James McEnaney: An open letter to Iain Duncan Smith – meet Michael, my brother

I read your speech when I got home and, to be honest, the premise seemed fairly straightforward: you believe that it is not the role of the state to lift, or keep, people out of poverty; the only appropriate tool to ensure a good life is individual hard work.

With that in mind I’d like you to meet Michael, a 27-year-old man with severe autism.

Michael cannot read, write or speak and, although he is capable of communicating with those who know him (at least on a basic level), he spends a great deal of his time frustrated at his inability to express himself.

Michael lives in a residential care centre in Ayrshire, 40 miles away from his family. He has a bedroom with an ensuite, and shares a kitchen and lounge with other service users who also live in the unit (it would be an insult to call it a home).

Though he used to enjoy a range of educational activities which improved his quality of life these have been discontinued due to funding problems rooted in your government’s austerity agenda.

Michael cannot read, write or speak and, although he is capable of communicating with those who know him (at least on a basic level), he spends a great deal of his time frustrated at his inability to express himself.

Sometimes, depending on a range of largely uncontrollable factors, this frustration manifests itself in violent outbursts during which Michael may injure himself or his staff.

In addition to his autism, Michael also suffers from a number of health problems including epilepsy – as a consequence he has little, if any, privacy.

To be clear, no amount of ‘support’ will ever change these simple facts.

Having read your speech on Tuesday I spent much of the evening trying to imagine the sort of job that Michael could do in order to deserve a life free from poverty and its associated consequences (such as an earlier death).

Reduced to a statistic, Michael is simply a problem; to you, it would be better if he didn’t exist at all.

Eventually, just when I was about to give up, it hit me – there is something that Michael could do, a role perfectly suited to both his abilities and his situation.

Michael, it turns out, would make an excellent scapegoat.

Source: Common Space – James McEnaney: An open letter to Iain Duncan Smith – meet Michael, my brother

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14 Thoughts to “James McEnaney: An open letter to Iain Duncan Smith – meet Michael, my brother”

  1. RTU has his day of reckoning coming when we see the report of the UN investigation. Lets hope that is sooner rather than later.

    1. @Chris Kitcher
      Look at Smith’s side profile, reptilian down to his crocodile teeth. Dunno about his pointy ears – alien?

  2. NMac

    So sad and just one of thousands of such situation. I don’t suppose Duncan-Smith cares a fig for any of them, just as long as he can continue to enrich himself and his friends.

    1. oh? does he have friends? that does surprise me.surprised anyone in their right mind would want to be associated with him,especially right now with this UN investigation looming over him.but then again some folk are blinkered by the shine from his millions.(or rather his wife’s)

  3. It comes to something when a country like Russia offers a better quality of social care than the UK. That is the case, despite people denigrating the Russian social care system, they have a better arrangement for looking after the jobless and people like Michael, they provide for them and do not diminish their rights as human beings the way the Tories and Tory Lite parties do in this country. If only I spoke Russian I wouldn’t have to witness the UK government plumbing the depths of human depravity in regard to the less fortunate or unable bodied. What a disgrace this country has become.

  4. Why does no one mention National Insurance. The Government doesn’t provide this, we pay it. It’s even part of benefits.

    1. Brian

      Indeed, why does no one mention National Insurance. I paid a lifetime’s contributions in addition to the many employees whom I administered to on behalf of the government. These ‘contributions’ were not a choice, I had to pay them on pain of prosecution.

      As many, I never contended the prospect of having to rely on the state. Becoming ill was never a choice, giving in to constant pain was never a option, but at least I knew the social contract I held with the state could help in an ‘hour’ of need.

      How wrong I was. To be told you have paid your money, supported society and made the world a better place for your “hard” work, well tough, we are not going to honour our contract, we are going to make life hard for you, we will demonise and ridicule you. Should you want to question our stance, then ask the people in your community what they voted for, go away and die.

    2. It’s the other way round. Our National Insurance contributions pay for all benefits (except Income Support which is non-contributory and paid for through general taxation), the State pension and the NHS.

  5. che

    a spot on letter that should be sent to every evil tory voter in this country

  6. That is one corker of an example why the Torys need to go, it got me thinking about why they are in power in the first place, Tell lies, win, they destroy everything but live in luxury themselves. People power voted them in (not me though) so they are supposed to work for the people, right? Now that it has been proven that they are lieing can the people not make a vote of no confidence in the Conservatives so the government can be changed before the country grinds to a halt? Does anyone know how it works?

    1. You can initiate a petition on the house of commons .gov site.(to sack Katie Hopkins has got over 350000 votes, I read somewhere).

      If one could start a campaign, If it could be further endorsed by some independent newspapers. It needs to get massive attention from public and continuous campaining for months. It could probably be taken up against the running government.

      David Hameron would inevitably claim that the online voting leads to fraud in order to discredit the voive of the people (like he did to stop any advance in any positive agreement between unions and the government). After which there would be no way but to simply walk up to the parliament and challenge the government.

      But as Bush said, I´m paraphrasing, “You can fool 50% of the people sometimes, but we must focus on the 50% of the people who can be fooled all the time”, there are still people who are confused thinking that what they say could be true because of the conviction of the tories and propoganda form MSM (just think, Jon snow´s drilling of Cameron last week about squalid deal with Saudi was never reported on BBC or Telegraph)

      and also increasingly vast majority of people who are getting very much disengaged from politics in the last two decades or so. This partial or full disengagement allows tories to take advantage of the electorates, We need people to reengage in politics before anything of that sort you hope to achieve.

  7. KazakhToon

    Corbyn should make it an election pledge in 2020 to publish all the DWP records from the preceding 10 years. Then this man can finally wipe the grin off his face and slink back to his mansion, too ashamed/afraid to even walk down his local high street.

  8. Phil Lee

    If every right-minded person who ever meets that piece of filth detains him on suspicion of crimes against humanity (an indictable, and therefore arrestable, offence) until such time as he can be handed over into the custody of a police constable (note – only into their custody, not their protection, so the constable would have to arrest him for such a model citizen to release IDS to them), and if this happened every single time anyone with a conscience encountered him, the police would eventually be forced to refer the matter to the CPS. Make sure you get the wording right, as the correct terminology (rather than the commonly used “citizens arrest” may be critical in defending yourself against a charge of unlawful detention). All you need is reason to believe that he has committed an indictable crime for this to be legal (indictable meaning one that can be tried by crown court and not just by magistrates).
    There are too many people who will die waiting for the UN to indict him and his bosses and supporters at the Hague.
    There must even be some decent people with media connections, who could make the detention a very public affair indeed.

  9. See my profile on Tweeter there you will see proof of False accounting and false records.
    £56.00 from RN. And CSP is £147.34 how do they add it up to £298.00?

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