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Showing posts from October, 2011

Another Fine Mess

So, as a consequence of August's unscheduled riots, the government, caught off guard by the notion the peasants might be revolting, has decided to tighten the noose further. Not content with locking up confused idiots for years on end and thus institutionalising them and putting them on course for a life of state dependency, they have now said that unemployed folk that don't pay court ordered fines (as one probably would if on benefits) now have to lose £25 a week direct from their benefits as a consequence. I thought such people, when fined, already had the little they had to pay (around a fiver a week at the moment) direct from their benefits anyway.
No word on whether this will also be extended, if only in principle, to people in similar situations that aren't unemployed. But then it's easier to bully those you pay directly I suppose. 60% of those rioting were not unemployed - not even half of those involved were 'scroungers', but that doesn't stop our st…

Thoughts on the BBC Programme (ongoing)

This is an open entry regarding the recent Future of Welfare programme presented by John Humphreys and broadcast on 27/10. I'm cautiously dipping into this programme, but it does warrant examination.

So I'm watching the sequence with our man as he goes to an Americanjobcentre. Here he seems surprised that the jobcentre would ask claimants to look for work as a condition of their benefit. But if he's been researching this for a year in the UK he'll know that's always been the case, not just in America, but here. So why is this 'foreign' process being sold as some welfare revolution? This is just spurious nonsense. Again with the idea that up until now there's been a sense of entitlement.
Well hang on, people pay taxes and make contributions are entitled to make a claim for JSA. Even then that doesn't guarantee their claim will succeed and, for as long as the claim runs, the individual must meet the requirements as notarised in the Jobseeker&…

God v. Scroungers

While I was trying to get home earlier and listening to Radio 2, there was a discussion about what Jesus would make of the protesters outside St Pauls. Some rancid old vicar and author came on to denounce the protesters in a pretty hysterical way. His entire argument seemed, as far as this piece is concerned, based on the idea that a) the protesters are all scroungers and layabouts (bollocks) and b) that such people shouldn't be allowed to protest. He was pretty adamant about this. In other words, protest - freedom of expression and dissent - are an economic right afforded only to those who 'pay their way'. That of course has some pretty interesting ramifications for the people in charge of our sick society. What an odious opinion. It just goes to show how far we have fallen. But the anti scrounger message is certainly alive and well.
I may get around to watching John Humphrys documentary on welfare on the iplayer, but that will have to wait until my sanity returns. I don&#…

Surprise! Appointment!

Signed on this morning. Had to see the woman I saw last time, I'm not sure what's happened to the person I normally see, but I have an appointment with her on Monday apparently. Nice of them to tell me this now and to have booked an appointment at a time I can't make due to transport. The signing itself went smoothly enough; they had given me a job to apply for below my agreed hours (20, the job was 16 which alone becomes difficult when you factor in bus costs at £7.50 a day) which I couldn't apply for. The job was with Asda (ugh - supermarkets are not conducive to my sanity) and the application process was online, only their site requires a compulsory mobile phone number entry. I don't have a mobile and even if I did I wouldn't feel comfortable letting them have it. Couldn't put a landline in as that was already input. Stupid.
Fortunately the JC weren't bothered. Too bad if they were, it's nothing I can do about it. I even emailed Asda and just got …

Humphry Dumpty

I was dismayed to learn that John Humprhies, the miserable old git from Radio 4 and Mastermind, is fronting another BBC hatchet job on welfare. I won't be watching. I can't be bothered (typical scrounger attitude, of course). I've had enough of all this. I'm not sleeping very well and I have to sign on this week and it requires I muster all my strength to deal with that. Seeing this will tip me over the edge I think.
So it looks like another call for the cutting of benefits. In this artificial age of Toryinspired (though certainly not Tory led) austerity they just will not let this go: it's clear this ghastly coalition would love to cut the welfare budget entirely. They are already taking credit for all of Labour's ghastly innovations (such as ESA - or specifically the WCA) and then blaming them for everything that has perceived to have gone wrong in recent years (despite the global nature of the economic disaster). Make no mistake this is how the Tories operate…

Right Wing Punditry

I grew up in a fairly conservative household, and to this day I have no idea what party my mother votes for (I fear that it's Tory as she is an avowed Mail reader - which is entirely her right, even though I abhor the rag). My father voted against them, yet unwittingly brought into all the right wing propaganda. As I grew up and became able to vote, and got interested in politics - or, specifically, social issues, I found myself opposing conservative values. I can't articulate my feelings in perhaps as detailed a fashion as the top pundits might like; I'm not a student of political history or economic trends. This blog is intended to speak of my experience, opinions and thoughts and people can take or leave that as they please. I have never voted Tory or right wing.
That said, I voted liberal during the last election. More fool me for believing them.
I say this because I feel that, as a human being living in society (aren't we all), it is a complete contradiction to thin…

