and the chatterers. Or was that the
plan all along? Looking back, it seems as though the election campaign was base
d on one overriding assumption. That the quest for power so often constitutes a
defeated resignation to what is perceived as inevitable. Reduced to a single phr
ase, 'better us than them.'
So what am I getting at here? Well, I forgave over Europe - it seemed perfectly
reasonable to me to put off any confrontation while the deficit was a priority a
nd europhiles lurked in the cabinet chamber. I wrote off the absurdity of keepin
g the 50p tax band a little longer as another vote-winner on a subject with whic
h the public has previous little knowledge. I even overlooked Theresa May's 'Har
man Lite' attitude to equality due to what I am now convinced is a curse on the
Home Office.
But I nearly jumped out of the bath on when I read about Frank Field's child pov
erty report, which The Times claims has the support of the Prime Minister. It re
commends children should have compulsory tests in 'cognitive, physical and emoti
onal behaviour' and that parents themselves should be tested on how much time th
ey spend reading to their child, teaching them the alphabet and helping them to
make friends.
Most galling of all, it recommends mothers be assessed on their mental health an
d whether they 'bond well with their children.'
Now, he may be a maverick, but Frank is a still a Labour man so this statist, in
trusive, blatantly fascist document does not in itself surprise me. What shocks
and appalls me is that it has the backing of a supposedly Conservative prime min
I'm reminded of a certain Conservative poster from 1929, though it clearly hasn'
t rung any bells with David Cameron. It states: 'Socialism would mean inspectors
all round. If you want to call your soul your own, vote Conservative.'
Chilling words, alarmist you might say, but were they not prophetic? Are we not,
in this insane obsession with equality, condemning ourselves to a future of sla
very, where all aspects of life are monitored and recorded in an effort to achie
ve the impossible?
There is a reason Sir John James Cowperthwaite, financial secretary of Hong Kong
from 1961-71, steadfastly refused to record statistics in the colony. Statistic
s are fuel for egalitarians; egalitarianism demands state control and state cont
rol is only a whisker from tyranny.
The truth is, equality is an absolute. You cannot have more or less equality - p
eople are either equal or they are not. In this country we pioneered the idea th
at all men, regardless of their social standing, were to be considered equal bef
ore the law. That is an absolute and one that is it be ardently admired. We push
ed for equality of opportunity and there is now not a position in the land a Bri
tish child cannot achieve - even, as Kate Middleton is finding, Queen of England
The trouble is, this isn't enough for some people. For them, the only equality w
orth pursuing is equality of outcome and this feverish obsession has spread to a
ll parties of government. They justify the expansion of the state into peoples'
daily lives as part of their crusade to reduce the gap between rich and poor - t
o make them 'more equal.' But we already know this to be impossible, making abso
lute equality the only logical goal.
But history has very capably demonstrated that the only way to achieve this is t
o reduce all citizens (save a pampered elite) to slaves of the state. It was pus
hed to its horrifying extreme in Cambodia during the 1970s and it can still be s
een, to a lesser extent, in North Korea today.
I had the displeasure at college of having an openly and unrepentantly Stalinist
sociology teacher. We had a number of arguments and the hatred she was teaching
pushed me to change classes but what absolutely appalled me was her assertion t
hat parents do a terrible job of raising their children and that all responsibil
ity should rest with the state.
So, when you're taking that parenting exam a few years from now, ask yourself th
is: who do your children belong to? You? Or the state? Because if these proposal
s become law, it may no longer be up to you.