You might already have spotted the first clue to the flaws in his argument from this headline; the use of the words "we" and "our". He develops this, summarised in three quotations from article:
- "The amount we now spend on welfare is jaw-dropping. The average household is taxed to the tune of £8,000 every year to finance the State's programme of handouts."
- "Taxpayers have a right to know exactly who is claiming what and how much they are getting."
- "Many people now have a third of their wages - or even more - confiscated at source by Revenue & Customs. The biggest item this cash is then spent on is welfare. You have a right to know who is receiving it."
What about his central thesis; that there should be a publicly accessible database of what benefits everyone gets? No problems with that, surely? It's not naming and shaming, is it? Two more quotations:
- "Anyone ashamed to claim money from the State shouldn't be claiming it."
- "Surely no one needs to worry about violent retribution against claimants. The British are far too reasonable to start taking up pitchforks and burning torches and assaulting imagined benefits cheats. We are generous and fair-minded people." (Surely this is tongue-in-cheek!)
It isn't going to happen, and I suspect that Littlewood and the Mail know that. The point of the article is to further demonise anyone who is dependent on the welfare system.