Friday, 2 March 2012

Making a spectacle of yourself

This month's edition of the right-wing Spectator magazine has an article by Melissa Kite in which she supposedly exposes widespread benefit fraud by middle-class, professional and well-heeled people (i.e. her chums).  Colin Fox of the Scottish Socialist Party and public school teacher and professional controversialist Simon Warr had a "heated debate" about it on the radio this morning.

Much like people who "know" that disabled people and asylum seekers are all fiddling benefits, Kite bases her argument on someone she spoke to at a dinner party and  friends "in the country" and "a genteel part of central London" who have both "heard" of such cases.  She even goes so far as to admit that "Of course, these are just anecdotes. I have no concrete evidence that there is such a thing as middle-class, or indeed upper-middle-class, benefit fraud." which rather torpedoes the whole argument of the article and prompts the question as to why she was paid to write it.

Even if she's right, there's still only one person who's made serious money out of defrauding the benefit system.

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