Amber Rudd announces max period of government enforced starvation of only 6 months

On the 10th May 2019 Amber Rudd announced to the nation that she was changing the DWP sanctions regime to ensure future sanctions are proportionate. To that end, she is abandoning the ‘rarely used’ (she says) 3-year sanction and, in the future, the longest length of a sanction will be 6 months. A sanction means stopping some or all a persons income, depriving them of the means of even the most basic survival. Quite how this helps the most vulnerable, in particular, or anyone, into work, she does not explain, nor how anyone is meant to survive up to 182 days without income, nor even how this is in any way proportionate (to what). [1]

Tell it to 50’s women sanctioned by the DWP out of 5 or more years of income… [2]

This very much begs the old question – Do we live to work, or do we work to live? Given that the government has seen fit to decide for us that we live to work under pain of deprivation, economic murder and an unnatural death, it is time to revisit our humanity and find out how it’s doing.

What has become very clear is that we the people and the small but brutal body of politicians and ‘elites’ live in completely different worlds. It really isn’t hard to see, as Amber Rudd so ably demonstrates. She seems to think that poor people being sanctioned and deprived of the means of survival for 182 consecutive days is ok. I’ve known many poor people, but I have yet to meet anyone who not only managed to live on nothing for 6 months but was so inspired by the process they searched for jobs 8 hours a day, 35 hours a week, to eventually find work offering a slightly improved poverty which does not involve one’s imminent death.

So confident is Amber Rudd in her batshit crazy world view that she actually made a special DWP public announcement to let us know that she is only going to deprive us of the means of survival for a maximum of 6 months instead of 3 years.

As far as I can tell she was not drunk, under the influence of drugs or certified insane at the time she set the whole thing up to make this announcement. Having a secret penal system that imposes fines which exceed those imposed by the entire UK legal justice system, without trial or legal representation, which is designed to cause hardship that no court in the land can or would impose under any circumstances is a crime against life. This is what Amber Rudd is particularly pleased with. Of course, she will never in her life have had anything to do with the people she condemns to hell on earth and the misery of unremitting daily want with no means of control over the brutal circumstances imposed upon them by her and her vicious regime.

I spent 35 years working as a Community and Youth Worker and studied at Durham University, and never in all those years was the notion of sanctioning the lives of others to enforce behavioural conformity to government dictat ever raised or suggested as a working practice and nor would it ever have been accepted or adopted. I and my many colleagues would never treat any living creatures in such a way and there’s the problem. I do not, thankfully, live in their world and nor could I, treating human beings as animal stock, beasts of burden, loaded with the trials of the ignorant rich who are so used to treating the lower orders with contempt, keeping us in order on pain of persecution and death.

The fundamental failing of these people is that they do not understand life itself. Instead of the greatest wonder of the universe, they treat life as a mere commodity and if one of us dies, or even many, there are always more, to be treated with the same arrogant contempt. They announce their hatred and contempt in every animal hunted for sport, for every stolen penny of the worth of another’s labour, in every fox torn to shreds by their hounds in their blood lust for cruelty and in every sanction that robs us the means of survival. They are cruel in ways that are unthinkable for ordinary people because they know they exist above the law, indeed they are the lawmakers and thus life takers because they have the power and the ability to prevent us from even accessing law and therefore protecting our lives.

There is something that is seldom discussed in the Nazi genocide and the extermination of millions of ‘undesirables’. Whilst there may have been those at the very top who knew exactly what they were doing and (perhaps) knew (consciously and fully aware) that they were doing the unthinkable for self-serving reasons, the vast majority who supported the Nazi genocide believed whole-heartedly in the righteousness of the cause.

We talk about propaganda, as if propaganda is purely the imposition of vileness from the corridors of power, forgetting that, as with the Daily Mail, Express, the Sun, Telegraph and Times, people buy it. They pay for the hate and rage on which they feed and act out in their lives with the approval of those in power, like Amber Rudd, Theresa May (and the majority of Tories who shame and mock poor and vulnerable people in parliament and vote to further impoverish them), Nigel Farage (supported by the establishment and media), and the very public voices of those who promote hate, like Katie Hopkins with nearly a million followers on Twitter. Hate crime is on the rise, with the BBC reporting a 40% rise in the year 2016-17 to 2017-18. [4]

But here’s the thing dear reader, you of the silenced majority, ordinary decent folk who are appalled at what is happening and want no part of it and wonder what the hell happened. I know from simply living and from Facebook and Twitter that we are the vast majority, who are appalled at what is going on, at the promoters of hate as well as those who swallow the hate whole and even act on it, to the crocodile tears of right-wing politicians and the media.

It is easy to forget the normality of the peaceful existence of the vast majority. I need to buy a loaf of bread today, Sunday, and no matter where I go the chances of not being able to peaceably do a bit of shopping are remote in the extreme. In 68 years of life, I have been physically attacked once on the streets which makes the Tory political assault on our lives all the more shocking for the virulent hatred of so few affecting the peaceable lives of so many.

Amber Rudd announcing a reduction of the length of sanctions to a maximum of 182 days, with disabled people ‘53% more likely to be docked money than claimants who are not disabled’, is an obscenity. [5] It’s state terrorism! A terrorism that has no place in our lives.

I am a peace loving man, I have lived and battled with mental ill health all my life but I have never found a place for hatred in my life. At 68 I have found a perfect hatred for something that must be continuously and virulently opposed – Tory pathological misanthropic hatred and genocide. We each have a duty in life to oppose state terrorism and genocide, as all good people do [6]. They may have the might, as perverted and vile as that is, but never, ever, the right.

The Tories must go and this evil regime of state-managed hate and genocide must end!

Keith Ordinary Guy

[1] https://twitter.com/AmberRuddHR/status/1126510771540639744

Amber Rudd transcript: “The government’s role is to create conditions for people and businesses to succeed – and crucially, to create a social security system that will support them if they fall. Universal Credit offers a new level of personalised support. Claimants have access to a dedicated Work Coach who builds an understanding of their needs and strengths, to offer them the best possible advice and opportunities. Claimants also have more options to interact with the jobcentre – online, by phone or in person. And at the heart of this support is an agreement that the claimant commit to certain activities to improve or maintain their employment prospects – such as looking for work or doing work experience. However, I want to ensure that the penalties for not meeting these conditions are proportionate, particularly for the most vulnerable. So I am announcing today that I will end financial sanctions for welfare claimants that last for 3 years. Such sanctions were rarely used, but I believe they were counter-productive and ultimately undermine our goal of supporting people into work. In the future, the longest length of a sanction will be up to 6 months. And I am undertaking an evaluation of the effectiveness of Universal Credit sanctions to consider whether other improvements can be made.”

[2] https://davidhencke.com/2018/06/05/the-downing-street-state-pension-robbery/

[3] https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/benefit-sanctions-britains-secret-penal-system

[4] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45874265

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/20/sanctions-disabled-people-claimants-tough-love

[6] https://fearandloathingingreatbritain.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/this-is-genocide/

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi Keith!

    I just want to thank you for writing this. It’s a great, well-written piece which echoes and crystalises so much of my thoughts on the inhuman nature of Tory Austerity and the evils of DWP sanctions and policies.

    I truly appreciate it!

    Tom Lane (a fellow Youth & Community Worker)

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