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First World, Worst World

The last couple of weeks, for the welfare community - specifically the sick - has certainly been tumultuous. The government has resorted to shenanigans with Lord Fraud (that's David Freud for those who, blissfully do not know) pulling a late night stunt to get his amendments through after the rest of the Lords sending his bill back to the Commons. Not content with such inconveniences as democracy, IDS and his sloth faced manservant (the Igor to IDS' Frankenstein) have used some new trick called 'financial privilege' to get the bill through - 'It's alive'! I'm led to believe this means that the Lords cannot intervene further. The government won the vote and the rest of us have lost out.


What more evidence do people need that this government, this so-called coalition, is not for the people, but for the rich. The truth of the old adage that says government should fear it's people couldn't be more in demand here. I certainly fear this government.


More evidence you cry? How about pasty faced treasury bullshit artist Danny Alexander signing off the chief of the Student Loans Company's tax arrangements (all legal of course, I'm not suggesting there's any law breaking m'ludd)? Another libdem that's gone from hero to zero; Alexander was once quite vocal in his condemnation of the Work Capability Assessment. How things change; now he's batting for a government that's waging unconditional war on the vulnerable, poor, bewildered and sick. Clegg himself pledges he will put and end to the tuition fees and then when his lot get into power not only do they treble them but Mr Alexander decides it's acceptable to allow Mr Student Loans to avoid paying tax!


Watching this government is like watching Tory X Factor: with the libdems trying their best to appeal to their tory masters to progress further in the competition. The winner is the person that's responsible for kicking away the most crutches, turfing the most families out of their homes, and making the most misery in communities up and down the country.


We are too complacent in this country. I've had lots to say over the last couple of weeks, but my ire has prevented me from organising my thoughts coherently. People don't see the reality of what's going on; even when you spell it out for them. They simply cannot process that, in a wealthy first world industrial success story such as Britain, people can be poor, or hard done by. It must be that people are the architects of their own misfortune: lazy or indolent - that even sickness is a result of some karmic debt owed to such qualities further up the family tree. There are plenty of jobs, we are told, if only the lazy would rise up out of their sick beds and take them. Then they'd feel better: claimant, heal thyself!


Of course the media is complicit in this: i couldn't bear to watch Question Time last night (how middle class of me, but it's a guilty pleasure): accompanying the token government mouthpiece (in this case Alan Duncan) was Lord Pigby Jones, CBI spin doctor and apologist for tax avoidance, and the leader of the Taxpayers Alliance, themselves a tory front. Opposing them was one forgettable Labour politician and the writer of Brookside whose politics I'm unfamiliar with. Where will it end? Last week with Any Questions we had David Blunkett bashing the poor and talking about how people on benefits should be taxed. Didn't bother to mention his financial links to A4E.


We've gone from toxic debts to toxic nation. Hate crime is on the increase. Is it any wonder with the climate of fear and resentment the government and the right wing media has programmed into us? When Cameron appears addressing a working class shop floor and specifically tells them how the unemployed are taking them for a ride. When he talks about how working people should be angry when they see their neighbour's curtains are closed (because that's evidence of fecklessness right there!). Never mind that people should know more about their neighbours - or just get a fucking life and stop being so prurient.


My date with fate has been announced: the first Friday in march, when I sign on, will be my referral to the Work Programme; a full year since the claim first opened. I do not know what will happen, but I'm not expecting miracles: despite all the taxpayers money the government is happy to hand over to the unemployment gravy train, these organisations, which consist mostly of pr types and script reading consultants, have no means to create work, just to feed off the current situation.


My Work Psychologist has no answers (even though she changes her story every time I talk to her). I'm still waiting for her to assess the test I had a month ago. Initially this test was to see if I had Aspergers and that the results, if that were the case, could be taken to the official body to rubber stamp an official diagnosis (no it doesn't make much sense, but neither does she). After the test was complete she tells me that she isn't qualified to test for Aspergers and so thinks I have Attention Deficit Disorder. This isn't unreasonable and in fact is quite plausible as she is also correct to say that there are other 'neuro diverse' conditions that might apply, not just and possibly instead of Aspergers. I don't know. I also ask her what I'm to do with this diagnosis of ADD, should that be the result, and she seems to suggest it's to 'help me decide what to do with my life'. Seems to me she's just another government paid timewaster. She's friendly enough, but in terms of offering help or support - particularly as a psychologist - she's nothing more than a careers advisor quite frankly. Even then she can't seem to offer any advice. I really don't see the point of her frankly, she has offered nothing.


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I Fucking Hate the Work Programme

That did not go well.
My legs were wobbly to begin with as I closed in on the church that passes for the office of the employment wing of the Salvation Army. My appointment was 3 to half past. I really did feel sick. Pretty early on, when he asked for the forms he gave me last time to fill in, I knew that what was arranged on the letter (a short interview with me bringing my CV and jobsearch) was actually going to be much longer. I also knew that, come half three when I had to leave to catch my bus back ten minutes later, I was going to have problems. 
Unfortunately, though more for me I fear, it never got that far; at 20 past he terminated the interview citing my apparent 'putting up barriers' as the reason not to continue. This was because I refused consent for him to keep my CV. I asked why he needed it and offered, three times, to show it to him (that's all), he said it was to apply for jobs on my behalf. The EEC's need this information.
What's an EEC? Employm…

Anybody Out There?

Just so I can be sure this is being read at all and decide whether it's worth continuing, please shout out in the comments. Even if you think I'm talking barmy bollocks, it'd be helpful to know if there are people reading this and not weird bots from phishing sites or Russian hackers or some weird sentient algorithm.

Apologies if you are none of those things, but I'm considering what to do with this blog.

Thanks

ADD

Thursday today (unless time has confused me again!), the day between yesterday's appointment with The Psychologist, and signing on tomorrow. A brief oasis for me to discuss said appointment as it was a test for 'neurodiverse tendencies'. I think that's the best way of putting it; it's all a bit vague really. When I first saw The Psychologist I mentioned that I was in the process of trying to get a diagnosis for Aspergers to which she replied she could do a test that, while not an official diagnosis, could count towards one - or something. Something official anyway, though bizarrely after the test was completed (took a couple of hours) she said she wasn't trained for Aspergers specifically.

The test itself was a kind of Krypton Factor lite (sans exercise course): a mix of recall, pattern recognition, problem solving, and questionnaire. I was asked to arrange coloured blocks into a prescribed pattern, to spot what was missing from a series of pictures, to guess fr…