Thursday, 10 April 2014

Brent in the spotlight on Panorama tonight 9pm

As the government's benefits changes begin to bite, Panorama gains exclusive access over six months to Brent - one of London's worst-hit boroughs - and follows the personal stories of some of the people most affected by the changes. As claimants struggle with the loss of hundreds of pounds of benefits and have to move to other parts of the UK where rents are cheaper, we follow people battling to stay in their homes and a local authority forced to ask to them to leave as their benefits are capped.



Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group said...

The programme can now be seen via BBC iPlayer here. From what little I saw of it last night, council officials' attitudes indicated that they have taken on board more than Government orders toward poor people: they have taken on board the attitudes. I am reminded of Nazis describing sick and disabled people who they regarded as no earthly good as 'useless eaters'. These council officials would rather disperse vulnerable people of Brent away from their life-and-community supports in order to 'free up housing stock' for the benefit of a revolting global wealthy.

Swheatie of the KUWG

Anonymous said...

I saw the programme and the impression I got was that the council officials were carrying out the letter of the law. That is what they are paid to do. Whatever personal opinions council officers may hold, they have to leave those views at the front door of the Civic Centre when they report for work.

Usually, whenever I watch programmes like this, there are always one or two people I feel sorry for and I think that the government/council is treating them badly. This time, it didn't happen. What I want to know is where are the fathers of all these children whose mothers are having their benefits cut? What financial contribution are those fathers making to their childrens' homes? I was also staggered at the number of children in one particular family. Why are parents, whose income is so low that they qualify for benefits, having yet more children? How can a Palestinian father on benefits afford to run a car and pay for petrol to do a 70 mile round trip to take his children to school? Why does a woman on benefits, who is told that she can keep the benefits she is currently receiving if she finds employment, not make every effort possible to get a job?

There are families in Brent who, like the majority of those who receive welfare benefits, go out to work. At the end of the month, once they have paid all the bills, the parents in those families have nothing - absolutely nothing - to spend on themselves. Not even enough money to buy a bar of chocolate as a treat.

What we do know when we view programmes like this, is that they are heavily edited and that means we are never given the full picture of the circumstances of each family. What I do know, however, is that every child has a father (except in tragic circumstances where the father is dead). And every father should be contributing to the financial and emotional welfare of their own children. There can be no hiding away from this. Your child. You pay.

Anonymous said...

I did not watch the programme but nor do i need to in order to say that anyone who is connected with the implementation of this policy is doing something wrong. We are in difficult times and people are trying to find scapegoats. Single mothers are not the problem as the last contributor suggested. Since the times of the Nazis it can no longer be a valid excuse to say that you are following orders. I would like to know how many of those families that have been moved are from ethnic minorities. Every councillor in Brent should be ashamed of themselves

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous - 12th April 2014 16:32

I can see no moral equivalence whatsoever between Nazis and Brent Local Government Officers. If you had watched the programme you would have been able to make a judgement about what the Nazis would have done to those who belonged to the ethnicities of council officials.

We are in difficult times but I did not, in my post above, suggest that the problem is 'single mothers'. The problems I identified were: men who clearly play no part in the upbringing of their children: people on benefits having more children without the means to support them and people who are so stupid that, when they are told they can keep their benefits if they get a job, do not bother to look for a job.