A letter a day to number 10. No 1,061
Friday 17 April 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
On the day after you launched your election manifesto you were reported as saying, you care about the “poorest and most vulnerable” and “This makes me more angry than almost anything else. We’ve taken three million of the lowest paid people out of tax. Actually it’s the people at the bottom end that I care about. That’s what this government has been about.”
In your manifesto it baldly states: “the root causes of poverty: entrenched worklessness, family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency.” (Conservative party manifesto 2015. p:28)
A man in your position with all the vast resources at your disposal cannot possibly have any excuse for such an appalling statement to exist in your party manifesto.
More than half of those in poverty are in work. Family breakdown is a symptom of poverty and inequality rather than a cause. Materialism and consumerism have their part to play in poverty in the UK, and the problem of debt, but you could just as easily, and probably more correctly, point the finger at the aggressive promotion of materialism and consumerism themselves. Fewer than 4% of benefit claimants report any form of addiction and NHS choices estimates that 2 million people in the UK are fighting an addiction, that is far short of the 13 million people in poverty, nor yet exclusive to those in poverty.
“Data from the Department for Work and Pensions showed that two successive years in which real incomes dropped by 3% per annum wiped out modest gains made in the previous eight years and pushed an extra 1 million people below the absolute poverty line.” I notice that you failed to mention government or banks as a root cause of poverty.
You can get as angry as you like in an attempt to impress the electorate, but your claim to care about the poorest and most vulnerable whilst promoting deliberate falsehoods and blaming poverty on the poor makes you nothing but a liar. No one in your position can claim ignorance or accident in such false claims, you have all the data and information available, that you choose not to use it and to make false claims cannot be anything other than purposeful and deliberate.
Your government has pursued unprecedented attacks on the poorest and most vulnerable people in the UK. You are without excuse, spin it how you like, you are no champion of the poor, quite the opposite, and it is we who are rightfully angry about that.
Click to access ConservativeManifesto2015.pdf
We can no longer sit comfortably with the myths behind poverty