Remember this page when the Left is accused of playing politics with murder


by Sunny Hundal    
3:06 pm - April 3rd 2013

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I’ve not much to say about the Daily Mail front page today as there is lots of outrage elsewhere.

I just have two small points to make.

The Right are constantly trying to attack the Left for apparently playing politics over events. When we link events to social conditions (how welfare cuts lead to people dying) – we are accused of using people’s actions to score political points.

Isn’t that exactly what right-wing Tabloids are doing today?

Secondly, during the England riots of 2011, most on the Right dismissed suggestions that poverty had anything to do with the riots as rubbish. People were to blame for their own actions apparently.

Turns out the Right don’t really believe that either. Now the ‘welfare state’ can be blamed when people do bad things. So do people’s conditions matter when they commit crimes or not? I’m confused.

Here is the Daily Mail splash in its full hypocrisy.

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And this too…

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Just remember this for next time the Right say that people’s backgrounds are not responsible for their actions, or that the Left is cynically using a tragedy to score political points.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. ex-Labour voter

Imagine a headline like this from the Daily Mail:

“Serial killer Harold Shipman”
“Vile product of middle class culture”.

Not very likely, is it?

You mean both right and left behave badly?
Who knew?!

When we link events to social conditions (how welfare cuts lead to people dying) – we are accused of using people’s actions to score political points.

Isn’t that exactly what the Tabloids are doing today?

So… it’s bad right? And people shouldn’t do it? I can certainly agree with that.

The Right are not just The Daily Mail.

This comment from Ian Bone’s website deserves a wider audience I think:-
“Now watch as the media gleefully distributes across all its platforms the woefully predictable outcome of the story it fostered itself, of a key surrogate asset – Mick Philpott; a psychotic paedophile mass-killer whose criminal lifestyle the media and politicians lionised, encouraged, publicised and protected from statutory intervention because it served them so well as a propaganda tool for spreading hatred against the poor and to justify benefit cuts. The most disinterested research would have long ago revealed Philpott’s previous convictions for attempted murder, but nonetheless former cabinet members and prime time television crews unblushingly queued up to be filmed with him. Philpott’s manufactured celebrity was used to protect him from the risk of a social services investigation that might otherwise have brought to a premature end his ever more outlandish behaviour. The media could easily predict that under its benevolent spotlight Philpott’s behaviour would escalate and that this could then be used to tar the names of the whole working class. I don’t apologise for saying the blood of those children is not just on the hands of the criminal cretin Philpott but also on the hands of a criminal ruling class who befriended him, used him and egged him on until he inevitably committed a crime terrible enough to justify the resources they had lavished and of a type they had virtually commissioned him to carry out … god rest those children’s souls.” – Plongeur

It’s an interesting viewpoint, particularly if you start asking questions such as cui bono from all his prior media exposure and having Ann Widdecombe spend a week living with him?

6. Derek Hattons Tailor

I thought it was pretty much an article of faith for the left that “the environment” is the biggest determinant of behavior. It becomes difficult then to try and claim that the culture of welfare has no influence on its recipients behaviour. Obviously absurd to claim a direct causation between benefits and murder, but the motivation for starting the fire was, in part, a hope that it would force re-housing.

What sort of people are the intended audience for that headline? I know there are meant to be people out there who will nod along, but who are they? Nazis? I can’t think of anyone else who could possibly agree with the Mail’s stance.

Spot the difference:

“Failings in NHS ambulance service blamed after patient dies following two-hour wait for ambulance”

- not ‘playing politics’, but a legitimate placing of an individual story in a wider political context.

“NHS blamed after father burns daughter in plot to sell prescribed morphine”

- a naked example of ‘playing politics’ by blaming not the criminal who seeks to abuse a system, but that system itself for inviting abuse.

Now: which of those stories is analogous to a left-wing “benefit cuts blamed for poverty-related death” story, and which is analogous to this right-wing “benefit payments blamed for greed-related killing” story?

