Hands Over Eyes and it Doesn't Exist ...Really?
Updated: May 24, 2019
If you close your eyes, it doesn’t exist! … REALLY?
Yesterday the UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston gave his final report on extreme poverty and human rights after his visit to the UK and Amber Rudd wants to sue him...For what may I ask? Speaking the truth in a strong, measured and honourable manner?.
LINK IF YOU WANT TO VIEW
The only way his findings were going to be being reported on the BBC yesterday, as huge as the news should have been, was when Laura Pidcock, Labour MP waived it accusingly as part of an attack on the debacle of funding for education. Refusing to be completely sidetracked by the usual tactics to prevent her speaking her truth, she hammered her point home.
Well done that woman! Every word she uttered I’ve myself seen the evidence for on Parliament TV. Follow the link below to see her plain speaking.
LINK IF YOU WANT TO VIEW
Philip Alston makes reference particularly to 1950's women in Para 79
An abrupt and poorly implemented change in the State pension age for women from 60 to 66 has severely and unconscionably penalized those who were on the cusp of retirement and who had well-founded expectations of entering the next phase of their lives. And a change, quietly announced in January 2019, means pensioners with a partner below the retirement age of 65 would need to apply for UC instead of Pension Credit, a potential loss of £7,000 per year in support.103
He also speaks regarding the historic and current inequality faced by women in general
69. Recent policies have too often perpetuated rather than tackled the gendered aspects of poverty. Women in the United Kingdom earn less than men, shoulder a greater amount of unpaid labour and are more likely to experience poverty.82 Single female pensioners consistently experience poverty at a higher rate than others.83 In 2018, women were paid 17.9 per cent less per hour on average than men,84 made up 60 per cent of the workers receiving low pay85 and were disproportionately engaged in part-time work with little wage progression.86 70. Given the structural disadvantages faced by women, it is particularly disturbing that so many policy changes since 2010 have taken a greater toll on them. Changes to tax and benefit policies made since May 2010 will by 2021–2022 have reduced support for women far more than for men.87 Reductions in social care services translate to an increased burden on primary caregivers, who are disproportionately women. Under UC, single payments to an entire household, which are the default arrangement, can entrench problematic and often gendered interpersonal dynamics, including by giving control of payments to a financially or physically abusive partner. 88 The theoretical availability of alternative payment arrangements in exceptional circumstances is insufficient, and a 2019 commitment to pay benefits to the main carer in a household does not go far enough.89
We 1950’s women particularly know how many debates have been called on our behalf that the Tory's simply don’t turn up for. We have also seen with our own eyes the stonewalling when they won’t publicly answer difficult questions. Usually deflecting the questioner by saying they will have to answer that in writing as its too complex an issue to give a direct answer, or they need further information...yeah right. This means the question has been directed in such a way that they would have to give an honest straight answer that they have been instructed not to give...Fingers on Lips!
We see and hear the deliberate half truths designed to deceive (see my previous blogs) and whilst I am not really enamoured of the labour parties failure to include a definite financial restitution for 1950’s women's stolen pensions in their Manifesto recently and despite calls from many members, I applaud Laura individually for refusing to play the ‘panel’ game and speaking up passionately for what she believes in.
It boils down to the simple question ‘Are they deaf, dumb and blind?’ … Well maybe one of those perhaps. Are they insisting that there is no problem? no homeless? no starving pensioners? no increased suicides? No people dying on a job they can no longer do physically? No funding to support the hardest hit in society?
Have they been walking round with a bucket over their head?
See Peter Stefanovic’s response to the lack of reporting on this.
For any who have not seen the UN report. It is very definitely a damning indictment of the Tory’s systematic dedication to killing off as many of the homeless, disabled, sick and old as it can. Let’s face it, in the worlds 5th largest economy once we have no economic use to making the top echelons even more money, they would rather we die. Philip clearly states in his findings that the use of ‘Austerity Measure’s’ in the worlds fifth richest economy is a choice and not a necessity. The measures they use are intended to widen the divide between rich and poor, rather than the government implementing measures that have the overall welfare of everyone in this previously great country at its heart. He also cites the false economy of squandering money in order to decimate society rather than support it. Money which could have been used in more positive ways to further the welfare of all its people.
