Thursday, 20 December 2012

A letter to Russell Brown MP

As my Westminster MP this is a matter which directly impacts on your area of responsibility as it concerns the impact of your party’s failure to offer any real opposition to the malignant plague now stalking the land – I refer to Mr Duncan-Smith’s benefit proposals and the malignant relationship between the DWP and ATOS and an issue concerning their inhumanity which I understand your comrade, Mr Michael Meacher MP, raised in the House recently with regard to a constituent who died of a heart attack, in a car, outside a DWP office – and the impact of the English NHS privatisation currently going on with a nod from New Labour and no opposition.

Further I wish to express my concern with regards the information from medical and dental friends of the dismemberment of the NHS currently going on within the English NHS reorganisation and the silence of Scottish Labour on the impact this will have on the Scottish NHS provision under the current Barnett consequentials. What is happening in NHS England will create a further reduction of the current Scottish pocket money. At the same time the Westminster Government’s blind eye to the LIBOR fixing in the City of London has further increased the burden of PFI across the NHS in the UK as a whole and is set to take the Scottish PFI liability to near £40 billion in NHS Scotland alone. It also appears that the annual PFI liabilities run up by Scottish Labour councils prior to 2007, with a nod from New Labour, now exceeds the annual amount proportioned in the Scottish pocket money from Westminster to run said councils.

The UK Tory policy which is really making my blood run cold in its lack of any human decency is the continued relationship between ATOS and the DWP, which I believe is on its way across the border. Especially when it comes to ESA assessments. The attitude of the Westminster Government is clear where there is no action taken when a DWP office is evacuated because of fire and the staff leaves a wheel chair bound interviewee stuck on the second floor. There are now enough cases, one raised by Michael Meecher MP in the UK Parliament, of the callous disregard of Mr Duncan-Smith’s DWP to an interviewee’s actual state of health. Most recently I was made aware of a lady, an ex-solicitor who worked in the City of London, who has a very aggressive form of rheumatoid disease and was forced to attend an interview at a DWP office, even though she was in an acute phase of her condition and had both liver and kidney failure. She was told if she did not attend in person the DWP would stop her benefits. According to the lady she went into full kidney failure and could not control her bladder and sat for thirty minutes releasing a mix of blood and urine before finally her husband called an ambulance. Even then she was told if she left in the ambulance she would lose her benefit.

I know you are a compassionate man and I find it hard to believe you can support such inhumane, unfeeling and insensitive policies crossing the border into Scotland and the ultimate madness of Westminster’s neoliberal, junk bond theory of austerity. All this while the members at Westminster who are paid by the taxpayer and seeking a further increase, can draw down massive personal tax payer subsidies, are fed and watered at Westminster by taxpayer subsidies and whose political and Whitehall staff can only be retained by further tax payer subsidies. I understand from UK national dailies that Mr Osbourne has just pocketed a cool £450,000 of taxpayers’ money with a variant on a ‘house flip’ – a good example to us all, no doubt, in this time of austerity.

You believe in the Union and I now think otherwise – Westminster’s approach to the Welfare State and NHS ensure that. In this we can agree to differ but I can not see how you can thole policies from an out of touch elite in Westminster, whether red, yellow or blue Tories, which cut to the quick of Scotland’s 500 years of legal responsibility for the richer of any parish towards the poor and destitute. Fundamental to Scottish Presbyterianism is the concept that we are our brother’s keeper, a concept which lies even deeper than the legislation of the 16th Century in what it means to be a Scot.

Mr Brown, are you more bound to English Gold and Westminster’s Augean Stables than you are to the best interests of Scotland? Do you consider destroying Labour’s greatest achievement, the Welfare State and NHS, worth it to pay over £100 billion for a weapon of mass destruction to keep New Labour ‘in’ with the home counties folk? As shadow Defence Minister you, more than most, must know what a load of old keech Trident is - unusable, unsuitable and sucking the very life from Her Majesty’s Conventional Armed Forces.
Yours faithfully,

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