Friday salon: Anzac Day weekend


An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

44 thoughts on “Friday salon: Anzac Day weekend”

  1. Today washing my ute I listened to the affable Phil Smith (ex air force, I gather) talking to Paul Willis about inventions that were introduced in war but became subsequently available generally. All from WW1.

    First there was the zip on men’s trousers, first used by the US military for soldiers clothing in WW1.

    Second, the Germans invented the tea bag for convenient cups of tea.

    Third, Konrad Adenauer, then mayor of Cologne, invented the vegetarian sausage because of a shortage of meat. It wasn’t allowed after the war in Germany, because a sausage by definition needed meat, but a patent was granted in Britain and it spread from there.

    Fourth, Germans again, invented daylight saving to save power.

  2. Would prefer a somewhat different climate for research and development myself, Brian, but if any good at all can come out of a war, then so much the better.

    Went to Rockvagus for the ANZAC Dawn Service there. Way back in the ‘Seventies you would have been flat out filling a single bus with the participants; this year, there were a few thousand – mostly young people.

    Now I’ll put forward a controversial opinion: So long as ANZAC Day remains in the hands of ordinary Australians – especially young families, teenagers, young people of all backgrounds, even if they or their families have no direct connection with the armed forces – then Australia will be safe from the evils of militarism. This is regardless of the all-out attempts to hijack that day by money-hungry businesses (which have never given a damn about “The Digger” whose image the keep trying to steal). This is also regardless of the hypocritical waffling, on ANZAC Day, of politicians scrounging for photo-opportunities (many of whom – on BOTH sides of politics – were enthusiastic gangplank-dodgers!!).

    So long as ANZAC Day is owned by young Australians – militarism cannot take root in Australia.

  3. Am sittling down to read Robert Service’s biography of Trotsky, which really upset people when it was first published a few years ago. (At the time I was a subscriber to the World Socialist Website and they went mental about it, quite justifiably according to at least one conservative expert on Trotsky. There were 12 glaring factual errors, which Service say have now been fixed. Don’t ask me to list them, but if you google Service and Trotsky, you’ll get the gist of the historiographical controversy.
    Service takes the view, and I’ve read several books by him now, that the USSR was a totalitarian state in its top echelons, in continual struggle with the masses, who, once they realized the Bolshevik Revolution was not going to live up to its promise (c.mid 1918, or 1920 or early 1930s, depending on who you read, continually worked to subvert the ruling elite, which was why the Russian Communist Party fell apart as a result of Gorbachev’s reforms.
    Anyway, settling down for a nice weekend.

  4. You might be onto something there, Graham. I’ll think about it.

    Have to go out and work now, mostly trimming hedges. My wife chose to have a load of forest mulch delivered today, the day after I could have helped her spread it!

  5. Paul Burns @ 3: If that was Service’s view, then I tend to agree. The impression I got was that: (Firstly), Once most of the incredibly brutal Civil War was over, people in most parts were full of hope and energy and creativity; there was even reasonable freedom of movement and expressed opinion. (Secondly), It was Stalin’s incompetence that forced him to impose a self-destructive totalitarianism and so, in response to this incompetence and senseless oppression, the people went on a decades-long work-to-regulations strike.

    I can’t help thinking that had Napoleon triumphed at Waterloo and afterwards, a similar situation would have prevailed in France. The same thing goes for Nazi Germany – Hitler and his successors would have turned the Germans into the laziest and sloppiest workers in the world.

  6. GB,
    It seems to be a question of emphasis among historians of the Revolution. As you know, I’ve been reading around this stuff for a little while now.
    On the one hand you have people like Service and Richard Pipes (whose history of the Russian Revolution I really enjoyed) emphasising the totalitarianism of Lenin, (who whatever else he might have been, was increasingly verging on the psychotic in his later years, partly because of the Civil War; my view is that he was always a little bit off the wall.) They’re labelled traditionalists or neo-traditionalist or totalitarianists and tend to concentrate on the high politics.
    OTOH. you have the revisionists (who I haven’t started reading yet, but I ‘m slowly collecting.( I thought I’d best start with the traditionalists.) The revisionists take the view that there is a discontinuity between Lenin and Stalin, and an early wide and enthusiastic acceptance of the 1917 socialist revolutions emphasising history from below, to which I’m naturally inclined. Their explanations, apparently, from broader forces like the excesses of collectivism, the threat of war with Hitler, and Stalin’s warped personality. They should be fun to get into.
    Probably an accurate interpretation would take in both.

