An Open Letter To David Cameron: “I Rely On ESA To Keep Me In Teabags”

Same Difference

From yesterday’s New Statesman:

Another day, another rummage down the back of the benefits sofa to find a spare £12bn. This week: changing Employment Support Allowance to incentivise ill people to get back to work.

One problem: I already have the best incentive to stop being ill and get back to work. It’s called “being ill”.

I would love to go back to work because if I were able to work, I would no longer be sick. Long-term illness nibbles away at your identity from the edges, taking out chunks of the things that make you you: the friends you meet, the shops you wander into, the job you do. I would love to work, if only because it would give me something to use in small talk, a context in which to place myself, the grit around which an imperfect pearl of who I am can begin to re-form.

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One thought on “An Open Letter To David Cameron: “I Rely On ESA To Keep Me In Teabags”

  1. The article conveys an interesting viewpoint,and raises other questions too, ….it is sad that people who have chronic health problems,physical or emotional subsequently get named or shamed for it. Some labelled as ‘ill’ for the mental/emotional distress they experience do face serious disadvantage not only from the effects of the experience, its treatment but also socially and as regards employment. The job market is competitive, currently ‘full employment’ impossible.There is no doubt in my mind wellbeing is personal and political, thanks Daniel!

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