Every time I see a headline like, ‘Government is failing disabled people’ or as in the Guardian, 1 April 2017, ‘This benefit cut will make youngsters homeless. It’s another Tory failure’, I am immediately stuck by an overwhelming sense of disbelief that either the media simply doesn’t get it, which is unlikely, or this is wilful perception management to keep us wrong footed or to deliberately deceive us.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the Tories are entirely comfortable with their policies and the effects they have and, indeed, lie through their teeth and spin endless nonsense despite overwhelming evidence of the harm their policies cause.
Whether it’s making work pay, the bedroom tax, sanctions, multiple attacks on disabled people, racist vans, bullshit jobs for bullshit pay, ending housing benefit for young people, no more top down reorganisation of our NHS, using European workers as bargaining chips, the junior doctors debacle, ending access to legal aid, denying the escalating numbers of suicides, the housing crisis, mass deportations, privatisation of the state, selling off state assets at knock down prices, cuts, caps, raising VAT, abandoning care for the elderly and raising pension age, tax cuts for the rich, austerity for the poor (and that is just the short list), the Tories are entirely comfortable with it all, their policies are working exactly as intended. They are not failing, they are succeeding.
Anyone who says they are failing, especially journalists, is misinformed (as much of the public is), an idiot or fully complicit in this mass deception.
This is not about cognitive dissonance, ‘the mental stress (discomfort) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values’, this is perception management on a grand scale.
How many deaths would it take to give any reasonable organisation cause to examine its policies or even just acknowledge that there might be a problem? Since 2010, tens of thousands of people have died or committed suicide and the government is not only not interested but denies there is even a problem. Damian Green took over from Iain Duncan Smith in July 2016 and has not only continued with the punitive regime put in place by Smith, but has escalated the attacks on poor and vulnerable people and claims the benefits cap, ‘costing almost 90,000 of Britain’s poorest families more than £2,000 a year, is a “real success”.
And he’s right. It is a massive Tory success. Poverty is rising and persistent poverty for children has consistently risen since 2010 and food bank usage under the Tories has gone through the roof, leading Chris Mould to state that the DWP regards people driven to food banks as “collateral damage”. Iain Duncan Smith, far from doing anything about the situation, accused the Trussell Trust of scare mongering and he and Lord Freud have consistently refused to meet with the Trussell Trust.
Why would they meet with the Trussell Trust? The system was designed by Smith and Freud, and it is doing exactly as intended, to penalise and hound people to death. Dr David Webster, writing on the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies web site, called Benefit Sanctions, ‘Britain’s secret penal system’, which imposes more and harsher fines than the entire British court system.
What does it take to call a spade a spade?
To even begin to understand the Tories we have to see them as they see themselves and report accordingly, as a towering success. Their policies are not ill informed or hastily come by, they are well planned and enormous amounts of time have been spent formulating them. The Welfare Reform Act 2012, introduced by Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud, and the unfolding misery it has given rise to, was not written in a day, or hastily, it was long in the making almost certainly predating the 2010 general election. It’s 350 sections and 187 pages were meticulously written and is a huge success story for the Tories.
Reporting any of this as failing or failure, is to entirely misreport the reality of Tory success. They are not failing disabled people or young people or anyone else, they are successfully implementing policies which they fully intended would cause pain and suffering on the grand scale we see to this day.
Alex Brooker on the Last Leg rightly called Tory disability cuts, “disabled genocide” and if you have a terminal illness but are expected to live longer than six months you do not qualify for extra support. So yes in real terms the government is failing ordinary people, but they are doing so wilfully and knowingly and mocking us in the process and consider their policies entirely successful.
The mainstream media headlines should reflect the reality of the situation, and hit hard and true. That they do not is to entirely fail to understand what is going on or to wilfully mislead.
Given the cost in lives for their failure to present the facts and the reality of the situation, then they are culpable in this unfolding catastrophe in the lives of millions of people in Britain today. Too much of the corporate media is engaged in perception management for self serving reasons and given the proliferation (thankfully) of independent media, bloggers and writers, it falls to us, ordinary people, to hold them to account and to call a spade a spade. The Tories have blood on their hands and it bothers them not one jot.
KOG. 02 April 2017