"it shall be the duty of the local education authority for every area, so far as their powers extend, to continue towards the spiritual, mental and physical developments of the community"
"the school day in every county school and in every voluntary school shall begin with collective worship on the part of all pupils in attendance"
This assumed right of the ruling elite to determine, not only what people learned, but their spiritual, physical and mental state is to me as shocking, looking back, as the then current laws on homosexuality and hanging.
And so, we are an age away. Light years away. Except for the many assumed, almost subliminal messages we accept to the effect that somebody else owes us a living. And it is the same with Child Benefit. It used to be called the "Family Allowance", it was introduced in 1946 and you got five bob a week for every child. It was supposed to encourage people to have children. It did, but it also added to that slow but sure decline into state dependency that people to day not only take for granted, but demand as a right.
The results of all of these massive social initiatives is that we are now reduced to learned helplessness. We are reduced to relatively poor economic growth and the direction is downward. The fiscal realities have turned the optimism of 1945 into the stark reality that Britain is falling behind in almost every social and financial indicator you care to examine. Resistance to change and a decade of disastrous government has placed us firmly on a downward trajectory.
In this climate, there is no justification for child benefit, even for the poor, who should be covered by one, straightforward payment. The idea, in this century, that someone earning over £30,000 needs to be encouraged to have children, and then be subsidized by the state, is obnoxious and fantastical. It is obnoxious to millions of tax-payers who do not want children and of course, profoundly unfair. It is fantastical because it is predicated on the thinking of a bygone age, the age of green paint and ricketts.
It is time to scrap it altogether.