Monday, 25 June 2012

The day the tories declared war on morality

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice


I like to think of myself as a moral person. I try to live my life without hurting anyone else and showing consideration to others and, where possible, to put myself out of my way to help others. I like to think that I suceed most of the time and hopefully if there is some sort of judgement day then I'll have more in the black than in the red. It's quite an English thing actually. Live and let live, root for the underdog, etc. And, like most things in life, I can blame my parents for this. They raised me to be polite and considerate and to be independent and, most of all, fairly, with the result that I expect the world to be fair as well and get fairly irritated when I see unfairness taking place and no one doing anything to stop it. So that probably explains why I became interested in politics as well but that's a whole other story.

What I want to talk about today is Mr Cameron and his very clever plan (sarcasm) to stop housing benefit for under 25s if his party wins the next general election.

And my immediate response to that is who the hell does he think he is? And how bloody stupid and privileged is he? (The answer to those questions is, respectively "a tory" and "a lot").

Let me first of all just point out the practical problem with this proposal. It basically says to all young people that, regardless of their circumstances, they should live with their parents until they're 25. Now, aside from the fact that we don't really want a country where young people are still living with and still depending on their parents for another seven years after their 18th birthday, such an idea simply shows just how blindly privileged and thoughtless Cameron is in assuming that everyone even has the option of living with their parents.

What about young people leaving care? What about LGBT+ people who are kicked out of their homes by their parents just because of who they are? What about the people whose parents can't afford to look after their children, not to mention those who would struggle pay additional council tax for having an extra adult in the house? What about young people who are working every hour that god sends and yet still need housing benefit because rents are so high and because there's so little housing available?

The unspoken answer is, according to Mr Cameron's proposals, is that it's their own fault for not being born into a wealthier household. So, inevitably, what we would see if the tories ever manage to implement their policy (which should be never if the people of this country have any sense) is a massive spike in homelessness among young people. And when you're homeless it's very difficult to find a job, even when there are enough jobs to go around and which there aren't at the moment.

So what will happen to all these thousands of young people? People without jobs or homes or hopes of either? Well, inevitably, a lot of them will turn to crime. And a lot more of them will seethe with resentment as they're forced to live in poverty yet can see young people their own age, who were fortunate enough to be born into wealthier families, enjoying and taking for granted the kind of lifestyle that they could only dream of  and knowing that the system is set up in such a way that they will never have any hope of aspiring to that. In short, if you want a repeat of the riots of last year then this one policy is perhaps the best way to do it.

All of which ignores the simple fact that most young people are taxpayers. And we pay our taxes, in part, to provide for the welfare state. I firmly believe that a civilised nation has a duty to make sure that none of its people go hungry, that none of them go homeless, that none of them go without warmth or shelter or any of the other basic necessities of life. And that's why I pay my taxes. I don't grumble about pensioners getting free bus passes or that they use the healthcare system more than I do because I know that one day I could end up depending on those things. And I don't begrudge benefit payments to the disabled or the unemployed because I know that, there but for the grace of god, go I - not to mention that I could very easily find myself in their position completely unexpectedly. In any event, the fact is that our benefit system is one of the stingiest in Europe and that we spend less than half on it today than we did in Thatcher's day. Yep, that's right, Thatcher spent more on more generous benefits than Messrs Blair, Brown and Cameron combined.

And so this begs the question as to why the hell Cameron is proposing this nonsense? And the answers simple. It won't affect the kind of people who vote tory. Young people are unlikely to vote anyway and those made homeless by the policy will struggle to even register to vote without even a permanent address. Meanwhile the kind of young people who do vote tory are the ones wealty enough to be unaffected. But, more importantly, it panders to the right wing of his party and to the kind of people who foam at the mouth constantly at the thought of pregnant teenagers being given  support paid for by their taxes, and never bothering to think about all the young people who pay taxes so that they can enjoy a free health service which most young people don't use.

