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Starved & evicted: Britain’s poor now treated worse than animals

Beginning his working life in the aviation industry and trained by the BBC, Tony Gosling is a British land rights activist, historian & investigative radio journalist.

Published time: March 07, 2014 11:12
A man enters a Job Center in London (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)

If someone had told me a decade ago that the British government would deliberately starve my fellow countrymen in an attempt to bully them into slave labor jobs that wouldn’t even pay the bills, I would have laughed in their face.

But now I know I would have been the fool. This is indeed the breathtaking strategy of David Cameron’s LibDem-Tory coalition.

A vast underclass of between 5 and 10 million people has been created in Britain of desperate, destitute and now-dying people. While government and media alike tell of “hopeful signs” that the nation’s getting better off, they are just 'talking it up' from their ivory towers.

Even Lord Rothschild, who invests over 2 billion pounds of his own dynasty’s and other depositors’ cash through RIT Capital Partners, is ringing alarm bells this week: “With the world recovery still fragile and reliant to a large extent on policy support [QE/money printing]", he warns, "it is not hard to envisage markets having to deal with shocks in the coming year.” Yes, “shocks.”

I remember the collective horror we felt in 1980 when homeless beggars appeared sleeping in London's shop doorways for the first time since the Second World War. Then again, it was the first term of a Tory government, taking their orders from the City of London, cutting off public assistance from the people that needed it most. The people least able to fight back.

The creation of misery, of third-world style divisions in British society is no 'accident'. It plays to The City and Downing Street's 'Lords of Misrule’s’ disarmingly simple, if taboo, 'higher purpose'. Yes, it makes the anti-democratic European Union 'look good'.

All national administrations in Europe are being subsumed, by trickery, foul means or loans, into Brussels' unelected 'United States of Europe' whether they like it or not. Britain's destitute, dying and dead are just what they now call 'collateral damage' in a 'noble cause'.

Should ‘parasitic poor’ be left to fend for themselves?

When government 'Job Centers' or privatized ‘Work Program providers’ consider a UK welfare claimant has not done everything possible to find work that person and their family is ‘sanctioned’. For a period of several weeks, or months, that person has to survive on no money at all, which usually means borrowing or not eating. Some are tempted into the black economy, or to throw their lot in with organized criminal gangs, where those 'jobs' haven't already been taken by economic migrants.

A protester demonstrates against IT company Atos's involvement in tests for incapacity benefits outside the Department for Work and Pensions in London (Reuters/Neil Hall)

Right leaning London think tank Policy Exchange this week published a report revealing the number of Britons incorrectly sanctioned. One hundred and forty-five thousand people have been placed on 'starvation row', often with an entire family to support, though they had done nothing wrong.

To make matters worse the Lord Freud and his Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is trying to introduce a system of welfare payments called ‘Universal Credit’ which bundles housing payments in together with money for electricity and food. When individuals are ‘sanctioned’ in future they will not just be starved but cast out into the street, to lose the roof over their head too.

For those facing short-term crises such as being flooded out of their homes, suffering severe illness or being forced to flee a violent partner, government had a 350-million-pound 'Local Welfare Assistance Fund' to pay for emergency food and shelter. Last week Tory Chancellor George Osborne scrapped that too. The timing of this cut will not be lost on the hundreds of Brits flooded out of their homes in recent weeks, including the disabled, who were simply left to fend for themselves.

London media look the other way

When introduced in the 1940s, Britain’s flagship Social Security system was the envy of the civilized world, but as it begins its painful descent to the ocean depths, Fleet Street made a politically-charged decision to leave human interest stories of death and horror to Britain’s local media. Not being ‘celebrities’ those dead or ruined by ‘austerity’ have, like the victims of tyranny before them, become 'Untermensch' in the London newsrooms.

There is the case of former Bristol nurse, Jacqueline Harris, who spent the best years of her life caring for National Health Service (NHS) patients. Half-blind, arthritic with a disabled arm and crippled with back pain in her 50s she suffered daily agony which even strong pain relief could not ease. Told by privatized Work Capability Assessment firm ATOS for the DWP that she was 'fit to work', Jacqueline quickly had her benefits cut and - according to her sister - finding it impossible to cope, 'killed herself' by taking an overdose.

For the starving, churches across the country have been a 'Godsend' collecting much of the food distributed to the staggering half a million Britons now dependent on food banks, but even this was not enough to save 'vulnerable and fragile' Oxford man Mark Wood who was found last week to have died of starvation, again ATOS had decided for the DWP he was 'fit to work'.

Ranks of police officers disperse protesters against multinational IT firm and Paralympics sponsor Atos from outside the offices of the Department of Work and Pensions in London on August 31, 2012. (AFP Photo)

In Brighton this week we learned of 48 severely disabled people, including several who are terminally ill with brain tumors or cancer, that have been waiting many months for welfare payments the law says they are due.

