“I don’t know if anyone’s listened to the news/checked the papers today, but I’m sickened (although not surprised) the Tories are stepping up their hatred campaign against immigrants and the unemployed, by publishing exaggerated and out-of-context statistical reports. All they’re doing is fuelling racism and lack of compassion to get small minded people to support their agenda. Outrageous.”
That was the response of Alex – a very non-political friend of mine – to the data from NatCen Social Research today, that claimed people want to see less spending on welfare and benefits, and fewer immigrants.
The BBC’s report had NatCen’s chief executive Penny Young, who wrote the report, saying the public’s view on welfare was “in tune… with the coalition’s policies”.
Not according to Alex, sister!
He reckons Ms Young is part of a Coalition government agenda to brainwash us all into agreeing with schemes that are, even if only on the face of it, evil. And so do I. Who funded this survey?
Here’s a thing you might not have picked up in all the reporting: You may have noticed that Ms Young says, “For the first time since 2008, we’ve seen that the number of people who are prepared to see more money go on disability benefits has actually fallen.”
But that has never been part of anybody’s plans – Labour, the Tories, the Liberal Democrats or the smaller parties (to my knowledge). The problem is that the Coalition is cutting the amount of money being spent on disability – and other – benefits. Massively.
In doing so, it has created a new target for hate crime and a new underclass for society, presumably as a huge distraction from the real problem faced by the country – the Coalition’s mismanagement of the world’s seventh-largest economy.
There is plenty of money here, enough to help all those with illnesses and disabilities, feed all the children (see yesterday’s blog entry), and even to invest in new businesses and jobs. But it is being held by wealthy people – mostly in offshore bank accounts – and the Coalition is doing nothing to free it from their grasp.
Perhaps people think cutting the welfare benefit bill will lead to a cut in taxes. Think again, people! Even on the face of it – by which I mean according to what they’ve told us – the Coalition needs the money to pay down the deficit and cut back the national debt. What they’re really doing is anybody’s guess, but slashing the livelihood of the disabled will not save you one penny in tax.
And let’s take a moment to remember this important fact, posted on Facebook by Adele (not the singer): “Welfare isn’t just about people on the dole. It’s about people in low-paid jobs, people who are carers, people who are too sick or disabled to work, people with cancer and people who have lost their jobs and cannot get another. It is a safety net for those who are disadvantaged in our society. Everyone falls on hard times and just when it may happen to you and you need that safety net, you would want it to be there to catch you.”
Also attacked in the report are immigrants, with three-quarters of the 3,000+ people asked saying they wanted to see a reduction in the number of those coming into the country.
This survey looks like it was written by the editor of the Daily Mail.
The fact that it also suggests people don’t want any more cuts in public spending is meaningless, compared to the damage it inflicts with what I’ve reported above.
I predict a greater increase in hate crime against immigrants and the disabled because – and this is what the perpetrators will say – “It’s what people want, innit?”
Over to you.