Tories revert to their age-old policy of stopping the poor breeding

Occasionally the mask slips and the truth becomes clear.   We had already been told that the Tories planned to limit child benefit to the first two children because it would save money.   Then IDS (Iain Duncan Smith) let the cat out of the bag: he said it would promote “behavioural change”.   This element in the Tory DNA – that the poor are over-dependent on benefits and should have their breeding excesses curtailed – has quite a history.   Keith Joseph made a pitch for the Tory leadership in 1974 with this appeal: “A high and rising proportion of children are being born to mothers least fitted to bring children into the world…Some are of low intelligence, most of low educational attainment….The balance of our human stock is threatened”.   The message hasn’t changed in the last 40 years – control the lower orders, suppress their breeding, check their spending, moralise against their life-styles.

The same message was driven home by Baroness Jenkin, wife of Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, who opined last month: “poor people don’t know how to cook”, and regaled us with the story that she had had a large bowl of porridge which cost 4p.   Astonishingly she was presenting the Church of England report on foodbanks which found that 4 million people in the UK are currently going hungry.   Back to the stereotype that poverty is caused by fecklessness, not by rates of pay so low that families cannot survive on them.   It may come as a shock to Lady Jenkin to discover that there are now more persons in poverty in working families than in workless families.

This Tory prejudice again has a long history.   It underpinned the Poor Law for three centuries till it was challenged by Beatrice Webb and others in 1908, and was only finally overthrown by the national insurance and income support laws of the Attlee government in the 1940s.   Now in the Cameron government this deeply embedded Tory instinct to vilify the poor as a degenerate class which needs to be punished to kick it out of its fecklessness has come to the fore again with a vengeance.   Unprecedented cuts in public sector pay and in benefits, combined with ‘sanctioning’ (i.e. depriving claimants of their income for weeks on end and sometimes months even for the most trivial infringements), have been constantly spun on the canard of ‘shirkers/scroungers versus strivers/hard-working families’.

But this time Osborne may have overplayed his hand.   A sceptical public, already anxious about the claim that further deep cuts will still be necessary, are gradually learning the truth about the bedroom tax (some 500,000 families liable to eviction, a third of them disabled) and the huge DWP bureaucratic delays before benefits due are paid out (over 300,000 currently being forced to wait 9 weeks before IDS’ personal independence payments are actually paid).   This is not just about money or reducing the deficit; it’s the class prejudice oozing out of the Tory psyche as their last throw before the election.


11 thoughts on “Tories revert to their age-old policy of stopping the poor breeding

  1. I really can’t see any difference whatsoever between the odious Balls and Miliband, (whose election platform so far seems to consist of little more than hugging Palestinians whilst eating a bacon butty,) and their fellow Tories other than cosmetic and superficial ones.

    It was, after all that fat fraud, Ed Balls not IDS who recently described the unemployed and the disabled as, “people who expect something for nothing.”

    So once again very mixed messages from labor.

    Or not.

  2. This post from the Guardian in response to my last link in the comment above, (currently awaiting moderation,) is so good and pertinent that I’m reposting it.

    RoughSleeper Strummered

    28 October 2014 12:17pm

    Good article, but missed the key issue of the poorest people not allowed food from food banks, while advertising that this is who it is for.

    With The Trussell Trust food banks, and I therefore assume that it is the same with all the others, it is food for people with temporary benefits stoppages only. No benefits allowed, no food allowed. Simple rule. See my previous posts for details.

    I spent 4 years begging ‘Crisis Fareshare’ for a sandwich, as I had no money, and no food. They refused.

    Now 3317 days without food, and money, and no input from any of the ‘charities’ in all of that time.

    Most of the ‘charities’ in this field, act as an extension of the state policies, in return for grants, awards, etc, to perpetuate the state’s ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ to stop cases against it.

    They are too busy writing statistics, getting themselves coverage in the news, to get themselves grants, awards, gifts, donations, standing orders, bequests, to perpetuate their companies, their statistics, their salaries, their own futures. No interest in the starving that they abuse for this purpose.

    If you want to see where most of this food goes, that was bought, & given, by good people, with faith, for the poorest, then hang around at closing time of these charities, and watch the mass downloading of the food to people with mortgaged homes and cars. People that couldn’t possibly be considered in need. It really is a fact, and doesn’t take much research, just takes getting out of a comfy chair to see it.

    From this standpoint, we don’t all do the cliché crime, beg, drugs, drink, cigs. We document it, and hunt in dustbins to try to find food that will keep us going for another day, so that we can bring more attention to it. It isn’t always healthy food, and is never in date. Last night, I was caught going through the bins at the back of the local Subway. I was asked to go around to the front of the shop, and given a free sandwich. Probably to get me on camera, but who cares. One of the fresh things to eat in 3317 days. 1.6p/day doesn’t buy a lot.

  3. NOTE:

    3317 days without food, and money; divided by 7 = 474 weeks without food and money; divided by 52 = about 9 years without food and money, so for me something here doesn’t quite add up, but?

    Having said that I still entirely agree with the post, which would also reflect my own experiences direct, indirect and apocryphal.

    Most, if not all, of these, “charities,” are simply cozy middle class rackets run primarily for the benefit and prestige of their sponsors, managers and staff.

    Nor is this confined only to these wretched Food-banks, (which are and should be a source of profound national shame and are an abomination in any advanced country and which should be abolished as quickly as possible,) many, if not most, charities seem afflicted with exactly the same malaise .

  4. Incidentally, I agree in principle, (on this if about absolutely nothing else,) with Keith Joseph’s observation which I would share that: “A high and rising proportion of children are being born to mothers least fitted to bring children into the world…Some are of low intelligence, most of low educational attainment,” but without his bigotry.

    Most people probably would.

    It has been a classic case of the infamous, law of unintended consequences that the success of the benefit system, (and the NHS,) compounded by low wages and unemployment, has engendered a situation where having children to get state benefits has become viable alternative to gainful employment, particularly, although not exclusively if disability is also involved as well, (and I know several disabled couples with more disabled children than was ever wise to have had and about whose futures I fear.)

    What is the solution?

    Euthanasia by poverty, neglect and depredation, (the IDS; Final solution, solution) should not ever be one of them.

    The Germans under Hitler and National Socialism were at least honest, if brutal and deeply inhumane, they simple murdered all their mental and physical defectives in cold blood.

    In America, Australia and Scandinavia and elsewhere, disabled people, (particularly mentally disabled or those with genetic conditions,) were until quite recently, were too often forcibly sterilized, again brutal and inhumane, and institutionalized, (indeed our jails are still to full of such casualties,) though for the right reason’s as far as that goes.

    This is difficult, harrowing and potentially highly dangerous matter, but one that needs to discussed far more openly and far more honestly and without, (inevitably,) being shouted down by all the vested commercial interests, (privatized social services and charities,) who have and who continue to, so profit financially from the situation.

  5. It is also know as Social Darwinism which is popular with the right-wing in the USA. Amazingly they deny Darwin over creation but insist that ‘the survival of the fitness’ is the general rule.

  6. The americans are finding “slavery by prison” one way of reaping a decent profit from the poor who otherwise are not profitable for the massive Corps, be they .Gov@DC or Lockheed Martin clones. When I saw that Lockheed Martin were responsible for Britains last super nosey census, I have been watching to see when this same system would appear here. In fact didn’t Jack Straw deliver Cheltenham jail to an American “Prison Industrial Complex” Tsar: Wackenhut (or similar)? A trial perhaps. In this new normal, that the more cynical among us refer to as our dystopia, the census is a CV. One has only to criminalise just about everything, and; Poof!!! free workers for the predatory corporations, kickbacks for the papal judicial conglomerate, and a huge new corporate prison system that is a fitting tribute to the likes of Lansley’n’Hunt, and the coalitions’ Danse Macabre.

    Everything is nonsense, resting upon a consent never given but founded upon deceit. Government has had its say and has failed ingloriously and completely as it has sunk into an odious corporatism that rests upon evil.

