Why is the coalition making a public spectacle of picking on the poor?

(78 Posts)
ttosca Sat 22-Feb-14 10:56:49

We're living in truly Orwellian times when the British state removes all avenues for the individual to hold it to account

We all know that the government's plan to fix "broken Britain" is predicated on blaming our national scapegoats: the undeserving poor. Sitting at ease behind closed curtains, fecklessly "breeding" life that they haven't the means to feed, we are told, the poor are the real scourges of a society in which the richest 10% own 40% of our country's wealth. They do not deserve the same rights that we might expect, were we ever to find ourselves in their position, because, truth be told, we are better people than those awful scroungers. And just when you thought such treatment of our poorest citizens couldn't get any worse, the coalition is proving itself willing to plumb new depths.

Leaked internal documents from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have shown that it is tabling a proposal to charge people who challenge a decision to strip them of their benefits. There is no mention of refunds for those who manage to win their appeals. That's right, some of the poorest in our society could be forced to put up and shut up, even when a government department is at fault.

In the last year, nearly a million people had their benefits stopped and of those who appealed against the decision at independent tribunals, 58% won their case. It leaves me wondering about the efficacy of such a manoeuvre. This is a department that gets its decisions more often wrong than right. Why does it have the mettle to even attempt such a policy? I guess you have to admire the pure chutzpah of this public-school cabal.

Aphorisms often appear too trite to tell us anything meaningful, yet this is not the case with the assertion attributed to Mahatma Gandhi that "the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members". The Tories have transformed what should be our national shame into a public spectacle in which we should all revel in kicking those on the rung below us; it's easier that way to forget about what is happening above you.

Rather than question why parts of our stake in the bailed-out Lloyds Banking Group could be sold at a £230m loss, we are supposed to champion draconian measures such as cuts to disability living allowance. The DWP's own figures show that only 0.5% of those claiming incapacity benefit do so fraudulently, yet the company it placed in charge of carrying out its work capability assessments, Atos Healthcare, judged a third of claimants to be fit to work. These are the sorts of people who stand to lose if the government charges them for appealing against a process that is skewed against them.

The policy seems like a kite-flying exercise to gauge just how far we are willing to go when it comes to making the most vulnerable pay for the City's excesses. If, as I hope and pray, the measure is deemed too extreme and is shelved, Iain Duncan Smith's department will still come out smelling of roses. To the Tory heartland it continues its incessant drumbeat of being "tough" in "lean" times. To the rest of us, it hopes to appear measured and able to accept criticism.

We should distrust any government that is willing to go where this policy would take it. To call it Orwellian would be a sober assessment of facts rather than an emotive exaggeration. When the state removes all avenues for the individual to hold it to account in respect of how it treats them, we are living in hard times indeed.

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/21/coalition-spectacle-picking-on-the-poor

Isitmebut Sat 22-Feb-14 16:36:40

Why did New Labour’s policies on economic migration and social neglect CONDEMN so many people to welfare dependency for votes, when they pretend to represent the poor and not provide any policy initiatives to correct their errors before 2010 – was it total indifference, political cowardice, incompetence, or a combination of all three?

And now like the political lions they are, they’ve found some electoral courage, after the coalition was forced to make the reforms they knew they had to make, what will Labour’s new Welfare Reforms for 2015 be?
www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/oct/02/labour-cuts-welfare-liam-byrne

Firstly we know that Labour’s policies that caused welfare dependency meant that in the 2000’s when the world had strong economic growth, our benefits bills were not only rising faster than most countries in Europe (when they should have been falling due to record employment), but they have been trimmed less since 2010 – and will continue to INCREASE by tens of £billions over the years ahead

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10574376/Graphic-Britain-outstrips-Europe-on-welfare-spending.html

And this is how New Labour inheriting an economy probably in far better shape than any administration for over 100-years “broke Britain” and why with no money or ideas left, they had not the first clue how to fix it, WITHOUT making unpopular decisions of their own, like welfare reform.

New Labour’s 13-year record with huge parliamentary majorities to implement these policies

Pro EU without trusting the people to vote… pro open door economic migration from 2004 for personal gain AND without increasing home building to make room …already with 580,000 under 25-year olds here unemployed... pro flat lining State Education for league table/grade inflation rather than raising standards…pro needless laws/police State with more legislation passed in their 13-years than the previous 100-years… pro Human Rights Act in 1998 causing so many ‘rights’ for criminals/terrorists problems.

Pro MRSA/C.Diff killer germ infested NHS hospitals hiring more managers (within NHS Trusts) than nurses.. pro saddling hospitals and schools with 25-year plus Private Finance Initiative debts….pro 24-hour drinking, gambling and declassifying drugs….pro expensive quangos costing over £70 bil a year to run.. pro expensive to run local government (with non jobs) leading to Council Tax hikes up 110% on their watch..

Pro raiding private personal pensions from 1998, including private sector companies to near Final Salary extinction...pro screwing state pensioners with derisory annual State pension e.g. 75p in 2000….pro raising the lower band tax rate to screw the poor in 2007…pro sale of 40% of UK gold reserves under $300 an ounce versus $1.900 high…..pro relaxation of banking regulation to dangerous levels pre financial crash..…pro sending 1 million of our manufacturing jobs elsewhere by 2005 BEFORE the crash

Pro lying to go to war and without equipping soldiers with basic kit and helicopters... ….pro nuclear energy to stop lights going off in 2015, but didn’t get around to building any.…pro defence/Trident, who knows, let someone else get around to it….and leaving the UK less domestic food production secure than when they came to power.

With a balanced annual budget in 2002/3 having adopted 1997 Tory spending plans and 'only' £400 billion of national debt, pro ANNUAL budget deficit MORE than £160 bil a year in 2010 and national debt of £1.5 trillion planned by 2015 needing unpopular austerity, or go the way of bankrupt Greece…….pro equality but left power in 2010 with more inequality than in 1997…_and finally as mentioned in their 2010 manifesto, fewer fat government cuts, but pro increased taxes to all in order to pay for their incompetence (that would kill economic growth), they as the government of the day, never got around to telling us about in any detail_

ttosca Sat 22-Feb-14 16:56:52

You're like a relentless Tory propaganda machine.

Unfortunately, as I've explained before, the largest chunk of social security is on pensions, and the majority of total welfare expenditure goes to families where at least one person works.

There is no 'culture of welfare dependency'. There is a cost of living crisis, where the poor and the dwindling middle-classes have to work and claim benefits in order to meet the cost of living.

ttosca Sat 22-Feb-14 16:59:57

Secondly, immigration is an opportunity. The Tories should see it as much, instead of going for the little-Englander xenophobic vote.

Immigrants:

a) Are net contributors to the economy.

b) Claim less in benefits than the native population.

c) Immeasurably add to the UK's cultural richness and diversity.

Isitmebut Sat 22-Feb-14 17:37:41

Ttosca…..*I am just adding balance to your relentless, but inaccurate attempts, to show that the coalition is pursuing some kind of class war - when if New Labour had not caused, OR AT LEAST ATTEMPTED TO FIX their own pre 2007 policy mistakes, 3-years into their financial crash – the coalition wouldn’t have HAD to make their own reforms*

And playing the old New Labour ‘race card’ that slapped down anyone mentioning economic migration post 2004 as ‘racist’, is beneath contempt as this was a left wing plot that would also increase Labour’s voter base – and you lot should be apologising to both the coalition and the poorest in society for what you have done, not keep sniping 1970’s style to clear your own social conscience.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2354713/BBC-chief-admits-We-deep-liberal-bias-migrants--changed.html

www.thecommentator.com/article/1953/exclusive_bbc_left_wing_political_bias_illustrated_through_uk_political_funding_revelations

You keep telling yourself that OUR domestic social wellbeing was helped by 1.5 to 2. Million economic migrants, that needed somewhere to live and are entitled to use our services. i.e. NHS and education.

You lefties rattling off deflected blame are morally corrupt, you have the ignorance on virtually every post to call the Conservatives “scum”, when totally overlooking the mess Labour didn’t attempt to fix.

