The revolution needed to remove the vested interest that underpins the whole of society will not occur in my lifetime, so my approach is largely pragmatic and based on what buttons can be pressed and which nerves can be touched to at least edge things in the right direction. The political regime in the UK may not be perfect, but I would prefer to be here rather than Syria.
Whilst a huge conspiracy on a scale Dan Brown can only dream about has an intellectual and intuitive appeal, I have decided to set this aside, at least for the time being. The purists amongst us will argue I am wasting my time as a fish decays from the head, but I am happy to climb the ladder one rung (or perhaps two) at a time. I will try from this point on to avoid any more disgraceful metaphors.
My pragmatism is based on a belief in the “evidence-based” philosophy, so the potentially paranoid suggestion that the major charities et al have agendas that do not place the people they claim to represent at the very heart of what they do, needs some evidence to sustain it. They clearly cannot do this every minute of every day, so we have to settle for something like “most of the time”. We continually have to consider whether or not (despite their failings), we are better off with them than without them, or we will throw the proverbial baby out with . . . . . .(sorry, no more I promise).
Large conspiracies are very hard to arrange and require first class organisation and planning, which is usually absent from the very regimes we are accusing. What looks like a concerted effort to do-down the needy is often therefore simply the result of well-meaning incompetence.
Of course the major charities need to consider self-preservation, which will force compromises from time to time, but at least for the time being, that’s the way the system works and to achieve any success in the short term we need to accept it and continue to exploit its weaknesses, which thankfully due to the poor organisation are not that hard to find.
The 12m time limit is something specific that needs to be challenged without doubt, but doing so does not imply anything other than a belief that it is wrong. I don’t think for one minute that anyone wishing for its demise in any way regards people who have made no NI contributions any less worthy.