The war on the poor will end, it is a matter of when, not if


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,428

Monday 09 May 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I hope that your relentless war on the poor haunts you for the rest of your days. I also hope that Iain Duncan Smith will be reviled and prosecuted for his obscene escalation of the sanctions regime, punishing the poor for merely being poor. And not just him, but everyone who has had a hand in it, including David Freud whose peerage is a slur on the nation, Maria Miller, Esther McVey, Mark Hoban, Priti Patel, Justin Tomlinson and not forgetting George Osborne targeting the poor to pay down his and the bankers debts. The list extends beyond them, I merely wish to highlight those named. Just to be clear, Labour are culpable in this too, including Tony Blair, but in nothing close to what this vile system has escalated into under your government.

There is no excuse. To wage an ideologically driven war against the poor is both baseless and heartlessly cold blooded. You have all corrupted a laudable and once proud system of social security into a penal system. You have turned Jobcentres, once called Labour Exchanges, into punitive dens of misery and human suffering.

Whatever Iain Duncan Smith’s stated reasons for resigning from the DWP, it followed a four year legal battle which ended in him being ordered to disclose Universal Credit internal reviews in the week prior to his resignation. No attempt by him to spin himself as a champion of the poor can expunge his dismal record and hate filled actions.

So many lives have been lost, such that Smith would never dare release the true figures, but sought to suppress and fudge them in every way.

I have written before (letters 1,017 and 1,037) that no court in the land would hand out a sentence depriving people of the means of survival and yet more sanctions are handed out than fines in Magistrates courts. People are judged and sentenced in secret without representation and driven into penury for up to three years to survive by what means, no one knows, or to die, many taking their own lives.

Last, but by no means least, is the disproportionate attacks on disabled people, nine times more than for most citizens and for severely disabled people it is 19 times. Disability hate crime has gone through the roof under your government, in one year alone, 2014-15, it increased 41% with the  Disability Hate Crime Network saying this was an under estimation of the true scale of the problem. Whatever mealy mouthed denials we hear from government on these issues, it cannot be denied that it is happening under your government and on your watch.

Your war on the poor will end, it is a matter of when, not if. We measure the time in human suffering and death, we will not forgive and we will not forget.

Benefit sanctions are ‘Britain’s secret penal system’

Miller and Atos face angry heckling at disability poverty conference

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