Have you been brainwashed to hate the poor? You might think this is an odd question; but if you’re British, I really want you to think about it: how do you feel about the poor? Has this changed since a couple of years ago? And if so: why?
I’m not the only person asking these sort of questions. The Independent reports:
Ministers were accused last night of demonising benefits claimants in an attempt to justify their controversial decision to increase most state handouts by less than inflation.
Polling commissioned by the Trades Union Congress suggests that a campaign by Tory ministers is turning voters against claimants – but only because the public is being fed “myths” about those who rely on benefits.
The British Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition government has been pushing the story that the poor are poor because they are lazy; the unemployed are lazy; disabled people are lazy. Unemployment is high, say the government, because there is an underclass who can’t be bothered to work. They have grown dependent on benefits. To cut unemployment, the government has to take away the benefits – then the lazy sods will have to find a job!
That story fails to point out that unemployment is high because an international recession caused by bad banking practices has derailed the economy. Taking away unemployment benefits will not reduce unemployment, because there are not enough jobs available. If there were jobs about, the unemployment figures would be much lower. Sure, there are some scroungers – there always have been – but attacking everyone who’s unemployed will not help. And that’s what the government are doing: introducing punitive measures against the unemployed to draw attention away from where the blame should be laid – at the feet of the Tories’ banking friends.
And it’s not just the unemployed who are being targeted. People in low-paid jobs, who get tax credits so they can make ends meet, are also being attacked – as if it’s their own fault that they don’t get paid enough! And disabled people, and people who have been declared unfit to work by their doctors, are also suffering from this treatment. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have hired a company called Atos to carry out work ability assessments of sick and disabled claimants. And Atos uses criteria and assessment techniques that lead to huge numbers of these claimants being declared fit to work – including people who can’t walk, who are bed-ridden, who are dying in pain because of cancer – even dead people have been declared fit to work! Of course claimants can appeal against these decisions; and nearly all appeals are won by the claimant. But this takes months, during which time the claimants get little or no money, they are under serious stress, can be evicted because they can’t pay their rent – many commit suicide before the protracted appeal system deals with their cases!
The government intend to go further in their war against the poor and needy: they plan to introduce a so-called “Universal Credit” which will make the vast majority of claimants worse off. The government claim this has to be done; but that’s a lie. The government could get their rich pals to pay all the back tax that is owed; they could stop giving the very rich huge tax reductions; they could discourage the wealthy from investing their money in off-shore tax havens and encourage them to invest it in the British economy. But they won’t do that. Why not? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the government ministers also come from wealthy backgrounds?
Now, please ask yourself the question again: Have you been brainwashed to hate the poor?
If you hate the way the government are treating the poor, the sick and the disabled, why don’t you tell them so? You can let your political representatives know how you feel by emailing them – which is easy, what with the internet and all. Click here to WriteToThem!