If this is a recovery, why is the patient still on the critical list?

I’m reblogging this because I agree totally with Mike – his closing comments sum it up but…Read the whole post and see if you can disagree?

Mike Sivier's blog

Time ticks on: We are told the recovery is well under way but have yet to enjoy any of its benefits. Why? Time ticks on: We are told the recovery is well under way but have yet to enjoy any of its benefits. Why?

Official figures say the British economy has grown by 0.8 per cent in the last three months.

The Conservatives are rejoicing over this feeble effort, while saying there’s more to be done; an amazing attempt to travel in two directions at once, that should fool nobody.

It seems the recovery is becoming more balanced, with services, manufacturing and construction all registering expansion.

And it is predicted that the economy will recover to the same level as its pre-recession peak by the middle of this year.

But who, exactly, is this recovery helping?

I’m actually worse-off than this time last year. How is it for you?

My income has not increased appreciably since 2007. Meanwhile the rent has gone up and the costs of energy and groceries have skyrocketed.

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-ISM

This is a wonderful Poem from Chris Wayne – please read and share

CHRIS WAYNE POETRY

-ism                                                                                                                                                   Three letter word                                                                                                                            Noun to be precise                                                                                                                                  A vocabulary devise                                                                                                                            that divides and rules                                                                                                                         But we are the fools                                                                                                                                who fall for it

racISM                                                                                                                                                   sexISM                                                                                                                                                 ageISM                                                                                                                                                   All as bad as each other                                                                                                                     Yet rated in hierarchical structure

So is it any wonder                                                                                                                                  Fear of those different                                                                                                                           from the ‘normal’ other                                                                                                          Perceptually continues                                                                                                                    When any discriminatory names                                                                                                     are placed on levels                                                                                                                               When they should all                                                                                                                             be seen the same

And no government legislation                                                                                                              Will halt mental segmentation                                                                                                       Unless we talk                                                                                                                                       about our hate

Or else those who discriminate                                                                                                         will just disseminate                                                                                                                           their fear                                                                                                                                                     In increasingly covert ways

So let us chat and consider                                                                                                               Why some people say nigger                                                                                                            Why some people say spag                                                                                                                    with venomous delight                                                                                                                          when it makes others sad

For unless we discuss                                                                                                                           Our fear of the unknown                                                                                                                more openly                                                                                                                                          Our closet hate                                                                                                                                     will maintain…

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Let’s Talk – Challenging Oppression through Honesty

When was the last time you actually engaged in dialogue – I don’t mean chatting I’m referring to a real debate, a discussion that involved sharing opinions without fear of offending?

It’s very difficult to challenge oppression when you don’t have the words to say what you mean, or are concerned with upsetting the very person(s) you’re talking with, and about. Recently I found myself  (as a disabled white woman) having a discussion about prejudice with what I would usually refer to as a Black man and a mixed-race woman;  I became very aware that whilst I was comfortable using derogatory words to describe disabled people, I was struggling to find the correct language to articulate my thoughts on race/racism, my fear of offending was a barrier to the conversation.

Another reason for my concern was I had met these people for the first time only that morning meaning I could not judge a likely reaction, I decided the only way to overcome my problem was to own it and so I admitted my fear; both the others immediately shared similar views, and we quickly agreed, unless we open topics around the ‘isms’ and begin to talk about things in regular words these barriers grow. We continued, with each of us talking openly about how we dealt with these problems and discussing what do you do when someone else decides what you can say?  We each had experienced discriminatory behaviour but generally it was implicit, rarely did people use language we could openly challenge; instead prejudicial attitudes were now subtle and insidious, making it difficult, it not impossible to challenge.

The three of us all voiced how we had found it easier to address issues of race, gender, disability etc when someone had used language that was openly prejudicial, how although it was deeply unpleasant to be called ‘Spag’ or ‘Nigger’ those and similar words allowed us to respond immediately, calling for the rationale behind the abuse and opening up a dialogue; whereas we all found it far more difficult to do this when the prejudice was clandestine.

Prejudice being a natural fear of the unknown exists in all of us, and unfortunately during times of  recession it re-emerges and grows, maybe as a default position to make ourselves feel better?This statement I’m sure will cause most people to shudder and perhaps deny it but the associated rise in discrimination through hate crime makes it impossible it ignore.

Owen Jones entered this debate yesterday in The Observer discussing how the overt racism of UKIP is met with outrage on Twitter claiming ” it is relatively easy to take a stand against overt racism; only outright bigots will quibble with you” and this is true;  the real problem comes when the more adept bigots ‘hide’  behind pernicious announcements, that disguise very real prejudice.

