Universal Credit — It Beats The Prison Service
I was thinking about shoplifting. Not committing the act but more a philosophical questing on is shoplifting a political offense rather than a criminal offense. This comes from thinking about Universal Credit and what we have allowed politicians to do to people.
Shoplifting for myself is now a political act. We have stripped people of what they need to survive and this has left people with no recourse but to steal in order to live. Just look at the fact that crime is rising as the welfare system is taken away, the welfare system was and is a better deterrent to committing crime than a custodial sentence. Now we have created a system in which a custodial sentence is preferable to living a law-abiding life.
The waiting time for Universal Credit and benefits sanctions has stripped people of their ability to pay for the basics of life. Our politicians have created a system by which you must be punished for being disabled, low-waged or just unemployed. They are exercising their power in a group that morally they should be working on to help. We have people who are being penalised for nothing other than to allow politicians to feel powerful.
As these people are being left with no resources their only thought is survival and shoplifting will become the tool they use to survive. This makes shoplifting a political tool as these people are using it to show the failures of an unjust system, they may do this without knowing but they are doing it none the less.
If they get caught shoplifting, they risk prosecution. If they go before a judge, the judge has a decision to make he can give them their basic human rights back or he can strip them away. This again is a political act.
Imagine a squirrel taking nuts from a bird feeder, the bird feeder is not there to feed the squirrel but to feed the birds. Do we punish the squirrel for stealing the nuts? We should surely say no as the squirrel is doing what comes naturally to it. It is taking the nuts so as to ensure that it will survive. This is what people on Universal Credit or benefits sanctions may have to do in order to survive. This is why many judges have let people off as these people have been left with nothing and have no recourse but to steal in order to survive.
This is the wrong decision by letting these people go free the judge has stripped them of their basic human rights.
These people will then be released back into a life of insecurity. With the problems of paying rent, buying food, and staying warm. A good judge would restore these people’s rights and send them to prison.
In prison they will be fed, they will be clothed, they will have a bed, they will be heated, they will have an access to books and TVs, and they will also have access to showers. These people will then be given basic human rights. They will have a certain amount of security and that is more than they would have had had they been freed.
Now even if you do not shoplift or commit a crime, it may be better for you to be in jail. The UK politicians have created a system whereby crime pays and affords you luxuries that being a law-abiding citizen does not offer you.
The fact we have allowed this to happen must surely be criminal?
Originally published at ethicallynull.wordpress.com on October 26, 2017.