Such stuff as dreams are made of


Following the government’s broadly popular welfare reforms, there has been much discussion on welfare. Debate has been centred on how deserving those in receipt of welfare are. Interestingly though, there seem so be growing consensus that people are abusing the system and few have come out in defence of the current welfare system. The status quo has become indefensible, so those in favour of welfare are now calling for the government to spend our (and their) money in “better" ways.

A good example of this supernanny argument is Deborah Orr writing in The Independent. She argues that:

The children who are really at risk of becoming professional system-milkers, on drugs, working in the black economy, causing local havoc, need to be helped while they are still at primary school. It is often easy to spot children who are likely to go off the rails very early on in their education. But the things that will help them – boarding schools, special schools geared to their needs – are invariably dismissed as too expensive or out of step with the idiocy of under-resourced, lip-service "inclusion".

It is indeed often easy to spot children who are likely to go off the rails…their parents have been in receipt of welfare for years. They are the children who grow up in areas that are wholly sufficient on government largesse. These areas have had their societal structures fractured by the downward pressures of government interference. Orr’s idea of removing them further via their inclusion in special schools is something of a perverse incentive. After all it was government interference that created these children, more government is not the solution.

Despite claims that we are all middle class now, there is a clear underclass in Britain whose lives are distorted reflections of the twisted dreams of socially conscious politicians. The need for the special education that Orr is demanding is a by-product of a state controlled life.

She is right about one thing though. The government’s welfare proposals are not radical enough. However, instead of special schools, a good place to start would be a flat tax that incentivizes hard work while taking the poorest out of the income tax net. If this was coupled with the introduction of competition and choice in education, it would go a long way to empowering those downtrodden by government.