Everyone likes babies, don’t they, with their little tiny toes and the fact that they don’t do anything and are constantly doing those strange dark poos. “That’s my baby,” friends will tell me, pointing to a small wad of skin and flesh that is screaming for no reason, “I love it so much I could die.”

Does the baby do any tricks, I always ask, and they shake their head, no. “We think in maybe 18 months the baby might learn to walk,” they say. “Might get a full sentence out of it at about three.” Cool, well, see you in 18 years when you can go to the pub again.

Babies are the discourse this week, with two news stories that – if you squint and look closely – are absolutely and entirely related. “British ‘baby shortage’ could lead to economic decline, says thinktank,” goes one, and there is some interesting stuff by the Social Market Foundation in there. The current birthrate of 1.58 in England and Wales…

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