The Guardian, Tuesday 8 January 2013
For much of its short but celebrated life, the Welfare State was cherished by Britons. Instant public affection greeted its birth and even as it passed away peacefully yesterday morning, government ministers swore they would do all they could to keep it alive.
The Welfare State's huge appeal lay in its combination of simplicity and assurance. A safety net to catch those fallen on hard times, come rain or shine, boom or bust, it would be there for all those who had paid in....
The death of Welfare does not mean an end to all benefit spending. Instead, it is outlived by its predecessor, Poor Relief, in which only the very poorest will receive government cash. Analysts are unsure about the repercussions.
"I'm not aware of any country that's ever had a combination of Victorian-style poor laws and parliamentary democracy," says Gaffney.
Instead of a book of condolences, there will be a special edition of the Guardian's letters page. In separate tributes, BBC4 will air some respectful but little-watched documentaries; there will also be a truly unbearable edition of The Moral Maze.