Polly is decrying the coming cuts in benefits. Well, why not, we\’d rather expect her to do so. And maybe they\’re good cuts and maybe they\’re not.
But I think we can pinpoint where the left actually lost this argument. It was right back at the beginning. When the top limit for housing benefit was introduced.
So the bastard capitalist neoliberal Tory scum said that in future housing benefit would be limited to £400. And there were screams and wails about how this would mean the social cleansing of London. The left were really gearing up at this point. Then everyone realised that the limit was £400 a week. And suddenly the comments sections (no, not just the Mail, The Guardian too) were full of people shouting \”But, but, that\’s more than I fucking earn! What do you mean it\’s a catastrophe that housing benefit will be limited to well over average wages?\”
This democratic thing that vox populi, vox dei did mean that the campaign of outrage over such a, to the hoi polloi entirely reasonable, limit on benefits couldn\’t really gain any traction.
And they\’ve not really been able to gain much traction on any of the other issues since. Moving to only paying, what is it, 30% of median rents, the bedroom tax, all these other things, all of which are going to have a much greater effect, these just haven\’t generated outrage on the Clapton Omnibus. For that first roar from the left turned out to be against something that middle England thought was entirely acceptable. And I do mean middle England here, those on mean and median wages.
Why should someone get more than I sodding earn in total just to pay their sodding rent? Move you feckless bastards.
Whether it should have been this way is an entirely different matter. But I do think that this is the way it was. The protests against benefits cuts shot their bolt too early on the wrong subject. And much of the population just isn\’t listening to their wails as a result.