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These Are a Few of my Favourite Things

Isn't it amusing, the hypocrisy of the right wing. Goods and services that are acceptable to everyone else, part and parcel of a healthy economy apparently, are somehow immediately verboten to claimants. The notion that a bottle of beer in the hand of a welfare recipient becomes a dangerous weapon: the key to personal ruin or family destruction. Or, perhaps more insidiously, the idea that a scratchcard in such a person's paws might mean they get even more free money! 

That's what Shelbrooke's bizarre list of unacceptable items really means; it would be an affront to him to see someone on benefits suddenly be elevated to financial stability. Those are rewards only for the deserving - hard working taxpayers. Only those people are allowed to have lottery cards, and of course the rich, as there's nothing stopping a millionaire from buying a lottery ticket and having the same chance to win as a pauper. The lottery doesn't recognise class divisions: it's equally generous, or equally cruel. But of course the poor are the most likely to fall for the lie that they have any real chance of winning. Consequently many feel that it's a tax on stupidity. The Tories didn't mind taxing the poor that way when the lottery first appeared. Now they do, even though the money paid - if indirectly from the 'hard working taxpayer' - goes to good causes and that money paid to elevate someone into financial stability is probably the best destination for a payout (as opposed to a round the world cruise and a few nice cars).

Now there's more than one lottery. Does Shelbrooke propose to ban access to all of them? What about the health lottery? Surely a Tory MP wouldn't object to that, though only because it offsets his government's responsibility toward the NHS. It's so confusing being a Tory: they are against the nanny state - but only when it suits them. They are all for people making their own fortune, but not if you're a pauper winning big on the scratchcards. They are for aspiration - but not the aspiration of the poor to get out of poverty. That's more than aspiration however: it's survival. Nope, no hope that 'It Could Be You'!

Curiously Shelbrooke doesn't object to paupers being able to buy a TV license, just access to the Murdoch machine. You think it might be the other way around (though you'd need a TV license either way): Murdoch is a friend of the neoliberal machine oiled by the rhetoric of men like Shelbrooke. Murdoch's propaganda is pro Tory (for the most part) so wouldn't you want more Tory voters among the poor - those most likely to fall for the lies and tall tales perhaps? (That's a bit of a generalisation, forgive me - but the poor will include those that are less educated and less receptive to researching facts and figures.) So if it means allowing these people access to Sky - which doesn't mean giving them more money since Shelbrooke isn't arguing for a benefit cut as part of this nonsense. I wonder what Howling Mad Murdoch has to say about this? It might eat into his bottom line that the Tories are stopping people buying his service. Shelbrooke isn't arguing that the poor shouldn't watch TV, if he was he'd argue they shouldn't be able to pay for a license. I've not heard him say that. 

Meanwhile this stupid little Tory is out spending 'hard working taxpayers money' on his own license fee: we pay for one in his constituency office and his London home. Is that really consistent Mr Shelbrooke? If you valued hard work and taxpayers wouldn't you pay for a license for your second home at least? Why does your office need one? Do other people get to watch TV in their offices at work? If the argument is that taxes shouldn't go to such non-essentials then shouldn't that apply to you as well?


  1. There is no reason or logic behind this government's policies, only the blind search for votes. Same goes for backbench nobodies like Shelbrooke. The Tories are supposed to be against the "nanny state", yet they want to cntrol the spending habits of benefits claimants. They are supposed to stand for "personal freedom", yet many of them are against gay marriage.

    All of this government's policies are rooted in populism, and a cynical calculation is made about how many votes each policy will win them - if it's "popular" they'll support it. Hence the attempts to divide people withe the "strivers vs skivers" rhetoric, which I'm glad to see may be starting to backfire.

    1. It will backfire, but unfortunately there's going to be a lot of anger and grief along the way. Unfortunately that looks like the price we're going to have to pay to exorcise these tory demons.


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