Friday, December 2, 2022

Myles’ Blog: The people versus the coalition

By Myles Cook

Following my enforced break from this column, due to putting work in on trying to set up a new project for mental health service users and carers in Essex, I have returned to expose the biggest crime perpetrated in the UK. I like to believe that my column always makes my readers think and this column will do so by presenting you with some questions and some definitions in order to engage you actively in the process.

About 99% of my readers will be astute enough to work out where this piece is going before I get to the destination, but for the 1% who cannot, I will spell it out in big, bold letters at the end that you will be able to see all the way from One Tree Hill. Let us begin…

Question: Is it acceptable in a civilised society to accept crime directed at a specific group of people based on gender, age, religion, sexuality, ethnicity or physical or mental disability?

Definition: Crime – an act that is against the laws laid down by the government of the country.
Fact: Slander is a crime.
Fact: Libel is a crime.
Fact: Incitement to hatred of a group based on their gender, age, religion, sexuality, ethnicity or physical or mental disability is a crime.

Definition: Disability – any physical or mental problem that affects an individual’s day-to-day life.

Definition: Hate crime – an act that is directed at an individual or group based on the victim’s gender, age, religion, sexuality, ethnicity or physical or mental disability; to persecute an individual based on their gender, age, religion, sexuality, ethnicity or physical or mental disability.

Definition: Persecute – (1) subject (a person, etc) to hostility or ill-treatment; (2) harass, worry.

Question: Should a civilised society allow crime to go unpunished?

Now we have set the scene with our questions, facts and definitions, we shall start our journey in earnest, filling in extra facts and posing extra questions as we go…

The current administration of this country, the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition or ConDums (yes, I did mean to call them ConDums), in the interests of cutting the budget deficit, have instituted the largest plans for public spending cuts in living memory. These cuts affect many of the people who rely on welfare benefits to survive day-to-day. Nowhere is this more keenly felt than in the people who are reliant in disability and health-related benefits. The ConDums, however, allow the richest people and companies in the country to get away with tax avoidance on a huge scale and refuse to institute a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on banking transactions all of which would obviate the need for such savage cuts to the welfare budget.

Question: Who should carry the burden of deficit reduction plans – the rich or the poor and most vulnerable?

Part of the welfare shake-up involves taking claimants off benefits such as Incapacity Benefit and putting them on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which has two sub-groups – the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) and the Support Group. In which group a claimant is placed in is determined by putting them through a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) by a company called Atos, who have no healthcare experience but who are paid approximately £150 million to administer the WCAs.

Fact: The changeover from the old benefits to the ESA is highly cost-laden.

Fact: The WCA has been proved to be ‘not fit for purpose’ for those claimants whose ‘disability’ is a mental health problem.

Fact: A high proportion of WCAs have resulted in a successful appeal overturning the findings of the WCA, costing the country money in legal expenses.

Fact: Calls are being made with the express intention of getting the WCA criteria changed so that they are deemed fit for purpose.

If a claimant is put into the Work Related Activity Group, the claimant will be asked (or forced, depending on who you ask) to undertake activities in order to prepare them for getting into work, some of whom will actually be unfit for work due to their disability but wrongly declared fit for work by the WCA.

Fact: If a person fails to comply with a work-related activity, their benefit will be reduced or temporarily withdrawn.

Question: If an individual has to stop a work-related activity due to their disability, how are they expected to survive on reduced or no income?

Fact: The Government plans to cut the benefit of a disabled claimant by £71 per week for failure to comply with a work-related activity.

Fact: Plans are being put in place so that the disabled and those on health-related benefits will be forced to do unpaid work placements for an unlimited time.

Fact: People claiming JobSeekers Allowance (JSA) are only expected to work in unpaid work placements for three months.

Of course, all of this is academic as the Government are proposing to abolish ESA and all other benefits and combine them all under the umbrella of Universal Credit (UC) at a huge expense to the country.

Fact: Proposals for Universal Credit are, at present, vague and ill considered. They are also, at present, highly prejudicial to people with disabilities and health-related incapacities.

The ConDum’s austerity measures have barely begun to bite with currently mentioned figures being mentioned of only 6% being made so far and the Government is, in fact, increasing the budget deficit rather than reducing it. The UK is in the grip of a full-blown double-dip recession, something the austerity measures was meant to prevent and yet the ConDums have given tax breaks to the rich and fail to collect the vast amounts of unpaid/avoided tax money. The poor, on the other hand, are bearing the brunt of the cost of an economic disaster not of their making and the disabled and those on health-related benefits are being hit the hardest. All the while, companies are failing causing more unemployment to add to those in the publicly funded sector who lost their jobs due to cuts in public spending.

