Demonisation-of-poor-people-500x330Unless you’ve had your head in the sand for the last 4 years, you should have noticed a spiralling trend in the demonisation of benefit claimants. No longer can you open a newspaper without seeing stories about ‘scumbags’ who refuse to work and yet live in massive houses or drive flash cars and live seemingly luxurious lifestyles, all off of the buck of the hard working British public. There are TV shows on Channel 4 and the BBC, all focussed on ‘Benefits Britain’, showing us just how much claimants are swindling the rest of us and doing a bang up job of turning everyone against people who claim from the State.

Almost daily, I see rants on social media, decrying the state of this country, putting the blame on the shoulders of benefit claimants. Normal, working-class people, turning against people who are down on their luck for no other reason than that they think people on benefits are getting an easy ride. Then, today, I heard this (please listen to the whole clip…)

THIS is the voice of Benefits Britain. An ordinary man, down on his luck because of a shitty economy which was created by corrupt bankers and perpetuated by inept politicians. This man, like the majority of others on benefits, is a product of a poorly managed country, not a lazy grifter who’s trying to do as little as possible for maximum return. This is an able-bodied, 35 year old man who’s bin diving for his dinner, who will spend Christmas alone, cold and hungry with only a radio to keep him company. A man who is TOO PROUD to accept what he perceives as charity. And I defy anyone to listen to that and not feel completely and utterly heartbroken. I know I do.

This isn’t about “why doesn’t he get a job?”. When will people realise; THERE ARE NO JOBS?! Big businesses have been allowed to create ‘zero hour’ contracts which make it look like employment levels have gone down, when in fact all that means is that people are no longer allowed to claim benefits, not earning a wage and living in poverty, whilst supposedly employed in the 10th richest country in the world.

And the WORST part is, the Government have got us all fooled. The TV stations are running shows which turn everyone against benefit claimants, which makes it seem SO justifiable when the people in charge start cutting the already meagre handouts that people are given. The poorest are the hardest hit, with Bedroom Tax taking away from families in need, disabled people forced back into work because otherwise their DLA will be taken away. But no, let’s all feel sorry for Myleene fucking Klass who’s worrying about her London mansion being taxed too heavily.

It’s all so easy to believe the lies; it’s on every newspaper, almost every TV channel. But what you need to remember is this: the papers and TV stations are RUN by people who’s interests are protected by a Tory government. They have friends in high places and it directly benefits them to feed us lies and hyperbole and make us believe that benefit claimants and immigrants are the problem. Being British used to mean banding together in a crisis – it got us through two world wars, yet we’re turning on each other in droves and it’s EXACTLY what the Tories want.

Stop believing the lies. This country is NOT in the state it is in because of impoverished people who are down on their luck, and it’s not simply a case of just ‘doing something about it’. This country is on a downward spiral and we’re blaming all of the wrong people. Let’s look to the bankers who caused the global crash. Let’s look to the MASSIVE companies who aren’t paying their taxes, who are sending all of their operations abroad, who don’t pay a living wage.

Let’s look to the politicians who are dismantling our public services for the DIRECT benefit of themselves and their friends, who are fraudulently claiming expenses, who have several houses in the most expensive areas of our country. Lets look to the landlords who are charging astronomical rents for properties which would be considered slums in other parts of the world. Lets look to the energy companies who are charging rates so high that people WILL die this Christmas because they simply couldn’t afford to stay warm.

GET SOME PERSPECTIVE. STOP BELIEVING THE LIES.

If you’d like to donate to a food bank or homeless charity this Christmas, please visit Shelter or The Trussell Trust. Your local Council should also be able to advise you where you can donate food, clothes, blankets, money or your time.