The march of the mummies and the mental health implications of maternity discrimination

On October the 31st, people are marching in cities across the UK to demand recognition, respect and change for working mothers. The well-being of mothers is important because mothers matter as human beings and citizens. However there is now a wealth of evidence showing the importance of parental mental health for the wellbeing of the child across the lifespan. We now know that many of the epigenetic processes that switch on and off DNA, and therefore programme future stress regulation processes, occur in the first 1000 days of life. Stress regulation has an important influence on whether we will develop mental illness when faced with life crises or traumas. In other words, if we are serious about halting the transgenerational transmission of Troubles related trauma and mental illness in NI, it is absolutely essential that we support parents, to provide the best possible environment for childrens’ developing minds.

However, we know that pre and post-natal mental illness is common. Being pregnant is a very real physical stress. Feeding, protecting and nurturing a baby or toddler is extremely demanding. The current maternity leave policies mean that many parents are put under enormous financial pressure at a time when they have effectively taken on a second full time job. The majority cope admirably, and are supported by armies of grandparents and friends who also provide their labour free of charge. However the financial pressures, time demands, and the heart breaking compromises that parents feel forced make about childcare, can for some create depression and anxiety that blights their children’s key years.

In addition, for women, the threat of unemployment and redundancy for simply being pregnant remains very real. 54,000 women a year are forced out of their job for getting pregnant and over three quarters of working mothers report negative or discriminatory treatment in the workplace. Having a tribunal time limit of three means that it is impossible for those affected to put their case together.

The impact affects both our sons and daughters equally, however the notion that childrearing is womens’ work may well be one of the key reasons why this scandal has not been addressed. The failure to respect the important and unique role that women have in nurturing the next generation is yet another example of misogyny and everyday sexism. Women, men and children all lose out when poor parental leave policies mean that men too are excluded from supporting their families and nurturing their babies.

The demands of the mummies, daddies and citizens who are marching today are not by any means extreme, they are seen in some of the most progressive, healthy and well-functioning societies. It is only logical that a country that wishes to flourish should look after the mothers, particularly during the key period of child development. Supporting parents as they nurture their children in the early years makes economic sense. The provision of a working environment with flexible arrangements for parents should be a source of pride for employers who wish to attract the best staff. In the meantime they should at least be expected to provide us with the figures who request, and are granted, flexible working. Statutory maternity pay for the self-employed would encourage entrepreneurs who happen to be parents, who also need some level of financial stability. Finally, the provision of subsidised childcare from six months, which is the time when it is actually needed, rather than three years, would mean that parents could return to the workplace. This would reduce the gender pay gap, and of course improve the position of women generally.

We as a society need to send a clear message to employers and those in positions of power. By protecting women from discrimination and unfair treatment during their pregnancy and after the birth, we are safeguarding the interests and wellbeing of the next generation. This is particularly important in Northern Ireland, where we know that our children may already suffer as a consequence of the transgenerational impact of the Troubles. It is time that we as a society demonstrated our respect for the vital work that parents do, by giving them adequate time and space to care for their babies. As well as being ethically sound, the five demands of the “March of the Mummies” will pay dividends in the form of a more satisfied, productive and committed workforce.

Our 5 demands: 

  1. Increase the time limit to raise a tribunal claim from 3 months to (at least) 6 months.
  2. Require companies to report on how many flexible working requests are made and how many are granted.
  3. Give both parents access to 6 weeks parental leave paid at 90% of salary.
  4. Give the self-employed access to statutory shared parental pay.
  5. Subsidise childcare from 6 months old, rather than 3 years.

Siobhan O’Neill is Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University

This is a guest slot to give a platform for new writers either as a one off, or a prelude to becoming part of the regular Slugger team.

  • Stifler’s Mom

    I agree that more needs to be done to allow new parents to spend more time at home looking after their young children in that most important time. But I don’t think businesses can really be pushed to dish out more money to employees that aren’t there. Its just not financially possible, they would go bust. However, I do think that this is something that could be addressed by the assembly. They could stop wasting money on nonsense tribal ‘community’ rubbish and spend it perhaps providing a type of benefit allowance to working parents with children up to, for example 4 years old. That might allow parents to go on a longer maternity leave, with lower or no pay from their employer, but still be able to cope financially with a top up benefit. It would be available to only married parents where both the father and mother are in full time work. It should be something to benefit only tax paying workers, not another free money for benefit scroungers.

    I also think that existing schools could be better utilized to provide child care for older children. The rooms, tables, chairs, equipment, etc are all there. Employ some people to mind the kids for the extra few hours after school until eg 6pm. Make it government run to bring in revenue. I know this is probably not possible, but it would be the best way to provide cheap child care.

  • Granni Trixie

    Value for mothers? I’m in!
    Good luck with the campaign.

