Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The language of entitlement

My impecunious but peripatetic Greek friend is on coruscating form as he lays into a LibDem Voice article by some arse called Nick Perry, "a mental health social worker" (make of that what you will).
The Times article in question goes even further in its fatuous wrongness:
The decision will cost families earning less than £307 a week about £600 a year, equivalent to a penny rise in their income tax for each child.

No, no, no, no, no! No it won't! These families don't get free school meals at the moment! This decision will not cost them "a penny rise in their income tax"—it won't "cost" them a penny. Ah, you may say, but it adds up to the same thing, doesn't it? But no, it does not. Because once we allow, once we permit, this language to creep into our discourse, to become accepted as true, then we buy into the idea that every time the state does not provide something for us we are somehow impoverished, when in reality the precise opposite is the case.

This is the vicious circle through which the state increases its insidious grip on all of us, rich and poor. Easy political capital is bought by extending entitlements slowly through the lower echelons of society, and once established they are fiendishly difficult, if not impossible, to remove; they become the new 'normal' against which all else is measured. A vast client state has grown over the years, quietly and insidiously, like HG Wells' red weed—and it is bought and sold with taxpayers' gold.

And what is perhaps most obscene is that the very people we are talking about here—families in low-paying jobs—are taxed through the nose on a large proportion of that income. It's a vast protection racket, nothing more; nice kids you've got there Mrs Smith, wouldn't want them to go hungry, would we? And so they fork over the cash every month and are supposed to feel grateful, pathetically grateful, when they get some of it back in government largesse. It makes me fucking sick.

The Lib Dems' policy to extend the personal allowance to £10,000 is one of their few good ones. This government has pledged to meet that goal. They'd fucking better, because taking taxes off families on the very lowest wages is a disgrace, and we should not be forcing these people to work in indentured servitude for the state. It's one of the great scandals of our time, and if this lot do anything to roll it back, they'll have proved themselves more "progressive" than any government in decades.

As my angry Athenian friend notes—and repeats for emphasis—cancelling a proposed increase in government spending is not a cut, and it is a perversion of the English language to claim that it is.

I knew that the LibDems were pretty bloody awful, but can they really be this fucking stupid and evil? Yes: yes, they can.

And I wouldn't give two craps if they were cutting all school meals, frankly. Listen up, parents: I already subsidise you and your ghastly offspring through Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Child Trust Funds; I pay for their bloody education and I subsidise their playgrounds; I pay because you seem to think that having a child gives you special rights to waltz out of work or take extra holiday too.

So, here's a message for you: it's got to stop. Can't afford a child on your own, without raping the wallets of those who have none? Well, don't have any damn children: I am sick and tired of being rinsed to pay for your lifestyle choices.

And if you seriously cannot even afford to feed the little bastards, then I suggest that you be forced to give them up for adoption, so that parents who want children and who have the required cash to fulfill this most basic of needs can get on with doing so.

I just don't see why the hell I should be forced to pay for any of it.


The Great Simpleton said...

Its not just single people who do the paying.

Some parents take there role very seriously and make sure that they earn enough to pay more than they get back, over their lifetime and we are equally pissed off at the entitlement culture.

Little Englander (sour) said...

It all started when the Old age Pension became, in official parlance, a "benefit". before then it was an "entitlement", people paid in by way of NI contributions and successive governments used the proceeds as if they were revenues and to be spent as such. The forecasted crises which, apparently, will cost every household £4,000 was brought about by govermental blagging of other peoples money.

Squitch said...

But, but, ..., but one of the starving little souls might be the next Jesus ...