Archive for October 2012
Here is an update about the female disability activist who was questioned by two police officers last week in her home at midnight in relation to comments she’d posted on Facebook critical of government cuts and specifically the Department of Work and Pensions and their attacks on the rights of disability claimants.
read the rest of the story at Police question disability activist about ‘criminal’ posts on Facebook – UPDATE.
If I could force Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs, politicians, and supporters to read what follows, I would. It was sent to me today in response to my article, Bedroom tax will put people on streets while homes go empty, and details exactly what the author – a fellow blogger going by the monicker Clarebelz – expects will happen to her after the bedroom tax and other so-called welfare ‘reforms’ come into effect, starting in April 2013.This is not fiction.It is what this person expects to become her reality.While you are reading it, please ask yourself: Do you want to live in a society that treats its most vulnerable like this?
“As the deadline for paying bedroom tax and council tax draws near I, along with others commenting here and elsewhere, are feeling ever more hopeless about the whole situation. I just wanted to go to bed when I came back, unable to face another day worrying about how the hell I’m going to manage when I’m hardly managing now.
“This disgusting, despicable government has stolen the last two years from me through fear. I’ve just started painting again and doing other creative things that I used to, but it’s really hard to feel inspired when you’ve had the life sucked out of you, especially when your illness leaves you with little life left to do anything.
“By the way, my care plan assessor inquired about the bedroom tax for me from someone she knows at the DWP. The assessor said that the bedroom tax hits those of working age, which I knew anyway, but – interestingly – she said that the DWP person told her that the government has informed them that, once they have dealt with housing benefit in relation to people of working age, they will then move on to apply the same sanctions to pensioners, because many larger homes belong to pensioners who won’t move.
“It’s a horrible feeling.”
Read the full post Living under the threat of welfare 'reform' by Mike Sivier.
Before the general election in 2010, David Cameron reminded us that Tony Blair had summed up his ambitions in three words, “Education, education, education”, then said he could manage his in three letters: “N.H.S.”How wrong he was!We now know that the correct three-word slogan would have been: “Omnishambles, omnishambles, omnishambles”!
“Tonight one of the UK’s wonderful campaigners working hard for DPAC Cardiff had her home forced into by police just before midnight for ‘criminal’ acts against the dwp? All she’s done is highlight the deaths and criminal acts of the dwp and their henchmen, Atos. No charges have been brought against her – but this is clearly an act of intimidation. I personally stand beside her and I’m sure you’ll all wish to offer your support.”
We are calling for support to petition UK Border Agency, Westminster, and the Welsh Government from unlawfully deporting Fariman Saleh and her two children.
At present, there is no confirmation if the family has already been put on a plane whilst Fariman’s eldest daughter, solicitors, and campaigning groups are working around the clock to bring this case to justice.
Cardiff, 18th October, 6 am. UK Border Agency (UKBA) raids an address in Cardiff – the home of Fariman Saleh and two of her children Ibrahim and Lyali.
It’s early in the morning, but the officers don’t pass unnoticed by the neighbourhood, and the friends of the family are all out in the street to protest that the family not be taken away, 20 days before a hearing date for a judicial review of Fariman’s case.
Read the rest of the story and sign the petition here- http://www.change.org/petitions/uk-border-agency-westminster-welsh-government-and-g4s-stop-fariman-saleh-and-her-children-from-being-deported
We have seen the unemployed attacked and demonised by this government, supported by cherry-picked inflammatory stories in the media; we have seen, once the popular myth of the idle unemployed become ingrained in the public psyche, an attack on the disabled, with similar inflammatory and misleading stories about disability cheats; the working man has long been demonised for being greedy and expecting a fair days pay for a fair days work- and even those hard working folk demonised with Tory jibes of being the laziest workers in Europe and the plan to have us sell our employment rights for a few worthless shares.
Now, the Tories finally show their true intent of an all out attack on the working class- or shall I use the dirty word ‘proletariat’ with an idea by Lord Bichard (an apt and descriptive title) to have pensioners work for their pensions-
“Are there ways in which we could use incentives to encourage older people, if not to be in full time work, to be making a contribution?” he asked. We have already made a contribution; we have paid into our pensions all our lives, and those of us who have been unfortunate enough to be disabled or unemployed cannot be penalised further on reaching retirement age because some wealthy lord, who probably has no need of a pension will get a gold plated, guaranteed final salary pension, worth more than any working man could possibly dream of- the sort of money we see as a lottery win. How bloody well dare he!
“…and older people who are not very old could be making a useful contribution to civil society in that respect…” what is the man talking about? Older people who are not very old? The man needs to see a doctor- blimey, if I went around making comments like that, they’d likely put me away, never mind sit in the Lord’s.
“…the government should use the pensions system to “incentivise” retired people.” What on earth does that comment mean? I’ll tell you what it means- it means force the buggers to work for their pensions so I don’t have to contribute towards them from my massive pelf; that’s what it means.
“We are now prepared to say to people who are not looking for work, if you don’t look for work you don’t get benefits, so if you are old and you are not contributing in some way or another maybe there is some penalty attached to that.” That is completely misleading- I’ll go so far as to say a downright, calculated lie. We have always said if you don’t actively seek work, you aren’t entitled to benefits; it isn’t a new idea by this government- or its think-tank cronies. But to use it to suggest if you are drawing your entitlement, to which you have already contributed you should be penalised for not contributing further is a statement that beggars belief.
“Professor James Sefton, of Imperial College, London, a former adviser to the Treasury, told the committee young people were effectively subsidising the older generation – and he could not understand why they were not protesting about it.” That is the way the pension system has always worked; the young are not protesting because they understand that, and they understand too that someday, another generation will subsidise their pensions; this is nothing more than a divided and conquer strategy, to get younger people on board and saying yes, why should we pay, make the old buggers work for their pensions.
I cannot believe and never thought I would see such provocative attacks on the very people who create the wealth people like Bichard enjoy; but to begin demonising pensioners is a step too far. If this becomes anything more than the ramblings of an out of touch peer, if it ever sees any likelihood of fruition, I foresee a rising of the common people, the like of which this country has not seen since 1642.
If we do not hear Cameron, Clegg and Miliband condemn this thinking as untenable, then this will become policy; we will see an attempt to force pensioners back into work for the benefits they have struggled to contribute to for most of their working lives.
There will be no rest, no golden years, no autumn of our lives as we are made to toil until we drop.
This final thrust by a ruling, unelected, un-mandated elite can be the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning; only we can decide which.
We can dust off our cloth caps, ready to doff them in deference to our self-appointed rulers, or take our ploughshares and beat them into swords. The time is coming where we will be forced to choose.
This cartoon by David Simonds, from The Guardian, illustrates the problem – fat-cat businesses back Cameron while the working-class poor can only watch while they starve.Money buys power in Cameron’s Britain.Look at all the shareholders in private healthcare companies, who have donated nearly £19 million to the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, and have received NHS contracts worth billions of pounds in return.