austerity

DWP death squad strikes again

As you may already know, I won a PIP tribunal on the 22nd February, more than a year after my payments were stopped. They reduced the rates I was entitled to and although I feel this is incorrect I won’t challenge it because I want as little to do with the authorities as possible. Prior to this win I was in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance at the reduced rate of £245 per fortnight, because disability premiums were removed along with personal independence payments. My rent alone was £550 a month never mind bills and other expenses.

With PIP renewed I was due a backdate of various premiums. PIP is a passported benefit meaning it enhances any other benefits you might be claiming and unlocks others. Imagine my surprise then (not) when I received a letter from ESA a fortnight after the tribunal informing me I was no longer entitled to it because I failed to attend a work capability assessment on the 21st February. That was the day before the pip tribunal.

esa

Never mind that I had already spoken to someone at the benefits centre informing them I could not attend two assessments in as many days because I struggle to ready myself for these interactions at the best of times. Never mind that they had insisted I attend an assessment a few weeks prior to this and my non attendance was met with a visit from an official who reported back to them that even a home visit was a distressing event, as he personally witnessed. Never mind that my representative had supplied all the paperwork that was made available to the pip tribunal on two separate occasions to two different departments concerned with ESA, who kept insisting communication was slow but now that they had everything, it wouldn’t be a problem.

They still cut me off.

This is a deliberate move to destabilise me. They did it last time I applied for pip, in 2013, told me I was coming in for a pip assessment, used that to deny me ESA (they tell you to relax in pip assessments as they are not assessing your capability to work). Now that I am in receipt of pip, I’m down £245 a fortnight. I’m actually worse off because pip only amounts to approx £300 a month.

I’ve faxed all the paperwork over to my rep along with my statement of entitlement from the pip tribunal. No doubt it will take some weeks to clarify, as it always does.

120,000 dead from this government’s inhumane policies and I could be one of them, were it not for the exceptional support I get.

 

 

 

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Knife Crime is a Symptom of the Hostile Environment™

The rise in knife crime across the UK is baffling only to those who never consider the impact of their actions on others. Perhaps those who find it incomprehensible are lying, they know exactly why, they just don’t care. The government has promoted an hostile environment, it is of their creation, the current crisis.

Our young people are growing up in a society that has actively encouraged division and sowed discord where they could have fostered tolerance and understanding quite easily. I know, because that was my childhood in the 90s, a multicultural melting pot where brown and black people were rooted in British culture and Britain absorbed the best of ours too. It was some kind of rose tinted utopia pre 9/11, when laws protected us and racists were afraid. There was a clear sense of right and wrong. No blurred lines on racial slurs and racist propaganda. It’s not that racism didn’t exist (which it always will) just that measures against hate were enforced by the system somewhat. Slurs were asterisked in print for example. ‘Accidental’ racists were shunned not excused. The BBC exposed the institutionally racist police force, ffs.

The Bobo doll experiments in the 1960s demonstrated that children learn by observing adult behaviour. 60 years of knowledge we have so far failed to implement in the running of our societies. Kids today are witnessing hatred and bigotry on mainstream news channels from mainstream politicians. They’re being told their differences make them a target. Safe spaces are denigrated, we’re special snowflakes for insisting on them and toxic patriarchy is all about ‘real men’ who don’t carry babies in papooses. There is no end to the constant violence and posturing, grown adults are upping the ante everywhere, no compromise, no resolution, just a burgeoning threat that is overwhelming our children’s senses, affecting their ability to cope, leading to poor impulse control, because they’re frightened and have not yet learnt to channel that appropriately. Grown adults in the government are actively targeting children in their policies; so many plunged into poverty this past decade, so many denied an opportunity to learn, their days passing by in a blur of boredom and fear. Is it any wonder they’re dying?

Sajid Javid said we should treat knife crime like a disease when it is just a symptom of another kind of affliction, that is, social cleansing implemented by his government. It can be treated. Their hostile environment has seeped through to the children who will suffer most as a result of Tory policies, long after the monsters are gone. As a child born under Thatcher I know only too well. That brief period in the 90s when we had positive black and brown role models on TV on all of the terrestrial channels, when shows like Goodness Gracious Me clapped back at the white population and it was received in good humour, when we actually believed that hard work and motivation was all you needed to succeed, we felt we had a place in this world and only time would reveal our fortunes. Children these days have no hope, that’s the message they’re bombarded with, that the planet is dying but experts are no good. They’re going to school to learn but they’re being told learning is worthless. There’s no guarantee of a job, or a life. They matter to no one. They’re injured by these feelings and they react.

This tyrannical government must be removed from power and held to account for the many thousands of British citizens who’ve died under this administration, by any means necessary. Fuck calling the army in, oust the unelected tyrant and choose community. End austerity and replenish local services. Bring back the education maintenance allowance and cut extortionate uni fees. Invest in our young people, they are tasked with rescuing the planet and what remains of our humanity. One day they’ll have to look after us.

Brexit was an opinion poll, nothing more

Brexit has caused ‘economic PTSD’!

Brexit has forced the Tories to retreat from austerity!

Brexit has broken everything.

