The politics of envy, invented by the rich who oppress the poor

11_july_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,144

Saturday 11 July 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

As I have daily observed and written about your unravelling of this country since March 2012 certain things stick in my mind. They go on what I call my back burner, the place where I put things that aren’t clear but seem important.

You Tories are fond of accusing people of the politics of envy. It’s an excellent get out of gaol free card to play whenever inequality or injustice come up absent of sense or sensibility, as Tory MP George Freeman demonstrated when he accused those who want to punish companies who aren’t paying the minimum wage as engaging in the ‘politics of envy’. The minor matter of breaking the law is something that you Tories do not consider a handicap. I wonder how much Iain Duncan Smith continues to cost the nation as he appeals against the high court ruling on his lawlessness in retrospective law making, which Mrs Justice Lang said “interfered with the right to a fair trial” of all the 228,000 people affected. Part of his dismal, whining, defence was that, repayments to benefits claimants would be “an undeserved windfall”.

George Osborne’s colourful and hateful turn of phrase in his 2012 conference speech about people “sleeping off a life on benefits” and David Freud with his even more hateful, “people who are poorer should be prepared to take the biggest risks” as they have “the least to lose” demonstrate something rather odd. They reveal a searing envy, resentment and hatred of the poor for any and every comfort, relief or succour, even down to the food they undeservingly eat. People on benefits and in particular the most vulnerable are referred to by the DWP as ‘Stock’ as Smith announced to the House of Commons without a hint of shame. “Well, that is the term used – those are people who are on the benefit at present,” he said.

Osborne has scrapped University maintenance grants for lower income students in England and Wales from September 2016 claiming there was a ‘basic unfairness in asking taxpayers to fund grants for people who are likely to earn a lot more than them’. This from a man who has never experienced a days want in his grasping, over privileged, life and who bought a paddock on expenses with taxpayer’s money. Unfair to help the poor? This is the politics of envy writ large and it’s as ugly as sin. Someone once said to me that they envied me receiving Disability Living Allowance and wished they could have my ‘benefits’, I said they were welcome to them, but they’d have to take the whole fucking deal which includes why I receive DLA at all. They didn’t sound quite so keen then.

Calling poor, sick and disabled people ‘Stock’ and treating them as such and jealously attacking them for any comfort or aid they may receive is what’s really sick, especially when it comes from people for whom privilege defines their every living moment! That’s the politics of envy, invented by the rich to justify oppressing the poor and forcibly keeping them in their place. It’s pure filth!

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