Category Archives: Uncategorized

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons to be cheerful at the end of 2017 are several:

  1. The “Conservative” government is weak and getting weaker. Cabinet ministers resigning; no Parliamentary (Commons) majority without DUP help; divisions in the MP ranks based on both personal antipathies and ideological differences, particularly over Brexit. This will make it very hard for Theresa May and Amber Rudd to destroy free speech even further by passing more repressive laws criminalizing even reading online political tracts, or making criticism of Jewish Zionists, their behaviour etc.
  2. The Labour Party, though still not firm enough against the Zionists, is attracting more and more anti-Zionists to its ranks. Corbyn seems to be the only game in town as far as leadership of the party is concerned. He is weak in that, while he opposes Israel and obvious Zionism, he still feels the need to pay lip-service to “holocaust” propaganda etc, which plays into the hands of the Jewish lobby of the UK. Still, better Corbyn than some evil enemy such as Yvette Cooper.
  3. There is every chance that the next general election will be another hung Parliament. Weak System-party governments are good for social nationalism, because they accomplish little and feed a public hunger for different and firmer government.
  4. There is a good chance that the EU will fall apart by 2022, putting the whole future of Europe into the hazard.
  5. On social media, we have seen many pseudonymous Jewish-Zionist trolls either expelled, eg from Twitter, or forced to stop trolling much because they have been identified. More people (social-nationalists) now understand that the best way to deal with these pests in the short term is to block them, because they then have little chance to make false accusations to Twitter or to the police.
  6. Offline, organizations such as “Campaign Against Anti-Semitism” have, for the most part, failed in their attempts to criminalize social-nationalists. The Alison Chabloz case is continuing (which restricts what I can say about it) but the Zionists thought that she would be in their bag by January 2017 and that never happened. The CPS took over the private prosecution brought by the “CAA” and dropped the original charges, though substituting others. Also, the attempts to have her charged with other matters failed. Several Zionists have now protected their Twitter accounts or are no longer tweeting. The “CAA” managed to have the CPS charge Jez Turner (Jeremy Bedford-Turner) with incitement to racial hatred, after taking judicial review application of the original decision not to charge (that particular offence cannot be brought privately). We await the trial in 2018, but I am optimistic. A number of other persons (including me) were subject to police investigation after the “CAA”, led in this respect by Essex-based Stephen Silverman (who was exposed in open court, in a pre-trial hearing, part of the Alison Chaboz case, as a sadistic and pseudonymous Internet troll) made malicious accusations against them [my experience:]. None of those CAA “cases” led to any criminal charge.
  7. The “Campaign Against Anti-Semitism”, having mostly failed in its attempts to pervert the course of justice in respect of me and other private citizens, has started to run wild, trying to get Al Jazeera TV, David Icke and Palestinian demonstrators charged with various offences, often on various dodgy self-produced “evidence”. David Icke has informed his millions of fans about the “CAA” vendetta against him, Al Jazeera has swatted away the CAA nonsense and that seems to leave the three cases noted above (the Palestinian having been prosecuted privately, another CAA attempt to bypass the usual police/CPS process). This “loose cannon” activity by the “CAA” has led to criticism of it by other Jews and/or Jewish organizations, which will only intensify if the three trials in question end in acquittal.
  8. I have noted that several of the Jewish Zionist trolls and plotters who have targeted me in recent years are now suffering from a variety of physical and mental diseases or impairments, which seem to be worsening. Karma, in a sense.
  9. There is a chance that a real social-national movement and party will emerge in 2018. A real reason to be cheerful!

Taking the Whole Package

This evening, I watched a show called something like “The Real Marigold Hotel”, in which four elderly once-“celebrities” went to a country (in this case, Cuba) in order to see what facilities might be available for retired people. As such, as a “documentary”, it was very superficial and lacking depth, though entertaining. What interested me was the society in general.

