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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Concentration camps and benefit caps

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

Seventy years ago today, the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated. And today the Daily Mail — aka 'Daily Heil' — celebrates rather than condemns David Cameron's promise to clamp down even further on the the 'benefit cap' — the total amount of benefits a benefit claimant is allowed on Universal Credit.

What links these stories?

One connection is that benefit caps and other forms of right wing 'welfare reform' coupled with savage 'austerity' attacks on public services such as housing result in forced dispersal of economically vulnerable people. Wikipedia reports on the history of concentration camps:
Early civilizations such as Assyria used forced resettlement of populations as a means of controlling territory,[6] but it was not until much later in the late 19th and 20th centuries that records exist of groups of civilian non-combatants being concentrated into large prison camps.

Now, in the 21st Century, evictions and displacements related to right wing 'welfare reforms' see families being displaced away from their support networks and this has even resulted in Newham council dumping children of evicted families on a police station floor. Surely, children are non-combatants, aren't they?

Another connection is that the way that the perpetrators of these savage cuts malign the benefit claimants in much the same way that Nazis described those they abused as 'useless eaters'. Where does or might this all lead? Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group Honorary Member Kate Belgrave has reported on a raft of 'welfare reforms' and has written, "Pretty sure the Government wants death, depression and crime for people who are out of work."

Meanwhile, the corporate culture of JobCentre Plus
sends the very clear message that benefit claimants are subhuman.

What do local Parliamentary candidates have to say about all that? I'm sure they will say that genuinely vulnerable benefit claimants have nothing to fear and will be protected. But how will they do that, given the impact of the degrading 'war of words' on public opinion regarding benefit claimants?

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