So it’s more of the reactionary same from the Mail… Around 71% of the readership think that the benefits system helped contribute to the fire at the Philpott house. And now you have the Cameron and Osborne jumping on the right-wing populist bandwagon going on about “lifestyle choices”… And even more laughable is the frothy apoplexy where the Mail accuse the BBC as being left-wing.
Left-wing commentariat hysterically demonised anybody who dared suggest the over-generous welfare system had allowed Philpott to live a vile, base life, while his taxpayer funded existence – the equivalent of a salary of almost £100,000 – was cynically ignored.
Laugh… I certainly did!
And it’s articles like this that stoke the fire of hate, lumping people together and engaging in divide and rule. People fall for this rubbish. With the constant bile, hatred and demonisation shown towards the unemployed and disabled people it is not surprising that disability hate crime, for example, has been increasing since the attacks on the benefits system. Combined with the fact that the criminal justice system is still failing victims of disability hate crimes.
Disability hate crimes remained significantly under-reported, which led agencies not to treat them as a sufficient priority, said the report today by the police, probation and CPS inspectorates, and when crimes were reported, they were often not identified as disability hate crimes.
I remember during the 90s where there was always some sensationalist story about mental distress where we were all lumped as “mad, bad and dangerous to know”… that fed into public perception about people living in the community labelled with mental distress by being targeted and demonised. One guy I met while working as an advocate explained that he has been constantly harassed by his neighbours because his partner had mental distress. If that wasn’t bad enough, the neighbours would encourage their kids to shout abuse at him. His partner rarely went out, the abuse they received made her even more scared to venture out. Eventually they were rehoused but nothing else was done to highlight this travesty of abuse and bullying. Their lives had been made a misery by ignorant neighbours.
What really worries me is with the constant attacks on the benefits system, demonisation and victimisation will create an even harsher society. The Philpott case feeds into the right-wing narrative of “benefit scroungers living the life of luxury” and “It’s a lifestyle choice”… Anyone who receives benefits for whatever reasons are potential targets for a hyped up salivating media. ConDems and previously New Labour were very successful in demonising the unemployed. As the purpose is divide and rule along with distracting people from the causes of austerity. The fingers are being pointed at the wrong people!!!!!