The abuse of power and the descent into barbarity

03_april_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,391

Sunday 03 April 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I am sure it has troubled people oppressed by governments and dictators throughout time, what do you do when the state becomes the enemy of the people? The problem being that tyrants usurp all the powers of state to suit their own ends.

It is not the people who control the armed forces, the police, education, health, the civil service, benefits system and so on, these are entrusted to the state to legislate their function and delivery, and rightly so. Under benign leadership, it makes for a coherent, joined up, system to maximise services for the benefit of all.

Yet any such system carries inherent risks; that those entrusted with power can abuse it. Throughout time there have always been those who seek power for powers sake, for personal gain and self aggrandisement.

It is wisely said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Yet is not just the failing of powerful elites, none of us are free from such temptation, it is part of the human condition, and the world is littered with petty dictators who lord it over their fellows, enjoying their little fiefdoms, be it the office, charity, or neighbourhood.

I suppose it is inevitable that under a corrupt government petty dictators arise and have their day and, despicable though it is, it should be no surprise to discover under your government that a Jobcentre has a poster on bold display of the arcade game ‘Space Invaders’ entitled ‘Yardley ESA Challenge’. It is hard to imagine that a member of staff has designed and paid for this as a bizarre act of philanthropy, so I presume this has been undertaken using public funds.

We really have descended into barbarity when sick and disabled people are represented as little green alien blobs to be shot down by Jobcentre staff. Disability minister Justin Tomlinson has said the poster will be taken down as it is not “presented in the best way”. Really? I wonder what’s next, pictures of firing squads with addle brained, power crazed, Jobcentre staff cheerfully gunning down vulnerable people?

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