Stephanie Bottrill Blamed The Government For Her Suicide And So Should The Rest Of Us

war-on-the-poorWhen a stock-broker throws themselves out of a window due to financial pressures it is presumed – by the right wing press at least, if not the rest of us – to be a tragedy.

Yet when the same events occur in the lives of someone not just working class, but on benefits, the reaction of some is to immediately start a hunt for character or lifestyle flaws in the recently deceased.  “She can’t have been poor, she had a cat” was the astonishing reaction of one person on twitter to news of the suicide of a grandmother driven to the desperate act by the bedroom tax.  It can’t be long before right wing cheerleaders of welfare reform join the bandwagon, no doubt to be led by yet more crass utterances from Tory Ministers.  After all Iain Duncan Smith said he could live on £53 a week, so what was her problem?

Stephanie Bottrill is not the first death directly attributable to welfare reform and it won’t be the last.  This will not stop the vile scramble from pieces of shit like Brendan O Niell to declare she must have had mental health conditions, she should have done this, there must have been other factors involved or that she should have sold her fucking cat.  They will look for anything which might deflect from the all too real and predictable consequences of the war against the poor which they themselves are partly involved in waging.

No-one in the right wing press would dare speak like this if someone rich committed suicide over money problems.  And for those lucky enough to have never been on the breadline, then imagine the biggest money problem you’ve ever had and times it by a thousand and you’re still nowhere near what Stephanie Bottrill was facing.

Politicians have said that people should just move if they can’t pay the bedroom tax as if this is the easiest thing in the world for those with nothing.  Yet there are no smaller social housing properties for people to move into.  People are being expected to leave what they thought was a lifetime tenancy – and a home they may have lived in for decades – to rent in the more expensive private sector where they can be evicted on the whims of a landlord with just two months notice.

Not only that, but people are to be expected to do this at a vulnerable time.  Shortly after their children have left home, or when a relationship has ended.  Not even the death of a child will spare the eviction notices, they are simply delayed for 12 months, the ‘official’ period of grieving that parents are permitted before the bailiffs step in if they can no longer pay for their dead child’s bedroom.

But it is not just the loss of a home those affected by the bedroom tax must face but the near impossibilities involved in securing a new one.  Almost all  letting agents have bold notices declaring NO DSS on every property they advertise.  Increasingly agents ask for fees which claimants can’t afford, or credit checks that some claimants will fail.  Huge deposits are required along with anything from 4 to 8 weeks rent in advance.  Only an ever shrinking number of properties are affordable to those on housing benefits and in some parts of the UK none at all.  People are not just expected to lose their homes, but in some cases will be forced to relocate, hundreds of miles away from family and friends.  Even the act of moving costs a lot of money, and few claimants can afford to run a car or rent a van.

This combination of stress, sadness or despair along with seemingly inescapable practical problems is why people end up on the streets.  It’s why some people find themselves sat on the pavement amongst their belongings after bailiffs have ransacked and then locked them out of their former homes.  That is a money problem, not having to sell the second home or losing a chunk of your investment portfolio.

Yet when someone rich has their finances affected by government policy then the whole fucking world has to stop and listen as their whinging dominates the debate over government cuts.  The Tories were far more terrified of cutting child benefit for those earning large salaries than they were of cutting in half the incomes of people  like Stephanie Bottrill. Whilst the super rich are given tax cuts and the middle classes gently squeezed, the lives of those with least are being quietly demolished.   If we really are all in it together then why are only the poor being expected to give up their homes?

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid


132 responses to “Stephanie Bottrill Blamed The Government For Her Suicide And So Should The Rest Of Us

  1. All this heartlessness to save a few pennies, when all the government has to do is go after the tax evaders who will still be fucking rich after paying any due tax.

  2. I agree with everything you have written here jv except that the middle classes are being squeezed. They have quantative easing, increased salaries( which are a lot more than the minimum wage anyway), a lot have invested in bonds and tax free investments, some rent out second properties, they have large pension pots they can borrow from, the list goes on. They may have to forfeit a foreign holiday to pay for their kids tuition fees but they most certainly are not being squeezed unlike the penniless working class who are being positively strangled.

    • I’d agree that the upper middle classes have barely been touched – although those lower down the income scale, who might have thought of themselves as lower middle class, are being hit.

      Perhaps it’s more correct to say the lower middle classes are being trimmed, so the reasonably well paid public sector worker who got made redundant now cant get a job, or a kid who went to university, but not private school and doesn’t have a trust fund, is out of work and not likely to have the lifestyle their better off parents did.

  3. I sometimes wonder about these so called politicians, what would they do in our situation?
    RIP Stephanie,

    The dirty ids and the others who think it is easy to live on £53 a week, don’t forget to then take away from that before anything else the FECKIN BEDROOM TAX, £35 ish left for food clothes part rent, medications if you are in need of them= ABSOLUTELY NAFF ALL.

  4. The poor woman might well have had mental health problems as the vile Brendan O’Neil has suggested. That does not alleviate the guilt of those responsible for pushing her over the edge. In fact it makes it even worse.

    The government know that two thirds of those affected by the Bedroom Tax have disabilities, many of them have mental health problems that are only being made worse by their incessant attacks on the most vulnerable section of our society. Therefore they must know full well what affect imposing this Bedroom Tax on people with mental health problems will have.

    If a soldier is suffering from mental health problems, you would not send him to war. But this does not stop this government declaring war on all those with mental health disabilities in the form of persecution, demonization and cuts to already low welfare entitlements.

    Sadly, Stephanie Bottrill is likely to be the first of many similar victims of the Bedroom Tax. It has been in operation for barely a month. One of the Housing Associations said at the weekend that more than 50% of their tenants being hit by this tax are now in arrears, not because they won’t pay, but because they cannot pay. When the eviction notices start falling on the doormats of many thousands of mentally ill people, there are likely to be many more pushed to the state of desperation, leading to many other victims.

