The post-retraction furore over 'that' 1010 video
A memory of my Dad

The deserving and the undeserving poor

The Tories (as opposed to the coalition partners) have used the phrase "deserving" several times in the last week or so - indeed, it could be described as the theme of their conference. They are appealing to their natural constituency and asking for things to be seen in black and white terms: the poor are either good, or bad.

There's so much up in the air that to my mind just doesn't add up, or work, in any sense, I'm going to have to go through them, with the most recent, which really does make me want to jump up and down in despair. Just remember, you (probably) didn't vote for this, but you're stuck with it:

1. Jeremy Hunt talks about the undeserving poor and number of children.

Why is the Culture Secretary talking about this, by the way? That's a slightly confused, honest question. What is his specialist knowledge that gives weight to this opinion - surely his job is to reduce funding to the Arts council because only posh people go to the theatre?

I find it frightening that we've already got to the point where the Tories feel that it's ok to say these misguided things out loud. What the hell are we going to be listening to next week?

The caps to benefits and the whole housing benefit situation in London... never mind the immigration cap - all aimed squarely at the Daily Mail-esque "Deserving" / "Undeserving" dichotomy. When was anything ever this black and white? There is no deserving or undeserving. There is a tedious, time consuming and expensive assessment of degrees of Need. So much easier to try and paint it in clear zero and one terms, isn't it.

Meanwhile, I'm a bit worried, now. Cameron talks it all nice, and his lieutenants talk it nasty. Those folk will never fall off the revenue earning wagon far enough to be caught in the fictitious 'undeserving' trap, yet their imperious, crowd pleasing opinions of who is classified as good or bad will affect the lives not only of hundreds of thousands of people, it will also affect their kids. And affect them badly.