Saturday 24 January 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
I am a socialist, body and soul, and every day I grow more into what being a socialist means to me.
Iain Duncan Smith and the rest of you seek to control our lives, even down to micro managing (interfering) by controlling what we do, as Smith does in his desire to bring out a card payment system for benefits. I don’t oppose that out of some intellectual ideology, I oppose it because it is socially, morally and ethically wrong. It literally offends my humanity.
At the heart of my socialism as I live and breath it, is a deep abiding respect and love for life. In all my years of work I happily paid my taxes knowing that they helped support a system of health and welfare care for everyone, and yes, even for the, so called, feckless and work shy. I do not presume to know what is best for others, I offer advice if it is asked for and know to keep my mouth shut when it isn’t. My letters don’t fall into the category of ‘advice’ because they are about opposing social injustice and ‘living socialism’.
Many years ago a pastor said in a sermon, ‘Never give money to homeless people, they may spend it on drink and drugs”. Then, as now, I disagreed with such a paternalistic view. I have sat with many homeless people, some alcoholics and drug users, and listened to their stories. Every single one had a story that was worth listening to, some reduced me to tears. Drink and drugs both have mind expanding capabilities which are great, they are not in and of themselves a problem, how we deal with them is what can become problematic. Even the Bible recommends giving “strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts”. It’s in the last chapter of Proverbs and includes very good reasons why those in positions of power should not drink.
Every addict knows (speaking from personal experience), in their heart of hearts, that drink and drugs will kill them, that just goes with the turf, some get into recovery, some die, some even manage it well enough to live what for them is a fulfilling life. Who decides? Who has the right, other than each individual? Playing god is not something that human kind do well, ever. It should be resisted at all costs. It is a distinctly unappealing human trait lacking maturity, courage and consideration for others.
Iain Duncan Smith is not someone who has any right to micro manage benefits as he is responsible for policies that drive people over the edge into despair and death. As someone blogged today – ” People are terrified you can see it in their eyes, the way that they walk and look at the ground when they walk. They just want to disappear away from the world, desperate to hold onto what little they still might have. It’s got to stop.”