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Iain Duncan Smith Compares Being On Benefits To Slavery

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/iain-duncan-smith-compares-being-on-benefits-to-slavery-and-suggests-he-is-acting-in-tradition-of-abolitionist-9080982.html

Iain Duncan Smith has suggested being on benefits is a form of slavery and he is like abolitionist William Wilberforce through his introduction of welfare reforms.

The Work and Pensions Secretary made the comparison in a speech to the Centre for Social Justice, a thinktank Duncan Smith set up in 2004.

He said his benefit changes were about a “journey from dependence to independence” and that that was part of the Conservatives “historic mission – just look at Wilberforce and Shaftesbury.”

He talks repeatedly about how the reforms will set people “free” from their old lives in Britain’s welfare ghettos and twice describes his policies as a “historic” break from the old ways. He talks about those on benefits being “trapped in their clutches” and said his reforms would put individuals back in control of their own lives.

IDS aiming to set us all free from slavery.

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Eh, surely they are diametric opposites.

Slavery: Work for no money

Benefits: Money for no work

Due to IDS, you now have to work for benefits, and due to sanctions, you might not even get any money.

Benefits can be 'work for no money', is this what IDS is trying to say?

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Eh, surely they are diametric opposites.

Slavery: Work for no money

Benefits: Money for no work

The real parallel with slavery is the fact that government gives landowners the right to forcibly exclude others from the space and resources which "their" land provides without needing to compensate them for this exclusion. If landowners were forced to pay everybody else for this privilege there would be minimal need for benefits.

One day our descendants will view the idea of exclusively occupying land without compensating other citizens for the privilege with disgust just as people today view forcing somebody to work for no money with disgust.

Edited by Dorkins

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Iain Duncan Smith has suggested being on benefits is a form of slavery and he is like abolitionist William Wilberforce through his introduction of welfare reforms.

Maybe he's talking about the bankers on bailouts and other taxpayer funded benefits and he's trying to justify setting them free from their welfare ghettos with another bonus/pay rise.

He's so like William Wilberforce :lol:

Edited by billybong

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Eh, surely they are diametric opposites.

Slavery: Work for no money

Benefits: Money for no work

If the people who work and pay taxes are worse off than the people on benefits - aren't the taxpayers slaves not the benefit claimants?

It is depressing when you go to work and you see a single mum in a nicer home than you can afford.

Edited by iamnumerate

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If the people who work and pay taxes are worse off than the people on benefits - aren't the taxpayers slaves not the benefit claimants?

It is depressing when you go to work and you see a single mum in a nicer home than you can afford.

Why? You're (presumably) not a single mum.

If you compare your life to other people's you'll most likely always find something to be depressed about.

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The real parallel with slavery is the fact that government gives landowners the right to forcibly exclude others from the space and resources which "their" land provides without needing to compensate them for this exclusion. If landowners were forced to pay everybody else for this privilege there would be minimal need for benefits.

One day our descendants will view the idea of exclusively occupying land without compensating other citizens for the privilege with disgust just as people today view forcing somebody to work for no money with disgust.

That's somewhat optimistic! I don't really notice much consciousness over land reform other than on this forum. Most people are happy to fright it out over the crumbs.

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If the people who work and pay taxes are worse off than the people on benefits - aren't the taxpayers slaves not the benefit claimants?

It is depressing when you go to work and you see a single mum in a nicer home than you can afford.

You have to remember though that the conservatives don't actually care. They use your sentiment as a justification to cut the welfare bill and to get votes. I won't say that you're wrong in the way that you think. But I will say that the conservatives are not your real friend.

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Why? You're (presumably) not a single mum.

If you compare your life to other people's you'll most likely always find something to be depressed about.

I get more depressed by blatant thievery and injustice than other people's good fortune, however.

Come on, you can do better than that. Isn't outrage at injustice the entire basis for the Left's existence?

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If the people who work and pay taxes are worse off than the people on benefits - aren't the taxpayers slaves not the benefit claimants?

It is depressing when you go to work and you see a single mum in a nicer home than you can afford.

If you and the single mum were both entitled to the same citizens income there would be nothing to feel jealous about.

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If you and the single mum were both entitled to the same citizens income there would be nothing to feel jealous about.

Exactly,and that is why one day we will get one.Its the only long term answer to welfare.

It will mean a lot less income for many over the short term,but a much stronger economy and society long term.

It needs to be alongside land tax reform though.Unless we get a land tax that cant be wiggled out of for any reason nothing will work.

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Nothing worse than someone on a mission to save us. The lunatic running the asylum.

Usually that mission is about their own egos and warped view of the world. It is sad to see the divide and rule tactics working so well, whilst we turn a blind eye to the more serious issues because either it concerns the powerful or the power enabling.

Great shame that Frank Field didn't get the 'mission,' one of the few normal-ish MPS with an understanding of the subject. His problem another 'man on a mission' - Brown, who is currently swanning round the world giving out his expertise on £10,000 a week expenses.

Citizens Income with Land Value Reform given the economic and technological road ahead must be the way forward.

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Exactly,and that is why one day we will get one.Its the only long term answer to welfare.

It will mean a lot less income for many over the short term,but a much stronger economy and society long term.

It needs to be alongside land tax reform though.Unless we get a land tax that cant be wiggled out of for any reason nothing will work.

