I know some people shout about this

But it’s perhaps one of the most popular policies recently:

More than 18,000 households have had benefits capped, including 300 claimants who were receiving more than £40,000 a year, the first official figures to be released since the introduction of tougher rules show.

Dozens of families were receiving benefit payments equivalent to a salary of almost £70,000 a year until the implementation of the Coalition’s welfare cap.

The most popular of course being the cap on housing benefits. Which, you will recall, started out with people thinking that, well, capping HB at 400 a month might be a bit harsh actually, can’t get much for that these days. Then the other shoe dropped and everyone realised it was 400 per week. What? You mean people can get more in bennies than I friggin’ earn?

People just hadn’t known how far the welfare state had gone in splashing the cash.

17 thoughts on “I know some people shout about this”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    I think it is a bigger problem than that. I think we are seeing what Robert Putnam has been (with a very shamed face) talking about for some time – the decline in social capital.

    He has pointed out that multitracial communities have much lower levels of social capital, trust and cohesion than monocultural ones. Even among people of the same race, there is much less general volunteering, community spirit and so on.

    Britain is turning from a society where people trusted their neighbours to one where they no longer do. Less German and more Italian. Greek even. That will have a lot of social consequences, all of them bad.

    And one of them will be an unwillingness to support welfare.

  2. “Britain is turning from a society where people trusted their neighbours to one where they no longer do. Less German and more Italian. Greek even.”

    Really not sure about that, SMFS. Certainly the Greeks I’ve known are some of the most neighbourly people. Little experience of Italians but the Spanish here are much the same. But they do have the notion that neighbourlyness is a reciprocal affair. And that neighbourlyness isn’t something to be brokered through the State to people you wouldn’t want living next door to you.

  3. “People just hadn’t known how far the welfare state had gone in splashing the cash.”

    I think you have to be more specific about who these people were who professed ignorance. Guardian readers? Labour MPs? Sociologists? Who?

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “Certainly the Greeks I’ve known are some of the most neighbourly people. Little experience of Italians but the Spanish here are much the same.”

    I am sure southern Europeans are fine with people they have lived with for the past 500 or so years. It is other people, like Spanish people from the next town, that they have problems with. Unlike Northern Europeans who have very high trust societies. And the Spanish Civil War in places like Andalucia really was an attempt by individual villages to seal themselves off from everyone else and then steal all their land and water.

    It is why Southern Europeans make such bad soldiers.

    “And that neighbourlyness isn’t something to be brokered through the State to people you wouldn’t want living next door to you.”

    I would think that southern Europeans are fine with the State performing all the tasks that civil society should do because they so plainly and deeply dislike each other. They cannot have some organisation like RSPCA, as it used to be, because they do not trust each other and know the leadership would steal all their donations. So it is the State and the Church. But not each other.

  5. To be honest the amount my neighbour gets is far more important than if they are my ethnic group or not.
    I believe Heather Frost is the same race as me but I am equally appalled at the amount she gets as someone who isn’t.

    I think this is the best policy ever, when I heard it I thought I don’t want to emigrate from the UK anymore.

  6. @SMFS
    Andalucia’s where I live. The antagonism between villages , this part of the world, was largely a result of an attempt to repopulate parts of the province with northerners. The cultural difference between say, Gallicians & the Andalus was profound. Almost another language, for a start. You’re looking at a situation was intentionally contrived by Spain’s rulers.

  7. Social capital aka neighbourliness is what you choose to do for your neighbour but with a deeply interfering inefficient and horrendously expensive state disbursing my hardearned the fussy feeling due to helping someone just isn’t there.

  8. Tim, you have missed an opportunity to point out an example of Worstall’s fallacy in reverse:

    “Dozens of families were receiving benefit payments equivalent to a salary of almost £70,000…”

    Unless they were single and childless, they wouldn’t have had to earn £70k to have the same *post* benefit/tax income, once you take into account the various in work benefits they could get, child allowance. And they could still get housing benefits (and /or live in subsidised council/HA accommodation).

    Whether that disproves your point is another question…

  9. @SMFS

    You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.

    “Neighbourliness” in Italy is as high as or higher than in England.

    The problem starts, in any society, when homogenous comunities are broken up (by force, usually, and by socialists) or diluted with immigrants, and it’s not a matter of race it’s a matter of culture (look at N. Ireland).

    heterogeneous societies can survise well enough until it is in the interests of some political to start rocking the boats and then you have the atrocities of the 2nd world war in Eastern Europe and soviet russia, yugoslavia, and now Syria. all these are characterised by ethnic cleansing and turning neighbour against neighbour.

    In the UK, apart from NI, we had mostly overcome these issues until the great NuLab immigration boom combined with insane “welfare” (for whom? not for taxpayers that’s for fucking certain) policies, so we’ll see where all that leads.

    and as for soldiering, well, apart from the two greatest soldiers in History, (Alexander and Julius Caesar, although the latter was more of a raper and pillager) you may be right… Italians prefer to sit on the beach getting laid than tool around in other peoples countries making cunts of themselves, and I have to say, they’re not wrong.