  7. GB,
    It seems to be a question of emphasis among historians of the Revolution. As you know, I’ve been reading around this stuff for a little while now.

    You probably are already of a lot of the following in your own reading.

    On the one hand you have people like Service and Richard Pipes (whose history of the Russian Revolution I really enjoyed) emphasising the totalitarianism of Lenin, (who whatever else he might have been, was increasingly verging on the psychotic in his later years, partly because of the Civil War; my view is that he was always a little bit off the wall.) They’re labelled traditionalists or neo-traditionalist or totalitarianists and tend to concentrate on the high politics.

    OTOH. you have the revisionists (who I haven’t started reading yet, but I ‘m slowly collecting.( I thought I’d best start with the traditionalists.) The revisionists take the view that there is a discontinuity between Lenin and Stalin, and an early wide and enthusiastic acceptance of the 1917 socialist revolutions emphasising history from below, to which I’m naturally inclined. Their explanations, apparently, from broader forces like the excesses of collectivism, the threat of war with Hitler, and Stalin’s warped personality.

    They should be fun to get into.
    Probably an accurate interpretation would take in both.

  8. No, no, Paul, that’s not Windows 8 – that’s Double-Think – I think. 🙂 Lol.

    Been a bit of a fan of alternative history lines and ‘what if’. Has helped improve (some would say warped) my perspectives. Wonder too, if Mr Ulyanov’s nuttiness might have been triggered by his brother’s execution; Stalin and Hitler were straight out psychopaths, imho; not sure about Trotsky – single-minded, sane and ruthless, perhaps?

  9. GB,
    I don’t think Trotsky was mad.
    One explanation for Lenin’s psychotic behaviour is that he was suffering from the effects of tertiary syphilis. But even when he was alive his doctors were in strong disagreement with each other about this. Against it, was his well-known prudery (for lack of a better word.) Though he did have one major extramarital affair.

  10. Paul and Graham
    Great man* theory of history? What about the Russian culture? Seems remarkably persistent.

    (*my perspective on this is influenced by my feminism, but in a subtle way – you don’t need to be a feminist to query the great man theory of history. No doubt individuals affect history, but no doubt also they are constrained by the persistence of culture?)

  11. Val,
    as I understand it the revisionist stream of Russian historiography runs counter to the so-called Great Man theory of history. Its social history looking at history from below And in any case, the traditionalists whose focus is high politics (not Great Men – there are quite a few important women in Russian Revolutionary history who are far more than just wives, lovers, mothers and grandmothers, though I must point out that Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin were all real pigs to their women in one way or another) always strive to set the politics in a social, economic and cultural context.
    From the limited reading I’ve done there is slight problem with the idea of the persistence of culture, which I presume you define broadly. The Bolsheviks in the midst of civil war set about effectively destroying many vestiges of late Imperial Russia they could, and successfully imposed a new culture, the remains of which persist in post-Soviet Russia- this business with Ukraine with the concept of a sort of left wing expansionist Russia against a supposed ultra-right wing borderland former colony is a good exemplar.

  12. Paul
    Here’s a nifty site for an historian ( bulk references ) looking into communisist/socialist/authoritarian rule and results.
    Don’t see much free-market capitalism there though.
    If I find one I’ll put it up.

  13. Thanks Paul. Suspected Trotsky was not mad, just ruthless. Lenin’s prudery and his extramarital affair? Oh, you mean just like wealthy TV evangelists and their aberrant sinfulness? Wondered if the elevation of Krupskaya to holy matron status was a fairly recent invention.

    Val: “the Great Man in History” is mostly bunkum on three counts: (1) A lot of time there was the involvement of a very pushy mother or wife, right up to her elbows! Napoleon Bonaparte – Shaka – Mustapha Kemal Ataturk – Sun Yat-sen – Chiang Kai-shek – Winston Churchill – Michael Gorbachev – John Kennedy – etc., etc. (2) What about the Great Women in History? (3) What about all the not-so-great-and-famous men and women, without whom the “Great Men” would still be nonentities?

