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Showing posts from January, 2013

Return of Delboy the Tory

I am fucking incandescent.

This morning, the BBC, the biased bullshit cronies, gave this fat cunt ANOTHER half an hour of free airtime on national media. This time it was a second dance with the useless skin-hogger Nicky Campbell on his laughable radio show. Half an hour, between 9-930am, to go, almost unchallenged, with his stupid half baked crock of shit idea. Half an hour to spout more hysterical anti-welfare crap including: labour fostered a 'culture of entitlement' (a phrase that is never defined let alone challenged), and labour engineered the welfare system for votes. Repeatedly these insane comments were allowed through unchallenged. Completely fucking unchallenged.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Call after call from idiots that fall for this anti-welfare claptrap paraded on to spout more bigotry and unfounded prejudice. All of it completely unchallenged. Not once did that fucking idiot Campbell bother to correct the stream of lies spewing forth on his watch…

Delboy the Tory

Last night's Panorama investigated the twilight world of disability vs. the Work Programme. For those of us in the know it merely confirmed what we already knew: a culture of incompetence, bullying, and disinterest from the providers. The parking of hard to reach clients, and the use of smaller, local, charities (such as, I'm guessing, the Salvation Army) as bid candy - some of whom are not even aware they've been used! Faced with all this, Mark Hoban, the (un)employment minister, decided to equivocate; no surprise there. The programme mentioned the difference in fees that providers could claim, at each stage (referral, placement, and overall success), for able/disabled claimants. Consequently I'm now beginning to see why, if you'll excuse the paranoia, the Salvation Army were keen to say I should go on ESA and that they couldn't help me, in respect of the issues they know I have, otherwise - they get more money. Or would if they were actually able to help. Go…

In Partnership

A GP (not my usual GP, because getting appointments with him is next to impossible) recommended I see a local service provider called Positive Step when I tald them about anxiety. Positive Step deal in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, that's their stock in trade. I have actually seen them before and frankly didn't really find it particularly helpful. I'm not knocking it, but CBT seemed to require a particular level of awareness that isn't commensurate with stress. In fact developing that clarity of thinking is half the problem, so it didn't work for me. The service is delivered in a specific way with no real on going support: I used their online provision. The alternative is a classroom environment that was not practical because of location (nothing local). 
I decided to go with the GP's recommendation more to avoid being seen as refusing help, but I don't mind trying it again maybe it will be a bit different. When an appointment will become available is anoth…

Compare and Divide

This story in the Guardian presents another ridiculous example of the mistreatment of the disabled. I mention it for a couple of reasons, but mainly because it leaves me thinking "what chance do I have?" and leaves me questioning what I'm trying to achieve. 
I've been told by the WP that I'm on the wrong benefit and that, were i to claim ESA, I'd have access to more support (if and when that materialises). Consequently my GP has agreed. But compared to Mr Douglas I don't stand a chance. If someone injured in a warzone is getting his support curtailed (and I'm not exactly sure what he's being denied as it's not entirely clear, I think it's DLA) then someone like me, with much milder problems, doesn't stand a cat in hell's chance - and that's before you factor in the serving soldier aspect which is of course an emotive issue at the best of times (and that isn't meant pejoratively either).
I have always tried to be clear, in e…

Howay The Lads

Over the past few days I've watched a couple of documentaries that show me a world I do not understand and have never understood. The first was a programme about drugs with a bunhc of 19/20 year old urban partygoers who all took drugs like Ketamine and MKat (which I believe is what the call meow meow) and something else called GHB. The second was an episode of a fairly ludicrous 'documentary' about kids of the same age going to the Balearic's or similar destinations called 'Sun Sea Sex and Suspicious Parents'. 
I just don't get the worlds I'm watching. I don't recognise these people, in myself at that age, or the lives they live. I've never been to any of these rather sordid looking holiday destination, I can barely hold my drink, and I don't do drugs. I guess I must be one of the most boring people that ever lived, certainly to people like this.
That's not to say I've never tried drugs. Like most people I've 'inhaled' o…


This week, runt of the royal litter and prince not-in-waiting, Harry Windsor talked to the media about his heroic efforts flying an expensive armed toy around a desperate theatre of war. The same Harry vaught cavorting around an expensive Las Vegas hotel in the buff (and presumably enjoying it), and dressing up in Nazi regalia for an equally enjoyable and probably expensive party. The same Harry, like the rest of these photogenic aristocrats, always caught in some luxurious sun trap with a nice piece of posh arm candy. Oh life is tough on the front line!
I'm not defending the media. In my view 99% of our media - the world's media, frankly - is scum. But I'm sure there are worse things than being caught in the buff and plastered on the front page of the press. Is it really fair to blame them when it's you doing that stuff in the first place? Or is it bitterness over the death of his mother - and even though chasing around people with cameras is a desperate and sad act …


IDS' ideology is bizarre - assuming he isn't dangerously psychotic. This is penny pinching of the most venal and odious kind: kicking people off ESA to save a few quid a week and forcing them to claim JSA. Of course it's more than a few quid, it's all the associated benefits that might be claimed as well. These are all immediately curtailed once ESA is stopped. At best the claimant then has to initiate a brand new claim, for JSA at least, and wait until all that is sorted out, putting further strain on the system. At least until Universal Credit takes over, which I'm sure will be even worse.

His rhetoric seems to suggest that what people need is to have their benefits stripped. As if there is some causal link between having no income and getting a job, when in all likelihood having even less (ie zero) money will impede the ability to find work even more. This is convenient of course because it allows the government to save money. How fortunate!

