Archives for posts with tag: vassals of the state


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,439

Friday 20 May 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I was very impressed at this little nugget that you threw into the Queen’s speech for the State Opening of Parliament, “… and to move to a higher wage and lower welfare economy where work is rewarded.”

It’s amazing, in all the commentary that has followed the Queen’s speech, not a word has been mentioned about pay being redefined by your government as a reward for labour, yet it is possibly the most egregious patronising insult contained in the speech.

Pay was once an entitlement in exchange for labour, but, of course, that’s something you have worked assiduously to bring to an end. The fundamental right to expect a decent rate of pay in exchange for the expenditure of our labour no longer applies in Tory Britain, that is what Workfare has stolen from workers. You have rewritten work as a state duty under threat of punitive sanctions, in which pay has been eradicated and is now merely a reward, if we’re lucky.

I don’t care how many times I have to say it, forced labour is a crime under the Human Rights Act! Yet under the DWP’s brutal and punitive regime this is now routine. The reward being that if you meekly obey you will get to keep the pittance reward of so called ‘benefits’. Even our pensions are called benefits, disregarding that they are an entitlement we have contributed towards all our working lives.

How you’ve stealthily slid us back into feudalism!

Priti Patel is promoting Brexit on the basis of halving the ‘burdens’ of the EU social and employment legislation, which exist to protect workers rights. Such inconveniences you refer to as ‘red tape’, which prevents businesses from being even more profitable at the expense of workers.

Your government is behaving like feudal overlords, patronising us as vassals of the state and rewarding us with a token keepsake if we’ve performed well whilst stealing all that we have so arduously laboured for. Small wonder the Trussell Trust reports that the number of working people needing emergency food parcels from food banks is increasing, citing  low wages, insecure work, high living costs and problems accessing working benefits. Weaponising money to use as a bargaining chip over people’s lives and calling it a reward is a crime against life.

Who let the cats out? Priti Patel suggests we could lose half our EU work rights after #Brexit

Foodbank use remains at record high


16_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,232

Friday 16 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Jeremy Hunt wants us to work harder and die younger just like the Americans and Chinese. The World Health Organisation life expectancy rankings has Britain at 19th, the US at 34 and China at 67. Just who in hell does Hunt think he is?

Iain Duncan Smith believes that people are incentivised to work through state imposed poverty, deprivation and starvation. He also believes that work helps cure ill health, disability and life threatening diseases. 200 disabled people a week are losing their Motability Allowance as they are moved from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) on to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) thereby losing their independent means of mobility. Are they now meant to get around on the seat of their pants, dragging themselves on bare knuckles to the healing sanctuary of work?

The SSI steelworks in Redcar is to close for good with the loss of some 1,700 jobs and affecting 9,000 other local jobs that rely on the steel works for their livelihood. I very much hope the good people of Redcar and Teeside will keep us posted on whether Jobcentres impose any sanctions on those seeking the support of Jobseekers Allowance to incentivise them to find jobs in an area with its heart torn out.

Odd, wouldn’t you say, that we can bail out the banks which can hardly be described as national assets as we struggle to recover from their profligate self serving greed and malfeasance and yet we cannot save one of Britain’s major industrial assets and the livelihoods of those who work there? So much for ‘hard working people’ and the Tories being ‘the party for working people’ offering ‘a brighter more secure future’. The bank bail out cost us hundreds of billions, not to mention the £375 billion of money from fresh air given to the banks in quantitative easing, yet we cannot afford a hundred or so million quid to save Redcar.

It is to Britain’s shame that 25% of the electorate could vote for a party of liars, a party that leaves no stone unturned in betraying the lives of ordinary people, a party, as we heard in parliament just yesterday, that laughs and jeers at the suffering they cause.

Howard Zinn lamented the obsequious servants of the overbearing state. How are people not affronted by your patronising language of ownership, or standing up to you Tory advocates of the top down abuses of the Victorian factory owners who used and abused people, including children, so extravagantly? We are not vassals of the state, Mr Cameron, nor are we your servants or slaves. The days of doffed caps and obsequious grovelling are over, whatever mandate you think you have is not yours to abuse as you see fit, nor is it written in stone or bound with iron, you only have it on sufferance, with the consent of the people.

04_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,220

Sunday 04 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

In May 2014 the Independent reported a study by the Office for National Statistics that found more than a million homes lay empty in Britain.

