Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Archbishop John Sentamu - right on British patriotism; wrong on the 'Living Wage'

From Brother Ivo:

Archbishop John Sentamu is undoubtedly a good man, a fine Christian, a great communicator and a national treasure. His plain humanity would almost certainly guarantee him a special place in the affections of the British public, but more than that, Archbishop John 'gets' what it is to be British in a way that most of our other Church folk and jaded media lovelies do not: no cynic he; he knows this country's unique value and contribution to the sum of happiness through its institutions and innate sense of fairness, and he cheerfully says so in ways that irritate the politically correct and the moaning minnies of the Left.

Brother Ivo is an admirer who prays for Archbishop John's recovery from his recently-disclosed cancer; the announcement of which saddened all who value him for who he is and what his leadership says about us.

All this makes it harder to offer criticism, but the Archbishop will appreciate that personal regard should not inhibit honest and respectful criticism. And so Brother Ivo draws attention to the deficiency of the statement by the Archbishop on the subject of welfare reform.

If he were simply saying that we need to be very alert to the problems of the poor; anxious to promote the welfare of all; that we are our brother's keeper, and that those overly attached to their wealth are at serious risk of missing life's greater priorities, then Brother Ivo would have no issues.

However, Archbishop John goes a stage further and allows himself to be drawn overly close to the failed nostrums of the un-Christian Left and, in such circumstances, there is a fraternal duty to speak plainly and lovingly to correct his error. At the very least, he deserves to know what those who question his judgements in this are currently thinking.

Archbishop John begins with an attack on the concept of the 'undeserving poor'. If he were simply warning that a rotten apple should not be allowed to dominate the whole debate, one would have little difficulty. But he seems to reject all and any interest in husbanding wisely the resources given to government by ordinary working folk, and minimising abuse of the welfare system. He also conflates concern for a balance of fairness, with a desire to disassemble the Beveridge welfare state, which he describes with one glaring omission.

Defining the evils of poverty to be combatted, Beveridge highlighted alongside those of squalor, want, disease and ignorance, the evil of idleness.

Idleness is no Christian virtue. It is not the exclusive vice of the poor, but, when the working poor encounter it amongst their neighbours, it damages community, causes resentment and limits the imagination and prospects of children within communities where generational idleness has taken hold. Those earning average wages cheerfully want to help the genuinely needy, but resent it when they think their taxes are being used imprudently and that they are being taken for mugs. Often they know whereof they speak better than politicians and prelates.

No doubt honest stories of misfortune and heroic coping regularly reach the ears of the caring clergy: it is less likely that the dishonest, the cunning, the fraudster or the exploiter will be equally candid, but Joe Public knows, sees, and is neither stupid nor starry eyed.

If Archbishop John has not met those less deserving of the taxpayers charity, Brother Ivo has. And here are three examples:

X was the father of eight children, all of whom had serious problems of emotional neglect because, put simply, X and his wife had, with each new arrival,  progressively lost the art of 'crowd control' within their household. The family was not in financial want and the house, though chaotic, lacked none of the consumable durables of the average middle-class home. X had been 'fortunate' to have had his alcoholism designated as a 'disability' - which meant that his enhanced welfare payments enabled him to spend more on alcohol. X's mindset was that he was fully entitled to have made these choices because he was reproducing the next generation of British children: he knew and resented that the immigrant birth-rate was higher than that of the indigenous population. When Social Services eventually decided to intervene, he was outraged; he simply could not understand how the State which had parented him for so long was now asking him to unlearn the lessons of benign institutional neglect with which he had seriously damaged those eight children - and the ninth conceived during the proceedings because old habits die hard.

Y was a Roma who came to the UK unlawfully with some 50 others, obliging the Local Authority to open wards in a formerly-closed hospital to accommodate his and other similar parties of like-minded folk. He told Brother Ivo (in certain terms) that he was the son of a cultural leader back home and that he was here to make as much as he could so that he and his party could to send it back home, He might return; he might stay. He evidenced his status by putting on a video of a recent family wedding in a house three times the size of Brother Ivo's, where half the guests were recording the proceedings on high technology, including the fleet of Mercedes cars that brought them to the place of celebration. Y admitted that they were not persecuted at home but that he ' had to say so' in order to remain in the country.

