I have blogged a few times now about my belief in non violent direct action. Most of the time this comes easy to me, I am a people person, someone accepting of other’s viewpoints even if there are poles apart from my own. I aim to be eloquent and use rhetoric as my weapon of choice. Sometimes though it is easier than others and when it comes to conservative politicians I really struggle reader..
It is the language they use full of hate and spite which gives a glimpse into their mindsets. Ian Duncan Smith has been on my radar even before the tories swept to power and had to form an alliance with the liberal democrats.. I remember when he visited Easterhouse and met the wonderful Bob Holness. A community worker who has much to say on the impact of poverty on people’s lives. Duncan Smith came away saying how this visit had transformed his thinking about poverty.
Ever the optimist I had great expectations that perhaps this millionaire had genuinelly been moved by the struggles of everyday people to make their own and their community’s life better. What I had forgotten though was his inability to see from any viewpoint apart from his own and his big plans to get people off benefits were given a scapegoat You see that’s what I fear most about the members of this government their inability to feel warmth, compassion, it is easier to [place the blames at the feet of an individual rather than look at the bigger picture. Thus narratives are created of the feckless poor, benefit scroungers, lazy single parents.
Ian Duncan Smith made a remark today I and I hope others will never forgive. He described people living on DLA as festering… What a shocking, disgraceful and at the same time telling use of language. He is comparing them as a infected wound. DLA as a benefit is about widening people’s choices a little extra money to be able to access public transport, to contribute to care costs. People on DLA if not thriving are getting a little extra support to live a life most of us take for granted. How dare he describe my sons to have a festering wound does the man have no shame.
The benefit slashes are not reforms. This to me represents that the model itself is a good one but it needs a few adjustments. The changes are Benefit slashes. The choices my sons have will be diminished their worlds will get smaller. They will be seen and not heard but perhaps that is what these people want? The tory ideology has been described as some commentators as Neo Victorianism a return to traditional values. What kind of decent society does not protect its most vulnerable citizens and allow them to contribute and thrive? The ideology of Duncan Smith is based on the old punitive reform school. Hard work never hurt me so it will be good for you, you should work for state handouts. These are handouts not benefits people are entitled too from your perspective anyhow.
People with disabilities contribute so much to society in work and as volunteers. They are husbands, wives, parents and carers just the same as everyone. Their disability may not be evident by just looking if they live with a cognitive or mental health condition and most are at pains to not let others see it. It is an impairment not the whole person they are. Disability Living Allowance allows them to be more active members of society not “fester” as Ian Duncan Smith suggests. I wonder if he would use this language to describe little Ivan David and Samantha Cameron’s son? but of course when the issue is much closer to home it doesn’t apply.
Disabled people and their carers make society a better place. They need support to do so. Simplifying the benefits system should not be used as an excuse to save the estimated twenty billion pounds in savings the government estimate they will make. This does not include the secondary affects of their carers losing entitlement to carers allowance and then there’s housing benefit which will get a blog all to itself.. So starting back at the start that’s why I find it difficult to be nice to a Tory and that includes those who vote for them. Think about all their policies and the impact they are having on people you know. Personalise it before they come for you.. I would like to meet Ian Duncan Smith and let him meet my sons. The cost of them entering care is gigantic. Meet them please and look me in the eye and tell me they are festering sores… How dare you.
People with disabilities can not be cured it is a condition they live with in the long term or for life. Renaming them scroungers and removing benefits will not offer a miraculous cure. Without benefits their families will still support them but struggle. We are the tip of the cliff people. The Scottish government estimate 22,000 people with cognitive impairments will be evicted due to benefit “reforms”. I lookn in the mirror and say. Thank God I won’t do what Ian Duncan Smith would do.