Ouch's fearsome Bitch eats famous disabled people for breakfast. And then spits them out again. She tackles other controversial disability topics with all the subtlety of a hammer cracking a nut. Don't say we didn't warn you!
Disability Bitch can't run and can't hide
12th August 2010
• Become DB's friend on Facebook
Readers, this week I awoke to someone on the radio telling me that the government plans to send bounty hunters after benefits claimants. I checked, it wasn't a dream. I don't mind admitting that I crawled out of bed more nervously than usual, and cautiously peeked out of my window for strange men with huge nets preparing to drag me kicking and screaming to the DWP.
Once I'd injected my daily dose of caffeine - I get it prescribed on the NHS, did you hear that, tabloid editors? - I dug a bit deeper into these news reports.
It seems the scary and evocative term 'Bounty Hunter' is being used to describe a new government initiative to weed out benefit fraud. They're partnering with private finance agencies more used to doing things like credit reference checks, and asking them to analyse the spending patterns of benefit claimants to see if they're consistent with someone receiving only a pitifully low government handout.
No nets, then? No rifles? That's a bit dull for government sponsored operatives who sound like they belong in a high octane thriller movie.
Rest assured, these companies are to be paid by results so they've got an incentive to check up on all of us. Don't worry about me, though, I've cancelled my weekly caviar order and told my No-Legged Friend not to book the three week holiday hike up Mount Everest we've been planning for months. Can't catch me!
It's time to go 'off grid', crips. I'm going to keep radio silence for the foreseeable future, stop using my Nectar card and mobile phone, and only pay for goods in cash. I've done a sweep of my house with a bug detector I got off eBay, and thankfully all seems fine so far.
Let's dwell on this term 'Bounty Hunter' that the media are using. It makes a change that it's the officials being given catchy names and not the claimants, and I'm actually a bit jealous of this. But John Humphreys - my second favourite journalist called John, after Jon Snow - was heard to mutter to welfare minister Chris Grayling on Radio 4, that the term was being bandied about by "your lot" - i.e. the government. If that's true and it's not just the newspapers then ... what's next?
Grayling spent the next several minutes distancing himself from the term.
In the interests of co-operation, I'd like to help government and the media to really ramp up the benefit debate to fever pitch. Perhaps a few action heroes in armed combat over benefit fraud is indeed the way forward. Perhaps they should make a propaganda movie like the anti Hitler efforts that kept Britain's pecker up during the war. How about the following:
2. Credit Record Inception - Your bank account is the scene of the crime. To be honest, I'd be more open to the idea of trained individuals rifling through my bank details if they were all as hunky as Leonardo DiCaprio in this Summer's blockbuster movie Inception, where he steals thoughts from the minds of unsuspecting individuals. Think about it, DWP.
3. The Expendables - Oh, wait, that's an actual film? With Sylvester Stallone in it. But I'd assumed it was about benefit claimants. In my head, I've imagine a whole script based around a group of undeserving work-shy scroungers who drink champagne and live off the state, and are hunted down by a group of tenacious good guys who, against the odds, kick them off benefits and find them worthwhile employment.
C'mon readers, I'm sure you have better suggestions. Let's help the politicians out with a bit of creative thuggery. They were only too happy to take the public's ideas on budget cuts, so I'm sure they won't object. Tell me in the comments below or on my Facebook page.
Live community panel
Listen to our regular razor sharp talk show online, or subscribe to it as a podcast. Spread the word: it's where disability and reality almost collide.