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The things they say

Harman's demand that the next prime minister create a secretary of state for the family (almost as toe-curling a title as that of Fernand Boden, Luxembourg's Minister for the Middle Classes, Tourism and Housing) signally failed to set the Thames on fire, but has prompted a rather odd response from the head of the NCH, Clare Tickell:

"The ingredients for supporting families are already in place - if the government really wants to support families it must ensure all departments consider the impact policies have on families and ensure it is delivering consistent messages".

Erm, all departments? The Foreign Office? Defence? (Which really should revert to being called the War Office) .

And then demonstrating some quite remarkable monomania: "A minister for families could even alienate those children who were not being brought up in a family and were most in need".

I do not doubt that being incarcerated in a child gulag is no laughing matter, but is it really credible to think that the average child would be aware of the niceties of ministerial nomenclature?
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