Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tories Launch ‘Hate Sick And Disabled Claimants Week’

The Conservatives have launched a week long campaign aimed at stirring up hatred against welfare benefits claimants in general, and sick and disabled claimants in particular. The project appears to be an attempt to move the spotlight off tax avoidance at a time when polls suggest that the HSBC scandal is costing the Tories votes.

The campaign began today with a threat to stop the benefits of obese claimants as well as those who are dependent on alcohol and drugs, unless they take part in treatment programmes.

Cameron has announced that Dame Carol Black, responsible for the ‘Fit Note’ amongst other things, has been asked to carry out a rapid review of whether it would be possible to stop the benefits of people who refuse treatment.

Announcing the review, David Cameron claimed:

“Some have drug or alcohol problems, but refuse treatment.

“In other cases people have problems with their weight that could be addressed – but instead a life on benefits rather than work becomes the choice.

“It is not fair to ask hardworking taxpayers to fund the benefits of people who refuse to accept the support and treatment that could help them get back to a life of work.”


The move has already been widely condemned.

Former Labour spin doctor and recovering alcoholic Alistair Campbell, who is an Alcohol Concern ambassador, told LBC radio:

“I actually do think when you have got real leaders like Merkel doing the things that they are doing, it is embarrassing that we have a PM who does this sort of stuff. The fact that he is making a speech about it is pathetic.”

“People that are walking around London and the rest of the rest of the country today, as they walk over people in sleeping bags on the streets, just ask themselves if those people really, really chose to be there. They did not choose to be there – they are alcoholics or drug addicts because it is a disease, it is an illness, that is how it should be treated.

“To say we are not going to give you benefit because you are fat, we are not going to give you benefit because you drink too much, just think about what we have become as a country that that is our Prime Minister and that is how they treat a serious illness.”

Tough week ahead

Today’s announcement is just the first of a week of attacks on welfare benefits claimants by the conservatives as they try to prevent the press concentrating on tax dodging. And it’s probably just a small foretaste of what is to come in the weeks leading up to the election.

So, if you’d like to feel that you are fighting back rather than simply being a target, here’s three suggestions for ways to make life harder for the conservatives.