Goodbye, big society

Running behind on literally everything, even drinking, but I must just share with you the new Tory election poster, courtesy of Tory Bear:

Brilliant, ain’t it? I think he’s actually just punched a benefit claimant and is haranguing them as they lie spreadeagled just out of shot.

Fuck the big society, fuck liberal conservatism, fuck red Toryism, Dave’s got his shirtsleeves rolled up and he’s heading back to Nastyland, ohhhhh yes…

Mind you, my absolute favourite bit of ToryBear’s post is where Will Straw pops up at the end to say “Bizarre. This is existing government policy.”

The Labservative stroll to victory continues!

15 Comments

  1. “I think he’s actually just punched a benefit claimant and is haranguing them as they lie spreadeagled just out of shot.”

    My sentimungs exactly

  2. “Let’s cut benefits for those who refuse to work” – What about those who work hard to stop benefits to jobless but somehow never get around to paying taxes. Taxi for Lord Ashcroft.

    There are millions of reasons why unemployed people might refuse to take an available job. Perhaps it’s too far away and they’ve no available means of taking care of their children. We can solve that by making childcare more readily available and cheaper and increasing the ability of teachers to take part in after school activities by cutting pointless bureaucracy out of their workload.
    Perhaps they find the work on offer demeaning or beneath them in some way. You might think that’s a bit prim, but shouldn’t people have the right to live by certain standards. We can solve that by making it easier for immigrant workers to locate to areas where there is high demand for people to take low-skill jobs, driving the economy forward and creating more jobs at all levels. We can also stop funneling money into the public sector in consultants and actually reinvesting in Britain’s industry to create more medium and high-skilled jobs.
    Perhaps they figure, quite reasonably, that the amount they pay in council tax for their parents’ old house and the amount they’d have to pay in tax means they’d be much worse off if they were to actually take the job. We can solve that by moving council tax to an income based system and taking the lowest earners out of the tax system entirely so people are no longer worse off taking minimum wage jobs than they would be living off benefits.

    Tories are scum, eager to create ghettos as a response to what they read in the daily mail. What will the long term unemployed do if their benefits are cut off if they still can’t find a decent job? Starve or steal. Great plan Dave. The Liberal Democrats are the only party with ideas which will actually solve the problem.

  3. A concern of mine is that if the public sector is seriously cut, unemployment will rise in areas like this, which are unfashionable & unpopular & which Harry & other people who aren’t clever enough to hide their true face don’t even pretend to give a fuck about. We already have more than 20% unemployment, imagine more?

    As the rest of the country recovers, we will only get worse off due to lack of any real private-sector economic base ever since the 80s. But attention will have long since moved on. Only what to do about it? You know that I am not a friend to hyperactive government, I don’t consider it any kind of a solution & I think a lot of these jobs especially with consultants, quangocrats & enforcers of tit-brained “laws”, don’t do much good. Yet I am far more aware of the reality of unemployment, disability & low-paid work than this lot will ever be.

    I am starting to despair, seriously. The mind boggles at what a vindictive, ignorant cunt you’d have to be to come out with something like that, & I speak as someone who is certainly not an uncritical lover of the welfare state.

    http://heresycorner.blogspot.com/2010/04/whats-so-wrong-about-promoting-marriage.html

  4. @Duncan,

    All well and good but as someone who made many sacrifices, including living away from home midweek and then traveling for long periods to provide for my family, I do find it hard to pay for those who refuse to make the same sacrifices.

    A good point about immigrants and not one often made. Sadly it doesn’t appear to be happening in places like East Anglia as the BBC’s recent program showed.

  5. [Just posted this comment on Giles Wilkes’ blog since he linked here, posting it here as well]:

    Their welfare policy is actually worse than that. Reckon they can take 500,000 off incapacity benefit onto regular jobseeker’s allowance:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8289798.stm

    They also propose privatizing the provision of this welfare:

    http://www.conservatives.com/Policy/Where_we_stand/Jobs_and_Welfare.aspx

    i.e. corporatism at its finest.

    And their manifesto proposes “make-work” programs:

    “So, with the Conservatives, long-term benefit claimants who fail to find work will be required to ‘work for the dole’ on community work programmes.”

    That’s what they’ll be doing when they’re ring fencing the NHS.

  6. @Simon – I’m not saying people should be prepared to make no sacrifices, but a blanket policy which just cuts people off regardless of circumstances (perhaps they’re single parents who have no available childcare options, as I mentioned above) does a lot more harm than it does good. Perhaps a better alternative would be to increase the discretionary powers of job centre workers. Most of them are good people who can tell the difference between genuine seekers and those who have other reasons for turning things down. The best solution is rarely to make all decisions at Whitehall.

