From Overwhelmed to Clarity

I was catching up on blogs this morning and came across a question asked by the ever brilliant Tom Pride (i), who wondered whether we are so afraid of the rich, we fail to call them to account; then there was an excellent post by Jim Grundy in Think Left (ii) who wrote about responsibility and denial and the need for honesty and equality.

Both posts caused me to suddenly realise just how overwhelmed I feel; not only by an ever growing amount of evidence, that both demonstrates the appalling state of affairs we find ourselves in, thanks to the Government, and the apparent futility of the numerous campaigns against the majority of the current Government’s Policies.

There were several Comments on Tom’s blog and a much greater number of shares to Facebook & Twitter but interestingly, notwithstanding the 4 fellow bloggers covering the same topic, no one had responded to his question! After my immediate thoughts, that the  omission, indicated the response, I began to wonder why this was.

It was then I realised just how feel bombarded I feel with the escalation of evidence revealing the truly revolting nature of the rich & powerful; and that I had in reality become almost immune from further shock.

Further when this saturation of evidence is coupled with the real threats of potential homelessness, decreasing health, total poverty and worse that so many of us are faced with; I’ve become stupefied, and I don’t think I’m alone?

It was Jim’s post that offered me a light, a way to re-focus on what matters, we need a Leader, someone we can rally round; because I believe without such a Leader we have a Country whose people are felled into believing they are powerless; and this is just not true.

So this is what I’m going to do, I will continue to Lobby the Party Leader of my choice (and no prizes for guessing who that is), to raise awareness of the way I feel and where appropriate share the feelings of others. I’m most immediately affected by the Welfare Reform Act, so I’m refocussing on this; I can collect the evidence and ensure it does not get lost in this maelstrom and I can present this to support my argument  This is something I can do, I can take back my personal power and use it constructively; and in this way I also regain my personal value and can honestly answer Tom – No; I’m not going give in




The DWP’s latest Bully Tactics?

On Friday I received a letter from the DWP informing me that, as I am in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) from December 3rd 2012; I must “attend and take part in work-focused interviews if you are asked to do so, to qualify for your benefit”, it goes on to state “If you do not attend and take part in these interviews or do the activities you are asked to do, without a good reason, your payment can be reduced by £14.07 a week, rising to £28.15 a week after four weeks, until you comply. We call this a sanction.”

The fact I am not in WRAG, but in the Support Group which, at the minute still automatically protects me from sanction, demonstrates the effectiveness of communication within the Department! Regardless of this I feel the whole tone of the letter is very threatening, full text @     It speaks of the Law, Rules & Sanctions repeatedly; but more to the point, at no time does it even hint at what “a Good Reason” might be.

For me the absence of an explanation as to what a ‘Good Reason’ might be, combined with the repeatedly use of negative terms, clearly fits within the Collins Dictionary’s definition of Intimidation – “the use of threats, blackmail, or coercion to prevent an unwanted action”.

I find myself feeling fortunate that despite suffering from severe depression, I have a great support mechanism in my family which enables me to talk, cry, rant and scream my way through to a position where I can analyse such letters. I am also very aware though that others don’t have access to this essential assistance.

I think it’s clear that even the threat of loss of money. cannot force a very ill individual to attend and take part in anything. Personally, most days I cannot walk, or do even the most basic tasks for myself and the only possible outcome of sanctions would be I would incur further debt from the associated bank charges, failed direct debits, rent arrears and further ill health from the associated lack of nutrition.

Because of this I wrote to Leigh Wright, as the author of this letter asking precisely what is deemed as a ‘“Good Reason” for a Chronically Sick & Disabled Person to attend and take part in work place activities?’

I don’t have much faith in receiving a constructive response, if I get a reply at all; but I do believe it’s vital that we, as Chronically Sick & Disabled People, question each and every letter, speech or report, where it’s clear that the DWP are behaving in this menacing way.

After as all the Rt Hon DAVID CAMERON MP: said  “Stamping out bullying in the workplace and elsewhere is a vital objective”…and he wants  “to make bullying a thing of the past”!


A Call to Arms- PIP Needs You

A gust post from FibroGirl  “Now my fiends it’s a call to arms, the PIP regulations go back to Parliament very soon, the new disability minister says before the Christmas recess – The sly tactics adopted by Maria Miller has been taken up by Ester McVey“. … She told them “she plans the publish the Government’s response on the same day the secondary regulations are laid before Parliament”

Thus giving us, the Disabled Community NO TIME to analyse such or Lobby/Campaign beforehand

Read the full post :

A Call to Arms- PIP Needs You.

Socialism: old debates and new demands – A MUST READ

I came across the excellent post today considering the need for the Labour Party to to consider their position on Socialism in 2012.

The final paragraph summarises perfectly one of the most vital challenges I believe the Nation as well as Labour must consider URGENTLY :We are in crisis, and catastrophically, people are dying. 73 sick and disabled people die each week as a direct consequence of the welfare “reforms”. Many more will die once the full extent of the cuts are realised early next year. Labour have to RESPOND to, and reflect the needs of a population in the here and now. We need a party that has always championed our human rights and equality and one that will continue to do, with even more urgency in the context of our current crisis. Labour have shown historically that they do reflect the needs of the majority, and respond appropriately. That is precisely what democratically elected governments are meant to do.