The words he chose which were quite telling
“The Social Safety Net has been systematically and starkly eroded” in layman's terms 'It's deliberate...we're buggered!'
To follow is one 1950’s women's take on experiencing the hardships of not having a pension and being sucked into the ‘benefits (the most UN-apt name) system’ I doubt it ‘benefits’ anyone in the end.
Everything this woman says supports Philip Alston’s ReportSam Roberts :- A member of ‘We Paid in You Pay Out’
Sanctioned: The Reality
You have, by now, exhausted all you savings. Any credit lines that you may have, are probably exhausted too, as such, you now have a monthly debt to find out of your non existent income. Now you start to think seriously of the cut backs that you have to make in order not to spiral as fast into debt.
The car has to go. You may at least get some car tax back and some insurance too, also the money you get from the sale of the car helps, as does ridding yourself of the expense altogether. The drawback is you are now limited to searching for jobs that are walking / cycling distance, or are serviced by public transport and their time restrictions. How does the sanction 'incentivise' now?.
Soon though, that money has gone too. You have already cut your shopping down to the bone, in fact, you have probably amazed yourself at just how frugal you have managed to be. A meal for as little as 56 pence. (Example: Aldi tinned potatoes 15p, tin of beans 24p, egg for 17p). Yet for all that, you still have no income.
You decide to go through your possessions to see what you can sell at cash converter, on Ebay, on Facebook or in the local classifieds. Again, this will only be in the short term. You are doing all this whilst still fulfilling the JCP criteria as laid down by your claimant commitment. They are still 'ruling you' yet they won't 'pay you' even though you have followed the rules for those weeks you have been sanctioned for. In fact, all they are doing is waiting for another opportunity to apply another sanction on as soon as they can.
The utilities are the next thing you turn your attention to. You check on Uswitch to see who will be the cheapest supplier based on your annual consumption for gas and electric. You find this to be a bigger minefield than you thought, but you are driven by necessity to persevere, eventually you find who is the best for your case, and switch accordingly. That done, you turn your attention to the water board. You find out that maybe your water supplier may offer capped payments or something. You realise you are on a water meter and instantly realise that the less you use, the better.
You may even go to the more extreme. Unplugging all the appliances upstairs, and removing all the light bulbs too except the landing one. You decide to cook on only one ring, or use the oven, or the grill, but never more than one at the time. You immediately sponge your plate off to reuse it next time, and save water too.
All these cut backs are taking there toll on your health, both physically and mentally. You hardly put the heating on now, and have chosen to layer up your clothes and wear a coat in the house. In fact, you find yourself getting more fatigued than before, as you have cut down how much you eat from a few times a day, to once every few days. As such you are feeling the cold more, as you are not taking in the calories that are needed. You concentration is becoming a problem, and your depression seems to increase, your motivation is falling through the floor. You are finding it more and more difficult to search for work for 5 hours per day (and prove it), and you now know that it is only a matter of time before you run in to another sanction.
In order to escape this ongoing misery, and to conserve energy, and to keep warm, you decide to go to bed, and you do so fully clothed except you remove your coat first, before you crawl in. This then becomes your only respite from the nightmare. Apart from a bit of escapism offered by the TV maybe?. Until that is, you realise that you can cancel you TV licence and not pay it, and to be on the safe side you sell the TV too to make ends meet for a bit.
Your routine resembles something like this. You sit in your coat, before your computer, huddled around a hot drink poured from a flask (to save money). You are desperately looking for a job. You search the internet for other ways to cut costs. Ironically, one of the biggest cost you now have is the internet / phone connection. You know at some point this will have to go, and in an attempt to cut some of the cost, you decide to cancel the phone part of the arrangement with your ISP. So now, employers can not call you for a preliminary chat which further hampers your chances of finding work, and a sanction.
