The Minister responds to a debate about the voluntary sector and social enterprise:
Lord Wallace of Saltaire [Lib Dem]: We are all volunteers. Volunteering, after all, has a long tradition in Britain. Long before the welfare state grew up there were churches and chapels; philanthropy and charitable activities by the well-off; friendly societies; co-operatives among the working classes; trade unions, of course—Which is why the welfare state had to be invented. Turned out a haphazard cavalcade of the well-meaning and the tax-evading wasn't a reliable basis—and perhaps was even a shitty one—for ensuring that vital services were provided.
—and, above all, women. My mother retired from her last voluntary post when she was older than a considerable number of the women in the old people’s home of which was chair. She was one of that generation who would have had a career had she not got married and, as we know, one of the problems that we are facing in the voluntary sector has been that nowadays there is not that great pool of capable women who are not able to work because they are married. We therefore have to rely on the fit retired much more than we did.So not only has David Willetts established beyond question that the rise of working women is directly responsible not only for all unemployment figures but for the dwindling and now even vulnerable position of men in society, but now Lord Wallace is setting out the case for married women not to be allowed to work because otherwise there won't be any publicly provided services at all.
I suppose that in some ways I am one of the fit retired who is a volunteer, as are half the government Front Bench. I work but I am not paid, although that is partly because I have quite a generous academic pension—not, of course, half as generous as doctors’ pensions—which enables me to provide my contribution. [Hansard]Ha ha ha! It's funny because it's true; doctors are our most wasteful resource. We definitely need fewer of those grasping bastards and more questionably academic ministerial quisling scrotes. The Lib Dems, everybody!