By Jason Michael

What could be wrong with a baby box for every child in Scotland, regardless of who their parents are and how much they earn? The answer is: Quite a lot actually. Our gift to the future has exposed the truly dark and spiteful underbelly of Scottish unionism.

When I wrote about the introduction of Finnish baby boxes for this month’s iScot Magazine, writing that there is “no faulting the desire to give all of our children a better start in life,” I was completely unprepared for the backlash the initiative received from Scotland’s unionists when it was rolled out on New Year’s Day. How could a policy designed to benefit newborn babies – addressing the serious problems of infant mortality and childhood poverty – provoke such a vitriolic reaction? While it sickens me to the stomach, part of me – as a social scientist – understands the hostility of Scotland’s comfortable middle-class unionists towards what they perceive to be an underclass and working-class dominated independence movement, I am left confused as to why they would vent their frustration and rage at the most innocent of the innocent in our current social conflict.

On the surface we have journalists the likes of David Torrance whose criticism of this dangerous idea is at best vague. It is not an exact replica of the scheme as it exists in Finland, he comments, and thus it must be considered a greater threat to the life and wellbeing of the child than the way things are right now. Rather than wishing his Twitter followers a happy and prosperous 2017, his message on 1 January was a retweet from a self-confessed Edinburgh “smutlord” pontificating about the “symbolic progressivism” of an idea that has been shown to save lives and improve life chances. Torrance hides his motives well, and we are left wondering what symbolic gifts Santa left under his tree.

Looking closer at the Twitter storm, however, a predictable pattern emerges from Torrance’s less guarded social media constituency. At its heart there is the same old class-based prejudice. The comfortable No-voting social élite don’t need cardboard boxes filled with essentials for mum and baby to help level the playing field, and to them this is little more than a boon to the very people from whom they would rather take the vote – Scotland’s “pleb element.” Yes, these Scots of lesser value are such a threat to them that they feel the irresistible need to cull their young. “These people,” they sneeringly say, “get enough handed to them.” It would seem that the Christmas story has been so lost to them in their terror of a fairer future that they have turned to the Passover tale of pharaoh setting out to kill the firstborn of the slaves who have become too numerous. Sapphie Burry from Invergordon actually suggested that this worthless social detritus be given “stuff for not adding to overpopulation.”

Not only was the mere existence of these defenceless babies a source of disgust to these armchair genocidal maniacs, the fact that they have a language – “doggerel,” as one “lefty lawyer and Scottish Labour Party hack” Ian Smart put it – gives them the heebie jeebies. It’s alright for the privileged of Scotland to quote Burns and have Lallans words printed on their novelty mugs, but when it is treated as the living language that it is it quickly becomes a source of shame and embarrassment – a reminder of the cultural inferiority complex they have bought from our colonial masters. Of course I want to draw this blog post to a close with an expletive or two addressed to them, but I won’t. They are so utterly colonised of mind and spirit that they would wish nothing but the death of the minds and bodies of our babies. They are a curse unto themselves. That is enough reward.

Author: Jason Michael (@Jeggit)

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8 thoughts on “Shocking Unionist Reaction to Baby Boxes

  1. Am I right in thinking that the NHS Scotland approved these baby boxes? So far as Sapphie Burry’s comments are concerned about overpopulation, where are her facts and figures to confirm this statement.


    1. Apparently Scotland has an ageing population which would make us unsustainable in the future. So surely by helping babies to survive this would boost our younger generation? We could call it investing in the future!


  2. When David Torrance and his anti-baby box unionists got wind of this article their response was outrageous. One Twitter exchange was particularly illustrative:

    It is always the author who is pulled up for being “unhinged” rather than any genuine or meaningful reflection on the vile and disgusting nature of the comments that irritated the madman in the first place.


  3. I appreciate you have been riled up by a few keyboard warriors Jason which is entirely understandable but I would ask that you consider the opinions of those like myself who disagree with this project for what I think are entirely rational reasons.

    Not sure if you’re a parent Jason but the issue I have with this box is that it in and of itself is nothing but a symbolic gesture, as indeed it is in Finland. What is possible to learn from Finland are the benefits of a more wide reaching programme of antenatal support. The “box” is but a tip of the iceberg and with no practical use to the vast majority. Therefore, the benefits that you and others are stating are non-existent in relation to the box itself but rather are a comment on the Finnish antenatal support system as a whole. An organic sponge will do nothing to improve the life chances of a child no matter the financial position of the child’s parents. Unfortunately, there are babies whose parents, for whatever reason, are unable to provide proper care for their newborns, regardless of their background. For the most part, the support they need is provided through the assistance of trained professionals, not a box of items.