Fact: One of the victims of the austerity measures was an organisation called Remploy, a company that employed hundreds of disabled people.

Question: Why have the public accepted such prejudicial tactics to be used against the disabled and those on health-related benefits?

I will answer this question for you. The public have accepted such measures because they have been subjected to hours and hours of ConDum propaganda designed to make the public think that the disabled and those on health-related benefits are the cause of the problem rather than the victims. They are seen as leeches on the belly of society, sucking away millions of pounds from the public purse. By demonising the target group, the public are less concerned with the affect the cuts to public spending are having on that group.

Fact: For an extended period, Iain Duncan-Smith and Chris Grayling have demonised the disabled and those on health-related benefits in the media. David Cameron allowed this.

Due to the highly prejudicial view of the disabled and health-related benefit claimants promoted by the ConDum administration, the levels of hate towards those groups has risen and will continue to rise in the future.

And so we reach the case against the ConDums on the charge of the greatest disability hate crime in the UK.

“If it pleases your Honour, based on the evidence presented above, I would like to proceed with the case for the prosecution of Her Majesty’s Government on the charge of hate crime against the disabled and health-related benefit claimants of the UK.

It has been established that hate crime is wrong and unlawful. It has further been established that slander and libel are crimes and that persecution of or incitement to hatred of an individual or group based on gender, age, religion, sexuality, ethnicity or physical or mental disability are likewise crimes.

On behalf of my clients, I wish to submit the following evidence –

Fact: According to Government statistics, less than 1% of claims for health-related benefits are fraudulent.

Her Majesty’s Prime Minister has allowed speeches and comments of a highly prejudicial nature to be given by certain ministers of his administration giving a view of my clients as being work-shy or fraudsters.

This amounts to slander against 99% of my clients. These speeches and comments have made their way into the printed media, which amounts to complicity in spreading libellous statements about 99% of my clients.

Further to these charges, the current and planned legislation of Her Majesty’s Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government are highly prejudicial to my clients as are the cuts to public spending that are currently underway. I refer, of course, to the closing of Remploy establishments, the excessive punishments incurred for failing to comply with work-related activities and the unlimited duration of unpaid work placements for disabled/health-related claimants. These amount to persecution of my clients.

Finally, thanks to the slanderous and libellous statements, my clients have been seen as figures to be hated by the rest of society. It is true that many held this view before the current administration took power but the statements given by Ministers of the Crown have acerbated the problem. This amounts to a hate crime against my clients, made even more offensive as it is against a group who are among the most vulnerable in society.

I submit to you that the current Government of this country is guilty of all charges and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The case for the prosecution rests.”

Fact: David Cameron called himself a ‘compassionate Conservative’.

Question: If Cameron really is compassionate, why would he allow such disgusting tactics and policies to be used?

Fact: There have been many deaths directly attributable to the changes and cuts in welfare benefits for the disabled and those on health-related benefits. A lot of them have been covered in the media.
With so many deaths directly attributable to benefit changes, perhaps we should add manslaughter or murder to the list of charges against this Government.

Things are not going to get any better whilst we have a corrupt, dictatorial regime in place that will push through legislation regardless of its detrimental effect on the citizens it is supposed to protect.

How can you call this a dictatorial regime, you may ask; it was democratically elected. So was Hitler, I would counter. And he had a greater share of the vote than the Conservatives did in the last General Election.

For some dark reasoning, the ConDums have it in for the disabled and those on health-related benefits. The economic strategy that was built on adherence to austerity measures has failed. The economy is in decline where under Labour it had started to grow. The ConDums have no plan for economic growth and Cameron has been recorded as saying that he sees no end to the austerity measures that were originally meant to last only five years, the longest term for austerity measures in living memory. The Government is increasing the deficit it had promised to get rid of within its five-year term. The ConDums strategy seems dependent upon convincing the Great British public that the disabled and health-related benefit claimants are the cause of all the ills the UK is facing whilst letting the rich prosper and avoid paying their due taxes.

Why are the rich being molly-coddled? Because they are the ones who vote Conservative and because they are the ones who are in power. Why are the poor and disadvantaged being hurt the most? Because they have no voice. The people in the middle-income bracket hate the poor and disadvantaged because they fear becoming poor and disadvantaged themselves and because the ConDum administration instils hatred towards them to ensure their monstrous plans go ahead unchallenged by the public.

The only step that Cameron and company have not taken is the one where the State institutes a campaign of forced euthanasia against the mentally and physically challenged – yet. One wonders if this is to be the next step in the persecution of the disabled and health-related benefit claimants though.

