“What a bloody disgrace! Says it all about the Tories and Labour. Instead of
saying ‘dirty rotten bastards attacking some of the poorest and most
vulnerable’ , Labour say ‘Oh I think you’ll find that we thought of this first, in
fact you are stealing our ideas’! Scum”
I received the email above from a friend of mine at the weekend; and I agree with its sentiments entirely, on reading it my first thought beyond rage was if a supposedly Left-wing Labour Party Government Minister like Peter Hain acts in the despicable way that my friend describes in his email, then surly it is time to ask in whose interest does the UK Labour Party continue to serve.
My friend was enraged as any solid socialist would be when the Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain responded to the announcement by the Tory Party leader David Cameron, that a government led by him would introduce legislation which would viciously attack those who are sick and disabled and are currently claiming Invalidity Benefit. The changes Cameron said he would introduce if he gained office, would mean that some claimants who receive IB will be removed from that Benefit against the advice of their doctors and placed on Job Seekers Allowance, which would result in their benefit being reduced by roughly £20 per week, a not inconsiderable sum when you are living on £79 per week.
Instead of condemning the Conservative proposals outright, Hain simply condemned the Tories for: “plagiarizing plans already announced by the Labour Government before Christmas and seeking to present them as their own.” Indeed it seems for Peter Hain and his Ministerial colleagues the only differences they have with the Tories is over who thought up the idea to further reduce the incomes of people who are already living on a sum of money which places them within their own government’s criteria for those living in poverty.
We have become used to Labour and the Conservative parties fighting amongst themselves to see whose policies are the most reactionary and right wing, what with both giving their support to GW Bush’s administrations insane military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, but now they are squabbling amongst themselves as to who was first with the idea to hit the economically poor the hardest.
Never mind that the type of ‘Welfare to Work with a big stick’ programs as practiced in US States like Wisconsin have been proved to have been very expensive failures. Which have resulted in tens of thousands of decent people being pushed into desperate poverty and as with much of the privatization of societal infrastructure the only beneficiaries of the welfare to work schemes have been the multi national corporations who were contracted to run them. Many of whom have been recently eyeing up the British ‘market’ and have been spotted crossing the Atlantic to whine and dine government Ministers and their political advisors.
What really gets to me about the likes of Hain, Brown and Cameron is their abject political cowardice, they are always up for attacking those who are least able to defend themselves such as the sick and disabled, but when it comes to actually making hard choices such as saying no to Bush when he demanded that the UK support his wicked invasion and occupation of Iraq, or refusing when the City came calling to pore £28 billion of tax payers money into a black hole to prop up the Northern Bank, they roll over like bunny rabbits, and act like a Chamberlain.