In speech delivered today at the 10th Anniversary of the think-tank ‘Centre for Social Justice’, to be delivered today, Duncan Smith will refer to Channel 4’s programme ‘Benefits Street’ – citing it as portraying the reality of those living on benefits.
Perhaps that is hardly surprising because Duncan Smith’s grip on reality has been questionable since he took office as work and pensions secretary for the unelected coalition government.
Perhaps television programmes are his only link with the real world in which untold numbers of British citizens are under enormous emotional and financial stress because of his ill-thought-out policies.
No doubt there are those on benefits who live a certain lifestyle that may not be in keeping with the money-grabbing agenda of the Conservatives. But to say that the portrayal of people on benefits in television programmes reflects reality is totally stupid.
Duncan Smith is selective in what he chooses to believe in the world of television. On one hand he is citing ‘Benefits Street’ as a true reflection of people living on benefits, and on the other he is criticising mainstream media for referring to his bedroom tax policy as ‘bedroom tax’ – he can’t have it both ways.
In the speech, Duncan Smith will say “We let these problems be ghettoised as though they were a different country. Even now, for the most part they remain out of sight – meaning people are shocked when they are confronted with a TV programme such as Benefits Street.”
Nick Clegg has done a very good job of sitting on the fence over the controversy caused by the Channel 4 programme.
Clegg declined an invitation to visit the street in Birmingham where the programme was made. On his LBC radio phone-in programme Clegg said “The impression I have had is you have one side of the argument saying this just shows the whole benefit system is rubbish, we should withdraw all benefits and all people are scroungers living off the state. There is another extreme of people who say it was outrageous that Benefits Street was ever made and it is demonising people on welfare. I strongly suspect both of those caricatures are wrong. We want a welfare system which is compassionate.”
Well if that’s the impression Clegg has then why has he not stood up against the ridiculous welfare reforms implemented by Duncan Smith? Why has Clegg allowed the Conservatives to systematically and deliberately destroy the welfare system without taking any significant action, or making any significant protest? No – he just sits on the fence and does nothing.
Duncan Smith goes on to label those as benefits as criminals, “… the present system makes criminals out of those trapped in its clutches. Faced with losing up to 94 pence of every pound they earn because of how benefits are withdrawn, too many end up in the shadow economy or working cash in hand”.
According to Duncan Smith (and his cronies), not only are people on benefits scroungers, they are criminals as well – quite a statement coming from a representative of (probably) the most corrupt and self-serving government the UK has seen for decades.
There you have the perception of the idiot who is supposed to be in charge of a fundamental part of our society – a society in which those who need support are supposed to be properly supported. The poor and the vulnerable who are more victims of the system than anything else.
There are those who take advantage of the benefits system and choose it as a way of life – but Duncan Smith has done NOTHING to address those. Instead, he purposely went for easy targets – the ones who would save his department the most cash – the sick and disabled, and the poorest people who struggle to cope with the society his government has created.
If Duncan Smith and his friends has their own way no doubt there would be work camps – gulags – where he would send the sick and disabled to their deaths. An exaggeration? Its maybe not far off the truth as we see something more akin to the rise of the Fourth Reich than a democratic government concerned with the welfare of its people, and humanity as a whole.
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