Norman Tebbit rides again

Tory minister Maria Miller

If you haven’t noticed this corker I thought I’d point you in its direction. Maria Miller, the minister for disabled people in the Department for Work and Pensions, says that there is no shortage of jobs. Rather, it is people’s lack of ‘appetite’ for them. Which is a subtle way of saying that the unemployed are unemployed because they are lazy bastards. It’s Norman Tebbit again, albeit in a roundabout way. The original words of the great man himself 30 years ago:

“I grew up in the ’30s with an unemployed father. He didn’t riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking ’til he found it.”

Needless to say the facts then and now don’t back Tebbit’s or Miller’s assertions up. The number of applicants per vacancy is now well into double figures in most of Britain. People are looking for work. They just aren’t finding it.

It’s also been reported that hostility to the disabled is growing. Statements like the one from Miller are only going to fuel prejudice. I’m sure you have noted that many people are stupid enough to fall for it, sadly.  

It’s the same old story. Target the victims. The people who can’t fight back. Find a scapegoat for the failure of British capitalism that isn’t British capitalism. It’s a Tory trick as old as time and they are pulling it off again, aided and abetted by the attack dogs of the British media.

And what is Labour’s response? Liam Byrne thinks we need to be as similar to the Tories as possible. Brilliant.

Suggesting that life on benefits is a cosy, well-remunerated doss is a lie. I cannot stress this enough, and it needs the words of ministers need to be refuted at every turn.

Perpetuating these myths is a central part of the Tories political strategy. They know it is their best way of distracting attention away from their catastrophic mishandling of the economy.

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