Author Topic: Not as paranoid as they said  (Read 218 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Not as paranoid as they said
« on: May 04, 2018, 02:09:38 PM »
I have, over recent years, expressed anxiety over participating in demonstrations, lest it be said that I was faking it over how disabled I am.  After all, if I can cope with a demonstration once in a while, I must be fully functional all the time, mustn't I?

Well maybe lots of you here knew all along, but I've only just read in the Spectator that IDS proposed during the coalition years that anyone on benefits that was spotted at a demonstration should be referred to the DWP for investigation.  I haven't got the article in front of me so I can't remember how it was phrased, but I believe it was summarised as the notion that if someone on the dole demonstrates, they're not looking for work while they're doing it.  I don't know whether that's how he characterised it or whether that's how the journalist did.

Apparently the Libdems nipped that idea in the bud.  But I feel vindicated over my edginess about it.

I feel like I do over the issue of my cat.  A few years back, I was living in an upstairs flat of a house where some of the tenants had lots of friends & relatives visiting and hanging around in the hallway gossiping.  I adopted a rescue cat with a human-like name.  It's not the one he had, but we'll call him Peter.  I was concerned that if anyone came nosing round asking questions, someone might say "Someone in flat x said someone called Peter's moved in with her."

So when my ESA came up for renewal shortly after that, I enclosed a picture of him and a copy of the adoption certificate.  Friends thought I was bonkers, but so  what, I'm bonkers anyway.

Well a while after that came the scandal of Concentrix and tax credits.  They'd been accusing single women of being in all sorts of nonsense relationships, including one accused of living with a dead man, one accused of living with a former tenant, and quite a few accused with living with the shop downstairs.  I forget the name of the shop chain, but it was a Scottish one that people like me in England wouldn't recognise as such.  Roberts?  Robinson?  For me as an English person, it would be like accusing someone of cohabiting with WH Smith.

Anyway, a while later still, an old friend who didn't know about things like the Concentrix scandal told me that I'd been very wise to be cautious.  She was a trustee of a family trust.  It's one of the vast number of trusts around the country that only local people know about.  I'll call it Joe Bloggs Trust.  It has some housing.  One of their tenants had been accused by the DWP of cohabiting with Joe Bloggs.

If you told me that all this isn't driven by targets that the government knows all about and encourages whilst taking care not to actually say there should be such targets, I wouldn't believe you.

I'll now say something others will call me paranoid about.  We'll see who's right on this one.  I think this government's getting more and more politically repressive, like the laws it's been introducing on monitoring communications, and that it's hanging out with a whole series of very unpleasant and repressive regimes.  I think we're at a tipping point as to whether this country also gets that nasty.

However, whilst personally I'd like to do a runner to another country, I'm at a loss to know which, as extremism is being stirred up by rich and powerful people across the world.

So all I can think of doing is to hope things improve and to pluck up courage to get out there and demonstrate.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Not as paranoid as they said
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 04:17:22 PM »
Quote
If you told me that all this isn't driven by targets that the government knows all about and encourages whilst taking care not to actually say there should be such targets, I wouldn't believe you.

Well, former Home Secretary Amber Rudd has sacrificed her job for doing just that!

Seems everything is target-driven now, it certainly was going that way when I left the employ of the DWP in 2005.

Quote
I think this government's getting more and more politically repressive, like the laws it's been introducing on monitoring communications, and that it's hanging out with a whole series of very unpleasant and repressive regimes.  I think we're at a tipping point as to whether this country also gets that nasty.

Wouldn't disagree there judging by the Government's apparent attempts to dismantle the Welfare State in piecemeal.  My hope is that the majority of decent people just won't wear it - what was that saying about a nation being judged ultimately by the way it treats its most vulnerable, or something?  (I know some people don't like the word 'vulnerable' but I can't come up with an alternative, so if anybody has one, just say!)



JLR2

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Re: Not as paranoid as they said
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 08:10:37 PM »
''Well maybe lots of you here knew all along, but I've only just read in the Spectator that IDS proposed during the coalition years that anyone on benefits that was spotted at a demonstration should be referred to the DWP for investigation.''

Sunny it was for a similar participation in activities questions I had that I asked my prospective MSP (Scottish Parliament)  candidate, ''Would my taking part in any leafleting or other election related volunteering be seen as a change in my circumstances to the point of affecting my benefit entitlements?''  After she had looked into things she came back to me and told me, ''Yes, any volunteering be it for a political party or a charity is looked on by the DWP as a recordable change of circumstances''.

''My hope is that the majority of decent people just won't wear it - what was that saying about a nation being judged ultimately by the way it treats its most vulnerable, or something?''

