(I wouldn’t usually recommend Simon first thing, but, well…)
That welfarism should allow people to pass their duties to the state was certainly not envisaged by Beveridge when he drew up his blueprint for a welfare system in 1942. As a Liberal of the best sort, Beveridge saw his job as to design a safety net for those who, in distressing scenes in the 1920s and 1930s, had lived in dire poverty owing to mismanagement of the world’s main economies after the First World War. The Attlee government interpreted Beveridge differently, and ensured that welfare instead would provide a career structure for those who chose not to work, or not to provide for their families.
That was bad enough; but real toxicity has been created by combining this destructive profligacy with a liberal experiment in criminal justice that has now utterly failed, and with the sacrifice of our state education system on the altar of Marxism. Given how many of our young grow up without any moral example in their lives, without discipline or serious learning at school, and in the knowledge that the police will not confront them or, if they do, that the courts have little power to punish, it is small wonder we have pockets of lethal anarchy throughout the green and pleasant land. …
Many of the “solutions” to our social problems that have been trotted out since Rhys Jones was killed are right. Given the mess we have allowed to be made, a dose of authoritarianism is needed: more police being more vigilant, catching more criminals and putting them in more prisons.
But our politicians remain too cowardly to implement the prescription. The grammar schools that once helped the poor out of poverty are reviled even by the leader of the Conservative Party, who went to Eton. The scaling down of benefits to the undeserving poor, hand-in-hand with a drive to help people into work and to take responsibility for themselves and their own, is too terrifying for any political party to contemplate. …
We are counselled to avoid despair about our “broken society”. But when one sees the political class so utterly trapped in the headlights of failed social liberalism, what else are we supposed to do?
He mentions this article, from yesterday’s paper (or Monday’s). It’s worth reading the whole thing, but I’ll just quote one bit of it:
The British elites persuaded themselves that their great crime was to impose bourgeois values on everyone. In fact, it is the undermining of those values that is destroying the lives of the poor.