The single most sickening aspect of modern British society is the fate of children bred to maximise state benefits. The most extreme recent example is the "British Fritzl," who kept his daughters in captivity and raped them over a period of 25 years in order to produce more child benefit. Fritzl is a sick, sadistic pervert. His British equivalent is a lazy, greedy, sick sadistic pervert motivated by the desire to live free on the work of his fellow-citizens.
We are told that one in ten British children is subject to abuse. How can that be? Surely any parent knows that the instinct to nurture and protect one's children is one of the most powerful drives in nature? Yet, case after case demonstrates (as the persistence of property crime had long since proved) that the evil are, in economic terms, "rational actors." They respond to incentives. If you offer farmers subsidies for oilseed rape, the fields turn yellow. If you offer scum subsidies to have children, they will set to breeding with a will.
I don't hold with the sentimental view that everything driven by a desire for money is evil. Money is just a morally-neutral means of exchange. The desire to have it is simply the desire to have more choices in life. But there are some things (and having children is one of them) that should be driven by higher motives.
Police investigating the disappearance of Shannon Matthews found touching notes from the child to her elder brother;
These children were helpless prisoners at the mercy of an uncaring woman who did not even remember precisely how many of them she had. What chances in life did they have? Sadly, Shannon and her siblings are not alone. Sadly, they are more than averagely likely to grow up to repeat their appalling mother's lifestyle. Baby P. (another child born for the welfare benefits to his mother) had he lived, was more than averagely likely to grow up to be an abusive parent.
Why would anyone create incentives to motivate those least likely to nurture their children to produce the bulk of the next generation? Who stands to benefit? Not the families themselves. Certainly not the children. Certainly not the wider society that will have to deal with them when they grow up (with hope-inspiring exceptions) to be dysfunctional citizens.
The only beneficiary of this system is the Labour Party, which created it.
There is a polite convention in British politics that we assume our opponents, however misguided, to be well-intentioned. I know it is a terrible thing to believe anyone capable of deliberately promoting human misery for political profit, but having grown up in the Labour heartlands, I am afraid I do. The greatest threat to the future of the Labour Party is prosperity. Apart from a few tens of thousands of votes from eccentric aristocrats and Guardian-reading, middle-class sentimentalists, Labour depends on the votes of two categories of people; state employees and the poor. It is in the interests of the Labour Party to maximise the numbers of both. Like Karen Matthews, whom it resembles in so many ways, the Labour Party is a "rational actor."