Not the ConDems new industrial relations policy but something equally as vile. Seems their latest plan to make the innocent pay for the sins of the capitalists in this new proposed ‘Three Strikes and you’re out’ policy. Basically it’s Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith planning to impose a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule that will remove benefits for three years from anyone caught trying to defraud the welfare state more than three times.I actually think that the three strikes bit means something different, more along the lines of; Strike 1 – involves the welfare state so despised by Daily Mail readers Strike 2 – involves assorted ne’erdowells, single mums, wayward fathers, disabled people, Johnny Foreigner types, the type of people that Daily Mail readers assume are sponging off the state Strike 3 – involves extra-judicial punishment to teach the rotters a lesson that the Daily Mail readers would approve of How can the ConDems go wrong with such a policy! I believe they can’t go wrong because they will never get it past the judiciary. To my mind the whole concept of the welfare state is a contract between the citizens and and the state, overseen by those who we give leave to oversee the system – the politicians. The removal of benefits, whoever much brayed for by those who see it as ‘socialism’ is not going to happen.
If however your view of the welfare state is as a ‘charity’ then you might be led to believe that these benefits can be withdrawn at the whim of the administrator. Which reminds me of my favourite quote from Clem Attlee;
‘In a civilised community, although it may be composed of self-reliant individuals, there will be some persons who will be unable at some period of their lives to look after themselves, and the question of what is to happen to them may be solved in three ways – they may be neglected, they may be cared for by the organised community as of right, or they may be left to the goodwill of individuals in the community. The first way is intolerable, and as for the third: Charity is only possible without loss of dignity between equals. A right established by law, such as that to an old age pension, is less galling than an allowance made by a rich man to a poor one, dependent on his view of the recipient’s character, and terminable at his caprice’.
To my mind the welfare state we have is the outworking of the virtue of Christian charity not merely preached but practised. Tinker with it and I’ll happily man the barricades. And stay there until the government goes after the real abusers of the nations finances, the recipients of state capitalistm benefits, and Clem stops spinning.
((tag: condems, welfare state, Iain Duncan Smith))