Laura Perrins: Real Conservatives would sweep away the failed welfare state

Lay off the oldies. It is not necessarily their fault that ‘young people’ are now screwed. A new study by the Resolution Foundation has found that pensioners have higher incomes than working families – but only after household costs are considered. “Before household costs, those of working age actually have a higher average income than pensioners.”

Now many people are saying that we should get rid of the triple lock on pensions to even things out. But it is not that simple, as Brendan O’Neill pointed out some time ago. It is simply misleading to say that all of today’s pensioners had a golden working life followed by a golden retirement – a small number of boomers may have had that, but not everyone.

In the 1960s, five per cent of 18-year-olds went to university; today, 43 per cent do. O’Neill tells some truth-bombs on how most of the boomers grew up: “In 1951, when Boomers were kids, 20 per cent of homes in Britain had no running water. In 1961, when the early Boomers were becoming teens, 22 per cent of households didn’t have a hot tap.” The myth of Boomer luxury and millennial penury is easily shattered.

But the small number of Boomers who did go to university and then the Big Smoke did impose the most catastrophic philosophy on the next generations – and that is leftism, in particular Welfarism. And not even the folks at CapX seem to understand that.

The UK is heading towards a £2 trillion debt the last time I checked. It is right that home ownership has skewed wealth towards the older generations – in which case we should build more homes and the government should tackle NIMBYism, that is reduce regulations not generate more of them.

And it is true, that while “rich middle-aged families no longer get child benefit, but rich pensioners still pick up their free bus passes and TV licenses and even winter fuel payments,” it can stick in the throat.

"But it’s not all about benefits. One interesting finding in the Resolution Foundation report is that while pensioners as a whole are far richer than they were, existing pensioners have only seen modest gains. What’s happened is that people have been hitting retirement age with more assets – private pensions, salaries from the jobs they’ve kept on doing, and of course their housing wealth – and then helped themselves to those state benefits as well. And the icing on the cake is that they don’t have to pay as much tax.”

Surely we cannot object to people accumulating private pensions and salaries but we can object to benefits – one of the key pillars of the Leftist State.

The NHS is another pillar and it is now on the brink of collapse. It is the NHS and social care together with an ageing country that will eventually break Britain. Every day there are headlines that the NHS is a ‘humanitarian crisis.’ But then of course it is – it is a socialised medial system, so care outcomes are worse and medicines are rationed. If we had a socialised food production system then food would be rationed and there would be food shortages.

And the Tories pander to all this leftism. You still hear the Tories prattle on about how they are the party of the NHS. They are – which makes them part of the problem not the solution. All of this comes at a time when ‘the amount of tax paid in the UK is poised to reach the highest level in 30 years.’

The truth is once democracy became about bribing people with their own money as well as increasingly other people’s money and looking compassionate, then elections become about who will give away the most ‘free stuff’ to the group that votes the most.

Democracy becomes not about what is best for the country in the long term (small State and personal responsibility) but instead about expanding entitlement programmes. And one will find that a population raised on the idea that the State must provide has an insatiable appetite for other people’s money.

So the group that votes in the greatest number generally are given more ‘free stuff.’  And who in the Conservative party in the last 10 years have challenged this? What Minister has said – the Ponzi scheme cannot go on?

Because it is a Ponzi scheme. As the piece says, “even if young people turned up to the polls in record numbers, it wouldn’t alter the fact that Britain – like other Western countries – is becoming a demographically top-heavy country. In this kind of gerontocracy, it will always be the logical political move to promise more money to pensioners: to rob from the present, and the future, to pay for the past.”

And this is what we have. It is a logical political move, but it not a moral one and it certainly is not a conservative one. The last time we had a conservative government in this country was when Thatcher parked her tanks on the leftists lawns and did not apologise for it.

The entire welfare state and the NHS is built on one big massive Ponzi scheme. National Insurance simply does not cover it – so we have billed the not yet born so we can all look ‘compassionate’.

“As a result, the only realistic hope the young have of getting a fair deal is the pity of the old.” Sure, or we could have a proper conservative party. One that pointed out the immorality of the Ponzi scheme, the unfairness of Welfare State and the terrible outcomes and inefficiencies of a socialist health care system. Sadly, on current form, I would not hold my breath.

(Image: Lydia)

Laura Perrins

  • Charleston

    This article is a bit of a mess – you’ve linked to another opinion piece rather than the report. It’s also not clear what source you’re quoting in the paragraphs inside quotes

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      Some serious editing issues here.

    • Rob

      Your confusion arises because you didn’t click on the hypertext link to the CAPX article. Try to be a little more observant in future before you go whining on about the article being a mess.

      • Charleston

        Is it whining to complain about sloppy journalism ? In that case the articles here are full of whining against MSM.
        The Capx piece is also an opinion piece – surely a link to the report is appropriate ? Otherwise conservative woman is merely recycling and reacting.

        • Rob

          Sloppy reading is also something to complain about. There’s more than one hyperlink in the article. Try clicking on the Resolution report link.

          • Charleston

            Great, a link in a tweet, in an opinion piece with a link from this article. Sorry my bad – it was an awful lot quicker to Google the report myself.
            There’s been a lot of chat about the ‘bubble’, and this site is no exception. Yet it seems to have fallen prey to the endless cycle of journalists feeding off each other, and writing with each other as the audience. Echo chamber anyone ? It is simply better journalism to link directly to the source you are commenting on. And to clearly attribute quotes.
            I stick to the opinion that this article has been rushed out and not edited properly.
            However, perhaps Laura can be forgiven for not living up to her prolific standards, as she also runs a household and is a full time childminder.

        • As it’s readership increases it is in danger of becoming a biased news feed like Breitbart London has become. BBL started out as an interesting blog then became a click bait newsfeed.

        • Demon Teddy Bear

          He’s just a troll – just block him.

  • Reborn

    The Welfare State was a reward to the British who had suffered in two World Wars.
    Not just on the battlefield, but in austerity & unfulfilled lives.
    The Homes fit For Heroes did not materialise in the1920s.
    Beverige stated that there were three great evils. Poverty, Ignorance, & Idleness,
    and that of these the worst was Idleness.
    By the later 1970s the “dole scrounger”, identified in those very words in the 1950s
    was being supplemented by career single mothers.
    Thanks to Blair & the EU, people come from the most run down parts of Europe to
    beg & do low pay cash in hand jobs, while still claiming the benefits, including subsidised
    housing, to which they are not morally entitled.
    In the ultimate obscenity the UK taxpayer is now paying “dependents allowance”
    including housing benefits to men who have up to four wives, most of whom are kept indoors
    & cannot speak a word of English.
    The abuse of our wasteful NHS is well known.
    The whole Welfare system must be reformed.
    Starting by phasing in a system of contributions paid by all over 18s.
    ID cards, as used de facto when joining a public library or opening a bank account
    are essential to prevent fraud on an international scale, as is the present position.

