January 23, 2016
Christopher Snowdon on Tory paternalism:
[Conservative MP, Dr Sarah] Wollaston wants the government to ‘tackle’ the alleged problem of cheap food. She also wants to tell shopkeepers where to position their goods, explaining her reasons in words so pathetic it almost makes me weep: “Do I want to have a kilogram of chocolate for almost nothing when I buy my newspaper? Of course I do but please don’t offer it to me, please don’t make me pass the chicanes of sugar at the checkout while queuing to pay for petrol.” Younger readers may not know this, but at one time the Conservatives were reputed to be the party of free markets and personal responsibility. In 2016, however, it is a party for people – grown, adult human beings, mind – begging to have sweets put out of their reach on other people’s property and pleading with petrol station attendants to put wine gums on the top shelf.
Kevin Williamson on the return of politically correct subprime mortgages:
Under its new and cynically misnamed “HomeReady” programme, borrowers with subprime credit don’t need to show that they have enough income to qualify for the mortgage they’re after — they simply have to show that all the people residing in their household put together have enough income to qualify for that mortgage. We’re not talking just about husbands and wives here, but any group of people who happen to share a roof and a mailing address. And some non-residents can be added, too, such as your parents. That would be one thing if all these people were applying for a mortgage together, and were jointly on the hook for the mortgage payments. But that isn’t the case. HomeReady will permit borrowers to claim other people’s income for the purpose for qualifying for a mortgage, but will not give mortgage lenders any actual claim against that additional income. This is madness.
Remember, citizens. Standards must be eroded for the sake of “social justice.”
And Toby Young on a modern heresy:
[Dr Adam] Perkins published his findings last November in a book called The Welfare Trait, but you won’t have heard about it or seen it reviewed in any UK newspaper anywhere because his research has been judged to be off limits by the self-appointed guardians of the academic establishment and their outriders in the media. A senior editor of Nature, one of the leading academic journals, refused to consider it for review because she regards scientific research into the personalities of the long-term unemployed as “unethical,” and a sociology professor whom the publishers had asked to peer-review the book refused to do so on the grounds that any book linking benefit dependency to personality must be nonsense because personality is a “capitalist construct.”
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