Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Whose Words Are These?

I'm not going to tell you (yet) who is making this speech tonight on welfare reform. See if you can work it out...

Our welfare system must not allow anyone to withdraw from society as the consequence of forced withdrawal from the labour market. The voluntary sector will be able to play a hugely important role here: keeping people in touch with the world of work, providing skills training, bringing people together, and giving people inspiration and hope.

The next phase of public service reform must work to give people independence, not dependence, learning from schemes such as the expert patients programme which empowers patients to direct their own treatment of chronic conditions, or the Family Intervention Projects, which give chaotic, dysfunctional and anti-social families structure to their lives and social rules to live by, as the backstop before eviction.

Family Intervention Projects cost up to £15,000 per family, with a dedicated social work team getting the family up in the morning, ensuring everyone is washed and dressed, getting the kids to do their homework, and making sure they go to bed at a reasonable time. But the cost of not intervening in this intense way, with many agencies from probation, police, truancy officers and the NHS being involved, can be up to £350,000 per family.

These kinds of reforms empower the individual, and in doing so save the state money. There will need to be a new emphasis on better procurement: more local suppliers, more consideration for the environment, more value for money.

But reforms will focus on changing behaviour by demanding more responsibility from the individual, and rediscover the true purpose of the welfare state: getting people back on their feet when times got tough, never making worklessness a deliberate lifestyle choice.

No, not a right wing Conservative who believes in the power of the individual to shape their own destiny and rails against an overwheening state bureaucracy. The politician making this speech is none other than the lovely Hazel Blears. The speech is titled 'Community spirit in a cold climate', where she will spell out an unashamedly New Labour message on how the welfare system and public services should be reformed in a recession.

Translation: She is delivering a coded message and setting out a stall. Surely not.

32 comments:

Ben said...

I actually thought this was a very Cameron sounding speech. Seems like at least one person on the labour front bench has sound political instincts after all, never did i think that person would be Hazel Blears! Good on her!

Anonymous said...

Chipmunk for PM !!

The 'beauty parade' has begun !!

'Compare and contrast' with the situation in Wales, where Rhodri Morgan is now backtracking on his 'retirement'... - giving more time for the ambitious upstarts to get themselves noticed...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/betsanpowys/2009/04/obsessing_1.html

Steve said...

"right wing Conservative who believes in the power of the individual to shape their own destiny and rails against an overwheening state bureaucracy"

Don't make me laugh

Anonymous said...

Interesting - but the speech has probably been right for her by Lord Peter of Mandelson, and no doubt she will be motor-biking to the venue with the two 'Blairite Outriders' themselves, Byers and Milburn, on her flanks, with Charles Clarke as her 'bag carrier' on pillion...

Bobby L said...

"not a right wing Conservative who believes in the power of the individual to shape their own destiny and rails against an overwheening state bureaucracy"

Of course it isn't. Having the state dictate what time people get up, wash and go to bed is the worst example of a nanny state I can think of, and exactly the kind of thing I would have thought this was exactly the kind of policy a Conservative (or anyone for that matter) who believes in the power of the individual would fight tooth and nail to prevent being implemented.

Iain Dale said...

Bobby, you are saying the opposite of what you - and I - mean.

Anonymous said...

Actually it sounded to me very much like Beveridge's comments when he helped give birth to the Welfare State.

Perhaps that was the inspiration.

denverthen said...

Ah yes, the old Nulabour trick: be all things to all people in 'the message' to squeeze-out the Opposition.

Nice to see her try it again just for old time's sake. Makes me feel rather nostalgic sniff sniff.

Actually, it doesn't. It makes me feel sick. Entertaining Blogger 'Lancashire Oik' has posted something witty about the same dissembler (Wackford Blears) and a similar theme:

http://thelancastrianoik.blogspot.com/2009/04/squirrel-nutkin-talks-about-democratic.html

I think he's even more hacked-off than I am!

Mike said...

Iain - I would be grateful if you could explain your comment, I'm a bit confused as to why Bobby is saying the opposite to what he means?

I'm genuinely a bit confused by that speech..

Scary Mary said...

So what did she say when she emailed this to you in order to get some more attention?
Or did you come across this independently of your favourite little redhead?

Rightwinggit said...

An adorable little chipmunk who just drove a pensioner to his death.

sunonmars said...

Who'd actually have the stomach to listen to the demented chipmunk for that period of time, i'd have hocked up breakfast lunch and dinner by the end of the obvious shameless pandering.

Old Holborn said...

Coded message

We are New Labour and we WILL tell you what to do.

Had she added "or we'll cut off your benefits" I could agree with her.

I'm with Bobby L. The workhouse for the lot of them.

Dick the Prick said...

You can't say guess then give the game away; completely defeats the object - I knew it was Blears, she flew the family intervention crapolla a while back - hmm. I know you like her and all but...

Bardirect said...

