Category Archives: Welfare

Thoughts on a summer evening . . .

I begin to despair that any political party is interested in helping the people of this country who, through no fault of their own, are chronically ill, or disabled.

I totally support Labour’s fight against the tories, but see little in their manifesto to help people in my position – house-bound, mostly bed-bound, without social care, and with a husband who, although he is actually my full-time carer, is also having to cope with his own worsening health problems, with no respite, and only my encouragement keeping him going.

We have become a mutual support system, but our supports are getting more and more unstable, more threadbare, more tenuous, as time goes by and, frankly, the only thing keeping me going up to now, had been the hope that Labour would come into power, become our Government, and start making changes for the better for us all – but I read, recently that, even as a government, they are planning on keeping similar kinds of assessments, or checks and measures, in place to cope with the benefits system, that every other party seems to think is a good thing – measures that every ounce of me rejects with loathing!

I wrote about what happened in late December, 2016 – early January this year, when my Mum died, just as I was facing a changeover from my Indefinite DLA award, to the new PIP – which this government deliberately designed to be as hard as possible to be awarded.

I was fortunate to have passed my assessment – mostly because it’s pretty obvious to any medical professional that I’m never getting better, but also because I had a lot of help from other disabled people, who were able to advise me through this awful process – and I was awarded the new PIP for 10 years, which I’m very grateful for, believe me!

After seeing what hoops my friends are having to jump through, while fighting to retain anything, I’ll never be able to express the relief of actually passing this awful thing. But the award is really not fit for purpose, as  I’ll still have all of the same thing facing me, at a time when I’ll be even more disabled by my health problems, and whenever the government decide that they’d like to put me through it all again – you see, what the government don’t tell the public, is that they can call me back for another assessment whenever it pleases them to!

This means that, even though they have awarded me ten years of financial help, I’ll not know if, or when I’ll have to face the torture of another assessment within that time, and it’s affecting my mental health in a way I never figured it would. Even now, in July, I am still suffering the after-effects of all I was put through, and what I might have to face at any time in the future.

My physical health has worsened to the point that I haven’t even been able to do any of my beloved crochet since the assessment; I’ve been unable to do much of anything physically but, a lot worse for me, my mental health has been, and continues to be, badly affected.

During that whole process of assessment, I was made to feel bad. I was made to feel as though my life was totally and utterly unimportant – a waste of breath, a waste of time, a waste of important resources.

I was asked why I hadn’t killed myself yet and, as a typical British person, I did what we all do, and put a brave face on it, a stiff upper lip, and told the assessor that my husband and daughter are my preventitives – while tears fell down my face at the shock of her question, and at the realisation that I was actually too near to those feelings to want to examine them, let alone talk about them to a total stranger!

My answer was very true, though – but for how long, I can’t honestly say, as I try to heal myself of the wounds given to me, just because I inherited health problems that are slowly getting worse, and have no cure, and so needed financial help to live!

. . . and this has made me so angry!

It’s an anger that just keeps bubbling away inside me, and I find it hard to let go of it, especially when I see ever more draconian rights being allowed to those who govern whether any of us can have financial help, when things go bad in our lives.

I have been using the politics that I got interested in, as a way to get past the bad times in my mental health, and it has helped to a certain extent, as I can use up some of the anger that I feel, about the way we are all being treated, through this blog, and on social media

But, as the days go past, every new law, or refining of the law, seems to be aimed at making the situations of everyone in the country, who needs a helping hand, even worse and, when even nurses – those wonderfully caring men and women who have trained hard, for long years, to keep the people of this country well – have had to turn to food banks to survive, then I truly wonder what we have become as a Nation!

And now the Tories are trying to take away our Human Rights under Law, and put in it’s place a watered-down version that looks good on paper, but will be as strong as a wet tissue, if we try to use it.

I’ve read about, and watched, so many protests over the last year or so – although not on TV or in the papers, as these are all controlled by the very people who have brought in Austerity, to weaken the poor, and strengthen the Rich and powerful – and there are many more being organised for over the summer break of Parliament.

But I wonder if the powerful will sit in the sun, clinking their glasses of champagne, while laughing at us ‘plebs’ as we protest their taking away of all our rights under the law!

