Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2014

Dying To Work

It seems cancer with a 3 month life expectancy is no barrier to the scumbags at the DWP. Dying is to be regarded as no real inconvenience to the determined jobseeker, thanks to these idiots.

And to round it off, there's a jobcentre adviser in Britain happy to tell someone, 23 weeks into their pregnancy, they are being sanctioned. All for telling a prospective employer at a jobs fair they are pregnant (as if they could forever hide the fact).

Welcome to Britain 2014.

Even Nature Can't Escape Cuts

The cuts seem never ending with the perennial promise of more, just in case we step out of line. 
Perhaps it's a sign of the times that I, out walking, find that the local council are happy to waste money on cuts that have acutely saddened me. I'm not talking about anything life threatening here, not the reduction of support to people that need it (as seems to be the case ongoing in the UK), but instead a countryside path/cycle route/bridleway. 
The council have sent in a maintenance team to basically cut the hedges/verges and treeline to nothing. First world problems certainly, but it's just sad to see such small minded attitudes. Granted this region isn't the Amazon or the Masai Mara, it's still nature. It's wild and it should be free. But instead council jobsworths with money that could be much better spent just to make sure some leaves don't land in the wrong place.
Unfortunately this area is also rich in wildlife; it has everything from birds and adde…

Not Much Help

So the Work Psychologist tried to speak to the asperger diagnostic person, but to no avail. That ends a five month diagnostic process ending in failure; a process that is deeply flawed when it comes to adult diagnosis. If you cannot or will not diagnose the individual as they are, then what's the point. Surely if I had what they wanted - a full developmental history from childhood - then I'd already have a diagnosis. Everything else would be anecdotal and probably dismissed, as I have been. 
The last conversation I had with the Work Psychologist, who has done nothing else, featured more of her telling me how great I am, which is of course no help at all. It's like telling the condemned man you cooked him the best meal he'll ever eat. Telling me how much you think I can do whatever I put my mind to doesn't actually tell me how I can do that without any support. 
All she could do was give me the number for yet another social enterprise, this time Alliance Homes, who…

Rememberings

So many things I keep meaning to post about, but then...don't. Not exactly a promising advert for someone that wants to write, but perhaps reasonable when factoring in learning disabilities/neuro diverse cognitive functions etc. I find that I get ideas, sometimes dictate them into my mp3 player, and then...procrastinate. That's one of the main difficulties I have. I can't function except at my own pace. I can't be forced nor coerced into making things happen because then I lose the plot.
Anyway.
Today is that time of the year again. The time of remembrance. What does that mean for most of us? I can't remember the second world war; I can barely remember the seventies: the decade in which I was born. So how do I remember the sacrifice of people I don't and will never know? People might think that a rather contrary and facetious point to make since what they really mean is that we remember the simple fact that British people died when nations collided. They died …

All’s Well That Carswell

It’s easy being UKIP; you don’t need policies, you don’t have any real responsibilities.
And that’s the way they like it.
I don’t think they actually want real power: governing a country, or participating in international politics, for example. Why would they? They’d have to deal with all those grotty foreigners for one!
They thrive at the local level. There they get to enjoy the quagmire of parochial NIMBYist politics where nothing changes and they can stand up for ‘community values’. But they don’t have any real responsibility: they get to continue to agitate with respect to the EU (which I don’t think they ever want to leave given it’s their meal ticket) and immigration without having the responsibility of being able to deal with it.
So when Carswell ‘won’ the by-election in Clacton (where there is no issue of immigration), it was a victory for their small minded brand of politics. Ironically though it represented none of the kind of sea change the party claims to represent: they…

Because You Aren't Worth It

I don’t recognise our society anymore. I don’t recognise a society that is accepting of the idea of bribing employers (yet again) to hire disabled people. I don’t recognise the attitudes that criticise opposition to this; as if the opponents were in favour of denying vital opportunities to those people.
Who decides the worth of people? What gives an unelected banker, who has been handed a glut of unearned privilege, the right to decide whether someone is worth even a sum of money as risible as the NMW?
Who has decided that money is the sum of a person’s worth?
If a disabled person can do the job then a) hire them and b) pay them at least the NMW. Anything else is exploitation. To then patronise a disabled employee by trying to argue he or she is only worth £2 beggars all belief.
Oh, but these are people that are by virtue of their disabilities, aren’t as productive!
Is that the measure of a man these days? Who decides a person’s rate of productivity? How is this measured? We are h…

