Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Daily Mail front page you will never see


We will of course never see a front page like the one above. That is because the Daily Mail has a very specific agenda. It has spent decades trying to demonise people on benefits and now that Mick Philpott has been convicted of killing his own children they see no problem at all in stating that Philpott and by implication his crimes are as a result of the welfare system.

This is the very essence of confirmation bias. They don't like people who have lots of children on benefits. One of them is involved in a terrible crime. So they try to smear everyone on benefits by setting up Philpott as if he is somehow a representative of this section of society. He isn't. He is a horrible man who may well have committed similar crimes under any system. We now know that in his younger days he stabbed a former lover multiple times and nearly killed her. There is no suggestion that crime was motivated by our benefits systems.

If the Mail were consistent in their campaign to try and reduce motivation for crime we would expect to see headlines like the one above and lobbying to increase inheritance tax or even abolish inheritance altogether. After all there have been numerous cases over the years where greedy offspring have wanted to get their hands on their parents' money early and have killed them in order to try and facilitate that. Surely the "solution" to this problem is to prevent this motive in the first place? It might seem a bit simplistic but that fact hasn't stopped them on welfare.

The truth is that sometimes people commit dreadful crimes. Trying to link one-off cases like Philpott with something like the benefits system is frankly idiotic.

12 comments:

Jim said...

After the Left's response to the Newtown massacre, I don't think they have a great deal of legs left to stand on in the 'Using tragedy to advance a political agenda' stakes.

Matt said...

Newton was hardly a one off. There's a massive pattern of gun murders, suicides and large attacks on all sorts of public places but in particular schools in the US. And what is now being pushed for is sensible and proportionate, although IMO still too weak. Background checks et al will help with a serious and real problem. The kinds of welfare 'reforms' the Daily Hate wants will not help and the problem it describes is not real.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I thought the headline stating "Daily mail - vile product"
marked the return of truth in advertising.

Jim said...

"Newton was hardly a one off."

Neither is men and women using procreation as a means of creating an income for themselves that they could never achieve through their own efforts, and one which is paid for by people paying taxes out of lower earned incomes. Its depressingly common throughout the UK, and a situation entirely created by the welfare state.

Anonymous said...

Child benefit contributes towards but does not cover the cost of raising a child. The women in this family were controlled through violence & intimidation. They were also working. Their employer was the biggest welfare beneficiary as their low pay was subsidised by the state. To those who object to child benefit, what would you prefer - that the women were sterilised or the children starved? or better still that the employer paid aivjbg wage. Philpot was a violent ex.con. His murderous tendancy was nothing to do with welfare. Levels if welfare in the UK are at the same level.of the 1900s. They should be higher and at 2% of the welfare budget higher is affordable. @azumahcarol

Robert said...

Jim, the point is not that welfare dependency is a one-off. The point is that Philpott's crime was. How many other people on benefits have you heard of who killed their own kids by setting fire to their house? The point is that he committed the crime because he's a violent, psychotic twat, not because he's a welfare recipient.
Oh and by the way - I don't know if you've seen how much money child benefit is. I can assure you that raising a child is considerably more expensive. Having kids to collect more child benefit is not going to make you rich. The papers have focussed on how much welfare he received. None have taken into account how much he had to spend to keep his growing family in food and clothes.

Arron Fitzgerald said...

The comparison between welfare and inheritance implied here is disingenuous.

An inheritance represents the right to transfer legally-earned, post-tax wealth to one's issue (or anyone else) without government confiscation or other interference. This is a natural right, not a privilege such as welfare.

Arron Fitzgerald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Property is not a natural right.

tony said...

Arron,the point is that The Mail was being disingenuous itself.
I would love to know how all this squares with press regulation.Sadly,Levison seems to have been a pointless exercise?

Anonymous said...

Non-fun fact: parents were killing their children for the money in the 19th century, when the closest thing to welfare was the "generosity" of employers who would pay for the funeral of their child-employees.

A D Winter said...

lived on welfare, he did. and if prison isn't also welfare, what is it? In his grand scheme hasn't he played the welfare state and won?
http://alandwinter.blogspot.co.uk