Let’s not give any credence to the idea that this Mail story is no worse than all sorts of similar stories published in the left-wing media. Did you see this story anywhere in the left-wing media last week?

“VILE PRODUCT OF LOW-TAX UK

The UK’s generous inheritance tax threshold was today blamed for creating a monster in the shape of Stephen Seddon – the beast who slew his parents in order to claim a £230,000 inheritance…”

Of course you didn’t. No decent, thinking person would write anything so absurd, so twisted, so nakedly opportunistic – whatever their political views about inheritance tax. Yet for the hatemongers at the Mail, it’s all in a day’s work. Any excuse to undermine the welfare state and paint benefit claimants as scum. They are beneath contempt.

And Krishnan Guru Murthy getting all sanctimonious about suicides and associating it with benefit augmentations is a completely different kettle of fish?

@7

What sort of people are the intended audience for that headline? I know there are meant to be people out there who will nod along, but who are they? Nazis? I can’t think of anyone else who could possibly agree with the Mail’s stance.

Well the reaction to Paolo Di Canio from quite a few quarters has been somewhat revealing. Namely the attacks on his detractors and the debate on Newsnight arguing whether it was possible to be a fascist and not a racist, presumably because while there’s great impetus to ‘kick racism out of football’ if fascism can be proven to be something separate, then that makes it okay, or such.

11. Richard Carey

So, the left’s the kettle and the right’s the pot … or is it the other way round?

12. Richard Carey

Meanwhile at the Guardian the headline is ‘Mick Philpott was loving father, lawyer tells court in mitigation’.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/03/mick-philpott-loving-father-court

I think I prefer the Mail.

13. Derek Hattons Tailor

The mails agenda is transparent, make all benefit claimants folk devils and its easier to attack and then take money from them. Problem is the statist tendencies of the last government, the client state and the ludicrous pretence that all needs can be met, left quite a lot of people quite pissed off, and they are now ripe for exactly this sort of manipulation.

I don’t understand this.

Does the right – especially the likes of the Mail – on occasion play politics with tragedy etc.? Yes. Absolutely.

How does that negate the same accusation at the left (on occasion)?

What have we established here? That it’s bad for ‘them’ to play politics with tragedy but not for ‘us’ to do so? Or that ‘them’ doing it makes it okay for ‘us’ to do so (and we still get to keep all the moral high ground)?

If there is an institutional villain in this it is not the DSS but the British legal system. Here is some of Philpotts illustrious criminal record:

“Philpott has a previous conviction in 1978 for attempting to kill a woman who wanted to leave him, whom he stabbed a dozen times.

Philpott, aged 21 at the time of the attack, was convicted of the attempted murder of Kim Hill and of grievous bodily harm to her mother in December 1978. He was sentenced to seven years, with the judge then warning that he was a dangerous man.

Before the murder attempt Philpott had attacked her, breaking her fingers.

in 1991 Philpott headbutted someone while working and received a conditional discharge for actual bodily harm. He was also cautioned for attacking his wife after slapping her in the face and dragging her out of the house.

In 2011 he was involved in a road rage incident to which he pleaded guilty.”

A dangerous thug like that should have been locked up for life long ago. And yet the justice system kept giving him light or non-sentences and another bite at the cherry, and another, and another… till he finally struck big and murdered six children.

So yes, well done to the British criminal legal system, which cannot or simply will not protect the public from proven dangerous, murderous thugs like Mick Philpott despite the ample warnings and lengthening trail of blood and broken bones.

Correction: Philpott stabbed the mother 11 times and the daughter 27. And he got seven years.

And you can bet he didn’t even serve all of that pathetic sentence.

Also, the way these experts on the news maintain that the children were never at risk from Philpott. One might think that his burning six of them to death was prima facie evidence that they were at risk, but I guess not.

By ‘experts’ are we referring to what might be called ‘his defence’ in the legal world? You know, the people who have to defend their client even if they’re a wrong un? I noticed an awful lot of ‘Philpot’s QC said that loving father etc etc’ rather than say ‘a local social worker said’.
Just sayin.