In February 2015 the Mirror reported that the number of families hit by the bedroom tax (under-occupancy charge), which targets poor and vulnerable people, will increase by 1 million over the term of this parliament. Despite your assurances to parliament that ‘Obviously, what we have done is to exempt disabled people who need an extra room’, disabled people are being hardest hit by the bedroom tax and are being evicted from specially adapted homes.

Between July and September last year Ministry of Justice figures show that 11,100 evictions by bailiffs had taken place, the highest number since records began, a large proportion attributed by social landlords to the bedroom tax.

By any sane definition a house sitting empty is under occupied, a child under 5 could work that out. In 2011 the coalition government introduced ‘dedicated empty homes programmes to support housing providers and community organisations to create affordable homes from empty properties’. These programmes ended in March 2015, which, according to government figures, succeeded in creating just 6,000 new homes from empty properties.

In very welcome news on Friday, in a country in which good news is in extremely short supply, a judge ruled that a group of squatters could remain in a disused adult learning centre. In dismissing the councils attempt to oust the squatters the judge found, ‘The defendants appear to be straight forward and honest individuals and they know the law around squatting, they have to gain entry and keep in residency. They are fully aware that they need to show continuity of occupation and have done so with evidence’.

The bigger issue here is that the group demonstrated good sense and, more importantly, self determination. It is the right to be self determining which is under attack through ever more draconian policies imposed by your government and none more so than from the DWP under Iain Duncan Smith. I wrote yesterday that authoritarian governance discriminates against those you consider to be beneath you, treating ordinary people as lesser beings, undermining dignity and self worth and treating us a vassals of the state. I consider this to be a fundamental issue and something that must be opposed and written into anti-discrimination law as a matter of urgency. No one, especially not government, should be free to subjugate and oppress others to the detriment of their mental and physical well being and especially to be a threat to life as Smith’s sanction regime clearly is. The rights to life, liberty, food, shelter and self determination are self evident and fundamental rights of life, a government that opposes and legislates against them is committing crimes against life itself.

03_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,219

Saturday 03 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

We are all born into a world run by, so called, elites and the problem is that most of us are not invited to the party. We are born into servility, set by the few against the many, to serve without any real democratic voice and with little or no say in policies which affect our everyday lives.

The minimum wage was a step in the right direction to combat poverty wages, but a minimum wage is not a wage that can be lived on, it is still a poverty wage set below the actual cost of living. That it was taken by so many businesses, capable of paying more, as standard to maximise profits against the welfare of the work force which creates those profits is inexcusable. To get away with the minimum wage businesses that pay it are benefiting from a social security system which tops up people’s income in order for them to live. Iain Duncan Smith has said that working tax credits are ‘a sorry story of dependency, wasted taxpayers’ money and fraud’. Were he talking about businesses I might agree, but he wasn’t, as usual he was falsely demonising the victims of low wages, not the culprits. Cuts to tax credits are just another egregious attack on ordinary people who are denied any democratic voice in government policy or the work place.

To say that there is no causal link between government policy and poverty is utterly ludicrous, you might just as well claim that there is no causal link between the arms industry and war. As a technicality, arms manufacturers may claim that they do not make wars, but the reality is that without the arms industry modern warfare would not be possible, they may not make the decisions to go to war but no one can deny that war is very good for business and they are in the trade to supply the means of conducting warfare. Your own recent arms trading tour, drumming up business for BAE Systems, is hardly anything to boast about, unless you live in a moral vacuum, which I rather think is the case given your own morally bankrupt economic war on the poor in the UK.

Treating people with dignity and respect isn’t hard, Mr Cameron, but first you must treat them as human beings, not vassals of the state nor yet as collateral damage in the pursuit of profit and enrichment for the few.

We deserve better and it is refreshing to see that the demands of ordinary people are getting louder and more insistent. It is no credit to you that the Tory conference in Manchester will see the construction of yet another ring of steel to keep protesters at bay. It’s hardly a sign of inclusive politics is it, or of you being the party of working people? I am sure there will be much back slapping and self congratulations at the conference, all the more offensive for ignoring the widespread misery and harm your party are entirely responsible for creating and pursuing through punitive policies and for treating us as vassals of the state and for enforcing obedience through depriving people of the means of survival.

Authoritarian and patronising attitudes and expression should be made illegal on a par with racial, religious, sexual and disability discrimination. It is to our shame that such laws are necessary, but then much of humanity has yet to grow up including many who serve in your party and that certainly includes you.