It was all the more bizarre to encounter him and his wife sitting either end of a London street some months later, selling the Big Issue. Brother Ivo had been many times to the pleasant 4-bedroom house they had been allocated by the local authority: it was much better than the flat which was all Brother Ivo's young tax-paying young relative could afford to buy (who left home a 7.00 each morning to work for the Daily Telegraph).

Z was a young mother who played the system. She took and dealt drugs 'because everybody does'. She was dishonest because the media had drawn her attention to the dishonesty of certain parliamentarians which, instead of causing her to speak up for higher standards, was used to justify her own criminality and playing the system. She was quite talented and intelligent in her sub-cultural way, knowing that if you stole items under £80 you would be barred from the shop, but not prosecuted. And she explained how she kept up-to-date on how to keep her drug-dealing to sufficiently small (though constant) transactions in order to avoid court appearances through multiple cautions. Her lifestyle of unchallenged, state-supported substance abuse lost her her children, including the child regretfully aborted in a last-ditch attempt to convince the authorities that had inexplicably 'turned on her' that she was ready to change.

These stories are as much part of the picture of welfare dependency as those of poor service delivery that attract outrage amongst our more liberal clergy.

Brother Ivo has joined people like Shaun Bailey and Iain Duncan Smith who speak of the very real tragedies within such stories: we unashamedly adopt Ronald Reagan's view that 'We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added'.

Brother Ivo is delighted at the determination of the Work & Pensions Secretary to make work pay and to bring the excluded into the economic mainstream - even if it costs more to do so.

Nobody begrudges support for the needy: it is the Mick Philpotts of this world who might be regarded as the 'undeserving poor', but not in the way that Archbishop John might think. To the Christian, they are worth more than being written off into the unchallenged underclass as many liberals do. They deserve to have better concern than an occasional inflation rise, even if that is more than the working poor often enjoy.

There is an additional absurdity in simultaneously funding litigation by disabled people to be given a chance to show what they may achieve, whilst simultaneously and complacently making no effort to engage those who are perhaps equally placed to work, and whose families are at risk of generational idleness as identified by Beveridge. This is why restructuring welfare payments to ensure that work always pays is a moral imperative.

Archbishop John falls for two other misconception of the Left: the bankers did contribute to the 2008 crisis, but so did the 'equality advocates' and the Government. All three components were needed.

Bankers repackaged risky lending and traded it with AAA status when it was anything but. However, they did so after the US Government repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and enacted the Commodities Futures Modernisation Act, which deregulated credit default swaps, and the Community Reinvestment Act, by which government encouraged bank-lending to poor people who could never have secured such mortgages from a prudent lender. Armed with new 'rights', community activists threatened harassment litigation of any bank that held to prudent banking practice. The banks caved in and made the loans because they could sell them on to government lenders Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae. Government loved the revenue from taxing bankers profits in the good times. They distributed that in welfare payments to their client voters on both sides of the Atlantic.

Archbishop John needs to appreciate this before attributing blame in one direction only, and to be additionally prudent before falling in with the Left that supplied two sides of that toxic triangle. He is not wrong in seeking to champion the working poor, but he does need to consider three discomforting facts:

Firstly, why have hundreds of thousands of ambitious Poles, Czechs and youngsters from the Baltic States been willing and able to relocate successfully and find work in the UK whilst similar numbers from Birkenhead, Burnley or Barnsley have been unable? Might there not be cultural inhibitors or welfare structural factors at work? To ask is neither selfish nor disrespectful.

Secondly, why is there such a high number of those who have never worked in our Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities? Honest analysis demands the courage to address hard questions.

Thirdly, is it coincidental that high disincentives from the welfare system hold the indigenous back while newcomers in a free-movement market work for rates that are unappealing, and yet the immigrants accept tougher working and living conditions, often 'under the radar'?

