Sunday, 4 July 2010


Across the country tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of people could be forced to rely on food parcels because of benefit problems, as Davnik Cleggeron’s government presses ahead with its plan to slash the country's welfare bill.

Of course cutting welfare is always a good idea, and helping people back to work is something that every government should do, and to be fair, has been doing, but the best time to help people back to work is when there is some work to help them back into.

Charities that run food banks have warned this weekend of the prospect of people having to rely on third world-style food aid, and, as a person peripherally involved with such a charity, and the amazing people who actually work there, I know that this is the case. The needs have nearly doubled over the last year. The charities think that food parcels and soup kitchens will have to be arranged for maybe up to 1.5 million people who will be moved off incapacity benefit.

Around 37% of people who have been referred to this degrading “poor house style” charity have been in need because of delays and inaccuracies caused by the DWP, whose agencies are understaffed to deal with influx of people they are having to deal with and staff are untrained and disincentivized.

I have certain knowledge of people’s benefits being stopped effectively retrospectively because of delays in sending out letters. And as you can’t just walk into a job centre for help, you have to make an appointment first, sometimes weeks in advance, this may well cause problems.

Neil Coyle, director of policy for the charity Disability Alliance said: "For people to be pushed into poverty and forced to rely on food parcels to eat, something we all think of as a basic human right, is disgusting,"

Foodbanks are something that perhaps most people find an alien concept in a supposedly first world country which conducts wars all over the world and has regattas at Henley, strawberry teas at Wimbledon, and garden parties at the Palace, but there are three times as many of these organizatio
ns as there were only 2 years ago.

Another of the problems is that people with chronic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and ME will probably be told to go get work, move to another town, whatever, but perhaps very few employers will want to employ them, especially when there is a HUGE pool of labour freshly redundant from big business closures and civil service payoffs. They will be left with insufficient money to pay for medication out of their Job Seekers Allowance and may have to turn to crime, such as shoplifting, to make ends meet. This is what happens in third world countries where there is no or little welfare provision.

In other cases people will have to be hospitalized in an NHS already facing massive reductions in funding.

People visiting food banks are usually given supply of cheap f
ood, which includes tinned, fruit, meat and fish, and pasta, tea bags and UHT milk. A parcel for a family of four weighs roughly 20kg, and is worth around £19. Food banks, which are staffed by volunteers, rely entirely on donations from local schools, businesses and individuals. They are community-run, in conjunction with local churches, and of course in many parts of the country there is no food bank provision at all.

How much will the new nuclear deterrent cost? Oh dear. It makes you proud to be British doesn’t it.

Pics: Poverty and people raising money for Food banks: Wealth and Fancy dress parties for the super rich at Royal Ascot and Henley Regatta.


  1. bankrupt BritainJuly 04, 2010 11:51 pm

    Yes it's sheer madness that the bankers who created the mess continue to enjoy their bonuses and trips to Wimbledon for champagne and canapes.
    These banks would be closed down and the bankers on the dole if the taxpayers didn't guarantee them funding.

  2. Yes indeed... we're all in this together, now pick up the tab dear boy while I trot off to Lords now that Wimbledon's over. See you at Glyndebourne, what....

  3. I understand your opinion Tris, but that photo of the woman and bairn distresses me. The woman seems proud to have her photo taken in what is obviously her outside space. What's wrong with her personally tidying the place up or getting someone to help her do it? There is no need to live in such squalor. I used to see that all the time and realised the people didn't even want to help themselves except to the benefits provided by the state.

    As we have cheap (soon to be free) prescriptions in Scotland there is no need for anyone to go without medication.

    What the government is attempting is to ensure that taxpayer's money goes to those who need it. I'm sure you know many who could do a day's work but don't, because they earn the same or more on benefits. That's where the system is wrong. There's work about right now. Around here farmers are crying out for seasonal fruit pickers yet they have to use foreign labour. When I was young I used to go berry picking or I knew I wouldn't have any money to spend during the summer holidays. Our parents got the message through - earn it. In fact, for me and many of my peers, the berry money used to last us until Christmas when we hoped to get a few bob from caring relatives.

    I've been to Wimbledon and Glyndebourne, does that make me a fat cat? No, but I was curious and paid for it through my own hard work, usually having to sacrifice something else. Glyndebourne wasn't my cup of tea but it was still interesting.

    Let's not forget, some of the folk who go to events you mention are the very folk who own the companies which provide the jobs for those who don't want to work for themselves. Don't knock them. It's not easy being an employer.

  4. SR:
    Well I imagine that the pic, which I got under “poverty in the UK” has been posed for a newspaper or magazine, but I’ve seen people living in that state. It’s called depression. Of course there are those who say that the best cure for depression is to jolly well snap out of it and deal with your let with a cheery word and a smile, but I suspect that it is a deal more difficult than that... indeed my training tells me that it most certainly is.

