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"

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