Monday, 30 March 2015
Welfare: neither fair nor well, it turns out we really can’t afford it and for all its flag-wavers there is no proof it worksas, after years of religiously throwing ever more good money at the holy welfare state, there is little positive change in the circumstances of those it keeps trapped in idleness. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a bit of idleness now and again – I wish! - but as a lifestyle? We have gone from a society which encouraged aspiration and endeavour based on the pull-your-socks-up notion that ‘nothing worth doing is ever easy’ to one in which vacuous celebrity, apparently achieved by mere existence, is seen as a worthwhile goal. The devil does, indeed, make work…
Instead of the genuinely rousing call to competition – the driver of evolutionary progress – we seem to have come to believe that ‘fairness’, dressed up as compassion and love for our fellow man (preferably man, gay being the new pairing favoured above that awful traditional way of rearing families) is the way ahead. Meanwhile the human species is anything but fair as the existence of much of the world’s uneducated is motivated not by the fear of losing benefits but of losing life itself. We really do need to get a grip.
Paradoxically, those who peach fairness in western society also go to great lengths to promote the preservation of the habitats of ‘wild’ species. We must not disturb the ‘natural’ ways of small furry creatures, yet it is acceptable to keep humanity cooped up in great big zoos, where we observe its aberrant behaviour through the bars of YouTube and other puerile and invasive media; we wouldn’t shove an intrusive camera in the face of a pygmy shrew, yet we’ll happily send a baying pack of paps to camp out on a celebrity doorstep in the hope of provoking an extreme reaction. What odd creatures we are.
But wait, can we criticise, or can’t we? Following the entirely natural commentary to the Germanwings crash and the revelations that the responsible pilot was behaving oddly we now find yet another leftist lobby trying to limit the language we use. According to Brendan O’Neill, we can’t call the murderer of nearly 150 people a mad man: “...the [problem] with this latest round of bash the tabloids (yawn) is that, like so much mental-health campaigning these days, it is obsessed with turning depression into a protected category, something that can never be discussed in a provocative way, almost into an alternative lifestyle which must be accorded respect rather than being stigmatised.”
This is the same way welfare dependency or diversity or positive discrimination or bizarre family structures have been defended – ‘respect’ it - by legal force if necessary. Make it somehow an act of hate to even discuss it and at all costs allow no opinion that seems to portray abnormal behaviour as, you know, different from the norm. This is social justice? I suppose it is, the Marxist way; allow every and any lifestyle choices no matter how bizarre, except for the ones that we used to call normal. Ban words, limit freedom of expression… except for those who are different. (But don’t you dare call them different.)
Cracking knuckles, Gromit!
But the really stupid thing about socialist thinkers is that traditional families encourage exactly that – a form of micro-socialism whereby we instinctively look after those for whom we care. So well done, you campaigners for social justice, well done. Denigrate the urge to work together naturally and instead impose, top-down, cooperation on an impossible scale, with an impossible mix of competing tribes. Make the state the family. How’s that working out for you? Given that yesterday Lucy Powell, spokesperson for the so-called workers’ party, repeatedly referred to ordinary working people as ‘the tax base’ I’d say this Marx malarkey is more Groucho than Karl.