An inspiring UK Labour MP

March 10th, 2009 at 5:00 pm by David Farrar

This article in the Daily Mail was written by , a MP in Glasgow. Oh what I would give to hear such words here:

The benefits culture remains Glasgow’s shame, and it is not confined to my city; many other post-industrial areas of Britain suffer the same malaise of second and third generations of families being brought up to believe a life on benefits is acceptable.  …

Politicians are not expected to talk about moral absolutes. Raising questions about other people’s choices, after all, could offend someone and nothing is less acceptable these days than causing someone offence.

I certainly seem to have offended a lot of people in the past few days.

I was severely criticised by some on the Left and a number of women have contacted me to say they felt insulted, pointing out that since becoming single parents at a young age, they had gone on to further and higher education and made a success of their lives.

Which is brilliant. I have nothing but admiration for them.

But I was very specifically criticising our acceptance of those young women who lose all their educational and career opportunities because of their pregnancies and who spend the rest of their lives on benefit.

That is the challenge – to criticise welfare dependency, without being seen to criticise everyone who has been on a benefit.

So why are so many on the Left angry at me?

For some it is because they don’t feel it is a problem; they believe that, as a rich society, we can afford to fund this ‘lifestyle choice’.

Others are uneasy at a Labour politician making judgments about other people’s choices; I have ‘no right’ to put greater value on one person’s choices than on another’s, it seems.

In NZ, you would be out on your ear.

But I’m attacking no one. I am pointing out that we have an unacceptably high level of teenage pregnancies. I am stating a fact that, for many of these young women (and far fewer young men), parenthood will mean fewer opportunities and a higher chance of life on benefits.

There is no doubt that raising yet another generation of young men in fatherless homes is a recipe for social disaster.

Yes, I’m generalising and, yes, there are plenty of homes where the absence of a violent, abusive father is a blessing to the mother and children. But common sense dictates that, in general, children benefit from having the love of a mother and a father.

Yet what kind of society have we created when the above statement will inevitably be seen by some as offensive, narrow-minded and intolerable?

As for the accusation of giving comfort to the ‘Right-wing’, when did it become ‘Left-wing’ to tolerate such a colossal waste of lives?

Why is it ‘Left-wing’ to allow millions of people to remain on benefits instead of working? When did ‘Labour’ stop meaning ‘work’ and start to mean ‘benefits’?

Comrade Bradford needs to talk to this poor misguided soul.

There are many others who believe the gradualist approach to moving people off benefits and into work is the right way to go.

But my instinct tells me more radical measures will have to be introduced to see the step-change needed to make a real difference to the number of claimants. …

But if more extreme measures, such as financial penalties for long-term claimants, need to be implemented in future, they will need public support. That means being absolutely honest about the scale of the problem and the devastation that long-term benefit dependency can cause.

Devastation is the right word. We have a welfare state to be there for those in temporary need, and also for that small minority who can never be self sufficient. But the problems caused by families never knowing a work culture is immense. It shows in our crime and our education stats. And our child abuse stats.

As I said, how reassuing to hear such words from a Labour MP – even one from Glasgow! His majority by the way is 10,802 – he got 47% of the votes to 19% for the Lib Dem candidate.

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31 Responses to “An inspiring UK Labour MP”

  1. PhilBest (5,117 comments) says:

    What is this guy doing in the Labour Party?

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  2. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “So why are so many on the Left angry at me?”

    Having the left angry at you is the price one must pay for supporting common sense over socialist doctrine.

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “What is this guy doing in the Labour Party?”

    The Labour Party is today not really the Labour Party so much as it is the party of the Progressives. These are the people with the ideas that have so poisoned our society.

    A problem exacerbated by the fact that so many of these destructive ideas spill over into the National Party. (Or the Conservatives in the UK and the Liberals in Australia for another couple of examples)

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  4. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    how reassuing to hear such words from a Labour MP – even one from Glasgow!

    Sonic was last seen heading home to Scotland, packing an array of serious weaponary while google last known address of said MP

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  5. Tim Ellis (253 comments) says:

    I suppose the real tragedy is that many people in the Labour Party, including I suspect some on Labour’s front bench–actually agree with Harris’ description of the waste of human life in welfare dependency. Yet it’s simply thrown into the too-hard basket, or even worse, acts against their political interests, to pursue much-needed reform.

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  6. salt (128 comments) says:

    the percentage of glaswegians who voted for Harris clearly shows just how many labour voters simply vote Labour, no questions, no thought.
    I’m pretty confident that there is no way 47% of the Glaswegian population – who are, as noted above, as imbued with this terrible welfare-state mentality as much of New Zealand seems to be – would have actively, knowingly supported such a sensible man.

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  7. JC (929 comments) says:

    The critical bit for us is this:

    “There are many others who believe the gradualist approach to moving people off benefits and into work is the right way to go.

    But my instinct tells me more radical measures will have to be introduced to see the step-change needed to make a real difference to the number of claimants. …”

    Here our beneficiaries have gone down quite strongly since Labour came in, but the downside is they moved into low paid jobs and got topped off with many thousands of WFF, ACC welfare and a policy set that saw a huge diaspora of people off to Australia and beyond.

