28_july_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,161

Tuesday 28 July 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

In 2011 Iain Duncan Smith said it was a ‘sin’ if people failed to take up available jobs. He went further saying that if people were ready for work and if they have a job offer, they should take that work. In 2013 George Osborne described ‘new conditions on unemployment benefits as tough love, saying it would ensure there was “no option of doing nothing” for welfare payments’.

The problem with this extreme right wing authoritarian conservatism is that it strips people of every shred of humanity, treating people like cattle to be prodded and forced into obedience by the rampant paternalism of the state. It is small wonder that Jeremy Corbyn has hit the nation like a breath of fresh air, far from being the a relic of the old left, he is the voice of reason and progressive, humane, politics the nation has been crying out for. Small wonder the right is having hysterics, Corbyn throws the extremism of the right into stark relief revealing it in all its heartless brutality.

Of course it is not just unemployment benefits  and job seekers who are being attacked. Sick and disabled people are also under the axe, since Unum, the discredited American Insurance company, fraudulently branded sickness and disability as ‘malingering’, lapped up by Lord Freud and IDS who believes, with no hint of irony to the sign over the death camps of Auswitz, that disabled people would be made free by working. In 2005, after many successful legal cases brought against Unum, ‘California Department of Insurance Commissioner, John Garamendi, stated: ‘Unum Provident is an outlaw company. It is a company that has operated in an illegal fashion for years.’

It was Aneurin Bevan, the founder of the NHS, who said, “Illness is neither an indulgence for which people have to pay, nor an offence for which they should be penalised, but a misfortune, the cost of which should be shared by the community.”

If any sin is being committed it is against the people of Britain by your government. Osborne, a man raised with every privilege and advantage in life, talking about tough love for people on benefits is an insult to intelligence and humanity. He has not the slightest idea what he’s talking about any more than he does on the economy.

Official advisers to Iain Duncan Smith have called for an ‘urgent and robust review’ of his ‘benefit sanctions regime’, concerned that it is ‘failing to help jobless claimants’. As necessary as that is, it is Smith himself who should be under urgent and robust review and extremely rapid and ignominious idsexit.