Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Austerity Is Working!

As can be seen by Frances Ryan’s increasingly hysterical rhetoric:
I can’t decide what is most disturbing: that more than 85% of allegations of benefit fraud put forward by the public over the past five years have been false….
Errr, not quite true. As we noted at Tim Worstall’s site, the actual wording is important:

“…between 2010 and 2015 the government closed 1,041,219 alleged cases of benefit fraud put forward by the public. Insufficient or no evidence of fraud was discovered in 887,468 of these. In 2015 alone, of the 153,038 cases closed by the DWP’s Fraud and Error Service, 132,772 led to no action.”

The weasel words there are ‘insufficient evidence’ and ‘led to no action’.

This is the sort of free and easy twisting of words that allows the feministas to claim men are ‘getting away with rape’ by counting the number of acquittals or failure to proceed with a charge due to lack of evidence as examples of men who have ‘got away with it’.
… or that this is about almost 900,000 out of more than a million cases. That isn’t a handful of mistaken or malicious individuals. It’s a widespread anti-benefit mindset that – over five years of austerity – has rooted itself in British culture: through Benefits Street type-television, the rhetoric of politicians, and the pages of national newspapers.
Yes, you see, in Frances’ world, if only it wasn’t for that awful media and those dreadful politicians, the Great British Public would regard benefit cheats as happy-go-lucky scalliwags who deserved to get away with it, bless their souls…
In this climate, a “benefit cheat” and a person on benefits is one and the same. It has not only become quite natural to be suspicious of your disabled neighbour when he drives by your house in a new car – but to report him to the authorities for it.
Just for a new car? That wouldn’t necessarily make me suspicious of my disabled neighbour. Are you perhaps projecting, Frances?
“It’s a hate crime of the worst type,” said one woman – who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, fibromyalgia, and mental health problems – who spoke to me from Wiltshire about being falsely reported as fraudulently claiming disability benefits. She described the accusation as “the equivalent of saying I was working as a trapeze artist by night and in the SAS by day” .
And yet a lot of this does indeed happen.

Maybe the ease with which some people have been able to fool their GPs into supporting their claims should be a focus of your ire instead? Or even GPs swindling the system themselves?
The phantom benefit cheat is the perfect patsy for austerity. If there are hordes of disabled, mentally ill, or unemployed people who are draining the public purse, there is justification for sweeping cuts to social security. It doesn’t actually matter if this horde is lying to claim benefits or not. By nature of receiving “taxpayers’” money, they are still said to be cheating “hardworking families” .
Well, when a single mother of four can ‘earn’ enough in benefits to keep not just herself, but 6 large hungry animals, there’s clearly something wrong.

Why do you never rail against those who abuse the system, Frances?
This is the art of distraction mixed with a tactic of divide and rule. It not only stops much of the public questioning whether vast cuts to public services are necessary, but also diverts attention from the government’s failure to find solutions to the real causes of people’s struggles. It is not high private rents, lack of social housing, or low wages that deserve their anger but the people who are too ill to get out of bed in the morning.
Why is it the government’s job to ‘find solutions’, Frances? People struggle for all sorts of reasons, but the government can’t do much more than attempt to arrange a level playing field.


DJ said...

Yep, I was thinking the self-same thing re: a low rate of convictions suddenly becoming proof of unfair harassment rather than a reason to dispense with the burden of proof. Plus I'm guessing none of these people had 20 cops turn over their houses, got stuck with five figure legal bills or held on indefinite bail wile the filth trawl for any other disgruntled complainants.

Still, if it's real root causes she's after, I think I may have worked out what's behind both the collapse in blue collar wages *and* the pressure on housing. Perhaps I should submit an article to the Guardian, huh?

Anonymous said...

What annoys me is "being disabled" is automatically seen by the bleeding hearts as being totally incapable of working, rather than working around the disability.

JuliaM said...

"Perhaps I should submit an article to the Guardian, huh?"

Before it follows the 'Indy'? Better be quick! :D

"What annoys me is "being disabled" is automatically seen by the bleeding hearts as being totally incapable of working, rather than working around the disability."

There's a chap in my building who's little more than a torso in a wheelchair. He's not there to observe. He works!