First of all, a little aside in a Lib Con piece by one Adam Ramsey :
"Tony Blair seemed to believe that if you sound like a Tory, you can sneak through some Labour policies. So he switched from “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” to announcing initiatives to march ‘hoodies’ to cash machines.I've been pointing that out for five years at least.
And while these statements were Daily Mail fodder which never actually happened, a whole generation of people began to believe that attacking those who commit crime is the appropriate response ..."
And here's the Sunster himself telling it like it is - or was :
The war on social issues has broadly been won by the left.Can't argue with that, can you ? Nor with this (other than the word 'great') :
" ... expanding the size of the welfare state and making it central to people’s lives, despite Thatcher’s best attempts to destroy it, was one of New Labour’s greatest achievements ..."He's not too sound on his history - given that the Thatcher years saw the explosion of the British underclass and the fatherless family*, and some fairly hefty public spending. But his point about trying to create as many welfare recipients as possible is a valid one. This struck me when I realised that an income of 48K entitled one to Child Tax Credit. The Gord giveth and the Gord taketh away. Welcome to the Benefits Big Tent !
* as Charles Murray put it :
When I wrote (in 1989) in the Sunday Times Magazine that Britain did indeed have an underclass, small but growing, the news had no natural constituency. Conservative politicians were embarrassed that crime, unemployment, and illegitimacy had soared conspicuously on their watch, and would just as soon have ignored the whole thing. The Left, ordinarily delighted to blame anything on Margaret Thatcher, couldn’t admit that crime really was rising and large numbers of people were exploiting the dole without sounding like lower-case conservatives. As for unmarried women having babies, it was a good sign, not a bad one, that women were no longer forced into marriage just because they got pregnant. From Left and Right alike, the notion of a British underclass was generally dismissed as an attempt to impose an American paradigm on British problems that weren’t really so terrible anyway.