“The poor cannot sleep, because they are hungry, and the rich cannot sleep, because the poor are awake.”

Yesterday I was in court (for the third time) because my Local Authority Housing Benefit (HB) Dept are inept; they have for the past 2 years been playing with my HB account suspending/releasing and finally after 14 month closing my HB account! payments. My supportive Housing Association officer has done everything she can to help sort this to no avail hence the Court involvement.

To cut a long irrelevant story short this was our third appearance in court and the judge had at the last meeting called the Director of Housing to come before her to explain the situation; we arrived to find HB had sent a Team Leader (TL) as a representative who in front of the judge could only reply with the obligatory “I don’t know”! To say the judge was unamused is an understatement and the upshot was yet another adjournment with an order that HB must prioritise my new claim (submitted yesterday afternoon).

It was at the point the fun started, as we left the court room someone said ‘if only my ESA was income related my claim would be passported’, which means an automatic entitlement to HB, and I admit I lost it; I stopped and very firmly stated “It is”, everyone stood still, the TL very quietly said “for how long” and at my reply of “3 years” his face dropped. He started to bluster about me having evidence of this, and both my rep & housing officer beat me to stating the on screen records of communication with the DWP would show this. At this I was ready to explode and my body’s response to real anger is I start to shake; my partner caught me before I fell and I was taken away to a quiet area to sit and breathe!

After I’d stopped shaking my rep said I could go to the local JobCentre+ (2 buildings away) and ask for a letter from them proving this, but, I had to pretend the court had sent me and I needed this immediately to avoid eviction; he then stated “DO NOT tell them its for HB otherwise they’ll refuse and say they should look it up” !

Entering the JobCentre we went immediately to the desk where I quietly explained to the person on reception what I needed, his immediate response was “you really need to phone for this information”, using the script from my legal rep, I said it was urgent and that I would really appreciate his help ; he began to bluster away about process, systems and staff not having time to do things immediately, and then said something so sincerely I had to bend over ‘coughing’ to cover up laughter  “we do get taken advantage of”. I forced myself to thank him and reiterated my appreciation and he said he’d go and see if someone could help me.

Waiting there, with nothing else to do, I started to count the number of staff chatting of the 25 of so staff I could see only 5 looked as if they were actually ‘working’ the others were in small groups laughing, nodding and talking; and it didn’t look like work; and this was whilst 9 people sat waiting!  If this is usual, I understand why claimants with regular appointments are angry, being met with either jobs worth attitudes or ignored!.  After around 10 minutes I was called by a woman who had provided a 2 line letter stating what benefit  I was in receipt of.

This snapshot of a small personal issue raises real concern  – if the behaviour of my HB Dept. is indicative of others nationally with them unwilling/incapable of using the current IT system which already links directly to DWP to determine benefits, and choosing to ignore DWP Policies such as ‘passporting’; and if the attitudes at my local JobCentre+, considering ‘customers’ as problems who take advantage or to be blatantly ignored is suggestive of others; I’d be really interested to know

The other outcome of yesterday for me was, the whole fiasco resulted in me going into shock and I saw every half hour last night because I know I’m to go through it again in another 3 weeks or so!

To conclude I rediscovered the quote I  used in the title that sums up the current UK & Global situation for me ““The poor cannot sleep, because they are hungry, and the rich cannot sleep, because the poor are awake.” Nigerian economist Sam Aluko  1999.

50 thoughts on ““The poor cannot sleep, because they are hungry, and the rich cannot sleep, because the poor are awake.”

  1. Pingback: “The poor cannot sleep, because they are ...

  2. Brilliant article. As Jaynes carer I can honestly say that this is a true reflection of the events of yesterday and I wonder how many others are being treated like this by HB not telling them the true facts.


  3. Reblogged this on Deaep Activist and commented:
    Brilliant article. As Jaynes carer I can honestly say that this is a true reflection of the events of yesterday and I wonder how many others are being treated like this by HB not telling them the true facts.


  4. Get a grip. Jayne needs either to re-train or move somewhere else to find work so she can stop claiming benefits. She needs to resolve the situation rather than carrying on the Kafkaesque system.


  5. Pingback: For all those who think that getting benefits is easy…well, it’s not | OzHouse

  6. They are real jobs? What is an Adult Tutor ffs?

    The country is not ABLE to go on supporting long term benefit claimants which is why you are in the dock. Similarly the UK cannot go on supporting the rich zombie banking bastards who are continually screwing us over. We can also not afford to spend 50% of our GDP on the fucking government and their fabulous pensions.

