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Open Letter to George Osborne and ChumsBY: Jade Azim | Category: Politics | Submitted: 2013-04-02 06:17:37
Article Summary: "How can a debate over the welfare state shift the blame to those most stricken?.."
Dear George and all that Eton lot,
There's a vast difference between you and around 95% of the population. That difference, being, that you have never faced financial hardship in your entire life. Now this is something you probably get an awful lot of, and subsequently its effect has been reduced since you took office. Nevertheless, your recent cuts and the rhetoric you use to justify them not only prove this difference, it also shows the complete indifference that this difference has evoked.
There are numerous quotes from you I have a huge problem with, but the most aggravating of them all is your claim that these 'reforms' will help people who "Who want to get on with life" and take the unearned aid from those who refuse to work.
This is all very well and jolly if it were actually the case that most hard-done-by benefit claimants were simply lazy and refusing to get a job, but both you and I know this is a complete lie. This is a myth created to get the poor to fight between themselves, to sort themselves into 'strivers' and 'scroungers' while in the meantime the rich benefit from a much reduced 45p tax rate. This damaging rhetoric, this indefensible twisted logic, is increasing the divide when it was revealed that we, this 'United' Kingdom, are the most unequal society in the entire Western world. This divide, not just between classes but within them, can be seen on tabloid sites all over the web. You only need to peer at the Daily Mail, Daily Express or even The Telegraph's comment sections to see the 'working-working class' attacking 'welfare mums-of-6' that tabloid newspapers are so keen to use as a representation for almost everyone out of work or on benefits. This kind of battling is completely undermined when you consider that over 70% of those on benefits ARE working, but the wage system has, of course, failed them a-midst ever growing living expenses. Check out the wage freeze you implemented at the same time as sky-rocketing inflation, taxes (excluding the rich, clearly, because you wouldn't want to scare investors away!) and house prices.
This claim would also be all very fine and jolly if it were that easy for someone to 'get on with their life'. This would suggest that we all have equal opportunities in our life. That we start off from the same running block. That if you were to go to the theatre you would have the same grand view as someone who paid twice as much for their ticket. This is not the case, you know that. To tell people that have gone through an unequal educational system, who are now barely able to afford university, who are trying to survive in an economy where 8% of us are left dangling without (and after losing) employment after the worst global crisis in a century, in a society where our very healthcare seems at risk of influence from business interests that many of your cabinet would benefit from, and who have grown up in a society where you can walk a mile up the road and see glorious affluence turn to decrepit poverty, that it is only their attitude and their laziness that is holding them back from achieving this idyllic dream of luxury is something I would have pinned on a US Republican party platform. But of course, this could not be the case in the Big Society! This is Britain, you say! This is a fair system of rewards.
Alas, Attlee is turning in his grave. You have failed this welfare state, and worse, you have blamed the poorest for destroying its original values.
So Dear George and any of you who really believe you know anything about the rest of us, stop making the most vulnerable and impressionable believe their neighbours' attitudes are the cause of their upset. No, that hard-working family that work tooth and nail to afford basic essentials in life only need to look to Westminster.
Yours not-so-sincerely, Broken Britain.
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