'Right Dee' swings behind UKIP as she betrays those on Benefits Street

Tue, 30/09/2014 - 13:12 -- nick

Channel 4's Benefits Street was one of the TV lowlights of the last year.

The participants were clearly chosen to fit stereotypes rather than to provide a realistic view of the experience of life on benefits, and misinformation was fed to viewers by both programme makers and those on screen, including the key idea that nine out of ten people on the street were unemployed.

This is TV documentary though, so a 'breakout star' has to be appointed by the media.

In this case it was Deirdre Kelly, known as 'White Dee', the self-appointed adviser to the street's claimants.

Previously identified as a Labour voter, she has been addressing the Tory party conference this week, and has some reasonable views on what is wrong with the system.

For example, she recognises that there is too much emphasis on punishment:

"I think people are too quick to sanction people who are looking for jobs. You do have to deal with it on an individual basis.

"There are people out there who are very happy to sit at home and receive their benefits and not physically look for a job. But I know people who apply for 20, 30 jobs a week."

She also recognises that the problems for unemployed people start at the top, with Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith:

"You have someone who I think is completely out of touch with the real world making decisions on people who do live in the real world.

Dee agrees with UnemployedNet that services need to take more account of the views of their users:

"Just because you are a little bit common doesn't mean that you are stupid and you wouldn't be able to have a good input."

All reasonable stuff.

So why, in the same conversation, did she confirm she would be voting for UKIP?

The party makes clear that it supports compulsory enrolment on workfare programmes, despite apparently standing for freedom and despite their poor record in supporting people into work.

Its low-tax standpoint means it supports lower public spending, and is likely to cut benefits to support this, including reducing all welfare payments to the same 'basic cash payment' level.

Some of the more looney fringes of the party - and this is a party made up almost entirely of looney fringes - have called for unemployed people to be banned from voting.

Last year blogger Johnny Void revealed how UKIP had deleted a page on its benefits policies from its website, and that this page had called claimants "a parasitic underclass of scroungers."

UKIP almost make the Tories look like Benthamites, and the only reason we don't know even more damaging information is because they refuse to provide it.

Deidre Kelly's support for this right-wing rag-tag group betrays all those she claimed to want to help on her street.