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Listen, I know tumblr only cares about American news, but this is really fucking tragic, and if this doesn’t get an coverage I will be incredibly angry.
The conservative’s bedroom tax has actually led to a woman taking her own life. Let me repeat that for you; a peice of government legislation had had such a detrimental impact on someone’s life that they wrote letters, packed up their things, and walked into the M4 in front of a lorry. The bedroom tax has only be in place for the last 5 weeks.
For those of you that don’t know, the bedroom tax isn’t technically a tax; if you’re living in a rented property, and have an extra bedroom, you’ll have to pay a certain amount of money back to the government. Children under the age of 12 are expected to share with all their siblings, children under 16 are expected to share with their siblings of the same gender. The government placed no limits on how many children could be expected to share a room. It would have saved the government £490 million a year; the UK loses £5.2 Billion a year in tax evasion alone. [citation]
Stephanie Botrill, from Solihull, had lived in her house for 18 years, and her two children had, relatively recently moved into their own properties, one of them within the last year. She previously paid a rent of £320 a month, and bedroom tax would have meant she paid £400; she was having to starve herself to afford this. Let me reiterate that for you; a woman was having to go without food because of a cruel tory policy. The house the council offered her was nowhere near where she currently lived, and 30 minutes walk from the nearest bus station; she would have been nowhere near her family and friends. To make matters worse, the council said she’d have to pay for any damage to the house, which would have exceeded the £2000 she was given to move house.
Stephanie had been saying since the policy came in how she couldn’t cope. She even went to the GP, but only got sleeping pills. In the end, it all got too much, and she wrote letters to her children, grandson, friends, and neighbors and walked into the M4, dying instantly.
The Sunday People has photos of the letters, but I won’t post them because they broke my heart, but if you want to see them, they’re here
As well as this, her family was struggling to pay for her funeral, so the Sunday People contributed. We live in a country where we can pay £10 million pounds for the funeral of a woman who called Nelson Mandela a terrorist, but someone’s grandmother kills herself because she can’t afford to live in the house she’d lived in for 18 years. I hope everyone feels thoroughly disgusted.
The worst thing is, Stephanie’s story has a more extreme ending, but it’s fairly typical of a bedroom tax victim case. Although the tory’s policies targeted towards those on benefits claim to help to push people into work, and end a ‘something for nothing’ benefits system (and the whole thing reeks of deserving and undeserving poor) this is not the case at all.
Take a guess at what percentage of the people receiving benefit in the UK are unemployed. Guess. I was way, way out. The actual breakdown is this 42.3% elderly, 20.8% low income, 18.4% families, 15.5% sick/disabled, 2.6% unemployed. Only 2.6% of those on benefits in this country are unemployed.
In addition to this, the people most likely to have spare bedrooms are older people, who’s children have left home. They are not people living off the tax payer, whatever that means, they are people who have lived their lives in cheap rental property who’s children have left home, and so rely on their friends, like my Nana does, for company. And David Cameron and his tory cronies want to move these people away from their communities, their friends, the brick and mortar they’ve made their home, because they have the cheek to have a couple of spare bedrooms.
I hope you’re angry, because I’m really fucking angry.
You know who has got spare bedrooms? David Cameron, who got lucky enough to be born to a millionaire and the daughter of a Baronet, and his wife Samantha who’s father is also a Baronet. His personal wealth has been estimated at £30 million, inherited from off-shore tax havens. Like I said earlier, the UK loses £5.2 Billion a year from men like Cameron. To misquote Obama, Cameron’s not the solution, he’s the problem.
Meanwhile, more people like Stephanie Botrill, hounded from the home she’d raised her children in, and the community where all her friends live, will probably walk in front of lorries.
To cut a long story short, if you even think about voting Tory in 2015, I hope you think about Stephanie Botrill, and I hope you never sleep again.
