Victorians long past their natural extinction date

11_march_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,025

Wednesday 11 March 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I’ve been checking out life expectancies in the UK. Life expectancy at the year of my birth (1951) was 66 years for men and 71 years for women. Life expectancy at birth in 2011 was 79 years for men and 83 years for women.

There are many reasons for the increase in life expectancy including improvements in housing, heating, food, health care, scientific advances in all sorts of spheres including surgery, pharmacology and so on, universal social security and, of course, hard won improvements in working conditions.

Another of the great improvements is that people with disabilities now not only have better chances of survival if they are born with a genetic condition but at any age we are better able to support them and improve their life chances. Until now.

Back in 2010 the Mirror was concerned about what life under the Tories might lead to, “There is no need for David Cameron to take us back to the ethos of the Eton workhouse” they wrote. “It was a culture that believed the poor were unemployed because they were lazy; that children were born out of wedlock because their parents were wicked; that drunkenness and depression were lifestyle choices; that disease and uncleanliness were the products of immorality not poverty; and that the state should not interfere with the rights of private property and finance.” This is 2015 and how familiar those words ring today.

Iain Duncan Smith, inspired by UNUM, has produced his own refinements believing that ‘disabled people would be made free by working’, but essentially, following his epiphany on the Easterhouse estate in Glasgow, his mission in life is to brutalise and punish the poor, the sick and disabled treating them as moral failures and driving them back in time.

Of course your entire mission to make work pay has been about benefit denial and caps, thus ensuring that even with poverty wages and the loss of work protections, people are better off in abject work poverty than on, in every increasing numbers, nothing at all. There lies the sanctions mind set of forcing people into such desperate straits they’ll even slave on workfare for benefits which don’t even come close to the minimum wage, a win/win for the DWP and businesses and a lose/lose for both workers and benefits recipients.

You and your party are the new Victorians, driving people down into abject misery, poverty and despair, with venom and malice aforethought. It’s time you Tories were gone, you’re long past your natural extinction date.

Click to access disability.pdf

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