Laban Tall offers up Barry Beelzebub as a potential replacement for Richard Littlecock. This won’t do. Take this effort. In lamenting the fact that 11-year-olds don't have enough anal sex, Beelzebub suggests:
Before any woman under the age of 25 is allowed to have a child, she must first obtain a Baby Licence. She will only be able to do this by first proving that she has the basic intelligence, the financial means, and the secure family structure that will allow her to bring up the child properly. Any tracksuit-wearing trollop who "falls pregnant" whilst not in possession of a licence will face a compulsory termination.
This is pathetic. It’s far too sensible.
There is a respectable utilitarian case for compulsory abortions. The empirical evidence has been provided by Steve Levitt. He’s found that the legalization of abortion in the US caused falling crime in the 1990s – because men who would have grown up to be criminals were in fact sluiced down hospital drains in the late 1970s.
If you’re serious about wanting to cut crime, then, compulsory abortion is one option.
But isn’t this grossly illiberal? No. Here’s John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty:
The fact itself, of causing the existence of a human being, is one of the most responsible actions in the range of human life. To undertake this responsibility – to bestow a life which may be either a curse or a blessing – unless the being on whom it is to be bestowed will have at least the ordinary chances of a desirable existence, is a crime against that being. And in a country, either overpeopled or threatened with being so, to produce children, beyond a very small number, with the effect of reducing the reward of labour by their competition is a serious offense against all who live by the remuneration of their labour. The laws which, in many countries on the continent, forbid marriage unless the parties can show that they have the means of supporting a family do not exceed the legitimate powers of the state; and whether such laws be expedient or not…they are not objectionable as violations of liberty.
The reference to marriage is a little dated here – because Mill did not foresee the possibility of many children being born out of wedlock – but the principle of baby licences is clearly hinted at.
So, if Beelzebub wants to be a mad right-winger seeking to destroy people’s basic freedoms, he’s going to have to try much harder. How about proposing that we spend uncountable billions on ID cards that won’t work?
But no-one would be mad enough to suggest that.