And that whole motivation there is what sums up the reason for my utter contempt of the tories. They are vermin. I have met some nice tories occasionally but as a party they are absolute scum who positively relish demonising and kicking those less fortunate than themselves. They represent the very worst of human nature and I would find it very hard to despise them more than I do now.

Because, fundamentally, the tories are immoral. They don't give a damn about letting other people live their lives. They don't give a damn about looking after or caring about other people as long as they can milk the system for as much as they can get for them and theirs and to hell with everyone else.

And, as a moral person (or at least someone who tries to be a moral person), I can tell you right now that this policy is wrong. It is immoral claptrap which won't achieve anything other than create a generation of homeless people and a crime wave and Lib Dems should not be afraid to say so.

This, more than anything, should be where we draw a clear dividing line between us, a party that stand for the many, and a tory party which only cares about the wealthy few and who are quite happy to ruin thousands of lives to "fix" a problem that exists mainly in their imagination.

Politics should be about morality. The vision that we have for society, a helping hand or an iron fist, should be at the heart of what politics is about. Liberalism should be a crusade for a better society, one where everyone can be sure that, no matter what happens, they will not be abandoned. One where no one is left behind. One where people show compassion and kindness and tolerance towards each other instead of the selfishness, intolerance and contempt for the unfortunate that the tories epitomise.

And, I can tell you right now, that if we don't pick up the torch on this, if we don't take up battle with the foe, with all those who would happily bring about the destruction of all that is best about England then we might as well give up on our principles and embrace the soulless machine politics of Labour. Because it's simply not enough and won't be enough for us just to argue against the technical points of the implementation of the policy, we need to be able to wage war, with fire in our bellies, for the heart and soul of our society and to tackle the tories head on on the very principle of the thing if we ever truly want to see a fair, free and open society.

13 comments:

  1. I get the impression that Cameron is seeing how far he can push and get away with it.

    A lot of the awful reforms the Condems have put through have not come into affect.When they do,there will be trouble.

    So pontificating about future attacks on the young,and although no longer young I care about the young.So divide and conquer have no affect on me.But I to think I do give a damn about others as obviously Cameron and co do not.

    All I can say is,what happened on the streets of London last summer will be a tea party compared to what will happen if these over privileged Eton Boys carry on.

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  2. I think that he is just trying to keep his lunatic right wingers on board by promising this, rather like the floated referendum on Europe. I can't really believe that once they test out the policy it will be put into force. And I don't believe that they will get in again anyway, and neither I would think do they.

    It's a bit like the fool's invitation to all French people troubled by Mr Hollande's prospective policy for a top rate of 75% tax, to go to England, a simply brilliant policy when they are trying to reduce immigration But it was said in the heat of the moment (and a few glasses of something expensive). But it showed to his right wingers that he was up for tax evasion/avoidance for the rich.

    Equally his attack on Carr (a left winger), but his refusal to attack other people in exactly the same situation, shows how completely shallow, and detached he is.

    It comes with immense privilege, which in turn comes with immense wealth and complete lack of morality.

    He is despicable, and I too hate him with passion. I think Carr summed him up pretty well.

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  3. This is the party you are propping up in government. Maybe you should put country before party and force an election. That would be the moral thing to do.

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  4. interesting "coincidence" that Clegg's right-hand man and closest adviser floats idea of cutting state share of economy down to 35% at same time Cameron floats this idea, outrageously claiming "founding fathers" of Liberal Party would be turning in their graves!

    Interesting transposition of Tea Party rhetoric to this side of the Atlantic. The founding fathers of the party would probably also turn in their graves if they knew a gay man was the Liberal MP for Yeovil but that does not make them right.....

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  5. I suggest you send this wise advce ti Nick Clegg

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  6. You're a fine young man, it is a pity your talent is wasted on the lib dems.

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  7. The question is - What are you gonna do about it?

    This man is trashing this country - He is supposedly in a coalition with LibDems (supposedly) so why in Gods name are the Lib Dems seemingly doing the sum total of sod all about all these horrific things?

