Meet the Counihans – The Human Face of Welfare Reform

Suicide, homelessness, ill health and despair are to be the true legacy of the London Olympics as more people are forced out of there homes due to this Government’s vicious welfare reforms.

The Counihan-Sanchez family is just one story that highlights the human cost of Welfare Reform and the shameful connivance of the Labour Party in Tory led social cleansing.

The family of seven have already been shunted out of their home borough in Brent into temporary accommodation in Ealing.  They now face further eviction after Brent Council have refused to accept that Anthony Counihan’s bus driver’s salary is not enough to pay the soaring rents in the capital.

At a meeting with their MP, the millionaire Glenda Jackson, the family were told to move to Wales, where they have no work and know no-one.  Like thousands of other families in the capital they are now in limbo, facing an uncertain future of forced relocation, unemployment and isolation.  Despite the lurid claims made in some newspapers of families living in housing benefit funded Kensington mansions, the Counihan’s story is one of an average working class family living in one of the less well off areas of London.

A protest is being held tonight to support the family who have vowed to fight for their right to remain in the borough in which their children go to school and is their rightful home.  The protest will also raise the case of Kilburn resident Nygel Firminger, who’s recent tragic suicide is believed to be directly related to the vicious benefit cutting regime that has already claimed too many lives.

The mood amongst local people is militant with a call for “urgent radical action” in support of the family and all those facing eviction not just from their homes but from Greater London.

The clown mayor, Boris Johnson claimed he would not allow Kosovo style social cleansing on his watch in the capital and then proceeded to sit back and do fuck all as it took place.  Labour Councillors in Brent have offered little in support other than mealy mouthed excuses.  It is clear that we cannot rely on politicians, Councillors, or Mayors to support those who pay their wages.

Homelessness is already soaring not just in the capital but across the UK.  It will not just be London residents who face a housing crisis as rents soar, wages stagnate and benefits are slashed.

Areas of the country already facing poverty will see huge influxes from those socially cleansed from London and other cities placing intolerable pressure on public services and housing.  The Housing Benefit caps, which lying Tory filth told us would force down rents, have done quite the opposite.  The benefit cap, to be introduced next year, will make almost the entire South East of England unaffordable for large families, whether they are low waged or unemployed.

The right to a home is more than a Human Right but a basic reality of existence.  People need somewhere to lay their head at night, to keep warm, to cook and to keep their families safe.  Yet even the most meagre council accommodation is fast becoming little more than an aspiration for millions of people.  That one of the richest cities in the world cannot house not just disabled, unwell or unemployed people, but bus drivers, nurses, care workers or classroom assistants reveals the inhumane failure of both this Government and the current model of naked capitalism.

Protest outside Brent Town Hall tonight (Monday 20th August) at 7pm and share, tweet, blog and spread the word about the plight of the Counihan family and the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people they represent.

http://familyonthestreet.posterous.com/housing-for-the-counihans-housing-for-all

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60 responses to “Meet the Counihans – The Human Face of Welfare Reform

  1. Thanks Jonny. Great job.

  2. Boris and a lot of others are going to finally wake up when there are no bus or train drivers, no nurses or care staff or people to clean the offices because none of them can afford to live in London and definitely cannot afford to commute in. By then of course it will be too late for many but all I can do right now is wish Vincent and his family the best of luck .

  3. Shared Johnny! My best wishes to this family, and those suffering under these (de)forms

  4. Shame on the Tory scumbags who are criminally mismanaging the country; and double shame on Glenda Jackson.

    Good luck to you and your family Vince, your fight is our fight!

    • Many thanks Sean. An injury to one is an injury to all.

      • Dale Latimer
        Mr. Counihan, sir, you have my utmost sympathy combined with a complete lack of comprehension at a ‘government’ that seeks even now to punish those in employment. I’d say there but for the grace of God but these days I feel we’re all fair game. The very best to you and your family. I’m not sure how much more the people of this country can take before they really rise up and fight back. Stay strong sir.

        • Thanks Dale. There are many decent people like you who support the family but the leader of Brent Council is treating them with contempt. He promised that someone would call the family today but instead they received a standard email.

  5. It’s disgraceful that this is happening in the 21st century. I’ve been saying for months now that the condems want to bring back the workhouses, and I fear the time is coming closer and closer.
    I wish the Counihan-Sanchez family all the best with their fight, and that they have a place to call their own very soon.
    Good luck!

