STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.
WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility.
Ok, I hate the government and its’ Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), in particular the areas addressing social welfare … and I really didn’t want to. Believe me when I say: I had hope.
But, hope has now been officially abandoned. Living in a dual-income household and being ‘profoundly physically disabled’ - as my consultant so succinctly put it! – I find myself facing both higher taxes on our household income and a potential reduction in the allowances I get as a disabled person. I want to wail about how unfair this is but I can’t because, obviously, there are people a lot worse off than me suffering here … and that’s just not right.
I am appalled that the government smugly insists there is no alternative because there is and we all know it. The real issue is that none of our politicians are prepared to face down the furore that would ensue if they were to do the more decent, if vastly more difficult, thing and, say, raise taxes, reform the NHS, recover money from the banks, chase tax evaders, undertake some serious efficiency savings in the public sector, reject increases in EU spending, do not increase overseas aid, and I could go on but we all know there clearly are a lot of other choices that could have been taken.
Instead, in the CSR, they have chosen to attack, as a primary target, those whose votes they do not have, and are unlikely to ever get, and who do not have power, income or assets sizeable enough to be influential politically.
As Armando Iannucci tweeted: ‘… fair. [Isn’t it] about time bedbound homeless people with learning difficulties were taken down a peg or two?!’
By cutting both access to and the level of support for those who need it in absolute terms, the government is effectively reducing the standard of living of the unemployed, those classified as disabled and those already down on their luck.
And, as if this were not bad enough, they have employed divisive and patronizing rhetoric about it ‘being a privilege to care for the deserving poor and needy’. What does this mean?
I thought we lived in a social democracy. We all pay in and agree to support those who need it. By all means have a system to minimize fraud, encourage work and prevent the ridiculous abuse that has been reported but, otherwise, if you have need, you get support. It’s not charity for the deserving … it’s a social contract that we are all party to or did social democracy kick the bucket, along with the Labour Party (yes, I hate them too) at the last election and I just … missed it?
Overt bias against those who are least able to bear it and who are least responsible for the country’s deficit turns my stomach. Further, I think it undermines the genuine reform agenda that many of us are prepared to support and which should include the NHS as well as all public sector departments. Instead of being fair, making hard choices and undertaking reasonable reform measures, this government has already bottled it and gone for the easiest target … so, I hate them and I’m really fed up with hating crap politicians, it’s just so … depressing!