    Lets split the NHS into bite sized chunks so all Scamerons friends can share in the profits and make them rivcher.
    Lets Make sure the little man pays tax and cant get out of it so there is more money around for the millonaires to cream off.
    Lets trash the welfare state so nobody can actually get any welfare (which btw who decided to call it welfare like USA when it once was health and social SECURITY)
    Lets just rip the whole country off and trash it fast as possible as we only have 5yrs to trash it and we need to work fast my old eton mateys, lets just get to it.

    Scameron is systematically undoing years and decades of work.

    Its one thing to say under 25s can get no housing - But also nobody employs you when you are of no fixed abode.

    Lets trash DLA and throw the disabled to the dogs when PIP will take away from this country as DLA can pay for a motability car - therefore no DLA = No motability cars sold, so thats like 32k of cars unsold, no tax being paid as those disabled people cannot get to work, the rest of the poor fakers on DLA (Sarc) can all stay in their house but they cannot get any help from social services as that loopholes been plugged so those that arent faking can just die quietly as they probably wouldnt vote anyways so they mean nothing! (sarc)

    Please.

    You seem like one of he few fine young men - But talk is cheap and action is needed before scameron has 100% turned the UK into the US, once he has sold everything off, what will be left for the people? Why should I pay tax if I am not allowed 'welfare' and the NHS no longer exists? Yet they still want me to prop up their over-stuffed arses with my taxes?

    I would love to see every MP live 100% on jobseekers allowance for a couple of months - Then they will see how easy it is to survive!

    Somebody needs to act now - And it seems that Cleggy is doing nothing but being scamerons lapdog - As we dont SEE him saying NO THIS IS WRONG to scameron, and that says he is complicit in the changes - Just like if I watch a murder and sit there happily doing nothign when i could have saved a life - I am complicit in it for NONaction.

    So please. Words are cheap - You are a good man, please - Use your connections to HELP this country.

    Disability is now a crime as 99% are fakers even though the fraud rate is so small. People are being attacked when they have life long conditions, getting a job is OK - IF YOU ARE ABLE.

    In the meantime I am just sitting here waiting for my demise, that will make them happy, one less oxygen consuming idiot.

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  8. [i]"I try to live my life without hurting anyone else and showing consideration to others and, where possible, to put myself out of my way to help others. I like to think that I suceed most of the time and hopefully if there is some sort of judgement day then I'll have more in the black than in the red. It's quite an English thing actually. Live and let live, root for the underdog, etc."[\i]

    And yet the English, taken in isolation, consistently vote for a Tory majority. A YouGov poll conducted yesterday (http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/vuyiidh8m9/YG-Archives-YouGov-Welfare-260612.pdf) shows that 56% of English (& Welsh)respondents support the withdrawl of housing support from under 25s compared to 36% of Scots.

    I am continually dismayed by this media-directed tendency for people to continually look at everything through the wrong end of the telescope. Instead of protesting that 'I'm working my ass off and not earning more than someone on the dole, I need a living wage..' ' they are encouraged to cry 'That lazy, worthless, workless scrounger is creaming as much as me and I'm working... Fuck him... Instead of demanding better private pension schemes more in line with the public sector, they demand that public pensions be decimated... This coalition has the support of the majority of the public in the race to the bottom. They say that Turkeys don't vote for Christmas... in England they do.

    The coalition use of the word 'Fair' needs to be addressed. to most people 'Fairness' means decency, equality , a level playing field but for the Tories, fairness means that 'People get what they deserve' and the rich are obviously better and therefore more deserving of more. For the elitist Gove and the insatiable right wing O-level streaming at age 14 is 'Fair' too because some students are 'gold' and some are very obviously 'bronze'. For Philip Davies, it's only 'Fair' that the vulnerable in society be exempt from minimum wage legislation as they can't compete with fully able colleagues. No need to speculate on Grayling's idea of what is 'Fair' when you look at his track record on WCA and the failing Work programme.

    I'm too sick and tired to continue...