    • We attended the public executive meeting of Brent Council last night. The Counihan family were not allowed to speak and the councillors were all staring at their publicly funded Ipads so they would not have to look at the reality of their #callous cuts. Democracy in Brent?

  6. Shared! Thx for the headzup.

    Depicable. If this isnt ethnic cleansing just what is? These people have been taken away from their communities, roots, home, education, friends and everything they had. I was watching the news (so say) this a.m. on Sky and they were bleating on about how Councils ought to flog their higher priced social housing and build cheaper social housing. Meanwhile, sending folks away up north to ‘cheaper areas (er…dont they mean -ghettoisation?)

    I could spit blood.

  7. Whats happened here is we are too busy helping everybody else in the world we have forgotten about our own. Poverty, Homelessness, Pain and Despair are all here in the UK and increasing by the hour. Why should someone be told move somewhere else!!! this is not right, why because we aren,t all born with money should we have to accept these descions!! Made by morons with no sense of compassion. David Cameron you should hang your head in shame you are not fit to run a catalogue nevermind my country. :-{

  8. The government keeps saying that it wants to help hard-working families. Seems not.

    What kind of thinking is this, to attempt to force out of London one of the people who make it run everyday? Utterly crazy.

    Good luck to the Counihans.

  9. In September&October 1941 4 500 Jews above all the sick unskilled and unemployed were moved from the Białystok ghetto to the one in Prużana.

  10. Meet the Fuckers

    Staring
    Cunt Cameron, Peeing IBS and Rat-Face Grayling

    A DWP/Provider/ATOS/CUNT co-production

    Producer: Ruth Owen
    Executive Producer: Emma Harrison
    Screenplay: Thierry Breton

    At a JCP+/ATOS/Provider Interrogation centre from Black Friday

  11. Social Cleansing : another fascist move by our nascent Nazi masters in our horrible Ittle ConDemNation.
    How is this family and many thousands of others going yo cope in a predicted very cold and long winter?
    This shower in power have to go…….NOW.

  12. Glenda Jackson (I Can’t Belive She’s Not Tory) is now officially a luvvie cunt of the lowest order. A political prostitute floggin’ her ugly mutton for power in Wankminster on behalf of the greedy cunts who employ her at taxpayers’ expense. A ‘media darling’ with a face like a battered anvil. “Move to Wales.”,she says ? She should just shoot herself…..now. What an evil old crone.

  13. We need “flying squads” to defend the victims of these evil polices. We need to tell the bailiffs and pigs carrying out these evictions to fuck off!

  14. I agree with Julie Appleby, look after our own FIRST, fairly and realisticly. Its a country for rich,arrogant, self centred, pompus,silver spooned, handed to them on a plate, havent got a bloody clue about shopping at Asda on a budget, or how much electricity costs, stuck up their own bum so far they cant see whats really going on, bastards. Sick and disabled people (i am one of those)didnt ask or choose to be that way and Im bloody sure Vincent and his family would love to be better off. In a way, they are the wealthy ones because it looks to me like they are a loving close family, who have plenty of other people who love them and care about them. I care too. I wsh them all the luck in the world and want to see them in their own home again. SHAME ON YOU DAVID CAMERON AND EVERYONE ELSE INVOLVED IN THIS CRUELTY

  15. Some people are so poor all they have is money…..whereas this family have each other and friends and a community who want to support them….but its not enough, the council and government who are putting this family through all this agonising pressure are clearly responsible for trying to break up a good family to save a few pounds a week so that there will be more tax payers money for them to award their croneys as they ransack the public purse in Corporate Welfare. How heartless. Glenda Jackson should move to Wales. Ed Miliband should be foaming at the mouth instead of vacuously smiling at US Psychopaths like Mitt Romney.
    I haven’t got a bank account but I can send a tenner if it will help buy a few cuppas for all the supporters….and as I live in Manchester I don’t suppose the offer of a room is of much use, but its here for the Counihans if they want it.

