We must stand by those being demonised and smeared most of all. We must protest at attacks on their basic human rights as if they were our brothers and sisters — because they are.
This government really hates the poor and the more it punishes them the more it hates them. Now families who have more than two children are to lose Child Benefit because having children is an extravagance the poor have no to right to expect. Poor people must understand that to have a home or a job is a privilege and not a right — as though it is their class’ right to grant the right to live as human beings, to eat, work, play, sleep and breathe to us poor people and we had better be grateful for it.
The steady privatisation of health care, social care and education is creating two-tier systems throughout, with those who can pay getting the best of everything and us getting their miserable leavings and we must be humble and glad to get it.
Our roads are now to be two-tier as well, with the wealthy being able to pay to drive on motorways and major roads while the poor, who cannot afford the tolls, must wend their way round the back ways and by ways as best we can — or stay at home.
This of course will be a nightmare for all those towns and villages that had by-passes built to alleviate serious congestion. It will add to pollution, traffic jams and traffic accidents. It makes no social, environmental or economic sense; but it is another measure to keep the poor in their place.
The ruling class and its media are demonising the poor in the same way they have been demonising the disabled. It is part of making it acceptable to the majority to bring in legislation that is going to be extremely punitive and repressive. In the same way that modern racism began with the slave trade of the 16th and 17th centuries, the ruling class has to destroy all sense of sympathy or compassion with the victims by pretending they are a different kind of people — not as human as “we” are — or they would never get away with it.
As the abyss of total ruin and destitution that was mercifully closed by state welfare in the last century is now re-opened, the ruling class wants to convince most people — the “squeezed middle”; those who think of themselves as the sober, respectable middle classes — that there is no reason for them to worry.
Where people are falling through the gaps it must be seen as their own fault, that they are somehow inadequate and not proper people: they are single mothers, people who eat junk food, who smoke, who are overweight, who drive old cars, have too many children, lose their jobs, let their debts get out of control (by wanting a home or going to college). They are not wise and sensible people “like us”.
Government ministers and media pundits endless deliver patronising lectures to point out that when bad things happen to people it is entirely their own fault for being irresponsible and we must have no sympathy for them.
Worst of all, some of them have a bad attitude; they hate their jobs; they fail to be totally subservient to their bosses. They want to change things. Such ideas must be made to seem stupid and dangerous.
And large swathes of the “middle classes” want to believe this; that bad things can happen to other people but never to them because they live carefully and are responsible and obedient. They can see the need for the Con-Dem austerity policies.
They continue in this delusion until bad things do happen to them and them they are shocked and cannot believe it. They cannot believe that most of those being flung into the abyss are also hard working, honest respectable people.
And we must fight endlessly against this pernicious propaganda. Even on the Left there is a strong tendency to blame the victims of the cuts because their culture and/or social habits are not quite the same as our own. We must stand for unity with all other workers in struggle with no reservations or moral pontificating. We must focus on the main enemy: the arrogant ruling class whose crimes against us are huge and monstrous. We must stand by those being demonised and smeared most of all. We must protest at attacks on their basic human rights as if they were our brothers and sisters — because they are.