Friday, 27 February 2015

Letter 141: Ava Jolliffe experiences DWP's compassionate conservatism firsthand

"Dear Dave,

This morning, sixty eight days before the General Election, I read in the national press about Ava Jolliffe, the eight-year-old blind, deaf, mute, wheelchair user (her mother's words, not mine), who has had her DLA withdrawn. Ah me, if only Ava and all those like her, was as important to you and your Party as the wealthy ring fenced pensioner....

Yours with best wishes, etc"

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Letter 140: David Cameron's election campaign; weak against the strong, strong against the weak

"Dear Dave
Whoo! Quite a rollercoaster of a week you've had - it's made a few of us nauseous watching. Who is channelling Marie Antoinette at Tory central office? And what a brave PR stunt, auctioning off luxury villas for the wealthy at the same time as signed copies of budget speeches outlining austerity for plebs at the illustrious Black and White Ball!

Then the next day, there was that strange speech you gave to business leaders urging them to give employees a pay rise. Have you forgotten that for the last five years, your own decision has been to freeze wages for public sector workers?  Or that, so it would appear unemployment has decreased, you've deliberately encouraged an environment in which short term contracts and zero hours are the norm, forcing people to accept working hours and rates of pay that are impossible to live off without recourse to benefits; for which claimants are then pilloried for needing. Come clean; if you really believed in employees having a pay rise and 'making work pay', you'd legislate for a Living Wage.

Is hawking for votes also why you've announced your intention to explore cutting sickness benefits for those who are obese or suffering from addiction issues? Strange that at the same time you're protecting universal credit for OAPs, regardless of their lifestyle or health issues. What's all that about, another expression of compassionate conservatism, or a nostalgic yearning for the return to Victorian values?

You might have to rethink your plans though, Dave. So far it would appear that the Tory campaigning consists of rich people telling middle class people to blame poor people for the greed and wrongdoing of a handful of rich people. Very ugly. Do tell us now if next stage of your reforms include an introduction of the workhouse for the undeserving poor. 

Though you may feel the end justifies the means, it doesn't, especially round complex issues such as addiction and mental health. People do not pull themselves together to tidily suit a political agenda. We'd all be better off, you morally, us financially and socially, if you chose to chase after those billions of pounds of uncollected tax that are owed instead - or is that likely to affect your core vote in an unhealthy way?

Yours, etc"

Monday, 9 February 2015

Letter 139: Here, kitty kitty... fatcat donors are always welcome at the Conservative Black and White Ball

"Dear Dave,
So tonight it's your big fundraiser bash, the Black and White Ball. The big event in the run up to the 2015 general election, where though you will be addressing 'the big donor culture', unfortunately for the rest of us, not in the way you suggested when Leader of the Opposition. But then again, wasn't it you that also promised:

"Our economy, our society, welfare, schools all reformed, all rebuilt with one aim, one mission in mind - to make this country at long last and for the first time ever a land of opportunity for all"
 And look where that's got us eh? 

Let's face it, that Facebook page and the 2015 election aren't going to pay for themselves, are they? Do you not see the irony though, for a Party promising transparent politics, yet again the Tories seem to be excessively secretive about who will be bankrolling you? If there's nothing to hide, why be so coy about who'll be there? If there's no connection between Party donation and cash for access to Ministers, why not show us your seating plans? I dare you,  let those hard working families you love so much put their noses to the window and see who's eating from your table (or lap). Then we might give a little wave to Henry Angest. Is it true that before the last general election Everyday Loans, (the high-cost credit company he controls) gave the Conservative Party a £5 million overdraft facility at an interest rate of just 3.5%. How did you get a better rate than the rest of us? (74.8% if you're asking) 

No doubt you're aware that you've been accused of cynically trying to buy the election several times already, most recently by Mark Littlewood in relation to pensioner bonds. Let's not forget either, that sneaky change in the law in December 2014, which seems to have bypassed the democratic process, to bring about a 23% increase in campaign spending. I heard it was passed without parliamentary debate - seriously, shame on you. (One has to wonder if that's a misuse of the legislative process). 

When you rolled out your austerity plans for, let's face it - those less likely to vote for you, I did say to a friend to put a tenner on the possibility you'd top said miserable time for the scapegoats with tax cuts for the better off, just before the General Election. Sadly, you've proved me right. Yet again, "cuts for the poor, so the rich can have more" strategy seems just too irresistible to you. But note - such policies impoverish ALL of society. Wilful blindness of the effects of Coalition policy on the most vulnerable in our country and a morally bankrupt disregard for just how frayed our social fabric has become is not just a financial issue; it's an ethical one, which any politician who calls himself compassionate must surely find impossible to justify and totally repugnant.

Yours etc"