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.

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.

My Review of Bra-Llelujah Bra

Originally submitted at Freshpair

No more bra lines, bulges, clasps, hooks or wires

"Underwire" lift without the underwire

Unique hosiery knit engineering offers the ultimate support and comfort

Designed to give you a smooth, sexy back

Straps distribute weight evenly and won&…

Almost Perfect

By Kayla from Somerset, United Kingdom on 6/2/2013

 

4out of 5

Cup Fit: Feels true to size

Band Size: Feels true to size

Pros: Figure-Flattering, Comfortable, Soft, Good Coverage, Washes Well, Good Support

Cons: Seams At Back Irritate

Best Uses: T-Shirts, sleep, Everyday

Describe Yourself: Geek, Comfort-oriented, High-end shopper, Mature, Practical, Disabled

Was this a gift?: No

Fabulous. I’ll buy more. The ONLY issue is that I have to wear them inside out. There’s a seam on both straps where they attach to the back band. Those seams manage to be at the most sensitive part of my back & cause intense irritation & itching. Wearing the bra inside out puts the smooth side of the seams against my skin instead. If the manufacturer could find a solution, the bras would be perfect & worth 5*.

This bra is one of the most comfortable I have found. The lack of clasps & few seams means that it feels comfortable against my skin & I don’t have to reach to put it on/take it off (the best way to put it on is to step into it and pull it up). I wouldn’t recommend it for cup sizes bigger than a D/DD if you’re looking for strong support.

“But if you can sit at a computer to type, you can do a job!”

“If you can sit at a computer to play a game or read/respond to an article, you can do a job!” I want to be paid for the number of times I hear that or some variation on it – more if it is from someone who I believe “should know better”.

Who will employ someone who not only cannot do a full day, who would be too tired to actually do anything after commuting to work, but also cannot guarantee which days (if any) they could work? Who will employ someone who might get to work only to collapse & need to be sent/taken home? Who will employ someone who might suddenly have a “brain full of cotton wool” and be unable to remember things even from only a few minutes previously? Who will employ someone who might manage two days one week and none the next? Who will provide a private office with a sofa or bed for their employee to take the necessary naps to get them through the day? Who will employ someone who is taking Tramadol or morphine every couple of hours for the pain? Pretty sure that last, and possibly some of the others, would contravene workplace safety laws.

Imagine having flu, not a bit of a sniffly cold, FLU. Deep bone aches, joints stiffen, everything hurts, brain is fogged, body shakes, exhaustion not helped by sleep, constant headache. Now imagine living with that ALL THE TIME. With no real help from medication other than to “take the edge off”.

None of these not-yet-disabled that I see every day on twitter, on various comments sections to blogs or newspaper articles making nasty comments about others. They must be absolute medical geniuses to be able to diagnose from a newspaper or blog comment whether someone is fit for work. They should be working for ATOS.

Perhaps they should remember that it only takes a split second for their life to change. Most people who are disabled or chronically sick were not born that way. We had lives. We had careers. Then something happened and we were suddenly useless. Unable to do the work we trained for. Some of us successfully retrain, become self-employed, but it’s difficult and requires a lot of support… financial support to allow us to adapt our way of doing things, to get going as a start-up. Then sometimes Our condition worsens and that gets ripped away from us as well and we’re back to square one. All the time being judged by people who simply haven’t got a clue and, truth be told, haven’t even stopped to think about what they are saying or writing beyond regurgitating what they last read from their favourite comic tabloid.

“Those Paralympians are disabled and they can work!” “What about Stephen Hawking? He’s able to do amazing things.” These comments piss me off beyond belief.

You can run like Usain Bolt? No? Oh, perhaps you are a Nobel prize candidate in a scientific field? Still no? Maybe you are an award-winning author or composer? A celebrated artist? No? Why not? Other non-disabled people do these things. Why can’t you?

That’s precisely what those unthinking idiots are saying to anyone with a disability.

