Has anyone failed to notice this phrase, used by almost all politicians, particularly the government, over the last few years: "it is right..". It is right that we do this, that, or the other. It's almost religious language - as if the speaker is carrying out some divine command. As if they themselves aren't responsible. As if to say, "we aren't to blame (naturally) for the situation at hand and therefore circumstance dictates we put it right". Three words used to justify horrible and incompetent government policies.
Witness Esther - Cruella - McVey, current Minister against the Disabled, on last night's Dispatches (channel 4, 8pm) using this excuse to justify forcing people with lifelong conditions to undergo the infamous ATOS Tests. People including a polio victim, a soldier whose leg no longer exists, and an gold medallist with cerebral palsy. Apparently it is right to see if these people have demonstrated something unprecedented and experienced a complete reversal of their condition, against everything medical science currently teaches. It is right because they shouldn't have what they aren't owed, and in the Tory World Order, the presumption is that everyone doesn't deserve what they have. Just ask Heather Frost.
As we all must know by now, thanks to the shrill thoughtless rabble rousing of the gutter press, Heather is the latest high profile case to reinforce the divide and rule rhetoric against anyone who claims benefits. Her case naturally highlights clearly how such feckless wastrels are depriving needy people of their due - like soldiers whose limbs have been blown off (in wars orchestrated by corporate funded politicians). In truth the interests behind these odious headlines would rather neither have any money.
The word Heather is preceded by the invidious word 'jobless', as if that was more than a simple emotionless adjective. Except with 11 kids she's hardly jobless, but who at Dacre Central wants to believe that any of her children could grow up to become pillars of the community or even people capable of advancing society: scientists, entrepreneurs (how many of those laud their tough upbringing as a part of their DNA?), politicians! No, the really nasty part of all this is how these disgusting churnalists simple write her kids off as scum who will never amount to anything. Give people a chance? Fuck no; they won't be tomorrow's taxpayers (paying 11 times as much tax as Heather ever could), just tomorrow's scroungers.
I read today that the victims of Hilsborough are planning to sue that most odious darling of the right wing media, Kelvin Mackenzie - cunt. Sorry I just can't help typing the word cunt whenever I type his name. What we need are more people bringing similar cases against these people. For too long the likes of Kelvin Mackenzie - cunt - have hidden in plain sight, armoured by mob thinking, able to avoid the consequences of their hatemongering.
In other news the online 'clicktivist' campaign against workfare pushers, Sue Ryder, has succeeded in bringing about what the charity plans as a 'phased withdrawal' from the scheme. Sue Ryder has lost a great deal of respect and credibility as a charity, which is a tragedy, but even their statement is mealy mouthed. Why do we need a phased withdrawal? They are simply ceasing to participate in Duncan Sith's Victorian workhouse scheme, not exiting the Gaza Strip! They also, and rather appallingly, claim their decision has been forced on them. That they are the victims of a campaign of misinformation from activists that has had a deleterious impact on those who really want to volunteer and those that, apparently, get something out of it. This is pretty wretched guys: no one is campaigning against those who choose to volunteer for a good cause. We are just campaigning against your exploitation of those that have no choice: that's why it's called Mandatory Work Activity.
It seems, if the Mail is to be believed (hah!), the Tories have ordered a clampdown on workfare protests, specifically those that invade shops; though I'm sure Duncan Sith would love to have the power to ban ALL workfare protest. I don't want to give the odious man-thumb ideas. On their website (which is where I'm reading this) also gives the case of a young girl landing a dream job as a hairdresser at Toni and Guy's (no, I have never heard of them). This situation, it is claimed, is the direct result of her getting some unpaid work experience with them. But yet again, if they needed staff why didn't they just advertise for a hairdresser, or set up (as I suspect the truth is) some kind of apprenticsehip to train people and take them on. Like the Transformers, there's more than meets the eye here. The same point as ever is valid here as it always has been throughout the boycott workfare campaign: if there are jobs, then pay people.
Speaking of payment, James O Brien, in a fascinating interview with Duncan Sith on LBC last week. You can follow the link and listen, but the most telling point was IDS blustering out of control in response to James asking why Cait Reilly couldn't have been employed properly and paid. The bald bastard comments that she was getting paid - her JSA is what the taxpayer is paying her. James then responded by pointing out, from the DWP's own words, that benefits cannot and are not to be used as renumeration. You live and learn Iain (well, you don't, it seems).
Meanwhile I've yet to hear from ATOS (haven't seen today's post, however...). I managed to contact Mrs Adviser, care of the Sally Army, she never did rign me back. Predictably more of what was promised earlier turns out to be smoke and mirrors. I had asked, as I've mentioned previously, how the Work Programme would help deal with health issues given that, even on ESA, I will still be dealing with the same, untrained people. I was told that they could, as a consequence of me being on ESA (and thus one of the reasons for pursuing a claim subsequently), refer me to specialists instead. Turns out they can't. All I have to show for that is a list of NHS services that already existed - ie the Community Mental Health team, and another organisation that does exactly what Positive Step does, only in a slightly more distant locale (it's the same thing and they are called Rightsteps - similar name, same service). That's it. The Sally Army couldn't possibly refer me anyway because the CMHT is a medical service that would require me going through my GP (who thinks they are "rubbish") and on the phone I was told these are all 'self help' organisations so I'd have to refer myself, which also isn't going to be possible. So we go from 'we can refer you to specialists we have knowledge of' to 'here is a list of community services we have no connection to and cannot refer you to while we ourselves have nothing and no training or specialism whatsoever'; yet I'm still obliged to 'attend'.