Tag Archives: ConDem

ConDems Are Fascists – Is That Hyperbole?

Iain Duncan Smith take his boss on a tour of the Job Centre, to show off the supply of slave labour.

Iain Duncan Smith take his boss on a tour of the Job Centre, to show off the supply of slave labour.

Many people, myself included, are calling the Coalition government fascists, and occasionally I hear from other people that this is unfair, that it’s grotesque hyperbole, and that, horrible though this government is, likening them to fascists is just going too far.
It’s true that they haven’t set up death camps (yet), but people are dying as a result of their propaganda. All unemployed people are deemed to be scroungers, and that includes people too sick or disabled to even get a job interview, let alone an actual job. The emphasis seems to always be on how much “scroungers” are costing hard working, tax paying “strivers” (and this despite the fact that most of the people claiming benefits are in work!)
The divisive rhetoric employed by the government is reminiscent of propaganda from an earlier time, from fascists who had yet to set up the death camps, but who sought to dehumanise their fellow citizens for political gain.

60000 RMthis is what this person suffering from hereditary defects costs the Community of Germans during his lifetime Fellow Citizen, that is your money, too Read '[A] New People' The monthly magazines of the Office for Race Politics of the NSDAP

60000 Reichmarks
This is what this person suffering from hereditary defects costs the Community of Germans during his lifetime
Fellow Citizen, that is your money, too
Read ‘The New People’
The monthly magazines of the Office for Race Politics of the NSDAP

Now do you understand why many people regard their government as fascist?

We  haven’t quite lost all of the trappings of democracy though. We can, for now, still protest. One avenue of protest is online petitions. If you haven’t already done so, signing the WOW Petition at wowpetition.com would be a good place to start.


See No Evil, Hear No Evil – Talk Bollocks

I’ve noticed a couple of times on Twitter someone claiming that the mere act of reporting that people are committing suicide after losing some or all of their benefits is irresponsible, and that suicides will increase as a result. Now, in the Telegraph, Brendan O’Neill adds the slur that those of us who care enough to even notice are exploiting “such psychologically disturbed behaviour for political ends“.

His “reasoning” seems to be that suicide “ is not a rational response to having your benefits cut” and we therefore can’t link the deaths to the cuts.

Of COURSE suicide isn’t rational, that’s the point we’re all making! Vulnerable people are losing money that they can ill afford, are often in danger of losing the very roof over their heads, don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and are increasingly desperate about their future, until it all becomes too much for them.

Keeping quiet about suicides doesn’t slow down the rate, however. It just keeps them hidden, and better off people, who don’t rely on benefits, can smugly pretend there isn’t a problem.

O’Neill ends:

” These campaigners approach working-class and less well-off communities through the politics of pity rather than the politics of solidarity, and consequently have a tendency to view “the poor” as vulnerable, at risk, irrational, on the cusp of suicide, and in constant need of care and largesse from the do-gooding state. Poorer communities would be far better off fighting against such Victorian-style pity-politics than against Cameron’s welfare reforms.”

Not everybody is vulnerable in terms of mental health. On the other hand, poverty is a vulnerability in itself, since one increasingly needs money these days to obtain any kind of justice. Even a small reduction in benefits can be devastating.

Something that  Brendan O’Neill probably cannot, or will not, see, ensconced as he is in his ivory tower.

“Are There No Prisons, Are There No Workhouses?”

I’ve written before of the abomination that is ATOS, but the best summary of the situation I found at RatSkep, written by a member known as “chairman bill”, whose permission I have to reproduce his post here in its entirety.

Our wonderful UK government, a chimera of a beast, born of an alliance between the Nazty Party of Great Britain (aka ‘the Conservatives’), and what appears to be a pretty spineless version of the Liberal Democrats, in these times of financial crisis, have declared that ‘We’re all in it together’, and that changes & cut-backs they make are ‘Fair’. Well they’re not. The ConDems are a bunch of lying, deceitful little shysters, with a particular penchant for kicking disabled people. And in this they are proudly assisted by the Daily Mail, the Express & the Sun (aka The Hate Mail, The Vexpress & The Scum), regularly featuring made-up stories (aka ‘lies) about disabled people. The Daily Fascist/Hate Mail in particular, has published a number of stories, designed to paint a picture of disabled people as benefit scroungers, and as benefit frauds. There have even been claims of fraud running at a level of 75%, whereas the true figure from the Dept. of Work & Pensions is one of less than 0.5%, with a high in 2009 of 1.3%.