    • That was a lovely thought and Im sure the family appreciates it. What enters my mind is that all the negative things the government are encouraging, whether they realise or not, like theft, burglery,mugging squatting, property overcrowding, looting,perhaps even murder, etc, because people are going to have to fight to survive and any way they can. I dont want to be part of THAT world thanks

  16. I moved to Wales, because my husband wanted to go home, , there isn’t any work, the nearest supermarket is 22 miles away (44 mile round trip) no public transport and families who moved here from London when Thatcher was in power because they couldn’t afford their mortgages are still called scrounger 28 years later and the 20 council houses are known as “benefit city”. We do not have gas, domestic fuel is oil so subject to market forces. I am dipping into my meagre savings to survive. I am so worried I have seriously considered suicide and am trying to stockpile my tablets. Wales do not want London’s overspill, there isn’t any infrastructure here to support them, the nearest A&E department is 60 miles away.

    • I feel so so sad when I read that people consider suicide as a way to end all this crap, because Ive been in that place and I know how it feels to be that desparate. I really feel for you and others who feel that way. When will all this persecution end? What kind of person has so much nastiness and cruelty inside them to do this? A person with all that inside them, has no room for a heart. Keep fighting, we need you.x

      • Sorry,I missed a bit. The nasty cruel person is david cameron (and all his little helpers) NOT desparate people who consider suicide. They are the ones with the big hearts.

      • Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
        Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive
        And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
        Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
        Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive… :-)

  17. Any news on how the protest went on Monday night?

  18. Fucking hell!

    Fuck the lot of them in westminster. Kicking a family out, fucking up their education, their social lives, their kids, their job! And for what? So pigs at the trough can snuffle up a few more fucking pound?

    Cunts.

  19. United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U)

    A person convicted of an imprisonable offence will never progress through the ranks of Parliament.

  20. Things will get worse, no one will do anything because this is the uk. Working and having nothing to show is fast becoming normal, it’s like the government as made it a right that we all have to work and give out all the money we earn and have nothing. What can we do?

  21. something survived...

    Those people who came up with this stupid policy should do it to themselves, the RICH should try it and see how they like it. Under ‘Control Orders’ (for so-called ‘suspected terrorists’ not tried/convicted and with no evidence), they can put people under house arrest. They can send people elsewhere under heavy surveillance and in particular, make a list ‘of who you are allowed to meet, contact, or associate with’. So are they now applying this to the poor? They can move people away (human rights law gives us freedom of association/movement and stops us being internally moved against our will) from their best friends? Partner they don’t/can’t live with? Lovers? Circle of friends? Places they go? Specialist healthcare?
    It could be argued that the toxic super-rich are the ones polluting the place, not the poor. All your friends and activities are usually based where you live. The government has no right to say you must move somewhere else. They could send you somewhere without jobs, housing, transport, disabled access, etc. Also for housing, they haven’t said they would change existing practice. So if you got moved they would not let you on the housing list for the new area until you had done the required number of years to meet the residency requirement (and you need a home to get listed as a legal resident). They don’t transfer your years and points from the past or other councils. You could have been on the list 20 years and about to qualify for housing, then be told to leave the area. Councils don’t pay to relocate you or store/move your possessions. You might be in a family where kids over 10 that are mixed sex share a bedroom, that is meant to be against rules and counts as overcrowding, so you can get points towards qualifying to go higher up the list. (incidentally I remember this rule breach in my own family. There were no other places to sleep so the rule of overcrowding got ignored.) Plus if trying to get a new tenancy in a new area, they say ‘no DSS’ (sic) and want references and a background check. If you jump from where you are, to a place you might not get a home, you could end up with no home at all. And for council housing and homeless registers they have another rule called ‘intentionally making yourself homeless’. Presumably if the policy sent you away you could be judged as ‘consenting’ to leave your home and therefore in breach of this other rule, as a result you would be ineligible for council housing or homeless assistance. You would be in the same group as people refused help because they got evicted for arson, crime, drugs or antisocial behaviour. The Jobcentre has a similar one about ‘intentionally making yourself unemployed’. So if you get sacked for misconduct… Or you can’t work for a company you find out to be unethical or dodgy or just a horrible place to work, ‘tough!’. Or if your co-workers bully you or the boss harrasses you. Or if you got beaten up or sexually assaulted at work. So you can get refused benefit for these reasons.
    Just to add, saw a lot of references here to IDS as IBS, I thought of the resemblance years ago. Today I think it’s unfair on irritable bowel syndrome to compare it to something as foul and disgusting as IDS.

    • Very well said. You tell it like it is. Truth shines a light on everything. Eventually.
      Sometimes it arrives too late for those whom the darkness has destroyed.

    • I think this is about social cleansing. Brent don’t want to pay to help support a family of five children living in the borough but isn’t that what councils are for? They want the Counihans off the books.

