What a terrible week it’s been for welfare extremists, malingering scroungers and Digital Spy spongers. For the rest of us though- the vast majority who want to see a benefits system that provides for the needy rather than fund the lifestyles of the feckless- this has been a triumphant seven days!
Let’s start with the “Hardest Hit” march on 22nd October. Like the first march, back in May, we were promised huge numbers would take to the streets, this time in 12 cities across the UK, bringing them to a standstill. Unfortunately, if you blinked last Saturday you probably missed your local protest. So poorly attended were they that the majority of the mainstream media didn’t even bother reporting them while sympathetic websites carefully avoid mentioning numbers. I wonder why? Still, it was nice of a couple of Coronation Street actresses to turn up at the Manchester demo and swell the numbers…by approximately two. Meanwhile, the general public just got on with their shopping.
Yesterday we found out just why the GBP are so disdainful of these whinging campaigners. A BBC news poll showed 84% of people want stricter tests for incapacity benefits. Welfare militants claim this extraordinarily high figure is due to a carefully orchestrated government/right-wing media campaign to demonise DLA/ESA claimants as scroungers. In other words, over three-quarters of the public read right-wing newspapers, believe everything they print, and unquestioningly accept the word of unpopular coalition politicians. If such mass brainwashing were possible many despotic regimes around the world would love to know how it’s done! If only Gadaffi had asked! This is desperate, straw-clutching stuff, from desperate extremists, refusing to acknowledge the real reason incapacity claimants are regarded with such suspicion i.e. we all personally know of at least one fraudulently claiming sickness benefits, or several if you count Digital Spy posters.
To add fuel to the fire of suspicion newly released figures regarding suspects allegedly involved in the recent riots have come to light. One in eight of the accused are claiming either IB/ESA or DLA. So, not fit enough to work, (I doubt any of the DLA claimants are in employment) but fit enough for a bit of looting and disorderly conduct. At least some probably used their walking-sticks for the first time, even if it was only to smash in a shop window, before making a getaway in their high-powered motability car. I’m sure they also only looted chemists to stock up on vital medications required to ease their bad backs, depression and haemorrhoids.
It’s well documented how a number of DLA claimants love extreme sports*, but perhaps this blog is the first to recognise a growing addiction to appearing on talent shows that afflicts some ESA/IB claimants. This time it’s not a break-dancing grandad but an X Factor contestant called Johnny Robinson, who, despite receiving incapacity benefit for years because of a bad back, magically dances around like Fred Astaire every Saturday night. On one occasion he was even lowered onto the stage by a crane! Imagine the strain this must have put on his poor back. The show must go on though and Johnny has shown himself to be a real trouper.
Just as DWP fraud investigators should be based in golf clubs and gymnasiums around Britain so should they be monitoring TV talent shows 24/7. In the case of Johnny Robinson, however, I would advise they watch him with the sound on mute.
To heap further misery on the beleaguered extremists the DWP ESA statistics up to February 2011 have been released, again confirming what we already knew:
38% were fit for work, 36% dropped out of the process before being assessed and 17% are capable of work with the right help. Clearly, the Work Capability Assessment is a huge success and Chris Grayling is naturally buoyant;
“We are seeing an increase in the number of severely disabled people being given long-term unconditional support, which shows that our reforms to the work capability assessment are starting to work. “However, it’s clear that the majority of new claimants to sickness benefits are in fact able to return to work. For those that need additional help our new Work programme is up and running and will tailor support to people’s needs so that they can overcome whatever barriers they face.”