This post moved me to tears by its eloquence and honesty. I’d like to think that if Ed Milliband read this he might change his mind about trying to follow the government’s approach to benefits and think again. The answers to the problem of poverty lie far deeper than blaming the poor and any solutions surely need to start with dismantling a system which assumes profit making is the ultimate human right and competition is good for all. The truth is that under the current system there can never be a level playing field on which to compete. And by their very nature human beings do not all have the same level of abilities. But a system whose basic underlying principle was the equality of value of humans rather than the right to make a profit no matter what would automatically ensure that we designed things so that everyone had the same basic income to guarantee them a life worth living.
A few days ago, I found myself involved in a twitter conversation about desperation. My impression of my fellow conversationalists is that they were mainly salariats (people receiving salaries) for whom, I imagine (because I don’t know), the austerity policies of the UK’s Coalition government have had some impact but have yet to undermine their foundations of existence. Participating as a precariat, my response was markedly different.
In less than three months time, I will be encountering the precariousness of my existence when the DWP requires me to, once again, attend a WCA (Work Capability Assessment) with Atos to see if I am ‘fit for work’ after the 6-month reprieve my GP won for me last March. These so-called fitness tests have already been found unfit for purpose, yet they continue regardless because, as far as I can see, the plutocrats who run my country have…
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