Iain Duncan-Smith falls well and truly into that category of Tories I don't wish to sit on. As the parent of a severely disabled child with complex educational and healthcare needs, I have nothing but contempt for this man in his professional capacity. He's made disastrous decision after disastrous decision as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; decisions that have had direct detrimental impact on the lives of numerous chronically ill and disabled people.
This clip (see here) took shit to a whole other level. Essentially, distilled into one short interview, we see the priorities of the Tory government regarding not only immigration, but also what constitutes basic human worth in a much broader sense. Iain Duncan-Smith's choice of words is telling, and he refers to those who possess less economically viable employability as 'very low-value, low skilled people.'
Low-value is a label we might use for cars, or houses, or glycemic fucking indexes. But people? Low-value people. Really? Call me an idealist but I was under the impression people outranked cars and houses on the value-scale. And here we are, yet again using the yardstick of a warped economy to establish the worth of a fellow human.
The richness and complexity of humanity cannot be reduced to a figure per capita. We see our true selves in those times where the world is momentarily shaken up and broken; where the contrived order evaporates and we are stripped back to bare souls. We're better than economy and fiscal viability. So. Much. Better.
Events in the news this week have been truly horrific - I can't even imagine the pain and heartbreak of those who lost loved ones in the Arena on Monday. A moment like Manchester epitomises the very essence of being human; reactions were steeped in compassion and a city came together like never before. Paychecks and social status weren't even on the radar as a homeless man rushed in to hold a dying woman in her last moments, and traumatised children were taken to safety by the lowliest of taxi-drivers. People saw people- not the fucked up hierarchical masquerade of financial standing.
I have a son who teaches me humanity every day. He's shown me how to love beyond what I knew was possible. He's expanded my empathy and compassion. He's given me skills in advocacy, and a fighting spirit to speak up for those who have no voice. His resilience blows me away daily, and I'm truly honoured to be his mum.
And yet, according to Iain Duncan Smith and his Tory clowns, my boy is a drain on the system. A low-value, low-skilled human who, due to circumstances entirely beyond anyone's control, is unable to contribute anything of any worth to society. He needs costly round the clock care, expensive daily medications to keep him alive, and has nothing valuable to offer in an economy-driven culture.
Fuck you, IDS, and fuck you Tories. My kid IS valuable. My kid has a shit ton to offer- especially for people like you who are so hyper-focused on the peripheral shit. I won't stand by silently while you write him, and others like him, off as mistakes, or burdens. No. My kid matters because he's human. Nothing more, and nothing less.
Look harder. Dig deeper. Care about the shit that counts.
In the wise words of Dr Seuss:
“This”, cried the Mayor, “is your town’s darkest hour!
The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country!”, he said.
“We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”
Your voice counts. So does your vote. Please don't waste it on the Tories.