Conservatives are celebrating their latest High Court victory, this time involving the Bedroom Tax and the government goes ahead with the introduction of an almost limitless Public Space Protection Order which could potentially allow any specified behaviour or activity to be made unlawful.
Judges rules that the governments’ so called “bedroom tax” was not unlawful or discriminatory against disabled people; ministers were however criticised for not considering the plight of disabled children – the law however will not change.
Whilst those who brought the case against the government have said they will appeal the decision, it is unlikely that the Court of Appeal will give them what they want; it is far more likely that the court will duck the issue and claim that it is interpreting the ‘will of parliament’ and is not in a position to change policy decisions.
Meanwhile, like other concerned websites, TheOpinionSite.org has received many requests for advice from people facing severe difficulties and in some cases, eviction.
The government claim that they have made ‘extra’ money available to local authorities in order that councils can help those who are hardest hit but, as was the case when a percentage of council tax became payable by those on benefit and the government made similar provision, councils are very reluctant to hand out the money, preferring instead to keep it in the bank.
Ministers claim that they are bringing what they call ‘fairness’ to the system and that the introduction of the ‘spare room subsidy’ does not prevent people from staying in their current accommodation.
Duncan Smith has said it is up to those affected to “find a job and work extra hours” to make up the housing benefit shortfall and that this was “another incentive for the unemployed to go back to work”.
As far as the disabled are concerned, many of whom have had necessary but expensive alterations carried out, ministers say that local authorities are responsible for allocating extra money to those who need it.
All the argument in the world however does not help those who are now living in fear of losing their homes.
Duncan Smith of course maintains that the restriction on Housing Benefit and other welfare payments are all about a “change of culture” and “helping people trapped by unemployment”; he says nothing about the plight of the disabled or those who are in their 60s but not yet of pension age and to whom no employer will ever offer an interview, let alone a job.
TheOpinionSite.org believes that what this policy is really about is sociological control and electioneering. Despite what ministers say in public, it has very little to do with saving the government money or getting people back into work.
The amount of money likely to be saved by the ‘bedroom tax’ is insignificant in the great scheme of things and will do nothing to reduce the welfare bill. Indeed the bill may actually increase if the poor and disabled have to be re-homed into different accommodation.
The policy will however – or at least, so the government hopes – encourage right wing voters away from UKIP and draw them back to the Conservative party.
It is simply one part of a much wider strategy to win back disaffected Tories in the hope that Cameron, Duncan Smith and others will be able to stand on a “Conservative Only” platform at the next general election and, they hope, win.
The nasty, vindictive nature of Cameron’s government is clear for all to see now, whether it involves cuts to Housing Benefit, persecuting the post-Work Programme over 60s whom no one will employ – but who are all now suffering at the bullying hands of Job Centre Plus – or whether it be the blatantly racist posters that until recently were being driven around London threatening immigrants with arrest if they did not leave the country.
So much for the “compassionate Conservatism” extolled by Cameron as he tried to con the voters during the run up to the last general election.
Meanwhile, almost unnoticed by the general public, the government has proposed increasing social control of the masses by allowing local authorities to issue Public Space Protection Orders and anti-social behaviour injunctions, the terms of which are so broad that anyone could be prevented from doing almost anything for a period of time that could be extended without limit.
The new orders could even finally prevent legitimate and lawful protest in public spaces; something that the Conservatives have wanted to do for years but have always been too frightened to suggest.
It’s all about power; the power of the rich ‘middle’ – or to be totally honest, ‘upper’ – classes over the poor and defenceless.
At the risk of repeating our statements on TheOpinionSite.org over the last 3 years, what the government are doing now, albeit very quietly indeed, is exactly what Hitler did in the run up to the Nazi takeover of Germany. Anyone who does not believe that should read an reliable history book.
When any government persecutes and subjugates the poor and dispossessed, it becomes beholden on those affected to stand up for themselves, be it by means of the French Revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall or last year’s ‘Arab Spring’.
If the ever growing number of British poor – who are likely to lose their homes, have their benefit cut or be put in jail for no good reason – want to improve their situation, it is necessary (in our opinion at least) for them to stop moaning and start doing.
Shrugging their shoulders and bleating loudly about ‘unfairness’ is not enough, even if it may be true; they need to take action, whether that be indirect action or, as some would suggest, direct action against the government who choose to persecute those less fortunate than themselves.
We are not advocating open revolution – but nor are we saying that such action may not occur naturally as those affected by a dictatorial, authoritarian and almost fascist government reach their limit of endurance.
Furthermore, given that all political parties are after the same small group of ‘floating voters’, the policies of the three main parties are all more or less the same. It is unlikely therefore that any real change will come simply by voting for a different political party at the next election.
It would seem that the government agrees with TheOpinionSite.org that the threat of direct action is real.
The Metropolitan Police and most other forces have over the last 12 months been stockpiling rubber bullets, arming more and more officers with (sometimes deadly) tazer guns and making provision for the use of water-canon on the streets, all at the behest of the government.
Whilst it is true throughout history that British governments have always used and abused their poor and needy, we have never seen such a blatant expression of the disproportionate exercise of power over the most helpless as is being displayed now.
A millionaire cabinet, an ambitious, feminist Home Secretary (and shadow home secretary come to that), a new female and totally self-centred Director of Prosecutions who hates men and everything they stand for, a set of intellectually challenged opposition MPs – many of whom are far too young to have had any experience of life at all – and a government that is terrified of its back-benchers and their determination to drag Britain back into its 19th century social structure…the seeds of revolution are all there.
The problem for those who would revolt however is that most of them are cowards. They are happy for others to take the risk as long as they themselves do not have to do so. Working together has never been a forte of the British either.
TheOpinionSite.org is of the view however that as people lose their homes, as the disabled are discriminated against, as the poor become poorer and the rich become not only richer but even more powerful, even the poor, the despised, the disabled and the unwanted may find the strength to fight back.
The myth that Britain is a ‘fair’ country will be – and indeed needs to be – exposed for what it is; a lie…and a big lie at that.
Most people would work if they could, if the jobs were really there; if government ministers would stop telling lies and acting maliciously against the helpless in a rather pathetic attempt to get those with money to like David Cameron and his rich friends again.
And what about those readers who claim ”…but the jobs are there. Why won’t they take them?”
The answer is that the jobs are part-time and do not pay a living wage.
Those that criticise the unemployed, the disabled and the helpless would not take such a job themselves.
Speaking from a position of power is easy; so is cutting Housing Benefit and asking people to work for nothing.
However, fixing the problem means taking money away from the rich and privileged and giving the poor real help, not the cosmetic nonsense of the Work Programme.
It also means recognising that welfare payments are necessary until any individual – disabled, poor or hampered by their own past as for example, ex-offenders are – can look after themselves.
This government – and its policies – are now proved to be nasty, vindictive, racist, xenophobic and selfish.
Whilst the Liberal Democrats have often been criticised, they have at least prevented this millionaire-led government from doing what it really wants to do and certainly, things would be far worse without the Lib Dem influence.
Change however comes from action; as history shows us, it always has.
Whether those affected by this Conservative led and draconian government have what it takes to fight back, only time will tell.
One point TheOpinionSite.org would make however is that many of those who are suffering at the hand of the Conservatives are actually working, are supposedly ‘middle class’ and subscribe to Tory ideology.
Perhaps they, more than anyone else, should pray for another hung parliament; without it, those ‘middle class’ voter may very well find themselves subject to reduced Housing Benefit, cuts in tax credits and an axing of child benefit.
In short, they will join the poor; one wonders what they will do then…
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