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In 1834 in Britain, a Poor Law was passed that was intended to reduce the cost of looking after the poor, take beggars off the streets and to encourage poor people to work hard to support themselves. In reality however, these laws were subject to the attitudes of the Georgian Era, soon to be followed by the notoriously strict and heartless regime of Queen Victoria in 1837 to 1901. The outcomes were more along the lines of slave labour, sending men, women and children to workhouses, that were so awful, that the poor dreaded them, riots were common.
The workhouses were basically prisons for the poor, poverty was a crime, or at least treated like it was and we can’t say that attitudes have improved over the years, as we will examine shortly.
The grimmest outcomes of these Poor Laws, revealed just after Queen Victoria had died in 1901, was the Anatomy Act of 1832. Before 1832 the Murder Act 1752 stipulated that only the corpses of executed murderers could be used for dissection. By the early nineteenth century the rise of medical science, occurring at the same time as a reduction in the number of executions, had caused demand to outstrip supply. This Act provided an official route by which the bodies of lunatics and paupers could be legitimately purchased from the Poor Law Unions and other proprietors of such institutions for the purposes of medical research, thus depriving the human beings concerned their lawful right to burial in their own parish. In these cases, deaths were recorded in the parish register as normal but no burial took place.
The poor knew that, unless a relative came forward within 7 days of their death with the money to pay for a coffin and churchyard burial, their remains could quite legitimately, within the regulations of the Anatomy Act, be sent to a teaching hospital for dissection in return for a fee which contributed to the income of the Workhouse.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, grave snatching was common, opening up a grim market of selling dead bodies for the advancement of “science”.
The Poor Laws were replaced by the National Assistance Act of 1948, which laid the foundations for the welfare state in the UK.
The Department of Health, following a period of consultation, repealed the Anatomy Act 1984 and the Human Tissue Act 1961 for England and Wales and replace them with a new Human Tissue Act, The Act was brought about as a consequence of, among things, the Alder Hey organs scandal, in which organs of children had been retained by the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital without consent, and the Kennedy inquiry into heart surgery on children at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
Our society seems to be receeding, rather than progressing, with a sharp rise in state funded funerals and now the PSPO orders, that once again make poverty a crime of sorts.
London is being taken over by corporations, Qatar owns the Shard, the Olympic Park in Kensington, Harrods. Protesters on Saturday 13th February cited London’s Canary Wharf, Olympic Park and the Broadgate development in the City as public places now governed by the rules of the corporations that own them.
The proposed Garden Bridge was symbolic of the trend, pointing to the fact that despite using £60m of public money it would be plagued by corporate restrictions: cyclists would have to dismount to cross while social gatherings, playing musical instruments, making a speech, releasing balloons and many other pursuits would be banned.
Let’s examine the PSPO, or Public Spaces Protection Order, which is an extension of the ASBO, Anti Social Behaviour Order, as the latter has an acronym, I am sure I can abbreviate it from here on in.
The Piss Pot Persecution of Paupers who have no Pot to Piss in Order states that
(1)A local authority may make a public spaces protection order if satisfied on reasonable grounds that two conditions are met.
(2)The first condition is that—
(a)activities carried on in a public place within the authority’s area have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality
Those in the locality are not the local types we think it’s referring to, as our Cities and Suburbs are slowing being gentrified by Yuppies, as Mark Thomas rightly points out, it’s talking about a mirrored version of corporate space, the new locals, are in fact multi nationals who probably never so much as drink coffee in the areas being enforced by Piss Pot, are the ones this act is referring to.
In London Eye Episode one, we examined the alternate artistic expression that is reacting to this gentrification, not via the genitals, but from the phantom shitter who is currently rivalling Banksy as regards being able to provide the true voice of the people. This genius has no pot to shit in, never mind piss.
Piss pot continues :
The second condition is that the effect, or likely effect, of the activities—
(a)is, or is likely to be, of a persistent or continuing nature,
(b)is, or is likely to be, such as to make the activities unreasonable, and
(c)justifies the restrictions imposed by the notice.
This can mean pretty much anything, from the relative, self rigteous morality of yuppies not liking residents who live near by, who may affect the price of rent that these leaches may want to extort gullible and desperate clients with in the future, to of course homeless people and many other local traditions that meet the displeasure of the poor taste shit bags that parasitically impoverish the area that they set their sights on.
Privatisation of space is now the standard price of redevelopment. There are privatised public zones across Britain, including Brindleyplace in Birmingham, jointly owned by the property firms Hines and Moorfield, and Liverpool One, owned by the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor estate.
This is capitalism gone rogue. While we are on the topic of the Duke of Westminster, it may be worth pointing out that this parasite owns much of the West End of London on Freehold, take a look at this Harrods Estate Agent Window, for £90000000 you can own this property for up to 85 years and then you will have to buy it again, off the Duke of Westminster.
Via Grosvenor Estates, the Duke is the richest property developer in the United Kingdom and one of the country’s largest landowners, with vast estates in Oxford, Cheshire and Scotland, as well as large areas of Mayfair and Belgravia in Central London, and elsewhere in Europe. According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2015, the Duke is worth £8.56 billion (about $13 billion), placing him ninth in the list and making him the third richest British national.
Once again, I stand arse by arse with the phantom shitter of Aldgate East, all of this is enough to bring about a sudden attack of social diarrhea in the long term, as corporations keep taking over with no resistance. As Piss Pot takes effect, more and more people like this will be convicted by capitalist thugs who have no compassion when it comes to poverty and austerity, they would rather ship them all off to the workhouse, prison, or wait for them to die and sell their body parts for the advancement of science, Piss Pot is an inch, what will be the mile in the Square Mile?
It’s the dark heart of Britain, the place where democracy goes to die, immensely powerful, equally unaccountable.
Several governments have tried to democratise the City of London but all, threatened by its financial might, have failed. As Clement Attlee lamented, “over and over again we have seen that there is in this country another power than that which has its seat at Westminster.” The City has exploited this remarkable position to establish itself as a kind of offshore state, a secrecy jurisdiction which controls the network of tax havens housed in the UK’s crown dependencies and overseas territories. This autonomous state within our borders is in a position to launder the ill-gotten cash of oligarchs, kleptocrats, gangsters and drug barons.
Maybe it’s time to shit over the Shard and tell the super rich to grab their piss pots and either let the golden shower of welfare run freely down the sides of this symbol of “fuck you poor people”, or they can fuck off back to where they all came from, instead of gentrifying London and wherever else they stick their blood sucking tentacles into, artificially sustaining markets that are only affordable in globalised foreign markets, leading locals into poverty and conditions that are precariously absurd.
The Shard is the symbolic anti-homeless spike that goes beyond those sleeping on the bench, it’s the spike that if the indigenous Brits sit on, will turn the shit stain in Aldgate into a burst bum grape of butt blood.
The Corporation’s privileges could not withstand such public scrutiny. This, perhaps, is one of the reasons why a written constitution in the United Kingdom remains a distant dream. Its power also helps to explain why regulation of the banks is scarcely better than it was before the crash, why there are no effective curbs on executive pay and bonuses and why successive governments fail to act against the UK’s dependent tax havens, much like an irritating case of split piles on the unkucky host known as you or me, time for some soothing savlon for sure.