  14. Jumpy @ 13: Thanks for that link to an excellent site, one that is a damned sight more honest about uncertainties than most others I’ve seen.

  15. GB,
    re Krupskaya – apart from being Lenin’s political comrade/assistant etc first and his wife a distant second, from well before the Revolution she was recognised as an advocate of the establishment of widespread literacy in a near-illiterate Russia – by about 1930 they’d gone from approx. 11% literacy in 1917 to about 98% (approximate, I’m relying on a faulty memory), and much of this was down to the work of Krupskaya.

    I presume in the post-Stalin era she was also lauded for standing up to Stalin. Though she was not able to stop Lenin’s exhumation and gruesome mummification.

  16. I don’t feel competent to make a comment on “the Great Man in History” as an historian, but I do think personalities make a distinct difference.

    Apart from Hitler, Stalin, Mao etc Christopher Clark emphasises the Prussia benefited from having four very competent rulers in a row, from Frederick William (the Great Elector) in 1640 to Frederick II (the Great) who died in 1786. During that time Prussia went from being a doormat to everyone including Sweden to being to the fore of second ranking powers in Europe, and a match for Austria within Germany.

    Fred the Great was followed by Frederick William II, known as “the fat bastard” by his people, who ran things down. Apparently his mistress pretty much ran the show.

    At the same time Fukuyama points out that no absolute monarch is all-powerful – there are sources of the rule of law that go beyond any powerful individual.

  17. Yeah Brian, I should have expanded on those “Great Men” who did achieve greatness, either starting out on their own or despite family influences: Fred the Beaut, Temujin (Genghis Khan), Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini. Not sure about Harrison (chronometers and latitude), Wallace (biology, evolution; Wallace line) and some of the other great scientists and inventors.

  18. Brian,
    Finally, after intending to do it for yonks, have finally ordered Iron Kingdom. Will let you know what I think of it.

    Re Great Men Theory. I think Carlyle came up with it. I say think, because, though I’ve tried once or twice I find Carlyle unreadable. So he’s one of the great unreads so far as I’m concerned.

    R Prussia’s four competent rulers etc. The high politics approach, would, I suggest, look not just at the king/emperor, but at those around him who influenced him, eg family, lovers, friends, generals, bureaucrats, courtiers, intelligentsia, media, enemies etc etc and create a narrative drawing on all these people, and attempt to set it in the context of the times

    Service does this with the biographies of his Russians, which is why I find him so appealing.
    I’ve only read Clark’s The Sleepwalkers (which basically blames the Serbs for WWI) and there he takes a broadbrush approach. Margaret MacMillan’s The War that ended Peace was much more my preferred style.

  19. These constant typos where I leave words out, get tenses wrong and so on. Its my new keyboard. I hate these flat keys. (sighs)

  20. Hi here is the link from Wikipedia. It was Carlyle, Paul, I didn’t know that. I certainly haven’t read him either!

    I don’t really know much about Russian history, but when I studied it, many years ago, I was struck with recurring themes, before and after the Revolution. That’s what made me ask about the persistence of culture. It seemed dramatic, secretive and repressive – persistently.

    Russia’s long history with vodka is also interesting. Apparently it was promoted by the state, contributing to persistent (again) problems. Would like to read more about that one day.

    I guess being pretty well informed, you will all know that in Russia (former USSR more generally) health and longevity declined after the collapse of communism, particularly for men. I’m not sure if they have recovered or not.

  21. Speaking of declining life expectancy, there is also concern in America that working class white women’s life expectancy in declining particularly in the south.

    There’s an interesting article about it here

    The theories about causes don’t specifically mention increasing inequality, but inequality is increasing in America (also here) and you can see how that in turn is linked to the social phenomena discussed in the article, particularly the kind of jobs women can (or can’t) get.

    I’ve also seen a lot of discussion on American sites on how employers like Walmart and MacDonalds now pay so little that employed people need food relief. Meanwhile, the rich are getting richer again after the brief blip (for them) of the recession.

  22. Read only Thomas Carlyle’s “Sartor Resartus” way back in ancient history; it’s rambling but readable – and, incidentally, has in its short (page and a half)description of the villagers of Dumdrudge, one of the most damning condemnations of war I have ever read.

