Category Archives: Choices

Dear Amber Rudd MP . . . . .

I was asked to send a quick message to the MP, Amber Rudd, who is the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions – taking over from Esther McVey, in the job nobody seems to be any good at!
These messages are in the hopes that she might halt and fix Universal Credit but, when I went to do look at her page, and after reading all the many hundreds of messages sent to her already Amber Rudd MP 25th November, 14:42, I found it so hard to stick to a short message, that I decided to write my message to her on my Blog, here, instead:

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Dear Ms Rudd,

 

It’s pretty clear to the majority of people in this country that the roll-out of Universal Credit has been a deliberate attempt to force people out of the Benefits system.

 

UC can’t be fixed, as it has been deliberately designed to create the very thing that is happening to everybody who has claimed it so far – if they are able to work, then it is forcing them into zero-hour contracts, which never pay enough, or give enough hours, to support a family or, in the case of the vulnerable, ill, or disabled, is forcing them off of the very Benefits they need to survive, into a world of starvation, eventual homelessness, great poverty and, far too often nowadays, suicide.

 

There are now thousands of families who face not only Christmas, but all this coming winter, with the prospect of going very hungry, very cold, and eventually losing their homes!

 

While you enjoyed your delicious fish and chips with those wonderfully privileged students at Rye College, did you think of all those who WON’T have a hot meal this Christmas, due to having no money to pay their rent and electric, or gas, bills, so that, even if they ARE able to get help from the multiple Food Banks springing up all over the country, they’ll not be able to heat up the food provided by those same food banks – places that have multiplied since your government took control, and induced Austerity on to everybody but the Rich – while giving multiple tax breaks to those very same rich individuals and businesses – and, while you were about it, also giving yourselves huge pay rises?

 

Please could you start doing the job you are paid a veritable  fortune to do, and stop Universal Credit before even MORE thousands of people end up homeless and starving?

 

If you can’t completely stop it, then could you at least pause it immediately, and do your best to fix it, so that those who aren’t able to work – like the vulnerable, or severely disabled – get to keep their old benefits until their UC claims have been finally sorted?

 

Could you also make sure that everybody who claims UC are garuanteed not to lose out when their present benefits are changed to UC, as UC is paying out a lot less than their old benefits, due to your government’s cap on Benefits, which your government keep stating was due to Austerity measures – a Cap, we all noticed, you didn’t apply to your own wages – wages paid to you out of the Public Purse?

 

Could you also make sure that those who have to pay rent to a landlord / landlady, are able to still have their Housing Benefit paid directly to that same landlord/lady, so that there is no risk of homelessness, due to insufficient funds?

 

With homelessness at an all time high at the moment, and not nearly enough homes being built to house the people needing them, then surely it is the government’s duty to make sure no more people are forced out of their homes due to the long delay in paying UC?

 

Believe me when I say that even a week is too long a delay for people who have been unable to save anything in case of financial troubles – and I’m talking not only about those already on Benefits, but those who are in work – especially those forced into zero-hours contracts, which is about the only type of work available to them nowadays!

And while I’m writing my wish list to you, could you please stop the terrible Sanctions regime being used with Universal Credit, Sanctions that threaten people into doing things your way, instead of the way in which every human being – and everybody who has to claim any kind of Benefit is a Human Being, despite all of the smear campaigns your government  put out there, to get people thinking that, if you have to claim, then you are a shirker, or a liar, or a cheat – should be treated!

 

No matter what Theresa May says on her question time, the whole World knows that UC is failing the very people that it was supposedly designed to help, so please, please, show some empathy and compassion, for once, and help those that really do need that help – and stop UC immediately, or at least pause and fix it!

 

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Watch The Iceland Christmas Ad Which Will Never Be Shown After Authorities Banned It . . .

This ad has been going the rounds on Facebook for days now and, every time I watch it, I cry – not only for the Oragutan bravely trying to stop the destruction of it’s home, but also for the sheer destruction being allowed  every  single  day – all for the sake of a few multi-billionnaire’s profits!

I still don’t understand why housewives keep buying products full of palm oil – the destruction of the rain forests, in order to grow this stuff, is known world-wide now, so why don’t they boycott the products, and start protesting, along with the few die-hards who have been shouting out about this for years?

I guess the answer will be, they keep buying, because it’s cheaper for their pockets – but they don’t seem to realise that it won’t only be the Orangutans – and every other species – devestated by the rainforest’s destruction, who will pay this desperate price for so-called progress – it will be their children, and their children’s children, who will end up paying the final price for their momentary saving!