  • Granni Trixie

    Was with you until you specified benefits to apply only to married parents. What’s that all about? Surely in this day and age marriage is a (possibly) minority option. Anyway, isn’t the idea of the campaign to focus on support and value for “mummies”?

  • Stifler’s Mom

    Valuing mummies is a bit vague and SJWy. I prefer solid ideas that might benefit mothers and fathers, and help the family in general.

  • Donagh

    Why only respect for “working mothers”? Stay at home mothers face more discrimination and disrespect due to their decision to care full-time for their children. Many women who would rather stay with their children are pressurised into the workplace despite the widely accepted benefits to the child of being care for by a stay at home parent.

  • Soap Pox

    Soapbox, its pathetic that you keep banning me because you cannot tolerate a different opinion that your own. One conservative point of view and you cant handle it and ban the commenter. That is why you intolerant leftists are ridiculed online where free speech is valued.

    You are just proving once again how intolerant sluggerotoole really is. Laughable really.

  • Soap Pox

    I did reply, but Soapy freaked out and banned me. Laughable.

  • Granni Trixie

    A point which often gets overlooked.

  • Granni Trixie

    In my joky way (lost on you) I wanted to highlight value for the “work”of caring for children which to the present day tends to be taken for granted and fall on women. That is not to say that, at a glance, you can see that in today’s society men are taking on this role in greater numbers. There is also greater recognition nowadays that ‘families’ come in many configuration – happiness is not confined to the traditional unit of a mother and father.

  • Soap Pox

    I wouldn’t seek to promote single parent families or any type of homosexuals with children being classed as a family. Other people can suggest supporting those arrangements, but the facts are against this from all sorts of perspectives. So my suggestion is to help support the stable married family with a benefits allowance paid for by scraping some nonsense tribal wastage from the assembly.

  • Granni Trixie

    Your view is lost on me. I had parents so crap that I found living in a children’s home preferable. A single non violent parent of either gender would have suited me fine.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Are all women now of the left? That’s news to me. Please provide your insights in how you’ve arrived at that conclusion.
    Is boys club blokishness now of the right? That’s news to me. Please provide your insights in how you’ve arrived at that conclusion.
    Is empathy and imagination now intolerance? That’s news to me. Please provi …

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Despite our friend’s surface cynicism he’s clearly a hopeless romantic.

  • Granni Trixie

    Are you the one who used an insulting word to refer to children without fathers?

  • Granni Trixie

    That’s one view. Another is that he is being deliberatively provocative and another still that he has led a very sheltered life.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Of course many people’s lives are hemmed in by false comforts. Is it shelter or refuge?

  • mac tire

    Oh look, here’s a safe space for you to run into.

    Anyway…

    “Soapbox, its pathetic that you keep banning me because you cannot tolerate a different opinion that your own.”

    You couldn’t be banned; I’m answering you.

    “One conservative point of view and you cant handle it and ban the commenter.”

    Strange that in this magical world you are banned yet I am able to reply to you.

    “That is why you intolerant leftists are ridiculed online where free speech is valued.”

    Err, you are online. This is an online forum. You seem a bit lost.

    “You are just proving once again how intolerant sluggerotoole really is. Laughable really.”

    Intolerant again? What was your former username? Go on, give us a laugh.

  • mac tire

    “Other people can suggest supporting those arrangements, but the facts are against this from all sorts of perspectives.”

    I’d be grateful if you could point out these “facts” and could you explain the “all sorts of perspectives” part?

    Thanks. Really looking forward to your answers.

  • Zorin001

    I think its Stiflers Mom, he had a post around 10am that disappeared and then this account turned up.

    Is it possible he was banned from Disqus entirely rather than just this site?

  • Brian O’Neill

    Neither accounts are banned. We only delete abusive posts or personal attacks.

  • Hawk

    Employers have rights to.

    Smaller businesses do not have the scale to cope as well as large businesses.

    These policies might mean the difference between having an in perfect job, or having no job at all.

  • Unfortunately until they are in work they can’t be protected by the anti discrimination in question here

  • james

    I think there is a Europe-wide problem here of lowering birth rates. There isn’t one single cause, but this issue is a contributing factor (the new, ridiculously elongated adolescent phase is another, as is the diminution in the value and quality of third level degrees.

    We’re going to see ever more problems with this in the future as some European nations – rather than investing in our own next generation – import millions of low-skill workers from sub-saharan Africa and the ME to try to plug the gap. Which won’t work – and will be a social and economic disaster for the continent.

    So, I’m all for protecting the rights of the mother and making it easier for people to have children.

    Having said that, you’re right: we cannot penalize small businesses.

    What’s the answer? Not sure. Perhaps cutting what we spend on foreign aid and reducing the ridiculously expensive policies of mass migration into Europe and reinvesting those billions into supporting parents might be a start.

  • james

    Leftists paint in primary colours.