    Carlyle and Spencer were probably both right to a certain extent. I tend to distrust great heroes and super men – with damned good reason. What are missing from discussions of the individual in history are: (I) pure dumb random chance, and (II) where someone has failed to do something or made a disasterous decision “Don’t worry about all those blips on the radar screen, they’re probably that squadron of B-17s flying in from California. Just shut the radar down and get breakfast. Nothing is going to happen on a Sunday morning”. (or words to that effect). Now there was an individual who really did change the course of history, if ever there was one.

  23. Val @ 24, I’m planning a short post for later in the week about inequality and the failure of democracy in the US.

  24. I’m a little confused as to how closing gap between women and mens life expectancy = increased inequity.
    Little help….

  25. That’s great Brian I look forward to reading it. You are probably aware of the recent research showing that voters in general, and grass roots lobbying, has no influence on American policies unless elites happen to agree – while business lobbying and elites do have an effect. Has that been mentioned here? I can’t remember. If not I can find the link and post it here.

    Jumpy (are you the same as the commenter formerly known as Jungney?), it’s no wonder you’re confused, you haven’t read the article properly. It’s not about closing the gap between men’s and women’s life expectancy, it’s about white working class women’s life expectancy declining. That closes the gap a bit as a by-product I suppose, but if you think that’s the right way to do it, then what can I say?

  26. Val
    lol, no Jungney ( akn ) and I ( jumpnmcar ) are Not to be confused, he is far more educated and inevitably far better looking.

    But your correct, I struggle through the article you linked to and didn’t read it all.
    Once I established the person in question ( wearing this tshirt ) was terribly overweight diabetic with a family history ( 2 brothers ) of early death the mystery, to me, wasn’t hard to sort out and lost all interest in reading the following 10,000 words . I realise that was just the intro but …
    I will try to read the rest some time soon.
    But the fact remains men die earlier than women in every society that i know of.
    What do you put that down to ?

  27. For those who are interested in climate, I’ve posted Climate clippings 94.

    jumpy, the article Val linked to was big on the specifics of one person’s story, but the concern is that suddenly (from 1990 to 2008) white women who are high school drop-outs have lost 5 years in longevity. Similarly placed men have lost 3, also a concern.

    Poor white women are now not living as long as poor black women in the US.

    Two specifics impressed me – already grossly overweight, Crystal’s last meal was a peanut butter jelly sandwich, and she didn’t qualify for Medicaid as did her husband who was on a disability pension.

  28. Jumpy @30
    Without going through all the data, I can’t give you specifics, but I think you may find that in societies where women are most disadvantaged and powerless relative to men, they don’t have longer life expectancies. If one or the other of us does the research sometime, it would be interesting to know.

    Some speculative reasons for the gap:
    Biological/genetic – males seem more vulnerable to some diseases and conditions from birth; oestrogen also has a protective effect against some diseases
    Social/ gender – men tend to take more risks and are exposed to more occupational hazards through work; caring has been traditionally seen as women’s role, women are more likely to care for themselves and others, including looking after health, visiting doctors etc

  29. My understanding is that a century ago males lived longer. The main difference now is medical care during childbirth.

    Now males drink and smoke more, probably eat less well and take greater risks.

  30. Just an impression- but isn’t declining life expectancy a sign of a failing civilization?
    Brian: you are right about perinatal hazards.
    Val: I suspect that education and intelligence plays very little part in the declining life expectancy of poor white women in the U.S. More likely to be lack of money and especially for basic medical treatment as well as for decent nutritious food. I was shocked by the very real poverty in parts of the U.S.; what we see on TV are Hollywood/NewYork artifacts; the real U.S. is very different.

  31. I’m reading too many books at once. (I’m not boasting- I’m just an undisciplined prat when it comes to reading.)

    At the moment I have on the go the Trotsky biography, a history of the Russian Civil War, a history of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, another about poisoning in the France of Louis XIV, a history of the Vandals, a history of very early medieval Europe, a biography of Stalin, and a revisionist version of life in Russia under Stalin. Some of them I’m only a few pages in and others about a quarter or halfway through.

