“Dear” Mr Cameron
I write with regard to your appalling track record in government, your failure as a leader and as a policy maker, and your entire governments evidenced lack of regard for the country over which they have been given a duty of care by an admittedly minority of the electorate.
Successive governments have progressively reduced the faith of voters in their ability to treat citizenry with any form of equality or value, and we have become familiar with being regarded as commodities who only have worth in relation to the income we may generate and the money we may spend in the businesses you and your cohorts deem more important than us. However, as stated by the OECD in their report published this year, the average household income has reduced by 2% which in real terms means the lower incomes reduced by a higher percentage, the wealthy remain wealthy and the poor are living on less in increasingly expensive times. Between 2007 and 2010, the child poverty rate in the UK fell by a tiny percentage. It’s growing again, thanks to you, and the average gap between rich and poor is still widening.
You are a failure; moreover you as an individual, and your cabinet as a whole; for example, Mr Ian Duncan-Smith, Mr Michael Gove, Mr George Osborne and Mrs Maria Miller, are responsible for the further disenfranchisement of those members of our society who are already marginalised through being members of perceived ‘minority’ groups.
You made commitments in your Manifesto before being elected, which we can now see was a document created from a tissue of lies, obfuscation and conflation. You and your cohorts continue to give speeches referring to ‘facts’ which are not statistically viable, are poorly sourced or are outright lies. Unfortunately pointing such lies out in retrospect has no effect, as it is too late. The debate is done and the decision is made. This is the vile behaviour of spoiled, selfish children.
I shall set out (some) the failures of your government in defined paragraphs, for ease of reference and comprehension (although I doubt you or anyone remotely related to government would ever even see this, let alone read it). I’m even going to link to some other sites where you can find out factual information rather than the misinformed hysterical tabloid fodder you take as fact:
The IMF has criticised the Tory economic policy to pursue austerity measures in an attempt to bring the country out of recession. The World Economic Outlook report published by the IMF “repeatedly singled out the British economy for weak growth and negative outlook. Its chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, said the UK chancellor, George Osborne, was “playing with fire”.”1 That’s the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, Mr Cameron, in case you didn’t realise, telling you that you and Mr Osborne have it wrong. Economic experts worldwide have blasted your economic austerity policies as being the wrong action to take in times of recession, yet you continue to blindly walk the path to disaster.
The majority of measures you have taken appear to be with regard to the benefit system, and your Minister Iain Duncan Smith has been caught out lying. He used false statistics to cite that his policies have reduced benefit claimants and put people back in work. What is actually happening is new slavery through Workfare, which takes paying jobs and forces benefit claimants to work for free in a job which clearly exists and which they could get paid for if the government wasn’t subsidising conglomerates by giving them workers who barely get enough to cover their expenses in doing these jobs. It’s also a very nice way of circumventing the minimum wage laws. It is exploitative and abusive.
Incidentally, this was the third time in six months Ministers had been caught lying about statistics; the third time the UK Statistics Authority had to contact Ministers to warn them about this.2
Of course, ‘benefits’ is defined as collected tax monies which are given to individuals in our society to maintain them, when they are unemployed, or for children as an investment in their future, or if they are physically unable to work, and so on. Tax monies are also given to corporations in the form of grants and allowances. This is of benefit to corporations, and costs as much if not more than that which is paid to individuals. I find it interesting that the media spin and political language differentiates linguistically between the social benefit system and the corporate benefit system; both funds come from the same place, the taxpayer. It is apparent from this that corporations are more important to the government than people.
It doesn’t matter to you and your cabinet of millionaires, you will not suffer from your austerity measures. It is the people who suffer, and who will continue to suffer due to your inability to enact policies that help people rather than punitively damage them.
This week saw the suicide of Mrs Stephanie Bottrill3 who could not afford the bedroom tax, and for whom there was no alternative. Private accommodation is too expensive, if available, and since successive governments enacted and perpetuated the sale of social housing into the private market without replacing the stock thus sold there is inadequate provision of suitable housing for those currently in need. Those hit by the bedroom tax have nowhere to go. They will be forced to choose between food, heat and payment of tax. Already we lose elderly citizens every year to the cold because they cannot afford to heat their properties Now they will be forced to move miles away from any support network they already have if a housing swap is available, or forced into private rented accommodation at a rent which is prohibitive to many, or made homeless by increasing debt caused by an inability to pay an unfair tax which penalises poor people.
Some social housing landlords, those Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) which have taken over running of the stock of housing previously managed by local councils (one of which I am a tenant myself), have taken steps against penalising their tenants in this way, but they are few and far between. The majority will live in fear of losing their home. How does this build a sense of community, when one cannot feel one is even a part of it because one is fearful of being homeless at the next turn of the governmental screw?
