I wrote a much shorter version of the following in response to this excellent post by Sue Marsh (suey2y), over at Diary of a Benefit Scrounger.
Sue pointed out that her husband’s take-home pay is just £1,028. To put that into perspective – at the risk of awakening trolls who’ll believe I get too much money – £1028 a month is just £112 a month more than I get (state pension plus DLA – and am I glad I’m no longer on IB, though the following is still as relevant now as it was 18 months ago when I was still on IB). And Sue has 2 kids, too, which don’t come cheap.
The only reason I can manage on my income is that I’m housebound, though with help I manage to get to the pub one afternoon a week (afternoon because by evening, any evening, I’m a wreck). Otherwise I never go anywhere – my only luxuries a computer and fast broadband – it’s my access to the world, plus a netbook as backup, because I can’t afford a laptop, and a high-end mobe because maintaining communication if I wind up in hospital (very likely), is vital. Oh yes – I also have a Kindle, because I’m too weak to hold any but the lightest books. Rules out newspapers too.
There is little room for any other luxuries, and I’ve not had a holiday since 1985.
My food costs are high, too, but for very different reasons to Sue – standing at the counter preparing food just isn’t doable most days, so I buy pre-prepped food that needs the minimum of work (this past week, for example, I’ve lived entirely on corned beef with potato waffles because I haven’t had the strength/energy for anything more complicated. And after that week-long grease-fest, I feel like shit.
It’s worth pointing out, for the hard of thinking, that time-limiting ESA is the most insane policy the bunch of cretins masquerading as a government has yet come up with.
Cameron cannot possibly believe that cutting off funding to people who, like Sue, and me, are never going to recover (yes, yes, I know it doesn’t apply to me – just making a point!). What are we supposed to do – just curl up and die?
I firmly believe that, on the subject of the chronically sick and disabled, Cameron is totally irrational.
My view is that he sees his campaign of attrition, somehow, as payback for the death of his profoundly disabled son, but the point has also been made (hat tip to RhydianFonJames), that he might be using his son as a benchmark, against which we are all measured and, inevitably, fall short. I suspect we might both be right.
Whatever, the end result of this insane policy of lies, disinformation, and propaganda is disastrous for those on IB or ESA (and I doubt my DLA is particularly safe, even though I have a clutch of illnesses from which I am dying – I might have year, a little more maybe).
That there are illnesses from which a full recovery can be made in a year is obvious. Equally obvious is that there are very many more from which recovery is impossible, and about 700,000 people are so afflicted.
If there were to be just ONE qualifying condition for disability benefits, having a disabling AND incurable condition should be it. What the hell else can we do – except kill ourselves, but were we to do that Cameron would just claim that we’d been mentally ill after all. We simply cannot win as things stand.
So ask yourselves, is Cameron actually insane, at least on the subject of disability or, behind that shiny, smug, exterior, is there the most evil individual this country has thrown up in centuries?
I really don’t know the answer, but one thing is becoming increasingly clear – a lot of people are soon to be left with no income but DLA, and even that’s under threat, so a large proportion of the 700,000 are likely to be left penniless, unable to buy food or keep a roof over their heads. And the sick and disabled simply cannot survive on the streets.
Only two things can come of this, as far as I can see – Cameron will be quite happy to sit by as the suicide rate soars to unthinkable levels, or he will use the situation to resurrect the workhouse system. Or camps – our situation is already, as I’ve said many times, analogous to that of the Jews, Gypsies, Gays and, yes, the disabled, in Nazi Germany, mid-thirties, so camps are certainly a possibility.
My view? I think he’d be happy with the former, but is astute enough to know it would be politically disastrous – so watch out for anonymous building or conversion work going on somewhere near you, sometime very soon. And be afraid.