Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Compassionate Fascist Conservatism

Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: Compassionate Fascist Conservatism: Today, we are told that David Cameron will use his Leader's Speech to Tory Conference to re-iterate his commitment to Compassionate Conservatism.
Here is a list of your "compassion" - your incompetence I will leave for another day.

"Halving Support for disabled children, Scrapping the "Youth Premium" that ensured independence for the most profoundly disabled children; Scrapping Crisis Loans; Cutting housing support for disabled people; Cutting council budgets so hard that they cannot provide social care to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities; Introducing PIP to replace DLA with the aim of cutting 500,000 vulnerable people from the figures without a single assessment; Introducing unlimited, unpaid work for those with significant illnesses or disabilities; Cutting all benefit support for sick and disabled people appealing their ESA decisions; Lying to the public about Work Capability Assessments and failing to make them fit for purpose while disabled people suffer and die; Encouraging hate crime by constantly feeding the media "scrounger" stories about the sick and disabled; Closing Remploy factories, throwing over 1500 working disabled people on the scrapheap; Exaggerating fraud rates and implying all sick and disabled people are "feckless, festering, stock"; Lying about the levels of disability benefit fraud repeatedly and feeding politicised press releases to the media; Turning neighbour on neighbour and fostering a climate of hate towards the sick and disabled; Forcing cancer patients to the jobcentre; Privatising our health service despite promises that you would protect it; Rationing access to NHS treatment; Cutting respite care despite promising you understood and would help; Suggesting in PIP that a sick or disabled person can "bathe" if they can wash above the waist only; Re-classifying paraplegics as "fully mobile" if they use their wheelchairs too well; Blocking improvement in Atos assessments; Lying about Workfare repeatedly to the press; Falsifying internet documents to make your workfare lies look like the truth."

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Tuscan Bean Soup

Serves 4
Preparation Time 10mins
Cooking Time 45 mins

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 onions
2 leeks
2 carrots
4 sprigs thyme
1 litre vegetable stock
Fresh tomatoes chopped
2 x 300g tins cannellini beans
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Peel, crush and chop the garlic, dice the onions, leeks and carrots and gently cook for 5 minutes without browning. Add the thyme leaves, vegetable stock and chopped tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the cannellini beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Serve with warm bread

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Shades of forced labour: #Workfare


Dear Sir,

I have just seen the report on how you treated your 'volunteer' staff at the Jubilee Pageant.

This is a disgusting way to treat any human being.
No doubt the hope of a job was the only thing that ensured compliance with the vile treatment people had to endure.
Oh, that and the threat of sanctions enforced by the DWP.

Vast amounts of public money are being poured into these contentious “workfare” schemes.
It is your DUTY to ensure that people are treated with respect and humanity, not as forced labour in some ghastly recreation of the Third Reich.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

I will be marching on May 10th

On May 10th 2012 I will be joining police officers marching in protest against 20% budget cuts.

I’m a member of the public that is horrified at the ConDems’ demolition of all the institutions that we value.

My large local policing base has been moved from a few doors down to a town that is 30 minutes’ drive away.

The local SNT has dwindled to one PC and one PCSO. Formerly it was a large team.

The SNT are so rushed off their feet it’s impossible to have a conversation with them without them being interrupted and being called to help the severely overstretched response teams.

When I phone for help, I want to see a sworn police officer, not a private security patrol that isn’t accountable to anyone other than their company’s shareholders.

We must preserve the Office of Constable.

The ConDems agenda is privatisation at any cost, as a matter of dogma not necessity.

Who will be there to keep us safe?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The #Police, You are all Warriors

“The Warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.” Sitting Bull

Friday, March 16, 2012

Destruction of the Police Service:The Privatisation Agenda

Inspector Gadget says“I still have absolutely no idea why they are doing this to us, but I know that they are only able to do it because we cannot strike. It is that simple.”

As he rightly says, the Fitness tests are a red herring but seem to have been universally “spun” to all the media. (Cameron may be a cnut but he excelled at PR!)

The coalition “spun” the Welfare Reform Bill as being mainly about being a cap on maximum welfare benefits. In fact it will take benefits away from approximately genuinely 500,000 disabled people, and award contracts to outside companies to reassess every disabled person irrespective of disability.

NHS reform has been punted as being “essential for an aging population”. In fact it’s a drive to award contracts to the lowest bidder with little attention paid to quality. All the healthcare PLCs are waiting in the wings to cherry pick the best bits.

Like every other part of public services, Winsor’s agenda for the Police is privatisation: awarding of contracts to the likes of Serco, G4S etc. It is “spun” as saving money, but no money will be saved, it will just enrich shareholders.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Welfare Reform Bill: A message to MPs #wrb

Here's a message to all MPs that voted against the amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill.

Tory MPs. You are all cnuts.
LibDems. You are weapons grade cnuts.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lies, Damn Lies and PIP Assessments

A blind friend posted this on Facebook today. (Sunday 22nd Jan 2012)

“I took part in a pilot study for the new PIP assessments carried out by Group 4 Security (G4S).

In the report that the OT carried out she said I made 'good eye contact' - I am completely blind! She also put down the incorrect eye condition.

She also inspected our bathroom without permission. She said I had refused to give some info - a lie!

What confidence should we have when DLA is replace (sic) by PIP?”

