Vox Political on Disabled Protest Against Benefit Deaths at Westminster Bridge

Yesterday, Mike over at Vox Political put up a piece reporting and commenting on a sit-down protest by the Disability advocacy group, Disabled People Against Cuts, which closed Westminster Bridge for three hours. The group was protesting against the deaths that have been caused by the government’s welfare cuts. While Mike’s article points out that the group weren’t chanting, ‘There’s only one Jeremy Corbyn’, they fully support Mr Corbyn and his deputy, McDonnell, for their opposition to the welfare reforms. Mike quotes their press release as saying

“Since 2010 deaf and disabled people have been targeted for cuts and seen hard won rights and freedoms taken away – and as a result, the UK is now the first country to be investigated by the UN for grave and systematic violation of disabled people’s rights.

“Through all this, while much of Labour was competing with the Tories on who could be the toughest on welfare, Jeremy [Corbyn] and John [McDonnell] stood with disabled people and opposed the cuts.”

Mike also points out that one person, who didn’t support them, was Owen Smith. And I really am not surprised. Despite all the censorship and the attempt to deform the language used in the leadership debate to rule out any mention of the word, Smudger’s a Blairite. And it was New Labour under Gordon Brown that introduced the wretched ‘Work Capability Test’, which has seen so many disabled people thrown off benefit for the flimsiest and most ridiculous pretexts. Among those, who have been declared ‘fit for work’ have been terminally ill cancer patients, including those in comas. And injury has been compounded with insulting stupidity, as when one of those involved in the tests asked a claimant, an amputee, when they expected their limbs to grow back.

Thousands, if not tens of thousands of people have been thrown off benefit because of the cuts. Mike’s posted up many times the precise number, including those who’ve died after being found ‘fit for work’. And upwards of 500 have starved to death, or taken their own lives in despair, unable to fee themselves through having their benefit taken away. The victims have included an elderly couple, a young mother with her baby, and a diabetic man.

It’s a gross scandal, which should be a source of bitter shame to Britain as one of the richest countries in the world. And any decent left-wing party should be shouting from the roof tops demanding an end to it. But the ruling New Labour clique didn’t want to. Ed Miliband instructed his shadow cabinet to abstain, rather than oppose the cuts, because he did not want the right-wing press claiming that Labour was soft on welfare scroungers. Thanks to shrieking headlines from the likes of the Daily Mail and the Scum, most Brits apparently believe that a very sizable number of claims, if not all of them, are fraudulent, while the real number of is 0.7 per cent. Which to my mind, makes Paul Dacre, Richard Desmond and Rupert Murdoch complicit in promoting these murderous policies.

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One Response to “Vox Political on Disabled Protest Against Benefit Deaths at Westminster Bridge”

  1. Blissex Says:

    «a Blairite.»

    Apparently Labour members have been expelled from the party for using the word “blairite”. Myself I prefer “mandelsonian”. From my usual quote:

    «Philip Gould analysed our problem very clearly. We don’t know what we are. Gordon wants us to be a radical progressive, movement, but wants us to keep our heads down on Europe. Peter [Mandelson] thinks that we are a quasi-Conservative Party but that we should stick our necks out on Europe.»

    As to this, I think it was H Harman:

    «[ … ] It’s a gross scandal, [ … ] Ed Miliband instructed his shadow cabinet to abstain, rather than oppose the cuts, because he did not want the right-wing press claiming that Labour was soft on welfare scroungers.»

    Anyhow, the gross scandal is not the the two main tory parties (Conservatives for “Leave” and New Conservatives for “Remain”) compete in brutalizing the sick and poor, but that they are competing to do so because it is very popular with “Blow you! I am allright” voters. The big problem is not that the parties are nasty and corrupt, but that so many voters are nasty and corrupt. E Currie wrote in her diary, 1988-02-07:

    «Thatcherites to a man, the working classes: lots couldn’t give a damn about the old and sick.»

    Or for a milder opinion “Sierra man” so well described by T Blair:

    «I met a man polishing his Ford Sierra, self-employed electrician, Dad always voted Labour. He used to vote Labour, he said, but he bought his own home, he had set up his own business, he was doing quite nicely, so he said I’ve become a Tory.»

    The political problem that T Blair correctly described is that low income and poor voters are a minority, and thus to get into government a “progressive” party needs an alliance with the “conservatory-building classes” many of whom are not very “progressive”. The mandelsonian solution is to get rid of the minority and just represent the interest of the “conservatory-building classes” plus gender/orientation politics. I think that is as wrong a thinking that a “progressive” party does not need them.

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