The Archbishops most specific error is in taking up the notion of the 'living wage'. It is a superficially attractive concept but it is rooted in the linguistic manipulations of those who espouse 'the woman's right to choose' in preference to the rather more stark 'abortion'.

What Churchman can be against a 'Living Wage'? That is why its proponents choose the term: many of them hate and ridicule Christianity, but the hard Left has always valued what they term the 'useful idiots' who will travel with them along the statist way.

We already have the 'Minimum Wage' which is routinely under-cut within impenetrable communities of either the cash-in-hand welfare claimant or the isolated immigrant. The 'Living Wage' is no more than a political construct: it might take hold to bloat the public sector, but it will also render uneconomic the work of others whose economic value does not currently reach the rates that the public sector can be forced to pay through the disruptive or political power of Unite.

Before he allows himself to support what may easily become a job-losing campaign, Archbishop John might reflect that just before the millennium our union leaders were agitating for what they briefly called '21st Century Wages' - until they discovered what they were.

They were $80 a month - in China.


Blogger bradypus said...

As I understand it, the Living Wage is not to enable people to stay off work but to enable those who work to get enough to live on! The largest amount of benefit claimers are those in work but who can't live on what they get paid especially with housing/living costs in London. "A Workman is worthy of his hire" the good book tells us

I work with homeless people and see both those who have suddenly been dropped into the quicksand of homelessness and need a leg up and are then able to get on their way and also those who play the system for all it's worth.

We should not denigrate the benefit system because of the relative few who abuse it nor should we ignore a Fair Wage for a fair day's work (to put Living Wage in other words) because unscrupulous employers get around the law on the minimum wage rather we should crack down on those who break the law.

Finally don't worry too much about the deserving poor the world falls over itself to help the deserving poor. It is the church's job to help the undeserving poor who still need help. Look at the man that Good Samaritan helped. That bird brain travelled the dangerous road from Jericho to Jerusalem by himself!, If ever there was a case of a fellow deserving everything he got - it was him! But still he got helped!

10 July 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger Jim McLean said...

One of the most insightful blogs I have read.

Why won't Brother Ivo and Archbishop Cranmer come out publicly and stand for election? We need them!!!

10 July 2013 at 12:11  
Blogger bluedog said...

Excellent comment, Brother Ivo.

The tax system is another area that needs reform, in particular the confiscatory VAT. It always amazes this communicant that the political elite can seriously countenance a turnover tax at the insane rate of 20% and still expect the economy to grow. Okay, so there are offsets and recoupments, but it requires slabs of working capital to finance the tax and hours to administer. Like all flat rate taxes it promotes distortions, and a return to a sales tax would be far more flexible and allow for better micro-management of the economy. Remember the basic rule, if you want more of something, tax it less.

HM Treasury probably wonder why the black economy keeps growing. They don't really have to look far to find out why. VAT is a huge disincentive to trading anything other than financial obligations on which it is not charged.

10 July 2013 at 13:02  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Excellent article Brother Ivo, well done and thank you.

Too many of our clerics have forgotten that encouraging work is part of the Christian way, as is, compassion for those who genuinely are unable to work. A culture of resisting work must be rejected by all fair minded people. It is indeed crazy that my taxes support the unemployed indigenous folk, many of whom can work, and then we suck in more and more persons, but motivated ones, from far afield. Is it a deliberate attempt to degenerate the WWC ?
And yes I agree Bluedog, a return to the sales tax would be a far more sensitive and effective way to manage the economy. The blunt instrument of the EU's VAT system is a heavy handed tax control and far, far too high at present, thanks to our Government, too stimulate growth.
Finally, as Ukip have said , the hard up should not be paying any income tax at all. The limit should be raised, especially for them, if not for the more comfortably placed, otherwise how is it a "progressive" system ?

10 July 2013 at 13:29  
Blogger Nick said...

Brother Ivo

The examples you quoted were clear cases of scrounging and irresponsibility, and would not receive much sympathy from any quarter. But, in the title of your post you say the bishop is wrong on the issue of the "living wage". I haven't seen the Bishops text, but presumably he is referring to wage-earners, not benefit cheats.

