Persecution of the sick and disabled continues…

Unemployed people, it has been announced, should do a 9 to 5 day looking for work or undertake community service style duties such as digging gardens under moves to tackle the hardcore of joblessness, the author of a Government-commissioned report, Professor Paul Gregg, said (and I have no idea at all who this clown is, other than he’s from Bristol University, or how he’s qualified to make such pronouncements).

Gregg, severely out of touch with life on benefits and, it seems, with the real world in general, said that virtually everyone on benefits – and that includes the chronically sick and disabled, on Incapacity Benefit, whom Gregg specifically targets – should be required to take steps towards finding a job and should face having their benefits stopped for up to four weeks if they repeatedly refuse to co-operate with attempts to find them work, it was suggested.

Rarely have I read such egregious bullshit in my life. What planet this bugger’s brain is on, I really have no idea.

Unsurprisingly, Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell said he “strongly welcomed” the report, adding: “The direction of travel is the right way.,” and “The approach that virtually everyone should be doing something in return for benefits is the right one.”

What the hell is wrong with this government? If you were to substitute “black people” for “Incapacity Benefit claimants” these people would be in court so fast their feet wouldn’t touch. I just hope that there is somebody out there with the financial resources to drag these bastards into the court of human rights, because this is a massive infringement of our basic rights to food, shelter (if our benefits are stopped how do we pay our way?), and the fundamental right not to be persecuted. Because this is nothing less than persecution of the sick and disabled, a minority group almost incapable of defending itself because there is no umbrella organisation. (OK, parents with young children were also mentioned, but they, at least, are physically capable of work – we are not.)

Mark that “virtually everyone” and ask yourself who that excludes, and I think, in practice, that will be nobody at all. And to think I voted for these assholes. Never again. Just what do they expect people to live on if their benefits are stopped for 4 weeks? Are we expected to starve, and not pay any of our bills? And, of course, we’d never get the lost benefits back, so there would be no way of making good any arrears in rent or utilities, or the money we’d probably have to borrow just to eat – assuming we have anyone to borrow from…

Most days – and I can only write about myself – I’m doing well if I’m out of bed before 8.30, and I would have no idea how well I’m going to be able to function at that time. Going to work would be quite impossible unless the start time was around midday, and even then the journey to wherever it might be would exhaust me so much that, once there, I would be able to do nothing beyond husband my physical resources for the journey home. As for digging gardens, in your dreams, sunshine!

Consider this, too “Unemployed people should do a 9 to 5 day looking for work…” What bloody work? Unemployment is rising daily, the country is in recession, there is no work to look for. Mark my words, this is not a way to get people back into work – that is a flat-out lie – it’s yet another ruse by this most despicable of governments to cut the benefits bill, by targeting the most vulnerable.

How these pricks can sleep at night, let alone consider themselves socialists, is utterly beyond me, and the least I can wish for is that the family of each and every one of them is visited by some long-running, disabling illness that would give them a taste of what we have to go through. Mind you, does anyone really think that any relative of an MP or minister would ever be hauled up before the DWP inquisitors? I sure as hell don’t.

Angry, me? Bloody right!

See also this post.

3 thoughts on “Persecution of the sick and disabled continues…

  1. New Labour all over – this week they’ve also announced they’ll force lone parents on benefits back to work and they will roll out the polygraphing of benefits claiments.

    Note they didn’t polygraph the bankers about their fraudulent dealings before handing over billions of our cash to them and they don’t intend to polygraph people sending in their tax returns (much greater fiddle than benefit fraud).

    Note they don’t insist that women with ‘private incomes’ go out to work and be wrenched away form their children in the name of the work ethic – only those on benefits. So much for family values. What they are doing is forcing some of the weakest people in the community into the hands of exploitative employment agencies in order to pander to their friends in business and the Daily Mail readeship.

    But then what can one expect of a bunch of self-absorbed, pampered, public school, Oxbridge scum. Ralph Miliband knew this was coming when he wrote his groundbreaking book The State in Capitalist Society way back in the ’60s. It’s a shame his two sons and their public school cabinet chums are too coccooned in Blairism to take it in. And they wonder why nobody on the Left can bring themsleves to canvass for them anymore! Scum.

  2. Hate to be picky, Mick, but parents with private incomes aren’t a drain on the exchequer, so the government/Daily Mail don’t have a grudge against them. Single parents – not all mothers, though you’d never guess from the media – are an easy, Daily Mail-friendly target.

    Unfortunately, it’s not a polygraph, which has a long and – these days – reasonably reliable history. It’s merely voice analysis software that listens for stressors in a claimants voice, indicating they’re lying. Of course, if you’re simply stressed, you’re fucked. And “official” computers NEVER seem to work properly, so how can we trust this crap, even if it wasn’t a gross violation of our civil rights?

    By the way, if anyone has written a sensible comment, but with rather intemperate language, and you’re wondering where it is, it’s been filtered. I use keywords to filter out the psychos, of which there are many. Unfortunately, it also filters the sensible but angry. Sorry, not a lot I can do.

  3. Are the Government going to graduate to shooting – Nazi style – those people who are too ill to work? If the many hoops the ill have to jump through to gain benefit payments, and the forced full-time job searches don’t hasten their demises first. In my opinion this would only be a true expression of the extreme of their current attitude.
    Of course there are some people who fake illness and abuse the benfits system. The problem is that the majority number of people who actually are ill and incapacitated, are being lumped in with the fakers and treated in a bullying, condescending, and extremely uncompassionate way. This is aided by a large amount of propaganda about ‘benefits scum’ in the media. Many of those who need to apply for these benefits have in fact worked for years and paid taxes and national insurance to the Government and for what? For the Government to throw billions into war and politicians pockets.
    The employment of lie detector tests, as Ron points out, is laughable. Of course people are going to experience stress on coming up against the benefits system and its inefficiencies, especially when they are ill.
    People can be stressed and exhibit signs of that stress for many reasons – difficulties with communication or social interaction, embarrassment, stress caused by the illness they are suffering, or simply coming up against the bad attitudes or cluelessness that the staff they have to speak to sometimes show.

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