Anyone who checks in with the Brit newspapers has recently been saddened (make that outraged) by the murder of little Rhys Jones. U.K. Telegraph columnist Simon Heffner has a very good column on the killing:

“There have been few more tragic aspects to the sickening murder of Rhys Jones than the sight of his poor mother urging the murderer to give himself up, or for his parents to do it for him. In that cry of pain we saw the dislocation of our society at its most raw. Melanie Jones and her husband are decent people with jobs in the private sector and who provide for themselves. They have a value system not just in which people act morally and with a sense of responsibility, but also where the concept of “parents” prevails. Sadly, most of this, if not all, cannot remotely apply to the animal who shot their little boy.

“What do we imagine of the ‘parents’ to whom Mrs Jones appealed? The father of the animal may have had no contact with him since the womb. Does his mother know he has killed someone? It is hard to believe she does not; but failures of morality did not begin with this young generation.

“That the murderer is riding around a housing estate with a loaded gun – never mind using it – suggests morality is an alien concept to him at least. Is it likely that he will act like the decent person Mrs Jones, with her equipment of conscience, imagines he might, at heart, be? Is he quaking with remorse and regret at the evil he has done? I doubt it. If his presumably drugged state will allow – and we know that in such areas children of 11 and 12 are often addled by something or other – he might just be feeling a reflex of nauseating self-pity. He could, though, console himself that, in time, should the police ever catch him, he can at least rely on armies of bleeding heart social workers and probation officers to help him ‘come to terms’ with such emotions.”

Where did the killer get his values, so unlike those of the grieving parents? Well, they are underclass values-you know the values you can’t have if you get up of a morning and go to work:

“Has anyone noticed, either, that what we used to call the working class has shrunk? Not merely because, as surveys tell us, so many now think of themselves as “middle-class”, but because something called the respectable working class has almost died out. What sociologists used to call the working class does not now usually work at all, but is sustained by the welfare state. Its supposed family units are not as the rest of us might define the term. It lapses routinely into criminality and lives in largely self-inflicited squalor. It has low educational attainment and is bereft of ambition. It is what we now call the underclass.

“We have an underclass because we pay to have one. I do not mean that to be a glib remark, from which it could be inferred that, if we were to stop paying for one, it would magically disappear. What I mean is that 60 years of welfarism, far from raising people out of poverty and of the vices that sometimes (but not inevitably) go with it, has simply trapped them there. Welfarism has smashed the traditional, and vital, family unit.”