Monday, 21 March 2016
If you could do it. If it were possible. If the decision was entirely in your hands, surely you would stop the world, consult all the interested parties, get the big brains together and redesign our perverse welfare system from the negatively incentivised dog’s breakfast it is now and into a fit-for-purpose safety net for the truly vulnerable. Nobody – and I mean nobody – with a moral brain can believe it right that tens, that hundreds of thousands are paid to be kept out of useful participation in the society to which we all belong. Nobody can legitimately claim that a something-for-nothing benefits package is a good thing. This is the system Iain Duncan Smith spent well over a decade trying to reform.
Are we grateful? Of course not, but we ought to be. Nobody, in any government for several decades, has tried to grasp that particularly poisonous nettle; few have dared to rein back the state. Instead, many ministers have reluctantly rested their arses on that seat – in a department which changes its name more often than some change underpants – for the shortest time possible, in the vain hope they will be rewarded with a less toxic office in the next reshuffle. IDS did the opposite; after being party leader he stepped down in 2003 (rightly so – he was rubbish as leader) and set up the Centre for Social Justice. He could have chosen an easy life but instead he became an Aunt Sally for all the spitting hatred that comes with any attempt to inject reason into welfare.
Nobody can claim his vision was perfect or his aim always true, but it was undeniably in the right direction. Bomber pilots used to say you can tell when you are over the target because of the flak you take. Of course, the usual suspects were in raptures at his resignation – a knee-jerk reaction to things they don’t want to understand. But in their giddy dance of glee they never stopped to wonder how it might work out. The law of unintended consequences means it’s certain the event they observed with such delight is likely as not to turn out worse as Stephen Crabb will be beholden to the PM as long as his arse is shined by that chair and he will be utterly powerless to resist further cuts.
The screechers think they’ve won yet this temporary delight is just another distraction allowing everybody to continue to ignore the deeper problems at the heart of our rotting culture. In a few decades a system that worked for millennia has been undone; the family as the essentially fundamental unit of society is all but forgotten. In its place we have a system that rewards what were once, quite literally, the misfits. Human rights and the individual pursuit of happiness should not mean that anything goes and society must pay the bus fare. The pursuit of ‘diversity’ has replaced the pursuit of decency.
Of course families are not perfect, but in following the ideology so thoroughly we have nurtured one element of the communist dream and brought about the fractured, helpless, client state. So many now rely on state assistance to maintain a lifestyle they have come to perceive as theirs by right that dismantling that entitlement is seen as a war against the people. Those clamouring for ‘social justice’ scream ‘divide and rule!’ at the ruling class, yet their insistence on diversity has brought about the deepest divisions we have ever seen.
Rainbow Nation, yer, but...
The blurring of the distinctions between morality and human rights has been a lifelong project for some campaigners unable to see the difference themselves. Before the new religion of diversity we had morality in spades; pretty much everybody knew how to behave towards others. Now, enshrined in law we have a bewildering array of ways we can be criminalised for simply pointing out that something is wrong. IDS was doing his bit to right a small part of the cause of some of these wrongs but you wished him gone. You should always be careful what you wish for.