Iain 'Nosferatu' Duncan-Smith - proponent of vampire capitalism
The Guardian has challenged Iain Duncan-Smith to back up the claim he made that he could live on a week's benefits of £54.
Such meaningless exercises have been carried out in the past, Matthew Parris and Olga Maitland as I recall attempted to live on benefits for one week. They were stunts back in the 80s; and are as hollow as Duncan-Smith's 'I could live on £54 per week in benefits a week' brag today - from a man who safely married into wealth.
The sight of Lady Olga preparing lunch of, if memory serves, a chicken breast, some salad and a small bottle of wine; with enough over to pour into a glass to drink to drink with the meal would have been worthy of a satirical skit had she not been deadly earnest. After all, can't let standards drop because you're living on a near-starvation income.
Parris admitted it was difficult - well it did come to an end when he ran out of money for the leccy; but Maitland advised benefits claimants to 'eat liver as it's cheap' while piously maintaining "...that it was quite possible to be very comfortable, even if you are on benefits, if you plan well and shop carefully".
Politicians who cannot live on the generous salary they're paid without inflating their expenses claims then make pointless statements. Try living on £54 for a year Iain Unctios-Smith. See how far it goes when you need to top-up your gas and electricity on a pay-as-you-go key - the only means of payment for many benefits claimants that cost 30% more than other payment methods.
What about keeping your PAYG mobile phone topped-up? And before a Daily Hate reader gets into an apoplectic state of high dudgeon about unemployed people having luxuries such as mobile phones, re-think. Unemployed people need mobile phones in order to apply for jobs; just as they need computer access to access the Internet. Most won't be able to afford to rent their Broad Band connections and will settle for paying by the hour in Internet cafés - a few hours of this every week will make a sizable dent in the £54.
Sure, ideologically driven politicians can make facile statements knowing they'll never be tested on their boast. There are still a lot of people out there for whom this kind of statement resonates - the I-didn't-get-where-I-am-today-by-considering-the-plight-of-those-worse-off-than-me entrepreneur, the hard done-by businessman who regards any taxes or stoppages as an infringement on his right to absolute greed, and the Scum and Daily Fail readers who buy these rags in order that they won't have to think for themselves.
As long as there are disabled cheats, unemployed scroungers, single mothers, feckless youths, bloody-foreigners-coming-over-here-taking-our-jobs-living-on-the-dole-getting-council-flats-with-60"-flat-screen-TVs yakkety, yak, yak for this government to blame, then we're fucked - unless of course we do something about it!