Sunday, 25 May 2014

Tories use Social Control Tactics in their ideological war against the many

This post is in response to a very good article from the link below: (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!

1 comment:

  1. I have manic depression. Once upon a time, people like me were put in asylums. Some were actually quite effective until some doctors/scientists got overenthusiastic with 'treatments'. Nevertheless, some genuinely helped people. Then someone worked out that closing the asylums, getting us looked after by community teams and giving us some extra money to cope with our extra needs was a lot cheaper than keeping us in an asylum.

    Then others came along and decided we're too expensive and they also decided we're a good scapegoat, so the pressure went on to turf us off benefits.

    Meanwhile NHS services were cut back so even if we wanted work, we don't get the extra help we need to do it, or even to recover enough to do work. The benefits rules allow for us to be found fit enough not to get ESA but not fit enough to get JSA.

    So we have breakdowns but outpatient and inpatient services have been slashed. We then rely more and more on A&E (costing a lot of money) and eventually get sectioned by doctors unable to otherwise find us beds, because if we're not sectioned and there's no NHS bed, we don't get one, but if we're sectioned, the NHS has to find us a bed even if it means paying for one privately.

    So we're back where we started only very much more expensively and more stressfully and involving many more departments/bits of the system and their budgets.

    Some people think I get a lot in benefits. Maybe I'm getting more than I need. However, if wisely spent, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than the alternatives, except for one - suicide, which is an option being increasingly taken by people in this situation.

    But people do not have sympathy these days with someone who reaches suicide point. They are seen as selfish. Yes, in a selfish society that is happy to abandon people with severe illnesses, suicide instead of slow starvation or increasing distress in an effort to survive is seen as selfish.

    The latest stage of these changes is clearly not about saving money because of the additional costs of picking up the pieces health-wise when people cannot cope, so it is about scapegoating and about scaring non-impaired people into doing what the government wants it to do.

    A similar story could be told of those with physical impairments and learning difficulties.