TOM UTLEY: Imagine what would happen if we listened to the snooker saboteur and stopped having kids

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TOM UTLEY: Imagine what would happen if we listened to the snooker saboteur and stopped having kids

What a miserable existence this would be if everyone took to heart Edred Whittingham's idiotic theory that it's immoral to have children, since we 'ca

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What a miserable existence this would be if everyone took to heart Edred Whittingham’s idiotic theory that it’s immoral to have children, since we ‘can’t guarantee there will be a habitable planet for them to grow up in’.

For anyone who missed the story, Mr W is the dim-witted Just Stop Oil activist who disrupted the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield this week by spreading orange powder over one of the tables.

Just imagine the world we’d be condemned to if every couple of child-bearing age thought: ‘Oooh! We’d better listen to Edred! People don’t throw orange powder around at sporting events, after all, unless they’re profound moral philosophers!’

Former World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has called for tougher punishments for protesters after play was disrupted at the World Championship by Mr Whittingham

Former World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has called for tougher punishments for protesters after play was disrupted at the World Championship by Mr Whittingham

Former World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has called for tougher punishments for protesters after play was disrupted at the World Championship by Mr Whittingham

First there would be no more babies, of course, then no schoolchildren. As the decades passed, there would be no able-bodied workers to keep the wheels of industry turning, till the fields to feed us, pay our pensions, fix our heating, or nurse us in sickness and old age.

Finally, within just 100 years, only a few centenarians would be left — no doubt cold, hungry and destitute. Then there would be no one at all.

I suppose Mr Whittingham is right when he says we can’t guarantee the planet will remain habitable for future generations.

Which of us, after all, can see into the future with perfect clarity?

But what we can guarantee, with absolute certainty, is that if everyone stops having babies, there will be no future generations to inhabit the planet.

I therefore find it hard to disagree with the billionaire Elon Musk, slightly cracked though he sometimes appears, when he argues this week that population collapse, with the spread of contraception and abortion, represents a far greater danger to human existence than overpopulation or global warming. 

In my view, the tragedy is that so many young people appear to have fallen for the line promoted by the likes of Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion.

 Indeed, a global survey of 10,000 people aged 15 to 25 found as many as 39 per cent say they hesitate to have children because they are frightened of climate change.

A Just Stop Oil protester jumps on the table and throws orange powder during the match between Robert Milkins against Joe Perry during the Cazoo World Snooker Championship

A Just Stop Oil protester jumps on the table and throws orange powder during the match between Robert Milkins against Joe Perry during the Cazoo World Snooker Championship

A Just Stop Oil protester jumps on the table and throws orange powder during the match between Robert Milkins against Joe Perry during the Cazoo World Snooker Championship

The implications are truly depressing. Take the retirement age, which will have to be pushed ever further back as the population gets older, with ever fewer young people to support the OAPs.

Already this week, the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies has predicted that my sons’ generation of twenty- and thirtysomethings will have to keep working until they’re 70 if they are to have any hope of a comfortable retirement.

Before we know it, increasing numbers will find themselves in the same position as our late beloved Queen, who was reported this week to have told George Carey on his resignation as Archbishop of Canterbury: ‘I can’t resign, I can’t surrender. I’ve got to keep going.’

But we can’t blame the climate scaremongers alone for young people’s reluctance to breed. In Britain, at least, the explanation surely has more to do with our acute shortage of affordable housing and other obstacles to starting a family, which politicians have done far more to create than demolish.

Indeed, I have to pinch myself to reflect that the Conservatives, the self- proclaimed ‘party of the family’, have been in power for no less than two-thirds of my 69 years on Earth.

Yet far from doing anything to encourage procreation, they have chiselled away at tax allowances for married couples and dependent children, facilitated divorce, promoted abortion and forced up the costs of childcare through excessive regulation.

At the same time, they have driven new mothers back to work, just to pay the rent or mortgage, when many would prefer to be at home with their young.

Activists of "Just Stop Oil" glue their hands to the wall after throwing soup at a van Gogh's painting "Sunflowers" at the National Gallery in London, Britain, on October 14, 2022

Activists of "Just Stop Oil" glue their hands to the wall after throwing soup at a van Gogh's painting "Sunflowers" at the National Gallery in London, Britain, on October 14, 2022

 Activists of “Just Stop Oil” glue their hands to the wall after throwing soup at a van Gogh’s painting “Sunflowers” at the National Gallery in London, Britain, on October 14, 2022

All in all, it’s a terrible record of betrayal of the institution the Tories have always professed to be closest to their hearts.

Well, I feel Mrs U and I have done our bit. It’s true we can’t match Mr Musk’s ten children. But we’ve added four healthy males to the workforce, while they and their partners have surmounted the obstacles politicians have put their way, producing three children between them, with our fourth grandchild due next month.

They, and other young couples with children, are the true heroines and heroes who may yet save our species from the grisly fate that will await humankind if those who preach that breeding is immoral have their way.

As for the rest who are holding back, I strongly urge you to ignore the likes of Mr Whittingham. You should learn instead from the wisdom of our greatest poet, when he wrote his none-too-subtle chat-up line in the final couplet of his sonnet No. 12: ‘And nothing ‘gainst time’s scythe can make defence/ Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.’

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