Thursday, January 14, 2010

What did you say about "Class War"?

Is poor health stopping you from working? Then, for Britain's no.1 right wing paper, you look like this.

In recent weeks we've been subjected by cries that there's an ongoing Class War waged against David Cameron and the new Tory generation.

Many in fact have been pointing out that a potential future Conservative administration would be packed with people from a supremely unrepresentative background: a quick look at David Cameron, Boris Johnson and George Osborne will show staggering levels of privilege.

Indeed a Class War has been going on for years, except in reverse. The bombardment from the Tory press (75 per cent of all UK dailies) has been so relentless that we've grown accustomed to it. The lower classes have been ripped to shreds at all levels: scroungers, spongers, lazy, thick, chavs, criminals, promiscuous, irresponsible, you name it.

A millionaire who burns his whole family alive in a fit of rage? Just a sorry tragedy. People on a council estate who do the same? It's all the fault of the welfare state, social workers, PC councils, single mothers and Labour's social engineering and more reasons to tear apart people with cash flow problems and push a political agenda.

Take a look at today's Daily Mail piece about people, and women in particular, on sickness benefits.

Look at the headline, picture and caption. They're all centred around Waynetta Slob. The caption in particular is poisonous: "The type of people mocked by Harry Enfield's character Waynetta Slob have increased", it reads. Because, of course, in Daily Mail Planet recipients of sickness benefits are all chain smoking, lager swigging, unhygienic scumbags.

The piece, by DAILY MAIL REPORTER, is loosely based on this study by Sheffield Hallam University, except that it contains about 0.1% of what the study was about and its findings. Spend twenty seconds on the news brief that accompanies the study and you'll spot nothing that validates the Mail's hasty piece and its choice of illustration.

What's ridiculously obvious is that the Daily Mail Newsroom had been long gagging for the opportunity to stick a photo of Waynetta Slob next to an anti-benefits rant.

In short, just another day and more chances that, out of the thousands who flick through the tabloids as they wait to have their gnashers checked up at the dentist, a few will interiorise another bit of poison that equates benefits with noxious lazy subhuman scroungers.


asquith said...

Read more about these fucking disgusting scrounging scum, thinking they're entitled to unlimited taxpayer support & don't need to show any kind of gratitude or good contact.

PS- Are you on twitter?

claude said...

He he...great link, asquith.

PS- No, no twitter for me.

Helen Highwater said...

If they want to write about disability benefit, why don't they write about the appalling treatment received by people with mental health problems?

They re-interviewed people and from what I've heard from people involved, they lied in the report to get their benefits stopped (presumably because there is a arbitrary government quota of how many people they decided shouldn't be on disability benefits). So if someone turns up who's depressed and self-harming, the report misses out the self-harming part and downplays the degree of depression. A friend of mine is having to prepare for a tribunal because of this and in an already delicate mental state, it seems like an act of cruelty.

If someone has OCD with their depression, and so dresses smartly for their interview because they're terrified, it loses them points because of the stereotypical view that depressed people are scruffy and pay no attention to their appearance.

Oh no, wait, they won't report it, because withholding benefits from the needy is something the Tories will continue to do anyway. Awesome.

And... surely it's not a surprise that the poorer people in society are the ones with health problems, through a lack of good nutrition, bad housing, over-work, working in shit conditions, etc etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Indeed none of these right-wingers give a damn that the benefits system is a bureaucratic minefield, stressful and a miserable experience. None of these right-wingers never mention the number of benefits that are left unclaimed or the number of people who are under payed. No, they prefer to bang on about benefit fraud as opposed to the massive problem of tax fraud committed by the rich. Nor do they mention the people put off applying for benefits (esp. pensioners)because of the scapegoating and vilification. Or the stereotyping of people on benefits, stigmatising people with mental distress.

But it is easier to attack, scapegoat and blame the poor in this society.