      • something survived...

        1)@ Housing Officer: That’s what I meant, they would probably not have to tell you that you would be homeless. And they could still say you deliberately became homeless by leaving your other home.
        2) @ Counihan Battlebus: So a middle or upper class person having 5 kids is ‘helping society’, but a working class person having 5 kids is a ‘social disease’! There are people either criticised for having too few kids or too many. Depending on their class, religion, colour. Some of the ideas of penalising single mums for example (not in force yet) are like the Chinese policy on this. For breaking the law on one child (exemptions: ethnic/tribal minoritiess are exempt; if a woman has twins they count as okay; if you have a disabled child they let you have another one, as

        • something survived...

          (Computer crashed mid-word)
          If you have a disabled child they let you have another one, as a disabled person is seen as not just a non-person but also a negative value, a minus number. And they believe, in the absence of elderly homes, a child must look after their parents.) For breaking the law on one child punishments include fines, jail, having your television (or other item) taken away, being forcibly relocated, ‘re-education’ centres, and forcible sterilisation surgery.
          UK: There are restrictions already on single mums like actually giving them ASBO’s or other punishments for getting pregnant. Or taking children at birth. Some of the additions discussed are to stop benefits, take them OFF the housing list, or list them as ‘problem families’. (You remember the one Blair started about labelling unborn kids as ASBO/problem before birth/conception (!), based on who the mother and father are and where they live.) So it is ‘okay’ for a rich career woman to have half a dozen kids and take them to school in a people carrier, but it is ‘wrong’ for a woman who is unemployed. One minute career women are ‘selfish’ for having kids then for not having them. Working class women with kids are ‘neglecting’ them by having a job, ‘failing to provide’ if they are unemployed. Either way they are called
          irresponsible. And it comes down to a belief a woman’s work should only be housework and looking after the kids; that she shouldn’t have a job but should have a husband to provide for her, he should also be fit and ablebodied. It looks like social engineering. Somebody whose beliefs against contraception are that strong, should not have to be forced to abort their children (because of being in too low a social class according to the government) The other ‘choice’ is for a married couple to be celibate until reproduction is impossible. That doesn’t sound like the family life they try to promote to ‘the people’. If you were not meant to have sex in case you had a child, what would this do to a marriage?
          Statistics will be skewed because of different family patterns, the government can lie that a correlation on a chart proves causality. If the people with the most kids are Catholic or Muslim, that just reflects cultural tendencies and religious beliefs. Somebody could have 7 really well behaved kids on a council estate or in a slum. Somebody else could have just one child in a posh neighbourhood, that could turn out to be a ‘one-child crime-wave’. (I don’t mean in a ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ way, I mean antisocial behaviour and ‘low level crime’.)
          In our area a lot of crime is caused by gangs of kids and young people. Since they all dress, talk and act the same and have the same phones etc., it’s impossible to know who is from which class. Many go back to council estates and terraced low-quality homes. But a lot go back to detached suburban homes with gardens, driveways, several cars, two professional salaried parents, etc. It is just as gross
          whichever one of them spits at you. Both groups seem equally ready to beat up homeless people, vandalise benches, get drunk, urinate in the street. Whichever class, behaviour can be just as bad, the rich just
          have more money to do it with.
          Meanwhile councils try to re-engineer families by saying you must not stay in a property they call too big for you. How do they know how much space you need? (Kids who move out could move back, and elderly parents might need to move adult children back in to care for them. Or somebody gets a boyfriend or girlfriend.) The people who get stuck in increasingly crowded houses then get blamed for the overcrowding. Instead of building new homes (or letting people live in the boarded-up houses nobody’s lived in for years), governments say they can’t afford it. Our area finally built about half a dozen ‘affordable’ homes after years of promising. All were inaccessible to disabled people and only suited to ‘nuclear families’ who like tiny rooms. The cheapest was unaffordable on any local wage. They went within days. Nobody on the list for the affordable housing even got considered, since nobody could actually afford the homes for a start. The council had no budget to build or commission new homes or restore derelict ones. So housing lists just get longer. In the last two years a property came on the market that was pretty much disintegrating. You needed to pay in full in advance. The price was a year of dole. Since we a) Can’t get them to pay us a year of dole in advance in one go, b) Can’t get a loan, c) If we GOT given the year’s dole, we would then have no money to buy food or anything else; somebody on benefits (as the papers said should apply) could not buy it. Plus it was very badly waterlogged, unhealthy, unsafe, rotting…
          You’d need hundreds of thousands of pounds to make it livable-in.
          At similar prices there have been garages, lock-ups, sheds and beach huts on sale from £4000 to £10,000. Apart from the quite major obstacle of not having the money, and practical things like ‘no water/electricity/toilet/lighting'; there are rules on all these places banning you living or sleeping there, and (like caravans in static trailer parks) banning you living there all year round or as your main/only residence.
          Do not despair! Our kindly government suggests people go to a supermarket and buy a 5p plastic bag, then find a doorway. Except when the police come and arrest/move you, or when somebody attacks you. Other uses for a plastic bag: As clothing; As toilet paper; As a sleeping bag or blanket. They want people thrown on the streets (and blame them when it happens) and are also to criminalise begging, squatting, camping in a tent if homeless, and being homeless itself. Technically the Vagrancy Act still applies. (Cameron seems to want dangerous factories, lethal child labour – for 18-24’s and the unemployed and criminals, these days – people ‘sent back to the parish they were born’, permission to marry needed if you’re poor; of course his favourite thing, workhouses.)
          David Cameron – 19th Century Labour-Relations Man!

