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Showing posts from March, 2014

Is the Honeymoon Over?

With a thud a brown envelope hits the doormat. Ominous.
It's contents are a DWP summons to a post Work Programme support interview with 'Brian', at the Jobcentre on the 3rd of April at a time not conducive to bus travel. This alone will have to be addressed otherwise I will either be 20 minutes late or 45 minutes early. Of course the idea that they ought to book these appointments (done without my input) with more foresight is unreasonable. What else can we expect; I don't imagine asking them to change the time will be easy (I don't imagine even getting through will be).
So we're back to dealing with the unpredictable scrutiny of the Jobcentre. Though as I knew my time on the wholly useless WP was ending, this is not unexpected.
I have no idea what will come from this; it might be benign - or it might be a prelude to the kind of intense compliance that has been touted by the government. Consequently I am dreading it. The thought of having to attend, or even wa…

Vice and the Poor

I think it's extremely unfair to punish people for being addicted to legal vices just because they happen to be, at the point of purchase, too poor to afford them conventionally. These are legal vices that the First World (at the expense of the third, in many cases) profits from. In fact I would argue these vices are tolerated also because they mollify the lower classes. Keep the workers in pubs and puffing away and they won't have the desire, time, notion or even lung power to protest.

Moreover it seems singularly nasty - indicative of the barefaced brutality of modern capitalist power strucutres - to deny the poor these vices. This is manifest through support for measures such as food stamps and welfare payment cards; systems that enable their overseers to control how the poor spend their money - even though the poor spend the greatest percentage of their wealth than other groups).

Through such systems they can lecture the poor on how best to conduct their lives; enforcing a …

Universally Failing

According to the Guardian, Universal Jobmatch, the government’s beleaguered repository for fake jobs (including prostitutes, hit men, strippers and pirates) is to be axed. Specifically it will not be renewed when the contract ends – in two years. Unfortunately that does mean, I guess, that people will still be obliged (regardless of the law) to sign up to and use it. An ‘exit strategy’ is being devised, at further public expense no doubt. Surely this means that, knowing the site is fatally flawed and on borrowed time, compelling people to use it is, at best, irresponsible. You wouldn’t be allowed to threaten people to use a medicine that you knew to be suspect enough in some fashion that you were to withdraw it. Can people issue a challenge now when given their virtual marching orders? I’m guessing not. The same old excuse will be given: you are not doing what is deemed reasonable to find work. That amorphous excuse is pulled out anytime anyone questions what is asked of them. Not wi…

Testing, Testing...

Had a pair of aspergers assessment appointment during February; it turns out they actually want a third appointment. This was sprung on me last week when they wrote to me claiming we’d already discussed this (we hadn’t), and copying the letter to the wrong GP (by wrong I mean a GP I don’t really want to deal with again). Granted these aren’t particularly epic problems in the grand scheme of things, but I cannot deal with surprises like this and it put me out of sorts.
Besides I’d already had the only 2 appointments I was told about and was waiting the result. Now I feel like I’ve been sent backwards on the path somewhat. If I’m honest I have a suspicion my expectations are completely at odds with the diagnostic process and those of the people administering it. I am looking for a concrete diagnosis and I explained why (three letters: DWP). I don’t think that is a priority for them, nor do I think they understand why it is so for me.
First Assessment:
70% rather ordinary questions ab…

Easy Ignorance

Last night’s Panorama painted an increasingly desperate, if somewhat biased, view of the poverty crisis the government and the media are largely desperate to hide. I say biased because Edwina Currie was, inexplicably, invited to contribute. I have no idea why; perhaps they figured they could show her ridiculous ill informed class hatred for what it really is. Also two out of the three case studies I saw (a recovering addict, a smoker and a part time worker) were vulnerable to criticism. The media and the right wing pundits (like Currie) will say these people are victims of personal failings and poor decision making; that one chooses addiction etc. As if such instances, even if we assume the criticism is fair, are representative.
During the programme there was a healthy twitter feed on the hash tag ‘hungry Britain’. Predictably there were the usual right wing clowns eager to latch on to the aforementioned failings and argue these people somehow deserve to be left to starve. I do not …