Posts Tagged ‘Ed Milliband’

I am tired but unable to sleep. The BBC news channel drones on in the corner and one of my cats is curled up on the sofa next to me. Pain keeps me awake.  Anti-inflamatories would help to make pain relief more efficient but unfortunately they would interact with other essential medications, so I have to do without. Hopefully things will settle down soon. I have an early morning dental appointment and as I said, I’m tired.

My eyes closed, sipping hot chocolate, I was not really listening to the television until I heard Ed Milliband’s name and something about the Labour governments failure to reform the benefits system. I rewound the programme and listened more carefully to the interview. He said that there was still a minority of people who ‘refused to work’ and that this ‘hacked people off’.

Here we go again.

A shop worker was telling Milliband that she has to work hard to make ends meet but that someone who has never worked gets ‘everything given to them’.  Someone else talked of a non-working household ‘a few doors up’ where apparently designer clothes and holidays were the norm.

Here we go again.

Sometimes it seems to me that almost everyone I speak to knows someone like that. Someone who whether unemployed or ‘on the sick’ lives a full and worry free life on benefits. I wish they would let me into their secret. The current government and the right-wing press have done an excellent job of promoting this image to the point where ‘scrounger’, ‘unemployed’ and ‘sick’ have become interchangeable words.  Such conversations leave me feeling defensive and ashamed. When I point out to people I know that I am unemployed, I am claiming incapacity, the usual response is “oh but we don’t mean you” as if personal knowledge of me as an individual exempts me from the scorn and disapproval being meted out to ‘the others’.

Yet the majority of those ‘others’ are no different from me. Frustrated by their inability to work, whether because of ill- health, disability or the sheer fact that there are so few jobs and so many people looking for them.  Afraid of a future in which they will be punished for their situation by the reduction or even the removal of benefits. Forced to defend themselves from the constant cries of ……

‘workshy’

‘lazy’

‘benefit cheat!’

Give Ed Milliband his due, he did assert that this was a small minority of claiments. But still he seemed to feel that this small minority should be the focus of  his response on the subject of welfare.

here we go again.