Rod Liddle

I've found the perfect compromise on breastfeeding

Feel free to feed your brat while parked in a taxi rank. On one condition...

5 April 2014

9:00 AM

5 April 2014

9:00 AM

What attitude should we take towards women who wish to breastfeed their babies in public? Older, more conservative readers may feel a little squeamish about this sort of thing and would prefer mothers to do their breastfeeding in private; it is as much the hideous slurping noise as the sight of a female breast which offends, I think. At the other extreme, the modernist view is that they should be allowed to breastfeed when and where they want, without argument or hindrance, and that’s an end to it.

As ever, I stalk what we might call the middle ground, the area where some sort of compromise can be found between these two diametrically opposed schools of thought. I think women should be allowed to get their breasts out when and where they want — but only if they are quite attractive breasts. In other words, if they are pert, firm and becoming. If, however, they are unpleasantly pendulous, or resemble in their shape, if not their colouring, a spaniel’s ears, then I would argue it would be better for all concerned if they were to keep them hidden away under as many layers of clothing as possible. I think this suggestion strikes the right balance between conservatism and progressivism and I have written to a number of leading feminists suggesting that this would be an appropriate route out of the current impasse. I have not yet had a reply, which is an optimistic sign, I think — they are taking my attempt to forge a consensus very seriously and giving the matter a lot of thought. I will let you know how these important women respond.


I have given this matter a lot of thought, too, because we are clearly approaching some sort of crisis. There have been reports in our newspapers about women who, having lobbed out a teat to service their mewling brats — perhaps in the dairy aisle at Waitrose, or while waiting for their menfolk to finish lunch in White’s — suffer being upbraided by men who think it inappropriate behaviour. The latest outrage befell a young woman in the pleasant seaside town of Blackpool. She ‘accidentally’ pulled over into a taxi rank when her five-month-old brat started crying to be fed, apparently. She was spotted by a traffic warden who despite the mother’s apologies nonetheless issued her with a ticket. This is what the lady in question told the Times: ‘I felt so humiliated …[my two-year old] was upset and I was still trying to feed [the baby] who was screaming because her feed had been interrupted, all with my breast exposed in front of passers-by.’

Of course, the local council have since waived the £35 penalty and done the usual grovelling apology thing, insisting that they ‘support’ breastfeeding, as everybody in any position of authority has to do, much as they have to be absolutely opposed to ‘bullying’ and implacably in favour of gay marriage. These are not issues upon which the contrary views are even remotely allowable. Better still was the response from some ghastly charitable concern called the Breastfeeding Network. This indispensable institution proclaims that it is ‘an independent source of support and information for breastfeeding women and those involved in their care’, incidentally, just so you know. Anyway, its spokesnipple said: ‘We hope that breastfeeding mothers and their babies will be treated with the same respect as everyone else.’

Well, indeed. But the Blackpool lady wasn’t, was she? She was afforded a degree of latitude which other people, those without milk-replete baps, are not given. It is now the right of every lactating woman to pull over into a taxi rank to feed her querulous child, or perhaps pull up in the fast lane of the M6 as soon as Swarfega or Ronseal starts up with a bit of preprandial clamouring, and she should not be forced to wait for a single second or suffer any inconvenience. The notion that the same laws should be applied, and that the infants consequently begin to understand the pleasures of deferred gratification, has been swatted away by the clunking fist of political correctness. It is becoming impossible to marshall a single argument against breastfeeding in any venue, no matter what laws might be broken in the meantime. And yet there was no reason why the mother shouldn’t have attempted to find a legitimate parking space in order to expose her breast to other passers-by. Another two minutes of mewling? Good for the kid, I reckon.

We are in the grip of what one sociologist, Dr Charlotte Faircloth, calls ‘militant lactivism’, a singularly middle-class phenomenon which insists that breastfeeding, and only breastfeeding, is the only way in which children should be nourished and that anything which stands in the way of breastfeeding is an iniquity. That is why there is a huge middle-class charity — or ‘independent resource’, as the Breastfeeding Network calls itself — determined to inflict its views upon the masses, to ensure that every young mum breastfeeds and that those who don’t are slightly behind the curve, and probably shop in Aldi or Lidl. There is an absolutism about the arguments which everyone is compelled to go along with, no matter how patently absurd they might be.

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Show comments
  • Picquet

    I long for the day when you write regularly for the Guardian, Mr L. The ‘comments’ sections will be great fun then.

