Ohhh ladies and gentlemen, I've been absent from the blogging world for a while so this one's been festering like a boil and at the time of writing I've been awake for getting on for 20 hours due to complete and utter inability to get to sleep - I'd brace yourselves if I were you.
So we're a few months in to the ConDem unholy alliance and by christ do I want to eat my words from a couple of blogs ago. Nick Clegg is a fucking snake oil salesman and each an every one of us who wasted a vote on the Liberal Democrats fell for it. I was so, so fucking wrong to ever believe a word that came out of that snivelling little cunt's mouth and I will freely admit it. At least we knew Cameron was a fucking scumbag before he got anywhere near Downing Street. I suppose it was a little naive to think that Clegg was any more honourable than the rest of them.
That, however, is not what this blog is about. Now earlier on in this blog, I said that people on incapacity/ESA benefits should be given a medical test to prove that they're not on the take or claiming fraudulently. I still stand by that 100% despite my unfortunate dealings with their shills over at ATOS in the last couple of years. What I am sick to the back fucking teeth of hearing/seeing both online in pointless "speak your fucking brains, neanderthal!" comment sections on news websites and out of the mouths of the ConDems themselves.
There seems to be this repeated idea that people who are unable to work due to illness - and I am referring to the genuine claimants on this, let's be clear - are the lowest scum you could possibly find. We're not ill, we just don't want to work, we don't look ill, therefore we're not. we sit at home in front of our plasma screen tv's (apparently that seems to be a byword for 'workshy scrounger' - even though the more popular choice is LCD these days, just FYI, mail readers.) A simple trip to the shops obviously means you're on the take, doesn't it?
Now It's not going to work because obviously the minds of idiots are hard to change, but I'm going to attempt to debunk some of the outright lies perpetuated by the right-wing media and the unelected government, just as a little window into what living on sickness benefits is actually like.
I have been on incapacity for a couple of years, now. I have ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for those that aren't up on the terminology.) and an acute anxiety disorder. My partner has been for about one year, suffering from severe mental illness. Because of the time difference, he is claiming ESA. We also get a contribution towards the rent, but it works out as less than half of our rent - let's round it off at £500 - because according to the government, 'we don't need to live in a 2 bedroom house' and so should only receive money for a one bedroom house. We're cramped up in here as it is but fine, I shan't argue with them as much as I'd like to. I don't want to bog everyone down with figures here, so I'll keep it to a minimum - we pay £500 rent, once the £200+ utility bills, loan payments from back when we were in work, all the usual things that everyone pays for.. that leaves us with just about enough to feed ourselves for the month. Don't get me wrong, we manage to get by - I'm not saying we want more money - but the way things are going, with the cuts the government are about to make, we're going to sink faster than a bag of lead shit, frankly.
I'd just like to know where in the name of holy FUCK do you ill informed, beacons of middle fucking class misplaced outrage do you suppose we get the money to pamper ourselves in the manner that you seem to think? Alright, fair enough - I won't deny that we have a telly and obviously we have a computer or else I wouldn't be typing this now, but we didn't pay for them and nor did you, oh belligerent taxpayer! If it wasn't for the generosity of family, we wouldn't have any of these things, simple as that. Maybe you should consider that some people get that kind of help before assuming that everyone on benefits fritter it away on TVs and iPods. I get that while the economy is in such a mountain of shit, that of course you would object to people using taxpayer's money to accrue ill gotten gains when there isn't anything wrong with them but the vilification of every single person on benefits has gotten well and truly out of fucking hand. If you're looking for a scapegoat for the fact that the government are well and truly screwing every last one of us over, aim for the hundreds of people who truly do lead a life of luxury whilst avoiding paying tax without. fucking. consequence. Aim for the government you support who allow this to happen, aim for the politicians who are guilty of this themselves whilst claiming that we're 'all in this together'.
Again, I know there are people out there screwing the system - but they are in a minority regardless of what the tabloids would have you believe. The rest of us are just trying to keep our heads above water, make do with the resources we have available - just like everyone else. Do you honestly think that most of us would choose to be in this position? I would quite happily trade with someone who was earning an average wage because if I were in their position, that would mean I wasn't in pain anymore. I wouldn't wake up one morning and randomly be unable to walk for a week. I wouldn't struggle to sit, lie down, or sleep comfortably for weeks on end. I wouldn't be struggling to get myself out of this fucking hole because a simple day a week at college to train in a new profession often wipes me out for an entire fucking week and I certainly wouldn't be existing on a cocktail of painkillers and antidepressants. Do you arseholes think for one fucking second that people with genuine chronic illnesses and disabilities would think twice if someone asked them to trade their illnesses for a job and a settled home life?
