As if we didn’t already know that Iain Duncan Smith is a wanker, the bungling Work and Pensions Secretary has resorted to bashing the bishops in yet another rant defending his vicious social security slashing regime.
His latest outburst comes after 43 Bishops wrote to him warning that “As a civilised society, we have a duty to support those among us who are vulnerable and in need. When times are hard, that duty should be felt more than ever, not disappear or diminish.
‘It is essential that we have a welfare system that responds to need and recognises the rising costs of food, fuel and housing.”
This led to yet another tantrum from the Work and Pensions Secretary who claimed: “There is nothing moral or fair about a system that I inherited that trapped people in welfare dependency. Some one in every five households has no work – that’s not the way to end child poverty”.
And the thing is, for once in his life he’s right. There is nothing moral about a system that condemns millions to lives of unemployment and poverty whilst people like Iain Duncan Smith live in luxury (in his case scrounging off his wife’s inheritance). There is nothing moral about a society that excludes disabled people or those with mental health conditions from fully participating. There is nothing moral about the shocking fact that people who often do some of the hardest physical work are not even paid enough to keep them fed, housed and warm. There is nothing moral about capitalism at all.
Yet Iain Duncan Smith’s answer is not full employment and neither is it greater workplace access for disabled people – which has fallen by over a third since this Government weren’t elected. His answer is not to demand a living wage or rent caps or more council housing – nothing must trouble the landlord class after all. His answer is not even quality training and free education to at least provide an illusion of social mobility.
His answer is certainly not to question the system under which an arms dealer or loan shark becomes rich beyond belief whilst being a parent or carer is no longer judged to be legitimate work because it doesn’t make a profit for the rich. Jesus Christ would weep if only he weren’t a largely fictional character from an archaic Middle Eastern soap opera.
Iain Duncan Smith’s answer is to punish the poor for their own predicament. His idea of a moral society is one where those with least are forced to claw each other’s eyes out in the scramble for the few scraps the rich toss down from above. And for those who don’t make it into insecure low paid work, let them die in the gutter. Let their children starve. Let them lose their homes and be forcibly relocated hundreds of miles away from school, family and friends. Force them to work without pay or let them beg in the street as a lesson to the rest of us.
Honest capitalists will admit that unemployment is vital for the system to function. That otherwise workers, not bosses, might have the power. No capitalist country anywhere on the planet has achieved real full employment and almost all, including the UK, have given up trying. There are hundreds of people chasing every vacancy in some parts of the country.
Iain Duncan Smith is either all too aware that unemployment is here to stay and doesn’t care what happens to those unable to find work. Or he is arrogant enough to believe his tinkering with social security contains the magic button that will somehow fix the problems created by capitalism. Problems that no-one else, anywhere in the world, has come close to solving. And his cure is forced unpaid work, benefit cuts and homelessness.
In other words he is either stupid or a genuinely nasty human being whose true agenda is merely to brutalise the very poorest. Every crisis needs a scapegoat, and Iain Duncan Smith has chosen low income families, disabled and unemployed people as the human sacrifice to atone for the sins of the rich.
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