Reading some of the posts for B.A.D.D. today, some of them (including Goldfish’s excellent Vlog), highlighting the recent changes by the UK govt to the welfare system.. and their policy of demonising the disabled and ill in order to get these changes through the system. I got to thinking, too, that so much of the time, something like this is a drip-drip-drip thing, where, when one is trying to pass something unpalatable, they instead do slow movements towards their eventual aim – and at the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, the obvious analogy here is the process by which the Nazi Government acclimatised people to their aims.

One very simple way to see past that drip-drip-drip effect is to gather everything together, so this is what I’ve done. I’ve spent a couple of hours doing a search via Google News to find headlines by the newspapers and various other internet sites, highlighting the changes that are happening.

The results, I think, are illuminating. And this is just what I found in a couple of hours, just skimming the surface. I dread to think what I would find if a systematic, exhaustive search was done. Still, it illustrates very neatly the build up in people’s minds and the subliminal effect that such a drip-drip-drip feed can have.

Selection of headlines from newspapers and internet sites found in a 2 hour search

Clicking on the picture twice will take you to a full size version where you should be able to read the smaller text.

[Addendum: codeman38 has, quite rightly, called me out on the fact that I’ve not put a transcript in, so I’m adding one now. And although he’s far too polite to point it out, the irony of this hasn’t passed me by, my unthinking – disablist – attitude has put up a barrier. Well, I’m fixing that one right now! My apologies, codeman38, and thank you for prodding me so nicely to remove a barrier!]

Transcript: these are all newspaper headlines, with just one true picture, a copy of the front page of the Sunday Express. The actual details of the story cannot be seen, or the date, but the headline screams “Mansions for Scroungers”. The rest are all just words, no pictures, copied into one large document, saved as a .jpg.

  • Doctors weed out 1m disability benefit claims as three out of four claimants are found “well enough to work”
  • Crackdown catches out greedy skivers
  • 900,000 caught in “fit to work” check
  • You’re not sick, just plain lazy!
  • Three out of four incapacity claimants are fit enough to work
  • Disabled man found murdered in his flat
  • Benefit Thieves: it’s not if we catch you, it’s when
  • Woman who claimed she was crippled by arthritis exposed as benefits cheat … after popping to the gym
  • £20,000 sickie sponger at Gym 3 times a week
  • Govt Crackdown on Benefit Cheat “muggers”
  • “Disabled” wife loses lifetime alimony payments after she blogs about her life as a belly dancer
  • Caught on camera: the “disabled” welfare cheat who claimed he couldn’t walk filmed dancing as a pub entertainer
  • Benefit cheat caught playing golf
  • An epidemic of benefit Fraud? the Demonisation of Welfare Recipients
  • Don’t let the cheats get away with it
  • Help us to beat cheats
  • Tories declare ware on disability benefit cheats
    and quite right too – I suspect they will find this policy strikes a chord with middle England who resent seeing people rake in benefits they are not entitled to. Labour have become tougher on benefit cheats lately, but they can’t take the Tory approach as benefit cheats are more likely to be Labour voters than Tory.
    We are talking about incapacity benefit claimants – bad backs, “depression”, drug problems – the sort of things that malingerers claim to have to avoid working!
  • The UK’s Top Ten Benefit Scandals:
    1. Falinge, Rochdale – the “Benefits Capital of Britain”
    Known as the “Benefits Capital of Britain”, Falinge, Rochdale is home to 1,141 people of working age – and only 651 of them hold down jobs. The rest of its inhabitants are supported by state benefits, with the majority of them “on the sick”, claiming incapacity benefits. Conditions that qualify for incapacity payments include alcoholism, stress and obesity. There are 2.6 million people in the UK claiming incapacity benefits for being too ill to work or seek employment; this accounts for 4.6% of the population. However, 42.9% of Falinge residents rely on sick benefits – making Falinge the sickest place in Britain.
    Cost to the UK taxpayer each week = £41,405
  • Help us stop £1.5bn benefits scroungers
  • Benefit claimants “Still seen as scroungers”, research shows
  • Sickness benefit changes making people feel like “scroungers”
  • Osborne begins crackdown on incapacity benefit cheats with plan to treble assessments
  • Tuesday’s big issue: Benefit “scroungers”
  • Benefit Scroungers made to work at last!
    Scroungers who play the system to milk incapacity benefit will be put on the dole and made to hunt for work. They recon 23% of these people are scrounging this benefit when they are fit to work. A further 58 per cent would be moved to Employment Allowance but would be prequired to make some preparation for employme
    19% would qualify for a higher payment because they are really ill, or unable to work.
    So at last someone is going to do something about these feckless work-shy scroungers that litter our streets.
  • Benefits scroungers warned: Have fewer kids or lose your dole
  • Govt gets tough on benefit scroungers

[Transcript end]