07_march_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,021

Saturday 07 March 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

That prize ignoramus, Iain Duncan Smith, is expected to tell a conference in Canada he thinks that for too long it has been assumed that compassion is “soft” and the “preserve of the left”.

He is a man who knows nothing. I’ve worked with compassionate people all my life and they are as hard as nails, gutsy, determined and the most purposeful people it is possible to meet, in fact everything that Smith isn’t.

It is my experience that in general compassionate people don’t lie, they don’t fake up their CVs or routinely lie to support self serving agendas. Their compassion is often hard learnt in the crucible of want and, often, personal suffering and, yes, they’ll walk the extra mile, but there’s nothing soft about that. Working with want there is no room for the gloss of self aggrandisement, or if there is it is soon knocked out of them.

Smith likes to blame the poor, he also likes punishing them. Blaming the poor for poverty is a traditional mantra and I wonder why it is only the privileged like you and Smith who accuse the poor of having a culture of entitlement.

All too few voices of those driven to destitution are raised to protect themselves, far too few. It is MPs and bankers who scream foul play when their lavish lifestyles are even remotely threatened and, with no hint of shame, plaster themselves across the news as Rifkind did claiming it was “quite unrealistic” to think MPs can live on “simply £60,000” a year.

Smiths compassion for the poor is to expect others to do his dirty work in depriving people of the means of survival to ‘encourage’ them to provide free labour for grasping companies like Tesco who exploit the workfare pogrom. As Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow said, ‘sanctions are Britain’s secret penal system’.

Smith claims, “Above all, no one wants to know that they gained at the expense of those worse off than them”. Really? Tell that to every company exploiting workfare and every corporation exploiting the minimum wage and the striking Whitehall cleaners (how did that turn out?). The only Tory compassion I see is exclusive to yourselves and your city mates, everyone else can go hang themselves, and they are, Mr Cameron, they are.