Monday, 13 May 2013

Warsi's appalling response to tragedy

Here we go again. The government misunderstanding the concept of 'fairness', or at least a government minister justifying a cruel policy on the grounds of fairness. This time it is Baroness Warsi in response the sad news story of a grandmother committing suicide because of the impact of the government's 'bedroom tax'. The lady had to pay an extra £20 per week in rent to remain in the home she had lived in for 18 years, and in which as a single mother she had raised her children. It was money she simply didn't have.   Baroness Warsi saw fit to put this tragic consequence of government policy in the context of 'fairness'. It has nothing to do with fairness.

I have explained in a previous article why this concept of 'fairness' is flawed. It is based on the false premise that treating everyone the same regardless of circumstances is fair. It isn't. Quite the opposite. It is very unfair indeed. Justifying suffering or cruelty on the grounds that others are also suffering has always been a false prospectus. Making more people suffer does little to alleviate the misery of those who are already suffering.

If I find one person with a cut finger, it doesn't staunch the flow of blood if I cut the fingers of others. It simply increases the suffering. That is not fairness. What Baroness Warsi is referring to of course is that those in the private rented sector are already being penalised for 'spare' bedrooms. Indeed they are. That is unfair and it doesn't make it any fairer to punish those in the social sector.

There is that old adage: two wrongs don't make a right. It is one that Warsi and her government colleagues need to understand.

 

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