  • james

    Personally I think marriage is something to encourage – provides more stability to the child – but, yes, in todays world it is one option among many.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    “import millions of low-skill workers from sub-saharan Africa and the ME” Are they all going to be low-skill? What’s the sense of importing them? Or do you believe that everyone in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East is low skilled?

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    A description of anyone who is dyed in the wool regardless of where they are on the left right political spectrum.

  • Granni Trixie

    Is it not the case that mothers at home can claim Nat assurance when they have caring responsibilities? Would that not give them some benefits? In retirement at least.

  • Abucs

    Like many social problems this would better be addressed through culture than legislation. The great regressiveness of the western world is the Progressive movement that forever chase problems through the state, taking wealth of others, divorcing consequence from action, creating division and who then end up making these issues worse anyway, only to repeat the process.

  • Granni Trixie

    And how would you suggest a child resolves “personal difficulties” not of their own making? Wouldn’t you say the state has a role? Safety nets anyone?

  • Granni Trixie

    In a weird way you are funny – as you say,laughable.

  • lizmcneill

    Bootstraps! Pull harder! Pull!

  • Hugh Davison

    Don’t follow. What’s expensive about mass migration? What billions (link please)? Don’t we need workers to pay for future services like pensions? Are we getting enough economically productive people from the native population? All the experts say: No.

  • Hugh Davison

    I gather you don’t like paying taxes (what I understand from your wordy diatribe).

  • james
  • james

    “Or do you believe that everyone in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East is low skilled?”

    No, Ben, that is not what I said.

    Are they all going to be low-skilled? No.

    Are they on aggregate, considering where they are coming from, likely to be as well educated and equipped with the same job skills and language skills as the people already here? Of course not.

    Are some of them likely to bring sexist and racist cultural attitudes of the kind we have spent the last painstaking fifty years trying to improve on? Yes.

    So, in short, we are playing a dangerous game with this mass immigration project. And it’s a game there is really no need to be involved in.

  • Abucs

    Perhaps there is more to gather.

  • Abucs

    Work together culturally, not enforcing state theft.

  • Abucs

    Hello Granni. I have read your personal story which I gather is where you are coming from. The first thing to do is answer your question. It is not the case that I advocate the state never has a role to play but a warning that seeing all problems to be resolved through the state taking wealth off others is not healthy and in the end will cause more problems for more children. I think history shows this clearly.

    What is the state but people, resources et cetera with enforced theft and compulsion thrown in. Why not have the good outcomes without the theft and compulsion? Wouldn’t that help have a spiritually stronger and more responsible and friendlier society?

    We have people and resources outside the state. The state doesn’t create any more of these, it simply takes and/or pays for it using compulsion. A minimal state would facilitate such organisations with resources and people that already exist. It would be a better situation because the process wouldn’t be run by disinterested beaurocrats feathering their own nests with the forced taking of other’s wealth.

    The extended family should be the first group after the primary family to solve certain problems and then community groups and lastly the government. When the government is the first port of call, as it always is with Progressives, then it continually weakens us all.

    “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” – rallying cry of Mussolini and his Progressive Socialist Fascists.

    Progressives still have not changed. All problems are resolved with more state power taking more wealth off private citizens, There is a breaking point and a real danger of serfdom taking us backwards to be ruled by a self proclaimed elitist class. If people need help then let’s look to help them without feeding this beast.

    With media, education and places like slugger we are always encouraged to see all problems to always be solved through feeding the Progressive beast of a progressively larger and larger government who continuously needs the transfer of others property and rights to itself.

    Historically, we’ve seen where that goes, time after time. It is sweet like honey in the mouth but sour in the stomach.

  • Soap Pox

    Yes. I was banned as Stiflers Mom. You see Soapbox is one of those far leftists that can’t handle criticism of their virtue signaling opinions. So breaking the Slugger rules, she banned me.

  • Soap Pox

    Nope, I (as Stiflers Mom) was just banned on this site by Herr Soapbox.

  • Soap Pox

    Please check again. I am banned as Stiflers Mom. The red ‘you are banned’ box appears when trying to comment. That’s pretty clear !
    Please also ban Soapbox from posting on this site. She repeatedly does not follow the rules and bans people who say anything she doesn’t like. Total Hitler ! 🙂

  • Soap Pox

    I am clearly talking about Herr Soapbox only. Please re read the comment. She is behaving like all the other far leftist nutters online and trying to forcibly stop free speech when people don’t agree with her own views.

  • Soap Pox

    Its the correct term for children born out of wedlock. Its also acceptable to be used on Game of Thrones. It might strike a nerve for immoral leftists that actually want to promote the destruction of the family. It also likely strikes a nerve for other liberals because it reminds them that the family is the right place for children, not their immoral unmarried lifestyle.
    That’s not intended to put down the children, its more aimed at the adults that think its fine to raise children without the security of a family tied together by the commitment of marriage.

  • Soap Pox

    Oh come on! Are you seriously unaware of the statistics for children growing up without a father? A 30 second search will give you all the info you need.

    Here are some stats (facts)

    90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. [US D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census]
    80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes. [Criminal Justice & Behaviour, Vol 14, pp. 403-26, 1978]
    71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father. [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release, Friday, March 26, 1999]
    63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. [US D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census]
    85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes. [Center for Disease Control]
    90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother. [Wray Herbert, “Dousing the Kindlers,” Psychology Today, January, 1985, p. 28]
    71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. [National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]
    75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. [Rainbows f for all God’s Children]
    70% of juveniles in state operated institutions have no father. [US Department of Justice, Special Report, Sept. 1988]
    85% of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. [Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections, 1992]
    Fatherless boys and girls are: twice as likely to drop out of high school; twice as likely to end up in jail; four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems. [US D.H.H.S. news release, March 26, 1999]

    https://thefatherlessgeneration.wordpress.com/statistics/

    https://www.google.ae/search?source=hp&ei=P2X5WZWDFYissAeq_JqADg&q=crime+rates+for+children+with+no+fathers&oq=crime+rates+for+children+with+no+fathers&gs_l=psy-ab.3…42556.805579.0.805959.72.48.4.0.0.0.540.6511.0j7j7j6j2j1.25.0….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..45.18.3821.0..0j0i131k1j0i10k1j0i22i30k1j0i22i10i30k1j0i3k1.231.DW1EthWOM6U

  • Soap Pox

    I’m sorry to hear you had a very tough upbringing. I’m sure you realize that what I’m saying is lost on you because you didn’t have the experience of being brought up in a family with a father and mother in a secure marriage. I hope saying that doesn’t offend you.

  • Soap Pox

    I am being a bit provocative because it tends to get peoples real views to be expressed. Not their PC ones. It also gets to the point of the subject quickly.
    Its not that I have led a very sheltered life, I am simply saying what is the best family structure, marriage, a father and a mother. Its world wide popular since the dawn of time. I live in a part of the world with many different nationalities and cultures. The idea of having children outside a marriage is the last thing they would consider. Its actually illegal where I live. There is no question that the family structure is the right place for children.
    The degeneration in the family structure that has been pushed in western society has only resulted in harm for children and also for men and women.

  • Granni Trixie

    There was a time when a man could not enter training for the priesthood if his mother was unmarried. That rule is no more, presumably because it was unfair. You should move on too. Your views smack of unfairness as well as unkindness in using language which seeks to stigmatise.

  • Granni Trixie

    Accepted. You will be glad to know that my story has a happy ending.

  • Granni Trixie

    In an ideal world two KINDLY parents could be best for children. In my experience children don’t like to be different from other children and if the norm is a two parent unit that is probably their preference.

    You imply however that having a mother and father is the recipe for what nurtures a child not the quality of the parents.

  • Granni Trixie

    The only part I am in agreement with is your apparent rejection of the concept of ‘Progressive’ – as previously on this forum I have drawn attention to the slippery use of the word most often in virtue signalling by politicians.

  • lizmcneill

    You really think the rich and the well off will give up their resources if they aren’t taxed? How do you think they got to be rich in the first place?

  • Abucs

    In a capitalist model they generally create wealth Liz that benefits society and to which the rest of society are motivated to create wealth themselves in order to swap for what they have created.

    Those opposing this model risk taking us back to the time of kings and queens where non producing self proclaimed elites are the ones to get rich by taking off others. This regressive step is bad economically, culturally and politically.

    Next time you hear a Progressive politician advocate for their issues take a close look at where their wealth is coming from. Follow them over the course of their career and you will see they are simply forming a new political elite by taking from others in the name of a Progress that we never get to.

    It is the evil of our time since the horrors of the French revolution. No other evil has come anywhere close to it.

  • lizmcneill

    How do they “create wealth” and what makes them share it with others after they have “created” it?

  • Abucs

    Creating wealth is making things by contributing skills and/or capital (sold past wealth). For example computers, cars, housing, medicines, food, jewellery, stationary et cetera.

    When someone (or a group) make say a car they are looking for people to buy it. The person who buys the car has to create wealth to swap in order to buy the car. If someone owns a business they are providing the infrastructure for other people to take part in the wealth creation by contributing their skills and ideas. This is the basis for the whole success story of wealth creation.

    I think it is wrong to talk in terms of ‘MAKING’ someone share something. That Is an oxymoron. Sharing by definition is a voluntary choice. You can’t force someone to share. That is intentionally confusing sharing with theft.

    Taxation is an historically agreed process. When Progressives push this to the maximum claiming an expanding right to other people’s wealth continuously year after year then it gets to the point where agreement is not given by those who are having their created wealth taken.

    At that stage it becomes clear cut theft.

