It’s a hard life being a Tory government minister, getting to watch Kezia Dugdale and Ken Macintosh have all the fun of blaming the SNP for everything from plagues of locusts in Africa to the fact that the latest IKEA catalogue no longer stocks the throw overs Iain Duncan Smith likes to use to disguise the dead bodies. All you get if you’re a Tory is the ability to blame migrants which does leave you open to accusations of racism and that might just spoil a dinner party. Thankfully you can say what you like about Scottish people and the SNP without running into that difficulty. It’s either yet more evidence to expose the evil separatists for the vile anti-English creatures that they really are, or it’s just a bit of banter. Just don’t attempt anything similar in reverse, because that only goes to prove that there’s a dark evil lurking at the very core of the Scottish psyche.
Anyway, you might not think that the shattered ruins of the Labour party in Scotland could possibly have anything that might inspire jealousy, but the all conquering Tories can’t possibly allow themselves to be outdone by the Labour party in Scotland – getting outdone by that lot is like seeing your penis extension Audi being overtaken on the motorway by a flaccid Citroen 2CV with three wheels.
So now some no mark of the name Justin Tomlinson – no I’d never heard of him either – has taken a leaf out of Kezia’s SNP Bad manual. But now I have heard of Justin and I really wish I hadn’t. Justin makes Danny Alexander seem like a ginger haired lady with a bedroom tax lamp. Admittedly Danny used the lamp to set fire to poor people’s spare bedrooms, but it’s the pose that counts. Justin doesn’t bother with posing as a caring person, he just gets straight down to the evil Tory bastertness.
Justin is the Minister of State for Disabled People. His main qualification for the job seems to be cheerleading Iain Duncan Smith as he kicks wheelchairs off cliffs and getting out the bunting in order to give people who’ve had their benefits sanctioned something to hang themselves with. Whatever it was that got him the post, it sure as hell wasn’t empathy or any prior interest in disability issues. For Justin, people with disabilities and chronic illnesses are mere stepping stones to be piled up to help him climb in his career. Disabled people can’t get away as easily as the able bodied, and that makes them ideal for Justin’s purposes. Putting Justin in charge of protecting the disabled is like putting an American dentist in charge of protecting lions.
In 2012 Justin voted against protecting higher social security payments of children with disabilities. The UK government has justified this – I kid you not – by pointing out that children with disabilities grow up to be adults with disabilities and adults with disabilities live in poverty. So in order to ease the transition into penury, the Tories are doing disabled children a kindness by forcing them to live in poverty now. It’s good practice for later life.
Justin also supported a one year limit on contributions based Employment and Support Allowance for people undergoing cancer treatment. If you’ve got cancer you can get support for a year even if you’ve been contributing for decades, if your cancer takes longer than that to treat, then tough. Justin thinks you’ve had all the treatment you need and your cancer is just being workshy.
He also voted to remove the duty of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights to work to achieve a society where disabled people are not limited in their achievements by discrimination or prejudice. He’s another in the long line of Tories who want to teach disabled people and the chronically ill to stand on their own two feet by kicking away their crutches and setting them on quicksand.
Naturally Justin supported the bedroom tax, which fell especially hard on people with disabilities. A married couple couldn’t be allowed to have enough housing benefit to have a spare room even if one of them had a serious illness or disability which meant that the extra room was a necessity and not a luxury. I wasn’t able to share a bedroom with my late partner after his dementia grew advanced, but Justin doesn’t want carers like I was to get a decent night’s sleep in a proper bed. I had to sleep on the living room floor for six months. If you are currently a carer, this government doesn’t think you need even the most fundamental of human requirements. That’s how caring Tory ministers for disabled people are. Really they’re ministers for reducing payments to disabled people and contracting services out to the private sector which will offer a lucrative directorship when their political careers go arse over elbow.
Being a minister in the department of works and pensions, Justin got press duties because all his bosses are away on the holidays that poor people and disabled people can’t afford. So he got lumbered with explaining some bad news via a press release. The bad news in question is that unemployment in the UK has risen by 25,000 this month, despite the Tories loudly claiming that the economy is recovering. And taking a leaf out of the Kezia Dugdale playbook, Justin has claimed that it’s the fault of the SNP, aided and abetted by the Labour party. Yes that’s right, failures of Tory macroeconomic policy are all the fault of the SNP too. Justin’s justification was that businesses don’t want to take on staff when there is political uncertainty, and that’s all the fault of the SNP with their talk of banning fox hunting.
Sadly for Justin’s theory, unemployment in Scotland over the same period actually fell. Despite having an SNP government wreaking havoc on Michelle the Moan’s old bra factories in China and her importation of diet pills that apparently only work if you reduce your calorie intake and do some exercise, unemployment in Scotland continues to drop. Naturally we can expect glowing headline coverage of this remarkable achievement on Reporting Scotland.
SNP Bad, it’s the reflex cry of a political system driven by pricks which makes a three wheeled rusty 2CV seem like a nippy little mover.
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