    So last night, for no really good reason, except I’m interested in it and it just arrived in the mail I started W. Bruce Lincoln’s The Romanovs. Autocrats of all the Russias. After which I plan to get back to the Trotsky bio.

  32. Val @ 35
    Thank for your reply.
    Wiki has a pretty extensive list and none show women, no matter how oppressive to women the society is, are disadvantaged when it comes to life expectancy.
    Not even one shows equity.
    I realise Wiki is not the most reliable source.
    Perhaps you, having studied this far more than I, have a better one.

    On medical, I know far more is spent on women specific research and treatment, perhaps that has a bearing in 1st world countries but i would have thought i 3rd world Islamic countries were men dominate women thoroughly in every aspect to see a change.
    But not so

    Anyway, good that this issue is being discussed.
    It rarely is, ta.

  33. Sorry Val @ Thirty Two

    Brian @33

    Now males drink and smoke more, probably eat less well and take greater risks.

    That’s not what I’m observing with the latest crop of 15-25s.
    We will see those results in about 80 years I suppose.

  34. Jumpy
    This is a more detailed table
    But on the whole it confirms your view – the only countries I could see where men lived longer than women were Bangladesh in 2011 and Qatar in 2013. It may have been more true in earlier periods although I don’t know about Brian’s suggestion that men lived longer than women a hundred years ago. It may have been true in some classes and circumstances, but as a generalisation I would be doubtful.

    Also medical care (especially 100 years ago) is often over-rated as a cause of increased life expectancy. Living standards, including nutrition, are very important. For women, education, autonomy and the ability to control fertility are very important (this is not just about access to birth control, but about rights, including the right to use birth control, the right to refuse sexual intercourse, and the basic rights to have enough to eat and be treated decently). Being undernourished, subjected to violence, rape (including unwanted intercourse) and having too many children too close together, are great risks for women.

    Reasons why health care spending goes more to women than men:
    Childbirth and reproduction – major reason
    Women live longer but also have higher rates of disability
    Women are more responsible for caring – more likely to consult health professionals about their own health as well as health of children and others (don’t have macho image to sustain)

    Not a conspiracy, Jumpy. If there is any conspiracy, it’s the traditional patriarchal view that being a “real” man = being strong, fit and not needing anyone’s help. I feel quite strongly about this, partly because my older brother died suddenly not long ago. I (and I have to say his son, who is a health professional of the younger generation) told him that he needed to lose weight, cut down on the red meat and red wine, and take more exercise – but he (apparently supported by his GP) thought he was ok. Two of my brothers are now dead, and I think patriarchal views about ‘being a man’ contributed in both cases.

    However I should also add, that when I look at individual cases, like my brothers, I look at them from the perspective of someone who knows a lot about the epidemiological evidence. If you don’t have that information, it’s unwise to generalise from your experience. For example, what you are seeing may be young women drinking and smoking and eating junk food more than expect them to, rather than more than young men. The statistics don’t bear that out in Australia. (However in America, maybe working class southern white women are eating more junk/unhealthy food than men. Seems possible)

    Since I’m on this roll though, I should add that the amount that people drink, smoke and eat unhealthy food is related to class and disadvantage. It is not simply a matter of individual choices.

  35. Val, that is quite a hilarious mix up you managed here. On reflection, there are some strong similarities, yet you could not imagine two more different stars in the old LP galaxy. Interesting discussion yous have got going here though.

    Given a choice on sex in my next rebirth, not sure which one I’d choose. Let’s say I came back as a chicken, would I choose the chute which brings me a middle age life max, in a very small cage with total controlled environment on the production line or take the other chute to the controlled atmosphere killing chamber for a reset?

    So my question is, how is measurement of life expectancy relevant, what does comparing it really tell us?
    PB @35 “I’m just an undisciplined prat when it comes to reading”
    What a privilege that is, looks like you make the best of it.

  36. My computer monitor has just died. I’m on my wife’s computer right now, but can’t work out how to log on. So there won’t be any new posts from me until I get a new monitor.

    jumpy, when I said “Now males drink and smoke more, probably eat less well and take greater risks”, I meant compared to females, not to males earlier. Just to be clear.

    Val the information about males living longer was from Radio National, I think. Under discussion was the marked improvement in child-birthing, which I think dates from the 1930s. BTW my grandmother on my father’s side died in childbirth in 1900 when he was 2.