    We have had our cake and eaten it ALL and are living on borrowed time. Sterling is continually being devalued via stealth inflation and the (couldn’t give a toss and cannot be bothered to vote) sheeple are hoodwinked via liar liar statistics. This is why people will eventually realise that their future is shared households and shared salaries for multiple generations. The way it used to be. Scrimping and saving and scratching a living because the money is shit. Our economy has been imploding for years and has only been held up by false ponzi schemes and credit bubbles sold to us by corrupt gravy train career politicians with no backbone or imagination. People on benefits are fucked as prices inexorably rise but no-one is rioting in the streets.

    WHY NOT?

    Too comfortable or just not poor and hungry enough yet? Food banks are a great way to keep people quiet aren’t they? Also the BOE can just keep talking about 2% CPI so no-one asks for a payrise when inflation has in reality been 6-8% for years now. No interest on savings for pensioners but they can lose their money through inflation. Meanwhile we can pay bankers 200% bonuses when they get money from the Bank of England at 0.5% and lend it out at 12%. Hard way to make money that!! No-one rioting on the streets yet? No-one throwing shit bombs at the council offices?

    Zombies wherever you look…keep watching Big Brother or the Voice or X-Factor whilst we TPTB monitor what is going on and watch everything…

    You have been claiming for three years according to your article. You should by now have some sort of strategy in place to move forward. Otherwise you simply continue in the same destructive merry go round. You really want this to be your life? STOP PLAYING THE GAME. They are doing it on purpose to make you get off the ride. You have probably been targeted as a long-term scrounger.

    Sounds like you need to make a very significant change in your circumstances. No good complaining that it’s someone else’s fault and going to court. It will not get any better that way and NOTHING WILL CHANGE. You will still be skint/sick/depressed.

    The only person who can change your life is you. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR SITUATION.

    Think outside the box, be creative, be daring and be bold. Make a plan and make it happen and get a bloody move on too before the despair finally drives you insane and drives away those who care about you.


  7. Reblogged this on The Greater Fool and commented:
    This is exactly the problem I faced when I was ill. The Housing Benefit department at Tameside Council and the staff at the DWP generally couldn’t give a monkeys if their apathy costed you you’re home or your life. This Government’s scrounger rhetoric not only reinforces this attitude, it makes it official.


  8. Hi Jaynne, in answer to your question about staff sitting around, yes I think it is common. I was on a bus one day and could not help but overhear a young lady, who proclaimed in a very loud voice for all to hear, that she could not understand why staff just sat around and would not see the waiting customers when it was obvious that they were doing nothing at all. This girl was in training and sounded like she could have had a conscience at that time. I doubt if she is still there she would have one now.


  9. Sorry Jayne but I can not let Richard Wilson’s statement go unanswered. We took responsibility of our lives when we were working and paying NI/tax, we continue to take responsibility for our lives now we are unfortunate enough to have a sickness/medical condition/disability. We are responsible for living as well as we can do with our conditions and just because we are no longer able to work that does not mean we have ‘given up’ on ourselves or are uneducated or wasters.it means we are still valuable members of society who deserve respect the same as every one else. Who are you to decide differently?
    Dr Penny Mead PsyD, MA(dist) BA (Hons) DCAP


  10. Your very honered to have got that letter that confirms your benefit our jobcenter insists you phone up and this process takes around 2 weeks.
    When I wanted confirmation I had to phone up along with my young daughter dragging behind me due to a mistake! My housing was stopped and they where insisting I was employed when what had happened was Id become very I’ll and changed to ESA .
    We had to apply to the crisis line for the foodbank during this time as all my benefits child benefit had to go to the rent I was informed by my jobcenter that if I applied more than 3 times to the foodbank socail services would become involved !!!! .
    A simple verification of a letter could of saved myself and child from that brutality.


      • Very very wrong and a breech of human rights ! Young children are being starved made homeless and the general public cheer on ? Inocent children a focus of such hate .. SHAME ON BRITAIN a ONCE great nation reduced to a hate campaign of children the sick and disabled a disgrace.


  11. This is just more confirmation that (un)civil servants have become ‘politicised’ under this present fascist regime. Having read Michael Meacher’s article it is clear that even MPs have no say and that Parliament is run by the Executive for the Executive. We need a total clear out of the administration of government in this country – with some criminal proceedings against ministers included.


  12. We lost our perspective when we replaced the proper economic goal of providing goods and services with the foolish goal of providing jobs. Jobs should return to being just a means to provide goods and services. We should do all the needed work and not do any busy-work, any unneeded jobs, or any jobs can could be avoided by doing them right the first time.

    We will not need to consume all the energy we are using today after we replace the goal of staying busy with the goal of providing what we need. We can use increased durability to conserve, and we can allow inheritance to provide the physical wealth of future generations only if our goal becomes “having” instead of “producing.” That will allow a low rate of consumption to support a vast stock of wealth.

