Alex Phillips: We need to talk about family

The hypersexualisation of everything deafens society with an overriding message that sexual liberty is the highest prize

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They eff you up, your Mum and Dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had. And add some extra, just for you.

Thus go the opening lines of the famous Philip Larkin verse that ring true throughout the ages. Wherever you look, there is ample evidence that someone’s upbringing can have lifelong negative effects, not only on themselves but the wider community to the level of mass societal harm. Young boys wielding knives, as this year shapes up to be the worst for a decade for teenage murders. Absent fathers leading to hardened gangs swooping in to be the role models for lost and impressionable teens, perpetuating a destructive cycle from one generation to the next.

The hypersexualisation of everything, everywhere, deafening society with an overriding message that sexual liberty is the highest prize, above and beyond respect, fidelity and monogamy. An MP curtly banned from bringing her baby into Parliament, a clear signal from the seat of democracy to women that in the 21st century they still can’t have it all while the government ironically rolls out a Women to Win campaign to get more female representation in Parliament, and wonder what the problem is when women are still forced to choose between career and motherhood as if deigning to propagate the human race is somehow a luxury choice.

Traditional roles obliterated leaving a cultural vacuum where nothing has taken their place, feeding a puerile gender war where the concept of staying together is almost laughable and men and women are told their primary function is to seek pleasure, over stability. A mental health epidemic of an exhausted, unstable and broken population, where individualism and identity have usurped the tried and tested model of the family unit. A country where more than a quarter of pregnancies end in termination.

Yet for the past decade we’ve had a Conservative Government who are supposed to put small c conservative values at the heart of their policy. Hardly. Instead we have a Prime Minister allergic to commitment, both to women and his own manifesto, while his backbenchers decry the nanny state based upon perverse libertarian theories that are happy to sacrifice the sanctity of the family and the protection of minors at the altar of often male-centric adult freedoms.

For however much parents try to protect their children in this day and age, their sons and daughters will be bombarded with pornography, extreme neo-liberal ideologies in the classroom not fit for adolescent consumption, have their young, plastic minds corrupted by dollar hungry inhumane algorithms on social media that manipulate and distort their sense of security and their sense of self and have it forced upon them that there is no such thing as normal, and in fact, so called heteronormative values are somehow toxic. And you wonder why we have a social care crisis?

To anybody with even a basic grasp of psychology, it is evident that the way you are brought up has the greatest effect on how you turn out. You do not need to have read Freud and Jung to comprehend that a happy family is vital to create robust, confident and happy children. Yet there is an engulfing silence in the 21st century when it comes to the promotion of traditional family values, unless of course that family has been cobbled together in a test tube to be raised by sufferers of body dysphoria via a paid for surrogate. That untested social experiment is, of course, de rigeur.

So where do we turn to try to halt the runaway train plunging an entire generation and invariably their children to come, into an unhinged blob of antisocial beasts? Who out there is standing up for the tried and tested model of hearth and home? And why has the concept of marriage and parenthood become so tragically unfashionable?

Today, we really need to talk about the family.