    I suspect that the cheap or free prescriptions will be one of the things that will have to go, and I know that children get them free anyway, but adults on JS do not... only those on Income Support.

    I shouldn’t think that the government will put any more tax payers’ money to those who deserve or need it... not for a second. Didn’t Mrs Thatcher say that she would take away the Earnings Related Supplement from what was UB at the time so that pensioners could get a bit more (good move, people love pensioners and hate the unemployed), so she took it away (which meant that people who were unemployed for only a few months had to sell cars , cancel holidays and sometimes get rid of their houses... that’s what it was for, and what every other European country had, and has), but she actually reduced (now by around £40 a week) the Old Age Pension. She did however reduce the top rates of tax VERY substantially instead so someone benefited at least. That’s the Tories for you.

    I do now people who could but don’t do a day’s work. Part of the problem with this is that it is made almost impossible to sign off and sign on again. People’s housing benefit gets stopped, forms need to be refilled, and sometimes it takes 3, 4 even 6 months for the restitution to be made... which is OK if you are in a council house but not so if you have a private factor.

    Likewise the problem with seasonal work is the irregularity of it. I’ve recruited for the industry and the big issue is that if it rains the work stops... and no pay. If it rains for 3 days there is no work for three days... and that can mean starving weans.... It’s not just the farms but the processors too...Alpine etc.... They all only pay (minimum wage) when there is work... and that can be as few as 2 or 3 days a week... it’s a bad system.

    Going to the berries from school was different. With respect the rent didn’t depend on it.

  5. continued.....

    Goodness no... not everyone who goes to a posh place is necessarily a fat cat. My own mother went to Henley once...(I don’t think she liked it much).

    I simply mentioned that because for some... including those who got us into this bloody mess, life goes on without a single moment’s change... Is Gordon Brown cutting back... is Fred what’s his name... no.

    My real question was not about whether or not people should work... of course they should... but there need to be jobs, and they need to be jobs like in the old days where the likes of my granny and her mother before her could count on the money every week... not a job that is always dependent on the weather and is likely to be only for 5 or 6 weeks in any case.

    What I’m concerned about is that if the DWP are going to get stuck into this, that they do it properly with trained staff (fat chance) and that they make sure that as few mistakes are made as is humanly possible.

    I’m ashamed that we have to have food parcels in Scotland in the year 2010...and that worse still the numbers required are doubling.

    And given that it is by charitable gift that these food parcels are given... I hope there will be sufficient givers to fulfil the need as there are more and more people in need.

  6. continued....

    One of the notable things about this recession was that we might have expected the jobless to be 3.5 million by now, not 2.5 million.

    The reason for that is that people agreed to work part time, to take longer, unpaid holidays, tpo take reductions in salary or wage... This is good for the country and good for industry, and perhaps good for the employees. The down side is that, whilst we would normally expect the unemployment figure to go on going up after the recovery started, in this case:

    1`. Slack will be taken up by people regaining full hours, or more hour, or taking fewer unpaid hiolidays.. in short returning to their original contract.

    2. There will be probably at least another million people made unemployed by the Civil Service redundancies and the knock on effect.

    3. There will be perhaps another 2 million people chasing jobs because of the transfer from sickness benefits to employment benefits (cheaper)

    4. There is a strong likelihood of a double dip recession.

    I hope there are enough people to man the soup kitchens and that unemployed volunteers won’t be penalised by the DWP.

    (you'll be glad to know....the end!!)


  7. I don't see how this is going to fix broke Britain. The Lib Dems ought to hang their heads in shame at their sell out of social justice for a referendum on a voting system that is considerably less than the one advocated by Roy Jenkins. One with as many faults as FPTP and in no way more proportional.

  8. another tradition robbed by NewLabourJuly 05, 2010 11:17 am


    You're a bit behind the times with regards the berry picking situation. Buses used to tour the schemes picking up families to go berry picking. This gave kids money for their holidays and much needed money for parents to see them through the holiday fortnight. This was scrapped when the doors were opened to East Europeans. Farmers now had a ready supply of pliable workers living in filthy caravans and ready to work from dawn to dusk for a wage that was double what they would get back home.
    I know many folk who would love to go berry or tattie picking but the option is no longer there as there's no longer any transport and their kids couldn't work the 18hr days that the farmers now expect.

  9. Scunnert:

    I completely agree. I think that mothers should stay at home with their children until they go to school... but the libertarian in me says that is a choice the mothers must make.

    I don't however see motherhood as an excuse to ensure that the state keep you, and your mostly unwanted brood, for the rest of your childbearing life, like some gals do these days (intoned in a Joan Hickson - Miss Marple voice).

    Of course being a father is a job too and it takes longer than 10 minutes!! And some lads might do well to remember that.

