Saturday, 25 July 2015

Guest writer Steven McBrien on Yvette Cooper ... and other Labour "worthies".

I've just read that Yvette Cooper is bravely using her campaign to become leader of the "We Stand For Stuff" Party to highlight a focus on the inequality of gender in the job thus far. Out of 23 leaders, only two have been female, and neither was elected. Well, Yvette, Every Labour MP is equal as far as I'm concerned, male and female. You're all equally disgraceful, equally mendacious and equally Tory-lite, irrelevant hypocrites.

Inequality? Privilege? You want to talk about them, Yvette? Fair enough. Let's talk.

Let's talk about the people I support with learning disabilities, who spent the last year getting their housing benefit stopped and being forced onto JSA because some tinpot who gets paid thirty grand a year doesn't think they are disabled enough. Let's talk about how they then had to attend job-seekers appointments with private agencies; private agencies who then attempted to force them into 40 hour a week cleaning jobs starting at 4am every day, all for their own profit on commission, while the people in question didn't have a clue what they were being told or what they were agreeing to because they were attending these weekly appointments without support.

And why were they attending Wise Group and DEA meetings without support? Why, because their support hours have been cut due to lack of funding of course, necessitating my transfer of them from JSA onto ESA, at which point, despite WROs assuring us that it wouldn't happen, their benefits were then slashed and they were forced to withstand fourteen weeks of reduced income - which, by the way, they didn't get reinstated - before going to a benefits review to prove that they had disabilities and should receive ESA, which they had been in receipt of in the first place. For people who find answering the phone stressful, it's a far from lovely experience. And all of this while you and your husband were taking time out from fiddling your second home allowances - you know, those second home allowances that, on top of your and Ed's collective £300,000+ ministerial salaries and expenses still managed by themselves to come to about three times what they were and are living on in a year - to vote by abstention time and again for austerity, like you did, yet again, just six days ago.

Come with me then, with these men, some of whom were living in institutions in which they were subjected to physical abuse on a near-daily basis while you were taking your piano and ballet lessons, who were later shuffled out into care homes around the time that you were studying economics at Baliol. Leave your £700,000 second home and come with me, into their housing association flats, and let's use that Oxbridge economic nous of yours to find out how to do a £25 weekly shop in Lidl and Farmfoods together.

Then, after you've done all of that, feel free to come back and prate to me about inequality.

Yours egalitarianly,