October 5th, 2010
|08:27 am - Wakey-wakey|
I personally don't have a massive problem with the cut in Child Benefit which Osborne has announced. It is much less destructive than the measures which he will announce soon, and if he has to hurt someone let it be those who voted for him. But the events of the last day or so demonstrate two things which will become increasingly significant.
The first is that the announcement itself, and the details of the change, have been botched by insufficient care and preparation. The answers to some obvious questions - for instance the position of two-income households - hadn't been fully thought through, and nobody from the core team was prepared to speak to the media when these issues were raised. I think this is indicative of the current attitude among Ministers: they have underestimated the complexity and importance of public office, and thus approach it in a slap-dash way. This is very dangerous in the long term, like operating a massive machine as if it were a big joke.
The second is that middle class people act like they were betrayed. They are making the same mistake that people did when they voted for Thatcher. They think in a world of 'Us and Them' rich Tories look on a middle class person as 'One of Us'. They do not. They will not look after you. For example, they are happy for the number of white collar jobs in this country to fall quite far. Their economic interests are not tied to preserving the size and current composition of the British middle class.
Of course this current measure does not hurt the middle classes very badly. It's like a little slap. But the slapped person is looking bewildered 'I thought we were friends!'. No.
I had the same reaction. I mean, this is nothing compared to some of the other planned cuts. Try it when both your job and unemployment support have been cut to 'save money', and the cuts in support suddenly don't seem so much of a 'saving'. *headdesk* Who do they think is 'saving' the money, and out of whose pockets? 0.o
I'm just glad that most of my recent trip through the mental health system came before they can get their teeth into it. It's going to be horrible :( Ironically I'm now at the point of getting support mostly from volunteer-led services, but it has taken nine months to get there.)
Edited at 2010-10-05 08:25 am (UTC)
I don't know what will happen to the voluntary sector. Our charity is pinning all its hopes on a lottery money bid which will go out at the end of this month. If we don't get that, heaven knows what will happen.
|Date:||October 5th, 2010 10:06 am (UTC)|| |
And statistically, mental health cases go up during a conservative governament (any one, not Tory, I mean).
I agree. I suppose I don't really want to think about that, because it is so upsetting.
The problem is that now Child Benefit is reserved for the poor it will rapidly become one of those benefits that should go only to the "deserving poor" rather than "scroungers", with the result that elegibility will be cut and the application process will become increasingly stressful. Note the level of right-wing tabloid hate in recent months for poor people who have irresponsibly had too many children.
Edited at 2010-10-05 12:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, I agree these are real issues. I just think in comparison to other things which are abotu to be done the immediate damage is limited.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the way that the right wing encourages fragmentation of the working class, so that people don't recognise their natural shared interests. A really big one at the moment is the hostility being whipped up against people with young children.
|Date:||October 5th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)|| |
In fact, the only category of public hatred figure that is not working class is "bankers". For the rest, immigrants, unions, "slakers" (ie people without a job), and now people who have the gall to live in the inner cities instead of slums where they belong. If you take into account the fact that a lot of that wasteful overabundance of public service workers who are about to be thrown on the street are generally one step away from working class, you sort of have the full house.
I work with bankers - actual human beings with issues, mostly very young and with less than stellar incomes - and I've seen how worse they have become in the last two years. They already work unhealthy hours in an unhealthy environment of artificial competition and skewed priorities, and risk barrelling out of control. Public hatred has made them more manic, more out of touch with reality, and a lot more prone to freak out. And when all is said and done, they are in a privileged position and there out of their own choice.
I can only imagine what this campaign of blaming the individual instead of the system is doing to people with less compensation for it like single moms and disabled benefit recipients. No wait - I don't have to, I was unemployed myself until a month ago.
There's an article in the Guardian today saying that 70% of the money raised so far has been taken from women.
they have underestimated the complexity and importance of public office
I was talking to someone in the civil service in the last few days, whose view (from direct experience) was exactly this. In many cases, this is neither the highest-paid, nor the biggest, job that they have done; unfortunately, that's affecting their attitude towards it.
Yes. This is something I have heard a lot. Running Britain may not be that well paid, but it is very important, and very difficult to get right I think.