Written by Ed West
Labour’s worst crime wasn’t Iraq, it was welfare. In his excellent The Rotten State of Britain, Eamonn Butler records that the turning point for Labour came on 27 July 1998, “when Frank Field, the Minister of State for welfare reform, was reshuffled into oblivion. Blair had asked the veteran anti-poverty campaigner to ‘think the unthinkable’ on welfare reform. He did: he wanted an attack on benefit fraud, tighter controls on incapacity benefit, and the end of the perverse incentives that he thought created a dependent, work-shy underclass. But his proposals were by then far too radical for an administration that had already settled comfortably into power and did not want to frighten its own left wing."
Published in on Telegraph.co.uk here.