Little lady, big voice

moving ambulance

Last night my partner was very ill. This normally fit and well 30-something doubled up in agony (a score of 9 he said) and I felt pretty useless. I don’t drive so I couldn’t make the trip up to hospital, and to be frank it would have been a near impossibility for him to stand anyway; doubled up on the floor in agony, barely able to speak.

What made most sense in this situation, what was probably glaringly obvious in fact, was that I should call an ambulance. And yet, I more than hesitated. I delayed, ignored, waited until the moans became more frequent – then I finally caved and dialled those three numbers which are quite literally a lifeline.

Why did I wait? Why did I watch someone I love suffer? Maybe there is an innate reluctance to ask for help. We are British after all, (stiff upper lip…

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Politics and Insights

Image result for brandon lewis and theresa MayI was surprised to get the following email from Brandon Lewis, the Conservative party chairman, yesterday. 

I’ve published my response below the email.

Brandon lewis1Brandon Lewis 2brandon lewis 3My response:

I want to share some news with you Brandon,

I won’t ever be supporting the Conservatives. 

The government claims that austerity will ensure that our children don’t inherit debt. That’s utter rubbish. I have seen my 2 youngest sons struggle making ends meet and get through university. Their tuition fees cost a lot more than our young people are permitted to borrow through the student loans company to meet their living costs each year. Despite the poorest students struggling to get by, they will still come away from university with a debt that is the same size as my mortgage was in 2003. My sons also lost their Education Maintenance Allowance because of your government.  To be frank, your party have caused my family nothing but…

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“As Roy said ‘People don’t find work they find another form of slavery’.”

The poor side of life

Dear readers, it’s Thursday again so here’s this weeks blog. I hope that you are all ok, I do think about you all and wonder how you are coping. I wish that I had a magic wand to stop this madness, but there isn’t one and I shall continue campaigning against the government’s abhorrent treatment of the poor and disabled. I’ll also continue to document what I can also.

I’ll document today’s conversations, as usual, please note that everyone was signposted to relevant organisations, help advice and survival guides were handed out. We also gave food parcels to those in need.  Also, my words can’t express the intensity of the two hours that we are outside the Jobcentre. We have to deal with so many different issues and often at a fast pace.

Also a massive thank you to everyone for that came along to help today and helped, I…

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DRILL OR DROP?

181008 Rebecca Long Bailey to Preston New Road Gordon Marsden (right) outside the Preston New Road shale gas site with shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey.

The justice secretary has been urged to investigate whether the judge who jailed three anti-fracking protesters last month followed an official code of conduct.

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David Hencke

20181010_162148.jpg 50s women reclaiming the street outside Parliament

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

A decade ago this would have made headline news. Hundreds of  50s women deprived of their pensions until they reach 65 or 66 blocked the road in Parliament Square for over an hour yesterday. The police – just five of them – had to divert traffic away from Parliament as they sang slogans deriding Theresa May  from ” We paid In,  U Pay Out ” to ”  Hey, Hey, Theresa May, Theresa May, how many women who have you robbed today ” in an extraordinary display of anger at successive governments decisions to raise the women’s pension age from 60 to 66.

The noise  from the vibrant  demo drowned out irritated van drivers, bus drivers and motorists tooting their horns as they were stuck on the one way system round the Square. But the women were more than a…

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The poor side of life

Good news folks, the Labour Party are very close to committing to our stop and scrap universal credit stance.

This has taken many years of campaigning and lobbying by campaigners including myself. For too long they had stuck to the ‘let’s fix it’ viewpoint.

John McDonnell

John McDonnell agrees that the ‘reforms haven’t worked’The Shadow Chancellor said he had been listening to the experiences of those on the combined benefit system and that it was beyond saving.

The shadow chancellor stated “I have been listening to people over the last few weeks about the roll-out in their particular areas, I’ve been looking at what the Government has said about how they are seeking to reform it. The reforms haven’t worked.
“I think we’re at that stage now that it’s not sustainable any more.
“It’s not a system that can work. It’s not a system that’s providing the safety net that people expect when…

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The poor side of life

Dear readers, Thursday seems to arrive very quickly. Today was cooler with a bit of rain and I think that we all felt the difference. Many thanks to everyone that sent their best wishes to us all this morning via Facebook and Twitter. Believe me, we need it, numbers are low these days and your kind thoughts make all the difference.

I’ll list the cases that we came across today like I usually do, please note that everyone was handed a food parcel if needed, copies of our survival guide and the leaflet from Unite Community. I also checked that everyone was ok and if needing signposting we signposted them.

I arrived five minutes early and there was already a queue for the food parcels. I had a chat with everyone asking how they were and if there had been any updates with their situations. Sadly no one has a…

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rolling stonesb

Dear friends,

I would like to apologise for my long silence. It’s not over yet, but I do feel able to say a few things for now.

I am ageing hippy and one of lifes basket cases who has struggled all my life. I started smoking at the age of 10 and I have been a casual recreational drug user (from 14) and slave to addictions for the vast majority of my life. Curiously, I never had an addiction problem with recreational drugs, but did have a serious alcohol problem for 30 years and, of course, smoking, which I assumed I would continue doing till I finally snuffed it.

I stopped drinking in January 2017, recreational drug use slid to a halt early this year and I gave up smoking on 13th of June this year. I am clean and free of drugs, legal and illegal*, for the first time in the 57 years since I started smoking. I am very well aware that I am neither the first nor the last to do any of this and I speak for no one but myself in saying, my entire system has gone ape-shit, both mentally and physically.

