Indulging the underclass

Thoughts on the welfare state and the British underclass

Re: Indulging the underclass

Postby Martin » 18 Jul 2013, 18:04

I will Yessica when I get some time. It could be quite long. In the meantime see my post in Politics/Socialism/The moral guilt of the left/ for a brief view.
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Re: Indulging the underclass

Postby Yessica » 22 Jul 2013, 14:34

Martin wrote:I will Yessica when I get some time. It could be quite long. In the meantime see my post in Politics/Socialism/The moral guilt of the left/ for a brief view.


Thank you. I am looking forward to this.
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Re: Indulging the underclass

Postby Henry » 24 Jul 2013, 06:50

We will need to reach a point, I think at which we state firmly: enough! and end the welfare regime, impose a principle of welfare payments for work done (street cleaning, hard and possibly unpleasant physical labour) and no welfare payments otherwise. if charities want to pick up the pieces fine; if not, not - hard-working tax-payers shouldn't have to. And of course a portion of the moneys saved will need to be used on a police force with teeth to make clear to the underclass that criminality is not an alternative.
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Re: Indulging the underclass

Postby Paul » 24 Jul 2013, 13:02

Best idea ever Henry. It's just incredible that no political party, in over 60 years, hasn't had the will and the guts to implement this. I think that very few working people, of any class, would disagree with the principle of it.

Here's the raw situation: if you're working, a proportion of your often hard-earned income is taken from you to support the infrastructure. Fair enough - but grudgingly so, all too often. *

If you're not working there is of course nothing to take from you other than your labour (I would disagree that any wealth, assets and savings should be 'plundered'). But furthermore, you are given money. It's a double-whammy, a win-win situation. For the country, it's a lose-lose situation. And then the country doesn't require you to put a single thing back, in the form of that labour .... which is the only and time-honoured way of realising your intrinsic wealth.

Labour is of course a commodity in itself. It is in fact the only commodity a living person has, economically speaking and it is the one thing the unemployed have to offer - in spades. The employed don't have any labour commodity left - it's all used up. Yet there's lots of work that could be done. It's an absurd situation.

* There would not of course be as much grumbling about taxes if we all knew that a large proportion of them wasn't going to prop up economic worthlessness.

Everyone unemployed, aside from the truly sick and disabled, should be made to undertake civic labour in exchange for the support they are given. Litter, the reparation of vandalism (both of these problems have likely been caused, in the main, by generations of unemployed) and a host of other civic duties. Parks, gardens, eyesores, country and farming tasks, wildlife and habitat conservation, cleaning up beach areas.. There's a host of things that would gladden everyone if they saw something being done about them. They are things that would benefit everyone, in a variety of ways.

The same principle should apply in all prisons, male and female, but somewhat tougher in the nature of the work. There should be none of this dozen hours of meaningless work, or none at all, and locked away festering in a cell for all but an hour a day the rest of the time and all for a paltry wage, that can only be redeemed for trivialities. Prisoners should do 40 hour weeks on real jobs of work and paid as they are now - free food and board and a bit of pocket money.

Some might say that prisons should pay the minimum wage and from that make deductions for food and 'lodgings' (like the army do), order money to be sent home to dependant families, or otherwise be banked awaiting release. But that gives prisoners a considerable advantage over the non-criminal unemployed, who are working the same hours for benefits alone, much less than minimum wage. No, pay prisoners a nominal sum for moderate personal possessions (I would allow tobacco however) and consider that, with food and board, an adequate allowance - they're criminals after all. There would be a few considerations for short-term prisoners (loss of home maybe) that would impact disroportionately harshly, so a little thinking needed there.

It's not complicated, not at all. Half a dozen good men could thrash out all the details in a two-day meeting and it could be implemented next Monday morning, beginning with recuitment of supervisors - themselves taken from the better ranks of the unemployed. There might be a slight budget deficit at the beginning, but we would soon iron that out.

If it did transpire that it was costing the country (the taxpayer) a certain amount to keep up, then there would be much less resentment about it. We would see improvements and cleanliness occurring all the time and people generally being busy.

