This is copied from a comment on the Guardian which is talking about making the elderly share the burden of cuts. So far it’s received over 1,000 agrees.
Here’s excerpt from an article from the British Medical Journal showing the tactics of this agenda. Unfortunately it’s a pay site, so I couldn’t read more.
So for those who wish to destroy the European model of welfare state, the structural weaknesses of social welfare in the United States offer an attractive model.
First, create an identifiable group of undeserving poor.
Second, create a system in which the rich see little benefit flowing back to them from their taxes.
Third, diminish the role of trade unions, portraying them as pursuing the narrow interests of their members rather than, as is actually the case, recognising that high rates of trade union membership have historically benefited the general population.
Finally, as Reagan did when cutting welfare in the 1980s, do so in a way that attracts as little attention as possible, putting in place policies whose implications are unclear and whose effects will only be seen in the future. All these strategies can be seen in the UK today.
The tabloid press, much of it owned by multi-millionaires, is at the forefront of the first approach. Each day they fill their pages with accounts of people “milking the system.” By constant repetition they create new forms of word association, constructing a cultural underclass. “Welfare” is invariably associated with “scroungers.” “Bogus” invariably describes “asylum seekers.”
They accept that there is a group of deserving poor, whose situation has arisen from “genuine misfortune” (which seemingly excludes refugees caught up in wars), but when these groups appear in their pages it is because they have been let down by the state, which is devoting its efforts to the undeserving. And as a growing body of research shows, this continuous diet of hate does make a difference,
Such vilification of the undeserving poor is not new. What is changing in the United Kingdom is the progressive exclusion of the middle classes from the welfare state through incremental erosion of universal benefits. The logic is appealing, but highly divisive: Why should the state pay for those who can afford to pay for themselves? Why should “ordinary working people” pay for “middle class benefits”?
The economic crisis has given the government a once in a lifetime opportunity. As Naomi Klein has described in many different situations, those opposed to the welfare state never waste a good crisis.
The deficit must be reduced, and so, one by one, benefits are removed and groups are pitted against each other, as the interests of the middle class in the welfare state wither away.
Read more here: