Tag Archives: Conservative

Tory peer: benefits make the poor ‘breed’

Carrying on with my theme of Consverative politicians showing breathtaking lack of understanding, the newly ennobled Lord Flight (love the name!) has apologised after stating in an interview that child benefit encourages poor people to ‘breed’.

Flight also used class language in his interview with the London Evening Standard, by arguing that middle class people would be discouraged from having children. One wonders if Flight thinks that poor people should be sterilised so the middle classes can go forth and populate?

Howard Flight’s opinions are like something from late Nineteenth Century Social Darwinism. Talk about the urban poor being like monkeys and animals should have gone out with the end of the Victorian era. It’s that kind of talk that gave rise to the eugenics movement, the Nazi’s theories of selective breeding and racial genocide. Not only that, but the disdain is clear to see, by referring to poor people like animals, exactly like how a farmer would refer to their cows or sheep ‘breeding’.

Barely a day goes by without yet another astonishing gaffe from a Tory politician, showing just how out of touch and aloof they are. Once again, David Cameron selected this man to receive a peerage. Make what you will of that judgement.

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Government advisor resigns after recession remarks

Literally hours on from my previous post about class in British society and its effect on the recession, a Government advisor resigned after making inappopriate remarks about the current economic downturn.

Lord Young, a businessman, former Thatcher Government minister and Tory peer, echoed Harold Macmillan’s famous remarks from the 1950′s that Briton’s had ‘never had it so good’. He also referred to the recent downturn as a ‘so-called recession’. Amusingly, his wikipedia entry states that he has ‘not yet’ resigned from his position as Government enterprise advisor. We can only wait and hope.

Lord Young went on to say:

“So, you know, I have a feeling and a hope that when this goes through, people will wonder what all the fuss was about… Of course, there will be people who complain, but these are people who think they have a right for the state to support them.”

These kind of comments show just how removed some sections of society are from reality. The funny thing is, I can sense what Lord Young was trying to say, but he went completely the wrong way about it. They are insulting to people who are struggling, and even more so coming from somebody who quite clearly does not have to worry about where the next meal is coming from, or whether he is going to be laid off. It’s up there with Barbara Bush saying ‘this has worked out quite well for some people’ after Hurricane Katrina, or even Marie Antoinette’s ‘let them eat cake’.

What’s worse for me is that Cameron hired somebody like Young in the first place, it shows either a breathtaking lack of judgement, or it belies the fact that maybe deep down our Dave agrees with Young. It’s all very well for Young to say that he should have chosen his words better, but this is a smokescreen – these are the fundamental thoughts of a whole section of society and the party that represent it. Even if he hadn’t said it, its still what he was thinking deep down. And this naivetey, snobbery and selfishness is what the programme of cuts are based on.

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