    In any other walk of life and any other section of society, this would be considered manslaughter, if not murder. But as it is happening to benefit claimants, who have been portrayed as an almost sub-human class by this government and their media stooges, then it will be regarded, by many, merely as an unfortunate consequence of necessary government cutbacks.

  5. Stephanie Bottrill suicide note blames government

    A woman who killed herself left a note blaming the government.

    Stephanie Bottrill, 53, from Solihull in the West Midlands, died in the early hours of 4 May after being hit by a lorry on the M6 near her home.

    Her family said she had been worried about how she would afford an extra £20 a week as a result of changes to her housing benefit.

    Conservative MP for Meriden Caroline Spelman said there were discretionary payments available for special cases.

    “I’m only so sorry that I didn’t receive a request for help from Mrs Bottrill and, of course, I stand ready to help her family,” said Mrs Spelman, in whose Meriden constituency Mrs Bottrill lived.

    “There is discretion in these cases and what people need to do is ask for that help.”

    An inquest is due to open at Birmingham Coroner’s Court on Tuesday.

    Mrs Bottrill’s son Steven said: “It feels like a dream… they’ve put all this pressure on her and I’ve lost my mum now.”

    ‘Got to stop’

    Government changes mean families deemed to have more living space than they need are seeing their housing benefits reduced, something opponents have described as a “bedroom tax”.

    The government rejects this term, pointing out it is not a tax at all and should not be described as such.

    Mrs Bottrill lived in a three-bedroom house on her own.

    In her letter, she told her son not to blame himself for her death but said she “can’t cope” anymore.

    “It’s my life, the only people to blame are the government,” she wrote.

    Mr Bottrill said his mother was already struggling for money for food and clothes.

    “They told her they would be taxing her for the two empty rooms,” he said.

    “She knew she would have to move out eventually, but I think it was how it just came totally just straight away.”

    He said he wanted the government to rethink its policy.

    “It might look like a good idea on paper but the way it’s affecting people… I’ve lost my mum now and eventually it’s going to be someone else so it’s got to stop,” he said.

    “It’s definitely down to them putting this law in because she would have still been here.”

    David Jamieson, leader of the Labour group on Solihull Council, said he was “horrified” when Mrs Bottrill’s family told him what had happened.

    He said: “It does not seem a lot of money if you have got a lot of money, but it’s a lot if you have got very little, and £20 a week has clearly pushed her over the edge to the point she felt she had no other option but to take her own life.”

    The council had offered Mrs Bottrill another property to live in about six miles away and she was considering whether to move there at the time of her death.

    But she feared she would be cut-off from her neighbours and family, her son said.

    “The problem is for Solihull Council housing is that there aren’t the houses available,” he said.

    “There just aren’t enough becoming vacant.”

    ‘Trying to bring fairness’

    A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said it was not appropriate to comment on individual cases.

    “The changes to housing benefit are trying to bring fairness to the system,” he said.

    “There are currently two million people on the housing waiting list.”

    Mrs Spelman said in her Meriden constituency some 16,000 people were on the waiting list for social housing, but said “nobody is being forced out”.

    She added the government had made £150m available to councils to provide discretionary payments to protect the most vulnerable.

    Samaritans told BBC News “although a catalyst may appear to be obvious, suicide is seldom the result of a single factor or event and is likely to have several interrelated causes”.

    BBC News

  6. And still the haves are crowing ” well why should anyone stay in a tax-payer subsidised house that’s too large for their needs”. Funny how this was never a problem until the fucking tories turned it into one. I hate where I live & am desperate to move so I signed up to a couple of council house exchange sites & many of the properties,the vast majority in fact, on offer are those who want to move ASAP from 3 -bed houses.
    Yet near to where I am there are 3-bed houses where the tenants have already been evicted (sign in the window, locks have been changed) & they’ve been empty since then.So where’s the demand for larger homes then? Unless of course, these properties have already been earmarked for the expected influx for Romanians & Bulgarians, & I don’t believe for one second that it’s racist to have that suspicion.

    • @kittycat58

      I have heard that suspicion quite a bit recently, but what I want to know is, if the Tories have such contempt for their own people that they would impose a brutal bedroom tax on them, why would they earmark properties they are driving British people out of for foreign newcomers?

      • Anything is possible, as with the influx of Polish migrants, employers were only too happy to have them as a way of circumventing the minimum wage, who’s say the same won’t happen to Bulgarians & Romanians?

  7. What the government dont tell people is the dhp is only for 13 weeks thats if you are lucky for them to award you it. You have to list every thing you spend your money on you have yo send in utilities bills medical proof etc just for 13 weeks and then what happens you still back to square 1 again . And people with dla care are being told to use that for the bedroom tax its never ending. Why the hell should she have to sell her cat was it her cats fault that the dwp brought in the bedroom tax. The woman luved alone her cat meant she had some one to look after a reason to get out of on your own is the most lonely thing to live with especially when you come into an empty house at least she would have her cat to welcome her home.

  8. shock horror, the cause of poverty is having no money, no assets, i know i’ll get a job or start my own business, that’ll cure my poverty… why did i not think of this before, i’d better be quick i hear the bailiffs van coming down the street.
    i know i’ll tell ’em, come back in fortnight, i’m bound to be settled by then, if only i had done this is so simple…
    what do you mean, no jobs…and no funding for my self employment scheme….where do i get the start up funds…save up they say…
    cue harry belafonte
    “there’s a hole in my bucket……..”

    • something survived...

      Here’s what’s retarded. Yesterday at work programme, member of staff said start your own business. How? Where? With what?
      I said I have no money, banks don’t lend money especially not if you’re on the dole with zero credit rating, can’t afford to employ anyone else, too ill to work fulltime, no premises, no premises get let to people on the dole, not allowed to work from home due to tenancy rules. Do not have the most basic startup costs, qualifications etc. No transport either, so where has a site on public transport? And what items can be carried on buses? Couldn’t take time off and I’m often ill.

  9. UK going back to Victorian era

    Stephanie had a wee cat – the Tories have stables full of horses and ponies for themselves and their kids – one helluva gap! Blame the cat this will be the next gaff from those in power!