It's That Time of the Year

Shops are advertising Christmas vacancies still. The jobcentre of course obliges. This post is to discuss whether it's worth it. Waterstones have a couple of 4 week jobs advertised, but I don't think I'm going to bother. No doubt that's the wrong attitude, but I don't care. I'm done in with all this nonsense. The Jobcentre just doesn't understand these things.
Working for a month will involve signing off for that period and, inevitably, signing back on right afterwards. You'll have a few quid spending money in your pocket for Christmas; that isn't an issue for me. You can't claim if you're working full time, but you will still need to find the money to meet your expenses (including bus fares which are exorbitant). The problem with this is something the JC has never been able to properly address. I've started work after signing off before where I've been promised financial support to help tide me over until you get paid only to be told…

Up For Hire final day, final word

So tonight’s show is basically ‘how to run a big company and be successful’. Okeydokey. To that end, and ignoring the pointless presence of radio 1 dj’s, James Khan is on hand to tell us all how great it is being filthy rich. He recommends the fine art of blagging, which is perfectly reasonable. But the bottom line is the bottom line: money. Can’t start a business without it and that’s the one thing no one can provide a surefire answer for. Not even existing small businesses can guarantee funding these days, despite the banking bailout.
Now the students are off to run large companies. Why? Fuck knows. They are going to spend a few days replacing the companies’ actual MD’s, because of course that’s what people get to do when they apply for jobs.Oh I’m tired. I don’t care what Sara Cox’s work ethic is (just for money). Who cares. It’s not relevant to me because her experience isn’t. And it gets better: the MD of fucking Gregg’s has appeared to offer 3 month contracts to 5 lucky people. Y…

Up For Hire day 3

I'm sure this is getting boring now. I'm sure that I'm coming across as a right little weasel; a lazy scrounger. Well I'm equally sure that's all true. But the thing is, I have a real issue with the way the issue of unemployment and it's satellite aspects are presented in the popular, or rather populist, media. I objected strongly to that awful Fairy Jobmother programme and I'm not really seeing much better in this.
The problem I have are the messages it sends out, explicitly or implicitly. The audience is predominantly young and successful - other than the actual guests and participants the audience are all successful young entrepreneurs. Well that's great, but we can't all be businessmen, nor I believe should we. So what we get are a load of glib statements and platitudes as advice: 'you've just got to get off your arse and do it'. But that tells me nothing. Unemployment, like most social issues, is in fact complex because it affects ea…

Up For Hire day 2

I gather this programme/event (provided you can get to the BBC studios of course, it's not a nationwide thing) runs every night on BBC 3 until Thursday. Here are some notes I made watching last night. I will do the same tonight.
Guests include Katie fucking Hopkins, apprentice loser and famed for being duplicitous and manipulative. A failed electoral candidate as well. Great role model. Somehow she stood as a local candidate in either the last election or last local election. The delightful Miss Hopkins didn't do well. But sadly that hasn't stopped her turning up like a bad penny on talking head panels to air her ridiculous Thatcherite generalisations as she did last night. At one point she even sprang to her feet as if possessed by the Iron Lady herself to hector the audience. But the question is: what does she do? I don't even remember her saying what she did while on the Apprentice except to say she had a gold card or some such useless bollocks.
Richard Bacon propagat…

WCA Changes

I have just come across this.

If this is going to be made law then by god we are in the mire. This subtle rule change will make it all but impossible for people to appeal any WCA decision, fair or otherwise. The right to appeal seems to me a basic right. How can this be even considered? It's utterly inhumane. But the reasons for it are obvious and it's right up the ideological alley of the slaphead twins at the DWP.

How much more are people to going to have to see before they realise just how evil this government is? People dependent on ESA for a living will of course have no choice but to forego an appeal (assuming that you can't claim JSA in the meantime - even that will be problematic as you will have to be fit and able to work and by so doing will tacitly be admitting such).

This is monstrous and we must spread the word.

Up For Hire

(WARNING: I may edit this post as I see fit because my thoughts on this issue will develop and evolve, but I wanted to get something down before I lost interest.)
I chanced upon this last night by innocently flicking over to BBC3. This awful programme, ostensibly providing 'advice' and discussing student/post-grad unemployment, really wound me up. All it seemed to consist of was a competition to see who had the most and crappiest job history, including contributions from 'famous' people, including some Scottish woman that runs a knickers company (something we can all do, I'm sure), and Frankenstein's own drag act, comedian Russell Kane. What is he going to teach me, the need to achingly follow superficial concepts of appearance? That's great, but I don't want to wear mascara. The whole affair was hosted by Richard Bacon whose delivery is just awful; it's like listening to a stalling plane.
The programme featured 4 young people at least 3 were students…

Monday Musings, Oh My!

