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Showing posts from 2016

Notes on Today's Strike

I shall flex my awareness of capitalism thus. So this is just an intellectual exercise to keep my socialist spidey senses keen...

There's a strike on today, in London. I don't know the full details of the dispute because of course the BBC have no interest to inform me. A dispute between ASLEF, the RMT, and some private transport concern within the city. What the BBC does have an interest in, of course, is playing clips of commuters in varying degrees of consternation and disgust.

Note that the BBC doesn't bother to ask the workers why they are striking, nor does it advocate - as it should - that said commuters go visit the picket line and ask the people themselves for the facts. Given how the working class are viewed these days, doing so would only lead to people becoming suspicious of these facts. We are in the post-factual age of course - who needs experts!

These are the issues that I have:

Firstly I mention talking to the workers themselves for a good reason: it is impo…

Magical Thinking

Well that's that for pursuing a diagnosis for Aspergers or anything remotely similar.

I contacted the Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) to try and sort this out after being lied to by the clinician regarding referring me to the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) people. That never happened and she continues to deny saying she would. Of course I cannot prove this and so the patient-doctor dynamic kicks in: I'm the lowly patient, she's the expert doctor, her reputation versus mine and so who wins?

I could make a complaint, but what would be the point. I might get a nice letter in a few months time saying sorry in a mealy mouthed way, but it doesn't get me any closer to what I need. That being a diagnosis, a formal, written and recorded, recognition of the issues I deal with. Lacking that, dealing with the systems in society, chiefly the DWP, becomes more difficult. Unfortunately the medical profession doesn't seem to care about that.

We have a society fuelled by …

Trump The Election System

Well that just happened.

Representative democracy wins out again: despite Clinton getting the popular vote (by a margin of less than 1%), straw-haired bigoted hate sausage and professional misogynist Donald Trump now has his fat fingers firmly planted (from January) on the big red button. Top of the world ma!

None of which is to say that Hilary the warmonger was a particularly palatable candidate, with her history of corporate appeasement, foreign 'intervention', and US imperialism. However, as with most elections, the difference, though measurable only microscopically, is still measurable. It's a choice between the unpopular and the unthinkable. Or at least it was, until it was made, last week, by the disenfranchised of America. They, angry white men who feel that, as the dominant power group in society, their loss, at the hands of the capitalist elite, is greater than anyone else's loss - and how dare those other groups (like the blacks, or the women, or the gays, et…

What the Hell is Success, Mr Green?

A cap on total benefits received by a family that has already driven people into (or further into) poverty is hailed as a success by the man now committing to a further reduction in that cap. This is reality: the redefining of terms to fit an agenda baked into the minds of the media manipulated masses. Not just a success, but a 'real success'; telling you that this is something you can take to the bank, unlike the incomes of the poor.

"“By making sure that those people who are out of work are faced with the same choices as those who are in work, the benefit cap has been a real success,” he (Damian Green) said."

In a way that's true, but only because of the degree of in-work poverty that now exists.

But what choices does Mr Green want the poor to face that they aren't already facing, and if this sort of 'tough love' is helpful why not apply it to colleagues in Parliament? Maybe they would perform better or make better choices (at least when it comes t…

First the Worst (nothing changes for the poor)

This is a picture perfect example of everything wrong with our society and how the least affluent are treated. It involves a certain public transport provider with a piss poor reputation, everyone knows of whom I speak, but let's call them First. I could think of more appropriate and entertaining names, but...

So last week, and with dismal inevitability, First increased it's fares again, hiding these changes behind a restructuring of their fare system. Their stated reason for this is to encourage folk to eschew paper tickets in favour of smartphone technology. It doesn't occur to them of course (and the entire reason for this post) that not everyone owns nor can they afford a smartphone. I certainly can't (I despise the damn things anyway, but that's another story).

Apparently, and because of increased complaints regarding punctuality, it was decided, in the rarefied echelons of Chatauex First, the reason for this was because of the time taken to issue paper ticket…

Another Damian, Another Dollar

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/31/sitting-at-home-on-sickness-benefits-is-bad-for-health-damian-green

Here we go again. Another Tory minister, another proclamation to the Daily Mail reading peanut gallery, reassuring them that it's the same approach. Don't worry, we'll make sure we continue to harass and hassle the least among us so that YOU can feel safe and secure that your 'hard earned' pennies aren't being 'wasted' on unproductive frivolities such as food and shelter for the poor and their dependants.

Never mind that everything these scumbags has tried thus far has failed spectacularly.

Never mind the vast sums thrown down the toilet of public opinion - in fact, while the press crow about money spent on foreign aid or brown skinned war orphans, there's a seemingly insatiable appetite for spending here. No limits for the public purse when it comes to chasing down the least among us.