I had a 'discussion' with a woman on Twitter the other day (Yes, I use Twitter. Don't tell Nadine Dorries.) who informed me that mental illness is all in the mind. It's just an excuse for their bad behaviour. Her reasoning for this was that her friend apparently claims to have a mental illness and uses it as an excuse - now, again i reiterate there are people out there do probably do that but how fucking dare she assume that each and every one of us do the same thing. But this is the attitude you come across every single fucking time and it drives me to the point of apoplectic rage. I'll tell you what I don't condone the trashing of buildings in the name of proving your point but by fuck if I'm not tempted on a daily basis to smash something because of the assumptions and ignorance thrown in my face each and every fucking day.
Now of course, there's this new policy that 100% (not 10% as on jobseekers allowance) of disabled and ill people are to be taken off benefits after one year. Oh now won't that be lovely? In a years time, all of your medical problems are just going to RIDE AWAY ON A FUCKING UNICORN AND TAKE A FUCKING SKIP OVER A RAINBOW and you'll be able to go and get a job! Brilliant! They're fucking geniuses, those Tories. Take their only money to live on away and all of their ills will disappear! And then of course you've got Iain Duncan Smith (The insidious, vile little shit) proposing that all people on benefits work 30 hours per week, in order to get their benefits. Now am I mistaken, or is £65 per week for 30 hours work a fair fucking way below minimum wage? That, funnily enough, is called slave labour, my friends. If you're going to make someone work for 30 hours per week (when they could be looking for a job that pays a legal wage) then you should pay them minimum wage at the very least. You have to wonder how long it's going to take them to bring in the privatised workhouses, really. If that prospect doesn't fill you with a shudder of repulsion then it's entirely possible that you don't have a fucking soul.
i'm going to wrap up now because I've been writing this for about fifty years and my hands are seizing up on me, but for anyone who assumes every person on benefits is a scrounger and proceeds to go on and fucking on about it all over the internet , thinks that mental illness is a myth, thinks that just because someone may not necessarily look ill means that they're not ill at all - I can only presume you've never suffered a chronic illness, and I sincerely hope that you never do - even if it did prove how dreadfully wrong you are. In the meantime however, until you can walk for a fucking day in a disabled person's shoes would you please, kindly shut the fuck up.
thank you and goodnight.
Ladies and Gents it is election time, so I suppose it's time for a bit of a (don't call it a) comeback. First of all, I'm deeply amused this week by the Sun and Mail throwing their blue-shaded toys out of the pram because the nation was made aware by, of all things, a television show that there is a third option when it comes to voting in the General Election. Now before this, both of those 'news' papers were of the opinion that these televised debates were a good thing. That good old Dave would put Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg to shame when placed in a glossy television environment. Unfortunately for them, this has turned out not to be the case - Clegg played something of a blinder and showed the nation that we do in actual fact have a third option, rather than the back-and-forth voting of the past sixty five years. So for the past few days they've been telling us that it's a dreadful thing that so many people have been swayed by a television show and other such snobbery. Yes. Snobbery from The Sun. I laughed, too.
Now, I don't know about any of you, but I was leaning towards the Lib Dems long before they ever set foot in a television studio. I, like a lot of other people I'm sure, am sick of the fact that Labour and the Conservatives play pass the parcel year after year. One screws up, the other comes in and does the same, then it goes back to the other one.. How long do we have to put up with this shit? Not for much longer, I hope. For a good while, I was voting tactically - vote for the party most likely to keep the Conservatives out. Not this year. This year I am voting with who my guts are telling me to vote for - and that is the Liberal Democrats. It's not just me, either. Every single person I know, from my friends to my dad are going the same way. This isn't the same as other years, where everyone believes that a vote for the Lib Dems is a waste even if we identify with their policies - this is no longer a two horse race. Yes, it took a televised debate for a lot of people to grasp that concept but that doesn't make the realisation any less legitimate. The thing you have to understand is that whilst Labour and The Conservatives have seemingly endless PR budgets, what the Lib Dems have to work with is significantly less - which is exactly why your street may have endless billboards of Gordon Brown's grimace (i've been told it's a smile) or David Cameron's plastic-coated mug all over your street whilst the Libs are nowhere to be found. Both of those two parties have enough cash to make it look like they really are the only parties available to us and thanks to a highly publicised bit of free advertisement - they've been proved wrong. Neither of them were expecting to be shown up in the way that they were - which is why now, in the next couple of debates, you will doubtless witness Brown and Cameron trying to tear chunks out of Clegg in an act of desperation.
