End sanctions and state barbarity!


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,026

Thursday 12 March 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Some years ago now I wrote to the NSPCC regarding their “Cruelty to children must stop. Full Stop” campaign, now changed to “Every childhood is worth fighting for”.

It was my view, and still is, that such a campaign was unrealistic and unachievable. Even with a full surveillance state where every imaginable space was monitored, at best cruelty to children could, possibly, be detected but not prevented. As an abused child, the unrealistic aim of the campaign was immediately apparent and, as a survivor of abuse my view was rejected, an all too familiar outcome in which the voices of survivors are neither listened to nor treated with any credibility. I am familiar with the absurd and what the expression ‘the road to hell is filled with good intentions’ means. Abuse of any kind cannot and will not be prevented by meaningless assertions regardless of how well intentioned.

I have just finished reading a report by the Citizens Advice Bureau entitled ‘Punishing Poverty’ in which the widespread and indiscriminate use of sanctions is reported with the devastating effects on the lives of those subject to the obscene cruelty of your government and the DWP. Tragically the report does not call for the end of the sanctions regime but calls for greater care in their implementation. Depriving people of the means of survival is a crime against humanity, as such it is state brutality of the worst kind. It not only imposes brutal and harmful cruelty on the life of the individual it creates knock on effects which impact not just children, partners, family and friends but also the wider community and the nation.

Here is a clear case where such cruelty must stop: full stop and yet an organisation which deals with the consequences of sanctions on a daily basis fails to demand an end to such state imposed, inhumane, cruelty.

It is human nature that some people and institutions will abuse (look at parliament), in the case of benefits the figure for those defrauding the system is 0.7% and yet you and your government now treat all benefit recipients on the false assumption that fraud and abuse is the norm and all claimants are to be regarded and treated with suspicion and therefore harshly and punished.

I applaud the NSPCC’s new slogan as I believe every life is worth fighting for, life doesn’t suddenly become worthless just because people haven’t get a job and/or are young, old, disabled or sick, sanctions are the states descent into barbarism and must be stopped.




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