Friday, 5 April 2013

The Conservative Party - still the nasty party

There's already a lot of outrage on the internet by the Daily Mail deciding to scream a narrative that Mick Philpott (the violent partner who burned six of his kids to death in a plot to get revenge on an ex) is somehow the product of our welfare system. Which, in addition to absolving Philpott of any responsibility for his crimes, is despicable in saying that this individual monster is somehow reflective of everyone who claims benefits - not to mention is hypocritical in the extreme given that the same edition of the Fail had an article about a millionaire who murdered his family yet who wasn't seen by the newspaper as being symptomatic of all millionaires.

But today's blog post isn't about that because, let's be frank, nothing is too low for a newspaper which supported the fascists prior to World War II and who ran vicious polemic complaining about European Jews fleeing the Holocaust coming to Britain. No, today's blog post is about this:

The above is a compilation of screenshots from today's ConservativeHome.

In short, the Conservative party, led by George Osborne (our beloved Chancellor of the Exchequer and all round fuckwit), saw the Daily Mail's disgusting demonisation of everyone in receipt of benefits and decided to raise them by going on a full on offensive saying that the welfare state (which, you know, exists to make sure that vulnerable people don't starve to death) is to blame for producing Philpott and we should all be jolly concerned about it. (Subtext: and we'd give the welfare system a bally sorting-out if it weren't for those pesky Lib Dems blocking us, so make sure you vote for us next time.)

Now this alone, is to be expected, because, after all, Conservative MPs are normally vicious scumbags anyway.

But what really goes the extra mile is ConservativeHome talking about this as a cunning "trap" for Labour (hohoho - aren't we Tories clever?) as when Labour disagree with Osborne blaming the entire welfare system for the actions of one man, the tories now rush to smear them as "taking the same side as Philpott".

Excuse me? I have no love for Labour - they've spent fifty years betraying the poorest and the most vulnerable - but when someone disagrees with tarring everyone on benefits with the same brush as a particularly evil toerag that DOES NOT EQUAL defending the aforementioned evil toerag.

And what this shows is, quite perfectly, the utterly despicable true nature of the Conservative party. Man burns six of his kids to death in a deliberately set housefire - "hmmm, how can we find a way to politicise this to hurt our opponents and find fuel for our ideological opposition to providing a basic safety net for people living in poverty?" That's their mindset. Not one comment about the tragedy of it, not one shred of decency to stop and think that maybe, just maybe, dead children should not be used for political pointscoring.

I'll also say this: my father, who served in the armed forces, claimed child benefit for my brother and I when we were growing up and it made a big difference for all of us in terms of helping us get by after my mother died. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, my father has never burned anyone to death in a deliberately set housefire. For the tories to smear everyone claiming child benefits, including my father, by insinuating they're part and parcel of the same "benefit lifestyle" bollocks, which they claim produced Philpott, is disgusting and morally offensive.

I'm incredibly angry about this which is why I've used swear words on this blog for the first time in a while. But I'll stop here and leave the last words to the Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather who I don't normally agree with but got this particular issue spot on:
I am shocked and appalled that George Osborne has stooped so low as to make a crude political point out of the tragic deaths of six young children. It’s one thing for a tabloid newspaper to make unsophisticated, clumsy political arguments, quite another for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to join in. 
It is deeply irresponsible for such a senior politician to seek to capitalise on public anger about this case, and in doing so demonise anybody who receives any kind of welfare support. Mr Philpott should be held fully accountable for his awful actions and it is reprehensible to seek to explain it away by blaming the welfare system which Osborne has been so happy to wage war on. 
On Tuesday, when answering a question about living on £53 a week, Osborne said that it’s not sensible to reduce the debate to an argument about one individual’s set of circumstances. It makes you wonder what has changed in 48 hours.


  1. George, that isn't what he said. He stated that the fact that the state subsidised him to have 17 kids meant that there needed to be a debate on the subject. He stated firstly that the killings were a tragedy.

    I'm not Osborne's greatest fan, nor do I like the way he has tried to turn the welfare issue into a 'workers v shirkers' debate when it should be one about redemption and salvation (as IDS wanted to achieve). But, Osborne's comments were simply calling for a debate on the welfare system and welfare state.

    To decry a group of people as 'lower than vermin' for taking an alternative view on something is actually very illiberal of you.

    1. You are wrong I listened to him very carefully the facts are there are 189 families on benefits with over 10 children. In fact even when you take it up to over 4 children it is only 40,000, I say this only because that out of the 28,200,000 families it is so small a percentage 0.14%. To try to use that as evidence that the system is being abused or is failing is preposterous. The other thing is he must know this or he should not be running around giving quotes should he?

    2. Funny. And yet 48 hours ago Osborne was saying it would be wrong to boil a debate down to a discussion of one individual's circumstances...

    3. Again, he just stated that there ought to be a debate about how much the country can afford to pay for in welfare and how much the country is willing to pay.

      Yes, this is an extreme example, but if someone can get nearly 100k gross income from benefits then something is wrong. Why should my household which gets much less that that (gross) pay for it, or why should the country pay for economically inactive people to take home more money than we earn (i.e. more than the average)? He was right to question it. The quote itself seemed reasonable. If he said something along the lines of: "Benefit scrounger should be hanged", then I'd condemn him.

    4. There are five families in the UK getting 100k gross income from benefits. There are 28 million people in total in receipt of benefits of some kind. That's quite different.

      And, for the record, ConservativeHome makes it quite clear that this was "laying a trap" for Labour. That's politicising the deaths of children. You should be ashamed of your party.

    5. Laveen, you are implying that ALL Osborne did was say "there ought to be a debate about how much the country can afford to pay for in welfare".
      What Osborne did was say that there is something about this tragedy that should make us question Welfare. Why else would he mention the tragedy and then be requesting a debate on Welfare?

      Osborne has been requesting a debate on Welfare Reform since day one. Or rather he is opposed to current welfare and is setting about changing it and various groups and people tell him why they think it is a bad idea. The fact that he used this current tragedy to express his views is offensive to many people.

      The benefit system did not make Philpott the terrible person he is, it is more likely that it is because he is a terrible person that he set about exploiting the system.

  2. "There are 28 million people in total in receipt of benefits of some kind. That's quite different."
    Quite - that's nearly half the population receiving some kind of government hand-out. To what extent are taxpayers subsidising inadequate wages? Why is everything in this country so b----y expensive?

    1. Which includes universal (or previously universal at any rate) benefits like child benefit. If every family with a child can claim child benefit (as they could at the time this figure comes from) then it's not surprising that approximately half the population are in receipt of some sort of welfare payment. Not to mention all pensioners who get things like free bus passes and the winter fuel allowance.

    2. ...and a pension (for which they have paid) but which to make the numbers look massive, they are including as benefits.

      Won't be long before pensioners are being demonised by Osborne for being old and a drain on society.

      Interestingly Osborne claimed Child Benefit and Cameron claimed DLA and Child Benefit despite them both being exceedingly rich


I'm indebted to Birkdale Focus for the following choice of words:

I am happy to address most contributions, even the drunken ones if they are coherent, but I am not going to engage with negative sniping from those who do not have the guts to add their names or a consistent on-line identity to their comments. Such postings will not be published.

Anonymous comments with a constructive contribution to make to the discussion, even if it is critical will continue to be posted. Libellous comments or remarks I think may be libellous will not be published.

I will also not tolerate personation so please do not add comments in the name of real people unless you are that person. If you do not like these rules then start your own blog.

Oh, and if you persist in repeating yourself despite the fact I have addressed your point I may get bored and reject your comment.

The views expressed in comments are those of the poster, not me.