  10. Benefit claimants are now seen as other – less than fully human

    Research suggests many of us regard people on benefits as part of an ‘outgroup’ who don’t feel the same emotions. This is scary.

    “This is a fascinating (and quite scary) process whereby certain groups are not felt to have the same range of emotional experiences as everybody else. Specifically, while people are fine imagining them feeling basic emotions like anger, pleasure or sadness, they have trouble picturing them experiencing more complex feelings like awe, hope, mournfulness or admiration. The subtle sentiments that make us uniquely human.

    There has been plenty of work with ethnic groups that shows this to be a real phenomenon. But crucially this tendency to deny people the full range of human emotions is strongest for low social status groups; particularly those groups that are both disliked and disrespected.

    Not all low status groups are in this invidious position. Some – for example disabled people and the elderly – tend to be disrespected, but are also felt to be warm and unthreatening. There are only a few groups that have the dubious honour of being considered to be both threatening and incompetent. These include poor people, homeless people, drug addicts and (you’ve guessed it) welfare claimants. It is these most stigmatised groups that people have the most trouble imagining having the same uniquely human qualities as the rest of us.”

    Demonised, dehumanised, despised, disposable.

    • I’ve just read the article you linked to & found it more disturbing than I thought I would, as the media regularly describe benefit claimants as “these people” Also the inference that claimants are somehow only capable of showing only the basest of human emotions & have lower levels of intelligence than average.
      I draw, paint & sew so as a benefit claimant should I give up these activities as, following the argument, I am “too stupid” to appreciate beauty & style?
      Sadly there are too many who believe that “Shameless” is fact, that claimants really do live like that, the scriptwriters of this appallingly bad programme have a lot to answer for.

      • The scriptwriters of Shameless, along with the vile, heartless hacks of the Mail/Express/Sun et al, are probably ensconced in some idyllic, upmarket gated community, totally insulated from the realities of everyday existence for millions of the poorest, peddling their venomous bile to a halfwitted British public, who are only too ready to give credence to every lie they are fed. Just today, a survey has been published showing how attitudes have hardened against claimants by Labour supporters who bizarrely believe benefits to be too “generous”!

        As John Lennon sang, just gimme some truth – anything but the mind-numbing mendacity we’re being subjected to.

        • something survived...

          I think Shameless was originally meant to be irony/satire. However the trouble is, people now believe it is what the lives of all the underclass are really like. Or that they find their lives fun. You know, fighting, drinking, burning places down. Irony/satire doesn’t work if people don’t get that it’s meant to be a joke. Some poor people imitate it. And rich politicians use it as EVIDENCE in their speeches (‘the poor are like this’), to argue for stopping benefits. People in the working and middle classes watch it as if it’s a documentary.
          I don’t relate to anything in Shameless. The people always seem to have so much more money than me, and they spend it on booze. Actually if you’re really poor you pay your rent first to stop yourself getting evicted. Then you pay the bills. Then you pay travel costs. Then you pay essential household purchases. And finally you are left with your budget for food, heating, etc and everything else. This can be zero.
          Presumably nobody in Shameless pays for TV; but I do. It is assumed that everyone is dishonest/criminal, and that that is the correct and only way to be. It’s hyper-violent and macho. I mean grow up! Nobody normal could live like that day-in, day-out. The character I liked was Ian but he left. They had some stupid storylines like Ian shagging a girl, which made no sense even in Shameless’s mad plots.It sort of glorifies violence, which I don’t think the writers intended it to do.
          Okay some areas closer to reality are atmospheres like the Chatsworth Estate. Places with identical blocks, often vandalised. With giant England flags hanging from everywhere, announcing the occupants like the EDL. They put them up to provoke the ghettoes of black and Asian people, who live in terror from these mindless thugs. Places with nothing except a pub and people who do nothing but smoke and drink (and shag).
          Places I really don’t like to go. I found out my sister lives near that sort of place.

          Probably the shop in Shameless never sells the Guardian, fruit, or any non-brainless magazines. The ‘correct’ way to be is white and ablebodied and macho and straight, and if you’re not, you’ll get your head kicked in or get stabbed or shot. You’re not meant to be intellectual, cultured, or into anything other than drinking and sex etc.
          One of the most intelligent women there is the blonde prostitute. Frank is meant to have some intelligence but he’s a tyrant, a bully, a whiner, a passive-aggressive, a stalker. The Maguires are just psychotic, and people kill and torture just for the hell of it.

          Some plots in Shameless are really stupid: the one where they kicked everyone in the street out of their homes. Also the ongoing point that everyone goes in and out of everyone else’s houses stealing stuff and that’s seen as normal. Real people get much more aggressive about that. Shameless has no major character that’s in the EDL (or similar) and is a real racist. That doesn’t reflect reality.

          Anyway intellectualism is anathema to the characters, that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy in the real world. What about respect for property? Equality? The closest the characters get to solidarity is when trashing the place (their own place!) or kicking some ‘outsider’.
          Levels of homophobia are pretty accurate, except, on a lot of estates in real life Micky and Ian would have their heads stomped to a pulp.

          In the real world it is seen as good to be a thug and bad to not be into fighting, to be intellectual or academic. Stuff like Shameless is no help and reinforces the codes of behaviour. What is so unacceptable about having an interest in culture etc. if you are poor?
          Assumptions about the poor are that they drink, smoke, gamble, fight, watch Jeremy Kyle, have a ‘bitch’ to beat up, and like EDL. That they eat meat, can barely read or write, take drugs.
          That’s what the stereotype says. Unless I’m an aberration. I am teetotal, nonsmoking, pacifist, anarchist, vegetarian, non-drugtaking, literate, antinazi, etc. And into all things not supposed to be into.

