The moral nihilism of the Coalition

Politics and Insights

Poster and slogan from Terry Gilliam’s absurdo-dystopic film “Brazil”. David Cameron evidently has a strong sense of taunting irony.

Narratives of “welfare dependency” have once again become much more common place and increasingly assertive under the coalition Government – embedded in narratives driven by the the so-called Skivers and Strivers dichotomy. Poverty, according to this distinctly Tory perspective, is caused by a culture of deviance, idleness and dependency. The poor are responsible for their poverty. They cannot be trusted to be responsible, or make the right choices for themselves – or society more generally – and so are in need of “paternalistic guidelines” and cognitive behaviour therapy. Poverty is being “re-responsiblised.”

But the rich are not getting richer whilst the poor get poorer: the rich are getting richer by the poor getting poorer. There’s a chasmic conflict of interest between the rich persons’ selfish, individual goals and collective societal values.

A simple truth…

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