10 July 2013 at 14:08  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...


The title is His Grace's, though it is the clear inference of Brother Ivo's argument.

10 July 2013 at 14:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

A man cannot be paid more than the value he produces. You can't simply decree a wage without making some people unemployable.


10 July 2013 at 14:28  
Blogger Richard Watterson said...

These families with generations out of work have surely been shown to be a figment of IDS's imagination?

10 July 2013 at 14:30  
Blogger Nick said...


"A man cannot be paid more than the value he produces."

That may be an easy rule to apply in a small business with a simple balance sheet, but it gets more complicated with larger businesses. How you does one decide how much a manager is worth? He may not "produce" anything tangible except a few reports. How do you decide how much a politician is worth?

A lot of it comes down to convention, not maths.

10 July 2013 at 14:44  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Bravo, Brother Ivo! An unscientific, reactionary, populist anecdotal rant, as our betters would have it.

Avi, on the other hand, appreciates your insight and candor. He works in the rougher and lower paying sectors of the economy, often at places where MSWs are afraid to tread without a police escort, rubs shoulders with veritable working class heroes and low-life losers alike and he too is irked by the way do-gooder activists, social workers, lawmakers, politicos and neo-Marxist academics have been trying to redefine reality for him, telling him that what he sees around him is really not the way it is because, they...the folks with top wages, excellent benefit packages and unbelievable pension plans...are obviously the only ones qualified to really know.

10 July 2013 at 16:09  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! 'Black economy'? Surely that's racist..?

10 July 2013 at 17:31  
Blogger Dr.D said...

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
(2Th 3:10-11 KJV)

10 July 2013 at 17:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Article: "Firstly, why have hundreds of thousands of ambitious Poles, Czechs and youngsters from the Baltic States been willing and able to relocate successfully and find work in the UK whilst similar numbers from Birkenhead, Burnley or Barnsley have been unable? Might there not be cultural inhibitors or welfare structural factors at work?"

I suspect they lack the sense of entitlement that we've generated in this country, they're very mobile as far as location is concerned, and there's a community of similar people helping out. We have some of those hand-carwash places locally, owned by an Indian businessman. He employs young people of all nationalities, such as Latvians, Lithuanians, and Albanians to work there and they work damned hard. I've no idea how much they're paid but they tend to live in shared rented houses, perhaps 12 to a 3-bedroomed semi, pooling costs. As far as I know, they come here for a few years to earn money to take back home, exploiting the differences in cost of living, and to learn English.

10 July 2013 at 17:41  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Interesting article Brother Ivo.

I think to address all the levels of poverty Christian leaders need to lead by giving hope and inspiration to both the deserving and undeserving poor. There will always be places that have generations on benefits, but with inspiration, ideas, encouragement and a decent sized carrot in the form of a real job with a decent wage like one could easily find in the Thatcher/Major era, a lot came off benefit then – we must not slide backwards to the standards of those eastern block countries whose citizens come here and are driving down our wages and standards – and there were jobs as the knock on effect of an industry opening creates other dependent industries and inturn more jobs.

There are plenty of these generations on benefits in Chris Bryant's constituency which he could be addressing instead of pushing homosexual “marriage”. There is a lack of business and industry in Wales - a Labour area so it has always had a high dependency on the state of course. He could be campaigning instead for the Bristol Channel wave energy enterprise to get going, that would supply electricity to all of South Wales at least and provide much needed jobs.

We need to create new energy and energy companies that entices customers away from the European owned Eon, Npower and the other giant corporates that are rich, fat and greedy on the backs of British consumers and that would bring more income back to the UK. Get out of the EU then we can get rid of VAT.

10 July 2013 at 17:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The Polish did that for a while too in order to get enough to buy land in Poland but the cost of living rocketed in Poland and made it less worthwhile. It was very noticeable in some industries when the tide turned and their numbers suddenly dropped. Of course, some have stayed after finding they like the lifestyle here.

