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"Family" : A Psephological Holy Grail?
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"Family" : A Psephological Holy Grail?
Joanna Roughton |  23 April 2014

Politicians love families. Or, at least, they say they do. Listen to a budget speech, or Prime Minister's Questions, and you will hear one phrase repeated ad nausem; "hard-working families".

Three pithy words, with one objective. To reach out to the maximum numbers of voters, whilst inviting the least hostility.

Treated forensically, the phrase is troubled. What about families who do not work hard? What constitutes a "family"? A tricky one that. To minimise the alienation ofthose who feel outside of the family unit, its definition has been diluted such that almost any form of social arrangement can be so described. I once heard a woman escribe she and her cat as "a family".

Of course, the suspicion arises that the more politicians venerate families, the less they do for them. That is cynical and unfair to our political classes, who are ot the panto villains, they are increasingly made out to be (what would we do without them?).

But there is a legitimate question about how politicians offer deeds to match their words. If they profess admiration for families, we are entitled to say "prove it"

Gathering strength then is an idea that all policies introduced by Government should be subjected to a family road test.

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