19_september_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,205

Saturday 19 September 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It is shameful that six of the biggest disability charities are reporting ‘an increase in resentment and abuse directed at disabled people’. They quite rightly say ‘inflammatory media coverage has played a role in this’ but ‘they primarily blame ministers and civil servants for repeatedly highlighting the supposed mass abuse of the disability benefits system, much of which is unfounded’.

I would go further than that as there has never been any kind of mass abuse of the disability benefits system, there is not a shred of evidence for any such thing, it remains persistently low, it is a fabrication by Iain Duncan Smith from a government determined to undermine, demonise and vilify all people on benefits. Even the low levels of fraud are the responsibility of the DWP to deal with, choosing to create a culture of mistrust, increasing resentment and abuse directed at disabled people is a despicable practice for which there is no excuse what so ever.

Even your repeated use of the expression ‘hard working people’ is just another shameful PR stunt to cause division and resentment.

It is a great pity that so many people are taken in by what they read, hear and see on the main stream media, believing the many distortions that are routinely broadcast by irresponsible media outlets which either don’t bother to check the facts or deliberately set out to inflame public opinion. As Owen Jones says, ‘A healthy media would stand up to the powerful and wealthy. Ours targets the poor and voiceless’.

But the real culprits remain you and your government, belligerent and confrontational, as you chip away at the state and the vital role social security is meant to play in providing a safety net for those who need it. There is nothing shameful about that and everything to be proud of, it’s the mark of a civilised society looking after the needs of the most vulnerable.

Britain can no longer be regarded as such a civilised nation, you are making sure of that. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said of Osborne’s budget, ‘It is sickening to see Tory MPs braying and cheering while the chancellor rewards the wealthy and punishes the poor’, but wilfully and deliberately vilifying the poor in order that you can get away with it is the most sickening of all.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/feb/05/benefit-cuts-fuelling-abuse-disabled-people

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/may/13/welfare-fraud-error-universal-credit

http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2014/01/09/benefits-street-a-healthy-media-would-stand-up-to-the-powerful-and-wealthy-ours-targets-the-poor-and-voiceless-owen-jones/

http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/pcs_comment/pcs_comment.cfm/pcs-budget-response-osborne-rewards-wealthy-and-punishes-poor

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