A letter a day to number 10. No 1,157
Friday 24 July 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
Authoritarian Conservatism is a combination of emotionally (anally) retentive Victorian paternalism with the colonial mindset of conquest and ownership. It is socially corrosive and divisive and fundamentally dishonest in its self righteous attitude of ‘don’t do as I do, do as I say’ and, of course, it’s punitive and manipulative.
Iain Duncan Smith is attempting to write poverty, sickness, disability, mental illness, unemployment and social disadvantage out of existence, redefining them as personal failings and he is using sanctions to enforce compliance in his twisted brutal regime of benefit denial. He also has plans to eradicate the words ‘child poverty’ from the Child Poverty Act, renaming it the ‘Life Chances Act’. Since 2010 you have successfully redefined poverty as a personal and familial failing aided and abetted by the media, stripped of any structural, industrial or political causes or influences. Thus government is absolved of any responsibility to play any role in ending poverty, other than through punitive coercion having turned it inwards on families and individuals as their own failing as a result of their persistent failure to get off their backsides to do something about it.
Smith has plans to introduce attitude and behaviour modification therapies into Jobcentres and has already piloted a scheme in Swansea, hiring ‘Start Smiling Again’ run by David Rahman, a man with no formal therapy qualifications and who resembles little more than a snake oil salesman. The DWP has said ‘claimants would not be sanctioned for refusing psychological treatment’. It is utterly absurd to imagine that behaviour modification will not become part of the Claimant Commitment Contract and therefore subject to sanctions for two reasons, firstly, coercion and punishment are central to authoritarian Conservatism and secondly, authoritarianism has no compulsion to tell the truth in its arrogant paternalistic certainty of being right. Your own miserable record in the truth department speaks for itself.
Although I have concentrated on the lethal Iain Duncan Smith he is far from alone in his privileged petty dictatorship, health and the NHS, education, welfare reform, the economy under George Osborne crucifying the poor whilst rewarding the rich, law, human rights, public services, public asset stripping and on and on are all falling under the hammer of Tory despotism.
You have no mandate nor moral right or authority to treat people inhumanely, there is absolutely no possible excuse for denying people dignity and respect, that failing is yours, not ours, it is entirely the failure of you and your government to live up to even a minimum standard of common human decency.