Category Archives: Fighting Back

Fixing Poverty Is Simple: Poor People Need More Money and Homeless People Need Homes


In the UK today the poor are a commodity and poverty is big business.  That’s why the homelessness industry can afford conferences in luxury hotels, with slap up meals and drinks receptions.  It’s why charity chief executives earn such eye-watering sums, or business empires like the Big Issue can be built beneath a charity facade.  And these are the fuckers who are supposed to be helping.  Alongside them lie the vultures of the welfare-to-work companies like Serco and G4S – a £20 billion industry designed to punish the poor with benefit sanctions and forced work schemes.

At no point in this elaborate system of so-called support, incentives and sanctions will the people who are poor be given what they need – which is more money.  In fact much of the help is designed to do the opposite as it attempts to  create behavior change by inflicting more poverty to each the poor a lesson.  Benfits are cut to ‘incentivise’ people to find a job whilst charities run advertising campains further stigmatising beggars to encourage them not to be homeless.  Other anti-poverty organisations demand that the price of cheap alcohol is raised to stop people being alcoholics and call for bans on handing out free food to make life difficult for those on the streets.  As these demands grow ever more shrill, the number of genuinely affordable homes and jobs that pay an adequate income shrink, alongside already meagre benefit payments. Yet because of the wonderful support the poor are offered – and all that money being spent – when people keep getting poorer then frankly, even most charity bosses think, it’s probably their own fault.

It is fucking grotesque.  What poor people need is more money and what homeless people need is homes.  As well as being glaringly obvious, this is also what the evidence shows.  A study was featured in the Washington Post this week which tracked the personalities of 1,420 low income children in North Carolina over a period of 20 years.  By pure chance during this period about a quarter of the children’s families received a windfall due to being part of a Native American tribe whose land had been used to host a casino.  This led to the families receiving annual payments of around $4000 and meant that the researchers could measure the impact of this small rise in income on the children’s personalities.  The results were clear – according to the researchers “there are large beneficial effects of improved household financial wellbeing on children’s emotional and behavioral health and positive personality trait development.”

The study also found that relationships between parents improved, family arguments decreased, and siginifcantly parents who had more money tended to use drugs and alcohol less.

Back in the UK, in 2010 the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, an anti-poverty think tank, carried out an experiment with some of the ‘hardest to help’ rough sleepers.  What they did was simple; they identified 15 people who had been sleeping on the streets for a minimum of fours years, they asked them what they needed and then they bought it for them.  Seven of the original fifteen had moved into stable accommodation when the project was evaluated with two more making plans to pove off the streets.  Some participants reported improved mental and physical health, and several said their drinking had reduced.  Three people started educational courses whilst the one individual involved who had a serious drug problem had begun treatment and was on a methadone programme.  Despite the success of this approach it has not been adopted by the UK’s homelessness industry.

Something else which remains largely ignored in UK housing policy is the success of the Housing First scheme at reducing homelessness in the US.   This model simply acknowledges that homeless people need to be given a home before other issues such as substance misuse, unemployment or mental health are addressed.  This approach has been successful in cutting homelessness amongst US army veterans by 30%.  A small pilot project is now being carried out along these lines in the UK, but don’t expect significant change yet.  Much of the homelessness industry still believes that homeless people need to be somehow ‘fixed’ with an approach that dangles the possibility of secure housing at some distant point in the future as a reward for good behavior whilst arresting people in the present if they sleep rough in city centres.

This weekend World Homeless Action Day will feature two events in the UK aiming to promote the Housing First model and protest against the growing criminalisation of homeless people.  In Manchester campaigners are organising a sleep out on Saturday night (10 October) to raise awareness of the problems facing homeless people in the city.  In London there will be speakers and music outside Euston Station on the same night before activists head out on mass into the city to distribute food and supplies to the homeless.  Other events are also planned, please share the facebook page, spread the word and come if you can.

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Ignore The Fucking Hipsters Crying Into Their Cornflakes, Long Live The Fucking #FuckParade

malcolm-xRarely has there been a more open display of arrogant entitlement than the alliance of pampered hipsters and Tory scum who have lined up across the media to attack yesterday’s anti-gentrification protest in Shoreditch.  From ‘High Society Darlings’ in The Independent to the usual spittle-flecked tirades in The Telegraph, the establishment are united in their revulsion that working class people could not only organise themselves, but took a step beyond the usual stale political marches and petitions that we are supposed to use to air our grievances.

