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Harriet Harman joins Labour’s claimant hate campaign

Harriet Harman, the acting leader of the Labour party has joined a number of the leadership candidates in what is fast becoming a competition to see who can most blatantly encourage hatred of claimants. Harman complained that Labour was seen as supporting “people on benefits” but not those who “work hard.”

Independent website article on HarmanLast week, in Labour leadership hopefuls queue to kick claimants - even in speech to tax avoidance auditors we reported that a number of Labour leadership candidates, including Andy Burnham and Caroline Flint had sought to distance themselves from any appearance of support for people on benefits.

Burnham talked about some people believing Labour wants ‘to be soft on people who want something for nothing’, whilst Flint said Labour ought to start attacking benefits scroungers as much as bankers and should give people choosing to live off benefits a “kick up the backside”.

The attempts to denigrate people claiming benefits appear to based on the idea that Labour lost the election because it wasn’t tough enough on claimants.

Now, in an interview in today’s Independent, Harriet Harman has joined in the attacks. The paper explained that:

Ms Harman believes a common problem all over Britain was that voters felt the party “doesn’t talk about me”. Labour was seen as supporting “people on benefits” but not those who “work hard.” She said: “It doesn’t matter how many leaflets you deliver if the message is not right.””

This suggests that Harman has yet to understand that a huge proportion of people on benefits are actually employed and working extremely hard – they are just very badly paid.

It also suggests that when Harman thinks about voters she actually doesn’t include people on benefits, including sick and disabled claimants unable to work. Instead, it seems Harman thinks that the message the party sends to voters should only be aimed at people in well paid work, a traditional Tory target

Harman also argued that many Labour supporters were glad that Labour didn’t win the election. It’s a claim that would astonish those sick and disabled Labour voters now waiting in terror to discover if they will be victims of the Conservatives £12 billion in benefits cuts.

Harman is not even in the running for the Labour leadership, she will step down when a leader is chosen. Yet even she feels it is advantageous to attack benefits claimants and entirely ignore their fears.

At this rate, by the time Labour elects its new leader, it will have alienated so many of its former supporters that they will be leading their party straight into electoral oblivion.

Comments  

#18 Chris29 2015-07-05 08:21
The sad fact of life now in the uk is that a party needs to be right wing to win an election, labour have realised this when they tried to move left wing after blair left and stopped winning elections.

A horrid situation.

The tories alongside the mostly right wing press have successfully fooled people into thinking the benefit system is toxic and started some kind of workers vs benefit claimant war.
+1 #17 suzanne 2015-06-24 21:52
I really can't stand what Labour has become since the careerists led by Blair moved Labour further th the right , ditching Clause 4 part 4 of their constitution - finally killed off their socialist principles.. I was in the Militant, the Marxist true socialist grouping within the party who were banned. Broad church no longer. Despite this on Election Day I canvassed for them in my wheelchair terrified by what a Tory Government would inflict on us. Those who heard their plans to shrink the state and cut benefits by 12 billion yet went to the ballot box not knowing who to vote for astonished me. They were sleep walking into disaster. Labour as a party of ordinary people is dead. I became an associate member to vote for the only socialist in the leadership race - Jeremy Corbyn, the only contender on last Saturdays anti- austerity demo. I would urge you all to do so. It costs £3. It's worth many times that if we got him - he may save socialism in the party, where it's now a dirty word.
Shame on millionaire Harman, shame on the other candidates who have abandoned the poor and vulnerable, then icing on their nasty cake, vilify the poor to attract the core vote they now aim for: the middle classes and the ignorant who soak up unquestioningly the vitriol of the right wing press.
+1 #16 Crazydiamond 2015-06-20 17:58
The Labour Party since the inception of New Labour by Tony Bliar in 1997 have always been Tory-lite.

The notion was at the time was "New Labour, old Tory" but I believe that the upshot is that because of Bliar's policies the Tory party today has been pushed even further to the right, hence the vitriolic hatred of benefit claimants.

The nasty party really are showing their true colour,s now they have obtained an overall majority in Parliament.
+1 #15 Albasain 2015-06-17 20:19
Well, since the Labour party hopefuls have taken to haranguing benefit claimants there is only one thing for it, Jerym Corbyn for leader! At least he doesn't sit on the coat tails of the Tories.
+1 #14 foojam 2015-06-17 13:43
PR might make them all moderate their views if the Greens and Lib Dem supporters get their fair representation in the Commons. Even the UKIP bunch might not even be so bad with their supporters being heavily numbered in pensioners and increasingly in the so-called underclass ex-nationalist voters. It's the voting system that is at fault for allowing this 30s style Germanic hatred and, not that it's any good wishful thinking, I was hoping for another hung parliament that might have pushed us further from the first past the post system.
+2 #13 angela 2015-06-11 09:36
Quoting buster:
To all carers, please check this out: http://www.hmbsolicitors.co.uk/news/category/item/index.cfm?asset_id=1619 This is a topic I have been keeping an eye on for some time; at last - there has been some movement in the courts - which is certainly favourable for any carers who are worried about not being exempt from the cap now or in the future . For example carers of adult disabled children or elderly parents who are unable to change their so called behaviour by moving in to work due to their round-the-clock caring commitments - which is supposedly the governments intended policy aims - dubious in my opinion - now the courts also seem to be thinking along these lines.

