Another one for IDS to fume over.

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The Tories really don’t like the truth. Here’s some proper perspective to counter their vile propaganda.

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Burden of proof – innocent until proven guilty

There is a basic and essential principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

This parliament, the authorities and the right-wing media are circumventing that principle by means of propaganda and mass accusations. It is now assumed within these groups (and elsewhere) that a person in receipt of disability benefits is defrauding the taxpayer. They are standing the legal entitlement to a presumption of innocence on it’s head.

They are taking apart a vulnerable section of the community and forcing them to prove their innocence of that accusation, not just once, but over and over again. Wherever there’s any doubt about the validity of a claim, guilt is assumed and the benefits stopped. This happens to thousands of people every week, not because they are defrauding the taxpayer, but because the assessment process is deeply flawed and heavily biased against claimants. The consequences are extremely serious. People are starving, losing their homes, their already damaged health and in so many tragic cases, their lives.

Added to this outrage is an utterly inadequate appeals system. In the many cases where appeals are eventually successful, enormous damage has already been done to the lives and health of the claimant.

I struggle to believe that this is all the result of catastrophic incompetence. This parliament is eagerly pursuing the same frenzy of contempt and hatred whipped up in the electorate by sensationalist media. There is no leadership, they are selling their souls for votes and the chance to continue ripping off the nation via dubious expenses claims and the feathering of corporate nests. In any society worth belonging to, this vile witch-hunt would be outlawed rather than driven by the government.

My knowledge of the law is only that of a layman but I have a strong sense of justice. Surely there’s someone out there with enough knowledge and experience to stand up against this social cancer which is destroying this once Great Britain?

So the government want to end benefit dependency? Their’s or everyone else’s?

Benefit dependency? What a malicious and malignant term that is. It’s used as an attack on the poor, the unemployed, the sick and the disabled. It’s used to brand them as lazy and sub-human. It’s used to bully them.

The vast majority of people who are dependent on benefits are employed, retired or in charge. First of all, the government relies heavily on the benefits system. It allows them a psychological comfort zone when their self-justifying meddling backfires as it habitually does. It allows them to keep inflation down by the suppression of wages, and it provides them with target groups to be used as scapegoats.

Businesses are heavily addicted to the benefits system. It allows them to hire and fire at will with no impact on any residual vestiges of their consciences. It allows them to split 4 full time jobs into 10 part time jobs so that they have a worker-pool which is 2.5 time the size and costs them less. They are also the main drivers and beneficiaries of the suppression of wages.

The ordinary working people depend upon benefits, either directly through in-work benefits or indirectly as a safety net. Believing that they won’t starve if they get sick, made redundant, or have an accident allows them a sense of security (if only they knew).

Most pensioners are in direct receipt of benefits. They prefer not to think of pensions as benefits, but that’s exactly what they are.

I would dearly love to know what all these other groups are planning/expected to do to overcome THEIR benefit dependency.

The value of a disabled person

I’m disabled due to an accident which was no fault of anyone. I have been for 20 years. I worked through it for 14 years before that but was forced to stop in 1993. Now I have a life threatening and life changing illness as well. I’m ok with that, shit happens.

Ok, that’s a very brief description of the situation I’m in. It absolutely isn’t a definition of who I am.
I am a parent, a child, a sibling, a grandparent, a cousin and a friend. I am fiercely positive and as independent as my conditions allow. I also love a good laugh.

If you measure my worth by the size of my bank balance, I’m worth nothing. If you measure my worth by my ability to make fat-cats fatter, I’m worth nothing. If you measure my worth by my physical ability, my reliability or my recent contribution to government coffers, I’m worth nothing.

But you know what? I am worth a heck of a lot in other ways. I am loved and valued by my friends and family. I inspire some with my resilience and determination. I am an example to others for different reasons – I strongly believe in honour, decency, honesty, love and integrity. My kids need me just the same as any other kids need their parents. Some people find me funny, others find me thought-provoking. I have loves, hopes, dreams and desires like anyone else. I share experiences with many people and pass on much that’s wonderful about life to those who don’t have time to stop and smell the roses.

I spend money wisely and that supports businesses and those who work for them. It also ploughs my little bit of benefits back into the economy via the taxes they pay. I contribute to this society in many ways that won’t show up on a balance sheet.

I am a disabled human being.

I am worth something.

I am worth what it costs to keep me alive.

Something I wrote a while ago

There was a time, still in living memory when a regime was in severe financial difficulties. In a ruthless attempt to claw their way out of trouble they used misdirection and propaganda to whip a nation into a frenzy of hate, compliance, fear and persecution. They targeted minorities, anyone who was different. The sick, disabled, homeless, anyone in fact who didn’t conform to their arbitrary ideals. These people weren’t the ones responsible for the mess, they were just easy targets. The regime imposed draconian and sharply focused laws to persecute these minorities while leaving their fellow “ideal” subjects relatively untouched. At best they were indifferent to human suffering, in fact many took a particular delight in inflicting it. They used many methods to flush out and rid themselves of undesirables; disposession, starvation, criminalisation and withdrawal of human rights and the essentials of life are just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m sure that you know which regime I’m talking about, let’s face it, it isn’t a secret. The people of the nation concerned simply sleep-walked into their nightmares. My point is this:

Can anyone, anywhere show me a significant difference between the early stages of that regime and it’s methods and the current government and it’s recent predecessors?

We need a voice and that voice needs to be able to say “This is not acceptable, go back and think again”.