Monday, January 13, 2014

George Osborne's 'nasty' anti-youth narrative

There was an interesting observation in last week's Spectator about the internal division within the Conservative Party on welfare reform. The gulf intensified on Question Time, when Nadine Dorries categorically ruled out supporting George Osborne's latest proposal to save money by targeting young people. She said: "I have already voted on something I don't believe in. So I will not be voting on removing housing benefit for the under 25s." In an article provocatively entitled 'George Osborne's very own nasty party', the Spectator explained this 'compassion gap':
Iain Duncan Smith, who is in charge of welfare reform, is appalled at the Chancellor’s apparent relish in imposing the cuts — uncomfortable for Labour, certainly, but even more uncomfortable for those who are affected. To the Work and Pensions Secretary this is about saving lives, rather than saving money — that is the premise on which the Conservatives’ social justice strategy is founded. But Mr Osborne is making clear he sees the matter in a very different way.
On one side of the Conservative Party are the nasty slicers and slashers, eager to cut and save cash at all costs; on the other are the huggers and humane, determined to ensure social justice for the poor. The former tend to think in terms of economics and statistics; the latter about the individuals affected and their life struggles.

George Osborne sees a mob of under-25s playing a very generous benefits system and manipulating their way to a cushy life of indolence. Nadine Dorries and Iain Duncan Smith have spoken to Claire, a young homeless girl who was turfed out by her parents at the age of 16 when she became pregnant. And they also keep in touch with Zach, a 23-year old who was physically abused as a boy and descended into drugs and petty crime during his teens. He's got a job now, but it's only just covering food and bills. Moving back in with mum and dad isn't an option for either of these youngsters: without some kind of support, they would be out on the streets.

George Osborne seems to think that young people are ripe for targeting, as though none is poor and they may easily make alternative arrangements when their housing benefit is cut. It isn't as though the Chancellor doesn't have other options: Peter Hoskin at Conservative Home has identified a few, and His Grace knows one or two others. So why is George Osborne intent on targeting the nation's struggling youth while wealthy pensioners go on getting their free bus passes, TV licences and winter fuel contributions?

Surely he wouldn't be so cynical as to skew benefits toward those most likely to vote Conservative, would he?   

The poorest under-25s in the United Kingdom are not at all poor compared to the starving in Africa or the dispossessed across the Middle East. But the developed world sets higher standards.

Since poverty is relative, it is important to examine who the real poor are.

In the NT, the peasants who possessed little material wealth were not called ‘poor’ (Gr. ptochos) if they possessed what was sufficient (ie subsistence). These were termed 'penes', and the distinction is important. Jesus was concerned with the literal, physical needs of men (ie not just the spiritual, cf Acts 10:38). When Luke was addressing the ‘poor’, he meant those who had no money - the oppressed, miserable, dependent, humiliated - and this is translated 'ptochos', indicating poverty-stricken, cowering down or hiding oneself for fear - quite literally, begging. The penes has to work - sometimes at menial tasks - but the ptochos has to beg. Those addressed by Jesus are the destitute beggars, not the penes of few possessions. This is important in a modern Western context where the threshold of poverty is defined by having access to a total annual cash income less than one half of the national average, and the non-possession of a television, video recorder, or the latest Nike trainers.

The "irruption of the poor", as Gustavo Gutiérrez phrases it in his book The Truth Shall Make You Free, remains a direct challenge to both government and church. He was writing in the 90s about the 70s and 80s, but the truth remains:
This new presence of the poor and oppressed is making itself felt in the popular struggles for liberation and in the historical consciousness arising from these struggles. It is also making itself felt within the church, for there the poor are increasingly making their voices heard and claiming openly their right to live and think the faith in their own terms.
If the ptochos is deprived of the basic needs of life - food, water, shelter, clothing – the message of salvation demands the provision of the necessities to restore dignity. But for the penes, whose life is manageable but manifestly subject to inequalities and deprivation, salvation also demands ‘human rights’ – an involvement in the democratic process, education, healthcare, and protection under the law. Gutiérrez sees both as a sort of death:
Death, in this case, is caused by hunger, sickness, or the oppressive methods used by those who see their privileges endangered by any and every effort to free the oppressed. It is physical death to which cultural death is added, because in a situation of oppression everything is destroyed that gives unity and strength to the dispossessed of this world.
George Osborne seems to want to analyse the causes of this ‘death’, and dispense charity according to worthiness. But there is no indication in Scripture that the there should be any such discrimination. Certainly, those who do not work shall not eat, but those who are not working because of the Government's economic policies and regional variations in wealth distribution is an oppression in which confidence is destroyed and hopes crushed.

