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ChezGiven

The British Underclass

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I just spent the weekend in the UK, reading the papers and the streams of editorials regarding Baby P and the wider social implications of the case. It seems that there is a growing concern regarding the existence of a social underclass in the UK. It got me thinking about the type of society that permits its own members to fall so far below what is considered normal from a moral or behavioural point of view?

 

People refer to the beginnings of the 20th century where values and social order were meant to be better than today. I’m not sure they were but lets assume that this view is correct (there is a lot to support it). What seems to have changed is the way in which we impose order and discipline on ourselves and our children. Over the 20th century, society ‘permitted’ more and more types of behaviour. Sex before marriage, single parents, binge drinking, drug taking and even elements of violence are more widely considered to be part of everyday life. There has at the same time, arguably, been an increase in our freedoms; our freedom to choose and a proliferation of choices (moral, social and consumer). Did the former follow the latter?

 

The boundaries of acceptable behaviour have broadened so much that now a life with no ambition and no drive for betterment is considered acceptable. If you want to live a life on social benefits, society has to an extent, permitted you to do so; the permission or freedom to exist in the underclass. To many social observers this is a kind of social trap where behaviour is re-enforced by previous and subsequent generations. From freedom we have slavery just as Orwell predicted.

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I certainly accept that there is a "price" to what I would call a more free society. As I've said before I've read Muslims defending their opression (my view) of women based on a notion that we have more rape. I don't think theres a correlation there but even if there was I think a happy medium towrads our free society is preferable.

 

On the specific notion of an underclass I find it a bit hypocritical for the "elite" to look down on such people to such a degree. Thatcherism especially could not have benefited so many people without the economic "front line" of the unemployed to allow her economic policies to "work". Indeed if there was a miracle cure to make everyone on benefits suddenly get jobs to some degree the economy would be fucked.

 

Having said that, like most people, I do find the benefits mentality to be depressing but I'd also argue that the perceived lower standards of morality which you allude to isn't the preserve of the underclass. To some degree the McCann's neglect of their kids is to my mind comparable to the treatment of baby P (tin hat on) in that being "rich" certainly isn't a guarantee of moral rectitude.

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Guest alex

There's no fucking comparion between popping out 100 yards down the road and leaving your kid in alone / without supervision (which is wrong imo btw) and battering a bairn and eventually killing it. It was a canny post apart from that.

I thought Chez nailed the matter with the OP though tbh.

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I just spent the weekend in the UK, reading the papers and the streams of editorials regarding Baby P and the wider social implications of the case. It seems that there is a growing concern regarding the existence of a social underclass in the UK. It got me thinking about the type of society that permits its own members to fall so far below what is considered normal from a moral or behavioural point of view?

 

People refer to the beginnings of the 20th century where values and social order were meant to be better than today. I’m not sure they were but lets assume that this view is correct (there is a lot to support it). What seems to have changed is the way in which we impose order and discipline on ourselves and our children. Over the 20th century, society ‘permitted’ more and more types of behaviour. Sex before marriage, single parents, binge drinking, drug taking and even elements of violence are more widely considered to be part of everyday life. There has at the same time, arguably, been an increase in our freedoms; our freedom to choose and a proliferation of choices (moral, social and consumer). Did the former follow the latter?

 

The boundaries of acceptable behaviour have broadened so much that now a life with no ambition and no drive for betterment is considered acceptable. If you want to live a life on social benefits, society has to an extent, permitted you to do so; the permission or freedom to exist in the underclass. To many social observers this is a kind of social trap where behaviour is re-enforced by previous and subsequent generations. From freedom we have slavery just as Orwell predicted.

 

 

It's what happens when you let private companies get away with too much. :jesuswept:

Edited by Fop

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Is having 'no ambition and no drive for betterment' the accepted definition of underclass now then?

 

Btw comparing the McCann's with child torturers is indeed ridiculous, unless you are implying 'they did it' which I don't think NJS was.

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Is it not more a social thing than an economic one fop?

 

Capitalism was more exploitative during the industrial revolution than today, hence Marx etc. The latter and middle parts of the 20th century were more characterised by unions and workers rights.

