The following is from a very revealing transcript of David Cameron’s interview with Andrew Marr earlier today.
Cameron implied that dying is somehow an appropriate punishment for failing to attend an interview at the Jobcentre, in order to save “the tax payer” money. Cameron thinks that taxing the wealthy is “immoral,” but evidently, formulating policies that cause the death of vulnerable citizens is acceptable. Cameron made it plain that he has no intention of carrying out a policy review, or of investigating the growing number of deaths correlated with the conservative party’s welfare cuts.
He showed a complete lack of remorse and basic compassion for David Clapson (and his family,) who died as a direct consequence of the cruel sanction regime that Cameron introduced as part of benefit conditionality, which is now an integral part of the wider welfare “reforms.”
THE ANDREW MARR SHOW, BBC 19.4.15 (Full transcript here.)
David Cameron before the news:
AM: Well you also talked to Evan Davis about the twenty two billion pounds of welfare cuts you’ve made so far as if that was easy. Do you accept that has hurt a lot of poor and vulnerable people?
DC: Well it has involved difficult decisions. But of course as we’ve done that we’ve been getting two million people into work, nine hundred thousand people…
AM: Difficult decisions for you; a lot of real pain and suffering for people out there.
DC: Well, we have protected for instance the pension, we’ve protected benefits for the lowest paid, we’ve always made sure that we’ve increased spending on disability benefits rather than reduced it. But crucially the nine hundred thousand people we’ve got off welfare and into work that has actually saved money but it’s also been good for ourcountry and crucially good for them:a job is the best route out of poverty that there is.
AM: What about the million people depending on food banks?
DC: Well obviously I want a country where people don’t depend on food banks, we did something.
AM: But why are more people depending on food banks?
AM: And according to the Trussell Trust who run these banks that accounts for just three percent of people using food banks at the moment so it’s not a significant thing. But can I take you to an individual case, James [he meant David] Clapson. Clapson who was a former soldier worked very hard for a long time then was on benefits, failed to turn up to two job centre interviews, [it was just one interview that David missed,] had his benefits removed for a month, he was diabetic, his insulin couldn’t be refrigerated and he died two weeks later.
Now that is the kind of case that is coming up again and again and again and shows that the welfare cuts have been agonisingly painful for real people out there.
DM: Well we have hardship funds and councils have hardship funds for exactly those sorts of tragic cases but if you’re asking me…
AM: It didn’t work.
DC: If you are asking me is it right that people who are asked to turn up for interviews or asked to fill in a CV or asked to apply for a job should have to do those things before getting benefits then yes it’s right that we do have that system in place but we always, as I put it on the steps of…
AM: But the system has been very very aggressive, another case of a man who had learning difficulties and filled in his form by hand rather than by computer and was refused benefits, there is lots of these cases as you won’t have a review, you should have a review of the system surely?
DC: I look at all of those individual cases and all of those cases can be addressed by the hardship funds and by the flexibilities that are there in the system but we have sanctions for a reason, people watching this programme…
AM: You don’t get the hardship fund for two weeks.
DC: Hold on a second…
DC: People watching this programme who pay their taxes, who work very hard, they don’t pay their taxes so people can sign on and show no effort at getting a job, as I put it on the steps of Downing Street those who can should; those who can’t we always help – that is the principle that should always underline a compassionate benefits system.
We do not have a compassionate welfare system: we have a re-designed system that is draconian because of the “reforms” – it’s more about taking money from people than supporting them. It’s about punishing people into work. That is precisely why people like David Clapson are dying. No support was given to David, and many others like him.
Cameron’s rhetoric isn’t remotely coherent or compassionate, let alone honest.
Let’s not forget that it was Cameron’s government that has ruthlessly stigmatised, dehumanised and scapegoated unemployed and disabled people, in order to justify punishing them by removing their support and handing out the subsequent “savings” to millionaires, who gained £107,000 each per year, whilst those who paid for it – and we are also tax payers, Mr Cameron – are suffering and dying, and the establishment look on with contemptible, pathological, greedy, grasping, self-serving indifference.
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Punishing Poverty: A review of benefits sanctions and their impacts on clients and claimants
The road to the food bank is paved by failures in the welfare safety net: new report
Everyone matters: it’s time to vote for our lives – vote Labour
Anyone worried about protecting the welfare state should concentrate on kicking out the Tories – Debbie Abrahams
28 thoughts on “Cameron believes that saving ‘the tax payer’ money is more important than saving lives.”
Basically the Nasty party leader has no answer to criticism of Nasty Party policies.
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Disgusting man… I could not bear to watch him…. Thank you for this, those prepared to allow a man like this to continue as leader of this country should hang their heads in shame, they are just as guilty.
