Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Blunkett flunks it with crumpet and resorts to his trumpet

Scotsman.com News - Top Stories - New technology and greater scrutiny to feature in anti-fraud strategy

You'll have to excuse the mild sexist undertone to that title - I just couldn't resist!

Today's link leads to a report on the Blair/Blunkett plans to slash British welfare payments. Draconian in itself, the real nightmare is the extraordinary plans they have to monitor those involved - with benefit claimants being subjected to the kind of surveillance hitherto reserved for "terrorists". Evading the regulations of this new "big brother" state will, I suspect, lead to far greater fraud and other criminality - eventually burdening an already over-stretched police force. The government only has itself to blame for the beaurocratic mess it's in. To execute this plan without creating further economic segregation they will have to invent more artificial jobs for the otherwise un-employable (beaurocrats?) or risk the kind of civil unrest that will finally define the "lie" of everything the Labour Party ever stood for.

Last night's television drama on Blunkett's days as Home Secretary was hilarious and made for great first night viewing. It was a digital broadcast of course, so one wonders how many benefit claimants actually had the privilage of seeing it. Odd nonetheless that this news appears just when the protagonist's questionable integrity and competence are in the limelight. If this is a "knee-jerk" announcement timed to convince us otherwise, I suspect they have indeed "flunked it".


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