    • davidshort10

      Anyone who writes anything in the comments section of The Guardian which is at odds with its bizarre views is banned. No wonder its circulation is a tenth of the Daily Mail’s. It is subsidised by Auto Trader, which is why the Guardian’s editor still has a seven figure salary.

      • Picquet

        True. Some of us have sadly been expunged and resurrected many times. I’ve no idea what to do with all those email accounts, though.

        • davidshort10

          I know. I tend to get banned within 24 hours. I get bored creating email accounts. The Guardian does not believe in free speech.

          • Yeah well it’s easy to get banned from a site. Just see if there’s anything more from me at the Spectator after I’ve said what I think about this dishonest piece of s***t!

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            You don’t have an inherent right to comment upon someone else’s website. The refusal to give you a platform is not denying you ‘free speech’.

      • wudyermucuss

        It is subsidised by Auto Trader –
        I think the Groaniad cashed that in?That and it’s offshore financial arrangements have sadly kept the stinking rag afloat a little longer.

        • davidshort10

          Didn’t know that. I’d heard Auto Trader was going to be floated but that didn’t happen. It’s a good job creation scheme though and keeps the editor in hair dye.

      • Geoff

        The editor of The Guardian has a seven figure salary! is that before the decimal point? Amazing!

        • davidshort10

          He gets more than a million.

  • Cyril Sneer

    mmmm ‘bitty’ mmmmm…

  • bwims

    I nearly choked at work stifling the laughter!

    But, to be fair, the only “middle class” idiots who make a fuss are the champagne socialists.

    Reasonable middle-class people do know that milk provided by a healthy mother is best for their child for all sorts of reasons, and there are plenty of discreet ways of providing it, e.g.: a shawl covering mother’s top and child in a standard parking space, NOT naked in a swimming pool. We just don’t make a song and dance about it.

    Back in the 1970s, you might remember Rod, there was a big hoo-haa because companies like Nestle were promoting their powdered formula in Africa so heavily that mothers there thought they were doing the right thing by scraping the money together to buy it and mix with dirty puddle water rather than using inferior mother’s milk, and it wasn’t so far removed here (apart from the dirty puddle water)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestl%C3%A9_boycott#Baby_milk_issue

    My wife and I went to the NCT as new expectant parents where we heard the info about breast feeding which wasn’t heavily promoted by the NHS in those days.

  • davidshort10

    We should sit next to them and applaud.

    • transponder

      They’d probably tell you to shut up, as the clapping upsets the baby.

  • alabenn

    I think they should be able to do it even if there is no brat on either teat, if they are as you describe, pert, firm and becoming

  • Terry Field

    I have never understood the reticence over breast feeding. I am amazed at the willing ness to buy formula milk. How un-bnatural and damaging.
    And why should the sight of a child at the breast evince anything other than happiness and a feeling that all is right with the world.
    Modern neurotic people are only worth ignoring.

    • transponder

      You didn’t ignore them though, did you?

      I think the point of the article is that lactating mothers of a certain type (tattoos are probably common) feel that theirs is the Most Important Imperative, before which the rest of the world should lay a crimson carpet. This could be a problem. We owe duties to others besides those we love best.

      • Terry Field

        No, of course one cannot ignore it, in part because it is rare in our society, but in part because it is an insight into the closest of relationships, and an echo memory of our own irreplaceable relationship with our own mother.
        I rather think it is so special, so unique, that nearly all other relationships should be subordinated – but I agree some mothers become a touch intense.
        That is a female condition; they are equally intense about their ‘right’ to kill the soon to be baby if its birth is socially or economically inconvenient for them.
        Abortion on demand; breast feeding in the open. They are a bit megalomanic.
        And men have cleared the social space to enable them to be consistently utterly selfish.
        That is not the fault of women, who merely express their nature, but rather the fault of men, who have become weak, somewhat irrelevant, tending at the margins to homosexual silliness, and happy to be hairless and permanently baby-like.

        • Phil

          “That is a female condition; they are equally intense about their ‘right’ to kill the soon to be baby if its birth is socially or economically inconvenient for them”.

          Which is easy for you to say because it is very difficult decision that you never have to make. The right wing still obsessing about their opinions instead of dealing with the facts – nothing changes!

