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Cancel Flag comment. Graham is not a stereotypical accountant. John the Divine. Each made different assumptions about how the poor are connected to others in society. Graham hoped that via this comparison, he could observe a wider variety of roles of accounting, or record-keeping, with respect to poverty. His key assumption was that accounting plays a role in the stigmatization of the poor in society.
House of Industry casual relief applicants breaking stone c. Graham and Grisard discovered the following about the House of Industry, which assumed that people were poor because they were lazy, making rehabilitation necessary:. Source: House of Industry — At the outset, the objective is clearly to rid oneself of a cumbersome label, but in the end there is little that separates David Cameron from Margaret Thatcher.
The current Conservative project, which was launched in , in A New Politics is clearly neo-liberal in the sense that, whatever the reasons, the reduction of the State is a priority. The speech is slightly more critical of Thatcherism. Thanks to the use of a progressive rhetoric and of terms that could not belong to the Thatcherite terminology, they allow, above all, David Cameron to get rid of his image as the young inheritor.
However, this terminology has not, according to me, only the objective of distancing Cameron from Thatcher. The speech which introduced the Big Society takes point by point the conclusions of the most recent opinion polls and brings them a political response. Ultimately, this electoral manoeuvre failed given the fact that in spite of being ahead in the polls conducted before the election, the Conservative Party fell short of winning an overall majority, revealing they had badly gauged these changes in the electorate.
Have thirty years of neo-liberal politics succeeded in genuinely re-moulding citizenship? This seems to indicate that British society had a much bigger community spirit after 16 years of Conservative policies than at the beginning of the s. It is the only area to decrease in percentage in relation to The generosity of the British is not universal but rather selective, as the following percentages show.
We can see the same type of negative evolution for single parent allowance. Solidarity still played an important part in defining citizenship. Even though the idea that there was a difference between the deserving poor and the undeserving poor remained pregnant, it did not totally dominate the discussion on poverty.
However, it is necessary all the same to make the distinction between the universal part and the social security part. The Health and Education systems and also public pensions continue to figure amongst the major concerns of the public despite a significant drop since the crisis of The decrease is even more striking when the question of unemployment benefit is considered separately. This percentage was even lower in with only Of course, this decrease might be explained by the fact that Whereas before Tony Blair became Prime Minister, the British electorate was, predictably, shifting slightly to the left in reaction to eighteen years of Conservative rule, the fourteen years of his premiership witnessed a sharp shift to the right.
The Conservative Party was not necessarily the beneficiary of this shift as was proved by three consecutive electoral defeats. However, right-wing ideas were taking over, especially in the social field or with regards the role of the State.
Most definitely, there was less support for big government in certain key social security sectors The question of social inequalities is however not a recent concern of the English That which has changed is the perception of the causes of these inequalities and the suggested solutions. Again, the largest proportion, in this case These results also give the image of a society having a fatalistic attitude both to wealth and to poverty, a fatalism that one can analyse as the result of the almost unanimous adoption of neo-liberal values.
Whilst poverty is judged more and more severely and negatively, wealth is normal and positive. It is the result of effort and work and not principally the result of chance and birth. Wealth and merit are directly linked in a society where The neo-liberal society desired by Thatcher appears therefore to have a real existence today.
The English condemn inequalities, it seems, more through envy than through a sentiment of social injustice. Finally, They no longer consider unemployment as an accident of life but rather as a lifestyle that they condemn. Their attitude towards the principles that gave birth to the Welfare State have hardened. The social citizen defined by T. Marshall, that existed through the Welfare State and that was based on the idea that every citizen should be given equal opportunity of access to the full scope of citizenship rights, is no longer considered to be on an equal par with the other two political and civil.
Two concepts Margaret Thatcher clearly did not believe in. What she really implied therefore was that there was no such thing as a government to help society be fairer but that there were individuals who had to practice self-help.
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But thirteen years of New Labour had finally drawn them to the conclusion Margaret Thatcher had tried to impress upon them: the Welfare State had failed to eradicate poverty, worse still, so they believed, it had increased the problem, a shift in point of view revealed in the most recent BSA surveys studied above. The only true difference that he could and did exploit is that he seemed to be prepared to have a social programme when Margaret Thatcher did not believe she was justified in having any: the economy would create enough wealth to provide for those willing to make the effort.
And of course, the major financial downturn that struck the economies of the world in the Spring of was an opportunity for him to build on the social divide the crisis exposed.
It also provided a much more specific answer to what the Conservatives perceived as the social concerns of the general public as revealed by opinion polls and surveys such as the BSA. In many ways, the Big Society speech was a real electoral speech. It revolves around simple catch-phrases and ideas.