Only 1:11 married couples split before their child’s fifth birthday whereas that figure is 1:3 for co-habiting couples.
Sadly, when marriage or relationship breakdown occurs, it is often the children who are caught in the middle. Would any child, when asked the question ‘would you prefer it if your mum and dad stayed together rather than split up’, answer ‘no’?
Even those children in dysfunctional families still love both parents and the fact that the “togetherness” of two parents provides them with double the security and parenting.
Yesterday, David Cameron restated his vow, his commitment, to support marriage and the family, should he become Prime Minister.
We are all aware of the problems we face in the society within which we live today.
Having spent a week on a council estate, where marriage is not even a part of the vocabulary, where literally thousands of single mums fail to control teenage boys and where stabbings, shootings, drugs and all level of general crime are a part of the fabric of council estate life, I am even more resolved in my own commitment to the fact that we absolutely have to return to the values which we know once kept our society stable and law abiding.
If not least because it’s those who struggle to bring up a family and do the decent thing that pick up the bill for the rest.
That bill may be financial, as we all have to pay extra taxes to fund the benefit system, the police, social services, security within schools, and the entire public service cost of a society in meltdown, or for some people the cost is more personal and real.
My law abiding hard working constituent, who was attacked in London on New Years Eve by a youth who had no father he knew of and had been released from a young offenders institute just before Christmas, has some very strong opinions on this.
The values which we know provide the framework for a decent and law abiding society have to be championed once again. I’m delighted that David Cameron has picked up the gauntlet and I know that if he becomes Prime Minister we will at the end of his first five years be able to look at the family and say, ‘yes, it’s in a much stronger place than it was five years ago’, and that has to be a good thing for us all.