“I get it. Someone bent on mass murder who has only a 10-round magazine or revolvers at his disposal probably is not going to abandon his plan and instead try to talk his problems out. But we might be able to take the "mass" out of "mass shooting," or at least make the perpetrator's job a bit harder. To guarantee that there would never be another Tucson or Sandy Hook, we would probably have to make it a capital offense to so much as look at a gun. And that would create serious 2nd Amendment, 8th Amendment and logistical problems. So what's the alternative? Bring back the assault weapons ban, and bring it back with some teeth this time. Ban the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer and possession of both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Don't let people who already have them keep them. Don't let ones that have already been manufactured stay on the market. I don't care whether it's called gun control or a gun ban. I'm for it. I say all of this as a gun owner. I say it as a conservative who was appointed to the federal bench by a Republican president. I say it as someone who prefers Fox News to MSNBC, and National Review Online to the Daily Kos. I say it as someone who thinks the Supreme Court got it right in District of Columbia vs. Heller, when it held that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to possess guns for self-defense. (That's why I have mine.) I say it as someone who, generally speaking, is not a big fan of the regulatory state. I even say it as someone whose feelings about the NRA mirror the left's feelings about Planned Parenthood: It has a useful advocacy function in our deliberative democracy, and much of what it does should not be controversial at all. And I say it, finally, mindful of the arguments on the other side, at least as I understand them: that a high-capacity magazine is not that different from multiple smaller-capacity magazines; and that if we ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines one day, there's a danger we would ban guns altogether the next, and your life might depend on you having one. But if we can't find a way to draw sensible lines with guns that balance individual rights and the public interest, we may as well call the American experiment in democracy a failure.”—Federal judge LARRY ALAN BURNS, writing in the Los Angeles Times, “A Conservative Case for An Assault Weapons Ban”
Questions for people who say both parties are equally bad:
When Hurricane Sandy devastated multiple states, leaving many people displaced, without power and/or water, did Obama feel that it was more important to eat some birthday cake and have a jam session than do anything to help them?
Has an extremely influential liberal pundit ever spent three days attacking a private citizen, distorting her testimony, blatantly ignoring scientific fact, slut shaming her and demanding that she post sex tapes online?
In doing so, did she re-appropriate a term that has been used against Jews for centuries, and caused the death of who knows how many millions of Jews, which is especially gross as the conservative congresswoman is Jewish?
Or express outrag and disgust when a conservative mentioned that birth control can help women with menstrual issues while discussing a bill about birth control, which can help women with menstrual issues?
National Review Article Claims Shooting Occurred Because Women Ran The School
If there were fewer women and more “male aggression” in Sandy Hook Elementary School, the massacre there never would have taken place, according to a contribution to a leading conservative magazine.
National Review, whose in-house editorial suggested Newtown was the price of the Second Amendment, published a piece on Wednesday from anti-feminist Charlotte Allen suggesting the reason the shooter was able to kill so many students was becauseNewtown was a “feminized setting:”
There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.
Via Jessica Valenti, who notes that this is extraordinarily “disrespectful to the female teachers and staff at Sandy Hook. Allen mentions their heroism as an anomalous aside rather than exceptional bravery that saved lives. The bravery of the women in Newtown – principal Dawn Hochsprung and psychologist Mary Sherlach who rushed the shooter before being killed, teacher Victoria Soto who died protecting her students, Kaitlin Roig and Abbey Clements who hid their students and calmed them – is remarkable.”
Allen went on to blame Lanza’s mother, saying “You simply can’t give a non-working, non-school-enrolled 20-year-old man free range of your home, much less your cache of weapons…Unfortunately, the idea of being an ‘adult’ and a ‘man’ once one has reached physical maturity seems to have faded out of our coddling culture.”
What the bloody fuck? Do these people try as hard as possible to be the biggest assholes they can be, or what?
“After the Supreme Court’s notorious Citizens United decision in 2010 that opened the way for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money in political campaigns, all that new funding needed someplace to go where it would not be easily tracked. In response, the number of groups seeking 501(c)(4) status – which, in addition to the tax break, allows donors to remain anonymous – shot up to 3,400 in 2012. The flood of applications overloaded the IRS processing system. It may be wrong that, in order to deal with the mountain of paperwork, the IRS functionaries began culling the applicants by looking for keywords such as “tea party” and “patriot,” but I suspect it had far less to do with political bias than it did with the fact that the majority of new groups were conservative. If someone were running a bogus political operation and wanted to attract corporate cash, they would probably pretend to be some kind of grass-roots tea party group. It is entirely understandable that an overwhelmed IRS bureaucrat would choose to look for questionable applicants in the most obvious places. The fact is that none of the right-wing applicants were turned down, even though they are probably as engaged in partisan campaigning as Karl Rove or Jim Messina. A 501(c)(4) group is, by law, supposed to be a social welfare organization whose primary activity is not politics. Can anyone honestly say that about Rove or Messina or any of the many tea party organizations? Sadly, after this so-called scandal has blown over and enough heads have rolled, the cowed IRS will be even more timid in denying tax-exempt designation to any front organization run by partisan political operatives and funded by corporate moneymen who want to keep their names out of the news.”—
DAVID HORSEY, writing in the Los Angeles Times, “The Real Scandal: IRS Gives Tax Exemptions to Political Partisans.”
Britain under The Coalition
You get the picture yet?