Author Topic: Politicians & proving you meet a standard  (Read 1804 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2018, 10:54:00 AM »
Happy New Year, JLR2.

Maybe a smile (well I found it funny at the time).

In my student days, I bought an interrail pass and a youth hostel card and headed for Europe and Scandinavia.  One day, I caught a train from Denmark down through Germany.  After a short while, I changed compartments and explained in German to the two young women in the new compartment, who were puzzled as to why I'd done so in-between stations, that the harsh North German accents of the men in the other compartment were annoying me and I wanted to sleep.  The two young women had Bavarian accents so this made perfect sense to them.

I dozed off then woke to a conversation between the young women about people from different countries.  They were just finishing talking about Americans, then moved onto the British, who were apparently alright but for the fact they have soldiers.  I laughed and they asked why.  I'd forgotten that when speaking German, I didn't have a classic English accent, having learnt German both via French and English, and with most of my oral German learnt from an Austrian teacher.   Goodness only knows where they thought I  came from, but it certainly wasn't the UK.  When they realised I was British, at first they were embarassed, but then took on board that I found it funny and we all cracked up, discussing what else was awful about us Brits.

As for GPMGs, I remember my first TA camp.  A discussion in a boring moment under trees on Salisbury Plain with the man in my section with the GMPG.  He was bemoaning the fact that he always got stuck with it just because he was the biggest man, and I was bemoaning the fact that I got stuck with the radio because I was a woman.  The radio was of a size that these days would be considered ridiculous, and was worn on the back (you may remember that sort) and we compared the GMPG and the radio.  There wasn't much in it weight-wise, so we swapped.  When, shortly after, we emerged from the trees for whatever we were doing next, an SNCO looked at me with bemusement.  "It's a GMPG with legs!" he announced.

Clothes-wise, I used to press everything very carefully not just in the TA but all my civvy kit for years after I left, and when I hit very depressive times and didn't keep up with my ironing, I felt guilty.  Suddenly, a couple of years ago, something dawned on me.  You see, I feel the cold, and almost never take my pullover or cardigan off, therefore the idea that I had been ironing my shirts and T-shirts for years was absurd.  I remembered when I was a child how my mother used to iron my father's shirts - front, collar, cuffs.  My father never took his jacket off.  Now the only time I iron a T-shirt is when visiting a hospital or clinic.  I even stopped ironing my T-shirt for my exercise class, realising that the gap between when I took my pullover off and when people would assume that it was crumpled because I was prancing around sweatily was so short that no one would notice.

But for years, I did attachments to regular army units, and it has to be said that crisp creases make a hell of a difference if you want to be accepted.  Are you of an era to remember the WRAC green shirts with the boxed pleats front and back?  If you pressed them enough, the outside would fade to nearly white whilst the inside was still quite dark, so as you moved, the colour difference showed that you'd pressed it carefully.  That and a bit of smart drill when marched in front of whichever long-suffering officer had to put up with me for a few weeks would achieve the desired effect.  I did an attachment to 1 Royal Irish where I was marched into someone's office  (the adjutant, maybe?) in the midst of a queue of new arrivals, all the others being regulars; and the WO shouting for each of us to come in in turn watched and as I stomped my feet with the enthusiasm of a toddler and practically knocked my own head off with my salute, uttered words I was proud of: "Drill pig!"
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2018, 03:48:09 PM »
Sunny you reminded me of an incident back in the summer of '76 when I was at Thetford camp with 15Para T/A when like yourself I too was under the cover of trees with a GPMG, a bunch of other guys and our Cpl, the Cpl was actually the same fitness instructor whom introduced me to 'Pokey Drill' with the SLR, I'll explain Pokey drill in a moment, as the weather was so hot the Cpl organised some ice creams from a wee van that passed though the camp and we sat there eating our ice creams whilst the other sections were stood out in the sun, striped to the waist heads bowed looking down at their GPMGs as their instructor instructed them. At the next day's morning parade outside our barracks a number of guys were heard complaining about the sunburn they'd suffered the previous day. The Sergeant taking the parade invited the guys to see the medical officer and almost all of them took him up on his offer. Later I heard these guys were not too happy about things as they had found themselves being charged with 'self inflicted wounds'  they were told by the MO that, they ''Were here to work not to get a suntan''.