Can't she do something about her hair?

The Penguin said...

Does her community spirit include sending some pensioner who dared challenge her decision on the transfer of council houses to a housing association a three thousand quid legal bill, over which he hanged himself? "Lovely" indeed.

The Penguin

Anonymous said...

Welcome to 21st Century Britain where people are employed to get families up and washed in the mornings. I just cannot believe it.

Anonymous said...

# RIGHTWINGGIT,I am glad that someone else remembers the hounding to death of a Manchester pensioner by Ms Blears and the Stasi Government
Dept she heads. MAY HE REST IN PEACE

Roger Thornhill said...

Hazel forgot to mention about wiping their noses and botties and flushing the toilet afterwards. And that is just the adults.


How can you "empower" people when you constantly intervene like this? It is pathetic. Anything to ensure the least able reproduce and vote Labour.

How about sending someone round to help out at the houses of those odd people, you know, those tax paying working sorts who wander off each day to some strange, alien place and wander back in the evening knackered? You know, to PAY for it all?


If Hazel wants to have a system where pepole go in to houses to wash the kiddies, let her set up a charity and ask for voluntary contributions. No state funding.

She will sit at her stall for a long time waiting for donations. Even her tin would not rattle cos there would not be a brass farthing.

lochduart said...

# RIGHTWINGGIT.
I am pleased that someone else remembers th Newton Heath pensioner hounded to death by Ms Blear and her Stasi minions. MAY HE FINALLY REST IN PEACE.

Bardirect said...

A whelk stall perhaps? A strange enterprise to embark on as in Salford there's usually a chippy next to the pub where you can get your chips mushy peas and gravy - on the way in and then again on the way out.

Bardirect said...

There is an ideal body of fine people who would be perfectly suited to the task of getting the idle up in the morning, ensuring everyone is washed and dressed, getting the kids to do their homework, and making sure they go to bed at a reasonable time.

Gurkhas.

yellowbelly said...

"At April 29, 2009 3:55 PM , Iain Dale said...
Bobby, you are saying the opposite of what you - and I - mean."

===

Iain, you know, and we know, and you know that we know, and we know and.....

Oh, hang on....

yellowbelly said...

Roger Thornhill said...
Hazel forgot to mention about wiping their noses and botties and flushing the toilet afterwards. And that is just the adults.

===

And reminding them not to feed McDonalds to 6 month old babies!

Bird said...

Blears is under orders to salvage the white working class vote.
Nothing she does is ever done without No 10's approval.

sobers said...

This has got to be a wind up. Family Intervention project? Getting people to get up in the morning? She must be p*ssing herself at this one. And you've swallowed it.

Can I have one of those please? I don't like getting up that much, and having someone to make my breakfast, perhaps do my washing and ironing, all gratis on the taxpayer, well where do I sign?

Benefit reform is simple. Time limit all benefits. Let people do exactly as they wish. Let them have 3(or 5) years on the pigs back, then no more. The effect would be rapid. Massive reductions in Social spending, rapid rises in tax revenue. Even if they all worked in the black economy, it would raise VAT revenues. Easy.

Whats the next problem?

Anonymous said...

tell me this is a wind up! a team of social workers to get a family up in the morning? You're 'avin' a larfff aintcha??

tris said...

Hazel Nuts

Ed West said...

Is this a hoax? Seriously. Anyone know for sure?

Calum Gilhooley said...

It’s not a hoax, but seems to be a replication of the original Dundee Families Project -

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/sep/30/childrensservices

http://www.antisocialbehaviourscotland.com/asb/controller?p_service=Content.show&p_applic=CCC&pContentID=390

There are a number of families with children whose behaviour is such that they face the real risk of homelessness, and since there is no chance that the children will be accommodated with their parents, the family would be broken up.

Read the Scottish Executive evaluation here.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2001/09/10055/File-1

Ruari C said...

"Family Intervention Projects cost up to £15,000 per family, with a dedicated social work team getting the family up in the morning, ensuring everyone is washed and dressed, getting the kids to do their homework, and making sure they go to bed at a reasonable time."

You what? The words 'intrusive', 'illiberal', 'farcical' and 'expensive' come to mind. She wants to spend taxpayer's money on getting people out of BED in the morning? What next, scrubbing them in the bath and wiping their backsides too?

Maybe I'm missing the point, but perhaps providing an incentive to get up for work in the morning, a sense of endeavour and enterprise perhaps.

David Gillies said...

The idea that there is no corner of private existence that is immune to the intrusions of the State has a long and sordid history. It is, not to put too fine a point on it, fascism. Fascism doesn't mean death camps and invading countries full of Untermenschen (popular sequelae to getting a fascist government though they may be). It is, at heart, the belief that the individual is to be subsumed into the heart of society, and your choice of handbasket in which to journey to hell is to be taken away from you.

God, what unutterably bloody grim times we live in.