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Talk / Re: A 'simple guide' to UC
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on Today at 03:46:20 PM »
My tears aren't just about that (I don't personally have mortgage interest to pay), but about the whole of it, one thing after another.

Sorry, I can't resist a wholly unoriginal rant you've heard from me a thousand times.  Ok, so you know my politics are left of centre, I don't like neoliberalism and I think that 'austerity' is both dishonest and cruel.

However, what continues to make me angry, angry, angry about it is a strong sense that actually it doesn't make those implementing it politically the most money or power.  Seriously.  It destroys countries, so unless they're planning to kill themselves or emigrate when they get older, they're in with a good chance of suffering themselves unless, like Margaret Thatcher, they get dementia and suffer for other reasons.

Come to think of it, she spent the last years of her life in a hotel suite.  By all accounts, she didn't have much in the way of family visits and I wonder how geared up to good quality care the staff there actually were.  I bet she was lonely in many ways.  I honestly don't know, but what's to bet the front-line staff there were as underpaid and exploited as front-line staff in care homes and nursing homes that others end up in, who then find it difficult to do their jobs because they're too stressed or worried or depressed to focus on their work, can't take time off when unwell or injured so can't work well then, are too tired because of dreadful shifts etc. 

Look at all those parliamentarians invested in private health companies.  Look how many of them haven't done well financially out of the health companies they thought would do well as the NHS is being dismantled, but actually haven't because they underestimated how much less cost-effective and therefore less profitable things like primary care or mental health services or whatever are if you disconnect them from other services?  People who destroy things to gain aren't nice, but people who incompetently destroy things to their own disadvantage turn my stomach.

And that includes those running the welfare state.  If what you want is to invest in exploitative companies that pay employees next to nothing and can do it because those employees can turn to the treasury, whose funds come mainly from creating fresh money (which you can do when you have your own currency) and from taxing ordinary people, you don't get nice big dividends if your staff can't afford to work at all.  Oops, your profit goes for a burton if your zero hours or gig economy staff don't get enough work one week then don't come back because when the work slows, their benefits are messed up, so they give up.

I want to scream at some of these politicians "If you're going to exploit people, at least do it so it actually works or leave well alone!"

Not for nothing have various big employers in the past put various staff-care schemes in place.  They actually worked.

This is all the equivalent of something that was done in one place I worked.  I was a union rep.  We had an old-fashioned pay scale. Overlapping grades, each one with increments for adequate performance with the possibility of three more if you were outstanding or your job responsibilities increased individually.  The employers said they were getting rid of that.  After all, why should people keep getting extra?  Well, maybe because it's the top of the scale that's the rate for the job, not the bottom, and you get paid less whilst getting experience.

Anway, they decided to go for individually negotiated pay, and then also added in bonuses.  In vain did I try to explain that they're counter-productive.   By the time I left, they'd destroyed the department I was in and the whole organisation was split up  as well.

However, here's the bonus thing.  Say you give the top 10% bonuses.  In theory, everyone works jolly hard to get one.  Nope.  Most people reckon they won't get one, and the longer the system's in place, and the more often it's the same people that get them, the more people don't bother to try.  If you get a little bonus for doing your job well, it can motivate you a lot more than gambling on a big bonus.

So back to the benefits changes, I wonder how many more people just give up thanks to the changes?  And yes, to some extent in theory they can just let people die, but surely there'll be a tipping point where they're risking revolution or something?  And if the politicians doing this haven't got ready to emigrate, they're at serious risk.

There'll be the odd one that's just naive, thinks it couldn't happen to them here what's happened in so many other countries where people have been exploited.  Maybe it will, maybe it won't.

Hurting so many people for no gain.

The irony is that when I look at some of the nastiest leaders of the past, I can at least see that some of them had logic etc.  Ok, I'll do the Godwin thing.  When Hitler started bumping off us mad 'uns in the asylums, it made perfect sense politically, in that he'd then got hospitals to 'hide' the war-wounded in.  People would notice patients less if there were already patients in the hospital, albeit a different sort.  That doesn't make it right, but it makes it logical.