10 July 2013 at 17:43  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Oh yes! and if companies (the larger ones where one goes after one has cut ones teeth working in a small or medium enterprise ) paid a good wage relevant to the value of the job to the company's success investing a bit more £ in the workforce rather than having it pile up in a few directors ' bank accounts in tax havens! Can Archbishop John and Archbishop Justin help cultural change take place? I think they can.

10 July 2013 at 17:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ivo dear boy, you are becoming a bit of a national treasure yourself, you know. Must see if we can put you on the radio.

The Inspector is in favour of a minimum wage, but this concept of a living wage is spurious. Can’t nail it down, you see. It’s whatever a politician will tell you, and he will always give you what you want to hear. And what you want to hear is not what a prospective employer wants to. That’s for sure…

Anyway, a wage means you work. You do something to pay for you and yours existence. Now THAT is the Christian way, not handing out benefits to the idle.

Given the opportunity, this man would cease benefits to the idle like Philpot unless he turned up to do something for at least an hour or two a day. Broom pushing, that kind of thing. Removing chewing gum from pavements. And even then, the benefits he should get would be modest. Benefit families would, in future, be hard pressed to afford the latest X box thingy when it comes out – rather like the children of parents who work, what !

Anything considered to wean our sponges off their arse or out of the pub, don’t you think ?

You’re doing a marvellous job - Carry on that man…

Pip Pip !

10 July 2013 at 18:16  
Blogger Nick said...

The benchmark for a living wage was set at £7.45 per hour (£8.55 for London) which isn't exactly a huge amount if you are expecting a competent and motivated workforce. That's only a little higher than the current minimum wage of £6.19, which, unlike the living wage, is a legal requirement.

John Sentamu, along with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is campaigning for a living wage. He believes that it is essential to both economic recovery and in the interests of fairness, that the lower-paid should receive a wage that allows them to come out of the benefit cycle. That's hardly the ranting of a rabid Marxist or an equality-freak.

10 July 2013 at 18:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Nick, it would appear then that John Sentamu has been shamefully misled by honey tongued humen versions of small print like yourself. With all due respect.

10 July 2013 at 18:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

By the way, Ivo, absolutely delighted you have met the Roma, old chap. A charming people, yet so many consider them a race of thieves. Hardly seems fair, what ! Accommodating the Roma and their extended families is rather a problem, and you are right that extremely large houses will be required for these EU cousins who have finally made it to the land of benefit opportunities. Cruel types the Inspector knows have suggested re-commissioning the currently defunct Gloucester Gaol for this purpose. “No No No !” said the Inspector, “For if we did that, they would surely travel to elsewhere in Europe to find a better life”. It took extended arguing before this suggestion was finally dropped, and for all those who had previously been the most keen to hang their heads in shame.

One is therefore heartened to find we do have an Archbishop who is sufficiently concerned that he would more than likely house these special people in an Archbishops palace, along with him and his own. No greater love can a fellow have than to watch his possessions disappear a few at a time, so the good book tells us, probably. Of course, the loss of his earthly possessions will be rewarded ten fold in heaven, as they say.

God bless you and your generosity John Sentamu. Your convictions, and the length to which you go to back them up, continue to astonish all that admire you.

10 July 2013 at 19:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Blessed be the spongers. For they shall inherit the wealth of a nation. Verily, much more than they need, whilst us slaves to the workplace can only look on and applaud in admiration, for to criticise these indolents is surely the greatest sin of all.

Anyway, in beer drinking circles, the undeserving poor are oft to the fore of conversation. They may be undeserving to a degree, but only to the largesse of our insanely generous benefits system. Thus, they are certainly not poor as a result. They cannot be. It all hinges on children you see. The way to a life free of conventional graft is to knock them out a regular intervals. So, when the earliest are of age that they too can join the gravy train with their own state supported dependants, there are enough younger siblings left to keep mum and dad in drink, tobacco, tattoos and drugs that they have become accustomed too.