The question of whether the poor are victims of their circumstances, or have made their own poverty, is of no matter in the context of evangelism. Matthew’s ‘social contract’ (Mt 7:12) becomes the great leveller, and constitutes the Church’s foundational expression of social justice.

The compassionate wing of the Conservative Party feels deprivation vicariously - often because they have experienced poverty or loss in some form themselves. They have either suffered, and then found release from a cycle of hopelessness and despair; or they have seen suffering, and been profoundly moved to take action to alleviate the effects.  

The Hebrew word for jubilee (yôbêl) means ‘release’ (Ex 21:2-6 cf Lk4:18). In a sense it constitutes the removal of the barriers which prevent human beings from participating fully in the benefits and responsibilities of the community. The legislation concerning the Jubilee (Lev 25:8ff) releases those who are denied the means of livelihood (land) and are, therefore, forced to be dependent on others (25:39-41). Luke’s ‘Nazareth Manifesto’ (Lk 4:16-19) may be seen as a declaration that the time had come for the fulfilment of these laws, with Jesus declaring the purpose of his own mission and the future mission of the Church. The economic practice of the Early Church thus gives birth to a ‘Jubilee community’ not once every 49 years, but in its daily practice, in which social justice may be defined as giving to each his or her due.

There is a challenge here for political policy. Under-25s are not ptochos, but they are perceived as being so relative to other demographic groups, and, in politics, perception is all. George Osborne really ought to know that. And certainly, compared to the penes pensioners, the penes youth are in greater need of social support because they are tomorrows wives, husbands, mothers and fathers.

It is important to note that the Lord instructs the Israelites to give generously without a grudging heart (Deut 15:10), with the acknowledgement that there will always be poor people in the land (v11). He didn’t establish a redistributive governmental tax regime, but commanded his covenant people, out of love for Him and the Law, to care for the poor from their hearts.

The fusion of the message of God’s love in providing salvation, and His manifest concern for the needy, means that the mission of the Church has political implications because it demands that people repent of social as well as personal sins, and live a new life as a member of the community of the Kingdom. Nadine Dorries and Iain Duncan Smith are Christians; George Osborne stands aloof from their inspiration: he is a secularist. He only sees the penes who is no ptochos; they see the oppression of both. 

Social justice has both political and religious implications because acts of mercy and love are a demonstration of the gospel. If a government is to rule righteously, it must be concerned with the release of all who are oppressed. While evangelism is distinct from social justice, they are contingent and related. David Bosch describes the partnership as a marriage which husband and wife not only belong to, and depend on each other, but where one should also be able to see something of the one in the other. This means that there is an evangelistic dimension in all truly Christian social action even when explicit evangelism does not take place; likewise, there is a social dimension in all authentic evangelism, even where explicit social action does not occur.
The Book of Deuteronomy is a social charter of extraordinary literary coherence and political sophistication; it is the archetype of modern western constitutionalism. For Jews and Christians committed to the continuing struggle for social justice and human rights, the Deuteronomic model of theocentric humanism remains an eminently practicable legacy. But laws are not always sufficient in themselves; we need the narrative in which they are set to understand the principles on which they operate, and we need the later narratives, prophets, psalms and wisdom literature to see how they were taken up into the life of the nation. God has spoken in all the scriptures ‘in many and varied ways’, and we must use them all in building up our picture of his character, acts and purpose.

