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The State of Services

So it appears that 1in4, a mental health support service I used briefly last year and have mentioned (not always favourably), is among the latest victims of austerity, along with Second Step, who are primarily a housing association. They were never very helpful in my experience, but they don't really provide services pertinent to my needs. Emblematic of these destructive decisions (regardless of my opinion of the services) is that neither have updated their websites to report on this turn of events at this time.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs, to say the least. No alternatives seem to be forthcoming. From what I have gleaned, the attitude of the (Tory) council is that they don't want such people as would be service users in this leafy green shire. This is for the posh and the perfect. Nearby Bristol is where we 'should' go, but of course without being a resident that's impossible. Services do not extend beyond the city limits, even though Avon Wiltshire Men…
Recent posts

The Return of Everyday Crapitalism - Bus Fares vs reality

It is certainly truth that the poorer you are, in our supposedly technological society, the less flexible life becomes. While the rich spend relatively less in our economy. It is thus the poor that drive it, while receiving less support to be able to survive.

Case in point, and another example of what I amusingly call "everyday capitalism", our local bus service, within the region it operates, offers three tickets for day journeys within certain boundaries. I can go to X with ticket number 1, go to Y with ticket number 2, or I can go to both within the same day with ticket number 3. Each ticket is not so dissimilar that they are easy to tell apart and thus easy to avoid making the mistake I did today by purchasing number 1 and not number 3. As there is no way to rectify this error, for which I accept some responsibility (insert smileyface), I'm stuck.

It's not a big deal, as the journey I was to make later doesn't involve life or death, just the on opportunity I …

More of the Same Old Bullshit

The nonsense with the social enterprise continues. I don't know what the correct title for these sorts of agencies is if not social enterprise so that will have to do.

Honestly, it just wears me down. I went to a meeting held by another grassroots mental health group. They are called Clarity and while they seem very nice (if a little standoffish, but I guess we've all got problems to be dealing with :( ). Unfortunately they were less a support group and more a campaign group. What's unfortunate about that is that I need the former more right now. Campaigning is certainly important and what I heard from the representative of the, I suppose, 'social enterprise sector' present was rather depressing. In short, because this is a Tory area, there are massive cuts to services voted for en masse by the local, dominant, Tory rump who reuse to accept mental health is a problem here (and could the local mental health peeps kindly fuck off to Bristol).

For me, right now, I nee…

Staring into the Mirror

It is pretty clear that the recent horrific weather (the worst I've ever seen, take note climate change deniers) has put the appalling situation of homelessness to the fore. Unfortunately the deaths of rough sleepers has done little to melt the frozen bank accounts that pass for hearts in the Tory body politic.

In other words: they don't give a damn.

Let's just take a moment to think about what that means: citizens of this society are being allowed to freeze to death on the streets and nothing is done.

When the Russians allegedly (I don't want to be poisoned!) murder a spy on the streets of Britain, the Tories convene emergency meetings.

When people actually die, murdered by capitalism, on the streets of Britain, the Tories give themselves a pay rise.

And make no mistake this is a problem of capitalism. We have the facilities, the talent, and, in some cases, the desire, to end this. There are properties people can live in, but instead they are earmarked for the super r…

Power 2

I'm not sure if this is the last word in the sorry saga of the service user, but it's been about 6 weeks since I had any contact with my adviser. I emailed her boss on Monday to try and find out what was going on. Apparently she (my adviser) didn't receive my emails. I find that hard to believe; there has been no indication mail didn't get sent properly and it's a little too convenient but, as they say, we are where we are.

So I ended up having a conversation on the phone with the boss. I cannot say that I feel good about it all. In fact I feel as if I've had the proverbial rug pulled from beneath me; that I've been subject to the old bait and switch tactic.

When I first started with these people, as anyone that's read these blogs will attest, I felt pretty positive about it. There was no conditionality attached, and, it seemed, no hidden agendas. Now, I'm not so sure. Two things seem to have changed: firstly there is conditionality they just didn&#…

Power

So we can see just how power works, and it is never a good thing.

A "hand up" not a "hand out"; in other words we can pay to print a CV or the cost of a stamp, but to feed yourself? Have a life? Enjoy a few nice things? No chance. Who gets to decide for me what I can or can't have? It seems the inheritors of wealth who through privilege get to make policy, enforced through monopolised violence, for the rest of us.

This model seems to be exactly how social enterprises work; the charities and agencies that profess to help the poor, the unemployed, and the sick. This includes schemes dreamt up by the government, or any wannabe philanthropist who claims to have a conscience. The Work Programme is no different.

Ultimately they all end up the same. Sooner or later you reach the limit of what they have to offer. It isn't very difficult, but the result is never positive. It is always an exercise in victim blaming. We can't help you - even though in many cases t…

Same Old Bullshit

Since last Summer, as I've mentioned a few times, I've been 'working' with another social enterprise, this one is called Team North Somerset. I didn't mention them before because, fuck it I am now. I don't know what else to call these sorts of organisations but social enterprises, they aren't strictly speaking charities, as far as I can tell, but they are not government agencies, like the DWP.

I say have been working; that should probably be past tense because this relationship looks like it's going to go the same way as my experience with all the rest - including the professional liars at the Salvation Army on the Work Programme back in the day.

Of course they will say it's all my fault - that I'm not engaging - but it's just the same old victim blaming narrative and an easy excuse to get rid of someone that isn't giving them the results they need for funding, or whatever. In this case they have lottery funding so that shouldn't - a…