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Where is the change?

What is happening? Over the weekend I've been overloaded with negativity from the press. I feel punch drunk. Last year the Occupy movement was beginning to blossom. This year it's all but gutted. Where is the change? All the seems to exist are fringe activists who either bicker amongst themselves or believe rabid conspiracy/racist (ie anti semitic) rubbish? I've watched a bevy of youtube clips of people who claim to be free men on the land; people that think the law doesn't apply to them when it comes to driving without proper registration or insurance. People that have no idea of the law who often end up in the nick or espousing other rabid conspiraloon views, like 911 was an inside job. I don't want anything to do with crazy views, yet who else is providing an alternative, something - anything? I want truth, I want honesty. I can't function without it.

It began with the news that the government is going to be introducing a mandatory 35 hour a week jobsearch requirement off the back of its new job website. So it seems that claimants, perhaps even before Universal Credit launches, will have to register onto a website and submit all their personal details so their 35 hour requirement can be monitored and recorded. This is found in the jsa-draft-regs-2012-memorandum (no link sorry):

"18. We expect claimants to do all they reasonably can to give themselves the best
prospects of moving into work. In line with this, in order to be treated as meeting
the work search requirement, we propose that claimants are expected to have
spent 35 hours a week (or their number of hours, if less, as agreed by the
Secretary of State) looking or preparing for work. Claimants are required to spend
their expected hours of work engaged in work-search with deductions for the time
a claimant spends improving their employability by:

carrying out paid work
carrying out voluntary work (for up to 50 per cent of their expected hours of
work search)
carrying out a work preparation requirement."

I don't know when this is due to come online; whether it's part of the Jobmatch project or whether it's going to be part of the Universal Credit regime. I find it pays to assume the worst with the DWP.

How the fuck are people going to do this? Even if you lived in a bustling metropolis with state of the art Internet access and a reasonably good pc you'd struggle to fulfil this in any meaningful way. Never mind if you live in the middle of the countryside and only have access to the Internet, and health issues that make looking on these often piss poorly designed sites a fucking nightmare. 

I spent Friday evening (as I do every evening) looking on the DWP website and something snapped. We all know that site is a load of poorly designed shit, but for someone that has ADD or similar (and doesn't read off of screens very well - i have to write this on over sized text and it takes me fucking ages) it's horrendous. After about 30 minutes I just couldn't take it anymore. I don't expect this to make any sense to anyone nor to even be believed - these days any excuse is seen as scrounging so why bother. But if I had to do this for 7 hours a day I'd jump off a cliff! And to do it every weekday at least! This just goes to show how out of touch these people are; they don't consider anything other than 'people out of work should work, ergo jobsearching should equate to a full time job', which is a fundamentally flawed premise, yet one they've used to design policy. A lot of people will fail this and I suspect even front line staff will struggle. I can't imagine most Work Programme providers will offer 7 hours a day every day jobsearch to all their claimants, but I guess the DWP expects that's what they will do (it will certainly increase the costs of running the Work Programme).

Then we get Gategate - the Andrew Mitchell affair. 

What a squalid little man. He has some history behaving like a tyrant (he is a Tory after all; the sense of self importance is inbred). Now I wouldn't care about someone losing their temper and swearing, I do it often enough. But when this government is happy to lock up kids as it did last year for the exact same thing, then I have a problem. Yet again we aren't in it together; it's another case of 'do as we say not as we do', even though Boris Johnson thinks people that abuse the police should be incarcerated.

And for the libdems sorry seems to be the easiest word to say. Yet I notice that he isnt' apologising for failing a decent pledge, he's apologising for having made it in the first place. Great stuff. Not only that, but his apology is delivered with dreadful acting and complete insincerity. He isn't just false, he's pathetic. It's a facile laughable performance like an amateur actor with no clue as to his lack of talent. That he's happy for a parody version to be released 'for charity' just shows how stupid he is. It's all a bit of a hoot. No, Nick, we're laughing at you, and we're doing so because you and your cabal of supine liars have singularly enabled the Tories to decimate the country.

Just this morning I get an email from 38 degrees telling me about impending local NHS privatisation with the forming of a CCG to replace, presumably the PCT. Virgin have already got the go ahead to provide child care locally. This is unacceptable to me, completely unacceptable. When it reaches your local services then it really starts to hit home just how serious this is, but what power do we have? Where was the opposition when we needed it? Where were you then Clegg? 

It's a real struggle right now. I hope I'm not the only one. I just feel so powerless against this awful government. Have a look at this; it's a fantastic video but it leaves a sour taste. Not because of the genius of the UKUncutters involved, I take my hat off to them totally, but that the venal cunts they are mocking just don't care. They don't care, in fact they are happy to regard the protesters as trespassing scum, looking down on them with naked contempt. A bunch of toffs including Britain's top tax avoidance expert who's being toasted on the eve of his retirement all enjoying a nice expensive meal in a large manor estate; the kind of food and lodging the rest of us will never see the inside of (except through the lens of a UK Uncut camera). This is wrong, so very deeply wrong. These people just don't care!

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