          Plenty of people on the jobcentre cycle are redundant middle class professionals. People who like squash, golf, tennis, horseriding/….
          Enough people fitting the ‘chav’ stereotype turn up though. And they don’t like intellectuals, or anyone who uses English correctly (funny that they say people who don’t speak English should be deported).
          More irony: Most people in a chav lifestyle/subculture are kids of the working class and middle class! And still look down on underclass ‘chavs’. Chavvier than thou…. (leaving aside the different debate about the term chav being used incorrectly and being racist….) Prefer to say thugs or yobs.

          • @something survived do you know that ”shameless’ has been cited by tory Mps as being typical of welfare claimants they really believe that ..that how fucking clueless they are…

    • Great post! Crucially it is this fact that allows one group of humans to view another group of humans as somehow less than fully human, some how ‘sub-human’ . Get the drift?

      It’s long been known that prior to persecution and individual or group needs to be seen as less than fully human, less deserving than some arbitrary group. It’s very insidious, think about those comments that are creeping in about Bulgarians and Romanians… are they the fully reasoned opinions of those stating those fears, (which is what they are, crucially there are no jobs for Bulgarians or Romanians to fill – and do you seriously think they are attracted here by our ‘generous’ welfare system?) or are they the result of some not so subtle or clever low-level metronomic propaganda infused by a right-wing gutter press?

      Johnny pointed out that the wealthy, the elite will look for all manner of ’causes’ to explain Stephanie’s suicide away rather than face up to the fact that they, and the government they support are culpable. Scapegoating people like Bulgarians and Romanians (who aren’t even here yet in anything like the feared numbers is also letting the real culprit off the hook it is the UK Government and not the poor, the disposessed, Bulgarians or Romanians… or go back nearly 200 years, the starving, disposessed Irish (from whom many of us are ourselves descended, myself included).

      It is the governments of the rich and powerful everywhere that are responsible for poverty and oppression, pitching one group against another to cause division, causing flight in the search for something better. Why not people with red hair rather than Bulgarians or Romanians? You may consider that to be a preposterous idea, but why settle on one marker of identity over another?

      Don’t for a moment believe that it’s the fault of the Bulgarians or the Romanians, or any other group, apart from the government and it’s friends that are responsible for the mess we’re in.

      It’s the Tories (of all persusions) who are responsible. No-one else… ‘cept maybe ours too if we let them get away with it.

      • I have a Bulgarian girlfriend, and she is well refined, eager to work only above the board, no backhand payments. She is well educated and a honest person. The Tory government just tells lies.
        I was working as a manager for a B&B in Edinburgh, all the clients were from the housing association. She was shocked at the condition of some of them, she could not handle it. I left the job of course. And she seen some things she never thought possible. But this is only a minority of unfortunate people. .These people will now be pushed even more to the sidelines.

  11. Let’s be clear about this; stress, poverty and fear all cause mental health problems. They CAUSE it. The bedroom tax is an aggressive act causing people direct measurable mental harm. Your home is meant to be your sanctuary. To live with the pressure of this vicious policy hanging over you every day is enough to make anyone lose it. I just hope to God that the Judicial Review this week puts an end to this nightmare once and for all.

    • Here Here Murphy
      But I can’t see anything getting better under this lot.
      Why as a sane unemployed individual would I seriously contemplate killing a jobcentre worker if they decided to sanction my benefits? This can’t be normal having these thoughts, what the hell is happening?

  12. When they announced, ‘we are all in this together’, it’s true, they are all in it together.
    I get the feeling one day Cameron would very much enjoy completing that sentence while pointing into a TV camera;
    “We are all in this together, against you”.

  13. There is nothing much the poor can do other then commit suicide, rob people or riot in the streets, so it’s easy to take from them what little they have.

  14. ThomasM

    It is also so much easier to write derogatory meaningless,lying social reports on benefit claimants, because they are the ones being targetted by these pretentious lower middle class who are carrying out these reports or working sanctioning claimants from job centres. I hope they all end up on benefits themselves with no pay off’s, they discredit their own class which is “working class”, except their type of work is dubious to say the least.

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  16. Donkey

    Analysts are big business in America, they soothe the tormented soul of the unfulfilled or the unsucessful or the hyprochondriac by making them more introspective.

    I laughed and cried when I read about Dudley Moore who had analysts almost since his feet hit American soil and even moved in with one of them and his wife before he died.

    The fact that he needed analysts for such a long time says it all about their usefulness and success in their profession.

    • fawkes…yes it is sad..people have so little self esteem.that they need to be, told how to be..and what is wrong with them..”complex issues”…clap trap…when the issues are so simple….no money = poverty…cut even more money = destitution, there is no long term reliable, financial aid under this government to cure poverty…their solutions like the solutions of many organisations that should know, better, is to blame the poor, to ensure their pay cheques…

  17. Condolences to Stephanies family, but any suicide will make absolutely no differance whatsoever to this government nor its policies,they will be hopeing this is just the start of many,to help reduce the great burden on society that these sorts create.It will save the tax payer aprox £200 per wk,times that by maybe 200 per year,saves £40,000 per annum,already saved half as much as1 millionare tax reduction.

  18. Donkey

    You are so right about the pay cheque prostitutes, shame on those that are willing to do the governments dirty work whether it be carrying out orders to cut benefits, writing derogatory social reports or with regards to the press ignoring/blaming victims while heaping further propaganda on the poorest.

    • fawkes…should read no disposable income = all current income being spent on just keeping afloat…and they then throw income/debt management counselling at one, whilst they chuckle behind their hands, access to resources aplenty.. makes me sick…
      then if money cut even is down to counting beans…to stay alive…and these people come out with, “complex issue”, clap trap.
      i say show me the peer reviewed empirical studies, they cannot coz there is none..the less money one has, the poorer one is, a simple but “denied” fact.
      i say go down to £53/wk and see whose laughing now….they could not do it, and would be begging us, for tips on how to survive on a sniff of an oil rag..
      btw when ids on dole, dole money eqiv to over £130/wk

      • You hit the nail on the head overburdendonkey, it is not money per se (a means of exchange… it is ACCESS TO RESOURCES and these fuckers are hell-bent on depriving the poor of the most BASIC of resources… food, shelter, warmth.