You couldn't make it up, what's happening now. If anyone ran a business like this, they would be bankrupt in short order, and yet the country, even the whole of human existence, is a form of business. Our entire life on this planet is based on human industry.
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Re: Indulging the underclass

Postby Gavin » 25 Oct 2013, 23:02

Tom Chivers discusses the Idiocracy principle. As usual, the comments make for good reading!
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Re: Indulging the underclass

Postby Paul » 26 Oct 2013, 22:27

I've just indulged the underclass.

I've been to a friend's for dinner - actually 'tea' in Lancashire (and caught some of a very interesting programme about the 1970s - in the UK, which featured soulless concrete suburbia, the question of grammar schools and Margaret Thatcher - with a brilliant mention, several in fact, of Marxism in education) and only arrived home around 9pm.

My street has a row of shops, including a 10pm 'Spar' general store (yes it sells alcohol and is run by Sri Lankans - though they are pleasant), which I have to pass to get to my front gate.

This last few days I have had to run the gauntlet, so to speak, of a couple of bands (they seem to be competing) of raggedy street urchins, begging for money in memory of a Yorkshireman who once attempted to blow up parliament. They've had the odd silver (coloured) coin from me.

When I arrived home a short while ago, I suddenly dreaded being assailed again by begging children - which then annoyed me. However the two children outside the shop suddenly departed with adults who emerged with purchases they had made, and they all drove off in a car. This left one child (!) alone outside the shop, swaddled in layers of clothing, but sat down on the soaking pavement - it's been raining heavily all week.

As I passed, the head was raised and a young man (twenties, no more) looked at me pleadingly and then begged for ........ forty pence! He was very well-spoken, certainly polite and yet shamed and apologetic about his request. I shook my head and said I had no change. He was apologetic again and wished me good night.

I let myself in. Obviously I was shaking my head, tut-tutting, judging no doubt correctly that his request was in pursuit of alcohol. But within a minute, and a little out of usual character, I suddenly felt extremely...............sad. Not so much sorry for him, as just sad in general. Tis a terrible thing.

I know I can't help him really and I can't say I really want to (certainly I could never be employed in such work), neither would I excuse his plight, almost certainly brought about by his own actions. Or is it..............?

Let's say he is only about 21 or 22. What kind of family might he have come from?

I couldn't cope with thinking about it without doing something. So I poked around in one of my various spare change repositories and scooped up 58 pence. I went outside and gave it to him. I had to tap him on the shoulder because at this point his coat hood was fully up and around his face, and his head had dipped almost to his knees. He was still sat on a wet, concrete-flag pavement. His gratitude was pathetic really, sincere and almost with tears in his eyes. I nodded and beat a retreat. He offered a handshake but I was already out of range so I gave him a brief raise of my hand. He didn't frighten me at any point in all this.

I don't know what became of him. The shop is now closed, shuttered up as they all are (horrible) and dark and silent.

I've probably contributed further to his downfall of course.


I need to find and see the whole of that 1970s programme again too. How nostalgic it was to me. Many scenes of ball-and-chain demolition of old buildings, endless dust and filth, vandalism, derelict land everywhere and horrific concrete high-rise dwellings appearing. I'm quite sure it was actually worse than in the days of the war - almost. Culturally anyway. I could see some fine architecture coming down in clouds of dust and thought of TD straightaway. It wasn't the 2nd world war - it was our own Councils and government that ruined almost every town in the land.

There was a good section on education that kept being revisited. Comprehensives were mentioned, Marxism, how the matter of education then became a pawn in opposing political ideologies and some good speeches by MT.
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Re: Indulging the underclass

Postby David » 31 Oct 2013, 14:51

The trouble is that many have been conscripted into the underclass by government policy. Much of the London Working Class community sink to the bottom because they are out-qualified by Eastern Europeans. A similar situation prevails in Peterborough and other high-immigration areas.
I'm still in my twenties, but I'm reliably informed that a Londoner could drop out of school twenty years ago and walk straight into employment.
Still, none of that is to say there isn't a comfortable underclass who know fully-well what they're doing.
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