I have seen, over these last three to four decades, the way that Thatcher’s government broke the power of the unions – the only thing really protecting the ordinary working man and woman – and then the Neoliberal, New Labour, Blairite, government, and then the Tory government again, totally ignoring the plight of those who are having to go through these so-called health assessments, and who award the companies putting them through these useless, atrocious, offensively degrading trials, as if they were doing something wonderful for the country, instead of being the means of hurting too many thousands of vulnerable people – and to make matters even worse, these companies have cost the UK taxpayers even more to run than they will ever save, financially!

These assessments are where the ill/disabled person is lied about, treated like scum, and then ridiculed; where the painfully written, in-depth, descriptions of their daily lives are able to be read by those who shouldn’t be anywhere near them; where the ill/disabled are mocked, sneered at, laughed at, and vilified by both the – mostly – unqualified people who actually do these assessments; and then by the tory MP’s, who have been filmed doing so in Parliament, while they dismantled the laws that were supposed to defend us; or brokered the laws that will make life more unbearable for us all, and are a hell we are having to endure, in order to survive.

Those people who are too ill to fight the stopping of their only means of support – and in the last 2 years there have been at least 10,000 of them – have ended up being put into the position of either starving, or committing suicide.

Meanwhile, the companies that did this to them are awarded ever larger bonuses, and ever-longer contracts – and I wonder how much longer we will be able to survive, and what happened to the caring society that we were, when I was young, and before Thatcher came into power!

There are things happening to the disabled in this country that goes against everything I was brought up to believe in. Hard-won laws are being repealed, or flouted, and there are now working aged disabled people finding themselve immured into nursing homes, due to the cuts in their support – cuts caused by the government deliberately starving the NHS and Social Services of the money they need to go on.

It took the disabled many decades, and huge protests, to have the protections put into place by law, that meant we could live within our communities, near friends and family, and live our lives the way everyone else is able to – and now this government is slowly taking away everything that was fought so hard for – and using the same lies and excuses, that were used during the second world war, to relieve a certain nation of their disabled peoples.

The only hope I have now, is a Labour government, who will listen to it’s people, and stop this cruel torture; who will give the vulnerable of society a place where they can stand proud, and have a belief in themselves as being worthy people once again.

Is it really too much to ask for?

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Filed under Austerity, Benefits, Carers, Choices, Democracy, Disability, Disability Issues, DLA, Health Issues, Human Rights, Ideology, Mental Health Issues, PIP, Politics, Social Security, Welfare

It’s time the government took some lessons in the ethical use of power and influence amid the discussion about abuse

Once again, Kitty S, Jones has hit the nail on the head in her summary of a government who are so inwards-looking, that they can’t see their own faults, and blame everyone else for their own failings.
In a democratic country, we need our MP’s to realise that, yes, we do have a right to object to their behaviour and, by their contant cries of racism, their stigmatising of the poor, old, ill and disabled, and their sneering contempt, shown live every weekday on TV, of everyone who demands a fair wage for a fare day’s work, they are showing just how little they believe we should have that democracy!
This country isn’t a Dictatorship, despite the authoritarianism being shown by the government so far, but it is a county where, if they don’t wake up to the realities that we are all having to live in, we will rise up, and use our powers of democracy, to vote them out, once and for all.

Politics and Insights

Image result for Daily Mail Jo Cox Image result for Daily Mail Jo CoxImage result for This is for britainImage result for Daily Mail Jo CoxImage result for Daily Mail Jo Cox

Irresponsible racist scapegoating discourse and an utter incapacity to join the dots in the media. When Jo Cox was murdered, her killer shouted “Britain First” – the name of the political party formed by former BNP members, which has over 1.5m likes on Facebook. The Daily Mail buried the news of his conviction for murdering a sitting MP on page 30, almost as if the Mail thought it was somehow unimportant.

Minority groups are demonised and denigrated as a matter of routine and tradition – at what point does our feigning ignorance of this process turn into complicity with it? The problems we face as a society is not caused by immigration, but by socioeconomic inequality, with widespread, growing poverty, exclusion and youth unemployment faced by working class people of all ethnic backgrounds. Pointing the finger at immigrants is an attempt to mask how current government policy is…

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Filed under Democracy, Disability Issues, Divide and Rule, Human Rights, Ideology, Media, Politics, Welfare

Jeremy Corbyn on Everything . . .

I’ve not often sat to listen to political videos, but came across one on a post by  Beastrabban.

