Harassment by Work Programme Providers of the lowest form


Originally posted on Diary of an SAH Stroke Survivor:

The abuses of work programme providers have been blogged many times before but I am sure many of you agree all abuses must be blogged time and time again until these providers leave those in the ESA Support Group alone and more so if they have a degenerative condition that has a terminal prognosis.

So with the above in mined I turn to one lady from Bristol who has terminal cancer at just 37 years old and has a life expectancy of 0 – 3 years so it is sad indeed that she can expect just half her life lived, she says in her facebook message that she has come to terms with what will happen (very brave indeed) but the short life left would be much better if she was not harassed by work programme provider Prospects Group @ProspectsGroup and I for one agree.

It is hard enough having…

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As Hunger Soars Iain Duncan Smith Is Still Hiding The Existence Of Emergency Benefit Delay Loans


Originally posted on the void:

IDS-malnutritionFollowing last week’s food banks report, which found delays in processing benefits are one of the key reasons for growing hunger in the UK, Iain Duncan Smith said to Parliament:

“Today I have announced that we shall be doing much more to raise awareness of interim payments for people who need them, particularly those who are in difficulty.”

These payments are called Short Term Benefit Advances (STBAs).  These are repayable loans that can be accessed whilst waiting fot the Jobcentre to get round to processing a benefit claim.  And the shameful truth is, that whilst the number of people using foodbanks has soared, the DWP have done everything they possibly can to hide their existence.

There is no mention of these payments on the section of the gov.uk website which provides information on “Jobseeker’s Allowance and low income benefits”.  or the section on “Benefits for families”.  In…

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The Poor Can’t Cook – What a Give Away!


Champagne

When Baroness Jenkin of Kennington, a member of the House of Lords Refreshment Committee that spent £250,000 on champagne since David Cameron entered Number 10, said recently that the rise of hunger and food bank use in the UK was because “poor people don’t know how to cook”, there was understandable uproar, but she has since apologised, and some people think that should be an end to it.

But was her apology sincere?

“I made a mistake” she said. “Obviously I was stupidly speaking unscripted.

“What I meant was as a society we have lost our ability to cook, or that no longer seems to be handed down in the way that it was in previously in previous generations.

“Life is considerably cheaper if you are able to cook.”

Most of that was fine. As a society, we tend to rely more on pre-prepared food than earlier generations, but that is at least as true of well-off people as it is of those with very limited means.

In fact, it is people with plenty of money that are likeliest to eat, by choice, food prepared by others, whether they eat at restaurants or they employ a cook.

Poorer people have less choice, because they have less money, and the very poorest have the least choice. If they eat junk food, and don’t cook, it may well be that they can’t afford the gas or electricity. They might – just – manage to heat a ready meal, but not a meal from scratch. Some people haven’t even the money for that, and there are reports of foodbank recipients giving food back for that reason.

The part of the Baroness’s apology that was, for me, the most telling was the line “Obviously I was stupidly speaking unscripted.” Now that did look scripted, as if she’s been told off for letting the cat out of the bag! Disdain for the poor is common in the Conservative party, but they’re normally careful to shroud it in weasel words, and leave it to their friends in the press to wage a campaign against them.

That’s the script that Jenkins failed to follow. An odd mistake for a former public relations consultant.

See also this excellent post by the inestimable Johnny Void.
Some of the comments make valid points too, such as having a freezer and the money to run it making eating cheaply easier. One or two commenters have criticised the post for getting some prices wrong. While that was a valid point, owned up to quickly by Johnny, it does accurately portray a dilemma faced by someone with only loose change left to feed themselves for several days. If the item on your shopping list, the cheapest cous cous for example, is not available, and the next price up is out of your reach, it throws your whole plan off, and you have to search for other cheap staples. Sudden increases in price can have just as devastating an effect.
Of course, if you are financially buffered against such things, you can pontificate about poor people’s lack of culinary skills until the organic grass-fed cows come home.

Yet More Evidence of the Dishonesty of IDS


Spotted on Twitter by Same Difference:

B4ViAbxIAAAVOl2

And yet Iain Duncan Smith persists in denying that there are targets. Is he a liat=r, is he delusional or is he, perhaps, both?

 

idsTarget

#CameronMustGo – Make Your Own Poster


The hashtag #CameronMustGo on Twitter continues apace, now into its eleventh day, at the time of typing this.

I’ve been posting some parodies of one of the Tory election posters from 2010, and making a few new ones, while I wait for next May’s offering.

BADGER

Sleaze

You can get a template from mydavidcameron.com, along with templates for a couple of others, but if you want to replace the picture of Cameron with another, or with a picture of someone else, you need to fill in at least some of the original photo with the background. It can take a bit of work to do this preparatory work, so I thought I’d post the one I made, and which I work from:

posterTEMPLATE

Now all you need to do is cut out the photo you want to add, resize it if necessary, paste it into the template, and add the text, using the Franklin Gothic Demi font (freely available to download, just Google it).

 

UPDATE: The new Tory poster, starting the campaign for May’s election, has been released.

Tory poster2015

I’ve had a couple of stabs at it:

SurfingUKFeudal2

…and if you’d like to do your own, I’ve made a template:

Poster1 2015b

#CameronMustGo & The Nonsense Of Right Wing Political Correctness


DaveD:

I have a very minor reservation about the definition of “political correctness”, but it doesn’t detract from this excellent article.

Originally posted on TheCritique Archives:

by Martin Odoni

Okay, I’ve realised just as I’m gathering my thoughts to write this that I am about to give air to a lot of eye-roll-inducing behaviours. I’m going to be guilty of name-dropping, of talking about experiences on social media as though they’re as big a deal as what happens in the real world, and congratulating myself on my own jokes – jokes that are painfully old at that. So in advance I ask you please to forgive me, and to trust me when I say that I do have a legitimate point to make.

So let me begin with the name-dropping bit. Bonnie Greer, that most American of British authors, yesterday started, perhaps inadvertently, a bit of a Twitter-storm with a mildly vexed Tweet aimed at right-wingers who insist on following her on the Internet. I doubt I need to give too much explanation of the…

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Why the BBC Should Report on #CameronMustGo


Tory Press

For four days, the hashtag #CameronMustGo has been trending on Twitter, yet it has been largely ignored by the mainstream media. The BBC has only just noticed,  though they are doing their best to downplay the hashtag’s importance.

Some people have asked why it should be reported – it’s only Twitter, after all, and not a “real” news story. The BBC have no obligation to report it.

Except that the BBC, along with other news media, have created that obligation. A photo of Ed Milliband eating a bacon sandwich is, apparently, news, but thousands of people venting their anger at an out of touch PM is not.

A badly worded tweet by Emily Thornberry is, apparently, news, but thousands of people venting their anger at an out of touch PM is not.

A handful of rich celebs whining about a proposed mansion tax is, apparently, BIG news, but thousands of people venting their anger at an out of touch PM is not.

…and so on.

The BBC, in particular, has a duty to be impartial. If they don’t want to report on criticism of the Conservative Party, then they should give their opponents the same consideration (and not just UKIP).

 See also:

The Twitter Antidote to Right Wing Press Attacks: A flood of tweets sends #CameronMustGo viral and rattles the agenda of the powers that be (ladiesdefendinglabour.wordpress.com)

BBC finally reports on #CameronMustGo – and makes a mess of it (voxpoliticalonline.com)

#CameronMustGo and the media backlash (bottomface.com)

Why #CameronMustGo marks a decisive change in UK Politics (pawprintsofthesoul.wordpress.com)