Wednesday, 26 October 2011

John Humphrys on the Welfare State

Loyal readers of the Sunday Times will have seen John Humphrys writing in this week's 'News Review' section, promoting his upcoming programme on the Welfare State (in something of a coup for the BBC, right alongside Andrew Marr's piece on his upcoming programme and book about The Diamond Queen).

The welfare state, the brain-child of Sir William Beveridge (Liberal), is something which has inevitably effected almost all of us over the course of the past 70 years, since his self-titled report was published. His goal? To rid society of the five great ills: want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. However, is the idea of paying people not to work to alleviate idleness not the paradox that now does so much damage to our society?

With 2.57 million people currently unemployed, and similar numbers claiming sickness benefits, the case can be made. And has been. And is being made now more strongly than ever. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton launched a welfare revolution, turning welfare into workfare and taking benefits away from those who would not work in the United States. Did that work? Will it work in the UK? And is it in the best interests of all that is does?

John Humphrys' 'The Future State of Welfare' is on BBC this Thursday at 9pm.

What's happening with TPR?

TPR has had a busy couple of months - and as a result, this has been a disappointing blog. Indeed, it hasn't been a blog at all. So, what can you expect from TPR in the future?

When I first started the blog, I was hugely flattered by the reception we received. The viewing numbers were better than expected, and the opportunity to write for Huffington Post and Conservative Home, amongst others, was a great thrill. However, time simply no longer allowed to levels of reading and commitment the blog took.

So, what are we to do with TPR? From time to time, I will continue to review books, articles and make recommendations - all the things we did that brought you hear in the first place. However, from hereon in the main thing this blog will be doing is putting all that political reading into use through comment pieces. 

Whether it's discussing morality, the welfare state, how to solve the European crisis, we'll be commenting on it here on TPR. And also recommending more books and TV programmes on politics and much more besides, passing opinion on them all.

Remember to follow us on Twitter (@PoliticalReader) from which we will now be tweeting and re-tweeting much more, and highlighting the best of this and other blogs.

Fewer books. More politics. The future of TPR.