Saturday, 7 February 2009

Welfare isn't working

Both Tom Sharpe and that late icon of the liberati John Mortimer have mined the rich vein of humour provided by social workers. Well meaning but ultimately deluded busy-bodies, prodnoses, boiler-suited members of some great lesbian collective, they would descend on some wholly innocent community to inspect the rectums of children under five, or search for satanic symbols in a flurry of case notes and inpenetrable jargon. And all the while they remained something of a joke, all the while they were regarded as ineffectual, as surplus, unrequired and the manifest self-indulgence of a Welfare State doing no real good and some harm, they were fine.

As a young man, some of my older friends were social workers. We used to sail dinghies together on the Orwell; their work commitments didn't extend to more than twenty hours a a week or so, leaving plenty of time to sail, smoke spliffies and sit in the pub. They were relaxed and good natured, their caseloads were a source of humour and not of stress, the County Council provided them with a car and in some cases with a low-rent cottage in the Suffolk countryside (the Council having a large agricultural land portfolio) and it seemed a pretty good life.

Fast forward a few years to Haringey and the tragedy of Victoria Climbie. To the heartbreaking death of Baby P. Social work was no longer the good life, and no longer a joke. It was deadly serious, stress-filled, impossibly compex with at least half a dozen competing State agencies all proving equally disorganised. The public (or the popular press) demanded heads for failure. No wonder, then, that Haringey can't find social workers to work there. A desperate plea from that council's new childrens' head to London's other thirty councils for each to lend Haringey a social worker drew a blank.

As bastardy has grown exponentially since the late 1970s, and as central Statism has created an underclass even less capable of self-reliance than ever, so child abuse has grown from a rare aberration to something common on our sink estates. Social workers are no longer there to smooth out the wrinkles of the less-well socialised, but as the State's front line in saving innocent lives.

The failure of social work in Haringey is the failure of the dependency culture, the failure of the central State, the failure of Welfarism and the failure of Labour's corrosive destruction of neighbourhoods, communities and local institutions. And with the blind stubborness of the truly stupid, Labour's answer is not less State but more State. The spat between the speccie's Fraser Nelson and blogging Labour MP Tom Harris this week is proof of that.

As Haringey's remaining social workers are all desperately mailing their CVs in search of escape from the place, how long is it going to take Labour to admit that welfare isn't working? How long before they admit that the billions of wasted resource in lunatic social engineering experiments haven't improved things one iota? And how long before another innocent child suffers death from its disfunctional parent?


The Great Simpleton said...

" how long is it going to take Labour to admit that welfare isn't working?"

That's a rhetorical question, right?
How long before they admit that the billions of wasted resource in lunatic social engineering experiments haven't improved things one iota?"

And this one?

"And how long before another innocent child suffers death from its disfunctional parent? "

Sadly, rhetorical or not, the anwser to this one is probably in the making as we write.

Who was it that said the definition of lunacy is continuing to do something that you know doesn't work? Labour has proved to the point of destruction that throwing ever larger amounts of money at a problem doesn't work, yet we still get clamours for more money from theusual suspects.

Taking that a stage further, 30% of the population still seem to think that Labour is the solution to any problem. Now that is a definition of lunacy.

Anonymous said...

What the Great Simpleton said.

With knobs on.

Anonymous said...

I cannot disagree with anything in this post but I do find myself wondering how far the problems generated by welfare-ism - the problems of chronic dependence, low educational attainment, drug use, alcoholism, criminality and all the rest - are features rather than bugs.

Welfare has created ghettos that are centres of support for the Labour Party. These ghettos are chock-full of uneducated, uninformed people who know nothing about policy or politics but who do know this one thing: a Labour government will give them free money while a Tory government will force them to work.

In the North of England, in Scotland, in the West Midlands and in parts of London the number of votes Labour acquires is directly proportionate to the number of welfare dependents. What we call 'dependence on the state' can, in practice, be described as 'dependence on Labour Party patronage'. That being so, is welfare-ism an accident caused by poor planning or is it a deliberate policy for electoral gain?

Also, when we hang Gordon Brown, should we just string him up from a lamp post or should we set him on fire first and then string him up from a lamp post?

JPT said...

The 'well intentioned' welfare state is one of the biggest disasters to befall this country.

Carter said...

Outstanding post. Every word is true.

it's either banned or compulsory said...

The Shoesmith woman has dared to raise her head above the parapet

"Haringey's former head of children's services accused him ( Ed Balls ) of "breathtaking recklessness" that had left social workers demoralised and put children's safety at risk."

No, it's you Shoesmith that is a 'National Disaster ' and Haringey SS is 30% understaffed because what sensible person would want to work for an organisation that allows someone like you to get to the top.

I was very pleased to read that you had attempted suicide but, sadly, you failed to act on that too.

Source, The Guardian, not my newspaper of choice but needs must