The Stench of Hypocrisy!

It should come as no surprise that the smell that lingers around politicians is the stench of hypocrisy. Introducing a benefits cut for anyone whose home includes a bedroom designated as unused (according to government guidelines, which do not always accord with reality), one Minister stepped forth to lecture the poor that, in his four-bedroom house, things are so cramped that his two sons share a bedroom – neglecting to mention that they could each have had a bedroom if he gave up using one room as an office! Possibly he believes that a home office is a necessity – in which case, I’m waiting to rehoused to a larger place so that I can have one. Goodness knows, I could use it!

Then, we learn that the mastermind behind benefit reform, Ian Duncan Smith, who is always lecturing about how those on benefits get far too much, not only has an extremely good wage (ten times what I am looking for in a wage and more than thirty times what I get in benefits), but has a huge home that is provided rent free by his in-laws. Oh, and his in-laws do their best to avoid paying tax. Hang on a  minute, didn’t Cameron recently lecture us all on how tax avoidance was as morally reprehensible as tax evasion? Surely he should start by lecturing his own Ministers – but, then, he hasn’t had much to say about fiddling expenses, despite being happy to tackle the subject of benefit fraud.

Of course, Labour is all very vocal about, conveniently forgetting that they not only played the primary role in making this mess of the economy, but that Tessa Jowell was the original advocate of a ‘bedroom tax’ to free up housing. They stink just as bad as the Tories and the silent enablers that are the Liberal Democrats.

Let me be clear: I do not support benefit fraudsters and I do not believe that those who can work should spend their lives on benefits, funded by the taxpayer. But, I believe that the welfare system needs to be reformed sensibly and that any reform to welfare needs to go hand-in-hand with reforms to ensure that those who want to work can get a job. And, most of all, I believe that any reform must be done by people who are willing to ‘walk the walk’ as well as ‘talk the talk’ – in other words, they must be above reproach. If a Minister wishes to lecture about how people cannot expect something for nothing, they should not receive their home for nothing. If a Minister wishes to lecture about how many bedrooms a family needs, they should not possess more than they require. If a Minister wants to lecture about how much money someone needs to live, they should not receive a ridiculously high wage. Being in government should be a vocation, not a means to lining one’s pockets. Sadly, those in power today are not fit to hold office…

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