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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 January 2014

Class injustice at Dickensian court

Between Christmas and New Year, thousands of tenants in rent arrears were dragged into courts across the country facing possession orders. Like something out of a Dickensian novel, I witnessed first hand one such case.

It was due to be heard at 10.30am but was not called until 90 minutes later. We were ushered into a room more like a headmaster's study than a court.

Before we sat down the 'Beak' mumbled something unintelligible. There were no introductions, no explanation of process, just this Judge dispensing summary injustice!

A statement of defence was left unread and unpresented, just dismissed as unsigned. The duty solicitor said barely two words to explain the reasons for the arrears and the upcoming Benefit Tribunal.

In just two minutes a suspended possession order was granted with the weekly rent plus 10 towards the arrears to be paid from the following Monday.

When the tenant said they didn't have the money and would have to use a credit card, the judge snorted: "I don't care where you get the money."

The monthly rent and arrears payment was a few pounds short of the person's income. This showed the brutal class realities of life in benefit-slashed Tory Britain operated by one callous and ignorant Judge.

Apparently you have to seek permission to appeal against a magistrate's decision, and within two weeks.

With limited resources and legal aid cuts, very few will be able to take this on. It's class injustice.

Brian Debus, Hackney

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 8 January 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Axe austerity in 2014

Another year of mass struggles beckons

Unite all workers to end bosses' race to the bottom

Truth revealed about Thatcher's war against the miners

Privatisation Act lies behind the A&E crisis

Greedy landlords create housing hell

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Stop cruel care cuts

Birmingham Labour 'consults' over 87 million cuts


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Numsa's bold and historic decision to cut ties with the ANC

Why capitalism mourned Mandela

US: Fight for $15 minimum wage heats up in Seattle


Socialist Party workplace news

CWU Royal Mail agreement: Defend our right to strike!

Hampshire Unison success shows potential for fightback

UPS workers' victory

Every job matters on London Underground

Two PCS strikes on both sides of New Year


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Is UK car building back in Top Gear?

Class injustice at Dickensian court

Time for a new workers' party

Energy Bills: Labour's 'supermarket special offer'


 

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Related links:

Cuts:

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

triangleJohnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

triangleSafe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

triangleHomeless left on streets during pandemic

Hackney:

triangleHackney, Waltham Forest & East London Socialist Party branches: Johnson's 'back to school' plan is not safe

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: How the NHS was won after WW2

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Football & high wages

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Tenants:

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Legal aid:

triangleJoin the fight for refugee rights

triangleCourts and tribunal services face huge cuts

Brian Debus:

triangleHackney: We don't want homes and retail units working-class people can't afford

Britain:

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

Aid:

triangleA new world order - global reconstruction after World War Two

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