At least benefit scroungers are alive

The pleasure of being nasty to neighbours through the State’s mediation

Dalrymple is not much in favour of public denunciations, especially in a situation in which they are easily made. He reminds us that in France and Germany under Nazi rule,

millions of people denounced one another with a variety of unpleasant or downright evil motives.

He notes that one idea of the incompetent British government is to

encourage people to denounce those whom they know to be cheating the social security system, for example working while claiming unemployment benefits. The poster promises anonymity to the informer.

However, as Dalrymple points out, the fact is that the British benefits system

is tailor-made for fraud, and in my experience people who defraud it rather than merely accept its cold comforts passively save their sanity thereby.

At least they show that they are alive;

they have initiative and are even entrepreneurs of a kind, in an environment in which practically all genuine entrepreneurialism—for example, by selling on a small scale—is closed to them by regulation.

In England,

if you set up a stall in the street to sell something, you will be apprehended quicker than if you rob your neighbour.

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