  • lizmcneill

    But what’s to stop the wealth “creators” from hoarding their wealth while the disabled, sick and old are in need? How do you educate the next generation without public schools?

    More and more jobs are being automated nowadays anyway. How do contribute to wealth creation if you’ve been replaced by a robot?

  • mac tire

    Please also ban Soapbox from posting on this site. She repeatedly does
    not follow the rules and bans people who say anything she doesn’t like.
    Total Hitler ! :)”

    Sigh. Soapbox is NOT a person. I feel embarrassed that I have to point this out to you.

  • Abucs

    There’s lots of questions there. Let’s take the first bit. Enabling wealth creation creates medicines and hospitals et cetera. It is why capitalist countries have better health systems than those (fewer and fewer) who aren’t capitalist.

    Also we have to flesh out what ‘hoarding’ means. Wealth Creators for a start have done tremendous good for society in the first place but secondly to hold onto it they have to continuously invest it in more wealth making enterprises which will do even more good. It is not like the days of old where royalty would confiscate say golden trinkets and put it in some storage room.

    If they put the money in another company they are making the educated choice to do so to create more wealth. Since they are successful entrepreneurs to begin with it will usually mean they are better at creating more wealth for society. Certainly better than non productive government bureaucracies.

    If they put it in the bank then the bank will use it to create more wealth such as housing, productive businesses etc. Hoarding isn’t really productive. And an entrepreneur wants to be productive. Needs to be productive. It is an inbuilt part of the system..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    But that is not how wealth is currently created. On that base there is a whole culture of wealth generation through debt repayments and sheer gambling. The manufacturer comes very low down the scale, especially in Britain. No, “wealth” is skimmed off the labour of others currently by many non productive forms of wealth generation.

  • Abucs

    gambling is not central to economies, it is a side show. On the other hand manufacturing is a key part of wealth creation. Debt repayment is an agreement that one enters into which promises to create wealth in the future in exchange for real wealth now.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The gambling I’m referring to is the stock market, Abucs, hardly peripheral.

    This text book fantasy version of capitalism is confounded by the reality where people who cannot by any stretch of the imagination have “ earned” massive fortunes are concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands. The “success” of a managerial class over the past decades is being itself eroded to meet the needs of such concentration, and everywhere governments are cutting necessary infrastructure to the bone as they respond to lobbies to reduce the tax such people pay.

    Your own version is almost sixty years out of date in a world where wealth does not reflect either endeavour or worth, but is the reflection of what any person can get away with in exploiting the natural resources of the world, with their fellow man as simply another resource to mine.

  • Abucs

    You are Grumpy old Man and Karl Marx aren’t you?

    —–> First of all the stock market (properly) is a way of people re-investing their created wealth in chosen companies so that the company can use that wealth to further increase their own wealth. It is usually done through fund manager professionals. If they fail then wealth is lost. If they are successful then more wealth is created. In the long run the stock market is reflective of wealth creation. If extra wealth is not created then the stock market does not rise. (adjusted for inflation).

    This is not properly referred to as gambling unless you are talking about someone day trading who doesn’t have any knowledge in what they are doing. Those cases are definitely peripheral. For every winner doing that there are a thousand losers. That is not representative of the economy in general and not a comprehensive or meaningful description of capitalism. It is amateur speculation and the odds are these people lose their wealth like down at the betting shop. This improper engagement with the stock market is not capitalism, it attempts to mark the scorecard of company wealth as judged by investors. In the same way Ladbrokes is not horse racing.

    ——-> There are always anomalies in any system such as lottery winners. This doesn’t confound capitalism. The creation of actual wealth is the driving force and unrivalled success of capitalism. You have to be much more specific here and representative of the capitalist system.

    ——–> Today there are hundreds of thousands of millionaires (in American terms) in India. How many were there (in adjusted rupees) 50 years ago? In China the number is a long way into the millions of millionaires. How many (in adjusted yuan) 50 years ago? It is not true that wealth is now in fewer and fewer hands.

    ——–> Governments are cutting spending because of Left wing irresponsibility in not understanding the reality of wealth creation but appealing to a juvenile Santa Claus view of government in order to get elected.

    Every socialist minded government that has continued down that road and not been able to be kicked out of power has gone broke. Venezuela being the last in a long list.

    As I have said to you many times before, your Marxist victim politics has had it’s day. There is no use talking to someone ensconced in victim politics. It is a mental disease whether it be justifying terrorism or justifying theft and wealth destruction and it is the evil of our time.

    Have a good life.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Abucs, grumpy and Karl Marx have been commenting at the same time as myself as you would have noted had you been more observant, but your superficial understanding of how capitalism works appears to be matched by your inattentiveness to such things. I’ve been commenting since 2009 in quite a unique way on this thread. Anyway, all three of us have quite different styles of comment, my own interest being primarily historical.