    Capitalism has unearned income, so a capitalist economy doesn’t really need to provide jobs for people for them to have an income. “If you don’t work; you don’t eat,” was a Russian law. President Nixon had the right capitalist solution. We should provide a minimum unearned income for everyone. Welfare and dividends are two kinds of unearned income. Another kind of unearned income is the all wealth we take from nature.




  13. You poor misguided sheeple. You honestly think the government is there to help you? The government and system is there for one thing only, to keep the gravy train running and to keep the civil servants and public sector workers in their cosy jobs with all their wonderful entitlements.

    The post war generation had it all. Jobs, public services, welfare, entitlements, pensions and now it is all GONE.

    It is all spent.

    Labour and Tory alike have blown the country’s wealth on wars and profligate spending.
    The older generation in this country have been complicit with successive governments and eating all the pie with no thought for the next generation.

    When did any government ever make a long term strategy to benefit the populace? All they care about is themselves! Wake up and smell the coffee. If you want a future you have to make it yourself. No one is there to give you a hand out. Welcome to the reality of a third world UK.

    The young are left to pick up the tab. huge debts, no jobs unless they have zero hours contracts, work until at least 70, pension that will have no purchasing power by the time they get it with a useless currency that won’t buy owt, downrated health service, crumbling infrastructure.


    For the young it is bread and circuses on minimum wages with more platitudes from silver spoon and middle class politicians who left Uni, got a media job with Daddy’s mates, and think that qualifies them to run a country.

    Instead of whinging you lot should get ANGRY. Smack them with your handbags or brollies. Shout and rail! Make some noise and be heard. This is no time for polite protest. The country is falling apart around you.

    Next they will come for the money in your bank account. Just like in Cyprus.


    • My brollie dear richard IS at the ready I intend to die with dignity NOT in the foodbank (my young childs last memory) being mocked and degraded…I’ll go with my head held high and my boots firmly on IM BRITISH


    • Public Sector Workers?
      Would these be the same PSW on minimum wages who are claiming HB and tax credits to be able to survive?
      Would these be the same PSW who paid into pension schemes for thirty or forty years – only to be told that there wasn’t enough money for them to retire?
      Would these be the teachers that only get paid half the hours they work? Would these be the nurses or ambulance drivers on 12-hour shifts?
      Would these be the council staff on zero-hour, be-in-work-in-five-minutes-or-you’re-fired contracts?
      Would these be the bin-men who have to hold down jobs in two counties just to make ends meet?

      Do not tar half the country with the same brush. Not all PSW are Permanent Secretaries, nor Council CEOs. Most are just the services you need, paid at a worse rate than the private sector.


  14. Having spent 2 years complaining about abuse by the Children Services I came to realise a fundamental problem is when an ‘authority’ takes away your autonomy but fails to be responsible about its own remit. In other words a ‘condition’ of the authority is to act within the law. If it fails it is simply a controlling oppressor. There will be no success until these people are forced to be as answerable as they demand of others. It is all so sad I hardly want to go on living any more.


  15. Thanks to the Tories and the Murdoch empire for the Bigot of today Disabled replaces Jew, Unemployed (followed by spitting out the word scrounger) replaces nigger and Poor replaces pakki in the gossip columns and red tops. Or for the Slum Baron instead of a sign in the window saying “no blacks and no Irish” they can put “no benefits” instead. Then they can slump back on their fat arses feeling smug.


  16. This isn’t typical, in that you got a response! Our HB claim took 5 months to process; they kept asking for evidence of what my employer spends, and all the sales records. Which under the DPA we’re not allowed to share with them. They must be sponsored by Tesco, since it seems to matter whether I shop in Asda or Lidl, and how many teabags I buy.


  17. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    I’m reblogging this as I am absolutely sure there are many, many more people in Jaynelinney’s situation. Indeed, I know one fellow, who at several times in his life really has been just one step ahead of the bailiffs. Jayne’s case reveals just how precarious entitlement to Housing Benefit can be, and the willingness of the authorities to take it away from the desperately poor on the flimsiest of excuses. As for the authorities’ attitude that they couldn’t help Jayne, because they were extremely busy while everything in the office was to the contrary, I also noted something similar in the Jobcentre. Despite their harsh attitude towards the unemployed, they also seemed at times remarkably underemployed there themselves, with a lot of staff standing around not doing very much.


  18. Reblogged this on Still Oaks and commented:
    jaynelinney, my heart goes out to you for the abuse you have sffered, abuse may seem a strange choice of words but I can not think of any other word to describe accurately what you have suffered. Also Richard Wilson, have you no hummanity? No compassion? No care for others? If not we have a good idea of your Psyche.


  19. Pingback: “The poor cannot sleep, because they are hungry, and the rich cannot sleep, because the poor are awake.” | Far be it from me -

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