The Cuba –actually just Havana– shown (and I have never been there, though I am quite well acquainted with its history of the past century and, in the manner of Sarah Palin, have glimpsed it from the air and from the sea) was in fact largely the stereotype: old American cars in pastel pink and blue, decrepit but charming colonial mansions, palm trees etc. The old people went to cultural classes and talked to Cubans in parks. It struck me anew that any society is a package: Cuba has some culture (both European and its own mixture incorporating the Caribbean and African, as well as that of the USA. The Havana shown was one where the parks were (on the face of it) safe to visit, the people well-educated (one or two Cubans carefully making the point that their good education had been free, as were the classes available to the elderly). Most people know that the Cuban healthcare system is also very good, both in relative and absolute terms. On the other hand, and as the TV programme noted, the Internet is tightly controlled, requires a card (no doubt traceable..) and is mostly only available in “wi-fi” areas such as certain parks; not so many have home Internet connection. It is perhaps pointless to reiterate what most of us know in terms of the Cuban police state (which –in all the documentary films I have ever seen– is so pervasive that it is invisible: you never see the hand of the State in plain sight, though it is there all right).

So there you have the Cuban package: low crime rate (supposedly), no obvious disorder, at least some rather polite, cultured citizens, good education and healthcare etc (one Cuban did say that it was better before the supportive Soviet Union collapsed), as well as a certain charm. As against that, a socialist state which controls the news and Internet tightly, imprisons dissidents for years (not to mention the large number who, in the late 1950s and 1960s, were just shot); a socialized economy which (leaving aside the effect of American embargo) –was and largely is– hopelessly inefficient at providing consumer goods; travel restrictions too.

Let us take a different case. The German Reich in the 1930s was intolerant of dissidents too, though it was far more tolerant than was the Soviet Union under Stalin or, indeed, Cuba under Fidel. The National Socialist state imprisoned some dissidents or placed them in concentration camps such as Dachau (though few now know that many served short sentences, such as 3 months, there and were not there indefinitely). Others were encouraged or more or less forced out of the country. There was a generally militarized ethos. How could a state both German and quasi-socialist be anything else?

In the Reich, there was state interference in culture (though, again, far less than, say, in the Soviet Union). Consumer production was given a lower priority than rearmanent (“Guns Before Butter”), though large projects for the benefit of the people were also pushed into the foreground: the Autobahnen; the VW “people’s car”; the 1936 Olympics; a huge programme of educational and cultural events; the Kraft durch Freude [“Strength through Joy”] programme of Canary Islands cruises and Baltic beach holidays for the people (at a time when, in the UK, most people who had a holiday at all were corralled into poky Blackpool guest houses…); better nutrition for young people, too.

The National Socialist Reich was hugely beneficial for most Germans, certainly compared to what existed in the Weimar period. The Reich solved the inflation problem, the unemployment problem, the decadence problem and, yes, what it termed “the Jewish question”.

In the UK at the same time, there was greater ostensible “freedom”: elections every 5 years, the freedom to eat daily at the Ritz or at the Savoy Grill (if one had the funds..), no obvious book censorship (though, behind the scenes, there was much, not least via the Jewish element, even then). There was official theatre and cinema censorship (via the Lord Chamberlain’s office) and there was also, of course, grinding poverty (especially outside the South East), a very repressive justice and prison system, not to mention the pervasive class system and its inequities.

No state, no political system is “perfect”. All have flaws, and all (most, at least) have benefits (though what might be the benefits of living in, say, North Korea or the Congo might be disputed). The aim can only be to do the best with what is available at the material time. We take everything as a package, as a whole.

Thoughts about Bitcoin

First Remarks

I am not an economist; neither am I, at least in terms of occupation and/or formal training, an historian. I say that from the outset simply because it may be objected that, especially in terms of economics, I have no intellectual locus standi, despite the fact that most predictions made by economists turn out to be inaccurate. Also, “two economists, three opinions”…


So, Bitcoin. Bitcoin was invented in 2008, possibly in Japan, by someone (or a group) whose provenance and even real name or names remain unknown:

What is Money, in any case?

Money is an almost metaphysical thing. Different societies have used seashells, precious metals etc as money, the key characteristic being the relative rarity of the commodity used. In China (in the 7th Century under the Tang dynasty), paper currency was invented and more widely introduced in the 11th Century (Song Dynasty), where it was encountered by Marco Polo and others, who introduced the idea to Europe.

Paper currency was, at first and for a long time, backed or notionally backed by precious metals, notably gold. Paper money only became generally acceptable in Europe a thousand years after its invention in China. The natural scepticism of the people was overcome both by its convenience and by its credibility, that credibility not only bolstered by its supposed convertability into gold or silver but by the draconian penalties visited upon those who counterfeited the notes.

These factors underpin all money, credibility or popular belief in its value being the core.