          • You are absolutely right. And don’t forget that they want criminal to fill up their privatised prison system. The poor are perfect fodder for this, you only have to look across at the US to see where we’re heading. When will ‘the people’ see what’s happening though? Labour won’t do anything, they pushed the neoliberal agenda with great enthusiasm and have confirmed they won’t re-nationalise anything. Cameron has sold the NHS with barely a murmur from the press, people are dying and all ‘the people’ do is fight amongst each other. I f*cking despair, I really do.

            • something survived...

              In one of Michael Moore’s films there was an American black woman on Workfare, she had a little boy at home. She wasn’t in great health. The state said just to get welfare and food stamps she had to do Workfare (slave labour). Every morning after hardly any sleep she got up in the dark before her kid woke up, and had to walk in the dark along streets with un-fixed potholes, then wait in the cold for a bus. The bus cost most of her
              welfare money. There were all sorts of opportunities to get mugged or raped in the street or on the bus. She had to grab sleep on the bus. When she got to her workfare McJob, she had to do catering for a long shift all morning and day into late in the night. All day customers were rude, co-workers treated her like a chain gang convict. At the end of the shift she
              had to walk to the bus, go back on the same bus, walk again, get in exhausted and too tired to cook. The kid, instead of having an awake Mom who used to take him to school, was asleep hours before she got back, in the UK they were called latchkey kids. For food he had to fend for himself.
              After only a few hours sleep it started again. In the UK that is called neglect and they take your kids off you. But there was no chance of buying food, heating the house, let alone paying for childcare. And in this case it was the government forcing the mother to abandon the child because she had to go and do her slave job on workfare. Your health is likely to go quickly downhill doing a routine like that. If she said no, or didn’t ‘perform’ well enough they’d stop all her payments. America, land of family values?! They targeted her as a single mother, as if marriage is a magic badge conferring morality. They’ve not said what happens if you’re a single parent with a much older kid excluded from school on behavioural grounds, who has other learning problems and needs constant supervision. Obviously you can’t afford basic or specialist carers for the kid while you do a McJob (after which you’d be too tired to take over from the carer), but you can’t leave the kid alone, you can’t take them to workfare with you [Or CAN you? Idea for a form of protest. Every carer brings their care recipients to workfare with them... -okay, not being entirely serious - See how long the providers like it.]. (I know – not fair on the safety and dignity of the care recipient. But if a single mum got sent to do the ‘tree brashing’ in the cold wet forest in Scotland, with her baby strapped to her, and with a film crew recording it… that would make Wankfare look much less fair. Sorry for calling it wankfare, that is an insult to wanking which generally harms nobody.) Or you could take your kid to the workfare providers’ office and say, ‘FINE ! You look after them!’. Time for some better swear words: ATOS,
              DWP, JCP, JSA, Work Programme, Serco, Working Links, A4E…
              Something Moore didn’t point out in his voiceover, was that most of the extreme poor in the USA are black, and so most of the welfare recipients pushed onto workfare are black. Without the modern clothes and with an overseer with chains and whips, it looks a lot like a few centuries ago.
              Stuff I’ve read about those times: if male slaves were caught running away you could hang them. Female slaves were stripped and beaten, in front of everybody. According to the counterculture book ‘An Underground Education’, the reason there were ‘no rapes of female slaves’, was because the white owners could rape the women whenever they wanted to, legally they were not human and were property.
              If the workfare providers wanted to be dragged into the -19th!!!- century, then with a time machine we could easily tell them what all the fashionable slave owners are wearing this era. If they want a new uniform, how about those long white sheets and hoods and pointy hats?
              I’d bestow a title for example on Hayley Taylor (Fairly GodAwful)
              (Fairy JobmotherF****r), but not sure what her rank is, perhaps just pencil her in as a ‘Klaliff’ for now. In case anyone says it was just for men, it’s true most of the lynchings and burnings were done by men, but (same book as above) there was a ‘women of the Klan’ movement. They had dresses shorter than the men’s robes, but otherwise also had the stupid white hoods with eye holes. They had women’s choirs in the Klan outfits, singing stuff about the aryan race blah blah blah get a life already. The Klan really took off as slaves were freed. One black man was lynched for having a white girlfriend.
              It may not quite be the Klan here yet, but my point is that these schemes generally turn out to have racist secondary (indirect) effects. Ever notice how ‘failing’ schools are in the poor areas where often a lot of people aren’t white? Ignoring all the middle class white schools where you could find a lot of things going wrong if you looked. And why close down a whole school anyway? That is like bulldozing a whole street because one tenant in one house there didn’t pay their rent. What exactly is a ‘failing’ school? If more kids pass exams, the exams are called too easy. If not, they are ‘too difficult’. One minute we want kids to do more homework, the next we ban homework in case the kids use the internet
              to answer questions at home. (Though in a noisy school with bullies, home may be the best environment to get any actual work done) Kids unable to keep up with having to do all their work in class, will fall behind even if they’re the most able kid there. Unless your kids go to a school that has extra-curricular classes or activities, like an after school club, which is probably not free, then you are meant to look after them from maybe 3 or 5 pm to 7-9 am. Try explaining that to the voldemort-faced ciphers (nothings) that work in the jokecentres and work programmes. They say you must be ‘available for work’ from midnight to midnight 7 days a week. Yeah, cause we’re robots. ‘So what do I do with my child if you put me on night shift or early mornings or late afternoons?’

