Whether his intitiative is anything more than a headline-grabbing exercise in spin, as so many other hastily cobbled-together policies announced by Blair and other senior members of his Government have been, is anyone's guess, but the sheer bizarre nature of what he seems to be proposing (he is after all, Gawd help us, Prime Minister - not some alcohol-soaked denizen of the local bar) is almost beyond parody. What exactly does he mean when he says he envisages intervention in people's lives "pre-birth even". What exactly does he mean when he says he wants to force teenage mums to take help to head off difficulties? What form will this 'force' take and what, precisely, are the difficulties he refers to? What precisely is the practical action which lies behind his use of the phrase 'pussy-footing' when referring to action he thinks is necessary, but which may be resented by those at whom it is directed? His statement that:
"If we are not prepared to predict and intervene far more early then there are children who are growing up - in families which we know are dysfunctional - and the kids a few years down the line are going to be a menace to society and actually a threat to themselves."
has sinister implications, in my view, when his use of the phrase 'pussy-footing' is considered. Or is all of this just one more in a long line of meaningless ill-thought policies by a Prime Minister who is now very probably nearing the end of his tenure?