Pokey drill is where you stand with your arms extended holding the SLR in the middle and then turning it over and over long ways without letting your arms drop or bend at the elbow. After this you are told to take the SLR by the rifle barrel, in one hand with your other hand stretched out in the opposite direction, hold it to your left/right at shoulder height before raising it over head and touching your other hand with the butt. You repeat this three or four times before you take the butt end in the other hand and repeat the exercise touching your other hand with the barrel, that fitness instructor I mentioned demonstrated how to do this with a wee branch, not a flipping SLR >steam<

I still mind the RAF pilots who did the flying of the aircraft used for the parachute jumps they were constantly wandering around with their aviator sunglasses and creating a bit of a nuisance of themselves. After a while some of their behaviour started to get to some of the younger guys and a few of the Regular Paras decided to do something about it. The next day when the pilots appeared for breakfast in the canteen they needed their sunglasses....to cover up their black eyes from the previous night's visit from the Paras :-) 

Talking of ironing shirts and that Sunny, I still mind how we were ordered to iron our coveralls down at Bovington, heck we even had to polish our black gym shoes, not to parade ground standard thankfully.  I was surprised when I was over in Fallingbostel to find that they had to press their combat trousers as one of the things we had been taught in 15 Para was about not having sharp edges to  things as they'd look out of place in nature. When I asked about this pressing of the combats I was told that nowadays (this was in 2003) they did not expect to find themselves so close to a future enemy as things were more and more being done from miles away rather than street or bush to bush.

If I know I want to wear such as a sleeveless jumper or maybe a waistcoat I'll press my shirt but what I have become more aware of these days is how quickly I feel the pain of standing in one spot for a few minutes. The best I can manage is three shirts tops before I have to give up. Most of the time now I just throw a jumper on. One thing I don't do is to wear my Para combat jacket when wearing combat trousers. To do that would have me feeling like folk would look at me and think I thought I was a soldier not something I would ever like folk to be thinking of me.  No my combat trousers are great for sitting around the hoose and when I've dirty jobs such as refilling my indoor coal bunker or if I decide to do a wee bit of DIY.

Time for me to do a bit of DIY and put a few pieces in sausage together, cheers the noo.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 03:54:49 PM by JLR2 »

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2018, 07:10:01 PM »
After a teensy weensy encounter with a tree during basic parachute training, which left me needing surgery, for some years I was less than enamoured of Crab Air.  (Quote "Don't worry, it's not your fault, we dropped you in the wrong place.")  However, some years later the call went out that volunteers were needed to fill gaps in a regular army airborne brigade, so I packed my kit including my most scary weapons (a set of pens and a clipboard) and headed off to furrin parts. 

Me being me, I just volunteered for any bit of bureaucracy that needed doing.  One day, an RAF WO came in search of a couple of volunteers for the main assault (an exerise not war) and a colleague and I agreed without knowing what we were wanted for.  We were then told that actually we were there for a joyride in the cockpit.  While we were up there, there was an explosion next to us and the pilots had to change course and head back to where we'd come from through a dreadful storm.  When we landed, they told us that they hadn't expected to get down safely.  I will never forget their professionalism. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2018, 07:50:07 PM »
Sunny the pilots who got you home safely through the storm were professionals, maybe the guys from 15Para were just looking for any excuse when they set about the RAF guys, come to think of it I learnt of a similar aggro between the sailors on HMS Ocean and the Royal Marines who are carried on the ship while I was on HMS Ocean for 3 days a few years back. I never saw anything happen between them but it was mentioned to me how, maybe it's just regular banter with them, they tend to wind each other up.

