The Conservative Party Conference ‘For Hardworking People’, promised to end the ‘something for nothing culture’. A quick look at those men and women delivering such nonsensical speeches belies a party of the privileged few, hectoring the struggling majority for suffering the effects of their own economic policies. The 2013 Conference will be remembered as a parade of privilege where a group of unworthy individuals said to the British public: “Vote for us! We Despise You!”
Iain Duncan Smith – The Freeloader
The Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Iain Duncan Smith adopted a withering tone for his speech.
“Alongside what we have already done with the mandatory work programme and our tougher sanctions regime, this marks the end of the something-for-nothing culture,” he told the conference.
It was revealed earlier this year that these programmes resulted in just one in ten users finding work. The figure for those finding work with no intervention at all is one in three. Therefore, the government has spent £5bn of public money to achieve results worse than doing nothing at all. Yet, rather than resigning in shame – he is heralding a success that does not exist and expanding the failed programmes.
Meanwhile, disabled people face eviction over his Bedroom Tax, his welfare cuts have seen homelessness rise 31% in England and 62% in London in recent years, and 10,600 sick and severely disabled people have died while undergoing ‘work capability assessments’ by Atos seeking to weed out purported benefit cheats. All this pain when just 0.7% of benefit claims are fraudulent, this is the DWP’s own figure. To put this in perspective, administrative error costs the department twice as much each year.
In short, Duncan-Smith’s policies do not work, and his assertion of widespread fraudulent benefit abuse simply does not exist. He may, however, be projecting his own abuse of taxpayer money onto the tax paying public.
Duncan-Smith lives rent free in a £2m country estate owned by his aristocratic father in law. Whilst claiming he could live happily on the £53 a week some unemployed job seekers receive, he has claimed £39 on expenses for his breakfast.
In the Betsy Gate scandal of 2001, it was revealed that the tax payer was paying £15,000 a year for Duncan-Smith’s wife to become his ‘diary secretary’. There is ample evidence that Betsy didn’t perform any such role worthy of the salary, which was hardly likely to register in the bank accounts of the daughter of the moneyed 5th Baron Cottesloe of Swanbourne and Harwick.
Duncan Smith currently costs the tax payer a whopping £134, 565 in salary and expenses.
It would not be unfair to suggest that Iain Duncan-Smith has fully availed himself of the financial support available from both the taxpayer and his patron father in law. Perhaps then it is small wonder that he does not recognise the culture of hard work for meagre reward faced by majority of the population.
Osborne – the Baronet
(Osborne before a table full of cocaine, hugging a dominatrix)
UK Chancellor George Osborne used his conference speech to crow of the success of his economic policy of austerity, and to bemoan the ‘something for nothing culture’ apparently ailing the UK populace. This from his speech:
“For the first time, all long term unemployed people who are capable of work will be required to do something in return for their benefits…They will do useful work putting something back into their community. Making meals for the elderly, clearing up litter, working for a local charity…No one will be ignored or left without help. But no one will get something for nothing. Help to work – and in return work for the dole.”
Firstly, people have always ‘done something’ in return for their benefits – they pay their taxes. Not only direct taxes on income, but indirect taxes on almost every item and service ever purchased through the course of their lives.
Secondly, these community roles listed by Osborne are the very paid occupations his government is responsible for removing. This creates a scenario where a person loses their job as a caretaker, care worker or street cleaner amidst government cuts, only to be re-engaged in this same work in order to receive sub minimum wage welfare rather than a wage.
This is not Help to Work, it is private employers helping themselves to state subsidised free labour, a government seeking to hide the impacts of public sector cuts and job losses, and an attempt to smear the victims of a bogus economic policy.
And what of the man who makes such claims of poor communities, ravaged by job cuts up and down the country? Who is he to speak of something for nothing?
George Osborne, on becoming Chancellor in 2010 quickly ‘flipped’ his first and second homes to claim over £100k of taxpayer money for interest payments on a mortgage for his £455k Cheshire pad. He later sold the home for over £1m having made improvements partly funded by taxes. He also claimed taxpayer money to cover payments on a horse paddock for the property.
An unemployed person claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) gets just £56.80 a week to live on. The public money spent on millionaire Osborne’s second home would have funded the JSA of 33 unemployed people for a year. Despite this largesse, Osborne was still forced to repay £1,666 for over claiming on these already incredibly generous interest expense claims.
Furthermore, this is a man who was a member of the Bullingdon Club, an elite boys club at Oxford which smash up restaurants and burn money in the faces of homeless people to establish their untouchable superiority. He also managed to survive the release of a picture of him hugging a prostitute in front of a table full of cocaine after Andy Coulson at the News of the World stole the story from the Sunday Mirror and rewrote it casting him in a better light.
The sight of such a man hectoring the poor should be the stuff of historic novels, instead it is today’s news. It is our reality.
David Cameron – The Chancer
David Cameron’s speech today was an attempt at rallying the troops and preparing the UK public outside for more of the same, up to and beyond the next election. It was more ‘Jam Tomorrow’ talk about “Never giving up. Working those extra hours. Coping with those necessary cuts” with the promise of eventually, one day, building “a land of opportunity in our country”. He could not be less related to reality had he thanked the audience for joining him in Azerbaijan. This is Cameron’s Britain:
Elderly people are facing rising, grinding poverty where they are forced to choose whether to heat their homes or eat.
3.5m people are living in fuel poverty as the rapidly rising cost of energy bills renders them unaffordable. The government’s response was to lift 1m out of this figure buy changing the way fuel poverty is calculated.
21% of people aged 16-24 years old, that is almost a quarter, are unemployed.
Wages have fallen further in this recession than in UK history, and have fallen for 36 months in a row under this government – only Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands fared worse.
These are the results of just three years of this Conservative led government, who have exacerbated the results of 30 years of one neoliberal, free marketeer government after another. Cameron, however, has never viewed these policies from outside the elite which benefits from them.
David Cameron is a lineal descendant of King William IV, great grandson of a 1st Baronet, grandson of a 2nd baronet, son of a stockbroker and an aristocrat. He was gifted with an Eton and Oxford education, and one might argue his career in politics, through sheer privilege of birth. He enjoys the benefits of a family fortune made in tax havens.
Cameron has never had to budget, never faced the kinds of ‘touch choices’ of which he often speaks, never worried if he would be able to feed his children, never felt the panic of staring at incomings and outgoings that will not balance. Neither is he listening to those who have, are and will, thanks to his policies.
In fact, two thirds of the current cabinet are millionaires, when only 1.16% of UK households have assets of over a million pounds. More than half of the cabinet ministers went to fee paying schools, despite only 7% of UK children attending fee paying schools. In the face of all this, David Cameron announced triumphantly that that the Tory party was ‘no longer the party of privilege’ at a £400 a seat champagne ball.
This Parade of Privilege Needs Derailing
The Tories have used their conference to say:
“VOTE FOR US! We will take away your social security! We will berate and devalue those who deliver your public services! We will sell as many of those public services as we can! We will strip you of your human rights! We will not tax the richest! We will scrap legal aid for the poor but use taxpayer money to defend bankers bonuses against legislation to cap them! VOTE FOR US! WE DESPISE YOU!”
Any person who doesn’t have the wealth to buy their own island who even considers voting for this party is off their rocker. I understand the naked self-interest of wealth hoarders who vote for this party – but the poor schmucks who THINK they are Tories and vote for their own and their community’s destitution…that, is beyond parody.
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