The independent London newspaper

Fix the failing economy – that’s what people ‘hate’

10 March, 2016

Iain Duncan Smith with Zac Goldsmith and supporters in Belsize Park on Saturday Published: 9 March , 2016 MR Iain Duncan Smith uses a kind of violent word, the word “hate”, in referring to opponents to his reform of the welfare system. The use of the word may say more about the state of mind of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions than it does of his opponents. We hope opponents don’t hate Mr Duncan Smith. They may hate his ideas but hopefully not the man. Hatred of that sort should not come into politics. Jeremy Corbyn repeats the need for a new kind of politics ad nauseum but few politicians seem to understand what he is getting at. Politics comes down to the art of running society and the economy as far as it is possible to do so. Unfortunately, there has emerged a self-perpetuating political class over the past two centuries, and this is what society should aim to abolish. David Cameron brought about a fixed parliament. We should have fixed political terms for politicians. Men and women should rotate into parliament and into political office. A permanent political class essentially promotes a form of corruption. If there was a form of “amateurism” about politics perhaps politicians would stop using words like “hate” and instead examine the political and economic problems that stir such thoughts. Mr Duncan Smith’s attack – strategically laid out and, to his credit, well promoted by him before achieving office – on those dependent on benefits would make sense if we had a thriving economy. But Britain’s economy has been in the doldrums since the early 1970s – gripped by a trade deficit, a burgeoning debt, and the almost total destruction of manufacturing industries. The financialisation of the economy, encouraged by Mrs Thatcher, and spurred on by successive prime ministers right up to today, creates by its nature a rich class of financiers, a well-off class of culture makers, a less well-off professional class, and below them poorly paid service workers or unskilled or semi-skilled manual workers who form the majority of working age. If you are on benefits where do you fit in? Broadly speaking in low-paid unskilled work whose income is hardly above benefits, irrespective of the juggling game performed by politicians. Politicians play about with statistics to show more apprenticeships are available but this is a kind of deception. Yes, more apprenticeships are available but very few in number and not enough to soak up youth unemployment. It’s the economy that needs fixing. It’s the poorly performing economy one can “hate”.

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