Well done to to the two carers and to their solicitor Rebekah Carrier for managing to resist DWP objections and bring this issue to the High Court - where it must be heard before the end of October 2015.

My guess is the carers will win in the High Court but I wouldn't be surprised if the DWP appeal to the Court of Appeal - it may well even end up in the Supreme Court.

Buster

Just read the the link very intresting thanks for letting us know about this
+2 #12 deadward 2015-06-10 17:34
Traitorus coward !!!!!!!!!!!!
+8 #11 satmanbasil 2015-06-09 13:01
I believe before the next election you will see nothing to compare each party by if the stories are to be believed that the labour party are now on the bash the benefit claimant band wagon.

What all these parties don't seem to get is that many who are claimants happen through no fault of there own find themselves unemployed or unable to work due to illness and were once "hard working families" who have fallen on hard times and have PAID for the support that these parties now seem to want to kill off the welfare state.

If they wish to do this then now is the time to put into place regulation that new people joining the work place for the first time have to sign up for insurance to cover unemployment and sick leave etc and also sign up for a pension plan therefore over the expected work life of this new generation of workers they will see a decline in numbers of those claiming welfare benefits as we all die a death due to poverty that these people seem to want us to live.

They do not want to come straight out and say they are killing the welfare state instead they preach meaningless words of support etc while behind your back they are cutting back, moving the goalpost and placing so called assessment centres up with instructions to reject as many claimants as possible again to reduce the welfare budget.

If they really want to cut budget cost then look at working tax credits the biggest abuse going least these claimants have a salary income of sorts being topped up by government hand outs due to employers allowed to get away with paying the mim wage instead of a living wage and letting the government foot the bill for the short fall.
+3 #10 buster 2015-06-09 10:42
To all carers, please check this out: http://www.hmbsolicitors.co.uk/news/category/item/index.cfm?asset_id=1619 This is a topic I have been keeping an eye on for some time; at last - there has been some movement in the courts - which is certainly favourable for any carers who are worried about not being exempt from the cap now or in the future . For example carers of adult disabled children or elderly parents who are unable to change their so called behaviour by moving in to work due to their round-the-clock caring commitments - which is supposedly the governments intended policy aims - dubious in my opinion - now the courts also seem to be thinking along these lines.

Well done to to the two carers and to their solicitor Rebekah Carrier for managing to resist DWP objections and bring this issue to the High Court - where it must be heard before the end of October 2015.

My guess is the carers will win in the High Court but I wouldn't be surprised if the DWP appeal to the Court of Appeal - it may well even end up in the Supreme Court.

Buster
+7 #9 Chris 2015-06-08 22:54
There is finally a proper anti austerity Labour leadership challenge, after a successfull 38 Degrees petition that achieved 5000 signatures.

Jeremy Corbyn
Islington North MP.

He needs 35 Labour MP to endorse him to get anywhere near achieving success.

All the other candidates for Labour leadership will kill Labour stone dead and never rule London again.

Neither Miliband's office nor my local Labour MP candidate
did anthing but ignore the huge losses
to new pensioners from next year,
when 40 per cent over 50s are disabled / chronic sick and
hit by those benefit cuts,
state pension cuts, pensioner benefit cuts,
now and coming worse next year.

Pensioners are not exempted from the cuts at all. Both current and new next year.
PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE THANK YOU:
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now
+5 #8 summertrain 2015-06-08 22:51
This article encapsulates in a nutshell why Labour lost. Nuff said.
+8 #7 tazman 2015-06-08 22:02
I agree with all the comments made. It seems that the morals and standards of politicians is at rock bottom. They are all running around like headless chickens desperate to win the leadership and will say/do anything to get that power. Even my brother, who is red through and through, has started to waiver and is losing his faith.

