There is nothing particularly unusual about a politician having inconsistent views or failing to think through a policy proposal. But Iain Duncan Smith has gone a step beyond by insisting that benefit claimants should limit their family to two children (he calls it 'cutting their cloth'). First, Mr Smith is a Roman Catholic and thus presumably accepts his Church's teachings that contraception is not permissible. Neither can he be expecting that families who accidentally fall pregnant for a third time should have an abortion. (Pope Paul VI, 1968, encyclical letter Humanae Vitae). Which just leaves sexual abstinence. Is that what he is actually proposing? Secondly, what of the family who already have more than two children before falling sick or becoming unemployed and claiming benefit, such as Mr Smith who has four children? Are they to abandon the surplus somehow? Perhaps to a Catholic orphanage, a solution popular with the authorities in the 18th and 19th centuries. Or perhaps Mr Smith hopes to persuade Mr Osborne to reverse the recent cuts of £1.86 billion (NSPCC estimate, 2011) made to local authority funding for children's services so that the surplus can all be taken into care.
Good luck with that one, Mr Smith!
[Note: Mr Smith is not proposing as Herr Hitler did that we should cut the goolies off the poor, unemployed, disabled or unemployed. That would also amount to contraception.]