Libertarian Alliance News Release
Contact Details: Dr Sean Gabb
07956 472 199 sean
Wednesday the 19th December 2012
Drink and the Unemployed:
How Stupid Do These People Think We are?
Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke has introduced a Bill to prevent welfare claimants from buying alcohol and cigarettes, among much else.
Speaking today in London, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, comments on this proposal:
I won’t ask if Mr Shelbrooke is stupid. What matters more is how stupid he thinks we are. His proposal is insultingly worthless to achieve his stated end.
Make his proposal law, and, if If I’m on the jobseekers, and I want a drink or a smoke, all I’ll have to do is buy half a dozen chicken legs for a friend, who will then buy me a bottle of own brand gin or a packet of twenty.
Also, how are shopkeepers to know who’s on benefits unless we’re all kitted out with ID cards that will let anyone and everyone know our employment status?
Or, if the unemployed are to be paid by giving them some kind of charge card, it will simply be another step towards the abolition of cash transactions.
Another point worth making is that being out of work or generally poor and on benefits is no fun. It’s plain sadism to try blocking those on benefits from drowning their sorrows.
By all means, cut down on systematic fraud by largely foreign gangs and by those working inside the welfare system. Also, make it easier for people to get off welfare – by cutting taxes on low pay and cutting regulations on micro-businesses. But leave the genuinely helpless to enjoy the few pleasures that are still not illegal.
Note: in the financial year 2011-12, Alec Shelbrooke collected from the taxpayers a total of £135,726.42 in salary and expenses. In return for this, he supported a government that has done nothing to reduce the deficit, or cut taxes, or roll back the Thatcher-Major-Blair-Brown police state, and that continues to launch and fight unwinnable wars that, even otherwise, would not be in the national interest, and that spends about £50 billion of the taxpayers’ money on the European Union and foreign aid and the global warming scam. He also has the right to benefit from subsidised round the clock drinking in the Palace of Westminster.
Note(s) to Editors
Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He is the author of over a dozen books and a million words of journalism. He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at sean
His recent novel, The Churchill Memorandum , asks what England and the world have been like in 1959 if there had been no Second World War. If you like Bulldog Drummond and Biggles and the early James Bond, this will be right up your street.
Or his book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back , explains how its current ruling class has turned England into a totalitarian police state, and how this ruling class can be overthrown and utterly destroyed.
Or another of his books, Smoking, Class and the Legitimation of Power , explains how the current “war” on smoking has nothing to do with making individuals healthy, but everything to do with enhancing the power of a totalitarian ruling class, and enriching its relevant client groups.
You can see other books by Sean Gabb here .
Extended Contact Details
The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 800 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at http://www.libertarian.co.uk
Our postal address is
The Libertarian Alliance
2 Lansdowne Row
Tel: 07956 472 199