20. margin4error

#1

spot on – not sure much else needs saying really.

21. Planeshift

“motivation for starting the fire was, in part, a hope that it would force re-housing”

Yes, how dare we have a system where families with children who have their homes burned down get re-housed. It might encourage psycopaths to game the system – better that children end up sleeping rough when the electrics fuck up or something.

Lamia – spot on. Issue here is the failure of the prison system and justice system. 7 years for two attempted murders is way too low, and the fact the motivating factor is possesion of women is an aggravating factor not a mitigating one – the 1970s courts regarded it as a mitigating one.

22. Gallbladder

Cylux: “By ‘experts’ are we referring to what might be called ‘his defence’ in the legal world? You know, the people who have to defend their client even if they’re a wrong un?”

His solicitor has a duty to actually defend his/her client and invent whatever he/she can think of to mitigate. In court. That’s `his defence´ in the legal world.

No one else has that obligation, even in court. Nobody has to defend wrong uns. They may do so for reasons of getting money (in cases like this, paid by the state) or for reasons of ideology.

BTW I also believe that even Philpott’s solicitor has any obligation to speak in the news to defend his/her client. It’s just that they make more money doing so, or they like what they’re doing.

@Gallbladder – Oh I know that, I just wondered who these ‘experts’ were that vimothy was getting excited about, cos I could only see such statements issuing from his (and hers) defence team in the Guardian article (for the obvious reasons you outlined). My original comment must not have been clear.

24. pipsqueak

What about other factors in Philpott’s life ?

He’d been a soldier when he stabbed his ex girlfriend and her mother.

The Sun idolise soldiers, call them all heroes.
One of their ‘brave boys’ is a violent, child killing socipath but they seem to ignore that.

25. ex-Labour voter

24:

I did not know that. Good point.

Anne Widdecombe was asked about the headline on Ch4 News last night and rejected it straightaway.

26. Chaise Guevara

@ Tim J

“So… it’s bad right? And people shouldn’t do it? I can certainly agree with that.”

Tim, do I really have to point out the difference between the idea that people die due to lack of welfare and the idea that the state somehow created Philpott?

Hint: the answer includes words like “causation” and “correlation”.

By ‘experts’ are we referring to what might be called ‘his defence’ in the legal world?

No, I was thinking of the sociology professor who was just on Newsnight.

26 – that’s not what this is about though is it? It’s about shroud-waving to prove a political point. “Philpott killed because of welfare” is directly analagous to “X committed suicide because of cuts”, or “Cameron has blood on his hands”. I think both manifestations are distasteful.

29. Derek Hattons Tailor

@21 Or maybe we could have a system where people think the state should accommodate an infinite number of children, and give people on welfares choices that most people don’t have. If I burned my house down I wouldn’t get a bigger one.

30. Chaise Guevara

@ 28 Tim J

“that’s not what this is about though is it? It’s about shroud-waving to prove a political point. “Philpott killed because of welfare” is directly analagous to “X committed suicide because of cuts”, or “Cameron has blood on his hands”. I think both manifestations are distasteful.”

So basically you’re condemning people for pointing out the negative consequences of policy? Perhaps you could start the La La La We’re Not Listening Party?

(Awaits people saying that their least favourite party is the La La La We’re Not Listening Party.)

@27 Guess I’ll have to take your word for it then.

My word for what?

So basically you’re condemning people for pointing out the negative consequences of policy?

If, by that, you mean I’m as opposed to headlines shrieking “welfare system caused death of X” to those shrieking “cuts caused death of X” then yes. I think both are hysterical and unhelpful.

That there was a guy on newsnight, not really in a position to see the bellend for myself.

35. Chaise Guevara

@ 33 Tim J

“If, by that, you mean I’m as opposed to headlines shrieking “welfare system caused death of X” to those shrieking “cuts caused death of X” then yes. I think both are hysterical and unhelpful.”

