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Carrot and stick.

Byline: John Avison

I WAS talking this week to one of Kirklees Council's veteran councillors.

He is of the opinion that the Coalition government is deliberately intent on dismantling the British welfare state.

I said last week that I believed we were in danger of losing that precious jewel, our NHS, under the guise of spending cuts.

Perhaps the alleged perfidy extends to the whole structure.

All the same, one can hardly visualise the road to economic recovery strewn with the broken fragments of two centuries of social engineering.

The Con-Dems wouldn't do that ... would they? The engineers of the welfare state recognised that in matters of employment, housing, health and education, the carrot-andstick method was vital. We'll provide the support if times are tough, but we won't tolerate idlers or malingerers.

The welfare state was such a grand notion, such an amazing coagulation of social justice and responsibility.

But nobody, even today, can figure out how to stop its bureaucracy multiplying like e.coli in a Petri dish.

Thus it was that it was, and continues to be, abused by a minority.

But should the baby get thrown out with the bath water? My councillor friend believes 'they' will throw the protesting baby over the nearest fence.

The Tories have always believed you should pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, that you should help yourself.

Anyone who has tried to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps will know you're going nowhere unless you have mastered the trick of levitation.

And there's nothing wrong with helping yourself. It's what you help yourself to that is the beetle in the Tory soup.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 11, 2010
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