Another BBC Program Demonising Benefit Claiments : Only This Time Its Personal

So did you see it? the BBCs new “documentary” Nick And Margaret : We Pay All Your Benefits.  Just reading the title I think we can all see where this program was heading, and it didn’t fail to deliver.  Right from the start we were subjected to language the average Daily Mail reader will be only too familiar with, terms like “striver” “scrounger”

This was never meant to be an honest unbiased look at the whole benefit system. No this program had one aim and one aim only. That was to push the whole right-wing callous capitalist agenda of demonizing the poor and needy. The program stunk of propaganda, from the snide comments the totally “neutral” hosts were making, to the stagnant anti welfare soundbites the so-called “strivers” regurgitated on cue. It could have been written by Ian Duncan Smith himself it was so patronising and dismissive of the people involved.

So why this time is it personal?

Because one of the participants is a long time friend of mine.  Luther the single dad.

I first want to say, well done bro, you did a great job, you came across as the likeable caring chap we all know you are. This despite the editing they did to push their agenda and the serious lack of detail into your predicament.  But of course they don’t want to go into too much detail because that will show the world what a down to earth solid geezer you really are. No they want caricatures of benefit claimants ones that fit into their nasty little pigeon holes they have for us all. They wanted to dehumanize him. Well I’m sorry to say that despite their best attempts they failed.

So why did he do the show, I mean we all knew they would try to paint him in a bad light, after all that is the job of propaganda, to blur the truth and point the viewers towards one conclusion. He knew this perfectly well when he entered into this program but did it because he wanted to do his best to show the world that benefit claimants are human too and to show the audience the  inhuman cruelty that some of these cuts can cause.  So he used this chance to highlight all the problems with this governments welfare strategy. He spoke about the bedroom tax and the benefit cap, the council tax benefit removal, the sterile anti person ATOS interviews and the DWPs twisting of statistics.

unfortunately that would not of served the BBCs political masters for them to show any of that, so instead they cut and edited almost everything he had to say unless it fit with their opinions.

Then they added those patronising comments the hosts made about the people in their car.  But at least he tried hey, at least he took that opportunity and tried to make his voice heard.  The end result though was already a foregone conclusion and that pisses me off.

Things like “he doesn’t contribute to society”  BULLSHIT!  There are many more ways of contributing to society than just being a wage slave.  This is the man who at 16 yrs old took on full care of his new baby boy after its mother just did a runner. Now I’m sure like all 16 yr olds he would rather have been out their partying but no, he manned up and took responsibility.  He as also helped many many other people who have suffered for one reason or another from giving a bed to sleep for people who were homeless to feeding others kids when they struggled to find the money.

The man has basically put other people’s problems before his own because that’s the kind of guy he is.  Now isn’t that contributing to society?  You see society isn’t just columns of figures or records or taxes. It is people real people who look out for each other in order to make a nice loving and safe community.

This is something that the benefit claimants excels at. Helping each other out, building strong community safety nets between themselves. Afterall they have all been there at one point or another so they are the ones who stand up and without thought for themselves give what little they have to help others.

This is something even the Christian Jesus would have approved. I believe he told some parable about the rich man and the poor man and the meek. Ironic then that most of the gov ministers identify with this guys teachings. Shame they don’t follow them.

So fuck their claims of not contributing to society. WE ARE SOCIETY.

Other points that they failed to mention in their puerile hate crusade of a program. The guys disability. I think they mentioned he had a lung problem. What about the hip replacements he had to have while still in his 30s?  The constant hospitalizations, the ages spent on crutches. All this while bringing up 4 lovely children.

You all saw his kids right? Didn’t they look the nicest happiest loving kids you ever seen?  You telling me these parents who spend their entire lives working get to produce such lovely children? Because I am sure that children need a parent around them to teach them and give them the love they deserve. It seemed according to this program that this is no longer the accepted way of child care. No now the government want you to have less of a connection to your kids, they want you out working at all hours. They want you to leave your children to be brought up by carers or nurseries.  They are basically trying to break the bonds of parenthood and replace the parent with the state in the childs eyes. …… ” Dont trust your parents children they are only human so will fail, trust us instead we know whats best for you, we will teach you how to become an uncaring consumer just like us”   This is brainwashing FFS Is this what we want to see the future of our society becoming?  No parental responsibility just a mindless adoration of authority.