Until next time…

If you would like to comment on any of my columns, please send them to valen1971@hotmail.co.uk or you can check out my personal blogs at http://valen1971.webs.com/ or http://valen1971.blogspot.com. You can also find me on Twitter (@valen1971).

52 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t wait to read what my Tory blogger friends reply to this is!
    But it will probably all
    be blamed on the former goverment as usual.

  2. Left wing rant with little fact based content despite lots of things saying fact. And yes JMW118 the current problems are the last governments fault or do you have some facts that say they aren’t.

  3. Fact: Labour shadow minister Liam Byrne admitted that Labour lost control of the Walfare spending, in the decade to 2009/10, welfare spending increased by 45% in real terms – to £147bn – with the housing benefit bill reaching £20bn, up from £11.2bn in 2000/01.

    Fact: Labour have failed to suggest any credible alternatives to reversing the situation.

    Fact: More than 3 million migrants entered the UK under Labour Open Door Immigration policy which has a knock on effect with the welfare state

    The Country was left on its knees financially by the last Labour administration, the ConDem administration are damned if they do and damned if they dont as would Labour under Milliband had they been successful, for far too long it has been far too easy to collect welfare payments without lifting a finger, something had to change, yes I agree that ATOS have made a pigs ear out of it and this needs to be sorted out so that those who genuinley cannot work through disabillity are assisted and also those who are in desperate need for financial assistance are looked after.

    What cannot happen is for the current system of state hand outs to continue to those who are able to work, if people want to claim benefits then they should be prepared to do community based project work for that money.

    We are breeding a genereation of scroungers in the UK who think it is Ok to sit back and feed of the tax payer.

  4. NoVoice – I am not left-wing. I believe in no political partisan ideals whatsoever. And yes, my blog is full of FACTS. Yes, the last Government is partly to blame for the mess we’re in for deregulating the banking sector BUT it’s right-wing policies that are killing the disabled and those who rely on health-related benefits…and that’s a FACT! Try reading the national newspapers, you ill-informed moron!

  5. Lambo – I never said that Labour has no responsibility for the mess we’re in, however, the ConDums have INCREASED the deficit and have failed to come up with a plan for economic growth. The ConDum plan to deal with the deficit is based on nothing but hurt for the lower rung of society to pay for tax cuts for the rich and the Tory ‘old boy’s network’. The austerity measures that were to last FIVE years and wipe out the deficit will now last indefinitely according to Cameron.

  6. The ConDum plan has caused people reliant on the pittance they receive in benefits to commit suicide when it’s been taken from them. My benefit hasn’t been taken away yet but what am I to do when it does? I want to work but I’m stigmatised by my work in mental health awareness that has been broadcast worldwide on this very site, work I undertook to help others and give me transferrable skills. All the voluntary work I did during my more able times has borne no fruit and I’m demonised by the ConDums DAILY.

  7. FACT – The amount of tax money unclaimed by the HMRC through rich people and companies who avoid paying it WOULD COVER THE ENTIRE BENEFIT BILL.

    FACT – Benefit fraud is less than 5% of claims.

    Tax avoidance by the rich is much higher than that figure. So why have the ConDums picked on the benefit claimants? Because they have no voice in an elitest, Tory-led Government, populated as it is with rich or upper middle class, public school graduates.

  8. FACT – I’m not left-wing, I’m non partisan. If I sound left-wing, it’s because the ConDems have driven me that way; however, I’d rather be left-wing than an ultra right-wing Tory like Cameron and his cronies who enact policies that even the BNP would consider going too far to the right.

    FACT – Benefit claimants do not receive handouts neither are they scroungers (on the whole), they just need a helping hand to survive in destressing personal times.

  9. Fact: presenting an article as a list of “facts”, “questions” and “definitions” gets very tedious very quickly. Like a GCSE revision book.

    Fact: adding so many additional “facts” in the comments doesn’t help either.

    Fact: putting “fact” at the start of each paragraph doesn’t make your Guardian lifted opinions any more credible.

  10. Descamisados – I wrote the blog in that way so that even idiots like you obviously are can see what’s happening. The FACTS are lifted from various places INCLUDING THE GOVERNMENT’S OWN DWP WEBSITE and from my PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS of how the changes in the benefits system are affecting mental health service users. Perhaps you should read a little wider.

  11. Also, Descamisados, criticising my use of the word ‘fact’ before presenting a genuine fact whilst you use the word to present your PERSONAL OPINIONS as facts shows exactly how ignorant you are of the word’s meaning.

