A letter a day to number 10. No 939

Monday 08 December 2014.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Two little words today, Mr Cameron, two little words that say it all.

In a BBC article the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said, hunger “stalks large parts” of the country, and that, ‘he was left more shocked by the plight of the UK’s poor than by those suffering in African refugee camps, because it was so unexpected’.

Nick Clegg, acknowledging that sanctions had a part in this, said, “Whilst it is of course necessary to have sanctions in the benefit system, I think we should introduce a sort of traffic light system so that some of the sanctions are not imposed quite as ‘overnight’ as they sometimes are…” It is that ‘Of course’ which lies at the root of the problem in the UK today.

‘Of course’ the poor must be penalised. Those who for whatever reason do not have the means to be self sufficient must be punished, of course. Only those who have the least must be sanctioned, of course. If, for whatever reason, people cannot support and sustain themselves then they do not have the right to live, of course. Poverty is a crime committed by the poor and they must be sanctioned for it, of course.

‘Of course’, as if this is a self evident truth. ‘Of course’, an unquestionable fact of life by unassailable dictat. ‘Of course’, no one with sense and sensibility would question that the poor should, alone amongst all sections of society, be subject to sanctions and have the means of survival taken from them. It is the exclusive right of the powerful and privileged to punish and sanction the poor for their poverty, of course.

Lastly, of course, it is those who make policy and enact such extremes of cruelty, who present it as the only sensible and reasonable course of action and who call those who speak against it, extremists. The extremism of the powerful and privileged remains, as ever, dominant in your arrogant self assurance, of course, and that fool of an Archbishop wants the state to fund (control) food banks and that fool, Nick Clegg, wants sanctions traffic lights. A plague on all your houses!