The System Needs A Fundamental Change

This system needs a fundamental change and I don't think Labour will provide it since they are wedded to the same capitalist ethics as the Tories. Their silence and indeed capitulation since 2010 speaks volumes: it was they, for example that facilitated IDS' 'emergency' legislation re: workfare. Preserving his image was the height of this emergency. Labour sat there and voted in support of denying £130mn worth of money wrongly withdrawn from jobseekers incorrectly sanctioned - never mind the legitimacy of forced labour and penury.
That said Labour is the only game in town for 2015. The whole rotten system needs changing, but that's not on offer next year. The priority must be: ousting this vicious lying incompetent government - both the aristocratic murderers led by Cameron, and their supposedly liberal quislings. 
Vicious: they have ushered in cuts and 'reforms' the like of which we have never seen, all designed to erode the safety net and the meeting of …

Card Shark

The worst thing about this idea, apart from all of it, is that it controls people. By giving them one option you can manipulate people will have no choice but to shop where the government likes. If that isn’t the nanny state – or even communist Russia – I don’t know what is. But it’s ok when it comes to social security because the recipients are not people. So not only do we have the worst kind of state intervention, but we have the government categorising people as less than people.
Surely this is in breach of competition laws – probably those pesky EU laws the Tories conveniently want us emancipated from. Laws that tell us we can’t eat prawn cocktail crisps or dictate the curvature of our vegetables – or so the gutter press claims. Of course that’s nonsense. But telling people where they can shop is ok? Giving a massive boost to particular businesses is unfair surely – especially when the government claims to be a proponent of the free market.
The idea of ‘welfare cards’ cannot be…

The Baguette Problem

I’m waiting to part cook a baguette. I’m feeling very faint. This is not new for me, I’ve had this particular issue for around 15 years – at least I can’t now remember not having it. Whenever I get hungry, which unfortunately can be very quickly after eating during the day (night time is ok – mostly), I need to eat. If I don’t the feeling of faint, sweatiness (like when you blush, as opposed to running a race for instance) and the accompanying sensory overload make it impossible to function. I’ve never pursued what happens if I deprive myself of a meal, and I don’t want to.
I have no idea what this issue is; it has been diagnosed – sort of – nominally as hypoglycaemia, but in truth I don’t think that’s accurate. For instance experts say that eating foods like porridge are good if you have this because it gives a slow stable release of blood sugar. Unfortunately about half an hour after a bowl of porridge I feel ill again. More so than if I eat something else (like another cereal, or …

Speak Out!

There exists, in the public arena, a cabal of right wing thinkers often feted by the likes of the BBC to inject ‘robust’ discussion into various ‘debates’, usually on programmes such as Question Time. Lightweight so called political affairs where an audience of wannabe Tories, students, and self appointed community leaders and business representatives applaud contrived propaganda.
In other words, gossip merchants and shills who, among other things (such as denying anthropogenic climate change), propagate the insidious notion that poverty is impossible in Britain because it isn’t a third world country (at least nominally). The people aren’t brown babies with distended bellies surrounded by a cloud of flies and dust, they have smartphones and tattoos, and ergo they live in fucking paradise. They now point to places such as the Middle East and the reality of life under ISIS (or whatever they call themselves). Look at the poor people being beheaded and crucified, you scrounger, you thin…

Return of the Work Psychologist (she's been on her hols!)

I spoke to the Work Psychologist today (WP). I needed to tell her the best time to contact the aspergers doctor (AD) that has not provided me with the diagnosis I feel I need. The WP is, in her own peculiar way, helpful, but there's always a sting in the tail. It was her that suggested contacting the AD, her idea. I agreed and signed the consent form she sent me to that end. Now she is saying that, while she is happy to do as suggested, it won't make any difference. This is what she does: on one hand she will suggest things or offer help, then later on decide not to bother. She did it at our initial meeting by saying she could undertake such a diagnosis herself, then decided she couldn't, and subsequently when I started on the Work Programme she offered to write a letter to support my case from a mental health perspective and then backed out saying, again, it wouldn't make any difference.

She remains broadly supportive, but the biggest problem I have is that she just d…

Wellness Advisors

(presented as is, no time for editing today.)
Positive Step; I’ve mentioned them before, so have others, in responses to my posts. They are the go-to group referenced by my GP and now the asperger clinician, after so far failing to provide a diagnosis. They are presented as the entry level mental health service provider, but in truth they exist solely as a provider of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and nothing else. So I’m being told to go to them for what will be the third time. I know it’s pointless, but if I am not seen be doing what the doctors think then I will be criticised and labelled as lazy. This is how the game it seems has to be played.
However Positive Step has a history I want to understand. They are connected with ATOS. They call their advisors, whom you might otherwise like to think of as doctors or psychologists, Wellness Advisors. This reminds me of what ATOS calls their diagnostic staff: Healthcare Professionals. Both are, I suspect, unprotected terms, regardless o…

