The Plastic Hippo

December 2, 2013


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During the evening of Saturday 30th November 2013, the War on Welfare petition reached its target of 100,000 signatures which means that the backbench Business Committee will consider if the systematic punishment of people in need of most support is worthy of a debate in the House of Commons. It is an indication of just how vile this coalition government is and how ineffectual the opposition has become, that it requires a petition to secure half a chance of a possibility that some sort of scrutiny of callous, vindictive and brutal oppression might or might not take place.

The WOW e-petition was created by comedian and disability rights activist Francesca Martinez and calls for a meaningful assessment of the effects that abandoning any pretence at humanity, or “Welfare Reform” as the vile coalition government prefer to style it, will have on sick and disabled people, their families and their carers. So rapid has the descent into venality been, that it is necessary for the petitioners to also request a free vote in order for MPs to make a decision based on conscience rather than tribal dogma.

For good measure, the petition also asks some questions that most of the feral media and the majority of self interested MPs can`t be bothered to ask and questions that coalition ministers will certainly not want to answer. How about the increase in admissions to care homes, day care provision and access to education for people with learning disabilities? Additionally, whatever happened to universal mental health treatment and can someone please explain why Remploy workplaces were unceremoniously trashed? A definition of the cosy relationship between the feral media and the Department of Work and Pensions would be useful as would an indication of what is contained in the secret contract with the dreadful ATOS and the other dubious out-sourced cowboys masquerading as “medical professionals”. Exactly how many millions of pounds have been wasted on unworkable IT systems and the rushed, bodged, hopelessly never-gonna-happen introduction of Universal Credit? How many people have died because the DWP and their tame vultures ignore medical evidence?

Reaching 100,000 plus signatures is a major achievement and, who knows, these questions might actually be asked in a parliamentary debate and go to a vote. Sadly, the questions will not be answered, the vote will be lost, the disgraceful Work Capability Assessment will continue and vital support to disabled people and the terminally ill will be “re-aligned” to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. The Conservative Party shrug off their reputation of being the “nasty party” with claims of patriotism and enterprise and, more recently, dismiss accusations of being a “nasty nation” by stating that such an accusation is evidence of how “nasty” Europe and the rest of the world are. Except China, of course, they have lots of money and the whole Communism thing is a bit irrelevant. Oh, and Saudi Arabia; mutilating and stoning to death women is just a minor internal matter.

If the debate is allowed to proceed, the tone of Her Majesties Government has already been set by their response to the online petition. The DWP state that “cumulative impact analysis is not being withheld”. Splendid. It`s not being withheld because it does not actually exist. Apparently the exercise of counting corpses is too difficult a task for the DWP to undertake and so it`s not going to bother trying. None of the other questions raised by the WOW e-petition are addressed. You can read this nonsense, and continue signing the petition at:

Unfortunately, your concern and possible outrage at this return into barbarism will be futile. Should the debate ever take place, we will once again witness predominately over-weight, white, male Tory MPs after a subsidised liquid lunch jeer and laugh at heartbreaking tales of despair. Ministers will lie and blame the whole thing on King Harold and his fake eye related injury at the hands of the Europeans. The few Liberal Democrats that have the bare-faced cheek to attend will stare at their feet and then vote against humanity as demanded by head boy Cameron. In the unlikely event of the vote going against them, they will simply and retrospectively vote to change the law. All will return to their wonderfully warm second or third homes proud that they have saved the nation from ruin by allowing the vulnerable to quietly die through hunger, cold or desperate suicide.

We have gone beyond being a “nasty nation”; we have become inhuman.

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