2013 was the year that the DWP and my local council decided to bring universal credit to my town. It was decided that we would be the “pilot” area to trial universal credit. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I knew that it wasn’t going to be good and the effects would spread like an infectious disease throughout my town but I totally underestimated it. I was asked my my dear friend keith ordinary guy and Michelle to keep them posted. I decided to do more than that, I couldn’t just sit back and let this happen. I knew it wasn’t right to target the poor like this and this was the start of my journey. I started by demonstrating outside our local magistrates court demonstrating on behalf of the people hit the hardest by the council tax reduction scheme. I witnessed queues of people waiting to see a so called magistrate. Of course they didn’t see a magistrate just a council official. This was very wrong. It took me back to the times of the poll tax, and I shuddered at that thought. I refused to pay that. Even at 17 years old I knew in principle that it was wrong. I put the photos of people queuing online and it started the movement. I met my friend Steve and a few others and we formed Tameside against the cuts. Our idea was to spread knowledge and help to the public, and this is what we did and continue to do. No matter what the weather we have kept out promise. Anyway I digress. The photos prompted a few newspaper reports and a TV appearance. This was my first step into the political arena. I realised that I didn’t need to be scared about questioning those in authority. Indeed questioning Brandon Lewis was a very proud achievement. I realised that despite anything that they are human beings and I am too and on that level we are equal. We carried on with our protests which have evolved more into a campaign. A campaign for fairness and help towards the people who live in my community and nationwide. I’m very proud of my comrades for supporting this. Witnessing a pregnant woman who was wronglysanctioned for a year was a step too far. We then decided that we would stay outside the Jobcentre every week until this evil stops. If we are there for a lifetime then so be it. We are committed. I’ve been lucky I’ve managed to spread the word also by writing about it and being able to publish them in a newspaper. A very proud moment for me.
Two years into universal credit and the monster that it is has become unleashed. Whilst the rest of the country are startling to get a taste of it we are well into its settling in period. It’s caused untold suffering and I can only think that the person who created it really hates the poor and working poor. It’s the perfect weapon of capturing the poor and controlling them. It even effects pensioners. That’s another issue, an important one that I will be covering shortly. Combine this with the troubled families phase 2 scheme and they have total control. Do as we say when we say it the DWP say or you loose everything. Everything that you ever had and loved. I try to gather as much information as possible so that we can help as many people as possible. We help any other group that would like to start their own movement. But we do this without any funding. I’ve been criticised for doing this saying that it won’t change anything but it has. People are becoming more aware as a result and in my eyes that’s a very good thing. I’d like to be able to stop this and bring fairness back into society. It scares me to think that my children will have less opportunities than I did. Maybe one day I will have a chance. But I can tell you this, I won’t give up not ever.
If you want to support us here’s what you can do. Start your own movement we will help and advise you on how to do this. It’s very easy to do. Support us online and read and share this blog. By doing this you are giving people hope and induration. Donate if you can please contact me for details on how to. Most of all I want to say thank you. Remember we are all human beings and are equal. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!