I wrote to you on the 9th October, completely not realising it was your birthday. I am so, so sorry. I do hope you can forgive me. In my defence, how could I have possibly known when Facebook didn’t even tell me?
I have also been so pre-occupied recently. As well as problems with my health, I’ve also been sick with worry over my benefits situation. As of this month, it turns out the DWP want me to not think of myself as incapacitated anymore but merely as needing “employment support.” I am humbled by this because I assume this means that until I am cured of my incurable condition and become just like ordinary “hardworking people”, I am allowed to remain part of society. It’s truly touching.
The thing that alerted me to your birthday was your Twitter account and the furor over the tweet you sent supporting your Help To Buy scheme. I really don’t know why there’s so much objection to your “hardworking people” slogan (apart from the fact that it’s a completely made-up word). I mean, it’s true, the Tories are the party for “hardworking people”. The people who stand to lose out the most from your policies are those that are specifically NOT “hardworking people”. For instance, children, they don’t work do they? So it’s understandable that the very necessary cuts you’ve had to make has seen over 800,000 children forced to go to school hungry; has resulted in 300,000 of them falling into absolute poverty, with the figure rising to 1 in 4 by 2020, and will see a total of £7 billion of their support withdrawn by 2015. But that’s fine because are these “hardworking people”? No. (Do they even classify as people?)
And what about the school leavers? Almost a million young people are unemployed. The number of 16-18 year olds not in work, education or training has risen to 200,000 since the last election. The number of people only in part-time jobs is at its highest ever level. A future Tory government may withdraw benefits from under25s altogether. And why shouldn’t they? Are these “hardworking people”? Well, not really.
The spare room subsidy thingy, (or “bedroom tax” as everyone else in Britain calls it), has affected about 660,000 people, two-thirds of whom are disabled. Are these “hardworking people”? Well, not unless you count complaining as a full-time job.
Homeless people. There are 25% more of these useless scroungers today than there were at the last election, and the use of food banks has tripled in just one year. Are THESE “hardworking people”? Should they be helped? Or should they (as they did in Ilford) be forcefully removed, have their food taken away, have their sleeping bags confiscated and told to go somewhere more chavvy?
Although most “hardworking people” have seen their wages stripped by rising rents, inflation, energy, travel and food costs, many have gone on to enjoy highly prosperous lives – especially those hardest working, the ones earning over £150,000 who have, thanks to you, enjoyed a sizable tax cut, so I do hope that your mates showed their appreciation on your birthday.
I personally promise to make it up to you next year, my hard, hardworking man.