I came to Britain from India in the early 90s. It became obvious to me early on that the easiest way to appear an 'intellectual' was to claim to read the Guardian and to blame Mrs Thatcher for the appalling poverty of human spirit that I saw in the council estates. The same week that Peter Lilley committed political suicide by claiming that young women were getting pregnant to jump the housing list, I met just such a woman who had indeed done precisely the same and was amply rewarded by the state for doing so. I have since watched with a mixture of amusement and horror as the likes of Polly Toynbee have led the debate on issues that strike at the very heart of a civil society.
Polly I salute you and your kind. To have reduced a country that once ran an empire to a place where victimhood rules, the reciprocal relationshsip between effort and reward, crime and punishment, rights and responsibilities has been dismantled, and a third of the population still wishes to vote labour is an enormous achievement. I wonder if sometimes you have moments of insight at what damage you have wreaked and how you deal with these. I suspect that any such moments would cause so much cognitive dissonance that you probably climb the moral ground a little higher, prepare some more sanctimonious outpouring for the Guardian readers, and pat yourself on the back. But one day, surely, your work will come back to haunt you.
Meanwhile I think Britain is stuffed. I say this with no relish, my Children are British as now am I. We are well and truly stuffed. Like the protagonist in Koestler's Darkness at Noon, we will spend our fading days imprisoned by the almighty state in learnt helplessness.
UNESCO V Josephus Flavius
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