Friday, 5 October 2012

Let's Rise Up Against Universal Credits

A friend of mine, and a disability campaigner of long standing, Bob Williams-Findlay, put the following question on Facebook today: "Do people really believe that the public will turn against the Government's introduction of PIP if we employ the same degrading language of our oppressors?"

PIP will not in itself drive the multitudes to mass protest. However, Universal Credits is quite another thing. We are already hearing about the early effects of this change in the way welfare benefits are to be administered. The plight of Counihan family in Brent is an early indication of how the housing benefit trap will impact on ordinary working people.
When people reach the cap ceiling of £500 per week (for families) and £350 for single people; when they are hit with bedroom taxes they cannot afford; and evictions begin on an industrial level will working people begin to stir.

A friend of mine likened what this government's policy of benefits' capping, especially in and around housing benefit, a modern day Highland clearance scheme. Pushing working class poor out of the centre and inner city areas to wherever rents are cheap enough for them to settle.

London could end up like Paris, with all the social housing on the periphery, probably outside the M25; and workers having to commute in and out to work every day. Of course, London is 5 times the size of Paris, so travelling will be a greater problem.

The only way we will punish this government is by creating our own Poll Tax moment. Universal Credits have the ingredients to build a massive campaign. As with most of what this government proposes and introduces, at the expense of the masses, this particular programme of misery reaches across far more different groupings of people.

Up to now the Tory attack dog press has happily propagated the lies and half-truths put out by the government. After all, many of the welfare cuts hit groups, such as disabled people and young unemployed, who had already been softened up by years of demonization; thus, we were fair game. The sooner the feckless fripples came off the gold plated benefits they'd grown so accustomed to, the better.

But now, the bite is going to be on working and non-working people alike. No matter how pious the Daily Hate and Sun are when castigating welfare scroungers; it will not be quite so easy to attack families the heads of which are working, but still depend on tax credits and housing benefit.

Come on, let's get Universal Credits working for us!

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