Enemies of the State: Philip Hammond

hammond
How many of you were glad to see that Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is resisting plans for further cuts to his budget?

And how many of you were then dismayed to discover he wants the money needed to safeguard defence spending to be taken from the social security budget?

In an interview with the Telegraph, Hammond said the “first priority” must be “defending the country and maintaining law and order” and that further defence cuts are not possible while meeting stated security objectives.

How many of you find that statement extremely sinister?

What does he mean by “defending the country”? It is hard to reconcile this with the defence of every citizen within the UK, because his desire for social security cash (Tories only call it “welfare” because it’s an Americanism and a term that allows them to look down on people in receipt of benefits) makes it clear he has no interest in society’s poorest.

Let’s take it that he means the armed forces must be able to defend Conservative business interests instead. That seems far more likely, especially when one goes on to his next assertion, that the armed forces must be capable of “maintaining law and order”.

He thinks there will be civil unrest.

Hammond is not the only one to have such concerns – Labour’s Baroness Meacher made a statement along similar lines. The difference is that, it seems, he wants to use the armed forces to make sure such troubles are quelled.

Hammond says rising levels of employment mean savings could be made from benefit budgets. This is a clever manipulation of a situation that we all know is not what it seems – for example, 200,000 of the million new jobs the Coalition claims to have brought into existence were re-classified education posts, moved from the public to the private sector. Who knows how many people on Mandatory Work Activity schemes have been knocked off the benefit books, even though they are still paid only Jobseekers’ Allowance?

He is set to announce future plans for army bases – where troops returning to the UK will be barracked. In the light of the fact that cuts to the number of personnel in the armed forces have already been announced, one contributor to the Vox Political Facebook page has already raised a question about what uses may be found for those buildings that may be left empty.

“I have an idea,” she wrote. “Why not put all us scroungers into the empty barracks, and turn them into a modern day workhouses? Thats the way it’s headed!”

18 thoughts on “Enemies of the State: Philip Hammond

  1. jack johnson (@jackjoh01219520)

    It’s not much more than a lifetime ago that we had workhouses,most people worked
    in servitude and hardly any of us had the vote.These were the glory years according
    to the Conservatives.It would be no surprise to me if they took us back there,
    including no NHS,no dole, no pensions and debtors prisons. For Tories lack basic
    humanity.

  2. Thomas M

    How do we get rid of this unwanted government without the replacement government being just as bad?

  3. Chris Tandy

    This crackpot excuse for a government, with its moebius-strip way of thinking, could well introduce national conscription. This will soak up the numbers of unemployed. They could then be deployed as legalised gangs of thugs rounding up the unemployed…..

  4. Fran

    Hammond was mp for the area I lived in and he is a plonker. I got lots of nonsense replies from him on very expensive paper, all refusing to see any view but his own….not what a servant of the people should be like!!

  5. gra howard

    Of course they want to quell any chance of rebellion, they know its coming. Every policy they have come up with is either illegal or bordering on human rights breaches.

  6. john

    “Tories only call it “welfare” because it’s an Americanism and a term that allows them to look down on people in receipt of benefits”

    You are probably right regarding the use of the word by the current regime but their use is not grounded in history see OED and google search.

    Should it be considered another word like “charity”, “voluntary”, “support” the meaning of which has been turned upside down in Humpty Dumpty style?
    http://welfareuk.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/how-did-we-get-here/

    1. jack johnson (@jackjoh01219520)

      I hate the word welfare in the wayConservatives use it, it needs a word to describe paid for benefits for the vast majority who claim have paid contributions via N.I. we know there are a minority who cannot work but that’s why we pay into the system.Work for full employment and any problems vanish.The government have caused these problems by creating mass unemployment. It is they who should be made unemployed.

      1. jack johnson (@jackjoh01219520)

        I should have added the obvious that if employers paid a living wage there would be
        no need for the majority who claim benefits to claim. All the government are doing is
        subsidizing bad employers while failing to prosecute the many companies who pay
        below the minimum wage,which is already too low to live on.Labour must go further
        and legislate for a real living wage while legislating against agency working and false
        self employment.

  7. john

    @ Jack “I hate the word welfare in the way Conservatives use it, it needs a word to describe paid for benefits for the vast majority
    Pick any new word or phrase and it would be abused by those who just don’t like the idea in principle despite all the platitudes they roll out.
    http://welfareuk.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/my-government-always-looks-after-the-elderly-the-frail-the-poorest-in-our-country/

    “I should have added the obvious that if employers paid a living wage there would be no need for the majority who claim benefits to claim. All the government are doing is subsidizing bad employers..”
    All the Workfare schemes contribute to the problem and don’t solve the issue of lack of jobs. Thatcher was told by her own advisors that YTS would help drive down wages and nothing has changed in how these schemes work.
    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=30250

    That being said until such times as we have a government that will pursue an economic strategy than will regenerate our manufacturing base I think there is a case for encouraging those who can retire to do so in order to give a young person a chance in life. It’s a lesser evil than a lot of young people being condemned to unemployment through no fault of their own and the social consequences that can result. This is radically different from trying to build a youth v old as a divide and rule strategy as they have done with other groups. (maybe it is the “grey” vote that has stopped them using it so far)
    http://welfareuk.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/youth-unemployment-aged-employment/

  8. caroline

    We have his mother-in-law running our local council here in Bognor Regis. You can tell there related by the attitude

Comments are closed.