I’m not surprised any more at how short-term savings drive such destruction of our environment – but I am surprised that people don’t seem to realise that this is the only home we, and so many other species being killed off for our momentary satisfation, have got, and so it’s up to us to start thinking about the future – or lack of it – of this Planet Earth.

But, in the meantime, this ad brought to our notice, ironically, by the Supermarket chain, Iceland, has been banned from airing on TV by the powers-that-be, for being ‘too political’!

Just how political are most ads we see on the TV screen every day? Quite a lot, thankyou!

But, because the ads are for something that is to the advantage of the reigning political party of whichever country it’s aired in, that’s OK, then 😦

All of my life I’ve loved Orangutans – but even more so since ‘The Librarian’ was introduced to us all, in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series (and, yes, I’m a total Pratcheteer, here!).

Terry brought to life the wonderful gentleness, the fierce loyalty, and the enduring pain, that The Librarian shows in his character and, although he is just a character, it made countlesss thouands of us all aware that we have the basis of this creature, this wonderfully amazing Primate, being torn away from his and her homeland – a homeland the Orangutan has probably lived in for as long as they have been a species – and all that pain, killing, and destruction of their habitat, has come about because of the human race’s greed and avarice, our need to buy products a couple of cents, or dimes, or pennies, cheaper!

I hope this ad gets all around the world because of the internet – and that something can be finally done, before every single habitat of the Orangutan has been bulldozed over!

Iceland’s Christmas TV advert banned for being too political: Supermarket’s Greenpeace film on palm oil’s impact on orangutan deemed rule breach

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Unite to back mandatory selection at Labour conference . . .

unitelogo

After the appalling behaviour of a number of Labour MPs recently and the closure of the case against Margaret Hodge, who has denied expressing regret when the Labour Chief Whup confirmed twice that she had done so and had received a formal warning and the case was closed on that basis, huge numbers of Labour members have been demanding ‘mandatory reselection’ (MR) of Labour MPs.

Under Labour’s current rules, existing MPs can only be removed by means of a complex ‘trigger ballot’ process, in which members’ influence is hugely diminished compared to that of affiliated unions and socialist societies, who can usually protect an incumbent if they wish to do so.

Under mandatory reselection, members would vote on an ‘OMOV’ (one member, one vote) basis and the process would be refreshed at every general election – empowering members and vastly increasing the accountability of MPs to them.

Now members have received a huge boost with the news that Unite, one of the UK’s biggest unions and one of the most influential in the Labour Party, intends to back moves to introduce MR at Labour’s annual conference next month in Liverpool – and that even if the measure fails, a push is planned to use the trigger ballot process to replace MPs that have been undermining the party’s push for power.

A senior Unite insider told the SKWAWKBOX:

‘Mandatory reselection is our policy so expect us to push this at the conference. If it didn’t get through I would expect us to be actively looking to use the trigger process.’


To
read the whole Post, please click on the following link to go to the Skwawkbox Blog:

Unite to back Mandatory Selection at Labour Conference

COMMENT:

I was delighted to read this post by Skwawkbox, especially as it has given me a greater hope that we members will be able to get back the correct amount of control that we should have had, especially of the way that MP’s are voted into Seats, and who they should be listening to when they get there, where Party Policy is concerned.

Rather than having to put up with right-leaning Labour MP’s, who are not listening to the people who voted them in to their positions, and are deliberately going against the vast majority of the Member’s wishes – all while doing their best to push out the one man, Jeremy Corbyn, that so many thousands of us had joined the Party for in the first place – as we see in him a hope for the future, where he becomes our next Prime Minister – we now see the possibilities of having the chance to make sure that those same MP’s are given the choice to either toe the Party line  or, if they choose to  go against the majority of the member’s wishes, especially if it’s to do with Party policy, then they can – and will – be voted out of their seats, and we’ll find someone else to be given the chance to help get our Party back into the driving seat again – but, this time, all for the good of the Many, not the Few! 🙂

Whether Unite succeed in getting enough other Unions behind this, we’ll have to wait and see – but their actions show us that our patience has not been in vain, and that hope is still alive for a better future than we can see at the moment!

With enough of us fighting for what we believe Jeremy Corbyn can do for us – and the country – then it’s going to be a bumpy, but exciting ride!

 

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Filed under Affiliates, Agenda, Charges, Choices, Conference, Corbyn, Debate, Delegates, Democracy, GMB, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, Mandatory Reselection, MP's, Politics, Unions, Unite, Vote, Voting

If Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech on anti-Semitism, perhaps this is what he should say . . .