          • Terry Field

            what a cretinously stupid post – since when was the realisation that mass killing of viable soon-to-be babies is ‘right wing’!
            Idiotic trivial prat.
            And please do not whine about the ‘tough decision’ – most (but of course not all) of the time it is the result of either chaotic and irresponsible activity or even a form of contraception.
            And you would acknowledge that if you were not such a left – wing fool
            The infantile cry is always about women’s ‘rights’ over their bodies!
            Well they have the opportunity to respect their bodies when contemplating procreation – but that must slip their minds at 2pm on a saturday when they collapse out of the local ‘club’, full of booze and incapable of conceptual thinking but well capable of conception action.
            Modern degeneration.

          • transponder

            All the same, Terry, would you like your entire life and habits (no alcohol! no smoke! no fill-in-the-blank! lots of doctor’s prodding visits!) to be taken over by a foreign being that is less intelligent than your houseplants? Really, you do think like a man.

          • Terry Field

            There you have it – many women have this dysfunctional loathing of children, and they should spend their lives in executives suites, doing power-play, pretending they are ‘equal’ and getting off on skinny lattes and power lunches with their ‘big hair’ friends.
            If they are normally adjusted they should have the child, love and care for it, and stop thinking of themselves.
            The first group of nightmarish amazons – more like men – but with breasts – should at least have the good sense to either use contraceptive or have an operation.
            You have a sad life if your note is an accurate reflection of your state of mind.
            I assume you are winding me up over a cup of cocoa

          • transponder

            You didn’t answer the question.

          • Terry Field

            Your question is easy. to answer.
            Were I a woman, and were pregnant, I would organise my life to accommodate my new child, and I would change everything required so that the baby would be well brought up and I would hope to help him or her to develop a a strong, happy and successful person. Note I consider success a great boon; mediocrity, lazyness and failure is a result of degenerate self-indulgence, and to be avoided – but plainly is has been embraced by the great majority of the commentators in these columns.

          • transponder

            I’d rather have a dog. Always affectionate, communicative, and adorable, and they never become horny, pimply, awkward, critical, and ungrateful — not to mention tremendously expensive! Never forget that children don’t give a cuss what their mothers went through to have them. It’s the original thankless job.

          • Terry Field

            Well get the bloody dog and sod off.

          • transponder

            Had the dog nearly 8 years now, thanks. And she’s the best in the universe, ever.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Who is it that insists you get pregnant? Have you done so? Silly woman if so.

          • Phil

            “You have a sad life”

            Takes one to know one! Bet there no punani in your bed keeping you warm on a night.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Nothing to stop you drinking.My mother drank Mackeson on doctor’s orders. You can smoke the odd fag if you like. And it’s only nine month’s or Christ’s sake, not your whole life

          • Kitty MLB

            Have you ever been pregnant dear Fergus. Its painful, uncomfortable and eventually like squeezing a melon through
            your bottom. And if Swanky/ transponder or whatever she choses to be, decides she doesn’t want children it’s up to her.
            Its not as if there is a world shortage of the little mites.
            And yes its fine to drink whilst pregnant, as long as you
            do not over indulge. Mackeson is just a milk drink so is fine.

          • Fergus Pickering

            It was the iron I gather. My point, Kitty, was that it is not obligatory to have children. If you don’t want to do it then don’t. If you do want to do it then that is what it is. Babies nowadays are far too big. Perhaps smoking would stunt them a bit.

          • Kitty MLB

            Oh, Give expectant mothers a packet of Lilly of Killarney cigarettes( not MacDonalds Kilties) If Baby is born addicted give baby a cigarette called Teddy Bear or Baby Doll cigarettes…It might catch on. ( and I assume you meant after birth- or it would have been painful)
            Yes, they are now huge…And I hope you chaps appreciate
            what we go through- the worst pain ever ! and daughters always prefer their fathers
            forgetting what mothers have to suffer.
            By the way – Your mothers doctor could have advised Brussel Sprouts.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I don’t know whether brussel sprouts were available in Bombay

          • Kitty MLB

            Was Mackeson available on the subcontinent.
            Its good that you are multicultural, Fergus. UKIP will appreciate that from their new little solder in Nigel’s ‘ peoples
            Army’.
            They do not have Christmas Dinners in India- so why have
            loathsome brussel spouts…but your Mother could have
            had poi saag instead.. full of iron. Oh and beans. Phew !!!!

          • Fergus Pickering

            Indeed it was. And India Pale Ale. And none of the little baby Indians weighed more than 4 lbs.

          • Kitty MLB

            I forgot to say, it must have been superb to have been born
            in such an exotic country. I was also like Indian babies ( small ) Didn’t want to upset Jesus by being born
            on his birthday, so popped out 3 weeks too early and you
            do not miss out on presents either.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I fear I was too young to know. I can’t remember any of it.

          • Kitty MLB

            Oh sorry, I meant superb to have a baby in a exotic country
            instead of freezing cold England. Not how Fergus felt being
            born in a exotic location. I am glad none of us actually
            remember the process of being born old stick,
            I would not like to remember.

          • balance_and_reason

            Try taking away a women’s right to have a child…..check that fuss……don’t complain about pregnancy issues. Men have other issue’s.

          • transponder

            The better part of a YEAR, sure it would feel like one’s whole life. Again, spoken like a man. Nine months feels very long even to the most enthusiastic mothers.

          • Fergus Pickering

            It’s not as if the woman spends every day of it in misery. I’d rather be pregnant than go to jail. What about you?

          • transponder

            I’d rather be pregnant than go to jail.
            A ringing endorsement of the condition, I must say!

          • Phil

            “since when was the realisation that mass killing of viable soon-to-be babies is ‘right wing’!”

            You are a man. You can’t get pregnant. You can’t have an abortion. So how could you ever directly understand the difficulty in choosing to abort a child. You can’t. This is a fact, and in my last post, it is what I was referring to. Your post is backed up with no facts, they’re only opinions based on what you’ve read in the papers or watched on TV, and not based on reality.

            Furthemore I said nothing of anti-abortionists being right wing, this is your mind warping my words to suit its narrative. It is also exactly what I mean’t by the right wing preferring their opinions above the facts. By the way, thanks for exhibiting my point so beautifully.

            The rest of your post is more uninformed opinions backed up with no facts. You don’t know that most abortions result from “either chaotic and irresponsible activity or are even used as a form of contraception”; you don’t know that abortions are the result of a woman not respecting their body.

            Why? Because you wasn’t present and have no records of the events that occurred and which led those abortions. So you don’t actually know what happened, you only know what you think happened. This is NOT a known objective fact it is just a subjective opinion you thought of.

            Lastly, stopping abortion is not going to guarantee ‘the saved’ children a good and fulfilling life, no more than it can prevent them from having a hard and damaging childhood.

            You lament the aborted foetus who doesn’t get to live, but do you equally lament the child who does live but suffers? Do you equally lament the woes of those who are undernourished, those who are exploited and those who are abused – and not exclusively those who are aborted?

          • transponder

            Phil: Your post above says ‘the right wing’. Were we supposed to imagine the left wing? The lower mandible? The beak? The left lore…?

          • Phil

            ?? (I needed 2 characters.)

          • transponder

            I’d like ONE character but unfortunately he’s over 4000 miles away.

            What wing were we on?

          • Terry Field

            WHat cods- if it is so bloody traumatic, what is wrong with traditional abstinence, or if one wishes to be a touch ‘modern’, do try those nice little pills that seemed to change the world in the 1960’s.
            Your bleeding heart protestations are obscene when set against the slicing up of viable soon-to-be-babies and their evacuation down the waste-bin.
            A bit of responsibility would not go amis – but some chance in this saccharine world of ‘rights;’ and infantile selfishness.
            Unlike you I have seen abortions done – quite a few of them – and unlike you I have dealt with women contemplating abortion so am no theorist.
            As for the male /female bit – oh come on!
            We are well able to understand each others physical and psychological condition – you just come out with sloganising rubbish.
            And what the hell is wrong with ‘opinions’ – you are full of them, as are we all.
            You sound as if you have barely left the schoolroom.

          • Phil

            Your like my sister. She argues in logical fallacies too. I don’t. So gonna find someone who can debate seriously with facts and not just histrionic emotionality.

            F.Y.I. my sister is a totes b 1 t c h!

            Enjoy your life and chill out, you seem irrationally anger!

          • Tom M

            I enjoyed the prose. Thanks.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I would have thought that most people who abort their babies for trivial reasons are of a left-wing persuasion. You know – a woman’s body is her own etc etc.

