Tax Credit – “Suckered In”
Last week I watched the debate and was interested in what the House of Lords would do about the George Osborne driven policy of cutting Tax Credits for working people.
The absolute fury of the response from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Prime Minister and the Conservative Members of Parliament, putting aside their ‘play- ground bully we’ll get you for this’ rhetoric was something to see.
I then wondered how the lady (before anyone complains I’ve said before that I was brought up to believe all females are to be treated like a lady until they prove to deserve otherwise) who appeared in tears on BBC Question Time saying she had voted Conservative because David Cameron had said tax credits would not be cut would react.
Putting the two together got me to thinking, I have no idea why, about one of the greatest and most cynical statements from the fabulous actor W C Fields when he said,
“Never give a sucker an even break”
He also said “A man who hates dogs and children can’t be all bad”, but that’s for another time.
The question is though, why did so many people who are working for low wages and relying on them being topped up with tax credits vote for the Conservatives?
They knew, if they had been paying attention what the Conservatives were going to do even though to be fair the Prime Minister lied during the election when he said they wouldn’t be cut.
But really why did they believe him or was it something else?
I think people were taken in, and especially those working and receiving tax credits by the plethora of television programs in the 12 months leading up to the election all centred on selfish greedy people living wholly on benefits who were capable but unwilling to work.
“Stop their benefits, why should we pay” was the cry led by Ian Duncan Smith and George Osborne and guess what?
Millions of people agreed.
How the Conservatives must have laughed as the tag ‘skivers’ stuck and how those who they referred to as ‘hard working’ people were convinced that the argument that they were having to pay for it and lured in to the trap of thinking this applies to ‘them’ not ‘me’
Well the reality is as we know those ‘hard working people’ who receive tax credits which enable them to put food on the table and a roof over their families heads have been well and truly had for ‘suckers’ and certainly the Conservatives have no intention of giving them an ‘even’ break.
The reality is this Conservative Government is even nastier, if that is possible than the Thatcher Government and if they were quoting WC Field it would probably be along the lines of
“Anyone who hates dogs, children and poor people is an excellent member of society”
The vote in the House of Lords of course is a distraction and if anyone wants to see a prime example of a Conservative Member of Parliament talking utter b******s about it being a Constitutional Crisis then watch Michael Ellis MP speaking after the vote.
I should say it is worth watching just to see the reaction of Baroness Meacher who did well not to burst out laughing.
Did the Conservatives say, OK we lied to the public to get elected perhaps we need to rethink this policy?
Not likely and as you would expect of those who have always done exactly what they want, without challenge as is they believe their entitlement because of their background and their parent’s wealth they are carrying on regardless.
What we are being told by the Conservatives is that we are were living in a country that is so well governed that reducing tax credits is necessary and the lives of those receiving them have and will improve immeasurably from this policy.
The Conservatives tell us that millions of ‘new’ jobs have been created, unemployment is falling, there is no inflation in fact sometimes even negative inflation, we have an economy that’s soaring, an education system that is perfect with the best schools in the world and teachers earning fantastic salaries, massive ‘additional’ funding for the NHS and ample if not too many nurses and doctors, etc, etc.
In effect everything is Great in Great Britain.
Except of course for millions of people it isn’t which is why for the first time in my memory I still find it unbelievable and somewhat surreal to see doctors on the streets of our cities protesting about what the Government are doing to the NHS.
Or to see our steel works closing while the Government do deals with China to import steel into the UK.
If you believe David Cameron it is reminicent of another time with Harold McMillan telling everyone they’ve never had it so good
At the time he was probably right, 10 years or so of living through post war austerity, jobs were in abundance, the NHS was bedded into the national consciousness as the jewel in the crown, major industries were doing well and the confidence of the people of these islands was at an all-time high.
This brings me back to a fundamental question ‘will the appearances of an individual crying on the television make an iota of difference?’
The answer of course is no because the Government will simply say, hey you had a choice and you chose us and until the next election in 2020 you’re stuck with us.
And what will happen in 2020?
Will selfishness, greed and its ‘them’ not ‘us’ prevail once again because be in no doubt the Conservatives will promise to give an ‘even’ break to millions but of course it will not be as ‘even’ as that given to their friends and backers.
Will the electorate will be suckered in again?
I know I’m cynical but I suspect they will.
The one thing you can be sure of is that David Cameron and his Conservatives will not make the mistake again of giving a straight answer to a question, after all the last time he did it proved to be a lie.
In the meantime W C Fields was perhaps a lot wiser than and not as cynical as we thought and knew a sucker when he met one.