    You are obviously a mindless Tory drone who accepts their propaganda without investigating the reality for yourself. I worked, voluntarily, with mental health service users and have seen the effects of the benefit changes myself. When you have done the same, THEN you can criticise my blog.

  12. Clearly my ironic and mocking use of “fact” was lost on you. Pity.

    No, regardless of your ad hominem attacks, I can comment on your blog, because the beauty of YT is any idiot can say what they like AND EVEN USE CAPITALS and you can’t stop them.

  13. Descamisados – Actually, I was being sarcastic. Your attempt at humour didn’t escape me, I simply replied to stress that you called your opinions ‘facts’ whilst my facts WERE facts gleaned from research and personal observations.

    As for Your Thurrock allowing people to comment freely, you’re right, it is a good thing. I allow people to freely comment on my personal blog too, something very few people do these days and that includes my critic’s blogs too.

    As for my use of capitals, I use them for emphasis.

  14. Let me make this perfectly clear – I am happy for anyone to comment on my blog as long as the commenter realises that I will respond to their comments with an appropriate response…even if the commenter is an ill-informed moron.

  15. I found the article a good read. I agree that the government and media are making the less fortunate escape goats for the lack of jobs created economically under this administration.
    I blame Labour for deregulation of the banking sector which led to the crash. I am not a member of any political party as I view them all as failed. They have all failed the people. difficult for a supporter of a party to accept. So they blame the other side.

    What is needed is Job so one, the employed can move up the ladder, the unemployed can get jobs and the disabled can move into paid employment. Those who are unable to function should be supported. More needs to be done on tax evasion and avoidance on all levels.

    Anyway thank you Myles for an interesting read.

  16. While I disagreed with many of the points made in the article I do thijnk it was really well written.

    If we are being honest, many of the problems faced since 2010 have been a direct result of the last Labour government completely losing control of the economy, immigration, law and order etc…

    However, there are many things that the current government are doing that do not seem to be helping the situation. In regards to welfare, if we forever say that ‘because the lowest in society will suffer more’, we will do nothing about an unsustainable welfare system we would be creating more trouble in the future.
    However they do need to ensure that disabled people are protected and the terminally ill.

  17. Catching the Bus – Thanks for your comments. You’re right that all parties have failed their citizens. It seems that many people, however, are blinded by partisan political propaganda peddled by self-serving people only out to line their own selfish pockets.

  18. Bernard87 – It is your absolute right to disagree with whatever points I raised in the blog and I appreciate your comments.

    Yes, the last Labour Government made a load of mistakes. I have made attacks on those mistakes too.

    I would say, however, that the lower rung of society is being unduely attacked and being blamed for the financial mess. Immigration has caused more financial stress on the UK than the disabled and health-related benefit claimants. Why aren’t immigrants being demonised as much?

  19. You seem incredibly bitter and abusive.You accuse virtually all of society of hating the disabled and the poor. You clearly live in a parallel universe. You are divisive and insulting. You believe that by putting a few spurious claims in a rant written in a way you seem to think will impress us less learned peasants gives legitimacy to your claims. Welfare benefits have increased by 120% in the last 10 years, an extra 60 billion a year. Why are people on benefits still living in poverty according to you? This is a left wing rant. I’m astonished that you actualkly made your last comment to Bernard 87. Are the left now finally admitting the real problems in this country and who caused them.

  20. NoVoice – Yes, I am bitter so would you be if you had a mental health problem that people stigmatised you for. I am only abusive to people who call me a left-wing ranter when I am neither left-wing (try reading some of my previous blogs on the subject – “The Fourth Way in Politics” and “The Case for Political Change”) or rant. Rants don’t include factual content, my blog does.

    Thanks to the ConDem attacks on the poor and disabled the levels of hate towards those groups has risen. Perhaps you should stick your head out of your window once in a while and see for yourself.

    Most of my readers have IQ scores higher than most house plants and can think for themselves. Can you say the same?

    There are some people who live on benefits and play the system for what they can get out of it. Some have never even put into the system first. However, the general impression people get of benefit claimants is that they get money hand-over-fist which is an erroneous view. Take my own case, for example, I get just less than £6000 a year on Incapacity Benefit. I was denied Disability Living Allowance. I was denied Housing Benefit. I was denied Council Tax Benefit. I am denied free prescriptions with which to buy the four medications I am on and any supplimentary ones I need. How is that receiving a lot? I still have the same bills that everyone else has and the money I do get is gone on virtually the same day as I get it. I know from personal experience and observation from working with fellow service users that they are in a similar or, sometimes, even worse situation. Does this seem fair when the ConDems are giving tax breaks to the rich?