The Good Samaritan’s love in action challenges us to work for justice, because the Church cannot remain passive or neutral when fellow men suffer from poverty. Equally, it is not only a question of ethics in the present, but also proclamation of a hope that is future. Jesus blessed those who show mercy, who work for peace, who provide hospitality without any thought of reward (Mt 5:4-9; Lk 6:30-36), and the poor themselves are blessed, for in the coming Kingdom there will be sufficient for all (Lk 6:20f). Thus the Church is not called simply to proclaim the gospel, but simultaneously to live out its evangelistic message. In the words of Bosch: "Just as one cannot speak of the church without speaking of its mission, it (is) impossible to think of the church without thinking, in the same breath, of the world to which it is sent."

Nadine Dorries and Iain Duncan Smith are concerned with feeding the poor, housing the homeless and loving the lonely, because such actions reflect the humanitarian priorities which lie at the core of their beings. They are concerned with lives. George Osborne is perceived as being detached, judgmental and indifferent to the needs of young people. This is the 'nasty' image which no amount of Cameroon re-branding has yet managed to transform, perhaps because it is authentic and destructively deep-seated.


Blogger Phil Roberts said...


Giving Pakistan the money to develop nuclear weapons whilst targeting our poor is both irresponsible and wrong


13 January 2014 at 09:49  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Phil @ )9:49

Don't want to veer off from the topic, but this can run concurrently.

Is there an element of 'paying the danegeld' in aid to Pakistan? Give them money in the hope of being left alone?

Getting back to the main topic, is other foreign aid simply charity, or also an attempt to get access to raw materials, markets etc? ie helping to generate national income that can be used for the benefit of our own poor?

13 January 2014 at 10:19  
Blogger The Explorer said...

We are apparently still giving aid to China. We are also borrowing money from China. So are we borrowing money from China to give aid to China?

There's a story that the Dutch, during one of their wars, were selling weapons to their enemy. Answer to this anomaly: "If we didn't sell them the weapons we couldn't afford to keep fighting them."

But then, I've never understood economics.

13 January 2014 at 10:38  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

National Service sorted out all levels of social inadequacy in the young. It taught skills, character building and a sense of responsibility for ones self and towards others.

The left has removed discipline in schools and for many bred successive generations with a deeply ingrained sense of entitlement and over-blown self importance.

Enough of something for nothing at the expense of others crap.

13 January 2014 at 11:01  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

Obviously a government which is borrowing money to give it away is off the rails of both morality and common sense. Government "Aid" is essentially a transfer of money from relatively poor taxpayers in rich countries, often ending up in the hands of rich people in poor countries via a very well paid pipeline of officials and consultants.
There are of course subsidies to foreign governments and officials which may be necessary politically - such as the millions which were paid to Spanish generals and officials to help keep Spain from joining with Hitler during the war. Sometimes "Aid" budgets have been diverted for this purpose - as for the deposition of Idi Amin and his replacement by the rather less obnoxious Obote.

With regard to our own young, habitual claimant class, I have some experience as a small employer. Mostly quite intelligent, state education has usually rendered them sub literate and sub numerate. Once they have been on "the social" for any length of time, it is hard to motivate them to turn up for work regularly.

The first influx from Eastern Europe showed that there were plenty of jobs to be had but our authorities have decided that it is more politically acceptable to keep our own less academic youngsters in idleness on benefits and bring in foreigners, rather than to provide a system which gives a real incentive to work. More stick and more carrot are needed.

We often here C of E types banging on about the needs of welfare claimants but very rarely of the moral rot of idleness which the system both permits and encourages. teachings of the A return to the 1662 catechism would be no bad thing.

13 January 2014 at 11:07  
Blogger Len said...

'Let them eat cake '

And we all know what that led to?

When the super rich are are seen(whether this is true or not) to be indifferent to the suffering they are inflicting on others is a recipe for social alienation and the formation of a sub culture within society.
We are already going down that path.

13 January 2014 at 11:27  
Blogger Anglican said...

This relates to the Bishop of Manchester' recent remarks attacking the Government's attitude to the poor. I would agree with much of what he says, but his belief that we should not distinguish between the 'deserving poor' and the 'undeserving poor' strikes me as naive. The 'undeserving poor' certainly exist (they are a small, but increasing minority of the poor), and are working the system. Those who most strongly object to these parasites are the genuinely poor - the sick, elderly and those suffering genuine misfortune - and also working-class but poorly paid families.

