There have now been a number of times when I have compared the disability hate propaganda used by the right-wing press in the UK today to the disability hate propaganda that was used in Nazi Germany. This often attracts strong, but misplaced indignation from some quarters, with the favourite response being that ‘we are not gassing disabled people today.’ That may be so, but it is only the propaganda that is being compared, not the follow through. In any case, I do not consider causing disabled people to commit suicide in high numbers to be morally better than gassing disabled people. It is Social Darwinism for cowards.
The question of whether the Nazi comparison is valid is quickly and easily answered by looking at what is going on now and what went on in Nazi Germany. The papers mentioned below have been referred to Full Fact time and time again and found to be telling lies. It is extremely damaging to disabled people and the worst example I have come across is this:
Iain Duncan Smith on benefits Britain
Here, Duncan Smith states:
“What I cannot bear is the idea that this country was the workshop of the world. It gave everybody the free market, the industrial revolution. You think what we did to change the world. This was the place that everyone looked to.
“Yet we have managed to create a block of people in Britain who do not add anything to the greatness of this country.
“They have become conditioned to be users of services, not providers of money. This is a huge part of the reason we have this massive deficit. We have had to borrow vast sums of money. We went on this inflated spending spree.”
Compare that with:
See the poster on the right of that link under the '[b]ackground' heading, which has the text:
“60,000 Reichsmarks is what this person suffering from a hereditary defect costs the People’s community during his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money too.”
The Government will try to limit or deny its culpability in all of this by saying that they are not responsible for what the press write. Yet their mode of operation casts doubt on this defence, with their constantly releasing, through their agents, the DWP, ‘twisted facts, manipulated statistics and distorted data to win support for its drive to cut costs..’ as Ian Birrell put it. They persistently release this information to all the usual suspects in the media – The Sun, The Mail, The Express and The Telegraph, even though they know perfectly well that these papers have a long and well-established propensity to stir up hatred against disabled people. They have their excuses; like they are legally obliged to give out such information at regular intervals, but the way they distort information and decide who they give it to mean that these excuses will not hold. I do not think it is any great exaggeration to say that the Government, the DWP and the right-wing media are engaged in hate crime against disabled people on an industrial scale.
Thankfully there are some decent and principled journalists out there who are saying enough is enough and a stop must be put to this cowardly bullying of disabled people. In my list of further reading below you will find some superb articles by Sonia Poulton and Ian Birrell, The latest written by Sonia is especially relevant to this topic.
Why does David Cameron insist on cuts that sickened his own party?
Welfare Reforms: Where is our national conscienchttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gife?
We all want benefit reform, Mr. Cameron, but hiding the truth is not going to achieve it.
The demonisation of the disabled is a chilling sign of the times
A whirlwind of hatred against the disabled