On the morning of our first day at Thetford Camp I was standing on parade outside or Nissan, just before we headed off for breakfast, when the question was asked, ''has anyone here served before in the Army?'' and like a complete fool without hesitation I threw my hand in the air....big mistake, I was handed the key to the hut and told I had to be back at the hut in time for the first guy back from his breakfast. So that was how I came to understand the meaning of 'last out first back'  I had to wait till the last guy had gone for breakfast/lunch/dinner and be back before the first guy who'd had his breakfast, dinner or whatever, to open the hut again. Lesson learnt >doh<

ATurtle

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2018, 09:50:46 PM »
I still can't fathom how Robert Halfon can vote the way he does.  In case you don't know him, he's the MP for Harlow.  He developed osteoarthritis in his 20's and can be seen walking with crutches around the House of Commons.  His voting record on Welfare and Benefits, according to Theyworkforyou.com is:

Quote
Generally voted for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the "bedroom tax")

Consistently voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices

Consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability

Consistently voted for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support

Almost always voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits

And this is a man with an understanding of how disabled people have to fight towards what "Normal" is,
Tony.

"I choose not to place "DIS", in my ability." - Robert M. Hensel

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2018, 10:24:10 PM »
Actually, I can guess why - he may be one of those that does the "I'm disabled and I manage without lots of extra help, so why can't they?" thing. 

I don't know what JLR2 would say, but I think the army helped me to see these things differently, maybe because you see so many injuries, and become aware of the wide range of how they affect people.  You see colleagues with minor damage or fractures that heal but leave arthritis, or with wear and tear on joints that may stop them or may just annoy them, and then you see the bigger injuries, even in training, and then of course you see the deaths.

So you have a sense that there's a wide range of impairments, but you don't have a sense that someone that's disabled is somehow a wimp or not making enough effort or whatever.  Obviously you see the odd skiver, but there are just too many people around with genuine problems for you to see skivers as typical. 

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

JLR2

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2018, 09:42:32 AM »
Halfon is probably doing fine for himself, no doubt financially secure and with the connections in life to see to it that he is unlikely to struggle to find a future employer beyond politics. The confidence being financially secure gives someone when applying for a job is a huge advantage, it is something prospective employers tend to take notice of even to the point where a persons disabilities are looked on as a mere inconvenience.

The damage done to someone acquiring a disability increases the longer they find themselves detached from being employed or working for themselves. As a disabled person loses whatever financial security they had, I'm meaning things like any savings they may have built up before their disability hit them, and find themselves having to go through the welfare system they can find themselves becoming isolated from former workmates and sometimes even local friends they may have had in their local community. It's the not being able to put your hand in your pocket in the pub to pay your round or chip in to a charity fund raising in the pub. It's the no longer being invited by well meaning friends to get-togethers as they feel it would be too much to ask in your circumstances.

And so the former healthy, happy go lucky punter finds him or herself sitting looking forlornly out their windows as the world passes them by. Wondering when the DWP will next be contacting them to put them through another humiliation of explaining just how they've ended up where they are from where they were?  Halfon the MP  will never find himself in such a situation short of his suffering a horrendous accident to the point of his suffering life changing disabilities, then he might just begin to understand that just because he could manage on his elbow crutches not everyone irrespective of how hard they try can do the same.

One thing my short time in the Army brought home to me was the determination to do as much as I can if I can, where I'm looking at a wee problem I look to see what I can do to sort it as if I don't sort it no one else is going to sort it for me. Back in 1992 I lost my motability car to a thief problem for me at the time was I lived 8 miles (one way) from the nearest shop, I had no neighbours within 2 miles of my home and given my home was in a Highland cottage by Loch Fleet in Sutherland my problems were in my face as it were. My response? to get my shopping done by making my way the 16 miles to and from that shop (there was only the one shop in the near village)  OK so it took a while getting there and back but the attitude instilled in me at RAC, Bovington and with 15Para t/a many years previously still held and that is what gets me through day by day week by week. For all that I've said there I still have a 'orrible fear of how I will cope when either UC or PiP hit me and affect what little financial security I have just now. Right now my financial security is having a bank account in the black and the benefits I have going into it. It will not take very long for that to be changed by UC or PiP.

