Sunday, 21 August 2011

Seeing the wood for the trees

Whilst the PM's recent "cracking skulls" type soundbites might have resonated among those who are angry at what this nation appears to have descended into, there were questions amongst them as to what extent it would stick. It was in many respects knee jerk and I can understand that.  There was lots of finger pointing from either side of the political divide.  My finger still continues to point in a certain direction.

It soon became clear that there were multiple aspects to the violence and the looting.  One of them is the profile of the looters.  As cases continue to be heard, we see that the spectrum of people involved ranged from the anticipated "scrotes" who gorge on taxpayer funded "free sh*t" to lady chatterly types filling time before the ski season starts by mixing it with the nation's bit of rough.

For those who have read the paper on the Broken Windows Theory, there is little surprise here.  The basic premise here is that given permission to do so through the right signals, even so called respectable folk will engage in lawlessness.

I'm not intending to debate the whys and wherefores too much, except to say that it points to an underlying problem across the various systems which run our society.  There are a range of "broken windows" across the whole system, that invite people to take advantage of the mess.  Under the current system it simply isn't possible to seperate those who are beyond hope and redemption from those who simply do because everyone else is and they can get away with it.  For politicians looking to address the problems, they should start here as opposed to pratting about in pointless efforts such as shutting down communication tools.

One area they should really start with is welfare reform and the underclass it breeds.  The UK welfare system is like a golden tit that gives off a shine which can be seen across the whole planet and draws in the hoardes.  In a country that seems to be sliding down so many international scales, what could it possibly be that is causing people from across the world to beat a path to our door? Why are they forsaking, the allure of all of those other nations they pass through en route to beat a path to dear Old Blightie.  Of course I fully accept that some are genuinely seeking to escape opression, but in an adult conversation we have to accept that there is a huge group of people with only one destination in mind - Britain and when they land they plug straight into the benefits system.

But before anyone thinks this is an anti immigrant posting, I would like to point out that it is far from it.  Its about the signals that our welfare state gives off.  The high inward immigration is just one aspect of it.  The signal it sends among the British born population is one of a system that gives and asks for little or nothing in return.  It has done this to the point that single motherhood became a economically viable career choice.  We have people who are incapable in the realms of responsibility but high fliers in the dependency industry. Some of these are into their second and third generation of welfare addiction.  Some are people perfectly capable of becoming net contributors to the economy and know this but aren't because they know they can get away with it.

We therefore need a willingness  to address the two aspects of welfare. One to break the generational cycle and the other to send the true message of our welfare system.  The truth of the matter is that the golden tit has dried up.  Once we let the world know that, I think we might be amazed how many might seek to gorge at the nipple of another nation and how many might change.

It would at least give us a chance to see the real size of the problem.

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