  19. Totally fucking shocking! I mentioned the death of Stephanie Bottril to my 24 year old son and he said don’t keep going on about this welfare shit I’m not interested! You see that’s what we are up against, people who are comfortable and can afford their own homes, people who are immune to poverty wont give a hoot, that’s how society is now!

  20. she cant be poor she had a cat…Crisis loan organisations issue cat vouchers ….to alleviate poverty…to be paid back when cat dies..

  21. I think that the faster we can vote out this ConDem Government , the better. Can you tell me what ever happened to MP’s taking public office de to the fact that they believed in a better sociotey for all of us? This country is going to the wall! What on earth can this Government continually stand by such a blatant obvious attack aimed at the least well of and just expect us to carry on playing this game

    Hows about, in place of the slew of career Muppets, of which who have never had to consider scrimping back on food to save up money for new school outfit for the kids, have no idea of the cost of half a pint of milk let alone having ever had to call ‘Paul to tell him that you cant make a pymnet to him, as its “Daves”, “pauline” or “Pats” turn this month, what we need is MP’s who actually live in the towns that they are supposed to stand for and who understand the issues affecting their neighbours!
    Between them they have shut or sold most of our manufacturing, imposed taxes on taxes, and where they couldn’t find a way to add yet another tax, they inventedimposed a fine. The few jobs that are left in the UK the government have made working next to pointless- we have worked for the past 15 years, and i can say that we have seldon felt so close to packing in my work and signing on the sick as much as now.

    This week we have witnessed the first death (of, I suspect many as a direct consiquence of the Welfare Reforms, and the powers that be look to still try to hide the fact that money may be available to those who are in need of it, by way of (so far unadvertised) Benefit advance, but MP’s expect outside organisations and religious organisations to look after the UK population, while they faff about flying “aid” overseas, to pay for projects that they i have no doubt have some sort of a vested interest in being very profitable.

  22. jest not, it won’t be before we are issued vouchers…as the poor are poor, coz they don’t know how to handle money and can’t be trusted with it…

    • Do you know how close to the truth you are? Few actually realise this is exactly where Universal Credit is aiming to take society. AZURE is the pilot scheme for this, conveniently being trialled on Asylum Seekers who’ve exhausted all appeals and now fall under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act.

      Yes, meet your Inflexible friend, coming soon to any and all benefit claimants who are deemed incapable of managing their finances:

      Who runs that? Another nasty French multinational called Sodexo. Making sure those who’re too poverty-stricken to leave after failing to get asylum top up the coffers of Tesco et-al.

      This is what you can expect to be rolled out to those who get far enough into arrears from the bedroom tax. Then to anyone unemployed for more than six months. Heaven forbid poor people are allowed to touch money!

      • @brian mcneil thanks for that i came across sodexo a while ago when looking up that firm that was touting for business to councils trying to flog their online social fund crap..with its ‘rules engine’ ..remember demos funded by mastercard promoted the smartcard system idea..i see mastercard have been in trouble of late..btw am having probs with browsers firefox keeeps playing up with its script probs and google chrome crashes pages..blimey i dont even get submit buttons mostly..

        • I remembered reading about Azure several years back in – of course – Private Eye. Took me a while to dig up that Refugee Council report, and it is dire reading. A mention in Hansard indicates Azure is supposed to be ‘self-funding’; that is, the shops that take the card pay to get in on the scheme.

          We all know what that means; their profit margins on the essential items for these people cover the cost, and more. Particularly based on what I recall from the Eye; many reports of the card failing, but still debiting from their £35/week subsistence payment, and going through on a second attempt.

          • @brian mcneil yeah i just remember the name sodexo..did i post already about it? btw i posted about JP Morgan chase profiteering from US food stamps program..and wondered if they were connected to mastercard..something implied they were..

      • brian…yes, it seems pretty..obvious to me where their polices are headed,
        only “disbelief, shock horror, would they really, go that far “,er yes… will stop one from seeing it…

        and a yes for you chewie..they will do all they can to discredit truth..which is what they always do, in any case!

        • In
          1926 a seven foot wall was placed across Valeswood Road, at its junction with
          Alexandra Crescent.  It was built by
          a private estate developer in response to objections from Bromley’s private home
          owners to ‘vulgar’ people using their road as a short cut to Bromley’s town
          centre.  Bromley’s Town Council
          refused to remove the wall and the L.C.C. and Lewisham Council found themselves
          powerless to remove it either.  It
          was not removed until the early part of the Second World War, when fire engine
          access became essential.

  23. i dont know who christopher england is or care all i can say is that if he represents middle england bigotry then we are properly fuked..

    • chewie…i would not like him to be on my “voluntary” euthanasia committee…his arguments are very unbalanced…

      • @DONKEY yes he belongs to the ”look ive worked hard and bought my own house and anyone else is a scrounger, who do they think they are thinking they should have a home, best kick them out as they devalue property prices and whats more a property dealer could make money out of it….

        • chewie…for one thing, is that a council tenant who has the money can stay, so why is that they don’t need their homes back, should these people be evicted then.
          there are many other more intelligent and sociable ways to retrieve housing stock, besides coercion. this was her home fgs!
          this policy is ideologically driven…starving one out of house and home…is at best retrograde!

          • @donkey yeah its all a bit suspect if you ask me..something about it stinks..and as for this christopher england twat..who the feck is he? theres a game being played from all accounts..from what i see, and i’m not doing conspiracy theories either…weird characters popping up on the net spouting odd shit…discrediting anything about victims of welfare ‘reform’ and csa..

            • chewie…they are having their say, that’s all…

              • @donkey maybe, but when someone produces a book about NW care homes scandals and in that book claims its all a witch hunt driven by cultist lefty social workers..then you gotta wonder..

            • chewie…counter their argument then,your intuition knows best, if what they say feels right or not…fools, fool no one, don’t waste your time arguing with them either, time always reveals truth!

