If the mark of a civilised society is how it treats its most vulnerable members, then Britain has a long way to ride in the civilisation stakes.
Remploy disabled workers protesting across Britain against the latest conservative coalition plans to throw them onto the cobbles might well phrase their criticism of government insensitivity even more sharply.
Our political elite appears to have a real problem over workers with disabilities having well-paid jobs, with full union representation, and is intent on dismantling the Remploy network of factories.
This isn't the first assault against Remploy. New Labour led the charge some years ago on the same patronisingly dishonest grounds as the current government.
But then work and pensions secretary Peter Hain reacted positively to a concerted union-led campaign, stripping the company's bosses of their power to shut factories and promising support for a campaign to win new public procurement contracts.
He also put his money where his ministerial mouth was by offering £111 million a year over five years to invest in Remploy's future.
However, two major drawbacks have hampered Remploy's development - the incompetence of its board of management and the failure of Britain's public authorities, both national and local, to award contracts to Remploy factories, preferring to outsource to overseas low-wage economies.
As GMB general secretary Paul Kenny pointed out back in 2007: "If the government can prop up private equity tax-dodgers, it can fund Remploy."
Substitute bankers for private equity tax-dodgers and Kenny's words are as relevant today as they were nearly five years ago when Remploy factories faced the axe.
Our parliamentary representatives never turn a hair when they send generation after generation of working-class squaddies overseas to be used as cannon fodder in conflicts to control scarce natural resources, prop up useful dictators or intimidate independent-minded national leaders.
Some of our troops are killed in these imperialist forays while many more return home having lost limbs or suffered mental trauma.
Remploy factories were set up in 1945 by Clement Attlee's Labour government to provide useful work for service personnel disabled, either physically or mentally, during the second world war.
It was an act of recompense for these men and women's sacrifice and it was also enlightened self-interest in offering meaningful work, with decent pay and conditions, so that people could earn their own living rather than being dependent on benefits.
If there was any honesty behind government rhetoric about wanting people to develop self-respect by moving from incapacity benefit into work, ministers would extol Remploy's example.
But these petty-minded penny-pinchers don't give a damn for workers' self-respect.
Their priority is looking after fat cats like Barclays boss Bob Diamond by slashing five percentage points off their top-rate tax band rather than insisting that they pay a more realistic amount in direct taxation.
The government's twin obsessions with dumping disabled people off incapacity benefit and dumping other disabled people on the dole is financial.
It wants to take more money off working-class people, in work or out, with or without disabilities, so that it can meet the needs of the Bob Diamonds of this country.
What workers need is a government that would squeeze the rich to defend Remploy jobs and provide more economic investment to provide employment for a million youngsters without work and with precious little hope.
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