This post is in response to a very good article from the link below:
http://jaynelinney.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/an-exercise-in-social-control-the-real-agenda-behind-benefit-fraud-campaigns-3/#comment-3795 (please read this piece and join the campaign against the demonisation and vilification of disabled people)
Jayne, we can go back the Benefits Integrity Project (BIP) (a misnomer as it lacked integrity and benefited nobody) introduced by the outgoing Conservative government in 1996 without proper consultation or Parliamentary scrutiny. The BIP cost a small fortune to set up and run, and it failed to uncover the massive fraud committed by recipients of DLA; or indeed recover enough monies to cover even its own running costs!
The BIP and the mentality behind it rubbed off on the Blair government who began witch-hunting disabled people almost from day one of their coming into office. This culminated in the debacle of ATOS and the WCA, sadly Labour initiatives.
A great shame of the 1997-2010 Labour administrations was their unstinting use of propaganda to attack disabled benefits’ claimants. This punitive approach made it easier for the ConDems to continue the attack on us, despite the fact, as you rightly point out, that levels of benefits fraud by disabled claimants barely register on the fraud radar.
Thus Jayne, your observations that the whole exercise of attacking benefits’ ‘cheats’ is a form of social controlling is correct. This social controlling being just another component in the wider ideological war being waged by the Tories in their quest to impose neo-liberal policies upon the majority.
Come on Labour, deviate from the path of ‘caring’ capitalism; get divorced from the mock marriage of neo-liberalism; and if you feel you need a ‘scapegoat’ look no further than Amazon, Vodaphone, Philip Green, Barclays, etc and their tax cheating ways. Don’t piss around chasing less than a £1 billion in benefits’ ‘fraud’ when you could be seeking out the £120 billion fiddled by big business and billionaires!