A diabolical pattern is emerging: that deliberate cruelty is 'good' to those Tory and LibDem politicians sitting around the Downing Street cabinet table. And Cameron gave the game away last week by holding his cabinet meeting round BP's Aberdeen board room table. It is up the pecking order of NATO's transatlantic Bilderberg elite, up the corporate greed and EU appointees' food chain that he aspires and while he'll say what his PR people tell him, the lives of ordinary people mean nothing whatever to the man.

Housing: Essentials of life are costing more than ever

As Britain hits the top of the league this month, proudly beating Germany by importing more Ferrari sports cars than any other country, millions of unemployed have already lost in the clamor for low paid jobs. Many disabled and infirm too will never earn a living and the British government is forgetting at its peril that these people are human beings who deserve the minimum: food, warmth and shelter.

As these basic needs are withdrawn the obsession with ‘equality’ in gender, race and sexuality consistently ignores the chasm that has opened up of income inequality. Having taken the food from over half a million mouths and made it impossible for people to heat their homes the Cameron government now threatens them with homelessness too and it's here that his cruelty hits his economic ineptitude head on.

Given that Britain has been forced by the EU to open its doors to foreign labor we are seeing around 200,000 economic migrants a year, Britain's biggest wave of immigration ever. Anyone who questions the wisdom of this is simply branded ‘racist’. Along with the rich buying up houses as an investment, and a virtual halt in construction of affordable housing this is elevating the cost of British accommodation to dizzying heights.

Though it looks good to some on paper, Britain’s housing bubble results from a housing oligopoly controlled by just a handful of massive firms of whom Barratt, Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Berkeley, Bellway, Redrow, Galliford Try, Bovis, Crest Nicholson are the biggest. With an oligopoly on place you can be sure buying a house bears no relation whatsoever to the cost of building one.

The average three bedroom council house has two main ingredients in cost: materials, and labor. A rough estimate of the bricks, wood, tiles, plasterboard, windows, doors and other fittings that go into a house is 7,500 pounds and taking man hours of labor at 10 pounds an hour brings that up to a build cost of 15,000 pounds. Spread over the lifetime of a house of 200 years, this works out at around 2 pounds a week.

The difference between this and the average actual weekly rent or mortgage repayment for a two bedroom house in Southern England is 400 pounds, a profit margin of 20,000 percent. The house-building oligopoly and lazy ‘rentier’ classes are extorting almost the entire rent every week from the poor. From these figures it seems the entire UK economy is now based on nothing but the threat of eviction. So perhaps this is why Cameron has criminalized the squatting of residential properties in Britain, which has been a legal guarantee since the dawn of time.

Reuters/Toby Melville

Just this week we have seen what happens to people who, faced with trying to pay for housing which has been inflated 20,000 percent above the cost, try to buy land and do it themselves. Matthew Lepley and Jules Smith bought twenty acres of land in Beaworthy, Devon and have built a simple but beautiful eco-home on it, but now face an order from the local Torridge District Council to tear it all down.

Perhaps the government is worried that if the word gets about it would deflate their precious housing bubble? Thankfully there are many more who have built in secret and do not intend to reveal to the authorities where they are living.

Airbrushing ‘full employment’ & ‘social justice’ from the history books

Meanwhile in the towns, and for those that still do what they're told, the idea is to present Cameron's systematic cruelty toward the poor as ‘normal’. It is as though great post-war historians such as Asa Briggs, Edward ‘EP’ Thompson, Christopher Hill and Henry Brailsford never existed. Who needs to organize a public book burning when the EU and The City's corporate profit seekers now own the education system, academy schools, universities and the press too?

Karl Marx explained in Das Kapital back in 1867 that Plutocracy requires a 'Reserve Army of Labor', an industrial reserve of surplus population. This has been British government policy ever since the Callaghan’s Labour government gave up on the policy of Full Employment in the late 1970s.

But David Cameron’s Coalition government has sent the clearest sign possible, to what has been a permanent underclass for the last 35 years, that these 'surplus people' will no longer be fed or housed.

Abandoning a domesticated animal or withdrawing its supply of food can end in criminal convictions here in the UK, yet the duty of care and animal cruelty legislation does not, it seems, apply to human beings. This government has taken Britain over the line into barbarism, around 5 million Britons, if they get their way, are headed for the Tory party knacker’s yard.

Cameron seems fixated on trying to stop the unemployed or other victims of his money laundering fraudster City funders from eating and sleeping. The Britain he wants to see is a sadistic place where, as US writer Gore Vidal mockingly commented: “It is not enough to succeed, others must fail.” Only the selfish, the ignorant and the rich count as human in Cameron’s financial determinism.

If there is a political backlash, he doesn’t care, he knows he’ll walk straight into a multimillion job in the EU's corporate world when his political bolt is shot. So as far as ‘Call me Dave’ and his Eton Bullingdon Club chums are concerned, the poor can just go to hell.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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