Authoritarian brutality is a job requirement at the DWP

18_september_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,204

Friday 18 September 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The politics and polices of demonisation and vilification in order to justify the shrinking of state provision and its privatisation is traumatising lives and worse, it is dehumanising those whose lives are traumatised and deliberately undermines human care, concern and compassion in and for others. Nothing demonstrates this more than Iain Duncan Smith complete indifference to disability and his implicit denial of it having any relevance to employment.

His plan to force disabled people into work and to get that, in proportionate terms, up to the level of ‘normal, non-disabled people who are back in work’ is a complete whitewash of what disability is, whether physical or mental. It is an absurd and ludicrous idea which depends on treating all disability as an object dissociated from any real substance or meaning. He is also laying the blame for the lower rates of employment amongst those with disabilities firmly on disabled people themselves, as if disabled people are deliberately and wilfully work shy.

Worse still is that this is all driven by an arrogant authoritarianism which is such an intrinsic part of the Tory mind set. It presumes to have the right to treat others in the most inhuman way and is exactly why he can say without a hint of shame that people on benefits are called ‘stock’. It is that authoritarianism that allows Lord Freud to say,’People who are poorer should be prepared to take the biggest risks; they’ve got least to lose’.

This is nothing new, it is the same brutality that was seen in the work houses of Britain, where people were treated worse than animals and the poor were despised and punished and dehumanised. It is this blind, unreconstructed thinking that underpins the cruelty of Smith’s welfare reforms and his unshakable belief that he is right and why he is impervious to sense or reason.

Smith’s choice of Priti Patel to replace Esther McVey is telling as she is even more heartless and cruel than McVey and seems to take pleasure in demonising and attacking those most in need of help. She believes Britons are ‘the worst idlers’ in the world, and  that ‘too many people in Britain prefer a lie-in to hard work’. With an attitude like that she is the perfect addition to the DWP as Smith’s latest attack dog with nothing but contempt for ordinary people. None of these people are fit to hold office, but it is their unrestrained arrogance, brutality and authoritarianism which are precisely why they do.

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