Speculative Bubbles

One could go wider and say that credibility and belief underpin all valuation of assets, whether money assets, real property or other property in which the population is impelled to invest. Time and again there have been speculative bubbles: in currencies, in shares, in housing, in undeveloped land, in metals and even in such things as tulip bulbs (17thC Holland).

A good history of these bubbles and other mass events of the sort was penned in 1841 after the South Sea Bubble and was reprinted after the Wall Street Crash of 1929: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

Since that book came out, since its 1930s reprinting, other bubbles have come and gone. Among the more noteworthy were the “Silver Bears” bubble of the 1970s

and various real property bubbles across the world.

Bitcoin Goes Viral

At first, back in 2008, Bitcoin was valueless, worth nothing at all. It was just electrical impulses on a machine, effectively. It was still of small value three years later:

“The price of bitcoins has gone through various cycles of appreciation and depreciation referred to by some as bubbles and busts.[129][130] In 2011, the value of one bitcoin rapidly rose from about US$0.30 to US$32 before returning to US$2.[131] In the latter half of 2012 and during the 2012–13 Cypriot financial crisis, the bitcoin price began to rise,[132]reaching a high of US$266 on 10 April 2013, before crashing to around US$50.[133] On 29 November 2013, the cost of one bitcoin rose to a peak of US$1,242.[134] In 2014, the price fell sharply, and as of April remained depressed at little more than half 2013 prices. As of August 2014 it was under US$600.” [Wikipedia]

Wikipedia continues:

“Ponzi scheme and pyramid scheme concerns

Various journalists,[79][144] economists,[145][146] and the central bank of Estonia[147] have voiced concerns that bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme. In 2013, Eric Posner, a law professor at the University of Chicago, stated that “a real Ponzi scheme takes fraud; bitcoin, by contrast, seems more like a collective delusion.”[148] A 2014 report by the World Bank concluded that bitcoin was not a ‘deliberate’ Ponzi scheme, but that it did thus far meet the “standard definition of a speculative bubble”.[149]:7 The Swiss Federal Council[150]:21 examined the concerns that bitcoin might be a pyramid scheme; it concluded that “Since in the case of bitcoin the typical promises of profits are lacking, it cannot be assumed that bitcoin is a pyramid scheme.” In July 2017, billionaire Howard Marks referred to bitcoin as a pyramid scheme.[151]

On 12 September 2017, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, called bitcoin a “fraud” and said he would fire anyone in his firm caught trading it. Zero Hedge claimed that the same day Dimon made his statement, JP Morgan also purchased a large amount of bitcoins for its clients.[152]

Speculative bubble dispute

Bitcoin has been labelled a speculative bubble by many including former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan[153] and economist John Quiggin.[154] Nobel Memorial Prize laureate Robert Shiller said that bitcoin “exhibited many of the characteristics of a speculative bubble”.[155] Journalist Matthew Boesler in 2013 rejected the speculative bubble label and saw bitcoin’s quick rise in price as nothing more than normal economic forces at work.[156] Timothy B. Lee, in a 2013 piece for The Washington Post pointed out that the observed cycles of appreciation and depreciation don’t correspond to the definition of speculative bubble.[131] On 14 March 2014, the American business magnate Warren Buffett said, “Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically.”[157]

Two lead software developers of bitcoin, Gavin Andresen[158] and Mike Hearn,[159] have warned that bubbles may occur. David Andolfatto, a vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, stated, “Is bitcoin a bubble? Yes, if bubble is defined as a liquidity premium.” According to Andolfatto, the price of bitcoin “consists purely of a bubble,” but he concedes that many assets “have bubble component to their price”.[53]:21 Speculation in bitcoin has been compared to the tulip mania of seventeenth-century Holland. Comparisons have been made by the vice-president of the European Central Bank, Vítor Constâncio, by JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon,[160] by hedge fund manager Ken Griffin of Citadel,[161] and by former president of the Dutch Central Bank, Nout Wellink.[162] In 2013, Wellink remarked, “This is worse than the tulip mania […] At least then you got a tulip [at the end], now you get nothing.”[163] On 13 September 2017, Jamie Dimon compared bitcoin to a bubble, saying it was only useful for drug dealers and countries like North Korea.[164] On 22 September 2017, a hedge fund named Blockswater subsequently accused JP Morgan of market manipulation and filed a market abuse complaint with Financial Supervisory Authority (Sweden).[165]