I do not feel that it is for me to tell others that just as I'm managing just now they should be able to do so as well. I have read enough stories of people far more disabled than me who are being forced to suffer what amounts to cruelty under these welfare reforms, facing numerous hurdles from their assessments, reassessments, appeals and the higher level appeals which on winning sees them being reassessed pdq and the whole nightmare starting again, the idea I'm sure being to grind relentlessly claimants down breaking their ability to feel able to claim that to which they are entitled. These claimants are not looking for anything more, where and when many honest claimants feel able they are at the front of the queue as they try to find employment. Not the picture the DM or DE would want their readers to consider.

Another thing I might make mention of, in my personal life I was fortunate to have a friend in Glasgow who's fiancé brother owned a chain of shops. Now this friend helped me with one bit of what was then the DSS business and later helped by use of the company's lorry to move the furniture I had in Glasgow to the Highlands without charging a penny for doing so. It is things like this that see me where I am today and without them I would still be living as I was then in Glasgow's Castlemilk housing scheme. To live in Castlemilk is to me a real nightmare, to live there disabled and on welfare benefits....well I couldn't.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 09:51:36 AM by JLR2 »

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2018, 11:53:16 AM »
I enjoyed reading the thread  :-) >thumbsup<

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2018, 01:01:15 PM »
Maybe a smile about removals...

Ok, I've mentioned (though I can't remember how recently) having been homeless in the past.  I was in the TA.  Just as my landlord was turfing me out they happened to want vehicles driving from London (where we were) up to Glasgow.  My CO very kindly let me fill the minibus with almost all my worldly goods, save what would fit in a couple of lockers in the TA centre, and drive via my parents' house roughly half way between the two and drop off my stuff.  A little kindness goes a long way.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2018, 01:40:00 PM »
This thread and several others here have been really helping me, because I'm in a phase where I'm working really hard at seeing the positive as well as the negative, and I've seen some of it here.

This and other threads have reminded me that there's a 'public information' issue out there, whilst at the same time reminding me that seemingly impossible things can be achieved.

I wonder what groups are out there that are trying to get the message across to others in ways they can relate to about what it's like for various disabled people, that I can get involved in?

I get annoyed with a certain drive in relation to mental illness.  I struggle to think of a mainstream mental illness charity that hasn't jumped on the 'anti-stigma' bandwagon, whereby they mention 'stigma' so  much in relation to 'mental' that people increasingly have a subconscious connection which I, unlike those charities, believe actually causes people to perceive mental illness as something that should be stigmatised, that there is something stigmatisingly wrong with it.  Meanwhile, we're not supposed to talk about 'mental illness', we talk about 'mental health' and then we lump them together.  Very rarely do you come across much in the way of campaigns to differentiate between conditions.

At least Alzheimer's UK has separated itself from the homogeneous 'mental health' charities, but then they're contentedly putting out confusing press releases that leave reporters muddling up 'alzheimer's' and 'dementia'.  But at least they're not trying to hide it.

But there's actually relatively little public information from mental 'health' charities about how bad mental illness can be, except in relation to suicide, and then several are jumping on the controversial 'zero suicide' campaign bandwagon.  But the messages are so crude and unhelpful that what messages do people actually take away?  Here's my characterisation of it.

Most people who say they have 'mental illness' have 'mental health', which we should be wary of, but a lot of us have, so it's no big deal, after all other people just get on with it.  Except, of course, for the real loonies, the schizos or whatever, that are very dangerous and should be locked up.  We know they're really ill because they went out and did something awful or because they're running round starkers.

Of course, some are just drunks and druggies, which they shouldn't be because they can't work so they shouldn't be able to afford that stuff so they're given too much in benefits and it's all very well saying they've got underlying problems, but if they just stopped using that stuff, they'd be able to tackle them and get back to work.

Anyway, most of them are faking it, like the people with bad backs.  That bloke next door says he's got manic depression but whenever I see him, he seems to be smiling and dashing around and he shouldn't be on benefits because he says he's got this brilliant internet business and he's getting really rich.