    I really don’t think the likes of Milliband, or Balls, or any of our non-representatives who are in bondage to the party line are electable.

  7. Yup, right up there with, “co-lateral damage,” and, “mowing the short grass,” the Americans have a cozy euphemism for pretty much everything vile; which doesn’t make the reality any less brutal, sick or obscene.

  8. I really take issue with the attack on the poor because the Tory Government label them as an underclass and yet [in most cases] the government caused their situation.
    Take my situation as a case in point: I had four children [all in in wedlock, as this seems to matter to Tories like IDS et al] and as my ex-husband had his own business, we had our own home and a middle-class lifestyle.
    Everything [from the outside looking in] looked like we were ‘living the dream’, however, ‘all that glitters isn’t gold’ and the truth was far more brutal, as my ex-husband was a vicious-control-freak.
    Nine years, of extreme violence I suffered and a complete nervous breakdown caused/forced me to re-evaluate my life, cut a long story short I had poverty forced upon me. Although, my ex-husband had an affluent business, money, in the bank, etc I never saw a penny – he even refused to pay child support and there was NO CSA back in 1984.
    Life was hell for single parents’ back in the mid-1980s because just as there’s skiver rhetoric of today, single parents’ were attacked and vilified – even though ministers’ like Cecil Parkinson & Tim Yeo impregnated their mistresses, how Tim Yeo sneered when he was attacked by journalists’ over his mistresses love child: ‘My child will NEVER be on social security!’ he spat.
    Apart from the attacks from the government, I have to say I received a lot of help from the local social-housing-landlord, social services, the NHS [mental health teams, doctors, nurses] schools, benefits (until I got a job) etc and I for my part brought my kids up with education as a priority and suffice to say: My eldest child (aged 39), trained as a nursery nurse and married with three children, my second child (aged 37) is an IT consultant, married and one child, my third child (34) lives with his partner, has a phd & lectures/researches at Birmingham University. My fourth child (32) is a career soldier [that has had several promotions] and is married with one child.
    When I raised my kids I enrolled into university [as a mature student] and graduated at age 41.
    Before anyone thinks I’m bragging, please be assured I’m not, I am just proving that a person is only what a government/society puts into them and were it not for all the help I received, I know my kids would not have the advantages that they now have.
    Sadly, people don’t have the help/advantages that I received back in the 80s and what is the fruitage of this? foodbanks, an un-liveable wage, workfare, massive reduction in the public sector, denying people the most basic needs, which is why 84,000 children are homeless in the UK, malnutrition & Victorian diseases are back.
    Sadly, something is eventually going to give and when it does, I don’t think it will be pretty…

  9. well put Michael i have been around and known many lords and senior mp’s since 1960 and yes their masks always slip when it comes to the sick and disabled and those that live in some parts of the country

  10. i should add Michael that the best place for most conservative mp’s and lords would be for them to live in Liechtenstein where they could practice all their right wing agenda to their hearts content and not upset anyone

  11. People tend to be afraid of what they don’t understand; it’s human nature. So perhaps the Tories are actually afraid of the general population; afraid that poor people would want to take money to which they (in the Tories’ eyes) aren’t entitled to! Because to them, it’s all about money and the belief that they are entitled to their wealth and that others are not.

    So, as many Tories are brought up quite remote from the poorest in society, they have no understanding let alone any empathy with those less fortunate than themselves. They have many prejudices and misconceptions, possibly handed down from generation to generation!

    Marion B Martin,Tory party councillor on Ashford Borough Council was recently reported as having said “Being poor is as much a choice as being well off. Life is about choices.”

    Really, with their general attitude, these people are quite unsuitable for governing a country which is largely made up of people who find themselves in circumstances so different to their own.

    Studies have been conducted on “the disturbing link between psychopathy and leadership” so perhaps candidates should be psychoanalised during the vetting process before standing for parliament, to ensure they don’t hold any unhealthy prejudices.

    Oh and on the subject of child benefit, I recently read that when this was first introduced, the birth rate actually went down!

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