  22. Housing Officer

    “Presumably if the policy sent you away you could be judged as ‘consenting’ to leave your home and therefore in breach of this other rule, as a result you would be ineligible for council housing or homeless assistance.” – you would be, you have to wait until you are actually evicted.

    • Housing Officer

      For clarity: you would be judged “intentionally homeless”

      • something survived...

        that was my point. You wouldn’t be being evicted from the first place, but moving to another city.

        • Housing Officer

          Exactly, but it is not as if a government minister or some such is going to tell you beforehand. It would only be when you arrived in a new city with your support network cut-off you would find you were out on a limb.

  23. What I find disturbing is the way they have it worked out in advance. The Tory Right are now saying that Cameron isn’t going far enough, but concede that you “have to go through Heath to get to Thatcher”. So they plan to lose the 2015 election to Miliband, who they calculate will be so useless he’ll lose to the Tories next time – and then they can REALLY put the boot in!

    One example of their lunacy – they want among other things, a 15% corporation tax “paid for by welfare cuts” which they say are “still popular”. And the worst thing is, it really is! 76% agree that poor people shouldn’t live in rich areas, and support selling off “expensive” (ie, valuable) council houses to pay for a new generation of slums. What kind of people are we?

  24. Under Universal Credit (from 2013) claimants will no longer have the option of having their rent paid directly to their landlord, payment will be made directly to the tenant (or bookie)? Coincidentally, also from 2013 the Government will “rake in” 20% of the profits from the insidious FOBT (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals) which litter our High Streets. Robbing the poor to subsidise the rich, eh!

    The machines that ate my life

    • “This Machine is Random” lol :-)

      “This machine has an average payout of at least 97.30 %” lol :-)

      • Really should say: “This Machine is Rigged”. :-( These machines are Evil – stay away!!

