RANDOM THOUGHTS

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Not, in any case, that there is anything wrong with simply advertising on Facebook. Parties USED to advertise in the newspapers when they had a readership. NO one suggested that was wrong as long as they didn’t overspend.

!dont grow up poor or i'll starve you
When you grow up a bit and go to school, just don’t be poor, otherwise, I’ll starve you. Hush now…
!leaf
It seems the Royal Mail is being paid to deliver stuff straight to the skip.  Censorship by the postie?
a nigel4
I’m not sure the government’s plan is quite that good.
adwp
DWP: Heartless Bastards. I don’t swear on the blog (I do in real life) but this is sickening. If you thought IDS was bad. McVile takes evil to whole new level.
!bre12
Erm, y’what? I see you weren’t in the loop then!
ahands lords
Of course, the House of Lords is a travesty of democracy in any case, but this is for sure. When MPs lose their seats they should NOT be given a meal ticket for life in the “upper” chamber. The public expressly said they didn’t want them. They threw them out. The will of the people and all that. Why are they still there, as Michelle Moan said, FOR LIFE?
ddd
Judgement? You have to be joking!
!nicola
Well, I don’t know if it’s true, but if it is, you certainly wouldn’t see it on the BBC.
anige3
LOL, posh boy. Do you seriously think that they aren’t already laughing like drains at the Brits? You need to get out more.
military salaries
So, just how many ranks in Scotland are going to be paying a few pence more in tax as of April, in return for better services?
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NOW WHY WOULD THE BBC MISS THAT OUT?

Sympathies to the now ex-employees of Maplins and Toys R Us. The UK is a pretty bad place to find yourself unemployed. The UK government (although by and large NOT most of the DWP staff) will treat you as if you are some sort of thieving, lowlife criminal out to take money away from doing up Buckingham Palace or HS2, just because you need to feed your family and pay your rent. They will demand that you take any work, no matter how unsuited you may be to it, and if you turn up a few minutes late at one of their appointments, in the diminished number of jobcentres, miles away from where you live, for any reason at all, they will do their best to starve you and your family. So I hope you find work very soon.

I fear that this is just the start of what is coming at us, and to suggest that it is nothing to do with Brexit is to live in a Narnia-like world…. where, should you wish to visit, you will doubtless encounter David Davis avoiding Michel Barnier, Boris Johnson setting up congestion charging on the Irish border, DOCTOR Fox taking Mr Werrity on a government-funded trip on a new Royal Yacht Britannia, Jacob Rees Mogg and Nanny in the Bently, the Maybot, being trailed around like a rag doll by her boss, Arlene and of course Humpty Dumpty and the Mad Hatter.

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From Jolyon Maugham QC…

!$£

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Going back to the BBC… part of the Today Programme this morning came from Northern Ireland and at least one interview from Derry. I’m wondering if it was a BBC policy that the interviewer should refer to it as LONDONderry?

IF YOU ARE DISABLED, IT’S YOUR FAULT

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For some time it has been the government’s policy that it is good for people with disabilities to have a job, earn money, take themselves out of poverty and dependency. (Not that having a job in the UK does any of these things, but we are talking about the UK government here, so don’t expect any kind of sense or decency.)

There was nothing stopping people, they reckoned, getting out there and getting on with it. And so they redesigned the medical examinations system for Disability Benefits.

Instead of looking at a person’s illness or disability, considering how they would manage a job and whether they would be likely to be offered a job, or whether their disability would be considered too much of a liability to a potential employer, they looked at whether or not a person was capable of doing anything at all, whether or not anyone would be likely to employ them to do it.

a lord-freud
Mr Freud, one of their august noblemen, suggested that they could pay people with disabilities less money because they would produce less.

If they could walk a few steps, sit up, move even a little, that was it. Off disability benefits and onto the lower paid job seeking benefits. The real, indeed the only, aim was to save money.

We’ve all seen the ridiculous examples of people whose disabilities make it hard enough just to get through the day without having a job to do, being taken off their benefits and told to look for work. And it is interesting that over 50% of those who appeal against that withdrawal, have the decision overturned by the legal system (which, unlike Jobcentre and the private companies it employs to carry out these tests, does not have targets to fulfil).

