Winner of the 2007 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award
Winner of the Institute of Economic Affairs' 2005 Arthur Seldon Award for Excellence
'The welfare state has caused tens of thousands of people to live deprived and even depraved lives, and has undermined the very decency and kindness which first inspired it.' James Bartholomew
Marshalling an extraordinary range of evidence and calling a kaleidoscopic cast of witnesses from Catharine of Aragon to Vinnie Jones, James Bartholomew summons into the dock each of the sacred cows of the welfare state and subjects them to searching cross-examination:
* Do welfare benefits cause unemployment?
* Does the NHS do what was promised?
* Has state education given better chances to the less well-off?
* What caused the failure of council housing?
* Does 'broken parenting' matter?
* Is a poor state pension better than none?
And he begins his summing up with the key question, if the welfare state is so bad, why don't we get rid of it?
This book will infuriate many and be applauded by as many again. But no one who reads it will ever view the welfare state in the same light as before.
'An indispensable and very readable guide to how, despite the best of all possible intentions, the welfare state has failed to keep its own promises and, worse still, has done substantial damage to British society. Essential reading. Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
A devastating critique of the welfare state. A page-turner, yet also extensively sourced. Demonstrates how attempts to achieve good intentions have led to horrible results - increasing