If the Conservative had taken a well balanced, uninterrupted growing economy for 26 quarters and screwed the poorest in society as Labour did from 1997, I would be on boards like this shouting about their incompetence, not criticising those trying to fix it as being ideologically driven - there by default, trying to bring those that were economically and socially incompetent, back in power in 2015.

ttosca Sat 22-Feb-14 18:17:56

The Coalition most certainly have engaged in class war since they've come to power, and they've caused misery to hundreds of thousands of people.

These 'reforms' -- i.e. austerity measures -- are not an attempt to 'fix' anything. They are an ideological driven attempt to exploit the financial crisis to reshape the economy in to a more neo-liberal model, like America.

You will recall Chief Psychopath David Cameron, announcing 'indefinite austerity' behind a golden throne:

www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2013/11/15/the-political-week-online-austerity-forever

---

As for immigrants, I'll repeat again, they are a net contributor to the economy and claim fewer benefits than 'natives'. They certainly will use the NHS, and I see no problem with that, seeing as they contribute towards funding for it.

Furthermore, a great deal of NHS staff are actually immigrants themselves, without which the NHS would not be able to fulfill all its positions for doctors, nurses, and cleaning staff.

---

Here are some ways the Tory scum and their enablers have attacked the poor and middle-classes:

* Further privitised the NHS, breaking their manifesto pledge

* Reduced people's access to social security benefits, resulting in a large rise in homelessness and manyfold rise in the use of food banks.

* Killed hundreds of disabled people by taking away their support allowance

* Tripled tuition fees

* Enacted Workfare programs which put the unemployed people in to unpaid work, bypassing min. wage laws, and suppressing wages for workers generally

* Raised VAT for ordinary people and lowered income tax for the richest.

* Huge cuts to programs like the Citizens Advice Bureau

* A cruel, punitive and unnecessary 'Bedroom tax', which has made many people homeless

* Plans to scrap the Human Rights Act

* Legal Aid cuts to the poorest and most vulnerable - a fundamental attack on Justice itself.

* Huge spending rise in the use of Spin Doctors to 7.2 Million pounds (are you one of them?)

* Consistent attack on workers rights, including just recently removing a 114-year old Victorian law which made it the responsibility for employers to ensure a safe workplace

etc. etc. I'm bored now.

---

The Tories have absolute no chance of winning the election in 2015 - no matter how many spin doctors they pay. They haven't won a majority in 21 years, and they never will again.

They are has-beens, consisting of old white men with reactionary values who want the UK to return to the Victorian era.

And they are utterly vile.

lookdeepintotheparka Sat 22-Feb-14 18:27:25

Totally agree ttosca - the whole thing make me feel sick sad

My DH is currently spending his time at work taking people to foodbanks. Contrary to what some tories like to believe, they are for the most part mortified that they need to rely on foodbanks to feed themselves and their families. It's really desperate for many people out there..

Isitmebut Sat 22-Feb-14 18:45:19

The founder of one of the country’s leading food banks declared yesterday that soaring demand for the free handouts has nothing to do with benefit cuts.

Robin Aitken spoke out the day after 27 Anglican bishops claimed that benefit cuts had led to many going hungry, and that as a result 500,000 people have used food banks since last Easter.

The bishops and 42 clergymen, supported by Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby, said that more than half the people using food banks had been put in that position by welfare cutbacks or failures in the benefits system.

But Mr Aitken said there was no evidence to back such a claim

He said: ‘If you provide a service, people will use it.
‘They will go and get good food. Of course they will.’

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2565315/Soaring-demand-free-handouts-benefit-cuts-says-food-bank-founder.html

Look at the percentage increases of use of Food Banks under Labour as the recession they caused BEGAN to bite – clearly few lost their jobs in 2007/8 and the longer it went on, the more that were laid off or exhausted their savings.

•2008-09: 26,000
•2009-10: 41,000
•2010-11: 61,468

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19953938

Isitmebut Sat 22-Feb-14 18:52:51

ttosca...I gave up on your 'killing' rollocks on the NHS pledge, Labour refused to protect the NHS budget in England even after lumping it with Private Finance Initiative 30-years of demands on the annual budget, they cut it in wales and services declined - no lectures there please.

As for Labour winning the next general election, I agree with you, by loading the boundaries so they only need 35% of the vote for a decent majority AND cynically not attempting to fix their own problems, their plan has worked. How brave of them, how sad for this country.

ttosca Sat 22-Feb-14 19:02:20

Except there is evidence, as there was a huge increase in referrals from the DWP for foodbank vouchers before the Tory scum stopped keeping records of this so as to avoid accountability.

Furthermore, the Trussel Trust has repeatedly made stated that they've seen a huge rise in food bank use and give reasons:

"Trussell Trust foodbanks have seen the biggest rise in numbers given emergency food since the charity began in 2000. Almost 350,000 people have received at least three days emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks during the last 12 months, nearly 100,000 more than anticipated and close to triple the number helped in 2011-12.

Rising cost of living, static incomes, changes to benefits, underemployment and unemployment have meant increasing numbers of people in the UK have hit a crisis that forces them to go hungry. This dramatic rise in foodbank usage predates April’s welfare reforms, which could see numbers increase further in 2013-14. "

www.trusselltrust.org/stats

Food banks use did indeed increase after the financial crisis and recession. Tory policies have exacerbated the crisis, when they should be mitigating it:

Your stats:

•2008-09: 26,000
•2009-10: 41,000
•2010-11: 61,468

Complete stats:

*2011-12: 128,797
*2012-13: 346,992

That's a five-fold increase since the Coalition came to power. A direct result of the nasty policies of the nasty party.

Give it a rest, isitmebut.

flatpackhamster Sat 22-Feb-14 19:05:31

ttosca

Immigrants:

a) Are net contributors to the economy.

Until they have kids or get old.

b) Claim less in benefits than the native population.

Until they get have kids or get old.

c) Immeasurably add to the UK's cultural richness and diversity.

boak A little bit of sick came up then.

A communist like you should be ashamed of supporting mass immigration. Anyone who truly cares about the working class would oppose it. But I suppose that's middle class leftism for you.

ttosca Sat 22-Feb-14 19:31:21

flatpack-

> a) Are net contributors to the economy.

> Until they have kids or get old.

You mean like everybody else?

> b) Claim less in benefits than the native population.

> Until they get have kids or get old.

You mean like everybody else?

> boak A little bit of sick came up then.

Well, that's your problem. Most people don't want to return to the Victorian age and know that multi-culturalism enriches a country. Most people enjoy how the food, music, and art from other countries, and cultures have made the UK a more enriched and interesting place.

> A communist like you should be ashamed of supporting mass immigration. Anyone who truly cares about the working class would oppose it. But I suppose that's middle class leftism for you.

Anyone who cares about the working class is against tactics by the ruling class to divide the working class itself.

No war but the class war.

ttosca Sat 22-Feb-14 21:17:58

> ttosca...I gave up on your 'killing' rollocks on the NHS pledge, Labour refused to protect the NHS budget in England even after lumping it with Private Finance Initiative 30-years of demands on the annual budget, they cut it in wales and services declined - no lectures there please.

Who cares about New Labour?

> As for Labour winning the next general election, I agree with you, by loading the boundaries so they only need 35% of the vote for a decent majority AND cynically not attempting to fix their own problems, their plan has worked. How brave of them, how sad for this country.

Who cares about New Labour?

None of the mainstream parties represent the interests of the public. All three are neo-liberal parties who rule in the interests of big-business and the rich.

Isitmebut Sun 23-Feb-14 00:00:42

Ha ha ha…so when a socialist Labour government in times of plenty totally screws up constantly by design over 13-years, they are “the same as the neo liberal rest”. But when a Conservative led coalition tries to fix Labour’s betrayal of the working classes, by implementing polices Labour knew had to be done, but were more concerned on seat ‘damage limitations’ in 2010 – it is they that are the “scum”, so it IS true, denial is in your DNA.

“The party may take the moral high ground, but lying and cheating are deep in its DNA”

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10462871/Its-no-coincidence-the-MPs-found-guilty-of-fiddling-are-all-Labour.html
“But one puzzling question remains. Why is it that only Labour MPs have been found guilty of expenses fraud as a result of the Telegraph revelations?”