Getting off the booze was hard enough, but my experience of giving up smoking has been by many degrees much harder and what struck me soon after I stopped was how much I used smoking as a tranquilliser and as an ever present little helper throughout my daily life.

From the moment I stopped smoking, my ability to write vanished. I am still in the middle of whatever is working out here and cannot explain it. I have started innumerable pieces of writing, but failed to get past the opening line or idea that set me off. It feels like slamming into a mental brick wall every time. This is only the second piece of writing I’ve managed since June and that causes me mental and physical distress that I have no place to hide from any more.

More broadly, I feel zombified, I am unable to relate very well even to friends and family. It actually feels like a loss of empathy, a deadness that is awful. I have stayed away from Facebook as that just increases my distress.

The feelings I am having are incredibly intense, such that I am acutely aware that this is unavoidably all about me. something I am far from comfortable with. I am not being given a choice in this, and it’s shocking, not least that, as with so much stuff that we bury in life, this has to come out, I have to work this out. And, here’s the thing, as a human being it’s something I should work out, its time has come.

There is a funny side to all this. At a time in my life when I am dealing with cancer and also have the DWP on my case as well as dealing (as we all are) with the worst government in UK history, what the fuck was I thinking giving up smoking at a time like this? Oddly enough, I think I know why. All my life, I’ve been the kind of person who if you tell me to go one way, I’ll go the other. And there are good historic reasons for that. Following the common track in life means conforming to norms I had no part in making, don’t like and live to oppose.

The political oppression we are facing is (nearly) as old as the hills, it’s been with me all my life, but in 2010 the Tories decided to take the gloves off and go full murderous colonial on us. Some super sane and stronger part of me said, it’s time to find out how it feels without the coping mechanisms. What the Tories are doing is so despicable, it is time for me to feel it without any padding.

Unsurprisingly, I am feeling it hard, and my entire system doesn’t seem to be rushing towards getting used to it at any kind of speed (nor do I want to ‘get used to it’ again). I spent most of June, July and August consumed by mind blowing, barely manageable, rage. And that rage is right. We are bamboozled daily with empty words, lies and propaganda, and if I really want to know what’s what going on, then the only way to find out is to take it right on the nose, bareback, without any chemical distortion.

From this place, allow me to share an insight with you. What has been done to us by the Tories is a brutal campaign of deliberate cruelty with malice aforethought. I would like to think they might pay for their crimes in a court of law, but if not then we have available an exquisite revenge. The Tories and their right wing brethren accuse socialists of being cultists and part of the cult of Corbyn.

The real cultists, however, are the Tories. Look how they have behaved and acted against us and the best interests of Britain and the majority of people. Look at the behaviour of Margaret Hodge and the anti-Semitism campaign of hate against Jeremy Corbyn. Look at the bias of the BBC and the rabid lies and hate promoted by the Sun, Mail, Express, Telegraph, Times and so on. Look at how you have been treated, what you have had to live with this last 8 years and consider how much hurt they have cause you personally. This really matters to them, so much so that there is no limit to the lives they will sacrifice to achieve their ends. They have sacrificed the rules and traditions of parliament, in lies, deception and corruption.

The last thing they want is a socialist government.

Their worst nightmare is a Corbyn led socialist government. All their plans, laid in secret over many years, would fall apart, their greed thwarted, forced to act within the law, to contribute to a socialist programme of national health, housing, transport, education, welfare, market reform, domestic services and so on. It will be like forcing a hook into their bellies and ripping their guts out.

Meanwhile, for the rest of us, we’ll be able to begin to put our lives back together. Though it will take time, the tide will have turned. After all the hate and lies that Theresa May has poured out and the suffering she is responsible for, she gets to eat the ashes of her own rotten ambition, a failed would be dictator. I do not suggest voting Labour as revenge, there are plenty of positive reasons to vote Labour, but consider the grief that the right wing thieves and liars will suffer as an entirely fortuitous bonus.

As for me, I am not sure when I’ll be back, but I will be, because I want to be. I just have to work it out, and I have a great therapist who’s right with me in the process.

Love and strength.

* Medicinal cannabis oil being the single exception which I take as a suppository to avoid the high and would not be taking were it not for cancer.

KOG. 26 September 2018.

The poor side of life

Well, what can I say about today except that it wasn’t a good morning. Universal Credit is causing people to have numerous problems, all of which I have documented previously.

Today, however, was a day almost all taken up by people in rent arrears due to being transferred onto Universal Credit. If I tell you that it’s a disaster waiting to happen it would be an understatement. When the final phase of the Universal Credit roll-out takes place next year we are definitely going to see homelessness on an unprecedented scale. This will not be helped by unscrupulous landlords and housing associations that are far from understanding it’s very worrying indeed. We are talking about disabled people, ill people, families with children.

My question is where will they go? Who will be able to help them? Who’s going to pay for their temporary accommodation which will be hard to get…

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David Hencke

CEDAW-logo The logo of the convention on the elimination of discrimination against women

EXCLUSIVE TO THIS BLOG AND BYLINE.COM

A damning academic expert opinion on successive UK government’s failure to meet its international obligations to  1950s women hit by the rise in the pension age is to be presented in court soon as part of an application for a judicial review of the decision

Jackie Jones, a law professor, has produced the report,  which shows that this group of women have suffered discrimination contrary to an international  convention signed by successive UK governments. It is not a legal document but it is an expert opinion.

The reports conclusion’s are stark :

 “The effect of the mechanisms in issue in this case have a discriminatory effect on women born in the 50s, adversely impacting on older women’s health, economic and social life in that the voluntary use of the mechanisms have the…

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