Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Frances Ryan rightly calls out the anti-choice right for having no interest in the well-being of children once they're born:
(S)mall-state ideology can make it devastatingly difficult for a low-income parent to look after a child. Look at the controversial “two-child” limit to child tax credits under universal credit (UC). From its inception, it was predicted the policy would lead to hundreds of thousands of additional children living in poverty, but it’s now emerging that some women are even feeling forced to have abortions because they can’t afford to go ahead with the pregnancy. “It wasn’t planned but it was very much wanted. I was crying as they wheeled me in,” one woman told the Mirror this month about her abortion; without the safety net of tax credits, she had no way to afford another baby. Women in Northern Ireland in similar positions have an even more restricted choice: the rape-exemption clause that gives some women on UC a financial reprieve endangers women who haven’t reported their attack to the police (in Northern Ireland, failure to report a crime is an offence) and, as the renewed calls for reproductive rights in light of the Irish vote has highlighted, Northern Irish women have no legal access to abortion in their own country if they feel they can’t raise a child.

Recent years have in fact seen a determined removal of support from low-income mothers – everything from forcing single parents (90% of whom are women) to look for work once their child turns three or have their benefits sanctioned, to the benefit cap, a policy so regressive it was actually ruled to be unlawful when forced on single parents with toddlers.
In the post-crash austerity era, this sense of social solidarity towards children has noticeably lessened. Under each policy to remove state support from parents there’s a lurking narrative that working-class women are “breeding too much” or that low-income children are drains on the “hardworking taxpayer”. (“Why should I pay for someone else to have more kids?” is the rejoinder on most articles advocating child benefits). In the real world, pregnancy is rarely predictable – contraception fails, relationships end, and jobs are lost – and besides, even the most ardent individualist would admit low-income children have done nothing to “deserve” their own poverty.

We are at the point in which it is not rare to hear of infants living in B&Bs, sleeping on cardboard, or even scrambling for food in school bins. If the ongoing debate over abortion rights teaches us anything, it’s that there are no shortage of voices content to defend the “unborn”. It’s a shame few are willing to give the same care to those children who are already here.
- And Elizabeth Wall-Weiler points out the vicious cycle of separating children from teenage mothers in care - which tends only to ensure a lack of family security across generations.

- Edgardo Sepulveda examines the effect on inequality of the party platforms in Ontario's provincial election, showing the stark distinction between the increased fairness of the NDP's platform and the exacerbated inequality on offer from Doug Ford. And Michael Laxer's roundup contrasts the real Conservative scandals which have been downplayed by the media against the contrived attempts to manufacture controversy surrounding the NDP. 

- Andrew Jackson reviews Christo Aivailis' The Constant Liberal on Pierre Trudeau's consistent pattern of trying absorb progressive activity into centrist power structures to dilute its ultimate effect.

- Finally, Helene Laverdiere criticizes the Libs' insistence on enabling the sale of arms to human rights abusers.

1 comment:

  1. I will give you some were contrived, but the racist comment against the police chief and then doubling down on the comment was beyond the pale. I voted NDP, but if I lived in the riding of St. Paul's I wouldn't have.

    I know plenty of black people who are fed up with being called racist shit by BLM types because they happen to be conservative or simply critize something BLM has said or done.