Corbyn’s Labour has been attacked by the anti-Semitism trolls over the last few days.

This Writer is looking forward to his speech – expecially if it takes the angle chosen by a Labour Party spokesman when pro-Tory-pressure-group-pretending-to-be-a-charity the Campaign Against Antisemitism tried to complain about Mr Corbyn (again).

He said [boldings mine]: “Labour is committed to rooting out antisemitism from our party and society. False and partisan attacks like this undermine the fight against antisemitism.

The Milk the Cow Podcast has made a few suggestions which are far too strong to publish unedited here. Those of you of strong character can see the original by following this link.

For the rest of you, I’ll paraphrase . . . . . . .

Please click the following link to read the complete post by Vox Political’s Mike Sivier:

If Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech on anti-semitism perhaps this is what he should say:


Comment:

The continuous attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, which started even before he won the leadership of the Labour Party, has been constant, brutal, and totally and utterly uncalled for, especially by those right-leaning MP’s in his own party who, through pique, greed, or sheer bloody-mindedness, have decided to do the job that the Tories and the Media have tried to do since he came into office – which is to try and get rid of him.

The Reason?

Because Jeremy Corbyn has got the fire, the will, and the decency that so many Tory, and right-leaning Labour, MP’s haven’t got!

Jeremy has consistently fought against any kind of oppression, no matter where it was, or who was doing it, and he has done this throughout his political life – and that’s why so many hundreds of thousands of us voted him in as the leader of the Labour Party because, for the first time in far too many years, we see a man who can lead this country away from the disasters that the Tories have brought on us, through their greed, dishonesty, and their belief that, because they are rich, then they should be able to do as they please, strip our public services, our land, and our future – and we should bow down our heads, and allow these selfish, amoral, people to do with us, and our country, what they wish to – because, don’t forget, people, there are a damn sight more of us than there are of them, and so it is our country!

We’ve all seen where their leadership has led us, despite the Media blackout of real news!

The deaths of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people who have had the small amount of money they have to live on be taken away, because ‘they are just not trying hard enough’ to get a job – and this, in a country where the elite have managed to kill almost all  of our industries through their greed for ever more profits!

The destruction of OUR NHS – and, yes, it IS ours! Bought and paid for with our grandparents, parents, and our, hard-earned taxes. All of this has been brought about through the deliberate financial starvation of the NHS, by the elite, because they are planning to almost give it away to their Billionaire pals, who own the private medical businesses around the world that most of the tories probably own shares in, and so plan to earn yet another fortune, off the backs of the poor, once more!

Our NHS will be privatised, and stolen away from us, and the dream that our forefathers had, to make sure that none of their children and grandchildren would die through a lack of free medical care – which is something our grandparents saw all too brutally, in the days when we had no National Health Service, and where, if you didn’t have the money, you didn’t get the care!

And then we have the disaster called Brexit!

When all those MP’s went out with their campaign buses, with the lie that the money saved from going for Brexit will be used to fund the NHS, so many people fell for it, that nobody actually questioned the figures being spouted by these cleverly deceitful liers – and so the country voted for Brexit – and spat in the eye of the hundreds of thousands of European people who live and work here in Britain – mainly in our much-loved NHS – people who are our friends, our neighbours, our loved ones, our family! And so we told them that they weren’t wanted any more – we’d used them, and spat them out again, like so much discarded gum!

And so we truly have got the government we deserve – one that will keep squeezing people until they can’t bear it any more, one that will keep killing the poor, the old, the vulnerable, until we go back where we are considered as serfs, just like in the past, where the super rich owned everything – because they stole it from us all in the first place – and where they will dictate to us when we can eat, sleep, breath and, most importantly for them, work all the hours of the day and night, all for their bid for even more wealth – and we’ll watch the future of our earth be laid to waste – all in the bid for more obscene profit! 😦

But I don’t believe we deserve a government like that!

I believe we deserve a government who look after it’s poor, it’s ill, it’s weak, it’s elderly, it’s vulnerable – and who look after the people who work hard for little wages, but want to build a better society for their children, and their children’s children – just like our grandparents did for us!

And the only way we’re going to get a government like that, is to stop believing the lies thrown at us every day by this tory government – and the media they control – and listen to Jeremy Corbyn and his cabinet-in-waiting, and then vote Labour in the next election!

Because the Tories are only looking after themselves – they always have, and they always will do! 😦

So, the next time you have a chance to listen to Jeremy Corbyn, and the people in his Cabinet, listen closely to what they are saying – and not what the Media twist it into – then think about what you want this country – and even this world – to be like for your children, and theirs, and let’s get rid of the poison that has slowly been killing our people, our country, and the Democracy our forefathers fought so hard for in the first place!