  10. So Much For Subtlety
    November 8, 2013 at 9:41 am
    “. . .And one of them will be an unwillingness to support welfare.”

    I think a *general* unwillingness to support welfare would be hard to separate out from a *specific* unwillingness to pay someone 26,000 pounds and up in welfare. I would think that people would be looking askance at their neighbor no matter what the relative color of his skin is, if he’s making as much or more than you while sitting on his arse at home.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    cuffleyburgers – “You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. “Neighbourliness” in Italy is as high as or higher than in England.”

    Then someone needs to tell three generations of Western anthropologists:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moral_Basis_of_a_Backward_Society

    The Moral Basis of a Backward Society is a book by Edward C. Banfield, a political scientist who visited Montegrano , Italy (Montegrano is the fictitious name used by Banfield to protect the original town of Chiaromonte, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata) in 1955. He observed a self interested, family centric society which sacrificed the public good for the sake of nepotism and the immediate family. …. Banfield postulated that the backwardness of such a society could be explained ‘largely but not entirely’ by ‘the inability of the villagers to act together for their common good or, indeed, for any end transcending the immediate, material interest of the nuclear family’.

    Banfield concluded that Montegrano’s plight was rooted in the distrust, envy and suspicion displayed by its inhabitants’ relations with each other. Fellow citizens would refuse to help one another, except where one’s own personal material gain was at stake. Many attempted to hinder their neighbors from attaining success, believing that others’ good fortune would inevitably harm their own interests. Montegrano’s citizens viewed their village life as little more than a battleground. Consequently, there prevailed social isolation and poverty—and an inability to work together to solve common social problems, or even to pool common resources and talents to build infrastructure or common economic concerns.

    Montegrano’s inhabitants were not unique nor inherently more impious than other people. But for quite a few reasons: historical and cultural, they did not have what he termed “social capital” — the habits, norms, attitudes and networks that motivate folk to work for the common good.
    This stress on the nuclear family over the interest of the citizenry, he called the ethos of ‘amoral familism’ . This he argued was probably created by the combination of certain land-tenure conditions, a high mortality rate, and the absence of other community building institutions.

    “The problem starts, in any society, when homogenous comunities are broken up (by force, usually, and by socialists) or diluted with immigrants, and it’s not a matter of race it’s a matter of culture (look at N. Ireland).”

    You say tomato. I agree that the problem can be cultural. Although obviously the movement of Catholic Poles to the UK is a hell of a lot less disruptive than the movement of Muslim Bangladeshis. Hell, for that matter so is the arrival of Filippinas. But as all racial differences are usually cultural differences it makes no real difference.

    “heterogeneous societies can survise well enough until it is in the interests of some political to start rocking the boats and then you have the atrocities of the 2nd world war in Eastern Europe and soviet russia, yugoslavia, and now Syria. all these are characterised by ethnic cleansing and turning neighbour against neighbour.”

    On the contrary. It is true that they are so characterised. By notice all of them took repressive de facto one-party states to keep at peace. As did Iraq. That is their natural state. It takes a great deal of torture to stop it. This is Britain’s future. As we become more like them democracy becomes more and more unviable. It is not some upper class plot. It is just an inevitable consequence of living with Others.

    “and as for soldiering, well, apart from the two greatest soldiers in History, (Alexander and Julius Caesar, although the latter was more of a raper and pillager) you may be right…”

    It issad to see how far back you have to go in history. But that is the point. They are both old cultures. They used to be homogeneous societies – Rome’s solid peasantry in particular. But 2000 years of corrupt and incompetent leadership has taught most of them the idiocy of dying for your country. Added to which habitual foreign rule for some time and you see where our future is going. If we are lucky. The Italians were fortunate because they could always rely on the Faithful from more martial societies to save them. I doubt that will be true in the future.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    Mr Ecks – “Alexander the Great wasn’t an Italian.”

    He wasn’t Greek either. His grandfather had to fake a descent line from Hercules to prove that his line – and only his line by the way – was Greek in order for him to compete in the Olympics.

    Agammamon – “I think a *general* unwillingness to support welfare would be hard to separate out from a *specific* unwillingness to pay someone 26,000 pounds and up in welfare.”

    There has been a general retreat from welfare among all British people but especially the poor. You may be right, but I don’t think so. As with Sweden turning on their Social Democrats. I think we are seeing the tide of welfare ebb.

    “I would think that people would be looking askance at their neighbor no matter what the relative color of his skin is, if he’s making as much or more than you while sitting on his arse at home.”

    And yet for 50 years British people did not care while those people were the same colour and from the same culture. This is not a new abuse. The Daily Mail has been whining about it for decades. Only now we care. Now Somalis get it.

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