    We as a community have, as I have said above, mined the resources of the earth to create the apparent “wealth” you are talking about. One of these resources just happens to be ones fellow human beings. If you examine this in practice rather than simply as theory you encounter the very real human misery this creates, and also the silly short termism of it all. Just one example: my father in law dabbled in “strategic metals” in the 1980s with his investments. Today much of what was being speculated in then is either used up or is close to being used up. This limited resource is at the very centre of some of our most driving technologies, and this rush to utter exploitation eloquently speaks of the sheer greed of the wealth grab you celebrate, but still seem not to understand. The rapid pollution of our planet and the dramatic decline of species is yet another.

    I suppose the problem is that you appear to be something of a capitalist groupie, hot on abstract theory, while I am acquainted with such people socially and know how they are motivated. Our standard of living has been raised certainly, but as significant resources are used up and require recycling to keep current technologies afloat, the standard of living in even developed countries is beginning to drop for most people, as the increasing rarity of important things which are utterly necessary to sustain this explosion of “ wealth” is beginning to hit Home. This is why governments are cutting services and yet are still looking for new ways to increase revenue. This is why we almost had a world economic mov meltdown in 2007. The worlds tesourcrs are far from infinite unlike human greed.

  • Granni Trixie

    At least you have given me a laugh. Now I’m going round the house thinking up identies such as “I was Hitlers Henchman” or “Thatchers Love Child”. It could catch on?

  • Granni Trixie

    But does he not mean to be comical? Isn’t he having us on?

  • mac tire

    I fear not, Granni. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  • Hugh Davison

    Ah! The Express. And Migration Watch? Agenda much?

  • Soap Pox

    Well obviously whoever it is then, duh !

  • Abucs

    I am not interested in reading your economic comments anymore. Tell me straight that you are not the one who has posted under different names because right now I believe that you have. Suggesting I have not noticed they have different styles or have posted at the same time doe not say that it is not you.

  • Soap Pox

    Hi Bri. I’m still waiting to have my Stiflers ‘not banned’ account unbanned…. Or is it one rule for lefty/liberals and another rule for others???
    Stiflers.

  • Soap Pox

    The vast majority of people pouring into Europe from Africa are NO skilled and completely unable to work in western society. They are being brought in as population replacement under the Kalergi plan, also known as the Soros plan.

  • Soap Pox

    The expense comes from the fact that they are going straight on benefits and require housing and feeding and all the other costs of managing that. That is paid for by you the tax payer.

  • james

    It’s not a study carried out by The Express. They are simply reporting it.

    Here’s an alternative source for you.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11209234/Immigration-from-outside-Europe-cost-120-billion.html

    Now then. Care to comment on it?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Of course you are not interested in reading the ugly truth about what “wealth” really is because it conflicts with that fairy tale bubble in which you are viewing a mendacious system of exploitative theft. It may come as something of a surprise to you, but some of the most strident criticisms of the system by which Capitalism works are to be found within the medieval church. There are many examples, but you might look at St Francis of Assisi for one thing.

    No, I am not, nor have I ever been, anyone else but SeaanUiNeill on the Internet. If you check other sites you will perhaps discover that there are many, many other people out there who critique Capitalism, and from many other analytic positions than that of Marxism, although even that label describes many possible positions.

  • Soap Pox

    I can see the reasoning to require priests to be children of married parents. The bible clearly states about the immorality of sex outside marriage. So I guess the idea is that priests should be offspring of a moral biblical married family environment. Even with a little bit of biblical knowledge, its not hard to work that out. Removing that rule is another example of the church departing from the bible, not really a question of ‘fairness’.

    Sometimes there is a right and wrong. Stating clearly what is right and what is wrong is lacking in many aspects of modern life. Its the biggest difference between lefties and those on the conservative right in my opinion. There is nothing unfair or unkind about someone stating what they believe to be right or wrong.

    Anyway, glad to hear you had a happy ending in your upbringing. Cheerio.

  • Abucs

    You show the same lack of rationality. As I said. It is a mental disease.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear Abucs, I point out where the abstract version of wealth you are describing actually comes from, from “ mining” either natural resources, or people’s labour, or from “rentier” style usery and you accuse me of being deluded? You need to, as my Californian cousins put it “get real” instead of describing neat abstract little formulations which seem to harm no one at all and, oh, benefit everyone.

    “Victim politics” eh? That puts me and St Thomas Aquinus firmly in our places then. “Fair administrative charges” in the manner Aquinus defined it would at a sweep wipe away virtually everything which comprises profit in any modern context.

  • Abucs

    omg so now you are on a par with St Thomas Aquinus and bringing your American cousins in for support.

    ok i’ll play the same game. Every western government has a capitalist system and most of the world has chosen to follow suit. Yeah, we are all living in an abstract fairy tale bubble but you and a 13th century saint will put us right.

