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.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?