Meanwhile the job centre are not happy that they can not phone you at a moments notice to summon you here, there and everywhere. You explain, but they do not care. In a way, you are glad that no one can phone you to go to an appointment at short notice.
This is because your depression and lack of self worth means that you have gone weeks without washing. You have reasoned all this by thinking of all the savings you've made on water, gas and electric from not bathing, showering or doing laundry. It is then that you think about selling the washing machine (if you have one). No money equals no soap, shampoo, washing powder or toothpaste. It is fair to say, you are looking somewhat bedraggled, and smell a bit ripe too. Again, this will not help you secure that increasingly elusive job either.
Now you are finding that you truly have cut back on everything that you can think of. You have long since moved everything to one room, and will only run one heater / radiator when it gets really cold. You are scraping whatever you can to just keep the electric, gas and water flowing.
You are becoming weak now, and the threats are starting to come in for that 10% council tax contribution that you have failed to pay even though you qualify for council tax support, meanwhile your landlord is on your case to do with the spare bed tax missed payments (if you are unfortunate to have them). The wolves are really starting to gather at your door now. Next the bailiffs are in touch because of your overdraft, credit or other loan debts now coming to find you. Even friends and family are wanting what is owed by you. Things are getting intolerable now.
You really have tried to keep you head above water, you have done everything you can to prevent this happening. You are at your wits end. There are no more money avenues to explore. You are now praying that you get an email for an interview. Then you discover that your ISP has cut you off, or your electric has run out / cut off. Now you won't see those emails, unless you go to the JCP / Library to use those computers. The thing is you do not have the energy, but you push on. You can't afford the bus either. At the library (if it has not been closed down), you find you only have two hours maximum to use the computer. At the next JCP meeting, it can be seen that you have not fulfilled the claimant commitment, you try to explain. You tell them that you have had only two hours available maximum, each day, Monday to Friday as your ISP got cut off.
You are sanctioned again for not obeying the 35 hour per week rule. They tell you that you should have informed them about it before, yet it did not occur to you as you are no longer thinking straight, besides, you feared that if you had told them, they would have sanctioned you in any case.
In sheer desperation, you turn to your Doctor. Your Doctor may or may not be sympathetic to your cause. You are either completely stuffed at this point or they sign you off as sick. Now you decide to apply for ESA, and while the DWP decide your case, you at least get some money for a bit. You take a small comfort in the respite, however, you still have a fight on your hands with regards the wolves at the door.
Soon though, you realise that ESA is not much different to JSA in how it is administered, there are some 'slightly less' conditions, but more hoops and hurdles though. It will all be the same thing under Universal Credit (UC).
And so it goes on. You have been caught in the Rat Trap, and you know that eviction and homeless now follows. You start to think on how you can make money, illegally if necessary, and all the ramifications that come with that.
That is how our Government thinks that Sanctions help you find work!.
In reality, it is a regime to either drive you into workfare, or into the ground. You may decide to not play the game, and await what is to come, or something more drastic as history attests to.”
SAM ROBERTS - WE PAID IN YOU PAY OUT
Now look at life before the NHS and social policies in the early 20th Century by 91 year old ex RAF Harry Leslie Smith entitled ‘Hunger, Filth, Fear and Death’ and then you will start to become aware how this current and previous governments have recently started to ‘systematically and starkly erode’ every social protection that had been put in place during his lifetime so much so that he ended his memoir with the statement of how he feared for his grandchildren's children under this current regime. More frightening is the parallels you start to draw between life now and the life under an elitist society in the early 20th Century
Now read the UN Human Rights Report by Philip Alston and ask yourself “Does this government have hands over their eyes and ears?”. If they do, they’re not telling…. I would use another word rather than ‘Monkeys’ and certainly not wise.
The Persistent Pensioner