"A very high proportion of Edwardian convicts were in prison for offences that would have been much more lightly treated or wholly disregarded by law enforcers in the late twentieth century. In 1912-13, for example, one quarter of males aged 16 to 21 who were imprisoned in the metropolitan area of London were serving seven-day sentences for offences which included drunkenness, 'playing games in the street'; riding a bicycle without lights, gaming, obscene language, and sleeping rough. If late twentieth century standards of policing and sentencing had been applied in Edwardian Britain, then prisons would have been virtually empty; conversely, if Edwardian standards were applied in the 1990s then most of the youth of Britain would be in gaol."
Dr Jose Harris, Public Lives, Public Spirit - Britain 1870-1914
"A splendid book. It's a devastating critique of the welfare state. A page-turner, yet also extensively sourced. Demonstrates how attempts to achieve good intentions have led to horrible results -- increasing crime and violence, worsened conditions of the very poor, an extraordinary deterioration in the quality and character of British life.
Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winner.
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Before the welfare state
The Greycoat Hospital
The Greycoat Hospital was once a workhouse. It has since been a hospital and a school. It has a very long welfare history. It has now been taken over by the state.
- The Greycoat Hospital
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I have just finished the first draft of the chapter on care for the elderly for my new book. So here is a quiz question: what is the range - among different European countries – of the percentage of women … Continue reading
This is by one of the founders of the charity Community Links. Coming from someone of his background and experience, it is particularly powerful: Professor Bruce Keogh started work as the new NHS national medical director promising that hospitals would … Continue reading
BBC Radio 5 live is probably the least biased of the BBC channels. The reason, I believe, is that it has so many phone-ins that the presenters are continuously reminded that not everyone shares the BBC view of the world. … Continue reading
The Financial Times today had a series of articles on standards in care homes for the elderly in Britain. The two most powerful things the articles sought to get across were that there were serious failings and that these were … Continue reading
I have just returned from a visit to Italy where I spoke to quite a lot of interesting people about the welfare state there. I learned too much to put down a fraction of it here. But this, in ultra-brief, … Continue reading
In 1997 the Labour Government made reforming the funding of social care a priority. A Royal Commission reported in 1999 and it took until 2009 for the Government to set out options for fundamental reform. The above is from an … Continue reading
Japan is quite a lot different from Western countries in its welfare state. That makes it interesting for comparison. This is a link to the latest report from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Pensions and here is the full … Continue reading
“And while a generation ago only one in ten families in social housing had no-one working, this had risen to one in three by 2008-09.” The section on housing and social care in the Comprehensive Spending Review
I can announce that grant funding for social care will be increased by an additional £1 billion by the fourth year of the Spending Review. And a further £1 billion for social care will be provided through the NHS to … Continue reading
“Two thirds of the adult population are frightened by the prospect of having to move into a care home”. Hypocrisy, selfishness and vanity are reflected in the way we care for the old. Care homes made ‘normal’ by the welfare state.
Most people say they are “frightened” by the prospect of going to a care home. This emerged in a recent opinion poll: The ICM poll found: · 40% of Britons fear being lonely in their old age · Two thirds … Continue reading
Should not children take prime responsibility when elderly parents can no longer look after themselves?
Tom Utley, commmenting on Sir Derek Wanless’ report in the Telegraph today, bravely puts forward a point of view on care for the elderly which is not often publicly expressed: One of Sir Derek’s ideas is that most means-testing should … Continue reading