Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Privileged Cameron's talk of benefits is simply a ploy

Imagine that you had attended a £23,000-a-year public school and you have been protected by inherited wealth and social connection since birth.

Imagine you had gone on to marry an heiress, who also earns £300,000 annually, that you lived in a home worth £2.7m and that the two of you stand to inherit anything up to £30m - the combined wealth of your parents.

From that pinnacle of privilege, with opportunities and money others can hardly dream of handed to you on a plate, you might consider it out of place to complain of a "sense of entitlement" among unemployed youth living on benefits in the midst of a recession.

It might seem particularly inappropriate to pass critical judgment on the workless at a time when there were 10 unemployed people for every vacancy.

The fact that David Cameron did so either shows a frightening lack of self-knowledge, or a need to appease the Right of his party.

The Tories are divided on Europe, they are divided on gay marriage and some are unhappy with the coalition.

Cameron's planned national conversation about benefits is best seen in that context.

It seems a calculated ploy to allow privileged grandees to let off steam without threatening the Government.

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