          • Terry Field

            Hard to be sure there; the sexual revolution that accompanied the pill affected most, but there may be a nexus between rights, left-wing thinking, the economic exploitation of women as individual working consumers (sorry they are sold as being ‘liberated’, as twisted a word as is the word ‘progressive’ when applied to the venal socialists) and the feeling that the foetus, then the baby, is a consumed product not much different from the consumer lifestyle these selfish little airheads occupy.
            They are so passive that they ‘occupy’ a ‘lifestyle’ given to them by corporate life and values- they do not seek it out, fashion it to their needs, or modify it when it proves brutal and inhuman – they simply prostitute their natures to accommodate the modern prison.
            It is a massive version of the Stockholm Syndrome.
            I pity these millions of abused consumers.
            I pity their aborted babies more.though.

          • Kitty MLB

            You make a point Mr Field.
            Its up to a woman if she has a child or not and those without
            should not be snooty to those who do have children
            Yet you wonder why some do. Some ‘ Yummy Mummies’
            see children as a just the thing you do- and we have the wretched leftie “mumsnet” full of mummies who do not
            realise people have done this before. And you also
            have those who see children as a way to get money and
            free housing out of the government.

          • transponder

            Please define this ‘right wing’. I’m so interested: what does it look like?

          • Phil

            What do you think I am Wikipedia? Use your own mental bandwidth!

          • transponder

            Do I have to?!? It’s Saturday at 10:36 my time and I’m on the second phase of the Atkins diet!!

          • Phil

            You should try the 5:2 diet it has got a much better body of evidence.

          • transponder

            You mean the Mediterranean Diet? I’ll try that when I’ve lost five pounds. I like this low-carb thing in principle. But then there’s wine. Not to mention the torrone my friend sent me.

          • Terry Field

            poo

    • Donafugata

      Breast feeding in public is totally unnecessary and is just the woman’s way of letting us all know how clever she is by having had a baby. We have enough attention seekers already.

      Anyway, I mes seins are for decorative purposes only, that way they keep their shape.

      • Kitty MLB

        Not all woman breastfeed in public , and its not attention seeking
        by the way.

        • treborc1

          If they do so what believe it or not that is what breasts are for feeding babies. I know some men will be shocked but never mind.

      • Smiffy51

        Babies are fed in public because they are hungry.

  • Nicholas Hughes

    I suggest another compromise, Liddle: Get women to stop breast feeding in public and in return you waive your rights to complain about the crying from hunger and you also refrain from calling any baby who needs food a “brat”.

    • transponder

      ‘sprog’?

      • Nicholas Hughes

        Sprog is acceptable.

  • tim5165

    Mr Liddle, you could do better. A mother’s milk is genetically suited to her baby, and, for the first year of life, there is no better food available.

    • transponder

      The baby at the t*t in the picture is surely not in the first year of his life.

      • davidshort10

        He looks like he is four.

        • transponder

          Old enough for solid food, in any case.

      • tim5165

        I can talk for hours about the advantages of lactation. Normally i enjoy Liddle’s articles, but this one displays his ignorance and prejudices. The name ‘Anaya’ is of Hebrew origin, and also exists as a surname and place name in Spain. When a mother is driving a car and her babies start screaming, the sensible action is to stop the car as soon as is reasonably possible. The Highway Code uses the expression ‘taxi bay’, not ‘taxi rank’; the bay should be clearly marked with yellow lines and signage. Was this the case in Blackpool? In Grantham there is a street parking area which becomes a taxi bay at night time; the signs are not obvious, and I did not see any yellow lines.

        • transponder

          I can talk for hours about the advantages of lactation.
          I won’t be home for Christmas.

          • tim5165

            Nice one!

          • transponder

            :^[]

    • Kitty MLB

      Very well said. Its very important for a baby to be fed with the mothers milk,
      and you are correct. Mothers milk not only contains the correct nutrients
      but certain vitamins that baby cannot obtain elsewhere.

      • Fergus Pickering

        And it’s cheaper too.

        • Kitty MLB

          Its painful when they have a few teeth appearing and sometimes they do not want to let go- and its not about expense.. that was a bit cheeky !

          • Fergus Pickering

            I am reminded of one of those very old jokes involving book title. Giving Up Smoking by Mustapha Fagg, The Cliff Tragedy by Eileen Dover and The baby’s Revenge by a welsh russian – Tudor Titsoff!!!!

          • transponder

            What do you call a man with no arms or legs on a sinking ship? — Bob.

            Or someone that likes to boss his family around? — Pushkin.

          • Kitty MLB

            They are rib ticklers ,I have a few Fergus. Over The Cliff – Hugo Fearst, Indian/ Italian Cuisine-Ravi Oley- I like
            Mathematics- Adam Up and Military Defeats – Major Disaster
            and General Mayhem…But maybe that lot were groans !!!!