Kizzy, I feel the majority of people don't stop long enough to think how things would affect them were their circumstances be changed to the point that they find themselves facing what many of us face, the old it'll never happen to me feeling kicks in. One guy I know locally was a right numpty of sorts, really nice so long as folk didn't forget to get their round in when in his company in the pub but not slow to mention anyone's benefit claiming if they were too slow in getting their round. He fair changed when he was hit by a serious stroke. He learnt the hard way just how cold, hard and clinical the DWP could be when he, a man who had worked for many years, made his first claim for benefits since he left school.

So far as nations worrying about what other nations think of them goes I doubt they lose any sleep about it. More and more since Trump was elected we've seen countries such as Russia simply ignoring what other countries say about their actions be they war gaming in Syria, poisoning folk when they go out for the day with their daughter or support nutcases who case the death of opposing demonstrators when they clash on the streets of the USA. The UK government has shown its contempt for others in its disrespect of the findings of the UN assessors whom judged the UK government's welfare policies in respect of the disabled in Britain violated the UN's conventions on the treatment of disabled people.

Prabhakari

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Re: Not as paranoid as they said
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2018, 03:31:46 AM »
Things are very bad where I live. It is a Tory area. I have experienced horrible bullying when I asked for help. One lady from Social Services was a nasty person. She had a bad reputation for it. My friend Joy, who set up our local D.I.A.L. was well aware of her. It is much worse now. Bullying is common. It even happened to me at the hospital, when I siddenly became ill. I had it from the Paramedics and most of the nurses, barring one.

I lied about my health to escape the hospital. Nothing has changed under the Tories. It is just more open and vicious.

People still vote for the Tories. If they only knew what it was really like. Just wait until they try asking for help. I have tried, but it was useless. I just got a man who told me what I needed and what he was going to do. It was bad, so I did not try any further, but found one solution.

The local hospital is very short of nurses for A and E. I was verbally attacked for asking for a bottle.  I have a kidney infection. It still took forty minutes before I got the bottle. I had to use one that needed removing. I had no choice.

We see all the reports of things going very badly, but still the Tories get votes. What will it take to get rid of them? I think that this country has already reached the tipping point. It began under Thatcher. Blair continued the process, and now we have things happening that happened under the Nazis.

Being Peace, Prabhakari. >wheelchair<
Bless 'em all, bless 'em all,
The long and the short and the tall.

JLR2

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Re: Not as paranoid as they said
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 08:32:40 AM »
''...and now we have things happening that happened under the Nazis.''

Sorry to use a phrase so often used over many years but it has to be said, ''History has a habit of repeating itself''  and so once again it does again repeat itself.

Another quote I very often her being made, usually by politicians, ''lessons will be learnt'' well 'let me be clear' lessons have been learnt.....the wrong ones.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Not as paranoid as they said
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 09:58:54 AM »
2010.  I was talking on the phone with an old friend.  Old as in long-standing and old as in elderly.  He was a retired lawyer.

I told him that i had not said it to anyone outside disability circles, but that if I were to say it there, it would not raise eyebrows.  I said that when I heard the rhetoric by politicians and media outlets about sick and disabled people I was scared.

My elderly, German, Jewish friend paused for a very long time, then quietly and emphatically said "You should be."

I had only felt able to say it to him because a rabbi at his synagogue had been going public about what was happening to and being said about disabled people.

I don't know how old he was.  Indeed until then I had never thought about it.  He retired in the mid to late 90s, but whether he waited until 65 to retire, I don't know.  However, whether his memory was direct seeing/wearing yellow stars or whether it was family or community memory, I don't know.

I hope it won't get as bad as Nazi Germany, but there are tipping points where it can go either way.  I think we're close to what I'll broadly call 'revolution' but that could as easily be democratic upheaval as civil war.

And governments shift their targets over time anyway. 

I still maintain that one of the key reasons why Cameron attacked disabled people the way he did was because of Ivan.  After Ivan's death in 2009, Cameron was quoted as having said that he was better off dead.  I think that the experience coloured his whole view of disabled people, including concepts like "most 'disabled' people aren't really disabled like Ivan was" and "really disabled people are better off dead".  That sort of thing.  I'm inclined to think that a lot of it would have been subconscious.

And Gordon Brown's views would have been coloured by Fraser.   Are other 'disabled' people really disabled like Fraser?  Etc.

I don't know what to think about all this.  My mind goes round in feverish circles and as regular posters here may recall, I've spoken before of considering migrating, but the hostile attitudes here are being stirred up in country after country after country.

My political pessimism comes close to all-embracing and I struggle not to infect others with it, because what is needed is optimism. 

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)