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Labour leadership hopefuls queue to kick claimants - even in speech to tax avoidance auditors

MPs hoping to be the Labour party’s next leader or deputy leader are lining up to kick claimants as they seek to blame anyone but themselves for the disastrous election result. In one case the attack on claimants was made from the offices of accountants who narrowly escaped prosecution for involvement in tax dodging.

ernst youngLeadership front-runner Andy Burnham supports the Conservative’s plans to lower the level of the household benefits cap, plunging more families into poverty, According to the Independent Burnham argued that people see Labour as being “soft on people who want something for nothing”.

In a speech to Ernst and Young, the accountancy firm which paid out £82 million in 2013 to avoid criminal charges in the US for aiding tax dodgers, Burnham argued:

“I was talking about an impression on the doorstep and there is that feeling, some people say, that Labour want to be soft on people who want something for nothing. We’ve got to be honest about that. That is a feeling that’s out there, that was still being replayed at this election.”

Another leadership contender, Liz Kendall, told the Guardian she supported the cap on household benefits because “voters in my constituency do not feel people who are not working should get more than those in work”.

According to the Guardian Kendall also claimed that the public do not trust Labour on benefits and that “too often people are being left without the tools they need to get themselves back into work”.

Meanwhile the Sun claims that Caroline Flint, hoping to become Labour’s deputy leader told them that the Labour needs to start attacking benefits scroungers as much as bankers and should give people choosing to live off benefits a “kick up the backside”.

The only – partial - exception to the attack on claimants has been leadership candidate Yvette Cooper, who told the BBC that:

"What I won't do is fall in to what I think is a Tory trap of using language which stigmatises those who are not working. I don't think that is about Labour values.

"I think the important thing is to talk about responsibility - responsibility to work, responsibility to contribute - but not to stigmatise those who are unable to work, perhaps because they are too sick or too disabled to do so."

However, Cooper still supports the proposal to lower the benefits cap.

There was good reason for claimants to vote Labour in the recent election in the hope of preventing the Conservatives returning to power and imposing £12 billion in benefits cuts. However, by 2020 it is likely that the Tories will have done their worst.

If Labour continue to use the language of prejudice and division when it comes to benefits, it seems likely that claimants at the next election will take their votes elsewhere.

Comments  

#20 Chris29 2015-07-05 08:28
The most worrying thing about this is because labour are now scared to challenge the tories (only backbenchers are doing it) they will probably vote with the tories on any welfare cuts although they still backed the tories under milliband but this makes it even more likely.
+3 #19 Chris 2015-06-03 16:26
[quote name="satmanbas il" labelled by the media as scroungers its time this stopped!!


While I agree with just about all of this, 'we' have a problem. It's the same paradox that the politicians and media use and rely on, insomuch as many of us, as a group are unable to work, and so, unable to enter the only arena available to depose this criticism, namely politics per se.

However, are we really helpless, I am no intellectual, but having read that the psychology used in the WRA etc formats is designed by American 'artist's' to flustrate and discriminate applicants, is there not a way of employing the same psychology to turn this tide of hate against the protagonists? I appreciate that there are many opponents to welfare strategy, but their voice is not being heard or noticed. I can't believe the British public are so gullible or hateful as to not see the damage being done to democracy and civilisation by these quarters.

It is my view the establishment is NOT all powerful, but that our only means to influence the situation is to stand up with, and employ the same power, that of money, that drives the hate. I would willingly donate to any organisation I could trust to fight this unjustness who were willing to fight as dirty as those that besmirch us. I would start with the very weapons turned against us, starting with the law, to prosecute those guilty of, or inciting, hate crime. Then, to establish truth within society, by the publication of fact, rather than rhetoric. It needs to be made 'unprofitable' to organisations, media etc, to demonise as they choose, the absurdity of this is they profit through their crimes, and should, perhaps could be made to make reparations. Is it any coincidence, the Tories want to opt out of Human Rights!
+3 #18 Bill 2015-06-03 07:53
Referring to Drizzle at #14:

Yes Drizzle I agree we certainly are. Long may it last as we need some unity to fight these b******s.

Bill ;-)
-1 #17 Blackcat 2015-06-02 20:26
Hi
Looks like Nu-Labor is no more! Looks to me as if we have a load of 'Clintonistas'v ying for power! [William Jefferson Clinton POTUS] As President
1.Provided Federal funds for 'faith based' charitable organisations.
2Expanded the number of crimes which invite the death penalty to sixty.
3 Has outlawed gay Marriages. Has taken out ads on Christian radio stations to promote his views
4 Has kicked 10m people off welfare out of 14m unemployed.
5. Has given states 'bonus funds' if they can reduce their welfare numbers.
6 Barred funds to teenagers if they drop out of school or leave home
7 refused to slow down the number of executions even though many were innocent
8 Supports laws for putting people inside for life after committing 3 crimes even if these are shoplifting or not paying for a pizza
9 More people had no health insurance when he left office
10 He denied health care to people who were in the states illegally
11He had issues with abortions
12He refused to sign the International Land Mine Treaty
13 He scuttled the Kyoto Protocol
How many of these policies have been 'Cut and pasted' into our welfare reforms?
The WS2 form is a copy from USA. The Governor of the state this came from got $72,000.00 dollars in campaign funds from a tobacco company It also paid for him to make some trips abroad to promote 'Free Trade'
Excuse me we have a problem with the political class.
+2 #16 tintack 2015-06-02 19:54
“I was talking about an impression on the doorstep and there is that feeling, some people say, that Labour want to be soft on people who want something for nothing. We’ve got to be honest about that. That is a feeling that’s out there, that was still being replayed at this election.”