  • North Angle

    The sooner the government does not treat the NHS as some kind of sacred cow, the better.

    • Bob Marshall

      You are absolutely right — but any government that did as you suggested would be committing suicide. It simply isn’t going to happen that way.

    • Bik Byro

      However, unfortunately, to quote Mr Trump “It’s not gonna happen. Not gonna happen.”

      The reason – it’s just too politically hot, so instead of fundamentally getting to grips, we have decades of fumbling around with the deckchairs.

  • Nockthesheeple

    The purpose of the so-called welfare state is to make the population dependent on the government. That was why BIsmark invented it. If we really want to take back control we have to get rid of this mess.

    • Pretty much although I think his idea was more to control the people than make them dependent. Only a different emphasis, though.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    I’m an ordinary middle class man. I pay huge taxes. But I can’t imagine how I’d ever get anything from the welfare state. No NHS dentistry here; GP access is rationed by inconvenience, which means the idle can get it but I can’t. If I’m unemployed then I must sell my home, which I bought out of my hideously taxed income. To me this system has become a form of electoral corruption, not a welfare state at all. I want a system that rewards contributors, not freeloaders.

    • Colkitto03

      Well said.
      I have not idea how much I hand over in VAT alone every year. More tax taken from my already highly taxed income
      We should be like the Americans and have the VAT added at the till, then the public would see how much the Government is collecting.

      • Demon Teddy Bear

        Agree

        • Alan Llandrindod Wells

          So do I.
          Major and Cameron did most to make the Conservatives a Blairite organisation, and force Blairite candidates on local associations.
          .
          Cameron was sick enough to call himself “Son Of Blair”.
          Vomit or laugh.

          I always hesitate to blame poor old john Major, who was a blank sheet that Clarke and Heseltine wrote on.

      • I remember when Indiana started the sales tax ( I was still living there then). And that was the exact reason that it was illegal to include it in the price. I suspect it was in almost all the states. It’s a bit messy, but worthwhile. Parenthetically, if you want to cut the government down to size, I suggest the thing that would work best is to stop withholding taxes, if people had to write that check at the end of the year…well it would end soon.

        • Colkitto03

          Absolutely,
          In the UK the Government take in taxes is almost impossible to work out for an individual. We know the government get about £90 billion a year from VAT, which roughly works out at £1,200.00 per adult. The average Council tax bill is £1200.00 per household.
          So my household that’s a further £3600.00 the government takes even after I have been taxed on my inccome.

    • Guardian’s Quitter

      Thank you.

    • derek

      In my dreams, I see a system where there is a taxpayer qualification for the vote.

      • Demon Teddy Bear

        I agree. No vote without paying tax. No vote if you’re receiving a salary or benefits from the state.

      • Tethys

        The same status as prisoners..?
        That says much about your view of fellow humans.
        Do you perchance wear a Top hat, carry a cane, and travel by Horse & Carriage?

    • Argurious

      How you managed to write that while still wearing a straight jacket from you padded cell in the institution baffles me. Well done! Very well done!

      • Under-the-weather

        “However if you pay huge taxes it means that you have benefited from the society you live in more than many others and therefore should be taxed in order to maintain and bolster that society”.

        That’s laughable, nothing to do with working more, taking more risks, having parents who valued work and achievement. People of course don’t all put in the same effort, (acquiring qualifications takes effort) but would still like a similar cut of the rewards.

        • Argurious

          Speaking as somebody with three degrees gained after ten years of study at prestigious British universities I consider myself fortunate and grateful to have enjoyed such an opportunity, not that people not possessing such academic and professional distinctions are slothful or inferior in any way. I benefit now from having lived in a civilised society which provided me with the chance to gain knowledge, expertise and intellectual capital and therefore have no objection whatsoever to contribute as much as I can back to society in order to oil its wheels and keep them turning.

          As John Donne wrote: “No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind…”

          And no woman is an island either.

          Perhaps one day, if you are lucky, you may come to realise this

          (Or suffer a fate worse than death and end up like poor old Laura).

          Toodles.

          • Bik Byro

            Now you’ve finished your fantasy, tell us how much have you actually contributed in taxes in reality?

          • Argurious

            Income tax levied at 40% and tax on some savings and dividends from shares which varies. Certainly much more than most of the people moaning, grizzling and groaning on this site in all probability. How much tax do you pay good fellow?

          • Bik Byro

            What a load of b0ll0x, you’ve already admitted you’re a perpetual student. The fantasy is strong in you, isn’t it.

          • Argurious

            What I said was that I spent ten years studying. I matriculated at eighteen and left academia at about twenty-eight; I am almost in my forties now.

            How much did you say you pay in tax again?

          • Bik Byro
    • choccycobnobs

      ” If I’m unemployed then I must sell my home”.
      Are you male and married? If so, get the missus to go to the social saying you have abandoned her and left her to pay the mortgage. Social will then pay the interest on the mortgage. Don’t ask me how I know.

    • Tethys

      The same Tax regime applies to you as anybody else. (Possibly not Farage though) and whilst nobody rejoices over it, maybe we should, as it is part of the fabric of society enabling way more public benefits than the services you list.
      Come election time you should have chance to vote against the deliberate tundown of GP & Dental services.
      As for the welfare system, lets leave aside the millions wasted by IDS on an abandoned IT system, and the victorian reassessment regime.
      Suffice to say that life on welfare is not the jolly jape you seem to think it is.
      Yet strangely it is still always the ‘left’ who get accused of the politics of envy.

  • Guardian’s Quitter

    One of Bliar’s greatest achievements was convincing the Tories they were the Nasty Party. We will continue to have Conservative governments in name only until this ridiculous assertion is kicked back into their odious faces.
    This country is screaming out for a true Tory Party, willing to take on wholesale reforms of the education, welfare, defence, and local government systems. Until this happens we will continue down the shocking Common Purpose path Bliar set us upon.
    On a more personal note I feel they could start with revoking the BBC’s charter. Shut it down, with extreme prejudice.

    • Argurious

      There is a real prospect that the Conservative party may schism during Brexit. It isn’t outside of the realm of possibility that we might end up with two (or more) flavours of Conservatism, including one that wants to control the media, bring back hanging, national service, hunting with hounds, and reintroduce birching for petty criminals and caning for naughty and/or attractive pupils in schools. Stuff which the nation has been crying out for, day and night, for far too long and yet been denied.

      I believe that this would be a good thing as I’m sure you would agree.

      People deserve choice.

      A new Elizabethan age promising unparalleled wealth for some coupled with immense poverty for many might be just the ticket to get a party championing such an agenda into office.