Edited by ChezGiven

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I certainly accept that there is a "price" to what I would call a more free society. As I've said before I've read Muslims defending their opression (my view) of women based on a notion that we have more rape. I don't think theres a correlation there but even if there was I think a happy medium towrads our free society is preferable.

 

On the specific notion of an underclass I find it a bit hypocritical for the "elite" to look down on such people to such a degree. Thatcherism especially could not have benefited so many people without the economic "front line" of the unemployed to allow her economic policies to "work". Indeed if there was a miracle cure to make everyone on benefits suddenly get jobs to some degree the economy would be fucked.

 

Having said that, like most people, I do find the benefits mentality to be depressing but I'd also argue that the perceived lower standards of morality which you allude to isn't the preserve of the underclass. To some degree the McCann's neglect of their kids is to my mind comparable to the treatment of baby P (tin hat on) in that being "rich" certainly isn't a guarantee of moral rectitude.

Can't really compare the two.

But I agree with the point I think you're making-Middle Class parents are so wrapped up in "keeping up" with the other parents, that often their children suffer.

I know kids who's every minute out of school is taken up with 'activities', half of which they don't actually enjoy doing. Not that the parents would realise this as they are never with the child long enough to find out.

Birthday parties are a feckin joke now- little to do with the child, everything to do with parents showing off.

 

Bugger me, reading this back I should go and buy the Mail :jesuswept:

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Is having 'no ambition and no drive for betterment' the accepted definition of underclass now then?

 

That was just my take on it after a conversation with my dad. I dont think there is an accepted definition but i heard and read the phrase a lot over 4 days.

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Is having 'no ambition and no drive for betterment' the accepted definition of underclass now then?

 

Btw comparing the McCann's with child torturers is indeed ridiculous, unless you are implying 'they did it' which I don't think NJS was.

 

 

I very much doubt that the McCann's would still have had their baby to murder if in the same circumstances, it would have been taken away much earlier.

 

 

 

 

As for classes, that's what always made me laugh about New Labours "classless society", it's nothing of the sort, although perhaps working/middle class definition is largely dead or at least often mixed to a point it's hard to separate, the only actual difference is the values that define the classes have changed (benefit class, middle-earner class etc.).

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I certainly accept that there is a "price" to what I would call a more free society. As I've said before I've read Muslims defending their opression (my view) of women based on a notion that we have more rape. I don't think theres a correlation there but even if there was I think a happy medium towrads our free society is preferable.

 

On the specific notion of an underclass I find it a bit hypocritical for the "elite" to look down on such people to such a degree. Thatcherism especially could not have benefited so many people without the economic "front line" of the unemployed to allow her economic policies to "work". Indeed if there was a miracle cure to make everyone on benefits suddenly get jobs to some degree the economy would be fucked.

 

Having said that, like most people, I do find the benefits mentality to be depressing but I'd also argue that the perceived lower standards of morality which you allude to isn't the preserve of the underclass. To some degree the McCann's neglect of their kids is to my mind comparable to the treatment of baby P (tin hat on) in that being "rich" certainly isn't a guarantee of moral rectitude.

Can't really compare the two.

But I agree with the point I think you're making-Middle Class parents are so wrapped up in "keeping up" with the other parents, that often their children suffer.

I know kids who's every minute out of school is taken up with 'activities', half of which they don't actually enjoy doing. Not that the parents would realise this as they are never with the child long enough to find out.

Birthday parties are a feckin joke now- little to do with the child, everything to do with parents showing off.

 

Bugger me, reading this back I should go and buy the Mail :jesuswept:

 

Somebody recently pointed out that there appears to be almost a dichotomy when it comes to kids now - spoiled middle class ones who are cosseted by their parents or deprived underclass ones who are left to roam the streets as ferals. I think there's some truth in it tbh.

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Is it not more a social thing than an economic one fop?

 

Capitalism was more exploitative during the industrial revolution than today, hence Marx etc. The latter and middle parts of the 20th century were more characterised by unions and workers rights.

See my sig. :lol:

 

 

 

 

Mostly in the UK it is our social welfare system (which goes back to the NHS in part), it's far too easy to have a :jesuswept: but comfortable existence on it............. and it almost seems built to serve best those that will exploit it most.

