A very thought-provoking article
One of the most interesting posts on Political Betting for a long-time came today from veteran poster Patrick, who asked "Is the Left leading a fight against reality?"
He points out
"The overall trajectory of the advanced nations since the Second World War has been, until recent years, one of population growth, economic growth and rising living standards. This was achieved, to an extent we are only now coming to appreciate, with borrowed money. We have consumed more than we could afford at both the individual and government level and much of the apparent wealth has been illusory."
He argues that welfare states throughout the world are in need of reform, and that where the left oppose this, they are leading a "fight against reality. They may do well in the polls or indeed at the next election. But ultimately they are on a hiding to nothing,"
You can nit-pick some of the fine detail of the article. Poster "My Burning Ears" does this very effectively at post 110 of the comments. Where most of the people on the left who commented have posted what amounted to childish abuse, he gives an intelligent and balanced critique, with which I almost entirely agree.
But I also agree that the main thrust of Patrick's argument, if not always the detail, is essentially correct.
Britain needs, not to scrap the welfare state, but to focus it more on providing the essential safety net which Beveridge envisaged, so it helps those who really need it rather than making welfare into a lifestyle choice. And we need to run the finances of the state on a far more sustainable basis.
Believing this isn't trying to "slash and burn" the welfare state. It's the approach that gives the welfare state a future.