I looked up the data (Excel) for two areas in the programme: East End Park in Leeds and Bulwell Hall in Nottingham. In both areas, a staggering 28% of adults are on welfare (but just 5% on jobseekers allowance). This was called a “Great Depression” when it happened in America. And this depression – with its accompanying social breakdown – is happening in hundreds of communities across our supposedly booming Britain today. So the horizontal ties which once bound communities together are replaced with vertical ties between the individual and the state. Things fall apart. This is the menace of socialism.
The Panorama looked at the idea of “social capital”; that residents should bully councillors and police to get rid of the louts. And so they should. But tackling the scandal of mass joblessness in booming, immigrant-absorbing Britain will require root and branch reform of the welfare system that is now incubating the poverty it was designed to eradicate.