My MP, Jack Lopresti, whose only newsworthy activity since he was first elected was to leave his wife for another Tory MP, is probably hoping that severely sick and disabled people in his constituency haven’t seen what he’s been up to today. So far as I can tell, he’s managed to keep his trouser zip done up this time but far worse than that, he voted today to reduce Employment Support Allowance by £30 a week to £73.10 a week. Mencap, Macmillan Cancer Support, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and RNIB all begged Iain Duncan Smith to not cut benefits to some of the most vulnerable people in the land, but he went ahead anyway, assisted by my local MP who I now regard as lower than vermin.
Some 3200 cancer sufferers will now get what will be an enormous cut to their living standards. I just use cancer sufferers as an example: other diseases and conditions are available. It is probably not a good idea to get a potentially life-changing or life-shortening illness with the current government in office. Not only will you face what could be a bleak future, it could well be a much poorer one too.
In Lopresti’s constituency, there are a lot of poor people. He probably knows there are but chooses to look the other way. Or worse still, doesn’t give a toss. After all, he’s had two big pay rises this year, not withstanding the fact that his new lady friend also earns a substantial wedge as an MP. Nice worse if you can get it. He’s all right, Jack.
An independent parliamentary review concluded that cuts to ESA would actually hinder the efforts of sick and disabled people to get back to work. Seven disability charities took part in this review which concluded that the government should instead invest more in expert employment advice tailored for the needs of disabled people. Showing complete contempt for the review team, which was chaired by paralympian athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson, and the sick and disabled themselves, they carried on as before, attacking the very poorest in society, as the Tories always do.
But it’s Lopresti that annoys me. A religious fanatic – he is a Roman Catholic – I assume he thinks he is carrying out God’s duty in dumping on the poor. “Blessed are the sick and disabled,” Jack might say. “We will set them free by taking away 30% of their income. That’ll show them. Scroungers and skivers, these disabled people are.”
Shame on you, Mr Lopresti. Your only claim to fame was being an adulterer. Make sure when you next attend confessional, you mention that as well as being an adulterer you voted to make the sick and disabled even worse off. Luckily for you, your God is not more real than any of the other Gods created by man and you should be very grateful for that.