Saturday, 10 July 2010

Tories must be champions of the working class

Two years ago almost to the day I wrote;
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.
And I'm glad that not only has IDS survived the intervening two years but now has the portfolio to put his compassion into action. There is an unhelpful tendency, particularly in some sections of the media, to demonise the victims of Labour's Welfarism. Tories would do well to avoid doing so, for it's quite possible that these people are natural Conservatives. You see, a free-market economy is all about people making their own rational economic choices. If you're an untalented, unqualified teenage girl with poor marriage and employment prospects, getting pregnant and everything that follows is actually a rational economic choice. If you're suited only for the insecurity of manual labour, manipulating your way into higher-rate long term benefits is a rational economic choice. Labour's fault was in enabling such choices. They may not like Adam Smith, but they can't ignore the reality that the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker come a poor second to their 'self-love'.

But we must look further back than even Beveridge to find the roots of the malaise. Ralph Harris and Arthur Seldon of the IEA were convinced that the 1911 National Insurance Act was the start of the rot; that this was the point at which the political class lost faith in the ability of the working class to make rational economic choices and took the matter out of their hands. This was the dawn of Welfarism.

IDS and Frank Field have the toughest job in a century of politics to do - tougher even than re-balancing the economy. To be successful they must restructure Welfare so completely that it ceases to be a rational economic choice, and they must do so at the same time as they champion the ability of the working class to be resilient, self-sufficient enemies of the State and of authority, with a strong cultural and national identity; they must, in short, recreate a cohort antipathetic to the mores of a Conservative middle class.

The smart money says they'll make a cods of it and fail ingloriously, achieving no more than a tweaked model of State Welfarism that keeps the working class down and obedient to the leadership of the educated and salaried.

If I'm still around to write again on this in July 2012 we'll see how they're doing.


Jeff Wood said...

My Dad was reminiscing yesterday.

In the early 1930s Grandpa, a shepherd and farm worker with a wife, son and two daughters, got blood poisoning. This was before penicillin. GP was six months on his back and another six getting and staying on his feet.

Dad was the eldest child at 13, destined for university one day according to his teachers.

He had to leave school. He fed the family with his .22 rifle, fishing rod and snares, and learned how to grow vegetables from Gran.

There must have been some social security, or "the parish", but it was not a lot and paid for a few sacks of porridge oats and bits of clothes for my aunts.

Grandpa was a steady man, had stood in the line at the Somme, and Granny was the toughest bird you ever met. They managed, and later Dad was one of the best gunners the RAF had, according to his training scores. Well, he could bring down a pheasant on the wing with that rifle, so he was just the ticket on a Lanc.

We need a system which will protect and encourage that sort of family. The context now is different of course; there is more money about to allow private health and unemployment insurance, for instance.

That would be cheaper if it kicked in after say, a year. Social Security could then be strictly time-limited to 12 months. I recall that a Canadian province (I forget which) took that line a few years ago, and despite the prophets of social doom, it worked just fine, though they may have begun with a time limit of two years.

Nick Drew said...

If I'm still around to write again on this in July 2012

just make sure you are, Mr R

Budgie said...

An excellent blog, Raedwald, and prescient two years ago. However, I know Labour supporters who are already blaming 'the Tories' or 'Thatcher' for the mess we find ourselves in now. Nine weeks in and the left are winning the propaganda war. Unfortunately propaganda matters as much as personalities and truth.

Hild said...

No treasure to bury with our boats, then.