A letter a day to number 10. No 1,069
Saturday 25 April 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
Charlotte, a fellow activist (read – caring human being or protector), reported yesterday that she met a woman outside a Jobcentre who had been rescued, with her baby, by the police from domestic violence and who was now in a women’s refuge, the visible harm from the latest beating she had received still painfully visible on her face.
The woman said that she had phoned the Jobcentre to cancel an appointment in the Town she came from as that would have placed her and her baby at risk of more violence from her ex-partner and the job centre agreed that she did not have to attend. She then discovered she had been sanctioned for not attending the appointment, confirmed to her by the DWP.
Iain Duncan Smith and the DWP maintain the fiction that sanctions are a measure of last resort and only applied in a tiny minority of cases where people don’t play by the rules. “Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) show that 3,097,630 JSA claims were made in 2013-14 and 568,430 individuals were subject to a sanction, a total of 18%”, although the figure of 918,600 has also been released under the FoI for the same period. Whichever it is, it is very clear that sanctions are used routinely with at least 1 in 5 claimants being sanctioned with disabled people and those suffering from mental ill health being hardest hit.
It is hard to overemphasise the brutality of Smith’s sanctions regime or the violence of them, taking away from people the very means of survival. It is impossible for me to imagine what it must be like for a young woman who has escaped the brutality of an abusive partner to have the last safety net snatched away from her and her baby child. What is clear is that Smith has created a penal system, without the benefit of a trial, which hands out sentences that no court in the land would dare to even countenance.
It is not for me to say which is the more brutal for this young woman, an abusive partner or the abuse she has received from the DWP, though I would personally rather take a beating than have the means of survival stolen from me. It is also my opinion that domestic violence is a cowardly act perpetrated by the mentally and emotionally immature, but even that pales under the onslaught of IDS who hides from his misdeeds behind the coat tails of others who perpetrate his crimes against humanity for him.
Charlotte was shattered by her meeting with this young woman on her latest weekly trip to her local Jobcentre to offer support for those brutalised by Smith whose own visits to Jobcentres involve disappearing out of a back door rather than facing the public he attacks, as he did when he visited Bath. Small wonder he is arguably the most reviled man in Britain.