Soon-to-be-former Prime Minister David Cameron, the man who once told us a government should be judged on how well it treats the most vulnerable in society, showed us all exactly what he meant in his interview with Andrew Marr.
It means he is quite happy for them to die, as punishment for failing to attend an interview at the Job Centre. Grilled over his attitude, he made it clear that he was perfectly happy to allow the continuation of a system that kills – if it saves money.
Read it for yourself (transcript courtesy of kittysjones’ blog, boldings mine):
AM:. Well you also talked to Evan Davis about the £22 billion of welfare cuts you’ve made so far as if that was easy. Do you accept that has hurt a lot of poor and vulnerable people?
DC: Well it has involved difficult decisions. But of course as we’ve done that we’ve been getting two million people into work, 900,000 people…
AM: Difficult decisions for you; a lot of real pain and suffering for people out there.
DC: Well, we have protected, for instance, the pension, we’ve protected benefits for the lowest paid, we’ve always made sure that we’ve increased spending on disability benefits rather than reduced it. But crucially the 900,000 people we’ve got off welfare and into work – that has actually saved money but it’s also been good for our country and crucially good for them: a job is the best route out of poverty that there is [a lie; more working people are having to claim benefits, because their jobs don’t pay enough, than workless families and pensioners combined].
AM: What about the million people depending on food banks?
DC: Well obviously I want a country where people don’t depend on food banks, we did something-
AM: But why are more people depending on food banks?
DC: One of the things we did was that Labour – because they didn’t like the PR of this – they didn’t advertise or promote the existence of food banks through job centres. We changed that because we thought that was, that was basically sort of selfish and shortminded…
AM: And according to the Trussell Trust, who run these banks, that accounts for just three per cent of people using food banks at the moment so it’s not a significant thing. But can I take you to an individual case, James [he meant David] Clapson.
Clapson, who was a former soldier, worked very hard for a long time then was on benefits, failed to turn up to two job centre interviews, [Mr Clapson only missed one interview] had his benefits removed for a month. He was diabetic, his insulin couldn’t be refrigerated and he died two weeks later.
Now that is the kind of case that is coming up again and again and again and shows that the welfare cuts have been agonisingly painful for real people out there.
DM: Well we have hardship funds and councils have hardship funds for exactly those sorts of tragic cases but if you’re asking me…
AM: It didn’t work.
DC: If you are asking me, is it right that people who are asked to turn up for interviews or asked to fill in a CV or asked to apply for a job should have to do those things before getting benefits then yes – it’s right that we do have that system in place. But we always, as I put it on the steps of…
AM: But the system has been very very aggressive. Another case [is] of a man who had learning difficulties and filled in his form by hand rather than by computer and was refused benefits. There [are] lots of these cases as you won’t have a review. You should have a review of the system surely?
DC: I look at all of those individual cases and all of those cases can be addressed by the hardship funds and by the flexibilities that are there in the system. But we have sanctions for a reason; people watching this programme…
AM: You don’t get the hardship fund for two weeks.
So there you have it. David Clapson was sanctioned off-benefit for no very good reason (as is typical in the Conservative-run system). David Cameron thinks that is okay. He was unable to receive hardship funds for two weeks. David Cameron thinks that is okay.
He died. Because David Cameron thinks the sanctions and the rules for hardship funds are okay, he therefore must be perfectly comfortable with David Clapson’s death.
David Cameron has also refused to review the system, despite being told that Clapson’s is one of many, many cases and despite saying that he personally examines all such cases.
Clearly he is, therefore, perfectly comfortable with the mass deaths of benefit claimants, the sick and the disabled that have taken place under his government’s rules.
This blog has long argued that any deaths of benefit claimants that have taken place because of failings in the system are regrettable but do not, individually, mean that anybody is personally responsible.
However, this blog has also argued – for many years – that this ceases to be the case when the government is made aware of the deaths and either fails – or intentionally ignores – the need to review and change the system.
In such cases, it becomes clear that the intention is to cause those deaths.
If deaths take place due to the gross negligence of a person or people responsible for an organisation such as a government department, that is corporate homicide.
If deaths take place because such a person has been informed of the risk to life and refused to take action, there is a strong argument to state, that is murder.
(The refusal to take action implies an intention for people to lose their lives.)
Therefore there is a strong argument that David Cameron has confessed that his party has participated in the murder of many benefit claimants.
Does he deserve your vote?
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