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This 'Austerity' concept is heartless
Last uploaded : Sunday 7th Nov 2010 at 09:30
Contributed by : Carol Gould



I am ashamed I ever called myself a 'conservative' commentator. When is the Tory government going to stop obsessing on benefit claimants and start creating the 'New Society?' Franklin Delano Roosevelt did exactly the opposite: he created tens of thousands of jobs through TVA, NRA and WPA and never, ever made people on benefit feel they were some sort of social pariahs. Roosevelt's goal was to make sure everyone had a job and that America got back on its feet after the great crash of 1929. In the Depression bankers threw themselves off buildings; in this recession they bankrupt the country and then give themselves huge bonuses and quantitative easing.

How dare this government berate benefit recipients when the real criminals and culprits for our financial ruin are their close friends, the bankers, hedge fund dealers and pension/mortgage endowment fund mis-managers? And just what do the nineteen millionaires in the Cabinet think they will accomplish by forcing genuinely sick people to go on Jobseekers' Allowance? Are they going to jump the queue of a million 19 to 24 year olds on the dole, or the 400,000-plus public service workers being laid off?

This government talks about people as if they were pieces on a chessboard, not human beings. Shame on them. They betray Christian values. And when hedge fund dealers like the one who was on 'Question Time' last week - along with a handful of audience members -- moan that their taxes are going to support 'layabouts' what is charity all about?

I watch American television and can confirm here that American politicians and media rarely if ever bang on about benefit recipients. The United States in in the throes of a dreadful recession with some 9.2% of citizens on benefits and the idea that the public should be whipped up into hatred of them is not part of the American ethos. Even Republicans did not create an obsessive hate-object of benefit recipients during the 2008 campaign!

I do not begrudge the less fortunate receiving benefit from my taxes. Jews give tzedakah, Muslims give zakah and Christians are supposed to offer charity , mercy and kindness to those in need. Where have our core values gone? If Wayne Rooney can get 50 million to kick a football around -- another liability added to Manchester United's already humongous debt mountain! -- why should British citizens be made to feel as if they are the dregs of humanity?

I am fortunate because I am highly educated, come from a background that offfered me every opportunity and have been successful in my life's endeavours. But millions are not so lucky. I do not begrudge them their limited circumstances.

This mean, callous government must go after the bankers, pension fund managers and endowment policy mis-sellers who stole our money and they must not pursue these poor souls on benefit.

There is something sick about these silver -- indeed platinum -- spoon-in-mouth Cabinet ministers and their heiress wives who condescend to hard-working Britain; their actions remind me of France before the revolution. The Lib Dem minister who made the racist crack on this week's 'Question Time' about our soldiers having to wear onions around their neck in stripey shirts on bicylcles showed just how out of touch this pompous government of the privileged classes is. I fear they will come unstuck.


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