Today we planned an impromptu demonstration as we felt that Ashton Jobcentre are getting a little too used to us just turning up on Thursdays. We had noticed that the amount of people entering and leaving the Jobcentre had fallen on a Thursday so we wanted to see if it was just a coincidence or not. We saw that it was busier and the Jobcentre were surprised to see us. So we’re the local PCOS who came over to us after leaving a local shop. She thought that she had got her days mixed up and we had a laugh about this. She said “it’s raining Im surprised that you are here” I said “why? We were here in the snow and anyway we like to have that element of surprise. It keeps everyone on their toes.” She laughed and said that she would go inside the Jobcentre and inform them that she had spoken to us and that everything was ok.. To save them making an unwanted and unneeded phone call. We laughed. She’s a nice lady and has seen us demonstrating for two years now at various locations.
Today was interesting, I don’t know if it was the weather but we had quite a bit of hostility from people that were passing the Jobcentre. A couple of women made a point of walking over to us to inform us that unemployed people shouldn’t have a rent top up or help. They should get a job she said. They also said that people would rather starve than get a job. Shocking. These two women were selling electricity on a zero hour contract on commission only. They had mortgages to pay and it wasn’t fair that they had to work whilst others don’t. We explained to them that most of these people have fallen on hard times which could very likely happen to them as they are in the most precarious of jobs. They seemed to be under the impression that unemployed people get hundreds of pounds in their hands… Which we know to be untrue and we corrected them. A disabled woman standing with us also told them and she’s got quite upset, she’s only living on £114 a week for two people and is paying the bedroom tax and council tax supplement. These two women were informed that they were wrong and that they deserved a better quality of employment. No one deserves to be walking the streets all day for a few quid. I hope that they listened. It did make me think though. People are too easily influenced by television programmes like benefits street and benefits estate. Make no mistake I feel that these programmes are made on purpose to fulfil the governments divide and conquer system. Turning the poor on the poor whilst distracting from the destruction of this country that they seem to be doing a very good job of doing. We need to educate people more, tell them that being poor is no joke it really is survival and a survival of the fittest.
One thing that cheered me up today was the heckling of David Cameron at an age uk event. Ive always said mess with the pensioners and expect trouble. They won’t fall for the lies that he is spouting and they can see the destruction of the NHS that his government is doing. They will remember the time before the NHS and they know how hard it was. We need to fight to keep the NHS. Life without it would be very hard indeed.
We will be back at Ashton Jobcentre on Thursday and I hope that the weather is kinder. Please come and visit us. You will be made very welcome.