The Telegraph has demonstrated how the Tories see us – selfish, backstabbing and stupid

They might as well be goose-stepping: George Osborne and his retinue do their best to ignore a journalist at the Tory conference.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

– Pastor Martin Niemöller

That old friend of Vox Political, Samuel Miller, was right when he said this was “despicable”.

According to James Kirkup in the Torygraph, the British electorate is perfectly happy to let the Conservative Government enact policies that harm other members of society.

In his opinion, when it comes to backstabbing, the riff-raff are just as bad as their betters.

That’s why he reckons “welfare cuts that hurt poor people can be sold to the electorate” – we’re now all so selfish, in fulfilment of Thatcher’s decades-old scheme to eliminate any idea of ‘society’, or ‘the collective good’, that “many of the people who are not directly affected by [in this case] the tax credit cut will not feel much sympathy.

Charming. “O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!” – as the great Robert Burns once wrote.

Making low-paid workers poorer is not, in this sense, as big a problem for him as some think.

… because we’re all backstabbers and like to think that we’re getting a better deal than our neighbour. Divide and rule. But what if we’re all being shafted by the overpriviliged, scrounging toffs? Kirkup doesn’t mention this. Instead he suggests that what we really don’t like is a government that lies to us – as the Tory shower is doing about tax credits right now.

David Cameron told Andrew Marr only yesterday (Sunday) that the cut in tax credits was part of a package that would actually make workers better off – but we know that they won’t. Kirkup says:

Voters aren’t stupid, and they don’t like being treated as if they were.

But it’s stupid to believe a government will leave you alone, just because you let it victimise somebody else! Remember Pastor Martin Niemöller’s words about the Nazis (above) and you’ll see the truth in that.

But Osborne, it seems, is relying on another Nazi strategy – The Big Lie. This is the one claiming that if you repeat a lie often enough and loudly enough, eventually the people will believe you.

Kirkup doesn’t seem to get that, which is probably why he wrote his article in the first place. He thinks:

Mr Osborne’s problem with tax credits is that he looks like a man who thinks he can take voters for fools. Who thinks he can tell the country he’s helping low-paid workers when his policies actually leave them worse off.

When the Chancellor presented his tax credit cuts, he also announced his living wage, and proclaimed himself the champion of low-paid workers. It was “a Budget for working people,” he said.

But making poor workers worse off while insisting you’re helping them? …The way he has presented his welfare changes is too clever by half, and will be found out.

Even more bizarre than his failure to see one Nazi strategy after correctly identifying – and approving of – another, is Kirkup’s advice for Osborne:

If he won’t change his policy on tax credits, he should change his message, and soon.

Change his message? What’s he going to say? “Sorry we lied to you about our welfare changes making you better-off, but it’s all in the good cause of putting you down while we all get richer. Hoorah”?

Voters are realistic.

… suggests Kirkup after spending most of his article arguing the exact opposite.

They accepted austerity policies and the consequent pain in the national interest –

No, they didn’t. There’s just been a massive demonstration against austerity in Manchester – just the latest in a series, and only attended by those with the financial wherewithal to get there. The vast majority of the population knows that austerity was not in the national interest; it was utterly unnecessary and only served to drain money away from those who need it most and into the hands of the very richest, who don’t need any more at all. Any voters who did behave as Kirkup describes are about as unrealistic as can be – for reasons explained above.

then rewarded the party they believed had been honest about that necessity.

Again, no. The Tories got back into office on less than a quarter of the available national vote because the electorate was divided over how best to oppose their hideously cruel policies. Labour wasn’t offering anything like help, but none of the other parties looked like a realistic opposition either, so the vote was split and a large proportion of the electorate didn’t even bother going to the polls. That has changed now, with the arrival of a Labour leader with a strong plan of opposition.

We are left with an article that gives away the Conservative mindset, rather than warns that party’s leaders against inadvisable behaviour.

Without meaning to, Kirkup has told us that we need to stand up for those who will be affected by the Tories’ cuts because, if we’re not affected now, we’ll be next.

He has told us that the Tories are lying to us when they say their plans will make us better-off, that they lied to us about austerity, and that their best chance for re-election is to change their current lie into a different lie.

Most damning of all, he has demonstrated the model on which the Conservatives are basing their policies – the Nazi government of Germany under Adolf Hitler.

They talk like Nazis; they act like Nazis. What does that make them?

