UK Official Targets Large Families?

This profile in the UK Telegraph is just creepy and disturbing. The woman in charge of the "troubled families programme" (yeah, that's how they spell it) is saying the darnedest things.

If this isn't demonizing large families, I don't know what is.

Check it out.
Louise Casey, the head of the government's troubled families programme, said that women in problem families have to accept that having another child "might not be the best solution".

She suggested that instead of having more children they should "do something for themselves" such as "getting a job" or "improving their health"...

England's 120,000 problem families cost taxpayers an estimated £9billion a year in benefits, crime, anti-social behaviour and health care.

Previous research has suggested that many of them are larger-than-average families. Miss Casey is leading a scheme to turn their lives around after they were blamed for the riots in 2011.

Miss Casey, who previously advised Tony Blair's government, said: "My own personal experience is that families with lots of children across lots of different age groups are stretched.

"Managing a 21-year-old that's still living with you that's committing crime down to having another one that's two, anybody would see that that's a challenge...

Asked whether that included accompanying women to go to the doctor to get advice about contraception, she replied: "Yes that's right. I've come across cases where that's what some family intervention project workers have done, definitely."

Eric Pickles, the local government secretary, hailed the number of families whose lives have been turned around as "phenomenal".

He said that officials should not be afraid of "inflicting pain" on troubled families to stop them from "ruining" their lives.

He said that the traditional approach to troubled families has been "a lot of empathy" and "a lot of feeling people's pain".

"Louise is not afraid of inflicting that pain," he said. "It's tough love. I think we're not doing this to be unpleasant to people, we are doing this to say you are ruining your life, you are ruining the lives of your children.

"If we don't do something now 25 years from now we'll be dealing with your children. That gives people a chance."

The average annual cost to the state of such a family is £15,000, but ministers say the worst cost as much as £330,000 a year.
Good to know she's not afraid of "inflicting pain." Is that a prerequisite now for government officials? Or maybe it always was?

Look, there are families that are problems but they absolutely seem to be conflating large families with problem families here, don't they? And maybe it's me but anytime you have government officials assigning people with a cost or a price tag I get a little nervous.

*subhead*Problem families.*subhead*


  1. I would love Louise Casey to go into a Muslim neighborhood in Manchester or London's East End and attempt to inflict a little pain. She'd better bring a squad of SAS with her and plenty of ammo.

  2. I'm interpreting "problem families" there means what we refer to in Canada as "welfare families". What they describe seems to be the chronic use of the system, disproportionately by Aboriginals, from where much crime and problems come primarily due to poverty. It tends to be cyclical within families, and they tend to have large families because the more kids they have, the more money the get and the longer the parents don't have to work.

    What this article here describes is what a lot of so call "conservatives" here in Canada are calling for to solve the problem, along with mandatory sterilization.

    What is really needed is a way to break the cycle of poverty, although "inflicting pain" doesn't seem like a particularily good way to do so.

  3. Carolyn,

    I'm not sure "poverty" is the reason for this problem. Let us recall the Great Depression in America, or the plight of the Okies in the dust bowl, or the incredibly poor condition of some living in the Appalachian regions. These people had (and have) large families, and they are not causing riots. Something else is at play here though I cannot say that I have any definitive answers.

    I do know that ethnic groups differ in areas such as impulse control, IQ, susceptibility to demeaning propaganda, etc. That may not be the total reason for such dysfunction but it is worth keeping in mind.

  4. A curious thought...
    They want tough love. Something Catholics have been taught. T rebuke the sinner. They said no. They called us bigots. They said we couldn't participate in unlicensed life. They I'd we should just go away and stop that silly belief. Now they want to rebuke those "sinners". The problem is not the method. We Catholics understand tough love because we know we fall short and the truth is hard. But my problem is the way we define sinners versus the way they do. God told us sinners don't spend eternity with him. Those things that make the challenge of being with God harder is more likely a sin. You can't change that because you know a guy...but they define sinning as things that distance you from mammon. They define sin as an expense. The young cost money. Lets not invest in them but import existing labor and exploit them. No education needed. And the old. They served their role and offer nothing. They are costly and therefore sin against mammon. Mammon loves the good life. He likes the extra spending money. He doesn't like expenses that don't amount to gluttony or narcissism. Sorry for the tangent, but I think they are figuring out that they must rebuke a sinner. The problem is their definition if sinner was given by mammon. Not God.

  5. Aged parent: You're right that poverty doesn't necessarily cause these problems, but I know in Canada the poverty subjected by these generational "system abusers" has roots that stretches back decades, and sometimes centuries.

    It's interesting that you bring up the Depression because I know here, there was specific government programs in place to monitor and manage the poor to keep them under thumb.


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