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This Comic Nails the Difference Between Chronic Fatigue and Just Being ‘Tired’ . . .

‘The Mighty’ is a digital health community, created to empower and connect people facing health challenges and disabilities, and I came across it by accident – but found so much relevant to my own life, that I signed on for regular emails.

The comic strip, further below this, is one such link sent to me to read, and it reflected my life so much, that I really wanted to comment on it here.

The comic strip shows exactly what happens to me every time I try to be ‘normal’, and meet up with a friend for lunch, or try to be a little independent, and attempt to do small chores for myself, etc. It shows the difference in energy used between a healthy person, and someone suffering with an auto-immune illness, and I felt it showed the difference very well.

It really is so very hard to explain to someone who isn’t suffering from a plethora of auto-immune illnesses, just what life is like for us who do 😦

Link to website: The Mighty.com – Comic Strip that explains Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME

In honor of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome awareness day on May 12, I thought I’d make a comic. When I decided to do this I didn’t quite realize just how long it would take and how many spoons, but hopefully it’s worth it.

To read a transcript, head here.

Introducing Maddie, a girl with ME, who in this episode, “Energy and Exertion,” is meeting her friend, “Normal” Nancy, for coffee.

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This blog was originally published on Laura’s Pen

  _ _ _ _ _ _ 

Just like Maddie in the comic, I suffer with ME, but I also have Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Arthritis, and a plethora of other health problems – plus 2 blood disorders that are really making my already complex health issues even worse. This means, unfortunately, that the physical, and mental, side effects of each of them, affect me even more than just the one problem does Maddie 😦

Like Maddie, I try my best to occasionally meet up with a friend for lunch, or to go into town – even if it’s only to get money out – although I’m unable to travel by Bus, as it became a very painful – and totally exhausting – thing to do years ago.

I don’t get out as much as I’d love to do, but as much as my body allows me to 😦

I can only manage this, though, if a good friend picks me up in her car, and drives me around from place to place – so I can manage to do what I must, without having to constantly walk too far. Then, when I’ve either finished my list, or just run out of energy, she then drives me home again, making sure I get myself, and anything I’ve bought, safely into the house.

If I absolutely MUST go into town for something important, and my friends are unavailable, then I’ll catch a taxi, which I arrange to return for me where I was dropped off, an hour later (because an hour is my absolute limit, especially when on my own)!

If I have to use a taxi, once I get there, I know I will only be able to manage one or two things that I absolutely HAVE to do – plus, I also have to plan the shortest route possible between places I need to visit before my energy runs out, and I need to get back home before I fall down exhausted – so I only do what I absolutely MUST do 😦

I often need to get cash out from my post office which, fortunately, is in the same building as the food shop, where I often need to go to get the items I’ve forgotten to order with my home delivery! (oh, for a brain that didn’t keep forgetting things!). I can normally do this before needing to get home but, if I happen to meet a friend while I’m in town, then I often have to choose between the shopping, or stopping to chat with the friend, as it’s almost always impossible for me to do both – especially if I want to save enough energy to get back home safely, where I can then collapse back into bed, where I’ll spend most of the next few days desperately trying to recover enough to look after myself properly 😦

My life is no different to many thousands of others, here in the UK – and around the world – whose lives are affected so badly by chronic illness, and we all, in one way or another, find it difficult to get across to others who are fit and healthy – or who are physically disabled in a way that doesn’t affect their energy values – the way in which our lives are affected by these awful autoimmune-based illnesses that we have to cope with every single day of our lives.

But I think that the worst aspect of all of this, is the thought that there are no cures for any of the auto-immune problems that so many of us suffer with, especially as they have made it impossible for me to work! This means that I have to rely on Welfare to keep me fed, and homed – in almost every aspect of my life – by a government who are doing everything they can to make life for people like myself a living nightmare 😦

To make matters worse, I lost my wonderful husband in March, and I had to spend the next 3 months going through all the worst aspects of this, while trying to apply for the benefits I needed to live on – it took 12 weeks before they sorted out what I was entitled to and, if it wasn’t for good and kind friends, I don’t know how I would have managed, financially, or emotionally! 😦

It certainly didn’t make my health any easier to cope with when, along with the grief suffered with then – and now – I also had to fill in so many forms, and battle with the DWP to get what I needed to live on – but that’s another story, I guess 😦      

 

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Filed under Benefits, Choices, Chronic Ill Health, Disability Issues, Health Issues, Ill Health, UK Government, Welfare, Welfare Cuts

The NHS faces a slow death by propaganda. Don’t let it happen . . .

