Archives for posts with tag: Reform

27_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,191

Thursday 27 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

In his recent speech on work, health and disability Iain Duncan Smith made a great many extravagant claims, not least the following regarding what you supposedly inherited from Labour in 2010:

*    nearly one in five households had no one working;
*    the number of households where no one had ever worked had nearly doubled;
*    1.4 million people had been on benefits for most of the previous decade.
*    And where close to half of all households in the social rented sector had no one in work.

The full transcript of the speech was published by the think tank ‘Reform’ and, as we’ve come to expect from Smith, not a single reference link was provided for what looks, to these tired eyes, like extremely extravagant claims. I shall pursue a Freedom of Information request to his department in due course, which should not prove irksome for Smith. Given how recently he made the speech he should have the information to hand.

What I want to focus on today, however, is his assertion that many people on benefits had ‘fallen into a life of dependency’. In so saying he revealed the true depth of his ignorance of the lives of ordinary people and how little contact he has ever had with them. Were he alive today Robert Tressell, author of ‘The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists’, would immediately have taken issue with Smith because the true state of dependency exists in the fragile world of work which fragility you and your government have been at such pains to increase exponentially. You have stripped away basic working rights and protections at work, access to justice through increasing employment tribunal fees and, of course, broken the primal link between work and pay forcing many to work for nothing. I care not what you call it, training, work experience or ‘Workfare’ everyone should have the most basic right to expect  and demand payment for their labour the purpose of which, so conveniently forgotten, is food on the table, at the very least.

For many, the first experience of a stable income has been the very system of social security that Smith is so keen to demolish. That is certainly the case for me as a disabled man, having struggled all my working life balancing work and disability with varying degrees of success, but always fragile, always fraught, always filled with the constant fear of falling off the edge. It was not until I began to receive Disability Living Allowance, an in-work benefit I’d like remind you, that I began to experience for the first time some degree of financial stability in my life and relief from incessant daily worry and fear for my near and distant future. Of such things Smith evidently knows nothing as he pursues his vicious, deceitful and ideological, war on the poor. Far from making people well, work is frequently the very thing that either makes people sick, physically or mentally, or makes their existing condition worse, now with the added risk to life and well being from Iain Duncan Smith himself who clearly has not the faintest idea of the real violence inflicted upon people by poverty. Or perhaps he does, which would make him the vilest man alive in Britain today.


03_july_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,136

Friday 03 July 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It is not right to mock or attack the afflicted and it’s not something I normally do or condone, but just this once I am prepared to make an exception and even to name and shame with this reported by the BBC.

“Charlie Pickles from Reform, a think tank focusing on public service delivery that was co-founded by Conservative MP Nick Herbert, said the current system encourages people to stay on the benefit rather than finding work. “We have a huge gap between disabled people’s employment rate and non-disabled people’s employment rate and if you are building in perverse incentives, within a benefit system, then you are encouraging people to move onto that benefit.””

Firstly, like so many of you political abusers, Charlie Pickles is a narcissist. All she reveals here is her projection onto disabled people what she would, and doubtless does, do. Using the extra help that disabled people need and deserve as incentivising them to abuse the system, is something that only a narcissist could come up with. It demonstrates that she has no understanding of disability and nor does she have the remotest interest in finding out, she just fits it into her polemic of viciously attacking disabled people from her own self interested, self regarding, self satisfied, abusive, narcissistic world view.

One of the reasons narcissists are so difficult to treat is because any treatment, first and foremost, merely affirms what they already know, that they are the centre of the universe. It’s possible that the only truly effective way of dealing with narcissists is to isolate them permanently from the outside world as an act of mercy to the rest of humanity towards whom their actions are always predatory.

Labelling support for disabled people as “perverse incentives” will, of course, be music to the ears of fellow narcissists like Iain Duncan Smith, Lord David Freud, Esther McVey (who is doubtless even now working her way back into the natural habitat for a narcissist, public life and public attention), you, George Osborne, Michael Gove, Maria Miller, Jeremy Hunt… To name but a few as I like to keep my letters to just one side of a sheet of A4 paper.

Only a narcissist like George Osborne can say, ‘Defending benefits that trap people in poverty and penalise work is defending the indefensible’, then look to cut a further £12 billion from benefits which you, Osborne and Smith can spin as ‘making work pay’ whilst doing absolutely nothing about poverty pay. Thus it is you, yourselves, who defend the indefensible, that is the very definition of the brutality and cruelty of the narcissist.

Cutting support for disabled people, thus depriving them of the means of self determination, dignity and choice, is supremely cruel and brutal and only a narcissist would be unable to see that.