I never specified shrieking. There is no shrieking required in what you were originally saying you were against (“When we link events to social conditions (how welfare cuts lead to people dying)”). What I meant, suprisingly enough, was “So basically you’re condemning people for pointing out the negative consequences of policy?” Could you respond to that instead of a question nobody asked?

The Heil has finally overstepped the bounds of all human decency in using dead children to support its hate fuelled agenda against the welfare state. Its been bad enough when filled with sleazy pap shots of worryingly young female celebs or their children but its now entered Volkischer Boebachter territory.

I look forward to a front page picture of Gidiot labelled
VILE PRODUCT OF DADDY’S MONEY

37. Fool on the Hill

@ 16 Lamia.

Agree with everything you say.

I’d also add that there is a fear on the part of the authorities on dealing with people like Philpot.

Years ago I was sitting in the DHSS (as it was at the time) waiting for an emergency payment – my giro hadn’t arrived. I walked a huge bloke – heavily muscled, about 6″6′ tall, shaven head (this was in the 80′s before it became the norm) moustache just like Philpot’s. He walked straight up to the counter, pushing people out of the way while saying “where’s my giro?”. The woman behind the counter immediately jumped up, ran out of the back and returned with his giro in less than minute. As this bloke was leaving, another chap piped up “How did you do that mate? I’ve been waiting here all day”. The reply was “Simple. You just have to have a reputation for ripping coppers’ necks out”.

Later I found out more about this bloke from people I knew. The DHSS used to have giros made up and signed ready for him in case he came in. He never paid for a TV licence – visiting him was considered to be a serious health & safety risk. He could basically do what ever he wanted.

If the police wanted to arrest him, he was what was known in the trade as “a 14 man job” – it needed 2 riot van loads of coppers to do it, and they would expect some of them to get hurt.

Scumbags like Philpot fall into this same category. Social workers where too scared to visit him – with reason – he acted like a predator, preying on those around him. Sadly, whenever the state try to confront these kind of people, then well meaning do-gooders are on hand to cry out about police brutality or some such.

Those of us who have had the misfortune to live on the estates where there people also live, know what they’re like. And what needs to be done about them. Many of the nice liberal lefties who talk about their rights have never had to live near them. And that’s why many working class people don’t go along with the liberal lefties – even if we know they’re right on a lot of things.

If the state try to use force against people like him then well meaning types

38. mike cobley

So welfare-dependant Philpott indulged in booze and drugs, sired 17 children and ended up killing 6 of them, eh?

What an amateur. It takes financial security, a successful political career and an unswerving self-belief to get to the stage where you can help start a war of aggression that ends up killing 100s of thousands, as Blair managed in Iraq. So in that context Philpott is the smallest of small fry.

35 – Oh I see. No, I’m not opposed to pointing out the negative consequences of policy tout court. I’m opposed, as I said, to shroud-waving. This is, of course, all a matter of degree – the Mail headline is, itself, ‘pointing out the negative consequences of policy’.

Also, when I say ‘opposed’, I don’t mean I’d ban it – just that I personally don’t like it and think that it’s unhelpful. You win no converts to your cause (if conversion is the aim) and you fail to inform (if information is the aim). You just stir up the righteous anger of people who already agree with you. It’s the Polly Toynbee/Owen Jones/Richard Littlejohn/Melanie Phillips approach, and I don’t like it.

It’s why I find Twitter mostly so depressing.

38. mike cobley

Is there nothing you won’t stoop to, to make yourself look sanctimonious?

I dare say if someone went to any of the hostels for battered and abused women, they’d find that men like Philpott are not as rare as some would like to portray.

42. Chaise Guevara

@ 39 Tim J

I assumed you weren’t talking about outlawing anything.

The Mail’s headline isn’t “pointing out the negative consequences of policy”, because Philpott’s actions weren’t caused by the existence of welfare (or if they were, I’ve seen no evidence of it). That’s the important difference – the dark side, so to speak, is when people blame problems on groups/people/policies they dislike without any justification.