              • @donkey you cant argue with boneheads like england..etc.. i just posed the question which is: is there a govt/establishment disinfo set up? yes or no..

            • That England twat shows the mentality we’re up against. It’s my guess that he’s an educationally subnormal 15 year-old who is under the illusion that “Shameless” is a documentary & that theJeremy Kyle freakshow is representative of all benefit claimants.

  24. Hiya chewie good to have you back, yes Christopher England ignoring the fact that there was no one bedroom properties for Stephanie to move into, yet inventing facts that the woman probably had other problems and the bedroom tax was a culmination of these other problems she may or may not have.

    According to her son if it was not for the £20 bedroom tax hanging over her head his mother would still be alive, so he being a relative probably knows her better than Mr. England about her problems or lack of them other than what the government has created. She probably also had to start contributing to her council tax too because of benefit reductions to local councils, all at a time when there is no work and she was ill anyway.

    What is funny though is how the likes of Mr Universe( sorry England) can
    understand how governments can cry “lack of money” while awardingcan tax cuts for the rich, yet the unemployed can’t plead the same without public approbrium into what they do with their meagre incomes.

  25. @guy i’m not back , i had other matters which are ongoing which needed my attention, but this puerile bigotry from mr union jack underpants got me riled and it fitted pretty much what john was on about..btw anyone noticed a lot of mattress dumping near them? its even happening in USA as a contact there had been chinese mattresses bloody dangerous a lot of them ..not fireproofed and broken springs..just an legs are covered in scratches because of one..oh well just wondered..

  26. @donkey i wasnt implying there was a plot to discredit wefare reform victims i was just following up what john had written whether you have rightwing loons just mouthing off rubbishing dead ppl because they are ignorant or they are doing a job…i dont know..maybe we’ll find out one day…

  27. Pingback: Stephanie Bottrill Blamed The Government For Her Suicide And So Should The Rest Of Us | Deaep

  28. Mr England probably thinks he is getting his own back for the unemployed rubbishing Margaret Thatcher when she died, even though this poor woman had harmed herself rather than others as Thatcher did.

  29. This country now hates the poor so much, people even begrudge us having a pet or even the basics. Apparently there’s recently been a lot of programmes on TV extolling the virtues of eating bugs and trying to make it seem trendy and cool and then yesterday I saw this in the Guardian:

    Maybe they will soon have mandatory courses at the jobcentre for the untermenschen aka the unemployed, sick and disabled, on how to capture ants, grasshoppers, spiders, slugs, weevils, caterpillars, centipedes, worms, larvae, cockroaches, woodlice etc and cook them properly. “We can’t afford to subsidise the lazy feckless benefit scrounging scum sitting around all day stuffing their fat greedy faces with junk food anymore, so what they need to do is get off their fat lazy arses and go out and forage for some bugs to eat.

  30. They were quick enough to job on the philpot case “kids are murdered because of benefit lifestyle” (although they forgot that the two women were working, obviously such great strivers) yet with this case they cannot possibly comment? Yeah right, bunch of fucking cuntservatives the lot of them.

  31. Was emailed this link, this would be music to bigot christopher england’s ears –

  32. i am in shocked disbelief, that this government and other organisations, think, that human beings are made out of stone!
    that a drastic cut in income will not have, dire consequences…! for those who have not, please read the sunday people a/c…it is full of facts!

  33. The government’s controversial “nudge unit”, which encourages people to make better lifestyle choices, is to be part-privatised, transforming it into a profit-making business.

    The Behavioural Insights Team will join with a commercial partner, and as a mutual joint venture, the new business will be part-owned by the government.

    It could be the first of “dozens” of elements of Whitehall to be spun out under Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude’s strategy to shake up the Civil Service.

    A competition will be soon announced to find a business partner for the “nudge unit.”

    The team, established after the 2010 election, was set up to find ways of “nudging” people to make better choices for themselves rather than through state intervention.

    • chewie…but as the state set it up, and sanction it’s is state intervention!

      • seems a lot of govt depts are going to be flogged off, even the DWP there was talk of privatising it a few years back..

        • chewie.. they flogged off everything else that…was in public ownership, that gave me and many a sense of security and pride, all going going gone. we’ll soon have to pay, a toll to use the pavements…still they can always blame the poor for polluting them, they blame us for poverty, rather than provide sustained, proper and reliable means to get out of poverty..! they would rather strip the poor of vitals, to make work “pay”, even if there is no work, and to prove it 5m without work, blame the poor rather than help the poor, shame on them! .

          does anyone know if stephenies obituary will be/or has been published?

    • The link seems to have been removed, all I’m getting is a “fatal error” message

      • Found a link to the article on facebook so I was able read it. Took this twat 18 months to apologise? So he wasn’t sorry at all.

        • something survived...

          Vile. I know of two cases of two-headed lambs surviving and apparently living normally. And several conjoined twins exist.
          It’s bad enough he wants disabled babies and children murdered (not for their sake, for the economy’s). But he also wants disabled adults, whose parents have died, killed so as not to cost the council money!
          What cases could be made for killing Colin Brewer? He’s lived long enough so ought to die?

  34. Truly shocking story. There will be more stories like this.

    Apparently their is some scam whereby jobseekers are made to phone premium rate telephone numbers. Programme about it tomorrow on the radio. A programme about Remploy factory closures follows it.

