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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.
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I Hate James Bartholomew

Know the Tory mindset: according to these creatures welfare breeds dependency. Meanwhile they do not want to set a minimum wage, they do not want to create legislation to protect the un - and under - employed from the predations of the system they benefit from. That word is chosen deliberately, because they like benefits for themselves - the ability to sack whom they like, when they like and how they like. In this UKIP are the same. This is the febrile heart of the right wing.
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Still Going

I started this blog thinking I could do something useful, provide some decent citizen journalism, or at the very least offer something credible for, at the risk of stroking my own ego, posterity. But in truth I have found it very difficult to keep up with my own standards. This is true of all the writing I engage in. It isn't that I don't enjoy it, or that I don't know how (YMMV), but that I just struggle to maintain the concentration. This is part of the problem, mental health-wise, that I have tried to address in recent years; all to no avail. Unfortunately it is simply perceived as an excuse by our society. In response to that, I offer none. I am what I am, and if that means I'm lazy then lazy I must be.

I was due to have a WCA on the 7th; instead I rang and said I couldn't go through with it and that they could pursue whatever consequences they saw fit. Curiously they offered me the opportunity to postpone the interview, which I did, though I'm not sure why…