It’s an interview between Owen Jones and Jeremy Corbyn, and lasts around 45 minutes but, if you really want to know the thoughts and ideas of Jeremy Corbyn, then you should listen to it, and see what a difference he could make to us all.

Here’s the link to the interview through Owen Jone’s Youtube account, if you want to watch it directly:

Owen Jones Interviews Jeremy Corbyn

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Filed under Benefits, Budgets, Carers, Changes, Disability Issues, Economy, Government Spending, House Prices, Housing Benefits, Human Rights, Media, Politics, Private Sector, Proportional Representation, Welfare

Friday. A bottle of cordial and Gills tin of beans.  

At this time when there are too many people out there who consider a bottle of juice, or even a tin of beans, a luxury, everyone needs to examine what they want in the future, for our society.
Hopefully, a majority will think of the suffering happening every day, here in the UK, before they tick their box on the 8th of June!

The poor side of life

This is somewhat different to the usual weekly blog that I write. I don’t often write about events outside the weekly demo, to be honest I wasn’t sure that my readers would want to read it. But I thought I’d tell you anyway. Some might want to listen.

I was awoken quite early by a crank call, made by someone for reasons known only to themselves. They appeared to find it humorous to make fun of what we do, and the help that we give to people. Some people are very strange, and sadly this isn’t unusual its become par of the course. I don’t take it to heart and I did report it.

You see, in the over 3 1/2 years that I’ve been doing this I have encountered many negative things. Name calling, swearing, being told by G4S that they were going to knock myself and a friend…

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An open letter to anyone who claims to be voting Tory for the sake of their grandchildren . . .

I’ve just read the latest post from Another Angry Voice – a blog written by Thomas G. Clark, and felt I had to post a link to his words here, too.

An open letter to anyone who claims to be voting Tory for the sake of their grandchildren

His words are eloquent, and true, for everything that’s happening to the ordinary man, or woman, or child, in the UK right now.

He shows, point-by-point, how the Tories have been using their idealogically-driven austerity measures – taking even their own voters for a ride – purely to line their own, and their millionnaire friend’s pockets, and how they are totally trashing everything that our Democracy has ever built that is worthwhile, while making sure that we, the people actually paying their wages, are paying over, and over, and over again.

With the majority of our media outlets in the UK being so totally biased against anyone who wants more than the Tories think we deserve, it’s hard to get across the message that the Tories are killing us: they are killing our freedon to live life as we should be able to (especially if we are ill, poor, elderly, low-waged, or disabled), and they are doing their best to take away our Human Rights, too.

Please click on the link, and read Thomas Clark’s post and, once you have, please think very seriously about how you will soon vote in the General Election?

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Between December 2011 & February 2014, at least 2,380 sick and disabled people have died after losing their entitlement to sickness benefit, and being declared Fit for Work . . .

I’ve just read an email from the Britain Isn’t Eating Blog, and followed a link from there, to an article by the World Socialist Web Site, which tells us about the true figures of those who have died because of New Labour, the Tories, and the Liberal Democrat’s governmental Reforms.

It truly sickens me that they can see these sort of figures, which amount to roughly 90 people every month dying uneccessarily, and yet they still push forward for even more detrimental cuts!

It also sickens me that they refer to the money paid out to those unfortunate enough to be so ill/disabled as ‘Welfare‘ and  ‘Benefits‘, giving the British public the idea that this is a ‘something-for-nothing’ payment when, in fact, it should be referred to as Social Security, due to the fact that most of those claiming it have worked, or have family who do so, and have paid into the system –  a country-wide system that was set up to help those who got into difficulties either through ill health, accident, or disability!

Until the people of this country wake up, and tell the government ‘Enough!’, there will be even more deaths over the next few months, or even years – and shame on those who don’t question what is being done in their own names as, what the government seem to forever forget the minute they come into power, is that they are public servants, there to serve the British Public, not to lord it over us all, gathering as much wealth and power to themselves as they can, and leaving ever more families being driven into destitution and homelessness by their policies!

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Filed under Accident, Austerity, Benefits, Death, Disability, Disability Issues, DLA, DWP, ESA, Government Spending, Health Issues, Housing Benefits, Ill Health, Illness, Impoverishment, Murder, PIP, Politics, Rhetoric, Social Security, Welfare