And when they start using terms like “drain on resources”? Oh dear, now we’re one step away from calling disabled people “useless eaters” or “useless consumers”. Perhaps all people who have an accident or fall ill should be given a “Deliverance Machine” with a list of “correct” answers in case your idea of society deems them to be too much of a burden.

I used to say that I would never wish my combination of illnesses & medical conditions on anyone. I changed my mind and the list grows longer. I’d like to put an ever larger number of people into modified “arthritis suits” for a few weeks to see how they manage a life of constant pain & restriction.  It’s not cruel and unusual… that would be if I suggested they have a hip & knee replacement, a few rounds of ECT, a go on an acceleration high G simulator and then be put in the suits.  But I shall, womanfully, restrain my natural aggressive tendencies.

Back to Work Schemes & Myths About Disabled People

I wrote this in response to someone on a comment thread who said this about disabled people being forced onto the government’s Back To Work schemes:

Most though have not paid any NI or tax such as this Girl

The “Girl” he refers to is Cait Reilly who recently succeeded at the Court of Appeal in claiming that forcing her to work for “free” at Poundland was not legal.

This is my reply:

( I will assume by “tax” that you mean “income tax”, as everyone who pays for anything in this country is paying tax on every single transaction beyond the basic foodstuffs.)

You assume that she hasn’t ever had a job? Most youngsters that I know at uni have part-time/casual jobs. They have to or they can’t survive (unless they come from rich families). The so called “maintenance loan” doesn’t even cover basic housing expenses, let alone the cost of food, transport & most importantly, textbooks etc. Chances are many young graduates (again, unless from well off families) have been paying income tax & NI since they first left secondary school.

The girl was already working for nothing, in an area where she would learn more of use, benefit her CV and give her a better chance of finding a job. But that’s not good enough for this government who want to supply free labour to business & so force down wages even further for their big business backers & puppetmasters.

You’ve also assumed that anyone who is disabled or chronically & permanently ill has been so from birth. That they never had a time when they were able-bodied or well enough to work. Never a time when they were “just the same” as everyone else. People seem to do this a lot, assume that someone with a disability or illness, who has to claim benefits in order to survive, has always been unemployable. Is it perhaps because recognising otherwise might make people realise that it could happen to them at any second? That it takes only one split second of inattention to lead to a disabling accident? That they could have just that one “perfectly standard” test at the doctor’s that comes back to tell them that they have an incurable, disabling illness that will only get worse over time?

And even if they manage to survive all of those… they’ll be old & infirm one day. They’ll wonder then why there’s no-one to speak up for them & their needs.

We’ll call them the Temporarily Able-Bodied or The Not Yet Disabled.

Liberal Democrats, enablers of bully boys

I wrote the following as a comment to the linked post on Tessa Munt’s website:

“I believe it is far better legislation than Andrew Lansley proposed.” So said Tessa Munt last year.

You know, that really wouldn’t be difficult. You wrote this a while ago, since then we have seen patients turned away from walk-in centres that display the NHS logo but are run by private companies because they had already “filled their quota” for that type of health problem. We have seen patients turned down for operations that are desperately needed because, again, the private company running the service has already done as many as they are allowed. We have seen private healthcare companies artificially increasing their waiting times for operations & lying to patients that the waiting list for an operation is so long that they would be better off paying for it to be done privately… with that company, of course.

We are seeing NHS hospitals closed & then handed over to private companies at a discount. NATIONAL Health Service hospitals simply cannot run out of money – that’s what the N in NHS means. They are not individual hospitals, they are part of the whole. If a NHS hospital goes “bankrupt” that means that the entire government is bankrupt (financially this time, as well as morally). In which case all MPs and Civil Service Heads will need to be charged with Dereliction of Duty and held to account in court for the destruction of the United Kingdom.

