“Welfare” has become a positive word

John Rentoul

ids 300x200 Welfare has become a positive wordComRes has a poll out today for ITV News, asking people what public spending should be increased or cut, which produces familiar findings and one surprise. Most people want to see increased spending on the NHS, and to a lesser extent on education and “police and law enforcement”.

But the surprise, for me, was that the ambiguous heading, “welfare”, found more supporters for increased spending than for cuts. Some people may know that the largest part of Iain Duncan Smith’s Work and Pensions budget is the state pension, and favour it for spending increases. But I thought that most people regarded “welfare” as shorthand for out-of-work benefits for people with their blinds down.

To what extent do you think that the Government should increase or decrease spending on each of the following areas between now and 2015?
Increase (6-10)
Keep spending the same (5)
Decrease (0-4)
Net Increase (minus decrease)
Police & law enforcement
Public sector pensions
Local government
International aid

ComRes interviewed 2,050 British adults online 1-3 February 2013.  Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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  • Midwinter1947

    They were both. Admittedly, genetic variation in the bog-standard indigenous Brit is very slight but much of it is attributable to historic migrations and the bonking behind the bike shed that followed.

  • Midwinter1947

    Do you mean ‘perceived’ or should it have been ‘received’? – ps I never took your bagpipe bait.

  • Midwinter1947

    I am well aware of Victorian historiography but the Celts (Iberocelts to be more precise) did spread north and populate much of Atlantic (NW) Europe as I said. This is nothing to do with any romantic view of the past – simply what happened according to the best evidence.

    As for the English language, I am well aware that that is a mongrel beast – part German, part Latin, part French and with other contributions from Welsh, Cornish, Gaelic, etc. especially in regional dialects.

  • DancingMice

    I recently read and also listened to modernists who say there were no Celts in the sense of a tribe or people, but that certain technologies are celtic. Of course we modern Brits aren’t entirely genetically homogenous, but are decidedly much the same as many non Brits.

  • Midwinter1947

    Well what’s a name? The term Celt is generally applied (historically) to the people from Iberia that moved north to occupy Britain, Ireland, etc. They are unlikely to have been a single cohesive group or have had any awareness of being a tribe, but, they had or developed a distinctive culture, remnants of which can still be found today – eg. related linguistic features such as the use of the double-L in both Spanish and Welsh.

    As I said, however, differences between individuals from different parts of the UK are very small and we differ equally slightly from other Europeans or other Caucasian peoples. Without going as far back as Lucy, didn’t someone once point out that we’re all directly descended from Charlemagne and that anyone is closely related to every sixth person they meet, wherever that may be in the world.

  • nico

    true – not entirely their fault, but they broke some very basic economic principles… like running a budget deficit during growth periods – were it not for this moronic behaviour we would now have the money we need to stimulate the economy out of the recession.

    Common sense (and every econ textbook) tells you to run a surplus during growth and a deficit during recessions – labour didn’t and now we are paying for their stupidity because we don’t have the money that the surplus would have raised to spend our way out the recession.

  • Susan G.

    I think the Tories should step up to the plate- we know they are to blame. They’ve obviously sent up a satellite equipped with the necessaries to turn the global temperatures into a mad emotional fiery fankle. ;) At least, they are playing a bad hand abysmally, and the NHS, Education, Economy are all being beaten to a pulp while they get richer. Michael Gove is beyond parody and seems hellbent on his ” Free Schools” aka creationism- by-the- back door. Talking of weather brr… wouldn’t mind a bit of your global warming about now. Thanks for your response.;0)

  • DancingMice

    Its the movement of the metalworking and other skills which characterised “Celts.” The rest of it is fanciful and largely out of date extrapolation of discoveries of relevant artefacts, and unhelpful as you obviously realise in your correct anti racist text.

  • Anon

    I sincerely hope that is totally sarcasm. People work hard to reap the rewards. Right now im putting 80 hours a week jnto my studies and managing a part time job on the side to get through uni with the hope of making some kind of decent self reliant living. I dont want a hand out, i dont want benefits, i dont want support of the state, personally i disagree with many fundementals of the labour lib dem and conservative parties and would gladly be rid of the mugs who take state money to the tune of 50k+ for sitting on their backsides discussing topics and having a casual wonder around their constituancies chatting to complainers for the sake of looking good for the next elections. The current state of the system is an absolute joke. I may not be able to provide an alternative system but i can sure as hell see thise sorry excuse for one sure aint working.

    EDIT- appologies, i misread, now i see youve said this would be what you do if you wanted to destroy and depress the community. My point stil stands though about current government being a joke.

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