Wednesday 7 December 2011

Britons Uncaring and Thatcherite, says BBC

Nice coverage of a new report out today by the BBC.

The report notes how much society has changed in recent years, with people moving towards self-reliance and a realisation that the State is not going to support them. Plus a realisation that State interference has skewed the benefits system away from people wanting to work.

Not much controversial there, but hey, this is the BBC reporting so the article instead focus' on how people don't want to pay for more schoolz 'n Ospitals. How they are uncaring about the 'poor' and worst of all that they are now more Thatcherite than the 1980's - the ultimate sin in any socialists eyes.

Sigh, just goes to show what 13 years of Socialist Government can do to the nation - push them to the right substantially...what next, campaigns against taxes on watching television and the end of  Western Civilisation?


andrew said...

More like 30 years than 13

In the 80s my dad was working and:
- The state basic old age pension went up with earnings and was at a reasonable level
- He was accruing a final salary pension
- The NHS looked after my grandmother while she was ill
- If he lost his job, the mortgage interest would be paid
- I (and my sister) was at college and we got a grant (no tuition fees)

In the mid-late 10s we both are working and:
- The state basic old age pension cannot be lived on. There are means tested benefits.
- She was accruing a final salary until '12, Mine went in '98
- The local PCT refused to pay for her carpal tunnel operation as she could still work (once your muscles waste to the point you cant, they dont recover fully ever)
- If we lose our jobs, the the house goes
- When daughter goes to college we pay maintenance and tuition fees

Spot the difference.

Basically, if the state/other institutions do less for you and you have to look after yourself, at some point you look back at the state etc and ask 'what is it good for'
These changes happened gradually under many govts.

Our cultural shift is just beginning.

Excellent segment in Pestos 'The Party's Over: How the West Went Bust' on sunday - a contrasting vox pop -
All the Chinese save 30-50% of salary as there is no State Pension/NHS/Care for elderly...
All the English save 0%

I know it was v. biased etc but the point was well made.

Elby the Beserk said...

The BBC's Home Editor Mark Easton said it was a move towards "more emphasis on individual responsibility".

He said Britons were becoming increasingly "judgmental".

Ah yes, the notion of "personal responsibility". Not one recognised by the Left. The juxtaposition of the two above statements is exquisite, and sums up the degradation of the BBC and the world view it propagates, perfectly.

Bill Quango MP said...

I don't much like the survey. It has no reference points, so the headlines seem extreme.

"The proportion who think we should pay (more) taxes to improve health and education and social benefits is only 30% in England, 40% in Scotland. A decade ago it was 60% in both nations."

In 2001 Health spending looks like it was at a 10 year low, running at 4.8% of GDP. {4.75% was the figure 25 years before in 1975}
Today its 8.5%.

So why not put in some context?

Naturally not so many people are enthused with the idea of higher taxes for health service provision, because they are already paying those higher taxes for increased health spending.

The report and headlines imply people are no longer willing to fund the state. This is not necessarily so. They may just not be willing to fund the state at an even higher level.

It reminds me of that NUT report that found that Independent schools outperformed state schools in every area except funding received, where they were worse.
So, private education was superior, shock horror. the conclusion should be to make very many more private schools, maybe even all of them.

The conclusion of the NUT .. abolish the independent schools to give every child the same crappy chance.

alan said...

Who is NatCen and more importantly who paid for this study?

They are a non-profit performing social studies in the UK. On their accounts for 2010, they had 40m income from research studies (and spent 40m on studies). News companies dont pay to report studies, so where did they get that large chunk of change from?

The study only had 3000 subjects, which I think is a little low to be given such weight by the BBC.

This study is littered with examples of "People dont do X, but want everyone else to do X", or "People want X, but dont want to pay for X". An interesting insight into human psychology perhaps.

Now I would be fascinated if the Beeb got a room of 'ology experts to discuss how politicians can ever hope to make a rational policy on anything when they rely heavily on studies like this.

I agree with BQ re context, the section on poverty, for example, asks how people perceive child poverty. Which is meaningless. Again I could see some value if the Beep compared the actual rates of poverty Vs peoples perceptions.

Nick Drew said...

@Andrew, that is a great summary

appointmetotheboard said...

Not sure I read much into this survey - but then again, I would say that.

Everyone is squeezed and broke. It is natural that we want to keep what is ours. And resent what we perceive to be free-loaders.

Different times, but when Gordon Brown added a penny onto NI to pay for NHS improvements, I think that was widely supported by the public (or is that just my red tinted glasses?) at the time. But that was then...