If the economic condition of the country after the 13 years of Brownian economic and financial administration is bad enough to attack universal benefits for children and pensioners then 'scorched earth' doesn't begin to describe what has been done to our society.
When the principle that the young and the old are protected by the resources of the whole society is breached, then society fragments into groupings that protect their own but not the wider world. Few of us were happy with Labour's outrageous expenditures to settle many into workless lives under the guise of meeting our hopes for social solidarity, but we had not thought that in order to deal with the sheer destructiveness of Brown's years we would have to dismantle the welfare state based on reciprocity between the young, the old, and the active, working people. It seems that so bad is the condition we have been left in that we must.
We cannot abandon the notion of wider social solidarity altogether - that way is a return to primitive society. And we certainly cannot accept a class confrontational analysis of society, we saw where that led in the 19th and 20th centuries: to wars, sickness, malnutrition, lack of education, and early death.
If we are now so poor, so indebted after the last 13 years, as to prohibit exchanges between generations, if we must demand that every individual justifies their claim to the help of others, then we need to abandon our present welfare system completely. Reading the account in this morning's Mail of the many and various tax-funded schemes for families with children - all means-tested and thus intensely intrusive into private lives by the state - was an eye-opener on why taxes are so high and how Labour was organising and controlling people's lives.
We need a mind-shift on our own part away from the state dependency that has so insidiously been brought into all our lives. Shock therapy like the removal of a universal benefit from relatively comfortably-off people is just the start of changing our ideas on what the state should be doing.
But we need higher wages, lower taxes, better returns to saving as well, to accompany our return to personal independence and private lives. And we need this to accompany the shock therapy, not just promises of jam tomorrow.