Between a rock and a hard place on doing all that I can to support this campaign with the ConkerTU Local on in just over a week, so here goes:
If you lived in a council house like I do, you would know the sheer inundation of marketing these scoundrels throw at you - jump down a few posts and see just how many times Littlewoods asked me to switch my balance to an interesting account within weeks of Xmas. Cynical or what?
Make no assumptions - POOR people are a target market, because they've a track record in paying, week in, week out, on their socially housed doorsteps, a quid here a quid there, punch drunk in the scramble to survive.
Poor people are stigmatised by crass and sensationalist media - have you seen Tower Block of Commons? They're fed constantly the one-up-manship of materialistic values - peer pressure, judgements and CRAP.
Cash for gold? Have you seriously ever sold any? Ever needed to sell valuables to put food on the table? I have - as an adult and as a child - and I can tell you its worthlessness is thankless and degrading.
Sure, I know there are debt dodging scoundrels out there who play the benefits system and default on loans, but I am utterly convinced they are anything but a majority.
For my part I'd like to calculate the proportion of benefits payments that end up in dodgy lenders' pockets. I've called it institutional benefit fraud for a while now because that's what it is. £53 million net profits to Provident in the first half of 2009/10? How much of that was tax payers money?
I've been offered more credit during and after my 2002 bankruptcy than I ever encountered in my solvent life and the so called credit crunch has served only to make the pressure to borrow worse. Indeed, it is far easier now to get a dodgy loan than it ever was before the so called lending squeeze, entirely as I predicted when I first wrote Zero-credit as a book.
What disgusts me further are so called financial experts, counsellors and advisors stating that poor people need lending like this to get by. No they bloody well do not - save £20 a month for three months with a Credit Union and you're fairly sure of being able to borrow three times what you've saved.
And a couple of hundred quid is the pittance of a loan we are talking about here folks - to fix a washing machine or a car, just so that you can get to work.
Mr Ian Thomas, I salute you and to anyone who doesn't know what it is yet SIGN UP HERE: