The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Old, new, borrowed and blue

Posted on June 06, 2013 by

It seems worth updating this piece from last September, for the 40,000 of you who weren’t around then. Today, Labour leader Ed Miliband gave a speech on his party’s welfare plans should it win the 2015 UK general election. It contained the following line:

“People’s faith in the system has been shaken by a system that appears to give a minority of people something for nothing.”

If you think you’ve heard those words before, let us refresh your memory.

“This is our contract with the British people – to bring an end to the something for nothing culture”
– Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative minister, October 2011

“We are repairing the damage of an age of irresponsibility. Ending the something for nothing society that flourished during it”
– George Osborne, Conservative Chancellor Of The Exchequer, October 2011

“The hard working people of Britain want their government to bring an end to Labour’s something for nothing culture”
– Baroness Warsi, Conservative peer and former chairman, December 2011

“[The welfare state] has sent out some incredibly damaging signals. That it pays not to work. That you are owed something for nothing”
– David Cameron, Conservative Prime Minister, June 2012

“There are some who really are sitting at home and putting little effort into moving on in life… A something for nothing culture does no one any favours”
– Chris Grayling, Conservative minister, August 2012

“Jobless young adults will soon be forced to do three months’ full-time work or have their benefits cut under a scheme being piloted in Croydon to tackle its “something for nothing culture””
– Boris Johnson, Conservative mayor of London, September 2012

Print Friendly

    1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. 23 11 14 15:31

      Aneurin Bevan’s grave | FreeScotland

    24 to “Old, new, borrowed and blue”

    1. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      How would RBS bonuses be described by these same people? (what is it this year, 600-something million, when we own 82% of the dammed thing?) 

    2. Desimond says:

      “Scotland cannot be the only something for nothing country in the world,” – Johann Lamont – Oct 2012

      “Universal benefits are an important bedrock of our society.” – Jan 2013

    3. NewScotGirl says:

      You forgot Lamont’s FMQ in the recycled quote bin!

    4. “People’s faith in the system has been shaken by a system that appears to give a minority of people something for nothing.”
       
      Not mine, it hasn’t. In fact, to me its evidence that the system is working if, as a society, we provide help for those who need it regardless of whether they have contributed in the past, in the hope that it will allow them to get to the point where they can contribute in the future.

      I think the number of ‘career benefit claimants’ is far too small for the amount of focus they seem to get, and certainly too small to neccessity major policy changes. And that quote even seems to acknowledge this – saying only that people ‘appear’ to get something for nothing, not that they do.

    5. Luigi says:

      There are huge numbers of leeches and parasites infesting our society. However, the ones doing the most damage are not those vulnerable people near the bottom end of society. Perhaps, if Milliband and Osbourne looked closer to home, they would discover huge potential savings for government expenditure.

    6. Doug Daniel says:

      No Ed, people’s faith in the system has been shaken by a right-wing media taking extreme, isolated examples and using them to paint a picture of a system which is full of swindlers and cheats. It’s been further shaken by opportunistic political parties perpetuating these false ideas, rather than having the guts to defend a system which is there for all of us if we need it.
       
      Prick.

    7. MajorBloodnok says:

      Missing words competition.  I’ll go first.
       
      “People’s faith in the financial system has been shaken by a system that appears to give a minority of people something for nothing.  So we’re going to change that system to make it work for all of the people of Britain and not just a wealthy and greedy minority.”
       
      Now surely that’s what Ed meant to say?

    8. Max says:

       
       
      Is it any wonder the UKUNT parties (UK UNionists Together) forever repeat the “something for nothing” mantra. This is what their UKUNT backers in the City want to hear. It means that nothing actually changes, just more of the same. The rich get richer, the poor get all the blame. 

    9. Desimond says:

      People’s faith in the financial system has been shaken by a system that appears to give a minority of people something for nothing.”

      Makes me think of the recent Scheme to increase lending, Taxpayer gives banks money at 0.75% so that the bank can make profit lending money to Taxpayer…. surely thats summed up by the statement above!

    10. James Kay says:

      Labour’s “something for nothing” baby, conceived in Scotland September 2012, delivered in England, June 2013.
       
      Lamont’s speech last year did not seem to harm Labour in the polls (was anybody listening?), so now it is rolled out down South.

    11. Jiggsbro says:

      Taxpayer gives banks money at 0.75% so that the bank can make profit lending money to Taxpayer…. surely thats summed up by the statement above!
       
      That’s unfair on the banks. They didn’t lend the money to taxpayers. They made a bigger profit by lending it to other financial organisations.

    12. HandandShrimp says:

      James Kay
       
      I’m not sure what impact Johann’s words had. They were behind then and they are behind now. Milliband’s lead is slipping with every poll and the 35 to 37% he is now getting will not deliver a majority. Will trying to sound tough to middling Tory voters make them vote Labour or think what the hell and stick with the devil they know. Will Ed’s words shed more Labour voters than it gains?
       
      Major
       
      i like your re-drafting of the words very much.  

    13. pmcrek says:

      Top brass positioning Labour to the right of Darth Vader to try and win tabloid support for an election they have already lost.

    14. Desimond says:

      Jiggsbro….unfair to the banks?
      The point of lending scheme was for small and medium sized businesses to get easier access to vital funding. Sadly a lot of the banks ( hello Santander and friends!) just took the money at such a low rate and simply kept it for their own means.

      Ultimately it was another case of the Taxpayer helping no-one else bar Financial Instititutions. if only it was the other way around.

    15. Jiggsbro says:

      Sadly a lot of the banks ( hello Santander and friends!) just took the money at such a low rate and simply kept it for their own means.
       
      Yes. I said as much, which I had hoped would make it clear that my remark about unfairness was ironic.

    16. themadmurph says:

      @Doug Daniel
      I laughed out loud as you signed off on your comment to Ed Balls!  Well said sir!
      He is a Rick with a silent P, of the highest order.
      Oh how I pray the people of Scotland see the light and vote to move away from the car crash of right wing politics heading for the rUK with a resounding YES!

    17. HandandShrimp says:

      O/T
       
      FMQs never ceases to amaze me. In particular JB who never ever seems to bother any actualite

    18. Macart says:

      I think Ed’s pretty much nailed it……..
       
      Oh he didn’t mean the HoC?
       
      Ah’ll get ma coat.

    19. Jamie Arriere says:

      O/T …well not really…the smart Smart brother has got an anti-bedroom tax song on iTunes and Youtube which is worth a listen (and purchase).
       
      https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/you-cannhttps://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/you-canny-have-spare-room/id656721896-have-spare-room/id656721896

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Bik9299kA0c
      All with the blessing of Adam MacNaughtan and Matt McGinn’s widow. 

    20. scottish_skier says:

      First Thatcher/Major remove half the ‘British’ from Scotland when national industries were privatised or shut down.

      Now Ed will join the Tories and Liberals in removing what remains of ‘British’ from Scotland; the welfare state.

      Goodbye Britain.

    21. BillyBigbaws says:

      Stu, you might have forgotten this absolute belter of a speech from Peter Lilley at the 1992 Conservative Party Conference.  This is what they really want to go back to.  It’s scary to think we might one day have to look back on the Blair years as the good times (those of us who aren’t Iraqis or British Army soldiers anyway).
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOx8q3eGq3g
       
       

    22. Luigi says:

      Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
      Refering, quite accurately, to the four stages of the Labour party during the past 40 years.

    23. JLT says:

      I’ll give you your due, Rev, you certainly put a lot of time and work into all of this.
      Seriously, well done.



    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.




    ↑ Top