Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is calling for voters to force their MPs – particularly Tory MPs – to admit the brutality of Universal Credit, benefit sanctions and disability benefit assessments that he says are now unchallengably linked to people’s deaths. But will it do any good?
He wants us all to speak personally to MPs because they refuse to face the facts when discussing it in a Parliamentary debate.
It’s an optimistic view, in This Writer’s opinion, because it assumes that Conservative MPs don’t understand that people are dying as a result of their policies. They do – or at least many of them do.
Not only do they understand that people are dying, they approve of that fact.
They agree with the 1930s Nazi definition of the sick and disabled as “useless eaters” and they think any policy that reduces the numbers of such people is a benefit to the nation (meaning it cuts the tax bill for the very very rich).
The problem with that is, we could very easily point out that those very very rich tax dodgers may also be described as “useless eaters” as they contribute increasingly less to the nation as a whole while using a proportionately higher amount of the services those taxes fund; many of them rely on the profits of businesses that were started by their ancestors and which they do not understand; and they are therefore worse parasites than the disabled people their votes persecute.
Mr McDonnell says it is possible to gain “appreciation” of the situation by introducing MPs to people who have been sanctioned. I don’t think that’s true. They may nod and say placatory things, but they will do nothing because they want those people to die.
Mr McDonnell says it is possible to gain “awareness” by mentioning individual cases in which people have committed suicide because of the hostile environment they have to endure. I don’t think that’s true either. The official government response is that there are many reasons for people to commit suicide; they spit out this line even in the face of hard evidence that the deaths were prompted by their policies.
There may be productive ways forward. A court case or public inquiry to examine the relationship between deaths of people on benefits and the behaviour of the system itself may conclude that a reasonable person would find a connection between them. If so, the government will be open to more than 100,000 legal challenges for corporate manslaughter – at the very least.
Realistically, the most likely way of lifting the Tory threat hanging over benefit claimants is the election of a Labour government.
That is one reason This Writer wants an early general election, which seems possible with Theresa May’s failures over Brexit.
The trouble is that, despite the fact that a vast majority of the public support Labour Party policies, people are being misled by an overwhelmingly Tory-supporting mass media into believing that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a threat.
Consider the scandal last week, in which it was revealed that members of the armed forces have been using a poster of Mr Corbyn as target practice.
The system is stacked against Labour, and therefore against anybody who is in a position of vulnerability; anybody who isn’t a vastly rich Tory.
So if you have a relative or friend who has to claim sickness and/or disability benefits, go and see them, and give them a lot of affection. They may soon be dead – and if you voted Conservative, it’ll be because of your vote.
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