9 December 2011
Ruth Porter writes for the Daily Telegraph
Surveys are not generally known for their profundity or their accuracy, but this week’s British Social Attitudes survey may contain some crucial insights.
It looks as if the message that throwing money at a problem doesn’t fix it may finally have started to get through. Looking back now at what New Labour was about, it seems reasonable to define it as a movement built on government spending. It may have been well-intentioned spending, but it was also reckless. New schools were fashioned with cutting-edge design, the NHS was hosed with cash, benefit rolls soared.
Britain’s recent history was an experiment testing the hypothesis that the nation’s education, health and welfare would be improved by a vast influx of state funding. The thesis was wrong. All the statistics have shown this convincingly, what is interesting is that this latest survey shows us that this evidence may have finally begun to filter down and influence the public’s understanding.
It has become increasingly clear that many of our most entrenched problems are now cultural: family breakdown, intergenerational worklessness, drug and alcohol abuse. Money won’t fix these, a point that has forced itself into the public consciousness through the numerous tragic stories of devastated lives throughout the country that we struggle to fix but so often fail to help.
Read the full article on the Telegraph website.