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The emergency services, newspapers and the government seem to have been colluding with each other to hide the deaths – by self-immolation – of benefit claimants who have been persecuted as a matter of government policy – to prevent the kind of social change triggered when Thích Quảng Đức set himself on fire in Saigon in June, 1963?

Why have the news media been playing down these incidents, that – if they happened abroad – would have sparked huge and justified civil unrest?

Where is their sense of responsibility – not only to the dead but to the living victims of Conservative government persecution?

And would any of them care to explain the disparity between the way foreign events have been reported and those here in the UK – is it really all down to the lack of a photograph of somebody in flames?

Yesterday (August 19) we learned that a woman aged in her 50s apparently tried to take her own life by setting herself alight in a housing office run by Conservative-controlled Barnet Council.

The last report we have is that this woman – who has not been named by the authorities – remains in critical condition.

Today we discover that this lady was lucky in comparison with retired builder Peter Sherwood, who set himself alight on the pavement of London Road North, Lowestoft, at around 5pm on September 4, 2015.

That’s right – nearly three years ago a man burned himself to death on a busy shopping street in a British town during rush hour, and nobody thought it was worth mentioning.

The only information we have is from an inquest report in the Lowestoft Journal, published on April 28, 2017 – more than a year and a half after the incident took place.

Curious, that.

Inquests don’t usually take so long. Why was this one dragged out?

The Lowestoft Journal report states that Mr Sherwood had been visited at home by his local community mental health team, who heard him express plans to end his own life and made an urgent appointment for him to see a psychiatrist the following week.

The fact that they did not take him to get help immediately is where the report seems to be suggesting any fault for the death lies. What about the reason he felt that way?

Here they are:

In a statement read during the hearing, Mr Sherwood’s niece Sarah Wilby said… Mr Sherwood was on Disability Living Allowance but he had received a letter informing him he needed to reapply for Personal Independence Payment, which she believed contributed to his heightened anger at that time.

Now consider this:

Coroner Peter Dean read statements from witnesses, who described seeing Mr Sherwood spraying something on the pavement starting with the letter ‘h’ with an aerosol can.

Mr Sherwood then set himself on fire. Members of the public tried to douse the flames by throwing their jackets onto Mr Sherwood, and using a fire extinguisher from a nearby shop.

Police at the scene reported Mr Sherwood had muttered the word “humanity” to them a couple of times after the incident.

So he was pleading for humanity from the authorities, or complaining about the lack of humanity being shown to him. Would it be unreasonable to suggest such a thing?

… Especially in light of the fact that we have evidence showing that huge numbers of disability benefit claimants have complained about the Conservative government’s inhuman treatment of them.

Mr Sherwood, of High Street, Lowestoft, had a long history of recurrent depressive disorder and psychosis and had attempted suicide several times in the past.

This is all-too-familiar.

We are left with evidence that people across the UK have been self-immolating over a period of years, because of the Tory government’s lack of “humanity” towards them – and that those with the ability to bring this horror to the attention of the public have been deliberately covering it up.

… To prevent the kind of social change we saw in South Vietnam, Tunisia and other Arab states, prompted by the same trigger?

If so, it would be grotesquely irresponsible of all those involved – they would be colluding with the Conservative government to allow its persecution of the extremely vulnerable to continue.


Do any of those involved have anything to say in their defence?

Source: Man who set himself on fire in Lowestoft struggled to cope with benefits change

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