Even a cursory examination of language used by the Government to justify Austerity is full of such pernicious testimony, the focus on ‘scrounging’  ‘lazy’  ‘cheating’  promoted through much of the mainstream media, has engendered a distrust against the most vulnerable groups in society.

This distrust has in my opinion, supported the recorded increase in prejudice against most minority groups, and aside from such aforementioned ‘outrage on Twitter’ it is difficult to find any real dialogue around growth in prejudice and discrimination. For many years I’ve witnessed national and local organisations refusing to debate this issue, using claims of diversity and cohesion, to purport a lack of prejudice on any count; usually without any recognition of the paradoxic in this statement, the simple denial of  racism, sexism, ableism or any other form of prejudice, actually perpetuates it.

I’m not suggesting that engaging in conversation will prevent anyone determined to cause harm to desist but…unless we’re prepared to participate  in an honest exchange  of views, with regard for feelings, but also willing for our own opinions to be challenged; this situation will continue to grow. Jones in the article above recognises,  failure to do anything more than Tweet our indignation is dangerous “if we are just patting ourselves on our backs as a means of self-congratulation, flaunting our credentials as decent human beings and failing to tackle the more subtle, pernicious forms of racism that scar our society.”

Jones ends the article stating ” when minority voices speak out and demand change, all of us – whatever our backgrounds – should listen, and act“; I agree and on order to listen we need to one thing thing – Let’s Talk.

 

Cameron and Co

I totally agree with Juli in her latest amazing post; and particularly with her closing lines –

Come ye forth while you’re still free –
We, The People: you and me.
Let’s show this crook, this tyrant traitor,
Petty despotic dictator
Where we’d really like to see
Him stick his ‘Big Society’.

If we don’t act soon – it will be too late?!

juxtaposed

We’re “heading in the right direction”
Satan’s minions will have tell;
Their recipe for our correction
Knocking –
Hear the warning knell?

He leads the rack,
He is the pinion –
Will not countenance opinion
Self-interest is his dominion
Teeth set firm
Towards the Gates of Hell.

Destination by decree
Of fiat kings and corporations:
“Hail to the Unholy See!
Might is Right!”
Proclaim its agents.
New regime as old as Ancient
Orders subjugate the nation.

Pretender
To the Pillars of Necessity and Fate,
Masquerading as the Saviour
With division served as bait,
While his kin he is preserving
With his own collection plate.

Arise, good people
And give vent
To our ‘divine’ Establishment.
Our very blood is being lent
And sold and swapped
And spilled and spent.

This Call-me-Dave will us enslave
If we do not reclaim the State:
Rebuild our lives, our dreams, our nation
One we ALL…

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Real Issues with Welfare reform – Part II

On April 8 I wrote my first official DEAEP Blog, regarding the support we offer, this week Alex & I attended his Tribunal. we arrived at the venue, in a central hotel, to find the tribunal receptionist was extremely chatty; he happily informed the room that there were people from all over the UK, booked to attend, he went on to state every one of the claimants had waited for well over a year to get a hearing! He also informed us that for the day the Tribunal service had paid for 6 meeting rooms –  for hearings, waiting rooms and a room for the court clerks; add the expense for this to the salaries of at least 6 panellists (possibly 8), 3 clerks and the receptionist; and I shudder to think how much this must have cost?!

We were called in on time and given that the DWP had already agreed that Alex should be in the Support group in February 2013, we were expecting this to be a open & shut case but…NO. Firstly the DWP had failed to inform the panel they had AGREED they’d made a mistake, luckily the accepted the letter we had as full evidence; however instead of recognising that the DWP had already accepted Alex was too ill to work, and therefore he had every right to receive the back pay, the judge of the panel grilled Alex for 45 minutes on his inability to work in November 2012. We were made to explain, against each of the ESA qualifying points, that how for a whole 3 months, before the DWP agreed Alex’s health made him unable to work, this was the case. The Dr on the panel on at least four occasions referred to how, in his medical opinion, Alex’s handwriting on the appeal letter clearly indicated Parkinsons, as did his observation of Alex’s body; but the judge persisted in her questions, reducing Alex to tears on one occasion! Why was this – for MONEY – and for a far less amount than the 2 panellists earned in hour we were in there, never mind the the costs of the day’s Tribunal as outlined above; but for an amount that means Alex can afford to live a little more comfortably.

The good news is Alex WON his tribunal but…surely as the DWP had already conceded, wouldn’t it have been far more cost effective, never mind humane, for them to have merely paid him the money he was owed? According to Channel 4 Employment and support allowance (ESA) tribunals cost the taxpayer £66m in 2012/13, and this fails to consider the hidden costs of anxiety and stress to the claimant, both personally and in terms of the Health/support services, consider all of this and what a ludicrous situation this proves to be.

