It was Erin Pizzey, the founder of the first refuge for battered women, who in the late eighties identified Labour’s then radicals Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt as dangerous feminist ideological enemies of the family. Harman and Hewitt were in those days leading lights of the loony left’s radical feminist wing, arguing in pamphlet after pamphlet that “It cannot be assumed that men are bound to be an asset to family life, or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to social harmony and cohesion.” After decades of agitation, which influenced social policy as well as social workers, their attack on men and their role in modern life has reached its nadir in Tottenham. Local MP David Lammy put it bluntly last week: “We are seeing huge consequences of the lack of male role models in young men’s lives..” Harriet Harman is the ideological single-mother of those gangsta rioters.
Peter Oborne correctly identifies that behind the scenes New Labour’s party policy was captured by the likes of Harman and Hewitt who viewed the traditional two-parent family as an instrument of male, patriarchal oppression. The riots are the toxic legacy of such poisonous “progressive” attitudes.
In government Iain Duncan Smith has perhaps only until the next election to reverse decades of progressive social policies, he has to make work pay for people who have known only inter-generational worklessness and rebuild the traditional family as the prevailing societal norm. That task first starts in the think-tanks, moves onto the broadsheet editorial pages, before becoming a stated policy objective eventually leading to changes in the infrastructure of social policy. There is also a necessity for a reversal of the secular kulturkampf which progressives have waged to make non-judgemental, moral relativism the only acceptable official view. We are currently only at the think-tank and broadsheet editorial stage.
Harman’s 1990 IPPR pamphlet “The Family Way” was described by Feminist Review as “An attempt to combat stultifying, traditionalist concepts of ‘the family'”. We have reached the end of that decades long struggle by Fabians and feminists to undermine the family; with 40% of children born outside marriage and a minority of childhoods completed in the household of both biological parents. It is now apparent to all that few if any of Harriet Harman’s gangsta progeny come from those supposedly stultifying traditional families.