Source: George Osborne’s tax credit problem is dishonesty, not cruelty – Telegraph

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46 thoughts on “The Telegraph has demonstrated how the Tories see us – selfish, backstabbing and stupid

  1. Ian Holland

    We are living in scary times again under the tories….I`m 60 and this lot make thatcher look benevolent,they should be declared a criminal organisation and treated as the nazis were…god they make me sick!!!

  2. AndyH

    Osborne’s tax credit and child benefit cuts, hit the middle class; both the French and Russian revolutions were led by middle class people. This move could be Cameron’s Poll Tax/ Iraq War/ 50p tax rate.

    Incidentally I don’t think the voters are all callous. I know some conservative voters who are kind people and they voted for them at the last election as they believed it was the fiscally responsible thing to do. For years the political narrative has been ‘the economy is f****d because Labour gave lots of money to poor people. Tax cuts for the rich and wage freezes for the poor are the only way to fix it.’ Milliband failed to challenge the narrative – yes he did not agree with Cameron on alot of policies but he seemed to ignore the deficit – rather than play it down and point out that it has been a) overstated b) is a fraction of what it was after world war 2 when we founded the NHS and c) is being used as an excuse. The deficit was presented as the evil dragon which only Cameron could slay (whilst milliband was branded a denier). McDonnell’s approach of fiscial responsibilty but at the expense of amazon and bankers, is refreshing and is a much needed shift in the political narrative. Both sides are now offering, running a tight budget, but one with wealthy conglomerates collecting the tab, the other with single mothers and disabled people footing the bill. I don’t know about you – but I know which side I’m on!

  3. Richard Eastell

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck… Those families whose parents have been hit by the loss of tax credits and low wages are about to be hit again by the loss of free school meals. The safety net that ensured that children from less well off families got at least one hot meal per day is about to go the way of free school milk thanks to Mr Osborne.

  4. mili68

    Selfish?! Really?! Maybe they should take a long hard look at themselves.

    They certainly can’t do simple arithmetic as the sums don’t add up with all their tax cuts/benefit sanctions. . . .

  5. George Berger

    The poem of Pastor Niemöller has at least two German versions. The most authoritative begins with the Communists, not the Socialists. The Nazis arrested , tortured, and brutally murdered those Communists they could grab, first.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I honestly don’t think the Tories make any distinction between Socialists and Communists.

      1. George Berger

        Me neither. I just like historical and literary accuracy, hence completeness too. The correction achieves both at once.

  6. NMac

    Divide and Rule is one of the very few things Tories are good at. It allowed them to hold the Empire together for over a hundred years and now they’re doing it at home. Sooner or later people will see through it, but our 19th century electoral system allows them to easily divide the opposition. It is comforting to know that the majority loathe the Tories and everything they stand for, which is greed and selfishness.

  7. Claire Smith

    The writer of the Torygraph article is obviously painting the electorate with the same brush he uses on himself. Because he only cares about himself and what matters to him he thinks the rest of us are the same. But, as you have pointed out Mike, he misses several points by a very wide mark.

    Thatcher admitted that she was a great believer in Ayn Rand’s theories (Atlas Shrugged) as was Alan Greenspan (Ex head of the FED during Reagan). In fact Greenspan was a member of Rand’s collective (very ironic). She was a Russian immigrant to the USA who hated socialism. They had been wealthy in Russia and lost everything when Lenin ruled. Obviously she liked it well enough when she had to use medicaid because she couldn’t afford her medical treatment.

    There are so many of the Tory party who still worship at the altar of Rand. But free market capitalism is one of the biggest lies being told. The free market is the largest single recipient of benefits in this country (QE for banking).

    With the Tories, benefits should only be for the people who don’t need them. The rest of us can sink or swim without them. And we are sinking. The writer of that article sees the Tory lie but is ok with it so long as he is ok. He also believes the people are fools.

  8. Dez

    I cannot add a comment to a piece that actually rings true to my mind at this point in time but hopefully will wake folk up to what is really going on…ie Nazi traits. There are so many reduced time and low-paid workers who will not enjoy this make-believe rise in income and will lose out big time. Employers may pay the living rate per hour but probably cut back existing working hours to compensate ie more production for same wage in less time. Neat.

  9. marcusdemowbray

    Interesting to note that Tax Avoider and Pig Gate squealer Lord Ashcroft’s £8 million donation to the Tories would have kept 5-10 thousand people on Tax Credits for a year.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You might want to put up a full web address for that image, otherwise the rest of us won’t be able to remember it with you.