    Our “gradualist” approach was likewise a trap into other forms of welfare and emigration and which destroyed productivity and the ability to create well paying jobs.

    We do indeed need the “more radical measures” that pertain to greater productivity.. even at the cost of a higher unemployment rate. At least that’s (unemployment) a more honest statement of who is really on welfare, and a spur to create a more dynamic economy.

    JC

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  8. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “acts against their political interests, [the Labour Party] to pursue much-needed reform.”

    That’s right. Lets all go down the damn toilet together rather than do anything that might threaten the left’s hold on power. That is exactly the way they think.

    Just remember, these people will never relinquish power, and they will fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo.

    Its why here in NZ, the only way that the dead hand of Labour could be prised away from the levers of power was by a National Party that was barely distinguishable from Labour.

    This is what happens Mr. Ellis when you let these socialist bastards take our culture.

    I want my culture back. Don’t you?

    I want choice. Don’t you?

    I want life and vitality, not a nation of drooping mind fucked socialist zombies with dead eyes and intelligence stunted by doctrine.

    Don’t you?

    Let me presume your answer is yes Mr. Ellis.

    Then believe me, you’ll never get your culture back unless you fight for it.

    Leaving aside the fact that you should never have given it up in the first place. If you couldn’t detect long term socialist strategies over the last few decades, and their mission to stamp their ideology all over our culture, you need your damn head read.

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  9. PaulL (5,961 comments) says:

    Where is the Labour politician like that in NZ? John Tamihere anyone? And what happened to him? Same thing that will happen to this guy.

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  10. grumpyoldhori (2,412 comments) says:

    Jeez people, a lot of grizzled old Labour types are not wine drinking types who keep their pinky out while trying a red.
    We leave that to youngish Nats.

    Some of we grizzled old labour types are far to the right of that woman Bennett when it comes to stopping the cycle of benefit lifestyles.
    Could you see Bennett wanting more Dilworth schools built so as to give kids at age six a chance of leaving that bloody lifestyle.
    She would be more worried about so called useless bloody social workers losing their rice bowls which are filled by the tax payer.

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  11. grumpyoldhori (2,412 comments) says:

    JC you posted (We do indeed need the “more radical measures” that pertain to greater productivity.. even at the cost of a higher unemployment rate. At least that’s (unemployment) a more honest statement of who is really on welfare, and a spur to create a more dynamic economy.)

    Being cynical JC I cannot see any present day politicians hammering the fact that we need to have a greater skill base in NZ.
    Nah, easier to import engineers while the kids do so called degrees in leisure
    studies.
    Then they wonder why no bugger will employ them.

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  12. Barnsley Bill (982 comments) says:

    I commented on this idiots blog a week ago, giving him credit for vocalising what most of us have known for decades is too much. He is part of the troughing cabal that has destroyed my Albion.

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  13. Jim (404 comments) says:

    This part is a pity too:

    But common sense dictates that, in general, children benefit from having the love of a mother and a father.

    Yet what kind of society have we created when the above statement will inevitably be seen by some as offensive, narrow-minded and intolerable?

    Yes, the world is seriously fucked-up when is is politically incorrect to suggest that kids are better off living together with both a mum and a dad. Very sad indeed.

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  14. Fairfacts Media (371 comments) says:

    David should be commended for playing catch up even if I posted the MP’s original comments towards the end of last week over at Barnsley Bill.
    These controversial statements from MP Harris obviously earned him an invitation to write a piece in the Mail on Sunday.
    Anyway, it is good to see such comments reach a wider audience and I do hope MPs in National and ACT will be encouraged to make some similar comments.
    How about it Heather and Paula?
    In the meantime, for the very latest content from Britain, pop over to Barnsley Bill where I currently reside until Barnsley Bill does the technical bits and bobs on my shiny new blog.
    There is also plenty of kiwi content too.

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  15. petal (705 comments) says:

    “When did ‘Labour’ stop meaning ‘work’ and start to mean ‘benefits’?”

    I’m almost crying. Labour used to be the working person’s friend. Now it’s the non-working person’s friend.

    And they can’t understand National, by promising to looking after workers, has become Labour “Lite”?

    If Savage could be linked to the national grid we could shut down one coal fired station.

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  16. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Shit I bet Mr Harris hasn’t been invited to swill the chardonnay lately. Mr Harris may say the right stuff but is none to bright when it comes to party politics. Those who control the reins of power on the left don’t give a fat rat’s fart about the devastation caused by the welfare system it’s not what they are about. Welfare benefits breed dependency, the special word is dependency. Just look at our own cesspit, the left were quick to tell all that unemployment was down, true but they have simply transferred thousands from one benefit to another. And if that wasn’t enough they had to further promote dependency by introducing WFF. You see their politics and their ideology are so fucked up they need a captive voting base as no one in their right mind would vote for the two bobs unless they were forced to.

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  17. Barnsley Bill (982 comments) says:

    Labour is not the workers party and has not been for decades. It is nothing more or less than the party workers party.
    Think the masons but with lesbians.

