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Friday, 11 July 2014

How far are the nasty party ready to push it?

A letter a day to number 10. No 796.

Saturday 12 July 2014.
How far are the nasty party ready to push it?

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Dear Mr Cameron,

Yesterday I sat through the 'General Debate: The role of Jobcentre Plus in the reformed welfare system', Second Report from the Work and Pensions Committee, and the Government response. It consisted of about two and half hours of a number of MPs raising concerns about Food Bank usage information or rather the lack thereof, the lack of information on those exiting benefits and the resultant outcomes, the sanctions debacle and the astronomic rise in their usage and questions about their effectiveness and a whole lot more.

The last half hour was the government response in the shape of Esther McVey. What was truly remarkable was McVey's patronising attitude which bordered on the downright insulting and the animated data stream to which she gave utterance. She gave voice to a blanket rejection of the findings of the Work and Pensions Committee in it's entirety which judging by slumped stony look of the Chair, Dame Anne Begg MP, was not unexpected.

Interestingly McVey came out with the old chestnut that food bank usage under labour increased tenfold, in fact it increased 14 fold from 2,814 in 2005/6 to 40,898 in 2009/10. This is the kind of inaccurate statistical slight of hand I expect from the DWP, no mention was made of the increase under your government from 61,469 in 2010/11 to 913,138 in 2013/14.

This is what is so offensive about McVey and, indeed, Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud, the dehumanising of people to mere statistics or 'stock' as we are referred to by the DWP. Bearing in mind that the figures above only relate to the Trussell Trust this means that the actual number of people given crisis vouchers for food from food banks in 2013/14 is far in excess of a million. It says a very great deal about the rapid response and growth in food banks to meet this level of crisis that we do not have a full on humanitarian disaster. What we have is a subdued catastrophe and yet it remains that these are people living on the brink as poverty keeps rising.

As Gore Vidal put it, we have, "free enterprise for the poor and socialism for the rich." The poor are exposed to crippling market forces with fewer and fewer protections whilst the rich are cosseted with ever greater state protections and rewards. It has to end Mr Cameron, it is only matter of time and severity. You ignore protests and the voices of reason, what do you want? Pitchforks? Riots? Is that part of the agenda of your war against the poor, so that you can have a self righteous excuse to use force to utterly crush us? It's certainly looking that way from here.






 — inPeasedown Saint John.

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