For years we’ve been forced to listen to Tory claims that they’ve had to make “difficult decisions” to manage Britain’s finances and balance the books, while their actions have resulted in pushing the poorest and the most vulnerable people in our society to the brink and beyond.
For the Conservatives and their ideologically-driven supporters, pain and misery is an economic necessity that must take place regardless of the consequences, whilst handing tax breaks and unconditional support to the super rich and courting their friends in the right-wing media – many of whom are Tory donors.
We’re told that the economy is on the path to recovery, and that the Conservatives have replaced Labour as the party of the working class, at a time when record numbers are trapped on zero-hours contracts and over a million people are having to turn to food banks to feed themselves and their families.
But that’s OK.. isn’t it? Because employment is at record levels and the number of “scroungers” claiming unemployment benefits is falling. The UK economy is safe under the Tories, their friends in the media tell us, whilst neglecting the fact that employment can no longer be seen as a guaranteed route out of poverty.
In case you’re in any doubt, the Tories have borrowed more money whilst in government than all previous Labour administrations combined. So much for economic competence…?
And lets not forget the thousands of disabled people who the Tories apparently continue to care so much about and spend billions of taxpayer’s hard-earned money “helping”, whilst cutting the very financial support they rely on to remain independent and retain suitable employment.
If this is “compassionate Conservatism” then I hate to think what the alternative may be. We may be placed in the unenviable position of having to find out if the Tories win a large majority in June.
For those of you who remember past Conservative governments, you’ll remember how they always target and trample on those least capable of speaking out and defending themselves. But even Thatcher would not have gone as far as the current crop of Tory politicians, and wouldn’t have felt quite as much satisfaction in watching her own people suffer as a result.
Today’s Tories are different. They laugh when hearing about how a disabled person hit by draconian cuts is left feeling as if the only escape is to take their own life.
They appear to get a fix hearing about a single mum who has had to turn to a food bank because she has fallen foul of the cruel and inhuman benefit sanctions regime.
They dismiss and openly criticise reports from charities, housing organisations, and even highly respected international bodies such as the United Nations, highlighting how their decisions are impacting on the poor and vulnerable and effectively begging them to reconsider.
The authors of these reports are routinely smeared and labelled as socialist fanatics, just because they’ve had the courage to speak out in people’s defense and question Tory policy decisions. They’re only “experts” when agreeing with the Tory way of thinking.
They conduct public consultations ahead of critical policy decisions certain to have a devastating effect on those least able to take a hit to their finances, only to ignore professional advice and push through brutal and regressive policies regardless. It makes them look as if they care and are interested in people’s views and opinions, when in reality they couldn’t give a jot.
Make no mistake, if the Conservatives gain a larger majority in June the cuts we’ve seen so far will pale in comparison to what comes next. No one will be safe. Not even those fabled “hardworking people” who the Tories supposedly love so much.