So, until recently the government was blaming disabled people for scrounging from the system and being a burden to the country.

Now, apparently, thanks to the drive to get people with disabilities into work, more people with disabilities are working. So is the government happy?

Nope.

Britain has a productivity problem. Brits simply produce less per man hour than workers in other large economies. I’d say there were a large number of reasons for this.

British infrastructure is poor; connectivity is abysmal; management is crap; employee incentives, at the bottom end of the market, are dismal. I’ll stop there because I’m running out of negative adjectives, but you get the drift.

Dead end jobs with no security, short-term and zero-hours contracts, bad management, wages which leave people having to collect social security top-ups, firms struggling to get things moved or to do business on a slow (and sometimes non-existent internet or mobile phone cover) are all either disincentives to hard work or blocks to achievement.

£work

Many people hate their jobs and hate their employers, are bored and dissatisfied. They know they may not be there this time next month. Why would they work hard?

But dear old Philip Hammond (we call him Smiler Hammond at Munguin Towers for his cheery smile and jolly ways) has decided that these things aren’t the real reason for the fact that we get precious little done here.

No no no. Having blamed people with disabilities for not working and causing problems for the economy, he’s now going to blame them for working, and causing problems for the economy.

Yep, that’s right. Britain’s productivity crisis is about the fact that more people with disabilities are working, but presumably not at the pace that able-bodied people would work… QED. Seems if you have a disability, it’s going to be your fault, one way or another.

Come on people, let’s get the hell out of this sickening country while we can.

GOOD NEWS FOR DUNDEE: AND ANOTHER TRAVESTY FROM THE DWP

aasocial security

Nicola Sturgeon was in Dundee today to announce the siting of the headquarters of the new Scottish Social Security Offices in the city.

At least half the 1,500 jobs expected to be created in these offices will be based here in the City of Discovery (and Munguin). The rest will go to Glasgow.

It has been estimated the new agency will be worth £125m to the local economy and will support another 800 jobs.

So, a good day for Dundee. After the Bank of Scotland news from earlier this year, this is exactly what we needed.

I sincerely hope our new department can avoid failures like this:

atory

Why would someone who is tetraplegic be on a benefit that was reviewable? , s Does the DWP expect that she might be getting better? Could they not have checked this with her consultant?

Does the DWP expect that she might be getting better? Could they not have checked this with her consultant (or indeed anyone with a first aid certificate)?

Given that you seem to have to prove that you still suffer from things that are incurable, if an error was made and she didn’t attend for an interview (something for which she can hardly be held responsible herself), and she was taken off her benefits and told to report to the jobcentre, why, when the situation was explained, wasn’t her benefit immediately reinstated?

I mean, seriously, whoever you are in the UK government that organises these things, have you got jobs up your sleeves for people who, as her husband says, can do nothing for themselves?

This is almost literally diabolical: the work of the devil. It is no wonder that the UK government was denounced by the United Nations for failing to respect the rights of disabled people.

The management of the DWP makes me ashamed to live on the same island as they do.

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SCOTLAND’S NEW SOCIAL SECURITY POWERS

For your information, through the Scotland Act 2016, the following benefits will be devolved to Scotland:

Group Benefit Main Purpose
For carers, disabled people and those who are ill.   Attendance Allowance To help with personal care for individuals aged 65 or over with a physical or mental disability.
Carer’s Allowance To help an individual look after someone with substantial caring needs. To be eligible the individual must be 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or disability for individuals aged 16 to 64.  This is a replacement for DLA for working age individuals.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Help if your disability or health condition means either:

