In Place of Anxiety - Social Security for the Common Weal (2014)


This paper argues for a fundamental re-evaluation of the current approach to welfare which aims to create individual security for collective benefit, distinct from the current approach which takes a punitive approach to its recipients and seeks to create anxiety amongst citizens. The welfare state was predicated on the 1942 Beveridge Report which articulated public anger at the five “giant evils” of squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease. We argue that today we must also see our welfare state as facing the ‘giant evils’ of anxiety and insecurity, evils which can take just as much of a physical and psychological toll on people as the original five. If that is where we begin it leads us in an entirely different direction than the one down which we are currently being driven. It suggest a complete change in our approach to welfare with the concept of social security put right back at the heart of policy. Work, home and security can become the foundations of a Common Weal Scotland.



Ailsa McKay, Willie Sullivan