Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/793/17926
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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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'
The Socialist 8 January 2014 |
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