    I want to think you for trying to help us George. For me the war or morality was lost when Libdems (against the wishes of your motion carried in conference) and the Tories reneged on the Lords amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill.

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    1. I think it's worth remembering that on stuff like O-Levels, Housing Benefit, civil liberties, etc. Lib Dems are doing brilliant work blocking insane tory proposals. The only real disaster area is the welfare part of the Department of Works and Pensions. But, depressingly, that is of course the area where the disaster really is a disaster and Lib Dems, but mainly the tories, do have a lot to answer on those issues. Not that Labour's track record is any better of course.

      Though when it comes to England, I think it's worth remembering that the tories might win the most seats in England but they don't win over half the vote. There is an anti-tory majority but there's a hell of a lot of disagreement amongst that majority.

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    2. I do think that labour's track record on welfare reform is better than that of the Lib Dems and Tories in the same way that someone who kicks you in the balls and runs away laughing isn't quite as bad as someone who kicks you in the balls and then stamps on your head. Labour did support the Lords amendments opposed by the LibDem MPs. Surely the very first duty of government is to protect its citizens and here we have a parliament going out of its way to cause harm to a significant minority.

      That is a fair point on England - i claim 'poetic licence' in my defence. I think the gist of my point still stands - an increasingly mean spirit at the heart of (Southern) England that isn't quite so obivious elsewhere in the UK.

      Welfare is not the only disaster area where the LibDems have had any influence. Tim Farron might pride himself that he is shielding us from the very nastiest of 'swivel-eyed' tory proposals but he and his friends have still enabled some very nasty acts such as the rolling back of employment protection legislation, getting rid of EMA and placing further limits to working tax credit entitlement.

      Then there is the Backdoor privatisation of the NHS. While, as you pointed out elsewhere, this service will remain free at the point of contact, it will nevertheless end up costing the public more with them receiving less. just look at how well private companies have performed in providing care for the elderly.

      Perhaps the next big disaster that is entirely of the LibDems' own making is the broken pledge on tuition fees. The arguments for and against tuition fees themselves are irrelevant for many but it is the broken PLEDGE that will be remembered. This wasn't some New Labour weasley ' we have no plans at this time..'. This was a pledge, tantamount to a contract. And they reneged on it. How can anyone be expected to trust Clegg again? None of you seem to realise how betrayed we feel. Particularly since many of the middle to left of centre already hated themselves for falling for Blair's Tory in Sheep's clothing. This will have wider repurcussions for politics in general fuelling a wider cynicism and anger in the general public.

      There is of course that other little disaster area - the economy. The coalition inherited a bare plot where some of the seeds Darling had planted in his last days as treasurer were starting to sprout and they managed to spill paraquat all over it. The Vat increase, the abandonment of public projects, the cuts to services... I could go on but i'm starting to bore myself.

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  9. Your views are commendable. However, the Lib Dems are part of the problem if they continue to take a passive role in this government.

    The Tories must be ousted at the next election and voting Libdem won't do that. At the last election, those who voted Libdem ended up with a Tory government that are determined to ruin this country. It can't happen again.

    http://rantingsubversive.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/tories-declare-war-on-the-poor/

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    1. Unfortunately, a lot of what we deplore about this government was started by Labour.

      All the Welfare Reform was their idea. The Tories just grasped it with both hands singing hallelujah.

      Labour have become Tories, because they realise that the only way to be elected in the UK is to appeal to the richer middle classes in the SE of England, where I know there are poor as well, but where there are 30+ million of the total population of 60 million and a lot of them natural Tories.

      Peter Mandelson admitted that it was part of the plan to modernise Labour, to get the middle classes in the South to vote for them. The poor in the North and the Celtic Fringe had nowhere else to go. (Well, he was wrong about that in Scotland, but right everywhere else.)

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    2. All the more reason for the LibDem grassroots members to stand up and shout about what kind of party they want it to be. We already have Tory Max in UKIP and Tory Lite in New Labour. We don't need another Tory party.

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