If you still think Cameron is a viable option after these debates, then I suggest you go to your nearest healthcare professional and get your head checked. Did you notice that, aside from one dubious '40 year old black man who had been in the military for 30 years', all he seemed to refer to was the heads of business when it came to the economy? Because that is all the Conservatives always have and always will care about - the rich. Those who don't wish to pay the NI tax because of how it might impact their incomes. It has nothing to do with the workers themselves, it's because they don't believe the wealthy heads of industry in this country should pay any more than they do already. The rest of us can go jump. Just like anyone who makes a conscious decision not to get married, anyone who doesn't have the money to save for a pension, anyone who's unemployed, anyone who is unable to work, has an interest in free speech, students, opposes fox hunting (they're going to bring it back. They haven't publicised it as well as their other policies but it's there for anyone who chooses to look for it), opposes the digital economy bill, homosexuals and the elderly - think you fall into any of those categories? Vote Conservative at your peril. Just because Margaret Thatcher has put on a Tony Blair costume doesn't mean that she's any less of a monster. You're not voting for a change, you're voting for a time machine to send us straight back into the 80s. The question I would put to anyone planning on voting Conservative is this - What do you really think David Cameron and George Osbourne know about us regular people on the street? The people who this decision is going to affect the most? More to the point, do you honestly think they care?
Don't get me wrong, Labour don't hold a lot of sway with me either but as governments go, they're the lesser of the two evils. Cameron might tell you that a vote for Clegg means a vote for Brown but in reality, a hung parliament of Liberal-Labour would be a darn sight more positive than a Conservative majority. The less appealing Labour policies could be adequately opposed, their gusto when it comes to making rash decisions reigned in. The fact that during the debate, Cameron uttered 'China' in the same breath as Iran and North Korea was enough to send shivers down my spine. A gaffe or a slip-up it may have been but let's be honest - do we really want to get on the wrong side of China due to a slip of the tongue from this man? He simply cannot be trusted on an international stage - he has the capability to get all of us into a rather large pile of steaming shit if things like that keep coming out of his mouth. Mistake or not, mistakes like that can be unbelievably dangerous.
I suppose I should climb down from my soapbox - I mean I doubt this blog would sway anyone with regards to the way they'll vote. All I will say is that come the 6th of May, the main thing is that you do vote - regardless of who for. If you don't vote, you really don't have any right to bitch when the party you didn't want to win come in and do things you don't want them to do. Vote for the policies that you most identify with and don't be fooled by the same old shit masquerading as 'change' - don't make the mistake of voting for someone else because you think voting for the policies you believe in is a waste. This year is the first time we have the numbers to make a real change to our political landscape and we shouldn't let it go to waste.
Hello, people of the blogosphere! I'm sure that, once again, everyone is talking about this one so as per usual I am striking while the iron is hot as it were. Having just watched Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time. A lot of people were opposed to having bog-eyed troll Griffin even come on the show, giving him a platform - I am inclined to disagree. I think the BBC were quite right to have him on if only because of the fact that during the entire show, not once could he explain his inherent racism in acceptable terms. It made him look like the narrow minded, racist, homophobic bigot that he is. The convicted Holocaust denier basically admitted that the only reason he now admits that the Holocaust happened is because it is illegal for him in European law to hold any other opinion. The programme achieved it's aim and, without any assistance from any other politicians on the panel yet ably shown up by the delightful Bonnie Greer, exposed Griffin for what he actually is; a bumbling, socially retarded fool with all the intelligence of your average Daily Mail reader. If just one person who had previously voted for the BNP out of frustration or in protest decided that they wouldn't choose to do so in the future because having Nick Griffin in charge of anything more complicated than a shopping trolley would be much like, to paraphrase Chris Morris, planting a bomb and handing the detonator to a monkey - then it has to be a good thing.
One thing that did concern me however, was the apparent favouritism towards both Labour's Jack Straw and Conservative Sayeeda Warsi. Whilst what some of they said in opposition to the BNP's policies was quite right, I did get the impression that they did the typical political dance of making themselves and their parties look good by essentially saying "Well... at least we're not the BNP." Particularly in Ms. Warsi's case when pressed on the question of whether she was in support of civil partnerships between gay couples. Whilst it's true that neither of those two parties are as bad as the BNP, just pointing the finger and saying "Well we're not as bad as those guys over there." Does not a good political party make. Lib Dem representative Chris Huhne had a lot of relevant and interesting things to say, yet whenever it was his turn to speak he seemed to be rushed and hushed by David Dimbleby because the debate had to "move on". The same also went for Bonnie Greer who was a personal highlight for me with her no-bullshit stance on the BNP and their politics.
