As well as being a great source of joy, family life underpins our society. In the family, care and love are embodied, and resources are shared freely. The state should not seek to supplant the fundamental role of the family in bringing up children and should refrain from interfering in family life.
Since the fathers of Communism, an anti-family ideology has run through politics. The “problems” with the family are seen to be threefold:
- Families are diverse, bringing up children differently, and therefore offend against “equality.” The government must, therefore, take over as much of the child rearing process as possible to achieve uniformity.
- Families tend to lead to mothers and fathers assuming different roles, and this offends against “equality.” The government must, therefore, do all in its power to encourage mothers to enter paid employment.
- Families uphold values and principles that may differ from those approved of by the government. The government should, therefore, use the educational system to vigorously promote the officially approved points of view.
These attitudes influence the policies of the existing Holyrood parties. In stark contrast, we oppose each of them.
- The unpopular and intrusive Named-Person Scheme has alerted many to the mindset that re regards parents as blundering amateurs in need of supervision and guidance from state appointed experts. Families are seen as potentially harmful to children and parents are viewed with suspicion – either as incompetent, negligent or even abusive. This climate of suspicion will engender either distrust or unquestioning compliance with “expert” advice, neither of which is conducive to a free and harmonious society but is in danger of imitating the oppressive regimes of the twentieth century. We oppose the Named Person Scheme, not out of political opportunism, but because we oppose the philosophy behind it.
- The evidence is overwhelming: stable family life is best for children, adults and wider society. Latest estimates put the cost of family breakdown in the UK at well over £1000 per taxpayer per year. We would like people to be aware of the value of marriage in producing stable relationships and good outcomes for children. While each couple must make their own decisions, we would like people to be aware of the benefits of marriage. Sex and Relationship Education should include factual content about sex, marriage, cohabitation and relational stability. Young people need to know the facts so that they can make informed decisions.
- In Scotland and the UK, the government sees its role as subsidising non-parental child care, thus encouraging twin income families. This policy is driven by feminist principle rather than the best interests of parents and children. Couples where one parent wishes to devote more time to nurturing their children instead of paid employment are heavily penalised financially. We want to help couples make their own choice instead of pressuring them away from looking after their own children. Fully transferable tax allowances between a married couple would be a good step in this direction.
- Perhaps some parents are delighted that Scottish schools are increasingly run as social engineering projects, more concerned with “equality” than overall academic standards. We’re sure that some dads are pleased that, at long last, their primary age sons are being taught that they can be a girl if they so choose. Maybe some Mums agree entirely that all punishments should abolished in school. Some parents might welcome the time devoted to promoting fashionable political opinions to children. However, we believe that many are not, and we seek to give them a voice. Parents should not have to feel that school is pulling against their own values, but should feel that schools exist to help them in the bringing up of their children.
Parents bring the next generation into the world, lavishing care and attention on them, nurturing them to develop the qualities needed to flourish in the world and in their own families in the future. This irreplaceable contribution to our nation should be encouraged, supported and, above all, respected.