Preface by Dude Swheatie of Kwug to KUWG' recording of 'He's Taking from the Poor to Pay the Rich'As princicpal blog uploader for this blog, I have previously resisted requests that I upload this video to the blog. As a volunteer, I have the right to refuse whereas I would not so readily have that right to do so if I was on one of the Government's forced labour schemes known as 'Community Work Placement' or whatever name they dress up such modern day slavery with.
That objection on my part to personally uploading it was put accompanied by my proposal that others have the log-in details to do the uploading so as to make the blog more of a group operated resource. Now that the title of the video has been altered to emphasise the actions of the Prime Minister rather than state his alleged character, I have decided to upload it as part of an attempt to fuel debate.
The Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group is non-party political and non-religious while I am a Quaker and Quakers are not keen on labelling people's character. Quakers believe that labelling people's character sets up barriers to their capacity to change.
And as a disabled person with a real surname starting with the letter W I have painful memories of being labelled 'wanker' by abusive schoolday taunters and former scapegoating co-workers. The stigma of a lack of success on my part in attempting to find waged work before I eventually claimed Employment & Support Allowance after winning a tribunal also ties in with what the word 'wanker' is associated with.
As I have pointed out before on this blog, David Cameron and his Government and those who massage claimant statistic have been the ones who have really 'swung the lead'. (Maybe we could substitute the word 'penis'?) Does forcing JSA claimants onto a regime of daily signing on at different times get them closer to getting a job, or to being sanctioned for the human capacity to crack under excessive pressure? What Government, Labour or Conservative/Lib Dem coalition has made it any easier for disabled people to get waged employment? In my experience, their compliance with disability legislation has been a mockery of social justice while they have used smear stories to bring in even greater discrimination against disabled people.
While typing this, I am hearing Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith telling Andrew Marr that people previously on Incapacity Benefit have been "left languishing" for years before the 'reform' that brought in ESA. Well, I never claimed Incapacity Benefit and from the time I first became unwaged in November 1977 till I claimed ESA in 2009, my sum total of waged employment amounted to a sum total of 19 months!
What are the alternatives?Alongside my reservations against labelling character of the current Prime Minister, I also note that focusing excessively on the sins of David Cameron lays us open to the danger of voting for politicians who will do nothing to further equality in society. Eg, I remember that in its first term of office Labour colluded with American insurance company Unum toward the further demonisation of benefit seekers and the privatisation of the welfare state.
The Blair Government halved the length of training periods for JobCentre-funded training courses. In the year 2000 I turned down a place on a Web Design training course that I had passed the entry course for. It had taken me two years of self-directed learning with a computer paid for by my mum and training manuals I bought out of my dole money at the sacrifice of any socialising time and money that the pittance that JSA was even then, to acquire the underpinning knowledge to pass that entrance test. The course provider agreed with me that the 6 week foundation duration of the course was inadequate for the amount of course content. They told me that the course period had been double that length until the Blair Government halved the length of the training period so as to get double the throughput from the dole queue.
And it was Labour's Yvette Cooper as Work & Pensions Secretary that signed the authorisation for the harder to pass 'Work Capability Assessment' before she left office.
Now, before the 2015 General Election manfiestos of the political parties have been published, councils are publishing 'consultations' about how they will implement public spending cuts already dictated by the current Government for 2017.
And Labour agrees with the discredited Universal Credit that the Tories are determined to bring to Brent before the May 2015 General Election. Under Universal Credit, even claimants of the current Housing Benefit in waged employment deemed to be not working hard enough to gain independence from state benefits.
So, why should you vote for any party that offers you more of the same 'austerity'? Ask all the political parties standing in your constituency what they have to offer, and don't let them bullshit you. Get them to denounce smear stories against claimants as the quasi-Nazi trick that they are.
- Taxpayers Against Poverty Election Statement
- Kate Belgrave's references to Independent Living Fund
- Kate's references to sanctions