    Actually the Child Support Agency is a perfect example of a brilliant idea at ministerial level becoming a nightmare for the people who were faced with its scrutiny, partly because of underfunding, partly because of bad computer software, partly because of poor quality staff, and partly because of a Civil Service attitude that "if it says it in the rules, that's the way it must be regardless of how nonsensical it is in the circumstances".

  10. Munguin:

    That the allegedly 7th or 8th largest economy in the world (excluding China, India and Brazil... ha ha ha ha ha) erm well, I’ll start that again....

    That a country that likes to strut and fret far longer than its hour upon the international stage, lecturing the little foreign people on how to do things, should have to have charity provide its people with food parcels is, to my way of thinking, disgusting. The job of government is not to run Iraq or Afghanistan when its own people starve, particularly because of incompetence in the DWP.

    Of course, there’s not a lot of glory in making sure that the poor get enough to eat. President Obama isn’t likely to notice you and pat you on the head if you occupy yourself with that kind of fiddle faddle.

    Npo, much better to sort of Afghanistan and then possibly Iran and North Korea... I mean it always makes such a difference when Britain does that kind of thing, sadly for the worse, but the important thing is that President Obama or Bush or whoever invites you to take tea in the White House and then you feel you’ve arrived... a little arrivist in fact!

    Poor players indeed, soon to be seen no more ....

    Why could I be Norwegian?

  11. Another tradition.....

    Yes, I’d forgotten all the ancient busses going out the Perth Road to the Carse of Gowrie (which is just outside Dundee).

    It is handy for immigrants to have the accommodation provided, no matter how awful it is, a bit like when we go grape picking in France or Italy.

  12. Honestly Tris, what utter rubbish. Your blaming us Conservatives for the starvation in the world?

    Your losing your reasonable tone rapidly with the last series of radical leftwing postings.

  13. Deano

    Truth hurts don't it The conservatives are the cause of all the bad things in the world.......

  14. Oh Dean.....

    No no... The blame for what's going on right now stands at Mr Brown’s door... however charities are predicting a lot more if Camerclegg pushes ahead with his plans. My information is based on research by the Trussell Trust, a charity which organises food parcels.

    Quite simply the DWP is not up to the job. They don't have enough staff, many of the ones they have are not well enough trained or simply don't care or are driven by targets and the agency private sector companies will not be well enough funded to give a damn.

    (I worked for one for a short period and left because I couldn’t stand the way that target achievement came before everything else including clients, many of whom were just poor souls with learning difficulties who should be in protected employment. Mark you I was high enough up in the company to be privy to the financial reasoning behind the need for the management to abandon any semblance of care towards their clients.)

    I read for example the headlines in one of the tabloids today about the new system put in by Labour where 70% of the clients examined by a medic person were found to be fit for work. This is the system where over half the people who appealed were reinstated as the judgement was found to be wrong by the Ministry of Justice doctors and judges at a hearing. Again, I know for a fact that the private company using retired doctors, or just out of college doctors, or sometimes nurses or physios to do the examinations have very strict targets and are making every effort to get people off the benefit, in order to make money.

    That’s not fair... but of course if you start off with the presumption that everyone on benefits is a thief, then you won’t care if they are mistreated.

    Anyway... I didn’t blame the Conservatives. You’ve not been in power for long enough for it to be your fault. I mentioned nothing about the starving world. I’m interested in the starving Scots... and if caring that people get treated properly and don’t have to beg, and that the feeding of our poorest shouldn’t be in the hands of charities which may or may not be able to get enough money together to feed all the people that are hungry and broke is left wing...well then I’m proud to be lefty wing.

    And may I say that if the opposite is right wing then thank the lord that I am not, for I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night mate.

  15. Niko... Is it their fault that my garden has been blasted for 5 days solid by the wind... If so, I'm suing Cammerclegg... He must he hugely rich, so I should make enough to buy out Dobbies!!

  16. Tris.

    Some people will be worse off with the Tories and benefits for some will be slashed. I doubt most people on benefits will lose money but I do hope the UK Gov does bring in measures to ensure that the most needy do receive the right amount of benefits.

    It is easy for any government to hand out benefits but it does take a government with determination to cut benefits from those who do not need it.

    The Tories will be very foolish if they take away peoples money and topple the poor into extreme hardship. The Libs will sink them if this happens but I think Cameron is spot on with taking a hard look at some of the money that is being squandered by people who do not need it.

    bankrupt Britain makes a good point but without the bankers the government could not borrow to help the poor, its a vicious circle.

  17. Allan. I think you may have got the point of my post.

    I want people to be put back to work. Most people do, including, in my more than 10 years' experience of working with unemployed, most of them themselves.

    What I am worried about is that the government is inclined to go hellfire for this at a time when:

    1. There are very few jobs;

    2. The DWP cannot cope with all the work it is being expected to do;

    3. The agencies that are dealing with this on behalf of the government are under huge financial pressure to get results.

    As long as it is done fairly I have no problem with it.

