The End of the Deserving Poor

The recent hounding of a working single mum on Newsnight by an odious tax payer funded journalist reveals a new current that is emerging in austerity Britain.

Shanene Thorpe was interrogated by two-bit hack Allegra Stratton on Newsnight after being invited to give an interview about her experiences as a Housing Benefit claimant.  Shanene has rightly taken Newsnight to task for attempting to portray her as a ‘benefits scrounger’ and conveniently ignoring the fact she is working.

It is a shameful indictment of the ugly society that is emerging that to be compared to a benefit claimant is now seen as a gross insult.  It harks back to the Victorian ‘back to basics’ morality the Tory Party once loved so much. The hard working poor are idealised whilst the unemployed, or all but the most severely sick or disabled people, are seen as feckless architects of their own misfortune, the undeserving poor and only fit for the workhouse.

But Shanene has missed a trick if she thinks that being employed will get her off the hook.  The Tories are all too aware that huge numbers of Housing Benefit claimants are working.  This has not stopped the rhetoric one jot.  They should be forced to move say the braying toffs, giving up work if need be, to a poorer part of the UK where they will no longer be a drain on the public.

Iain Duncan Smith’s Universal Credit is just as squarely aimed at those in part time work, or self employed on a low income, as it is at anyone without any work at all.  Part time workers will be forced to seek out ever longer hours or face what meagre benefits they receive being stripped away.  Those in self-employment will be bullied onto workfare as punishment should they not  quite earn the minimum wage.  Already part time workers can be sent on Mandatory Work Activity in their spare time should they have the gall to claim some kind of benefit.

Meanwhile no disability is enough to garner sympathy.  Nadine Dorries MP recently called on her constituents to report anyone they suspected of claiming benefits whilst using twitter.  If you can tweet you can work was the clear message.

It matters not that rents are out of control, food prices soaring and families find themselves unable to heat their homes.  Whether unemployed, disabled or simply on a low wage, your poverty is your own fault.  We are all the undeserving poor now.

The only deserving poor left are the squeezed middle.  People like Allegra Stratton forced to live with her in laws despite her huge salary.   Or the wretched souls on £45k a year who simply can’t afford a second holiday if child benefits are cut.  The leafy suburban voters, who have been undoubtedly hit by the recent financial crisis, but cannot, by any leap of imagination, be considered poor.  Only they, and of course millionaires, are worthy of tax cuts and financial support.

It no longer matters how hard you work, how sick or disabled you may be, how many mouths you may have to feed or even how you got there.  The message from this toff Government is clear.  If you rely on benefits to survive in any way, then it’s your own fault, and we are coming for you.

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23 responses to “The End of the Deserving Poor

  1. I agree but people still say to me oh well it will not be me because of xyz which quite apart from the unconcern most have for our fellow human beings they think they are somehow safe as if nothing will change for them when everything could change in an instant.

    Many people do not realise what can happen because they consider themselves as working when in actuality they are receiving some kind of benefit.

    If this government is not stopped they will be responsible for devastation the likes several generations have never seen or expect.

    • We're all right Jack & Jackie

      Not our problem, mate! :-)

    • “If this government is not stopped they will be responsible for devastation the likes several generations have never seen or expect.”

      It is coming. Soon it will be too late to stop it.

  2. It wasn’t holidays they feared losing if child benefit was cut for those on £45k, it was tennis lessons and horse riding.You really couldnt make this shite up.
    Meanwhile in the real world of autism, income less than 11k p/a, my DLA’s been cut to minimal care, so although i can prepare a meal alone cooking it alone could lead to burning the house down.Perhaps thats how they’re gonna remove me from the figures?And then call it a suicidal act.

    • sorry to hear about your problems Dean and yes from the beginning of this I always said if they cannot kill you one way they will find another way…

  3. Nadine Dorries NOT Morris surely?

  4. According to recent recent UK Government policy changes, you can only be classed as a person if you meet the following criteria:

    Male
    White
    Straight
    Christian
    Wealthy
    Between the ages of 30 – 65
    In good health
    Have Right-Wing Political Viewpoints especially on immigration, asylum seekers, single mums, benefit claimants
    Work in the financial sector, as a lawyer or politician (or born to the Royal Family…)
    A supporter or participant in the act of Hunting, be it with hounds, the shooting of wildfowl, the shooting of North America’s large wild fauna (including Ovines, Bovine, Deer, Canids, Bears and Felids) or Big Game hunting in Africa/Asia.

  5. Eric Greenwood

    First they came for the disabled, I didn’t complain, I wasn’t disabled.
    Then they came for the poor, I didn’t complain, I wasn’t poor.
    Then they came for the unemployed, I didn’t complain, I had a job…..
    .Now I’m unemployed, there is no one to stand up for me!

  6. Your old mate Billy.

    I want to see one of those leafy voters you mentioned. Are they marines?

  7. Keep warm – burn the Tory cunts.

  8. Incompetance beyond belief-no-one benefits from an austerity programme, I can’t believe the present shower will last the full parliamentary session-I guess we will see U turns galore!

  9. It is time to return to a deeper appreciation of two vital terms and the differences between them: ‘Employment’ and ‘Work’… We should seriously challenge the phrase: “Fit for Work” and the definitions and assumptions this ambiguous phrase carries with it. There are vital psychological, physiological and sociological differences!

  10. Hard-working taxpayer

    That will be odious HARD-WORKING taxpayer funded journalist, Johnny :-)

  11. Calum MacKinnon

    Child Benefit is a Benefit – so – all those who claim it are, ipso facto, Benefit Claimants. Now who are the scroungers?

  12. It was a very popular dream in the middle of Europe a while back. The dream kind of died in a prison gymnasium in Nuremburg 1946 at the hands of the US Army hangman. One of the customers of aforementioned soldier was Julius Striecher.

    And the funny things is this. Herr Streicher really never laid hands on anyone and the prosecutor at Nuremberg accepted that he probably did not even know anything of the camps. And yet he took his little walk up the ladder because he was found to have fuelled flames of hate with his vitriol as editor of Der Sturmer.

    Anyone got a spare history book for morally bankrupt politicians like Iain Duncan Smith ( who admitted they may have ” ramped it up too much ) , Chris Grayling ( who claims he’s bemused by it all but says the Press got the message wrong …which in turn begs the question as to what the message was supposed to be ) and Maria Miller ? and of course IDS’s SPAD’s Susie Squire , ex of the Far Right Tax Payers Alliance , a motley crew of far right ideologues that would make Margaret Thatcher look like a bleeding hearts liberal and funded by big corporates with vested interests in paying as little tax as possible and Phillippa Stroud from a weird religious sect that offers to pray away the gays .

    Everything is dictated by far right lunatics and big corporates such , the links between the various companies such as UNUM ( formerly the outlawed UNUM Provident ) , ATOS and Govt Ministers is quite frankly , sickeningly incestious …so corrupt !

    When functions of the State are arrogated to unaccountable corporations , it’s dabbling with a extreme form of corporatism as used in bankrupt fascist Italy by Mussolini during World War II ….there’s economic problems on a par with the 1930′s too .

  13. Pingback: How Universal Credit Will Destroy Part Time Work | the void

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  17. Stratton lives with a Spectator hack …hence the Tea Party views

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