 

Were you as horrified as I was when The Guardian – of all news outlets – headlined an article with the words, “Hospitals are massively overspending. But more money is not the answer”?

Hospitals are not “massively overspending”. If the money is being used to save lives, then they are not overspending at all.

The only people who could possibly imagine that a health service can overspend are Tories – because they are backward in their priorities; they revere money and consider human lives to be worthless.

NHS Million fixed the Guardian headline for its errant editors:

NHS Million @NHSMillion

The NHS is not overspending, it is underfunded.

Please RT if you know there is a big difference.https://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2018/jun/02/hospitals-are-massively-overspending-but-more-money-is-not-the-answer 

 

Some

armchair critics might want to suggest that hospitals are overspending because there isn’t enough money in the UK economy at the moment. This is, at best, a mistake. There is plenty of money – it is held in offshore bank accounts and other financial instruments owned by rich supporters of the Conservative Party.

Rachael Swindon @Rachael_Swindon

A report out during the week said the NHS deficit is about £1 billion in the red. A huge sum of money, and twice as much as expected, yet nothing compared to the £3 billion we let the Duke of Westminster avoid in Tax through various trusts. This really can’t go on.


A
nybody who wants to say that these people are entitled to the money they have should be reminded that wages have been pushed below subsistence level by the Tories over the last eight years. Fatcat businesspeople with offshore accounts, trusts or whatever should be made to pay a living wage to all employees before taking their massive cut to HMRC for a proper assessment of their tax obligation. Then they can do whatever they want with what’s left.

The increased amount of money that would then go to the Treasury could be used to reverse some of the nightmare statistics the Mirror published about Jeremy Hunt’s nightmarish career as the UK’s longest-serving Health Secretary.

A cursory glance at it shows that his decisions make no sense. Waiting times have increased hugely, yet Mr Hunt has cut the number of hospital beds by 7,000. This cannot make sense to anybody.

So to news outlets like The Guardian, our message should be clear:

Don’t give us your pro-Tory propaganda, please! Try reporting the facts instead.

Comment:

If you want to read the complete post by Vox Political, please click on this link:

The NHS Faces a Slow Death By Propaganda . . .

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Filed under Austerity, Budget Cuts, Choices, Collapse of the NHS, Conservatives, Degraded Public Services, Economy, Funding Cuts, Hospital Waiting Lists, Ideology, Jeremy Hunt, Privatisation of Public Resources, Tory Cuts, Tory Lies, Underfunding, Welfare Cuts

DWP Reveal How Much More It’s Paid Out in Staff Bonuses – for failures!

I was shocked, when reading The Canary, earlier on this evening, to discover that the DWP are STILL paying out millions in bonuses to their staff, despite the catastrophic failures they have wrought, while making the lives of anyone who needs to have any help to live, a living nightmare 😦

Here’s what The Canary said:

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed it paid out over £6m in bonuses last financial year. But the figures are even more eye-popping when you compare it to the previous year. Because despite the DWP losing court cases and receiving international condemnation, it’s actually on track to pay out more.

Eye-watering figures

The DWP has released its provisional payroll figures for March 2018. When combined with the provisional totals from January and February, it shows the department has paid out £3m of “non-consolidated performance payments” (that is, monthly bonuses). For the same period in 2017, it paid out £2.21m. This is a 36% increase year on year. But delve deeper into the figures and the numbers make for even more interesting reading.

As The Canary previously reported, the DWP paid out £5.3m of in-month bonuses between April 2016 and March 2017. It paid out £6.1m from April 2017 to March 2018 – a 15% increase. But when you analyse the payroll costs, it shows a different picture.

Total payroll costs between April 2016 and March 2017 were £2.46bn. For the same period a year later, they were £2.52bn – an increase of 2.44% year on year. So, as a percentage of the total payroll costs, the bonuses were 0.22% and 0.24% respectively.

As a percentage of pay, the bonus increase may not seem like much. But in cash terms, the DWP has substantially increased its bonus payments, and the year-on-year percentage increase is well above the rate of inflation.

To read the rest of the article, please click on the following link:

DWP Reveal their Staff bonuses:

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Filed under Austerity, Benefits, Bonuses, Choices, Conservatives, Disability, DWP, DWP Policies, Financial Year, Ideology, Inflation, Payroll Figures, Self-interest, Social Security, Wages, Welfare