Blair Gibbs article The Underclass and Crime:How to Deal With an Economic, Political, and Cultural Disaster? really got me irate.
Gibbs maintains that the ‘underclass’ (who are in his words ‘a type of poverty and a type of behaviour, whose members are defined by the values they hold’) have no sense of what is right due to the collapse in core values such as marriage, religion and self-responsibility
He fails to discuss completely or even acknowledge the main societal factors, which include lack of social mobility and a feeling of being disenfranchised with a society that fails to understand you or indeed represent you any way (note the fact that 75% of the cabinet are privately educated). The problem is not an issue of morals it is one of poverty and social ostracisation.
The reason that many children from single parent families may have “lower educational achievement; lower job attainment; increased behaviour and emotional problems” is not because it is morally or emotionally problematic but it is most likely because single parent families live in more urban and deprived areas. It is a societal problem that needs to be addressed here. How can the so called ‘underclass’ be made to feel self-worth and part of society if they have never seen their parents work or their grandparents work. How can you apply for a job if you lack confidence, communication skills and feel like an outsider. Stigmatisation and stereotyping is also a major problem. I am from Glasgow and if someone from the ‘infamous’ and much publicised Easterhouse estate and someone from the affluent West End went for the same job it is my opinion that the person from the West End would be viewed more favourably. Faith schools are not a solution as Gibbs suggests as they only serve to condemn behaviour as morally right and wrong - when we all know there is no such thing as right or wrong (buts that another story or another blog post!)
If morals are to be discussed then I find the idea to ‘shame and blame the underclass for its behaviour and attitudes, and construct a system that will punish them financially when they transgress’ itself morally dubious. But then again this only reflects my moral guidelines.
This will teach me to read the Spectator !!!!