Next Stop Ducking Stool

I must confess I am afraid. I went with my neighbour Nobby for our usual trip to Costa Coffee Shop. I ordered my usual mocha freshcato (primo), a drink that I am convinced contains about two hundred million calories. The only newspapers in the rack were The Daily Mail and The Express. Both had scream-out-loud headlines about benefit scroungers.  Lately, the right wing press have been getting their jollies by excoriating benefit claimants and it feels like a witch hunt.  Their efforts to whip up the masses into a frenzy of hatred against benefit claimants appear to be working if the comments section of The Daily Mail online is to be believed.  Everyone hates The Daily Express so only a couple of people have bothered commenting there.

Today, both The Mail and The Express are aiming their vitriol at those who claim incapacity benefit.  It is alleged that approximately 900,000 people have been wrongly awarded this benefit.  Note that they do not use the word ‘fraud’ but it is not so subtly implied.

Now, as I understand it, in the past few years new and stricter rules have been introduced in order to make it more difficult, and in some cases, impossible to claim incapacity benefit.  Those who claimed before this point, under the old rules, acted in good faith and cannot be said to be defrauding the system.  It would be illogical, not to mention hideously unfair, to accuse them of this.

Here’s a useful analogy: take a sports game of two halves.  If the players adhered to rules enforced in the first half which were then changed in the second half, it would be unfair to retrospectively penalise these players for failing to follow the newly introduced rules in the first half.  This is, in effect, what these two tabloid ‘newspapers’ are doing to benefit claimants.

I am becoming afraid of my own species, paralysed  by terror.

Because this feels personal.

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14 Responses to “Next Stop Ducking Stool”

  1. Cass Says:

    The whole thing is frightening. i am waiting for that letter to come through the door calling me up for some gestapo/dss interview. there may be trouble ahead. chin up tho.

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  2. This Week in Mentalists: The Delayed-By-The-Real-World Edition « Mental Nurse Says:

    […] Sick of Drowning casts an eye over tabloid coverage of changes to benefits. Today, both The Mail and The Express are aiming their vitriol at those who claim incapacity […]

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  3. david michel Says:

    people are stupid

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  4. Julie Says:

    They’re at it again. Look at the comments. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1305565/More-1BILLION-lost-disability-benefit-fraud-error.html

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  5. lurid tales of doom Says:

    Don’t sweat it, it’s only their way of filling their worthless rag during silly season. They’ll get back to claiming that something causes/cures cancer soon enough.

    Far more concerning as far as I can see is that the tories and their pet libdem claim they’re going to crack down on benefit fraud as the ‘deepest cut’ they’re going to make(not tax evasion which costs around £25 billion or the £1.6 billion lost by maladministration of the benefits system?), this of course will mean nothing other than making it more difficult for people who’re entitled to and need those benefits.

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  6. antiparasite Says:

    if the ducking stool fits, wear it.

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  10. Clarissa Says:

    Great analogy there in the title. It totally is ‘ducking stool’ politcs.

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  11. Rachel Says:

    Governments in trouble need scapegoats. Always have and always will.

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