    Do you listen to yourself?

    No, I mean really.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    That’s not an examination of the issues, Abucs, it’s “the inevitably of Marxism” model from the 1920s in just a different spin.

    All it proves is that capitalism has suppressed other possibilities, not that it is inherently better for humanity. And of course it also shows that you yourself appear to be incurious about anything other than what you already experience with the the status quo,

  • lizmcneill

    If you say the politicians take wealth in the course of their jobs, what’s to prevent the entrepreneurs? At least we can in theory stop the politicians from expensing their duck ponds and what not.

  • Abucs

    Hello Liz,

    it is really important to distinguish between taking wealth and creating wealth. Of course there are abuses in every system. A paperboy (if we still have them) can short change a customer, a politician can claim travel expenses for what is actually a holiday as can a business manager (of whatever level).

    In theory you can have rules to stop all of these abuses happening but we all know that when people police themselves or ensconce themselves in let’s say ‘friendly supervision systems’ some people will be dishonest and we usually find out after the fact. It is as much widespread in government as business and of course in my church also unfortunately. Big organisations handling lots of money will always rely to some extent on the honesty of the people involved. One difference between business and government though is that business has to be profitable otherwise it will go under. It also has regulation (as does government) and internal and external audits (ultimately overseen by government) and shareholder/managed fund supervision.

    A government will always be able to take wealth off workers to ‘stay in business’. People overseeing government checks usually work for the government and may be seen as part of the system. Civil servants are usually very safe no matter who gets elected. When we create a political class both ‘sides’ of politics are as bad as each other and they know you have to vote for someone. They also know that they have careers as diplomats and analysts and government advisers, or party organisers or lobbyists connected to political power bases et cetera even if they don’t get elected. The wealth taken to pay these people usually comes from the workers to the state. It can be a gravy train with little to stop the systematic abuses. As the saying goes – it doesn’t matter who you vote for a politician always wins. They seem to win in or out of office.

    That is why many of us are cheering for Trump in his efforts to upend the political class and what is called the ‘deep state’ who believe they have a supreme right to rule. It really is back to royalty to some degree.

  • lizmcneill

    Trump isn’t going to upend the political class. The GOP politicians are making out like bandits.

    For someone who’s arguing against elites, your approval of the guy with the gold toilet, who “created” his wealth by inheriting a bunch of NYC real estate, is pretty odd.

  • Abucs

    I have been arguing against non productive elites taking their wealth off other people, especially as far as government is concerned. Perhaps you have to forget that bit in order to make the ‘odd’ claim.

    Of course Trump does not create wealth by inheriting. No one said that. Because he did inherit wealth, logically this does not somehow mean he cannot nor did not create wealth himself.

  • lizmcneill

    The rich take wealth out of all proportion to their productivity. The C-suite and management would be useless without the workers.

    Trump would have had the same worth if he’d sat tight with his inherited NYC real estate and done nothing. The man went bankrupt running a casino, he’s not exactly some business genius.

    If any of the current batch of Trumps hadn’t inherited wealth, do you think they’d still be wealth “creators”? They make ugly tat (in China) and slap Trump branding on it. They’re freeloaders. Tax them until they’re only moderately wealthy!

  • Abucs

    First of all I made no specific comment on either Trumps level of productivity or his ‘business genius’ so why are wanting to talk about him and limiting your comment to him and ‘his batch’? Do you have close personal knowledge with that group of people? otherwise ????????

    I am not sure who you are including in the ‘batch of
    Trumps’ but apparently you know them all sufficiently well to know that

    1) they all inherited much wealth and
    2) they couldn’t create wealth without it and
    3) They deserve to have the state take much of their wealth until you are happy it is at only a moderate level (whatever that is).

    Now please justify how you know all these people so well or this is all just emotional victim politics and an excuse for avoiding rational thinking.

    More generally. how many rich businessmen do you know? In my experience they are basically addicted to work and have their fingers in several pies at once. Not only are they always on the go but are extremely productive compared to the average Joe like me. You are implicitly categorising rich businessmen as not being workers. That makes no sense and again smacks of incorrect class politics which has caused so much evil.

    Tell me how you calculate the conclusion that these extremely productive workaholics ‘take’ wealth out of all proportion to their productivity.

    The comment of who is ‘useless’ without whom is an emotionally driven statement which divides people and promotes class envy. What capitalism has done is allow people to work together to create wealth for society. Anyone in theory can start a business enterprise and become extremely rich by creating and swapping wealth that society values. There are so many cases to show this.

    Such victim political thinking is similar to saying it is wrong that more athletic people seem to be winning a disproportionate number of sporting awards and justice would be served by taking off one of their limbs. It is irrational and brutal and is actually quite a good metaphor for much of the evil of Leftist politics over the last century.

    A big difference between the businessman and the athletics metaphor is that, generally we are all better off because of the businessman.

