The State of Welfare

As the 70th anniversary of Beveridge approaches, BBC Radio 4 returns to the welfare topic this week.  A new series The State of Welfare – beginning on Tuesday 27 November at 10.00am and then available on the BBC iPlayer – promises to look at the welfare system from both sides, from the point of view of both recipients and contributors.  Worth a listen.


Gagged and bound?

Can we have a National Conversation – or any kind of free and open conversation – when  the press is controlled by the state?

In today’s Telegraph, Fraser Nelson makes a level-headed and compelling defence for a free press.  Killer quote: “…you can’t have a little bit of state control, any more than you can be a little bit pregnant. Either the press is free, or it must operate within parameters defined by the state.”

A free for all?

Former Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins believes the welfare state subsidises the fat and feckless.  Emily Thornberry MP (Labour Islington South and Finsbury) and Philip Hammond (Conservative MP Runnymede and Weybridge, Secretary of State for Defence) disagree.

Katie Hopkins’s style could be described as abrasive… but has she got a point?

Why did you come along?

“I’m here out of a mix of intrigue and frustration.  And because I love Lego!”

One answer given to York’s One&Other magazine when they asked people why they’d come to ‘Building the Conversation last month.

See the full article – and a quick report on the following evening’s York Conversation, hosted by Claire Fox, here.

Building the Conversation

As we prepare for the next Moot (Tuesday, 7.00pm), we’re looking back at our October activity in York.

Check out the video  – Building the Conversation – to see Andy Chapman explain how we used Lego to get people thinking about the future of welfare, using Lego to express their ideas.

Beyond left and right

Next Tuesday evening at 7.00pm we will hold the next National Conversation Moot – and look for some new ways forward for welfare, beyond left and right.  More details in the coming days…

For now, some interesting thoughts from Tim Stanley in today’s Telegraph about what happens when politics gets bogged down in partisanship.