  • You need help looking after yourself
  • You have walking difficulties

DLA is closed to new working age claimants and being replaced by PIP.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit For individuals who are ill or disabled as a direct result of an accident or disease caused by work or while attending an approved employment training scheme or course.
Severe Disablement Allowance Was for working-age individuals who are unable to work due to illness or disability. SDA is closed to new entrants.
Currently part of the Regulated Social Fund Cold Weather Payment A payment for individuals on certain benefits when the temperature is either recorded as, or forecasted to be, an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days.
Funeral Expenses For individuals on low income and needing help to pay for a funeral they are arranging.
Sure Start Maternity Grant Introducing a new Best Start Grant which will see support for qualifying families increase from the £500 payable only for the first child under the existing UK Government Sure Start Maternity Grant to £1,100 for the first child and £800 for second and subsequent children over  three payments during a child’s early years.
Winter Fuel Payment A tax-free payment to help pay for heating bills if you were born on or before July, 5 1952 (Current State Pension Age for women).
Other Discretionary Housing Payments Additional help for those in receipt of Housing Benefit and having difficulty meeting their rent payments. Paid at the discretion of the Local Authority.
Job Grant A new Job Grant which will be a payment of £100 or £250 for people with children plus a three months bus pass for  16-24 year olds who have been claiming benefit for six months or more and are starting work.

The following benefits will remain reserved to UK Government:

  • Universal Credit
  • Contributory Job Seekers Allowance
  • Contributory Employment Support Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Maternity Allowance
  • State Pension
  • Pension Credit

THIS IS SERIOUS, TRAGIC AND DISGUSTING

!!

This was seen on a Facebook, ESA/PIP support group.

Although it arrived on my Twitter feed courtesy of Christina McKelvie, I cannot 100% verify its authenticity. But it does seem to be the kind of thing that no one in their right mind would joke about.

So, this woman has a prognosis of somewhere around 6 months left to live. Presumably getting less fit by the day. Towards the end she will undoubtedly be hospitalised. And ATOS say she can go get a job.

Clearly, of course, she can’t, because, to put not too fine a point on it, no one wants to employ someone who is within 6 months of death, even if at the moment they are fit and well, which, in any case, this woman isn’t.

So to have any income at all, she has to get to a jobcentre to sign on. Pretty much impossible, I’d reckon.

I’m so ashamed Scotland is tied to a regime it didn’t vote for that would even contemplate this kind of barbaric inhuman behaviour. Especially, as I never tire of reminding everyone, as they bang on incessantly, about how they are a Christian country with a Christian monarch and a Christian prime minister.

I’m going to end here before I call the British government in general, the DWP in particular and ATOS, a set of inhuman, heartless bastards.

Oops… too late.

ERM, YEAH…HOW EMBARRASSING

a

Embarrassing: Because Mrs May is fond reminding us that she is a Christian. Mr Cameron reminded us that we were a Christian country. The Queen apparently lives her entire life according to the teachings of Christ. Maybe a bit of bible study would be in order.

hand-in-hand

Embarrassing: Because, “Take my hand”, she sings, “I’m a stranger in Paradise.” Kismet?

trumpmay

Embarrassing: Because….eugh, no comment! I feel sick.

Embarrassing: Because the NYT has figures which prove that subscribers and audience at all-time high:

. Fact check: subscribers & audience at all-time highs. Supporting independent journalism matters.

royals

Embarrassing: Guys, this is the 21st century! You’re old men, not children. Stop playing at fancy dress parties and get a bloody job.

labour

Embarrassing: Didn’t their very first manifesto make it a matter of priority to get rid of the House of Lords?

4

Embarrassing: Just how heartless and thoughtless and downright bloody wicked was it to harass this lad?

a

Embarrassing: Theresa May has just signed a £100 million deal to provide President Erdoğan’s government with fighter jets.  President Erdoğan has an appalling record on human rights and is seeking ever more powers. It seems only a short time ago when Westminster was warning against Turkey being allowed anywhere near the EU. They are becoming as inconsistent as Trump.

immigrants

Embarrassing: Because this moron once tweeted something to the effect that his parents hadn’t come to ‘this great country’ so that their way of life could be ruined by immigrants. Dufus or what?  But amusingly, I see that part of the 2,000-mile wall that he’s going to build runs through territory “given” to native Americans. The  Tohono O’odham Nation have a border with Mexico which they cross regularly to meet with friends and family who live in Mexico. They have stated quite clearly that they will not allow the wall to be built on their territory. A war with a native American tribe would be all sorts of embarrassing for Dumbo. But a wall with a 75 mile gap in it would be completely useless. A little research before he made his vow  might have saved him.