What Burnham seems to be saying here is that the way for Labour to "be honest" about this "feeling" is not to challenge the anti-claimant propaganda and point out that it's a tissue of lies - but instead to capitulate and pander to it on the grounds that a lot of people have been taken in by it. Someone ought to inform Burnham that the winner of a leadership election is expected to show, well, you know, leadership.
+1 #15 Eli48 2015-06-02 19:18
I am getting sick and tired of seeing people on here use Tory propaganda and rhetoric. Please stop.]
#14 Drizzle 2015-06-02 15:40
Quoting Bill:
You summed it up to perfection Drizzle, I take my hat off to you Sir or Madam.

Bill


Thanks Bill, I've noticed that you and I are usually in agreement. :-)
+2 #13 Paul Richards 2015-06-02 13:36
Hi all,
Suggest you take a look at this latest article!

www.talktalk.co.uk/news/article/mps-pay-set-to-rise-to-pound-74-000/170946

Them and everyone else - 'we are all in this together' - Yeah-Right!!
+2 #12 Bill 2015-06-02 07:48
Quoting #4 Drizzle:

[quote]If more of us had voted for Labour in this election we'd still have Ed Miliband not his more right-wing colleagues vying for power.

Our apathy has helped bring this on ourselves.


You summed it up to perfection Drizzle, I take my hat off to you Sir or Madam.

Bill
+4 #11 gezza 2015-06-02 00:57
Quoting satmanbasil:
Somewhere along the line there has been a cross over from those on welfare due to ill health and the so called scroungers all being painted with the same brush. Lets get to the facts claimants cheating welfare is less than 2% of the whole budget but the way the media report it makes it sound much bigger. Many sick claimants who find themselves on benefits through no fault of there own were once what the conservatives called " hard working families" and paid there taxes and NI contributions only in later life to be labelled by the media as scroungers its time this stopped!!
Fine if your accused and found to be cheating these people deserve what the media dish out but please, please don't paint all welfare claimants the same

I agree completely with the above quote
#10 summertrain 2015-06-01 23:44
Carruthers wrote: Quote:
And go where? If we're out of the EU, you won't be able go there.
I don't see us leaving the EU tbh, Carruthers. just think of all the expats in Spain who would have to come home, for example There's just too many "maybes" in what you say. However, I do appreciate that there are many of us who would be stuck here, and when I said "keep your passport up to date" I did so because I feel that notwithstanding the continued attacks on the sick and disabled, some may well have to leave to save themselves.
+4 #9 buster 2015-06-01 23:05
It is indeed alarming how more or less all the Labour party leader candidates seem to have suddenly swallowed the Tory party manifesto; if Labour attempt to mirror the Conservative party - then they might as well just throw the towel in now. In the interests of having a credible opposition - and a genuine alternative to Conservatism - I sincerely hope that prominent Labour figures within the movement, to the left of centre, can stifle any lurch to the right before it's too late.

Yvette Cooper will be getting my vote for leader - she's the best of a bad bunch in my opinion - the other frontrunners are downright dangerous except for Mary Creagh, however, Creagh is regarded as a long shot - so has no chance really, unfortunately. I will also be voting for Tom Watson for deputy leader, Watson was one of the few Labour MPs who last year voted against the overall annual spend on social security payments (annual welfare cap). Although not perfect, Cooper and Watson would be miles better than say Liz Kendall and Tristram Hunt - God forbid - this pair would be really dangerous - they wouldn't look out of place in the Tory cabinet.

If Liz Kendall gets the Job - my household and probably many others will abandon Labour. As for Andy Burnham - he's also quite dangerous in my opinion, considering his antics and rhetoric last weekend - directed at families on social security - who after all are still the poorest in society - so for him to attack this group of people is absolutely despicable; unfortunately, Burnham is odds-on to win.

Buster
+5 #8 carruthers 2015-06-01 22:45
Andy Burnham said,
Quote:
.. there is that feeling, some people say,Labour want to be soft on people who want something for nothing. We’ve got to be honest about that. That is a feeling that’s out there, that was still being replayed at this election.
Never mind what Labour have to be honest about, we here on this forum have got to be clear-sighted about this as well.