    I am just ashamed to live in a country that is busy buying nuclear weapons whilst its population depends on the goodness of other people to donate unwanted items to keep body and sould together.

    That's not the kind of Scotland I want.. and it was happening under Labour as well as the Tolibs.

    How you been btw.... you still going back and forwards to Newcastle....? Is there a woman involved ?....LOL

    And while we're doing 20 questions, how's my wee Spookie doing?


  18. sould....? erm soul perhaps Tris?

    Yep soul Tris.


  19. Tris,

    I see now what you were arguing. But I'd still take you up on some stuff.

    You seem to be contesting that welfare is better than charity, as a general rule.

    Yet if I may cite a great Liberal MP called John Arthur Roebuck MP, who called Samuel Smiles book of self help "an excellent" account of what is ill in the UK.

    He was right back then, and even more so now.

    The Liberal reasoning is correct in so far that welfarism as a guiding principal undermines some of the very best Christian elements of a mans character, and even when means tested is open to major abuse by the benefit cheats.

    Allan's figure of 70% is excellent as a case in point, and high figures of skivers and benefit cheats is inevitably linked with welfarist empires. Smiles and Roebuck were right to asses that the only way of asertaining the genuine needy was through charity as opposed to largescale welfare.

    On this basis I would urge you to realise that there is very much room and scope for private charity involvement in welfare delivery - in some cases more successfully than state-run empires of soul and character destroying welfarism.

    Note that this is not an argument for the complete withdrawl of the state however, just a call for charity to be free to do more, and the government to direct its aims through them.

    For example, charities like Marie Curie, Cancer Research UK, and Shelter either do not get any state funding, or at least very little.

    I genuinely believe that these charities are more successful at delivering tangible benefits to the poor than government welfarist empires. They are better for the good character of man too.

  20. Tris.

    I think a lot of the rhetoric coming from Cameron over benefits is just a warning shot to those who can work but are not willing. His main focus I think will be on incapacity benefit and trying to see if some of the hundreds of thousands of claimants are fit to work.

    I would rather see Trident ditched and the money channeled back into creating jobs in communities right across the country but of course we have read porkies from Labour over the amount of job losses Scotland would suffer if trident went. It ranges from about 35 jobs to 21,000!! They are all over the place.

    Lol, no woman involved with my trips to Newcastle. Its just more of a change of scenery for the weekends.

    I meant to say, I was talking to Spookie a few weeks back at the East of Scotland dinner.He moves down to London in September for 9-10 months training and has left Spartans although he might play in a friendly this weekend for them. A few of the players have or are leaving Spartans and have been offered graduates jobs elsewhere in the UK but I think spookie will be back with them next year at some point.

  21. My main reason for saying that state benefits are better than charity Dean, is that people are dependent on it for their life. Charity may be a wonderful I said, I have a peripheral involvement in a charity that hands out food packages....but unless it can be depended on over the country, 52 weeks a year it is not good enough.

    If you live in a place where there is no charity, well.... you need to eat.

    There is of course the difference between a charity run, say from a church by volunteers and one which is essentially a company designed to raise money and distribute good, with directors with flash cars and big offices in smart hqs....

    I think it was me that raised the 70% fit for work point. You have to remember that over 50% of these decisions will be overturned by the tribunals of the English Ministry of Justice, and even at that, as a recruitment consultant I’ve had to deal with people who were totally unfit to work for reasons of mental health (anger, depression, schizophrenia, etc), physical frailty (recent cancer, heart attack, obesity, emphysema, etc), or simply learning difficulties, which is the politically correct expression for Educationally Sub-Normal or ESN).

    Again, there is a huge difference between those who have spent their lives on benefits and those who have just been made redundant thanks to the mess that Labour created. They might well say that they were entitled to their JSA, or if their health has been damaged by what happened Incapacity Benefit.... (yes, I know they don’t use these terms any more, but that’s what they are nonetheless).

    Charities have their place dean, and it’s a very important one, but the state must NOT walk away from their responsibility.

    Interesting discussion though....

  22. Ah Allan... Who knows what goes through the mind of Camerclegg.... but you may be right.

    The important thing is that those who are vulnerable and in need are not left without because the DWP, and their associate companies, or charities have not the manpower and the resources to cope.

    We can’t judge every case I guess, but there are more people who are deserving on the dole thanks to Brown the ass than are skiving.

    My findings over the years of working with unemployed people is that more often than not they want a job. Often they are not suited to any of the jobs that are going nowadays. They just don’t have the brains to do them. It’s heartbreaking watching guys in late middle age try to get jobs that they just aren’t bright enough to do... or smart and good looking enough.

    Well, Newcastle is a great place I believe, although the only thing that I know about it is its railways station having been stuck there for a few hours by a mess up by Railtrack, but the people are ace and the accent is magical.