It’s not just Luthers portrayal that annoyed me though, the whole tone of the show just oozed stereotypes:  Look at that poor woman. Anyone want to bet she was chosen just because she is a bit overweight?  Then they can show all benefit claimants as greedy guzzlers that get paid far too much or they wouldn’t be fat.  Then there was the usual flat screen TV bullcrap and the smoking and drinking.  They were even picking on the family pets ffs.

If these fuckwits had their way a person on benefits would look like an Auschwitz victim. Would live in a one room shack with no TV, phone, computer or probably even electricity at all.  They would all only get to eat processed food  (did you hear that woman? “why they having two hot meals a day?”  You what? so now feeding your kids well is a crime too?)  Wear only rags. Spend ALL of their time looks at the same six jobs in the job centre and presumably applying for these 6 every day over and over again.  Then of course they would have to be sterilized so they don’t have any kids. Finally they would have to duck out of sight anytime a “real” person walked past because after all who wants to have to look at poor people all day 😛

Sounds horrific or over the top? I guarantee if we don’t rise up on mass soon and do something about this, it will become reality, and its programs like this that will bring it about.

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5 thoughts on “Another BBC Program Demonising Benefit Claiments : Only This Time Its Personal

  1. Nice post. I remember way back in the Nineties when this bullshit about single parents, (well, it was ‘single mothers’ at the time) and bringing up children on benefits first started I had a friend who lived in an area of the South Wales Valleys where unemployment was very high and there were a lot of children being brought up on benefits, both in two parent and single parent families. Often, when the children were being brought up in families where there was work, both the mother and the father were out working all day, leaving their children to do what they will. This quite often meant stealing cars and going ‘joy-riding’ and generally causing havoc in the community. Those kids had it all, all the latest gadgets, the latest clothes etc. One day a group of them whilst out joy-riding one day crashed the car they were in, and most, if not all of them were killed. That was tragic, but my friend said that though this was a tragic event, he had a limited amount of sympathy as at least the community was now free of the havoc caused by these uncontrolled youths whose parents were never around to excercise some control/guidance whereas those parents without jobs were at least able to spend time with their kids and provide restraint and guidance. I mention this story as it flies somewhat in the face of the received wisdom of the moralistic who would have us believe that the kids of the unemployed are the ones that cause societies problems. I’m sure that there are some parents who live on benefits who could be better parents, but the vast majority of parents on benefits bring their kids up to be decent members of society, and at least they are around to provide guidance and a sense of values for their kids, which is more than can be said of those parents who are both out working all the time who have hardly any time at all for their kids.

    • sp4mf15h says:

      Its weird isnt it, haven’t the Conservatives always claimed they are about family values? Apparently they only mean for the middle and upper classes. For the rest of us it seems that having a parent around to bring up the child is now a no no because they would rather both parents are out working for minimum wage jobs. This because they dont see us as people they see us a commodity, a commodity that is there to be used and abused by the rich. I imagine they go to sleep at night dreaming of bringing back a feudalist society, with them in their castles and everone else working as serfs always ready to do their masters bidding.
      Thanks for your sad story, it is a sign of things to come and ironically it will result in much greater problems down the line as these children grow up without any guidance or love. But I suppose the Tories dont care about that, afterall as Im sure they know they are not going to be in power for very long so they can leave their mess for others to deal with.
      There is of course an answer to all this and that is a living wage. Wanna bet how likely we are to see that any time soon?

  2. Anton says:

    Hewer and Mountford seem quite happy to imply that higher benefits could only come about by raising taxes on the ‘strivers’ they recruited to take part in the programme. Both of them however have made full use of service companies to minimise their tax payments. Perhaps if the likes of them had actually paid their fair share of the tax the burden, it wouldn’t all fall on those in PAYE unable to perform the accountancy tricks necessary to avoid tax.

    I was particularly struck by one ‘striver’ who boasted of earning £1300 per month for a 60 hour week. (That is less than the minimum wage and illegal – why was this not followed up and the employer reported to the Inland Revenue)?

  3. tony says:

    You having problem with doctor nationally, NHS England for your area are who you contact. Bombard them with facts of unethical medical practices.

    Hi Tony

    I hope all is well with you and the warm weather isn’t creating too many concerns.

    I just wanted to give you a quick update on progress from this end. As you know I wrote a short paper (attached) which has been shared with all area teams across England and we have been having numerous email conversations with colleagues. I also raised this at our local Quality Surveillance Group which led me to have a further discussion with HealthWatch Cornwall.

