… everything now starts from the prevailing Tory narrative that "welfare" is a luxury we can no longer afford.Because it is. Remember that infamous ‘there’s no money left’ note, Suzanne?
But the bigger point to all this, and one that has to be met head on, is whether the actual end goal of such discourse is getting rid of the welfare state entirely. If you have been any place where there is no safety net, you will have seen people who appear prematurely aged, or severely obese with no teeth, or those with disabilities out begging on the streets.Been to Hull then, have we, Suzanne?
Some of these people will be vacantly staring into space or scavenging on rubbish heaps. Not everyone who is now unemployed can work.No, indeed, and those who genuinely can’t work will not be expected to do so.
But Labour goes along with the idea that welfare needs trimming, as the majority think it needs reform.Doesn’t it? Should it remain fixed in stone, forever?
I waited in vain for one to make a coherent case for our moral obligation to each other.I have a moral obligation to those who are genuinely incapable of work, through disability or age. I have no obligation whatsoever to support the likes of Sonia Mellor.
The coalition's sleight of hand means an increasing distancing from the world of benefits by those who see themselves as middle class. The removal of child benefit – a universal benefit – allows more people to feel they are getting nothing from the current system. They may use the NHS but they are not anchored to the state. A certain sympathy is eroded. Benefits, then, become not something that we all contribute to and many rely on, but the province of a subspecies who should be means-tested, DNA-tested and gawped at. They are not "us" – and if they don't share our values, why should we share with them?Precisely. I don't cheat and lie and steal, so I do indeed share nothing with these people. They can, frankly, starve in the gutter for all I care.