The genuinely ‘deserving poor’ should be helped far more than at present; the others should not. The Government could make a start by supporting traditional marriage and families, instead of making it more profitable not to marry. This would also help to cut the welfare and crime figures in the future, and should help in maintaining educational standards. But politicians are blind to this – they are in thrall to what is perceived as ‘political correctness’, despite its disastrous consequences.

13 January 2014 at 11:32  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
None of us 'deserve' Gods mercy and grace. Anglicans comment on the Bishop of Manchester's belief that we should not distinguish between the 'deserving poor' and the 'undeserving poor' arises from the thinking mans appraisal of the relative value of the condition of the poor.
It is easy to say 'they should help themselves' but some are just not able.
If a child gets thrown out of the parents home, whose responsibility is it to pick up the tab for their care?

There is a fine balance between full on social action and the conservative policy of 'help people to help themselves'.

To me, it's all about INTEGRITY in political spheres.

13 January 2014 at 12:43  
Blogger Philip said...

Salvation is salvation for the individual from the eternal consequences of sin - what is of first importance, that Christ died FOR OUR SINS in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Cor 15:3) - this is the church's mission. But of course this gospel has practical results. Including concern for the poor - it is good that Christian truth and God's compassion influences in this way how IDS and Nadine Dorries use their political influence.

I agree that the difference between penes and ptochos is important, between those who need to work and may have to go without some of the things many others have, and those who haven’t the basic necessities.

I wonder how much so-called poverty is really not just being able afford the latest type of TV or Nike trainers or whatever, or sometimes some people may choose to spend what they have on such items, then depend on others such as the State for necessities. So poverty is “perceived” in such cases. Maybe that perception needs to be changed, then. And of course Godless materialism basing ones’ worth on the material goods we have as compared to what others have, might just have something to do with it. Hiking taxes of the hard-working to redistribute their money to such cases cannot itself be moral. And is so different to the compassion we need to have for those who lack the basic necessities of food, water, home, warmth, medicines...

"a modern Western context where the threshold of poverty is defined by having access to a total annual cash income less than one half of the national average". So a few more millionaires raises the average income, thus automatically more are moved into the definition of poverty even if their material situation hasn't changed at all!

13 January 2014 at 13:42  
Blogger Jim M. said...

If IDS and Nadine Dorries truly represent the caring, sharing, compassionate side of the Tory party then I would hazard a guess that the poor are in trouble!

13 January 2014 at 15:25  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack says this is a great article and he will rad it more than once.

Jack thinks Christianity works for the common good as well as individual salvation. By living in a country that has compassion for our neighbours and with close and caring families and strong church communities, everyone benefits. In the absence of all this, Jack thinks the state should do all it can to bring these things back and meanwhile look after people in trouble where these things are not there and they need help.

Osborne is a secularist but he's also a total numpty. What he's trying to do will not work. Politically he's setting parent against child and old people against young people. He's also creating a greater social problem between poorer and wealthy people. Not all families will be able or want to look after their children until they are 25 years old. Most good parents who have the money will help their kids leave home and help with the odd bill. What happens to those who don't have this and fall on hard times? £50 a week job seekers allowance isn't going to cover it! So what's going to happen?

Happy Jack thinks Osbourne may be a secularist but he's mainly a very silly man.

13 January 2014 at 16:02  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

There are an astonishing number of articles around implicitly suggesting one generation has it better than another. I find it disquieting to encourage generation whatever to hate the baby boomers or generation y to think generation x had it easier? It seems thoroughly unhealthy and rather unpleasant and there are so many factors to balance against each other that it risks becoming meaningless.

However few will disagree that the expansion of university degrees so that many now have vocationally useless qualifications of a mediocre quality has been disastrous. Where Blair got the idea that "education education education" was a magic pill to ensure success for all in the jobs market and in all ways is quite beyond me.

THe youth were sold a dream, and made to go into debt for it, and then many of them were made to work for nothing when they emerged from university. Then they look pretty sad and despondent and come down to earth with a bump, lots of debt and a housing market vastly overpriced relative to average wages, and particularly so in university towns, as the more there are government grants and student loans the more the private landlords can put their rents up due to supply and demand. I feel they are owed an apology, whilst instead they are close to bonded labour, poor people.