The Guardian, CNBC, Forbes and Evening Standard compared bitcoin to bubbles such as the South Sea Bubble, the Wall Street Crash, the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the Dot-com bubble.” [Wikipedia]

Current Situation

Bitcoin started to reach escape velocity in late 2016, going from hundreds of U.S. dollars to thousands. At time of writing (December 2017), a single Bitcoin is valued at over $14,000 [USD], or £10,500 [Pounds Sterling]. People who “invested” less than £100 several years ago have seen their stock suddenly rise to be “worth” as much as £100,000. Those who have risked more (in some cases a million pounds or more) now find themselves in theory able to buy small or even medium-size nation-states lock, stock and barrel.

What Do We Know About Bitcoin?

  • Bitcoin’s origins are obscure, to the extent that journalists and others have researched, investigated and written about the names of possible founders and organizers without having come to a definite conclusion;
  • Bitcoin is almost useless as a popular currency: its explosion in “value” has made it unusable for any transaction not involving, at the least, tens of thousands of pounds;
  • Bitcoin, though supposedly limited in overall amount or number, has seen security breaches which, at the push of a button (putting it simply), have at least briefly increased the supply of Bitcoin.


Bitcoin is a classic speculative bubble or, alternatively and perhaps even better put, pyramid scheme. The people who got in early and stayed in are sitting on mirage-fortunes; those who have “invested” more recently will probably lose everything they put in. At the moment of writing, Bitcoin is probably nearing its peak. When it starts to fall rapidly, the panic will probably wipe it out entirely.

The surely inevitable collapse of Bitcoin will take down more than just Bitcoin itself. It may affect the stability of the economy more generally. Beyond that, if (as Bitcoin proponents and/or “investors” say–and their anger at any criticism is perhaps born of subconscious desperation), Bitcoin is as “credible” as any “ordinary” currency (and that is Bitcoin’s strongest point), then the upcoming crash of Bitcoin could take with it much public confidence in the value of the world’s major currencies too. Our major currencies are no longer backed by gold or silver and have only the value we put upon them. We exchange stones for bread. Our currencies are themselves castles in the air and “such things as dreams are made on”.

We recall the hyperinflation of early 1920s Germany, and I myself saw, on several visits to 1980s Poland, how the slide of the zloty affected that country politically and socially. The fate of Bitcoin is not just about Bitcoin.

The General Shape of a Future Society

We should be aiming at a society which contains the good from the present (and, therefore, past) while being oriented toward the future. Humanity is a work in progress. Society is a work in progress.

The basic template for a future society, even in the short-term, can be found in the Threefold Social Order concept:

This is not some castle in the air. Many of the concepts within the overall concept of the Threefold Social Order are already part of UK society to a greater or lesser extent: religious freedom, freedom of thought, equal treatment under the law, the separation of the economic, political/legal and spiritual spheres or realms. Even since, say, 1989 (when old-style socialism died), there has come about a greater acceptance that, for example, the State should not monopolize education, that the State should not directly run business enterprises etc. There have been retrograde aspects too, though: increasing actual slavery, a huge increase in quasi-slavery or economic serfdom (including “welfare-to work” schemes, as well as diminution of employee rights and workplace conditions), the “National Curriculum” in State-run schools etc.

Necessary Changes and Structure

First of all, the migration invasion must be halted and a plan developed to remove as many non-Europeans as possible from the UK and Europe. There can be no decent future for UK citizens unless at least most are of British/European origin and culture. As Milton Friedman said, also, “You can have open borders or you can have a welfare state, but you cannot have both.” The Labour Corbynists have not all, by any means, awoken to this truth.

Special-interest groups, notably the Jewish Zionists, must not be allowed disproportionate influence or power. That applies to politics (eg Westminster seats), the Press and other mainstream media, to the ownership of business enterprises.

All citizens should receive a “Basic Income”. Robotics and computerization are advancing to the point where perhaps a third of the jobs in the UK might go. The choice will either be Basic Income or Iain Dunce Duncan Smith-style DWP snooping, bullying and serfdom, i.e. forced “make work” projects run by carpetbagging companies, validating payment of what is now often called “welfare” (social security).

The State will not run business enterprises, in general. However, it may be that the security of the State and of society requires the State to run or at least tightly to regulate some enterprises: railways, water supply, electricity supply. Having said that, technology may lessen those cases, as in individual electrical power generation via solar, wind, hydro.

