Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Author's suicide 'due to slash in benefits'

The following article is from the New.scotsman.com. I’m reproducing it because not only is it very sad and disturbing, but is, or at least as far as I’m concerned, a disgrace; that fills me with absolute rage. That we live in such a society that not only allows, but pushes by applying force in order to move something away from those in most need and in what is still the fifth richest nation in the world. This is the second time life has been needlessly lost due to and after such harsh treatment has been handed out to those forced, and yes, I do say forced to survive on means-tested benefits; and in such a short period of time; the last time, we have mention before, was of a young pregnant mother who jumped from a building in Hackney following the decision by the DWP to not award her, any benefits. These are suicides 'due to the cutting with sweeping strokes, and as if with an axe or machete the lifeline of many. Let’s make no mistake about that!”

The direction that we are heading in is beginning to look disturbingly horrible!”  

FRIENDS of an acclaimed Scottish writer have accused the new government's crackdown on welfare benefits of being a factor in his suicide.
Paul Reekie, who, along with Irvine Welsh, was part of a wave of young Scottish authors who rose to international prominence in the 1990s, killed himself in his Edinburgh home last month.

The Leith-based writer and poet, who was 48, left no suicide note but friends say letters informing him that his welfare benefits were to be halted were found close to his body.

Reekie's former publisher Kevin Williamson believes the actions of Chancellor George Osborne, who has introduced unprecedented measures to slash Britain's welfare bill, helped to push his close friend and literary collaborator towards taking his own life.

The founder of the Rebel Inc publishing label has sent a strongly worded letter to Osborne, linking his policies to Reekie's death.

The letter states: "It has come to my attention that while many of my friends and I were at the funeral of our good friend Paul Reekie, aged 48, it would appear that you were giving a speech in Parliament announcing your intentions to slash the benefits paid to the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.

"I thought I would let you know that Paul took his own life. He didn't leave a note but he laid out two letters on his table. One was notifying him that his housing benefit had been stopped. The other was notifying him that his incapacity benefit had been stopped.

"The reason I'm writing this letter is just so you know the human cost of attacking those on benefits."

Williamson, who published Reekie's novella, Submission, in the best-selling 1996 anthology Children of Albion Rovers, said: "The letter will be binned and forgotten, but there will be loads more folk in Paul's shoes over the coming years trying to cope with unemployment, depression, house repossessions and stress."

John Wight, a friend of the late writer, said he believed Reekie had been suffering from "the after-effects of a serious assault".

Another close friend believes the letters from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) may have been the final straw for Reekie, who is thought to have been suffering from depression. In an online tribute to the devoted follower of Hibernian FC, he spoke of the last time they met, just days before he took his own life: "I knew (Paul) was lonely and wasn't too happy overall.
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Anonymous said...

Hold on all the Tories are doing is implementing labours welfare reforms, do not forget Labour called people like myself as work shy scroungers worthless was one of his Blair's best comments.

But the simple fact is I will be going through Labour new plans in October I've been told even though I'm paraplegic dead from the waist down I will not pass the new test, this means that I have a catheter implanted, I have no bowel control, the new rules state these are not really a problem to stop you working, I've an implanted morphine pump which stops me from abusing the drugs, I will need a course not to use this drug, sadly I have to use it since it's stops fits.

I've been advised that 95% of the disabled will be told they can work, but all this is down to New labours plants the Tories have done sod all extra.

My disability.

Lesion of the spinal cord L5.

no bowel or bladder control,

Chromic pain so severe it sets off fits.

Unable to walk without sticks or crutches or normal wheelchair.

Loss of 75% of muscle from the legs.

Heart problems
High bloody pressure due to chronic pain,
liver and Kidney problems due to medication.

I could go on and on, all this caused when I feel at work 96ft, the bones came out the side of my legs, and I tried to stand up to walk falling over breaking my arm nose fracture of the skull lost all my teeth which I spat out on the floor broken upper and lower jaw bones.

And yet I'm classed as a New labour scrounger.

But yes suicide is a way out for me anyway...

j. said...

This is so tragic. It baffles me that humans can do this to each other. I try to keep things light and funny on my page, but when I hear stuff like this I can't be sarcastic about the situation, we are letting greed literally kill people, whether it is by situations like this, untreated health conditions or war and violence.

Norbert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Norbert said...

Thanks j.,

For your post. Indeed it's a horrible story to read in a newspaper, or even as reported on this blog, and I had to think hard about posting it up on here, and did it without consulting my fellow co-blogger (sorry Brian), but somehow felt I had to do so. If this is happening because world governments think it's more important to bailout the Banking, money laundering system of capitalism, then we have to expose the system for what it is.

I was very upset when I first read it, what a waste of a good life, as all life is!"

I was upset when I first learnt that in the 1930s especially in the US. Homes turned into shacks, as the majority began to live on the street, and that these people were lining up to get a free meal, 1 meal a day.

But what will always remain upsetting to me is that people killed themselves - what because of money!"

"We are letting greed literally kill people, whether it is by situations like this, untreated health conditions or war and violence."

Agreed, time to change, and work for that change!"

Norbert said...


I have to say that suicide is never a way out, for anyone!"

Yes things are hard, and we expect them to get much harder as the months roll-on under this coalition. Do I think that the government or any member of the New Labour Party gives a damn about people driven to to the extremity of despair and suicide - no I don't think for one moment they give it a passing consideration.

The Tories, the New Labour Party run capitalism whenever any one of them are in government. We can blame whichever party is in government until cows come home for milking, but it won't change a thing, even voting them in or out won't change anything, we just did that and look what we have ended up with Con/Dems?

Working people will have to learn that democracy as we know it, means being bullied and calling human beings scroungers and so on, or losing you home, job and then having your benefits cut.

Capitalism is the real problem, and the system that only favours the rich, and as always at the expense of those of us who are poorer.

That system simply must go.

This blog is about standing up to that system and with the many others who are not afraid to do so.

The more of us that stand up and become beacons of light, then the more others will be heartened and join us!"

29 July 2010 17:01

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