I’m not sure where I stand on the tax-breaks for married couples, announced with great hoo-ha by the government and derided by the opposition. On the one hand, as a god-fearing authoritarian bigot, I approve of people who choose to live as Jesus Christ himself wished us to. On the other hand, I do not think that marriage per se is the answer to the social problems occasioned by broken families (which are almost infinite). The problem is people having children too quickly, when they are either married or otherwise, and without thinking through the consequences. Or perhaps being too stupid to think through the consequences. The hassle of getting married only slightly lessens the precipitous rush towards churning out brats, and only marginally — because of the relaxation of the divorce laws — lessens the likelihood that the relationship will founder with a year or two. It is the seriousness of marriage which needs to be enforced, and not by a couple of hundred quid.
Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.