Workshy UK where hardly anyone lives in hardship... but we also have Europe's highest rate of homes without jobs
Britain has Europe’s highest rate of people living in homes where no one has a job, it was revealed yesterday. But at the same time, the proportion of families who consider themselves to be ‘deprived’ is one of the lowest in the EU.
Analysts point to this contradiction as evidence that our welfare system is too generous to the workshy. Nearly one in eight children and working age adults in the UK live in a home where no one goes out to work. However fewer than one in 20 say they can’t afford to pay their bills, eat properly, go on holiday, run a car or have a colour TV or a mobile phone.
The picture of a country where large numbers of people do not work – yet can afford to live as if they earn good money – was put together by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics arm.
It comes as the Government faces opposition to its attempts to cap families to a maximum income from state handouts of £26,000 a year.
The figures show there is a higher proportion of people living in homes without work in the UK than in EU countries hit by the euro crisis.
In Britain, 13.1 per cent of the population aged under 59 lives in a home where no adult works for 20 per cent of their time. In Germany, the workless proportion of the population is 11.1 per cent, in France 9.8 per cent, and in Italy 10.2 per cent.
Britain’s closest rival in the workless league table is Belgium, where 12.6 per cent of people under 59 are in homes with very little work. However, in Britain only 4.8 per cent of people count as ‘materially deprived’, similar to levels in Germany which has 4.5 per cent.
This means that they cannot afford to pay for four out of nine ‘deprivation items’. The nine things that are considered to lift a family out of the deprived category are the ability to pay the rent or utility bills on time; to keep the house warm; to be able to pay an unexpected bill; to eat meat or fish every second day; to afford a week’s holiday; to run a car; to have a washing machine; to have a colour TV and to have a mobile phone.
In France, the ‘deprived’ make up 5.8 per cent of the population and in Italy 6.9 per cent.
Yesterday critics said the figures exposed flaws in the welfare system. Douglas Carswell, Tory MP for Clacton, said: ‘They show that the welfare system is not doing what it is supposed to do. It is meant to help people who need help because they have fallen on hard times, not people who have learned to play the system.
‘The welfare system has become a means of achieving lifestyle choices for people who do not want jobs, and who are reluctant to get up at six in the morning to go out to work.’
Economist Ruth Lea, of the Arbuthnot Banking Group, added: ‘One factor is that Britain has more single parent families than other countries in Europe. Families with two parents tend to be working families.’
BBC tells its staff: don’t call Qatada extremist
The BBC has told its journalists not to call Abu Qatada, the al-Qaeda preacher, an “extremist”. In order to avoid making a “value judgment”, the corporation’s managers have ruled that he can only be described as “radical”.
Journalists were also cautioned against using images suggesting the preacher is overweight.
A judge ruled this week that the Muslim preacher, once described as “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe”, should be released from a British jail, angering ministers and MPs.
Adding to the row, Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, yesterday insisted that Qatada “has not committed any crime” and said his release has nothing to do with the European Court of Human Rights.
A British court has called Qatada a “truly dangerous individual” and even his defence team has suggested he poses a “grave risk” to national security.
Despite that background, BBC journalists were told they should not describe Qatada as an extremist. The guidance was issued at the BBC newsroom’s 9.00am editorial meeting yesterday, chaired by a senior manager, Andrew Roy.
According to notes of the meeting, seen by The Daily Telegraph, journalists were told: “Do not call him an extremist – we must call him a radical. Extremist implies a value judgment.”
The guidance was criticised by experts and MPs. Maajid Nawaz of Quilliam, a counter-extremist think tank, accused the BBC of “liberal paralysis” over Islamic extremism, saying journalists must be honest about Qatada’s record. He said: “A radical is someone who is different from the norm. An extremist is someone who promotes extreme views and actions, like killing innocents.”
James Clappison, a Conservative member of the Commons home affairs select committee, said the guidance was unjustifiable. He said: “Given the evidence about this man, it makes you wonder what you have to do for the BBC to call you an extremist.”
BBC staff were also cautioned against using library images suggesting the cleric is overweight, because he has “lost a lot of weight”.
A BBC spokesman said: “We think very carefully about the language we use. We do not ban words – the notes are a reflection of a live editorial discussion about how to report the latest developments on this story.”