I never voted for any of this mess for them.

13 January 2014 at 16:14  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Jim M. said...

"If IDS and Nadine Dorries truly represent the caring, sharing, compassionate side of the Tory party then I would hazard a guess that the poor are in trouble!" Imdeedy!*huge chuckles*


Happy Jack said. @13 January 2014 16:02..Couldn't agree more, lad.

"Happy Jack thinks Osbourne may be a secularist but he's mainly a very silly man. " Aah, a member of the Sillis*%tes perhaps? *Sneaky sniggering*


13 January 2014 at 16:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good post by His Grace, perhaps one of his best articles, a real tour de force!

I have to say that I am a Conservative voter of the Disraelian philosophy and I've always voted for them, but after this current shambles and train wreck of a government, I am NOT going to vote for them at the next election.

PS- Dreadnaught I agree that 'national service' or conscription is a great idea. They do that in Israel and it creates a unity and a purpose among a people. However, I'd say that as this article suggests, the whole process of conscription would create a massive expansion of public expenditure and that is the problem. The Chancellor doesn't want to spend a pound to save a pound. It is all about reducing public expenditure, but crucially making those with the narrowest shoulders pay for the wanton greed and mistakes of those who had the broadest shoulders- and the biggest bonuses. That 's not cricket and it ain't British. Or Kosher.

13 January 2014 at 16:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, the elite of the sillis*%tes that has floated to the top.


13 January 2014 at 16:44  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack, as people know, is thinking of setting up his own church for the tax breaks this brings.

Jack is also now thinking of forming a political party. His first manifesto point is to declare a "Jubilee Year" and cancel everyone's individual debt - except those earning more than, say, £45k a year. And with this his party will also cancel all financial bonuses for the year and have them donated to the government to cover the cost of freeing people from debt.

13 January 2014 at 16:51  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Well for years I was a One Nation Conservative, but Cameron and his cronies finished all that. They have no conservative values at all. He's a modern liberal, which means highly illiberal, in fact. Osborne is cut from the same cloth. Neither support traditional families, whilst having one for themselves. Pro handing ever more power to Brussels plus the redefinition of marriage forced on everyone - what worse is there to say - dreadful frauds the lot of them.

13 January 2014 at 17:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Hussell,

Exactly and well said. I agree we must reduce the nation's debts, but there are better ways of doing this than the current regime's policies (I don't have much time for Labour either, btw), such as cutting the international 'aid' budget, payments to Brussels and lots of other areas. I am tempted to vote UKIP next time around, as it happens.

13 January 2014 at 17:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Jack,

A good starting point and an intriguing ethical proposal. But, for your homework, you've got to formulate what kind of capitalism or credit system to create after you've bankrupted the banks and lenders- I'm not saying that is a bad thing- however that is one of the the practical consequences of what you are proposing.

Unless you propose a 'socialist' system (which is doomed to failure,as history shows).

13 January 2014 at 17:51  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

David K , Happy Jack says that's a mere detail. As party leader he will delegate this to a "think tank" to sort out.

Jack is most certainly not a socialist and believes everyone should privately own of have part ownership of some sort of business. And the banks have already bankrupted themselves by trading in false money called "credit".

Jack proposes a "Jubilee Year" every 50 years so that all the inequalities of these two generations are wiped clear and people are freed from the slavery of debt.

13 January 2014 at 18:13  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...



The youth are sold a useless degree for 36K

I think some of the men would do better to spend 36k on a really nice car.

Far far better investment especially when you are 20


13 January 2014 at 18:36  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack

On your Jubilee Year I will make sure I do not earn 45K


13 January 2014 at 18:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Ah, but the insurance costs? The trouble wasn't 'education' etc, but the TYPE of education or degree being offered.

13 January 2014 at 18:39  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

"When the super rich are are seen(whether this is true or not) to be indifferent to the suffering they are inflicting on others is a recipe for social alienation and the formation of a sub culture within society.
We are already going down that path."

Wow, I find myself agreeing with LEN - what's the world coming to eh? :oD

The Conservative Party was always at its best when run by people from lower-middle and working class backgrounds like Margaret Thatcher, who understand that capitalism should be about making work pay and promoting ambition for everyone, rather than the likes of Cameron and Osbourne, who are much closer to the Tory party of old and seem much more interested in protecting vested interests than helping working people.