Without the Liberal Democrats in coalition the Conservatives would never have had the power needed to ram through the NHS Fire Sale Act (with LibDem fully informed support). Without LD enablement, the NHS destruction (yes, begun under Labour) could not have continued. Without LD enablement the War on the Poor would have never seen the light of day. The policies begun under Labour would have stagnated and the levels of harm would have been manageable.

Without the LibDems acting as enablers to this bunch of sociopthic, sadistic, bully boys the UK would be ticking along with the focus on properly managing the debt & controlling the deficit rather than enacting ages old Tory ideology & taking from the poor to give to their rich mates & families. How does it feel knowing that your party sold itself to the highest bidder for the illusion of power? Because that’s all you have, and all you will ever have. The Lib-Dems as a party have regressed to about 2 decades ago in terms of likelihood of ever gaining power again. Speaking of likelihood of being elected again, I think you’ll find that everything I have mentioned, in addition to the outright lies on Student Fees, will not be forgotten when it comes time for you to try to keep this seat.

The people of this constituency are very disappointed. We kicked out Heathcoat-Amory primarily because his expense claims were finally too much for even the True Blue core to swallow. Such a pity that his replacement is a media hungry, photo-op jumping, PR junky rather than the supportive, caring, non-career-politician we were shown.

You should learn to use twitter properly rather than just sending an auto-tweet whenever there is an update to your website.

Oh, by the way, Tessa, is it just letters & emails from me that you can’t be bothered to even acknowledge, or is it those from all women? (or maybe you’re avoiding certain subject matter)

Did you know that Disability Living Allowance can be claimed even if you have an income?

I wonder how many disabled people there are who, until hearing about the Welfare Reform Bill, didn’t realise that they are eligible for any assistance from the Department for Work & Pensions, perhaps because of family income of one sort or another. Because my husband works full-time, I certainly never thought that I might be eligible for anything – and why would I check for something that I had no knowledge of? For the record, I have: fairly severe Fibromyalgia – a short trip in the car, say to the doctor or the dentist, will wipe me out for the rest of the day; plantar fasciitis of the left foot – walking any distance causes severe pain in my foot; two ruptured discs in my lumbar region causing constant pain that spikes up into “unbearable agony” when I move (going on waiting list for an operation to remove the discs and fuse my spine… it _might_ work); migraine when stressed; irritable bowel syndrome (needing to “double up” with stomach cramps is really not a good idea when you have severe bilateral sciatica) that gets worse with stress; eczema on my scalp and face (my face is constantly peeling in patches); RSI in my right hand means I cannot write with a pen for more than a few words; and have suffered from chronic cyclic depression for over a quarter of a century. I’ve been getting progressively worse over the last 5 years.

Having gone through the criteria for DLA (and what has been suggested so far might be the final criteria for PIP) – which all of the publicity surrounding the WRB informed me are NOT classed as”out of work benefit” and can be claimed regardless of income – & spoken to the CAB, I should be eligible for Higher Rate of both components (Care & Mobility). So, if a millionaire like Cameron can have the balls to have claimed welfare benefits for his late son, then someone like me, struggling to make ends meet and only managing to cope because everyone else in the house (husband and son – and daughter visits to help when she can) do all of the essential stuff as well as looking after me, can certainly bloody do it.

So, as more and more people read the publicity being generated some may go “hang on a second… you mean I _am_ eligible for help?!” and put in an application. That will increase the base number of claimants.

Then add the cost of those to the figures in this post and you quickly begin to see that the government’s proposed “savings” will end up being nothing of the sort. They really, really didn’t think this through at all.

At your next election, go and vote, but don’t vote for any of the three main parties. Pick an independent or a small party that you are comfortable with and vote for them. No vote is “a wasted vote”. Every vote that they don’t get is a demonstration of the distrust the people have for party politics. Remember, politicians may tells us that “they work for us” but really, they’re working to fill their pockets and those of their mates – and for those few that don’t work like that? They will never get anywhere other that the far Back Bench because they don’t follow the party line – they’d be better off being an independent.