News: supplemental article from The Scotsman 24 Apr 2005
Findings of the Jospeh Rowntree Foundation 16 June 2006, Poverty 'driving' benefit fraud
A parade of wide-eyed candidates lined up recently to swear to Britain a citizenship oath. If only they knew what they were letting themselves in for, they'd run like Hell.
This is a truly rotten little country. Solicitors can steal and defraud at will, in the almost certain knowledge that their own regulator will do little or nothing to curb their activities, despite the occasional reporting in the News section on this site. Authorities like the DTI, the Insolvency Service and the Office of Fair trading churn out dire warnings to dodgy or fraudulent business officials, citing all manner of Acts and laws and regulations, yet they, too, do absolutely nothing when confronted with serious breaches of standards and the law itself. For every reason you give them to act, they will give you a thousand for why they will not. They don't have to worry - their jobs and pensions are safe and you, the complainer, are just a minor annoyance.
Your savings, pensions and property can be stolen or plundered by advisors, businesses and institutions that you are supposed to trust, and when it is all gone you will be forced to work into your eighties or drop dead in the process. Vanished are your dreams of that retirement idyll and snatched away with your crackling breath is your now shattered faith in British justice and fair play.
The truth is that Britain rewards theft in the name enterprise. It is your fault that you have lost so much because you failed to ask all the right questions or pay exorbitant insurance against infinite possibilities. You trusted the wrong people and now you are paying the price. You reflect on this while sweeping the car park at your local supermarket, the only job you could find. A new, expensive car pulls in and parks beside you. Slamming the door behind him, the driver treads out a fat cigar at your feet and you recognise him as the advisor whose representations put you there with your broom and shovel. His face is bronzed from five weeks in the Mediterranean sunshine. He doesn't recognise you and barely gives you a second glance. You know that he has bankrupted a legion of companies and individuals and that he is even now doing exactly the same thing in the name of enterprise. You look down at your broom and shovel. How do you feel now?
After years of fruitless struggle to have your legitimate complaints recognised and acted upon, your health has failed. You have fallen into a despair, a slough of despond for which the only treatment is state funded chemical lobotomy in the form of anti-depressants. This is the American and British solution to keeping the walking wounded walking and working. The Department for Work and Pensions, to which you have turned for support after years of self-reliance and paying your taxes and insurance bellows its mantra at you: "If you can walk, you can work".
If you are kind, decent and compassionate Britain doesn't want your kind any more. Get out, if you still can.
You stare at the driver's retreating, vulnerable head, then back down at your heavy steel shovel...
Consider below my own latest wrangle with "the system", which, despite having been sent to it three times, the Department for Work and Pensions denies receiving. This crummy, moribund little country denies you access to justice, but it has a very long memory for any minor infringement of the rules you have perpetrated in desperation. The DWP threatens court action and bailiffs. Well, boys, there's nothing left for for Her Majesty and her government to steal, but doubtless the lawyers - the Officers of the Supreme Court whose regulator is a company incorporated by Royal Charter - will grow yet fatter in the systemically mindless process.