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[Image from Pride’s Purge, using material from Terry Craven’s Facebook page.]

I was shocked when I saw the images above – as I expect you may be, if you are seeing them here for the first time.

They are of a 64-year-old man living in Birkenhead, here in the UK. He had been left to starve by the Conservative government’s barbaric mockery of a benefit system until, at the time these images were taken (Christmas Eve, 2018), he weighed just six stone, had contracted pneumonia and was “at death’s door”.

Employment law advisor Terry Craven provides the full story on his Facebook page:

“Please spare a thought for this 64 year old severely disabled client of mine? Please share this post to see if we can garner a response from the Tories although I doubt we will.

“My client was thrown off ESA by ATOS 18 months ago. Since then, he has been expected to sign on. Obviously, he’s been sanctioned and forced to go hungry. so much so he weighs 6 stone. On Friday [December 21], not surprisingly he was at death’s door with pneumonia. Fortunately, I was able to get him into hospital. Evidently, his left lung was full of fluid with his right not much better. He’s now on the mend.

“He has been unable to heat or look after his home properly because his health has deteriorated which I suggest is obvious from the photographs. He lives in one room of his 3 bedroom house he rents from a private landlord. It is rat infested, he cannot use the toilet nor is he strong enough to put water in a kettle. He relies on bottled water. I am making efforts to have him rehoused in sheltered accommodation. However, I think he may have to go into a nursing/residential home in the interim.

“Birkenhead Benefits Centre has ignored my continuous pleas for help, heartless bastards!

“Well here’s wishing May, IDS, Esther McVey a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The one thing which is certain is my client will not have one thanks to their evil, Dickensian policies. I hope they all rot in hell for the sickness, death and hunger the Tories have heaped on disabled people since 2010. My Christmas wish is for a general election and a Corbyn/McDonell government.”

By now, you may be even more appalled than when you saw the images. But there is an even more horrifying aspect to this story – the reaction of some members of the public.

Initial responses were as one might have expected from members of the public faced with such a shocking revelation of the reality of Conservative benefit policies:

But others were not so sympathetic. What kind of person writes the kind of comment provided by “dorsetphill”, below?

How about the abhorrent attitude of “Crantastic”, here?

I tend to agree with Ezzie Wilfred. Anyone reacting with such a lack of simple human compassion has been damaged by the Conservatives too – just not in a way that is as visible as the 64-year-old in the photographs, who is another victim of attempted Tory chequebook euthanasia.

The constant drip-feeding of Tory propaganda against benefit claimants, the sick and the old has desensitised these people. I would say they may even be suffering from a form of sociopathic disorder.

Or they may be trolls who have been paid to tweet poison at us, in order to “nudge” public opinion into line with what the Tories want. Judging by the fact that both the offensive accounts mentioned above have been around for many years but neither has many followers, this seems likely.

The best thing to do when encountering accounts like these is to block them.

Theresa May announced a crackdown on social media abuse in February last year, but these people are still here.

You may come to a conclusion about the reason for that. I could not possibly comment.

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