Private business should not run what are, properly, State functions: prisons, the armed forces, social security provision overall.

There must be freedom of expression on political, social, historical matters.

The State can organize or fund some things without actually owning or, on ground level, running them: a UK-wide wildlife grid (possibly composed of land owned largely by non-State owners) is one example.

There is a necessity for improvement in several everyday areas: housing must be built or rebuilt to give everyone a decent home and garden space. No-one should own several and certainly not dozens or hundreds of dwelling-homes. There must be a minimum per-person amount of space within every new house or flat, a higher level than usually found at present.

Local transport should be free of charge.

Higher education should regain its credibility: standards must be improved. Grants can be given to the best students, but others may have to do without and perhaps not go to university. The corollary is that a university degree should not be necessary for most, perhaps all, occupations. Other means of selection can be worked out.

There should be huge expansion of branch rail lines using light, ultralight, narrow-gauge etc trains, mostly operated by robots.

A grid of new wide canals should be dug, for leisure, environmental and business use (freight and passengers).

The airship or Zeppelin can now come into its own as a UK-wide passenger carrying form of transport. The tops of some high office buildings in cities such as London can become passenger hubs (while commuting exists).

A New Society Needs New People

The aim must be to create a new people for the future. People create society; society creates people. It is symbiotic. This can be a “virtuous circle”: a highly-educated, highly-cultured people, which in turn will result in society being improved over time and so again. This is something worth struggling and fighting for.

People are Worth More than Their Opinions

Someone, possibly Auden, remarked once that “people are worth more than their opinions” (in relation to the Comintern/NKVD agents of the 1930s active in the British universities). There is something in that. On Twitter, for example, I have noticed that people bitterly divided politically will often still support, separately, such causes as animal welfare or environmental improvement. Wider than that, I am willing to see that some of those who attack my views (and, often, me personally) are, in some cases –and like me– interested in the welfare of the more downtrodden parts of the population. Sadly, most of those who attack me –and this particularly applies to the Jewish Zionists– are unwilling to see the slightest good in me or my views. I can only assume that to do so would weaken their assertion that anything connected with social nationalism (and, a fortiori, National Socialism) is irredeemably evil and without any good in it at all.

Adolf Hitler was of different mind. He accepted into the ranks of the NSDAP and SA, even into the SS, many who had been his enemies. People, in other words, who wanted a better society but who at first did not accept that National Socialism would create one.

In the Soviet Union, though many who had fought Bolshevism or were at least opposed to it were later shot, imprisoned or exiled as so-called “former people”, others were allowed to stay as free as anyone could be under Sovietism. Some even became members of the CPSU and/or the officer corps of the Red Army, at least until the purges of the late 1930s. Beria’s own past was full of ambiguities. During the 1941-1945 war, the vast majority of Russians fought and struggled together (whatever one may think of that).

In the UK at present, I can see that many want positive social change and that many (sometimes the same people) want to preserve the better aspects of the existing society. These people belong to Labour (especially the Corbyn wing), the Green Party, the LibDems, UKIP, even the Conservative Party. I trust that, when a real social national movement comes into existence, these people or many of them will feel able to join with me in the rebirth of this country.

The War on Freedom of Expression in the UK, USA and EU States


Recent events have sharpened my already-keen interest in freedom of expression. On Twitter, the premier socio-political short-comment website, those regarded in the USA as “alt-right” have had their “blue ticks” removed, signalling that they are not very approved of by whomever decides policy at Twitter. In the UK, several people are currently about to be put on trial for saying or singing things of which the Jewish Zionists disapprove. Also in the UK, David Icke has just (17 November 2017) had his event at the Old Trafford facility owned by Manchester United (itself owned by a pack of American Jew-Zionists) cancelled. In the EU, the already considerable online censorship in Germany, France, Scandinavia has been intensified and new EU rules control online platforms as never before (and behind such restrictions, once again, “them”…).

