Through the Looking Glass

It’s difficult to take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and admit your faults. I had an experience a few days ago that really rattled the perspective I’d had of my last 15 years on this earth that I’m not going to discuss in this blog but I will probably be the better for that hard realisation. 

 

It’s even harder to look at your culture or your national identity and honestly say that something about it is intrinsically broken. In fact your brain is constructed in such a way that even under the most awful circumstances you will quickly come to accept what is happening as just how things are.

 

To prove the point; try to think back to the last time you saw a homeless person begging in the street. Did you avoid eye contact and walk past? Pretend to be too engaged in talking to the person you were with to notice? Maybe awkwardly drop some change into a chewed old cup? How did you feel when that happened? I’m going to guess embarrassed. Its a natural response because your brains survival mechanism doesn’t want to to really see the horror of the scene. Think back over it, that person had absolutely nothing, not even their dignity as they sat their with that cup asking for anything as you either walked past or hurriedly gave them whatever change you had in their pocket to ease that ghost of your conscience as you walk past. Its a horrible thought and most of us do it on a daily basis without even considering what life is like for that person on the ground.

 

That is perhaps bad enough but what happens when it is being performed on a national scale? Every day people with life threatening illnesses or life long disabilities are dragged through a system that is every bit as hopeless and filled with despair. They are assessed by people who recieve a bonus for rejecting their claims for the benefits they need to feed themselves and survive. They are left with nothing while they wait 6 months for an appeal. They are stripped of their dignity put through endless streams of indignities then called liars. Here is some links for you but I warn you that they are heart breaking accounts of people caught in a system redesigned to be as uncaring as possible.

 

https://welfaretales.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/an-open-letter-to-jeremy-hunt/

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/disabled-mark-wood-starved-death-3194250

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/nurse-makes-heartfelt-apology-after-1340838

http://youtu.be/tTaezvvQfOs *this one is really really hard to watch*

A flower for everyone who died after a work capability assessment in 2013

A flower for everyone who died after a work capability assessment in 2013

 

 

A society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. Our society is actively killing our most vulnerable. You might rightly point out that a lot of these cases are down south and independence won’t help them. It breaks my heart that there is no way to help them but we can help those people in Scotland by voting Yes in September and carving in stone their right to live. 

You might be thinking ‘well we could just vote in a Labour Government and all this would get sorted out.’ but these measures came into force under Labour and Ed Milliband has vowed to be ‘tougher than the conservatives’ on benefits. The only way we can help these people is with the powers independence brings.

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2 comments

  1. […] Rose tinted cultural glasses – The state of welfare part 1. […]

  2. […] those less fortunate in society than? Tough, you can vote for one lot who are cutting benefits and dismantling the welfare state, or the other lot who want to be even […]

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