Monday, 14 January 2013

The Welfare State

The creation of the Welfare State in the UK in the twentieth century represents the most significant advance of social justice in human history.

At every stage of life, from the months before you were born, through your infancy, childhood and education, through your working life, then on to retirement in old age, the Welfare State ensures a minimum standard of support for all your essential needs. However well you fare in life, or however dismal events turn out for you, the institutions of the Welfare State will be on hand to provide you with the help that is appropriate for you to make the best life that is possible under your own unique circumstances.

And this is exactly as it should be. It marks out the society that embraces the principle of universal welfare entitlements as one that is more civilised than it was before, and the extent to which the Welfare State is expanded and better resourced marks the extent to which our society takes seriously its collective moral responsibilities.

Any reduction in provision is a failure of civilisation, planned by those with plenty, with money, with power, with connections, perpetrated on those without such advantages, the result of which will be pain, suffering, and the manifestation of cruelty on a truly massive scale.

This issue divides decent, caring, moral people from those who are devious, heartless, uncaring and selfish, who lack the spirit of common human decency.

We are human beings, and our lives have value, and we demand to be treated with the moral consideration we are entitled to.

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