There's choice and then there's force. Only one is good.


We can't say that we're against paternity leave here as the current UK rules on such stem directly from the writings of one of us here on this very blog. We can however say that we're very much in favour of choice as a basic feature of the society we live in and against compulsion. Which is what makes this piece in The Guardian so concerning:

Force men to take paternity leave. It will make the world a better place

It should be said that the article itself never does say force. That's rather the invention of the Guardian subs there. Although we should also point out that many of the things that paternity leave are said to promote that are lauded remain, hmm, unproven, shall we say.

However, this is a nice example of what differentiates us classical liberals from the more modern form of liberal. We're all for the world becoming a better place. Except we insist that it is the exercise of choice by consenting adults which makes the world a better place. Not the imposition of behaviour upon people that does so.

So, we're entirely happy with the idea that new fathers take time off with their child. With whatever domestic arrangements anyone wants to make over such matters, including such interesting rarities as the stay at home Dad. You wish to, great, have at it!

What we're not happy with and resolutely oppose is any idea that such behaviour must be imposed upon any individual.

After all, no one does insist that a new mother must take all of the maternity leave to which she is entitled, do they? That goose and gander thing does rather come into play here......