Monday 01 June 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
Figures from the Crown Prosecution Service reveal that disability hate crime has risen 213% since 2007/08 and that’s just what gets reported, the reality will be much higher. It’s hardly surprising given the relentless assaults on poor and vulnerable people from government and the media since 2010.
It’s not just programmes like Benefits Street, though Iain Duncan Smith used what is now called Poverty Porn to justify his welfare reforms and his attacks on all those on benefits, including his sanctions regime, claiming, “Many people are shocked by what they see. The reality is that is why the public backs our welfare reform package, to get more people back to work, to end these abuses.”
Whilst benefit fraud is just a tiny 0.7% the propaganda and rhetoric being used against those on benefits is out of all proportion to the facts, fuelling and stoking hatred. George Osborne even used the murder of six children by Mick Philpott to suggest that benefits influenced such behaviour.
There is also an insidious hatred contained in your endlessly regurgitated message that Britain is for “hard working people” and that you are building an economy for “people who want to work hard and get on in life”. It’s the language of exclusion of anyone and everyone who, for whatever reason, doesn’t fit what are vacuous phrases, empty of definition or any real worth or meaning. It’s the language of a propagandist and, of course, it works as you well know.
The rise of vicious hate speech in the media and social media, epitomised by Katy Hopkins, is terrifying, not least that it is done with impunity; streams of hate like projectile vomiting.
As someone who is deeply involved in challenging this growing extremism it’s shocking that care, kindness and consideration are now revolutionary in thought, word and deed but its right that they should be. Injustice must be fought with justice, love for others must counter the hatred, helping hands must challenge the clenched fists, care and consideration must thwart the viciousness, and the rising tide of endlessly expressed ‘opinion’ must be challenged through thoughtful consideration and concern for fact, not fiction, especially the political fictions and propaganda that drive Tory policies of destruction. Hate will only tear this country apart. The future of this country will be decided by love not hate.