I must admit, I had been a little worried recently by that upstart UN investigator, Raquel Rolnik, throwing a spotlight on the bedroom tax. (I know I should stop calling it that, but really, isn’t a brand new bill coming through the letterbox from the government, demanding money and offering nothing in return, a tax?) But I needn’t worry, really. Your heavies, including Grant Shapps, seem to have everything under control. I admire the tactic. You invite her over; you refuse her requests for meetings with senior ministers of the DWP including Iain Duncan-Smith; and then publically deride her for not meeting with senior ministers of the DWP including Iain Duncan-Smith.
Shapps added that she couldn’t possibly know what she’s talking about because she’s “just a woman from Brazil”. Well, the woman may now have in her possession a couple of boxes full of people’s real life accounts of the actual impact of the tax (courtesy of a few pain-in-the-bum laptavist friends of mine, sorry about that) but he is right, there’s no way she can possibly know what she’s talking about.
The Mail Online took the criticism about seven hundred steps further by publishing – and I nearly wet myself when I saw this – the headline “Raquel Rolnik: A dabbler in witchcraft who offered an animal sacrifice to Marx”. It’s almost as if they took a past article on mass murderer Anders Breivik and just substituted the name. I’m glad to see they’ve still got your back.
Anyway, despite being shouted at on TV chat shows by Tory MPs, criticised openly, and character assassinated by right-wing media, she is set to make a recommendation to her bosses to shut down your beloved benefits cap and bedroom tax. You simply can’t let that happen, darling, not after all the hard work you’ve put into making people believe that this is actually taking the benefits bill down, when in reality the amount spent on housing benefit is set to rise about £1.5 billion year on year for the next three years. Well, as long as it’s all going to those hard-working private landlords and not into the pockets of the plebs, we can all rest easy.
Apparently, this Raquel doesn’t have to actually file her report until March, so plenty of time for all of this to blow over, and who knows, with all that time and a little help from your media pals, you might even be able to get her drowned for being a witch. But on second thoughts, even that might be covered by some freedom of religion act or something. Oh, damn these human rights.