My women and I spent yesterday with some friends who live in South East London. They gave us chapter and verse on a thoroughly dispiriting symbiosis of financially corrupt bureaucrats and quasi-bureaucrats and an underclass almost too radically degraded to count as human. To do justice to what I heard would take a long essay that I don’t currently have time to write. But I will give the instance I heard of an illiterate youth admitted to a college. He was let in so the college could get funding for him. Because of his illiteracy, he was provided with a “reader” and a “scribe,” presumably at further cost to the taxpayers.
It’s clear that, even if seriously intended, the Government’s welfare reforms are misconceived. I suspect that the only answer, short of cancelling all welfare entitlements without exception, is something like this:
- Every head of a household without gainful employment should receive a monthly voucher for £500, to pay rent. Landlords would then have to choose between letting their property stand empty and accepting a cut in their own raid on the taxpayers.
- Every head of a household without gainful employment should receive £60 per week, to pay for food and utilities, plus £25 for each dependant to a maximum of four persons. Nobody, no matter how fecund, or allegedly disabled, should get a penny more.
- Nobody born abroad, who moved here after a certain date, should be eligible for any kind of welfare.
- The various welfare bureaucracies should be shut down and replaced with a simplified dispensing agency – the Post Office, perhaps.
- Property crimes should be punished with public flogging, followed by forced labour. That is for those born here. For anyone born abroad, the punishment should be flogging, followed by automatic deportation.
- Nobody in receipt of the welfare described above should be allowed to vote in any election, and should not be allowed to register for the vote until he has been off welfare for two years. Ditto anyone employed by the State or any of its quasi-private agencies.
This pill should be sweetened with radical deregulation at the bottom of the kind that Kevin Carson details. There should also be a ruthless dispossession of the pluto-bureaucratic parasites at the top, and of their clients.
After what I heard yesterday – much of which I already knew – I am inclined to great hardness of heart.