HE AS NO SHAME.EVEN AS US TORTOUERD BY WEAPONS WE CAN NOT SEE FOR TRYING TO HELP PTHERS MICTOW WAVES TRUE IM ONE A TI IM 73 YEARS OLD KILLING US SLOWLY
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Cameron’s empathy is reserved for chums like Jeremy Clarkson who lost his temper, assaulted a work colleague and subsequently lost his job after a proper investigation by his employer. On the other hand most of those who are sanctioned are cut off from benefits before there has been any investigation into their circumstances. In other words if you are weak and vulnerable you belong to the class or caste for whom behaviour modification of the Skinner variety is encouraged by the new hardline Tories and if you are a good bloke of the right sort – their sort – who their kids adore (????) then you are just a naughty uncle who should be quickly slapped and forgiven. For zero hour contracts read ‘retainers’ and you begin to understand which century the modern Tory party wants us to belong to. Ursula
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Yes – spot on!
Yes, well said Ursula. I’ve written about the behaviour modification, too – https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/the-power-of-positive-thinking-is-really-political-gaslighting/
and – https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/camerons-nudge-that-knocked-democracy-down-mind-the-mindspace/
Yes, the Tories think that everyone else is susceptible to flawed thinking and behaviours, but that theory magically excludes the theorist from such human failings, since they are claiming some objective, mind-independent vantage point – a position far away from the rest of us: “this is your “human nature” but not ours.” Not so much a logical gap, but an indoctrination chasm they’d like to herd us into, using Skinner’s totalitarian shepherd’s crook
The simple fact is that currently benefits policy is based on myth and ignorance.
The average length of a JSA claim is less than 6 months. That means that at some point in the year the majority of JSA claimants have been, or will be, the very same hardworking taxpayers that Cameron claims to be protecting.
Then there is the myth that the old incapacity benefit system let people fake illness. The actual difference is that under the old system an incapacity benefit claimant was examined by a genuinely qualified GP directly hired by the DWP, and using their best clinical judgement. Decisions were rarely appealed. Now the examination is done by a “medical practitioner” hired by a contractor. The DWP has no way of monitoring who these medical practitioners are, or how qualified they are. The decision is made on the basis of a checklist that has widely been deemed not fit for purpose. Decisions are appealed as often as not. It is far more expensive for the taxpayer than the old system, and yet if anything easier to defraud.
Another myth is that the increased number of people unable to work because of stress related illnesses is due to more people faking illness to get benefits. That simply isn’t true. The government’s own Labour Force survey shows increasing numbers of people IN WORK whilst getting medical treatment for stress related illnesses from the late 80s. The increase in the number of people unable to work because of those illnesses came later. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the problem is actually more people under more stress. In the early 2000s the LFS had an addendum to the effect that it couldn’t be the case that more people were really suffering from stress problems because suicide rates hadn’t risen. Now they have.
I’m not sure if it really does save the tax payer money at all , often the complete opposite with all things considered
I always put Lives And Safety First.
I am feeling very angry about this man’s plight. Cameron had the effrontery to talk about the Hardship Fund on Andrew Marr’s show. If this poor man, who had worked for twenty nine years before being down on his luck, had applied for a hardship payment, there is no guarantee that he would have received any money because the hardship fund does not bestow an entitlement on people, it makes discretionary payments. I have always thought that if we want a decent society, we have to pay and it is a disgrace that the sixth richest economy in the world cannot pay, or chooses not to pay, decent benefits to people.It is a disgrace that Food Banks exist in the sixth richest economy in the World. Cameron has no shame. I left school in 1977 and ever since then I have heard successive governments talk of the lack of money and Conservative ones talk very proudly of tax cuts.
Excellent piece, Sue.
You point up very clearly the immorality of Cameron’s filthy morals.
Interesting repeated use of the word “well” from Cameron there.
I’d translate “well” as “so what”… and then read it back.
Thanks. Yes I agree with your interpretation. His indifference was very clear throughout the whole car-crash interview, he wheedled out the comment to Marr: “Andrew, you didn’t interrupt your other guests in this way” in an interview where he passed over the deaths and suffering his policies have caused by simply resorting to blustering self-rightousness and “me and ‘the tax payer feel it’s right that…'” Despicable, he’s an empty shell.
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I make no apology for posting this – Cameron appointed the immoral twisted lying Iain Duncan Smith to “reform” benefits system
Once again let me thank you Kitty on your brilliant work. It’s been a long time since I wrote a comment on this site and at that time I was going through hell regarding my own benefits clam as a result of the inhuman policies of the so-called Coalition that your site has analysed so thoroughly. Your work and the work of others I was able to connect with through it helped me enormously in terms of morale during that horrible period. I fought a very long exhausting and grinding legal case, and eventually I was one of the fortunate ones whose case succeeded.
But I am still left with my condition which is hard enough, and added to that is a terrible anxiety at the thought of these monsters getting another term. I am genuinely terrified of it..