 

 

Having said that private industry does have a lot to answer for too (especially utility industries).

 

 

A serious sort out a both ends of the spectrum is needed, but will likely never happen till the revolution comes. v-for-vendetta-logo-wallpaper.thumbnail.jpg

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Is it not more a social thing than an economic one fop?

 

Capitalism was more exploitative during the industrial revolution than today, hence Marx etc. The latter and middle parts of the 20th century were more characterised by unions and workers rights.

See my sig. :lol:

 

 

 

 

Mostly in the UK it is our social welfare system (which goes back to the NHS in part), it's far too easy to have a :jesuswept: but comfortable existence on it............. and it almost seems built to serve best those that will exploit it most.

 

 

Having said that private industry does have a lot to answer for too (especially utility industries).

 

 

A serious sort out a both ends of the spectrum is needed, but will likely never happen till the revolution comes. v-for-vendetta-logo-wallpaper.thumbnail.jpg

 

What does your sig say? C&P it i cant be arsed to turn them on.

 

Relative poverty may be the answer but it must be more than that if relative poverty was worse in feudal and the industrial era?

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Relative poverty may be the answer but it must be more than that if relative poverty was worse in feudal and the industrial era?

 

There was no safety net or choice (frankly both systems were effectively slavery in most every way but name).

 

 

Now we've got the issue of a system that provides an alternative lifestyle (that ironically actively encourages mass breeding - which is one of the main bugbears to education and personal wealth - not just in the UK, but pretty much everywhere poverty exists) to those that want to exploit it and provides a distinct lack of motivation for many people to better themselves. Plus the whole system itself is actually a self-sustaining beast in it's own way, you couldn't get rid of it quickly without destroying the economy.

 

 

But equally private industry still creams off a lot of fat even from that (from pay metres to banking and credit to overall wealth distribution).

 

 

 

I think things could be done better at both end, but frankly no one is ever going to solve it outside eugenics or a Star Trek-esq utterly needless society (where money has no effective value).

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I think the problem needs to be defined here. If we're talking about child abuse, it has been much more widespread, even socially acceptable, in prior eras. If we're talking about the development of an underclass it would help to know what that really is.

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I just spent the weekend in the UK, reading the papers and the streams of editorials regarding Baby P and the wider social implications of the case. It seems that there is a growing concern regarding the existence of a social underclass in the UK. It got me thinking about the type of society that permits its own members to fall so far below what is considered normal from a moral or behavioural point of view?

 

People refer to the beginnings of the 20th century where values and social order were meant to be better than today. I’m not sure they were but lets assume that this view is correct (there is a lot to support it). What seems to have changed is the way in which we impose order and discipline on ourselves and our children. Over the 20th century, society ‘permitted’ more and more types of behaviour. Sex before marriage, single parents, binge drinking, drug taking and even elements of violence are more widely considered to be part of everyday life. There has at the same time, arguably, been an increase in our freedoms; our freedom to choose and a proliferation of choices (moral, social and consumer). Did the former follow the latter?

 

The boundaries of acceptable behaviour have broadened so much that now a life with no ambition and no drive for betterment is considered acceptable. If you want to live a life on social benefits, society has to an extent, permitted you to do so; the permission or freedom to exist in the underclass. To many social observers this is a kind of social trap where behaviour is re-enforced by previous and subsequent generations. From freedom we have slavery just as Orwell predicted.

 

 

Whenever I go to England there is always some hoo ha like this going on if it isn't a baby, its Muslims if not that then scroungers or summink, it has become a very blame orientated culture propagated by a broadly right wing media. IMO vast sections of the German under 30's seem to lack initiative or drive...Probably more a European wide sickness.

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I think the problem needs to be defined here. If we're talking about child abuse, it has been much more widespread, even socially acceptable, in prior eras. If we're talking about the development of an underclass it would help to know what that really is.

 

An underclass is the class that has no aspirations to work which would imply 'working class'. :jesuswept:

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Bring back Thatcher! :jesuswept:

 

She's the cause, without a doubt. We're approaching three generations in now and that's probably irreversible.

 

She had the right idea though with suggesting that the focus should be on taking responsibility for your own actions and putting an emphasis on family.

