Raquel Rolnik may resemble the thinking man’s Su Pollard, but she is actually the UN’s housing ‘rapporteur’. You can tell this means something, because the word is all fancy sounding, like. A bit like the word ‘compftroller’. I don’t really know what either word means. She’s come to Shite Britain to assess the impact of the ludicrous bedroom tax, also known, variously, as the spare room subsidy, or the under occupancy charge. No matter how the scum attempt to rebrand this hated and hateful policy, its true nature shines through.
In a supreme act of straight-faced irony her preliminary findings have been thoroughly rebuked; a distraught DWP spokes-toad claims Ms Rolnik ignored the numbers settling instead for anecdote. Wasn’t it Duncan Smith himself who relied on ‘cosmic ordering’ a few months back when faced with the facts about his policies? Didn’t he argue that, despite what the numbers actually said, he believed he was right and that’s all that mattered?
What must stick in his craw the most is that it comes from a foreigner – some dirty outsider sticking their beak into the affairs of decent honest pure bred British folk. It is, in the words of Grant Shapps “an absolute disgrace”. No, it isn’t for you, Jenny Foreigner, to criticise us! Consequently he plans to pen a missive demanding the attention of the UN’s general fucking secretary! As if he has nothing better to do than read complaints from whiny Tories. What does he think this will achieve? Of course the Tories still think the sun has yet to set on Britain and so these upstarts will apologise for their impertinence. Shapps then went on to observe that Ms Rolnik’s home country of Brazil has housing problems as if this disqualified her from commenting – as if she’s directly responsible for that situation! The absurdity!
So, in the mind of the Tories, the UN just decides, one morning, to send some lefty investigator over to stir up trouble amongst the plebs. Of course, that must be it. What other reason could there be?
Would the Tories be so bent out of shape if this ‘premature’ press release congratulated their thinking? Would they be saying her work was flawed by not speaking to the DWP if she endorsed their policy? Of course not. There is is; the heart of darkness exposed. Shapps dodges the question about the negative impact uncovered (though we all know) by Rolnik and instead tries to score points by claiming this policy eases waiting lists. No, Grant, all you’ve done is highlight government failings to address the housing crisis as well as ignore the crisis caused by the Bedroom Tax (and he don’t like it being called that neither). Idiot! Idiota!
The Tories have dismissed her work on the basis she’s only been here a couple of weeks and that, by not talking to the ministers concerned (she met with Eric Pickles apparently), her findings are to be ignored. It’s all such a travesty. But does anyone really think that the UN is going to just send a ‘special rapporteur’ to a couple of British housing estates to share a morning cuppa with some chavs and then call it a day? Is that what the government actually believes goes on at the UN? Probably; these swivel eyed loons routinely traduce these sorts of organisations when it suits them. Of course she came here just to meddle, with her nefarious foreign ways and unwelcome bureaucracy. What does she know? Well, if she has been speaking to those experiencing the sharp end of this policy, probably a lot more than Grant Shapps or Michael Green.
It goes beyond irony, however. This is the government that rattled the spirit stick of war less than a fortnight ago. Cameron and his out of touch coalition allies banging the drum to drop ordnance on Syria indiscriminately. That was most certainly a premature action (Rolnik’s full report is due next spring) and most certainly based on anecdote since we still don’t know whether Assad was responsible. Why would he do such a thing with the weapons inspectors in the same city and with the war going his way.
How the Tories function in the modern world I do not know. They are riddled with cognitive dissonance. It is simply inconceivable to them that anyone would disagree with their policies. It is simply inconceivable to them that anyone might find fault with them. So full of their own hubris and so convinced of their right to rule they cannot understand why someone might think the Bedroom Tax an exercise in hateful stupidity.
They cannot even understand why poor people are poor, what with all the flat screen televisions they own. It is gibbering simple mindedness of the sort espoused only a few days ago by Michael Gove; one of the most arrogant ministers this country has ever known. Bad life choices, he claims, are the cause – the sort that might lead someone to claim £7000 for expenses they shouldn’t have. No, wait, that was Michael Gove. Or to overextend themselves on someone else’s dime in purchasing expensive furniture for their state funded home. Sorry, nope, that’s Gove again. Oh dear. I’m sure he believes what he does is right – because he’s a Tory.