Monday, June 18, 2007

Absent Fathers Day

OK, so Home Affairs Select Committee chair John Denham is an idiot.

"Committee chairman John Denham said there was no evidence young black people committed more crime than other groups."

(I think he's an idiot, anyway- but in fairness, he's following in the train of researcher Marian Fitzgerald, who seems to think that self-reported surveys - asking young people how many crimes they commit - is a more accurate measure of criminality than the conviction statistics. Apparently by this measure, when asked by the comedians at the Youth Justice Board, 37% of black schoolchildren admitted to committing a crime as against 26% of whites and 20% of Asians. In another survey by the Home Office, black respondents were significantly LESS likely than whites to say they had offended. I've written to her to ask if that's really how one measures criminal activity or if I've got the wrong end of the stick. The stats, the report, and the evidence - fascinating stuff - are all here - and the website has a disgusting feature by means of which right-clicking, as well as left, automatically loads the pdf.)

But at least some commentators are wondering if there could be a connection between the dire shortage of daddies in black communities and high crime rates.

Figures cited by the committee indicate that 59 per cent of black Caribbean children and 54 per cent of mixed race youngsters are looked after by a lone parent. In the white British population, the figure is 22 per cent.

The Rev Nims Obunge, an evangelical pastor in north London, said that ''an acknowledged breakdown in the social fabric of many black families is most typically exemplified by the lack of a strong father figure in the home".

Well, yes. Take a look at this tragic City Journal piece - the Father's Day card marketed to black children with no fathers.

for My Mother ON FATHER’S DAY

You hear a lot of talk
these days about
children growing up
without a father—
without this
and without that.

You hardly ever hear
About the mothers who,
In spite of everything,
Raise their children to be strong,
To believe in God, to work hard
To make their lives worthwhile . . .

That’s the story
I’d like to tell
Because that’s
How you raised me.
In spite of it all,

it’s our story . . .
I made it because of you.
Have a wonderful day.

As Heather MacDonald says, "Hallmark provides a darn good barometer of social breakdown — transformed, with all the cheerful non-judgmentalism of capitalism, into a business opportunity".

I did wonder if John Denham's own domestic arrangements have anything to do with his reluctance to call a spade a bloody shovel when it comes to fatherhood or lack thereof.

There's a graphic on the BBC website :

If his wikipedia entry is correct, his eldest children fall under "lone parent" and his youngest under "cohabiting couple". His website skates neatly over this fact by mentioning his three children but not their two different mothers.


Anonymous said...

Keep that chart Laban. It seems to show that marriage is not quite so unpopular as the Guardianistas would have us believe (at least amongst the white community).

You were quite right about that report. It was ridiculous to suggest that somehow the criminal justice system is racist from top to bottom, but only with regard to black people and not Asian.

Now we know where these people got their stats from - they are refusing to admit to the truth and prefer to LIE, LIE and LIE again to stick to their same old mantras.

alex zeka said...

If only that had been the way the authorities had tried to ascertain guilt in individual cases when I was a kid...

"How many windows have you broken this year, young man?"; "None"; "You as well, eh? Off you go then. Gosh, all these windows seem to be getting broken by themselves".

alex zeka said...

Looking at that graph, it strikes me as rather inverted. Shouldn't it go married couple - cohabitating couple - lone parent - no family, so as to allow comparisons of the propeortions of kids living in various stages of family disintegration?

Anonymous said...

Interesting chart.

Throws light on something I've noticed on my weekly Saturday morning trips to Sainsburys to stock up.

While you can see a mix of shoppers; mums with kids, dads with kids, couples with kids. I've noticed the mothers with the paler complexions accompanied by half-cast children are always alone.

I'd often thought that perhaps the father's of these children were too busy on a Saturday to help, but the BBC graph seems to have another explanation for the phenomenon.