The sad thing is, this is indicative of the national attitude as a whole. The same state it has been in for thirty years or more. People don't seem to realise that there are other options besides the Conservatives and Labour. Unfortunately, the ones who have realised have turned their votes towards Nick Griffin and his band of fascists and that is where the real danger in the long term lies. This country has an apparent habit of bouncing back and forth between the Conservatives and Labour and I've never been quite able to fathom this situation. With the Conservatives set to win a landslide victory at the next General Election I can only assume that people in this country, unless they are in the wealthy minority who've never been wronged by the Tories, have memories much like that of a goldfish. Before I get trashed for being one of those dreadful liberal PC babykiller types, I think Labour have royally fucked up in many ways since being elected in 1997 and by christ that shouldn't be forgotten but underneath the smiley surface of David Cameron basically filling the public's ears with what they want to hear - are they any different than they were under Thatcher or Major? I would put money on the answer being a resounding 'are they fuck'. It often astounds me that people are so easily taken with the image and rhetoric of parties - just like Labour back when they won the election, the Conservatives, and also to a lesser extent the BNP, without looking further in-depth into the policies that they hold. For god's sake, these people are politicians. Anybody with half a brain should know to take absolutely nothing at face value that these people say because the majority of it is purely telling you what you think you want to hear.
Conservative views on a number of things are almost in line with the BNP's. For example, whilst parties such as the Lib Dems advocate earlier sex education in schools, the Conservative party misguidedly believe, much like the BNP, that this is giving youngsters the green light to have sex at an earlier age. Whilst, in some cases this might well be true - at least if they are educated on the dangers and pitfalls of unprotected sex, they can make an informed judgement on whether to partake and if they choose to do so, they will at least do it with protection. Any person with common sense [and I do sometimes wonder if that is a minority in this country] is surely able to see that this will only help drive down teenage pregnancy and subsequently reduce reliance on the welfare state. Sensible, surely? This isn't a moral issue like Conservatives and far-right parties both here and the US would have you believe, it's an issue of not underestimating the information that children can handle and their intelligence by giving kids the tools and the knowledge they need to make an informed decision and guide themselves towards making the right decision for them. Putting your fingers in your ears and going "la la la nobody has sex, it doesn't exist!" doesn't get anyone anywhere, and that kind of policy and that of the ridiculous conservative abstinence campaign in the states is more than enough evidence of that.
The biggest worry I have is not for the short-term. BNP gains may well happen come the next general election and whilst yes, this is a very Bad Thing; my real concern is that should the Conservatives come into power and just do exactly what they did in the previous Conservative era, marginalise the working classes, marginalise the LGBT community, marginalise the minorities... then scumbags like Griffin would be able to capitalise on this to turn around to the public and say "Look. We told you this would happen. We were right." And that, my friends is where the real danger lies.
I know this blog sounds like I'm coming out as a staunch Lib Dem supporter but I'm honestly not. That said, I appreciate their seemingly understated nature. No big promises they can't keep, no speeches from Bono. They appear to be the only party with any hope of winning who, should they be given a chance, just get their heads down and attempt to help us dig ourselves out of the undeniable hole that this country has fallen into. The fact that one million voters got the BNP into the European Parliament only serves as testament to that. I can only base my judgements on what I see, hear and read and in all honesty I am undecided on who to vote for in the next election but, unlike a lot of people it seems, I am going to put my vote towards a party who I feel best represents me and the situation I am in. One thing is for sure though, refusing to vote altogether is definitely not the way to go. Take some fucking responsibility. If you don't at least try and make your voice heard then you cannot even begin to complain when everything goes tits up.
What this country needs right now is change and voting the Conservatives or any far-right wing party into power will not bring about that change. We will be in the same if not worse of a situation than we were in before. Neither will the constant to-ing and fro-ing between them and Labour. For a real change, I believe we need someone altogether new. If voters can grasp the idea that Rome was not built in a day and assist the country into that change - then things really can get better.
As you, the world and his wife probably know already, Twitter literally exploded yesterday following Jan Moir's opinion piece on the tragic death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately. propagated by furious re-tweeting from the likes of Stephen Fry and Derren Brown - Tweeters from all over the world united in disgust at Moirs apparent implication that Gately's death was somehow related to his lifestyle as a gay man, rather than the fact that he died from natural causes. Moir hit back and declared that the outrage was "mischevious" to imply that she was in any way homophobic and that there had been some kind of orchestrated hate campaign against her.
Orchestrated? Not so much, more a large portion of like-minded [i.e sane and literate] people read the article and used the power of Twitter to express exactly what they thought of the vile little witch and her insiduous implications about a man who hadn't even been buried yet. To say that the article was poorly timed, bigoted, small-minded and outright fucking rancid is something of an understatement. I'm not going to even link or quote what was said here for fear of giving the nasty old trollop any more publicity, but if you go to the Daily Fail website it's there for all to see, only relenting so far as to change the headline from "Why there was nothing natural about Stephen Gately's death." to something slightly less inflammatory.