    I hope you passed my best to Spookums.... I know a lot of folk on here miss him like hell.

  23. Tris,

    I would not like you to think I am arguing that the state has no role, but it is a matter of how to deliver relief to the needy, not if we ought to.

    That said I do think your overestimating the importance of welfare institutions. More often than not they create dependency, something you I believe concede. Charity does not, precisely because people dependent on it are those of genuine need.

    Further, history demonstrates that the urban poor didn't starve to death before formal welfarism of Atlee 1945, and the socialism he introduced. Indeed, the nation was healthy enough to in two world wars, thanks to charity, good work ethics and a government practising [successful] laizze faire invisible hand protection.

    Welfare costs a lot of money, and the government must naturally seek to protect the vulnerable. The problem is that welfare does not do just that, it creates a lifestyle for the idle, the lazy. All at hideous costs to the the same time our soldiers have been historically underfunded on the front lines. At the same time we are being forced to cut our anti-terror budgets.

    Welfare and 1945 are out of date, and no longer fit for the task they proport to serve.

  24. Dean

    You must stop thinking of the unemployed or the ill as some sort of underclass. They are not. The bulk of people despite what the Daily Mail says are looking for work, many of the just out of work, for the first time in their lives. Mr Brown has ensured that there is no work for them to do.

    Likewise the bulk of people on sickness are ill; they have cancer, or heart conditions, or something else that makes them unemployable.

    You or I could be unemployed next week; we could be ill next week.

    I don’t know about you, but I would not like to find that I was in the hands of a charity that might give me some corn flakes and some tinned meat and some bread to last me the week. That is indefensible on the grounds that people pay National Insurance stamps to ensure that they be looked after in the case of illness or unemployment.

    The charities do their best but I most certianly wouldn’t want to have to live on what they provide. No choice, no catering to taste. You’re hungry you eat what you are given... they don’t have the resources to do better. And what about where there is no charity. Do you have to go begging? Or to the local priest?

    No I accept that there are long termers who should not be there... but THERE ARE NO JOBS.

    Is it the government’s job to provide jobs? No. Should they create the economic climate in which jobs will prosper? Yes.

    Should people move to where the jobs are? Not really. Otherwise everyone in the Uk would move to the South East of England and there would be no one living on Harris or Eigg.... (OK, exaggeration, but dangerously near the truth).

    But you... and the Tories must learn... just as not every MP is a thieving git, intent on stuffing the country for as much as he can; just as not EVERY member of the House of Lords is stuffing their bank accounts with our money, lying through their teeth to get it.... not every person who is unemployed is a thieving lying cheat.

    I’ve seen men who have worked all their days, nearly in tears at how they are rejected over and over again; I’ve seen guys who have been ill trying desperately to get a chance.. and the minute an employer hears the word “cancer”, they are on the scrap heap!

    So please, stop tarring them all with a brush. We need to do something about the LTUs but many of them are unemployable becasue they ahve been in prison for horrible offences... or multiple offenses. Would you employ a murderer? Would you employ someone who's been inside 10 times for theft or drunkenness?

    But we could be next. How many jobs are there for students graduating Dean? You might be grateful for the government’s handouts yet yourself.

    And as a last thought... I hope you're not blaming the lack of equipment that the troops get on the fact that there are people claiming benefits.

    If your lot cancelled Trident there would be plenty of money for troops, and if Britian started acting like the broke little island it is instead of pretending to be a world power, then maybe we wouldn't need to play WAY above our weight in the international warfare game.

    Maybe if we could just for once have a Prime Minister whose tongue was not firmly up the butt of the American president that would be a handspome start.

    Maybe, if we kept out nose out of places like Iraq and Afghanistan we would not need anti-Terror budgets. I wonder how much Norway or Finland spend on that?

  25. Tris,

    Maybe you could decend from your high horse and point out where I said that everyone claming benefits is a cheat?

    Once you do that, then I will listen to you.

    The fact that you cannot would indicate that your are deliberately/intentionally trying to usurp a moral high ground. I would have thought that directing help to the genuinely needy was more important than polical games - but maybe not then.

    Plus Trident is necesary for the defence of this realm, especially with Iran and North Korea starting a new arms race in the most volatile regions of the planet.

  26. "The problem is that welfare does not do just that, it creates a lifestyle for the idle, the lazy." D M-T 6/7/10

    We do not need Trident. We can't use it without permission from America. They have vastly more than we do, why would they need ours?

    We have it so we can sit at the top table in the Security Council telling people all over the world how to live their lives... like monitors or prefects at school, or High Table at a Cambridge college.

    No prime minister since the 2nd world war has wanted to be the one to admit that Britain’s glory days (which in any case were anything but glorious, as are anyone's who conquers other people's lands and takes their stuff) are over.

    Trident is redundant as a weapon. Where would we use it? We don't fight that kind of war. The war chiefs have said it, Army Navy and Air Force, but no, the likes of that half wit Ainsworth and the bigot Fox neither of whom have never fought a war in their lives know much much better. No wonder people get killed.

