Caught this early and was not impressed, though I was also not surprised.
Rachel Reeves was doing some pre election sound bite dropping and instead she seems to have dropped a clanger, and I don’t mean the little guys that live on the asteroid and talk by making funny noises.
Sadly it seems that in the drive to compete for voters with the Tories, Labour are now all but indistinguishable from them in policy and cruelty. The same political class, the same attitude towards people, only the colour of the rosette to tell them apart.
Mz Reeves is the labour version of IDS and she certainly seems to be living up to the job. Shadow work and pensions minister, the opposition counterpart to the man who runs the DWP and has become a byword for the harsh and oppressive way he treats the poor and the helpless of this country.
"We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we're not, the party to represent those who are out of work."
That sort of sums up an attitude that is very close to that of the Tories, its the sort of thing that you wouldn’t be surprised to hear from IDS or McVey or Cameron himself, that it came from the lips of the work and pensions spokesperson for Labour shows just how close the two parties are now.
Was this a slip of the tongue so to speak? Well this is the woman who said, shortly after coming to office that Labour will be tougher than the Tories when it comes to slashing the benefits bill, at the same interview in 2013 she also said that under labour the long term unemployed would not be able to linger on benefits for long periods but instead would be forced to take up a guaranteed job or lose state support.
Funny thing, I don’t know anyone who lingers on unemployment and lives a life of ease and luxury, everyone I know is living a life of stress and shortages.
Now the above statement can be broken down into two parts. The first is: We are not the party of people on benefit. Well let me see, that’s five million people on working tax credits, a ‘Benefit’ for those working but earning less than a living wage, then we have the almost 2 million actual unemployed who get jobseekers, a ‘Benefit’ to allow them to eat and pay the bills (just about). Then we have housing ‘Benefit’ for all of those on some other form of ‘Benefit’ who cannot afford somewhere to live, or disability living allowance or Employment and support allowance both of which are ‘Benefits’,
Ten million or so people on ‘Benefits’, ten million or so people that Labour are not the party of. Well thanks for making that clear. I’m sure those ten million people will be happy to know that Labour have the same attitude towards them that the Tories have, one of indifference at best and contempt at worst.
How about the second part: We don’t want to be seen, and we're not, the party to represent those who are out of work. UK population is roughly 64 million people, put aside those under 18s and you have roughly 52 million, about 30 million of whom are in some sort of work though a lot of that is zero hours and part time. So 22 million people in the UK are not in work and therefore not represented by the Labour party.
Wow, I though Cameron’s attitude towards the under 25s was harsh when he said they would be denied unemployment and housing. So Labour doesn’t want to be seen to represent 40% of the adult population of the UK, nice of them to tell us ‘Before’ the election rather than after when it’s too late.
The Greens were given a hard time after an interview so it seems to me fair play to give labour a hard time for the same thing. However that’s not the problem.
Here we have the labour shadow cabinet member for work and pensions, the woman who will become the cabinet member in charge of the DWP if they get into government and she seems to be an IDS clone, or should that be a McVey clone, perhaps she has a big bald headed thug as a side kick somewhere to play the IDA cone.
Still her interviews and attitude says that no matter which party labour or the Tories get into power, the poor, the ill, the disabled, those who need the help of the state, every last one of them will be treated in the same way. Different party in government, same treatment of those least able to protect themselves.
Listening to her speak, reading her quotes, learning about what she really believes and by extension what is official policy of the Labour party raises a question.
Who do you vote for when it’s so hard to tell the two apart?