PISSING ON THE POOR

October 28, 2008

Although we use the term ‘the Poor’ in our headline we’re actually talking about ‘the Impoverished’; the poor are not an unchanging mass of people, they’re made – and kept – poor by the mechanisms of power. And once you’ve been impoverished the system will ensure you just get poorer – it’s the exact opposite of that old adage ‘money to money’.

A recent case that illustrates this point is that of Mr & Mrs B of Doncaster. Doncaster Magistrates Court granted General Electric a ‘repossession order’ (GE are one of the largest and richest multinational corporations on the planet who make most of their money from child-killing weapons systems and through the large scale polution of our air and water) which allowed GE to seize Mr & Mrs B’s home. They were forced to move their four children to a new town and a new school even though they still had capital in their house to cover their debt to GE. But this wasn’t the end of the story.

Some months later the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC) sent a council tax bill to the B family. Mr B explained the situation, but, surprise-surprise, the DMBC wouldn’t listen. Insensed by what he saw as an obvious injustice, Mr B decided to have his day in court, but Doncaster Magistrates Court – the same people who had granted the original repossession order to GE! – ruled in favour of the DMBC. Mr B told us “I wasn’t that naive that I expected justice from the courts, but a little understanding might have been nice. It seems to me that the law courts only exist to make it easier for rich people to piss all over the poor.” And we’re hearing plenty of other financial horror stories that back up Mr B’s beliefs.

You’re most likely to be taken to court by the institutions, corporations and bureaucracies that rely the most heavily on the public for money – councils, energy & water companies, the BBC, etc. – and the courts will nearly always side in their favour despite the fact that the public know all too well that these guys are a bunch of jumped up con artists out to fleece us for everything they can get. The BBC like to call themselves ‘Auntie’, but how many aunts would send their nephews or nieces to prison just because they refused to give money to an outdated monopoly?

As the global recession bites harder, more and more of South Yorkshire’s poorest people will find themselves in the hands of a merciless system that favours the greedy over the needy. We must all stand together to fight the bureaucrats, the bankers and the bailiffs. We did it during the Poll Tax Uprising and we can do it again.

Any People who dont spend enuff to provide for the poor; you wont be able to spend enuff to protect the rich. You think poverty a poor people problem; think again how much it a people problem.
Tanya Stephens ‘The Sound of my Tears’

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