Listen to this shit:

Damian Green will launch a c…

The Professional Revolutionary's Long Winded Guide To Capitalist Propaganda

Most people don't have the time to indulge in revolutionary politics, by which I mean intellectually critiquing the systems of the day. Most don't have the inclination to read pages and pages of theory from the thinkers of yesteryear. Unfortunately for you, that includes me. However I don't have a job and you do (possibly) so for the purpose of this I'm going to pretend to be a professional revolutionary.

I should first point out that the idea of professional revolutionaries is a bad idea. I do not want any revolution fought in my name to be co opted by any kind of vanguard. This was the idea behind Lenin's philosophy and it is arrogant. A truly 'professional' revolutionary should not be a leader, but a positive influence, an encouragement. It is fundamental to the idea of genuine revolution, which I believe we sorely need, that it be a bottom-up grassroots movement; not a top down dictatorship. That method will not produce positive lasting revolutionary ch…

BLM Meets the Quiet Man?

Black Lives Matter is a movement I agree with, as I suspect (and hope) all anarchists do. Who can deny the existence of racist structures in the American (and not just American) state?

Colin Kaepernick is an American Football player who's standing up to the racist US establishment and its imperialist hegemony by refusing to participate in the anachronism that is the national anthem

So it's kinda weird to see this:



The only 'Ian Smith' that I know of who said such a thing is our beloved former Welfare Overlord, Iain "The Fridge" Duncan Smith (he's certainly cold as ice).

Now, look, this isn't a criticism. I've got all the respect in the world for BLM and it's supporters, including Colin. It just made me chuckle.

Or maybe the Ian Smith's of the world are on the march, nmaybe they could adopt a catchy acronym: IS...?

No, that will never catch on.

Here's a poem someone else wrote. I found it while trying to find IDS' toe curling quiet …

The Peacock Festival

The internet is in so many ways a wonderful resource. Social media likewise offers a truly democratic (advertising notwithstanding) platform for people to be heard. But neither are perfect nor are they free from all the shit humans carry with them. In particular the internet seems to foster some traits that are denied by simple real time human interaction, where honesty is a must. Online, people are quick to judge and slow to change, they are also deeply uncharitable refusing to extend the benefit of the doubt in conversation. It is also deeply reactionary. It's a peacock festival, a competition not a conversation.

Last night I got into an online argument with a guy who, like so many, believe they are living in an age where the average male is being oppressed. These are people that use terms like 'social justice warrior' seriously, even though the only purpose behind such pejorative is to stifle the discourse. I am not a 'social justice warrior' - nothing so patron…

Mental Health

What is fear?


It is the distance between where you are and where you want to be.


It is measured in units of aspiration and regulated by conformity. To do what must be done is to invite fear. To resist what is expected is to invite fear.


It is the voice you hear when no one speaks.


It is what you do when you can't do.


Mental health is a shadow that obscures the reality of your experience when your experience falls short of what is expected. When you try to show the world that something is wrong, but there is nothing you can show them because your problems are invisible and can't be measured in broken bones.


This is the one aspect that separates mental from physical difficulty. Even though physical problems can be just as debilitating, perhaps even more so. Even though society can be just as judgemental toward those with such issues, these problems can be seen. As such they can be understood. A person with a broken bone can wear a smile and earn sympathy, a person with a broken…

The Measure of a Life

In truth, there is no future.

I should have lived a life markedly different and better than how things worked out, and I feel judged everywhere I turn. I feel as if I have to apologise for that life. For not conforming to the standards imposed by our culture.

I feel as if I have to apologise in advance because this post will seem indulgent and self pitying. I can't (and won't) help that; it's another cultural judgement.

This is not the life I would have chosen. It was not how I wanted things to be. I had dreams, but I didn't have the strength to realise them. That's my failing. Dreams are permitted only where and when they can be realised. Anything else is just shirking. That's the message.

I could tell you about the art teacher who didn't give a damn about the students when I was interested in art. I could mention the music courses that shut down while I was applying for them while leaving me with no clue as to what to do, or the education establishments t…

Two Months In Politics Is A Long Time!

I've allowed this to slide for too long, but I had to say something on the recent watershed in British politics. What a joke!

At first the news seemed to imply that remain had won the referendum, then the news revealed the reality. A shocking outcome, certainly, but when you think is it really that surprising? We've been subject to years of political arrogance that has disenfranchised the working class. This has coincided with the latest wave of migration, particularly from the continent. The Labour government, though certainly not alone in this, did precisely fuck all to help communities on both sides integrate and arrogantly assumed that people would tolerate the situation. It is here that the rampant and vicious xenophobia of the exit campaign took root.

