Family values, Tory style, and a return to demonising kids from ‘broken homes'

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I tend to ignore speeches given by politicians to the party faithful. They play to the audience with their finally honed one liners and knowing pauses to milk the spontaneous applause - or, in the case of Liz Truss, blink awkwardly into the silence until she is rescued by a hand clap

But I’ll make an exception for Danny Kruger MP who declared: “The tension within each of us is between the desire to belong and the desire to be free.”

That, of course, is complete cobblers, but full marks for sitting up all night chewing on the end of his pencil trying to find a zinger of a line.

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Kruger’s speech railed against the “intelligentsia and the globalised elite” - which might be the worst name ever for a prog rock band - and all the stumbling blocks to the great freedoms Brexit promised. Remind us again what they were, Dan?

The notion families should stick together for the sake of the kids is simply wrongThe notion families should stick together for the sake of the kids is simply wrong
The notion families should stick together for the sake of the kids is simply wrong

He had a pop at Labour and the Bank of England, and, worst of all in his eyes, ”we let grow the great cultural confusion that is bewitching our times. The weird medley of transgressive ideas that is now threatening the basis of civilisation.” There was more: “We have overseen the radicalisation of a generation In the name of a new ideology, a new religion – a mix of Marxisim and narcissism and paganism, self-worship and nature-worship all wrapped up in revolution.”

Never have so many big words been used to say so little by someone so irrelevant.

I was just about to jettison Kruger’s speech when a paragraph popped up that I had to read several times to get my head fully round its utter offensiveness.

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His big finish was built around the “three truths we need if we are to navigate these difficult times.”

Number one was a tedious dog whistle with some guff about controlling our borders. Number two - well, this is where my blood boiled.

“The second truth is that the normative family – held together by marriage, by mother and father sticking together for the sake of the children and the sake of their own parents and for the sake of themselves – this is the only possible basis for a safe and successful society.”

I thought even the Tories had got past demonising single parents, but here we are back in the 1970s once more. I’m old enough to remember when the term ‘broken home’ was applied to anyone with just one parent. I grew up in one. I hated the term then. I despise it to this day.

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Children can, and do, thrive with love, and support regardless of their family’s composition. Add in step parents, and my lot number five. I’ve done more than okay.

I know brilliant couples who have raised amazing kids, and I know single parents and step parents who have done likewise. I also know folk who have crawled from the wreckage of a family which stuck together for the sake of the kids,and still bear the scars of a daily life of simmering resentment.

Kruger’s flag-waving for mum, dad and two kids was even more nauseating when you consider the cheerleader’s outfit and pom poms he donned in fulsome support of Boris Johnson’s leadership. On Bojo’s chaotic family life, Kruger was, unsurprisingly, silent.