Monday, October 31, 2016

Home Office vs Treasury: It's class war!

There's an unusually illuminating article by William Davies in the new London Review of Books:
The Home Office occupies a particular position vis-à-vis the public, which sometimes translates into class politics. Home secretaries are often moved by the plight of the defenceless in society: vulnerable children, elderly people plagued by rowdy teenagers on their estates, the victims of Harold Shipman (whose suicide apparently tempted David Blunkett to ‘open a bottle’). 
Often, these people are defenceless because they are powerless, and they are powerless because they are poor, less well educated and culturally marginalised. And yet they are still British, and deserving of the state’s defence. 
One former Home Office official told me that the Home Office has long been identified as the voice of the working class inside Whitehall, and feels looked down on by the Oxbridge elite in Downing Street and the Treasury.
I also like his comment on the contradictions of Thatcherism:
It’s been said that Thatcher wanted a society of people like her father, but produced a society of people like her son.

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