      • Guardian’s Quitter

        Hopefully Our Jeremy will sweep all that aside with his glorious return to the 1970’s. With luck we will all be in clover by being paid huge amounts of welfare without lifting a finger, aided by huge, unsustainable numbers of economic migrants having the jobs we clearly don’t want or need.
        All this to be policed by the Hate not Hope/SJW/UAF thugs activists, when they can be spared from spitting at people going into a Conservative Party conferences.

        • Argurious

          Jezza hasn’t a hope in hades. However, while every possible potential leader of the Conservative party seems, on the whole, to be at least half-human and not baying at the full moon 12.4 times a year, Laura’s dreams of launching a pogrom against the poor and the needy look unlikely to be implemented.

          Out of interest could anybody suggest the name of a person who would be man enough (or woman enough) to advance an agenda similar to that suggested in the article. I think Osborne probably possessed the cynicism, lack of conscience, and psychopathology to have given it a go but of course he’s dead wood now.

          Suggestions in respect to the identity of a potential future “real Conservative” leader are solicited. Please keep them plausible. Don’t anyone be daft enough to suggest Priti Patel or similar.

          • Phil R

            “Nor in my view would any Conservative party espousing poor Laura’s barmy ideas as future policies in its manifesto.”

            Seem to remember the left and the media said something very similar about a guy called Trump recently

          • Argurious

            It will be interesting to see how long he lasts and what damage his election will do to the Republican he has become a figurehead for. So far Trump’s presidency has been chaotic and wholly embarrassing, with the leader of the free world seemingly unable to manage to form a cabinet successfully even with Republican majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate.

            I will look on in interest to see how far he gets and his reaction when he begins to be frustrated and obstructed, left, right and centre while trying to implement his more costly and extravagant policies, such as they are.

            But the funniest thing about Trump is his agenda to reinflate the American economy by borrowing hand over fist, like a Keynesian, and deregulate American banks and institutions, freeing them from checks and balances introduced after the 2008 financial crash in order prevent such a disaster from happening again.

            What could possibly go wrong?

            Uncle Sam touched the devil and now, it seems, he cannot let go.

            God save the Queen and God help America.

          • Under-the-weather

            ” Laura’s dream of launching a pogrom against the poor and needy looks unlikely to be considered let alone implemented”

            the poor and needy being the bloated public sector you mean?

          • Argurious

            You’re carpet chewingly funny you realise.

          • Under-the-weather

            Not at all, was the march of the institutions carpet chewing? Was the move into the EU under everybodies noses carpet chewing?

      • Under-the-weather

        or alternatively a Breitbart style ‘alt – right’ trumpeting common sense, and individual Liberty.

  • mudlark2

    While I agree with most of your sentiments Laura, I think the attack on nimbyism is rather unfair. Most of those who object to developments do so because they want to preserve the best bits of their local area. They are also only too aware that when large scale housing developments are built there are never any provisions by the developer for the schools, health centres and other facilities required. Nor does anyone think about the impact on roads and public transport. The large construction companies who are very good at lobbying our two main political parties then pocket the profits regardless. The tax and community charge payer is effectively subsidising these large corporates while having to put up with the negative consequences of much of this unsustainable development which is partly fuelled by uncontrolled migration.

    As for over regulation, given the rate at which the green belt is disappearing I really don’t think you can complain. Local communities have virtually no chance when it comes to opposing development. The £90 billion HS2 scheme (publicly funded) for example, has been rail roaded through with hardly a whisper – cancelling it would make quite a hole in the £2 trillion debt you mentioned but wouldn’t play well with the large corporates who are hand in glove with the politicians when it comes to receiving public largesse.

  • Argurious

    Is the notorious feminist brazenly flaunting her allegiances in the photograph below a real Conservative?

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/6/12/1402587613924/Theresa-May-T-shirt-011.jpg

    If not should real Conservatives vote for parties led by such persons, feigning concern in respect to the “just about managing” demographic? If not then which party, person, or people should full blooded real Conservatives give their votes and sundry other support to?

    Has the Conservative party split? Are there two Conservative parties now? The original Conservatives and Real Conservatives, a bit like, shall we say, the IRA and Real IRA from days of yore?

  • fazerman

    This is a serious question. Does anyone know the percentages of the housing shortage caused by:

    People living longer
    People not cohabiting, getting married or getting divorced
    EU immigration
    Other immigration
    Foreign investment in housing which is not occupied (eg Chinese in London)

    • Kanaris

      You might be interested in table 241 here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-house-building

      Particularly the column on Local Authority building.

      • fazerman

        Thank you for that. Unfortunately my PC doesn’t have the software to open MS Excel spreadsheets.

        • Kanaris

          That’s a shame!

          I’ve copied it out below. The columns are: Private Enterprise, Housing Associations, Local Authorities and Total.

          1946 .. .. .. ..
          1947 .. .. .. ..
          1948 .. .. .. ..
          1949 28,460 8,020 168,780 205,260
          1950 30,240 7,290 167,900 205,430
          1951 25,490 7,350 169,020 201,860
          1952 36,670 10,130 201,520 248,320
          1953 64,870 16,800 245,160 326,820
          1954 92,420 22,120 239,580 354,130
          1955 116,090 12,850 195,480 324,420
          1956 126,430 9,850 171,390 307,670
          1957 128,780 8,520 170,290 307,590
          1958 130,220 8,220 140,200 278,630
          1959 153,170 6,520 121,880 281,570
          1960 171,410 7,240 125,620 304,260
          1961 180,730 6,320 116,140 303,190
          1962 178,210 6,030 129,410 313,640
          1963 177,790 7,550 122,380 307,710
          1964 221,260 9,790 152,140 383,190
          1965 217,160 12,360 161,710 391,230
          1966 208,650 14,890 172,470 396,010
          1967 204,210 15,070 196,180 415,460
          1968 226,070 15,320 184,450 425,830
          1969 185,920 16,660 175,750 378,330
          1970 174,340 15,210 172,670 362,230
          1971 196,310 16,490 151,670 364,480
          1972 200,760 11,220 118,960 330,940
          1973 191,080 12,130 101,430 304,640
          1974 145,230 13,870 120,540 279,630
          1975 154,600 22,050 145,360 322,000
          1976 155,300 23,100 146,440 324,840
          1977 143,970 30,650 139,540 314,160
          1978 152,230 26,290 110,170 288,690
          1979 144,120 21,390 86,320 251,820
          1980 131,990 21,480 88,530 242,000
          1981 118,590 19,700 68,330 206,630
          1982 129,020 13,740 40,090 182,850
          1983 153,040 16,820 39,170 209,030
          1984 165,560 17,290 37,570 220,410
          1985 163,400 13,650 30,420 207,470
          1986 178,010 13,160 25,380 216,540
          1987 191,250 13,150 21,830 226,230
          1988 207,420 13,490 21,450 242,360
          1989 187,540 14,600 19,320 221,460
          1990 166,860 17,930 17,710 202,500
          1991 159,140 20,820 11,060 191,020
          1992 146,940 26,500 5,660 179,100
          1993 146,380 35,910 3,360 185,650
          1994 153,270 36,860 2,880 193,000
          1995 156,930 38,760 3,430 199,120
          1996 154,340 32,950 1,740 189,030
          1997 161,230 28,340 1,540 191,110
          1998 155,830 24,100 1,100 181,020
          1999 157,930 23,730 330 181,990
          2000 154,580 21,990 280 176,850
          2001 152,650 21,080 360 174,080
          2002 162,770 18,940 250 181,960
          2003 172,620 17,620 250 190,490
          2004 182,700 20,660 130 203,490
          2005 182,180 23,330 230 205,740
          2006 182,700 25,980 290 208,970
          2007 195,870 27,430 280 223,580
          2008 155,100 31,590 630 187,320
          2009 121,490 34,790 840 157,120
          2010 105,220 29,380 1,360 135,960
          2011 105,390 32,190 3,100 140,660
          2012 107,620 31,400 2,510 141,520
          2013 106,510 26,750 2,080 135,330
          2014 114,910 27,930 2,150 144,980
          2015 133,120 34,890 2,730 170,730

