Citizens should not have to fear their government in 21st century Britain

I was protesting today. There was a demonstration on Whitehall, a bunch of angry, shouting protesters. We stopped traffic. Some seventeen people were arrested.

I fully expect to pitch up to work on Monday to hear a lot of mild-mannered Labour voters earnestly holding forth about how we live in a democracy, the people have chosen, and the fact that the left lost is no excuse in the slightest for rowdy, disruptive protests.

So, for the avoidance of any doubt, this is why I am on the streets.

Conservative cuts to welfare are killing people. In the directest possible sense. David Clapson died of a lack of insulin because benefits sanctions meant he couldn’t afford the power bills to refrigerate the stuff. Mark Wood starved to death after his benefits were cut. Tim Salter, an agoraphobic man with failing eyesight, hung himself after he was deemed fit to work by private workplace assessments firm ATOS. The Black Triangle campaign has a list right here.

To say nothing of those who have, you know, only been made homeless. Because obviously it’s fine and healthy for people to live in daily fear of losing the roof over their heads, having their support system yanked out from under their feet.

All of these things had already happened when the population decided to re-elect the Conservatives. These deaths were widely publicised, and still, so many people chose to vote Tory. Those people didn’t have to die. Only by making sure the state knows full well how angry we are can we hope to save those who still have a chance.

In the wake of the election, friends with disabilities and mental health issues say they are feeling scared. That is the actual word that more than one person has used. They are not talking figuratively. Citizens should not have to fear their government in 21st century Britain. But they do. And that is why I’m on the streets.


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