Of course, you’re right about there being degrees, mainly to do with the rhetoric used. CF the ridiculous Godwinning against the government over disability benefits, or the hysterical phrase “social cleansing” that’s being bandied about at the moment. And yes – while I probably agree with the meat of what such people are saying, when they user rhetoric like that it makes me not want to support them.

“Those of us who have had the misfortune to live on the estates where there people also live, know what they’re like. And what needs to be done about them. Many of the nice liberal lefties who talk about their rights have never had to live near them. And that’s why many working class people don’t go along with the liberal lefties – even if we know they’re right on a lot of things.”

And this is precisely why welfare reform has most support from the poor.

And you are right. You don’t think Polly T or Owen J live anywhere near such people, do you? But those who do (unsurprisingly) tend assume that there are more such than in fact there are. Hence their greater support for a welfare “clampdown”.

So there’s no point in lefties arguing about the stats or whatever.
You simply need to deal hard and fast with these rare but highly visible scumbags.

Tim @ 28

that’s not what this is about though is it? It’s about shroud-waving to prove a political point. “Philpott killed because of welfare” is directly analagous to “X committed suicide because of cuts”, or “Cameron has blood on his hands”. I think both manifestations are distasteful.

This is exactly the type of garbage that rather confirms my prejudices about the lice that call themselves Tories. What a fucking disgusting conclusion to draw from completely different situations.

‘Directly analagous’? In what way? If someone kills themselves because of a direct policy carried out by an unfeeling government that is one thing, but setting fire to a house is nothing to do with welfare. This Phillpot character was trying to frame someone for attempted murder, not, I can assure you,A new phenomenon, because people have been attempting to frame people for murder for thousands of years before the invention of the welfare state and will continue doing so, long after you cunts have destroyed it. Similarly people have been having ‘immoral’ sex and siring illegitimate children for millennia as well. In fact, everyone monarchs to popes have been dropping sprogs long before child support was even dreamed of. I can name at least one rockstar who has a string of children that almost reaches double figures, yet there is no-one is suggesting that his children are in immediate danger of being burned alive, are they?

What about all the illegitimate children churned out by Parkinson, Yapp et al in the eighties? What are they a direct consequence of?

45. white trash

Those outraged against the Mail and those outraged against the Welfare State, those who are Lefties and those who are Righties, are both as bad as each other. Both types want to make political capital out of whatever’s on the news. Both want to push their agenda regardless of facts and realities.

Lamia @15 & 16 Yup the criminal injustice system is a sick farce.

But @38 Tom Cobley is well missing the point and calling Philpot’s activities small fry is demeaning the suffering he has caused over the decades to so many people.

The real point is that BULLIES and EXPLOITERS are allowed free reign in our society, whether they are the feral poor – scum like Philpot – or the feral rich like the thieving bastards hiding their money/power offshore:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/04/offshore-secrets

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/03/offshore-secrets-offshore-tax-haven

@37 Fool on the Hill has got it. Until ordinary folks wake up, ignore the middle class do-gooders and whingers who constantly make excuses for and protect evil sociopaths like Philpot, until we really stand up to the bullies and put them down, we’re going to keep on and on being victims of the feral exploiters and bullies who dominate society.

Philpott’s actions weren’t caused by the existence of welfare (or if they were, I’ve seen no evidence of it)

‘Caused’ is too strong, but the motives for his crime wouldn’t make sense without the welfare state. He burned down his house and killed his children in an attempt to frame his ex-partner and get custody of her children. The reason he wanted to do this was to get control of the benefit payments they would bring in, plus rehousing in larger accommodation.

Is that a reason to do away with the welfare state? No, of course it isn’t. The fact, however, that he would have had to have been earning nearly £100,000pa to earn the equivalent of his welfare payments would seem to speak in favour of an overall cap.

44 – oh hush, the grown-ups are talking.

