Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/661/11338

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 March 2011

Casualties of cuts - and a rotten system

BANKERS AND speculators have been bailed instead of jailed. But for our class, the cruel casualties of this rotten system have been mounting for a decade.

Wally Kennedy, Secretary, Hillingdon Against Cuts

I offer an informal 'surgery' to assist people with pursuing their rights. A very disabled man begged me to visit a 73 year-old neighbour whom he had been trying to look after. The woman had lived without heating, electricity, hot water, fridge or cooker for six years in her council flat.

I saw the appalling conditions and contacted the council. It turned out that the flat above hers had been sold and that subsequent refurbishment by the new owners had cut off her supply. The very proud woman was clearly distressed and had mental health problems. The council's initial response had been, "She has turned off her supply ... she has made a 'lifestyle' choice"!

Neglect

Such cases of neglect are not uncommon. Housing Welfare Officers no longer exist. The increasing numbers condemned to live in overcrowded, damp and mouldy accommodation are a direct consequence of years of council cutbacks, which will considerably worsen in the coming cuts onslaught.

Benefit tests introduced by New Labour also had a devastating impact on the sick and vulnerable. I have done dozens of appeals to tribunals on behalf of the sick and the dying. One building worker with a serious heart disease, who was awaiting a transplant, was refused benefits. We won the tribunal after a five-month wait. His backdated benefit was eventually paid into his account on the morning of his funeral.

A 63 year-old car mechanic, who was dying from cancer, had his Disability Living Allowance stopped. Again we eventually won the tribunal appeal but he died within months. The list of casualties is growing.

Increasing numbers of people with serious mental health problems, who have to wait up to a year for counselling services, are being found fit for work by the 'medical assessors' of Atos Origin despite the medical evidence of GPs and consultants. Sadly many have tried to take their own lives.

Former service personnel returning to civilian life receive little help. I have dealt with six cases in the past 18 months of former soldiers who have been destroyed by their experiences; many of them are now mentally ill and homeless.

After the Napoleonic Wars there were such levels of homelessness that the government introduced the 1824 Vagrancy Act. I explained to the ex-soldiers that I think we are now witnessing the same processes all over again. They don't want parades; they want medical care, housing and jobs.

Many newly unemployed people will be shocked at the low levels of benefits and support. The realisation that they have been duped for years about the 'benefits paradise' will alter their class and political perspectives.

Public sector unions such as Unison and PCS need to produce joint leaflets, with information for users of council services and benefit claimants. They should also help set up organisations for the unemployed. This will help break down the barriers and prepare the ground for unity in action.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 9 March 2011:


Anti-cuts campaign

We can stop cuts!

Rage against all cuts!

Labour councils should fight cuts, not implement them!

Demonstrations against council cuts


Socialist Party youth and students

For a fighting student leadership

Jarrow march for jobs: Why Hull is marching

Students sit in at Sheffield


International socialist news and analysis

Middle East uprisings: The unfinished revolutions


Socialist Party news and analysis

Lib Dems 'get a kicking' in Barnsley

Wales votes 'yes' but workers' party needed

Lewisham: Vote for a real fight against the cuts

Cardiff march and rally against cuts

Brighton: Labour and Green Party councillors fail to stop Tory budget

Tories allow growth of Murdoch media empire

TUC must address demo access issue

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

BP Hull Saltend construction workers win victory through strike action

Fighting the anti-trade union laws

UCU members vote for action on pensions, jobs and pay

Unison expulsion

Workplace news in brief

Take out a May Day greeting!


Socialist Party feature

Casualties of cuts - and a rotten system

Needed: a fair deal for carers!

Care - condition critical


 

Home   |   The Socialist 9 March 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Hillingdon:

triangleHillingdon Socialist Party: February 1917 - Russia's Tsar is overthrown

triangleHillingdon4Corbyn public meeting

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleHillingdon Socialist Party: What next after the EU referendum?

Cuts:

triangleWorkplace and union news in brief

triangleNewham: women's refuge funds halved - Labour must use the 500m reserves

triangleSouthampton: Labour plans 15m cuts - vote Socialist in Coxford by-election

triangleEnfield: striking against academisation - fighting for a no-cuts budget

Council:

triangleVictory to Birmingham bin workers

triangleTraffic wardens' strike is just the ticket

triangleWorcestershire: save the libraries, reverse all the cuts

Medical:

triangleNHS we're ready to fight

triangleWelsh NHS crisis - we cannot go on like this

Benefits:

triangleUniversal Credit out - Tories out!

Mental health:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Why capitalism is bad for your mental health

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

15/2/19

Climate change

Youth strike for the climate: "There's no planet B"

13/2/19

Turkey

'Spot' conference opposes authoritarianism in Turkey

13/2/19

Liverpool

Liverpool: 200 march to commemorate Robert Tressell

13/2/19

Nottingham

300 turn out for Corbyn in Nottingham marginal

13/2/19

Socialist Party

Why I joined: "why is their life so different from mine?"

13/2/19

Tamil Solidarity

Arrest Brigadier Fernando - defend the right to protest

13/2/19

Newham

Newham: women's refuge funds halved - Labour must use the 500m reserves

13/2/19

Southampton

Southampton: Labour plans 15m cuts - vote Socialist in Coxford by-election

13/2/19

Union

Workplace and union news in brief

13/2/19

Enfield

Enfield: striking against academisation - fighting for a no-cuts budget

13/2/19

Leicester

Leicester college workers refuse to accept cut in terms and conditions

13/2/19

Glasgow

Glasgow: nationalise the threatened 'Caley' railway depot

13/2/19

PCS

Fight for a socialist-led PCS - fight to win the national pay campaign

13/2/19

RMT

Heroic RMT guards beat back Northern rail in fight against dangerous driver-only operation

13/2/19

Birmingham

Victory to Birmingham bin workers

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999