Well now we know. The Tories' search for a new blood sport since fox-hunting was banned in 2004 is over. Instead of hunting foxes they are hunting the poor.
Proposals to cap child-related benefits reveals that even the children of the poor are fair game now.
After all, babies grow up to become adults. So if we're serious about eradicating the bastards, let's get them sooner rather than later. Or so the logic goes.
It's the naked brutality of the reform of the benefits system that leaves you in awe, packaged with the kind of semantic audacity that George Orwell himself would have baulked at including in his novels for fear of being accused of overembellishment.
The deployment of the word "fairness" to justify this latest stage in the Tories' all-out assault on the poor is the semantic version of a smoke grenade designed to mask its purpose - namely increasing the share of society's surplus for the rich at the expense of the poor under cover of an economic recession brought to us courtesy of those very same rich, doing so by pitting the working poor against the unemployed and benefit claimants.
When it comes to housing benefit, which the government has worked tirelessly to paint as evidence of society's moral decay, the inconvenient truth is that the vast majority of claimants are in work.
A recent report by the National Housing Federation, Home Truths 2012, reveals that the number of working people claiming housing benefit in England and Wales has risen by 417,830 since 2009. At the same time rental costs have risen 37 per cent over the past five years, with the NHF predicting they could rise by a further 35 per cent over the next six. The situation in Scotland is comparable.
NHF chief executive David Orr said: "We now have millions of families struggling to keep on top of their rents, priced out of the housing market and nearly 10,000 more working families every month are now reliant on housing benefit to help pay their private rent.
"These people are the 'strivers' the government wants to help, yet their future is looking bleak.
"This cannot continue - we need action now to address the causes of rising housing costs, not just the symptoms."
The real causes of the nation's soaring housing benefit bill, which the Tories and their cohorts in the right-wing press purposely mask, are a crippling lack of social housing and private rents that have spiralled out of control as demand increases in line with a sharp downturn in mortgage lending.
Add to this a spike in unemployment as a result of the recession and the impact of austerity, combined with the downward pressure being exerted on wages for those in work, and you have yourself the economic equivalent of a terminal disease.
For all the fanfare last week heralding the latest GDP figures, which showed 1 per cent growth in the last quarter, the brutal reality in today's Britain is a low-wage economy increasingly dominated by part-time and temporary work.
If this can be described as success in a 21st century developed economy, it's hard to imagine what failure would look like.
That said, attacking children is surely a step beyond depravity even for a party whose stock in trade is a feral hatred of the poor.
Even Thatcher did not make children pay for the poverty of their parents to this extent. The furthest she was prepared to go came with her decision as education secretary to cut free school milk in the 1970s.
These latest attacks on recipients of housing benefit, and the born and unborn children of the poor, are merely the latest in a wider and continuing class war unleashed when the coalition government came to power in 2010.
But cynical moves to divide society into the deserving rich at one end of the spectrum and the undeserving poor, work-shy scroungers and their offspring at the other, will only be successful if the Tories succeed in dividing working-class people along sectional lines - employed against unemployed, non-disabled against disabled, non-immigrant against immigrant, and so on.
Meanwhile, the misery of another winter descends on millions of households. People cling on to a semblance of existence, struggling to meet increasing fuel costs, food prices, rent and other basic necessities.
This is the story of Tory Britain in 2012.
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