But it is erroneous to assume that the working class are intrinsically and comprehensively racist. This was a shout of rage from still-deprived, and increasingly so, communities who want change. It was inchoate, possibly ev…

Ghost Whistler vs the Internet

Over many years I've been online and one thing I've noticed; the internet is an awful place for conversation.

Don't get me wrong, I think as a source of information and even opinion it's superb. There are many positive aspects to this technology, which is good since nothing I do or say will get rid of it! Not that I want to.

The problem is message forums. I don't know what it is but I have managed to cross almost every single forum I have been on. Not deliberately, you understand; but the nature of the medium makes it impossible to discern honest intention and to differentiate between that and dishonesty.

But by far the worst aspect are the cliques that form. Even on places that profess to be more open minded, or to oppose accepted norms and values, such as capitalism. These forums will still be governed by prevailing attitudes determined by a clique who will refuse to extend the slightest charity when interacting with someone new or someone different.

There is als…

How I Survived the Cameron Years...

That was the subtitle I chose for this collection of thought vomiting I laughably call a blog. It appears to now be complete, since the Cameron years are - almost - over. His arrogance has cost him his job as Britain's premier feudal overlord and, as I write, he has been replaced by Theresa May about whom the less said the better (condescendingly, she promised to be a champion of the poor but her voting record says otherwise).

So it seems that I have survived. These words are not coming through from the Other Side (tm) and are not the product of a seance. In fact I appear to have been returned - unlike Cameron - to the Work Related Activity Group. I received a letter on Thursday informing me of my victory over the forces of ESA darkness. At least I hope so otherwise I'm in for a nasty shock! :D

I have not recorded my experience at the interview since there really wasn't much to tell. Most of those reading will know what to expect; it was a routine affair (fortunately I sup…

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…

Looking For A Job

I've no idea how I'm going to handle full time work, but as there is no way short of a miracle that I will pass another WCA, I have little choice. I'm not even sure of the point of attending and, given that I don't have three forms of ID (as required), I doubt I'll even get in the building. The receptionist at the place is a stone faced haridan who has a habit of deliberately making people wait - all part of the test no doubt.

Consequently - and for a long time now - I have been searching on the still-appalling Universal Jobmatch website. This site is so broken and so poorly designed as to be completely useless. In fact it's beyond useless to the point of actually being counter productive.

Nothing is stored correctly, adverts are mislabelled and misrepresented, out of date and in some cases, don't even provide the means to actually progress forward. I would have used the word apply, but since clicking the link takes you further down the rabbit hole of onlin…

Top Down Reform of the NHS In Action

No top down reform, that's what the liars in the Tory party said before the collective herd of ignorant ill informed morons that voted for them managed to enable a coalition. 
Five years later, and a change in the face at the Department of Health, and it's another set of treacherous promises, all designed to obfuscate the truth. This time it's all about a seven day NHS. This against a backdrop of, amongst many things, increased difficulty getting a routine GP appointment.
So the privatisation of the NHS is going well.
I've just been to my local surgery, in person, to try and book an appointment. Ordinarily this is difficult enough, thanks to the Coalition's decision to turn PCT's into private enterprises and give a bunch of local autocrats the power to do as they please. My surgery has, apparently for a month now, only been open in the morning. Staffing issues is the reason, despite their being enough staff every time I have visited prior. We have always had a …

From the Office Of... 2

(This too precedes the resignation of a certain appalling senior Tory...)

So I received a letter in respect of my email to the local Tory overlord regarding the plan, now implemented it seems, to cut ESA for those in the WRAG by 30%. This cut reduces ESA to the same amount as JSA. The reasoning of course is pernicious: despite these people establishing their case as being unfit for work they are still regarded as being capable of work. I have spoken about this before; the WRAG is just spin because the government still regards these people as being fit for work and capable of 'work related activity', despite being medically found otherwise. Really there should be no need for an WRAG, but the distinction is made because the government feels these are people that can be cured somehow. Even then it goes on, as I say, to disregard their problems.

This time, the response was more than an email. I got a letter with a six page attachment from the Employment Minister - the awful tobacc…

From The Office Of...1

(I intended to write this before the resignation of Iain Duncan Sauron. That was not something I was expecting and I don't think for one moment it will make any difference to Tory plans. In fact it now frees Osborne to place his own pro-EU man into the post. Consequently this means nothing will really change - not that I believe IDS is the saint he thinks he is).
All you need to know about my MPis that he is a Tory and that he's also the one responsible for culling people from the electoral register. He claims that these are people that are inactive or don't exist any more. I don't trust a Tory and that's why I regularly contact him - usually through the many online petitions and campaign that groups like 38Degrees organise. Fortunately they make it easy enough to do. Even more fortunately, people like my MP respond. When they do so they always claim that 38Degrees are partisan and biased - though entertainingly this has to be done in a friendly way so as not to ali…