Since the uproar, the blogosphere has erupted and the Press Complaints commission's website crashed and burned with the sheer amount of hits it recieved from people letting them know exactly what they thought of Ms. Moir's article and exactly where it violated their code of conduct, largely thanks to a thoroughly nail-on-head piece from the ever fabulous Charlie Brooker - who expressed his opinions in a far more witty and sussinct manner than I ever could. Then again, I guess this is why Charlie gets paid for his opinions and I don't. Anyway, as it turns out the PCC have since reported that this is the most complained about article ever - which really says something about the power of social media these days.
Catching up on a few articles this morning, one thing Damian Thompson brought into question is, while people were quite right to be outraged by what Moir said, is it appropriate to bring the PCC into it, and is this a case of "Liberals" defending their right to say what they like yet surpressing the views of anyone whose opinions don't match their own?
Personally, I'd say this wasn't the case. Thompson talks about some "smug and self-righteous" social media users attempting to put a gagging order on Moir. I personally think he's wrong on that level. Obviously I haven't read every single tweet regarding the article but I don't think anyone was telling Moir that she didn't have a right to say what she did - but by christ do the rest of us have a right to tell the woman exactly what we thought of her views and the piece of filth, scaremongering rag that she works for. Of course, some of the more conservative individuals of the world might well tell you that it's that old, rather tiresome adage "It's political correctness gone mad!", but in reality, it's merely a group of individuals joining together in, a lot of cases, sheer disbelief that this bitter woman could be so disrespectful to a young man who did her no harm and was quite obviously loved by everyone who knew him - not even a week after his death. Regardless of his lifestyle or what he chose to do with his private life, this young man passed away of natural causes. We know this as a fact. it's not "political correctness gone mad", it's a basic sense of human decency and respect. Liberal Vs. Conservative doesn't even figure into the argument.
As some might have seen on my Twitter yesterday, Moir's article and the subsequent outrage, not least Stephen Fry and Derren Brown's interviews on the radio - has finally convinced my Dad to stop buying The Daily Mail. I have told him for years that he could buy a better paper, and his argument was that whilst he didn't agree with their politics or opinions, The Mail had the best racing and sports pages because, god love him, he does like a bit of a flutter every now and again. I spoke to him yesterday and due to the fact that he thinks Stephen Fry is something of a "Deity" [and quite right, too.], he has renounced the paper for good. So, not to trivialise the situation in any way, but thank you Mr. Fry. You've done something in one day that I've tried to do for years. I owe you one.
Going a bit off-script with this one, and this probably won't happen again, but this is primarily for the benefit my buddies on Twitter who wanted it - I took a basic brownie recipe, messed around with it and came up with.... Wispa Gold Brownies! These are gooey, sticky full of sugar and fucking yummy... probably best avoided if on a diet, to be honest. Anyway, here we go! I wrote instructions but.. it's a piece of piss, really. I used an electric whisk to avoid doing myself an injury because I'm a sickly weakling but i would've thought a manual one would be fine - you'll just get a bit of armache.
Motherflippin' Awesome Wispa Gold Brownies!
400g Caster Sugar
60g Cocoa Powder
1tbsp Vanilla Essence
225g Self Raising Flour.
2 x Wispa Gold bars [Broken up into 4-5 pieces]
125g Cadbury's Dairy Milk [Or any chocolate you like, really. Go for dark chocolate if you want a richer flavour. I was just using what I had available.]
If you REALLY want to be a fat git - you can throw in some chocolate chips dusted with flour, but this is totally optional.
1 x Brownie tin [I used a 12" long ceramic deep dish because I didn't have anything else but a brownie tin will probably suit better.]
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 [Or 160C if you have a fan oven, just to be on the safe side. Make sure your brownie tin is lined with either greaseproof paper or at the very least greased with butter.
2. Melt the chocolate, Wispa Gold bars and butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water - This way there's no chance of burning the chocolate... burnt chocolate tastes fucking manky.
3. Add the sugar and stir it up good.
4. Add the eggs and vanilla essence - whisk thoroughly.
5. Sieve in the flour and cocoa powder [and chocolate chips if you've decided to use them - make sure they're dusted with flour so they don't sink to the bottom of the brownie tin.] folding it in gradually until it's smooth and there's noooooo lumps. NOTE - Self Raising flour will make these things rise like crazy in the oven. Don't panic, it will sink down again when it's properly cooked.
6. Spoon the mixture into your brownie tin/ceramic dish/whatever the fuck you're using and place in the oven for 30-35 minutes - or cook until you can stick a skewer into the middle of the brownie tin and it comes out clean... or with a little bit of goo if you prefer them like that.
