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Sunday, 7 May 2017

Abusive bullies avoid embarrassing questions

The scale of right wing 'welfare reformist' government abuses is now more mainstream than it was when David Cameron gave a speech in 2007 stating that tougher benefit sanctions were required.(1) The tactics and strategies of the abusive bullies are still very much the same, however.

Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson asks, “Is Jeremy Corbyn going to be the one who is going to stand up and get the best for Britain [in Brexit negotiations] or is Theresa May?” (Tories determined to follow 'get Corbyn' strategy, CNJ, May 4, 2017.(2))

Perhaps a lot depends on what he means by 'Britain'. Among the billionaires domiciled in the UK according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2017. there is "a record number of British billionaires - 134 - with 14 new ones emerging over the last year."(3) 
Yet Britain is very unequal socio-economically. In 2015, according to NHS figures, 7300 people were admitted to hospital with malnutrition — an increase of 50% since 2010. Homelessness is up 54% since 2010.(4)

Moreover, in negotiations bullies think that the bullying tactics used at home against those with no real bargaining power is 'strong leadership'. Among the tactics successive UK governments have used to deflect and pre-empt criticism of deteriorating services for benefit claimants have been the besmirching of the reputation and hence public goodwill toward those who have been abused by woefully inadequate and exploitative 'benefits helplines' as remote control has replaced face-to-face contact with decision-makers. In the mid-noughties while 21m calls to Jobcentre Plus helplines in 2004/5 went unanswered,(5) a Blairite government was running its Tory-lite 'Targeting BenefitThieves' campaign.(6)

Now, furthering the isolation and invisibility of benefit claimants while'benefits helpline' calls cost pay-as-you-go mobile phone users £33/hr, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has decided to close a number of jobcentres used by Camden New Journal readers, including Kilburn andHighgate (near Archway) to 'improve the service' without consulting service users.(7)

The EU's Chief Negotiator has more bargaining power than a DWP 'customer'.(8)

Now at this General Election time, the Tory chief whip's tactic of changing the agenda when faced with embarrassing questions gives rise to new meaning for a cartoon by Crippen the Disabled Cartoonist's 'Welfare Warfare' series.(9) The cartoon depicts a group of disabled people at a meeting presided over by the then Tory Prime Minister and Disability Minister who state: 
“Don't worry — when we want your opinion, we'll tell you what it is.”

Link references

  1. http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/benefit-claimants-require-firmer-safegards-not-tougher-sanctions.html
  2. http://camdennewjournal.com/article/corbyn-wont-save-people-from-food-banks-warns-tory-chief-whip-gavin-williamson
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39830087 title: "UK's super-rich carry on making billions" 
  4. http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/news/civil-disobedience-fully-justified
  5. http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2006/11/16/jobcentre-plus-poor-service-continues/
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw0zno5G3hw
  7. http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/terra-firma-benefits-services-closures-leave-the-economically-vulnerable-in-the-lurch.html
  8. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-brexit-negotiating-draft-european-council-president-donald-tusk-union-latest-a7659316.html
  9. http://www.crippencartoons.co.uk/wp-content/archive/cartoons/welfarewarfare/welfarewarfare12.shtml

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