  10. A-Brightfuture

    When certain issues do not affect your way of life, you do not give a monkeys. However the tory way of thinking is that “welfare and the poor” affect everyone and that claimant’s of all parts of the so called safety net are a national threat to society.

    Fear breeds fear, as seen in the tory party conference, snipers, ring of steel, no one allowed to wear their badges in public.
    Says it all really.
    Wow the difference between the engaged Mr Corbyn with the public, and the fearful Tories hiding away.

  11. Brian

    “Kirkup has told us that we need to stand up for those who will be affected by the Tories’ cuts because, if we’re not affected now, we’ll be next”

    Could not believe the statement from a tory (sic) think tank, Pensioners should have benefits cut, as most will be dead come the next election, the rest will have forgotten who did the cuts.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Technically, Taxpayers’ Alliance isn’t a Tory think tank, but it might as well be.

  12. Paul C. Dickie

    Do you recall how the loathsome IDS claimed to have “seen the light” on a visit to Easterhouse (near Glasgow) in 2002?

    Well, rearrangung the letters of “Iain Duncan Smith’s Easterhouse epiphany” gives:

    Inhumane hideosity as satanic penpusher.
    I am an inane, toadyish, cushiest penpusher.
    A stupidity cheapens inhumane hoariness.
    As I hated I am this nauseous penny-pincher.
    Hideous hastiest anus; I am a penny-pincher.
    I am a dash, it is the nauseous penny-pincher.
    Sustain hates, I am a hideous penny-pincher.
    This is nauseous I am a hated penny-pincher.
    A hastiest anus, I’m a hideous penny-pincher.
    I’m a penny-pincher aids this nauseous hate.
    I am an issue as that hideous penny-pincher.
    A nauseous hit, I’m a shadiest penny-pincher.
    Is this death? I am a nauseous penny-pincher.
    Maniac insanity as the hideous penpusher.
    “I’m a penpusher!” causes insanity in hothead.

    Is this last anagram the true epiphany?

    1. fathomie

      Even that was a lie. His policies, his ideology, is exactly the same now as it was in 1994. He uses the same slogans, the same twisted justifications, and has the same total lack of humanity.

  13. LedZep5

    The electorate isn’t stupid, it is however, servile, subjugated and conditioned to accept ‘mediocrity and that’s all that was on offer.

  14. AndyH

    I’m lost for words – Ozzy is now presenting cutting tax credits as a kindness. I really hope no-one believes this rubbish.

  15. James

    What amazes me is not that people these days don’t give a toss about the sick, disabled or vulnerable but that the Tories have exploited this aloofness and coldness to the full and done absolutely terrible things all the while claiming to be “helping” those affected into work and successful careers. For example I remember reading about some bigwig twerp from the DWP saying that benefit claimants liked sanctions because they helped to keep claimants on their toes and forced them to try to better themselves!

    Which can’t possibly be true, surely?

  16. Brian

    One almost feels like giving up to despondency with all this, perhaps that’s part of the tory strategy.

  17. ian725

    Our Electoral system in England is antiquated and toothless. The Scottish system seems to work, look at labour ..decimated, wiped out in the General Election but will still have at least 1/3 of the seats in the Scottish Holyrood election. Still a potent force with which to effect Government even with an SNP Majority. Time we changed our electoral system to some sort of fair representation without the scaremongering tactics used prior.

    1. James Kemp

      Simple question then do you really want a bigger section of hideous ukippers and even BNP MP’s I agree it needs changing but turning it into a joke like some other parliaments isn’t the best idea.

      Personally I think PR is the best system of elections but maybe not best for the country…

      1. ian725

        James the system at Holyrood does seem to work looking at it from down here in Rural Rank Tory Shropshire. I believe that if it had not been for the present system up there the Labour party would have been very close to being wiped out at the Last Holyrood Election had it been under the old First Past the Post system. A re -vamp of the electoral system is well overdue and is the only way I see to having a fair and reasonably represented elected Parliament which will help ensure representative Government , unlike our present system.

  18. lanzalaco

    it saddens me how left wing rags and followers like to misinterpret and misrepresent the conservatives. But this is how politics works. It would have been better on the reader to actually have the tories represented in what they are really trying to do. Even then it would still be hard down the line, but we might hear of the good they are trying to do. i.e. The tories trying to kill of the disabled. Totally silly accusations. The effect of a policy does not represent the intention. People die or suffer from any mass decision even when we are trying to do good. i.e. Being on the control side of a clinical trial. It is impossible to forsee every outcome of every decision.