Many reading this will be aware that, by reason of the activities of a pack of Jew-Zionists, I was disbarred in 2016. I have blogged about that and may do so again. Even before those events, I was prevented, I think in 2011 or 2012, from posting book reviews on Amazon (UK and US) because one (at first only one) obsessed Jew complained to the Jewish Chronicle about me. Other Jews joined in, the original one trolling anyone who liked my reviews (enough liked them to propel me to the top 40 reviewers), leaving stupid and unpleasant comments, many both defamatory and untrue). Once the Jewish Chronicle and other Jew-Zionist organizations piled in, Amazon caved in…

In fact, this censorship, largely exercized by the Jewish-Zionist element, predates the Internet era. I recall trying to advertize a small organization in The Spectator, around 1978. I was advised that I had to supply a precis of its political view. I did that, only to be told that my advertisement would not be printed. Same at that bastion of well-heeled and hypocritical Home Counties free-speech-ism, Private Eye. This at a time when these publications carried both “Conservative” and “socialist”, even Communist adverts!

The Internet opened up a window of freedom of expression, but “they” are rapidly moving to close it. Free speech is being shut down.


The free speech provisions of the US Constitution are as outdated and superseded as those governing arms in private hands and other matters. At present, with certain exceptions, the State (meaning government) will not criminalize something said by an individual in the street, on a placard, in print, but that does not prevent that individual losing his job (if an employer dislikes what he has said or written, or where the employer has been pressured by external forces, such as the Jewish Lobby, with its campaigns of boycott etc).  The US Constitution, in other words, cannot save the individual from losing his job, home, family, if his employer decides to penalize him because of his “free expression”.

Likewise, the writer who writes that which is disliked by the Jewish lobby will not be arrested in the USA, but may find that he cannot get books published by mainstream publishing houses. The academic who tries to expand the boundaries may find that tenure is denied, or employment terminated.

Now, in the Internet age of social media, we find that the major platforms for freedom of expression are not properly public, but private organizations, private enterprises, which can decide on almost any basis to prohibit any named individual from posting. Amazon, ebay (which e.g. allows Soviet but not German Third Reich memorabilia), Facebook, Twitter. These organizations are either owned or largely owned or strongly influenced (and staffed) by Jewish Zionists.

I spoke in February 2017, at the London Forum about, inter alia, the “privatization of public space” in this regard. Now, the “alt-right” personality Richard Spencer has echoed me from the United States, talking about how the fora of the past were public, but the (online) “fora” of the present age private, thus able to exclude those whose views are not approved by the owners of the websites (or the commercial advertizers thereon).

UK and EU

The above “privatization of the forum” (or fora) applies not only in the USA, but in the UK and other EU states. The EU has already (in most states) criminalized “holocaust” “denial” (examination and/or revision of that historical narrative). It has also forged ahead (under Jewish-Zionist control or influence) with plans to penalize Twitter, Facebook etc if the “wrong” symbols, cartoons, views are hosted.

In the UK, several people are now facing trial at the instigation of Jewish-Zionists: Alison Chabloz, Jez Turner, others. Whatever happens to them will be of significance for freedom of expression.

We now hear that Twitter is planning further purges, this month (November 2017), and on or about 22 December. Those changes may well mean the end of Twitter as a useful place online on which to exchange ideas. We shall see. I myself am half-expecting to be removed.

In the end, the consolation must be to remember that no revolution or takeover of any state has ever happened via social media, though online propaganda has helped one or two offline campaigns to achieve success. Boots on the ground are what count.

Basic Income and the Welfare State– some ideas and reminiscences


At various times in history, there was either no social welfare system at all, or one which depended on spontaneous or systemized charity: individual alms-giving in the Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and other traditions; more organized supply of food, shelter or money as in the ancient Roman dole, Renaissance attempts at poor relief and the cheerless “workhouses” of 19thC England (which in fact continued in places in some form or another until the Second World War and the emergence of the postwar Welfare State).

It is a matter for historical debate whether organized “welfare” in Europe started with the mediaeval Roman Catholic church or in the 19thC with Bismarck, who set up in Prussia and then in the unified Germany a system not unlike those which emerged later in other European countries (eg in the UK under Lloyd George) and further afield: for example, Uruguay had one of the most generous “welfare” (social security) systems in the world until it collapsed in the 1970s under the weight of its expense.

However, the Roman Catholic and other religious and other non-State providers of “welfare” rarely give out money. They supply, variously, food, shelter, education and medical help.

The more modern “welfare” systems, eg in the UK, were based on the idea of social insurance: during a working lifetime, you paid in; in periods of unemployment, disability, sickness, old age, you were paid out. In the UK, this has become largely notional. Some tax is still designated as “National Insurance” payment but of course is just an extra type of income tax, fed straight into central funds and not in any way ringfenced.

