Tag Archives: Andrew Pierce

Sick and disabled people are dying while trying to claim benefits; Tory press calls them ‘scroungers’ again

A cartoonist’s view of government sickness and disability assessments; ministers set the bar at an impossibly high level.

The Conservatives seem to have launched another attack on sickness and disability benefit claimants – labelling them as “scroungers” again, even though many are dying before they even receive state payments – due to the Kafka-esque assessment process.

Tory lickspittle Andrew Pierce has published a poison pen piece in the Daily Hate Mailaimed at whipping up division between claimants and the rest of the population.

It’s a classic Tory “divide and rule” tactic, that was deployed to devastating effect during the years of the Coalition government. It comes out whenever the government needs to distract people away from its own shortcomings.

So, for example, today you could be asking why the Conservatives ignored warnings that schools built with RAAC concrete were falling down – for 13 years – and only started doing something about it after collapses came to public attention. The Tory answer to that is: “Look at those skiving benefit scroungers!”

The reality isn’t remotely similar to Tory Boy Pierce’s claim.

The reality is that people claiming sickness and disability benefits often die before they receive a penny, because the system already works very hard to deprive them of it – as Labour MP Debbie Abrahams pointed out in a Westminster Hall debate earlier this week:

If a coroner writes a ‘Prevention of Future Death’ report, it means they believe a death could have been prevented but the circumstances in which the deceased had been placed – in this case, a benefit claim process that is so complicated and obstructive that it not only discourages claimants but depresses them and further harms their physical health – actually contributed to or caused their death.

Obviously, if we have a claim process that is actually harming or killing claimants, it should be impossible to suggest that they are lazy scroungers; a lazy scrounger would not put him- or herself through the trial of such a procedure because it would not be worth the hassle.

And the underlying reality is that prime minister Rishi Sunak and Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride want to make the Work Capability Assessment harsher, in order to force a million sick and disabled people back onto the jobs market.

They’re not doing this because those people are actually fit for work and shouldn’t be on benefits.

They’re doing it because more people looking for work means employers can pay less; if a job applicant wants more than employers are willing to pay – like an actual living wage – they can refuse the application on the grounds that they can always find someone else who will take the lower payment.

But you won’t see that fact in one of Tory Boy’s hate screeds.


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George Osborne’s ‘confetti’ incident: what a lot of fuss over such a little thing!

Unbelievable: this innocent sprinkling of confetti at George Osborne’s wedding has been likened by former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls to the murder of Jo Cox.

The furore stoked by politicians and the mass media over a smiling pensioner throwing confetti over George Osborne at his wedding must defy belief.

Confetti-throwing is a well-loved tradition that one may usually expect to see after any wedding ceremony.

Ah, but this confetti was orange, meaning it – and the lady who threw it – were instantly linked with climate protesters Just Stop Oil. And they’ve continued to be linked to that organisation, even after it denied any connection:

It said: “The lady who threw confetti in Bruton yesterday was upholding a tradition that is common across many cultures. We absolutely defend the right for people to throw confetti (of whatever colour) at weddings and other celebrations.

“If it was a form of protest – which is yet to be established – we applaud it and thank the person concerned. It was peaceful and not especially disruptive, but got massive media attention for Just Stop Oil’s demand.”

But it continued: “However, as much as we applaud the use of orange confetti at this wedding, we were not responsible.”

That seems as straightforward as it gets.

So why is the incident still being linked to the protest group, and why are politicians from the Labour Party getting on the bandwagon to support George Osborne who, together with David Cameron, is the most directly responsible for the austerity policies that have been destroying the British way of life since 2010?

Here’s Rachel Reeves – who, as Shadow Chancellor, should be intimately familiar with Osborne’s economic recklessness – ignoring the fact that if it weren’t for demonstrations of protest at highly-publicised events, she might not have the right to vote today, let alone the right to be a member of Parliament who’s eyeing the second-highest office in the land:

What are the “better ways” that Labour is using to tackle the climate emergency, after party leader Keir Starmer cancelled its environmental policy and told us all that he hates “tree-huggers”? It doesn’t have any – that are visible to This Writer.

How about former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls who, as a co-presenter of ITV’s Good Morning Britainshouted down guest Owen Jones for daring to point out that Osborne’s austerity policies led to the deaths of many, many people:

Did you notice how Daily Mail columnist and GB News presenter Andrew Pierce tried to stop Jones being heard when he realised what the subject would be? “You’re losing the room, Owen” – he was saying the other people in the TV studio would not be interested in the mass deaths of many people who could have been watching their show today if not for the Tory policy that he (Pierce) supported then and probably supports now.

And then Balls opened his big mouth so Jones could not get a word in edgeways. And Jones – controversial though he may be – was the one in the right. Balls defeated his own aim by overtalking him; clearly the former Shadow Chancellor wanted to defend his former political enemy (leading us to question whether Osborne was ever really Ed Balls’s political enemy) and didn’t want the opposing view to be heard.

And wasn’t Ed Balls invited to George Osborne’s wedding?

Not satisfied with what he had already done, Balls made himself even more ridiculous by equating the practice of throwing confetti at a wedding with the murder of the late Labour MP Jo Cox. “Cremant Communarde”‘s comment is pertinent:

Again, Owen Jones was in the right: “It belittles [the death of Jo Cox at the hands of a far-right-wing extremist] to conflate the two.”

You have to question why Balls tried.

Was it because, as Aaron Bastani of Novara Media tweeted, “We have a political and media elite with no sense of proportion or common sense”?

He continued: “How can you start talking about Jo Cox in the same breath as someone throwing confetti? You can think both are wrong, fine, but this is obscene.”

Valid point.

Over on LBC, Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy – in his actual day job (clearly representing his constituents is only for spare change) – bemoaned the fact that some confetti may have fallen on Osborne’s (latest) bride, Thea Rogers.

He considered it “unacceptable” that Ms Rogers (Mrs Osborne?) was subjected to this wedding-day tradition. Go figure.

And Pamela Fitzpatrick makes a much more valid point: Lammy was defending somebody who introduced measures that killed tens of thousands of people – hundreds of thousands, if you go with Owen Jones’s figures.

Those people can’t have weddings, or confetti; they no longer have lives. That is what’s unacceptable, in any matter concerning George Osborne and his ilk.

Why have we been subjected to this display of outrage by some of right-wing Labour’s most prominent flapping mouths? Is it because not only Ed Balls but also his wife, current Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, was at the wedding?

Knowing this, isn’t the real issue whether any of these right-wing Labour luminaries were ever really opposed to Osborne and his austerity policies?

To This Writer, what’s unacceptable in this situation is a current or former Opposition MP socialising with a person who is responsible for such mass death. As a protest symbol, orange confetti isn’t nearly strong enough.

And there are other controversies that the above has masked. How about this one?

So this One-Rule-For-Us Tory was happy to inflict poverty on millions, while gracing his then-paramour with an enormous pay rise.

And then there’s the so-called “poison pen” email that landed the night before the wedding. I won’t quote it here – look it up yourself – but it suggests that not only was Osborne romancing Ms Rogers while he was still married to someone else but also that he is a serial love cheat who had physical relationship with other women while he was with her.

If it’s true, then coupled with everything else we are presented with the history of a creature who deserves nothing but revulsion and rejection from any right-minded person. One questions the judgement of a Labour Party whose leaders defend him.


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