Flight of ideas?

Tory Peer Howard Flight: “We’re going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it’s jolly expensive, but for those on benefit there is every incentive. Well, that’s not very sensible.” (Evening Standard)

Why not go along with Jonathan Swift and say that the poor should sell their children to be eaten, as they cannot afford to feed them? Flight is using the word “breeding” to dehumanise people, just as Swift did in his famous satire A Modest Proposal, where he viciously attacks the British state’s indifference to the poor of Ireland. The difference between Swift’s diatribe and Howard Flight’s idiotic comments is that Swift was being deliberately outrageous in order to shock; Flight is just being callous and completely out of touch with reality.

So much for “we’re all in this together”.

We need to build an alternative made up of ordinary working men and women in Parliament – not a bunch of rich, upper-class, privately educated toffs. I support the Campaign for a New Workers’ Party.

Jonathan Swift: A Modest Proposal

I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle or swine; and my reason is, that these children are seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages, therefore one male will be sufficient to serve four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.

I have reckoned upon a medium that a child just born will weigh 12 pounds, and in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, increaseth to 28 pounds.

I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.

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