Whilst these headlines are presented as facts they actually mean very little. What is economic PTSD? Do you suffer flashbacks to the EURef whenever your eye accidentally catches the Euro symbol on your keyboard perhaps? Maybe the Tories will start throwing cash at everything now, they couldn’t have foreseen the collapse of our economy, not even with all the world class economists on speed dial. Also, when they say Britain has broken *EVERYTHING*, define ‘everything’. Do they really mean ‘every’ ‘thing’ as in every little thing that ever existed? Or do they mean everything that exists to their knowledge, so anything outside their sphere of experience isn’t actually a ‘thing’?

I’ll tell you something else Brexit hasn’t caused; racism. In the days that followed the referendum racism became impossible to ignore, only because the racists widened the net to include Poles, other European ‘migrants’ and people who don’t ‘look Muslim’. Brexit did make one thing absolutely clear; Britain is racist, of this there can be no question now but did it actually cause the racist violence prevalent today on Britain’s streets? Of course not. The majority of people targeted by the far right have been Muslim and many thousands of these incidents occurred before Brexit, before Zac Goldsmith’s racist mayoral campaign, before the racist van even.

I was personally racially abused on a London bus in 2013. The passengers on the packed night bus sided with the racists on that occasion, it was a frightening experience for me and my white friend. When I shared the incident through social media right wingers and liberals alike decided I had no right to defend myself against racism and listed all the things they imagined had happened instead of my eyewitness account. In fact every time I spoke about racism on the internet I was either ignored or targeted in malicious campaigns to silence me. I reported racism to the police and they responded with an informal caution for saying ‘kill all men’. Where were the defenders of freeze peach when I was deemed ineligible for support because I exercised my right to say whatever I feel? What possible justification did West Midlands Police have for blocking me on social media? The authorities turned their back on me when I needed the law, racism is in fact illegal and a punishable offence. It went by unchallenged though and emboldened racists to escalate their attacks against me.

With every inaction, every no holds barred ‘debate’ on immigration and attacks on people the mainstream can’t stomach; disabled people, trans people, refugees fleeing catastrophes we caused, the proud British racist was given the nod to abuse anyone he doesn’t personally like. He thought the referendum would decide whether or not immigrants would be made to LEAVE, in fact he knew nothing about the EU and our part in it.  The violent racism we have all witnessed the past few days has been picked up because the people with the power to spread information (or misinformation if we’re being honest) decided to publish it on their platforms. They keep the spotlight on it. If they had done the same for Muhsin Ahmed, Mohammed Saleem, Nahid Almanea perhaps we wouldn’t be in this nightmare scenario today.

If Richard Dawkins et al hadn’t been so focused on bashing Muslims at every opportunity, maybe we wouldn’t have been quick to ‘other’ European migrants. If Helen Lewis and her ilk had listened instead of ‘literally not giving a shit’ and monstering, othering and silencing marginalised groups they might have heard how we were suffering for many years before the rise of fascism went mainstream. Heck they might even have tried including us in their ‘debates’ so we could provide a suitable counter argument instead of the circle jerk that is the neoliberal mainstream media. Had David Cameron refrained from making Muslim mums the target for his racist crusades, others may not have seen fit to abuse them too. If Katie Hopkins never existed in the first place brown people wouldn’t have been dehumanised and reduced to vermin in a national newspaper.

Despite the many comparisons on the internet between the ‘journalism’ we are subjected to today and the hate speech which was the norm prior to the Holocaust there were still liberals and lefties calling Godwin and accusing us of attention seeking cos we’re all after a book deal (says a lot about the accusers in my opinion). Various national treasures feigned ignorance, going as far as to defend their use of racial slurs with the argument it is not in fact racist to say the p and n words (John Terry, Prince Harry, Anton du Beke, Jeremy Clarkson, India Knight etc made it commonplace where once it was censored). Theresa May justified her creepy racist van asking foreigners how we could make it easy for them to go home, because the British people insisted it wasn’t racist to talk about immigration controls. She can make even a British person stateless, if they are suspected of ‘terrorism’. Britain First, even after their proven links with Jo Cox’s killer, is not yet referred to as the terrorist militia it clearly is so I can only imagine it will be non whites who live with the threat of statelessness. When you make a person stateless it becomes easier to dehumanise them.

These aren’t projected fears, these behaviours have been identified as dangerous because human behaviour is formulaic. If x happens then y is sure to follow. Human beings have proved again and again, through various historical genocides that ‘othering’, that is to say polarisation of groups, ‘us’ and ‘them’ inevitably leads to dehumanisation then mass killings. On the flipside this means we can prevent atrocities if we are honest about the horrors around us. Try and get an honest answer out of a journalist or politican though and you’ll see why we are condemned to this Tory enabled Brexit wasteland. They’re all in it together, to the detriment of us plebs.

At every twist and turn we have raised flags and pleaded with powerful people to recognise “we have far more in common with each other than that which divides us” (as the late Jo Cox once said) and they responded with control; denying our experiences, denying our very existence and charging on without us, full steam ahead. We’ve been discarded and abandoned for demanding equality. The same people carry on today as though they are innocent of any wrongdoing and as shocked as the rest of us at all the worrying reports.

It is never too late to admit you have white privilege and make amends with those you have wronged. If you cannot humble yourself and put others first, you carry us further down this beaten path of iniquity, still against our will. There are those who’d rather we all perished than relinquish even a little of their power and control, and this thought should frighten us all.