Besides they all get given cars.  That woman down the street says she's not well but she looks ok.  I reckon she's just told the doctor she's got this fake ME thing so she can get lots of money.  It's just hysteria or whatever.  Malingering by another name.

I mean, I've got a bad back and I felt really low when my gran died and I broke up with my partner after we'd been together for ages and I still carried on... 

Have I missed out any stereotypes here?  And I haven't even started on the physical stuff except for the muddling between who gets 'given cars'.

Ok Sunny's big project for 2018 - get involved in getting the message across what disability's about, that no two people have exactly the same obstacles, that it varies between people, and also for the same person  over time.

This ties in with my determination to improve my communication and assertiveness skills.

Dear Politicians - you may get away with hurting disabled people, but I'm adding my weight behind those setting out to make sure you can't pretend to yourselves you're not doing it.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2018, 05:58:34 PM »
Quote
Ok Sunny's big project for 2018 - get involved in getting the message across what disability's about, that no two people have exactly the same obstacles, that it varies between people, and also for the same person  over time.

:-)Sounds like a job for Super Ouch- a being of incredible strength and endurance, that appears in allsorts of different forms depending on the time of day, day of the week and which season it is .

Man I really do need Super Ouch right now because I am unable to follow through on that thought.  >run< off to hide under the bed until my brain fog clears.


Sunny Clouds

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2018, 10:48:24 PM »
 >bighugs< >bighugs<

I hope by the time you read this, you've had some quality sleep.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Monic1511

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2018, 07:35:28 PM »
This is a word copy of a guardian article that is being shared by NAWRA (national association of welfare rights advisors)   
A thread on its own might be appropriate but it comes under the prove yourself to the powers that be

added I agree, I added the warning triangle because self harm is mentioned  >hugs< - Sunshine

Our benefits system has become a racket for cheating poor people
 
Aditya Chakrabortty
I saw a disabled woman’s attempt to get help end in tears and humiliation, and she’s just one of many. That’s how the process works
Tue 2 Jan ‘18 06.00 GMT Last modified on Tue 2 Jan ‘18 08.42 GMT
When Moira gets scared, she cuts herself. “It’s my way of taking control.” Right now she’s very scared. In a few days she faces a tribunal that will judge whether she is entitled to her disability benefit. She has been through forms and examinations and the officials who tell her one thing and those who tell her another, and she is nearly broken. In a low-ceilinged office at the back of a housing estate, she starts sobbing. “I cannot live like this any more.”
Steph Pike lets Moira talk, before telling her, “stay focused”. After years as a welfare rights adviser, Pike knows what tribunals want: short, direct answers shorn of humiliation and pain. Now in her late 40s, Moira was raised in care, went to jail and has been repeatedly cheated of her benefits. Part of her life story is of being let down and punished by authority – but Pike needs her to set all that aside. “Bear with me,” Pike keeps saying. “This is important.”
Such meetings are normally confidential, but for three days over two weeks I had exclusive access to Pike in her work for the Child Poverty Action Group charity. I saw her advise others who appeared to have been wronged by state officials – and I accompanied Moira to that tribunal.
That our benefits system is broken is no longer up for debate. Ministers are told universal credit is a fiasco and MPs weep over starving families in one of the richest societies in human history. Even rightwing tabloids run grim updates on how men with terminal cancer are declared fit to work just weeks before they die.
Such cases are described as shameful. As failures. They are lined up like so many one-offs – not representative of fair-play Britain. But Pike and her colleagues know different. They see a system that routinely snatches money out of the hands of people who need and are entitled to it and bullies claimants with contempt.
Moira never went looking for welfare advice; she was just starving
That’s Moira’s experience, too. Her trouble started when she found herself feeling steadily worse – and so did as she was told and rang the Department for Work and Pensions. Her recent back operation hadn’t worked, the arthritis in her spine, hips and knees was getting worse and the heavy-duty painkillers were wrecking her kidneys. She was summoned for a reassessment in Southend, a 70-mile round trip from her home in London – tricky for a woman who cannot walk more than 10 steps without crutches. Claimants such as Moira are entitled to a home assessment, but Pike told me they are often dispatched “miles away”. She was still told off for being late, says Moira. After the examination, she lost her personal independence payment.
I have seen a copy of the report by the nurse employed by a private firm, which notes that Moira “has a bath mostly every day”. Wrong, she tells Pike. Her depression means that she needs to be “motivated” to bathe – or else “I’ll run a bath and it’ll sit there for four days.” More tears, this time of shame.
The nurse says she has three meals a day. “Lying ass,” shouts Moira, who says she doesn’t eat more than once a day. The report claims: “She is able to get on and off the toilet without difficulty.” Moira’s own form says, “I have great difficulty getting up off the toilet as the joint in my right hip gets stuck.”
The nurse concludes: “Since her last assessment two years ago, this lady’s restrictions have considerably improved.” Yet Moira’s own GP has written to the tribunal, “I would feel that her general overall condition has got worse.” None of these contradictions surprises Pike. Moira, she says, is simply the latest victim of “a lack of care and a culture of money-saving”.
Moira never went looking for welfare advice; she was just starving. In February her GP practice referred her to a food bank. At east London’s First Love Foundation, you walk into a church hall, a volunteer sets aside two bags of food for you and then, by a sign that reads “the way, the life”, you talk to Pike or one of her CPAG colleagues.
Normally, that hardly ever happens. Welfare advice has almost vanished after years of Conservative cuts to councils and legal aid. Pike started out at a council, until it was forced to cut back its welfare advice service. Nowadays, if you’re disabled or unemployed, you’ll most likely get a few leaflets “signposting” you to other services, which themselves can’t help much. As for someone to represent you at a hearing, as Pike is for Moira, “It’s a desert out there,” says Alan Markey, head of the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers. So the people who need welfare advice can’t get it, even while they’re being short-changed of their benefits. Just as the government is making the welfare system meaner, blunter and more prone to malfunction, it is also hacking away at any means of redress.This means poor people are bilked out of millions of pounds that are rightfully theirs. One of Pike’s colleagues, who also advises at the food bank, went through his records for the Guardian and calculated that he filed 36 appeals in the past year. Fifteen still await conclusion, but of the rest, 20 out of 21 DWP rulings were overturned after a welfare adviser got involved.
In just one year, Pike and her colleagues won a total of £852,288.84 back from the DWP: benefits wrongly withheld, years of back payments, compensation to cover the debts claimants racked up. And that’s for just one food bank in one pocket of London. Multiply it for the rest of the country, and you realise that this isn’t about a few bad decisions or rotten apples. It is a predatory system. Last May, the DWP was forced to admit that it has a target to refuse 80% of requests for any reconsideration of benefit decisions. Poor and often seriously ill people with legitimate claims to state support have been left to starve by the government, in order to save money that has been recycled into tax cuts for rich people and big businesses. This happened under “compassionate Conservative” David Cameron and continues under Theresa May, who promised to “always act in the interest of ordinary, working-class people”.
Moira herself was wrongly denied housing benefit, which led to her landlord almost evicting her. She was put in the wrong universal credit group, which mandated her to look for work. She lost money under a mistakenly imposed benefit cap. Each time, her protests were ignored, Pike had to file an official complaint. Without a representative, Pike believes, “Moira would have been forced to go out and look for a job. She would have been sanctioned. It’s a real possibility that she could have ended up destitute and homeless.”
By the time Moira goes in for her appeal, she has been crying and dry-retching. She sits in the hearing room, a black woman in an Adidas tracksuit and on crutches facing three white people with their laptops and thick handbooks. This is how Tory politicians’ rhetorical divide between the deserving and undeserving poor is made bureaucratic reality. Moira has minutes to prove she is on the right side.
It goes well, until the doctor asks about her limited mobility, and Moira makes a passing remark about an elbow getting “dislocated”. The doctor pounces: what does she mean? It seems an obvious slip; she simply means her elbow pops out of its socket, and it has nothing to do with her appeal. Yet the doctor won’t let go.
We’re sent out of the room, as Pike mutters that the elbow has nothing to do with her claim for PIP. On coming back in, the chair announces the hearing has been adjourned while the panel awaits more medical evidence. Moira’s case will drag on well into 2018. The chair drones calmly on – but Moira cries out “I’ve got to go” and grabs her crutches. Once outside the room, she starts vomiting and bawling, “These people have ruled my life since the day I was born.” She bangs on doors, as if giving back some of the violence that has been done to her.
Five guards appear, but are persuaded that a woman on crutches poses little security threat. Finally, Pike gets her into a taxi. She goes home, crying, humiliated and with just over £140 a week to live on through Christmas and New Year. Just before leaving, she says in a low, flat voice: “I’m going to cut so good tonight.”
• Moira’s name has been changed to protect her identity
• The National Self Harm Network offers a valued internet support forum for people who self-harm. Self Injury Support run a self-injury helpline for women which is available Monday-Thursday 7pm-10pm on 08088008088; they also provide text and email support to women who self-harm.
• Aditya Chakrabortty is a Guardian columnist
 

