Magdalen Brown

I found this quote from Gordon Brown's speech today quite nauseating:

From now on all 16 and 17 year old parents who get support from the taxpayer will be placed in a network of supervised homes

I can appreciate that Mr Brown's speech was based on the opinion of focus groups from middle England rather than on Labour Party values, but still the idea that a Labour Prime Minister could be cheered by Labour party members for suggesting a return of the workhouse or the introduction of Magdalen Asylums in Britain beggars all belief.

It is not being "emotive" to make a comparison between Mr Brown's ideas and these despised and discredited institutions. If the "supervised homes" are supposed to discourage teenage pregnancies then the idea of being forced to reside in them must be something that young people would wish to avoid. If supervised homes were seen as caring, nurturing, enabling places that gave young parents advantages then they would be seen as "soft" and an "encouragement" for young girls to get pregnant in order to benefit from their services, something that the Daily Mail reading mob that the policy is aimed at would vociferously oppose.


  1. Welcome back to Victorian values so beloved by Maggie T, now practiced by Gordon B!

  2. It is 16 & 17 y o parents, not just mothers, who will be locked up in Brown's teenage sex prisons. Nothing wrong in making the boys suffer the consequences too, of course, but it has a smell of enforced marriage about it, more Tudor values than Victorian values!

  3. it's just a messed up situation all around

  4. The problem is a real one, but fixing it is best done through early intervention (something that isn't happening), not playing to the populist/Daily Mail gallery.