You might know that the majority of benefit fraud convictions are a result of being informed on by their fellows. It’s the little things that do it. For example, a wife informing her friend that thanks to claiming disability allowance for a non existent disability, the family are going to America for a holiday this year. Soon gets round, you know. Women and their gossip, what ! God bless them for it…

10 July 2013 at 19:21  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

The welfare budget is 200 billion

Give me HALF the money, so you the taxpayer saves 100 billion a year.

Here is the offer.

Anyone that is currently unemployed gets offered a job by me and will pay them at least 20K per year.

You know how much I would make out of this after honouring my offer?

At least 30 billion a year!


Any takers? Please! Just think of my tithe! 3 billion in the collection plate!

10 July 2013 at 19:48  
Blogger Timjam68 said...

Mick Philpott would never have been able to claim any benefits if he had been 'hanged by the neck' as punishment for stabbing his ex-girlfriend 27 times.

10 July 2013 at 19:51  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

There seems to be a bigger problem here.

Lots of companies can only compete if they don't have to pay a living wage; in-work benefits are a means of Government subsidy to make private companies more competitive by enabling them to pay lower wages.

The cost of these benefits is in turn contributing to a massive deficit. Simply, Britain cannot afford to keep a large proportion of the population in the borrowing and deficit-spending fuelled lifestyle to which it has become accustomed during the post-war boom years.

Meanwhile, the gap between rich and poor grows ever wider, and an unaccountable and corrupt political class is only concerned with doing very nicely, thank you.

If this pattern seems familiar, that is because it is. We are reverting gradually to the state of many poorer, "developing" economies. Trouble is, whilst they're developing we're regressing.

10 July 2013 at 19:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Phil, this man has always advocated the privatisation of the benefit system. For example, if for one year you gave the NHS all the money meant for the MoD, the NHS wouldn’t spend it all. But they’d have a bloody good go at it. You see, the NHS does without a lot of the time, because it works to budget. So, give private enterprise a go. Here’s 100 billion. Your contract is to dole out to the needy. 100 billion mind, there’s no more, and if you need anymore more, it comes out of you...

10 July 2013 at 20:01  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

A young teacher the other day was telling me that he has to wait till he is 68 for a pension

68! No chance of controlling tenagers at 68!

Also he had not had a pay rise for 2 years.

My simple illustration above is meant to represent that we are making the wrong choices. Seeminly, we can pour money down the drain and at the same time slap down people who are trying to make a difference.

Before more Good Samaritan lectures Bradypus.

We are not loving our neighbour by taking away his pride and trampling it in the dirt.


10 July 2013 at 20:05  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

PS As part of the "austerity" savings announced by the Gov. Apparently teachers have not had a pay rise for 2 years and will have their pensions paid at 68 instead of 60.

Apparently the Gov has refused to open the books on teachers pensions to show / confirm whether the "savings" were indeed necessary.

10 July 2013 at 20:10  
Blogger Roy said...

carl jacobs said...

A man cannot be paid more than the value he produces.

So. using your argument the bankers who did so much to cause the recession which hit all Western countries and has lasted longer than the Great Depression, thoroughly deserved their obscene salaries?

10 July 2013 at 22:19  
Blogger LEN said...

Perhaps the balance need to be redressed here?.
Whilst there are undoubtedly those who abuse the welfare system there are many that don`t.
How much money is unclaimed by pensioners because the benefits system has been [deliberately] made so complicated that you need a degree to understand it?.
Many in the caring professions nursing etc are paid a pittance whilst the care home owners are raking in fortunes.

Millions if not billions are are diverted to tax havens by corporations (is that not indirectly robbing those who pay their taxes and placing extra burdens on them?.)
Benefits officials who can[and do] at a whim cut benefits for those who are struggling to meet ends meet on subsistence level.

IF there is a' sub culture' of those who have been placed outside of our Society and do not see why they should contribute to it in any way ..perhaps we should be asking ourselves the reasons why they have this attitude?.

God makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust and whilst I believe that those who can work should work if we categorise those who for whatever reason cannot work then we drive even further the divisions in our [already broken] Society.

