THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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Slavery in Modern Britain

Yesterday, I walked around the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. On my iPod I was listening to Copland's "Lincoln Portrait", which includes a narration featuring some of President Lincoln's own words. One passage struck me as I enjoyed the Chinese art I had gone to see.

It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, 'You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it.' No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle." --October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton

Many people in Britain are living by that same principle today. Do the able but unemployed or "economically inactive" on benefits not say "You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it". How do they differ, precisely, from tyrants or slave-owners? For five months of the calendar year until "Tax Freedom Day", are we not their slaves, forced to work without pay to support them? After all, £200 billion of the UK's £600 billion annual budget is spent on welfare benefits.

Just before I left England last week, I was horrified to hear the story of a young man in his twenties who had been signed "on the sick" for 15 years, after being diagnosed with depression. The logic of his doctor was that it can take that long to treat. So it can - and not always with success. Equally, many of the most successful people in our economy are depressives trying to prove to themselves that they have a right to exist by making a positive contribution to society! I have worked with several. This young chap should, of course, get help but he is unlikely to recover by sitting home between therapy sessions contemplating his sad psychological fate.

In what sane economy would a young man, physically strong, be told to stay home until he is in his late forties because he has a non-disabling illness? Economics apart, what sane doctor would discourage a patient in such a shocking manner? I suspect the doctor did not regard him as a genuine case and chose to give what he thought was a routine lead-swinger exactly what he wanted, without the need to see him again.

How can kind intentions and a desire for social security have led to the majority of us living half our working lives as slaves to idlers? I exempt from all criticism those who are between jobs and seeking work; those who are genuinely disabled and unable to work. My concern is for those (and they know who they are) whose "bad backs," "depression" or whose selfish desires to have more children than they can afford lead them to live their lives in idleness at the expense of their fellows. They are slave masters and should be despised as such.


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Speaking as someone unemployed, I can see where your coming from. However, if you've never looked in to the benefits system it's very easy to assume that all the money goes in to the hands of those signing on. The vast majority of it doesn't! Each "Jobcentre Plus" has a multitude of staff in it paid anywhere from £17,000 to £30,000+ to sit around, shuffle paper and drink copious quantities of coffee/tea, they also get an hours lunch break and generally start packing up and heading home at 4:30pm (having only opened up shop at 9am, no "on-site by 8am" stuff here, ohh no).

All of the software is custom written for them, the job boards have been replaced by armoured up, touch screen driven computers and I've no idea how much the government pays for all that rubbish and the support there off. You can bet your bottom dollar that despite their new computers being cheap Dell's, they didn't pay cheap Dell prices.

Then take some of the schemes, such as New Deal for 18 - 24 year olds. Did you realize that when going through the "work experience" phase the employer of said doleite is being given £2,000 a month, tax free, straight from public coffers? Most people don't and most people don't realize that their exist a multitude of dodgy people hoovering up young doleites and those £2kp/m 'incentives'. As soon as the 6 months is up out goes the now 'unsutible for position' doleite and in comes another to replace them!

What gets my goat is that when working 40% of my pay packet was lifted from me before I'd even got a sniff of it, christ knows what the real percentage is when you factor in VAT on bills, shopping and travel. Including "Council Tax" (or pay us to NOT empty your bins Tax) I wouldn't be surprised if it were closer to 60% of my pay going right back to HM Treasury in one form or another and remember none of that cash is ring fenced for specific works. And yet having dumped nearly £22,000 in to the National Insurance system in 18 months I'm expected to grovel and jump for joy when I'm handed £54 a week back (but only for six months if your partner works more than 16 hours a week or more)? Let me be clear here, if that money had not been stolen from me (yes, stolen the chances of me seeing anything other than a token amount back are zero) I'd have invested it and right now still wouldn't be a burden on the poor working man.

The benefits system and those making use of it have become the new whipping boy of society in my opinion. Yes there are some people really milking it but on the other hand there are those who have paid in to the pot (some have paid a great deal in) and are sat wondering just what the hell they paid for.

Roger Thornhill

Good post.

One man's right is another's obligation. A right to welfare means the taxpayer is, in effect, an indentured servant, with the State as pimp.

The Gray Monk

Hear, hear I say! The problem my friend is that we no longer live in a democratic society, merely in the illusion of one. Our political classes have successfully entrenched themselves in Westminster, in the Civil Service and in the media. They also run and direct the thinking in all our universities and have perverted morality and decency in order to dictate how we should think, speak and behave. Socialism is the single political ideology which has fueled all the wars of the 20th Century and led to the mass murder of peoples right around the globe - and it is now so firmly entrenched in our society that we are all enslaved by those in control of our nation as never before. As a former resident of the USSR you should recognise the signs - an immovable polictical "class", an entrenched set of apparatichiks in the Bureaucracy that is Whitehall and the PC teaching in our universities. Classic Marxism in disguise.


Jesus Christ man, that is a genius post.

I'm not worthy.

Alan Douglas

Dear Tom,

Famous philosopher says "Production is the basis of morale".

So this psych was doing the exactly WRONG thing to handle this "depression".

Alan Douglas

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