allowance, Atos Miracles, benefit, benefits, Conservative, David Cameron, Department, disability, DWP, employment, ESA, Facebook, George Osborne, hate, incite, Job Centre, Mike Sivier, mikesivier, Pensions, people, politics, sanction, sick, social security, suicide, support, Tories, Tory, Vox Political, welfare, work
Just when you think you’ve seen the lowest the Conservatives can go, something happens that is completely beyond the pale.
Yesterday a message was posted to David Cameron’s Facebook page from a person who said they were going to commit suicide because they had been wrongly sanctioned.
The response – from one of Cameron’s supporters – was as follows: “Well get on with it then.”
This serious disability hate remark has been allowed to remain ever since – on the Prime Minister’s own Facebook page, which we are led to understand is overseen by professionals who, let’s not forget, paid for people to visit it and press the ‘Like’ button in order to make him look popular, and who may reasonably be expected to moderate such offensive behaviour off the page before it causes any real harm.
You can read more details on the Atos Miracles Facebook page.
Part of the post that encouraged Cameron’s supporter to incite this person to suicide went as follows:
“I am in receipt of ESA. I am trying my best to get better. I want to get better as I fully believe I have a lot of offer. However I am being continually lied about because when I ask for help I find a lot wrong with the system. Mainly due to the unfair cuts imposed by your government to public sector services and … as a consequence I have not got any better in fact I have got worse. A lot worse. To the point I no longer want to live anymore.
“I have now been sanctioned for not getting better. I don’t mind anymore today I telephoned them and told them this… Because of how many people your government have murdered through the Sanctions regime and taking away their rights to financial aid the DWP have stopped counting how many people have died. Yet George Osborne keeps telling everyone how well the country is prospering. This is a lie… the benefits office informed me I had telephoned the wrong number to discuss my sanction. Perhaps you have too many telephone numbers he did inform me it was my choice to take my life.”
If you had seen this on Facebook, would you have told the author to “get on with it then”?
Or would you have sent a message of support and tried to get them the help they need?
The rational choice would be the latter.
If you had been overseeing that Facebook page, would you have allowed such a dangerous comment to remain or would you have removed it and reported the sender?
The very least that could have been done by the Tory overseers of Cameron’s page would have been to check up on the Job Centre advisor mentioned in the post, whose response was just as bad. “He did inform me it was my choice to take my life” – that person should have got in touch with the relevant authorities and rallied help, but no. It seems some people will do anything for a “positive benefit outcome”.
I’m told the person who wrote the message has been found and is safe and well – no thanks to the Job Centre, to the inhabitants and moderators of David Cameron’s Facebook page, or to Cameron himself.
He should be utterly ashamed.
But he probably doesn’t even know this has happened.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:
Alternatively, you can buy the first Vox Political book,
Strong Words and Hard Times
in either print or eBook format here: