#banbenefits

What I thought would happen was that it would become a mixture of those who got the satire and those that didn’t – I thought we’d have some kind of meta-Poe’s Law hashtag burst for a while and we’d all learn a lesson about how ridiculous the attacks on benefit claimants really are.

What actually happened was that virtually everyone got the joke immediately, and then promptly ran with it in a way that was far funnier, far more honest and far more sincere than I ever expected.

It actually became rather beautiful, with people sharing their stories and experiences of being on benefits with a sense of humour and self-awareness that could never be found behind a thousand closed doors in Westminster.

It also solidified for me the sensation that the public aren’t blind to the divide and conquer tactics of the government, nor the endless negative propaganda being peddled by the papers. When the BBC starts going down the line of asking if Mick Philpott is representational of JSA claimants you know we’re in trouble, but the public seem well aware of how bullshitty this all really is. I think everyone did good today.

These are my pick of the tweets –> #banbenefits

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