It Was labour What Done This…
That it was. I first threatened and then did leave the Labour Party over it. Right at the time they were trying to bring in Identity Cards and lock uncharged people away for 90 days, reduced to 42 days (yes really, they were – It’s like a bad dream) they also added some “rules” for state benefit claimants. These are well explained at the top of Ron’s blog entry:
It’s been brought to my attention that page 16 of the ESA Notes Sheet ESA40 04/09 contains this gem:- You must also tell us if you or your partner (among much else):- My parentheses and italics. go away from home, even if it is for a day
And indeed it is so! The document can be downloaded in full here on the DirectGov website. A screenshot I’ve taken, highlighted the important bits and shown it here. n.b. Ron is disabled, in several ways, not least by having the fat burned from the soles of his feet with a lightning strike!
Why Is This Important?
A. Well actually, it contravenes everything that Britain and other freedom-loving peoples have fought for regarding the right not just to life, but to a decent life, free of oppression, free to move and enjoy living just for its own sake, the UK having signed up for all of this in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It’s part of the United Nations Charter, adopted in 1948 and part of International Law since 1976.
Here are the bits in which the highlighted line in the screenshot above breaks the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
- Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status – BROKEN. Ron’s status is different from others in that he is disabled. And, by limiting his freedom of movement as described, this breaks
- Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. BROKEN. Ron’s freedom of movement is not the same as those not on benefit.
- Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. BROKEN. It is degrading to have to inform faceless bureaucrats of one’s location on a daily basis.
- Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. BROKEN AGAIN. It is degrading to have to inform faceless bureaucrats of one’s location on a daily basis.
- Article 27: Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. BROKEN: Ron cannot participate freely. Neither can his partner (if he has one). He must inform the government of his movements which then prevents his free enjoyment that life in a free society provides.
- Article 30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein. BROKEN. The UK state has removed Ron’s rights as defined and make law in the articles above.
What Else is Bonkers About This?
You may have noticed I highlighted another line. For the lazy, this is how it reads, and when you’ve read it, then realise how bad these draconian rules really are:
You must also tell us if you or your partner, DIE!!!
Laughable bureaucracy, eh?
Of course, I can see why the state may want to do all of this – the powers-that-be have been making a big play in rustling up public opinion against “scroungers”. But what Labour started, the Tories, as I predicted, have taken all of this up with a vengeance. True, it’s fine to have paid work and/or a vocation that enervates oneself. It’s part of the human condition to feel wanted and valued among one’s fellows. But it’s all wrong to penalise the weakest in society and those that need the most support, by infringing and removing their basic human right of free movement to enjoy the society we’ve created.
Q. How to solve the conundrum?
A. I don’t know and I don’t care actually, because I’m not in government and don’t have the power to change.
Those that are, you know, the elected or non-elected ones who decide that they’re better than us, they’re the ones who must, should and can change the rules, because they’re the ones that set them up in the first place!
- U.N. Secretary-General Defends LGBT Rights In Africa (thinkprogress.org)
- On how Islam violates individual rights (capitalisthistory.com)
- UN calls for Africa to respect gay rights (haleybehre.wordpress.com)