    Since you have chosen the United States as your example are you aware that the top 20% of the income earners there contribute 95% of the income tax. That means the bottom 80% contribute only 5% on the income tax. At what stage does the victim politics say that the rich are contributing their ‘fair share’?

  • Hugh Davison

    Like everything else in Northern Ireland?

  • Hugh Davison

    Yes, reading that report tells me that Brexit is a bad idea (EU immigrants economically good), and the Commonwealth is an even worse idea (Commonwealth immigrants economically bad). Thanks for that.

  • lizmcneill

    You were the one who brought up Trump. How do Trump’s gold toilets and golf holidays benefit society? Would Trump be any worse off with a porcelain toilet? No he would not. Would hundred people be better off if Trump’s golden toilet money was spend on health insurance or school books or winter coats for them instead?

    So how do you reduce economic inequality and the number of people in miserable poverty without taxation?

    Is the average CEO really 300 times as productive as the average worker? How come they were only 20 times as the workers in the 1960s? And what would they really be producing without any workers? (http://fortune.com/2015/06/22/ceo-vs-worker-pay/)

    Obviously it’s easier to start a business if Daddy can bankroll you to the tune of a few million than if you’re working two jobs to make rent, I don’t even know why this is a question. How about if there was a better safety net so that people could take the risk of leaving their McJobs and start a small business, couldn’t they create some wealth too?

    By the way, check out how Trump’s tax plan benefits those who inherit wealth like him and his kids, at the expense of ordinary Americans. https://twitter.com/SethHanlon/status/927189669888086017

  • Abucs

    You are not thinking very logically here.

    1) I specifically mentioned Trump in the hope his election as President would start to end the government corruption and normalised theft. I did not make any comment regarding his productivity, that was you. You made lots of strong comments on that and I am waiting for you to justify those comments because rationally I do not believe you can. They were emotional comments brought up by you that have no logical backing.

    2) The golden toilet thing is silly. Someone had to mine the gold, design the toilet, manufacture the toilet, handle the transfer of money on the gold/foreign exchange, market the toilet. sell the toilet, maintain the toilet etc. Trump swapped his created wealth to these people for that toilet so Trumps money is going to people involved in the creation of products. That is what the Left just does not understand. Capitalism is a two way process that encourages participation and productivity and makes everyone who participates better off.

    3) Ending economic inequality should not be the goal. That is a justification for forced theft. As I mentioned before, agreed taxation should not be banned but when forced theft is the policy used to solve constructed problems then it lends itself to the path of unjust authoritarian regimes. Participating in capitalism has been the single force that has lifted people out of poverty. No other force has been so successful. People need to stop doing their replacement religion through the state and encourage people to participate in the capitalist system not to reduce economic inequality but to create a better society for all. Theft should play no part in that.

    4) Actually there is no doubt that some CEO’s are more productive but what you are talking about here is wages and salary not production or taxation. If a person is employing a manager or CEO then he has to make a judgement call on the skills that manager is bringing to the table. If he can get the same set of skills at a cheaper price then he will. This is the free market. Certainly in the case of a self made businessman as also the CEO then yes the wage may indeed be correct because that person likely has put their whole life into building a business for the betterment of society.

    On the other hand if we take a company funded publicly by the stock market and the CEO is not the creator of the company then I am in agreement that in too many cases the company leadership have too much power in setting their own wages and this is an injustice against the owners of the company. It is not an injustice against any one else and it does not give a third group the right to steal money from them (and the owners of the company) through taxation. State theft through taxation and corporate theft through setting unreasonably high wages are both injustices against the owners of the company. One injustice isn’t somehow putting right the other one. The business owners are losing through both injustices and as capitalism is the driving force for so much good in the world people who support either injustice undermine capitalism and are morally wrong.

    4) Saying that it is easier to start a business if someone bankrolls you is obvious. You can’t change the question and then wonder why it is even a question. Your emotional statement is that you brought up Donald with regard to an example of wealth creation and said he could not create wealth without inheriting wealth. That statement is something you cannot justify. Perhaps if you said he could not create as much wealth if he did not inherit wealth then we could have a different discussion but your emotional comment was that he (and his batch) would not be wealth creators if they had not inherited wealth. There is no way for you to prove that statement and much common sense evidence against it.

    5) People create wealth and the government takes a huge slice away from these people by force. They get to keep only some of that wealth and even the bit that they get to keep the state wants once they die. The state believes (by force) they have the right to that money over the persons own children. That is horrifying. Throwing the phrase ‘at the expense of ordinary Americans’ makes it even more horrifying. The Left side of politics believes it has a right to other people’s wealth and as I have said that has been the evil of the last 100 years with Hitler’s fascist Socialists, the Soviet monster and Pol Pot et cetera even going back to the French Revolution.

    Calling this evil thinking moral is chilling.