IF YOU ARE DISABLED, IT’S YOUR FAULT

£$%

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.

Advertisements

SO HOW ARE THINGS GOING, MUNGUIN?

ab

Well, everyone!

And when I say well, I don’t mean that things are going well. I just mean W-e-l-l…

You see, we have in the UK:

the slowest wage growth since Napoleonic Wars;

the worst productivity for 2 centuries;

a national debt which has doubled in 7 yrs;

the highest inflation rate for 5 years;

the lowest ever UK credit rating;

the highest ever trade gap;

a budget deficit still £50 billion, despite 7 years of austerity;

debt standing at £1,940,773,400,000 and climbing at £5,170 per second, so heaven knows what it will be when you read this.

Additionally, hospitals, GPs, schools, roads, transport, council services are all chronically underfunded and collapsing under the strain of cuts and of trained and qualified people leaving the sinking ship. And of course, to save money, the government is going ahead with the disastrous, underfunded, badly set up and even worse managed Universal Credit, which sees people wait for months for their benefits, a part of a benefits system to which may be attributed the deaths of thousands of people.

So:

aa1

As if that were not enough, the UK is dealing with the most difficult and complex issues it has faced, at least since world war two.

 

aaust
Austerity for toffs.

 

And in charge (and I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek), while all this goes on, we have a bunch of squabbling, badly behaved, incompetent pests, who find it hard to keep their trousers on, and dependent for their majority on a party made up of people who really believe that the world started 6,000 years ago and that the Giant’s Causeway was created late on THAT Saturday night, after which God rested!

So all in all, not too well, rather than well, I’d say… but what do I know?

001

I’m just gonna sing a wee song with my musical director here.

love Munguin

**********

Celebrities Visit SiriusXM - October 26, 2017

Those of you who have followed Munguin’s New Republic, and his old one too, for a long time, will know that I’m a ridiculously big fan of Petula Clark, who, over the years I’ve been to see in hundreds of places and on a few occasions got to sing with. Today (Nov 15) is Petula’s birthday. Not that I suppose she’d thank me for mentioning it, but it’s her 85th birthday.

She is celebrating it in the way she does best. She has kicked off a concert tour of the USA with a new English language album “Living for Today”, so she’ll be singing, which is what she likes to do better than anything else.

She’s just spent the summer in Québec making an album of French Canadian songs with young upcoming Québecois writers and producers. When she finishes the USA tour she will be touring Canada with her new French album. By the time all this is over she’ll be pretty nearly 86 years old.

petula album

She has now been in show business for 77 years.

You may or may not like her music, but what you can’t ever knock is her boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Bon Anniversaire, ma chère Pétula.

WELCOME TO LIBYA YOUR QUEENNESS

It’s my favourite rendition. Somehow the enthusiasm of the players matches my feelings of pride when I hear it, and the uncertainty of where exactly the music is leading us to reflects perfectly the atmosphere of “lost and abandoned” that a lot of us feel.

aab

But the question is, do the Libyans know that the mad mop head that just arrived from London isn’t actually the Queen of England?

And are the Libyan people suitably grateful for the intervention of Britain (and France and the USA) in their affairs?

**********

 

WHAT? JUST WHAT?

Ascotland office

It’s like Scotland had voted the same way as England and Wales and wanted to remove itself from Europe. When, in fact, it voted 62-38 to remain in Europe.

It’s perfectly true that in 2014 the Scottish people voted to remain within the UK. They did so based on a promise from David Cameron, conveyed through Gordon Brown (because Cameron knew he was unpopular in Scotland, and no one would believe him) that we would have the most powerful devolved parliament in the world with as near to federal powers as it was possible to get in a union like the UK’s where one member comprises 85% of the population.

Now, you really only have to look around the world, to Canada, the USA, Denmark, Germany, Australia, India, Belgium… and so on, to see that that is utter rubbish.

 

The powers that we were promised were watered down firstly in the Smith Commission (with 6-4 unionist-independentist members), and then further by the Tory/Liberal Democrat, largely English Cabinet before being sent to Scotland. When a bill for more powers came before the UK parliament, no amendments put forward by recently-elected Scottish MPs were accepted. All were outvoted by UK MPs.

debate

And of course one of the most specific warnings at the time of the Scottish referendum was the threat that were we to leave the UK we would be thrown out of the EU, and that that would be a catastrophe. Some young people, with a view to travelling, studying and working in other EU countries may very well have been swayed by these threats (as may well have been businessmen and others).

No one is asking the Scottish people to make a decision on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations before they are completed. (Although, given that there will be no referendum on the outcome of the talks, no one in Britain will be given a voice.)  It has been made clear that negotiations are to be finished by October 2018…in 18 months’ time. Now is not the time. After the negotiations are completed IS the time, before Scotland is dragged out of the EU against its will.

