The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is the subject of a short video. But far from being a positive look at the department, it’s a stinging two-minute take-down of it. And it’s perfect.
The DWP: taken down
Alex Tiffin is a writer and Universal Credit claimant. He runs the website Universal Credit Sufferer. But now, he’s turned his hand to film-making. And his first piece, 2010 – Death of the Welfare State, is a damning look at the DWP.
It’s a cleverly done potted history of Conservative-led welfare reforms. He takes the two main ones, Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Then he says that they – plus the Welfare Reform Act 2012 – have caused the “crisis that still continues today”:
Hundreds of thousands marched against Brexit yet none for those dead to austerity & welfare reform… pic.twitter.com/ZBGWLQVMu7
— Alex Tiffin (@RespectIsVital) October 23, 2018
But the film also asks why thousands can march for the “People’s Vote” over Brexit; yet protests over poverty and the DWP don’t get the same turnout. It’s a good question.
“Faux-outrage” and “lip service”
Tiffin told The Canary:
I put it out as there’s a poverty crisis throughout the UK that’s killing people. Despite this being in the news almost daily, bar the ‘oh that’s terrible’ comments, nobody does anything. Over half a million people blocked London to protest Brexit. Yet anti-poverty protests couldn’t block Piccadilly Circus during rush hour.
I’m frankly sick of the faux outrage; because that’s all it is: lip service. Nobody bar those suffering really care; most of them are unable to protest. We need people who might not be affected directly to come out and help us.
He humbly admits he made an error in the video. The four million food bank user figure is out of context. He was referring to a survey done by the Independent. It found that 3.7 million adults said they’d used a food bank at some point. But it’s a small error in what otherwise is a sobering and haunting piece of work.
The UN is coming
Meanwhile, as The Canary previously reported, in November the UN is sending a special rapporteur to the UK. He will investigate the effects of austerity. And he will be looking at poverty, the DWP and Universal Credit as part of his investigation.
It’s now the fifth time the UN has investigated the UK since June 2016. But Tiffin hopes that this one may be different:
Oh, I hope this UN visit will be different. This time the news is jam packed about Universal Credit and disability failings. Then add in May holding together her government with papier-mâché. It might be the last proverbial nail in the coffin of the Tory administration.
Tiffin has timed the film perfectly, with Universal Credit in chaos and the UN on its way. It’s a damning reminder of the chaos the Tories have unleashed since 2010. And hopefully, the UN is watching.
– Support Tiffin’s work at Universal Credit Sufferer.