Stop me if you have heard this one before…. the poor are being demonised!


Can just imagine Liam Byrne and Iain Duncan Smith doing a musical double act by singing “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better”… as they both like to out do each other shafting people on benefits. Both claim to be “tough” on “benefit scroungers”.. And the latest drivel from Byrne is no different:

Labour today defended its plans to deprive the long-term unemployed of their benefits if they refuse to take up the offer of a “guaranteed” job.

Liam Byrne, the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “For some people, I accept that will be a culture shock, but for many more it will be a lifeline.” He added: “the best way to bring the welfare budget down, is to push people into work.”

Under the proposal, likely to feature in the party’s manifesto at the next election,  a Labour Government would guarantee six months’ work to the 130,000 adults over 25 who have been unemployed for two years or more. They would be paid at least the minimum wage for 25 hours a week, leaving them time for training and searching for a permanent job.

Guaranteed job? Doing what? Any old shitty job, perchance?
And of course, Balls talking ….erm… balls.
A One Nation approach to welfare reform means government has a responsibility to help people into work and support those who cannot, but those who can work must be required to take up jobs or lose benefits as a result – no ifs or buts. Britain needs real welfare reform that is tough, fair and that works, not divisive, nasty and misleading smears from an out of touch and failing government.
(New) Labour may have re-branded itself by replacing Disraeli’s “One-nation” Tory to fit its own half-cocked right-wing ideas but still the same old shameful New Labour. Attacking the poor in the usual moralistic finger wagging style. Byrne is nothing more than a divide and rule merchant: tell the working poor to blame the unemployed. If someone loses their job then it is their fecklessness that causes hardship to people still struggling to get a job according to the Blairite/Miliband/ConDem hymn sheet that we get shoved down our throats. Blame those poorer than yourself not the the bosses and the casino capitalism.
While Byrne and IDS scrap over who is Über king in being the ‘ardest  in socking it to the  “feckless” poor… the very people at the bottom are experiencing vicious attacks and constant demonisation. Benefit fraud is inflated and lies peddled yet not a peep about the real fraudsters… the rich. That would be such an easy vote winner for Labour instead they clutch at divide and rule. And the level of benefit rates are appalling, people exist on benefits they don’t live!
The lies, the damn lies, spread about people on benefits is shameful beyond belief. And yet people swallow the line hook, line and sinker…And it’s a stinker. You get people who believe that the person who lives down the road/next door/friend of a friend of a friend (delete which applicable) gets every single benefit going. Usually based on…. assumption. Or the woman standing outside Starbucks in Bristol, while the protest successfully shut the place down,  said, “I bet these people don’t pay their taxes and they’re unemployed”… I was standing in front of her, my hackles rising listening to her bilge eventually I could stand it no longer.. I replied, “Why do you assume these people aren’t working, even if they aren’t so what!”… She looked kinda dazed and shocked as I continued, “So you think the rich should get away with not paying their taxes while everyone blames the poor in this society?”… She started to stutter and actually looked ashamed.
  • On average people think that 41 per cent of the entire welfare budget goes on benefits to unemployed people, while the true figure is 3 per cent.
  • On average people think that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently, while the government’s own figure is 0.7 per cent.
  • On average people think that almost half the people (48 per cent) who claim Jobseeker’s Allowance go on to claim it for more than a year, while the true figure is just under 30 per cent (27.8 per cent).
  • On average people think that an unemployed couple with two school-age children would get £147 in Jobseeker’s Allowance – more than 30 per cent higher than the £111.45 they would actually receive – a £35 over-calculation.
  • Only 21 per cent of people think that this family with two school-age children would be better off if one of the unemployed parents got a 30 hour a week minimum wage job, even though they would actually end up £138 a week better off. Even those who thought they would be better off only thought on average they would gain by £59.

The poll confirms that hostile attitudes to welfare are widespread – with over four-tenths (42 per cent) thinking that benefits are too generous and nearly three in five (59 per cent) agreeing that our current welfare system has created a culture of dependency.

And who created the culture of dependency myth? Indeed… New Labour and the ConDems are continuing where Labour left off. The narrative about benefits and welfare reform has been highjacked by the right, along with adding distraction, lies and divide and rule. It’s so simple to blame the poorest in this society.

The divide and rule continues, pitting working class people against each other:

George Osborne, the Chancellor, has spoken about “the shiftworker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next-door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits”.

If Miliband was serious with an alternative, to stamp his own political authority and leadership then he could/should counteract these lies as opposed to hitching a ride on the coat tails of the ConDems. Labour leadership is declaring war on the poor. So it’s up to the Left to push forward the truth about demonisation and just how squalid the ConDems and Labour are in blaming the poorest, getting the message out there that this is nothing but a witch hunt against people on the benefits. Don’t let the ConDems and Labour get away with these hurtful and damaging lies…..

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