There's a 'creative tension' between last weekend's 'baby shortage' headlines and this week's 'gender pay gap' stories. They don't seem to have grasped yet that you can have pay "equality" (i.e. equality of outcome) - if you don't bother with reproduction. You can have one 'equal' generation. Just one.
To sone extent, that's what we've seen. The birthrate has fallen (helped by 6m abortions). The very-poor (state-funded underclass) can have lots of babies, so can the wealthy. It's not just Ms Career - it's Mr and Mrs Average Income who aren't sprogging. The ordinary Brit. We see a squeeze on mid-20s motherhood caused by two relatively recent phenomenona - the overhang of student debt and the fact that you're competing for houses with dual-income families.
Were there no immigration the population would be falling - not a bad thing in this overcrowded island. You'd see a growing underclass - and a growing 'superclass' of the privately educated children of the rich. Not good for social cohesion - but that's EXACTLY what we're seeing with the Native Brits. The number of fee-paying school places has increased enormously since comprehensives went.
So far, so not good. Chuck immigration into the mix. No baby problem there. Indeed, after the 7/7 bombings, commentators worried about the low levels of 'workforce participation' by women from the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. In one sense, it shows that said commentators haven't got a clue. They're right that it's an indication that the community aren't bought into 21st century Brit culture. They're wrong about women not working. These women ARE working, of course. They're raising kids.
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