          (let me know if that’s not legible)

          • fazerman

            Thanks for the hard work and the interesting figures. My original question was to find out, for example, whether the 3.3 million EU nationals living in the UK were having a serious impact on the availability of housing.

    • Guardian’s Quitter

      I’m guessing upwards of 10,000,000 economic migrants coming into the county since bliar stated destroying it hasn’t helped.

      • Greenlander

        What will they all do once companies and manufacturers have invested in computer algorithms to make the decisions, more efficient automation and robotics.
        The only people who want more people are the multi national companies who need to sell more, and if they cannot sell to people in the ME or Africa they tell idiots to bring them here where we van subsidise their new purchasing power.

      • Reborn

        Stats from UN in 2015 are suggestive.
        EU nationals living in the UK 3,325,000
        Mainly living in London & SE England
        UK nationals living throughout all EU nations, obviously excluding UK,
        1,217,500.
        Add to that non EU citizens coming mainly from the third world plus unknown
        numbers of illegals.
        Small wonder our country, England, is changing so rapidly.

        • Guardian’s Quitter

          The major supermarkets estimate for buying purposes around 75,000,000.

  • alecto

    I do dislike the pitting of the younger generation against the pensioners – its a disgusting tactic by the political parties to grab votes from the younger generation who seems to think they are ‘entitled’ and don’t have to do the hard graft. I think the cost of implementing a rigorous vetting for welfare benefits would be too costly which is why the government does not do it. Most pensioners still have to pay for dentists, only those on welfare benefits receive free dentistry. I don’t have a free bus pass as a car is an essential and not having a TV licence is my choice as I hate the BBC. Many like me did not go to university. I went out to work when I was 15. Comparing a 15 year told today to what I was then – well – there is no comparison. You had to grow up fast! Everything I have is mine, bought and paid for so don’t expect me any time soon to feel sorry for the younger generation who think my generation had it so easy, we didn’t and if our lives are a little easier now then that is how it should be.

    • Charleston

      Fair enough, most of your generation did not have the opportunities, we’re told the millennials have.
      My sister, 25, has been lucky in that she finished her nursing qualification before the government removed bursaries for the course. Her partner, left school at 16 and has mainly worked in construction and as a delivery driver, typically on a string of zero hours. He would love to retrain as a paramedic but unfortunately it is not a possibility to cut down his work hours and pay the rent.
      They both get up early, work long days, often with unpaid overtime and have very little left over to enjoy themselves. They currently live in the North West as returning to south London where they both grew up is not financially possible. While this will be comparable with many from earlier generations, the difference that strikes me is that I cannot imagine how they could possibly afford to raise children, let alone buy a house.
      And they aren’t whingers. They too have worked hard for what they own, but their employment is precarious, and they have no savings to fall back on despite being frugal.
      So, if it’s whining so be it, but I’d like to point out on my sister’s behalf that hard work is no guarantee of being able to participate fully in society.

      • alecto

        What I didnt mention was the fact we never had children so our lives would have been vastly different if we had them. I was the eldest of 3 children and the only one to have bought a house, neither my brother nor sister could afford to so.

        • Charleston

          So your generations are more similar than different perhaps. I still feel that the options my sister has are limited compared to my generation (am now 40) and that of Cameron, Osborne and Boris. So it seems unfair to call them whiners and snowflakes when they are in a tougher position that their parents

          • Under-the-weather

            They’re in a tough position because of govt policy, low interest rates, high govt debt, and ‘help to buy’ aimed at first time buyers have created the property bubble… in the south east. It was apparent that was going to happen in 2014, I could point you to an economists comment recorded in a debate who said precisely that.
            Blair policy has created the situation where youngsters need a degree before getting a job, which should be the employers responsibility to train.

      • Reborn

        The best of today’s young people, unless they’re from a privileged background,
        have it tougher than any generation since the 50s if they wish to live with
        the security & values of their parents & grand parents.
        Many have been poorly taught in school &, especially “uni”, and have not
        been encouraged to save for their own homes. Indeed, they have not been encouraged to save for anything.
        The buying power of average & below wages have been held back.
        Home ownershipr is now a pipe dream for most due to massive immigration & house price rises in areas that are desirable, or even offer decent local jobs.
        I can understand them wasting their spare time & cash on garbage, including
        celebrity culture, clubbing, electronic toys etc.
        The fault is not entirely theirs.
        Blame the political classes of at least the past 20 years.

      • Under-the-weather

        This is how life has always been for most people. In the eighties and early nineties interest rates were over 10% and people I worked with then (in high tech), didn’t know how they’d pay their mortgage. My uncle worked full time as a lab tech and did a chemistry degree in the evenings, that was in the 60’s. He and his wife couldn’t even afford to rent, so they lived in her parents front room until they could.

        What amazes me is that people now expect that somebody else should be paying for them to make it all easy. It never has been.

        • Charleston

          Accepted, all generations have been through previous recessions, but I’ve yet to meet these young people who expect someone else to pay for everything. If it’s not an option to stay with your parents (for many reasons) what is the alternative ?
          Would you agree the job market has changed fundamentally in terms of being able to provide a job for life, or at least a few years of stable work ?
          No contract, no protection, no union, no redundancy

          • Under-the-weather

            In the 1960s and earlier, social housing was only available in need, and in need was poor families, which created a natural level of support for those in the most difficult of circumstances. Girls forcing themselves into those homes rather than waiting to get married have changed that opportunity, but parents who have homes can still offer support, which in turn relieves problems elsewhere. The job market hasn`t changed entirely, there are some parts of the UK which revolve around public sector employment and those jobs have moved to zero hours, which for any situation is kind of telling people they’re not in secure employment and need to change. Of course there isn’t a job for life any more there hasn’t been in my lifetime anyway, and I started work in the 1970s. If I’ve been made redundant once through a company merger, that was in 1989, and the contract made no difference other than a month’s severance pay, so the difference means you have to retain at least that in savings.

