Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Politicians who waste our taxes on ruinously expensive social engineering schemes should end up in prison

Every few days details emerge of another government scheme which has either failed entirely to ”help” the people it was designed to (a) encourage back into work, (b) set up a business, or (c) learn valuable skills which will make them even vaguely employable, or where the cost of “helping” each lucky beneficiary of the scheme means it would have been cheaper to send them a juicy cheque and tell the blighters not to bother getting out of bed.

The latest example – from this morning’s paper – was the provision of free nursery places for three-year olds, which was designed to “help” mothers back into work. In one sense, it worked fine – it’s reckoned that 12,000 women, or one woman for every six free places provided, actually re-entered the workforce thanks to the scheme. Trebles all round! The only slight problem is that each of the women who got a job as a result of the scheme cost taxpayers a whopping £65,000, which is over two-and-a-half times the national average wage.

I’m sure if I read the New Statesman or the Guardian I’d find claims that many of the schemes on which politicians and civil servants choose to spend my taxes (without my permission) have been splendidly successful in terms of the number of the deserving poor who have been helped to become economically useful, fully-functioning members of society, and that this success has been achieved as cost-effectively as possible. Only I wouldn’t believe a word of it, because it seems patently obvious that governments are utterly incapable of spending our money sensibly - mainly because they have no incentive to do so.

For instance, you’d have to be spectacularly self-deluding to believe that the NHS, the criminal justice system, defence, education or social services – i.e. those areas which most people feel government should run (I’m not utterly convinced) – are run cost-effectively. The fact that many schools are useless, that the NHS fails tens of thousands of sick people every year, and that the police are now telling many victims of crime to do their own detective work can't be blamed on cuts  - spending on education and health increases inexorably year after year, while the police seem positively eager to squander resources on tracking down social media trolls. But it’s become increasingly obvious that these sectors are simply too vast, too complex and too in thrall to vested interests (including the civil service) to be made efficient – and, given the way successive governments have been remorselessly fleeced by private sector companies to whom they’ve offered a role in running these vital state-controlled services (anyone for PFIs?), privatisation may not invariably be the answer. Let’s leave the whole sorry mess for the emergence of a worthy successor to Mrs. Thatcher who will transform these public sector behemoths in the way she transformed Britain’s private sector.

Instead, let’s immediately concentrate on the fiddly, interfering, expensive, pointless schemes on which so much of our money is wasted – schemes like Nick Clegg’s billion pound wheeze to provide free-school meals for infants in all state schools. This means childless adults and people who send their kids to private school, who already subsidise the parents of all state-school pupils, now have to pay to feed the little bastards.

What’s particularly galling about these schemes is that they seem mainly designed to mask the failure of existing government-run services and to entrench our feckless dependency culture. If toddlers aren’t getting fed properly at home, or if their selfish, useless parents won’t provide them with proper packed lunches or sufficient money to buy food at school, then, if anything's to be done about it, it's surely a matter for the police or social services. Similarly, those schemes designed to equip young unemployed people to get jobs – including schemes to bribe employers to take them on – are designed to massage youth unemployment figures and to cover up the failure of state schools to teach pupils to read and write properly or to instil in them any sort of work ethic. And making it easier for the non-productive, welfare-guzzling sections of society to produce even more children whom the rest of us will end up paying for – in many instances for the rest of their lives - is self-evidently a bloody terrible idea.

Our left-liberal political class power-hose away our hard-earned money on silly schemes in order to feel good about themselves, to furnish them with “announceables” to  convince their core supporters that they’re doing something useful, and to bribe the more gormless elements of the electorate into voting for them. Unless we can devise a political system where these people end up paying some sort of price for their grotesque profligacy with our money – in terms of ruined careers, frozen bank accounts, repossessed homes and spells in prison - there is absolutely no reason for the bastards to stop doing it.


  1. The Mail today, poking around the farce that is the Welsh NHS, reveals that the bastards employ a 'Carbon Manager' earning in excess of £43,000 a year.

    It's axiomatic that said CM is going to be a card-carrying eco-Marxist and, of course, that's the other side of what is going on here. Not only are they being profligate with our money but they are forcing us to pay for their fellow travellers, who now infest such organisations, not only buggering them up, but promoting more of this socialist drivel as they go.

    As Private Eye's legendary cabbie would say 'prisons too good for 'em'!

    1. Unfortunately, they seem to have taken over large swathes of the prison service as well. They are a virus!