Flight of fantasy or Flight of the Con d'or? hehehe; what a palaver...and again over nothing and certainly not fantasy. Howard Flight and his remarks have been described as idiot, disgraceful, shameful, repugnant** etc, I think he wasn't so far off the mark.
"We're going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it's jolly expensive, but for those on benefit there is every incentive."Now, IMHO the contirved outrage is over the use of the word 'breeding'. Had he said:
"We're going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from unprotected shagging because raising children is jolly expensive but for those on benefit there is every incentive"...I'm sure he would have got away with it! Almost. Channel 4 FactCheck conclude: offensive phrase but "...a valid question: do tax and benefits influence how many children people have?" Apparently Ed Miliband, is making attempts to reach out to what he calls 'the squeezed middle' which I've heard helps but a condom would be safer and better.
** These words are all reported from various friends and foes alike on the BBC report [Link]. I read the comments on view and was [pleasantly] surprised:
"Well I agree with him. You shouldn't have children you (not the state) cannot afford."
"Typical upper class hogwash from someone with his head in the sand. The working class will dig the country from the mess we're in not peers or the government."
"I don't think he should apologise - I agree. The benefit system does encourage poorer people to "breed" and to use this as their source of income. This is completely wrong if people with a bit more money don't get any help at all - raising a child is indeed expensive and tricky for anyone in this day and age."
"David Cameron was wrong. Howard Flight is right as the cost of raising children properly is a serious disincentive for middle class families. For those dependent on state benefits the more children they have the more money they receive. Families are allocated larger council houses if they have more children whereas a middle class family with more children will not be able to afford a bigger house."
"This is just another example of the Conservatives, or contributor to the Conservative party clearly out of touch with the nation."
"Whatever happened to freedom of speech?"
"I find it hard to believe that anyone, no matter how poor, would have a child so that they can claim an extra £11 a week in child benefit. A week's worth of nappies costs more than that."
"He should never have apologised. It's reflective of the sorry state of British politics when a peer (albeit soon-to-be) cannot speak his mind. This is regardless of whether he's right or wrong (and he is right in my view). We need more people like Mr Flight, not fewer."
Only a snapshot but more 'in favour' than not.
Update: just noticed Iain Dale said much the same thing last night.