    • Bik Byro

      Agree, considering many of these pensioners have paid in to the system for their whole working life.

      • Greenlander

        They tell you that if you reach the age of 73 you have received back all you have paid in. I’d happily take the injection at 73 so long as I can die outside number ten and not be moved until the maggots have disposed of me.

  • Partridge

    For all its faults and shortcomings, our NHS provides one of the best value health services in the world. For many years the UK has spent less on health than its European neighbours, and far less than they do in the USA. https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2016/01/how-does-nhs-spending-compare-health-spending-internationally

    God forbid that we should end up with a healthcare system after the US model. And when Brexit takes effect, we should be able to spend somewhat more on the NHS without bankrupting the country. If other European countries can do it, so can we.

    • Greenlander

      Health tourism and Govt not being assed to claim back the money from countries whose nationals using the EU health card system here. The British Govt pays money to Ireland every year to cover Irish people who have returned home to retire after working a lifetime in the UK. It is common knowledge that the health industry charges the British Govt more for an operation or procedure for one of these people that it does for Irish folk, and they don’t utter a peep about it. Small beer maybe, but when your back is against the wall financially you can’t afford to be mister nice guy any more.

      • Partridge

        Agreed.

    • Under-the-weather
      • Partridge

        No doubt, but the NHS is the best and can be even better.

        • Under-the-weather

          Says who? NHS workers? Labour supporters?

        • Phil R

          It is cr*p. What planet are you on?

          • Partridge

            It is that way because politicians interfere with it and underfund it. The UK spends less on health care than most equivalent countries.

          • Under-the-weather

            That’s a red herring. Those equivalent countries spend more in ‘GDP’ terms but is their level of GDP the same as the UK?; Ireland per that link spend more on Nurses – is their provision better for it?
            How much of the spend on the NHS is actually going into the front line, how much into drugs (antibiotics have much lower prescription nos elsewhere), and what type of drugs as opposed to back office/admin?

          • Phil R

            You are not comparing like with like

            It is like comparing driving a clapped out old car and a new Audi and saying the driving experience and safety is the same. The sad thing about this analogy is we pay almost the same for our clapped out old banger NHS than the Germans pay for the new Audi.

            We pay new Audi money and get the old banger.

            The reason. My experience is that Germany health care is not only better but far far more efficient.

          • Charleston
          • Charleston

            A fairly comprehensive argument for NHS efficiency in probably the most important realm – preventing mortality

          • Partridge

            You may well be right about German efficiency and quality of healthcare. But we do not pay almost the same for our NHS. We pay far less. With more and more demands being placed on the NHS, no wonder it’s in such a poor condition. https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2016/01/how-does-nhs-spending-compare-health-spending-internationally

    • Labour_is_bunk

      The question “If our NHS is so brilliant, then why does no-one else copy it”? has a lot in common with “If the UK is racist, then why do immigrants keep coming here”?

      Reason? No-one on the Left has a good answer to either.

    • Phil R

      God forbid that we should end up with a private healthcare system after the US model

      Agreed we need the German health care model not the US.

      Anything but the Soviet NHS model

  • c50

    Or real Hayek? The dream of an uninimpeded market rewarding the worthy? The eceonomic Eden alt rights believe is just a shredding of compassionate policies away. Your article is just empty rhetoric based on free market ideology with no solutions, a rant really. Are you as devoid of solutions as Trump? More people lose their home in the US due to failed medical insurance than for every other reason. I really think what you would like is feudalism, as long as you are at the top. This is nothing to do with economics, it’s about protecting your advantages.

    • Phil R

      Are you as devoid of solutions as Trump

      Trump does have solutions.

      The upsetting thing for the left like you is that ordinary people like them.

      We need a British Trump

      • c50

        A British Trump? Do you mean Farage? You ignore the fact there are no solutions from the writer and Trump clearly has no solutions for healthcare: who are ‘ordinary people’? Are you an ordinary person? Was austerity for ordinary people? And the bedroom tax? But then ordinary people without a well paid job might feel they need the NHS? Those ordinary people with a job might hate having to pay for health care for the losers. Trump, and you, appear not to understand that the underlying assumptions of your ideas are based on are incompatible. if not plainly ludicrous- how can you preach individualism, the essentially destructive view of human nature needs controlling and then preach nationhood and protectionism? You have to have someone to blame for your own inadequacies. Moreover, you need a father figure to protect you from the shame of inadequacy; fear of difference and emasculation.

  • “Working-class communities”? “Heating or eating”? A war on VAT? In the voice of Len McCluskey, Paul Nuttall impersonates the rhetoric, and even the specific policy agenda, of Dennis Skinner and Ronnie Campbell, of Angela Rayner and Richard Burgon.

    Unlike Theresa May, Nuttall did not join the Conservative Party of Ted Heath. Like me, he was not born until after Heath had ceased to be Leader. It never ceases to amaze me that Nuttall is only 10 months older than I am, which makes him younger than the Beckhams, younger than Ant and Dec. Such, though, is in fact the case. He joined the Conservative Party that imposed VAT on domestic fuel and power, after it has done all manner of other things to working-class communities. Yet listen to him today. The progress of Britain towards sinistrisme is almost complete.

    Leave won the EU referendum in, from its own point of view, all the wrong places. The places that voted Leave essentially demanded their mines, steelworks and factories back, complete with the unions and everything. The places that benefited from Thatcherism voted Remain so heavily that the Lib Dems are on course to take dozens of seats from the Conservatives in 2020, leading to a hung Parliament. The specific policy commitment that swung the referendum was the promise of an extra £350 million per week for the National Health Service.

    The Conservatives did not even have an election in order to install a Leader who wanted workers’ representatives on boards, control of pay disparities within companies, and much else besides. Labour have massively re-elected the massively elected Jeremy Corbyn, whose very presence shifts the debate in directions that had previously been unimaginable. The Lib Dems have their most left-wing Leader ever, who is especially far to the left of the last one.

    And now this, from the Leader of UKIP. Yes, UKIP. Led by Corbyn, however, Labour is still going to beat even him at Stoke Central. Think on.

