In 2008 the Tories were being hailed as the compassionate conservatives. Three years on, a Coalition in place, and attacks in the most vulnerable in society impossible to ignore and this now sounds like a bitter joke.
But Cameron tried to reaffirm his compasionate Conservative credentials at the Tory conference where he said: “Conservative methods are not just good for the strong and the successful but the best way to help the poor and the weak and the vulnerable.”
Adding: “Because it’s not enough to know our ideas are right. We’ve got to explain why they are compassionate too.”
I don’t know about you but – as more people need benefits at the same time as Universal Credit ensures they’re denied them - I can see the Tories changing their approach to “compassion”. I think, in much the same way as rants about “political-correctness”, they’ll soon declare it’s “compassion gone mad!” as they silence anyone defending the vulnerable.
I’m so certain of this I will bet my £71 a week which is, of course, such a huge amount of money I’m now entirely unwilling to work and, instead, happy to live in state-funded luxury with the obligatory enormous television.
Recently though I’ve found that rare species we know exists but hardly ever encounter … a compassionate Job Centre Plus adviser. He is friendly thing, doesn’t speak to me like I’m a thief, stupid or both … and he advises. Perhaps this is an indication that those who consider themselves to be in a powerful position – that is, in work – are recognising their own employment vulnerability. That they too could soon be treated with a lack of compassion and accused of whinging if they demand it.
This also to some extent explains why it’s been some time since I’ve blogged. It’s not, sadly, due to my being employed but to my feeling I have, in a way, little left to say.
Firstly, my experience is a repetitive one – I am again moving from unemployment to under-employment and so fighting the draconian measures of my benefits being suspended before I’ve even seen an employment contract. I am as ever stressed out by this but also oddly used to it. I now know how to “play the system” because you have no choice but to learn because – aside from the Lesser Arrogant Job Centre Plus Advisor I’ve just encountered – no one helps you at all.
My experience is now a very common one: many of us are now losing our jobs; seeing our homes threatened; being treated as parasitic benefit cheats; being ripped off by utilities companies; being blamed for our poverty; watching as banks benefit from it in charges; recognising our qualifications are not worth the money we paid for them; waiting for the axe to fall or signing on then off then on then off then on then …
Chaplin is well. He is currently enjoying a catnip cigar and, thankfully, prefers Lidl and Aldi catfood to the big name brands
Luxuries I’ve bought to irritate Tories who think my benefits are too high: an electric blanket; a halogen heater and the aforementioned catnip cigar
Poverty plan: To work two part-time jobs in the hope that this means I can sign off until March 2013. Fingers crossed