Over the last year, people have come to recognise the most common symptom of a dangerous disease called Cleggitis. Sufferers invariably promise one thing and then do another.
At a superficial level, such people can be quite attractive. In the UK, there was a sudden public outbreak of support for them about a year ago. However, that has fallen considerably in recent months – especially amongst students and pensioners - as promises made to them have been broken, one after another.
But, last week, doctors recognised a new symptom and it appears to be contagious.
Let me explain.
A prominent sufferer – called Nick – was on Radio Sheffield. Two pensioners called in to ask him why he was cutting their winter fuel payments by £50 to £100 a year. First Nick told them that the winter fuel payments weren’t being cut and then he told them that, far from a cut, he’d actually increased them. Well, as we all know, it has now been confirmed that winter fuel payments next year will be £50 to £100 less than this year.
So, doctors have added new symptoms to Cleggitis – first, continuing denial in the face of the facts and, secondly, promising you’ve done something when you haven’t.
Cleggitis is obviously highly contagious because, just two days before, Nick’s best friend David also showed symptoms. When David was asked at Prime Minister’s Question Time why he proposed to remove the mobility component of disability living allowance from 80,000 care home residents, he answered “The short answer is that we are not.” Unfortunately for David, the accurate answer was completely different.
Only the day before, David’s friend George had published his Budget Red Book which confirmed that the government would “remove the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance from claimants in residential care”. Further, David’s friend Iain has a Welfare Reform Bill, which says exactly the same thing, going through the House of Commons right now.
It was little surprise then that, forgetting his TV microphone was still turned on, Nick told David: “If we keep doing this we won’t find anything to bloody disagree on in the bloody TV debates.”
Take my advice – stay well away from this disease!