          • Fergus Pickering

            Thank you, Kitty. Ah, to be young!

          • Kitty MLB

            Ah, dear chap. To be young at heart, have a old soul,
            a sunny disposition and the ability to forget, will ensure
            that one remains vibrant throughout their brief moment in time 🙂

          • Kitty MLB

            Oh, I did not mean we should all forget everything
            in life’s rich tapestry just that which removes joy.

  • transponder

    Well the babies are certainly behind the curve, though why they enjoy the juice coming out of it is a mystery. No wonder young children like sugar mice and hate olives, wine, and anything remotely spicy. Their tastebuds are dead on account of mother’s milk — as they have to be! — until they can finally come to life.

    By the way, it was the horror of something sucking on my body that convinced me (apart from all the other appalling horrors of pregnancy and birth) that I did not want to be a mother. I would have made a lovely father — supportive, generous, dutiful and even self-sacrificing. But the role of mother was a bridge too far, and unfortunately that was the only one open to me.

    • Donafugata

      Well said, transponder, I’m completely with you.

      I have always been repulsed by the idea of pregnancy and childbirth, I can’t even watch it on TV.

      It must be like being possessed by an incubus that hijacks your body and lives there, draining you of whatever it wants and then fighting you to get out after 40 weeks.

      A friend of mine allowed her son to dangle from her breast until he was nearly five, it has quite ruined her body.

      • Gwangi

        Ditto. Even as a child, I had to turn over the TV (had to get up and do that and choose between 2 other channels). Maybe it’s because childbirth is something that should be kept private?

      • Fergus Pickering

        I don’t think it is like that at all. But it may be for you. In which case, don’t have a baby. Who is forcing you to?

  • davidshort10

    Why does anyone want to get their tits out in public? It is very easy to know when babies are to be fed. Babies prefer being at home.

    • SilentHunter

      Au contraire!

      I often “get my tits out in public” . . . mostly when it’s sunny.

      Although being a middle aged man does rather spoil the day for onlookers. :o(

      Meh! I can live with it.

      • davidshort10

        I tend to keep mine covered up nowadays. I sometimes let them out on my own beach balcony.

        • transponder

          Hmmm. We await Chapter Two….

      • Gwangi

        I see lots of tits everywhere.
        A lot of them seem to be running the country. Others have successfully corrupt careers in the police force.

    • Liz

      Because babies have to be fed every couple of hours and can only be fed at home if the owner of the breast is at home too?

      I know it’s a difficult idea to get one’s head around, but women have a right to be outside too. The world doesn’t actually belong to men.

  • Shorne

    There’s a caricature of a tit next to the headline of this article.

  • The_greyhound

    Mr Liddle would limit display to quite attractive breasts, “pert, firm and becoming”.

    This is a sound general principle – no one should exhibit any part of their person unless there is some quality assurance process to guarantee that the rest of us won’t be distressed at the mere sight. So if Mr Liddle cares to scrutinise potential exhibitors to filter out the wobbly, saggy, or wrinkly, he will be rendering the public a service.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think Rod’s face is past its sell-by date. Perhaps he could wear a veil.

      • Kitty MLB

        Yes its a bit rough looking. About sell by dates, You be careful, old chap.
        There is a new Fergus posting here now ( From Scotland, Not SNP,
        with Tory ” inside information” ) he is very talkative..
        Not too sure what happen if we have too many Fergus’ wandering
        around the Spectator.. one is quite enough.

        • Fergus Pickering

          But not one of the Pickerings surely?

          • Kitty MLB

            No! Don’t worry, the other Fergus and I have come to an
            agreement. He said to avoid confusion with this other Fergus
            that he might use just his Sir Name ( McKenzie) instead.
            But he’s a bit of a windup merchant not sure I believe him..
            But don’t you worry your little head- I have it all under control !

          • Fergus Pickering

            That would be the McKenzie of Cockenzie I take it.

          • Kitty MLB

            You have just made that up, There is no such place called
            Cockenzie. I am feeling guilty, he said he never liked the name Fergus anyway… now he has a complex- poor mite.
            So be nice when you encounter that Fergus ( not this Fergus)
            And guess what, AllyMax has said he thinks I might
            have a little Scots in my genes.. because I have
            their sense of humour… will have to see what the new boy
            thinks of that.

