Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Rape of Logic

The "rape clause" is abhorrent. It requires women claiming Child Benefit for a third or subsequent child to prove that the child was conceived by rape. Introduced by George Osborne in 2016, the clause was spotted by the SNP's Alison Thewliss MP, who has led a growing campaign to have it scrapped.

The rape clause means that a woman claiming Child Benefit will have to relive her rape each time she changes​ her claim or circumstances, when she moves home or work or has her benefits reviewed. 18 years of remembering and reminding officialdom of the violent event that changed her life.

It will be poor women who will suffer most. Women of wealth can avoid the trauma of proving rape by simply not claiming the benefit. But women with less wealth or none need the £2,500 a year, the money that was meant to help them and their children. When you remember that there are 500,000 women and girls living in poverty in Scotland you get an idea of the scale of the problem.

The rape clause attacks the poorest women. It was imposed on them by David Cameron and George Osborne, then the alpha males of the Tory party, so like the subject it touches it is about male power over women.

But the rape clause runs against Tory logic. Isn't the Tory party, the party of the traditional family? The party of the family has ensured that traditional families whose children are conceived in a loving, caring relationship are less well off. It's a tax on larger loving families. What was George thinking of? Going against the traditional family values of the Tory party?

George, like David and now Theresa May, has an utterly cynical, selfish view of power. Ethics, or a moral line in favour of the family, just don't appear on his mental map. Selfish power, weilded through the neoliberal policy of screwing the poor to soak the rich, is his primary interest.

And Theresa May's announcement of elections in June is in the same, cynical, power-building line of thought. Theresa wants a dominant position for her right wing neoliberal Brexit branch of Tory politics, so she is grabbing the chance to crush the weakened Labour party.

This is the degrading state of Tory politics at Westminster. Selfish, greedy Tories dominating a parliament that has lost any sense of caring for people in need. A Tory parliament that defies its own beliefs, its own logic, to hit poor women who have been raped.

Scotland must free itself now from the shackles of cynical Tory power. At the local and now General elections vote till you boak. And sign the Scrap the Rape Clause petition.

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