Monday, December 21, 2009

The Undeserving Poor


Just watched ‘A Christmas Carol’ .George C Scott did the Bah Humbugs, and jolly good it was to .Remember the scene when Cratchett , a lowly clerk like myself , invites his family to drink to Mr. Scrooge ..”… who made the feast possible”… .? Mrs Cratchett ,looking at the failing health of poor tiny Tim ,is understandably outraged ,but submits for the sake of the day . Scrooge’s strange journey is only beginning and to the spirits disgust he approves ,,. “He’s right you know , without me to provide employment they would be a lot worse off “
Didn’t old Ebenezer have a point there ? We have had ten years of tax funded generosity to the needy and those who tend them . The result is a country hurtling towards a debt cliff ,with the weak at the front .Without wishing us all gnarled misanthropists , a little realisms might not go amiss .
Marx identified a class of lumpen proletariat , unemployables, who under Lenin would be either herded into labour camps, or exterminated .In the 19th century this group was forced into service or manufacturing , finally the work house . Dickens is vivid testament to the moral panic of the Victorians, but the old assumption , that the poor were to blame for their poverty was not yet dead . The 20th century Fabians were unwholesomely impressed by the possibilities of sterilising the worthless along ‘scientific lines’ .
After 1945 ,and especially post National Service, the status of the unemployables changed . We ‘established ’ that citizens are mere gnats blown hither and thither by economic forces . The assumption has , since been ,that by funding education this inconvenient minority might be brought into the mainstream. Thus, when after half a century of state schools 30,000 children acquire not a single qualification , it is a ,“Policy Failure”. Any suggestion that the pupils, themselves, might have had something to do with it is verboten .
The growth of the means tested benefits has magnified them in all ways .Like well fertilised, and watered weeds , they are more numerousand fatter , requiring expensive health care ,prisons and old folks homes .Their culture spreads from its core to a wider welfare funded chaotic source of crime and trouble. It sucks resources to itself, and impoverishes those striving in difficult circumstances above all .No government has begun to “solve” this problem and we continue to be fed the patently absurd myth, that charity owed to the self destructive, is without end .
Its not an easy problem in real life and but ,let us at least allow the reality of the 'undeserving poor', back into polite political conversation .What generosity we can afford ,is better expended on those who will benefit from it . Good decent people like Bob Cratchett and his clearly exemplary family .

11 comments:

El-Kevo said...

9 months henceforth benefits will be refused for new unmarried mothers.

That would be a good start.

On education. We found that the 11 plus our boys did last year was not a test of the boys themselves but a test of their support network - namely the parents.

Good parents = good schools.

Auntie Flo' said...

My ground floor office affords a view of the cafe opposite which is frequented by the local lumpen prols. Regular old pram town it is over there most days.

In the Summer, day after day, they sit outside with their latest partners, various sprogs by various fathers in tow: relaxing, eating the sort of meals we can't afford, chain smoking, ears pressed to mobiles which never run out of credit. How do they afford the flipping great, evil looking dogs so many seem to have and 'train' to be even more evil? I suppose the answer is that they don't afford them: we do.

No provision for sickness, old age or death: it's against their religion to save. "Ow can I save on Social?" No matter, Social - i.e. you and I and millions like us - will always provide.

If any of the males of the species venture into my (Recruitment) office looking for work it's solely because the job centre have forced them to. 'Made In England' was perhaps typical of the breed. This aging lothario with a football team of children by various mothers had 'Love' and 'Hate' DIY tattooed on his knuckles, 'Made In England' tattooed on his forehead and a 10 inch? high, blond/ scarlet striped Mohican which he couldn't possibly trim even though it precluded him from most manual jobs on 'elf and safety hazard grounds. M in E demanded to take home £400 a week "or it aint worth my while working like, know wot I mean?" Aside from the de rigueur moonlighting as a gardener, manual work was, of course, all M in E had ever done: for a few months, around a decade ago. For the past ten years he's been kept by all of us who are fool enough to do it. "I can't work Thursdays he sneered, that's me fishing day." That's his day for claiming Social too, I would imagine.

M in E walked into my office, reaking of beer, sweat and aftershave, accompanied by a slavering pit bull he had clearly tormented into psychopathic aggression. Mobile glued to his ear. M in E proceeded to take calls while he was being interviewed: "Yeah, like I'm at the agency...ok, meet ya in the Crown later" he was most put out when I gave him the option of switching off his mobile or I'd terminate his interview. M in E managed to spell his name correctly, though in child-like script, but misspelled his address

Did anyone from the job centre bother to ring to ask how he (mis)conducted himself while applying for work: of course not, their jobs depend on M in E as much as M in E depends on them...and us.

In a foolhardy attempt to get just one of these Herberts of Social, I suggested that M in E could claim tax credits as he had a large family to keep and little prospect of the skilled person's salary he wanted.

"Can't do that", he said, "me partner's on Social, if I claim credits she'll lose her benefits...see, I aint s'posed to be livin' there".

Suddenly polite, Made in England added: "What I need is cash in 'and, like."

Auntie Flo' said...

The solution to the millions of Made In Englands: make anyone without direct care of pre-school child or proven serious illness/ disability work at least part-time for their Social or don't give it to them.

The alternative: Carry on being mugs to a huge underclass of professional scroungers who are making a career out of living parasitically off of the rest of us.

Newmania said...

Wow that was a great comment Flo , superb

havbe a food christmas

El-Kevo said...

Happy Christmas to you and yours, Newms.

Newmania said...

and to you EK

Philipa said...

Wishing you a warm and wonderful Xmas, Newms (there is still some left - 12 days exactly), and a very happy new year xxx

Flo - wishing you a warm and happy Christmas too and a happy new year.

Yes Kev, my childrens support network consists of me, but merry Xmas from this single mother anyway. So glad your children are doing well.

Auntie Flo' said...

What out of control left wing bureaucracy and unions did to Detroit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hhJ_49leBw&feature=player_embedded

If it won't come up, search YouTube for the following:

Detroit in RUINS! (Crowder goes Ghetto)

A vision of our future if we do not get rid of Brown and Labour.

Jim said...

Time limit most benefits (except maybe the most disabled - the real disabled, not the 'bad back' brigade). Dole, single mum payments, tax credits etc etc. I'd say 5 years max. That would allow 2-3 kids fairly close together. Plus it would give a person who gets a long term injury/illness time to recover/retrain.

Newmania said...

That is the plan Jim but the back up required is v expensive

Philipa said...

Well if that had been the case I'd be dead and my children taken into care. Thanks.

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