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How do you sort this one?

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Seems around half a million folk have been identified by Gov, as "the underclass"; costing the rest of us £30billion a year.  Presumably these are the kind of folk one can see on the Jeremy Kyle show; benefit dependent etc? But how do you change them?

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This underclass had its roots in Thatcherism , when people were moved off the dole & into the long term sickness culture in order to manipulate the unemployment figures.....a short term fix that has produced enduring economic problems. Unfortunately, intervening Labour governments have done nothing to reverse the trend  & we are now saddled with a permanently benefit reliant underbelly.

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Maggie moved them from dole to sickness benefits to reduce the unemployment figures & helped to start a whole new culture.No government since has tackled the problem satisfactorily . These are the people that should be made to work so reducing Britain's reliance on foreign workers ,paying their own taxes & reducing the welfare bill at a stroke.

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Think your right in terms of the "dependency" aspect Dave;  paid for at the time by a North Sea Oil bonanza. However, there's always been (as in most societies), an "underclass", occupying the lowest rung of the ladder. Despite attempts at compulsory education, health provision and the nanny State; few appear to climb out of such poverty and ignorance, and the situation seems to replicate itself with each generation.

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Unemployment benefit is only about £4Billion PA, which is dwarfed by pensions at £108Billion PA. By all means try and encourage people into work, but unemployment benefit is a necessity.

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But the problem isn't just one of "unemployment" Asp;  many have been brought up in a culture of dependency and wouldn't get a job (assuming they were qualified - read and write etc) if one was on offer. Which then begs the question - should they be taken off benefits after say three job refusals? Then what - can we expect them to resort to crime?

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In reality I  think the underclass is probably on a roundabout it will never be able to get off . There will always be unemployed who can't be abandoned & will need to be given a certain standard of living.

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You will never achieve a classless society there have always been those that have and those that have not, the latter will always figure out a way to work/beat the system - a fact of life so get used to it!.

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This underclass had its roots in Thatcherism , when people were moved off the dole & into the long term sickness culture in order to manipulate the unemployment figures.....a short term fix that has produced enduring economic problems. Unfortunately, intervening Labour governments have done nothing to reverse the trend  & we are now saddled with a permanently benefit reliant underbelly.

As a rider to that, let's not forget that during the 70's/80's they were put on to the dole in the first place, whole towns of them at a time, by the systematic destruction of British industry and manufacturing by successive governments.

These people today, their grandparents weren't an underclass, many were the salt of the earth, then they were deemed surplus to requirements, thrown on the scrap heap and given the benefits to keep 'em quiet.

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I would argue that the systematic destruction of British industry started with nationalisation, with its attendant stagnation of progress, which allowed the developing world to overtake Britain. Discuss.

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Not sure that the majority of our productive industries were nationalised Asp?  They certainly required modernisation, which both Japan and Germany did with US funding. And it has to be admitted that many Unions tended to be rather luddite and employers myopic, unlike our German competition. But the wholesale destruction of our productive base by Maggie, and a switch to a service economy and a reliance on the city of London and cheap imports; with the de-manning of our industrial capacity;  left a legacy of unemployment and benefit dependency; which subsequent Governments failed to rectify. Two things the Germans did, that we didn't - 1. They pursued a prudent financial policy to ensure a surplus. 2. They tended to buy their home produced products thus minimising imports, whilst maximising exports.

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You contradict yourself Obs. On the one hand you say that most of our productive base wasn't nationalised, then on the other you claim that the government closed it down. You can't have it both ways.

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Errm nope; I didn't say "the Government closed it down"; it died through lack of investment and modernisation, and the anarchy of class warfare. However, there was no intervention by Government (with the exception of Rolls Royce, saved by Ted Heath at the time)), to remedy the situation; they just allowed firms to go to the wall. This was exacerbated by the privatisations and de-manning of those services that were in State ownership (NHS, Transport and Energy), and the willingness of a public to buy foreign imports. We transferred to a reliance on the service sector and the City of London and simply didn't make things to export anymore. Rather than spending the bonanza of North Sea oil revenues on the renewal of our industries, the Government (both parties) used it to deal with the unemployment consequences, giving rise to the benefits culture.

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This is what you said:

 

"But the wholesale destruction of our productive base by Maggie,"

 

Maggie being the leader of the government at the time, and the government only had control of nationalised industry. QED.

 

Did she really privatise and deman the NHS? That one slipped under the radar.

 

The public were only too willing to buy imported goods BECAUSE THEY WERE CHEAPER AND BETTER THAN HOME PRODUCED! You can't blame the government for private industry being unable to keep up with the opposition. British industry had been on a slippery slope for a long time before Maggie came on the scene and gave the worst performing bits a good shove.

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Dr/ Prof  Michael Wood ,in one of his programmes, reckoned the skids were put under the UK economy by the industrial revolution & mass mechanisation....the birth signalled its own death  through rapid  progress in the work place.

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Think the best way to analyse this, is to compare ourselves with the Germans.  Most of their industries were bombed out by the RAF, thus allowing them, courtesy of the US Marshall Plan to re-tool and modernise. They appear not to have had the hangover of a class based industrial relations culture from the 19C, and co-operate in a planned approach to improving economic outputs. No doubt, their travels in WW2, gave them knowledge and access to the greater European market, (rather ironic, that most if not all HGVs and taxis in the 60s were German made).  Their experience of pre-war hyper-inflation, gave them a cast iron resolve to ensure they ran a balanced budget with fiscal discipline. They have/had a tendency to buy their home products rather than foreign imports. All this was administered by successive Governments of both right and left, with a political concensus that produced their "economic miracle". We on the other hand, had to pay back all of our lease lend debt to the Yanks; but we did get the opportunity to rectify matters when we struck oil in the North Sea. Unfortunately, the Government (under Thatcher) neglected to seize on this opportunity to modernise our industrial base, using the revenues instead to fund the consequences of our industrial demise; hence the beginning of the dependency culture.  Add to this the deliberate policy to destroy the NUM and our coal mining capacity along with it, destroying whole communities into the bargain, a legacy we still endure. As for the NHS; they created "Trusts" and the fiction of competition, where new facades were created (shopping areas etc), while clinical staff were thinned out (eg, bio-cleaning teams), leading to the eventual advent of super bugs and the current organisational and fiscal dog's breakfast. Then of course, we had the wholesale privatisations of our service industries, with smoke and mirrors illusion of competition, that has finished up with pricing scams. Not forgetting too, the privatisation of rail, with similar results. Finally, the selling off of our social housing stock, which has led to the current housing crisis. So yes, it all started under Maggie and wasn't corrected by Labour,

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I see you're still fixated with your "it all started with Maggie" fairytale, as if there was no history before 1979.

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Think it's generally accepted, that the post war political concensus between the main Parties; which supported the social reforms of the Atlee Government (NHS, Housing Etc);  was lost under Maggie. She was right in her assertion, that you can't spend what you don't earn; but instead of increasing our earnings capacity, she just cut the spending.

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