#002 SNAPPED: The Plan G(rieve), Universal Catastrophe, To FREEDOM, H’ELLE YES!

There is always Plan G 

Nothing but DRAMATICS and THEATRICS last week in the House of Commons, let’s take it from the top:

So, Dominic Grieve had no time for dilly-dallying when he flipped over the metaphorical table (pun not intended).

Mr Grieve, the Conservative former attorney general and Parliamentary wig-snatcher, tabled an amendment to the business motion which means that if May loses the meaningful vote this week (which she will by approx. 200 votes) she will only have 72 hours to come back with a better plan.

72 hours, to draft a whole entire new deal…yeah it’s looking like a bit of a sticky one still. To be fair, after ducking from the vote last year she has had a substantial amount of time to gather her edges and life together.

But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you weren’t too keen on her deal in the first place. This heavenly amendment means that MPs can take back control form Theresa Mugabe and put their own ideas on the table. It also edges ever closer to the prospect of a People’s Vote or General Election.

So why are MPs losing their shit?

There have always been hummings that Bercow has been sympathetic to the Remain cause and British left (despite originally being a tory). They see him accepting the amendment as an act of partisanship, when he should show no favour to either side as Speaker of the house.

Parliamentary rules usually only allow government ministers to amend business motions of this sort, so Brexiteers were not only pissed this was allowed, but even more livid that it passed. This isn’t legally binding though and Bercow stressed this when questioned about this decision.

One MP tried to DRAG Bercow because his wife drives a car with the infamous ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ sticker – which is a pretty dope sticker – he clapped back reminding people that this isn’t the 1800’s and he isn’t his wife’s keeper.

LEAVE THE CAMPAIGNERS ALONE!!!

Maybe it’s all the poisonous air we’ve been breathing in on the tube but something was definitely up this week.

Several prominent remain campaigners and MPs were the target of harassment and even physical abuse from pro-Brexit protesters.

During a live interview, protesters chanted “Nazi” at Anna Soubry MP for Boxtowe and THEN followed her to parliament chanting ‘fascist’. Firstly, you can’t go around calling people you don’t like a Nazi, you just can’t and secondly, as much as I respect their freedom of speech how DARE you be up in someones face like that? Had it been ME I wouldn’t have kept my cool, so props to you guys.

In all honesty, this is a result of the overwhelmingly divisive nature of Brexit. It’s like we’ve split the country down the middle and it is ‘us’ versus ‘them’, there is no middle ground or room of healthy debate anymore.

Things are really ugly, and I don’t see them getting any better especially with the delays and changes to Brexit, more to come this week though.

TO FREEDOM *EXPLOSION SOUNDS*

15 years ago, 16-year-old Cyntoia Denise Brown was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man that bought her for sex. He was abusive and intimidating towards her, she acted out of self-defensive and fear but was tried on the basis of robbery.

Her story is heartbreaking and her mistreatment by justice system has been abysmal. From a young age, she was forced into prostitution through child sex-trafficking whilst dealing with severe mental health issues.

She was tried as an adult in court and handed LIFE in prison – trying a 16 year-old as an adult is something that never would have happened had she been sentenced today. Her mistreatment is twofold, women of colour who face abuse are more likely to be labeled as a offenders than their white counterparts and the fact that she’s a young Black woman means she’s less likely to be seen as innocent.

Since being imprisoned, people have not stopped fighting for her cause and she has been doing incredible work to turn her life around. Whilst in prison, she provided mentoring to other young offenders and gained an associate degree from Lipscomb University.

After a lot of persistent campaigning, this week we found out that Cyntoia will be released on August 7th, but will stay on parole for 10 years until 2029. News of her release sparked an overwhelming response from people online. As much as, we shouldn’t overstate the work of celebrities, it was nice to see people like Kim Kardashian using their platform to help others.

But what does release look like? Especially when you’ve been away for over a decade, the world around you is completely different. Currently in the US, 47% of felons return to prison within three years of release – it is so vital that Cyntoia is given the best possible chance at a normal life and rehabilitation!

Universal Credit or Universal Catastrophe? 

Universal Credit is the new benefits system brought in by the Conservatives that combines six benefit payments into one monthly payment if you’re ‘out of work or on a low income’.  

It was brought in as a way to simplify a complex system, cut down on the (minuscule) benefit fraud that takes place and fundamentally get people into work.

BUT… like everything the Conservatives have rolled out in their depressing reign of terror, it’s done more harm than good. Rather than getting people into work it’s forced people out of work and CREATED a culture of dependency.

The faults with the new system have left parents with NO money because of small administrative errors. One man had his Universal Credit payment stopped because they thought he was in Prison when he’d never had a conviction his whole life!? Foodbank staff and campaigners have long complained that the rise in hunger and homelessness in Britain is in part due to benefit reform. The system just doesn’t work and for years Conservative politicians have ignored it.

Amber Rudd, the fifth – yep there have been FIVE of them – work and pensions secretary since 2016, has been the first to admit the faults and lack of ‘compassion’ with this system. Her announcement this week suggested some of the following changes:

  • The extension of the ‘two child limit’ is being scrapped, this means that women who have had a third child since 2017 will still receive the additional child benefit
  • More people will have their rent paid directly to landlord
  • The big one: instead of money going to the head of the household which is, unfortunately, usually a man, it will go to the ‘main career’. This means that domestic abusers won’t have a financial grip over their partners.

The Fantastic Four

Four incredibly brave single mothers have won a high court benefits battle against the Department for Work and Pensions. This is significant because it reinforces the HUGE issues with this terrible system. Their issue was very technical but an important one nonetheless.

Danielle Johnson, Claire Woods, Erin Barrett and Katie Stewart took the DWP to court after they struggled to make ends due to the errors with Universal Credit. One of them was left with just £8.99 for the whole month to live on, she said she was much better off just “quitting her job” entirely!

This issue arrises if you’re paid early because your usual payday falls on a weekend or Bank Holiday. To the benefit system, it looks as if you’re being paid twice in one month so they underpay your benefits, leaving many in terrible positions. This high court win means that the government needs to address this!

Other bits you may have missed:

You DON’T want this smoke

The sixth circle of hell also known as the ‘central line’ is the absolute least of our worries when it comes to death by London Underground. We’ve really gotta throw the whole tube away at this point.

A new report came out this week stating that air pollution in our beloved London Underground is THIRTY times worse than any of London’s busiest roads.

Long story short: Everything is killing us, we’re all going to die!

WATCH: Oh H’ELLE yes

The brand spanking new ELLE cover is OUT and the demonstration of Black excellence shook us to our cores! Not only were we blessed with this incredible cover but we also got a short documentary about the FINEST BLACK BRITS DOING ABSOLUTE BITS!

https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/a25842847/stormzy-young-black-and-british/

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