Video: UN’s Alston – Tory policies designed to tell most vulnerable “you’re on your own”

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UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston

UN Special Rapporteur for extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, today delivered a damning verdict on the Tory government’s treatment of the UK’s vulnerable people – the disabled, single mothers, the low-paid and the unemployed – during the presentation of his preliminary findings from his tour of the UK to examine the impact of government policies.

As the SKWAWKBOX has already published, Alston described the impact of government benefits policies on women and children as equivalent to what would be designed by a roomful of misogynists – but Alston did not limit his criticism to their effects only on women.

During a presentation in which he pulled no punches about the ethos and consequences of Tory policies, Alston described them as specifically intended to deliver a simple, chilling message to the UK’s most vulnerable, who are under ‘immense stress’ and enduring ‘immense hardship’:

You’re on your own.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

According to the United Nation’s special representative, Tory policies do not merely inflict enormous distress and hardship. They’re designed for it. ‘Conscious cruelty’ barely begins to cover it.


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  1. The people who’ve ever had to navigate the welfare system have known this for years…People on unemployment/out of work benefits have forever been on their own.

    The MSM (Tv – wise, at any rate) has only recently been doing no more than paying lip service to the matter over UC, like it was a new phenomenon. The f**king thing’s been a massive problem (National disgrace) since it’s inception in 2010. But that’s now been buried under the weight of news from brexit, and so will be put on the (very) back burner once again.

    And once more those people navigating the benefits system (Through no fault of their own) will not only battle against the DWP, but the same old murdoch & channel 5 portrayals & perceptions that will become the norm in a week or two’s time.

    1. I’ve been there and I know all too well.

      It’s the sort of thing that gets you thinking that, if the DWP could, they’d just drop the pretence and round all claimants up in the middle of the night and put’em up against the wall.

      Have no doubt, the ruling elite want a cull of the population and UC is one of the many “nudge” methods of achieving it…

  2. His comments are all very well and good, but the burning question is, can he help all these people? Can the Tory party be held to account for their vile policies, and for all the deaths they have caused?

    1. When all’s said & done, as long as the toerags are in, this report will carry as much weight as a fart in a hurricane. It will end up being as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

      The toerags have laughed off the previous 3 UN investigations; this’ll be no different.

  3. What are the chances the BBC will report this? Probably less than May learning to dance like a human.

    1. Some surprisingly good comments about it on BBC 24 Hours News channel’s discussion of the front pages of the papers last night at about 10.40 ish

      1. You are quite right. I must admit the BBC took me by surprise, a short while after I’d written my post. On that I stand corrected. But I still think the Maybot malfunction dancing is unlikely to improve.

  4. That is a very good question. Because in my view they got blood on their hands.

  5. What is being said here is importantant, he does state that these punative sanctions are deliberate and designed to hurt those that need this help. politically that is an important statement. We can all remind the Tories at election time and leading up to it that they can no longer deny it. We can use this at every available opportunity, when he said Thatcher said there was no such thing as society, it highlights that these policies did not happen because of lack of money, but are by design.

    That goes to the heart of Tory mismanagement, our whole economy has been turned upside down due to Tory Neo-Liberal dogma that says if you can’t pay for it then it is your fault not the problems inflicted on us through market theology.

    Every day these Tories remain in office the more chaos they create, and more of Britain will be sold off, selling the ground from beneath our feet.

    I do hope people have woken up in this country, as none of this is necessary, Tories have to smear and lie their way in politics because if they told the truth about what they are doing no one would ever vote for them.

  6. Yes we have socialism for the elite at the top, tax reliefs, subsidies on practically everything for the Neo-Liberal capitalist legal thieves at the top – the upper class welfare state with its 2,000 + tax reliefs for the rich and better off and for example Corporate Welfare is £93b a year which is the equivalent to £3,500 per household (Chakrobatty).
    And the next generation of Tory Barbarians are trained in public schools to be insensitive and cruel to the poor because they are political imbeciles but you perhaps have to pity them – the True Little People of the Planet – they know no better.
    But diverse working people should feel really good about themselves, we really create the wealth & make societies work and how collectively successful will we all feel when we treat the poor with dignity and respect (and bring in a living wage and decent welfare and scrap UC, sanctions, work eligibility tests etc.) and have a Corbyn Govt that fights for us and alongsiide us!
    Hopefully the era of Neo-Liberal Barbarianisn is coming to and end as some argue Neo-Liberal Capitalism is in a structural crisis (see latest New Left Review) and its death knell I would suggest is its drive for cheap labour.
    Solidarity & X.

  7. The BBC gave this more coverage than I would have expected, given their habitual suppression of anything remotely critical of the Tories.

    If they’ve seen the future and they’re trying to cover their arses by faking editorial neutrality it’s a bit late – it’s not like we’re going to forgive and forget the AS smears and all the other falsifications that prop up their morally bankrupt masters.

    Maybe there is still some smouldering spark of journalistic integrity under the ashes of what the BBC once was – or maybe it was just some intern misunderstood the brief.

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