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Government policies and State violence

From Mick Piggott

Monday, 29 August 2011

The law and order brigade are very keen to punish the rioters for their violence. They should remember that violence comes in many forms. The State is capable of perpetrating violence too. I'm not just thinking of that horrible image of cops dragging a disabled man out of his wheelchair and beating him, or of their tasering a man who is already down until he dies. These are just two examples of physical violence by agents of the State. I'm thinking of other forms of violence: the kind that doesn't involve physically striking somebody, but certainly causes real pain that is long-lasting and aimed at hurting many thousands of people. The kind of injury, in other words, that government policies cause.

This government, in its non-wisdom, is imposing many policies that are designed to take even more from those who have not to give even more to those who have. The ConDem coalition has as its priority, the aim of preserving the excessive wealth of the few at the expense of the many. It is doing so with many regressive policies, and here's how one of the cruellest is hurting one fragile, innocent individual.

I will refer to this lady as J. She is a close friend, and a local. J is 59, and the government has decreed that she will not, as previously anticipated, receive her state retirement pension next year but must now wait another two years. J brought up a profoundly disabled son, almost unaided by the State. She also worked, for the last 39 years since leaving college, as a teacher.

J developed, probably as a direct result of coping with her son, who grew up big and strong in a body which left his mind in infancy, fibromyalgia, with arthritis in her hands. Eventually her son had to be admitted to a care home; J had become physically incapable of looking after him. She is now unable to so much as write a letter without exhaustion setting in. She is constantly tired and in pain. As a result, last year she was declared unfit for work and registered disabled.

Recently, she was sent for 'assessment' under the new government policy which requires all disabled people to be seen by so-called 'doctors' who are employed by Atos, a French private agency which is contracted to the government at a cost to the taxpayer of £100 million per annum.

Without a physical examination, a check-list was completed by the 'doctor' from which some sort of 'report' was compiled for the Department of Work and Pensions. From this 'report', the DWP concluded that J was fit for work, and her Employment Support Allowance was immediately terminated.

This hard-working lady, disabled by caring beyond the call of duty, has been plunged into dire poverty by a government of millionaires. She is punished for caring for her profoundly disabled son, for also working hard all her adult life, and for having the temerity to fall sick as a result.

The future for her looks bleak, unless this foul decision by the DWP can be reversed.

With this in mind, we appealed to our local MP for support and, if possible, assistance. The reply has been the typically emollient letter, but apart from that, nothing. But what can we expect from a Tory MP who presumably supports his government's policies which have led to a tsunami of pain imposed on possibly hundreds of thousands of people? Now, that's violence!

From Sutti H

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I really don't think many people realise just how bad this goverment is treating disabled people. All they think of is the man at the end of the street that does odd jobs and claims sickness benefit. Yes that person needs sorting out, but he also knows the benefits system inside out and he does my odd jobs half price of anyone else. We all know the odd job man, we've all got one. But we also know a disabled person who needs our support, they do not need interrogating in this pathetic manner.

I am sorry to say Mick, it is totally pointless writing to Mr Whittaker, you might as well save your ink, you will not get through to him. You know what I'm getting at don't you?