By all sensible accounts last night’s Fuck Parade – organised by Class War and named after similar anti-gentrification protests in Berlin – was a huge success.  Hundreds of people took to the streets for a party and protest that has lit up the debate about gentrifcation in London.  At one point an estate agent’s window was shattered, whilst some paint and cornflakes were thrown at the daft Cereal Killer Cafe – an emblem of the hipster invasion of East London where bowls of cereal can cost the best part of a fiver.  And it is a fucking invasion as posh flats and trust-funded small businesses spread across London like a virus, with every last brick turned into an investment opportunity.

Some of those new local business owners have suggested that to complain about this is a bit like racism – raising the ghost of Oswald Mosley to smear the protesters.  The owners of the cereal cafe have even complained that the protest was a hate crime.  Have you ever heard anything so fucking vile?  To the cosseted middle classes racism, and even fascism,  are just things to be re-appropriated for their benefit when their privilege comes under attack.  How the poor hipsters have suffered due to a bit of paint on a window and some loud music and shouting.  It’s like Nazi Germany all over again, only this time the victims are posh white people who run businesses.  They are no different to the UKIP pub bores dribbling into their pints about the global conspiracy against the straight white middle-class male.

The harsh reality is that, according to the government’s homelessness statistics, at least 259 children were made homeless in Hackney in the last quarter.  This is what gentrification does to people.  That’s 259 young lives destroyed by soaring rents and housing shortages.  And that’s just those who were classed as officially homeless and so eligible for help from the local council.  Hundreds of thousands of kids are growing up in social housing who will have nowhere to live when they are older.  A crisis is taking place in the lives of London’s poorest residents who will never share in the middle class Disneyland that is being created in the wake of social cleansing.

None of this is our fault plead the hipsters, why not blame the council.  And the council blames the property developers, who in turn, say they are just providing the homes and business spaces that people want – like the people who run the Cereal Killer Cafe.  No-one is to blame, and yet everyone’s making a buck.  Except the poor, the collateral damage in this profit driven frenzy that is destroying the city.

So fuck small businesses.  Today’s hipster entrepreneur is the Richard Branson of tomorrow – and it would have done no harm if that cunt had been nipped in the bud early.  That doesn’t mean you should fall out with your local off licence, you’ll never get anything on tick that way.  There are many businesses that we have little choice but to use and that may be run by people that give something back to the community that provides their lifestyle.  These kinds of businesses are also falling victim to gentrification.  But to pretend that the interests of business and the people who work for them are the same is horseshit.  That is why the Tory Party styles itself as the party of small business people and acts as they do.  Every current attack on the poor is being carried out not just for the benefit of the super rich, but also the gentrifiers of Shoreditch and their pop up monstrosities.  If the new business class don’t like that they could try and do something about it.  But instead they seek to profit from it.

Of course these hipsters have decided that last night was all about them.  Everything always is.  But the Fuck Parade is clearly about more than a bit of paint on a cafe’s window.  As long time East End resident Martin Lux has said, Saturday night was a continuation of the near thousand year old tradition of the London mob.  Hundreds of people joined a protest that didn’t ask for permission and took to the streets with the mixture of carnival and defiance that has defined popular protests in London.  An anti-gentrification movement with real teeth – but that is also fun to be a part of – is what the city desperately needs.  So ignore the fucking hipsters crying into their cornflakes, and long live the fucking Fuck Parade!

UPDATE:  Class War have now released a statement about the events of Saturday night.

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Access To Work Cuts Show The True Nature Of This Pig-Fucking Government

access-to-work-marchCuts to the Access To Work scheme – which pays for adaptations, equipment and support for disabled people in the workplace – shows the true nature of this pig-fucking Government.

Whilst Iain Duncan Smith rants at disabled people to get a job, the changes being made to Access To Work will make this impossible for many.  That won’t stop people’s benefits being slashed however.  Some sick and disabled people are now being plunged into desperate poverty, with no way out.  It is little wonder that benefit claimants and disabled people are now openly calling Iain Duncan Smith a murderer.

A march is taking place in London on Saturday (26th Sept) to protest against the cuts to the Access To Work scheme.  According to the organisers:

“Changes to Access to Work mean that Deaf, Deaf blind and hard of hearing and disabled people are being restricted to unrealistic budgets for support that does not meet their needs. The budgets are insufficient to fund qualified interpreters and personal assistants and prevent personal choice or control, placing jobs at risk.

“The introduction of arbitrary rules has changed the relationship between Access to Work and the individuals it supports. Deaf and disabled people are no longer being acknowledged as the experts in their own access needs and issues and problems they raise are being ignored.

