As anyone might expect, The Slog’s ATEOTD piece towards the end of last week about the problem of a growing Underclass in the UK (and the US, to be fair) attracted stronger views and comments than most. Today, I’m giving centre stage to Rolf Norfolk (a long-time Slogger whom I’ve never met) who offers a contrary view which, for me, thoroughly deserves to be aired. I think this because first, Rolf teaches Underclass children; second, it talks a great deal of well-read sense about consequences; but above all, because it manages to oppose without abuse.
At the end I’ll offer a brief view about some of the other comments, but in the meantime here is Rolf’s response.
I teach their children. Your observations – and I share your worries – raise philosophical and econo-political questions.
1. Before advocating abortion and sterilisation, consider whether we are nothing more than temporary forms of matter with the capacity for pleasure and pain. If a grain of sand is a nothing then there are no Arabian sands, since a zillion times nothing is nothing. This kind of thinking allowed Stalin to murder millions of people for the good of… er…
2. Peter Hitchens (who makes a living by stating what fifty years ago would have been unpublishable because it would have been thought too bleedin’ obvious) is quite right that the middle class: by giving themselves ever-greater license in terms of substance abuse and sexual mores, have ruined the working class who do not have the same resources to recover from the concomitant pitfalls.
3. Much of the moral decay is also owing to a deteriorating economy and the shockingly cynical callousness shown towards the working class even by the Labour Party. What happened to the Rover works at Longbridge, Birmingham in the runup to the 2000 General Election is a damning reason why I can never see the modern LP as the friend of the workers.
4. As John Mortimer has Rumpole observe, the woes of the underclass provide much lucrative employment for their superiors, so the rot has spread much further than is immediately visible.The political class has signally failed the country as a whole.
5. The temporary beneficiaries of this state of affairs are the upper strata, who have created (as in e.g. the EU) a transnational governing class that is suborning the news media and any other form of supervision and governance that might restrict their endless self-enrichment. Their intermarriage (or interfornication) is, I suggest, leading to the surreptitious re-creation of a full-blown aristocracy – Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube (“Let others wage wars: you, fortunate Austria, marry”). The TV commentators dine with the ministers and money-men, but neglected to bring a long spoon. Soon they will wear the livery of their true masters, and the more attractive or better-connected among their children shall refresh the bloodline of the new global ruling class. “Notting Hill and Islington, you have stolen my land away.”
6. Part of the process is economic globalisation. Sir James Goldsmith warned us all in 1983 at the time of GATT, and now that the talks have stalled, see (those who matter in) the US pushing on via the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
7. And to distract (one of the central themes of your blog) from this dreadful scheme we are encouraged to click our tongues at what is now the benefit class, people who once were the hewers of wood and drawers of water and have been abandoned and exploited at every turn, latterly to scare the lower middle class into submission (in the vain hope that they will not be next). We are enjoined to moralise at the unfortunate victims of our own actions:
“If it were indeed the case that bad nourishment, little education, lack of air and sunshine, unhealthy housing conditions, and overwork produce better people than are produced by good nourishment, open air, adequate education and housing, and a reasonable amount of leisure, the whole case for economic reconstruction would collapse, and we could rejoice that such a large percentage of the population enjoys the conditions that make for virtue.” – Bertrand Russell, “Unpopular Essays”
8. A heavy reckoning is coming, and not just for the current poor.
Rolf is quite rightly raising the issue of consequences….as indeed was I. Let’s look at some of the points/negativity the original piece evoked for evidence of the same concern about the consequences of doing nothing:
Well, it’s a controversial idea, but the best modification might be that we sterilise the men rather than the women. Men can be sexually active and fertile from teenage to ripe old age, leaving them free to inseminate as many women as will allow it. Fair point, well made.
I tend to come here for a fun read, and a little light entertainment. Today, I read this piece twice, just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. FFS, Seriously?….So, let me ask the question… you’ve read this,… and the hair on the back of your neck is NOT standing on end ? Yes, it is. And your solution is?
This article proves that some of your readers either can’t read or are blinded by loyalty. This is you at your very worst – aren’t you watching Big Brother on the telly? No, I’m not. And your solution is?
A better solution would be to sterilise the rich. Firstly, it would strongly discourage greed and secondly some
of the plebs would get a chance at the top jobs (and don’t tell me they would do them any worse). You don’t know many folks at the bottom, I would surmise.
Even though there is a real problem….sterilisation is a bit extreme don’t you think? And your solution is?
Some seem to have forgotten that Bill Clinton actually did have some success in tackling the problem of serial maternities by feckless girls via limiting welfare to their first two kids. Heaven forbid any UK govt. should take a leaf out of his book – they’re all too terrified of losing votes. Very good point. If it works, why not? So who’s going to suggest it and do it, then?
No government should have the right to sterilise an individual, any more than they should have the right to cut his/her hand off. This piece is loaded with the potential for unintended consequences….would it not be better to offer, say, £5,000 to any man having the nick? Excellent. So it’s appalling to consider making the licentious face the consequences of their actions, but OK to bribe them with innocent taxpayers’ money….equally poor, but not behaving in this manner?
“what to do about the problem of “the poor”, there are simply too many of them and they just keep on breeding”. Remove all the platitudes about trying to like them and not liking the idea of killing people, it fits the piece better.Question: If the references to “feral under class” were removed and substituted with a reference to an ethnic or religious minority, would this piece be considered hate speech? Yes of course it would, but why do that? What’s your point? I’m not advocating killing anyone.
Pisspoor article that whilst it does identify a problem but goes after the wrong target. And your solution is?
Johns been out in the sun too long! Shit article,total nonsense and unworthy of him. And your solution is?
words that sounded like the apoplectic splutterings of an elderly oik after too much post-prandial brandy. And your solution is?
Rolf Norfolk’s piece offers genuine reasons why blaming the Underclass is is narrow, and why they shouldn’t have to face all the consequences of their situation. I buy into that fully. I also agree that there are appalling potential consequences if what I were to suggest came to pass. That was my point in writing it: to make people think, and to hopefully produce a self-denying prophecy.
And by the way, I ‘move about among’ the Underclass trying to protect them from child-traffickers and social worker paedophile-suppliers. Those who don’t should, I propose, STF up.
For the record, this was the sole action I suggested:
‘Given the power, I would sterilise those who sired and/or gave birth to more than two children while in social care.’
Every week, another feral group of benefits cheats – the bankers – are recommended by comment threaders her and elsewhere for far worse treatment than that.