The Graun is making some sense in attacking Tory policy here:
Cook writes about the influence on the party of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), the thinktank set up by Iain Duncan Smith, and he says that some Tory officials do not believe the claims made by CSJ about marriage. The CSJ says children whose parents are married tend to do better (which is true). It also claims that those children do better because their parents are married (which is highly questionable). Cook, who used to work for David Willetts, quotes an unnamed party official as saying:
The CSJ claims that there is evidence marriage helps the poor. But you have to chase down a jungle of references to find anything serious. It's mostly rubbish that doesn't overcome the self-selection problem [that couples who choose marriage are more likely to have qualities that make it easier to stay together and be good parents]. We have repeated some wholly indefensible claims.
Cook also quotes another unnamed party official as saying that loads of CSJ research is "ropey".
Now, Iain Duncan Smith used to be known as "the quiet man", and would that he still were. But since he is no longer leader, he has managed to usurp a load of policy areas and driven his awful ideas into Tory policy:
4. The CSJ says it has now produced 70 Conservative party policies.
Cook says that at one stage Tory family and welfare policy was "outsourced to the CSJ".
And you can bet they're all pretty shit.
Watch that self-selection thing: it's the kind of tactic New Labour would have used to drive policy and just look how well that turned out for us.