I don’t presume Alex’s case to be unique and given the number of successful tribunals by sick and, or disabled people, this is yet more evidence the current ESA/WCA process is severely flawed.

 

 

 

Inflation drop doesn’t mean wages will rise

Mike is absolutely correct here, the key point for me being household “prices are now outstripping your ability to pay for them at a slightly slower rate.” – The Fact is they are STILL rising and will continue to do despite our social security now offering NO security at all!!

Hope we all survive ’til 2015!!

Mike Sivier's blog

'For the privileged few': If you're earning the average wage of £26,500 per year, or less, then nothing George Osborne says will be relevant to you. ‘For the privileged few’: If you’re earning the average wage of £26,500 per year, or less, then nothing George Osborne says will be relevant to you.

Why are the mainstream media so keen to make you think falling inflation means your wages will rise?

There is absolutely no indication that this will happen.

If you are lucky, and the drop in inflation (to 1.7 per cent) affects things that make a difference to the pound in your pocket, like fuel prices, groceries and utility bills, then their prices are now outstripping your ability to pay for them at a slightly slower rate. Big deal.

The reports all say that private sector wages are on the way up – but this includes the salaries of fatcat company bosses along with the lowest-paid office cleaners.

FTSE-100 bosses all received more pay by January 8 than average workers earn in a year. Their…

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Democracy don’t need..

This is THE reason to VOTE – Don’t let Politicians steal this Right from us READ & SHARE Please

juxtaposed

Democracy don’t need
no dressing up,
no dandy prefix
bearing false description,
masquerading

no neologising,
obfuscating tricks
nor cheap accessorising.

Don’t pretend
that qualifying adjectives
enhance the basic principle

Democracy recedes
with each apologetic easing
and semantic plot.

Don’t swap it for another and
imagine the exchange is not
demeaning when it cannot
mean the same

Go get
your own damned name
to justify the reasons why
Democracy is dying and the
power of the common people
rots in academic lore

If there is any word that has
a right to sit before,
it’s more.

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Austerity, socio-economic entropy and being conservative with the truth

Lies, Damn Lies and The Tories!!! IDS is really does have Incessant, Denial Syndrome – Austerity, socio-economic entropy and being conservative with the truth Another MUST from Kitty

Politics and Insights

734072_148205235330533_659227219_n
The coalition have a track record of lying and trying to mislead the public. David Cameron has now been rebuked several times for making false claims: on NHS spending, the rising national debt and the impact of his tax rises and deep spending cuts on economic growth. The Tories invented figures to claim people are now “better off”, but which totally ignored and excluded an account of the impact of significant factors like the rise in VAT, the cost of living, cuts to tax credits and other benefits.
The government is committing fraud on a grand scale. The reason for such deceit has nothing to do with public finances or the state of the economy, and everything to do with shrinking the public realm. There is an irreducibly ideological dimension to Tory economics, and by making it sound “scientific” when really, it’s more akin to philosophy or Tory buck passing

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Petition demands fibromyalgia test be fit to work

Having 20 years experience living with Fibro – this petition is welcome beyond words – Thanks Mike; for another excellent find

Mike Sivier's blog

140414fibro

The Department for Work and Pensions is being told to sort out its benefit assessment system after campaigners said it is rigged against people who suffer from Fibromyalgia.

The petition – ‘Change DWP Medicals for Fibromyalgia’ – may be found here.

Long-term readers will know that Fibromyalgia is one of the conditions suffered by Mrs Mike, partner of Vox Political writer Mike Sivier. She has hijacked this space to post the following message from the petitioners:

“In brief, the petition asks that Department of Work and Pensions medicals for Fibromyalgia be carried out by a qualified rheumatologist, and that the decision regarding the receipt of benefits not be based on the current point-scoring system.

“The full petition reads:

“‘We, the undersigned, call on the British Government to ask that DWP medicals for Fibromyalgia be carried out by a qualified rheumatologist, and that the decision made about the receipt of…

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Thief stole trolley-load of shopping after his dole was stopped

Lots of Regional FOIS due I think???

UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR

> DWP – getting you off benefits and into a career in crime…

A thief snatched a trolley-load of goods from a South Tyneside store because his dole had been stopped, he said.

Thomas Hay was spotted by a store detective putting £131 of goods into a trolley and leaving Morrisons in Jarrow on January 21 without paying.

The 30-year-old was detained by security staff outside, and the goods were recovered.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was seen putting items in a trolley and went past all points of payment. He was detained outside.

“He was arrested and, when interviewed by police, said he did it because his dole had been stopped.”

Michelle Stonley, defending, said: “He was going to sell the items to pay for rent and food.”

Hay, of Perth Road, Sunderland, was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

He was also ordered to pay a…

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