Saturday, 9 May 2015

Iain Duncan Smith's Reign of Terror


Let me get one thing straight before I start. I'm about as able bodied as it is possible to get. Like most people I've suffered a few mental health problems of one kind or another during my life (depression, stress, social anxiety) but never badly enough that I needed long-term support, or that I couldn't recover from them. I'm not naive enough to imagine that severe health problems will never befall me (I could be paralysed in a car accident tomorrow for all I know), but as of now I'm a reasonably fit and healthy person.

I was severely disappointed when the Tories got back into power but not really all that surprised because I remember 1992, where millions of people lied that they were going to vote against the Tories but voted Tory on the day. What does it tell us that people lie to polling organisations and lie to their friends? It tells us that they're ashamed of what they've done.

One of the things that Tory voters have the most to be ashamed about is the fact that they have explicitly endorsed this government's shocking track record of mistreatment of the disabled. There are many potential explanations for why Tory voters might have decided to endorse such a campaign of economic deprivation and mental anguish against some of Britain's most vulnerable people.

  • Perhaps it's unimportant to Tory supporters because they've never known anyone who has suffered a serious illness or disability and they're simply incapable of feeling basic human empathy for people that they don't know in person?
  • Perhaps they're so lacking in imagination that they can't even conceive the possibility that they themselves, or one of their loved ones, might one day develop a serious illness or disability and end up getting treated in the degrading and dehumanising manner in which David Cameron's government routinely treats the sick and disabled? 
Let's not imagine that all Tory voters are the same (that would be absolutist thinking and I hate absolutist thinking). I'm sure that the above reasons are accurate for some Tory voters, but I'm also sure that there are other reasons too. If there are any Tory voters reading this who are not too ashamed to admit as such, perhaps you would like to explain why the mistreatment of sick and disabled people was such an unimportant factor in your calculations when it came to casting your vote?

I'll leave you with one more question: If "the true measure of a society is the way in which it treats its most vulnerable people", what does does it mean that 11,334,920 people in our society explicitly endorsed Iain Duncan Smith's campaign of terror against the sick and disabled?


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