The Price of Society

Yesterday morning Radio 5 began the week in the manner to which the BBC has become accustomed. A ‘discussion’ about supporting troubled families opened with an appeal to the Taxpayers Alliance. It quickly became apparent this was not a discussion about support, but the cost of troubled families, and involving the Taxpayers Alliance – a right wing populist fear mongering pressure group feted by the media too much – only proves this.
So instead of a sensible discussion of how best to treat families already in difficulty, we entertain propaganda further demonising these people (regardless of their behaviour). All on the basis of how much they ‘cost’ the, to quote one caller, ‘long suffering’ taxpayer. As if these families purposefully exist only to be a burden; that they will never have any worth as human beings because they will never contribute. Don’t forget, that’s how a person’s worth is measured today: in how much (money) they contribute. A position reinforced by the tax dodgers a…

What's Going On With Employment?

Falling employment seems to be reported as the result each time the figures are released. This seems to be the result. Yet it is never accurately reported by BBC Bristol. I have complained about this before, but it never gets taken seriously. I tried again the last time the figures were released and got through – off air (no way I’m going live!) – to someone called Lucy Tegg. She’s actually one of their broadcasters; for once I’m speaking to someone aside from a random office person.
I had hoped she might take it seriously, but of course when I brought up the fact that a person no longer claiming isn’t necessarily a person now gainfully employed I was rebuffed. My question was met with another; she asked me what angle I was coming from. I told her that I was interested in the facts of the situation and that assuming people are being employed is a stab in the dark at best. Moreover it (quite deliberately, I believe) leads people to think that welfare reform is working.
The phone cal…

Walking Through Fog

My quest for an asperger diagnosis ended in the middle of June when I was told the outcome of the testing process was that, mainly due to a lack of developmental history (i.e. childhood), they could find no evidence to support the claim. It has taken until a couple of weeks ago to get this in writing. 
This process has been painfully slow and I am not very happy with the outcome. Where does it take me and what can I do now? There simply does not seem to be any support at all. I have no idea whether or not I actually have Aspergers, but there is definitely something 'wrong', that is, diverse, in the way I operate, cognitively speaking. There is no easy way to make that point either, which is part of the problem: there doesn't seem to be an official language or any terminology that I can find. Without being part of the club, officially speaking, do I have any right to use such terms? It's like trying to stumble through life with your eyes shut.
The Work Psychologist had…

Fairer Fares For All?

Last Christmas First Bus in the South West/Bristol undertook a consultation, presumably because of the constant criticism they rightly received for their dismal service. For years they have been the target of anger and frustration from local people: the service is dire, overpriced and staffed - more than is acceptable - by people with an appalling attitude to customers. I think we've all known times, if we use the buses at all, when we've barely taken our ticket and the driver has put his foot to the floor throwing us around the cabin like a rag doll. I've seen that happen with a woman holding a baby (it didn't end badly, fortunately)!
The result of this introspection was to fundamental change of the system leading to the removal of return tickets throughout the region. The only option now is to pay for slightly cheaper single tickets, priced according to mileage, or pay for a day ticket that costs at least £6. In Bristol itself these changes seem to be somewhat popul…

Weaponising Poverty

I went for a walk this morning. This is something I like to do when the weather is less onerous – which includes when it’s hot. Though I hate to moan about our weather (that’s a lie), I find myself struggling in the heat these days. I use the word heat in relative terms; it certainly isn’t as hot as really hot parts of the world, nor has it been as hot as it was last year during that heatwave. You’ll forgive me if I wish for more tolerable weather than that.
The weather has taken a more sedate turn with some welcome rain and a chance to walk where it’s fresh and fragrant. This is surely the essence of a healthy lifestyle. Why then am I made to feel, as someone receiving benefits, the opposite?
We have a society where, even if one does things that are healthy (such as enjoy a simple walk in nature), they are made to feel negative as a result. Currently I feel exceptionally negative about society; I do not see any immediate solution to the problems we have because there is no real opp…

Between Two Worlds

Last Wednesday I had a meeting with the asperger’s diagnosis person for them to clarify their ‘inconclusive’ diagnosis; meanwhile I wait for their report in writing.
As expected this meeting didn’t really help – they aren’t going to change their position even though ‘inconclusive’ surely must default to ‘conclusive’ if any of this is going to matter. In other words, why don’t you err on the side of caution? Why wouldn’t you give the patient the benefit of the doubt? Otherwise why not admit that it is conclusive: conclusively negative? At least be honest.
The reason they give is down to a lack of developmental history to cross reference. I don’t know if this is simply the way the testing process is structured, for right or wrong, and therefore out of the clinician’s hand. My feeling, if I’m honest, is that, if someone has the ‘symptoms’ (words are poor substitutes here, I am not an expert in any of this) then what does their history matter, and if it’s not one condition in particular,…