You have to be a special kind of stupid to be a Conservative Secretary of State.
As Tories, they naturally assume that people who aren’t born with a title, or money, are property; they don’t understand why you should have any rights and expect you to do as you are told by your so-called “betters”.
As people, they do not understand the distress that some of their demands will cause. Even if they do, they’ll deny it in order to get what they want.
Esther McVey proved these points in a meeting with the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security committee on April 16. Here‘s The Independent to explain:
“Forcing rape survivors to recount their ordeal in order to access benefits will give them an ‘opportunity to talk’, the work and pensions secretary has said.
“Esther McVey claimed women who have a child as a result of rape would be helped by being made to speak to a charity worker or health professional because it means they could receive ‘double support’.”
“Double support”? She was saying that people who have already been forced into one vile situation should be forced into another – by the government!
Rape is a terrifying and humiliating ordeal, but Ms McVey thinks it is all right to demand that victims relive it, suffering the trauma all over again in every respect other than the physical – but being reminded of that, also.
Otherwise she will take away some of the money they need, in order to care for their children.
She thinks people should do as they are told and she cannot understand – or conveniently refuses to accept – the distress her policy is causing.
Ms McVey was responding to a question about the government’s so-called “rape clause”, which means that, under Universal Credit, parents will only receive benefits for their first two children. A woman who has a third child as a result of rape will have to prove the crime – or they won’t get any more money.
Mothers would not be questioned by Department for Work and Pensions officials but by experts working for charities or within the health system.
Here’s where the Tory idea falls apart: charities including Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland – who actually understand the trauma of rape – have refused to ask as “referrers”.
The blank-eyed ignorance and insensitivity of Ms McVey’s claim attracted incredulity – not just in the Scottish Parliament but around the UK:
Rarely can you hear the sound of jaws dropping – but Esther McVey just said rape survivors might welcome the 'opportunity to talk' about their ordeal to a stranger to access benefits.
– "it's potentially double support"
— andy philip (@andydphilip) April 16, 2018
This was not the only monstrous statement by the Secretary of State, though.
The hearing had to be stopped due to interruptions from outraged members of the public after Ms McVey made her vile claim.
But it was also suspended when she tried to get MSPs and members of the public to believe Universal Credit is a “supportive system” aimed at helping people into work.
The Mirror explains: “One audience member shouted ‘you can’t get into work if you’re dead’ as the Work and Pensions Secretary was grilled in Holyrood.”
The Courier adds: “People in the public gallery interrupted the minister in an angry intervention that referred to claimants who had committed suicide and had payments suspended for missing appointments.”
But consider Ms McVey’s comment when the meeting reconvened: “‘I am not oblivious to people who are incredibly vulnerable or who are in need,’ the Work and Pensions Secretary said when the meeting reconvened.
“’Obviously the gentleman felt he needed to have his points said about something that was very important to him and about someone who is very vulnerable.’”
About someone who is very vulnerable? That person is dead! They had their payments suspended for missing appointments and committed suicide.
And the reason that death happened is, Ms McVey and her DWP lackeys are oblivious to people who are vulnerable or in need.
She simply doesn’t care – so her employees are contractually required not to.
MSPs were horrified by the performance.
The Mirror stated: “Labour MSP Pauline McNeill said after the hearing: ‘This was a disgraceful performance from a Work and Pensions Secretary who is completely out of touch with the reality of life for low income women on tax credits. To badge up the vile rape clause as some sort of virtuous policy to provide support is simply skin-crawling.”
And The Courier added: “Alison Johnstone, the Green MSP, said: ‘… It’s simply astonishing that this invasive and upsetting clause exists, forcing women to put on record events which they wish to remain private.’
“George Adam, the SNP MSP, described the minister’s assessment that Universal Credit is working well for the ‘vast majority of recipients’ as ‘devoid of reality’.”
It is testament to the special kind of stupidity exhibited by all Tories that Ms McVey remains Work and Pensions Secretary after behaviour as loathsome as this.
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