Every time I hear that 'hard working' comment it makes me feel sick and guilty. I worked hard for decades before my problems started. Do people not see how life can change in a heartbeat? Like the poor girl who just went to Alton Towers for some fun. I'm not saying she will not be able to work, but she lost a leg today and her life is changed forever.
+7 #6 Paul Richards 2015-06-08 21:06
Hi all,
Unless Labour changes it's mind-set, then it, as a viable Party is finished and they will soon (and very quickly) go the same way as the now hated LibDems.
The only thing that then really worries me is who is left?
A Tory party which will soon (thank goodness!) shake itself apart.
UKIP (!!) A party with only 1 MP in the Commons.
The Greens 1MP in the Commons.
Others and the DUP - only a few MPs in the Commons.
SNP - (my own personal favourite!) Looking out for Scotland's interests (but possibly for the rest of the UK also)
Our TRUE democracy is now REALLY at risk unless something is very quickly sorted out. We do not want Cameron as a Dictator!
+8 #5 Paul Richards 2015-06-08 20:48
Hi all,
Harriet Harman should be totally ashamed of herself. She is shortly to leave politics and if this are her 'true' feelings then good riddance to her.The real problem with Labour now is that they have absolutely no idea how they lost the last election OR how they could regain their favour! All I can say is that they must be totally and utterly stupid!
Okay, the right-wing tabloids crucified them, partly due to Ed Miliband's leadership but also due to the scare tactics of 'what would happen if the Scottish Nationalists - (under Alex Salmond!!) would prop up Labour (reinforced by Cameron's daft rhetoric re this also!)
Many of the 'more dim' people of Britain (and also the people who do not follow the News!) fell for this rubbish that was told to them.
However, this does not retract from the fact that for very, very many years now, Labour has NOT been for the 'low paid workers' and the unemployed, the sick and disabled - ONLY for the richer people.
Because 'the vast majority of British people' have got more and more rich - 'New' Labour have felt that they have to pander to these 'richer' people and have had to support them (at the expense of the poorest and sickest in our society). New Labour is now really ONLY for the middle and upper middle class people.
They are now, in my own personal opinion, real 'Red' (but not even red - more like BLUE crimson!) Tories.
The Tories must love them - no real opposition - just more of the same - kicking down the poor, the sick and the disabled of the UK.
If we were in Scotland I would definitely say - Nicola Sturgeon - go for it for you and your people - you have nothing to lose and now, only everything to gain in the long term.
Where we live (in Southern England) - I only wish that we had the same choices to make that the Scots now definitely have!
+7 #4 buster 2015-06-08 17:56
This kind of bigoted rhetoric is becoming very problematic for Labour supporters to deal with. I have not done any research, yet, on what Harriet Harman has allegedly spouted - but I will - you can rest assured.

Embarrassingly, I joined the Labour Party just after the recent general election - this was after decades of being a Labour supporter and voter; however, as a result of the prospective leaders latest rhetorical speeches - intended to appease the right-wing mass media, it would seem; I am now already almost certainly going to be ripping up my Labour membership card (hasn't even been delivered yet) - as will my wife, daughter, brother and other "hard working" family members and friends - there just seems no point whatsoever in sticking with Labour anymore. If we want a Tory government - we might as well just defect to the real thing - simple as.

As a labour "member" I have been invited to a Labour Party function to "celebrate" our local MP's retirement from parliament: I will be attending - in true Dennis Pennis style, I will be asking some uncomfortable questions about benefits and benefit claimants - both to the incumbent and her predecessor - I will seek to clarify Labour's current views. It promises to be a really interesting evening - I will keep you all informed of course on how I get on.

Seriously though, in my opinion, Labour are now in real danger of losing their identity and therefore are in real danger of not knowing what they stand for anymore - and here's me foolishly thinking Labour stood against inequalities in society, tackling poverty and grappling with the causes - silly me. This appears not to be the case - Labour are seemingly no different from the cruel Conservatives after all.

Buster
+2 #3 Blackcat 2015-06-08 17:41
Hi
Refresh my memory please! Who got investigated by Special Branch and why?
Wasn't there a film called 'Cathy Come Home' which highlighted the social housing provision needed in the 60's, wasn't a charity formed as a result of that? I cannot for the life of me think who was a leading light in that. I know Ms Harman was involved with the National Council for Civil Liberties.
Just for info 30,000 jobs are being lost each year in Britain, and over 0.5 Million firms go bust in their first year
Thank you for your input Ms Harman very interesting
+7 #2 Drizzle 2015-06-08 16:59
Labour seem to be doing everything they can to sabotage themselves and distance themselves from their traditional voters. They have absolutely zero insight into why they lost the election and how best to go forward.

Ed Miliband used to talk about "hard working families" nearly as often as Cameron did, but at least he highlighted the issue of fairness (although it's a great pity he didn't shout it louder so that the poor understood Labour would be different to the Tories). Do Labour no longer support the idea of a fair society?

I see there's going to be no opposition to the upcoming cuts to benefits in the House of Commons as Labour are going to be too busy proving they're as cruel to the sick and disabled as the Tories (and the SNP are only concerned about Scotland).

I hope some common sense prevails from the Labour backbenchers or I can guarantee they've lost my vote for the next election.
+10 #1 tintack 2015-06-08 16:14
Utterly clueless. Bashing claimants might win back a few Tory voters, but nothing like enough to do Labour any good, and in the process they will lose so much of their core support that they'll have virtually no chance of winning again. Has it not occurred to them to wonder why the Scots now call them the Red Tories?

What this shows is just how far the centre of political gravity has been skewed to the right. Labour was once the party that stood up for those with no voice. Not now. It also means that with the only options for a UK government being a choice between the Tories and a party which appears determined to be a Tory party clone, the Scots are likely to want to leave and be governed by people they actually voted for sooner rather than later. And if that happens, could anyone blame them? I couldn't.

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