I just spotted this story in today’s Daily Express:

The “Baby Machine” mothers who cost you £1m each year

According to the Express: “New figures show an increasing number of “baby-machine mums” are breeding huge families to get bigger and bigger state handouts.” The article goes on to detail examples of the large numbers of children some families are ‘choosing’ to have.

Now obviously this being the Express it’s not so much that some families are opting for 10 or more children that’s the problem, it’s the fact that some of those families are eligible for state benefits.

And their solution?

Stop giving them ‘handouts’ of course.

The Express doesn’t actually say it quite that explicitly though. What the ‘journalist’, Mark Reynolds, does instead is provide sound bites from some of those who do advocate restricting benefits as a solution to the ‘problem’ of families spawning passels of children:

But last night critics argued that the benefits system was acting as an incentive for some to have more children. Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “These statistics are shocking and show the need for urgent welfare reform.

“It is unfair for taxpayers to be asked to support people who have large numbers of children and no intention of providing for them.

“This is an extremely difficult area to take action in without making children pay for the irresponsibility of their parents.

“But it is important to recognise the injustice of expecting that taxpayers struggling to put food on the table for their own children should have to pay huge amounts in benefits to people who have a large number of children and make no attempt to support themselves or their offspring…..”

…..Simon Ross, chief executive of the Optimum Population Trust, which seeks to limit numbers in the UK, added: “We believe child benefit and family tax credit should be ­limited to the first two children.

“People should choose to have no more than two children. Those who have more are creating an environmental burden for the future.”

I particularly enjoyed this bit: “But those who air their views on the issue have sometimes found themselves in hot water with the politically correct brigade.

Former Tory chairman Howard Flight was forced to apologise after recently suggesting: “Middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it’s expensive. But for those on benefits, there is every incentive. That’s not sensible.”

Damn that ‘politically correct brigadethat tries to stop the Express and its ilk stereotyping lazy feckless sponging breeders! And damn those bloody pc gaawn mad lefties who think stopping peoples’ benefits and forcing even more children into poverty is a pretty shitty way for society to behave towards its young.

Yeah, whatever.

Apart from the obnoxious display of classism in that piece though, what I was really struck by was the misogyny, in both the article and in the comments that follow it. Papers like the Express don’t have an issue with nice middle class women getting pregnant, in fact I’m guessing that much like the Daily Mail they believe that that’s the natural order of things and something to be celebrated. But once the underclass starts ‘breeding’ the world’s coming to a fucking end or something. Suddenly women aren’t women, they’re “baby machines”, “rabbit-like”, and “brood mares.” And as for immigrants:

“It is time to limit benefits to two children, but I doubt if this government has the guts to do this. No wonder the hospitals are full of migrants having babies, I am sure they cannot believe how much money they receive.”

Froths one commenter. While someone logged in as Simple Answer (he got the first bit right anyway) says:

“Limit benefits to a normal sized native Brit family. This would also rule out the rabbit like immigrants.”

And how about these charming comments:

“Sterilse these women – but get the feckless males who inseminated them as well. These men should be paying for their pleasure, not the taxpayer.”

“These brood Mares are more dangerous to our society than Baroness Wasi’s peaceful Muslims, even the celibate Pope is sanctioning birth control ,these feckless animals should be compulsory spayed .”

“Those on benefits having large numbers of children are basically too stupid to have kids.

It should become compulsory to sterilize a woman who is that stupid.”

“Why does not the state sterilise the women for the sake of the children concerned and please dont give me any crap about Human Rights etc etc etc. There is the issue of the Pathetic Human Rights of the kids? Definitely family allowance should be stopped after the first 2. Are all these women British???????”

Are they?? Well, are they??

Just out of interest, does anyone know what the rules are around hate speech being published in the media? Because try as I might, I can’t see how describing women as ‘animals’ that deserve to be compulsorily spayed can be called anything else.