        • Software Engineer

          “Random” my arse; it’s like the Irish Referendum on the Constitution all over again :-) The software and the RNG (“random” number generator) are two separate entities you see, and what the crafty software does is that keeps asking for a “random” number until one that suits is returned [function get random until = punter loses] The RNG may very well stand up to scrutiny :-) , just doesn’t say how many “calls” have been made you see :-) lol The stunts these robbing machine pull could only happen in a fucking cartoon. Stay clear unless you want to lose the shirt off your back. MG/PT

      • Software Engineer

        The word FIXED in Fixed Odds Betting Terminal says it all :-) lol

      • lol these fucking machines are “regulated” by the fucking government ffs so what do you expect? expect to be fucked over that’s what!!

  25. Sick right-wing nation full of androgynous dumbed down bunnies with fluff for brains….the kinda toy the libertarian land-owning class lust after.
    Everyone else is just a potential slave.
    Corrupt ConDemNation.
    Corrupt political cunts.
    Corrupt corrupt corrupt corrupt.
    That’s our cuntry.

  26. The Counihans represent the real face of the housing crisis not these social housing “mansions” in Chelsea, although I don’t believe these actually exist.

    Real solutions for the lack of affordable housing is needed and better support for the vulnerable. Moving the Counihans to Wales would actually end up being more draining on welfare.

  27. The Counihans and their supporters protested at Glenda Jackson’s comments that the family should move to Wales at a public meeting tonight. Jackson ordered Isabel Counihan out of a public meeting and refused to take a dossier that Isabel has prepared saying she knew all about the case – she laterspouted a list of falsehoods about the case. Isabel was so upset she was unable to attend the meeting. Jackson tried to block Counihan supporters from speaking. In the video you can see a bit of Jackson making anti-Irish remarks and then being put straight by Sarah Counihan, aged 15. Glenda Jackson and Mohhammed Butt leader of Brent Council were left in no doubt of the strength of support for the Counihans in Kilburn. Cllr Butt was forced to negotiate with the family in the Battlebus outside the meeting.

    Facebook Counihan Battlebus

  28. http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Paul_Higgins/?

    cmACudbhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/antibedroomtax/

    dont let them take the roof from over your head – sign the petition at the top then join the facebook page below it

  29. Here is an account of the Glenda Jackson protest in FRFI. We will be having a protest march to support the Counihans and against cuts in Kilburn on Sat 6th October at 2.30pm. All welcome.

    http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/index.php/britain/2659-angry-scenes-at-glenda-jackson

  30. The Counihans were forced to occupy the Brent council chamber on Monday night in protest at the double injustice of being made homeless and being refused the right to speak. Report on Facebook Counihan Battlebus

  31. something survived...

    Dear Counihan family,
    In Wales there really are very few jobs. The buses, such as there are, are slashed several times a year. Leaving many people with no transport at all. So how exactly they are then supposed to sign on, attend the Work Programme, ‘look for work’, or indeed get to work if they find any? And of course the Workfare people have to do. It even enrages the people whose PAID jobs they are taking, or eliminating, by ‘doing it for free’. And if Workfare people are working alongside volunteers and actual paid employees, it creates bad feeling and resentment between all these categories of worker. It doesn’t benefit groups like charities because
    a) If you get a surly worker, people will be less likely to return to your charity shop. You could get someone disruptive who breaks things, is dangerous; or just does things wrong, deliberately or unintentionally.
    b) the flipside being, if the Workfare slave you are randomly assigned,
    turns out to be polite and helpful and good at their job…. Then guess what?
    At the end of their ‘placement’ you are not allowed to give them a permanent volunteer role or a paid job! They will get sent back to the DWP
    Jobcentre and the Work Programme, and probably straight back onto another pointless and demoralising sentence of Workfare. (Like the recidivists who are so habituated to jail they commit a crime in prison before their release/parole, or come out and immediately commit another crime so they’ll be sent back inside. When the guards say they need a revolving door in prison. The difference is, the poor HAVE NOT COMMITTED A CRIME.)

