It goes without saying that this sort of situation makes me very angry; that it should be happening now, in my home country is outrageous. The current UK Government seems to be trying to create the kind of Fuck You If You’re Old, Sick or Poor state that Tea Party lardbrains have wet dreams about.
So when I learn that a much-respected fellow sceptic is being evicted from his/her home and has had benefits stopped, despite being barely able to walk and therefore dependent on others to get around, I see red.
This person –
whom I shall not name unless given permission who is in fact our very own Steelclaws (she/he is very modest and self-effacing) – is much respected in the sceptic community and has contributed some very useful knowledge to the fight against vicious Stupidity. They live in London, UK: so if anybody there is in a situation to lend concrete help such as temporary shelter or help with travelling to appointments to submit appeals against decisions, please come forward. I can pass on the information.
|If you’re too far away to lend a physical hand, but can drop a few quid in the Keep A Sceptic Off The Streets Funds: please do. You can donate here, via PayPal. I don’t see the cash; it all goes straight to where it’s needed. The person has told me it will all be considered a loan, to be paid back as soon as possible.|
It might also be a good time to send a strongly worded letter to your MP. This is far from an isolated case and disabled people are increasingly being made the victims of political dogma, as private companies take over public services and seek to make a profit out of them.
Many more examples of treating the vulnerable as disposable here. We can help this person. Let’s do it.
KausikDatta22 has also blogged this: An Appeal To Sane Folks in London, UK
UPDATE 15/06/2012: Eviction is tomorrow. Steelclaws is officially homeless. At worst, donations allow him/her to receive messages on his/her smartphone, so that he/she can interact with social services despite being unable to walk more than a few steps. We need somewhere for him/her to stay, help travelling to appointments, and help renewing his/her passport (Steelclaws is an EU citizen). Please, please help. If I’m not online on Twitter, you can email me directly. I’ll pass it on, and if we think it’s workable Steeclaws will get back to you.
This post stays on the front page until Steelclaws is back in proper lodgings and is receiving disability benefits again. Then you can all go and vote out the bastards that decided non-profit public services should be run by for-profit private monopolies.
UPDATE 20/06/2012: Now this is interesting. It’s what happens when a bully wants to force somebody out of somewhere – lodgings, a job, the neighbourhood – when they have no legal justification for doing it but think their victim is too ignorant of the law to resist. This seems to be the case here, but fortunately the victim’s friends aren’t so ignorant of the law. It would seem the eviction order may never have been obtained and certainly was never served. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee the landlord won’t try to forcibly evict Steelclaws, who is now armed with 24/7 emergency access to a Citizens’ Advice Bureau hotline.
As you can imagine, all this stress is very bad for the emotions, especially when you’re already disabled.
The withdrawal of benefits is going to Appeal, so currently anything we send gets spent on food and keeping the phone line alive. Please keep on giving. It’s much appreciated
- An Appeal To Sane Folks in London, UK (ohthehumanityofitall.blogspot.com)
- How the public massively overestimates benefit fraud (leftfootforward.org)
- Skeptic News: Help stop a skeptic become homeless! (thetwentyfirstfloor.com)
- Killing the Disabled (psychologytoday.com)
- Squeezed out: London landlords evict tenants hit by housing benefit cap (guardian.co.uk)