13 January 2014 at 18:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Jack,

"mere detail".

Well, we we could quibble about that, but then as my uncle used to say "it is an ominous sign for a business to be bossed around by a sole individual; if such a man is very busy, it is a sign of something wrong. Either he is working at detail, which subordinates would better and which he had better leave alone or he is in engaged in too many speculations... and so may be ruined".

13 January 2014 at 18:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, forgot to add, for Corrigan's benefit :

'RIP' Ariel Sharon, warrior and defender of Israel and the Jewish people!

13 January 2014 at 19:07  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Phil R, Happy Jack chastises you on this comment: "On your Jubilee Year I will make sure I do not earn 45K". This is not a Christian way of thinking and its what businesses do to evade or avoid paying tax. Jack will ensure another 'think tank' considers this too.

13 January 2014 at 19:13  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Yes Lucy @ 13 Jan 2014 16:14 the government Labour who introduced tuition fees and encouraged as many young people to go to Uni as possible then the LibDims afterwards who increased the fees was nothing other than a revenue generating exercise. To mortgage the young every year is wicked. Their debt gets sold on and the government uses the money to plug a gap in the failing economy.

The Conservatives are desperately looking for anyone or anything to target where they can make a few bob to plug another gap whilst awarding themselves a big pay increase.

They are creating a fake economy through printing money, running dodgy debt increasing housing scams (help to buy) and keeping the interest rate artificially low so that the few privileged along with huge corporates and banks get loans with next to no interest whilst the rest of us including business start ups and SME's either can't get one or have to pay extortionate rates.

13 January 2014 at 19:44  
Blogger David Hussell said...

David K @ 17.40

Quite !

Well with me, because I got really annoyed in my slow, determined sort of way, at having been taken for a fool, and being lied to, by Cameron, Osborne and the other frauds, so they scored an own goal, as it pushed me into actively supporting Ukip, joining the party, local branch and what have you. It's great to see genuine one nation politics in action with middle class types like me rubbing shoulders very successfully with working class ones. And I recently I had the satisfaction of doing my tiny bit towards the landslide victories at Haverhill.

Have a look at their website, that's the thing. Due to recent very acute money shortages, which are now easing, the policy base is still growing. Ukip is not perfect, as it's run by human beings, but it's got the right general sort of approach, for the common good, and the country I believe. It's direct speaking does still surprise me as we've all had decades of what I term " sugar speak", or often complete lies.

13 January 2014 at 19:45  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Lucy M @ 16.14

I agree.

The young were sold a false dream by the Blair great education nonsense. I am not aware of any research indicating that the nation needed more degrees, it was just a act of mindless political dogma I believe. That Blair creature has much to answer for - polite words fail me !

13 January 2014 at 19:50  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

When a country is too busy taking in foreigners to give them the jobs needed by its own young, and indeed their accommodation, the political setup there is no longer fit for purpose.

Years ago, the prosperity of a country could be judged by its bank rate. That the bank rate is now barely registering means we are in deep trouble. After the 39 45 war, the path out of bankruptcy was to work ourselves out of it. Apparently, the solution now is cheap labour from abroad to do it for us. And on top of that, we must now do the nasty on our own youth. The political setup really is no longer fit for purpose.

So, let us prepare to give our vote to other than the disastrous Lib-Lab-Con cosy setup which perpetuates this outrage, and before they convert one of the greatest countries in the world into a mediocre province. Time is short…

13 January 2014 at 19:54  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack

" Happy Jack chastises you on this comment: "On your Jubilee Year I will make sure I do not earn 45K". This is not a Christian way of thinking and its what businesses do to evade or avoid paying tax."

I do admit to the occasional sin....


13 January 2014 at 21:33  
Blogger IanCad said...

Yes! the young face a bleak future.

We should not forget the role of the Health and Safety Executive in adding to their woes.

They make it almost impossible to employ them in any kind of role in which a physical injury could occur.

We only learn through pain.

Employers should be held harmless for any injuries to the under 25's.

