The Cull of the Working Class.
As we all know by now, the dreaded Bedroom Tax has arrived. This of course is the latest of a long list of attacks on working class people. We must be careful not to view these attacks in isolation – they constitute a coordinated assault on working class people particularly the most vulnerable members of society; the sick and disabled.
It has been estimated that eight in ten people affected by the Bedroom Tax are disabled. Many of those have already been through a work capability assessment conducted by the French firm Atos, on behalf of the Department of Works and Pensions, which has resulted in them losing their benefits.
Michael Meacher M.P. led a commons debate on the 17th. January this year in which he criticised almost every aspect of Atos’s operations including the thousands of people who have died after being declared fit for work. You can see his speech on You Tube.
Atos has been widely and repeatedly criticised by the British Medical Association, and is subject to constant lobbying by disabled groups throughout the country.
This callous treatment of the sick and disabled goes hand in hand with the emergence of a new and sinister trend of political thought has developed over the term of the present Government, which sees welfare benefit claimants and those at the very bottom of society as lazy, dishonest stupid scroungers who are less than human.
The Government’s sustained attacks on the weakest in society are reminiscent of the Nazis treatment of some of their own citizens prior to the beginning of the Second World War when they “assessed” the sick and disabled to see if they were physically and mentally fit to live.
Those human beings whom they termed Lebensunwertes Leban-“life unworthy of life”, and “useless eaters” were callously exterminated. The German authorities managed to persuade the population at large through written and pictorial propaganda, that this extermination was morally acceptable and that the sick and disabled were a drain on the economy. They managed to do this by “dehumanising” people.
An article in The Guardian on 11May 2013, reported on research carried out at the University of Louvain by Jacque-Philippe Leyens which suggests that low status groups including the poor, homeless people, drug addicts and welfare claimants are seen by others as less than “fully human”.
Leyens has coined the term “infrahumanisation”- the infra for “below”, as in below or less than fully human to describe this development of everyday dehumanisation.
As Robert de Vries in the Guardian article puts it, “The Government’s cuts to welfare benefits are causing real harm to a lot of innocent people, nevertheless, remarkable numbers seem to be willing to support them”, and, “People struggling to get by in their own lives will find it hard to sympathise with those they feel are getting a free ride”.
The Government propaganda about “shirkers” and “strivers not skivers” seems therefore to be working. Unfortunately, on programmes such as “Question Time”, these phrases have been enthusiastically adopted by many members of the audience.
This of course is a classic example of the “Divide and Conquer” strategy being employed against the working class.
Another ruse used by the Government to justify their unremitting attacks on the working class is the mythology that cuts are necessary, and “that we are all in this together”.
The idea that those at the top of society will suffer just as much as those at the bottom would be laughable if it were not so insulting and contemptible; the very people who decided to cut the living standards of working class people are in the process of voting themselves a pay rise of between £10 to £20 thousand pounds a year. Most of us would be delighted to live on just the pay rise, but in fact MP’s will now get more than £75,000 a year-some of them want £100,000, – yet they have the nerve to say that we all have to share the pain!
And of course the Bankers still get their bonuses and Multi-nationals manage to dodge paying tax.
The claim that cuts in public services are necessary at all is a complete lie. As Tony Benn once said, “If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people”. According to U.K. Government figures Britain spent at least £9.24 billion in Iraq and £11.1 billion in Afghanistan between April 2001 and March 2010, and that’s not taking into account what has been squandered from 2010 till now.
The so-called Ministry of Defence lost £74 million pounds of taxpayers’ money recently on a cancelled order for fighter jets. (Richard Johnstone, Public Finance 10 May 2013).
So it would seem that there is plenty of money to wage illegal and pointless wars, but not enough money to create a caring peaceful society.
There is another war going on at the moment; it is the class war. A war waged by those at the top of society against those at the bottom. We are the victims of this war. For generations working class people have had to endure poor wages, bad and often dangerous working conditions, industrial illnesses and long periods of financial hardship.
Working class people are still being killed daily in this war. Literally thousands of people die every year after Atos has passed them fit for work. People have been forced to work for benefit money; before long regular workers will be sacked then they too can work for slave wages and will join the millions of others living below the breadline.
Warren Buffett an American billionaire business magnate once said, “There’s class warfare all right, but it’s my class – the rich class that’s making war, and we’re winning!”
Through these measures, the Government has upped the ante in their war against the disabled and unemployed. If you aren’t in work, or are sick or disabled you don’t deserve to live, – you are a useless eater!
In this war against the working class the sick, the disabled and the unemployed are being culled. The Government are killing working class people.
If this seems farfetched, you only have to remember this, the entire Nazi extermination programme which culminated in the Holocaust, started in 1939 with the T4 euthanasia program which targeted sick and disabled people. If the German people had resisted at this stage the Second World War may never have happened.
The only way we can prevent history repeating itself, is for ordinary working class people to organise and fight back. We have to combat the Bedroom Tax and all the other cuts that the Government and their friends in big business are trying to impose on us. We have to rely on ourselves and not on politicians; they are part of the problem not the solution!
Above all, we have to overcome the State’s attempts to divide and rule us; we need to show our fellow workers that we have nothing in common with the boss class and that we must build our own organisations and strong communities to unite against them.
Only then can we hope to win the class war.