A debate on 5Live has just wound me up - again. I don't really know why I listen to Nicky Campbell's half arsed breakfast 'discussion' since it is conducive to neither. Most of the time (ie, all the time) it is a series of meaningless unhelpful anecdotes contributed by professional curtain twitchers. The sort of people the government wants to encourage as the Big Society to rat on their neighbours out of a sense of envy (rather than actual evidence of benefit fraud or terrorism).
Yet again Peter Hitchens, one of the regular cabal of contributors wheeled in to foster 'robust' debate by talking shit, declares he knows best. The discussion is about whether or not there is poverty in Britain. As if there's a question of this with people dependent on increasingly dwindling welfare payments and food parcels as well as facing mass eviction resulting from housing benefit caps. But of course Hitchens knows best by comparing the lot of modern Britons, with our technol…

Hate Mail

Signed on this morning. The adviser wasn't present today so it was converted to a 'regular' (as if there's a difference) signing. Unfortunately I got the pedantic middle aged woman that I don't enjoy seeing. She isn't particularly unpleasant, but just a bit too pedantic: the sort that makes things just that bit more hard work than is ever necessary. I'm greeted by her pulling out a piece of paper that seems to confuse her and affords her the opportunity to screw up her face - something she does a lot, as if she's perpetually surrounded by a bad smell.
Turns out that Tesco didn't like my email address (not the one attached to this site, my much much older hotmail account that I use for casual mail - and job applications). Now that email address isn't offensive, it's from a lyric "emissary of the crystal who makes the sign of the serpent". I just like the song, and I prefer my email addresses to have a bit of imagination, rather than …

The Gravy Train

Went to the doctor (as the song goes...) yesterday. Stress levels and anxiety are increased since last week. It's hard for people to understand; the sense of pervasive dread dealing with the welfare system and living in this increasingly hate filled society. It clouds your mind. That's how I feel; like a fog in my head all the time. You can't think clearly - specifically you can't think beyond a single issue that fills your consciousness. It's not conducive to a healthy state of being. A general feeling of being on the edge; of not being able to cope. How is the Work Programme supposed to help with this? I explained it all to the GP in a way that I think he might be starting to get, though he can't do anything. I'm still waiting on an asperger's diagnosis. Getting these things done is key to getting help because the system is all about ticking the box to open up doors.
I have to sign on this Friday. It's that time again. The dread is starting to buil…

To the Dogs

I actually had the opportunity to apologise to that 'gentleman' I had the misfortune to encounter the other day. I'm not too proud to apologise, though quite frankly I felt I was apologising for far more than I deserved to. He wasn't terribly interested; just said 'don't worry about it' and walked on. Obviously me hoping he might bother to reciprocate given his appalling abusive and aggressive attitude was too much to ask, but that's no reason for me not to behave properly - or at least try to. The only thing I really had to apologise for was not walking away. In the words of the immortal Bill Hicks: "if it's a piece of shit, walk away". Nuff said. Sometimes though situations just trigger a well of frustration within, and that's what happened. I lost the plot. Sadly that patch of ground is well trodden by irresponsible dog walkers who variously let their dogs run riot regardless of other people and just shit all over it. It's also …

Gone to the Dogs (now with added cussing)

Warning: this is a self indulgent narcissistic rant and a lesson in self control, even if the other guy was a prize twat. You've always got to make allowances for twats because you just can't second guess their behaviour...

Went for a cycle down the lanes/cycle path after dinner. It's a little habit I have while the weather is pleasant and the nights aren't too long. Helps me think.
Unfortunately that particular lane, for a while, has been used as a toilet for many of the dogs walked by inconsiderate owners, despite a campaign to draw attention to it's unpleasantness (as if you'd need such things). There's also a lot of vandalism that goes on up there which I cannot explain: some people are just hellbent on shitting on their own doorsteps - and so are their dogs.
Anyway this one guy walks past while I stop to have a ponder. At this point I suspect he has a dog with him, though I can't quite see. He walks past, no problem. I don't see a dog until the ti…

On and on it goes

This piece from the Guardian yet again highlights yet again the increased pressure on people with nothing. When will this endless hatred change? When are the poor ever going to get their chance? For god's sake, at what point will this vile crusade end? We already have people killing themselves thanks to ATOS. Now some right wing 'think' tank puts forward again the lie that welfare is all about a 'poisonous' something for nothing system. These idiots wouldn't know reality if it shook them by the hand. We've had riots, we've got no growth, we've got unemployment rising - still, and the genius minds at the Policy Exchange want to tell the unemployed they must do MORE for their pittance allowance. Apparently looking in newspapers shouldn't count as searching for a job for the purpose of fulfilling the JSAg. Good advice guys: now people won't even bother.
What do these cunts want us to do? What does count as looking for work? They of course don…