16_march_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,373

Wednesday 16 March 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It is very good to see members of the public getting to grips with holding MPs to account, the 309 MPs who voted to cut ESA by £30 a week might learn, in future, to pay attention to the people on the sharp end of policies which dramatically, and disastrously, impact their lives.

Similarly, it is also refreshing to see charities demanding MPs resign as patrons when they vote for policies which cause untold suffering and hardship to those the charities exist to support.

Nearly 14,000 disabled people have had their motability cars taken away by you and your government and I very much hope that the Motability charity will demand the exit of two of their prominent patrons, David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith.

Whilst Iain Duncan Smith refuses to acknowledge that any possible hardship is caused by his benefit reforms including his repeated denial of any causal links to suicide, several commentators have suggested that the widespread suffering caused by his brutal cuts is, under the Suicide Act of 1961, procurement to suicide. In her suicide note, before walking onto the M6 and under the wheels of a lorry, Stephanie Bottrill wrote to her son, “Don’t blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the Government.” It would take a far, far braver man than Iain Duncan Smith to dismiss Stephanie Bottrill’s death as politically motivated.

Smith’s denials and his refusal to acknowledge or investigate suicides and his welfare reforms are rendered all the more malevolent given that he said in relation to domestic violence, “I myself have been in the House on a ten-minute rule Bill to try to improve access to legal means to prosecute those who drive people to suicide, and I still believe this is something that could be done.”

Since 2008 suicides have been on the rise and even the biggest fool in the universe would conclude that something’s up. Iain Duncan Smith likes to pretend that his reforms are a zero sum game and that reforms balance out, or even benefit some, but this is not a game of swings and roundabouts, this is about consequences to draconian cuts targeted at the poorest and most vulnerable people in the UK.

I have said many times, democracy is the people and, as much as it is abhorrent to you, MPs are accountable to the people. To paraphrase you, ‘for too long, we have been a passively tolerant society and not held governments to account’. Democracy, like our NHS, must be vigorously and actively protected against those who care nothing for it and pay lip service to the people they are paid to represent and serve.



Tory MP told to resign as patron by MS Society after voting for £30 ESA cuts