47. Chaise Guevara

@ 45 Tim J

Fair enough. Of course, had the benefits not been in the offing, he might have tried another way to get the money illegally. But pointing at the event and saying “this is what happens when you have a welfare state” (not that you’re doing that) is like pointing at the Shipman murders and saying “this is what happens when you have the NHS”.

It reminds me of when someone was killed by a falling branch when they were off school due to a teacer’s strike, and the Mail made a big point of linking the two.

It sort of gives rise to the potential that the bedroom tax may encourage larger broods but….look, over there…it’s Charlie Sheen!

46 – I agree! Which is why I dislike what the Mail are doing (as with their ridiculous teachers’ strike one).

Lets all agree that if banks didn’t hold large amounts of cash, then people wouldn’t try to rob them. So clearly banks are to blame for bank robberies.

That there was a guy on newsnight, not really in a position to see the bellend for myself.

In that case, yes, you obviously will have to take my word for it. Either you check this for yourself or you do not. There is no third possibility.

100% agree with you on this one Sunny, and Osborne going out and trying to make political capital out of this again today is deeply unpleasant.

Yes the welfare system has issues and what has happened is partly a consequence of some of the perverse incentives that it throws up (remember he calculated that if he could frame his ex-partner he’d get a bigger house) but this is, thankfully, an isolated case. Going around on telly acting as though this is just one of a long line of cases of filicide that needs urgent action weakens the case against much needed welfare reform.

It’s actions like this that give rise to the ‘Nasty party’ image.

53. Chaise Guevara

@ 49 Tim J

Yeah, looks like we’re coming from the same angle here. I apologise for earlier verbal fisticuffs.

54. andrew adams

Tim J,

The reason he wanted to do this was to get control of the benefit payments they would bring in, plus rehousing in larger accommodation.

No, it was all about his relationship with Lisa Willis. Read the judge’s summing up.

55. Planeshift

“Later I found out more about this bloke from people I knew. The DHSS used to have giros made up and signed ready for him in case he came in”

“You simply need to deal hard and fast with these rare but highly visible scumbags.”

You see the first quote here demonstrates exactly why welfare reform will never actually deal with these scumbags. It aint the philpotts of this world who will be effected by the benefit cap, work capability assesment or workfare. They will continue to march into dwp offices and get signed off by staff who know they cannot do anything about them (assault? – few months inside at best, not worth risking it).

But the process of trying to deal with the nasty people – the various changes successive governments have brought in – has and will create collateral damage on a massive scale. It’s not the philpotts who fail WCAs – it’s the vulnerable who are easy pickings? Set targets for DWP staff to sanction people? again, its the vulnerable who will be picked on.

What none of you right wingers have ever grasped in this entire debate on welfare is that the likes of philpott may be visable, but represent less than 1% of people claiming benefits. For every Philpott there are a hundred people claiming because they have to, not because they want to. It’s those who you will effect with your cuts.

Extreme outliers make for bad legislation and policy. There was once a time when the right instinctively understood this.

56. andrew adams

AFAIK Philpott was not receiving any benefits he was not entitled to so I don’t think the idea that he was “getting away with” anything because DWP staff or others were too intimidated by him to prevent it is a red herring.

57. Robin Levett

@Lamia #16:

Nail. Thumb.

You’re right that the prison system failed to deal with Philpott; but that isn’t because he wasn’t punished harshly enough.

He got 7 years on the first offence, which looks somewhat low – but we don’t know what mitigation was offered.

He can’t have been convicted in 1991 of headbutting a colleague at work, because we are told he’d never done a day’s work in his life… More seriously – if he got a CD, it is likely that it was 6 of one and half a dozen of the other and they both got CDs.

Why did the police caution him in 2010? I’d guess that Mairead indicated that she’d refuse to give evidence against him.

The road rage incident had only happened the week before the fire.

We need to move to a Swedish system of rehabilitation in prison, so that when prisoners come out they don’t commit further offences; building enough prisons to keep all repeat or violent offenders incarcerated for the rest of their natural lives is not a cost-free option.

