Opinion Kevin Myers

Saturday 20 January 2018

Kevin Myers: In Phoenix Park a state-maintained feral underclass celebrated its culture with drugs, alcohol and comas

You can look on the recent horrors of Phoenix Park as a purely Irish phenomenon, or you can see them in their wider context. This year marks the 70th birthday of the publication in Britain of the Beveridge Report, one of the foundational documents of modern Europe.

This identified the Five Great Evils of modern society: Want, Idleness, Squalor, Ignorance and Disease: WISID. The cure was for the state to intervene in family life, right throughout society. Seven decades on, we can see the larger outcome of the implementation of Beveridge: the near collapse, under state debt, of the PIGS-half of the EU. And we saw it in Phoenix Park also, as a state-created and state-maintained feral underclass celebrated its own cultural norms: namely, with drugs, alcohol and comas, while those still standing finished the night by stabbing and/or shagging perfect strangers.

Now, everyone agrees that the disease of WISID, Wisidia, is a bad thing. And to abolish Wisidia universally, Beveridge insisted that welfare payments should themselves be universal: children's benefit, for example, was thus given to all mothers, regardless of family income. Yet here lay the beginnings of a corrupted democracy. For what extended family will vote against a party that gives some of its number such untaxed income, and for so long? And how can a party that promises to end such a farce ever get elected? As intellectually corrupting was the monopoly of virtue that the welfare state claimed for itself -- to question its underlying dogmas was "right-wing", a term that is akin to child abuse amongst the self-appointed and self-replicating liberal commentariat.

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