Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Something To Think About - Guest Post

A guest post from John Soutar.

"As Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has rightly pointed out, it is"madness" for the state to subsidise large numbers of children born to parents who do not stop to wonder first if they can afford them.
And it would be fairer to the "vast majority" of responsible, normal, reasonable taxpayers to limit the amount they are made to cough up for these irresponsible breeders, who as soon as anyone suggests they're being a teensy bit greedy with the far-from bulging public purse start whinging about "fairness".
After all, IDS has promised to cut another £10billion off the state's handout bill and it has to be found somewhere. Obviously, the people who take handouts they don't deserve should be the first to take a cut.
So let's start by talking about someone who lives off the state and has little experience of the world of work you and I know.
He is 58 years old and has suckled upon the publicly-funded teat for most of his life.
He's signed on the dole. He's had four children and received child benefit for all of them. He has put them each through private school, too.
His wife hasn't worked since they married, except for 15 months in which he got her a job paid by the taxpayer.
He and his colleagues eat and drink food you subsidise in a palace you pay for, he is driven around in a car you own, and when he is too old to 'work' any more you will pay for him to have a better pension than you, too.
He started out at the age of 21 with six years of taxpayer-funded military service, during which he acted as bag-carrier to a Major-General.
Then in 1981, aged 27, he left the Army and signed on the dole for several months.
He then began a period of ordinary work based upon the skills he had gained at the taxpayer's expense, and worked in sales for arms dealer GEC-Marconi.
He then moved on to a property firm, where he was made redundant after six months, and then sold gun-related magazines for Jane's Information Group.
After 11 years of this all-too brief career he succeeded in once again boarding the publicly-funded gravy train in 1992.
In the intervening 20 years he has been paid by the taxpayer every year more money than most taxpayers earn. He has topped it up, along the way, to more than six figures for a few years here and there by being more pompous than the other pigs.
In 2001 he helped his unemployed wife to have a suckle, arranging for you to pay her £15,000 to be his diary secretary.
These days he is given the grand total of £134,565 a year from the taxpayer.
He lives for free in a £2million Tudor farmhouse on his father-in-law's ancestral estate in Buckinghamshire.
He has three acres of land, a tennis court, swimming pool and some orchards, which is not bad for a life in the pay of the state.
'Who is this scumbag?' you might cry. 'Tell us his name, let the authorities know his address, let's get this guzzler out of the cushy life and show him what life is like for the rest of us,earning £7 an hour with a rise once every eight years and a pension consisting entirely of penny sweets if you're lucky.'
His name is Iain Duncan Smith, and his address is the Palace of Westminster, LondonSW1A 0AA.
It's not the insistence that the welfare bill needs cutting I object to; it's that the scissors have been given to people who really can't be trusted not to stab everyone else in the eye.
As IDS himself says: "Can there not be a limit to the fact that really you need to cut your cloth in accordance with what capabilities and finances you have?"
The trouble is he doesn't seem to have the capability to cut cloth any more than he has to get himself a proper job that might actually be of use to anyone other than warlords.
I wouldn't trust him to cut paper, never mind a welfare bill of billions.
The sooner he's back on the dole the better for all concerned - because then he'll have to live on £71 a week for 26 weeks and if he doesn't pull his finger out in that time it's all over.
If only we could say the same for the gravy train."
Thank you "Fleetstreetfox"


Anonymous said...

Well said!

Brian said...

@John Souter,
A thoughtful and provocative post.
Didn't IDS establish the Centre for Social Justice?


Based on my experience working as a Personal Advisor in an inner-city Jobcentre, his reforms are what most people who claimed benefits agree with. Everyone I interviewed hated being on benefits and wanted a process to gain their independence from the nosy state, or probably just me.
And while I'm on the topic of independence, what qualifications does someone who worked as a civil servant then bank economist, then became a professional politician have to enable Scottish entrepreneurs to make the money to provide jobs and welfare for Scots?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Tris -it's well enough noted -but it's fleetstreetfox that deserves the kudos, i merely lifted it.

Edward Spalton said...

I think the way in which IDS was removed from the Conservative leadership was instructive. He was freely elected by the rank and file but did not have majority support from MPs. So they set about rubbishing him from the start. It was not a pretty sight and the issue of the EU was at the back of it. After that they changed the system so that ordinary party members would be kept in proper submission to their betters..
( I stopped being a member many years before these events)

If you follow the logic of your account, then everyone in public service is a scrounger .

JRB said...

How dare we question or reproach the veracity of IDS, or any of the cabinet, it is their true blue birth-right to sit on high and exercise their divine right of power and authority over us, the hoi polloi.

It is not our position as oiks and plebs to question our betters, but merely to be grateful and to obey. Criticism of a cabinet member will be taken as destabilising anarchic insurrection, and appropriate steps will be taken.

Any sign of a social conscience will be regarded as weakness and such individuals will be removed for fear of contaminating polite and proper society.

All hail IDS.


JRB said...

@ ES … everyone in public service is a scrounger.

Like Newton’s laws of motion – you may have just discovered a fundamental truth - everyone in public service is a scrounger.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Brian -the relevance in your comment indicates most people on welfare are the collateral of ex strivers forced by circumstance to be shirkers. In general I would agree with that. But I give little weight beyond PR placebo's to the so called job initiatives that accompany it. And even less to the so called statistics behind the rise of job creation.

In essence I'm 100% for the cutting of the welfare bill. But there's only one legitimate and moral way that that can be done, and that is by genuinely cutting the need for benefits.

In times of peace job creation is ultimately the responsibility of governments. The people pass that responsibility in the mandate they give them to govern, just as in times of war they use the same mandate in expectation of the people responding to their call to arms.

