What the hell is going on here?

16Jun10

To any non-British readers, apologies in advance for what is a fairly parochial bit of news:

The welfare system has strayed so far from its original purpose that more than £50billion a year paid by better-off households in tax is then handed back to them in benefits.
Research has revealed an extraordinary welfare ‘merry-go-round’ which means a third of taxpayer-funded benefits now go to families who earn more than the average income.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1286937/50bn-year-benefits-handed-middle-class.html#ixzz0r3GGshO9

What is strange about this is not so much the content as the source. The Daily Mail appears to be criticising both the government and the middle classes. In the first case, nothing new but in the second case this is the Daily Mail criticising its very constituency, its readership, the people for whom it purports to be a clear and rational voice. Of course its a hysterical organ that pipes almost non-stop nonsense glazed reporting but what the hell is going on here? Is this the right-wing attempting to sound leftist and concerned about common folk now its in power? Or is it the case that, now that the right is at the centre of things, the Daily Mail has no enemy ‘out there’ and must turn in on itself by going after its readers?
At the same time the Daily Mail has long been a critic of big government and yet that is precisely what a properly functioning welfare state would require. What the hell is going on?

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