You’ve all seen the news this week. You’d have to have been buried deep underground or holed up on some desert island not to. Just in case you missed it, the big news is that our Prime Minister is a lying hypocritical piece of scum who couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it. Shock horror, like we never suspected this all along. But this weeks revelations and the way David Cameron handled them has been quite spectacular really, even by parliamentary standards. A brief synopsis of the dialogue goes something like this:
Do you have family money invested in offshore funds?
Response: “This is a private matter”.
Denial in an interview: “In terms of my own financial affairs, I own no shares. I have a salary as prime minister and I have some savings, which I get some interest from and I have a house, which we used to live in, which we now let out while we are living in Downing Street and that’s all I have. I have no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that. And, so that, I think, is a very clear description.” Of course he conveniently forgot to mention that he pulls in a splendid little £500k during the last 5 years in rental from letting out his family home in Notting Hill.
More denial: “There are no offshore funds/trusts which the prime minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future”. Of course not Dave, I expect everything your father accumulated from his shonky little tax dodges will have already been donated to charity, right?
He’s starting to crack: “We owned 5,000 units in Blairmore Investment Trust, which we sold in January 2010” Oh that’s ok then, you don’t have them anymore so that means technically you have no involvement in this grubby little affair. Wonder where the money went though? That lucky charity must be thriving by now eh?
So its been an awkward little week for our Dave. Hounded by the press, pilloried by popular media and his entire familys’ financial assets and activities under the scrutiny of the world. You’ve almost got to feel sorry for him really don’t you. Don’t you? Well no, quite frankly I don’t. And here’s just one of the numerous reasons why I don’t.
This man heads a government where in order to claim many of the sustaining benefits which struggling working class families depend upon to survive, they have to fill out complex forms detailing every tiny aspect of their income, from wages earned to small compensation payouts they may have received after sustaining an injury. Sell an item on eBay to bring in some money to pay a bill, this can be classed as income and deducted from the paltry sum they may have been awarded. Do a little overtime to increase your income? Forget it, it’ll just be deducted from you in the following year.
Thousands of families in the UK are trapped into poverty by the ridiculous system in this country, a system which, far from rewarding someone for worker harder or for longer hours actually penalizes them if they are deemed to be on a low enough income to require support. It’s quite ludicrous, and has encouraged an entire generation of people to feel that it is more profitable to claim benefits than it is to go to work. I don’t believe that people actively choose this, but since the introduction of the Basic Minimum Wage (soon to be the ironically titled ‘Living Wage’) earning potential has dropped significantly for the average unskilled hard working Brit.
The way the maths stacks these days is that for many people working full-time rarely pays the bills. I believe this to be at the core of the benefits crisis we are suffering here, and until that is looked at from a fresh viewpoint this will only deteriorate further. And while the ministers who make these decisions are wealthy morally deficient individuals hailing from over-privileged backgrounds, we have little chance of seeing real and effective positive change. These are people who were recently given crib sheets on entering Parliament in order that they may know the cost of a pint of milk and a loaf of bread for heavens sake!
And as for the genuinely ill, heaven forbid that you should become unable to work for a period of time and require government assistance. Be prepared to be subjected to a barrage of personal and often degrading interrogation regarding your personal hygiene needs, intimate care and other such confidential and private aspects of your life.
Yet Mr Cameron feels that it is acceptable for him to hide the considerable wealth he and his family have access to, and worse still, lie about it when questioned. I think this demonstrates the disparity in the rules set down for the working classes to abide by versus those that the wealthy and powerful expect to adopt.
This latest exposure is just the tip of the iceberg I believe. I very much doubt if 5% of UK politicians live by the rules they set for the citizens of our country. I simply cannot wait for the next round of revelations to come from the investigative journalists around the world who are working so hard to expose the truth behind our establishments. And this is why I have no confidence in our politicians anymore. One by one they are being shown up for what they really are, and it’s painfully agonising, disappointing, yet almost enthralling to watch.
Feeling uncomfortable yet Dave? I bloody well hope so.