53 – no need. I find that usually if you’re violently disagreeing with me either I’m (probably) wrong or you’ve misunderstood…

“Those of us who have had the misfortune to live on the estates where there people also live, know what they’re like. And what needs to be done about them.”

The trouble is, while the Mail is appealing to you on the basis of taking tough action against Mick Philpott (and who could disagree with that), what it is actually campaigning for is for benefits to be taken away across the board, and the money returned to the better off (“wealth creators”) in tax cuts. It’s campaigning for an end to the Philpott-creating horror of allowing the unemployed food and shelter.

They are not about to carefully work out which of the “scroungers” are a pain to live with and which are not. That wouldn’t save nearly so much money, and would get in the way of the tax cuts.

“Nice liberal lefties” may sometimes forget that there are evil people on the estates you’re talking about. However, their right wing equivalents (who are certainly no more likely to live there) clearly want to believe that there are no good people worth helping on these estates. I consider that far more dangerous.

60. Planeshift

“FAIK Philpott was not receiving any benefits he was not entitled to so”

To get JSA you have to demonstrate you are actively seeking work. If the DWP staff member thinks you are not at the signing on session they can sanction you.

Now lets have a little think about what happens when Philpott turns up to sign on. Does the DWP staff member tick the box that says “yes this person has looked for work – carry on with the payment”, or does he tick “no – this man is a scrounger, stop his payment”?

If Philpott was on the disability stuff he would have either have a WCA or have to provide evidence involving doctors signatures. Again, something he would have no trouble doing using intimidation.

Almost all benefits at some point involve a face to face interaction in which a staff member has to check compliance. So it’s likely that at some point a staff member had the opportunity to sanction/challenge philpott but didn’t for obvious reasons. instead the people who get sanctioned are the ones who can’t intimidate.

Amazes me how little people know about the benefit system. Amazes me that people choose to support substantially reducing the income of millions of people because of a few people like Philpott, instead of suggesting that a better criminal justice system is the way to tackle such people.

61. andrew adams

Planeshift,

I certainly agree with your last paragraph, but even so the stuff about Philpott and his benefit claims is just speculation.

62. Shatterface

If, by that, you mean I’m as opposed to headlines shrieking “welfare system caused death of X” to those shrieking “cuts caused death of X” then yes. I think both are hysterical and unhelpful.

I think your head’s come undone.

If we cut funding for cancer treatment and more people with cancer die that’s a causal relationship.

If we increase funder for cancer treatment and someone who would otherwise die goes on to commit muder six children that is not a causal relationship.

63. Chaise Guevara

@ 58 Tim

Cheers! *tips cap*

64. Robin Levett

@Planeshift #60:

Both women worked; were the benefits in-work benefits for them?

65. Paul Seomore

Philpott was the product of a society that still accepts male dominance within the family.

Oh and Britain’s depraved media. How much airtime goes to good fathers?

#57

Robin Levett

Head. Sand.

“He got 7 years on the first offence, which looks somewhat low – but we don’t know what mitigation was offered.”

Well, presumably it’s possible to find out, so why don’t you do that and come back with an explanation for what are the ‘mitigating factors’ for stabbing one woman 11 times and another 27. I can’t think of any, but perhaps I’m not imaginative/witlessly credulous enough.

Go ahead. Try. Tell us why a man who stabs one woman 11 times and another 27 times deserves to serve only three and a half years in prison.

67. Robin Levett

@Lamia #66:

I have already agreed that the sentence looks low; but I have learnt that the newspapers are the last place to look for a fair and balanced treatment of pretty much any legal issue. Perhaps you can find the sentencing remarks so we can go through them together, if you want to have a detailed discussion of the reasons for the sentence handed down?

Spot on Lamia.
It is the casual attitude to violence to children that is the real concern.
To blame benefits for Mick philpott is a logical fallacy.
If there were no benefits men like Philpott would be around. Bill sykes type characters.
There are many good arguments against the benefit culture, this is not one of them.
Most on benefits do not kill like Philpott. Show me stats that they do.


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