It is a deliberate ploy of our coalition Government to place the blame for our economic ills on the 'parasites, scroungers and spongers' in our Society not on the bad management , bad policies, and general incompetence of our politicians.

10 July 2013 at 22:20  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Archbishop John ‘gets’ what it is to be British

I hardly think so. Sentamu advises his flock not to vote BNP, a party that fights tooth and nail for the British. In doing so, Sentamu helps hasten the day when the British will become a minority of the population and Britain a cross between Bangladesh, Pakistan, Somalia and Nigeria, among others. In working against the interests of the native British he is a racist and in working for the Islamization of Britain he is a Judas.

10 July 2013 at 22:49  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


My argument is akin to saying "You can't spend more money then your income." It's not even an argument really. It's a truism. It's like saying that water flows downhill.

A business has to provide value to its customers. Otherwise they go elsewhere. If the business overcharges it loses marketshare. The owner can only pay his employees from the receipts of his business. If he overpays his employees, he will be forced to overprice his service. His customers will go elsewhere, and he will go out of business. This is why virtually all toys are currently made in China. Western toy manufacturers couldn't compete on the basis of price because they couldn't lower their costs enough. Principally labor costs. The market ran western toy manufacturing out of business.

The value of an employeee is determined by the marginal cost incurred to replace him. If he is unskilled, he is easy to replace. His value is small. A skilled employee is harder to replace and therefore will command greater value in the marketplace. Supply and demand determine the cost of labor. You can't artificially set supply and demand by fiat. If you increase the cost of labor, you will lower the demand and push some people beyond the bounds of employability. They won't possess sufiicient skills to be worth hiring.


10 July 2013 at 23:43  
Blogger Nick said...

MPs have recently decided to award themselves a 10% pay rise. Where is the 10% increase in productivity? There is none of course. Austerity does not apply to them. Still, if you are used to having a second or third home, dining in expensive restaurants, or your moat needs regular cleaning, then I suppose this constitutes a "living wage".

11 July 2013 at 00:48  
Blogger LEN said...

The fact that we live in a multicultural Society is the direct result of Government Policies(or lack of them)

We obviously cannot spend more than we have.But we have all that we should have?. OR have companies 'stashed away' a good part of their/our/ money in tax havens?.

We should be very careful of alienating sections of our Society because this leaves them open to being 'radicalized'.

We in the UK and further afield are reaping what we have sown.As Christianity is pushed further back Islam and secular forces are advancing.This is a simple fact.
The Society we will end up with will be a direct judgement on the actions we have taken.

11 July 2013 at 09:48  
Blogger The PrangWizard of England said...

'British patriotism'.
Britain is a State, a political union, not a nation.
England is a nation, a unity of peoples.
I can be, and am, an English patriot, but people surely cannot be British patriots. Just supporters of a political union.

11 July 2013 at 10:55  
Blogger IanCad said...

Another top notcher Brother Ivo.

Wages can only be tied to productivity and theavailability of labour.
Governments will never change this law but will act in defiance of it anyway; much to the detriment of the general well-being of the state.

11 July 2013 at 10:59  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mrs Proudie @ 17.31, before you reach for the smelling salts, the word black is descriptive rather than racist.

In any event, would you object to a well-muscled negro, stripped to the waist on a warm summers day, working in your garden at Barchester?

Secret glimpses from behind the lace curtains perhaps?

11 July 2013 at 12:13  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear dear bluedog...I know black is descriptive and not racist...I was just having a little bit of fun!

As for the well-muscled negro...Goodness!

11 July 2013 at 14:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Now, Mrs Proudie is of fine Country stock and along with Flossie a mature, but attractive, lady of Albion,doubtless unaware of our multi cultural society in the cities, so one must be gentle with her, or she may well faint at the sight of an athletic, strong,genial and doubtless a black chap with a large 'lunch box'...

11 July 2013 at 16:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see the socialists are out in force today. Of course we could use some brawn on our farm. I will note, though, that the hardest workers are eastern European (Polish, Czech) chaps and ladies. Hard working, thrifty, religious,kindly and ready to do jobs the English dole dossers will not do... and I'm happy to pay £10 an hour. No problem from me with those chaps at all (and I might add they proved their metal during the battle of Britain!)..

