An Open Letter to Ed Miliband
In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.
Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.
I have had this post in my drafts folder for a long time, I guess that perhaps I had hoped that things may change, that the Labour party would finally stand up for benefit claimants: the long-term sick, the disabled and the unemployed. Sadly this is not the case and I rather suspect that under Labour nothing will be done to rectify the shocking treatment of benefit claimants as a result of the Tory’s so-called benefit reforms. I consider that Labour will do nothing to save the welfare system from the destruction that the Tory’s have begun, though some may say that indeed Labour began the demise of the welfare system beginning with the replacement of incapacity benefit by Employment and Support Allowance.
Prior to the Labour party conference Ed Miliband said he would be “bringing back socialism” to Britain and he vowed to:
Strengthen the national minimum wage to make work pay
“And we are fighting for all of the low-paid people around our country. One of the proudest achievements of the last Labour government was the national minimum wage, making work pay for people.”
And to abolish the bedroom tax
“We are going to scrap the bedroom tax, that’s what I mean by a government that fights for you.
And at the conference he promised to freeze energy prices.
All very commendable and if carried out will make a big difference to many people who are struggling financially as a result of the present government’s austerity measures which falls disproportionately on poor people while millionaires get tax cuts and corporation’s avoid paying tax altogether. I have to say though that energy should be renationalised as should public transport and water and indeed every public service, and that includes the NHS which is well on the road to privatisation. Energy prices are too high; many people cannot afford to heat their homes this will not change any time soon.
I would like to ask Mr Miliband:
When are labour going to fight for the disabled, the chronically sick and the unemployed, in short people on benefits through no fault of their own, who have suffered not only financially under this coalition’s welfare reforms but who have also suffered the detrimental effects of a malicious propaganda campaign, the like of which resembles the Nazi’s campaign to turn people against the disabled prior to world war two? When are labour going to redress the wrongs committed by the present government, begun by the Labour party themselves who kick started this nightmare of vicious welfare cuts?
While I agree whole heartedly concerning the abolition of the bedroom tax and an increase in the basic minimum wage. I am appalled that you have not condemned in any real way the serious attack on benefit claimants. Thousands of people have committed suicide, many live in fear and dread of insecurity and devastating poverty. Lives already marred by illness and disability and by unemployment have suffered further detriment from the Tory government’s welfare reforms and indeed from Labour who introduced some of the changes such as the unfair Work Capability Assessment WCA and a reduction in the amount paid when Employment and Support Allowance ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit. Also I clearly recall Tony Blair’s “lounging on benefits” comments which some might say launched the drip feed of the negative scrounger propaganda. Though irrelevant now there was some vague mention that Labour may sack ATOS but what will replace it? Something very similar I would imagine.
What has happend to labour, the party of the working man, the party that introduced the NHS, social security, the welfare state, what happened to the real socialist party I once voted for. Now labour is nothing but a sham, a paler shade of blue.
Why did you think the country voted for Labour in 1997, surely not to continue with the right-wing political agenda of the outgoing party. New Labour indeed, more like New conservative. The New One Nation Labour is not much better, how can we be one nation when there is such disparity of living standards when many have far more than their needs, the roughly 619,000 millionaires and 88 billionaires for example, while others have to choose between eating and heating , struggle to pay rent or mortgage from inadequate pay for working away their lives for longer and longer hours under unfair conditions for increasingly lower pay. Why have Labour not reinstated the powers that the conservatives took away from the trade unions rending them virtually ineffectual.
Time for a real socialist party, time for an end to low wages, inequality and insecurity. Time for a more fair distribution of wealth and a decent standard of living for every man, woman and child including those who by misfortune are too ill or disabled to contribute. To care for those who cannot support themselves is the mark of any decent morally progressive society . Time for you and the Labour party to speak out against the shocking treatment of disabled and chronically sick people, this is one of the greatest of all social injustices, a violation of human rights and the universal codes of plain common decency and morality.
You cannot kowtow to public opinion concerning benefit claimants which has in any case been poisoned by Tory rhetoric. Time to stand up for what is right, time to return to some of the older Labour values, time for real equality and social justice.
There is no justice when the privileged have millions while others live in unheated homes, struggle to feed their families or pay their rent, while sick and disabled people become increasing impoverished, while people die of lack of medical care and while many slave away their precious lives working increasing longer hours for increasing less and less pay. There is no justice globally when a child in a so called developing country dies every 3.5 second for want for food or clean water.
The world has to change for the sake of every man, women and child, for every creature and indeed the earth itself. If not the legacy of future generations will be enslavement to multinational corporations, the devastation of our planet and the extinction of the other creatures with whom we share this world.
How can you a multimillionaire have the audacity to say you are bringing back socialism? It is a long time since the Labour Party have been true socialists.Time to abandon the politics of greed and inequality, these are not hall marks of the Labour party, social justice or morality. How about taking a leaf out of the book of Uruguay’s president Jose Mujic whose charitable donations – which benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs – bring his salary roughly in line with the average Uruguayan income of $775 (£485) a month. In 2010, his annual personal wealth declaration – mandatory for officials in Uruguay – was $1,800 (£1,100), the value of his 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.
It is a sad day when democracy is allowed to die, when an unelected government of millionaires, of over privileged sociopaths determines the future of the masses virtually unchallenged in any real sense save for the ineffectual slanging matches in parliament, none of which have remotely addressed the outrage of social injustice perpetrated against the disabled, sick , unemployed and low paid. Debates in parliament have changed nothing even when the government are defeated as was the case with the Badger debate, they go ahead with their perverted policies anyway, in the case of badgers to proceed with the slaughter last summer. Time for an independent Watch Dog authority with the powers to call an election when it is apparent that the government work from self interest or other interests that are to the detriment of the many or when it is obvious that the majority no longer support the policies of the elected government and most definitely when the government is not elected as is the case with the coalition
Please don’t tell me about the democratic process and what you will do if you are elected. By than it will be too late and I can well imagine you will do little to reverse the injustice of these wicked welfare reforms. Frankly there are times when I seriously consider that Labour are quite content to let the Tories implement these unjust unfair reforms. Democracy is dead when the unelected have the power to cart blanch destroy in a matter of months the progress of decades.
Until Labour speaks out against the benefit reforms and pledges to reverse the damage done, including Labour’s own role in the matter, I will no longer vote Labour. I have in fact only voted for Labour in recent years simply because we have a good Labour MP in my locality rather than as an endorsement of the party’s abandonment of Labours former socialist values.