by Rab Bruce’s Spider

Mastodon: @RabBrucesSpider1@Mastodon.Scot

X / Twitter: @RabBrucesSpider

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s latest declaration that he plans to end the perceived culture of sick note workers displays all the hallmarks of classic Tory tactics of both victim blaming and divide & conquer.

As a wealthy man who has no concept of what it is to be poor, he sees workers as expendable assets, and he has no conception of the problems the majority of people face. His Party has overseen a rise in poverty levels, has normalised foodbanks and slashed spending on the Health Service so that waiting lists are at record levels. When you factor in the cost of living crisis created by Liz Truss’s Budget and exacerbated by Brexit, it is no wonder so many people are falling ill, either physically or mentally.

People are suffering, and his solution is to force them to work when they are not fit to cope with the demands his low wage economy places on them. As so often, he is blaming the victims of his own policies for their failings without acknowledging the role he, his predecessors, and their Government have played in creating the problem.

But he knows this will play well with many people. Let’s face it, we’ve all worked with someone who takes a sickline whenever they feel like it. There have always been work-shy people, but even though they are in a minority, Sunak is relying on workers focusing on the people they know like that and so hoping his policy will be supported. Yet what the workers who support this idea don’t realise is that, one day, they might need to take time off due to physical or mental illness, and then they’ll appreciate just how cruel Sunak’s idea is.

There is, of course, the other issue of the much-hyped claims that younger people don’t have much of a work ethic. Anecdotal evidence suggests this might be true, but if it is, then who can blame them? If all you have to look forward to is a lifetime on minimum wage, with no chance of buying your own home, and ending up working for over fifty years with the worst pension in the developed world as a reward, why would you bother putting yourself through physical and mental stress?

As ever, Scotland needs to escape this economic model so beloved of the UK. We need to discover a more humane way of running our society, and to treat people properly.