That sums up the Tories whole attitude to those whom they consider they are born to rule over.
You can see it in Cameron’s face when journalists challenge anything he accepts as received fact.
In a recent interview on Radio 4 he said; “We will continue to support SureStart”, as if he had been asked to endorse Terry Christian as a member of the Bullingdon Club.
What Cameron didn’t say that by “support” he means that they won’t shut these centres which provide a life line to many vulnerable people (and could be a good means to monitor benefits take up and use) right away, but rather let them whither on the vine by withdrawing £200 million annually as announced on Monday by a slack jawed Tory Councillor in Dorset. Hmmm. There’s an image.
The latest example of withering disregard for others comes from George Osborne who described his amateurish attempts to present himself as a professional politician with ambitions to manage the Treasury as “presentational errors” and “and not significant to the debate.”
You what mate?
So when the axe comes crashing through the Public Sector and the Tories push the economy into a “death spiral” (Danny Blanchflower of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Group) and people start receiving their P45’s it’s just an error old boy. Don’t worry old son, it’s not real, just a theory.
The same was said about Milton Friedman’s bonkers monetary ideas.
That’s all they are to the Tories. Ideas on a spreadsheet.
So whilst Thatcher, Joseph and Howe pored over figures in Number Ten about the money supply, millions of real people with real lives were thrown out of work with all the consequences that flowed for which we are still paying now.
Professor Blanchflower again; “We are in the midst of the worst recession most people alive have ever experienced, or will probably ever experience," Blanchflower writes. "Lesson one in a deep recession is you don’t cut public spending until you are into the boom phase. The consequence of cutting too soon is to drive the economy into a depression. The Tory economic proposals have the potential to push the British economy into a death spiral of decline."
Now let’s look at the Tories favourite bete noir, Incapacity Benefit.
Osborne “revealed” that he intends clawing back £600 million over the next Parliament by putting the worst offenders back to work. Sounds good, and as a unwilling recipient of IB (I want to work but they won’t let me, even after I had made concrete enquires as to working 10 hours a week as a counsellor in Hull schools, long story) it absolutely winds me up how people play the system, but if you can find enough Doctors to conduct 3,000 interviews PER DAY, and then sign people off with no recourse to a second opinion or an appeal, then you should be put to work at the UN solving the Palestinian Question in the morning and the Arms Race before afternoon tea.
Quite aside from that Gorgeous George went on to say a further £300 million would come from cutting £25 a week from those on the top IB rate.
One fatal flaw here George. There aren’t enough people on top whack to raise this figure. So I assume you are going to do what you did in the ‘Eighties then? You know the wheeze? Inconveniently high unemployment stats are making Jim Prior and his fellow wets err, well a bit damp, so you sling a load of people onto IB and hey presto! Only 3 million unemployed! Bargain! Then demonise them in the Daily Mail and cut the £25 that way. Nice one geezer! Way to go!
It proves the Tories have nothing to say about the real issues when the spectre of IB is raised. Good headlines in the right wing media for an issue they have no way of solving, and in the great scheme of things is fairly insubstantial when measured against the NHS and Education budgets. Not that we should just look the other way. Peter Hain was in the first phase of doing something about this as his constituency in Wales has nigh on 50% of working age people on IB, something he was determined to act on by introducing private firms (shock horror!) to work one to one with claimants, taking time and effort to see what they CAN do (me, six half days a month as a counsellor to young people and offenders please!) and help them to take the plunge.
What happened to Hain? Oh yeah. He made a balls up of his accounts and guess what? He resigned, did his time and came back having learnt his lesson.
As for IB. Claimants suffer five times the national rate of illiteracy and present a nice easy target group with little right of reply. Just how the Tories like it.