Friday, 8 October 2010

The Return of the Undeserving Poor.....

Two days ago I posted this, about the Tory Child Benefit fiasco. I ended the post like this;
"All the Conservative cries of "fairness" are just a diversion from their long term ideoligical nirvana: less tax for the rich, more wealth for the few, keep the middle classes in a balance of comfort and fear, add a few crumbs of conscience money to make it look as if you "care", and let the poor manage how they can."
I almost added a flourish about the "return of the undeserving poor", but I thought that it would be too ridiculous: even the Tories wouldn't be so crass as to talk like that...
Imagine my surprise when watching Newsnight that very night and I saw a senior LibCon Minister, Jeremy Hunt, use exactly that language. Mr Hunt said: "If you are on benefits you shouldn't have children, or any more children. Us posh folk are giving you charity and you better be grateful and well behaved. Just watch it."
I paraphrase of course, but that's the sense of his opinions. Cold charity and like it, the Tory gruel throughout the ages.
In the twenties my dad and his brothers, being too proud to wear the boots they got from the  parish, went to school barefoot. In the interim we have (should that be had?) made some progress and distributed benefits according to need, not by judgement against some middle class moral strictures about the deserving and undeserving poor. Now the finger-wagging parish, in the shape of our ConDem coalition, rears its head again. Dare I mention the workhouse?

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