This bunch of bastards (aka ‘government), who promised to protect the vulnerable, have already cut the Independent Living Fund – it no longer exists. This was a benefit paid to the most disabled people in our society, to enable them to live as near a normal life as possible. It’s gone. Next for the ConDem axe is the Disability Living Allowance. Ministers are appalled that the numbers claiming it are rising. Well, no shit, Sherlock, we’re getting new disabled people every fucking day! Given that it has no relation to work (it’s not an unemployment benefit), people who retire still get it, and children get it, and given that most disabling conditions are for life, once they start getting, most keep getting it. God hasn’t started curing amputees yet, and Afghanistan is ensuring a steady supply of new ones. And this benefit is tested, strictly, and regularly retested unless you get a lifetime award (see amputees for example).

Well, now the government want to cut DLA & introduce something called Personal Independence Payments. These are set to exclude 20% of those receiving DLA. Not because those people don’t need those payments, but seemingly because ‘we’re all in it together’. Part of DLA includes Mobility Allowance, paid only to those who really struggle to get about. Criteria are strict, and if you can walk, with sticks or Zimmer frame, more than 50 metres, you don’t qualify. Well, the ConDems want to cut this allowance for anyone in residential care. Which will mean these people will no longer have the money to take them home to visit family, or to go shopping, or simply to get out & about. But it’s fair & we’re all in this together. Bastards! And to add to this, the ConDems are making changes to the Tax Credit system that will cost families of disabled children some £1400 a year. But that’s fair, ‘cos that nice Mr Cameron says so, and that nice Mr Clegg hasn’t demurred.

And we’re to get cuts to disabled people’s housing benefits. Young people are expected to live in ‘multi-occupancy accommodation’, and will be penalised for having a spare bedroom. Leave aside the facts that many will have a need to store equipment (ventilators, wheelchairs and the like, or be unable to share a bed with a partner, so needing that spare room, if you’re disabled, you can’t get payments if your house is too big. The National Housing Federation reckon some 108,000 disabled people could be forced out of their homes. But that’s fair, and they’re all in it together. Er …

To the shame of the Labour Party, the last government brought in a new Employment and Support Allowance to replace Incapacity Benefit. It introduced a Work Capability Assessment, and the contract went to a private company called ATOS. I know some people who’ve had the misfortune of attending an ATOS assessment. No disabled parking & the centre wasn’t wheelchair-accessible (which is illegal for public service buildings). Of the ATOS rulings that reduce benefits, 1 in 8 are overturned on appeal. The rest get moved on to Job Seekers Allowance, yet in many cases the Job Centres acknowledge that they’ll never find work for these people. The ConDems have failed to repeal or amend this awful system, and have instead made the tests harder to pass. There have been a number of suicides linked specifically to the Work Capability Assessment, it is that traumatic for people. I know of someone who had to attend one of these with her daughter. Her daughter has Down’s Syndrome. The ATOS assessors asked why she couldn’t work. Her mother indicated that she had a learning disability associated with her Down’s Syndrome, and a heart defect (a common congenital condition in people with Down’s). But, she could walk, so the assessors weren’t convinced that she couldn’t work. She won her appeal, but it was a traumatic time for all concerned. Still, it’s fair, and they’re all in it together.

And the ConDems plan to make things even worse. Some people stand to lose all benefits, if they have resources of a certain level. Well, as a point of fact, if anyone in their household has such resources, such as a pension fund they could dip into. And the level of resources that could lead to benefit cuts, is below the level of the minimum wage. Which is no doubt fair. The government’s own figures indicated some 700,000 people who are too disabled to work, will be affected by these changes, and 400,000 will have to rely entirely on savings, pensions, or the incomes of partners.

And now, the piece de resistance, the Welfare Reform Bill. The ConDems have sent this bill through Grand Committee, where a single vote can scupper an amendment – read more about this disgraceful move here

So, the purpose of this thread –

Pat Onion’s petition to stop & review the cuts to benefits here,

Anthony Dean’s petition to make it a criminal offence to maliciously report someone for benefit fraud (DWP figures show that 96% of referrals the National Benefit Fraud Hotline are malicious or time-wasting) here,

and Calum Wiley’s petition to save the Independent Living Fund here – please, if you’re not a heartless Tory bastard, follow the links & sign the petitions.

The only thing I can think of to add to that is in connection with appeals. Even when successful, disabled people are having to go through the ordeal time and again, as ATOS seem very reluctant to accept judgements against them. They obviously regard vulnerable people as easy targets, and have no scruples about picking on them, knowing some of them will give up hope or, even better from ATOS’s point of view, die.