Read the full article here: Socialism: old debates and new demands..

Anti Bullying Week 2012 – Say No to Bullying

What gets me is there are these National Anti-bullying Campaigns that people are only too wiling to support yet, the will then turn around and refuse to accept that Chronically Sick & Disabled People are being bullied into committing suicide by the Government!

When will the Nation recognise the demonising of Sick & Disabled People  by Politicians & the Media is Bullying of the worse type?!

For a great post on Anti Bullying Week follow the link below

Ed Miliband’s office sends Reply

Some of you may remember that, back in August I wrote to Ed Miliband regarding his response to an open letter Sonia Poulton on behalf of a large number of disabled people, published in the Daily Mail on 2/8/21. My reply challenged a specific point raised by Mr Miliband “ It is also important to separate out ill health and disability from the decision not to work, which is taken by a distinct minority.”.(link to my letter below).

Today I received a reply from Mr Miliband office, and after an apology for the delay in response it reads:

“It is important that the benefits system  assesses applicants fairly, quickly and compassionately and it is clear the the Government need to fundamentally reform WCA and to reduce the bureaucracy of the current system.

We also believe that Atos Healthcare also have questions to answer about the effectiveness of the current assessment process

Mr Miliband and the Shadow Work & Pensions team will continue to press the Government  to adopt a fairer, more effective approach to welfare reform and to undertake a fast and fundamental review of WCA to ensure it supports disabled people back into work” signedR Davis

So once again, there’s no support for Chronically Sick and Disabled people UNABLE to work. Ed Miliband’s office appears unable to recognise there are many of us who are in a position whereby no amount of change to the assessment process, will help us without acknowledgement that we ARE NOT Scroungers, Fraudsters or Lazy.

I believe each of us must continue to challenge Politicians to recognise we exist;  to acknowledge we have  and continue to actually paid  £millions into the Treasury via taxes, employment and otherwise; and we must remind them that we all have the one single they need a VOTE and we will use it in 2015!…of-ed-miliband/ ‎

The MOST Important Paper you’ll read this week?!

 Today a new paper is launched – The  People’s Review of the Work Capability Assessment. In the foreword written by  Professor Peter Beresford OBE, BA Hons, PhD, AcSS, FRSA, Dip WP; he sums up something many of us have been screaming about for the past 2 years ” “If it wasn’t enough that the Chair of the House of Commons’ Work and Pensions Select Committee and the British Medical Association have both stated unequivocally that the test is not ‘fit for purpose’, we now also know from the direct experience of many disabled people who have first hand experience of the assessment process, just how inappropriate and inadequate it is.”

 This report has taken a year to compile, it is based upon real experiences of Chronically Sick and Disabled people and demonstrates just how biased the process really is. And maybe the closing note is the most important thing of all:

“The reader may wish to consider that sickness and disability

can affect anyone at any time.

Tomorrow it could be you going through this process” have any time at all to spare, please use it to read this paper and then pass it on to as many people as possible, after all as Aristotle said “you can judge a nation by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens”!

Read the report at – please share and Tweet

Born too Late! How does that make me a Scrounger?

An Open Letter to Iain Duncan Smith

Dear Mr Smith

On the Andrew Marr Show this morning you spoke of needing to protect Pensioners from Welfare Reform Cuts, which you justified by their lack scope and opportunity to earn and increase their Pensions. I agree with you on this point, however I fail to understand how when you offer empathy for their very situation, you refuse to apply the same to another group of people in often identical situations,  Chronically Sick & Disabled people?

I grew up in the 60’s & 70’s and was taught that you go to work and pay ‘your dues’, namely Tax and NI, you live within your means and try to save for a ‘rainy day; this is what I did for over 30 years.

And then I became ill, very ill with something that left me so totally fatigue, my employers, my GP, 3 Consultants , Occupational Health & my family, all worked hard over 3 years to support me arrive at the inevitable conclusion; I had become Disabled through my ill health and could no longer work. That was 3 years ago and since then I have been forced to claim Employment  &Support Allowance; and the changes and cuts you and your colleagues have made under the guise of Welfare Reform mean that I now struggle to survive.

Maybe in your world, where you have access to family money, have a well paid job and good health, you would think that having worked for so many years I had managed to save enough money to support myself but, in my world, despite working hard doing the a job you claim to be so valuable ‘Everyone should engage in it’; the savings I did have, after 30 years of paying my stamp in Community Service, were completed depleted within the first 12 months.

I can not comprehend how, you can claim to understand the difficulties people have when they no longer can add to their finances and yet you continue to claim that people claiming out of work benefits  are ‘Scroungers’.

I never thought that at fifty I’d be not only Chronically sick and Disabled, but be struggling to survive, forced to choose whether I heat my Housing Association Flat or I eat. This is my world Mr Smith, I’m unable to work therefore I also have no scope or opportunity to supplement my income through employment but  because I’m 16 years to young, you’re content to label me as scrounging. You talked about Fairness, well please tell me how is this fair?