  35. A lot of this welfare talk and the demonisation of ppl getting social security started under the previous “labour” government. The NEW NAZIS REGIME of evil satanists headed by Hitler Cameron, and co are taking it to its logical conclusion…as only they could.
    The terminolgy employed by the new nazis today originated under new “labour” Such as “Hard working families”……So….do the parents work….and the kids too? That is straight out of the Hitler era of the 1940s.
    No wonder the poor did not vote for “labour” last time, they didn’t deserve their vote…And Milliband has ruled out abolishing the bedroom tax….he wants to wait and see how things are in 2015 before he makes a committment, “after he gets elected.” That is not acceptable….he has proven himself a frightened and weak leader…if you could dignify him with that.title…..afraid of being seen as favouring the poor and workshy by satanist right wing press in London…that means more to him than helping the poor.
    The only big politcal force who have said they will repeal it are the Scottish National Party, unfortunately for those not living in Scotland, that is not too big a help, but then again, if Scotland goes indepenednt, how can Westminster justify maintaining something as evil and sinister as bedroom tax if Scotland abolishes it ?
    And I find it utterly detestable we have ppl openly say this lady couldn’t be that poor as she could afford a cat. Maybe she could just afford it and no more. Or ppl come up with some other excuse to make it sound less awful than it is.
    I have heard even the Samaritians try to put some kind of spin on it. I’m not too sure what they are attempting there, but anyone facing this situation, or DWP sanctions etc, and feeling suicidal..well…last ppl they are going to call now are Samaritians…and anyway, it costs money to them, and if folks have no phone service because they have no money, how the hell is samaritian group going to be able to help?
    As for the “LibDems” they are most guilty I think, as a lot of these social security abolition policies simply would not have been possible without their conivence. I would say something like “I hope they are proud of themselves” in sarcastic condemnation, but alas many of them are proud !

    • gk i too found the sams response appalling…so i’m waiting to hear what they say about it…
      the administration classes are totally out of touch, with the reality of what is really going on…like you rightly say there seems to be a lot of sarcastic condemnation…of those in poverty, and nothing solid to help those in poverty…
      is it that they have run out of ideas?…i’ve not heard any ideas from them, to run out of…! the reply seems to be we can’t help you are on your own…”pass the port it compliments, this cheese magnificently”. “and no £20 less, does not cause extreme poverty, look, i spent £30 on brekkies and it has not made me poor”

    • All makes sense – only would like to add something on the Samaritans.

      It used to be possible to call in at (some) Samaritans branches talk to someone (by arrangement). This might still be the case; they could usually phone someone once an initial call had been made, or arrange a time to phone someone later. They are often (if not always) contactable at night (depends on there being enough volunteers), when things can feel most difficult.

      The quote they gave did sound somewhat ‘neutral’ – perhaps that was the idea (to stay objective and not express a particular political opinion -this fits with their approach, generally). Out of context – but the quote was something like “There are usually a number of factors which lead to someone taking their life, rather than one single issue” (usually is the case) but this doesn’t in any way devalue very real feelings of despair that come when someone is at a low ebb – from trying to deal with the difficulties of their own personal circumstances. Volunteers enable people to say whatever they are feeling, however ‘terrible’ or extreme this might seem if it were said to a friend or a family member. This can sometimes (& it does sound unlikely) make enough of a difference (just from realising there is someone who can to listen – even to feelings of deep despair – and not try to offer advice/minimise/deny the feelings as being somehow ‘unreal’. Also knowing they can to make contact again, should they need to, can help. It can work as a protective mechanism, to help the person stay safe/let them admit they are struggling and talk about thing, even express anger & frustration/fearfulness.

      (Other crisis lines have similar approaches, (eg. childline/rape crisis). The main aim of the Samaritans though, is ‘just’ to listen. They try to be there day and night – whenever possible. You don’t have to be suicidal to contact them.
      *This has been a party political broadcast on behalf of etc. But in fact this type of support could be needed more than ever, at present & the good standing of the organisation/their ability to offer support/demonstrate care isn’t in doubt, as far as I’m aware so should be talked up. (They seem a bit quiet recently, generally though – perhaps funding issues a la CAB?),

        • @shirleynott i phoned the samaritans a while back..i had the snoozer ie the one who had fallen asleep and not listening to me, then i had the ‘listen this is what to do guy…, then i had the crazy woman who thought it was wonderful news that ppl close to me had died and i was living in a hell hole..

          • Hi bob, I would say that’s not a typical experience (although people do sometimes struggle to stay awake all night and some manage that bit better than others). Really a shame about the other two – I’ve always understood they’re not about ‘this is what you should do’ but about trying to actively trying to listen and allow space for the caller to talk …. it’s not an easy remit – some will manage to ‘connect better’ than others at any given time. I know you already realise this but all have opted to volunteer in what can sometimes be (as they say) a ‘challenging’ area.
            It doesn’t always work, but if it does help just one person etc. etc.

            (I won’t say ‘better luck next time’ but you know what I mean).

            I’m not on commission – just still think that while so much pressure is being put on people (CAB etc. groaning under the weight of people’s ‘issues’/practical problems), then for some people knowing that there is someone @the end of a phone can be ‘better than nothing’. But enough about me (!).

            • sn
              chewies…is a typical my personal experience!

            • sn cab, groaning under weight!….i told them not to rep me for my appeal today, so they turned up mob handed, and insisted that they rep me.
              i’ve little chance of winning in any case…and even less chance of winning if they rep me…it was adjourned…but we did get on well today..and they almost sort of, in a round about way apologized to me, kind of…in a fawning way….so i kind of, sort of, melted to their charms!

  36. That should have read “it costs money to the samaritains…”

  37. FOR THE 3rd TIME
    That should have read “it costs money to PHONE the samaritains…”

  38. gk…new ceilidh dance should help…called the “davegordons”….whirl round in circles for long enough…and every thing falls into place…of is that collapses?

  39. “No-one in the right wing press would dare speak like this if someone rich committed suicide over money problems.” No, because the family would have the cash to hire expensive lawyers and sue the arse off the paper. But if you or your family can’t afford those expensive lawyers, you’re fair game.

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  42. Perhaps you noticed that the BBC News channel, and for all I know, the whole organisation, have failed to give this tragedy any air time at ALL.

