WORK and Pensions Minister John Hutton said yesterday that lie detectors will be used to help root out benefit cheats in job centres later this year.
Once again the Labour government is setting out to criminalise a big section of the working class.
This is for the sole purpose of cutting the amount paid out in benefits by giving minor civil servants the power to terrorise and condemn people to hunger by refusing a benefit claim because they think that they have detected something unusual in the tone of a person’s voice.
The millions that will be saved by framing up large numbers of claimants as liars will no doubt be transferred to the rich as is the Labour government’s policy, through tax breaks and tax cuts.
The hypocrisy of ministers like Hutton knows no bounds. They oppress the poor in order to fatten the rich.
If they were serious about the unmasking of liars and cheats they would make lie detector tests mandatory every time a government minister opened his mouth.
After all Blair lied his way to war with Iraq, and routinely lies are being told about the progress of that war and the war in Afghanistan.
Every time a minister draws up some dodgy dossier or other, or even makes an election manifesto pledge, a lie detector should be on hand.
And what about the cash for peerages scandal! Lie detectors would be invaluable when the police question the Prime Minister and his top advisers. In fact, already, one adviser has complained that another lobbied her to lie in her deposition to the police.
Lie detectors for these kinds of people are essential, but they are being reserved for use against the poorest people in society.
The politicians and the ruling class consider that they are above the law. As far as they are concerned, law is something that is used to oppress the working class.
Today the bosses and its political servants are very much interested in smashing and destroying the Welfare State and its institutions, whether it is free state education, the NHS, council housing, final salary pensions and early retirement for workers.
Criminalisation is a vital aid to this struggle, in which the middle classes are made to feel that the poor are out to get them and therefore must be beaten.
The latest innovations are CCTV cameras linked to microphones to combat ‘anti-social behaviour’ in the working class with loudspeaker instructions to pick up litter, not to congregate in groups, not to make noise, not to play in the streets, not to allow your dog to foul the footpath and not to loiter in the streets.
These are to be used in working class areas to keep order, and impose ruling class discipline. The message is that the working class is criminal and has to be watched and disciplined for every minute of the day and night.
They follow on from the issuing of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) to tens of thousands of youth, workers and even pensioners.
Then there are the ‘problem families’ in the working class. The government loves beating them up with benefit cuts and repressive measures.
Their children are to be monitored from the age of three for anti-social tendencies, while those ‘problem’ families which do not respond to state compulsion and cringe in front of the state are to be evicted from their homes and placed in special accommodation, secured and patrolled by security guards who will prevent these families from causing untold damage to the world.
Then there are the schemes to force not just single parents but people who are on incapacity benefit into work, or else terminate their benefits.
This is Blair’s brave new world, where the preservation of capitalism requires a multi-faceted police state that controls very minute of people’s lives, observing them and disciplining them into submission.
There is not the slightest doubt that these measures will stir up revolt and revolution. In fact, in this crisis ridden capitalist society you are only free through organising the socialist revolution.