7. Slice it up, put it on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes and then stuff your face.
I am offended this week. Largely by the fact that Smiley Dave Cameron and his band of Thatcherites are up polluting my end of the country. Why did they have to come to Manchester?! Is it so dear old Dave can bob around Salford getting photo-ops with the 'degenerates' round there to prove how 'down with da kidz' he is or what?
Anyway. This week sees the Conservative Party Conference invading Manchester and they're going to tell us all about how they will do so much better than Labour ever did, completely forgetting the fact that Labour spent the last twelve years attempting to sort out the mess that the last Tory government left behind. Granted, they've not done a particularly stellar job of it and I am by no means impressed with them either - but really? We're going to vote these jokers back in? Has the NHS started giving out crack and I didn't get the fucking memo? Jesus Harold.
It's day one of the conference and already, I dislike what I've heard. I'm going to go into a little bit of backstory about myself here, so bear with me. Today, the Tories vowed to begin stringent medical tests on all claimants of Incapacity Benefit. I am myself a claimant of Incapacity Benefit [BOO! HISS! SCROUNGER! I know. Fuck you.] and having been chewed up and spat out by said system, I think I've got enough experience to talk about this one with some degree of knowledge. The system, as it is - although it isn't perfect, isn't quite as dreadful as Call Me Dave Dave would have you believe.
When you first go on incapacity benefit, you get six months 'assessment period' before you are then shunted off to a non-NHS medical centre, run by Atos Origins [or at least in this area]. When I went, I was poked, prodded and generally patronised by a woman [I am loathe to use the word 'Doctor' in this case] who knew nothing about me, the medical condition[s] I have - I don't feel the need to go into details here because I don't think it's particularly relevant. I'm a sick puppy, that's all you need to know - Anyway. This woman was, and I really wouldn't say this if it wasn't true, dirty looking. As in, she had to work for Atos in a little shed away from most humans. That's beside the point but the woman was a scruffy bitch. Okay. I went in, had my assessment, she asked questions, did what she was supposed to do and after reading the forms she submitted back to the DWP afterwards, apparently decided to make up my answers once I'd left the room. After that, I got turned down for benefit and got put on £20 per fortnight income support. [my rent alone is £240. You do the fucking maths.] - These assessments, unless you are dead, dying or crippled, are there to stop you claiming Incapacity Benefit. The Doctors know nothing about mental illness or anything that isn't something like cancer or any other easily definable illness. The sole purpose of these manky little jobsworths is to weed out the genuine claimants from the scroungers.
And quite right too. Yep, you heard me. The reason for this being is that faced with the long arduous ordeal of going into an appeal, then if that is unsuccessful through to a tribunal - if you're not really sick? I'm pretty sure your mental health would be much, much better off just biting the bullet and going back to work. If you aren't genuinely sick, after going through eight months of writing essays on my 'condition', waiting for a tribunal date, attempting to live and pay bills on next to no money and the whole thing cumulating in a massive mental breakdown on the day of the tribunal? If I could've done it, I would've taken the 9-5 option, for sure. There is no way in fucking hell I would've put myself through that if I could've just shrugged it off and gone back to the day job. So yeah, as aggravated as I was at the time about the whole traumatic ordeal - I am pretty damn sure it does a good enough job of weeding out the disingenuous, because nobody would go through that by choice, I'm telling you.
Of course there's always the exception. In my old neighbourhood there were families who knew the system inside and out - but these are people who'd been working it for years. They knew how to act, they knew what to say - think the Gallaghers from Shameless and you've got them pretty much dead on. The thing is, there will always be people like that, and no matter how many 'stringent medical tests' the Conservatives introduce? They will be able to get around it. The only people who are going to suffer in this deal are people like me. People who just need a bit of help while they get themselves sorted out. They like to make out that they're weeding out the 'Scroungers' but what they fail to realise is that if this gets put into practice? The 'Scroungers', aside from those with 'easily definable' illnesses - are still going to be working the system the same way they always have. It's people like myself and countless others who are going to get the short end of the stick. Going back to work before they're well enough because they are effectively being forced to - which will then result in more sick days and more companies losing money due to sickly staff members which will end up in those people being fired and landing them right back on Jobseekers Allowance, or attempting to make a claim for Incapacity again. You tell me where the positive outcome in all that is?
Maybe they should stop aiming for soft targets. I've been in the local Jobcentre where people have come in to sign on for Jobseekers Allowance drunk. Drunk to the point where an ambulance had to be called. Now that is an isolated case for sure, but as this woman, pissed as a newt, was being carted away by paramedics - the Jobcentre staff were telling her she could come in to claim her money the next day. Now, I hate sounding like an old fart but here goes - She came in drunk. at 12pm. Obviously not actively seeking employment. If they want to save a bit of cash, why not tell people like that they need to sort themselves the fuck out before they get any bloody money? It's quite obviously only going to go on something to get her into that state again if she gets it - so why not target the genuine players of the system? Boggles the mind.
