Tax Credits may be headlining, but Tory betrayal is nothing new

27_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,242

Tuesday 27 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

When reality comes calling it can be a very painful experience. As welcome as the furore over tax credit cuts is, it is tragedy that all the harm you’ve caused to the poorest and most vulnerable people in Britain was ignored by the majority. So you lied over cuts to tax credits… Well, you lied your way into a coalition in 2010, no top down reorganisation of the NHS, no cuts to front line services, no plans to raise VAT, cut ministers pay by 5% and freeze it for 5 years, protect Sure Start and Education Maintenance Allowances, and that’s just six of the many lies you told this nation. For many and varied reasons social injustice is something that for many doesn’t get their attention until it bites them hard on the behind, even though death has been stalking our streets with thousands of lives lost to austerity, the bedroom tax and, of course, Iain Duncan Smiths benefits denial system and sanctions regime and hundreds of thousands of our children have gone, and are still going, hungry.

I wrote about cognitive dissonance yesterday and it’s fair to say, I think, that people vote for the political party they consider will be best for them, many others will extend that to best for society as well, but the idea that their chosen party would, despite its many (seeming) promises, actively mean them harm and be made up of little more than cheap, chiselling, thieving liars, is nigh impossible to grasp. Added to which, I suppose most people think of themselves as fairly decent and honest, and by extension others as well, and it is a terrible blow to discover that they have been deceived and even harder to fully accept. No one likes to feel stupid, conned, taken for a ride and betrayed. The sickening sense of inner betrayal brings a flush of shame and embarrassment and that is really tough to deal with.

You wrote about British values in the Mail on Sunday to mark the 799th anniversary of Magna Carta, saying, ‘The values I’m talking about – a belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law – are the things we should try to live by every day. To me they’re as British as the Union Flag, as football, as fish and chips’. But they are just words and they are words that for you clearly have no meaning at all. How can we be free when we are slaves of the markets and the debt they’ve dumped on the lives of ordinary people which you are forcing us to pay off? Your tolerance for others includes calling refugees a ‘swarm’ and not to forget your infamous racist vans. Your lack of acceptance of personal and social responsibility are exactly what’s on the line here and has been since 2010. As for the rule of law, two words, Legal Aid, cuts to which have seen the legal profession actually taking to the streets in protest. So, to quote Douglas Adams for the third time in these letters, you are talking cross eyed badger spit. As British as the Union Flag, as football, as fish and chips? Populist claptrap.

Above all, you and your fellow Tories mock us, with your lies and jeers and falsehoods that drip with all the sincerity of snake oil salesmen. Yours is the party of the rich and always has been and ordinary people are merely collateral damage in the insatiable pursuit of personal and corporate greed and you have the effrontery to accuse us of a culture of entitlement. Nice touch.

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