Ine of the things that worries me is that some people seem to have an in-built apathy and disbelief in the political process, in voting. People in the same position as me. Even a guy whose daugyter has a sever disability I know had this opt out cynicism. I find it hard to believe. I am talking about people who could not possibly find any improvement under a Tory government, but they think ‘whoever you vote for the b******s get in”. Though from a certain perspective this might be the case, the problem with it is is that policies affect people’s lives, whether you beliieve it or not. And by a whole bunch of people feeling like it is pointless or voting for “the man” it plays right into the hands of the Tories. People understandably feel disenfranchised by the electoral system but if they don’t vote for the party that is most in a position to stop the Tories from taking their Plan a step further into a world I really cannot bear thinking about, they are going to be the ones that are subjected to more suffering.
I am not really into watching TV but I became aware that a guy called Russell Brand seems to have some kind of media presence and was telling people they shouldn’t vote. I was wondering what you thought of that kind of thing? My argument would be that this political system isn’t just going to suddenly go away if a bunch of people decide not to vote. But how do I tell people who to all intents and purposes are in as vulnerable a situation as I am that if they don;t vote, or vote for a fringe party they are essentially voting the Tories in? Well, that is one of the things that worries me anyway.
I wish more people were aware of your work.
I’m so sorry you’ve had such a difficult time, and i know how such high level of stress can exacerbate chronic illnesses. Glad you won your case, but we should not have to fight.
I am also terrified at the thought of 5 more years of the Tories. I won’t survive that, and I am far from alone. If the punitive welfare system doesn’t kill me – and it almost did in 2011 – and I’m unlikely to find employers that would make the adjustments needed to accommodate my complex health needs – the treatment rationing going on in the NHS certainly will finish me.
I have some quite vicious critics who support the green party or the SNP, who don’t appreciate just how much some of us have to lose if the tories get another 5 years. Some of us are literally fighting for our lives. 3 of my friends are dead, they died shortly after they were told they were fit for work by Atos and their benefits were withdrawn. It’s not just an ideological debate: who we vote for affects others too, and profoundly. We therefore need to be responsible and make sure our vote is an informed, responsible choice
The only party capable of defeating the tories is Labour. It’s basic maths. Tory supporters always vote tory.
It was never this grim under the last government, despite a global crash, which we were well shielded from. Sick and disabled people were not dying in their 1,000s. Miliband’s government is much further left, too.
Not voting, or dividing the vote amongst the fringe parties will most certainly allow the tories a win, you are so right. I don’t know how you can persuade people who don’t see, but I have written some articles that you may be able to use…
Thanks for your reply. I am so sorry to read of your three friends. And I’m sorry to read what you have been through also, and pray, and in fact, I have to believe, the things you mention regarding your own circumstances will not come about.
I don’t understand how people from the Greens and the SNP, could be so callously critical of your work, particularly the Greens, whom I would have thought would recognize the humanitarian reasons, as well as the mathematical ones, why the current incumbents must be stopped.
In the current climate I don’t see how voting Green could be anything other than a “luxury vote”, for people who are comfortable enough not to be at the extreme, victimized end of Tory policies directly affecting them. Surely for a Green vote to even have a chance of working in the first place, it would only be possible if there were already a bedrock of a humanitarian and compassionate system absolutely established – but we don’t have that, and until we do, there has to be some cohesive force that unites to prevent another 5 years of a system that has zero compassion for people, let alone the environment. Unfortunately voting Green rather than Labour, is just going to help the Tories further dismantle what is left of structures that were built that were based on compassion and humanitarianism.
The only ‘green’ that would be left were the Tories to continue would be environmental policies that suit the one percenters, not the poor and vulnerable.
I don’t even want to believe what I am saying here, I really don’t, but what has been going on in this country the past few years, I don’t know how else to see it. I’d love to be able to say that if I voted green everything would turn out okay, but I just don’t think we are anywhere near things working out like that.
I think if people who might vote Green could see that from the point of view of those who have been victimized by this government their compassion would over-ride their comfortable preferences.
In my ideal world, I would overhaul the whole thing, I would like to reinvent politics, and how the system works, and I don’t think I am the only one who thinks that way.
But it’s not my ideal world.
I recognize that I have to vote Labour, not just for myself, but for everyone who has been victimized by the current government, by what HAS to be the soon-to-be-ousted current regime.
Having said what I said in my first message, as a counterbalance to my anxiety about what seems to be some people’s apathy or opt – out cynicism, I should add on a more positive note, that I have met people who do recognize how vitally important this is. Some, after I emphasized the things I think, and that your work talks about, and others whom it was a relief to meet, who have the same sense of disgust at what has been happening in this country, and needed no convincing from me.
Thank you again for your consistently powerful work.
Another excellent article, Sue, and I agree with all your comments. It also looks like Cameron was starting to quote that 900,000 falsehood that IDS was rebuked for telling years ago. I wonder if he was able to finish that lie at any point? I could watch it on catch-up, but it is not easy watching this vile man talk…
Thank you Lynn. Agreed it’s difficult to stomach watching.
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