“Please stop the changes to Access to Work support for BSL users and disabled people.”

The march will be gathering at Old Palace Yard, Westminster, SW1P 3JY at 12pm on Saturday 26th September.  Please help spread the word and share the facebook page.

For more info visit:

And don’t forget the Fuck Parade on Saturday night in Shoreditch!

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Never Mind The Labour Party, Come To The Fucking Fuck Parade

fuck-parade3If there’s one thing the British establishment hates more than Jeremy Corbyn it’s us.  From the corridors of power to the boardrooms in the city, they see our class as nothing more than mugs and scroungers who only exist to fatten their wallets.  Work hard and they’ll pat you on the head whilst picking your pocket with the other hand.  Refuse work and the punishment is economic destruction, with every avenue of survival ruthlessly shut down.  And if you can’t work, or find a job, then you will be destroyed as well, as a lesson to everyone else.  Don’t get sick, don’t complain, don’t ask for a pay rise, or you too could become a scrounger – a non-person to be bullied and tormented at will.

But beneath this seething contempt for the poor lies a terror that goes unspoken.  They know all too well that there is more of us than them, and that without our compliance the whole fucking game is up.  That in a heartbeat their mansions, and their assets, and their bank balances, could all disappear like smoke.  It has happened before.

So, as uncomfortable as they may find it, they would far rather tolerate a polite man asking difficult questions in parliament, than face a mob with pitchforks steaming down their leafy streets.  They will bluster and howl about extremism but they know all too well that if things become genuinely turbulent then the likes of Jeremy Corbyn may yet be their biggest chance of survival.  This has been the historic role of the Labour Party, to manage the wrath of the working class and fight on our behalf for things we don’t usually even want.

Whatever your views on recent events one thing is clear.  Escalation is now required on all fronts if we are to end, or even slow down, the onslaught on our living standards.  There will be no concessions to a movement that has no teeth.  Sitting around for five years on the off chance Labour might eventually save us is not an option.  No-one can save us, except us.

On Saturday 26th September Class War will be holding the third Fuck Parade, this time targetting gentrification in Shoreditch, a once working class area of London.  Meet outside Shoreditch Station from 7pm and please help spread the word by sharing the facebook page for the event.

Meanwhile this coming Saturday (19th September) A March Against Evictions is being held in Stratford, East London to mark the second anniversary of Focus E15 campaign.  Meet at Stratford Park, West Ham Lane, from noon, full details on facebook.

In October protests will be taking place in Manchester outside the Tory Party Conference.  I’ll get a seperate post up about these, but for now there’s details on DPAC’s website.

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If Jeremy Corbyn Is The Limit Of Our Imagination Then We Are Truly Fucked

spoilt-ballotJeremy fucking Corbyn.  Seriously?  It’s like finding out your old geography teacher just got made leader of the Labour Party.  The one you half remember, and then only because of that time he cried because some kid pissed in his slippers on the school camping trip.

If Jeremy Corbyn is the limit of our political imagination then we are well and truly fucked.  He might well be a nice bloke, but he is Labour to his core and the Labour Party have long been enemies of the kind of mass working class self-organisation that is needed if there is to be any meaningful change in our lives.  It is only a sign of how much ground we have lost that Corbyn is considered radical at all.  And as for those around him, well there will be no pleasure in watching him be kicked to death by his own side but that is what they will attempt to do.  Should he manage to stagger on for the next five years he will be so beaten down and stained by compromises that it will be a very different Corbyn who stands in the next general election.

That doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom, not by a long way.  Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves has gone already and good fucking riddance.  As have her Oxbridge chums Yvette Cooper and Tristram Hunt.  But there are vermin waiting in the wings, including the rumoured return of Liam Byrne.  Remember him?  Probably not, but he’s a cunt.

It will be where Corbyn stands on social security that will show the kind of direction that Labour is really about to take.  He has rightly condemned the Work Capability Assessment and claims to back groups like DPAC and Boycott Workfare who have taken action against welfare reforms.  But he has also voted for Labour’s Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, although admittedly as part of a package of measures.  Nice bloke then, shame about the workfare.  If Corbyn means what he says then Labour’s policy must be for an unconditional social security system.  No more workfare and no more sanctions.  And doctors and their patients deciding who is fit for work, not bureacrats at the DWP and Maximus private health sharks.

