Thursday, 19 April 2018

The depraved coalition deals the Lib-Dems cooked up with the Tories behind closed doors


Polly Mackenzie was never a Lib-Dem MP, but as one of Nick Clegg's core advisers she played a crucial role during the Tory/Lib-Dem coalition period. She's just admitted the kinds of depraved horse trading that went on between the Lib-Dems and the Tories at the time in a Twitter mini-thread.
 

She starts off with an unobjectionable and actually rather astute observation about how the Tories seem to announce a new green measure or plastics ban every time they want to move the news away from their latest scandal, but she followed the Tweet up with some more observations that shine a light on the grotesque horse trading the Lib-Dems did with the Tories.

She claims that the clampdown on plastics was actually a Lib-Dem idea, and that they finally secured the limited introduction of 5p charges on plastic bags in return for their support for a toughening of the draconian Tory benefit sanctions regime.

Here are a few facts about the benefits sanctions regime:

  • Benefits sanctions condemn individuals and their families to periods of absolute destitution for up to two years by stopping their social security payments.
  • Benefits sanctions have been applied for the most grotesquely inappropriate of "offences" such as having a heart attack during a work capacity assessment, a veteran selling poppies a few hours a week, being five minutes late to an interview, missing an appointment because their child was stillborn, missing an appointment because they had a stroke (see a list of grotesque examples with sources in this article)...
  • Benefits sanctions have been shown not to work. It's obvious that removing a person's ability to eat properly, clean their clothes, print documents, travel to interviews reduces rather than increases their ability to find work, but the Tories insisted the opposite. That condemning people to absolute destitution is a way of helping people.
So in return for the limited introduction of 5p plastic bag charges the Lib-Dems green lighted even more savage Tory abuse of some of the most vulnerable people in society.

There's nothing wrong with caring about the environment, in fact it's highly commendable, but if you're willing to kick thousands of extremely vulnerable people under a bus in order to make a minor step forward in combating excess plastic waste, then you've got your priorities disgustingly wrong.

So the next time you hear someone trotting out the tired old Lib-Dem platitude about how they were a "moderating influence" on the Tories, remind them of the way they decided to give Iain Duncan Smith even more power to brutalise the most vulnerable people in society in return for nothing more than 5p plastic bag charges (that would have eventually been introduced anyway due to EU legislation).




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