Could it be Universal Credit rather than Brexit that finishes off the Tories?

U credit protest  wide

​Could it be Universal Credit rather than Brexit that provides the coup de grace to Theresa may's beleaguered Tories?

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7th January 2019 by Graham Martin 2 Comments

It’s fair to say that when the Tories set out to address the bankers’ crisis we were plunged into in 2008 with a direct assaults on the most vulnerable, they never predicted their victims turning on them with such fury.

The weakest – the disabled and carers - were singled out because of their voicelessness, the attack enabled by a campaign of calumny conducted by a compliant Tory press.

The claimant became a pariah, benefits a battleground in the war of the workers vs the shirkers.

A skilfully created false consciousness took hold, where the victims of the crash became its creators.

The sleep of reason breeds monsters – and this is how Universal Credit made its appearance

Against this backdrop new welfare policies were created, with impoverishment by design the official policy.

The sleep of reason breeds monsters – and it was here that Universal Credit (UC) made its appearance, shocked into existence in a neoliberal lab, a gruesome golem, baffling in its complexity but utterly clear in its purpose: to push through £12 billion worth of welfare cuts.

However, there are signs that the beast could turn on its creator.

This week, it was announced that the Tories have backed away from plans to vote on a further rollout of UC – reportedly because they are scared of a revolt, even from within their own ranks.

History students will note that we’ve been here before. There are two words certain to stop any Tory in their tracks: poll tax.

In the 80s a government high on hubris from its ideological victories thought itself bulletproof enough to introduce the most iniquitous taxation since the middle ages.

But Thatcher was broken not on the rock of the poll tax – but the opposition to it, a campaign of civil disobedience which saw 19 million refusing to pay.

Thatcher and her lieutenants didn’t see it coming.

There are crucial differences between Thatcher’s imperious position in the late 80s and Theresa May’s wretched administration now – held in power by the votes of bigots and fear of the alterative.

But there are enough similarities that John Major, Thatcher’s successor, has invoked the dread words “poll tax” when ringing the bell on Universal Credit. Underneath the grey exterior, Major is a perceptive class warrior – he knows this terrain.

The political class has been predicting that Brexit will finish May.

But a feeling is growing that the coup de grace could come from the Tories’ blind side.

As well as Major, establishment figures such as Gordon Brown have been saying the same: the injustices caused by UC are such they could swamp a Brexit-weakened May – especially if a revolt is co-ordinated.

Where will that come from? That’s unclear, but something’s in the air.

Scotland’s third sector is almost always careful in its tread. But senior figures are beginning to turn, moving from calls for reform to something more radical.

This could just be the beginning - millions have yet to be put through the miseries of UC, and they will be looking for ways to vent their fury. The third sector is best placed to conduct that anger.

History written by the millions has the most profound effects, and it’s best to be on the correct side when its judgement comes.

Graham Martin is news editor of Third Force News.

8th January 2019 by Kaye steeper

Call it by its real name Universal Workhouse

11th January 2019 by lok yue

I thought this publication was about informing third sector people and organisations of matters of interest but this article is nothing but a political rant. Furthermore it talks about poll tax (sic) as if it was a dragon defeated by the forces of the left. Er, no. Council tax or community charge most definitely exists and Scottish and UK SNP and Labour governments following the evil thatcherites kept it in place.