It was only recently that the British government reclassified those on social welfare into the “deserving poor”, and the not so deserving poor in order to slash their overheads. Yet, in the same breath, a couple who took the initiative to get out of the poverty trap, by living on their own land.
Maybe it’s a touch of Gypsy-phobia, or a clear case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing – who knows for this just falls into line with the convenience of Western democracy, that when things go wrong, which it usually does because the whole system is badly thought out, and has very little to do with reality, the first victims are the people.
The state of apathy takes a long time to instil born out of a sense of powerlessness. Only the apathetic will allow themselves to be subject to the life of living on the dole (social welfare), whereby one is just a pariah living hand to mouth without hope of having control over one’s life. This feeling gets worse, when one has a family that one is unable to provide for if unconditional love is missing.
Stig and Dinah Mason with two children were having an impoverished life on an estate in Hertfordshire Council; if it was not for a small windfall (inheritance of £47,000 from the death of Dinah’s aunt), they would have remained so. With that windfall they bought a derelict four-acre Muxbeare Orchard in Devon.
The Masons spent a year clearing the weed riddled land, transforming it into a self sufficient 400 sq allotment, with greenhouse, raising chickens, and producing eggs, vegetables (peas, garlic, potatoes) and fruits including various species of apple trees. Their supply of heat, and energy is strictly off the grid, using wood burners and solar panels.
With a boy aged 9 and a boy aged 8 years old, Stig takes them to school, and works the land, while Dinah works as a community worker, the income of which provides them with everything that the farm does not provide.
The family of four plus a dog are now being evicted on the basis that they are living n agricultural land by Mid Devon District Council, land that was not in use. Instead the Council have offered them bed and breakfast accommodation, which is unsafe for children at taxpayers expense, and dares to suggest that they live on take away food! The Mason family as they are now receive no hand-outs, no social welfare, and are completely self sufficient. Maybe it’s too much for a government to see a citizen taking responsibility for their own life, as the Masons have been served a court injunction to leave within 28 days from 01st, June, which might mean by the time anyone reads this, it will be too late!
If the Council were serious about their policies, and had long terms objectives, they could have offered the Masons alternative land at the same price that they bought the current land for, but no, the Council would rather the Masons lived their life on a state budget that cannot afford them, a budget that would have to pay for their housing, their council tax, their heating costs, their energy costs, their education costs, and their health costs.
The Council mad a poor attempt at justifying their actions, by stating that the Masons have no business plan, which ignores the fact that the Masons sell eggs, had planted 14 apple trees, and were moving towards being able to grow up to 8 months worth of vegetables.
Contrary to the Council’s stance, the Masons have been considered as hard working on land that was derelict, and had in fact improved the environment, and are actively a part of the community.
Several people from across the country have written to the council in support of the family’s keeping land they have paid for, and developed, but for the sake of sanity, the call needs to be loud enough to make the Council think and act more logically.
“Injunction to Move By The End The Of Month.” http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Injunction-end-month/story-12812676-detail/story.html#