Likewise, take what Hitler did to the Jews.  Disgusting.  But if you see it from his point of view, and remember that he was off his trolley on a cocktail of drugs including crystal meth, the key figures in some of the big financial institutions who'd wrecked Germany financially happened to be Jewish, some of the more visible migrants to Germany were Jewish, some of the  best known figures in the Russian revolution (the Russians being probably the biggest external threat he perceived for a long time) were Jewish.  So play safe and kill off the Jews.  Morally wrong.  Disgusting.  Cruel.  Something that had to be stopped.  But logical.

By contrast, a lot of what's being done here which is resulting in fewer deaths, but still suffering is rather less logical to say the least because it's probably not actually going to end up making more willing, profitable skivvies for profit-making companies, it's just going to grind people down.

How to fight back?  I don't know.  Information, and morale boosting, I guess.
« Last post by huhn on Today at 02:31:08 PM »
I just ask our local  IKEA store to put a list of allergens in their food  up to make it easier for all people  who suffer from any possible allergy to find the right fresh food in the restaurant,  have to see  when is it done.
Talk / Re: Funny init
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on Today at 01:25:44 PM »
It's also the us/them thing, then, isn't it?

I think that's one of the nastiest outcomes of selling off council housing, because you widen the social divides.  In all seriousness, if you give priority to the social housing for people with the most problems, social housing estates become 'problem' estates that others want to avoid.  Us and them.

I see it myself.  There are areas that shame me over my own snobbery.  But if housing is such that if, to take just one example, you're a young mum you end up being housed nowhere near your other relatives, who helps you, mentors you, supports you?  Then if you're not much of a mum, how easy to criticise you.  And then someone like me goes to some of those areas and thinks "I wouldn't want to live there, just look at the way they behave," and the divides remain.  I've lived in poor areas and rich areas and in-between areas.  I think where it probably works best community-wise is where there's a mixture of housing and therefore a mixture of people.

Sorry I'm off on tangents a lot at the moment, but a sudden memory of something.  I read something written by a youth worker who said that in  his experience, almost all the teenage mums he'd encountered had had a baby because they wanted someone to love them unconditionally.  I don't remember what he said about the dads but I've always supposed that a lot of them are the same.

But how terribly terribly sad to feel so unloved and  unaccepted that the only way you believe you will be loved and accepted is by having a baby, and then for society to reject you for it.

This isn't just about babies, though, is it?  It's about people that want jobs and can't get them but so desperately need to keep their pride that they brag to others they don't want a job and they're better off on benefits.  It's about people with hidden disabilities living in a society where they're so desperate not to be rejected, they continue to hide them, and the government ramps that up by leaving them worried about whether others will think they're cheating.

I suppose pulling together is all we can do.
Talk / Re: Funny init
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on Today at 01:16:21 PM »
The abuse I haven't known how to fight off in life was emotional.  I wish I'd been taught the right lessons at an early age.  The worst of it for me was being emotionally abused in the psychiatric system, and I'm not alone in that.  But I know from variously helping and caring for my demented father that it happens to men as well and to people in physical care as well as mental care.

I think this is where so many issues overlap, i.e. when people exploit vulnerable people and what is for me so utterly disgusting, when those whose job it is to protect then exploit instead.

I hadn't mentally linked the possibility of benefits problems specifically increasing vulnerability the way you raised and I feel so sad about it, recognising it as almost certain that there are people being taken advantage of and abused in that way.

A sudden memory, not of benefits, but of people.