As Mrs Bottrill stated in her letter explaining her actions, she doesn’t “[blame] anyone for me death expect [sic] the government.” 3 Nor do I.
I have friends going through the hell of ATOS at the moment. My partner was present at a recorded interview which took over a year to arrange, was cancelled four times by ATOS and the DWP although they attempted to blame my friend for the cancellations, and after the interview he received a letter which proved that every bit of information he provided had been completely ignored. Every single statement he and his Doctor made about his conditions was ignored. The criteria listed in the questionnaire the ATOS representative (who has no medical training or knowledge) makes no allowance for the variety in symptoms of myriad conditions, nor for the fact that many conditions have good and bad days. It seems it is expected that a person will appeal, and that this is simply a hurdle they must jump to prove they really do need Disability Living Allowance, or incapacity benefit. I deliberately chose that metaphor. Jumping the hurdle is especially difficult for those in pain, those suffering mental health issues, those with disabilities and those with conditions that may very well leave them incapable of fitting into whatever timetable ATOS enforces.
Former employees of ATOS are speaking out against the methodology used in assessing claims. The BBC, only this week, cites Dr Wood, a former Royal Navy Doctor who conducted assessments on behalf of ATOS, as saying the tests are based on “dubious concepts and shaky reasoning”.
40% of claimants are successful on appeal if ATOS deems them fit to work4, with that rising higher on second appeal. The cost of appeals is more than the savings made. It is simply not cost-effective, and is demonising the most vulnerable members of society. Worse is the human cost. Such is the horror, fear, desperation and despair ATOS procedures raise there is now a website dedicated to those who simply could not cope: http://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/tag/suicide/
You are killing people.
Education is vital to the future of our country. It is essential our children have equal access to nurturing, structured, equivalent education that meets the needs of our young. That means a variety of subjects. Academies are limited and less regulated, leading to bias in subjects, minimising of topics, cuts to arts, less regulation with regard to non-secular bias (i.e. religious schools preventing sexual health education and learning about alternative religions, and even promoting discrimination on gender, sexuality and racial lines), less accountability and profiting from education. Education is not ‘one size fits all’. Children need play and creative stimulation to enable them to develop the skills to learn. To build a society of caring communities we need to unlearn the inherent bigotry that permeates our lives. Schools are an ideal environment for this, but instead of progressive policies to help create such an environment and support our already overworked and underappreciated school staff, Michael Gove is now suggesting increasing school hours. This will lead to overtired children unable to concentrate and reach their potential, and staff who can already barely keep up with the paperwork being more stressed and less able to get on with what they want to do, which is teach!
Education is about teaching our children, opening them up to experiences, developing their minds and providing them with the skills to live the life they choose, in whichever occupation they find themselves best suited to. The appointment of John Nash to the post of Education Minister, a man who has no actual educational experience but does have a financial stake in the Academy system, clearly shows the intent of the government5.
Even the business community is against Michael Gove’s plans for the curriculum6. The longer hours and amendments that he, who has no actual experience in an educational environment, is proposing will actively put children off studying the topics he wishes to encourage, and leave both children and teachers too exhausted and fragmented in priorities to achieve their best.
Poverty is absolutely an issue of inequality. Those in discriminated-against groups as defined by such socially constructed categories as race, gender, ability, sexuality and age suffer disproportionately in all areas of society when it comes to education, housing, employment and all social issues. Your government’s track record on inequality is appalling. You have appointed successive Ministers who are on record as voting against equality bills, for example Maria Miller supporting the call for restriction on abortion availability to women through the introduction of independent advice (which in practice meant anti-abortion pressure groups) being mandated before provision would be considered7, and her predecessor Theresa May being on record as voting against the repeal of section 28, against equalising the age of consent in homosexual relationships to 16, against gay adoption rights, against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which would give lesbian couples the ability to receive fertility treatment, and against the Gender Recognition Act which would allow transsexual/transgender people to change their legally defined gender8.
I’ve covered the genocide you are practising on the disabled above. However, the gender wage gap is increasing, single-parent households (which for myriad reasons mostly based on outdated sexist laws and traditions are headed by women) are being penalised by benefit cuts, we still don’t have marriage equality and are falling behind many countries in this failure to legislate such equality, there are no policies in place to enable those with disabilities to enter into the workforce (such as ensuring safe access and egress, toilet facilities and so on) and discrimination is still inherent in society with no clear policies on addressing the same.