      1. lanzalaco

        any decisions over many people that cut resources is going to risk harm. Whether that type of harm is intended or dealt with stupidly. i.e. Ian Duncan Smiths often incompetent approach is something else. But its not like he actually is trying to kill people. Even if we entertain the idea he wants to kill people or doesn’t care if he does. He still wants a successful career I presume, which wouldnt benefit from bumping people off. So it makes no sense what he would gain from that, unless he cares about nothing except the present, and his entire political career was setup so he could be in power for a couple of terms and get some type of sick high from all his bad decisions. Is that the theory ? It doesnt make sense. And also, If you had to make the cuts how could you actually predict all the downstream effects ?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        When confronted with the facts, Iain Duncan Smith has denied them, and refused to take action to investigate the situation and take remedial action if necessary.
        Does that suggest – to you – somebody who ISN’T actively trying to rack up as many deaths as possible?
        He reckons he’s found a brilliant way of culling the ‘stock’ (his word for benefit claimants) without any blame falling on him, and if many people are as willing to believe his excuses as you, then he might be right.
        He’s quite secure in his career because he is working with the complicity of David Cameron.
        If you want further evidence (beyond the mountains of it I’ve already included – or to which I’ve linked – in this blog already), consider the Taxpayers’ Alliance’s bid to get Duncan Smith to slash pensioners’ benefits because they’ll either be dead by 2020, or they won’t remember who did it to them. That’s the attitude of the Conservative Party, right there.
        As for what I’d do if I had to make the cuts – I reject the premise of the question. Who says I’d make cuts when there are £120 billion of tax waiting to be collected – every year – from the idle rich, and when I could invest in the economy to make sure it grows enough to fund the system?

      3. lanzalaco

        none of this proves ian duncan smith is trying to mass murder people ! It proves incompetence and denial, which are the usual culprits behind grand claims like you are making. And also its not going to be so clear cut for him what cause and effect is doing what. Especially if his advisors say there is no evidence. Its taken this many years to find one inquest has found somebody who took their life as a direct result of the system.

        All this is bad enough anyway. if we add these OTT claims without any rational basis or evidence, this just undermines some of the contribution you made. i.e. The FOI requests

        OK i am taking you too literally, clearly these accusations are more throwaway comment than deadly serious.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        If we had proof that he was involved in a campaign of mass murder, Iain Duncan Smith would be in jail.
        We have evidence that his policies kill, that he knows this, and that he has refused to take action to stop the deaths.
        We also have evidence that his incompetence – as you describe it – is being overlooked by his boss (David Cameron), implying that the deaths constitute a desired outcome.
        Look at what you say in your comment: “It’s taken this many years to find one inquest has found somebody who took their life as a direct result of the system.” If the system was working properly, this would have been flagged up as a matter of public concern in January 2014, not 20 MONTHS later. These issues are time-sensitive – that is, problems need to be raised in order to be solved. In matters of government policy, they need to be raised in public (otherwise ministers won’t do anything because changing their policy means ‘U-turn’). This was hidden for more than one and a half years. And you think that’s reasonable?
        Before your comment again, stop and think about what has been going on. Bear in mind the fact that people with mental health issues are being asked, at work capability assessment tests, whether they have considered taking their own life and – if they answer in the affirmative – the next question is why they have not done so. Consider what that would imply, to a person with a mental illness, how they might react to it, and what the intention of the question might be.
        I may have mentioned this before, but you also need to look at the mass of other evidence – and believe me, there is a LOT – before making up your mind.
        I think what I’m seeing now is a knee-jerk reaction.

      5. lanzalaco

        i dont know what these questions are you are referring to. What i do know is that for many articles in the press making claims on bit of info here and there.. if i spend a few hours trying to dig out the context, the issue makes more sense, and the reporters clearly never bothered to try and prove themselves wrong, or just ask, is there a good explanation behind this if I dig around.

        i.e. The attitude has to be, lets entertain the assumption these people are reasonable and dont want to be incompetent, and get to the bottom of whats going on rather than lets stop there, because this is good material to fling at the other party. Clearly IDS displays many facets of being an incompetent narcissist, but many politicians are. The answer is probably to make politicians take personality tests before elections and let us see results. Have them banned from office if they fail. Conclusive evidence is needed, and also sometimes they make changes without telling us. Maybe suicide monitoring has been tightened up under standard yearly revisions. In regards to cameron, we have little way to know whats going on behind closed doors. Or even the mechanisms of their political relationships. The way IDS keeps his mouth shout from the risk of blunders in the 6 months before elections could be telling he can be kept in line by Cameron.