A government has failed its State when first it doesn't safeguard the work market for its people. then secondly through that failure taxes them by stealth cuts for the privilege of being victims of incompetence.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Edward - (probably not every one) I've met a few who carry the heavy yoke of frustration. however none seem to have risen beyond the glass ceiling of conscience.

Perhaps nurture makes hypocrites of us all.

JimS said...

I think IDS is a poor target. Along with Frank Field he is one of the few politicians prepared to set aside dogma and try and square the circle of welfare.

The background of many of the opposition front benchers is worth checking out too. Plenty of people who have never had a 'proper' job yet have very healthy bank balances, well-schooled children etc.

At least LDS turns up to 'the palace', unlike our previous PM who does quite well out of the trough as does his predecessor. And don't forget that welsh fellow and his wife who found the Euro-trough even deeper.

Try this to hear how the Labour Party and its 'intellectuals' destroyed the 'working class', pride in honest toil and 'the family'. BBC Radio 4 "Analysis- Making The Best of a Bad Job".

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

JRB -perhaps entropy - the second law of thermodynamics allied to the science of quantum physics heavily garnished by hyperbole just might nudge us on the path that leads beyond bewilderment.

But there again we may just get sick fed up with being lied to by too many failures.

Brian said...

Most people on benefits are not shirkers, they work very hard to find jobs. I used to tell my clients to consider their job search as a full-time job in itself and many said it was the hardest work they'd ever done. If they were shirkers they wouldn't have been so proud when they signed off.
Job creation is the responsibility of private companies, it is the government's responsibility to create the conditions to facilitate that. During the Blair/Brown regime unemployment went down because government spending through borrowing increased and entry level jobs for unskilled people went away because Blair imported foreigner workers who would think any pay and conditions (eg 6 am start 40 miles away) much better than at home. Brown subsidised the low salaries with his various credits. The jobs created were short term (three months at most).
What's needed is jobs based on something that Scotland can make with higher productivity than the rest of the world or unique quality goods and services. Scotland has a heritage of skilled traders across the world, eg Jardine Matheson and I hope that the future will see the best years for Scotland.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Jim S - I agree, there are many targets -but IDS is the one wielding this particular mallet; and the only peg he's driving is one that consists of ideological bigotry.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Brian - I could give a long reply to your post i.e.,since the early 70s when Nixon nobbled the Arabs, took America off the gold standard, created the petro-dollar and handed the world to the marketeers and Regan then Thatcher bought into the money from nothing culture.

That's done - just the dust hasn't settled enough for it to be dusted yet.

In general I agree with your closing paragraph but the existing membrane will take time to unravel and the new even longer to take form. That said we do have the resources -animal-vegetable and mineral to be capable of weaving it.

JimS said...

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers:

I would repeat that IDS & Frank Field are rare politicians that have actually taken time out to study the welfare system and are EMPHATICALLY NOT driven by ideology.

The conclusions of their study might not match your preferences but that does not justify the rather pathetic joke of the original post, most of which applies in one form or another to ALL MEPs, MSPs, EMPs and for that matter anyone from the highest to the lowest working for the Civil Service or local authority, not forgetting those in the Private Sector that are living off public contracts.

It is the extent of that 'teat' which makes the general line of the OP a pathetic joke but by picking on one named individual it crosses the line and would be considered nasty were it not so stupidly bigoted.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Jim S - Noted.
Have you difficulties with mirrors?

Brian said...

Have you read about the Dutch Disease?


Although many argue that manufacturing competitivenesss is affected by currency appreciation caused by exploitation of natural resources, it is equally possible that excessive welfare spending imbalanced the economy.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Brian -of course it could. That's why it is necessary to cut the need for welfare.

JimS said...

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers

I don't have any problem with mirrors - up is up, down is down, left is left and right is right.

Just like the real world in fact.

Is it possible that you managed to direct my criticism towards the content of the OP towards yourself? IDS may not be to your taste but he did spend time while out of government researching welfare reform even spending time in Easterhouse. Surely he deserves some credit for at least trying?

I would urge you to follow up the BBC's Analysis programme mentioned before, it isn't just the 'bosses' that exploit the 'workers' or the 'poor', there are many a well-to-do, landed, 'intellectuals' only too happy to see their fellow man in misery if the discontent can be channeled in aid of the 'revolution'.

pa_broon74 said...

IDS's strategy may have merit if taken in isolation. Real life isn't like that though, we don't live in a bubble. Cutting welfare is a stupid thing to do when other ridiculously more obvious options are available.

Ideological? Of course it is.

I don't care how much IDS is worth or where he lives, what he's doing on behalf of the Tory/Libdem coalition is disgusting, you can roll a turd in glitter, but its still a turd.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Jim S - Was he at Easterhouse for the community or the Conservative's weal?

Is he a 'reformer' or merely a destructor - a bottom line asset stripper wielding the velvet lash under the banner of 'reform' when it is only a euphemism for subjugation on a low diet of subsistence.

Where in the downward spiral of bottom line values does the Well and Fair of welfare become irrelevant.

What revolution. Do you mean the counter revolution to the one we are all experiencing now - mainly as its victims.

Look at Italy. A comedian emerges as a leader and wins the major block vote of any professional political party. The markets go into shock horror and the MSM backs them up with wails and woes of ungovernability.

What happened to democracy. Where does its standards fly in the killing grounds of value. Does it lead, play a pivotal role or is it merely a flanker, paid lip-service unless needed in emergencies.

No JimS I'm no revolutionary. Ultimately all I want to see is that politics does its job.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Pa Broon right enough -cut the ermine not the porridge.

subrosa said...

Oh JRB, I quickly scanned that and thought ' what's up up north?', then I realised the satire. Must waken up.:)

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