The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Sanctions Regime is the presumption of authority to negatively and punitively impact the lives of others without their permission and against their will. Sanctions are the denial of the sovereign being of others, imposing life affecting (and ending) punishments without trial and taking no responsibility for the consequences of the penalties imposed. The DWP has been at great pains not to document the consequences of its sanctions regime and therefore wilfully and knowingly avoids its own responsibility (1).
The fundamental flaw and harm contained within the sanctions regime is that at its core are Victorian ideas of punishment, disapproval and control which dehumanise and infantilise its victims. It is a very particular conservative imperialist view of humanity which treats others as lower or lesser creatures. It is precisely the same attitude that enabled the building of the British Empire on the blood of sovereign victims.
If you want people to be responsible, even if you are an unreconstructed authoritarian paternalist, then you must learn to leave them alone and give them the space to grow and develop without hindrance, interference or the imposition of your thoughts and ideas unless they are asked for or you are given specific permission.
If you are in a position of responsibility, as a parent for example, and you chose to impose the stick and not the carrot, then you need to ask yourself why you deny the life enhancing experience of approval, nourishment and encouragement for the imposition of disapproval, punishment and coercion. In an unlikely moment of reflection, you might like to consider why you are training an impressionable child to be a punitive bully in her/his dealings with others, just like you.
There is no justification for the Sanctions Regime, it is predicated on sadistic cruelty and is an affront to human dignity and rights, not least the rights to life and freedom from slavery and forced labour. Depriving people of the means of survival is a crime against humanity and no court in the land would impose such an extreme punishment.
Of course, as we know to our great cost, the perpetrators of these crimes are the UK government and too many people are labouring under the misconception that the government exists for our benefit when it clearly and demonstrably does not. Worse still is the use and abuse of the ability to shut people’s lives down remotely via their bank accounts for up to three years and, again, thanks to government intervention, we have no way of knowing how many have now died due to austerity and DWP driven deprivation, but we do know it is in the hundreds of thousands, at least (2).
It is a stark, brutal, daily reality that sees poor, sick and disabled people targeted for the most punitive cuts and sanctions (3).
By August 2017 the DWP had spent £39million defending decisions to cut the benefits of sick and disabled people (4). Disabled people are more likely to be sanctioned then those on Jobseekers Allowance, with more than a million benefits sanctions being imposed on disabled people since 2010 (5).
Of course, there is one section of society all to easily overlooked in the cruelty and brutality of this government, because they are most vulnerable and least protected in the pursuit of cuts and sanctions. Children! Lacking the power, maturity and knowledge to understand what is going on in their lives, the silent victims, attacked by government through their distraught parents, for unexplained reasons, 4.5 million children are living in poverty under the Tories (6). There is no lower form of life than those who abuse the lives of innocent children.
Sanctions against children do not even have a name, yet they are very real, a crushing affliction on family life and well being, from which children have no statutory protection under the Tories.
The perpetrators of these crimes are the MPs who comprise the Conservative government under Theresa May. Their inexcusable acts of oppression are without excuse, they are dehumanising, belittling and punitive, crushing the poorest and most vulnerable people under the boot-heels of tyranny.
Whilst the Tories have perverted our representative democracy, such that it is barely breathing, the real democracy of the people is alive and well and growing daily.
Some battles you absolutely cannot afford to lose, not matter how long it takes and no matter the cost. This is one of those battles. The battle of humanity, for humanity, to end tyranny. We are many.
Keith Ordinary Guy