Some of you will have read this on Twitter – I felt it wouldn’t hurt for it to become a blog post too, not least because I have a considerably wider audience now than I did then.
I wrote the following on September 13 2010 – the first time I linked Coalition plans for the sick and disabled with those of the Nazis for the Jews in mid-thirties Germany – though by no means the last – and felt that the future is likely to contain workhouses, along with more misery, poverty, and death than I could get my head around at the time.
The only thing to change is that Osborne has faded, and Cameron stands revealed as the real villain, aided and abetted by IDS and his Lie Factory.
Frankly, though, it beggars belief that the sheer inertia of the population of this country means that it’s as true now as it was when it was written. Nothing has got better.
Indeed, the attitude of the public has hardened against us considerably, fuelled by the constant flow of lies from IDS, Miller, Cameron, and pretty much every other bugger in government, and I fear my prediction of an EDS-style anti-disability movement cannot now be far from becoming reality. Those as yet unaffected seem not to grasp that, at any moment, it might be their turn to become too ill, or disabled to work. What then, you smug, self-righteous pricks?
Let’s hope I’m wrong. I bet Cassandra thought that, too…
September 13, 2010:-
Who will control George Osborne?
It’s become quite clear, over the weekend, that George Osborne has been planning his purge of the chronically sick and disabled since before his emergency budget and, quite possibly, long before that, because I find it hard to believe that such obvious hatred of one of the most vulnerable groups of people in the country sprang fully-formed from a standing start at the May elections. It does, I suspect, go very much deeper than that.
I’d love to know what’s happened in Osborne’s life, or family history, to turn him so savagely against the chronically sick and disabled as a group (a group because it’s a safe bet that he simply doesn’t see us as real individuals, with real problems). Can it really be that he’s simply economically illiterate? Well, OK, probably, but, as one of his potential victims, it feels a bloody sight more personal than that.
Let’s not forget, either, that this government is actively, as an official policy (just as Labour did, but ramped up out of all recognition), repeatedly briefing against, and demonising, the sick and the disabled in the news media, much as the Nazis did with the Jews and other “undesirable” groups. And we all know how that turned out.
And who in their right mind would launch a campaign, however mendacious it clearly is, to get the sick and disabled back to “work” when by his own actions he is creating a situation in which there will be far fewer jobs?
Of course, as I’ve said before, this is not about jobs, never has been, because anyone but a madman can see that they simply don’t exist and, with the looming increase in job losses, will not exist for the foreseeable future. The best we can hope for is make-work tasks, along the lines of community service.
No, this is about removing people from Incapacity Benefit (for which read existence on the edge of the black hole of poverty), and via ESA – soon to be time-limited (as if we can suddenly become fit and well at Osborne’s whim), and means-tested, if he has his way – hived off into the penury of Job Seekers’ Allowance.
But JSA itself is hedged about with rules – the “job seeking” bit for a start – with which the sick and disabled will be unable to comply, and it is also time-limited. What are we supposed to do then, when our meagre benefits are inevitably stopped/run out? How do we pay our way, or afford housing, food, or clothes?
Is Osborne hoping we’ll just dry up and blow away? Or that almost inevitable suicides will at least partially do his dirty work for him.
How long before he has the bright idea of opening soup kitchens for us (after all, unable to support ourselves, it would look bad if we starved on the streets), or reintroduces the workhouse, to save paying us any money at all? We can then starve out of sight.
Mind you, that would probably be just a staging point, because unless someone takes this government by the throat, this bastard won’t be happy until he has us all living in camps, with no need for DLA mobility, because we won’t be going anywhere. DLA care will be consigned to oblivion, too, otherwise we might inconveniently live too long. Medical care? Nope, can’t afford that either.
I referred to us, the sick and disabled, as untermenschen a few days ago, and I make no apologies for that, then or now, because that is obviously how Osborne, and doubtless his cronies and his boss, see us, and it’s clear that’s how they’d like the general public to see us, too.
And they do, to a great extent – you have only to read the comments pages in online newspapers to see ample evidence of that. Or that outpouring of hatred on the government website asking for suggestions on how to cut expenditure, before they shut it down.
A significant part of the country’s population (and 100% of the population of Downing Street), would, I believe, be very much happier if we simply didn’t exist, and I suspect that it’s only a matter of time before anti-disability groups, along the lines of the BNP and EDL, are formed in this increasingly benighted land. After all, they have the example of the government’s anti-disability bigotry, don’t they?
Am I wrong, or exaggerating because I’m having a bad spell? A fair question, and only time will tell. I only wish this feeling of impending doom was due to, say, depression, but it’s not that easy.
I’m not depressed. Well, not without good reason, anyway, because even with an illness that is killing me, especially if I have many more weekends like the one I’ve just had, that’s no guarantee I’m in any way safe from Osborne’s depredations at all (though I am safer than many, as I’m out of the IB/ESA system now, but my DLA is vulnerable, and without that I’d be seriously screwed, as other benefits, like Housing and Council Tax, depend on DLA entitlement).
Nor, I think, is any disabled person of working age safe, because the ESA All Work assessment is so engineered that one really would have to be at death’s door – or perhaps even dead – to get an appropriate result. The lengths that they have gone to, to make someone “fit for work” are positively obscene. You have no hands? Too damn bad – you can hump boxes using your stumps (that was an all-too-real recent amendment), and so what if it hurts or injures you? Nobody give a shit.
In the article I linked to at the beginning, a Treasury spokesperson said “Our reforms will ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are protected.” Really? Do any of us truly believe that? And define “protected”. What does that mean in reality?
If, indeed, it means anything at all. After all, Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions minister, is on record as saying he’d like to see the end of DLA – not a great deal of protection in that, is there?
Common sense, sanity, and simple humanity, suggest that those of us who are seriously ill will be safe, but right now all three appear to be in extremely short supply in Osborne-land.
One might have hoped that, having experienced the life-ruining effects of disability at first hand, Cameron, at least, would have some understanding of what we’re going through on a daily basis, often totally without support, but instead, it seems to have tipped him over to the dark side, and he’s backing Osborne to the hilt, so don’t look for any understanding there.
Then again, how could there be any understanding from an over-privileged group of people who have never had to do a real day’s work in their lives, and never suffered anything approaching serious illness or disability. They have – Cameron, Osborne, Clegg, and the rest – absolutely no point of contact with normal people, never mind any comprehension of life lived under the burden of disability.
Finally, to demonstrate what a completely out of touch with reality tosser he is, Clegg has said that there is no need to worry, as the cuts would not fall at once, but over five years. How the bloody hell is that any sort of improvement? Screwed now, or screwed 5 years down the line, we are still 100% screwed.
We’ll just have to hope I am wrong, and I’m being unduly pessimistic.