It is not enough to have an Equality Minister, you have to actually do something to educate and change minds, both in law and by example. Having a cabinet filled with privileged white male millionaires does nothing to step towards equality.
In your pre-election manifesto of 2010, you stated “We are increasing investment in the NHS by £12.5 billion by 2015.” During your election campaign in a speech to Conservatives in January 2010, you personally said “We are the only party committed to protecting NHS spending. I’ll cut the deficit, not the NHS”.
In practice, you have done neither. My local hospital, University Hospital Lewisham, is having its Accident & Emergency, Children’s and Maternity departments closed or greatly reduced because a trust in a nearby borough, of which Lewisham is NOT a part, is failing. Lewisham itself has been a successful, profitable (by the standards of service industries which put people before profit and not the other way round) business. It has not played any part in the failure of the neighbouring borough, yet is being closed simply to support a neighbouring borough. Lives WILL be lost due to this short-sighted, dangerous move which your government has enabled and supported. This model of the new NHS is to be rolled out across the country.
Services are to be put out to tender, and in practice this means the lowest bidder will receive the contract to offer services. As has been evidenced in other privatised national industries, such as British Rail, British Gas and British Telecom, this means reduced service, lowering of standards, increase in prices and the increased suffering of the poorer members of society. Given we are in a recession and those in poverty is increasing exponentially, suffering will increase exponentially.
The NHS is a globally-admired service. You seem to want us to move to a model of healthcare similar to that offered in the United States. That which is in the United States does not work for anyone who is in any way financially disadvantaged. People who cannot afford treatment die, suffer long-term ill health and related mental health conditions brought on by such suffering. The NHS is an essential service for all people living in the country. It is a service that should be putting the treatment of people first, not the profit it can make for its investors.
Not only did you lie to the people in your election campaign, you are supporting a move that will endanger the lives of your electorate. This is deplorable.
Corporations take advantage of tax loopholes to pay minimal amounts of tax; comparatively a corporation can expect to pay far less tax than the average wage-earning householder. The amount of tax avoided through this method would pay for all the swingeing cuts to benefits systems. Yet it is those who require benefits, the unwaged and waged poor and the disabled, who are demonised by the media at your behest.
Amazon, the global internet marketing giant, paid £2.4million in tax in the UK on £4.2billion reported profits, yet gets more than the amount in government grants which comes from, yes, the taxpayer9. We are subsidising companies to make profit from us, with no return. This is reprehensible.
A Robin Hood tax forcing banks to take responsibility for their actions rather than receive bonuses for being slightly less dreadful than the previous year, proper and thorough regulation of the financial industries, these are steps that must be taken to help our country out of the increasingly dire situation it is in. But you will not take this step, as I believe it will affect you and your cronies and those who pay towards your election campaigns.
Okay, you may have an idea now of just HOW angry I am. People have died and continue to die as a direct result of your policies. Even in this, you have shown hypocrisy and lack of feeling which is revolting to perceive. You blame the benefit system for the murder of young children by one person, yet when a woman feels so desperate about an increase in bedroom tax forcing her into poverty that she has no option but to kill herself, you state you do not comment on individual cases.
You are responsible for the deaths of many hundreds of people. You and your government, and your selfish, ignorant, dangerous policies.
Your government will have a legacy of death on its bloody hands. To me, you and your cronies exhibit sociopathic tendencies; the lack of empathy you have is clear. You have made it abundantly and blatantly obvious that all you care about is business, and not even small business, but big business, conglomerates and banks.
I don’t expect you to listen. You have shown you do not care. But I am angry and I am not the only one.
In 2011 we had riots across the country; initially from the murder of a civilian at the hands of the police who did not take the concerns and statements of witnesses and his family into account and denied responsibility, but later because of the lack of hope of any kind of future. Yes, there was a criminal element but criminality was not the catalyst for rioting, nor was it the reason for the anger, frustration and action. You continue to evince an aspirational society in which objects are valued higher than community and people, yet continue to deny and discriminate against those you believe should aspire thereby blocking them from any real opportunity to achieve those aspirations. Do you really think that this can continue without there being some sort of response?
We will have more violence, more rioting, more anger and more hopelessness. There is nothing more dangerous than a country which has no hope. You, Mr Cameron, continue to create that country through your misguided, sociopathic policies formulated through lies and back-handers.
This is my opinion. I am not the only one to hold it. I have never hated anyone before, nor thought a person could be described as evil. You have changed that.
I hope you are proud of yourself, Mr Cameron. You and your fellow sociopaths will be the only ones.
PS: “Dear” Mr Cameron; you are “dear”. You cost us far too much, and some of us pay with our lives.