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Guest alex
Bring back Thatcher! :jesuswept:

 

She's the cause, without a doubt. We're approaching three generations in now and that's probably irreversible.

 

She had the right idea though with suggesting that the focus should be on taking responsibility for your own actions and putting an emphasis on family.

Sort of falls down when you think of the industries she destroyed overnight without any long-term thought (or concern) for the communities that were devastated as a consequence. It was a very much a case of 'I'm alright Jack'.

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I just spent the weekend in the UK, reading the papers and the streams of editorials regarding Baby P and the wider social implications of the case. It seems that there is a growing concern regarding the existence of a social underclass in the UK. It got me thinking about the type of society that permits its own members to fall so far below what is considered normal from a moral or behavioural point of view?

 

People refer to the beginnings of the 20th century where values and social order were meant to be better than today. I’m not sure they were but lets assume that this view is correct (there is a lot to support it). What seems to have changed is the way in which we impose order and discipline on ourselves and our children. Over the 20th century, society ‘permitted’ more and more types of behaviour. Sex before marriage, single parents, binge drinking, drug taking and even elements of violence are more widely considered to be part of everyday life. There has at the same time, arguably, been an increase in our freedoms; our freedom to choose and a proliferation of choices (moral, social and consumer). Did the former follow the latter?

 

The boundaries of acceptable behaviour have broadened so much that now a life with no ambition and no drive for betterment is considered acceptable. If you want to live a life on social benefits, society has to an extent, permitted you to do so; the permission or freedom to exist in the underclass. To many social observers this is a kind of social trap where behaviour is re-enforced by previous and subsequent generations. From freedom we have slavery just as Orwell predicted.

 

 

Whenever I go to England there is always some hoo ha like this going on if it isn't a baby, its Muslims if not that then scroungers or summink, it has become a very blame orientated culture propagated by a broadly right wing media. IMO vast sections of the German under 30's seem to lack initiative or drive...Probably more a European wide sickness.

 

I'm back and forth quite a bit but this weekend it was quite striking the extent to which people were talking about this. It has a lot to do with Baby P and the furore around that of course.

 

As for your last point, thats because you hang out with crazy hippy types.

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Bring back Thatcher! :jesuswept:

 

She's the cause, without a doubt. We're approaching three generations in now and that's probably irreversible.

 

She had the right idea though with suggesting that the focus should be on taking responsibility for your own actions and putting an emphasis on family.

Sort of falls down when you think of the industries she destroyed overnight without any long-term thought (or concern) for the communities that were devastated as a consequence. It was a very much a case of 'I'm alright Jack'.

 

Did the civil servants who advised the Tories to close the mines include the costs incurred since 1982 in regenrating the north east? I doubt it.

 

If i ever had the time, i'd love to look at the financial data used to justify the decision to get rid of the coal industry in the north east and see whether it took account of the money they are now spending to try and maintain communities on social welfare and regenerative projects (including those from the EU etc).

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Bring back Thatcher! :lol:

 

She's the cause, without a doubt. We're approaching three generations in now and that's probably irreversible.

 

She had the right idea though with suggesting that the focus should be on taking responsibility for your own actions and putting an emphasis on family.

Sort of falls down when you think of the industries she destroyed overnight without any long-term thought (or concern) for the communities that were devastated as a consequence. It was a very much a case of 'I'm alright Jack'.

 

Well there is that. The thought was there though. :jesuswept:

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Bring back Thatcher! :jesuswept:

 

She's the cause, without a doubt. We're approaching three generations in now and that's probably irreversible.

 

She had the right idea though with suggesting that the focus should be on taking responsibility for your own actions and putting an emphasis on family.

Sort of falls down when you think of the industries she destroyed overnight without any long-term thought (or concern) for the communities that were devastated as a consequence. It was a very much a case of 'I'm alright Jack'.

 

Did the civil servants who advised the Tories to close the mines include the costs incurred since 1982 in regenrating the north east? I doubt it.

 

If i ever had the time, i'd love to look at the financial data used to justify the decision to get rid of the coal industry in the north east and see whether it took account of the money they are now spending to try and maintain communities on social welfare and regenerative projects (including those from the EU etc).

 

 

Yes Adam, but I've got you down as soft right whereas Thatch was hard right.

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