Sunday, November 26, 2006

Toyn Bee in the Tory Bonnet

Subtle eh ?

Well this has been going on all week one way or another and I think it raises interesting issues about poverty and exclusion. Polly Toynbee however has nothing to add, and I fear it is more toffish Liberals agreeing about what nice people they are

I have just had an awful week , I `ve got gastric flue and the tinnitus I always struggle with is out of control . My hollow voice echoes directly from white faced Hades.
What is the Toyn bee in the Tory bonnet ? .A political philosophy cannot be only a means for safeguarding the privileged the successful and the lucky . How glib and fatuous it is to say "yaaas well you are giving disincentives to pile up more cash as a Lawyer by obliging me to support this "work -shy" family " ; as if the disincentivised one would exchange places for a second .
People are not of fundamentally different sorts ,given any numbers ; the barriers between classes are higher than they were in the 60s . Quite clearly new Labour have little interest in the poor except to infantilise pacify and bribe. Conservatives , if they were sincere , and many have doubts , must think of new approaches.

One point is ,that the most worrying trend is not relative poverty but, "absolute poverty." Absolute poverty, in a bottom detached level of the population, has worsened ,and in the context of overall growth ,and increasing incomes ,it is like a chasm. We have created a whole culture that exists not inside but beneath society , parasitic on it becomes and detested as a carrions feeder. This is something we must be concerned about , it is expensive , it creates nihilism and terrifying crime It is wasteful and wrong .

Other fissures have grown ;the barriers between those outside private education and without capital as compared to those with those advantages . It is telling that top Public schools are now abandoning the A levels , the last redoubt of reliability, because they are worthless internationally . All of those in public education with money are stratified away from the remnant . These escapees include the children of Polly Toynbee . Naturellement.

Liberals like to bleet loudly about all this, mostly to advertise their own class qualifications . Graduate , professional , Guardian reader was , for a long time a statement of class superiority , it still is in the less "with it" Universities like Oxbridge . They are safe in the knowledge that they will not live with the objects of their staged concern and their children will never meet . Time and time again this nauseating double standard is replayed . This is why many Conservatives hate Polly Toynbee , not her supposed "caring qualifications ". Her sickening hard hearted hypocrisy

In my youth working-class credibility if not solidarity was something to aspire to .Now it has been replaced by a faint smear of social concern worn more or less like an accessory.People forget that some of us became Conservatives out of moral outrage at the duplicitous smarm of middleclass ,"worriers". Norman Tebbit is a hero to all of us who have this thread in the skein. Neo Con monetarist thinking makes for a good essay and a cogent argument . It is fairly useless to deal with education , opportunity and social exclusion but without a strong policy here Conservativism , for me , implodes.

Margaret Thatcher`s "Right To Buy " , was brave attack on entrenched positions on behalf of the poor . . One hopes the rumours about a Cameron rent to Mortgage scheme are true . I equally hope the Conservatives will immediately come to the aid of leaseholders who have been the doctrinal whipping boy of the inner city hard left ever since.

So Clark , who is himself a creepy little wonk has touched , perhaps accidentally, on a key issue . Society is drifting apart. "Opportunity" the prerequisite for moral Capitalism does not exits for whole geographical and social trenches. We can hardly suggest more credits , more benefits , more means tested goodies which has been an unparalleled disaster . So what can we do ?

Not easy is it . Firstly accept that the state cannot solve the problem it can only try to create better conditions for people to solve it for themselves.

Cuts on Reggressive indirect taxes
An increase in the tax allowance
A slow squeeze on points based Council housing and benefits
The development of new mortgage products and housing association schemes
The reintroduction of grammar schools by some other name ( which T Blair quite obviously sees as essential himself)
Major public investment in education which must be keyed directly into work , not floating in a NUT dreamland
Tight curbs on further immigration
Rigorous policies of cultural coherence for those here , especially on language
Schools with eight languages should not be inflicted on the most dis- advantaged
All of this would help working class communities to re -establish
The end of the state will provide assumption
AND A Large tax allowance for married couples
.Cash rewards for exam results
I also think you have to attack the glacial snobbery that has descended on the country by finding ways to mix people and extend the experience of everyone .
Perhaps the internet will help , thus far I'm not greatly encouraged
The Trade Unions have a vital role to play in all of this especially in training schemes

David Cameron has talked about a Responsibility revolution. I wonder if he means it. So far he has shown little appetite for political risk taking .The concept of responsibility is exactly what must be reintroduced to the deserts where the poorest live.
re. Let us hope not

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent picture, Newmania!
Suits her well. Seesm this lady is for turning - then turning back again.

Are you having trouble getting into Boris's blog recently? I am and I'm unsure if the problem's mine end or Boris's?

Have to be anon as I've forgotten my password

Auntie 'Flo

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