A powerful scene from the movie The Mudlark (1950), which is a fictional account of a young orphan who scrounges a very meager living by trying to find items of value washed ashore along the banks of the Thames, and who goes to see Queen Victoria and causes her to end her withdrawal from public life after the death of her beloved Prince Albert in 1861. In the above scene Alec Guinness, at the top of his game, portrays Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli giving a speech condemning the conditions in England that caused the boy to be leading a life of poverty and misery. Guinness did the speech in one take which is a feat of acting that is almost preternatural.
Such conditions started the West on the road to the Welfare State with the best of intentions: to relieve those who live in want through no fault of their own and who cannot raise themselves from poverty through their own efforts. Over time of course the Welfare State grew into a massive bureaucracy and now alleviates, in addition to those who are unable to help themselves, the poverty of people, this example is taken from a case I was involved in, who receive disability payments because they are drug addicts, like to steal, are allergic to work and are experts at gaming the system. Advocates of welfare reform should acknowledge the good intentions that caused the original apparatus to be erected; defenders of the Welfare State should acknowledge that without root and branch reform, the current system will bankrupt us and cause welfare for the truly needy to come to a screeching halt.