BEFORE THE POST-WAR Labour Government instituted the Welfare State, the British were a proud people with a strong work ethic. We would only accept charity as a very last resort; and yet our charitable instincts were highly developed and generous to a fault – as they are to this day.
Things are very different now. Welfare is not just a case of charity anymore. It is a ‘right’ with no compensating duty expected. There is no sense in being self-reliant. We all pay for the Welfare State, therefore we are all entitled to its handouts. The State even pays well-trained social workers, many with foreign language skills, to go amongst the feckless poor to explain to them how to get the most out of the system, publishing reams of ‘helpful’ back-up material in alien tongues as well as our own at a cost of millions we cannot afford. The facts of our economic situation mean we cannot afford this mess of liberal handouts. While all men and women in legal employment contribute to the Welfare State through their taxes and National Insurance, there are millions drawing benefits, who don’t pay a penny towards their benefits, never have done, and have no intention of ever doing so.
This sea change in the character of our nation is almost unbelievable and would be a remarkable achievement if it were not so tragic. Marx and Trotsky would be proud. The contributing factors to the moral corruption of our once proud population are myriad. No one act can be blamed. Much of what has been done cannot – even with the wildest interpretation of conspiracy theories – be said to have started out with evil intent.
The ‘Bleeding Hearts Brigade’ tell us heart-rending tales of youngsters forced into prostitution and beggary as a result of broken homes where violence reigns supreme. Time and again we are bombarded with all too colourful film footage of these homeless inadequates denied shelter because ‘society’ has failed them in some way. The media hacks – men and women who are so easily duped by pressure groups dependent on the charity of the ever-gullible general public for their comfortable salaries – seldom show us the reverse side of the coin. The more common story is seldom drawn to our attention, that of youth refusing to accept parental discipline and succumbing to the irresistible magnet of an exciting life in the slums of the cities. To do so would be judgmental. Half empty hostels with warm beds and simple food are only ever shown on our TV screens to make us feel angry that people can be expected to take shelter in such ‘awful’ places.
To the do-gooders, the slide by this growing army of street vagabonds into a sub-culture of drink and drugs with its heady mix of sexual liberty and anarchy is all part of society’s debt of guilt for trying to enforce conformance to ‘outmoded’ moral conventions on young and old alike. It doesn’t occur to them that this immoral and totally blameworthy life-style is being encouraged by their own misguided activities. It is subsidised by handouts from society and boosted by the charity of deluded souls who cannot refrain from salving their tortured consciences by tossing whatever they can afford into their filthy begging bowls. When not playing to the cameras, many of these creatures admit to making a very good tax-free living that they couldn’t possibly earn if they had to work.
But these are only the spongers at the highly visibility end of the welfare spectrum. There are many others drawing legitimate benefits, any entitlement to which can only be described as questionable. We are assured that there are ‘benefit inspectors’ ready to swoop on those who sponge on the rest of us by making false claims. They even produce figures periodically to reassure us that they are earning their keep.
There are many more beneficiaries in this huge iceberg of state welfare malingering below the surface, a surface so seldom even ruffled by the official guardians of the public purse. For instance, in a society in which physical handicap has been cut by vastly improved healthcare, the numbers claiming disability pensions have risen exponentially in the last twenty years. Those claiming long-term sickness benefit enabling them to retain a claim on a job while drawing a living subsidy from the state add to this vast figure.
In both of these cases many claimants are not conscious of any wrongdoing. They are only claiming the benefit, because their ‘disability’ has been recognised by a doctor, often one who was often too overworked to carry out a proper investigation or – more likely – who feared claims for neglect in case of a faulty diagnosis resulting from insufficient clinical evidence. The litigious society is a dangerous symptom of a sick society, encouraged by a legal profession that has adopted the ‘bottom-line’ – profitability – as its guideline, instead of justice and honesty.
Few of the state’s welfare officers are thick-skinned enough to tackle benefit fraud, fearing to offend the genuinely deserving sick and handicapped, and terrified of drawing down on themselves the obloquy of the society they serve for mistakenly targeting the weak and defenceless. In a time when claims for wrongful persecution can bring huge compensation from sympathetic tribunals/juries – selected by careful lawyer manipulation from their feckless peers – there is another very good reason why official policy can perhaps be justified for letting the inspectors off the hook. That other army of public officials – social workers – is only too ready to leap to the defence of their flock of ‘dependants’ whose ‘rights’ appear to be coming under scrutiny. We actually pay one force of public employees to negate the work of another, yet few dare to contemplate the madness in this and certainly not our vote-seeking leaders.