Saturday, 8 October 2011

A government of liars

It has been said that there are lies, damn lies and Tory conference speeches.

This year they truly surpassed themselves.

We had the "cat" nonsense from Theresa May. For the record, no-one has gained the right to remain in this country on the basis of ownership of a cat, as May well knows. The story is old and has been comprehensively debunked.

But we also had lies and distortions from Cameron about people on sickness benefits.

He said

"It turns out that of the 1.3 million people who have put in a claim for the new sickness benefit in recent years. One million are either able to work, or stopped their claim before their medical assessment had been completed."

What he conveniently overlooked was the huge success rate of appeals against decisions to remove Employment and Support Allowance - 70% with representation. He also somehow forgot to mention that ESA is a short-term benefit for people off work because of illness who are either self-employed or get no sick pay from employers. It is entirely to be expected that people will leave the benefit before a medical assessment is made (it takes weeks to arrange) and in any case ESA pays no more than Jobseekers Allowance for the first 13 weeks of a claim.

For good measure Cameron also fed us the tired tabloid myths about adoptions being sabotaged by PC councils who won't allow cross-racial adoptions. Thus ignoring the very real complexities around adoption.

Still, what does the truth matter when you are grubbing for a cheap ovation at conference and pushing Middle England's outrage buttons?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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