Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Lower than Vermin: Tory Party 2013

Colleagues,

Today the Tory Party declaimed poverty, need and want (terms redolent of the UK in the 1930) by proclaiming that this country does not need foodbanks as the welfare state provides enough for all.

A mouthpiece of the Tory Party proclaimed today, on the basis that Cameron has been forced to visit a constituency foodbank, that "benefit levels are set at a level where people can afford to eat. If people have short-term shortages, where they feel they need a bit of extra food, then of course food banks are the right place for that. But benefits are not set at such a low level that people can't eat."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/30/downing-street-benefits-food-banks


Bevan: The NHS as an Ideal
A 'bit of extra food', where 'they feel the need'? This vernacular from the Tories reminded me why, whether for good or ill, I joined the Labour Party in 1984. Aged 16 I had read, amongst other texts, Aneurin Bevan's statement on his experience of the absolute rejection of the philosphical and moral case for the NHS by Churchill's Tory Party, leading to his famous 'lower than vermin' statement in the House of Commons.

That historical statement is as valid today as it was in 1948. These people are are not just lower than vermin, the Conservative Party today occupy a position in political life which attempts to reduce to the lowest comon demoniator the means of debating how we tackle poverty and inequality. And why? beacuse it is in their interests to maintain this manifest degradation.

And so, Bevan was right, and here is what he said in '48, and why it remains relevant today as much as ever:


"That is why no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of first-class people to semi-starvation. Now the Tories are pouring out money in propaganda of all sorts and are hoping by this organised sustained mass suggestion to eradicate from our minds all memory of what we went through. But, I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying now".

In Solidarity

Ian

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