    • Greenlander

      Surely membership of the EU would have caused the closure of coal mines under their emissions policy had they not already been closed. Steel can not be subsidised under EU rules to see it over a rough patch and factories are heading east to the cheaper labour market which would have been made more difficult if we had never joined. It’s also EU rules that when VAT (4% on domestic fuel)is put on an item it cannot be reduced without the EU’s say so, only increased, and many EU countries have VAT on food and other thing we have exempted, (VAT as well as CAP subsidies) and Junkers wants it all harmonised so you can bet they wouldn’t be taking VAT off food in other countries just to harmonise to our standards, after all the EU takes a cut from VAT.

      • All of that is true, and it was what won the referendum. The free-marketeering heartlands voted Remain. Well, of course they did. The EU has always suited them to a tee, for the perfectly good reason that it was designed to do so.

        • Phil R

          It was a referendum.

          Scotland or say Islington did not vote to remain. The UK voted to leave.

          So let’s get on with it.

  • Bik Byro

    As a country we need a serious debate about three things:

    1. What the NHS is exactly for (ie what services should it cover, which not)
    2. How much are we willing to spend on it ?
    3. How should it be funded ?

    It will not happen for two reasons :

    1. All governments are scared of grasping the nettle because it is so politically hot, so they fumble around with the deckchairs
    2. The public are currently sick of arguing over Brexit, they probably couldn’t stomach another huge national debate right now

    • Paul Nuttall did used to want to privatise the NHS. In his heart of hearts, he probably still does. Yet today, he called for massively increased spending on it and on the intimately connected social care system. In Britain, you can lead a major political party and want to abolish the monarchy. That is probably or certainly the position of the Leaders of two of the three largest parties in the House of Commons. But you cannot lead even a minor political party and question the State’s direct ownership of hospitals staffed by its direct employees. Those employees provide their services free of charge at the point of need, and they have been trained entirely by the State.

      This entire arrangement is altogether beyond question. Most people would tell you that that simply was Britain; that it was not very far from being the whole point of this country. If you doubt that, then consider that the Leader of the most right-wing party in Great Britain has had to pay extravagant homage to it today in order to salvage so much as a respectable second place at a forthcoming by-election. And consider that no party in Northern Ireland would ever dream of questioning it in the slightest. The DUP might like to pretend that fundamentalist Protestantism was the glue of the Union, and the United Kingdom’s defining difference from the Irish Republic. But it knows perfectly well what really is. And so does everyone else.

      • Phil R

        A lot of truth in that terribly sad reflection of Britain

        I think people just don’t realise how 3rd world the NHS is in comparison with other countries.

        • Try that on the voters. Except that even Paul Nuttall won’t dare. Consider that Jeremy Corbyn has recanted no aspect of his past, to the extent that no one even bothers to mention it anymore. Whereas Nuttall has “changed his mind” completely and utterly on the NHS. Just let that sink in.

          • Phil R

            I have worked in many countries. Our health and dental care is both poor quality and difficult to access.

            If anything serious was wrong with me or my family I would hate to have to rely on the NHS

          • Charleston

            The man is a pathological liar – having to retract more grandiose claims right now. I don’t think you can expect any consistency from such a character

  • Christopher Gage

    I am becoming a fan. Great work.

  • Greenlander

    Stick with the EU and get your children well educated and into the insurance industry, as the EU is all about the corporations you will pay through the nose for all the insurances that the state once held for you.
    I have a private health care provider £145.00 a month (a left over from a previous job) with many exclusions, eg they paid for the cataract operation but not the replacement lenses, Now my wife and I are Joe and Josephine average, could Joe and Josephine below average afford 145.00 a month or more if they wanted the whole shebang the NHS provides, would National Insurance be reduced to allow for the private provision of health care or would they just keep it the same to allow ‘them’ to squander on other things, will your private insurer who after all insures against a risk refuse treatment to smokers or want a higher premium from rugby players of motorcyclists or lord forbid alcohol drinkers.
    My sister in law in Ireland has to have private health insurance and still has to wait for treatment as long as any NHS waiting list as well as pay to see her GP.
    There is a lot of sorting out to do before I would advocate going private.

  • mollysdad

    Let me put to one side that every abortion costs £600 and 90 per cent of them are paid by the NHS.

    But don’t be too hard on the Welfare State. As originated by William Beveridge, it was never expected to be indefinitely sustainable without an uncompromising commitment to full employment: in the sense that there must always be more vacancies than unemployed men, and the duration of unemployment should – save in exceptional cases – be very short.

    Prime Minister Callaghan abandoned the public policy objective of full employment – Thatcher adopted mass unemployment and the fear of it as a tool of policy.I turned 18 in 1980, and I have never known a year in which the number of vacancies has ever been other than less than the number of unemployed men, let alone adults.

    I remember very well the outrage in the nation at the beginning of that decade as the scourge of mass, long-term unemployment returned as something horrible from the 1930s. By the end of the decade, the nation had come round to Thatcher’s way of thinking: that it was socially acceptable and beneficial to sacrifice millions of men in mass unemployment and inactivity for the sake of a better tomorrow.

    The problem we have today is that the communities which Thatcher impoverished didn’t stop marrying and having children. They stopped marrying and continued to have children. Children for whom there are no jobs which will realistically support a family. This is what happens when men forget the principle of honour – that a man who has not the means to support a family has no business raising his eyes to a woman, let alone marrying her or giving her a baby anyway.

    • Under-the-weather

      Abortion should be a matter for the individual. Sex education should include all aspects of the health implications of (including a men’s responsibility)in
      Taking the pill and how effective it is alone or not mixed with other medication)
      Other methods of contraception and down side e.g. embedded IUD
      Treatment for miscarriage
      Abortion, the alternative treatments. what’s involved and the side effects when it goes wrong.

      If girls fully digested the end result of what they have to go through to avoid pregnancy, no sex before marriage takes on a different meaning altogether, (and leaving it as late as possible). That also makes it a matter of personal choice rather than oppression.

      • mollysdad

        Abotion is a crime against humanity contrary to s51 International Criminal Court Act 2001. The term “murder” in international law has no born alive rule.

        • Under-the-weather

          I’m not interested in religious oppression, thanks all the same.

          • mollysdad

            The International Criminal Court Act 2001 commenced on 1 September 2001. It imports into the UK’s legal system the whole of international criminal law concerning crimes against humanity, and it repeals the Abortion Act 1967.

            The judgement that abortion is murder comes from the Nuremberg Military Tribunal – see the indictment in the RuSHA Case, 1948.

