Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Busy ...

Took my daughter to Snowdonia at the weekend to see some of the Welsh relatives. I'd forgotten how beautiful and wild the Llanberis Pass is. Lots of rain up there - Swallow Falls had the most water I've ever seen in the summer.

Lots of stuff about marriage following Mr Duncan Smith's report - let Frank Field say it again :

Just look at how Brown’s tax credit system wallops two-parent families. A single parent with two children working 16 hours a week will gain a weekly income after tax credit payments of £487. The breadwinner of a two-parent family, also with two children, will be required to work 116 hours to get the same income. Such effort is impossible to sustain for more than a week or two.

For every four lone parents leaving benefit for work, only one now leaves because of finding a new companion. Why is this? The earnings of second adults are taken fully into account when computing tax credit levels. The tax on a spouse is 100%. This ruthless discrimination does not only affect two-parent families. It also acts as a Berlin Wall coralling lone parents onto welfare. That is the cruel flip side of a tax credit bias against two-parent families.

We all know what happens when governments tax at such penal rates. Either lone parents don’t repartner. Or they do and cheat the taxpayer. On the last count there were 200,000 more single parents claiming tax credits than are deemed to exist by the Office for National Statistics.

Sian Griffiths on violence and what we teach our children - which will be our future culture, if it isn't already. A whole nation of people who'll pass by on the other side :

Last May when Kiyan’s death at the London Academy school in Edgware first made the headlines I remember thinking: “Dear God, this is so close to where we live.” Like anyone with teenage children living in the capital, I found myself urging them not to intervene in playground or street fights, to walk away from volatile situations, never to consider carrying a knife, even – especially not – for self-defence. And as I worried over them, I wondered what kind of citizens I was teaching them to be.

There doesn't seem anything new to blog about.

Violent prisoners are being let out early - nothing new.

We don't deport foreign nationals who commit crime - instead we grant them British citizenship or give them leave to remain. Nothing new.

The usual weekend London shootings - nothing new.

The Jelly-bellied flag-flapper is flapping again - nothing new.

The Probation "service" isn't fit for purpose - nothing new.

The only novelties are the innovative forms of benefit fraud and child abuse being piloted by the underclass of the Forest of Dean, but comment is superfluous.


Anonymous said...

Are we in the age of barbarism or what?

Foxy Brown said...

"There doesn't seem anything new to blog about."

Please continue your journal, your blog is a welcome forum for people like me who live and work in a hermetically-sealed bubble of Guardian and Indie readers who don't allow certain views on the state of the world to to be expressed, or perhaps more accurately they don't want the seedy underbelly of modern-day Britain intruding into their Georgian-terraced, tall-ceilinged, north London dining rooms.

Please do keep up the good work, you are the Theodore Dalrymple of the blogging world.

Laban said...

Why thank you, Foxy. Have you thought about blogging yourself ?

I think voyager should blog too. "Erudite" is his (or hers) middle name.

CCTV said...

Don't forget the £6 billion Brown has already written off on Tax Credits nor that the cost the taxpayer £14 billion each year and choke up the HMRC phone lines and systems when they could be processing tax details quicker

Anonymous said...

Your Frank Field link doesn't work.