Smart Cards For The Friendless

by Dick Puddlecote

I’d briefly planned to write something on Iain Duncan Smith’s “smart cards for the feckless” policy but had discarded the idea, thinking that it would – like almost everything the coalition has announced since 2010 – be creaking under the strain of universal hilarity by the time I got round to it.

Apparently not. In fact, unless my being extremely busy with that real life thing has meant that I missed the conflagration of criticism, there has been little comment on the matter. It would seem that the public’s general penchant for sneering at the lives of those deemed inferior has blinded almost everyone to the unthinking idiocy of the plan.

I say almost everyone because Angela at Liberal Vision has nicely filleted it, whilst also raising valid points about the mission creep for which it could pave a nice flat, smooth path with pretty raised brick border and colourful – yet tastefully nuanced – shrubbery.

You see, this is how IDS views the world of the underclass: (cue idyllic 1930s English countryside ditty)

Bert: ‘Ere, Joe. The social ‘av just given me this ‘ere smart card. Instead of me benefits, I gotta use this in shops and it won’t work if I try to get me fags and booze!
Joe: The bastards! So what yer gonna do, then?
Bert: Nuffink I can do, is there? I’m just gonna ‘av to give up the drink and smokes and go get a job!

Whereas anyone who has ever lived amongst or near the type of people IDS is targeting know the conversation would, more likely, go like this:

Bert: ‘Ere, Joe. The social ‘av just given me this ‘ere smart card. Instead of me benefits, I gotta use this in shops and it won’t work if I try to get me fags and booze!
Joe: The bastards! Anyfink I can do to help, mucker?
Bert: Well, I suppose. You can still buy that stuff, can’t ya?
Joe: Yeah. ‘Ere, tell you what. Why don’t I get your baccy and beer, and I’ll give you a food shoppin’ list for the same amount. Then I just come round your gaff and we swap.
Bert: Sorted! Cheers, mate.

So, in short, IDS’s plan will only work for those who can count on no-one trustworthy enough to do a deal with. Not so much smart cards for the feckless as for the friendless. It also shows his astounding lack of understanding as to the resourcefulness of working class (or, indeed, non-working class) folk. They’ve been dancing round the – mostly class-motivated – avalanche of sin taxes and government regulations on their way of life for millennia, why would they stop when faced with something as poorly thought-out, and easily counteracted, as selective smart cards?

A convenient headline grabber for the Daily Mail contingent, then, while also gently introducing the idea of smart cards as a means of lifestyle control to a largely bovine public.

Just what we’ve come to expect from politicians of late, sadly.

2 responses to “Smart Cards For The Friendless

  1. Much simpler just to steal it. this will of course be the most probable route. the reason that the Political EnemyClass has thought this one out thoroughly is that /_IT WILL increase violent crime_/ … which is what they plan, for it will require simultaneously the promise of “More Bobbies On The Beat” and “more surveillence”.

    These are the points of the exercise.

    I continually cannot get it, how all you people assume that the political OverClass is stupid, and cretinous, and “doesn’t understand”.

    It understands exactly what it is doing, why it is doing it, and has done so for many many decades. You people are blind, not them.

  2. “Food Stamps” – were supposed to achieve the same result “welfare that would not be spent on vices”.

    An unholy alliance of the farm lobby (Food Stamps would mean more stuff bought – or so they hoped) and the leftists got Food Stamps passed in the United States in the 1960s – they were supposed to be a for a few people.

    The “few” people have now turned into 46 million people – perhaps the government should set up gladitorial contests as well (the full Roman “bread and games”).

    And any attack upon Food Stamps is met by the lies about how the person who is speaking against Food Stamps wants to “starve the poor”. As if the poor were dying in the streets when Ike was President back in the 1950s.

    And, of course, New York City has been told by the Governor of New York State that it is not allowed to check (via finger prints and so on) that the people who turn up with the Foodstamps actually are the people they say they are.