Universally DISCreditED – one of UK’s most deprived areas plans for Labour govt and benefits justice

Huyton in the Knowsley borough on Merseyside hosted PCS chief Mark Serwotka, Unite’s Sheila Coleman, Unison’s Paula Barker and others for an important seminar on the government’s consciously cruel Universal Credit horror and the response needed.

Local activist Shaun Smith attended on behalf of the SKWAWKBOX. Below is his report.

A major meeting took place tonight in one of the country’s most deprived areas to discuss the Government’s disastrous Universal Credit system and how to win a Labour Government to deliver a social security system fit for the name.

Universally DISCreditED: Building for a fairer social security system was held in Knowsley, Merseyside and hosted by Knowsley For Corbyn, a self-organised group of Labour Party members in the area. The meeting heard about the horrors of what Universal Credit and the Government’s pernicious strategy to dismantle the welfare state is doing to society’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

Among the speakers were Mark Serwotka, the General Secretary of PCS union, who spoke about the campaign that PCS are waging with their members in the DWP to fight against the Government’s withdrawal of support for claimants and the increasing emphasis on sanctions and conditionality.

Mark Serwotka on Wednesday night

Mark received a rapturous reception as he called for a radical overhaul of the social security system delivered by a Corbyn led Labour Government. The meeting also heard from Sheila Coleman from Unite Community and Helen Fisher from Liverpool Community Advice, both of whom recounted heartbreaking stories of supporting UC claimants through the quagmire of the broken system.

We need to go away from this meeting and mobilise resistance in our communities to defeat the Tories and deliver a Labour Government that can bring the radical change we need.

Unison’s Paula Barker

Graham Morgan, Labour leader of Knowsley Council, underlined the support being offered by the local authority to people suffering the effect of sanctions and the Bedroom Tax and the scandal that council’s were having to help pick up the pieces of the hardship which the Government are inflicting on places like Knowsley.

Paula Barker, Unison North West Convenor, perhaps summed up the mood of the night when she said:

We need a system that recognises that everybody in the 99% has a stake in a social security system which is there when we need it. We need to go away from this meeting and mobilise resistance in our communities to defeat the Tories and deliver a Labour Government that can bring the radical change we need.

You can follow Knowsley For Corbyn‘s work by following @knowsley4corbyn on Twitter. If you are a Labour Party member in Knowsley, get in touch with knowsley4corbyn@gmail.com to be added to their mailing lists.

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10 responses to “Universally DISCreditED – one of UK’s most deprived areas plans for Labour govt and benefits justice

  1. serwotka and his union can f**k rarr off. Sees a Corbyn Govt. on the horizon and decides to make a noise.

    Well you’re not fooling anyone.

    Too little, far too late. The damage has already been done and him and his cohorts have carried it out top get their £25 M&S vouchers and have even ruined lives for a f**king Easter egg ffs.

    Here’s proof about what the PCS are about….leopards & spots and all that…

    http://docshare.tips/pcs-union-midlands-regional-newsline-summer-2013_58bfc6b9b6d87fc5418b529d.html

    ”Mr Lloyd said Jobcentre workers had threatened to tear up £25 Marks and Spencer vouchers received for getting claimants off benefits as part of a DWP ‘carrot and stick’ approach. He said: “The carrot is a small one and a number of PCS members from Smethwick were considering tearing up their vouchers in front of IDS to show their feelings over the matter.”

    Andrew Lloyd
    PCS Midlands Regional Secretary

    THREATENED to tear their vouchers up…But no report of anyone actually doing so…

    ‘The carrot is a small one’…Evidence they want MORE for f**king people’s lives up, the absolute rats.

    So please don’t be fooled by the serwotka and his odious PCS union….That consist of bailiffs, traffic wardens JCP capos and all the other things that make your life that bit more miserable.

    • “serwotka and his odious PCS union….That consist of bailiffs, traffic wardens JCP capos and all the other things that make your life that bit more miserable.”

      I always enjoyed ‘Citizen Smith’ and ‘The Life of Brian’s portrayal of Palestinian People’s Front.

      • Did you, did you, indeed?! Oh well, at least it wasn’t your usual whinging ”37%” bollocks this time…Not sure which RH I dislike more, to be honest.

        Not a dicky-bird about the suffering imposed on people like me by the bribe-accepting PCS members within the JCP, I note…

        Have you ever had to deal with any of those I mentioned?

        I have. All three. None of them pleasant experiences; all of them seeking ways to relieve/deprive me of my money and/or rights. Sometimes illegally.

        But you wouldn’t know about any of that because you’re so far up your own (and umunna’s) arse, that you can’t find the light switch.

        Now slink off back to your cosy, bourgeois bubble. Gobshite.

      • Oh, and it’s ‘Judean people’s front’

        Another one you’ve got wrong.

  2. Yes we need a decent welfare state for working people. I am proud my Unite Community trade union has been fighting these injustices and we have also been trying to counter the dominant Right Wing narrative on welfare and it was good to talk to citizens and give out leaflets on the high streets plus to leaflet door to door!
    There are 2 welfare states – the minimal working class one which is under attack and the luxurious upper class one where the rich and better off are subsidised to the hilt with tax reliefs and subsidies and for example according to Chakrobaty (2018) corporate welfare for Big Business is £79b a year which is £3,500 per household!
    It could be argued we have socialism in this country but it is only for those at the top.
    Working people in trade unions and Corbyn’s Labour can deliver Welfare Justice for All!

    • ”It could be argued we have socialism in this country but it is only for those at the top.”

      Quite correct. Socialism for the rich – Austerity for the rest.

  3. Huyton was the constituency of Harold Wilson who became Labour prime minister (not to be confused with Jeremy Corbyn’s cat of the same name).

    It really annoys me how often it was referred to as being in Liverpool by the media who could not get such a basic fact right.

    I think there are legitimate questions to be asked about the PCS union and the treatment of benefit claimants.

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