    You get sanctions if your bus is late, breaks down or fails to arrive. Or if you are so ill you come to sign on but can’t get there till anything as quick as 30 seconds after your interview time. Or if you’re weak from illness and hunger and fatigue, so overslept. Or if you have a condition stopping you getting up. I read they even sanction people without the mental capacity to understand they are meant to be at a place at a particular time. Several times this week at the Jobcentre I overheard cases of people getting their benefit stopped because they were in custody and the police didn’t bother to tell the DWP. Mine got stopped once because I was in HOSPITAL and they wanted me to return myself from unconsciousness (tricky to do, but this may not be known by Ian Duncan Smith, as all his friends are vampires and it’s in their skillset), minutes after my major surgery. (It was the same day as I was meant to sign on, and I’d arranged prior permission from DWP months in advance) I was then supposed to disconnect myself from all the machines, including the one keeping me alive and breathing, without suffocating or bleeding to death. And then (as banned from all transport for 5 days) I was meant to walk, stagger or crawl the hundreds of miles -in one day- to where I live, and to sign on in the job centre. (Which still has no jobs!!!) Strangely enough, I could not fulfil this simple task, and I had my JSA and Housing Benefit immediately stopped. As soon as I got back I had to report to the jobcentre but I was meant to be recovering and not moving.
    I’ve known of cases where people had their dole stopped because:
    Their child fell over in the street and it made them late; They were at a doctor’s appointment; Their alarm clock broke (I was one!); They were called to take their child back from creche/school early because something happened; their shoes fell to bits; Their car wouldn’t start;
    They were giving evidence in court, or a witness/victim statement to the police; They had to receive a delivery because nobody else was in;
    They had a meeting with the landlord; They were in hospital undergoing
    a Rape Kit test (!); they went into labour.
    Also I’ve read about people who signed on and got their benefits, but were forced to do it on the same day as being at: A funeral; An exam; A court appearance; building work on their home; THEIR OWN WEDDING.

    One of the times I personally got into trouble in this regard, was a time they said I was being sanctioned for filling in the wrong page of my benefit book. This was the other year. I said I hadn’t noticed turning over 2 pages together by mistake, or the blank space between my entries as a result. I said “Sorry if I am not concentrating so well, but my aunt has just died.” The jobcentre person didn’t stop to blink or breathe, just barked “Forget about it! What have you done to look for work?”.

    Another time: I used to be a first aider, you are never really off duty. One night there was this couple, the girl was a friend of my housemate/friend. I knew the boyfriend, and knew he was dodgy. They were homeless.
    Anyway, I didn’t really know her till she turned up hammering on the door.
    It was in a past house, anyway. They had a massive screaming row and the guy chased her all the way down the street, throwing her possessions everywhere, and stopping to beat her up and drag her along the road. She got to our front door, we let her in. The boyfriend stayed outside all night screaming abuse and threats against the lot of us. He tried kicking the door in. He was demanding to be let in, or for us to send out the girl so he could carry on beating her up. We called the police but they refused to come. It was also a storm. I was kind of going straight into ‘take-charge mode’, posting different housemates on guard duty to fight the crazy guy if he got in, or to get water and stuff. I spent the night cleaning up and patching up the girl, she was covered in blood.
    The siege lasted all night, and we eventually managed to sneak her out of the house and take her to hospital. On one of the times she made any sense she said he had made her have sex but she didn’t want to.

    I left the girl and my friend at the hospital, and went to sign on. I’d not slept, and the jobcentre people noticed. They weren’t clear on which unwritten rule I’d broken, then settled for lying that I was late. I explained what happened, but they didn’t believe it. Funny, that, as homeless people on the street (No Fixed Address) are ordered to sign on every day. They knew the guy (denied they knew him, and claimed he didn’t exist) from this rule alone; and the fact he was frequently ‘kicking off’ in the JCP. He’d sometimes had to have the police called. Another thing they said: the girl was nothing to me, why did I help her? They were totally missing the point about first aid, which is that you help anyone. They said you should not get involved. (Hard not to be involved when a stone comes through the window…. Oh we did that thing you suggested, the one about calling the police, but they didn’t want to know. And the one with the highest rank and experience in that situation, turned out to be me. And all of us in that room spent the night in terror.)
    They stopped my benefit for 2 weeks.
    They said the boy/incident was probably imaginary. They were particularly obtuse on this point, mainly because I had the girl’s blood on me. Which is what you get if you are holding a casualty’s head all night.

    Then there was the time I was threatened with Sanction for ‘holding the pen wrong’. It’s the only way I CAN hold it! You turn up on time, reasonably tidy, did everything correctly. They hate these times. It means they must come up with some silly reason to kick you off benefit.
    They like it when you slip up on any of the rules because then they can send you straight to the sin bin.

    It’s been a bad day, bad week. A friend’s house got repossessed and he may be missing.

    Oh, I should apologise for what I said about vampires. Vampires would make a better Cabinet than what we’ve un-elected.

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