David Cameron declared yesterday that some people who are poor, fat or addicted to alcohol or drugs have only themselves to blame.
He said that society had been too sensitive in failing to judge the behaviour of others as good or bad, right or wrong, and that it was time for him to speak out against “moral neutrality”.
In a conscious shift of strategy, the Tory leader said he would not shirk from discussing public morality and claimed that social problems were often the consequence of individuals’ choices. “We talk about people being ‘at risk of obesity’ instead of talking about people who eat too much and take too little exercise,” he said. “We talk about people being at risk of poverty, or social exclusion: it’s as if these things—obesity, alcohol abuse, drug addiction—are purely external events like a plague or bad weather.
“Of course, circumstances—where you are born, your neighbourhood, your school and the choices your parents make—have a huge impact. But social problems are often the consequence of the choices people make.”
Obviously, I do have some reservations and these are doubts that are shared by Timmy.
However, there’s a much greater problem with the idea of society (by which he means government of course) saying what was right and wrong: according to whom? It’s not all that long ago that homosexuality was agreed by society to be wrong and that thus it was a crime (one slightly odd factoid I’ve dug up. Between 1800 and 1827, some 40 people were hung for sodomy as against just under 400 for murder, umm, England and Wales figures I think, not GB). Iran apparently still operates on this basis. We can’t even use the straight Millian definitions of as long as it doesn’t harm others or their own rights: adultery certainly causes emotional pain, but does that mean we should adopt the Saudi approach to it of whippings and beheadings?
On the face of it telling everyone what is right and what is wrong is extremely attractive: the problem comes as above, in defining what it is that we are going to be telling people. We might indeed be more enlightened to be telling people that racism wrong, shagging not, but looking around at other human societies (both geographically and in time) shows that plenty of other not so enlightened ideas have been considered right and wrong, those latter something that society should righteously punish.
Not a can of worms I think we want to open, eh?
I tend to agree; if Dave were merely calling for people to take responsibility for their lives, rather than attempting to have society define right and wrong, then I would be totally behind him. Nevertheless, it is certainly the closest that I have come to agreeing with the massively-foreheaded tit, so congrats to him.
The superb Leg-iron, in a post that you should read the whole of, uses said speech as a springboard for a rant against the PC brigade.
You might be poor. You might be disabled. Do something about it. The PC buffoons don't want you to, naturally. They encourage you to play the victim. They encourage you to be dependent and weak and to bleat about how 'they' oppress you.
It's all lies. There is someone oppressing you but it's not who you think. It's the PC sods themselves. They want you dependent...on them.
See, the only way the PC parasites can survive is by having a host to sap life from. You—the poor, the minorities, the disabled—you are that host. if you become independent, if you think for yourself, if you get away from the handouts and the tidbits they tempt you with, they wither away.
They don't want you immigrants to learn English. They want to provide you with translations. Why? Because if you learn English, you don't need the succubus on your back any more. You can function perfectly well on your own.[*—DK]
They don't want you cripples getting out of those chairs. They want to get you benefits, they want to take you on trips, they want to have meetings to discuss your 'issues'. Why? Because once you realise that your brain was never in your legs, that the Internet means you can work without travelling, that many people with perfectly functional legs never bloody walk anywhere anyway, you won't need the Parasite Class any more. You can function perfectly well on your own.
They don't want you poor people getting ideas about working or (god forbid) starting up businesses. That's why benefits are so generous, and why the penalties for doing any kind of work or saving any money while on benefits are so dire. It's a trap that takes courage to break out of but believe me, it's well worth it. Not so much for the money, more for the freedom from those pompous, smug, self-important bastards who, like it or not, control your lives now. If you take that step, and I'm not going to pretend it'll be easy because they will place hurdles in your way, then you won't need the Pestilential Cretins any more.
This is, of course, absolutely true. These charities are an industry like any other and, whilst they may really want to help, they are, at the same time, entirely business-like in their determination to seek new markets and to keep themselves in business.
The difference is that, generally, they rely on large amounts of taxpayers' extorted money, rather than attempting to sell them goods that they might want to buy.
* I have told this story before, but when I worked in the medical centre, I had to accompany one of our patients to his father's funeral. The family were Turkish-Cypriots and had been living in Britain for some forty years.
Even so, the mother could speak barely any English whatsoever: "hello", "goodbye", "yes", "no", "please" and "thankyou" were the limits of her grasp of the language of the country that she had lived in for four decades.
Take from that what you will...