“Sources are stressing that this is very unlikely to make the cuts less controversial or to stop what Mr Osborne has called the “depressingly predictable howls of protest” which he expects to greet his Budget.”
Nick Robinson, BBC News
As angry a person as people think I am, there have been relatively few moments of fury that have driven me to the point where I am fighting back tears. Oh, I cry at a lot of things, and sometimes while angry, but usually it’s when I have been hurt.
A couple of days ago, when Cameron’s aide confirmed that the leaked documents regarding the cut to ESA were accurate, my feed filled with the voices of people at risk. Some were angry, some bewildered. There was another strain, though, one which gets more and more frequent at every body blow that rains down from above. Put very simply, in the words of one of these people, it is: “I don’t think I will survive this government.”
On the day of the election, one of the more moving memes I saw said, “Just a reminder that many people are not alive to vote today because of the policies of this government.” As I stayed outside a polling station all day, that thought returned again and again in the quiet moments. I do not believe in god, but I have never found a more poetic phrase than ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ for situations like this. It is nothing more than luck that saw me still alive to work that campaign. Had I been born in a different place to a different family and had this condition, I could very easily have been one of those statistics that the DWP refuses to release to the courts.
I was sickened by how quickly the government got to work ensuring that their legacy will be a pile of disabled corpses, and seeing the cries of fear and impotence from people who have nowhere else left to turn. Imagine me turning on the TV tonight to see a report on tomorrow’s budget, and see them talking about this plan for ESA, followed by a point about him expanding the 40p tax threshold. Which is nice and all, but people earning more than 40k aren’t facing life or death financial situations.
That, of course, is normal for us now. So what could make me shake with furious tears? Imagine me hearing the quote from Osborne that this will raise the ‘depressingly predictable howls of protest’. Like it’s a joke. Like people are moaning about a leylandii blocking out the spare bedroom’s light. Like he isn’t announcing a set of punishments which mean that, when a disabled person posts that they don’t think they’ll survive to the next election because the cuts will get them long before their disease or disability does, we can’t tell them that they’ll be ok because we, and they, know that we would be lying.
There is some anger that cannot be contained in a body. That is where I live tonight.