    @Asquith – Parts of the country with inescapably high unemployment being ignored while the City of London has record profits? Sounds like you’re describing Thatcher’s legacy. Vote Tory, Get Tory.

  7. Not to mention how much it will cost to employ this army of consultants & pushers around. If people are made to work, who makes them work? Camoron does realise how hard it is to motivate some people, doesn’t he? It would cost a fortune & produce no results in terms of productive work, unless winning votes by making the Daily Mail happy is considered a happy outcome.

  8. aaaargh – cognitive dissonance. You see, on the one hand, Duncan says this:

    Perhaps they find the work on offer demeaning or beneath them in some way. You might think that’s a bit prim, but shouldn’t people have the right to live by certain standards.

    Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. I’d personally love a law that says that with my two master’s degrees I have a right to a certain standard of job – it would have saved me working in that foul pub in Leamington, and that stint reporting on flower shows for the world’s dullest local newspaper, both of which I might consider ‘beneath me in some way’. Only even I – with my monumental ego and solipsism – think that’s a bit much. If you need to eat and pay the rent, and wouldn’t mind a bit extra for the odd pint, then no legally paying job is beneath you. Although it might take you a while to find one that employs all your talents.

    (I should add that I buy the childcare argument completely, mind. There *are* lots of reasons why someone might not be able to take a job. Of course, this presumably isn’t aimed at people who can’t take a job, but at people who can and don’t. The problem is where that line is drawn, because one person’s “can’t” is another’s “won’t.”)

    But on the other hand, he also says:

    What will the long term unemployed do if their benefits are cut off if they still can’t find a decent job? Starve or steal.

    Well, yes. Which is why, flying in the face of libertarian thought, I don’t actually support this. The paying of long term benefits is, for a certain sector of society, a) the conscience money we pay not to watch them die in the streets, Hogarth style – and even if one could stomach that, the bodies would start to pollute the water table after a while – and b) the bribe we pay not to get mugged. There are thousands of things we pay for that I would cut before I cut those.

    This is appealing to the Daily Mail reading nastier bits of the conservative party, I don’t query that. And I can’t say I like it much. In fact, I was all ready to agree that this was a terrible move and then I spotted that Duncan also writes:

    Tories are scum

    Oh, fuck off.

    1. Oh, I think it’s a great move. They’ll get back what they lost to UKIP and the BNP if they go on like this. They’re abandoning their centrism and going for all-out illiberal assault, because Clegg is now seen to have taken the liberal moderate ground off them. This is an admission that they can’t get those people back. See also Peter Bingle’s memos and this:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/20/david-cameron-big-society-tories

      feat. classy pic of Dave kissing baby. No, actually.

      1. Really? Obviously I, and most other people, never bought the ‘big society’ idea – or Blond’s ‘Red Toryism’ – because they’re both clearly ballocks. But they were a handy way of repackaging one nation toryism for a new generation with a bit of moral philosophy smeared on top, and they might have grabbed the ‘hope’ lot and taken some votes off the LDs on an anyone-but-Gordon platform. Which – you’re quite right – the current hagiography of St Nick has somewhat derailed.

        But I don’t think they can get UKIP voters back, because you have to care deeply about – and have a corruscating hatred of – europe in order to be prepared to effectively sanction a Labour government in order to register your protest (or be a mentalist). And I’m pretty sure BNP votes mostly come from former Labour voters who don’t like brown people.

        So what this will probably do is send all the i-hate-Brown-but-i-do-have-a-social-conscience-now-pass-the-taramasalata voters either back to labour or straight into the arms of the waiting Lib Dems.

        Picture – eurghh.

  9. @Duncan,

    Perhaps a better alternative would be to increase the discretionary powers of job centre workers. Most of them are good people who can tell the difference between genuine seekers and those who have other reasons for turning things down. The best solution is rarely to make all decisions at Whitehall.

    I have no personal experience of job centre workers so can’t comment on how good they are and will take your word for it.

    I would like to see a lot more localism and agree that this is a good way to deal with the problem however I’m not convinced we are ready for it:

    1. There will be screams of “postcode lottery”, which is the whole point of localism, but that will get lost in the noise as politicians capitulate.

    2. No matter how good the workers are they will come under a lot of pressure including threats. The easy cop out will be to give everyone the benefit (and I wouldn’t blame them), after all, some doctors have used IC for a quiet life.

    @sockpuppet

    Good points, which is why many libertarians propose CBI, despite all its inherent problems.

  10. Pingback: The BIG Society

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