Owen Jones goes into the Lion’s Den | Tory Party Conference | Owen Jones


This week has seen overwhelming levels of smugness and [somewhat higher than usual levels of] vitriol present in Manchester as the annual Conservative Party Conference is underway. Whilst some less-subtle people, perhaps misguided, perhaps overwhelmed by the gravity of reality caused a bit of scene outside which undermined the legitimacy of the actual protests, spry Socialist Owen Jones has ventured through the looking glass to get a first-hand feel for the people behind the generalised establishmentarian misery.

Which is great. Good for him for seeking the other side of the argument for the sake of a balanced conclusion. It is true that we sometimes forget that behind the labels are individual people with the power of reason. I however, have reasoned that a lot of Tories are either scared of change, too comfortable to envision a different way, too influenced by the media, too short-sighted to look at a bigger picture or too ignorant to care (my possibly harsh generalisation) – and I would imagine that Mr. Jones agrees with me. Based on the conversations he’s had with these attendees, they seem to just have different values, of status and position and impression and stuff. Personally, all these transient things are not to be valued.

The guy at 3:36 obviously didn’t expect to be interviewed, but whatever he’s on he seems to be at the conference for a jolly. And that tells me a lot about his attitude, at least.

 

Benefit sanctions: the 10 trivial breaches and administrative errors | Society | The Guardian

The coalition’s benefit sanctions regime, under which more than 1 million jobseekers had their unemployment benefits stopped last year, has spawned hundreds of documentary accounts of claimants being penalised for capricious, cruel and often absurd reasons.

via Benefit sanctions: the 10 trivial breaches and administrative errors | Society | The Guardian.

An Ideological programme that is manifested in the effects on the lives of real people.

Whether, philosophically speaking, you believe in welfare as a principle and the conditions in which it should be applied, the main problem here is the same across our current political spectrum – it is a system that is not fit for purpose. One could argue that the current situation is a direct result of Tory reform (whose ideology is fundamentally opposed to welfare in general) in blinkered service of the deus ex machina of ‘Economic Growth’, but in addition to this causality the main problems seem to be caused by the enemy of progress across parties – Bureaucracy (incidentally, another thing that the Tories pledged to reform, and New Labour is guilty of exacerbating).

The fact is, if you think people can lead a cushy life ‘sponging’ off the government, you’re sadly mistaken. Regardless of this, the Welfare State – including the NHS – is something that was conceived and incepted to represent a capacity towards the greater good, and it’s systematic dismantling that leaves some of the most desperate people in the country (particularly in this example seemingly people with mental health issues?) in hopeless situations, is quite frankly backwards.

But I suppose that’s what Conservatism is all about, at the heart of it.

See also:

The Beveridge report revisited: where now for the welfare state?

Revealed: how coalition has helped rich by hitting poor