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Bio-Psycho-Social Model- Bad Science: How the truth has been twisted

I had planned to demolish the way in which the DWP and its Ministers cling to what they describe as the bio-psycho-social model. However a number of Guardian readers have done the work for me.
Why this official misrepresentation is allowed to continue is hardly surprising as without it the government's dodgy policy couldn't exist!

19 January
2012 6:46AM

I am a pensioner on DLA for previously-misdiagnosed Multiple Sclerosis.

I have a suspicion that [Maria] Miller, along with Harrison and the rest of them gets even the psychosocial model of disability arse-backwards.

When I was young, that very model was used to point out that a disabled person's ENVIRONMENT contributes massively towards our "disabling us further"- massive employment discrimination, inaccessibility of public buildings and public transport...Very little of that environment has changed, although yes, it is getting a little better.

In true Orwellian Newspeak, the government's "model" of disability (unencumbered by ANY personal 24/7 experience of disability) has twisted the original democratic and egalitarian model around IN ORDER TO to discriminate us MORE, ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT IF WE HAVE TO STRUGGLE MORE TO SURVIVE, THAT IN ITSELF WOULD MAKE US BETTER.

Miller's and Freud's weasel words clarify nothing, and they were not meant to. It's all about getting half a million people off their statutory right for help, by hook or by crook, and to disguise that from themselves and from the public. They're so transparent...

But thankyou to all contributors, especially Arec Balrin, for telling the truth against the government's barrage of weasel words.

19 January
2012 7:24AM

Another significant point has been made about the use of the BPS model. In its truest form the BPS model can be very effective in helping us understand illness not just in terms of the medical effects but in the way it affects our minds and social interactions. However that isnt that case here. What seems to have been done is that the BPS model has been cherry-picked for suitable terms then clobbered together into a form that can be used to deny the needs of massive amounts of sick folks while still claiming the validation of scientific basis.

19 January
2012 8:21AM

The "Harrison model" (Maria Miller's contorted "bio-psycho-social model) is itself a travesty -and distorted-plagiarism - of the 1970s psycho-social model of disability, which put the onus, not on the disabled, but on our environment.
Harrison's model is itself discriminatory, and is deliberately meant to be, in order to save the state money and promote the political goal of "survival of the fittest", in social policy as everywhere else (while providing an income stream for unqualified "assessors" doing discriminatory "assessments" in the name of the state.

Harrison and Miller can sue me if they think this is an inaccurate description.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Personal Story

I’ve never before described my disability. I consider my problems to be much less disabling than those of the truly courageous campaigners that produced “Responsible Reform” (otherwise known as The Spartacus Report). But that’s what we do as disabled people; we try so hard to get on with our lives despite the pain and frustration, commonly saying “of course I’m grateful that my problems are nothing like as bad as those endured by X, or Y or Z”. It is a form of stoicism or maybe denial, but it’s part of that mental armoury that gives us our determination and optimism, even when we are in pain and we have to wait another 3 hours for our next dose of analgesia.

For years (since my 30s) I’d battled with painful joints. Initially mainly my neck hurt, but I was told it was down to bad posture. 10 years and masses of physio/osteopathy and painkillers later, after a battle with a totally unsympathetic GP, I had an MRI scan. Well, well severe osteoarthritis resulting in bony spurs that were pressing on the nerves exiting the spinal column.

I continued to manage this into my 50s. However a whiplash injury had aggravated it considerably and I was struggling with the fine movements in my right hand. This was crucial to my work as a nurse as it was making it impossible to draw up injections. I was forced to take ill health retirement following a long battle with my employer. Subsequently I have had considerable deterioration in knee and ankle joints and lumbar vertebrae, due, apparently, to the years I had kept fit by running!
Trainers that absorb the shock hardly existed 30 years ago.

The painkillers hardly have any effect! I can no longer use low dose amitriptyline or anti-inflammatories because of either the cardiac risk or gastric bleeding, which is a shame as they were remarkably effective.
I have seen a remarkable, lovely, pain relief pain consultant who has tried everything in his considerable armoury including quite scary nerve blocks which have failed to work.
All I want is to be able to walk a hundred yards without pain or get downstairs in the morning without the use of a walking stick.
I can only imagine what an unbroken, pain-free night’s sleep must be like.

I would love to be able to cook fresh food pain-free and not have to rely on the disgusting slop that is microwave meals.

For this I receive DLA Low Rate Care but I’d much rather be able to cook, and walk to the pub!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Cameron and the Disabled

Little did I know when I wrote this that Cameron, whose late son was severely disabled, would do the usual rich toff thing and continue the marginalisation of those with disabilities by mocking those with Tourette's.

The ConDem changes to DLA, replacing it with PIP, will remove the right to any financial help for people on the lowest care rate of the current DLA.

The disgusting Tory media machine has now persuaded a large proportion of the populace that disabled people are "scroungers". Disability hate crime is on the increase. I have personally been challenged as to my right to disabled parking, despite displaying my Blue Badge.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

A New "Tory-Inspired" Society

How unpleasant UK society has become in the last year or so.

Disabled people have been subjected to a government inspired campaign that has led to those in genuine need being seen as the same as the "scroungers".

Government and local authority help for the most vulnerable and needy has been minimised or abolished.

Some young people have had to abruptly finish their secondary education because the EMA was the only way they could pay their bus fares to college.

Hospitals have reduced staff and closed beds.
In the future, if you can't pay, the NHS will provide only a service from the cheapest contractor.

All this policy comes from the millionaires in Cabinet. They really have NO idea what life is like for ordinary working people, let alone those with health issues.