One might ask why the will of 55% of the Scottish people in 2014 is more important than the will of 62% of the Scottish population in 2016.

brexirt

The Scotland Office says that leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity, and then continues with some drivel about being fairer and more united and outward looking. Seriously, that is insulting after the warnings we were given about how disastrous it would be to leave the EU.

The UK will not be united. There’s about a 50-50 split, and two of the four integral countries of the union are opposed to leaving and will be badly affected by it.

The UK will not be fairer. A good deal of the fairness which exists here is down to EU law. It’s already been suggested by people like Mr Fox that Britain will have to deregulate business so that they can take advantage of opportunities. A trade deal with the US will demand that we work to their standards (which are far less rigorous than the EU’s). The Human Rights legislation of the EU will be binned and our access to European courts will be removed.

It won’t be stronger, and I have no idea why anyone would think that isolating yourself would make you more outward looking. I’d have thought that with people no longer able to travel, study, live, work anywhere within the large and getting larger EU, we are likely to become even more inward looking that we have always been.

But why am I surprised? The Scotland Office has never represented the will of the Scottish people. How could it, run as it is by the Tories who managed to get only one seat out of 59 in our country in the elections of 2015.

brexit2

Oh, and how many times are you going to repeat Mrs May’s latest catchphrase “Now is not the time”. Presumably the time is when Scotland has been dragged out of the EU; EU people have left to make a better home for themselves and can no longer vote and people with dual nationality have moved to the other country to which they are attached.

Still, it’s better than the “Brexit means Brexit” and “Brexit is red white and blue” that she came up with before.

DON’T MAKE US LAUGH, MAY

I’m not sure whether to laugh or to be angry.

According to the Independent, Mrs May’s speech to the Tories little get together in Wales tomorrow, will talk about how Scottish independence would ruin Britain’s chances of getting a good deal from the EU in their Brexit negotiations.

In order to get the deal she wants, she thinks that Scotland must pull together with the “rest of the country”. England, I imagine she means.

She will call upon the Scots to get behind her plans (what plans?) because “we are one people”.

To assume this, given all the recent evidence to the contrary, her audacity must surely know no bounds.

In almost everything and in almost every way, we are very different peoples. In particular, over the Brexit deal she wants to get (and probably has as much of a chance of getting as Munguin has of being the next president of Botswana), we are completely different.

It seems to have completely escaped this woman’s notice that Scotland voted, not narrowly, but very conclusively, to stay in the EU. To be honest, even if we hadn’t I think there’s a fair chance we wouldn’t be backing the chaos her idiot ministers are sleepwalking into. There’s Brexit, and then there’s Brexsuicide.

She seems oblivious to the fact that we elected ONE single Tory out of the 59 Scottish MPs, to contribute to her government in London. One, and by a tiny majority. Whereas in England they managed by hook or by crook (and that might be an appropriate word) they elected  Tory government.

We are not one people Mrs May. We are two kingdoms and principality and a province, and we are all very different, with different economies and different needs. (And it might be an idea to remember that there is a British Overseas Territory which also has to be considered into the bargain.)

Whilst May’s party has set about tearing down the welfare state, removing benefits for some of our most vulnerable people, dismantling that part of the NHS over which they have direct control, making life utterly unbearable for the worst off, handing out tax reductions to some of the richest, and with plans to remove the UK from the ECHR she will have the brass neck to say: “Our Plan for Britain is a plan for a brighter future. A plan to make the most of the opportunities ahead and to build a stronger, fairer Britain that is more united and more outward-looking.” Stronger and fairer? Seriously? Fairer? Tell that to the people being assessed for PIP who are being asked why they haven’t committed suicide yet!

No, Mrs May, let me tell you, we Scots don’t believe a single word you say. Not you nor any of your hapless, self-serving amateur ministers, especially you blundering idiot of a Scottish Secretary.

We don’t want to leave Europe at any price, but certainly not under any deal that you or any of your team would ever be able to negotiate. Seriously: David Davis, Boris Johnson. Liam Fox? Liam Bloody FOX???? Please!

Scots didn’t vote for your vile cruel, self-serving, incompetent government. And we don’t want it. if you are comforting yourself that you made a small headway in our General Election, compared to your General Election a year earlier, then you should remember that it is because Labour is even more pathetic than your lot. And remember too that the improvement was largely made in list seats.

Remember standing in front of all those empty seats? Well, go look at the crowds of cheering people in Aberdeen today for OUR leader.

We won’t get behind you. We won’t back your plans(?), which almost undoubtedly mean selling Scotland out, as your predecessors did. We have friends in Europe. They like us. They like our first minister. I suspect that they don’t like you much.