Archive for the ‘Social Policy’ Category

Why the Left may want to think twice before blaming the riots on ‘cuts’

I have only been active on Twitter for about 24 hours and already I find myself starting a blog – something I had no intention of doing a couple of days ago. It may be partly a knee-jerk, contrarian response to the current moral panic about social media, but mostly it’s because it turns out that 140 characters doesn’t always allow one to express an idea in its entirety.

But that’s enough technological insights; on to the politics.

Given the near universal public mood of anger and revulsion, only the most Talibanesque of Lefties are still publicly arguing that anger at ‘Government cuts’ is to blame for the riots and looting of the last week. However, according to YouGov (PDF file), it is still a significant strand of opinion on the Left, even if the public references to it are now more oblique and suffixed with the mandatory “but to explain is not to excuse”.

Suppose, though, that we accept a reduction in taxpayer-funded spending in deprived areas has indeed increased the inhabitants’ feeling of hopelessness and disengagement from society beyond its flashpoint? To do so is to acknowledge that large parts of London are now welfare-addicted ghettos, where people’s sense of hope and engagement with society comes solely from an expectation of continued payments and services funded from the public purse.

Blaming the riots on spending cuts: the Left’s unintentional ‘mea culpa’.