Monday, 13 July 2015
It’s been depressing to see the predictable response of the political left-wing to the budget, particularly the grotesque lie that Iain Duncan-Smith is a monster whose whole purpose in life is to sow misery and poverty and that he gets off on seeing disabled people disadvantaged still further. The trouble is the left-wing milk and honey polemic is such an easier sell, especially to those of little education, than is the conservative promise of reward later for toil now. ‘Twas ever thus.
It’s not only the feckless and idle who get caught in the wide drift net of ill-thought-through state largesse. Yellow lights flashing, the DWP purse seiner scoops up all in its path and lands the lot, gasping, on deck. Once caught up in the mesh, deliberately or not, few survive when thrown back in the murky waters of wider society detached from their tax credits. Why the persistence with this repeatedly failed vision of a universal welfare state? And all across the EU the model is echoed in the way that the industrious northern states pay for the indolent south.
You can’t blame those individuals who accept the state’s shilling and the Tories no more do that than do Labour; who wouldn’t accept a bit of free cash if you couldn’t see the strings attached? But at least the Conservatives see it as a necessary evil, paying to keep the peace, whereas those who cleave to wholesale welfare provision as to a faith view the recipient class as some form of exotic species to be preserved from extinction, by the application of ever increasing amounts of dole. Hang on though, isn’t ‘extinct’ exactly what we all ultimately want the poor to be?
While those at the very top are untouchable, the ever-increasing cost of maintaining the short-term vision of the welfare state – current income taxes pay current commitments to the economically inactive with nothing left over for investment, personal or national – is borne by those who freed of that burden could probably provide for themselves. Instead we continue to punish those same middle classes, impoverishing them now so they must rely on the state later. The continuum has to be broken; nanny’s apron strings are stretched to breaking point and as Liam Byrne’s famous message said - no money.
Look at poor, benighted Greece and the lesson, learned also in Cyprus, that even if you do save for your old age the state can dip into your accounts. What other option is there, then, for those who can to stash their cash and make a dash, leaving the nanny state fanatics and their dependent classes to fend for themselves? When people can be totally amazed at getting hot weather in the summer and equally surprised by a cold snap in the winter and believe that both are somehow ‘record’ events it is no surprise that the regular failures of socialism are written off as aberrations when they are actually the norm.
No man is an island?
In Ayn Rand’s weighty classic those who open their eyes realise they are being driven by the politics of failure and the cult of mediocrity and resolve to leave that world behind. When here in Britain the Durham Miners’ Gala can parade Margaret Thatcher in effigy in a coffin in their own version of the two-minute hate – the four decade hate – those not in thrall to the ideology of vitriol and envy are already packing up what they can carry and heading off to find their own Galt’s Gulch. One day, there really will be no money left.