    • Phil R

      Good comment especially the last paragraph

    • Under-the-weather

      “I remember very well the outrage in the nation at the beginning of that decade as the scourge of mass, long-term unemployment returned as something horrible from the 1930s. By the end of the decade, the nation had come round to Thatcher’s way of thinking: that it was socially acceptable and beneficial to sacrifice millions of men in mass unemployment and inactivity for the sake of a better tomorrow”

      That wasn’t Thatchers way of thinking at all. The expectation still is that the free market will solve problems created by unevenly spent/developed infrastructure. Why did single towns become totally dependent on nationalised industries (which should never have been nationalised in the first place, and was a complete waste of public funds following world war 2?).
      Why does business prefer to invest in and around London and other major cities than elsewhere?
      Why for example do students move down from Scotland to become educated in London and stay there rather than moving home?

      • mollysdad

        Thatcher – and certainly Norman Lamont – undoubtedly regarded unemployment as a price worth paying for the sake of the prosperity of the rich and of those lucky enough to keep their jobs. So did those who benefited from that approach and voted for her in three successive General Elections.

        My point is that, if you insist on abandoning full employment as Beveridge defined it, you can’t indefinitely sustain the welfare state. There will be a large and significant contingent of men who will never be in a position to earn their living and to support a family.

        By this I mean that the United Kingdom must consider itself to be overpopulated relative to the family-supporting jobs the economy is able to generate. Since the 1980s there has been an explosion in non-marital childbearing as people too poor to marry decided to have sex anyway. Many of these children grew up fatherless and unemployable, and thus unaffordable.

        • Under-the-weather

          Well I’m certainly not against full employment, I think it’s the solution, and the problem is that welfare itself doesn’t develop jobs, it’s more likely to develop job avoidance. I don’t think that was Thatcher policy at all, though, anything but. That is assuming nationalisation is a positive means of retaining/developing jobs which it isn’t.

          • mollysdad

            True, welfare itself doesn’t develop jobs. That role falls to the State as it takes responsibility for establishing and maintaining full employment. Beveridge held that this is non-negotiable. He assumed that his policies would work as well under private enterprise as well as under the condition of public ownership of the means of production.

            But he qualified this in a number of ways. Should it be proved either by experience or by argument that the maintenance of full employment (ie. more vacancies than unemployed men etc) was impossible if the means of production were privately owned, then such socialisation would have to be undertaken.

            Beveridge averred that only cattle should be driven to work. Men can and should be led by hope. But if it turned out that the labour force became indisciplined at work as they took advantage of the sellers’ market for labour, then this would demonstrate that the British are too uncivilised to be driven by anything other than fear of unemployment, and that they were unworthy of liberty.

            As for Thatcher, there’s an anecdote that William Whitelaw asked her what would become of the men whose livelihoods she was set to destroy. She is said to have replied: “Let them live on benefits.”

            Another anecdote is that she told Frank Field MP: “I thought that by setting the market and private enterprise free, we would get a ‘giving society’. We didn’t.”

            So it seems to have been made out that the British during the 1980s were a greedy and selfish nation, and still are.

          • Under-the-weather

            Living temporarily on unemployment benefit isn’t the same as moving permanently to the disability allowance and stop looking for work, or even moving. Also ..Bembridges solution was wrong. The problem in my opinion is the same as when any large company fails and a whole town revolves around its employment, unemployment support isn’t geared to retraining, it’s geared to taking any job available, and the problem with putting large numbers of people into extremely reduced circumstances, together and indefinitely, is that their spending capacity disappears creating a deflating local economy.

          • mollysdad

            Disability Living Allowance, and its replacement Personal Independence Payment, isn’t an out-of-work benefit. It can be claimed while working, and it’s designed to help with moblity and daily care needs.

            As for the rest, I think you haven’t read and understood Beveridge’s Full Employment in a Free Society.

          • Under-the-weather

            Disability Living allowance is designed as an out of work benefit, but used to be claimed en masse by out of work miners – so the story goes (depressed..bad back.etc).

            I don’t think I need to understand Beverages full employment in a free society..Labour picked up the rise in the business cycle 1995 -2007 vote Labour (or used to), when people had enough of ‘austerity’. Conservatives seem to be voted in when people have had enough of the end results,

          • mollysdad

            You’re thinking of Incapacity Benefit and its successor the Employment and Support Allowance. IB was claimed by out of work miners who became unemployable when the pits shut.

            The report’s co-author, Prof Steve Fothergill, said: “The long-term
            effect of job destruction in older industrial Britain has been to park
            vast numbers out of the labour market on incapacity benefits, these days employment and support allowance (ESA). The cost to the Treasury is immense, especially if all the top-up benefits are included.”

            You can find on Youtube the speech of Prime Minister Callaghan in 1976 when he told us “in all candour” that you can’t spend your way out of a recession. (http://www.britishpoliticalspeech.org/speech-archive.htm?speech=174) He said that the achievement of full employment depends on labour costs being at least comparable with those of our competitors.

            The point I’ve been making in these postings is that, if the welfare state is bust and full employment is not achievable, then the only remaining option is to cut the population. The way to have done that in the 1980s is that men who were not self-reliant should not have married, and that the unmarried should not have been having sex.

  • CitymanMichael

    Governments do not bribe people with their own money for votes – they bribe people with their grandchildren’s money – now the grandchildren are in their 20’s and have little money.
    Surely the thirst to hold onto power at the expense of the unborn will lead to the eventual collapse of western democracies.

  • Under-the-weather

    There are several issues which lie behind providing for pensions.

    A pension isn’t much more than a subsistence level of support (for those also paying for care)
    The frail elderly in their eighties can’t be expected to continue to work to pay for themselves
    What savings the elderly have accrued they are spending, while low interest rates are fuelling the house price bubble .
    An alteration of this situation (long term interest rates) increases public debt
    It’s impossible to live on interest from savings ( which were accrued by the middle classes when interest rates were 10% or more), and the elderly have no means of replacing those savings when it’s gone..
    So while wealthy pensioners can get a free TV license -arguably there should be no TV license anyway.
    How many bus services would run were the state not supplementing trips for pensioners?, the service is needed in rural areas. How many wealthy under 70s are likely to use it, in preference to a car?
    Would those `bus` savings make any difference at all to the huge welfare budget, and dent in any way expenditure on PFI project finance for instance?

  • Groan

    Helpfully the Gov. HMRC sends one a record of last years tax and how it was spent. Welfare is the biggest. As well as me two of my offspring have had theirs. Both have had a bit of a turn to the “right”. As they have thought through the consequences of the small scale “cheating” they are aware of translated nationally. I think quite genuinely people have neither the time or inclination to think through what “government funding” means. All I can say is the simple letter with its “pie chart” has cause quite a reality check in my household’s SJWs.

  • John Shakespeare

    ‘…we could have a proper conservative party. One that pointed out the immorality of the Ponzi scheme, the unfairness of Welfare State and the terrible outcomes and inefficiencies of a socialist health care system…’ And one which would never gain power. No matter how rational the argument, welfareism is unbeatable at the ballot box. Mind you, it would help if we had a conservative party that just moved gradually in the right direction, but fat chance of that as all parties (including now Nutall’s UKIP) are competing with each other to increase spending on the new religion.

