Friday, 27 April 2007

'Welfarism is destroying Britain' (discuss)

Earlier this week, the Tory leader David Cameron said a number of very sensible things about civility. Our culture was becoming progressively de-civilised, he declared.

Whether expressed through public rudeness or neglecting the elderly, there was an alarming general decline in social responsibility.

To combat this, he repeated his commitment to encourage marriage, and strong and stable families.

He also argued that governments alone could not be responsible for people's behaviour or the delivery of public services, and that Labour's addiction to 'state interventionism' was stopping people taking responsibility for themselves. Admirable sentiments indeed.

Yet as he spoke, a very large elephant was lumbering unremarked around the room. That elephant is called the welfare state.

It is the welfare state which, more than anything else, has created the culture of incivility, irresponsibility, family breakdown and disorder of which Mr Cameron spoke.

The direct link between welfarism and the 'me-society', between welfare rights and the erosion of the ties of duty that should bind us together, is unmistakable. Read more

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