IT seems, with ease, that the Tories find a way every week to be more despicable than they were in the last. Between them and Keir Starmer’s now undeniably morally devoid Labour Party, I really am spoiled for choice when it comes to finding content for my column. I could write a book on the last two weeks alone, and it wouldn’t be my kindest work.

I have never been more grounded in my political convictions than I am in this current moment, or more embarrassed to be associated with this political union. Putting up with the Tories is bad enough, though twisted, at least we have come to expect the depravity from them – it’s their whole brand.

But I have to say, watching Starmer and his brass-necked frontbenchers cosplaying as their supposed opposition and betraying the very foundations of their party and movement is enough to put anyone with a shred of moral integrity off their dinner.

READ MORE: 'Heartless' Tory benefit cuts would force sick and disabled back into work

The only crumb of peace my soul has found throughout recent discourse is that Scotland is on the right side of history. Leading the way in humanity, as it often does. It really is a terrible shame that our international voice is tied to the monumental embarrassment that is the UK. For now.

As is the Tories’ consistent Kool-Aid of choice, the latest announcement in a long list of policies attacking the most vulnerable in society will force disabled people to work from home, or risk losing financial support.

This week’s empty dog whistle, which you’d be forgiven for thinking was cooked up in 90 seconds over the Prime Minister’s tea break given its lack of substance, turns attention to the so-called “benefits crackdown” and will rain down once again on disabled people.

Those who are, famously, treated with nothing but respect and dignity within the current welfare system. Probably due a crackdown, being so notoriously resource-heavy and all. On a completely unrelated note – I wonder how Michelle Mone and her yacht are getting on with all that hard work they’re doing?

But I digress.

The National: There is ‘no easy solution’ to the pensions gender gap, Minister for Pensions Laura Trott has told an industry gathering (David Woolfall/UK Parliament/PA)

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Laura Trott (above), suggested this week that people have a “duty” to work. A notion that in itself is flawed – and I fear we as a society are not ready to hear such “woke” and outlandish ideas – but no actually, there is no such duty.

On the contrary, I think we should be left alone to live our lives however we see fit, and contribute to society in whatever way sparks joy for us individually.

We should all have access to what we need to live, regardless of our ability to contribute economically. We are on this earth to live, the idea that we are on it to work and serve until we can physically no longer manage is one that was man-made by rich people to serve their own interests. And arguably, the people society deems most “successful” are often the people who actually work the least.

The term “work” in itself is lazy, what do we even mean by it? Because work and contribution are two different things – I’d argue contribution holds far more weight.

READ MORE: Disabled community must not be left behind in travel just transition

We really do live in a capitalist hellscape, and it’s nothing other than embarrassing that we as human beings created this for ourselves. Akin to building your own prison and sentencing yourself to life. A hamster wheel we will remain on until we find the courage to reject it.

There really will be no escaping that “woke” label after this one, will there? Thankfully, I’m glad to retain my wokeness in a society that feels like it is ever-declining towards inhumanity.

The first thought I had when this policy was announced was they really have no idea, do they?

Because, while I can almost see the logic they employed (though in the most diplomatic language I can muster – it is stupid) in practice it is almost guaranteed to fail in its purpose.

Disabled people already struggle to gain employment, even those who want to work and are physically able to. We are discriminated against at every possible step of the employment process – from attraction to retention. Those who are lucky enough to get a metaphorical foot in the door, almost exclusively experience difficulty and barriers once inside. Even if, against the odds, we manage to do well, we are more likely to be overlooked for promotion and often find ourselves stifled.

What makes them think employers are all of a sudden going to welcome the disabled community with open arms? They don’t welcome us with open arms now, quite the opposite. Even if they do open the door, the chance that the needs of this population are going to be met once inside the walls is extremely slim.

READ MORE: Scottish Government criticised at UN meeting on rights of disabled people

I have been consistently vocal about my own experiences at work and how challenging it has been for me to establish myself for no reason other than that I am disabled. Employment has felt more like a twisted game of wizards’ chess with Ron Weasley – i.e. one that I am destined to lose – than an enjoyable experience.

Arguably, the toll of the constant need to be resilient and steadfast in the advocacy for my own needs in this environment has disabled me to the point of incapacity more than once. From first-hand experience, forcing disabled people to work when they are not able to is torturous and will result only in disabling people even further.

The effect on your mental health of being embroiled in the sheer indignity of the employment cycle when you are unable to cope with it is severe and long-lasting. It has been years since I had a bad experience, but those experiences still haunt me to this day and will follow me for the rest of my working life.

Being forced to endure that or face destitution adds another layer to an already impossible reality.

Let it be on record now; at best people are going to get sick and be traumatised, and at worst this policy has the power to kill people.

If we want disabled people to work, instead of impoverishing them to the point that they have no choice, it might be more effective to redefine what work actually means, and focus our efforts on making it accessible, while also accepting that some people simply cannot work within the parameters that we have decided define the notion of work – and that should be accepted.

Disabled people have a right to live with dignity and respect – irrespective of how that is achieved – we are human beings, not walking pound signs.

This is but another kick in the teeth to a community that has been dragged across hot coals from the minute this lot took office. From having benefits slashed, to being systematically humiliated by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Being left to die disproportionately during the pandemic and hit harder than anyone else during a Tory-made cost of living crisis – disabled people don’t matter to this government.

We never have, and for as long as they have the keys to Number 10, or indeed their wannabe pals across the chamber do, it is clear that we are going to suffer.