    It’s not a left-wing rant. It’s an attack on the policies of the administration in situ as I have written against Labour in the past. It’s not my fault that most of my blogs have been written during this administration, is it? I was only offered the opportunity to write a column in 2009. I will attack any administration that tries to damage this country.

    I have never denied that Labour caused a lot of the problems, try reading some of my earlier blogs. The blog above deals with the current situation and doesn’t dwell on the past that can’t be changed and that the ConDems hide behind when their policies have failed to rectify and have actually worsened the situation they promised to solve. I believe that all politicians in Westminster should work together, regardless of their partisan political views, to rectify the current situation. If you haven’t read my previous blogs, don’t ascribe any political stance to me or what I write because that is very ill-informed and extremely ignorant.

  21. NoVoice – Yes, I am bitter so would you be if you had a mental health problem that people stigmatised you for. I am only abusive to people who call me a left-wing ranter when I am neither left-wing (try reading some of my previous blogs on the subject – “The Fourth Way in Politics” and “The Case for Political Change”) or rant. Rants don’t include factual content, my blog does.

    Thanks to the ConDem attacks on the poor and disabled the levels of hate towards those groups has risen. Perhaps you should stick your head out of your window once in a while and see for yourself.

    Most of my readers have IQ scores higher than most house plants and can think for themselves. Can you say the same?

  22. NoVoice – Yes, I am bitter so would you be if you had a mental health problem that people stigmatised you for. I am only abusive to people who call me a left-wing ranter when I am neither left-wing (try reading some of my previous blogs on the subject – “The Fourth Way in Politics” and “The Case for Political Change”) nor do I rant. Rants don’t include factual content, my blog does.

    Thanks to the ConDem attacks on the poor and disabled the levels of hate towards those groups has risen. Perhaps you should stick your head out of your window once in a while and see for yourself.

    Most of my readers have IQ scores higher than most house plants and can think for themselves. Can you say the same?

    There are some people who live on benefits and play the system for what they can get out of it. Some have never even put into the system first. However, the general impression people get of benefit claimants is that they get money hand-over-fist which is an erroneous view. Take my own case, for example, I get just less than £6000 a year on Incapacity Benefit. I was denied Disability Living Allowance. I was denied Housing Benefit. I was denied Council Tax Benefit. I am denied free prescriptions with which to buy the four medications I am on and any supplimentary ones I need. How is that receiving a lot? I still have the same bills that everyone else has and the money I do get is gone on virtually the same day as I get it. I know from personal experience and observation from working with fellow service users that they are in a similar or, sometimes, even worse situation. Does this seem fair when the ConDems are giving tax breaks to the rich?

    It’s not a left-wing rant. It’s an attack on the policies of the administration in situ as I have written against Labour in the past. It’s not my fault that most of my blogs have been written during this administration, is it? I was only offered the opportunity to write a column in 2009. I will attack any administration that tries to damage this country.

    I have never denied that Labour caused a lot of the problems, try reading some of my earlier blogs. The blog above deals with the current situation and doesn’t dwell on the past that can’t be changed and that the ConDems hide behind when their policies have failed to rectify and have actually worsened the situation they promised to solve. I believe that all politicians in Westminster should work together, regardless of their partisan political views, to rectify the current situation. If you haven’t read my previous blogs, don’t ascribe any political stance to me or what I write because that is very ill-informed and extremely ignorant.

  23. NoVoice – Yes, I am bitter so would you be if you had a mental health problem that people stigmatised you for. I am only abusive to people who call me a left-wing ranter when I am neither left-wing (try reading “The Fourth Way in Politics” and “The Case for Political Change”) nor do I rant. Rants don’t include factual content, my blog does.

    Thanks to the ConDem’s attacks on those groups, the levels of hate towards them have risen. Perhaps you should stick your head out the window once in a while and see.

  24. NoVoice – Most of my readers have IQ scores higher than most house plants and can think for themselves. Can you say the same?

    Some people do play the system and some of them haven’t paid anything in first either. However, the general impression given is that benefit claimants get money hand-over-fist which is an erroneous view. Take my own case for example – I get just less than £6000 a year on Incapacity Benefit. I was denied DLA, housing benefit and Council Tax benefit. I am denied free prescriptions…

  25. …with which to buy my regular medications. I am denied a free bus pass. How is that recieving a lot? I still have the same bills as everyone else and the money I do get is gone on virtually the same day as I get it. I know from personal experience and observation from working with fellow service users that they are in a similar or, sometimes, even worse situaltion. Does this seem fair when the rich are being given tax breaks by the ConDems?

