Has the writing of Tory welfare policy been outsourced to the Daily Mail?

The formulation of welfare policy by the press has effectively been outsourced to the Daily Mail and its ilk for a very long time. One of the books about Tony Blair described how Rupert Murdoch was the invisible extra member at cabinet meetings, with Blair wondering how his policies would go down with the media mogul. And he was bizarrely also hopeful of getting Paul Dacre and the Faily Heil on board.
As for the assumption that compulsory work and treatment automatically work for everyone, see the comments below by Florence and Sasson Hann. Both these commenters suffer from undiagnosed yet severely debilitating illnesses. They describe and cite medical evidence to show that the medical treatment arranged for them was counterproductive. Sasson Hann in particulat states that for people with their condition, CBT may actually be harmful. Of course, this is unlikely to make much impression with this government, as it requires a basic understanding of medicine beyond the platitudes of the self-help shelves, and won’t appeal to the viciousness of the Sun and Mail-reading LCD.


The Tories announced two new welfare policies this week. The first was their plan to remove benefits from those with drug and alcohol problems or who are obese and who are refusing treatment, while the second, announced today (not for the first time?), seemed to be all out work for the dole for 18-21 year olds.

I was listening to a talk show discussion on the radio yesterday about the first policy, and was struck by how there was a neat divide between those who worked with addicts or in the healthcare sector in general, and those who seemed to me the type of people who think what’s printed in the Daily Mail is the unvarnished truth. The healthcare professionals universally thought it was a ridiculous idea, while the Daily Mail readers thought it was simple common sense. Guess which these policies are designed to appeal to?

There was…

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One Response to “Has the writing of Tory welfare policy been outsourced to the Daily Mail?”

  1. anon Says:

    It seems to me that the subtext in all this is the government anticipating the time when free NHS treatment no longer exists, and a means of providing bargain basement medical ‘services’ to benefits recipients unable to afford private health insurance.

    This ties in with the way work capability assessments have acclimatised DM readers to the idea of spending vast amounts of public money to reassess those already diagnosed by NHS doctors as unfit for work. In the future most ESA claimaints WON’T HAVE NHS DOCTORS, and will be forced to turn up to all-inclusive Maximus centres not only to be assessed for their beneifts, but to be dragooned on to one-size-fits-all cod-psychology CBT ‘treatment’ programmes.

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