The Tory party has never been well-known for its sympathy towards its country’s poorest people, but David Cameron and Theresa May have led a government which has become so detached from those most vulnerable that people are dying as a direct result of Conservative policies and the effect on society.
Calum’s List, a collection of real-life stories of people who are no longer in this world because the Conservatives made it impossible for them to go on living, was created based on information submitted by loved ones of the deceased, and provides a horrifying insight into the effect that Tory cuts had on people’s lives, leading to suicides and even stress-induced fatal heart attacks.
Those with mental health issues are often overlooked or disregarded when it comes to state benefits but, beyond this, the Tories even make it incredibly difficult for those with physical ailments to get the aid they need to have half-decent quality of life.
Those who genuinely need their benefit payments in order to survive are made to live in constant fear that new government policies may make them ineligible to receive their money, or that their medical condition may no longer be deemed genuine enough to stay out of work.
Of course, there are people out there who claim benefits by exaggerating their condition or outright fabricating it, but does the money saved by cracking down on this minority justify the deaths of those who are genuinely in need?
Does it justify diabetic David Clapson dying without any money for electricity to keep his life-saving insulin chilled after he missed just one Jobseeker’s Allowance appointment?
Does it make it okay that Christelle Pardo threw herself and her five-month old son off a sixth-floor balcony because she couldn’t prove she’d been searching for work for five full years?
Does it comfort the grieving family of multiple stroke survivor David Groves, after he experienced a fatal heart attack whilst desperately searching for ways to cope monetarily if the DWP took away his incapacity benefit?
The Conservatives seem so rooted in their belief that anyone can be successful if they simply ‘work hard’ that they forget about the privilege they had to help them get to where they are.
All Tories may not come from an Eton background, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one that grew up on a council estate. Perhaps that says it all; no one who grew up relying on benefits would be so detached from reality as to stand up in government and deny the pittance of benefits to those unable to earn a wage for themselves.
This stigma about people who have genuine medical conditions being too ‘lazy’ to work needs to end.
Calum’s List details just sixty who have died as a result of Tory cuts, but the true figure is off the scale. People are dying, and for no good reason.
Those claiming benefits fraudulently are in the minority, and studies show time and time again that the vast majority of people would choose to continue working if they receive no strings attached payment for opting out, but believed that other people would choose not to.
It is this kind of warped thinking that allows society to condemn those in need, and one read of Calum’s List is convincing enough evidence that this at government level is condemning people to death.