  26. Get your facts right first Novoice the DWP only has an annual budget of £151.6 billion can you explain how it has increased £60 Billion a year in the past ten years as stated in your post above. I think you need to check your sums.

    Looking at the figure the massive problem is State Pensions in 2012 £74Billion is spent on it and it is going up to £91Billion by 2015/16. This is what area needs reform if the DWP is to get a grip on spending.

  27. NoVoice – It’s not a left-wing rant. It’s an attack of the policies of the administration in situ, as I have written against Labour in the past. It’s not my fault that most of my blogs have been written during this administration, is it? I was only offered the opportunity to write this column in 2009. I will attack any administration that tries to damage this country.

    I have never denied that Labout cause a lot of the problems, try reading some of my earlier blogs. This blog, however, deals with the…

  28. …current situation. It doesn’t dwell on the past that can’t be changed and that the ConDems hide behind when their policies have failed to rectify and actually worsened the situation they promised to solve. I believe that all politicians in Westminster should work together, regardless of their partisan political views, to rectify the situation. If you haven’t read my previous blogs, don’t ascribe any political stance to me or what I write because that is very ill-informed and exrtremely ignorant of you.

  29. During Margret Thatchers reign over GB, I was but a humble bus driver for London Transport, we were all working a 39 Hour week for a sum of £280:55p aweek how week started on a Monday and finished on the Friday, all weekend work was paid as extra, she and her government decided to sell off all public transport in GB, including British Railways and London Underground LT, to the highest bidders, a long came the Conservatives greedy friends, and everything was sold off, to the highest bidders, ie Arriva-First Group-Metroline-etc, these companies also took over the Railways, then Richard Branson came along and bought out, National Express coach company and started Virgin Trains, Maggie thatcher even said on TV, Greed was good, she liked the words Fat Cat.
    So this Conservative government didnt start this down ward spiral, neither did the last Labour government, as most of the tory polices were sown in for a period of ten years or more, there were hospitals closing down, people being made redundant from their employment, the entire country was on a down ward slide, but the fat cats, the tory bankers were on the up, they were stripping everything in their paths, including the disabled and the mentally ill.
    We were told when I started on the buses, that we had a job for life, so we looked after the companies we worked for, then on take over by one of the tory fat cats, they sacked everybody and told us if we wanted, to continue working for the new company, we had to start on a Saturday and we were to work a 49 hour week, for £180:50p a week, there was no way that, I was going to work a 49 hour week and take a cut in my wages of £100, plus make my own way into London every day, from Basildon, Essex.
    The mess the last Labour party was in when they took over from the tories, we will never know, they had to deal with a shortage of staff in hospitals, schools were mostly on the verge of falling down, because the tory party wouldnt give the education secretary money to improve schools buildings, there was also a shortage of teachers, peiople couldnt no longer afford a mortgage because of the property slump, petrol prices were going through the roof, I am not defending the Labour party, but we always forget what they inherited from the tory party again.
    It was the Conservative party who first introduced immigration into GB, and they never shut the stable doors, they were brought into the country to do jobs that nobody else would do, they swept streets, tended the sick in hospitals, any low paid job were good enough for them, also there was no instant housing or benefits, private landlords refused to have them in their houses, so they did have it rough in them days, so did everybody else, everything was on ration then in the 1950’s.
    Looking back we havent done so good, since then with the welfare acts and the education acts, we just seem to go along like a blind racing driver, I just hope that we find the solution to these troubled times, I feel that there will all be a higher class and a lower class, there isnt a middle class they are just below the higher class by 0.1%.

  30. Mr Valen [Myles] Cook, There appears to be no doubting your sincere concern for what you percieve to be serious failings regarding mental health issues. It is a pity that you weaken the strength of your argument by your intolerance of other peoples comments, referring to them as idiots, mindless, ill-informed morons and ignorant, epithets unlikely to endear yourself or encourage people to support you. I can uderstand those who considered your article a “rant”, I also felt that I was being lectured and talked-down to and that you believed no one, apart from you, had any sympathy for people suffering a mental illness. Some months ago I recall you complaining that nobody responded to your blogs now 7 people have responded and in return you respond by being abusive, dogmatic and intolerant believing that your views are the only ones deserving merit. It seems to me, Mr Cook, that what really upsets you is that you think people do not recognise your efforts, praise you enough and do not give you the credit you believe you deserve.
    Fact:- Life is sometimes unfair but you just have to get on with it.

