We’ve come a long way since the 1960’s when I was first unemployed – between jobs. I went down the dole office and they gave me the same amount as my old wage in cash, over the counter. It took about half an hour.
Working people had died in their millions in two World Wars and they demanded respect and recognised their power. But that was then and now we’ve been divided; in work and in our communities that used to be so strong.
There’s a lot of people out there who ask why we’re not on the streets like the French. I saw a meme that showed a British demonstration with people carrying humorous placards and a French one which was a pitched battle.
We have done, and can do that stuff when we want to. All over people are coming together to fight for their rights, or for reason, or for respect and a living income; against government policies, or business exploitation, for social freedoms and mutual respect.
It’s developing very quickly after the election, it feels just like when Thatcher got in, and it’s presumably headed the same way, except maybe more so. The stakes are at their highest; we can all feel it.
Society is stretched like a rubber band between social inequality and Universal Credit, climate change, working conditions and job insecurity, cultural conflicts and a bullying state – when and where is it going to snap?
As for the Universal Credit Claimants Union – it can take its place in all this. 2.7million on UC now, more every day and the system teetering on the edge of collapse. A million members would make the DWP change its ways and the government take notice. We need members and activists and non-claimant supporters – join your voice please.