        But back to the point, there is a lack of rigour in many press stories. Yes many people want to read political diatribe, but mostly these days the general public is more scientifically inclined. I only go by my circle, but If I am right the average reader is fed up of reading too much bias and wants more rigour basically.

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        Okay. Bearing in mind what I’ve said already, if we’re assuming that these people are thinking beings (I don’t think I can honestly go as far as saying they may be reasonable) and don’t want to be incompetent, then we have to accept that the results of their actions are intended – otherwise they would have changed their policies to prevent further deaths.
        Your discussion about politicians taking personality tests is entertaining but does not take us any further towards understanding what has happened.
        Your suggestion about suicide monitoring is unsupported.
        Your suggestion about Cameron is inaccurate. We see the results of Conservative Government decisions and must draw our conclusions from them.
        Your observation about press stories is unsupported. As a journalist myself, I can assure you that you are wrong – but you’d expect me to do that.
        If you saw the article I reblogged from Nick Dilworth’s excellent iLegal site, perhaps you’d care to explain how his findings lack rigour. If you haven’t, why not take a look. You’ll find it very near this one.

  19. lanzalaco

    BTW I am a liberal who think both left and right wing are on their own flawed ideologies. Neither could ever work indefinetely in reality, because both left and right wing both mess up society in different ways. But a balance between left and right wing represents in society the balance between the extremes of how minds work and operate when resources are finite and the environment changes. i.e. Reality ! and so overall if democracy allows the swing between these left and right wing it expresses reality well and society trundles along without wars or social stagnation. BUT… can you accept such an idea ? The idea that we need both aspects. what if it were true….that would mean accepting the other party has a crucial part to play in politics. Does Mike accept this ?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Then you should accept that when one party lurches into policies that result in death – in other words, becomes homicidal – it is time they were removed from government and those responsible prosecuted.

  20. lanzalaco

    BTW…Its completely outrageous to use references to nazi germany on so many levels where would you begin. That was primarily about one mans visions and part narcissistic insanity to ensure a eugenics approach to reality was put in place, and to destroy any voice of criticism by the jews in the process. This did not even reflect right wing policies, because the idea was more like generation of anarchy. So there is relentless reform by the tories, we can just vote them out, and they are ok with that. We vote the tories in because they are more economically savyy. They can sort out the bill and restructure things for all the nice progressive policies from labours last stint. I am greatly worse off under the tories, but its important for politics to supercede selfish needs and see the big picture. I used to be labour, but now I can see more clearly that both left and right wing are required in tandem for society to operate. The real question left is why does two party politics almost always win out over the middle way ?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The real question is why you refuse to see the obvious parallels with Nazism and instead choose a bizarre construct made up in your own mind.

      1. lanzalaco

        This is from one of best Jewish historians who have studied Hitlers acts in the context of his political aims. Hitler believed that the world evolved its fitness due to races being in eternal conflict with each other, and the ideas spread by the jews were a threat to this worldview, because these ideas lead to genetic weakness. primarily what Hitler was after was a scientifically backward world that remains in eternal conflict without progressing its form beyond the genome. And aside from some divergences that was it really, so What does all that crazy stuff have to do with david cameron and the tories please do reveal ?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        For many readers of This Blog, I think what you’ve just suggested will be extremely revealing.
        If you honestly can’t tell what all that crazy has to do with David Cameron and his Tories, then you really, really need to do more research!

  21. mrmarcpc

    Typical tory rhetoric and mind-set, hate anything different and hate the people that they govern, if they could ethnically cleanse us all legally, they’d do it in a heartbeat!

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        That’s what used to be called ‘fair comment’.
        Be careful when responding to other commenters. Be reminded that I don’t tolerate personal attacks. Limit your remarks to the subject or opinion, not the person holding it.

  22. Brian Kennett

    One could almost coin a new term for this ‘The Austerity Grab’

    Most people I believe think the term relates to saving whilst in fact the real meaning is more like ‘ the condition of living without unnecessary things and without comfort, with limited money or goods’

Comments are closed.