Welfare claimants are now without rights, the threat of benefit removal is going to be ever present and used to threaten and demean.
— stevie (@stevieknackered) January 3, 2013
The tweet above, about welfare claimants, struck a chord with me.
It is very worrying that the welfare safety net is being reconfigured, to become something that could coerce claimants.
It is actually quite easy for those with job security (not just the wealthy, but the middle classes too) to imagine certain aspects of poverty. Regardless of our jobs or bank balances, we’ve all experienced moments of hunger, or the boiler has broken and we’re without the central heating. While affluent people do not know what it is to live perpetually in that state, they can at least imagine the physical discomfort. So it is easy to be outraged by extreme poverty.
However, it is harder to imagine the feeling of being in the position of weakness that comes when one is entirely dependent on others to sign-off on benefits. Continue reading “Austerity and the Damp Fog of Alienation”