18th June 2013

http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/details-of-claimants-commitments-emerge/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jun/17/hugh-muir-dairy-welfare-assessments
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-22949374
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22948333

18th June 2013

My daily cream pie,

I turned on the news this morning to be rewarded with your relaxed, almost out-of-a-catalogue, casually-attired, yet superiorly parliamentary presence as you joined other world leaders for the G8 summit. I’m glad they made everybody ditch the ties. To be honest, George looks like a bit of a stalker with a tie. (Don’t tell him I said that.) And forgive me for noticing, but you were also a few pounds heavier. I heard that in some African countries, the wealth of a man is regularly gleaned from the girth of his wife’s body. Of course, having a large woman accompany you would never really do in western culture, so it’s only natural that you ought to carry a little extra ‘gravitas’ about your person. I’ve also been noticing the development of the extra chin on Nick and George too. It must be difficult keeping up a regular balanced diet when you attend so many damn business lunches. I mean, how do you tell the President of Russia that you’ve already eaten?

Food is actually one of the few things that didn’t go up in price since May despite higher than expected inflation. It stands to reason though, that if fewer people can now afford it, the price should stay put or even go down. This is what people don’t see – the sacrifice of the impoverished minority actually helps the majority keep money in their pockets. These are the tough decisions that you must make my darling, I know, and I feel for you. As anyone at the DWP will tell you, there are targets that need to be met. With one million out-of-work benefit claimants needing to be sanctioned by the end of the year and an additional two million by the end of next year (don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone that these targets actually exist), compassion and humanity cannot get in the way. One rather disillusioned Atos medical contractor said this about the company: “It is without doubt the most incompetent, inefficient and uncaring organisation with which I have ever been involved”. He’s missing the point here. The job of the DWP and Atos is not to care, it is actually to NOT care, otherwise targets will be missed, the disabled will continue to sponge off the state, and food prices would sky-rocket.

I’ve also heard that the cull is going to really accelerate come October with the national introduction of Universal Credit. Every recipient will have to sign up to a ‘Claimant Commitment’, which, if they are not severely disabled, would mean a 24-35hr per week commitment to either look for work, or work for free or be sanctioned. This would mean a whole plethora of new reasons to sanction: e.g. not affording to get the bus into town; in order to use the PC in the library that now charges a fee for net access; not being computer literate (as 31% of the poorest families in this country have never used a computer); not dropping a CV into all of the local shops every day (even though there may be only two shops in the village); or being too sick one day to sign in at the Jobcentre. All could lead to withdrawal of benefits for up to three years! An actual death sentence for the most vulnerable, but I suppose it wouldn’t really be acceptable to call it that. And when the cull is over, and you’re no longer in power, (which wouldn’t be a bad thing, darling, I mean Tony Blair has made a cool £80 million since stepping down as PM), the country will be that much leaner and full of the cream of human society and less of the bad milk. My hero.

Katy Anchant

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