Some anecdotal evidence

Like many people of my age (b. 1956) in the UK, I had to request State assistance occasionally in the past. This is or was far more common than generally supposed. The writer J.K. Rowling, now supposedly worth £100 million, has described how only the more generous –compared to today– social security of the 1990s enabled her to sit in cafes (partly to keep warm) with her baby, and to write the stories that not much later became Harry Potter. More egregiously, the vampire of Britain’s social security system, Iain Duncan Smith, has admitted that he claimed social security after having left the Army (ignominiously, having only achieved the rank of lieutenant after six years). In fact, Smith, or as he prefers to be known, Duncan Smith (the Duncan not being part of his original surname), claimed social security under false pretences, making him a hypocrite as well as what Australians apparently call a “dole blodger” and (as seen in the scandal of his fake CV and Parliamentary expenses) a fraud.

Certainly, there are those who abuse the social security system. In the past, that was far more common, because the almost Stasi level of control and surveillance that now exists for claimants in Britain had not then been put into place. The system was itself less punitive, less quick to demand impossible levels of enthusiasm for what is now and vulgarly called “jobseeking”.

I knew one woman, a citizen of the Soviet Union, who, having run away from her husband in New Zealand, came to the UK and claimed social security (including disability benefits). How could this happen? Well, her ex-husband, though resident in New Zealand, had a British passport (was British citizen) and had the right to reside in the UK. That meant that his estranged wife could do likewise, even though she had no other connection with the UK and had never even landed there! In fact, that woman never had a job (beyond odd occasional part-time jobs teaching Russian conversation at evening classes). She was supplied with monies for being slightly disabled (kidneys), monies for not having a job, monies for having two children of school age. She was also supplied with free housing. I encountered that person in 1981. She was, I heard, still collecting from the “British taxpayer” in 1996 and is almost certainly still collecting (now State Pension too!) in 2017…All monies legally-obtained, without fraud of any kind.

Another case. A young man (in the mid-1990s), from a very affluent family, who, nonetheless, was “unemployed” and so received whatever unemployment benefit was called then, as well as Housing Benefit for the large flat he occupied in Marylebone, London. In fact, the flat was owned (under cloak of a private company) by the young man’s mother (who lived in Surrey), while the young man had his own freelance work as both a designer and a male model. In this case, there certainly was some kind of dishonesty, both on the part of the young man and his mother. I doubt that they could do the same today, but I last heard of them over 20 years ago, so do not know.

The above two examples seem to show abuse of a system, but here is another case from the 1990s; less obvious, less easy to judge: a single mother of a school-age child, she about 40-y-o, with no relevant educational qualifications. This lady had a small, indeed micro, informal business, making coffee and selling home-made sandwiches to the ladies having their hair done at a large London hairdressing salon. A “Trotter’s Traders” enterprise (“no income tax, no VAT” etc…). About £200 profit on a good week, but more usually less. Not enough to live on, even then, paying Central London rent. That lady was getting State benefits as a single mother; she was getting Housing Benefit too. Now it could be said that she was “defrauding” the State, but her earned income was not enough to live on without State help. Had she given up her private work, the State would have saved nothing, the economy generally would have suffered from her not earning and spending, she and her son would have suffered considerably.

Basic Income

For me, the answer to the above lies in Basic Income, a certain amount paid to every citizen (nb. not to everyone just off the boat, or those who have walked through the Channel Tunnel). The level at which it is set will be, inevitably, contentious. Some will end up with less than under the existing system of State benefits etc. However, it has the merit of certainty. Everyone knows that x-amount will be paid weekly or monthly; those over a certain (to be decided) income can have the Basic Income payment clawed back via the tax system. It may be that everyone should also get free local transport.

The benefits of Basic Income are several. Every citizen will have the basic wherewithal of life: food, shelter, transport etc, without being forced to jump through hoops, without being bullied or snooped upon. The State will save vast amounts on administration, salaries of penpushers, maintenance of useless and expensive building such as (another vulgarity) “jobcentres”. There will be little scope for fraud and deception, because everyone under a certain income will get the same amount. If society wants to provide the disabled, sick etc with more than the basic amount, then an assessment programme (decent, honest, not cruel, unlike the existing ones) can be put into place for that.

This is obviously the way to go.