Left Watch

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Labour MP writes of gruel, rotten bones and putrid horseflesh in childish attack on Cameron's "workhouse ethos"

By Tim Montgomerie

OTT It's been a while since I nominated a Labour politician for the Order of the OTT but Tristram Hunt certainly deserves recognition for his ridiculous piece in today's Daily Mirror:

"Not far from where young David Cameron went to school at Eton, there used to stand a workhouse for the poor of Victorian England. Husbands were separated from wives; mothers from children. When Elizabeth Wyse on Christmas Day 1840 tried to spend the night with her daughter, the workhouse director dragged her from the room, locked her in the workhouse cage, and left her in solitary confinement with no coat, no bedding-straw, and no chamber pot for 24 hours. The following morning, she was served her fellow inmates' cold gruel before being sent back to her soiled cage to clean it. With her hands. The Victorians disliked the poor. At Andover workhouse in Hampshire, single women with illegitimate children were forced to wear a yellow stripe across their grey gowns if they wanted to eat. Young boys were sent out to work in the tanneries and were so starved they gnawed on rotten bones and putrid horseflesh to stay alive. The cuts we are witnessing today to Britain's public services will not send us back to the worst days of the 19th century. But the approach of David Cameron and George Osborne to the welfare state reeks of the 1800s."

Hunt's garbage is in full here.