Monday 07 September 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
Britain is a humanitarian rudderless ship. The refugee crisis is a media storm in this country because right now Britain has no humanitarian government or leader. Your initial response of calling refugees a ‘swarm’ was on a par with Iain Duncan Smith referring to people on benefits as ‘stock’ and demonstrates a lack of consideration, care or even concern for the well being of people at their most vulnerable.
It can hardly come as any surprise to anyone paying attention to the actions of your government and your treatment and attitude towards the most vulnerable people in this country. Britain already has a humanitarian crisis in the way the poor are being brutalised by Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms and, as George Osborne made clear in the budget, the poor are expected to be solely responsible for eliminating the deficit.
Smith’s sanctions regime, despite all his protestations that they are used as a last resort, are, in fact, routine and imposed for the most spurious and trivial reasons and it is reported that 100 people a day with severe mental health problems are being sanctioned. People who are sanctioned can apply for a crisis loan, but it comes from the very department that created the crisis. Depriving people of the means of survival is unconscionable in what is meant to be an advanced civilised society.
It is a tragedy that it takes a child dead on a beach to shake the xenophobic and racist attitudes that are so wide spread in this nation fuelled by hate filled rags like the Daily Mail and the Sun and, of course, Katie Hopkins.
You and your government have also been instrumental in fuelling the vilification of the poor treating those on benefits as cheats and frauds, accusing them of having a culture of entitlement and as work shy. You said that the our system of social security ‘has led to huge resentment amongst those who pay into the system’. Who’s planting the seeds of that discontent if not you and your government, ably assisted by the media? It was Osborne who said at conference, ‘Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift-worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?’ What was that supposed to do other than fuel resentment and hate?