    As a father I personally am of the belief that providing for, caring for, and raising my child is my and my families responsibility. Boxes and named persons amongst other well-intentioned policies undermine my responsibilities as a father – it’s as if the government are saying to me that I can’t be trusted to raise my own son.

    So whilst I appreciate your desire to help me and others, I politely ask that you spend this money helping those who need and want it.


    1. Ray, thanks for this really insightful comment – and for taking the time to visit and read my blog. It is much appreciated. I am not a parent. For the time being I am saving the world from the trauma of having any smaller versions of me knocking about. While I will have to defer to your own experience as a father, I do have one or two thoughts on what you have kindly written.

      …it in and of itself is nothing but a symbolic gesture, as indeed it is in Finland.

      I think that you are both right and wrong here. Baby essentials for families who are really struggling – and there are not a few of those in Scotland – are so much more than a gesture, yet we can all agree that there is a great deal of symbolism in this policy. It is symbolic of a commitment to the well-being of Scotland’s children and to all our futures. This is no meaningless symbol, as I am sure you can agree. Moreover, in Finland it has in fact had truly remarkable results. It is part of a more extensive social care package, but without independence and full control over our own revenue and spending we cannot possibly replicate this here.

      An organic sponge will do nothing to improve the life chances of a child no matter the financial position of the child’s parents.

      This, I suspect, is a rhetorical reduction in order for you to make a point – and one which isn’t without its merits. Yes, these are just things – but most of these things are essential things that many parents simply cannot provide. Nor can we just magic this all better with trained professionals. We can cover the basics, and given the reviews this initiative is getting in the many places around the world it has now been implemented most people who have received the “box” have found it to be more than a gesture.

      As a father I personally am of the belief that providing for, caring for, and raising my child is my and my families responsibility. Boxes and named persons amongst other well-intentioned policies undermine my responsibilities as a father…

      As a father you are perfectly right in saying that your son is your responsibility. The parent is always and by right the primary caregiver of the child. No support given by your government will ever remove that fundamental human right. You will still be the person responsible for your son even after you have been given the free support of the government. The parent has the first responsibility to the child, but the government also has a responsibility (to you and to your child). As both you and your son are citizens of the state – and therefore assets to the same, it is only right that it be invested in supporting you to be the very best dad that you can be.


  4. I get your point, but you are wedded to the idea that all money spent by the government, well intentioned though it may be, is money well spent.

    “Self-responsibility” is how capitalistic individualism attempts to short circuit the fact that we are our brother/sister’s keeper. – this doesn’t make any sense to me as it equates the state to a person helping another person in need. The state is simply a mechanism through which support is provided to others on our behalf. If the state, as it is in this instance, is spending our money on people (me) who do not want nor need it, then it is undermining it’s own purpose. Encouraging self-responsibility is itself altruistic and not something to be dismissive of as bad because it is “capitalistic” – is it a bad thing for a 12 year old to get a paper round to earn their pocket money rather than their parents simply giving it to them?

    In my personal life I volunteer my time for a local charity, as I know do many others. I also run a business which provides jobs and taxes to the government. So forgive me for getting a little angry when the government goes out and buys me a box full of stuff I don’t need when there are other areas of society where I see first hand that this money could be much more productively spent..


    1. Yet the government is not giving you a box filled with things you do not need. It is giving you a box filled with things your child needs. Not wanting those things on your child’s behalf is entirely your own choice.

      There is nothing wrong with people being self-responsible. In fact your hard work and entrepreneurial spirit are praiseworthy. But not everyone can be self-reliant and get by as well as others. People are more or less gifted and able than others, and all too often is this idealised notion of the self-reliant man used as a socially Darwinian weapon against the poor, the disabled, and others. It is this use of that term that I am criticising.


  5. But it IS a box filled with stuff my child doesn’t need as I am able to provide these things to my child through my own volition. And besides. many of the things, including the box itself, I would not otherwise have gone out and bought. So this money being spent on me is money wasted. There is no denying that fact. . And I would suggest that the majority of recipients of this box will be in the same situation.

    There are other things that the money could be spent on in this area that would be far more productive. One being the provision of support for mothers to breast feed their children which is known to improve the long and short term health of a baby (and indeed the mother) but which many mothers really struggle with and only a third make it to 6 months which is the recommended minimum by the WHO. UK breast feeding rates are among the worst in the world. These boxes are just not a sensible use of taxpayers money.


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