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.

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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.

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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.

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HAS ANYONE AT THE BBC READ THE LIST OF RESERVED MATTERS?

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In short, there is nothing that the Scottish government can do to stop this loss-making semi-nationalised company closing a large part of its network of branches in Scotland, even though it promised that it would never leave a town without a bank.

RBS was 73% owned by the British government at the end of 2015 (the latest figures I could find). If the British government wishes to do something about the closures, it is the major shareholder. Despite the fact that he will have to sell the shares at a massive loss, Philip Hammond is intending to do just that.

Getting rid of the 62 branches in Scotland along with 197 branches of NatWest in England will make it a leaner operation and more attractive to buyers. So, maybe this has been done in collusion with Hammond, given he represents the largest shareholder.

To the best of my knowledge, the Scottish government has no shares in the company.

It’s a great pity that the Unite Union and the BBC couldn’t work that out for themselves.

IF EVER THERE WAS A TIME THAT WE NEEDED PROPER LEADERSHIP IT IS NOW. AND WHAT HAVE WE GOT?

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A “no deal” Brexit will mean less money for the struggling NHS and for cash-starved social care, the Chancellor has admitted.

But wait, what happened to the £350 million a week?

Philip Hammond is the first Cabinet minister to say it was “theoretically possible” that crashing out of the EU without an agreement would ground all flights.

And unless they come to agreements over Open Skies, that’s what will happen.

Mr Hammond appeared to be at odds with Mrs May when he noted that there was a  prospect of terrorists targeting new infrastructure at or near the border – despite the Prime Minister ruling out a hard border. An Taosiseach Leo Varadkar said last month that solutions were unlikely to be found and insisted that it was down to the UK to resolve the issue, adding that Ireland would not help design a “border for the Brexiteers.”

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Over 100 MPs have written to David Davis asking him to publish the impact assessments they say that the government has done, but refused to make public. Refusing to let us know how bad it would be is surely a dereliction of duty and impeding the work of parliament in scrutinising the work of the executive.

What a mess!

Looking at snippets of Prime Minister’s Questions today, I was thinking that, if ever there was a time to have a strong and stable prime minister with a bunch of dedicated, intelligent, hardworking, visionary ministers, it was now.

Then I listened to her stammering and spluttering her way through non-answers to the perfectly reasonable questions that Jeremy Corbyn was putting to her on the utter chaos surrounding their Universal Credit scheme, and I began to wonder if I was living in some sort of Grimms Fairy Tale.

Shortly afterwards I caught a bit of Liz Truss’s car crash interview with Andrew Neil, and then I knew that I was.

THE BALL’S IN THEIR COURT

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Apparently Mrs May is set to tell the Commons that, following her speech in Florence (where she told the Europeans that we had never liked them anyway, and always felt awkward in the same room as them…wasn’t she supposedly a remainer?), it was now up to them to come forward with a solution.

It seems to be “job done” as far as she is concerned.

This, from the text of her speech to Europe:

On the other hand, it seems that Philip Hammond says this:

And here’s wee Foxy.

And that appears to be true at VERY considerable costs. From the Telegraph:

Theresa May has decided to commit billions of pounds on preparing Britain to leave the European Union without a deal in a bid to save her premiership.

The spending, which will be “unlocked” in the new year if no progress is made with Brussels, is intended to send a signal to pro-Brexit MPs that she is serious about regaining the upper hand in the negotiations.

Dominic Raab tells the BBC that planning to leave with no deal is underway. The cost of this will be billions.

(So she’s prepared to spend billions on saving her premiership, according to a hardline Tory paper.  That magic money tree is beginning to look as if it is her personal property, to be used only in the event of some event threatening to derail her.)

It’s all very well throwing the ball to Europe and telling them it’s in their court but they seem to be throwing several different types of ball. Mr Barnier doesn’t know whether he needs a tennis racquet, a baseball bat, a golf club or a pair of football boots.

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But we can’t help thinking that “the ball’s on the slates”, rather than on anyone else’s court.

Wouldn’t be nice if Britain had a realistic coherent policy on Brexit?

  • With thanks to Ian Dunt for the quotes from May, Hammond’s ally and Fox.
  • Theresa May will say in the Commons today that after her Florence speech, “the ball is in [the EU’s] court”.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

 

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Difficult choice…

 

aconm
Well, we knew that all along… (BTW, wasn’t he the one with a lot of dosh in the BVI? I hope they got someone out there trying to net it up.)
a thick1
Oh aye? On what planet exactly is that happening?
acon2
Guest houses “doon the watter” better get painting and decorating over the winter.
ahome.
Another day, another complete balls-up by the Home Office.
Conservative Party Conference 2014
Not for any reason other than he seems to epitomise Brexit. Small, silly and at times comical.
amaggie
Bit obvious really. It’s ok to be a Britnat or and Engnat. Just never a Scotnat.
anaz
What a fine figure of a man, I mean Nazi. I wonder why he’d want to get his top off and show himself off. Emetic maybe?
apensions
Deeeeeeeep bow everyone…
a labour
Indeed, Homer, indeed.
aboris
Oh, really… funny, that’s not what you said in 2016.
atessy
Taking back control to the 16th century. Bravo, May.
ap
Perth played host to a small gaggle of SDL protesters today. They had to be penned in like animals. However, thousands of human beings packed the streets in a counter demonstration. The low life was seen off on an English bus. I’m wondering just how Scottish these people are.

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS

A1

It’s little wonder that Philip Mountbatten-Windsor-Saxe-Coburg-Gotha has had to go on working till he was 96.

Have you seen the state of the British Pension?

Hard enough for Mr Average to manage down the pub on a Saturday evening,  but when you mix in the best of circles, you really can’t do it on £7,500 a year.

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Well, I don’t remember any of that being in the manifesto, do you?

**********afishermen

Then a Scottish MEP, doing his best to get Scottish funding diverted elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Now a member of the aristocracy and a nobleman second-tier minister for Scotland. I imagine that he won’t be fighting hard for the Scottish fishermen in ministerial meetings. Kinda suckered all the fishermen who voted Tory. Still, I’m sure his dithering boss, Fluffy, the tea boy of the cabinet (no sugar, splash of cream, Mundell), will put up a spirited fight for them. After all, who can forget his brave cries of: “I won’t let that happen” when Mrs May paid the DUP a billion plus as a bribe to keep her in a job?

**********amuddle

anic

Or maybe not, Fluffy!!!

According to Wikipedia, Nicola is two places above Muddle in the great scheme of things, which includes royals, dukes, people from the established church, Commonwealth people and some real jokes (Princesses Eugenie and Charlotte anyone?).

The list is worth looking at for comedic value.

 

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Talking about comedic value, Trussy looks nearly as stupid as Govey did when he wore it.

 

None of it comes as any great surprise in Ruritania, except the inclusion at number 11 of the Lord High Chancellor, one Liz Truss, who I thought, was something to do with the English justice system….Justice Minister with a very silly uniform. And she’s above Theresa May…  And all the Scottish ministers. Is that because she has an even more ridiculous outfit than they do?

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eubrder

What was that you people were going on about? Controlling borders? Security?

If you guys think this is bad… you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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