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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Uniting against the real causes of oppression is better than poor people lashing out at the nearest scapegoat

I attended  an information day in Liverpool regarding a reconciliation-based Summer Play Scheme  — Protestants and Catholics together to build trust and friendships — in 1979. At that information day, a participant said that an affluent Roman Catholic resident away from the strife-ridden areas had told him:
"These Catholic-Protestant troubles have nothing to do with us; it's just those working class families fighting among themselves."

In 2016, after the Brexit vote, there seems to be an upsurge in racist hate crime that needs to be addressed. Perhaps the following is the backdrop to that rise of the race hatred gutter into communities after political Punch & Judy pantomime?:
  1. David Cameron's, "We're all in this boat together" statement came as a façade for a 2010 post-General Election coalition with the 'market liberals' of the Liberal Democrats known as the 'Orange Book' Lib Dems, through cuts in public spending that seem to have been especially targeted at various strands of the most vulnerable people in British society via the 'bedroom tax' and even nastier 'welfare reforms' than Blairite Labour had brought in. (As previously stated on this blog though, the harsher 'Work Capability Assessment' by which Employment & Support Allowance entitlement was assessed was authorised by Yvette Cooper as one of her final acts as Work & Pensions Secretary in office in April 2010. It was not piloted until early 2011, and so the 'Con-Dem' coalition got the blame for that.) The even nastier strands of 'welfare reform' included not only benefit sanctions, but also
    • 'bedroom tax' reduction in Housing Benefit,
    • reduced support from central government to local authorities leading to imposition of Council Tax payments on the poorest citizens, and
    • 'overall benefit cap' as part of Universal Credit
  1. Capitulation of opposition party councils with 'Con-Dem' government attacks on Housing Benefit and the imposition of Council Tax payments on the poorest, while rents rose considerably and council lands was sold off to builders for ridiculously low prices, council waiting lists were closed down, very poor people were evicted, global money launderers bought up large swathes of London and other UK cities, and the racist UK Independence Party's 'blame it all on migrant workers' explanation became mainstream
  2. More of the same after the 2015 General Election that introduced an outright Conservative Party majority that claimed a 'mandate' for more of the same nastinesses
  3. A greater emphasis on xenophobia in British politics as the nation moved toward an EU Referendum while social housing entitlements were attacked in the Housing & Planning Bill 2016, and the 'EU Referendum Debate' became effectively a smoke screen for attacks on poor people's entitlements in favour of the global money launderers and profiteers buying up the UK and the workfare companies that operate as legalised, taxpayer-funded human traffickers
  4. A week before the actual UK EU Referendum took place, a pro-EU Labour MP was murdered by a mentally disturbed person who had swallowed the race hatred of 'Britain First' wholesale, and a truce was called between the opposing factions in the EU Referendum, before hostilities resumed.
  5. Those who scapegoated 'foreigners' now seem to take the superficial polarisation of public opinion in their favour as licence to attack and abuse 'foreigners'

  • Hackney Unites in association with Hope Not Hate is calling a community meeting on the theme #moreincommon
  • Islington Tribune reports that a 'Post-Brexit race hate attack sparks fear of rise in 'community tensions', and a similar report in the Camden New Journal.

There is hope. With its focus on helping benefit claimants with their claims, Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group meeting every Thursday from 3pm to 5:20pm at Kingsgate Community Centre has built a very ethnically diverse membership and now finds its diversity of 'mother tongues' an advantage in translating people's stories for the benefit of the caseworkers. In our campaigning alongside the casework, we help direct attention also to what is really going on and who is really to blame.

By Dude Swheatie

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