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Universal Chaos

You sometimes think it can't get any worse.

Universal Credit proves you wrong.

What more evidence is required to show, clearly, that we are not governed. We are oppressed.

This is beyond hypocrisy. This transcends incompetence. This is ideology.

Way back when IDS was at the levers of control he was told that this system would not work. It cannot work: how can you possibly combine, into one single system, a variety of different benefits each unique to specific circumstances. This cannot be done in any way that could possibly simplify the system. All that you would do is make claiming for one reason, whether unemployment or sickness, as difficult as claiming for ALL of them at once, since that is effectively what you are doing.

And consequently the system has failed. As, over four years, since that man promised - with fist pumping certainty - that it would be delivered "on time and in budget". That date was October 2013.

Quelle surprise; it never happened and now, after a slow rollout, it is a walking disaster. It is a pestilence of bureaucracy and indifference. It's Typhoid Mary spreading poverty instead of cholera and patient zero, the new IDS (same as all the rest, probably awakened from a vat where they keep his evil DNA), is nowhere to be seen.

What do the Tories have to offer, as they cling to this like desperate apes: to cut the six week wait to four? How bloody generous! As if that two weeks will make all the difference. Six weeks is the minimum many are having to wait. The system is in such choas it takes way longer for many, not everyone survives either.

The notion this is meant to represent the "world of work" implies this is a positive thing; a transformative (ie corrective) thing. It's about control, but it rests on a fallacy. The implication being that the way the "world of work" operates is itself problem-free. It isn't, never has been; the waiting period when people stop claiming upon starting work and have to wait until their first pay cheque has always been a problem, never addressed. The advice was always to beg borrow or steal from friends/family. Or, if you were 'lucky' enough to have the opportunity, to take a loan!

Apparently you still can. This, if I've read correctly, is about £150. This has to cover at least 6 weeks and so at best is £25 a week for upwards of one person. Even for just a single person that is still painfully little. My weekly budget is upwards of £30 not including bus fares, at least one of which is required to get me to the shop. I need at least 2 bus journeys a week which comes to £13. So we're almost double that.

And it has to be repaid; this means, at best, the claimant, while struggling, has to have the presence of mind to budget the loan, work out how much they will have left even though they cannot possibly know because they won't know when they will get their money, and then budget that, taking into account the repayment. Does this sound reasonable? Of course not and the disaster is playing out all around us: poverty increases, rental arrears, foodbank use.

This leads me on to to the topic of foodbanks. This is a real problem. While there is no doubt those who donate and work in these places are good people, what they give out isn't. Even for three days, people are receiving parcels of complete rubbish. Who is deciding that a bag of sugar, some margarine, a box of sugar pop cereal, some tinned veg and tuna (probably the best you'll get out of it if you're lucky) and some horrible refined carbs in the form of pasta and rice, is healthy? It isn't! People shouldn't have to tolerate this.

No one's expecting haute cuisine, but this is a recipe for blood sugar instability: hypoglycaemia and diabetes. What have we come to when this is how we treat our own?

We have supermarkets, places with security guards because poverty is such a force in society that multi million pound profiteers like Tesco are afraid the masses might want to eat rather than die, that collect donations. Yet they bin huge amounts on a daily basis. Why is it down to the individual customers, already making them their money (often at the expense of farmers and food producers). Why are we content to give away a tin of blue stripe carbohydrates or sugar pops for the poor? This is a horrible situation. They deserve decent meals the same as everyone else. We won't get that while the rich can claim thousands in attendant allowances for not actually attending.

This society is dying on its arse and nobody seems to have the answers or the means to sort this horrific mess out. A pause will do nothing and if that's the best Labour politicians can manage then what good are they? A pause, in the form of no money, is exactly the problem.

I'm afraid that Universal Credit cannot be solved in this manner. But what won't happen is an immediate, charge free, gratis payment to all those affected. These sorts of situations, IT gone awry, take ages to clear up. This all assumes the government has any desire to actually even try and fix this mess. Instead they will cling to their ideology and hope that the situation resolves itself. That won't happen without more misery blood and tears, and lives being lost. That this situation has been allowed to get to this point, when everyone knew it would roll out this way, is beyond scandalous, but there will be no accountability. IDS has gone, the civil service got paid off (unlike those claiming, ironically).

The only answer is to take to the streets. Democracy has failed us, utterly. Relenting on the 55p/minute phone line (if and when that materialises) isn't even the least they can do - and they've given that phoneline to G4S to control! The same people beating refugees behind close doors and raping immigrant women in detention centres. So if you're lucky your Universal Credit claim might end up with a midnight raid from some private goons dragging you off to a secret flight to Somalia or something!



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