Thanet Star

We are living in a horror story

Some days, I wake up and pray that I am still dreaming.

These days it honestly feels like we Brits have given up compassion, in favour of making as many people suffer as humanly possible. When did that happen? When did we start fearing those worse off than ourselves?

Just after the banks screwed us as hard as they could, we brought into the mentality of blaming the victim. We let the bankers have a big payout and turned our attention on those that got the worst of it and said: "this is your fault".

Was it, or was it not, rich and overpaid "managers" that got us into this mess? Was it, or was it not, traders in greedy "too big to fail" money market agencies that caused the crash? Was it, or was it not, the very same people that walked away with a huge bonus, paid for by the government with our money, that got us to where we are now?

UK

Don't get me wrong, things were not exactly ideal before the bankers bent us over and, well, you get the picture. Only now, we have been convinced to blame the poor. How the hell did that happen?

Being out of work was no picnic, even before all this started. Now it is a living nightmare.

For example, raising a family is fraught with dangers. These dangers are made ten times worse if you happen to be poor.

I'm not just talking about how hard it is to feed a family these days. A few years ago we were all told how vulnerable children are being regularly mistreated by social services. A report from the Centre for Social Justice found "unscrupulous and illegal practices" by local council agencies more commonly called "social services". Guess who gets the raw end of this - I'll give you a clue, it is not those that can afford a large house, nice car, and a good solicitor.

This abuse has been public knowledge for at least two years. Yet, in all that time, what have we done about it? That's right, not a thing.

It is like we have all been programmed to hate the poor for costing us money, while at the same time being distracted, by bright lights or something, from the truth. The truth is that big businesses cost this country many times more than benefits claims do.

According to the Independent: Just 0.7 per cent - or Ј1.2bn - of total benefit expenditure in 2012/13 was overpaid due to fraud. This compares with Ј5bn a year that the government loses through tax avoidance.

It is estimated that as many as 3,600 people work in the for the DWP just investigating benefit abuse. That is a lot of people for 0.7%. Meanwhile, only 700 people work in both units at HMRC to deal with the richest taxpayers.

To put that in perspective, for every Ј1 that the 3,600 DWP workers are cashing there are only 700 seeking Ј4 from people well equipped to avoid paying. 700 people to chase Ј5bn. Does that seem right to you?

David Cameron at first Cabinet meeting

We all know that we need to save money, it's been drilled into us by the Tory government, but how are the Tories trying to "save money"? By reducing benefits, kicking people when they are down, and generally taxing the poor to death. A government audit suggests that departments had underpaid claimants by a Ј1.6bn.

For those of you keeping score, the Conservative Government has failed to pay more money to the most vulnerable than it has lost to a feckless minority. When just a few quid could mean the difference between eating and going without Ј1.6n is far too much to take from those legitimately in need.

Ever since we, stupidly, stopped the Liberal Democrats from holding back the Conservative Party, the Torys have turned the "war on the poor" up to eleven.

There was the Asperger sufferer that starved to death after his benefits were stopped; a disabled mum who died peniless after her benefits were stopped; the blind and paralysed man who died after his benefits were stopped. Is this the kind of country we want to live in? One that kills people for being unlucky?

I can't be the only one who finds this ethically repugnant? Am I the last one to still believe that social justice, that is doing the right thing for society, is the moral duty of government?

Almost a billion people now have to rely on food banks to eat. That is three times as many people since the Lib-Dems stopped being available to slow the Tories down.

We are living in a horror story.

Homeless

The stated aim of The Centre for Social Justice, the people behind the report saying Social Services are a danger to our children, is to "put social justice at the heart of British politics". That is a nice idea. Better yet, this think-tank has been labelled one of the most influential on the British Conservative Party under the leadership of David Cameron. Yet, the "most influential" think-tank has had little effect in actually slowing down, the Tory lead, war on the poor.

If the Conservatives don't listen to their own advisors on ethics, who will they listen to?

Orwellian

Did we slip into this Orwellian-nightmare on our own or were we pushed? Actually, forget how we got here, how do we get out of here?

Is there anything that can actually save us from the bleak world we have voted for?

Actually, yes, but I don't think you are going to like it.

Even as the UN inquiry considers UK disability rights violations, the UK is considering getting out of the EU. How much good would the expected 2017 UN condemnation of human rights abuses in the UK do, without the EU Court of Human Rights?

I am far from Europe's biggest fan - it has a lot that needs to be fixed - but right now I am a lot more worried about how David Cameron will be treating us without any restraints at all.

The EU is the one authority big enough to nudge the UK back to sanity. They might not be anywhere near as powerful as the exit camp would have you believe, but they might be our only hope. A slow moving hope that the UK (currently) has a lot of influence over, but a hope nevertheless.

But that can't happen if we leave.

If we leave the EU we are one step closer to dropping the human rights act. The UN Bill of Human Rights started in the UK, and that British document is about the only thing left that can slow the Tories down.

It's not like Labour are ready to run the country and, let's be honest - despite how much better it would be - can we really bank on the British public voting sufficient Lib-Dems back in, to hold the Tories to account?

Even if we do get enough Lib-Dems in the next Government bringing some sanity back, how many people will die from Tory-led abuses in an EU-free UK?

That thought alone keeps me awake at nights. The fear that there could, literally, be no more safeguards against ideologically driven hate of the poor. Which, let's be honest, means hate of Thanet.

Prime Minister David Cameron

What else have we got going for us? Our council is currently run by a party run by bankrupts, council tax dodgers and (alleged) shoplifters. We might be a district that resents paying 26p a day to be in the EU, but it could get worse and that worries me. It worries me a great deal.

Let's pretend that we could reduce the 26p per day per person cost of the EU (we would probably still end up paying if we leave for trade rights), the EU does a lot for Thanet. The EU could do a lot more if only we had a council that was willing to ask for help.

Thanet already has more homeless than the council knows what to do with; Thanet already has more demand for food banks than the food banks can handle; Thanet already has mass unemployment. For reasons that mystify me, we continue to elect Conservative MPs who spend their time supporting laws that make us worse off, and councillors that spend their time fighting each other.

Being poor sucks; living in Thanet is not always great; but a Tory government with no restraints, that is a nightmare I would rather never witness. Worryingly, we are close to living in that dark future.

Banksy in Boston: F̶O̶L̶L̶O̶W̶ ̶Y̶O̶U̶R̶ ̶D̶R̶E̶A̶M̶S̶ CANCELLED, Essex St, Chinatown, Boston

We are the seventh richest country in the world, how the hell did we end up in a situation where we either cannot, or will not, help our own people? We can afford it. We could afford it four times over if the richest entities in the UK paid fair taxes.

The UK can afford to, not only house and feed everyone who has a need, but also ten times as many refugees on top. So what is it that stops us? When did we arrive at the conclusion that bad luck is a sign of moral failure, that being poor was a sign of stupidity?

You know what is a sign of stupidly - blaming the helpless for our problems. We can throw around all the blame we want and it will never, ever, help anyone at all. Or we can start to recognise that even a little compassion goes a long way.

When will we start saying that the war on the poor must end? When will Thanet start demanding moral and ethical sense from our leaders?

Quite frankly, this country terrifies me but the way we are heading gives me chills.

It would only take a few people, people like you, who still have a sense of right and wrong, to say "enough is enough".

Homeless

Enough is enough.

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