I will take up phil Robert's challenge- I will only take £60 billion to get chaps back into work...

And yes I agree that the pigs in the trough do NOT deserve £1 let alone £74,000 plus expenses plus generous pension, plus subsidized drinking, 10% increase is disgraceful!

If we are all austerity & 'this together' the austerity SHOULD start with our elected servants...

Could we privatized politicians? Perhaps they'd be more efficient than the public sector paid variety?

11 July 2013 at 16:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

My dear Mrs Proudie, it has been suggested you are fairly unknowing that Empire types now reside in our large cities. Tis the white mans burden of modern times and no mistake...

Graciously yours, good lady....

11 July 2013 at 19:01  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Ah Inspector, I fear the burden of Empire sits heavily upon us...but how gallant of both his Lordship and your good self to be concerned...we have very little multi-culti here in Barchester it has to be said, discounting Mustafa Fatwah's madrassah-cum-kebab stall which he pitches on the Cathedral Green most mornings and not forgetting Signora Neroni of course (but I'm not sure she counts). I'm not sure what position to take on the lunchbox however - perhaps I should write a tract?

11 July 2013 at 19:29  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Lord Lavendon,

You pay the agency £10 an hour, but I fear the workers get the minimum wage... if we paid £8 an hour and ditched the agencies we'd make a 20% saving and increase our worker's wages!

11 July 2013 at 20:48  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Whilst we suit a capitalist society in general, it has now been taken too far to the extreme. We now have a top layer of very rich people, a lot of them company owners hoarding their cash in hidden foreign tax havens so that nobody can get at it. They need to remember they cannot take it with them when they die.

They show off in the various media propagated rich lists which is only a version of the look at me my cock is bigger than yours game. Nobody really cares who is on the Forbes rich list except those peers who are in competition.

Instead of hoarding all these millions or billions even, they should be encouraged to pay their workers more money and take a bit less profit. The workers wouldn't have to be reliant on the state in forms of all these tax credits, and other government assistance with energy bills, and charity food banks. New Liebour knew exactly what they were doing when they introduced all these different new benefits in the name of streamlining.

These rich company owners should be a bit more like those amazing men Mr. Cadbury and Mr. Lever who built whole villages (Port Sunlight is now Grade II listed so there is their legacy) for their employees and really treated them very well enabling them to thrive and be successful and in turn the economy thrives too.

There should be some rules for the rich who buy up companies with borrowed money, asset stripping then getting rid of half the workforce to cut costs and increase profits causing ever more people to become dependent on the state by having to claim taxpayer funded benefits to which a lot of companies contribute little to anyway.

The Bishops can do a lot for a more fairer capitalist society

I was disgusted to read about that old meanie Charles Saachi multi millionaire too mean to pay for a treat for Nigella's two helpers who do all the hard work of prep-ping for her for £25k which isn't much if they have to survive in the London area.

12 July 2013 at 02:09  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Lies, damned lies, and popular beliefs

I'd just like to draw your attention to a worrying study that feeds into the issue of political failure modes. The Royal Statistical Society and Ipsos MORI commissioned a poll of public opinion on key social issues. Turns out that the British public are woefully misinformed:

* Teenage pregnancy: public discourse leads people to believe the level is 25 times higher than it actually is
* Crime: 58% don't realize that crime is actually falling
* Benefit fraud: most people think about 24% of social security payments are fraudulently claimed: the actual level of fraud is under 1%
* Foreign aid: more people think foreign aid is one of the top three budget items than the state pension (which accounts for ten times as much expenditure)
* Immigration: the average Brit thinks that 31% of the population are immigrants; even accounting for illegal immigration the figure is under 15%

Even assuming we can fix the damage inflicted on our democratic party system by the growth of the fourth party, how can we hope to elect governments that can engage constructively with actual social problems when the myths believed by the electorate deviate so wildly from the real picture?



12 July 2013 at 08:04  

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