  31. Mr Perrin – I’m not here to be liked. I’m here to state the facts about what is happening in the UK today. What I present is not a rant but a reasoned case for what can only be described as a vicious hate crime against the voiceless underclass. In the past people have missed the point of my articles, I therefore presented the case in an easily digestible format. I only abuse people who assign a political leaning to myself and my columns that does not exist or question the facts contained within.

  32. danny – The country has been going to the dogs for years, as you say. Progressive administrations have compounded the errors and fail to learn from the past mistakes that have been made. What you describe in your comment is, unfortunately, the world most people choose to turn a blind eye to in favour of naked self-interest or fear.

  33. Mr Perrin – I’m not looking for people to follow or support me and my views. I simply observe and inform. Take from what I write whatever you will then go forward in all your beliefs and leave me to believe in mine. I observe the wrongs in society and state them so that they may be corrected by those with the power to do so. I anger people. I frustrate people. I open people’s eyes. I leave them to wrestle with their conscience as to what to do with what I present. My conscience is clear.

  34. Someone with an income of £6,000 a year would qualify for both Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

    Long Term Incapacity Benefit is £99.15 per week.

    The amount the Government has set for basic living allowances for a single person aged over 25 and below pensionable age is £71.00. If that person gets Long Term Incapacity Benefit they get an additional disability premium of £30.35.

    As the Long Term Incapacity Benefit rate is £99.15 per week and the personal allowance is £101.35 per week then the peron would get a top up of Income Support, maximum Council Tax Benefit andmaximum allowable Housing Benefit.

    There must be other reasons for being declined Housing and Council Tax Benefit.

  35. Yes, my wife worked for 30 minutes longer than the allowable time to qualify for the extra benefits. She could not cut her hours down and, together with my IB, we are barely surviving on our combined income. We freeze in winter because we can’t afford to run the heating. We eat the cheapest food we can get. We struggle to pay bills but we still aren’t in debt unlike a huge percentage of the population. We live within our meager means but only because of my IB. Some are even worse off than us.

  36. Your earlier comment about only having less than £6,000 and being denied help towards your rent and council tax wasn’t exactly true as you failed to mention your wifes wages.

    The Local Housing Allowance rate for Thurrock is £126.92 so assuming your rent is £126 per week or more then your houshold income would have to exceed £18,000 a year for you not to qualify for Housing Benefit.

  37. Actually, our combined income (not that it’s any of your business) is approximately £15,500. We’re still denied any help. Not including my wife’s income in my comments doesn’t invalidate the argument, we struggle to survive on what we bring in. Half of my wife’s wages goes on rent and council tax, the rest goes on shopping, electric, TV licence, telephone, etc. Each month we’re lucky if we’ve a pound between us and we don’t live extravagantly. Saving is a luxury we can’t afford. But others are worse off.

  38. I have, however, heard of people with higher incomes getting help. Again, my initial comments in the blog, shows that I am far from a scrounger. I get less than most people on benefits and I have done a lot of voluntary work helping my fellow mental health service user so I’ve earned my benefit. I’m not the only one either. We work when our problem allows us and undertake work that a paid member of staff would earn a lot more for.

  39. My wife and I are married in name only as she set about divorce proceedings. We have elected to share the accommodation we had as a couple as neither of us can afford to live alone. I did not want to increase the money I get from the State when we could live, albeit basically, on our combined income.

  40. Just to clarify my financial position – my benefit pays for my food and drink, my toiletries, my travel expenses to get to my group therapy, my insurances, my reading materials for my personal studies and the occasional cut-price DVD. What little is left over goes to pay whatever the household needs that isn’t covered by my wife’s (in name only) wages. Other than that, our finances are completely separate.

