Friday, 10 November 2017

Voting Tory is an endorsement of their systematic abuse of sick and disabled people

If you watched BBC Question Time on Thursday November 9th 2017 you will have seen a Tory plant in the audience bridling with faux outrage at the accusation that the Tory government is responsible for the mistreatment of disabled people.  Here's a clip of the encounter.

The audience member in question is the Tory councillor for Horley Central in Surrey, although he used to be a Ukipper until he saw the political tide turning and opportunistically jumped ship to join the Tories.

The Ukipper-turned-Tory (blue-kip) councillor furiously condemned Aditya Chakrabortty as "the Donald Trump of the left" for daring to highlight the Tory track record of mistreating disabled people.

Given that the Tory plant in the audience was basically trying to deny the appalling Tory track record of mistreating sick and disabled people as "inflammatory rubbish", it's obvious that he's actually the one using reality-denying Trump-style rhetoric to render uncomfortable truths as "fake news". But by now we should all be well aware that accusing your opponents of what you're guilty of yourself has always been one of the classic right-wing propaganda tactics.

Here's a list of issues that the Blue-kip plant in the BBC audience was trying to publicly deny.

  • Appeals against botched WCA rulings have been costing £50 million a year. The Tory government have ensured that this cost is paid for by the taxpayer, not the profiteering corporations that made the botched assessments in the first place.
  • A United Nations investigation into the treatment of disabled people in the UK found that the UK government was committing "grave and systematic violations" of disabled people's rights.
  • The Tory party claimed to be scrapping the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and replacing it with Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in order to make sure the money went to the right people, but in April 2017 they slashed PIP payments by 33% using the perverse excuse that this would incentivise them to find work (despite there being no evidence whatever to back up this claim).
  • Since 2010 the Tories have had seven different disability ministers in seven years, with most of them using the position as nothing more than a stepping stone to higher positions in government, rather than doing anything to actually help disabled people. The latest Tory disability minister Sarah Newton has a shocking track record of voting against the interests of disabled people
The mainstream media has given this disgusting Tory track record only a tiny fraction of the attention it deserves, so people can be forgiven for not knowing all of it. However, you would have to have spent the last seven years living in a lead box to not be aware of any of this stuff.

The fact is that when it comes to election time, Conservative voters are aware that the most vulnerable people in society suffer under Tory rule, but in the grim amoral calculus they perform in their minds, the suffering, destitution and actual deaths of disabled people are somehow a price worth paying for whatever (probably imaginary) benefit they think they'd be getting by electing a Tory government.

Of course the majority of the blame is shouldered by the Tory politicians who voted in favour of these horrifying policies, and cynically used the role of Disability Minister as a temporary stepping stone to other things instead of trying to actually help disabled people, but Tory voters are not exempt from blame because by endorsing the Tory party, they're complicit in allowing this disgraceful systematic abuse of disabled people to continue.

It doesn't matter how much blustering faux outrage and denials of reality people like Chris Stevens utter, the fact is simple: People who vote Tory are guilty of voting in favour of more suffering for sick and disabled people.

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