Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Here's an irony....

All my life I wanted to work. I wanted to do something important.

I did everything society told me I should. I worked hard, I went to college despite being told I'd never pass due to sickness absence. I went to uni despite being told by concerned doctors not to go. I worked. For years, despite well meaning loved ones telling me I should stop.

When I became unable to "work" (in the traditional sense) I tried everything from classsy-bar-singer to teacher to saleswoman to trader. I tried self employed, part time and late shifts.

I worked. I got sick, I had surgery, I went back to work. I nearly died. Repeat.

In the end, family and friends launched "Campaign Save Suey" and nagged me at every dinner or party or wedding to STOP WORKING.

Eventually, I had to. It was without doubt, the very worst thing I ever had to come to terms with about being ill. "There's no such word as Can't" was the mantra in my house as I was growing up and realising that in fact, there WAS was very nearly impossible.

I wrote a book (no-one would publish) about NHS reform. I fed the homeless and took in waifs. I bought and sold properties, keeping us afloat for around ten years longer than we would have managed by sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves.

Through that whole period, my country accepted I was so unwell, that I needed support. I didn't feel like a "Scrounger" I felt very, very sad that my ambitions and dreams had been taken away. I marvelled at just how I'd managed to stay alive and blessed with a loving family. I thanked the NHS every day for saving me and I thanked the welfare state for giving me a little dignity.

Sometimes I thought "Well, my husband works, why should I get this money?"

Then when I spent £60 on petrol to get to the specialist bowel disease centre 130 miles from my home, or bought food that meant I wouldn't make myself more ill, I was grateful.

I claimed DLA, but in good periods, when my "fluctuating condition" allowed me a little respite, I would cancel it, secure in the knowledge that the next time I needed it, I would simply re-apply.

I didn't look at the ground every time I parked my car using a disabled badge. The nice lady at county hall had explained to me that "mobility" meant different things to every disabled person. I'd felt reassured and privileged.

All of that is now under threat. I feel like a burden on society. I feel that my voluntary contributions to many people in society are worth nothing. I feel that my life has been useless. Not to me or the people I cared for, but to "society"

I feel weak and pathetic, where I used to feel accepted and lucky. I cannot earn even a little money from the writing I do or my family will lose everything - much more than I could earn from the few articles I might be able to publish when I am (unreliably) able to write.

It really isn't about what I'll "lose" if welfare reform is steam-rollered through. It isn't about how I will survive - I would rather work myself to death than see my family suffer.

It's about how I feel now. Every day. It's about the articles full of lies I read every week in the Daily Mail. It's about the distortions and mis-truths I hear from politicians now. It's a society that is so convinced that a "something for something" society is fair, they never ask what becomes of those who need your support for nothing. Just because you care.

This is what you're doing. Not "taking away" or "sanctioning" or "getting tough".

You are making me feel invisible, unworthy and frightened. It's THAT that I despise you for.

65 comments:

  1. “It's a society that is so convinced that a "something for something" society is fair, they never ask what become of those who need your support for nothing. Just because you care.”

    We are all born from behind a veil of ignorance. None of us know what the future holds in store. Even the most successful can be brought low by the onset of illness or sudden disability. Unless you have the cushion of inherited wealth, it will mean a life of destitution or complete dependence on family. If appeals to altruism or empathy can’t interest people, how about naked self-interest?

    Anyone reading this blog, disabled or otherwise should be concerned about the abolition of benefits to disabled people – if only because they can’t insulate themselves from misfortune.

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  2. I honestly wish the people who are doing this would 'demean' themselves to reading blogs, particularly this one. The only thing we can keep doing to help you is promote the heck out of your very honest and hard-hitting words.

    I hope someone finally listens.

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  3. Great post.

    My wife's suffered from an acquired neurological disability for about 7 years now. She had to give up work as a practice nurse when she developed severe double vision about 3 years ago. She intended returning to work, when she'd "got herself right" - claimed no benefit at all for 12 months.

    She was advised by the hospital to apply for disabled person's rail card - but having applied for it, and fulfilled all the criteria on the application form, she was then told that they'd changed the criteria, and she could only apply if she had disability living allowance.

    So she applied - and got it - and also had incapacity benefit awarded. Eventually the strain of being a Headteacher and having a disabled wife to help out meant that I also gave my job up. I spent around six months as her carer - but couldn't afford to keep this up - I've returned to classroom teaching, having taken a £45,000 per year pay cut. My wife is making progress - having successfully appealed a decision not to fund an operation to relieve her condition, but remains unable to work. We're currently awaiting the reply from the latest questionnaire from the DWP regarding "re-assessment" for Incapacity Benefit.

    It makes us feel worthless - she's had two medicals with her GP - the first of which had a questionnaire with pre-filled fields regarding her disabling condition. One said "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" - the other said "Migraine" - She's never suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and although she does suffer from "Migraine", it's not her disabling condition, and she's never mentioned it in any correspondence with DWP.

    As you say, when we go out an park the car using the Blue Badge (which is an absolute god-send) - we feel guilty - My wife has few outward signs of her disability other than a walking stick, and people look as if to say - They're not disabled.

