The Value of Human Life in Practice

In Austerity Britain pretty much any expenditure of public money is viewed with suspicion. The agenda is set by the Taxpayers’ Alliance and, to a lesser extent, other obsessive anti-welfare bloggers. News stories about local councils spending cash on basic diversity measures or some guy found guilty of a three-figure benefit overpayment attract huge web traffic, most of it poison. The Daily Mail ran a sycophantic piece last week about Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reform. A representative sample of the comments:

[To a longterm claimant] No Will, we are going to make your life very much worse by cutting your benefits until you are forced to get off your fat a*** and find some work and stop sponging off the rest of us.

TO WILL , OF LEEDS . OK , SHALL I PACK IN WORK ?, THEN WHAT WILL YOU DO IF I AND ALL MY FRIENDS STOP WORKING TO PAY FOR YOU ?

People like you make me puke. You won’t get off your jaxi, but you’re happy to live a parasitic lifestyle c/o those who do have morals? Enjoy it whilst you can. Sooner or later, the pot is going to run dry, then you and your ilk are going to be in for one hell of a shock.

[To a working lone parent] Eve of Bexhill……Find a job at 35……..and on benefit..makes you scrounger…..So you wrked since seventeen big deal…Thousands and thousands of people have done the same….but dont cry “Give Me benefits”……..They work……and supporting the likes of you..is not right..GET A JOB..

End all Welfare and then you will quickly see people find work or even better get out there and find some way to earn a living by possibly starting a small business. The entrepreneurial spirit in this country is stifled by the welfare system. I know this comment will cause lots of reaction but think how rewarding it would be to start up your own business instead of scrounging off the tax payers. Also rethink your personal attitude to welfare. Its not your right nor is it anyone else’s. It a politically correct kindness to a very very small few but exploited by masses who think they are somehow entitled to live off the hard work of others! End it now.
Lower the tax rates.
Fire half the civil servants.
End welfare

Then you will see a leaner meaner successful Great Britain.

[to the mother of a DLA claimant] Are you being serious ? your husband gave up work to look after you and your kids because you are deaf in one ear, my mum is profoundly deaf in both ears and still managed to hold down a job and bring up four kids. You say you would have to be cared for if your husband worked, and your kids would have to be put into care, your having a laugh.
The sooner these benefit reforms come into practice the better.

Obviously you expect this kind of thing from the Daily Mail, but it is everywhere, you can read comments like the above on CiF and regional media. As the author of the excellent spEak You’re bRanes site points out, the commenters tend to be people who go on about how hard they work but still apparently have the time and leisure to post repeatedly on numerous stories. A recent government crowdsourcing exercise  saw its website crash under the weight of calls to put longterm JSA claimants in workhouses, a ban on immigration and overseas aid and the sterilisation of unemployed lone parents. The consultation ended with no government department expressing a willingness to consider any of the submitted ideas. This is the background music of Austerity Britain, its grind and rattle and hum.

What these people want is some kind of command economy, where every citizen is ranked according to the amount they contribute in terms of tax and wealth creation, minus the amount they receive in state benefits. Food and privileges could then be distributed in line with rank, North Korea-style.

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