Since 2010 there has been a resurgence in collective direct action and grassroots campaigning that has won real results.  Whether property developers chased out of buying up housing esates and hiking rents or private companies like Atos handing back lucrative contracts in the face of widespread protests, politics has happened on the streets, estates, universities and workplaces.  If that energy and anger is now sucked into the Labour Party political machine it will be a disaster.  Corbyn himself could have a role to play in stopping that happening, but the temptation of the old left to control and dictate resistance will need to be hard fought.

An alternative is that Corbyn’s victory could ignite exactly the kind of struggle which is needed.  That we see this not as the road to a Labour government but as a sign that there is genuine hunger in the UK for change.  If half of the people who have attended Corbyn’s rallies had taken militant and disruptive action against workfare, the Bedroom Tax, or any of the raft of welfare reforms then they would have been stopped in their tracks and Iain Duncan Smith would be unemployed.  That’s not a whinge by the way, just a reflecton on what could be achieved if this weekend’s events are used as a springboard to create a radical working class movement with real teeth.  That cannot happen within the Labour Party, party politics is the road to defeat.  But it can happen and then we won’t need a party at all, we can do politics for ourselves.

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#WEcan and We Did Fuck Up The DWP’s Online Campaign To Promote Workfare

Once again the DWP have been reduced to a laughing stock on social media after their online campaign to promote unpaid work became dominated with comments from those opposed to workfare.

The #WEcan campaign aimed to enourage employers to provide unpaid work experience placements for young people.  The DWP had also hoped that young people would post up ‘workies’ – apparently the work version of a selfie – on social media alongside their experiences of unpaid work placements.  It turns out though that the young were too lazy and feckless even to bother doing that.  Minister for Employment Priti Patel must be furious.  It wasn’t like this when she worked for the tobacco industry encouraging kids to take up smoking.

Instead what happened is that the hashtag was dominated by people furious at a government that seems obsessed with forcing young people to work for no wages.  Alongside this many people used the hashtag to pledge to boycott some of the companies named as being involved in workfare, such as @marksandspencer, and @Halfords_uk.

Amusingly the DWP also invited people to laugh at them on facebook, where unfortunately for the department the #WEcan hashtag is already in use by the Wellness Education Cannabis Advocates of Nevada. The DWP’s social media team get paid real money – our money – for this bungling shit.

In what seems like an attempt by the DWP to muddy the waters the #WEcan campaign promotes all forms of work experience, including short placements for schoolchildren or paid internships as well as workfare schemes.  This led to some of the organisations backing the campaign complaining that they only do nice work experience and they don’t support the nasty stuff.  These organisations should be at the forefront of challenging the government about ever more exploitative Jobcentre enforced workfare which can now involve 780 hours of forced, unpaid work.  Instead they are quite happily helping the DWP rehabilitate workfare with gushing tweets about how wonderful unpaid work can be.  So fuck them, they are on the wrong side.

The DWP have now resorted to drafting in Jobcentres to tweet furiously and try to rescue the campaign. Make sure it doesn’t work and tell @WEcan what you think of workfare using the hashtag #WECan.  Please spread the word.

Here’s what some people have said so far:

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#WEcan Fuck Up The DWP’s Online Campaign To Promote Mass Workfare

workfare-stick-upA whole host of corporate vultures have teamed up with the DWP to launch an online campaign celebrating young people being coerced into working for no pay for some of the richest companies in the UK.

Marks & Spencer, Whitbread, Halfords and shamefully the BBC have all signed up to the #WEcan campaign which aims to encourage even more businesses to provide unpaid work experience positions instead of employing young people properly.  The new initiative comes as the Government draws up plans to force all unemployed young people into permanent unpaid work if they are unable to find a job within six months of becoming unemployed.  This means they have to find enough grubby companies and so-called charities who are prepared to take part in this shocking exploitation.  The #WEcan campaign is part of an attempt to achieve this, so let’s fuck it up.

Already parasites from the welfare-to-work industry are tweeting using the hashtag #WEcan whilst a tumblr page has been set up calling for young people to share their experiences of workfare.  The DWP have also posted a host of youtube videos (comments currently enabled) such as this one which says that “whatever you are doing, any experience is good experience”.  Gone is any pretence at providing placements which involve real training or a chance of a job at the end.  Instead they want young people to mop floors and stack shelves for two months and have the fucking gall to claim they are doing them a favour.

Please help spread the word about this and tweet using the hashtag #WEcan.  And let’s make sure everybody knows which companies are using workfare, starting with @marksandspencer, @premierinn, @Halfords_uk, @WhitbreadPLC, @Barclays and @BBC.

For the latest news on fighting back against forced unpaid work visit:

I’m still on a break.  Back properly in a week or so.

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