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article imageOp-Ed: Chancellor attempts to exploit Derby fire tragedy

By Alexander Baron     Apr 4, 2013 in Lifestyle
In the wake of the sentencing of Mick Philpott for causing the Derby fire, Chancellor George Osborne said "we" need to start a debate about "welfare" lifestyles. If that is true, there are a few other lifestyles that we need to debate even more urgently.
George Osborne made his crass comments almost as soon as the sentences on Philpott and his co-conspirators were handed down.
When she handed down a life sentence to Mick Philpott for masterminding the fire that led to the deaths of no less than six of his offspring, the judge made it clear that he was a control freak, a manipulative, dangerous individual with a liking for violence. It had already been revealed that as a young, single man and a serving soldier Philpott had broken into the home of a former girlfriend at dead of night and attacked both her and her mother with lethal intent.
As at this time he would have been regarded as a productive member of society instead of a parasite as people like George Osborne clearly regard all able-bodied men and women who cannot find gainful employment, that disposes of part of the argument. Was it his lifestyle that led Philpott to do what he did? No, clearly it was greed, vanity, callousness and a massive dose of crass stupidity, but not the fact that he was not gainfully employed.
One question for George Osborne, how many other men are there in Britain or indeed anywhere who have a) sired 18 children, b) lived in a ménage à trois and c) used their wives, mistresses and children as cash cows? That disposes of the rest of the Chancellor's facile exploitation of a heinous crime and a human tragedy, now let us take a deeper look. Anyone remember Lord Lucan? He was everything an aristocrat is not meant to be, including a murderer. Like Mick Philpott, he was ex-army, and like him, he treated his wife like an object, but although a commoner, Veronica Duncan Lady Lucan was no pushover, and wasn't prepared to take the abuse. After they broke up, Lucan decided to murder her, but like Philpott he bungled the crime, and murdered nanny Sandra Rivett instead. How exactly does his behaviour and crime reflect on his class?
Now let's take a more prosaic view of those living on unearned income. Let us consider the case of the man who owns a share of his family business, although he doesn't actually work in it. Last year he went on a jaunt to New York, the cost of his visit - £2,600 - was paid by the City (read taxpayers) of New York.
Two years ago he went to Geneva on a free trip to the value of over eleven and a half thousand pounds. Five years ago he was given a free ticket to the Wimbledon Men's Singles Finals. Nice work if you can get it, and there is a lot more where that came from. Would you like to read all about the other freebies this bloke has enjoyed over the years? More to the point, would you like to know his name? It's George Osborne.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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