Demonisation by stages… a very short poem…

First they demonised the immigrants, but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t an immigrant

Then they demonised disabled people, but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t disabled

Then they demonised the unemployed, but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t unemployed

Then they demonised people on benefits, but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t on benefits

Then they went for people on minimum wage, but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t on the minimum wage

When they went for me, everyone else was too tired and desperate to speak out at all

——————————————-

Apologies to Martin Niemöller, and for the Godwin, but this does seem really apt in the current climate. Stage by stage this government is systematically demonising and hurting people. I haven’t even mentioned things like the demonisation of the teaching profession, of those working in the NHS, of academics – but it all seems to be part of the same game. Divide and rule is only part of it. The demonisation is on each occasion a prelude to something direct and painful, not just ‘name-calling’, and if we are to have any chance of stopping it we need to challenge it at every level – including the rhetoric. The ‘strivers vs scroungers’ rhetoric, the ‘hard-working-families’ rhetoric, the ‘there’s no money left’ rhetoric, the ‘oh, they can downsize’ rhetoric.

There’s not much sign of this challenge from the opposition – as I’ve ranted before – so we are going have to do it ourselves. I hope we’re not too late.

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