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A DPAC protest against benefit cuts [Image: Artists Against Blacklisting].

A DPAC protest against benefit cuts [Image: Artists Against Blacklisting].

Vast numbers of people are being energised against the Conservative Government’s victimisation of the sick and disabled, thanks to Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake.

They want to express their anger and outrage about what is happening – but most of them don’t even know why.

Do you?

Let me illuminate you: The sick and disabled have been the first targets in a huge con trick to take money away from the poor and give it to the rich.

The idea was simple: Create huge national debts and then make the ordinary – poor – citizens pay for them.

In this way, the rich would be able to justify the privatisation of national assets as necessary measures to combat the debt, to be followed by taxation increases that would, eventually, force the workers into effective slavery, servicing an ever-increasing debt as part of a “zombie economy”.

Who would receive the money? Huge, multinational corporations. Who else?

For a better insight than I can provide, read Austerity: The Demolition of the Welfare State and the Rise of the Zombie Economy by Kerry-Anne Mendoza (yes, the editor-in-chief of The Canary).

The sick and disabled are first in the firing-line for cuts because their income is controlled by the state – the greater the disability, the more a person relies on publicly-funded support.

Of course, it just happens to be true, also, that these people are the most likely to die as a result of the removal of that support – especially when it is justified with nonsense (which is what the current work capability assessment undoubtedly is – look up This Blog’s vast library of articles on the subject for further enlightenment).

The refusal of benefit in an unreasonable way sends many of these already-frail people into a spiral of depression that either worsens their physical condition beyond repair, or drives them to suicide.

And that leaves one less sick person to feed, who cannot work to pay the corporate slave-owners part of the interest on the debt created by the corporates.

Look at the banking crisis of 2008. The people of the UK didn’t cause it. The government of the UK didn’t cause it (and the failure of government regulation isn’t to be blamed – individuals have responsibility for their own actions, you know).

Bankers and financiers caused the crisis – and have never paid a penny of the debts they incurred.

Why aren’t people telling the government they elected to stop bullying and killing the defenceless and start addressing the real cause of the problem?

Are we all afraid?

There are more than 60 million of us in the UK alone. If we all acted at once, we would soon see a few changes!

But we all know that won’t happen, don’t we? Because that’s what we’re all told.

So, I’ll tell you what.

Why don’t you have a look around your own area, and see what’s going on near you. Is anyone from DPAC living nearby? How about Black Triangle? Or any of the other organisations dedicated to helping the sick and disabled?

If you really are angry – and not just enjoying a bit of cathartic emotion after watching a good film – then get involved.

And tell others to do the same.

If you can be bothered to do something, eventually anything will be possible.

That’s simple mathematics.

The resistance begins at the raw front lines of those impacted first and impacted the hardest. The UK grassroots direct action group Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), run by disabled people, has grown out of that immediate need to hit back against crushing austerity. Their story is a microcosm of the neoliberal story, including its construction, its destructive effects and how to fight back.

In 2010, UK chancellor George Osborne announced cuts of 20 per cent to disabled people, despite the fact that the government’s own figures stated only 0.5 per cent of claimants to be potentially fraudulent.

Disabled people have been forced to pay nine times more than the average citizen to reduce the budget deficit and people with high or complex support needs have been forced to pay 19 times more. From the failed Bedroom Tax, cuts to Employment and Support Allowance and the closing of the Independent Living Fund, it has been relentless. The UK has become the first country in the world to use the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities to be investigated for ‘grave and systemic violations’ of disabled peoples’ rights and it is telling that the Tory government has since refused to make public the findings.

Andy Greene, member of the national steering committee for DPAC, tells me, ‘What you have is the people who are engaged most with the state, disabled people because of the nature of impairment, being the first in the firing line when these public services and the welfare state start to be dismantled in the name of austerity… and the fall out is that peoples’ lives shrink or people die.’

Source: Disabled people lead the fight against austerity — New Internationalist