There's something undeniably satisfying when, the morning after the general election, you find out that you were right all along. Conservative-minded people, while being shy and cautious about their views in public, probably popped a bottle of bubbly behind closed curtains to celebrate a well-deserved Tory victory. But if you're from a left-leaning lot, besides from leaving roses near that monstrous tombstone - provided you can find it, there's nothing else left to do.
The sense of the end of times and nothingness persisted until the news broke which proved the nastiness of the Tory party. The news was made by a bunch of bleak civil servants who suggested, in a departmental report, a way to tackle the expanding demand for 'Access to Work' programme is to impose a cap on the amount of funds one can receive. The Independent reported the story as 'DWP releases document on cuts to disabled work access scheme hours after election result'.
Usually, reports like these wouldn't break the news, especially when there are other exciting news to report. But this time such trivial story hit the nerve because it has given a sense of being right to the people whose dreams of perpetual Milifandom have been shattered. Not surprisingly, the whole Twitterati went into frenzy. Sure, the Tories might have fooled the electorate, which is 'evil' and 'stupid' according to many sore has-beens, with their fastest growing economy, plummeting unemployment rate, brilliant schools, and tax cuts for ordinary people - but deep down the party is inherently vile. These cuts to the programme which helps the disabled to get into work - a very conservative principle - is about to be cut. A true 'gotcha' moment, as they say in the land of freedom.
However, nothing is further from the truth. The left always craves to rule the country, but very few seem to understand how basic governmental institutions operate. You can recall classic Yes, Minister series, which shows that politicians aren't in charge of the whole operation and they have to work closely with civil servants. Government departments, on the other hand, have to abide to the direction imposed by a government. We know that making government spending more efficient was the primary objective established by the last coalition government. In that case, the purpose of civil servant is to fulfil such objectives and offer policy suggestions that could help - something the report exactly did.
But just like the bedroom tax, which isn't really a tax but rather a reduction in benefit - the so-called plan to cut Access to Work programme isn't really a cut. You really can't find anything in the document which suggests that the scope or budget of the programme should be reduced. What the document considers is imposing a cap on the amount one person can receive from the programme. Depending on the cap's size, this could lead to savings of somewhere between £8million and £1million.
'So, basically, under the banner of savings, these funds will be flushed away while the disabled suffer,' you probably thought. Luckily, as the report actually argues, those saved funds won't be spent on private dinners in Mayfair. The saved money will be used to help more people and include them in the programme. The additional number of the disabled government could help with those saved fund is between 400 and 2,601. In other words, the budget won't be cut but rather optimised to serve and help more people with disabilities.
The core objective of Access to Work is to get the disabled into work. The success of the programme will be judged by the number of people getting into the workforce. Undeniably, by imposing a cap on the amount of help one can receive will lead to a cut in welfare for a small minority of programme's participants - it will be at their expense that a great deal of other disabled people will finally be able to feel the joy of work. What is strange here, however, is the left's morally confusing stance to prefer a lesser number of the disabled getting help because of Access to Work programme.
Nobody should be surprised that this story has been blown out of the proportion. Once vanity, confidence, and failure are mixed, you get people turning into conspiratorial lunatics. When the Scottish Nationalist Party lost the referendum, some nationalists were certain that the voting was rigged. When Nigel Farage lost South Thanet, people started assuming that the establishment has just pulled the greatest trick ever. Similarly, a decisive Tory victory empowered the suspicious side of the left. You see, for them, the Conservatives are here to get us, take our human rights, bring back hanging, privatise the NHS, employ everyone in soul-crushing call centres on new minus-hours contracts, kick the North in the crotch and laugh at it, and put all of us on the food bank diet.
I really hope I don't have to tell you how false this conspiracy is, although I might just be a part of that exact vile Tory plot.