Or, better yet. You know what would really bring in some money for the country? Actually doing something about the countless millionares with creative accountants and offshore bank accounts who do a damn fine job of avoiding paying their taxes. They can afford it, so they should fucking well pay it. But of course - not a soft target, and old Dave needs to keep people like that on side. The rest of us can go take a run and fucking jump as far as he's concerned and everyone will see that once enough imbeciles give Conservatives yet another shot to try and fail at running the country. You know what? You can't polish a fucking turd, my friends. I realise voting in this country is like picking between several different types of diarrhoea, but a shit is still a shit - even if it has a grinning Blair-clone mug stamped over the top of it. It astounds and sickens me just how easily people are fooled by that kind of bullshit.
Still. At least this whole business gives me even more determination to get the hell out of this country. I'd feel like a rat off a sinking ship at this point.
EMIGRATION! is a lovely little segueway to my next little ramble before I fuck off and stop boring you all to death. Tracey Emin has decided that she wants to leave the country because she doesn't want to pay tax any more. She's in the higher end of earners which means she has to pay 50% tax on whatever she earns. The reason for that being is she can afford it. I for one couldn't give a toss if she buggers off or not. I've never gotten the appeal. I mean, I could be a lazy, dirty bitch and leave used knickers and sanitary towels all over the place and not make my bed for a couple of months. If I do it, I'd get called a dirty fucking mare and quite right too. If Tracey Emin does it? It's modern art, dahling.
Is it fucking hell. She's a scruddy tart. Good riddance. Hopefully he might take that cow pickling cunt Damien Hirst with her. Shower of fucking tits, they are. I realise that this may now mean that I'm an uncouth, uncultured piece of shit but don't get me wrong - I like art. I do! I just like art that actually says something, not just a fucking contrived attempt to be 'controversial' by not having a bath and leaving dirty gruds all over the shop. Fucking beastly.
I tell you what. Next time the Turner prize comes around, I'm going to take a shit on a Jacob's Cream Cracker and name it 'Society' - see how far it fucking gets me.
Ta-ta for now! I'm going to work on my next 'masterpiece'...
Well, christ. Everyone's on about this one, so I might as well have a go as well seeing as it's something that's been narking me for the past couple of days. Roman motherfucking Polanski.
An abridged version of the story, for those who have been living under a bleeding rock, is as follows; acclaimed movie director Roman Polanski, in 1977 went to a party at Jack Nicholson's house in California where he proceeded to rape [both in the statutory and literal sense] a 13 year old girl. His victim Samantha Geimer's story as relayed to the police can be found here [in fairly graphic detail, be warned.] Once Samantha's mother discovered what had happened, she - as any right minded parent would - went to the police and they promptly arrested Polanski and charged him initially with rape by use of drugs, sodomy and having sex with a minor. Under a plea bargain deal, he plead guilty to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sex with a minor. He then, after completing the project he was working on at the time, went to prison for 42 days under psychiatric evaluation. Once he was out, he was due to face a jury and be sentenced for his crimes but after allegedly hearing that the judge involved wanted to send him to prison and have him deported [considering the nature of the crime, pretty fair - in my opinion] Polanski skipped bail and the country to avoid having to face justice. Hollywood chums at the time painted Geimer as a teen temptress, seducing the helpless Polanski - as opposed to the reality which is that she was a child, who begged Polanski to stop.
Now, until last week, Polanski has worked and lived in and around countries that he knew would not extradite him back to the USA. When he arrived in Zurich for a film festival, U.S investigators worked with the Swiss authorities to have Polanski arrested and, they hoped, extradited to the US to finally face court for the crime committed over 30 years ago.
The consequent furore was unprecedented and in recent days, even the French government who have harboured Polanski as a fugitive since he escaped there, have renounced their support for him under the notion, quite rightly, that despite it happening so long ago - he committed the crime and after so many years on the run, he should now be forced to do the time.
So, there you go. Straight forward situation, right? A paedophile rapist goes on the run, and eventually the law catches up with him and would very much like to give him a rather large kick in the balls. Ohhh, not so fast. This is Roman Motherfucking Polanski. A cinematic luminary and some might say, an artistic genius. So because of this, and as far as I can tell only because of this, a conglomeration of the Film Industry have banded together to form a petition, ordering Polanski's immediate release from Swiss custody and be allowed to slip off back home.