    If we used Trident against North Korea then China would use theirs against us. If we used it against Iran I can only imagine that the most unholy of holy wars would be unleashed against us.

    Dean I've spent most of my working life trying to help the needy. I don't need lectures from anyone about it and the high moral ground is a meaningless phrase. What we need is action to create jobs, they won’t create themselves and a good welfare system for those who need it, not relying on sporadic handouts from charity like some victims of drought or pestilence in Africa. Then we need to try to find someone who will employ hardened criminals, apart from the House of Lords, and action against boys who think they can make babies and move on, and girls who are stupid enough to “fall pregnant” without knowing how it happened.

  27. Dean said ...

    " Plus Trident is necesary for the defence of this realm, especially with Iran and North Korea starting a new arms race in the most volatile regions of the planet "

    We will have to change our poicy of no first strike then Dean. What use are the weapons if Iran fires at us first ? Our country would be obliterated and our only consolation is that a sub out in the oceans can hit back at Iran who doesn't care anyway.
    Oh and why are these regions volatile ? Maybe because the UK and the US illegally invaded Iraq and destroyed the infratructure and government ? Or because we have spent £30Bn a year bombing Afghanistan into the dust and propping up a corrupt president Karzai in charge of Kabul ?

  28. MAD,

    Mutually Assured Distruction works.

  29. Tris,

    I said show me where I said everyone on welfare are spongers, you still havent. That is a reasonable point about the culture welfare can breed among many of its recipients, in the context your deliberately ignoring it read:

    "Welfare costs a lot of money, and the government must naturally seek to protect the vulnerable. The problem is that welfare does not do just that, it creates a lifestyle for the idle, the lazy"

    I believe that I am arguing for a better way to help the needy, not to let them starve as you would like to try and paint me as saying.

    "I don't need lectures from anyone about it"

    Oh, so if I do not agree with your socialism I am lecturing you? And here was me thinking this was an enjoyable exchange of ideas:

    "Interesting discussion though...."

    Make your mind up time.

  30. "The problem is that welfare does not do just that, it creates a lifestyle for the idle, the lazy." D M-T 6/7/10

    It creates a lifestyle for the idle, the lazy

    You said it Dean.

  31. But if this schoolboy nonsense does work, why do other countries not have it?

    Why does Iceland not have it, or Finland or the Czech Republic or Germany or Italy or Spain?

    Why does northern Ireland need it but the Republic of Eire not?

    Why, come to that, do we deny it to Iran and why did we go to war to get rid of it... or, well not actually, in Iraq?

  32. Dean: Re MAD.

    You have of course got a point. If I have a stick and you have no stick, I am at a disadvantage.

    My question is why do WE need this? I mean we are broke, our people freeze and starve to death in the winter, in England people are dying in their own filth in hospital beds for want of staff, schools are falling down, motorways have craters you could get lost in, the trains are a parody of a railway in the third world, houses are damp, streets are filthy, despite floods one minute, there is a shortage of water in the next, and gang warfare on the streets of the feral estates of most towns is rife.... and we are in the nuclear weapons club?

    Talk about fur coat and no knickers?

    Let rich countries do the looking after. We’ve acted up without pay for too long. Or is the truth that the pay is the pride Camerclegg gets from standing next to Obama, as Brown tried to do before him, and Blair and Thatcher absolutely revelled in? Is that what we do it for? Pity the trickledown effect is blocked there.

  33. MAD:

    Yeah, you got it.

    The "people that matter" in Iran or North Korea would be well out of harm's way if there were to be any nuclear strike back at them.

    It's also true of course that the "people who matter" ??? in this country would also be protected because we would need them to pick up the pieces if anything happened.

    Can you imagine the likes of Liam Fox being left to pick up pieces? I wouldn't leave him to pick up something he'd dropped... and as for the likes of Camerclegg, he's always had servants to pick things up for him.

  34. It’s quite incredible that a Tory like Dean is harking back to a mid Victorian attitude to welfare. In order for it to work that way people would have to be a liberty to starve to death just like they did in Mr Roebuck’s day. Are we going to go back to the days of charities with whatever hidden agendas they may have deciding who is to live and die? Why not go the whole hog and get back the workhouses, children down mines, cholera epidemics, an electoral system based on property qualifications, women in the home and not the ballot box, imperialism and so on. Dean that is so ridiculous I am amazed you had the temerity to type it. I have asked you before what the sanction should be for people who are congenitally lazy or work shy or for the single mother who stays on the welfare gravy train by having another fatherless child every six years. Any chance of an answer?

    Oh and I am not accusing you personally of being either “cruel” or “heartless”. Honest will do for now if we can have an answer to my question. We know what the answer would have been in the days of your Liberal hero can we now know what it will be in the days of your current one?

  35. Dean said..

    " Mutually Assured Distruction works."

    Is this really the level of spelling and grammar today ? How did we reach such a low point in our educational standards ?
    Oh and by the way "MAD" only works if both sides are afraid of dying. Iran sees death as a path to salvation. Unless we adopt " first strike" then Trident is pointless.

  36. MAD: LOL, we all make typos, and I'm one of the worst, I have to admit.

    But I certainly agree that MAD only works under special people caring whether not they, but their fellow countrymen, live or die.

  37. MAD:

    Sorry for the late replies everyone, but was at work today.

    To the point of the matter, MAD works when neither side dies. To be precise, because it is a deterrent, the ultimate deterrent, the beauty is that it creates an unbreakable stalemate. No 'hot war', no deaths, and the nukes cancel each other out.

    MAD works precisely because no rational leader would ever fire, and destroy his on country and most probably himself in the process.

  38. Munguin,

    Temerity? Ah, so if I do not hold to your socialism then I am out of order? Welcome to the intolerance of the left.

    "what the sanction should be for people who are congenitally lazy or work shy or for the single mother who stays on the welfare gravy train by having another fatherless child every six years. Any chance of an answer?"

    Certainly, since you asked so nicely.

    The penalty for those able to work, and refusing to -taking the hard working taxpayer for a ride - should be the total, complete and utter removal of all support. I'd suggest a 'three strikes and your out' approach.

    Given that the majority of taxpayers earn under £20,000 optimistically, spongers taking these people for a ride must be punished.

  39. Tris,

    Context. You know damn well that you have taken that sentence out of all context.

    I expected more from you.

  40. No Dean....

    First of all, I doubt anyone would call Kim Jong Il and the leaders of Iran are not that rational either, aka the Dear Leader rational.... That said DubYa was hardly rational either... He was just a war monger.

    Secondly, like the so called leaders here, there would be NO chance of them not being in some protected bunker, safe as houses if the bomb went back.

    David Cameron/Nik Clegg and his Cabinet wouldn’t be hit. They would be underground. Likewise the Queen. It would be ordinary people on both sides that were burned to a crisp!!

  41. I see so they can starve then! How charmingly Victorian and you say that the left is intolerant. They aint got a patch on you. Nice to see the nasty party back on form.

    Welcom to Tory Britain in the 21st Century, just step over the starving beggars.

  42. Dean: There aren't many jobs.... (75 applications for every graduate job)

    But suppose there were and you did your best, but because your teeth are bad and you're fat or your accent isn't what they were look for and there was a pretty girl up for the job too and they fancied her....

    Nope. It won't do.

    What sentence are you talking about and I'll try to clarify

  43. I can just see the legions of single mothers out on the streets, with their six+ kids. No doubt they will take to crime, rather than just do what Mr Cameron says and quietly starve in a corner. That should fix broke Britain. Starving beggars everywhere, children being punished for the sins of their parents by being allowed to starve, crime rocketing as people with nothing to lose take to robbery.

  44. How strange Dean. You were outraged when I suggested on your blog that the Tories would let these people starve. And now here you are telling us all that, that is exactly what you would do. Dean do you just pay lip service to Toryism or do you just think like that because that is how you think Tories are?

  45. Munguin,

    Single mothers are able to balance the duel roles of work and parenthood My own mother managed it.

    I utterly condemn your vision of a world where, just because a woman becomes a mother, you think they cannot work.

    How regressive of you.

    I sincerely doubt a single mother, able to work, denied benefits would starve...if anything do you not think they would find work? Especially after being offered three job offers [i.e my three strikes and your out policy]?

    Oh, and what the heck are you saying "Dean do you just pay lip service to Toryism or do you just think like that because that is how you think Tories are?"

    Be direct.

  46. Tris,

    Until you acknowledge that I never once said that everyone on welfare are spongers, I have nothing to say to you.

    You deliberately take what I say out of context.

  47. Dean: You siad....."The problem is that welfare does not do just that, it creates a lifestyle for the idle, the lazy. All at hideous costs to the taxpayers..."

    and I reply

    "You must stop thinking of the unemployed or the ill as some sort of underclass. They are not. The bulk of people despite what the Daily Mail says are looking for work, many of the just out of work, for the first time in their lives. Mr Brown has ensured that there is no work for them to do.

    Likewise the bulk of people on sickness are ill; they have cancer, or heart conditions, or something else that makes them unemployable.

    You or I could be unemployed next week; we could be ill next week."

  48. Yes Dean but are you sure all single mothers want to work? And if that is the case there is no problem. And the Tories wont have to implement their let them starve policy.

    What are the three strikes by the way. Three chances to be a malingerer? Then starve?

    Well Dean you contradict yourself from time to time. You had a go at me for suggesting that Tories would let people who dont want to work starve and then you come back and say that you would let them starve after all.

  49. Munguin,

    No one will starve. If someone is able to work, can work and has no alternative to work - they will work.

    Who is starving? The single mother who turns down her three strike job offers? I don't think so, and I find it laughable that you feel that long term benefit cheats will only starve if we remove benefits from them.

  50. Dean:

    There are 75 job applications for each graduate job... There are going to be a lot of graduates with nowhere to work I think.

    Warning: This post is politically incorrect but, I know, it’s realistic.

    There are people who are unemployable: What about them? If you were an employer would you want to take on a tarty-looking, gum chewing, make-up covered dimbo, or a hard looking, rough and ready guy with a heavy accent/dialect?

    Once upon a time there were millions of jobs in factories, mills, foundries, mines, and boat yards. Now, thanks to Mrs Thatcher, we are a service economy. There are a few jobs in manufacturing, but most of what is available is face to face work.

    Employers in the service industry want people with style. Some people will never have style, no matter what you do with them.

    Some places only employ young, good looking people with "polite" accents. I was in Harvey Nicks a couple of weeks ago and every member of staff there looked like they had stepped off the pages of "Vogue". That can’t be co-incidence. They must sift out the ugly ones. But it's a similar story in the case of clothes shops; I tried to get jobs for people in some of them, and the only candidates they took were the good looking slim ones. It's all about image. One employer told me not to send him Shrek in future.

    But yes there are other places which don't care if you're a wee bit over weight, but they want you young, or "well spoken", “fit”. Jobcentre plus can say all they want about not putting words like “fit”, “enthusiastic”, “hard working” , etc, in adverts, but they can’t stop the employers wanting them, or only employing people who are. Sifting out words like that only means a pile of poor souls apply, only to be discarded at the first sift.

    I spend my life trying to get people for jobs and jobs for people. It is not easy. And, even 5 or 6 years ago when everything was booming, a middle aged man or woman which a background in a factory, or the boatyard or the mills who would turn somersaults for a job, had almost no chance at all of most of the jobs going.

    I’m trying to explain that, what looks simple on the face of not. And I completely understand. It makes my blood boil when I see girls, who just seem to “fall pregnant” for no reason at all, picking up more in benefits than I earn. And the boys who may have had some input into this pregnancies off on their quest to create more babies.....

    But think about it carefully. What would you do? How would you tackle it, not just to please the Daily Mail headline writers, but in reality? What would you do that will work?

    If you can come up with an answer that a professional can’t shoot great big holes in, then I’ll ask my boss to appoint you a manager in my company as soon as you graduate!... Hones

  51. "Once upon a time there were millions of jobs in factories, mills, foundries, mines, and boat yards. Now, thanks to Mrs Thatcher, we are a service economy."

    Totally agree, which is why I agree strongly with the coalition government when they talk of rebalancing the economy, through helping manufacturing exports ... but of course we wait to see if they walk the walk.

    "There are people who are unemployable: What about them?"

    As I said above, it is a three-strikes policy. No one loses benefit entitlement until they turn down three offers of employment.

    As for the people lacking the training/ability to work in a service economy, I'd say two things:

    1/ we need to rebalance our economy, making more of the manufacturing forms of employment in their areas [can be done by a creative tax system]
    2/ re-training needs a heck lot more funding.

    I see no problem with my views on this [I think entirel reasonable] basis.

  52. Well Dean you must be having a great deal of laughter. So you will offer people three jobs and if they don’t take them then they can starve yes? I don’t see what else they could do after all if they don’t have a job and don’t get any support from the government they would either have to starve or steal yes? At least we can all look forward to a time when there are three jobs for every unemployed person under the Tories to choose from. A bit like communist east Germany where there was full employment and everyone had a job. That’s going to be fabulous I bet people can’t wait.

  53. Gosh we have to re-balance the entire economy, from services which no longer exist to......????. Then we have to re-train and re-educate everybody and provide at least three jobs for everyone. I don’t know how that’s going to fit in with the budget restraints, doesn’t sound cheap to me. Maybe Mr Gove would like to reprise his schools cuts in light of this revelation.

  54. No Dean...

    There's nothing unreasonable about rebalancing the economy to take account of the kind of labour force you have. One of Thatcher's real follies was to try to make call centre boys out of miners with 30 years' experience... in the pits.

    Retraining yes, for the young, but then the government has just cut the training budget.

    Unfortunately we have lost the skills for the skilled part of manufacturing. The people who did this kind of work are getting on now, so although we have people who want factory work, we have no skilled machinists, fitters, welders platers, electricians, etc.

    I doubt if we could compete on costs with the East or with skills and quality with Germany.

    But your views are reasonable aspirations. In the best of all worlds.

    You really didn't answer my point though. What do you do with rapists, murderers, drug addicts, the methadone programme people, drunks...?

    Some of them, note some, want to work, want to change, but no one will employ them. I know.