    HealthWatch Cornwall has also raised these concerns with the Cornwall Health & Well Being Board. Since then HealthWatch have written to us formally and asked for a response to a letter we received at the beginning of July. I have enclosed a copy of that for your information.

    You will note that in the letter, we mention that the Head of Primary Care Commissioning for England has asked for a meeting with ATOS which I will attend and will of course feedback to you on.

    I hope you find this helpful

    To: NHS colleagues; local, regional & national
    From: Nikki Thomas, Patient Experience manager
    Date: 20th June 2013
    Subject: Attempted suicide

    The Area Team was contacted by Bufferzone a disability charity in Cornwall at the end of May 2013 regarding 5 recent suicide attempts. The common factor on this appears to be welfare benefit reform, money’s being stopped and people not being able to feed themselves or their children.

    The charity has been raised concerns about Atos decisions and GP’s response to requests for medical information to support applications.

    The charity has contacted NHS England eight times over this (complaints call centre: ref 75140), reporting a poor service resulting in contact with the Devon & Cornwall Area Team.

    The charity has provided the patient experience team with three patient stories to highlight their concerns.

    Patient story:
    Why are GP’s leaving so many patients with no medical evidence so their condition are exacerbated to the extent where they receive no money, lose their rented accommodation and feel the need to end their lives? As homelessness is only alternatives and serious debts. Especially when GP surgeries are charging their patients between £50 to £70 per letter when many of their patients are only receiving £71 a week benefits and less.

    Patient story:
    My experience of obtaining medical evidence through my GP for DWP benefits
    I was told a letter describing my medical history of which I must provide in order to receive ESA would be a £70 charge. I was currently receiving just £71 week in benefits so I was unable to afford this. I with the help of Bufferzone contacted my local MP who wrote to the surgery questioning their charging policy. The letter was written by my GP and the practice reduced the charge to £35 which my MP paid

    I then was asked for further evidence from ESA from my doctor as there first letter wasn’t detailed enough I was told by the receptionist a further letter from my GP would be another £70. On seeing my doctor personally at this point because I was in severe distress not only from a financial point of view I was also being driven to a mental breakdown my personal doctor wrote the second letter and I was never billed for it.

    Patient story:
    Hi , have not received anything at all….I have no money, am unable to eat now again….had a few bits (once) from Food Bank & last week Rachel arranged a week’s meals from a kind of “Meals on wheels service” (a private one not Social services one) Yesterday, Devon Care came & said I am a danger with the stairs & want to make my bedroom downstairs in my dining room….with a commode too & someone come twice a day to empty it (so embarrassing) I’m assuming I would have to claim “attendance allowance” for this to happen ??…… can I claim this when I’m not even being recognised as having a disability??…..all of a sudden Devon Care have assessed that I am in need of all this….they do not want me using the stairs….yet on the other hand I receive no points/money to live on ??? They wanted to put in a stair lift (they still do) but as I am “moving” they won’t be putting one in….the assessment has been done to get me into “A Band” for housing…..but I won’t be considered for rehousing, unless the lift IS put in….none of this was about my housing ….only about the fact that they reduced my income by £20.00 per week, due to the Atos Assessment (where I scored ZERO points initially) I am soooooo confused, (& hungry) I thought I would have heard by now that I would receive some money for food……I’m in debt (I wasn’t before all this) they cut my money by £20.00…..but NOW surely all this “care will cost MORE” ???What IS going on?…..I’ve heard NOTHING from the NHS (where I reported GP) exempt what I showed you I had sent….they never did get in touch again. I changed my GP, & she the new GP tells me to let her know when I hear from DWP….but I’ve heard nothing

    Email response was received on 21.6.13 stating: “If we feel that medical evidence is required, we are able to send a form ESA113 to GPs for advice. However in the event that a customer wishes to obtain supporting evidence from their GP for medical assessments or tribunals, this is not a requirement of Atos and therefore any costs that are incurred are not payable by Atos.

    Five local patients have attempted suicide following the reduction in welfare benefits and have contacted a local charity for support. To date they have contacted the NHS England complaints call centre, LMC and local MP’s. A solution has yet to be sought.

    This short paper has been prepared to share with the NHS colleagues to highlight these concerns.

  4. […] Conservative characterisation of those on benefits as idle scroungers. Spamfish’s post is at…. Go and read it for the truth behind this and doubtless similar programmes that will come our way […]

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