Australia: How the tune has changed
It is doubtful that the Left have ever done anything of benefit to blacks but their talk these days is good enough to get blacks onside. Both their talk and their behaviour were very different prior to (say) 1960, however. Up to then, blacks were subjected to severe racial discrimination by Leftists. The following is a brief excerpt from a biography of Ned Hanlon, a LABOR party Premier of the Australian State of Queensland and still a revered figure in that party. Labor Premier Peter Beattie named a hospital after him a few years back
"As the minister largely responsible for the development and implementation of the A.L.P.'s welfare policies, Hanlon held assumptions and attitudes that had important consequences for the character of Queensland society. Under his administration Aborigines continued to be subjected to 'enforced population transfers, confinement to particular areas under relatively arbitrary and quite authoritarian regimes, excessive moral scrutiny, interference in intimate human relationships, supervised breeding, imposed placement and calculatedly inferior educational training for their children, control over their labour conditions, wages and personal property, and even suppression of their ''injurious" or menacing ''customs" or practices'. In these ways, Aborigines who, in their 'natural' state—according to Hanlon—were 'about 1,000,000 years behind the white race', were 'protected' by the state."
Some realism in France
French Interior Minister Claude Gueant, truth-teller and Establishment-marked man.
Silvio Berlusconi's finest 1/2 hour came shortly after 9/11 when he became the first and only Western leader to point out the duh-obvious distinctions between Western civilization and Islam -- essentially, one culture enshrines liberty, one does not -- and made the rather modest call for us to be aware of the distinction. For this he was pilloried, excoriated, heaped with scorn the world over, and beat a retreat rapido.
This plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face observation thus successfully purged from the political mainstream, it became the hotly controversial domain of so-called "far right" political figures across Europe, from Filip Dewinter in Belgium to Geert Wilders in Holland to Oskar Freysinger on Switzerland to Heinz Christian Straache in Austria to Pia Kjærsgaard in Denmark and on into Italy, Britain, France, Germany and more.
Now, a French interior minister in Nicolas Sarkozy's government has stepped onto the chopping block with the same message, albeit with more bite. Not only should we be aware of the distinction, we should protect our pro-humanity Western civilization. He made his "outrageous" comments on Saturday. Now, watch the dunications fly.
Suspense: Will he cave? AFP reports:
French Interior Minister Claude Guéant said on Sunday he stood by remarks that not all civilisations are equal, as critics denounced his comments as dangerous and xenophobic.
Guéant, who is also responsible for immigration and is known as a hardliner, provoked a storm of controversy with the comments on Saturday.
"Contrary to what the left's relativist ideology says, for us all civilisations are not of equal value," Guéant told a gathering of right-wing students.
"Those which defend humanity seem to us to be more advanced than those that do not," he said.
"Those which defend liberty, equality and fraternity, seem to us superior to those which accept tyranny, the subservience of women, social and ethnic hatred," he said in his speech, a copy of which was obtained by AFP. He also stressed the need to "protect our civilisation".
The sky is blue, the pope is Catholic, Grant is buried in Grant's Tomb and the Battle of White Plains took place in White Plains.
"I do not regret (the comments)," Guéant said on Sunday, though he accused critics of taking them "out of context".
The left denounced his speech as an attempt by President Nicolas Sarkozy to woo supporters of the the far-right National Front (FN) ahead of a two-round presidential election in April and May.
Harlem Desir, the number two in theFrench Socialist Party, slammed "the pitiful provocation from a minister reduced to a mouthpiece for the FN".
Bernard Cazeneuve, a spokesman for Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande, denounced the remarks as "divisive and degrading" while former Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal called them "dangerous."
Sarkozy's allies were quick to defend the minister, however.
Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said it was simply "common sense" to suggest that civilisations could be ranked according to values such as "respecting personal rights, rejecting violence or abolishing the death penalty".
Finance Minister François Baroin accused the left of "exploiting the statements for electoral gain".
Foreign Minister Alain Juppé suggested that his colleague had meant to say that "all ideas, all political systems are not equal".
Speaking on BFM television, Juppé said however one should avoid talking of a shock of civilisations, suggesting the term was "inadequate".
Guéant has repeatedly linked immigration with crime in France and last month said the delinquency rate among immigrants was "two to three times higher" than the national average.
In April, he declared that an increase in the number of Muslim faithful in France posed a "problem".
He has also said that he wants to reduce the number of legal immigrants entering France, including those coming to work legally or to join their families.
His latest comments came as the FN's presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is credited with about 20 percent support in opinion polls.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.