Of course. That makes sense. I mean, what's a bit of child rape between friends, eh? The following is the actual statement heading up the 'Free Polanski' petition;
Petition for Roman Polanski
We have learned the astonishing news of Roman Polanski's arrest by the Swiss police on September 26th, upon arrival in Zurich (Switzerland) while on his way to a film festival where he was due to receive an award for his career in filmmaking.
His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.
Filmmakers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision. It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by the police to apprehend him.
By their extraterritorial nature, film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this.
The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no-one can know the effects.
Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom.
Filmmakers, actors, producers and technicians - everyone involved in international filmmaking - want him to know that he has their support and friendship.
On September 16th, 2009, Mr. Charles Rivkin, the US Ambassador to France, received French artists and intellectuals at the embassy. He presented to them the new Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the embassy, Ms Judith Baroody. In perfect French she lauded the Franco-American friendship and recommended the development of cultural relations between our two countries.
If only in the name of this friendship between our two countries, we demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski.
There are a number of issues to be had with this.. well. What can only be described as a heap of mawkish, excuse-making shite. Raping a child is NOT 'a case of morals'. He admitted to the crime, and should be punished accordingly. Regardless of how long ago it happened or how high his standing is as an artist.
'In the name of friendship between our two countries' - Since when the fuck has a criminal being finally brought to justice for his crimes ever been about friendship? That's just how it works, guys. I know you Hollywood types may not understand that seeing as it's clearly quite hard to read blogs like this from inside Polanski's rectum but bear with me.
It seems that one of the favourite excuses is that poor old Ro-Po is 'Beleagured' and had a rough childhood. His mother died at Auschwitz and whilst that is undoubtedly a tragic thing, if you go into any prison and speak to the inmates, every single one of them will have a tragic tale to tell. But that doesn't make them any less of a criminal and it certainly didn't make them immune from the fucking law.
Polanski's supporters range from Harrison Ford and Wim Wenders to Natalie Portman and Woody Allen [Of course, he fucking would support him..] totalling over 200 so far. Quite how any of these people can justify their support for [let's just say it again to make sure everyone gets it] a rapist and paedophile is honestly beyond comprehension. Now I don't know but I'm wondering if there's some ulterior motives going on here. Some have worked with Polanski in the past - is it that others are literally falling over themselves to sign because they think there's something in it for them? A role in his next 'masterpiece' perchance?
I always figured the movie industry was to a certain extent, bound to be full of lowlife scumbags with no morals but quite this many and quite this high profile is something of a fucking shocker. I would like just one of the signatories to come forward and explain themselves and try and talk themselves out of the fact that they're defending what is essentially, a dirty old paedo. That's what he is. Would they let Uncle Roman alone with their teenage daughters considering what he's done in the past? I don't think so, somehow. Would they be so eager to stand up and fight on behalf of an ordinary Joe in the same situation? Would they fuck. Prove me wrong, I fucking dare you. Whoopi Goldberg has already had a go and failed miserably;
"I know it wasn't rape-rape. It was something else but I don't believe it was rape-rape."
Rape-rape?! What the fuck does that even mean!? Many conversations on Twitter and the like subsequently followed, most of which were lampooning Goldberg for the absolute garbage that just came out of her mouth. If we punch someone in the throat - is that okay as long as it's not a punch-punch? Throttle someone as long as it's not murder-murder? Bitch needs to get off the fucking Xanax before she spews any more stupid.
Okay, one more time because apparently people still aren't getting it; Polanski raped and forcibly sodomised a child whilst the child cried and begged him to stop.
Anyone seeing anything deeply wrong about signing a petition defending this guy, yet? Anybody? No?
Anyway, thankfully - there is some sanity in the world, even if it is from the most unlikely of places. One of our favourite crazies Kirstie Alley gets it, so what the fuck is wrong with the rest of the 200+ signatories of the 'Free Polanski' petition?
Not to come over all gung-ho or anything, but if you think raping kids is a bit of a bad thing to do, check out this list of 'celebrities' who have signed the petition and boycott their movies. Hit the motherfuckers where it really hurts - their wallets. While you're at it, there is a counter petition [thankfully with quite a few more signatures] here, that you can sign to support Polanski's arrest and send the message that a great artist does not mean that someone is a great human being.
As a parting thought, many of Polanski's supporters believe that he has somehow served his sentence for this crime [by gallavanting around europe, dating 15 year olds and making movies? What fucking planet are these morally bankrupt shitheads on?] - Reading the following from a 1979 interview, do you think this guy has any remorse for what he did?
"If I had killed somebody, it wouldn't have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!"
Does that show an ounce of remorse? Or does it show the attitude of a paedophilic scumbag who thinks his artistic talent puts him above the law? You can, of course, make up your own minds but all of the facts [not the rapist sympathising bullshit that half of Hollywood is spouting] point towards the latter.
...Why the hell would I want to do that?!