Poverty

I’m thinking of last winter, a snow-blurred  landscape and my agonisingly permanently cold blue feet, painful hands, the shaming underweight lecture from my  consultant: “eat much more and you must keep warm with raynauds” she said. I told her I couldn’t do both, and she looked at me uncomprehendingly, though she usually understood me.

via Poverty.

DWP tries again to stop release of Universal Credit reports

“The reports could show, without ambiguity, that the DWP misled Parliament in 2012 and 2013 by saying the UC programme was progressing successfully when officials knew this was not the case.”

via DWP tries again to stop release of Universal Credit reports.

An email to authoritarian Tory MPs Charlie Elphicke, Priti Patel and Conor Burns

The Tories use the old tactic of “If You Have No Defence, Attack” against Oxfam.

Kittyjones shares her email to Tory MPs castigating them for their behaviour.

via An email to authoritarian Tory MPs Charlie Elphicke, Priti Patel and Conor Burns.

The depth of corruption in the Conservative Party’s new, privatised health system

Mike Sivier writes : –

According to the Daily Mirror, Circle Health has been given £1.36 billion of health work after investors gave £1.5 million to the Tories; and Care UK – who bankrolled former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley with £21,000 during the seven years he was secretly working on the Health and Social Care Act while Tory leaders were denying any plans for the top-down reorganisation it would authorise – has won £102.6 million in contracts and its chairman John Nash has been made a lord, in return for a £247,250 donation to the Tories.

Read more here:

via The depth of corruption in the Conservative Party's new, privatised health system.

The Truth and Statistics Campaign – Petition 2

Jayne says :-

Last year over 100,006 people said Hold Iain Duncan Smith to account for his misuse of Statistics, both The Work & Pensions Select 3rd Report Monitoring the Perfomance of DWP 2012/13 and the Public Administration Committee 1st Report Agreed.

We demand The House accepts these Recommendation and Ensures Minsters and others present statistics in a way that is fair, accurate and “unspun”.

Read more:

via The Truth and Statistics Campaign – Petition 2.

Labour’s buried treasure

What does Labour think is the point of this? They commission a report but when it is released they ignore it and treat it as an unsolicited submission?

When FREE assistance is offered to translate the report into Easy Read formats for people with disabilities, they refused.

Labour, WTF are you playing at?

via Labour’s buried treasure.

Marks and Spencers’ Leading Ladies. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Dear “Leading Ladies” (Annie Lennox, Emma Thompson, Rita Ora, Rachel Khoo, Lulu Kennedy, Baroness Lawrence, Alek Wek & Roma Agrawal),
Let me ask you, is your contract with Marks and Spencer on Workfare conditions? Or are you getting paid? Are M&S actually able to pay you because they are getting free labour? Did you know that Workfare is NOT voluntary? Unless you deem loss of any income at all and your family starving to death as a valid alternative. Did you know that Workfare is indefinite for sick and disabled people who the DWP deem “may” be fit for work in under a year (“may” be fit by then but are being sent on Workfare schemes anyway). Would YOU accept a position paying under £2 per hour (for 35 hrs/week, with all the extra expenses employment brings & also complying with DWP rules to look for paid employment for another 35 hours per week)?

Dear Marks & Spencer, How many paid, entry-level, positions have you made “redundant” because you’re filling them with unpaid “slave” labour via the Workfare scheme and others like it? Voluntary “work experience” in an appropriate employment sector for a couple of weeks is one thing, but this? This is so close to slave labour you could barely get a fag paper between them. Taxpayers’ money going to fund corporate wages.

Leading Ladies, you should be ashamed of yourselves for promoting a corporation that participates in this scheme.

Marks & Spencer, I refuse to shop with you until you stop, completely and utterly falling in with these scheme to exploit the unemployed, sick and disabled.

When we have half a million vacancies and 2.5 million unemployed (and that’s after the DWP faff with the figures and hide those on sanctions and Workfare schemes from the stats) surely it would make more sense to actually employ people than to throw more onto the job queue. If you want to “do the right thing” and encourage unemployed into work, why not offer more traineeships at (or preferably above) minimum wage with a guaranteed job at the end if certain tests/assessments are acceptable. If you can take on free labour you have the capacity to take on paid.

This goes for all large corporations who are benefiting from public funds instead of paying their staff.

Dominic Raab on BBC Question Time on Foodbanks

Of course Raab knew he was misquoting the Trussell Trust (aka lying). It’s a pity there’s never anyone on the panel (including the presenter) with either the knowledge or the guts to challenge him and his ilk when they spout rubbish. I’ve given up on watching Question Time or listening to Any Questions on R4 now, both given me an unwanted increase in blood pressure and put me in a bad temper.

via Dominic Raab on BBC Question Time on Foodbanks.

Idiot estate agents

We’ve had the house on the market for 4 weeks. We need to move to a bungalow as stairs are getting too hard for me to cope with. Four weeks and NO viewings at all. An “open house” had been arranged for 2 weeks ago, but was cancelled at the very last-minute by the agents (an hour before it was to start). To say I was pissed off would be a colossal understatement. With my health, doing a massive tidy and “staging” of the house for viewers is not a trivial thing.

I have 2 other agencies very keen to work with us (calling regularly to see how things are going), so I rang this lot to find out what the problem was.
“Oh, there’s a lot of interest, so we were going to arrange another open house for next weekend, if that’s ok with you?”
I asked why we weren’t getting people booked in to view if there was so much interest.
“We put people off having a viewing until we have an open house, then we can show them all through at once!”
WTeverlovingF?
No, dear agent, as soon as someone expresses interest, you ask if they would like to view. Then you call me with the day/time that suits them and as long as it is at least the next day or later, and I will be home, I will say “Yes!” – and I will accept “unaccompanied viewers” as well if it’s just too much work for you.

Need to check the contract to see double-check dates and see how hard I can batter them with the threat of going multiple agency.

Anybody after a 3-bed/1-bath, 250+ year old semi-detached mill-worker’s cottage in the Mendip Hills (Somerset – not in a flood risk area!), split-level garden, 2 sheds (one has been used as an office), 2′ thick walls, predominant beams, cottage doors, a duel-fuel burner set in the centre of the old stone walls (keep it burning for a few days and the heat radiates through the stone via the chimney to heat the house), deep windowsills and new carpets downstairs? OIRO £215,000 – it’s on Rightmove 😉