Plenty of jobs will then open up.

13 January 2014 at 22:26  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

I pity the young. Student debt, unaffordable housing, foreigners taking their jobs and on top of all that my and my parents unfunded pension, healthcare and other liabilities.

I do not see how we can get out of this mess by the kind of politics thst got us into it.

13 January 2014 at 22:52  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Steve A, Happy Jack says come now, let us not fall into despair.

Remember Jesus' words: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

And: "My kingdom is not of this world."

Happy Jack says our future rests in the Hands of God and we must continue the Christian fight in our individual, family and community lives and trust Him.

14 January 2014 at 00:40  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

IanCad ... It is NOT the HSE that stops the activities but the Insurance companies fear of being sued for the injury.

It is a myth that the HSE prevents risk based activities.

14 January 2014 at 06:11  
Blogger richardhj said...

JimM 15:25 yesterday.

If you only listen to the Labour Party and it's press allies, including the BBC, you will think that IDS is a monster.
If you listen to him you will find something very different.

14 January 2014 at 08:25  
Blogger David Hussell said...

richardj @ 8.25

I agree. IDS represents the One Nation Conservatism, which I was a supporter of for may decades. He's a Christian and takes his faith seriously.

For reasons of pragmatism and, at a guess, doing an exchange of support, he has been influenced by the Cameron/ Osborne non-conservative brand of "illiberal" liberalism, and hence his grudging, late acceptance of redefining marriage. I believe he simply thought that there were more important things to do. He missed the point on that, I believe, being distracted by his departmental responsibilities. That's what I interpret from what we know of the situation.

However he is serious about his brand of applied Christianity, tough love, and all that. He is one of the better people in Government, with a genuine social conscience. He believes that the young have to be motivated into hard work and achievement, to make something of themselves and fulfill as much of their personal potential as possible. I support that kind of thinking.

However as noted above by others, but especially Edward Spalton @ 11.07, IDS is up against a dysfunctional, broken system that finds it politically acceptable to suck in ever more immigrants who are paid little for their hard work (Labour likes their votes) whilst British born youngsters, badly educated, and therefore at a disadvantage in competing for jobs, are kept in miserable dependence on welfare handouts. It is a deeply immoral system.
As others have said above I feel that this political class has betrayed the young, mainly. But they are selling out their entire heritage and country to, to , well, to what? To their own political survival and careers I believe - it's as low as that. Hence the endless support for the EU which offers them all fat jobs and good pensions, afterwards, on top of their British derived jobs, contacts and pensions.

The system is as broken as were the rotten Boroughs. It needs serious change and reform and the politicians need to be replaced.

14 January 2014 at 09:07  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you, Your Grace - for addressing this topic so well.

Comments overall help to show why it is so important; I especially support the view expressed by Mr. Hussell @ 09:07. 'Something must be done' about our plague of Useful Idiots.

14 January 2014 at 09:48  
Blogger Preacher said...

Re the useless degrees, sold to our students, I believe it was a scam of monumental proportions. It massaged the jobless figures, (& still does) while at the same time selling them a loan they couldn't afford in the hope of highly paid jobs that never existed & never will.

14 January 2014 at 10:47  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Preacher said...

Re the useless degrees, sold to our students, I believe it was a scam of monumental proportions. It massaged the jobless figures, (& still does) while at the same time selling them a loan they couldn't afford in the hope of highly paid jobs that never existed & never will."

It was Blair's equivalent of the national service to hide the young that would be unemployed under their regime..massaging figures most successfully but giving false hope to the tens of thousands of 'media students' encouraged into college and Uni.

At least with NS they weren't left with a loan around their necks.



being RC, IDS believes the vulnerable, jobless and disabled shirkers should work for their like RC's version of salvation?

14 January 2014 at 11:09  
Blogger Len said...

Our whole economy is staggering towards its eventual demise.
The idea of 'cuts' to pay of 'debts' is an entire fallacy.
Our economy runs on debt(borrowing)from money 'created' by the banks.

The bank 'creates' money which doesn`t exist then lends this money out plus interest.Then we repay interest on money which is just a series of numbers created by the bank.