Where  I grew up, someone set up a Women's refuge.  Back then, it was a novelty.  Sometimes men would stand outside and shout at the women to come out.  There might be several men there.  But in those days, the kids played in the street and also fewer people drove and more walked.  Those men were driven away time and again and gradually fewer turned up.  In particular, it's one thing for the sort of man that identifies being masculine with  being agressive and winning fights to try to argue with another man, or to intimidate his own wife, but it's not so easy when it's a couple of dozen kids ranging from pre-school upwards.  After all, you then don't just have to argue with the teenage lads, you've got the little one on its trike or scooter ramming your legs, telling you to go home because you're a nasty horrid man and those are their conkers you're treading on...
Talk / Re: A 'simple guide' to UC
« Last post by JLR2 on Today at 01:02:17 PM »

Sorry, this is a link to the government page telling about this change;
Talk / Re: Funny init
« Last post by JLR2 on Today at 12:40:37 PM »
I feel much of Army life is almost like a family life, we all see each other as family and look to do what we can to protect each other. some years back, in the early 90's, I was in a pub on the south side of Glasgow when another pub customer noticed the rank strap on my wrist. The rank strap is worn in short sleeve order to display a soldier's rank, Cpl, Sgt or whatever my strap actually had on it the cap badge of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, I wasn't in the Army long enough to earn any rank beyond Trooper, this guy quietly spoke to me asking if I wouldn't mind covering my strap as if someone had a grudge against the Army and looked to attack me he felt he had a duty to defend me as he too was ex-Army and in his book we (ex-Army folk)  look after each other. I did leave my jacket on after that little chat.

As much as we hear more and more these days of women being trained in front line roles in the military, indeed recently a woman passed the Royal Marine Commando selection test, I think many men still think of women with a sort of fatherly tone to their thoughts and it is this that has many not realising that men themselves can find themselves victims of sexual abuse and aggression. In the distant backroom of my memory I remember reading of a court case where a man had been raped by a woman, in the story it was asked how can a woman possibly rape a man?  as there needs in the man the necessary arousal before anything else happens. Well in the case I am referring to it was explained that when a man has a knife at his throat he will do anything to avoid the consequences as this man had to. The woman in the case was found guilty of rape and imprisoned.

Just thinking about this, it must be horrible for married soldiers who know of others in their barracks who do not know how to control their sexual behaviour when their squadron is away on a tour of duty or on an exercise, such as the armoured regiments Batus exercise in Canada, in another country with their wife is back in their UK base's married quarters.

Sunny I'm glad you had the courage to fight off the Sgt-Major.
Talk / Re: UC - embarassing the government
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on Today at 12:36:30 PM »
So terribly tempting.  Sadly, the really timewasting MPs and ministers don't turn up as often as they should anyway, so you'd probably kill off the good ones and leave the uncaring ones still harming people.

(Yes, I know I'm very negative politically these days.)
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on Today at 12:34:51 PM »
Just playing with ideas - you were saying about St Anne's (have I got the name right).  I wonder whether you get, through them, any contact directly or indirectly with councillors or large groups that could see if there could be a city-wide campaign/policy?  It's pot-luck really, but in some towns the local businesses like to be seen as generous or whatever and get on board with things collectively, because then they can do group PR.  Newspaper articles with beaming business leaders "How businesses in Bogglesworth are at the forefront of helping people we think you'll sympathise with.  Aren't we jolly nice businesses whose products and services you'll want to buy."  (Well, ok, more subtly worded than that!)

Also, a lot of regional newspapers are desperate for free stories if you can, maybe with the help of someone else on the editing for typos and style, give them something they can use with minimal alteration, together with some photos.  Maybe find a shop, even just a small one, that's helpful and willing to work with you on this.

But you're already doing an awful lot, so I've no idea if you'd have time to do this sort of thing.
« Last post by bulekingfisher on Today at 12:22:31 PM »
Hello Sunny Clouds

This was a good idea but the store/shop ,managers said they would have to ask head office but 2months later there is no visable change but at least I tried to help people who need assistance dogs
Talk / Re: UC - embarassing the government
« Last post by bulekingfisher on Today at 12:16:07 PM »
Hello SUNNY clouds

My idea might be impractical but do what Guy Fawkes tried to do + blow Parliament up

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