We have become used to whining Statists and Left Wing fanatics gathering in London to protest imaginary Government budget cuts. This weekend they chose to evoke the imagery of the Women’s Suffrage movement; they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves!
Chaining oneself to railings is a method of protest which evokes the heroic acts of the Suffragists who experienced severe repression and brutality at the hands of state all in the cause of equality, justice and universal franchise. This weekend the deplorable UK Uncut teamed up with Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) to protest the Welfare Reform Bill.
The Guardian reports that, “Fifteen people in wheelchairs chained themselves to railings, and were soon joined by hundreds of others.” So what terrible humiliation or privations have these noble freedom fighters been subjected to? Have they no voting rights? Are they subject to public violence at the hands of the police? Well not quite: They’ve simply been told that the total amount of tax funded benefit one can receive will be capped at £26,000 per annum, per household. For the sake of comparison this is about the same as the GDP per capita of Canada, and greater than that of the UK as a whole. For a UK tax payer to take home this kind of income they’d need to be earning about £34,000 before deductions. It’s tragic isn’t it?
But let’s overlook the fact that these people have greater rights and better living standards than any other generation in history, the really odd thing is that they genuinely believe the Government is cutting social security spending. It is not. As this chart shows welfare spending has nearly doubled in the last decade and is set to remain higher throughout this parliament than ever before. Moreover the Department for Work and Pensions has explicitly stated, “Households where someone receives disability living allowance will be exempt from the benefit cap”.
What is perhaps even more peculiar is that the press, and the government itself, seems to be convinced that there have been savage budget cuts too. Ever since the Con-Dem coalition took office in 2010 the mainstay of political debate in the country has centred on “The Cuts”. The lamentable duo of Miliband and Balls has tirelessly berated the government for cutting “too fast and too deep”. Whilst the marginally less lamentable Cameron and Osborne have continually assured us they are acting, “in the National interest”. They are doing nothing more than playing to the gallery; or fiddling while Rome burns, if you prefer?
Meanwhile back on the streets we have hyperbolic dolts like Josie McDermot, a UK Uncut supporter, saying “The welfare reform bill is cruel and unnecessary, and this protest is an essential way to persuade the government to scrap its plans.” What is cruel is that egoists like this are allowed to vent their faux moral outrage all the while pretending that they are acting in the tradition of heroines like Emmeline Pankhurst, without being told how incoherent and intellectually dishonest their arguments really are!