  41. Catching the bus I have got my facts right. It is you I suggest take another look at yours. The government spend on pensions is around £115 billion a year. If you look in the right places it is separated out for you. The spend on welfare is or was a year or so ago around £110 billion a year. 10 years prior to this it was around £51 billion. So give or take the odd billion i reckon I’m about right. So tell me again why people are still living in poverty on benefits. As for the wild claims that the vast majority of the public hate the poor and disabled, particularly the disabled is rubbish. I don’t wish to jump on any bandwagon or use the paralympics in any derogatory way but, after watching those people, I’d rather employ one of them than I would some of the dregs that wander round our towns. In fact they should be sent around Job Centres to show those that cannot be bothered to work just what can be achieved. They have a far more positive outlook on life than those that believe the government owes them a living and should be role models for children and others as testimony of how they overcome any so called disability. I’m sure sometimes they would love to lay back and say “I can’t be bothered” but they don’t. With regard to disability benefits, everyone knows that there are ludicrous decisions taken in some cases where people are deemed fit for work. On the flip side, I personally know people who are proud of the fact that they have managed to avoid working and are on disability benefits, all of them for apparent mental health problems. One of the claims to be agoraphobic yet manages to spend every day sat in the pub. It’s a badge of honour that they have managed to get one over on the system. So you see, regardless of whether people are are hugely wealthy or poor in comparison, getting one over on the governmment or getting what they perceive to be fair is part of the human condition. To accuse the whole of society of hating the poor and disabled and to accuse the government of hate crimes is well wide of the mark. Those entiltled to benefits should get them if it is clearly demonstrable that they would suffer severe hardship if they didn’t. The fact of the matter is the last government has turned this country into a huge welfare state and invited millions of people from abroad to join in. We can’t afford that as a country and so benefits are going to be cut. If you wish to tax people to the point they either leave the country or even worse, give up work and stop paying tax and claim benefits, then you will simply add to the problem. You seem to expect those in work just to continue to hand over money so others can sit on their arse and do nothing. Public expenditure is out of control and even if the economy was to grow by two or three percent we would still need to borrow tens of billions to pay the bill. All thanks to the Labour party and as seems widely accepted now, their mass immigration policy.

  42. Novioce. Your claim of 60 billion a year for ten years was admitted from the above post.

    Source for these figures? I am using the DWP annual budget. what government figures are you using?

  43. Novice.. Even if you took the PESA figures for 2014-15 Social security spending is £184 Billion. this would in no way
    be an extra 60 billion a year. would it?

  44. Yes Myles. I will be sticking around I don’t like the Labour (Left) or Conservatives (right). though I do find some of what UKIP say of interest.

  45. Catching the bus you either don’t understand what you are reading or you are reading different figures. I deal with government figures on a regular basis and can assure you I know what I’m talking about. You’ll be telling me next that public sector debt under the last Labour government didn’t increase by £450 billion at a time when they had record tax receipts.

  46. No i am clear on what I have said it is you that has failed to provide a link with what source. In no way has welfare benefits spending increased an extra 60 billion a year over the last ten years.

    The second part of your rant is an assumption that I would defend Labour on their record. I do not. I have equal dislike for Labour, Lib Dems or Conservatives. This is a diversion from the 60 Billion issue we are discussing.

  47. After reading the above articles and misquotes from various sources, such as the HM Government PESA for 1950, what it boils down to is, there is one very frustrated disabled voter out there, who is prepared to attack everything painted blue or yellow, I am neither one party or the other at the moment as for the Liberal’s well dont go there, at the moment the labour party is a disorganized rable, just look at the TBC councillors.
    The Immigration policy Novoice was set up and administered incorrectly by the Tory party back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, they opened up the stable doors, and never closed them afterwards, so everybody in GB just got on with it, and gave the good old tory party a good excuse to ignore important issues in the house of commons, for many years by blaming the labour party for the immigration issues and other issues that they had started and hadn’t finished and just left it for any other party to finish off, Novoice issued lots of mind boggling fiqures from last year and from 1950’s, but we all know that fiqures can be moved about to suit the users, the issue of why successive governments wont or cant deal with the Mental Health Acts, and why they live as second class citizens in the community, it as always been the case that people are sometimes embarrassed by disablement and cant cope or handle it, when I drove a bus on local routes around Thurrock and London, it was always grief if somebody who was in a wheel chair, was waiting at a bus stop, and the bus hadnt been adapted to take them in their wheel chairs, the buses now bend down to allow easy access and have special areas set aside for wheel chairs, but in the early 80’s this wasnt so, the front entrances of buses were to small for a wheel chair as were the aisles between the seats, so we couldn’t take on the disabled person, but thanks to the Labour party, all new buses had to conform to new standards, to allow disabled passengers to travel on all buses, that was mostly thanks to good old Ken Livingstone mayor for London who also kept bus and underground fares down for over four years, and was made to increase them by the Tory party, before they sacked him, and then sold off London transport to their fat cat friends or the highest bidder, they didnt give a second thought for the mentally ill or disabled people who wished to travel on public transport.
    Allowances for the mentally ill and disabled is now more means tested, than ever before, more so than the unemployed people, and not forgetting the pensioners who are trying to live on one government pension, and a few allowances a week, its been known for years now that the government gives the pensioners a five pounds increase aweek to their pensions, then take £4:80p in the increase in rent, so they profit by only 10p but still lose some of their benefits, which is the same for the mentally ill and disabled people.
    But please dont attack the people who, answer some of your questions (rants), you must be open to criticism or praise when you put your thoughts on these pages of Your Thurrock.

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