There is a feeling out there that most benefit claimants - including the sick and disabled - are getting more out of the system than those in low-paid jobs. That, say the British electorate, is not fair. And they will keep on voting against all welfare except the NHS.

Until we face up to the fact that all of those in receipt of cash benefits are unpopular as a class, then we are going to keep crying woe and misunderstandin g what is being done to us.

People like to have someone to hate, and we are now in the queue. The DM has done this against non-white people, until racism become unacceptable, gay people, ditto and now against Eastern European migrants and Muslims. And now us.

What we have to do is to make kicking the sick as unacceptable as beating up gay teenagers or shouting racist taunts at black footballers. And even then it's going to be hard going to make people agree to giving us money in hard times.

My positive suggestion is that we - the claimants community - back a "living wage" for those in boring, dead-end jobs. When they can live decently on that, they will begrudge us a living rather less. And if governments stop subsidising companies with Tax Credits, then there will be more money in the pot for those who really can't work or do need extra help.

We need friends out there and facts aren't enough. We need their feeling on our side as well.
+2 #7 carruthers 2015-06-01 22:17
Quoting summertrain:
. Make sure your passport is up to date - you might need it!

And go where? If we're out of the EU, you won't be able go there. Anywhere else and you need to have something the country wants to let you in - and, let's face it - only a few of us have got skills which would really appeal to the US or the Oz jobs market.

Leaving countries people are dying to get out of - like Syria - and some possible exceptions to the no economic migrants rule, like, I suppose, Scotland. Though if they're independent by then and members of the EU, they too might be none to keen on acquiring benefit claimants from south of the border.

So most of us will just have to put up with whatever IDS chooses to hand out, for as long as the Daily Mail enjoys kicking us. Don't hold your breath, unless your aim is self-asphyxiati on.
+10 #6 tintack 2015-06-01 14:21
The fact that Burnham is supposedly the left wing candidate in the leadership election speaks volumes. Kendall sounds like a Blair clone and as for Flint, she's a walking definition of the word airhead.

It's amazing how little they've learnt. If people are faced with a choice of the Tories or a party which is nothing more than a clone of the Tory party they'll probably vote for the real thing. Meanwhile, in Scotland Labour were obliterated by a party offering an unashamedly left wing agenda, standing up for claimants included. I don't think the SNP will be quaking in their boots at the sight of Labour scrambling to out-Tory the Tories. Another big SNP win in next year's Holyrood election? Looks pretty likely to me.

If only we had an English version of the SNP to vote for. The nearest we have is the Greens, but they don't come across as a credible party of government in the way that Sturgeon and co have proved to be. If Labour do pursue a Tory agenda in a bid to win power in 2020 then they'll certainly lose my vote. The speed with which they appear to be willing to ditch their principles is alarming to say the least.
+2 #5 summertrain 2015-06-01 14:15
Labour lost the election mainly because they were offering very little alternative to the Tories, which they are now reinforcing as the Red Tory Party. Add to this the disgusting way in which they treated the Scots at the time of the referendum, ensured they were wiped out north of the border. Also UKIP stole a huge number of votes from people who would normally vote labour, but saw then as offering nothing new. This country is finished, all this "at the next election" is not good enough. In five years time I dread to think what this country will be like. Sadly, it would likely be much the same anyway had labour won. Make sure your passport is up to date - you might need it!
+9 #4 Drizzle 2015-06-01 13:53
If more of us had voted for Labour in this election we'd still have Ed Miliband not his more right-wing colleagues vying for power (and lining up to stick the boot into us - and Ed). They feel safe to attack us because we mostly don't vote for them anyway.

Our apathy has helped bring this on ourselves. :sad:
+7 #3 satmanbasil 2015-06-01 13:51
Somewhere along the line there has been a cross over from those on welfare due to ill health and the so called scroungers all being painted with the same brush. Lets get to the facts claimants cheating welfare is less than 2% of the whole budget but the way the media report it makes it sound much bigger. Many sick claimants who find themselves on benefits through no fault of there own were once what the conservatives called " hard working families" and paid there taxes and NI contributions only in later life to be labelled by the media as scroungers its time this stopped!!
Fine if your accused and found to be cheating these people deserve what the media dish out but please, please don't paint all welfare claimants the same
+4 #2 bobingalong 2015-06-01 13:42
When it comes to the bully in the playground it seems that there is no difference between the conservative party and the labour party it is easier to kick the poor, sick and disabled than the rich tax avoiders, not only are they in bed with them, they ARE them. The poor can't pay a lawyer £3,000 a day to fight for them unlike the rich tax avoiders. Well my illness is of such that i may not see another general election and perhaps it's for the best.
+2 #1 sfros46 2015-06-01 13:08
I was seriously thinking of voting for the Greens in the Election but stuck with Labour as the now deceased Jim Dobbin was an excellent Labour MP and I gave my vote to his successor . More soul searching at the next election I think........

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