12_december_2014

A letter a day to number 10. No 943

Friday 12 December 2014.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It’s hard to imagine a more inappropriate ambassador to Auschwitz than you, the man in charge of a government whose Work and Pensions Secretary said after his own visit to Auschwitz that ‘ disabled people would be made free by working’.

It is as well the dead cannot act or you would have been hounded from that place by a tsunami of outrage and the fires of indignation. For you to light a candle at Auschwitz on the International Day of Human Rights was a betrayal of the living and the dead.

The latest government guru to find his way to my desktop is one Professor Lawrence M Mead who calls his political creed the “new paternalism” and a champion of welfare to workfare. Mead’s mission is to change the poor, with an expensive, intrusive bureaucracy that “helped and hassled” people back to work. Meade was clearly impressed by Steve Hilton, your director of strategy, who saw ‘conditionality’ as a good in itself, as Meade said, “I was rather surprised that he would focus on conditionality because it takes time to build it up… You have bureaucratic costs, you have childcare costs. But it is doable.” Had Meade done his homework he might have been less surprised in a country steeped in Imperialism and the paternalism of the wealthy and aristocracy, where the upper house will strenuously protect its champagne supplies at public expense whilst a million poor people use food banks, 900,000 via the Trussell Trust alone.

You said at Auschwitz that the world must “never forget” what had taken place there. I say that too, but we do not mean the same thing by that, your political extremism regards it as a role model to be refined and you call that progress. You may say that Auschwitz is “a reminder of why the UK must fight against prejudice, persecution, anti-Semitism and tyranny wherever we find it and stand up for inclusiveness, tolerance and peace”, but words in the mouths of politicians are cheap. You promised this country many things that you have blithely betrayed, even as you make promises you plan betrayal.

It is not those who make and prosecute war who must remember, though they ought, it is the people. Auschwitz is not a memorial for the ruling elites, it is the peoples memorial against the violence and cruelty of ruling elites who have no compassion or mercy and that is what we, the people, must never forget.

http://socialistreview.org.uk/350/work-makes-you-free

http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2009/05/iain-duncan-smith-mp-reflections-on-a-visit-to-auschwitz-amid-political-crises-back-home.html

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2010/jun/16/lawrence-mead-tough-us-welfare-unemployed

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-lords-refused-budget-cut-4765658

http://www.trusselltrust.org/foodbank-figures-top-900000

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