Archives for posts with tag: aspiration

01_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,165

Saturday 01 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

This is a letter that has come out of an email conversation with a friend who posited, “What if ‘making work pay’ isn’t another lie coming out of Cameron’s, Osborne’s and IDS’s mouths, but might actually be the truth only not in the way it has been interpreted? What if when Cameron, Osborne and IDS spout ‘making work pay’ they don’t mean that work pays for the worker? Everyone assumes that it is the workers who will receive that ‘pay’. What if what they really mean – and what has been shown time and again to be what is really happening – is that ‘work pays the employers’? That is what ‘workfare’ is all about, isn’t it, subsidies for businesses no matter whether workers are paid or not?”

I can’t think why I’ve not written about this before, I thought I had and it has certainly taken up a good deal of my thinking time. I think my friend is exactly right. Just as you can say ‘Britain is for hard working people’ in a country where you want full employment. A country of hard working people for businesses, to drive profits up. A National Health Service ‘free at the point of use’ which you can still say even if it is paid for through private insurance schemes the same as in the USA, which is what you want.

‘Hard working people’ , in various forms, is now something of a mantra for those resenting people on benefits, people adopt it for themselves as you intended, but that isn’t what you Tories mean and I am sure you revel in your clever mouthed deceit.

When Andy Burnham launched his Labour leadership campaign he talked about ‘aspiration’ as about ‘giving every single person the dream of a better life, about helping all of our businesses, small and large, to get on and grow’. Every single person can have a dream, but it’s businesses that get help to get on and grow. As the saying goes, ‘If wishes were fishes we’d all be throwing nets’. New Labour giving every single person the dream of a better life is (meaninglessly) clever as far as it goes, but Burnham can’t out-Tory a Tory, who can speak a literal truth which relies on human vanity to adopt and thus people fool themselves.

Robert Tressell’s ‘The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists’ is entirely about the philanthropy of working people who vote for their own enslavement to the profit hungry Tories. ‘Don’t vote Labour’, the Tories cry, ‘Those socialists will price you out of your jobs. If they demand higher wages, we’ll all go to the wall. We’re all in this together my lads.’ It’s not an empty threat, you’d sack the entire labour force and shut the business down if you had to (which Thatcher did), then open a new one offering lower wages and it’s all those bloody socialists fault, killing businesses. Oh yes, the Tories are for hard working people alright, making work pay, all the way to the corporate comfort off shore tax havens.


31_may_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,102

Sunday 31 May 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

A fellow blogger wrote in 2014, “It’s truly remarkable that whenever we have a Conservative government, we suddenly witness media coverage of an unprecedented rise in the numbers of poor people who suddenly seem to develop a considerable range of baffling personal ineptitudes and immediately dysfunctional lives.”

Even Labour are closing ranks with you as Labour Leader hopeful, Liz Kendall, raises her clarion cry that children from white working class backgrounds must be taught to ‘aspire’. The poor, revelling like pigs in the clover of poverty of their own making through moral failure and degenerate character, need aspiration. That’s really going to end poverty and get people on their feet, eh?

Of course we mustn’t forget Iain Duncan Smith who claims people are going to food banks because they get divorced, ill or addicted to drugs, adding it is “ridiculous to blame the Government” as he readies the noose of yet more punitive cuts to welfare currently predicted to target the working poor and disabled people.

Baroness Jenkin tells us that poor people are going hungry because “poor people don’t know how to cook”, her solution? Let them eat porridge.

And let’s not forget Lord Freud famously saying, “people who are poorer should be prepared to take the biggest risks” as they have “the least to lose”. True, only their worthless lives, eh Mr Cameron? And who will miss a few less poor people, as George Osborne told the Tory conference, ‘sleeping off a life on benefits’?

Slowly and steadily the poor are being eradicated from history, those who armed and fought two world wars, filled the teeming ship yards, carved black gold from the bowels of the earth, fed the furnaces and made the steel, filled the mills and factories, built the roads, canals and railways, built and paid for the NHS and constructed social housing brick by brick to live their inconvenient, useless, lives in.

If you want to know what extremism is, it is the extravagant use of the poor and the towering ingratitude and vitriol heaped on us from on high, even Prince Philip has said he’d like to come back as a deadly virus to extinguish our lives, who keep him in the lap of luxury. Here’s a thought though, we don’t need you and the loss of all you who vilify and persecute us could only improve our lives, but you do need us and the next time your fuses trip and you divert workmen battling to restore electricity to 11,000 houses, you might like to think about that.