Having represented at these tribunals I can say an awful lot goes by the type of panel you get and I would suspect that the chair of Moira's appeal wanted to award but the doctor was not going to tow the line unless there was medical evidence to back it up which is why the panel was adjourned to get further medical evidence.  The hassle will be getting Moira to go back for round 2 and trying to see what type of panel she gets next time around.
The experienced reps know that certain judges will pick on certain things and can advise claimants not to mention that topic, problem is a lot of the experienced panel members are retiring and we have a lot of new zealots coming in.  Add to that the DWP presenting officers who are there to argue the DWP's position.  They get on my nerves but hey ho they often make fools of themselves.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 01:13:18 PM by SunshineMeadows »

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2018, 09:21:01 PM »
Just sickening that people obviously entitled to benefits are being put through this hell - I have to wonder, do the various 'health assessors' involved in the process (and the DWP decision-makers) get some sort of bonus for each denied claim??  Why else are they being so totally evil  >steam<

JLR2

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Re: Politicians & proving you meet a standard
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2018, 08:15:06 AM »
To quote that often quoted quote, 'Lessons will be learnt'' and the DWP is doing all that it can to learn them.....from the Nazi's T4 programme.

I thought I might add to my rather stark posting there by explaining quite why it is I feel what I've said is relevant. Whilst the T4 Programme was extreme in what it did, the use of gas van/lorries/chambers, the results of what our government is doing is achieving the same result albeit in lower numbers. It is killing disabled people through the denying of welfare benefits to many who need these benefits and more importantly are entitled to them.

Our government and those of Blair's New Labour years have relied, in a not dissimilar way to the Nazi government of Hitler, on the majority of the country's population being distracted by their own sufferings not to take much notice of what is happening to the disabled of their country Germany or Britain. When the disabled of Germany began disappearing folk didn't notice and likewise the people of Britain today who know of no one personally who have been affected by or impacted on by these welfare reforms they tend not to take any notice, they don't see it. It is hardly surprising that this should be the case as many very decent people are trying every day to deal with their own situation facing in many cases low wages, insecure employment, things like zero hour contracts and in the case of those claiming job seekers allowance benefit sanctions. More often than not the only time many are having their attention drawn to disabled benefit claimants is when some media publisher publishes articles or TV channel runs programs about benefit cheats being caught defrauding the benefits system. I feel many of these articles and programs are aimed at re-enforcing the idea that were it not for these benefit cheats the lot of everybody else would be so much better.

It is a sick scheme run by a national government intent in saving money targeting and attacking those least able to fight back to do it. The expression 'post code lottery' has been heard many a time in relation to lots of issues but when it comes to the benefit entitlement of a disabled person having a losing ticket means so much more than a shrugging of the shoulders and buying another ticket, it can mean not having the monies with which to provide the means to live.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 01:14:03 PM by SunshineMeadows »