“It is especially perplexing because the party in general strongly feels itself to be the embodiment of decency and morality. Indeed Labour has always insisted that the Conservatives are the party of venality, greed and selfishness. How baffling it is, then, that only Labour MPs have been sent to jail as a result of the Telegraph revelations.”

“Paradoxically, I believe that it is Labour’s belief in its own higher morality – what Bertrand Russell called the “superior virtue of the oppressed” – that has led to its downfall. Our two major political parties have emerged from rival philosophical traditions. Labour hails from the progressive school, which is fundamentally optimistic about human nature, but believes that our humanity is thwarted and twisted by social institutions. Conservatives are the opposite. They are pessimistic about human nature, and believe that life can only be conducted within the framework of existing institutions and the rule of law.”

Cutting through the ideological crap, come 2015 there are only two main choices, the Red team who handed over economic and social basket cases in 1979 and 2010, or the BLUE team that tries their best to turn it around, implementing reforms the REDS were not brave enough to do themselves.

Spinflight Sun 23-Feb-14 03:20:55

"Well, that's your problem. Most people don't want to return to the Victorian age and know that multi-culturalism enriches a country. Most people enjoy how the food, music, and art from other countries, and cultures have made the UK a more enriched and interesting place."

And how enriched we have been! So enriched that the vast majority of people list immigration as their top concern!

Of course our elected scumbags from the old, failed, parties have decided that they deserve an 11% pay rise to reward themselves for the seemingly endless enrichment they have bestowed upon a country which never asked, and was never asked, for it.

It certainly is our problem though. You are correct there. The mung bean eating luvvies in Chipping Norton won't be affected. Neither will our elected scumbags. Nor that bastion of free speech, the press, who all appear to live on the same street in Islington.

Indeed, those who appear to have gobs bigger than their intellects always seem to have one thing in common. It doesn't affect them adversely. The chairman of ICI isn't going to lose his job to an eastern european, nor the trough grovelling MP or for that matter the opinion writer for the BBC.

They cite the benefits assuming that everyone enjoys paying a quid less per hour for their second nanny. Or that their gardener is rather a good looking chap who cleans the Merc so much better than that scruffy yoof from the council estate. Didn't you know that the plebs had dirty hospital toilets before we allowed 5 million extra people in? And Rupert's stock portfolio is doing rather well - he even voted for the enhanced directors renumeration package in admiration...

It certainly puts the champagne in champagne socialism and the serve in conservative.

Isitmebut Sun 23-Feb-14 22:42:47

Spin....nice speech, but no policies of your own to even indicate you have an alternative anything.

It certainly puts the U-kipper, into when voters are being 'done up like one'.

Spinflight Mon 24-Feb-14 01:21:14

http://www.ukip.org/issues/policy-pages/what-we-stand-for

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Feb-14 01:24:46

Most people enjoy how the food, music, and art from other countries, and cultures have made the UK a more enriched and interesting place
that is such hackneyed rubbish sorry

fideline Mon 24-Feb-14 09:15:44

" that is such hackneyed rubbish sorry"

Sure is grin

claig Mon 24-Feb-14 09:42:26

Where does this "hackneyd rubbish" come from? Is it the Tory manifesto?

fideline Mon 24-Feb-14 09:58:55

Your meaning is a bit ambiguous Claig

claig Mon 24-Feb-14 10:18:44

Sorry, I am joking, implying that the Tory manifesto is full of "hackneyed rubbish"

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Feb-14 10:43:37

lol it is all hackneyed rubbish, the whole lot

claig Mon 24-Feb-14 11:11:21

I must admit I have come to the same conclusion

Isitmebut Mon 24-Feb-14 13:50:54

Claig....thank you for "what Ukip stands for" wheeled out for their conference at the end of this week - and I can't fault that timing, as it gives you all something to talk about in the pub afterwards.

This thread is about 'the poor', could you please tell us what Ukip stands for there, and what policies they have that are 'different' to the other main parties?

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