Tag Archives: Sanctions

Kafka’s The Sanction : A Personal Odyssey

Without having done anything wrong
I woke up one morning to find
that I had been ” Sanctioned ” ,
For without knowing it I had ,
at some point in the past
inadvertently expressed an opinion ;

It was that which gave them cause
to raise their euphemistic ” doubt ” ,
then pass on that ” doubt ” to others ,
who then embellished and modified the opinion
I had been reported as having uttered ;

They passed on the rebooted version of my dissent ,

To underline my culpability it was pointed out ,
that the ” good reason ” that I’d have to give
in order to stay the Sanction was itself
not defined in Law,
my ” participation ” in their forced labour scheme
was also a term not defined in Law ;
Although i did not falter ,nor flinch,
nor hesitate ,nor seek compromise
or for my wounds to be salved ,

Thirteen weeks of penury ensued ,
imposed by implacable bureaucratic rules ;

they had achieved their goal,
planting the ball in the back of my net
after first getting the goalkeeper sent off.

None of that is defined in their Law either.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE :
On August 13 2015 I completed a 13 Weeks Sanction imposed by the Department of Work & Pensions
for what they said was my failure to attend / participate in Mandatory Work Activity. M.W.A. is a state-run forced labour scheme onto which long term unemployed are conscripted. Once on it ,they are supposed to initially undertake 120 hours of unpaid work ( 30 hours per week for 4 weeks ). This I was reluctant to do. For full story and background you can visit #DansLaMerde on facebook. Similar State-run forced labour schemes are now the norm in capitalist countries as diverse as Germany and Australia amongst them.
Official estimates for the UK show that 1,000,000 so-called benefits sanctions are routinely issued each year.People are in effect left in the direst of need for the duration of their sanction period.