A day in a life that means nothing to Cameron and his cronies

// 27 October 2010

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Like many of you, no doubt, I’ve spent the past week screaming at the TV. This country is run by people who would rather stamp in the faces of those who are already at the bottom of the social pecking order than challenge the incredible privilege of the wealthy elite at the top. Not surprising, really, when they themselves – and their families, their friends, the people who helped get them into power and the people who will help keep them there – also belong to that elite. Indeed, the very reason many of them sought political power in the first place was to protect the interests of this elite.

But despite this knowledge I still cannot comprehend how anyone can care so very, very little about those who are less fortunate than themselves. And how – on top of that – they can simply lie, and lie, and lie again about the real implications of the cuts, the real reasons behind them, and the real people whose lives they are about to make much, much harder. The cuts to benefits and services will hit the poor hard, poor women and their children even harder, and disabled women (who are twice as likely to live in poverty) hardest.

Above is a tweeted day in the life of @TaobhCle, just one of the many disabled women whom David Cameron and his buddies are gleefully tossing aside in their ideological pursuit of a smaller state. (And, it must be said, whom the Labour government also happily targeted with their crude assessments for Employment Support Allowance earlier this year.) I will be urging my MP to watch it, and to listen to the voices of the thousands of people across the country who are not scroungers, or cheats, or lazy good-for-nothings, but human beings who any decent person should be happy to support in whatever way they can.

Comments From You

Elmo // Posted 27 October 2010 at 11:14 pm

This made me so angry and sad. But mainly very, very angry. I can’t comprehend how the Tories can be so very very heartless.

Chloƫ // Posted 28 October 2010 at 12:02 am

That video is heartbreaking, I am (almost) recovered from M.E/CFS and it brought back some painful memories which has only heightened the rage I feel at these cuts. Most people can barely manage finacially as it is, life is far from the cushy image of ‘scroungers with a big t.v’, to punish those in need is just dispicable and all this ;well i saw so and so walk to the post box so they can’t be ill’ attitude is fundamentally flawed misunderstanding for a lot of illnesses and disabilities yet it seems to be more accepted as people are encouraged to snitch on ‘cheats’.

sianushka // Posted 28 October 2010 at 1:49 pm

well said.

we need to tackle the media in this as well. yesterday the person on the plane next to me was reading the torygraph and it had a really extreme headline about the ‘number’ of people claiming incapacity who were fit to work.

it totally ignores the subtleties, the lack of jobs, the lack of flexible working, the difficulty of getting a job when you have had career breaks, the levels of disability discrimination…oh but wait, i forgot, it is so much easier to find a scapegoat and blame and make sweeping statement than it is to actually ‘do the right thing’ as DC is so fond of saying.

Emma Hudson // Posted 28 October 2010 at 2:08 pm

It takes a lot to upset me, and this really did. Any goverment that supports poor treatment and prejudice towards the sick and disabled for claiming benefits they are entitled too is truly abhorrent.

JKBC // Posted 28 October 2010 at 2:49 pm

It’s appalling, what the Tories and hypocrite Lib Dems are doing (it’s time for an end to empty promises, folks!) But then, most people I know were predicting doom when they got elected – still can’t work out who exactly, besides the ‘elite’, voted Tory – surely there can’t be *that* many ‘elites’ in the country? And the worst thing is that there’s very little choice of parties, which turns it into a best of a bad lot vote. Grr.

Ros // Posted 29 October 2010 at 11:31 am

JKBC I think you’d be surprised who votes Conservative. Several not well off people of pension age I know are consistent Tory supporters despite it costing them dearly over the years.

I once knew a woman who had worked hard all her life (and is still working past retirement age because she needs to). She actually told me that she didn’t mind that she was poor compared to overpaid executives. She said that they must be worth it if they are paid more (the implication being that she is worth less).

Some people (women especially?) are masochistic like that. There will be some disabled folk on incapacity who voted Conservative. Not only do people not vote in a way that would benefit the majority but sometimes not even for their own interests.

Hannah // Posted 29 October 2010 at 11:44 am

Thanks JKBC for saying what I was thinking. I liked this post (and the video, thanks for posting it) except for the fact that it somehow implied the ‘elites’ got the Tories into power, which of course is impossible under our voting system.

The reality is much more disappointing – the Tories (using, of course, the money of elites like Ashcroft) managed to convince ordinary people that the Tory party was the right choice, and it is ordinary people who are going to help keep this Government in power. The way they’ve managed to frame these cuts as ‘essential’ and the widespread acceptance this has gained is just crazy.

Thanks for the video – it’s valuable because it put a human face on the cuts, something that the Government has cleverly managed to avoid so far while shifting all the blame for the country’s economic ruin onto that hateful (and nebulous) category of ‘benefits cheats’. My parents often get caught up in whining about this, even though my mum’s parents and many of our friends have lived in council houses all their lives and receive help for being disabled. It makes me sick that they can so easily ignore their roots and deny help to people in the same situation. More publicity of the human cost of cuts would stop the constant demonisation of everyone who receives benefits.

Sarah // Posted 30 October 2010 at 10:25 am

I suffer from severe depression and I have just lost my job partially because of this. I’m really scared about what’s going to happen to me because of these cuts and I really feel for anybody going through the same :( It seems that anything which is seen to be psychological (even if it’s actually neurological as in the case of ME) is ‘all in the mind’ and therefore can always be overcome. It’s NOT true and Cameron is playing a dangerous game. These cuts will cost lives, I’m sure of it.

Laura // Posted 30 October 2010 at 10:33 am

Hi Hannah,

I meant the elite got the Tories/themselves into power because of their money and influence (as you say) – those specific wealthy, privileged people wouldn’t be in government if it wasn’t for that wealth and privilege.

JKBC // Posted 30 October 2010 at 11:02 am

Ros, I see what you mean – it’s a shame that people feel this way, but people have to make up their own minds. I don’t really understand the mindset, though, although they probably do have their reasons. The comment from your acquaintance is really sad – how long ago was it? Was it before the financial crash?

sallyann // Posted 1 November 2010 at 12:57 am

Well…it was Labour’s profligacy that got us into this mess, making major cuts inevitable. But I definitely agree the Tories could be more strategic -ie: slashing most of Whitehall and scrapping costly “diversity awareness” schemes rather than valuable public services.

Ros // Posted 1 November 2010 at 10:37 am

JKBC It was just before the crash but it came out of a discussion when I said that I disagreed with the bonuses people in finance earned and that huge disparities in pay didn’t reflect people’s value to the workplace/ economy/ society. I was utterly shocked by her response but since then I’ve noticed it more among a variety of people.

It has at least shown me that it’s not just wealthy people who support an unequal system and also just how important it is to share true stories and experiences (like the video).

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