  • studio1972

    The rules for when and where you can breast feed should be the same as bottle feeding. If you don’t like it, don’t look!

  • Retired Nurse

    Parking on a taxi rank is a Code 45 contravention Mr. Liddle – http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/further-details-of-contravention-code-45

  • Liz

    “Well, indeed. But Antonia wasn’t, was she? Antonia was afforded a degree of latitude which other people, those without milk-replete baps, are not given.”

    No, you also have the latitude to breastfeed your young anytime you want/they need it.

    You also have the latitude to palm off responsibility for that to people with the misfortune to have milk-replete “baps” and hound and humiliate them for it.

    You also have the latitude to wheel yourself up ramps to get into council buildings.

    Or the latitude to enjoy the police’s time when you find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

    Or indeed you have the latitude to avail yourself of the NHS when you have a coronary because you are a sedentary male of a certain age with fat-replete arteries, which we women will fund and run for you.

    That’s how societies work you see: “to each according to their needs”. Not “to each according to people’s prejudice” or “to each according to men’s needs” or indeed “to each according to a Rod Liddle’s needs”.

  • Gwangi

    I think it’s all about the sort of outraged solipsistic arrogance of parents generally, fathers as well as the omnipresent angry mums, who believe that just because they have bred, their opinion on everything is right, good, worthy and morally superior to others, just because they have produced a baby (as if most people couldn’t do that same in minutes – for a man anyway)!

    I see this now everywhere – the constant pandering to demanding, selfish, ill-mannered, arrogant, ignorant parents. I see it in the selfish pram-pushing mums who walk two a breast on the pavement, forcing everyone else, including the elderly (for whom mums have no consideration) into the road.

    The whole world revolves around mummy and baby these days, and woe betide anyone who ever dares criticise the selfish and greedy behaviour of ‘mums’ (who, statistically, are more likely to abuse and kill babies and children than anyone else of course…).
    It’s all about manners really and having consideration for others. Demanding the right to breastfeed anywhere YOU want because YOU are a mum and therefore in YOUR opinion YOU should be worshipped and given special treatment everywhere – irrespective of how unpleasant and offensive and inconsiderate that it to others – is just plain selfish and ill-mannered. But in our increasingly gynaecentric society, we are supposed to defer to all such demands from the breeding classes. If not, we are abused and insulted and accused – more or less – of being anti-children or even tantamount to a child abuser (though that’s mums’ speciality really).

    If I ever see a woman breastfeeding and I am sitting near, I make sure I fart loudly and smellily as near to the selfish sprong-spawning yummy mummy as I can. That is my right as a human being. How dare anyone find my bodily functions offensive! (and I’d go further too if there wasn’t a risk of being nicked by one of our local political correct pc PCs).

    • Liz

      “The whole world revolves around mummy and baby these days”

      Don’t be so bloody ridiculous. You try looking after a new born for one week, I dare you. Negotiating public transport, parking and streets with pushchairs, aggressive hostile public and colleagues, feeding and changing clothes in filthy toilets and the backs of cabs, trundling around manky urban parks trying to get some exercise, leering and self-involved men getting upset and insulting at the “inconvenience” of having to be exposed to what’s involved in raising their children and their future pension funders.

      Nothing about this country is remotely geared up for mummy and baby, it’s always been and continues to be geared up for daddy, so geared up that you’ve got a whole unpaid class of people to do it for you, but apparently that’s still not enough for you.

      • transponder

        Again: most babies aren’t newborns, as most babies are getting older all the time.

    • SilentHunter

      I think you’re conflating “poor manners” with “motherhood” here.

      As for farting in public; well, that says more about you than the subject under discussion.

    • transponder

      Parents have to feel important: it’s what quells their doubts about why they did it; it’s what keeps them going.

      For many people, the ‘decision’ to become a parent is an extension of their eroticism (lust, in this case), and reason comes in as a handmaid later. Rational calculation never had anything to do with it.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Parents ARE mportant. CEOs of companies are not.

        • transponder

          I’m sure you don’t really think the last thing. Surely not. Intelligent bloke like you?

          • Fergus Pickering

            Can you remember who was the CEO of any company ten years ago? They are interchangeable.

  • Liz

    “The notion that the same laws should be applied, and that the infants consequently begin to understand the pleasures of deferred gratification, has been swatted away by the clunking fist of political correctness. ”

    By delayed gratification, you mean depriving a new born, which is unable to control it’s own base temperature, vital fluids, I take it?