    [DPF: Heh now that s funny]

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  18. big bruv (13,450 comments) says:

    I watched a fascinating speech last night on you tube, the man giving the speech posed an interesting question to the crowd.
    He asked what was the longest ongoing war that the Yanks have ever been a part of, eventually somebody gave him the correct answer…. it is the “war” on poverty and it has been running for over 40 years.

    The “war” on poverty goes right back to LBJ’s administration, since that time the war on poverty has cost the American tax payer $11 Trillion dollars.

    Given that amount of money and given he length of time the “war” has been going on it is a fairly safe bet to assume that giving people money to do nothing or giving people welfare is a failed system, if you cant “fix” poverty with 11 TRILLION dollars then you are not going to “fix” it at all.

    This proves that the left have no interest or desire to see poverty eradicated, they simply do not care, whats more they NEED those people to stay poor, they NEED them to have no hope or ambition in life as without them the left have no support base.

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  19. Leonidas (1,349 comments) says:

    Q1: Is he in the right party?.
    Q2: is he in the right century?.
    Q3: is he about to become an independent?.

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  20. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    Barnsley Bill, as a Mason, I thought that was very funny!

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  21. big bruv (13,450 comments) says:

    “The benefits culture remains Glasgow’s shame”

    I love Scotland, but trust me, Glasgow has a lot more to be shameful about than just its benefit culture, that is one scary city.

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  22. Ross Miller (1,676 comments) says:

    Grumpyoldhori … your ignorance is only matched by your stupidity.

    Dilworth is a PRIVATE School run by the Dilworth Trust Board (who own most of Newmarket). It is unique among the private school sector in that it picks up the total cost of those pupils fortunate enough to make it through their selection process. It there was another Charitable Trust prepared to do the same the Government would welcome them with open arms …. but please don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    Your dislike of Paula Bennett is palpable. Clearly you much prefer the Paula Bennetts of this world to remain forever on the dole and once every three years touch their forelocks to the Labour Party by way of the ballot box in gratitude for allowing them to exist … but don’t you ever dare to break out of the mold or we will turn against you.

    And as for social workers. Your mob invented them, nurtured them and is beholden to them.

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  23. Barnsley Bill (982 comments) says:

    We should not be down on Scotland, it is a country full of rich culture and tradition with characters JUST like these.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5afCwO8JxP4
    The speech is inspiring.

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  24. ben (2,412 comments) says:

    Others are uneasy at a Labour politician making judgments about other people’s choices; I have ‘no right’ to put greater value on one person’s choices than on another’s, it seems.

    Here’s where I think anyone who holds the view Mr Harris talks about here is badly, unmistakably and unavoidably wrong.

    People choosing between a life of productivity and a life on welfare are not making a morally neutral choice. Choosing to live on welfare means choosing the live on resources earned by somebody else and extracted, ultimately, at the point of a gun.

    That gives the people funding that decision the right to criticise. They bear the very substantial cost of somebody else’s decision and taxpayers can’t opt out. There is, in this case, an objective criterion on which one choice is morally superior to the other: whereas the life of productivity coerces nobody, a life on welfare most certainly does. Whereas the life of productivity gives more than it takes, a life on welfare takes more than it returns.

    Good on Tom Harris for taking this on.

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  25. Haiku Dave (273 comments) says:

    “His majority by the way is 10,802″

    pin a red badge on
    a donkey’s arse in glasgow,
    it gets elected

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  26. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    Too bad Helen Clark was too intellectually dishonest to tackle this problem for all of the nine years she held office.

    All part of the reason why she doesn’t hold office now and is yesterday’s man. What a queer *itch.

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  27. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Barnsley Bill (516) Vote: 8 0 Says:
    March 10th, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Labour is not the workers party and has not been for decades. It is nothing more or less than the party workers party.
    Think the masons but with lesbians.

    >> is that with spanking or uniforms or both?

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  28. PhilBest (5,117 comments) says:

    # Redbaiter (5310) Vote: Add rating13 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    March 10th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    “What is this guy doing in the Labour Party?”

    “The Labour Party is today not really the Labour Party so much as it is the party of the Progressives. These are the people with the ideas that have so poisoned our society.

    A problem exacerbated by the fact that so many of these destructive ideas spill over into the National Party. (Or the Conservatives in the UK and the Liberals in Australia for another couple of examples)”

    Absolutely, Redbaiter and all the others who have made this point. The very word, LABOUR, has been fatally devalued by this association.

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  29. unaha-closp (1,130 comments) says:

    Too bad Helen Clark was too intellectually dishonest to tackle this problem for all of the nine years she held office.

    Actually Helen Clark ran down beneficiary payments to their lowest levels (relative to average wage) in 30 years and instituted working for families which explicitly did not include the children of beneficiaries therefore excluding mostly single parent families (Sue Bradford and fellow sponges were miffed).

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  30. s.russell (1,578 comments) says:

    True political victory comes when the enemy adopts your ideas. We should celebrate the fact that there are people in the UK Labour Party like this: it is a sign of hope for the future.

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  31. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    The Clark regime increased the Welfare State greatly during her nine year reign. A crippling legacy for future generations to bear.

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