    I asked around about practices in the early days in the farming district where I grew up. From some time in the 1920s women started going away when they were near term to a town that had a hospital and a doctor.

    Of course we need proper statistical evidence.

  37. Have been out of it for a little while (just doing other things, nothing dramatic) so not sure if anyone still interested in the questions raised? People are asking questions about areas that I know quite a lot about, which should be ok but I find I have a temptation to go into huge detail, so it’s not.
    Anyway just trying to be quick – the stats I looked at said young women still drink and smoke less than young men but not much less – that might be what you’re seeing Jumpy, a narrower gap. Re junk food, lots of survey research just looks at how closely people follow national dietary guidelines (answer not very closely on most cases!) and I don’t know of any that goes down to specific age ranges. I suspect there is such research and I suspect there is research on gender and junk food consumption, just might take a whole to find it,
    Ootz I guess life expectancy is like all ‘quant’ stuff, it tells us about numbers. There has to be research on ‘qual’ issues too (although some med people don’t really get that). But such as it is, life expectancy is useful for comparisons – eg men and women, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, class/income groups, and less or more equal societies. I don’t think people would worry do much about inequality if it wasn’t associated with worse health – that’s the kind of touchstone, it really is bad for us.
    Brian I wrote my MA thesis (60,000 words of it!) on maternity in 20thC Aust, but haven’t been involved in it much for a while. Just for interest, maternity mortality actually went up in Vic when hospital birth first started becoming popular (eg 20s-30s), in the post WW2 period it became safer, and now would definitely be considered safer for all women with known risk of complications – eg first birth, health problems etc, – and for women who live a long way from a hospital. However birth has become more medicalised and the Caesarean rate has become pretty high. Apart from all the psychosocial issues, caesareans are still major surgery, so that’s concerning.
    For women having second or third baby, who are healthy and have previously had an uncomplicated labor, planned home birth with a trained midwife can be pretty safe (debate goes on about whether it is as safe as hospital) and may be pleasant for women who want it and cause less morbidity. It’s a really complex issue – if you read about it, you will see midwives and obstetricians hurling statistics at each other from the trenches. One thing I think we need is just better birthing practice, particularly continuity of midwife and active birth. Anyway that’s enough sure.
    This year I really have to focus on finishing my thesis, so probably can’t spend as much time on these forums, which is a shame cos I find it really interesting.

  38. Brian I’ve got a long comment on moderation on this thread if you have time to rescue it. I did it on my phone and put in my Monash email, which I forgot I haven’t been using on this site, so I guess it’s treating me as a new person.

    I see you also have the inequality post up, with that very article I was talking about featured. Must go and read it. Maybe one day you will do a Piketty thread ( I gather the book is very long, haven’t read it yet!)

  39. Val, I think the Piketty book (I read the article someone linked to) is a mile too far for me. interesting though it would be.

    I was surprised about the increase in maternity mortality going up in Vic when hospital birth first became popular. Do you know why?

    I’ve heard lots about home birthing and caesareans over the years. I’ve had a prostatectomy (the old-fashioned way, ie not keyhole), which I believe is similar in scale to a ceasar. Not fun, and I can’t imagine why anyone would choose a ceasarean when they had to look after a bay during recovery.

  40. I don’t know why maternal mortality went up Brian. It could have been poor practice, unfamiliar environments etc, or it could have been the old staple – cross infection, and doctors who didn’t wash their hands between patients (I could say staff but it was more doctors if I remember rightly from the research – still something hospitals have to grapple with). But as I say I don’t really know.

    Dr Maloney, the original federal member for Melbourne, and the Labor member who introduced the original maternity allowance bill in 1912, said “trained” attendance at birth (referring to midwives at home rather than doctors in hospitals) was the most important support for mothers at that time ( and he was a doctor). Hospital birth was not common in 1912 of course.

    Dr Maloney seems to have been such an inspiring man – he was born out of wedlock, and had such concern for unwed mothers and their babies. The original maternity allowance gave so much support to poor and unwed mothers (it was universally available but was particularly intended to benefit them). Anyway again something I could talk about for ages, but I do wish sometimes that more people knew a little more the historical background of the maternity allowance.

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