Yes indeed.

Btw, I`m going to a medical to claim Industrial Injuries Benefit this coming week. I`m 100% Ok though, it`s all in my head I`ll argue!

What larks!

Not a wasted journey because it`s on the way to Aldi.

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IDS seems to be losing the plot entirely now- maybe the implosion of UC has sent him over the edge. Trying to equate welfare dependency with slavery is a fairly torturous analogy to say the least.

What I think he is saying is that welfare dependency is a trap that keeps people 'enslaved' in the sense that it prevents them from moving forward with their lives- something I think a lot of people living on benefits could agree with.

But his solution to this problem is to make the benefits system more punitive and more inflexible- the result being that those who are dependent on it cling ever more tightly to what they have and become even more risk averse and dependent than they were before.

At this point avoiding sanctions and navigating the many traps in place for the unwary has become a new kind of slavery-who's got the time to actually improve their situation when the system itself is now clearly out to get you?

So while he has correctly identified the problem- his 'solutions' merely exacerbate that the problem. What we need is not a more punitive and inflexible welfare system- we need a more intelligent and adaptable one- a system, for example, that could cope with the reality of things like zero hours contracts where work might come not in neat 40 hour weeks but in messy chunks scattered over the timeline-the present system cannot begin to deal with the insecure and fragmentary nature of many people's employment opportunities.

As a result it's far to dangerous for a person on welfare to take on a short term job because the welfare system will inevitably screw up their claim and they will be exposed to the quasi fascist regimes underbelly as they then have to reinstate that claim when the work period ends.

The truth is that while IDS styles himself as a heroic figure of social change the reality is that he cannot seemingly abandon the cherished Tory stereotype of the benefit claimant as a feral creature whose base instincts render him impervious to all attempts at reform and to which the only solution is to burn out the nest in an attempt to eradicate the infestation.

We need a smarter model of the claimant before we can develop a smarter response to his situation. Alas IDS has failed to develop this model and even recently was to be found repeating the tired old meme that benefit claimants smoke and drink away their money while their children go hungry. Does this ever happen- almost certainly. Is it in any way typical of the people who claim benefits? Almost certainly not.

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As a result it's far to dangerous for a person on welfare to take on a short term job because the welfare system will inevitably screw up their claim and they will be exposed to the quasi fascist regimes underbelly as they then have to reinstate that claim when the work period ends.

It's even worse with sickness benefits. You used to be able to try a small amount of work, paid or voluntary, with the safety net of knowing if you couldn't maintain it you could go back on benefit. Now no-one will dare go down this route as once you lose it then it's gone for ever.

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I get more depressed by blatant thievery and injustice than other people's good fortune, however.

Come on, you can do better than that. Isn't outrage at injustice the entire basis for the Left's existence?

The greater injustice would be to see a single mum and child live in poverty as capitalists had not kept the productivity and wages link in place. The subsequent fall in living standards over time creates a perspective where benefits seem to be luxurious to a working man. The same people that created this forced perspective then blame the single mum and child using their capital to indoctrinate the workers via media.

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It's even worse with sickness benefits. You used to be able to try a small amount of work, paid or voluntary, with the safety net of knowing if you couldn't maintain it you could go back on benefit. Now no-one will dare go down this route as once you lose it then it's gone for ever.

Exactly- by making the system more punitive they have increased dependency and risk aversion. Why is this obvious to a couple of random internet posters but apparently beyond the wit of the self styled savior of the slaves of welfare?

Perhaps because any real attempt to reform the system in an intelligent way would involve the risk of being seen as 'soft' on welfare?

We haven't yet seen footage of the inhabitants of 'benefit street' intercut with footage of rats teeming through sewers- that would be a little crude perhaps-but if they could get away with it? Some of the NLP brigade on the Tory fringe might think it worth a few votes.

Edited by wonderpup

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You can see where this is going:

arbeit_macht_frei.jpg

If IDS had been in charge of setting up the camps the Jews would have been quite safe. The man is incompetent, and Cameron is weak for hanging onto him when he ought to have replaced him with somebody better years ago.

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Can't find a transcript of the speech - it's all in the newspapers.

Interesting definition of crime:

"At its very worst, the present system makes criminals out of those trapped in its clutches. Faced with losing up to 94 pence of every pound they earn because of how benefits are withdrawn, too many end up in the shadow economy or working cash in hand."

The Tories don't have a libertarian bone in their bodies.

edit: a prize for spotting the first pro-IDS comment in this Telegraph thread:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10591755/Iain-Duncan-Smith-welfare-reform-is-like-struggle-against-slavery.html

Edited by okaycuckoo

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The greater injustice would be to see a single mum and child live in poverty as capitalists had not kept the productivity and wages link in place. The subsequent fall in living standards over time creates a perspective where benefits seem to be luxurious to a working man. The same people that created this forced perspective then blame the single mum and child using their capital to indoctrinate the workers via media.

The government nicks half my money. How much do the capitalists swipe?

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Why? You're (presumably) not a single mum.

If you compare your life to other people's you'll most likely always find something to be depressed about.

True although I used to be worried that young women would like at what they can live if they work or if they get pregnant and choose being a pro single mum.

Fortunately the benefit cap should stop that from happening. I hope it goes down a bit more though. I would put it at £21 k p.a.

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