    • transponder

      Um, the child in the photo is hardly a newborn, is he, Liz?

      • Liz

        The photo has been deliberately selected by either a Rod Liddle or their h*rny teenage boy of a picture editor to titilate. The child is older for a reason. The mother is young and over exposed for a reason. Her head is tipped back and out of shot for a reason. You’re meant to identify with him. He’s a Rod Liddle mini me. It’s basically child p*rn lite.

        • Moputabee

          What about the mothers 2 year old child who was queuing up?

    • Moputabee

      Children have to wait as do babies at time – I know call me radical…

      If a baby is on death’s door because the mother has left it so long she is not able to have time to look for a car parking space – Then that mother is neglecting the child, remove it and put it with parents who can anticipate its needs.

  • Liz

    “Older, more conservative readers may feel a little squeamish about this sort of thing and would prefer mothers to do their breastfeeding in private; it is as much the hideous slurping noise as the sight of a female breast which offends, I think. ”

    How in the hell could anyone hear slurping noises coming from the back seat of a cab?

    We’ve all got the right to offend haven’t we? That’s your and the Spectator’s and the Press’ and the free world’s line isn’t it? Offended people just have to get over it right? No compromise required, so what on earth are you wittering on about?

    • Moputabee

      Yes Liz, we know exactly what you are going to say everytime before you do… duh..

  • Turdson Minor

    Ron,
    Is it possible that the “Breastfeeding Network” is in fact a government sponsored quango/lobby group?
    I think we need to know.

  • David Herz

    the nursing children are described as brats…in the first line. What does that make the adults that describe them in this manner?

  • Cymrugel

    I know you are having a laugh here Rod, but quiet frankly you deserve a slap around the head for this one.
    If grown adults are freaked out by the sight of a breastfeeding woman when they are surrounded by pictures lf semi naked teenage girls in magazines newspapers and the ridiculously high levels of sexualisation generally they need to get some sense of perspective. This is what women’s tits are for – deal with it.

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  • Fergus Pickering

    I take no attitude at all. Do I have to, Rod?

  • Lex Layton

    I can’t decide the rights and wrongs of the article.
    Show me more pictures of breast feeding to allow me to make an informed decision.

  • This article is completely dishonest because it uses the question of when it is appropriate to forgive a parking violation as a cover for making an attack on public breastfeeding. Of course stopping in a taxi rank or other prohibited area should be penalized unless it was for reasons of an emergency. Normally feeding an infant is not something so urgent that it can’t wait for the location of a proper parking space, so I would be surprised to see the fine overruled unless there were some other relevant factors. Taking the story at face value I would feel that reversing the fine was inappropriate, but in this case the overall sleaze and dishonesty of the piece leads me to conclude that it is more likely that the reporter is leaving out some important information.

  • Kate

    Where are these hoards of marauding wet-nippled women attempting to threaten RL’s civil liberties? Are ‘we’ really in the grip of ‘militant lactivism’? Er, no. RL’s decision to jump on one isolated incident and use it as a way to castigate breastfeeding mothers en masse seems more than a little bizarre. Most people understand that young babies, if breast fed, need milk about every 4 hours and unless mothers are to live their lives behind locked doors, this means that sometimes the child has to be fed in a public place. (That’s not exhibitionism, it’s
    necessity, and a lot less disturbing than the sight of people guzzling junk
    food in the street.) Women usually manage this without too much of a problem,
    and unless you’re a weird old perv (or believe the absurd photograph
    illustrating this article) there isn’t much to see when a baby is being fed –
    nursing mothers usually use a shawl or angle themselves away from
    onlookers.

    But the subject of breastfeeding involves breasts doesn’t it (tee hee), so RL
    can have some fun and prove he’s a bit provocative – and if he
    scatters the whole sorry article with a few sixth-formy references to
    baps and so on, no one can take him too seriously. I imagine most
    grown-ups don’t.

  • Howmany

    Liddle writes Piddle. Old socialist bigots always do.

  • Alison H

    I’ve seen a few breastfeeding mothers in my time, none of which have looked anything like the above, shameful Spectator. And as for you Rod Liddle, I hope your mum left you hungry often. Find something important to write about.

  • Smiffy51

    Ah bless, nursie has untied his restraints and let him near the computer again.

  • Moputabee

    Spot on as usual Rod.

    Children and ‘even’ babies have to wait at times – How radical is that!

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