A quick word on the Myers MoB row. Firstly, I think if anyone should be in trouble, it’s Geraldine Kennedy. She’s the editor and she decided to publish.
Moving swiftly on, I think there are two weaknesses in the lone parents allowance in that it does encourage mothers to be on their own and secondly I think it does permit the stereotypical teenage mom from the ghetto to achieve status (rather than simply get money). Which seems fine at 16 but at 21 has condemned the mother and child to a life of poverty.
Which brings me to the crux of the issue. It is poverty which dictates the behaviour of children, not the fact that their parents are married/divorced/separated/cohabiting etc. Simply by virtue of one’s address, it’s possible to pick out which children are doomed. By 8 years of age they’ll be illiterate, hungry and already into petty crime. There is only one solution and that is to pump money into pre-school and primary school care in the vulnerable areas. Loads of childcare, hot meals, after school supervision, low pupil-teacher ratios, free books, great facilities. That will change their lives. Picking on their parents petty social welfare fraud will change nothing.