The whole system is based on people believing the numbers(money)in their possession have any real value.
Someone has to be blamed for all this debt which has been racked up and lets see who can we blame?.

14 January 2014 at 11:40  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

At last, old Ernst has discovered how HG's mind reading advertising banner strap works.

Looked at paints on the internet, only to come to the HG's blog to see B& Q offering their plethora of DIY selections.

Here's me getting paranoid for no good reason.

Thank God I wasn't browsing Asian dating websites?

*Huge Chuckles*


14 January 2014 at 12:07  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Dear Ernst,
Did you not see an add for cat food? I'm sure I saw Tiddles browsing across the keyboard!

14 January 2014 at 12:54  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Mr Integrity @ 12.54

Tiddles is often here nowadays. Comes through the wires you know. Nicks our cat's feed he does - a very naughty cat is that Tiddles ! And I'm still suffering my post - Christmas alcohol free ordeal !

14 January 2014 at 14:53  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Mr Integrity @ 12.54

Tiddles is often here nowadays. Comes through the wires you know. Nicks our cat's feed he does - a very naughty cat is that Tiddles ! And I'm still suffering my post - Christmas alcohol free ordeal !

14 January 2014 at 14:53  
Blogger IanCad said...

grumpyoldcl @ 06:11

Yes, you are right, it is the insurance companies who have got really scared, thus casting huge financial burdens on the employers.

However, HSE is a terror. Just a short while ago I read of a builder who was fined thirty thousand pounds for using the bucket of his JCB as a working platform. What's the problem with that?

They are emasculating the manhood of our land.

I hope we don't have to fight another war.

14 January 2014 at 17:24  
Blogger Anglican said...

Concerning the idea that all the political parties have, that sooner or later our economy will be back to ‘normal’ (if only we have the right policies, about which the parties differ), I have for long had very serious doubts. This will affect the young especially – it will be their future.

We have colossal debt – both governmental and private. The only policies the parties seem to have is to inflate the debt away and restore the economy by going even deeper into debt. Hardly a long-term solution.

We are also likely to have a severe energy crisis before long. I have always had doubts about the future of our oil & gas powered economy. Shale gas is very unlikely to provide anything beyond very short-term relief (see the comments in today’s Telegraph article on Fracking and the EU made by Antiehypocrite). We, and other countries, are just not prepared for an energy crisis. The belief in ‘business as usual’ could well, when it does not happen, cause the young in particular to resort to revolutionary action – which will be of no help at all. There is a very flawed belief that we (or the state) are masters of our destiny. We are not. Perhaps some at least will then start to take Christianity seriously.

14 January 2014 at 17:48  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Rambling Steve

"I pity the young. Student debt, unaffordable housing, foreigners taking their jobs and on top of all that my and my parents unfunded pension, healthcare and other liabilities.

I do not see how we can get out of this mess by the kind of politics thst got us into it."

There is only one way out of it, many nations in the same predicament have got out of it in the same way.

It is called inflation and or default. We have had some of it with the devaluation of sterling. When we just keep printing money. Greece will default first or leave the Eurozone revalue the currency and the populace suddenly find themselves poor due to inflation.

There is a third way. Leave the EU, remove all taxes, slash the number of laws, red tape and size of Government. It will be miserable for many, but we might just make it. People have got to be willing (and able) to take risks and the Government cannot be constantly, punishing people for taking risks and creating opportunities for British people whether at home or abroad. It will take a whole new mindset (UKIP is the nearest but not even 1/8 of the way there) and you cannot do it piecemeal


14 January 2014 at 18:56  
Blogger Peter Thomas said...

Duncan-Smith is a nasty piece of work who shortly after coming into office cut help with mortgage interest for many people claiming pension credit - mostly those over sixty years of age who had had to retire early through ill health - many of whom, unable to make up the shortfall because of their fixed income, found themselves at that late stage in their lives having to sell their home and move into rented accommodation. These were usually people who had worked hard and paid their dues most of their lives. It was called the 'quiet cut' because no one, either politician or media, were the slightest bit interested. It's hardly surprising they have now turned their sights on the young. Remember his dubious educational CV claims and the 'Betsygate' scandal and then tell me 'what lies at the core of his being'.

14 January 2014 at 23:22  

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