  • Bonce

    The welfare state to the extent and scale that it has become is deeply damaging for society.
    The welfare state creates poverty and learned helplessness.
    The welfare state creates dysgenics in the population.
    The welfare state enables more single parent households and more family breakdown.
    The welfare state is the principle pull factor creating the out of control immigration levels in the west.
    The welfare state continuing in its current form will destroy the west.

  • Good article! Everything is being tilted leftwards towards the socialist abyss. It’s like the frog in the pot being gradually boiled to death so as to not realise it and jump out until its too late. Even the “Right” is now “Left” by traditional standards. The statists are masters at psychological warfare and they have succeeded in scaring conservatives “left” with their ridicule, hate and marginalise M.O.

  • Excellent piece as ever, Laura.

    How is it, I often wonder, that Britain has got itself in this fearful mess with the NHS and the welfare state?

    There are many reasons, but I suspect that the most important one that, although Britain is by many measures a fairly Right-wing country, there is also the fact that, as Enoch Powell remarked (in his final speech of the 1970 General Election campaign), “the instinct of fairness is one of the deepest and characteristic instincts of this nation”.

    Powell was referring to the reaction of ordinary people to his treatment by the media and other politicians (including ones from his own party). But unfortunately, this generally very attractive “instinct of fairness” has over the past few decades been to a large extent appropriated by the Left, and twisted to their own ends, aided of course by that utterly impartial and objective “news” organisation, the BBC.

    “Fairness” now means, in far too many instances, taking money from those who work hard and diligently, who take responsibility and behave responsibly, in order to give it to those who do not exhibit any of those characteristics.

    One reason for this, I suspect, is that another characteristic of the British (admittedly, one that is shared by the rest of the human race!) is the attraction of something that’s “free”.

    Of course, there is very little in this world that is genuinely “free”: certainly welfare and healthcare have to be paid for, by one means or another.

    What, of course, “free” means in this context is that someone else pays for it. And I suspect that all but the most Hard-Right of us neoliberals have no objection to help being given to those unfortunate people who, through no fault of their own, need some help.

    The trouble is that the term “the disadvantaged” has, over the past few decades, been expanded further and further, to include not merely (for instance) the physically handicapped. It now includes the lazy, the feckless, and the downright immoral (if I can use such a judgemental term).

    Two consequences flow from this:

    1. The temptation for people to be lazy, feckless and immoral is greatly increased, and

    2. The costs of the welfare system and the NHS spiral ever upwards.

    The terror that the Left regularly exhibit at the mere thought of fundamental reform of welfare and NHS is rarely borne out of genuine concern for “vulnerable people”. More usually, it’s a result of their (albeit subconcious) knowledge that, if more people actually took responsibility for their lives, their “need” for “Progressive Left” policies and politicians would decrease correspondingly.

    The question Laura didn’t pose was “How does Britain get the proper Conservative Party that could begin to tackle this problem?”

    And although it’s a difficult one to answer, I suspect that an important part of it is to keep pointing out that – as Mrs Thatcher could easily have said, “There is no such thing as ‘Government money’ – there is only money that is provided by taxpayers, which in large part comes from ordinary people and their families. There is no such thing as a benefit, unless someone else has paid a tax bill”.

    This is a difficult message to get across, for obvious reasons, its essential truth notwithstanding. But until the “moral ascendancy” (Powell’s words again) of the Left is broken, it is going to be well-nigh impossible to make any meaningful progress in reforming either the welfare state or “Our NHS”.

    • Outstanding!

    • Craig Martin

      Jeez, Lefty, that was awesome.
      Brilliantly put.

      • Why, thank you, Friend Craig :). (Not a word to Jeremy, mind!)

    • varangarian

      When you’re not doing comedy you are spot on too. Well said.

    • Under-the-weather

      Thank you. It reminds me of an article written by an American teacher, who decided one day to ask his class where welfare money comes from. Most of the class (and in particular those claiming welfare) thought it was the governments own money being spent. In India apparently children are taught maths and economics as a standard part of school curriculum from an early age. They all know where money comes from. In the UK it’s considered a ‘political’ topic, no doubt because unlimited spending and a formal economic policy, don’t really complement each other.

    • bevinboy

      Very good and the squeals of those who want unlimited immigration are because some of them realise that slowing down inward migration will interrupt the ponzi scheme.

      Live now, with cheap plumbers, builders and hand car washers, pay later.

  • Riccardo Giovannelli

    Well said Laura.

    It is indeed a Ponzi scheme.

    The UK birth rate is below 2, so people born in this country must inevitably disappear as a demographic over the coming decades.

    The UK Government could address this by, for example, encouraging mothers to have second (or even, dare I say it) third children. But it does exactly the opposite. In the weeks after you have your first child, the State via “health visitors” will be knocking at your door trying to ensure you have contraceptive measures in place to prevent this sort of thing happening again; if you do ‘get it wrong’, free-at-the-point-of-‘delivery’ abortions are always available.

    And then with a straight face, that same Government tells you we need more immigration because of an ageing population.

    My question to the Government would be this: “In 25 years time, when all the 300K immigrants per year retire here, what is your projection for required annual immigration then – 600K? 1 million? 2 million?

  • Groan
  • Mojo

    Another succinct article Laura. I would add that it makes me mad when politicians keep referring to the NHS “free at the point of use.”This, over the years has fed into a mindset that the NHS is free (or paid for by the Government, which makes me even madder). At no possible point is the NHS free when you pay tax. Every single time a phone call is made, a prescription given, a light turned on taxpayers money is being used.

    Much money and manpower is wasted by inefficient systems and too much adulation is given over how good the NHS is. But then, as with so many public services, the socialists know how to play the emotional card, and the public always feels a mixture of anger at being blackmailed with fear that they will be punished if they stood up for honesty and truth. Politicians only ever worry about their votes so in effect we have all but lost the true Conservative politician. The irony being that many middle class voters, or if you like, the Sensible Silent Majority, are fed up with the NHS and are funding their own operations by taking a loan out against their homes or selling their ISAs. Just like so many middle class parents are still choosing their children’s school by moving house. Society finds alternatives when they can but it means those who just cannot are left with the rotten eggs. The very people who need have a better NHS and good schools for their children are once again left behind. Whoops, and that brings us back to the beginning. Socialism and the use of other people’s money. Now which Lady famously said that Socialism works very well until other people’s money runs out……

  • PAD

    Another fine piece of writing Laura.
    Though I’d stay clear of Brenda O’NEIL until you’re sure he’s still not attached to RCP..and Institute of Ideas…a bogus org dreamed up by the Fox sisters Frank Furedi and Co..