Monday, 14 March 2016

It's not personal (independence) It's just business

Emily's work capability questionnaire which has points like "Rollerball"

Yesterday after watching George Osborne announce more cuts on the Andrew Marr show and in a week when the Lords were defeated in attempting to defeat a proposal by the Tories to cut Employment Support Allowance by another £30 per week, I felt hugely angry.

I tweeted my fears that I actually hate George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith and that I wouldn’t feel sad if anything happened to them. That’s not like me and as I reflected on it it’s not true.

I don’t hate them. I’m horrified by their behaviour.

Of course if I did hate them I’d be “so on trend right now”

Articulated hate is big business currently. Katie Hopkins is doing very nicely peddling the hate brand. Her followers are through the roof and she has a column in The Daily Mail, which although widely hated for it’s political bias and interesting views on the role of women/ fascination with “side boob shockers”, is still extremely popular.

Usually referred to as “plain speaking” or “honesty” or “saying what everyone is thinking” but however it’s dressed up, brand hate is the unstoppable force storming straight through the somewhat fluid, immoveable object of compassion.

Propaganda has cleared the leaves from that line. The speed and permanence of propaganda in transporting people from a reason and logic based empathy of “sick and disabled people need support and help” to “disabled or not, work shy scroungers need dealing with and most are faking it” has proved to be faster than HS2.

It reminds me of that scene in The Godfather when Michael Corleone defends killing a police officer to special advisor Tom Hagen by pointing out that they can use the press to make their case.

“Now we have newspaper people on the payroll, don’t we Tom?”

Organised criminals like the Corleones, have many methods.

Donald Trump also a fan of publicly humiliating disabled people, seems to hate everyone who isn’t him and his rallies are bordering on the proportions of Nuremburg in terms of numbers, anger, salutes and scapegoat-seeking white people.

As Dave Spikey’s character Jerry “St Clair” Dignan in “Phoenix Nights” memorably states, “I haven’t seen them this excited since they published that paedophile’s address in the paper”

So no I don’t hate the Tories as people, I hate their actions in destroying the lives of so many sick and disabled people, whose much needed lifeline benefits are being taken away with no hope of a replacement.

But why are Osborne and Duncan Smith eyeing these few pounds per week with a greasy, sweaty fervor. on a par with Gollum viewing his “precious”?

And why are the only 2 benefits, which directly affect sick and disabled people the most, so determinedly, being destroyed.

Well to quote again from fiction turned fact, as Michael Corleone states, “It’s not personal Sonny it’s strictly business”

Apparently we’re paying back the deficit created by Labour by turning to the people who had absolutely nothing to do with it, sick and disabled people like my 18 year old learning disabled autistic daughter with the developmental delay of a five year old.

You see it’s her fault and millions of others like her. All of them sick and disabled and apparently all of them are responsible. Not the bankers or other global corporations, definitely not.


Somewhere in between watching ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ clips on YouTube and colouring in the pictures I draw for her, Emily crashed the global economic market and forced the Uk government to seek out the culprits.

Emily and me. 

Well Iain Duncan Smith isn’t fooled and neither is George Osborne.

So, systematically and thoroughly they are making sure that sick and disabled people pay for what they haven’t done.

Disability benefits like Personal Independence Payment had its name change from the accurate Disability Living Allowance. I assume because the name of the benefit reflected what it truly meant. Life.

Sickness Benefit was changed to Employment Support Allowance even though it’s creation was to support those who were too sick and disabled to work and in those days the government didn’t want people to starve and die because of something which wasn’t their fault.

George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith don’t trouble themselves with that sort of attitude. They tell any interviewer who tackles them that they are protecting the most vulnerable.

They don’t mean sick and disabled people; they mean the top 15% of people who will see a tax cut according to budget predictions. We know they don’t mean sick and disabled people because they are cutting sickness benefit by £30 per week.

Analysis done by the Labour party shows that under new government cuts 200,000 sick and disabled people will each lose £3,000 per year.
200,000 will lose disability benefits altogether and a further 400,000 will have their weekly payment, cut from £82 per week to £55 per week which will cost them £1,400 per year. That’s why you go into politics isn’t it lads to make already difficult lives much, much harder.

I mentioned Labour analysis because they are also in the blame frame. I would direct you to the meticulous research and findings of Richard Murphy notably this blog which demonstrates that Labour have borrowed less and repaid more than the Tories since 1979.

“But what does he know?” 

Well as a chartered accountant, political economist and tax expert, he knows a lot.

The Work capability form arrived for Emily at the end of last week. Its points based system will tell me whether in the DWP’s totally objective and non ideologically driven opinion, our beautiful daughter will be able to eat, heat her home, access clean water and have a roof over her head. The questions are degrading and humiliating but I suppose that’s the point of points.

When they give me their decision I’ll let you know. After all it’s her “own fault” really, isn’t it for being disabled.

Anyway I don’t hate Osborne Duncan Smith or Cameron. I just wonder when all these cuts with one hand and tax breaks with another will be enough for them.

My ire, fear for my child and heartbreak in the knowledge of the reassessments she will face for the rest of her life; pale into insignificance against the joy they must feel when they reflect on their actions.

Bathing in the sure and certain knowledge that Margaret Thatcher would be very, very proud of them.