Fathers of the Welfare state? Watch
Winston Churchill- Purpose of reforms- "To draw a line under which we will not allow people to live and labour." (Quoted in EML Thompson, Cambridge Social History of Britain Vol. 3.
Reasons for them:
Pocock and Wiseman (economists)- need for welfare reform highlighted by the il-health of recruits during the Boer War. The war also raised people's ideas of what high taxes were, so after the war the Govt. kept taxes high and so could pay for reform. (Quoted in Hay, "The Origins of teh British Welfare Reforms")
Paul Thompson- Loyd George needed to modify the system becasue the consequences of not doing so was "class war". [Extreme view, probably Marxist- no background so I can't confirm this.] (Quoted in Thompson, "Social History". Also in Searle, "The Liberal Party")
Were they successful?
Jon Lawrence- Yes, although some legislation was unpopular- National Insurance, Old Age Pensions (used as a political weapon by the Liberals against Tories). Not from a book, a lecture!
Peter Clarke- "the Liberals hit upon a winning political formula". (p. 61.) Refering to the People's Budget, which specified the money for reform. The Tories blocked it, but the Liberals gained the support of "partisan factions" and gained popular support- therefore the reform's premise was a "Good Thing" [Rep to the person who tells me what that quote's from!] in terms of politics. (Clarke, "Hope and Glory Britain 1900-2000)
Bruce, Gilburt- both wrote on the origins of teh Welfare State which was massively successful. The New Liberal welfare reforms were, according to them, a key part. Sorry, I've not got any direct quotes. (Quoted in Hennock, in "20th Century Britain", Johnson)
BUT this view was later superceded. Whilst they may have been the ideological fore-runner, in terms of what they achieved they weren't that good. (Hennock)
Hennock goes on to say that their main impact was changing the perception of poverty. No longer was it seen in the absolute Deserving and Undeserving terms of teh New Poor Law, but rather all- although most of the reforms that were actually implemented were aimed at the common working man.
More to come on this topic when I've revised it! I'll post again in about a week.