Thursday, 3 July 2008

Squalor and death in Labour's welfare ghettoes

The Scots were once amongst the greatest self-improvers in Britain. When a teenager I worked as a volunteer. The Glasgow alcoholic in his fifties who was a regular at the place where I donated my services was no surprise. What was astonishing to me at the time was the depth of his erudition; quotes, many of them accurate, from the classics and the names of philosophers and political economists introduced casually and without showing-away into normal conversation. His handwriting, when he was not afflicted with the shakes, was extremely well formed and fluent. His vocabulary was highly developed. He had, in other words, all the attributes of a highly educated product of grammar school and university, yet had left school at 14. All the rest was self-improvement; Scots families such as his that could barely afford meat on the table nevertheless subscribed to the 'Everyman' library, bound in cloth and printed on Foolscap octavo, and books and learning and their great power to improve and liberate were valued above all else.

That generation has long gone.

As a one-nation conservative I have never had difficulty in subscribing to Beveridge's crusade against the great Evils of want, disease, idleness, ignorance and squalor. Beveridge offered a ladder to climb out; Labour have pulled up the ladder and imagine throwing the nation's cash into the hole is policy enough. Beveridge's crusade has long been abandoned by Labour. Fraser Nelson writing in the Speccy writes of an East Glasgow he knows well; one of Labour's welfare ghettoes where half the working age population are welfare slaves, and which has an average life expectancy of 54 years, below that of Gambia, Ghana, Pyongyang, Gaza, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Sudan.

Labour's destructive welfarism has not only caused a poverty from which our fathers and grandfathers fought to liberate our people, it has robbed them of the drive and hunger for self-improvement, stalled social mobility and locked generations into painful welfare slavery. A curse on Brown and on Labour and all its dullard minions.

Not only in East Glasgow either; in the East End of London where multi-drug resistant TB, bedbugs, outrageous levels of infant mortality and a squalor born of overcrowding and ignorance thrive, our people are also dying early and living lives of desperate hopelessness.

Labour's Chardonnay socialists have not only abandoned the most disadvantaged in the realm, they have used all the mendacities of the State to hide them from shameful view. Whilst Brown stands at the dispatch box and mechanically recites yet another ream of tractor production statistics or launches yet another five year economic plan people are living in squalor and dying in poverty in dark corners.

I have no doubt that if Beveridge rose from his grave today he would dismiss Brown and his Labour fools with scorn and anger. Right now there is only one successor to Beveridge on our political horizon, and it's Iain Duncan Smith.


John B said...

"Labour's destructive welfarism has not only caused a poverty from which our fathers and grandfathers fought to liberate our people"

It's impressive they've managed to do that in just 11 years. And I'm sure you're right that the previous government's 18-year destruction of Scottish industry and society had absolutely nothing to do with any of the problems you describe...

Savonarola said...

Thoughtful and timely post.

Our 'way of life' since the 60's has become debased. Consumerism, expansion of welfare benefits and the 'me too' culture have created a not very nice society. Far removed from Lyndon Johnson's vision of a Great Society.

Anonymous said...

Had to look up William Beveridge, and found this:

"...the government should find ways of fighting the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness."

Ironic, isn't it?

Raedwald said...

Ah, John b, I notice you don't defend Labour's record. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (not exactly a Tory institution) published 'Strategies Against Poverty — A Shared Roadmap' to mark their centenary and found exactly that - poverty has increased under Labour. And subsequent reports from various sources have confirmed it.

Thatcher didn't actually 'take' anyone's job, did she? And did she 'destroy' a single profitable and economically viable firm, ever? All she did was to end the waste of unjustifiable economic intervention, the economic waste of inappropriate public intervention that resulted in little more than deadweight, displacement, leakage and substitution.

But don't let the facts get in the way of a chip-on-the-shoulder whinge.

Willy Wombat said...

Another excellent precis of the status quo. But how many are reading your excellent blog? Or are we few like a group of reactionaries putting the world to rights whilst leaning on the Golf Club Bar?

John B said...

I actually agree with you more than you might expect - while Labour has done a lot for the working poor and for pensioners, it's done absolutely bollocks-all for the long-term unemployed 'underclass'.

But denying that the underclass *originally arose* between 1979-97 is stark raving mad; and suggesting that all the industry that was destroyed was economically unviable is complete bollocks (the pound was deliberately overvalued for political reasons for almost the entire period, making exports too expensive; the coal industry was closed down to annoy the miners; and North Sea oil revenues were used to pay the dole for the people who lost their jobs, lives and communities).

Labour continued the same policies, sure - but the suggestion that the Tories, who created welfare-dependent communities, have any desire, intention or plan to end them is simply hilarious.

See, I can do facts; also, mine aren't partisan bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Astonishing that a natural decline in an industry or region based on global shifts in the economy need to get blamed on whichever government happened to be in office at the time, whether Labour or Conservative.

Reminds me of the old phrase about if you take credit for the rain, don't be suprised when you are blamed for the drought.


Anonymous said...

the coal industry was closed down to annoy the miners


See, I can do facts; also, mine aren't partisan bullshit.

Oh, the irony! It burns! It burns!