  43. THE CORRUPT LUNATICS ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM Its Time the Electorate took charge of the Country the Government & Opposition are a Few running the Country for a Few instead of the Many. Labour back all the Welfare Reforms taken place so far so if Ardent Labour Supporters think that a Labour Government will change anything they are sadly mistaken .All the Labour Politicians in Place today were in Place when behind the door deals were being done on the Welfare Bill.Both Major Parties mainly agree behind closed doors on most things.It’s only the Public that are left in the dark

  44. dear diary..15/5/13, it is as well there is no stress running upto an appeal still i’ve ahd plenty of practice, i told cab to take funny run …did they heck, they turned up mob handed today, after i gave them tongue lashing..still it gave me a mob of people to talk to, m/t place otherwise….so after all the efforts i made before hand and a 40mile journey…coz some evidence i sent did not turn up, they adjourned it….a phone call won’t do? still the travel expenses £4, will buy me a welcome 61st birthday present…

  45. Obd – Oh dear. Wondering what their founding father would say?

    He died fairly recently (2007) aged almost 96 – in Basingstoke. (So we can never know what life has in store for us …).
    Also: “Chad Varah became disillusioned with The Samaritans organisation. He announced in 2004 that, “It’s no longer what I founded . I founded an organisation to offer help to suicidal or equally desperate people.” The last elected Chairman re-branded the organisation. It was no longer to be an emergency service. It was to be an emotional support”. (I did not know this).

    (His words):- “With my secretary, Vivian, I coped with callers-up and callers-in for some weeks from 2nd November 1953: but then useless amateurs began offering to help. I bounced off the ones I didn’t like and graciously allowed the ones I found agreeable to run errands for me and keep the clients amused while waiting to be ushered in to my presence. [think this is meant to be facetious – I hope so]. It soon became evident that they were doing the clients more good than I was. Everybody needed befriending (as we called it then): only a minority needed my counselling, or referral to a psychiatrist. By 2nd February 1954, I called these amateurs together and said, “Over to you Samaritans. Never again shall I pick up the emergency phone, nor be the one to say ‘Come in and have a coffee’, when a client taps at the door. I shall select you and supervise you and discipline you and sack you if necessary, and see the clients who need something more than your befriending, and I shall make the decisions you are not competent to make. But you are the life-savers, and one day everyone will recognise what suicidal people need. Many have now. Befriending has saved thousands of lives in Britain. My job now is to organise it all over the world, until suicide becomes unimportant as a cause of death.”

    [-]Ten years after those first calls in 1953, there were 41 branches of Samaritans in the UK and Ireland. Just three years later, in 1966, the were 6,537 Samaritans volunteers based in 80 branches. In 1974 Chad founded Befrienders International (now Befrienders Worldwide), the worldwide body of Samaritans branches, to complement the, by then, 160 Branches in the UK and Ireland, with 18,022 volunteers. There has been a steady growth since that date, with volunteer numbers peaking in 1993 at 23,500. Calls to Samaritans have continued to go up every year, and the number of branches is now at 202. [-] ,,,. the basic principles have always remained the same. Samaritan volunteers are still available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to offer that unique emotional support service.

    It’s not absolutely unbelievable to hear of less-than-positive experiences. It’s still true that they will (one would hope) that many others will have received ‘better’ or even ‘good’ support. No use trying to guess how many/to what degree, or if they get a short-term benefit only, or sometimes a longer-lasting ‘good’ outcome – who knows?. Wondering about whether they manage to attract an across the board age-range of volunteers & do volunteers get the same (or more) training than in the past/is it different? (Someone answering the phone half-asleep would be a problem for many of us) – perhaps it’s time to re-think the ‘all-night’ opening hours – but was always an important part of their ideology. To hear 2 of 3 people commenting on here describing ‘less than satisfactory’ experiences – given the reasons why this has been mentioned – is a shame. Ideally there would be (at least some) paid staff & ‘(more than) enough’ well-trained volunteers … Perhaps they need to be out in communities (what’s left of them) more – I think something like this started to happen a few years back – but that might just be something imagined.

    • @shirleynott I already had the samaritan who was snoozing when I called plus the. crazy lady who thought it was marvellous news that ppl had died and that i was being terrorized by neighbours

  46. sn…i’m in a jolly mood today…i think they are funny…what i say to them, if they want to rep me, turn up at next tribunal, fine, who cares.
    i like their companionship…we had a laugh,today, i just took the piss out of their antics, they could only laugh and be glad to see the back of me.
    i scolded them like naughty children, who claimed not to steal the chocolate, but the evidence was plain to see…

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  48. Because charities like the Samaritans have been taken over in recent years by corporate crass types is it any wonder it has gone downhill, perhaps somebody should call the samaritans for the samaritans.

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  50. Consulant Psychologist

    May I just add that there is a limit to the number of “crisis” that a human being can simultaneously cope with, maybe two or three at a stretch. Maybe there was something else going on in this unfortunate lady’s life and the “bedroom tax” was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. May I also add, that in my considered opinion, the whole thrust of this government’s barbaric welfare policies is the laying down of one crisis upon another, thread upon thread, strand upon strand, layer upon layer until the victim is unable to cope and is “tipped over the edge” as it appears to be in this tragic case. The sadists responsible for and their cohorts who implement these evil polices are morally reprehensible and should be brought to book without further ado. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to comment.

    • is well worth reading the sunday peoples a/c….your description is accurate…laminated layers imposed on one…like fibreglass and eventually one breaks with the burden of the load…

      • OBD – Sort of in reverse though )

        CP – Good comment!

        Does this government care one bit about this poor woman and others? Of course not!

        • jd
          you’d think …but the layers of strands act to lock ones voice in…isolate and insulate one from the world…drive on into dispair…slow the mind down with burden!

          • OBD
            Ah I see yes that’s one way to look at it to suffocate to death or entrench upto one’s neck in thick, glutinous mud eventually absorbing all energy and will to live.

            • jd
              yes, and sap the will, and ability to resist…and even vote!
              coz they all like blue/reddish chameleons changing shades of blue to reddish depending on who views them, and whose vote’s they one of those metal-flake paint jobs…

      • This is why we need stuff like “the Void”. Imagine the terror and fear someone feels who is alone and isolated or with no nobody who understands their situation and predicament, with no access to information and is persecuted to death by the DWP/W2W “providers”/ATOS. By sadly, not everyone has access to this kind of stuff.

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