The right wing argum…

HMV and Sympathy

Retail results for Christmas are underwhelming and the high street is on it's knees. This week HMV, which has long been in trouble, and Blockbusters have gone into administration. I suspect that the former, at least, will survive. Ironically the eponymous video GAME retailer, itself in trouble almost this time last year, is considering buying them out. Even more ironically last time I was in town HMV - two doors down from what was Gamestation (now fully rebranded by their parent company GAME) - were advertising their superior trade in offers for video games. How the mighty have fallen?
For several months HMV has been in the danger zone, yet you wouldn't know it to look at them. Their shops gave no indication of problems; nothing was reduced in price, the shelves were not empty and they were even trading in any old cd/dvd for a £ a piece in some bizarre bid to capitalise on the second hand market. End result, they had a bargain rack full of second hand tat no one in their righ…

Tea and Sympathy?

That was not as painful as I had anticipated.
But before I got there, and even until I spoke to the person I was to see, the manager, it was terrifying. I stood at the door for a few seconds before entering and felt like i was going to puke up my own beating heart. Even when I stepped inside I could still hear the ominous tones of my favourite adviser, from within the churhc hall itself, fortunately out of sight. I imagined him sat on the stage as some grand overseer, playing pandemonium on a church organ and conducting the affairs of the few jobseekers (presumably) within. 
There was about 5 people in the place, which meant there was no room at all for me, never mind the possibility of having a private discussion. They were sat around laptops connected to the web (so the place at least has Internet access). I couldn't really see what they were browsing, I thought they might all be mind linked to Universal Jobmatch. Once again the environment was totally unsuitable, there's n…

How I View The Work Programme

Dread, it seems to pervade my life in dealing with this new order. Dreading appointments, dreading being given appointments, dreading travelling to appointments, dreading having to wait an hour in the cold for the next bus home after the appointment, dreading whether my benefit will be stopped, dreading whether i have to do this or that. This is what the DWP brings out in me and it's completely beyond their remit of help and assistance.
I don't feel I can deal with the Salvation Army any more, but I have to. 
The problem is that appointments with my adviser, all 2 of them, do not comprise a meeting of equals in an atmosphere of support and compassion. They consist of suspicion and expectation; they are punitive. It seems beyond them to ask "is this person suffering? does this person need proper help? what can we do?". Instead it's "you are making excuses, why?", it seeks to chastise. 
When I speak to my adviser I don't feel I can be honest and open…

Positive Outcome or Positive Image?

On Twitter, using the Work Programme hashtag, you'll often find various providers advertising their success stories. This is just such a one, from Serco, who are one of the bigger sharks in this swimming pool. 
I can't verify or dispute any aspect of this story. Nor would I seek to denigrate what the subject involved has achieved. That's not the point of this post. If she feels she has been helped and is moving forward then good luck to her. I don't know any of these people involved, nor have I ever dealt with Serco, but I just cannot help but get a negative vibe from reading it.
So we have someone that's been out of work for a while and has apparently got low confidence and self esteem. That's something the Work Programme is very quick to say about its customers. What worries me is that becomes an easy trigger for them; just decide someone needs 'confidence bulding' and you can call in all the weird devices or procedures and bring them to bear. Of cou…

The Cat's Mother

She rang me today. Who's that, your fancy woman? No such luck, I refer of course to the Salvation Army head honcho I will be seeing on Monday. As you can imagine I am looking forward to this appointment wholeheartedly. I can't wait to have a one way conversation with an organisation that doesn't understand, seems institutionally unable to help, and insists on using completely inappropriate facilities. If I'm extra lucky then bully boy adviser, who works at the same venue on the same day, will also be there (I'm not actually sure that isn't going to be the case, but if it is then I'll not be staying). Isn't sarcasm great.
She called to ask me if I was ok with her manager not also being present. Er, what? I don't remember that being part of the deal, Lord Vader! Perhaps then it's just as well he won't be. I saw no point in changing the appointment or arguing the toss either way. 
Maybe I should be more positive about this. Perhaps I will be l…

Quids In, Kids Out

Some good news. My claim has been approved. So for now at least I can claim ESA. Now I will have to fill in that ESA50 form and send it to them (at the last minute of course), so I should be good until at least the end of February, depending on how long they take in processing that form and getting back to me about an appointment. Last time they wrote back saying you need to book an appointment within a fortnight of receiving the letter, give or take a couple of days. I would assume that hasn't changed. Don't know when the money will clear into my account, hopefully tomorrow as the letter is dated the 3rd, which is last Thursday. 
So thanks to the people that have written nice things in the course of waiting for all of this. I'm glad it got sorted reasonably quickly, though there really has to be a better system than all of this. The benefit (pre assessment) is no different than what you get on JSA; considering ESA is employment support you'd think the two would be mo…

The Bulging Mailbox

This is being recorded live! (No it doesn't make sense.)
Just been for my morning constitutional (to quote an old GP of mine): a walk through the mud after breakfast, in the country and the fresh air. What do I find on my doormat waiting for me: 3 brown envelopes and one white envelope. The latter is from ATOS and I've just opened it; they don't waste any time! I've already been given an ESA50 form to return by the end of this month.
This must mean these other three envelopes contain good news about my ESA claim, though I wince as I'm typing. Never get your hopes up, not with the DWP! Though to be fair, in the past, the processing people have always been decent. It's the rest of them that I've had problems with. Let's find out...oh it's like Christmas all over again!
First envelope contains that p45 the ESA form wanted. Hope that's not a problem otherwise why send it to me!
Second envelope tells me my JSA claim has ended. Ok, I knew that.
God m…