    And you know the best irony ? Having taken a job with less than half my former salary, I'm still a higher rate taxpayer - and I still pay out - every month - more than the amount we receive in benefits.

    We are still net contributors to the welfare state.

    And yet the government wants to "crack down" and "get tough" with scroungers like us.

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  4. Powerful words indeed and many that I can relate to. A copy of this should be sent to every minister in commons and lords. Perhaps they would 'get it' then...

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  5. Such a powerful piece, beautifully written and hard hitting. The something for something mentality is ludicrous at best and inhumanely cruel. Our local conservative party is coming into our community and looking at all the stuff done by the wonderful people who live here and then trumpeting about the Big Society.... b£$£lloC&s, we're just trying to protect people who are being cruelly let down by a corrupt and unbalanced system. F

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  6. We all have different stories, but I feel that, between all the different aspects you pick up on, you speak for so many of us. These words should be seared into the brain of every minister in the DWP, and every member of the cabinet, and preferably every editor of national news papers (you know which ones I mean most).

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  7. Powerful and so sadly so true, the society of the UK which at one time boasted of its fairness and decency has turned its back to penny pinch and accuse.

    The public have enabled the lies of the MPs and those on the right who seek to demonise to take hold. How ignorant British society has become, they act like children in their first week at school learning the art of name calling. It makes not a jot of difference if you have a long term condition, disability or that you are dying, the crime has been created because you seek less than £400 a month to live on!

    Just under one hundred pound a week is seen as far too much to help those ill, the way many is this greedy, selfish and petty society now acts is a disgrace. All those who whinge should be ashamed of themselves!

    The vast bulk of people are claiming money they paid in, they paid their taxes and it was the contract with the state that many believed was right. You pay in and if you are ever ill then you can gain help. If your fit then that’s ok because others in need can claim.

    But no more kindness, it seems if you are a banker and robbed billions or a rich tax dodger then all you get is a few snipes from the public yet if you claim a pittance to survive on in the 6th richest nation in the world then you are par with criminals.

    It’s about time the public woke up and stopped being so bloody cruel and selfish. One day you may need help for being ill, then you will see just how hard claiming is and in having to survive on top of an illness with tiny amounts.

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  8. I totally emphasise with you. Yo're closing sentence hit home with me.I've always tried to keep a degree of dignity through my disability but was crushed when at an interview in the job centre to check my eligibility for benefits I was asked if I could do something "even a few hours voluntary work a week just so you can feel your life is worthwhile and there's a point to it" Up until that point I felt it was. To say I was rendered speechless is an understatement.

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  9. Deb, I hope you made a complaint.

    If a comment like that was made to me it would at this time tip me over the edge. I am currently struggling to feel that my life is worth anything. I keep going only for my family and in particular for my 3 year old god daughter to whom I am apparently the highlight of the week.

    And why do I feel this way? Sue just explained it. I have little to add.

    Except maybe that I have been trying to volunteer for the past 18 months at the local mother and toddler group for 1.5 hours one morning a week. Number of sessions attended: 0.

    Even in the past 3 months when I was doing the best I have in the past 3 years I was still too sick to go. I'm totally gutted and yes, keep asking myself what I'm giving to "society". I'm pretty sure I didn't use to ask myself that with quite so much despair or guilt.

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  10. Everyone who feels guilty, stop it right now. You know you have a disabling condition and so you do not have anything to feel guilty about. Every population will have a propi=ortion who are disabled/ill. Society should and can provide a supportive, independent and fulfilled existence to everyone. Members of society who fail to support this decent notion of providing for those who cannot provide for themselves, or who need to support to do so, are the ones who should feel guilty, indeed ashamed.

    You out there with all those problems, pain, difficulty moving and terrifying mental health problems should feel proud of yourselves. Keep up the good work and keep fighting for a better future. The rest of us should do everything we can to help you in the struggle to improve everyone's lives for the better.

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  11. Wheels up and shyly gives the Golden Spoon Award than quickly wheels away @_-

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  12. Sue.. I read this and have such a heavy heart. You say it perfectly and it is so true. I can relate so much to what you have said. I have a different condition but the words apply.
    By having the courage and strength to write this down does help and I truly believe that things will change. They have to because the consequences are pretty dire.
    When you realise you are going to be sick for the rest of your life it is like someone switched off the dream button. No matter how much I try I can no longer work to make it better, to fulfil my dream.
    Its like a bereavment that never gets any easier. And together with this bill it is almost too much to bare.
    But I and many I have spoken to on twitter since Seem to have one thing in common.. nobody has dared say it, but I get the feeling we now make it our lifes work to change this for the better.
    Ness.

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  13. your post sue is as ever spot on and is a mirror image of my own set of circumstances

    I think the press would like to see us end our own lives so that we will not burden the future generations
    If this is the case then they should say so and set up a national poll so that everyone could then vote on this matter once and for all as to keep harping on about us being a burden day in day out is very cruel we know we are a burden on the state and we don't meed to be constantly reminded of that fact

    At the end of day David Cameron doesn't care and this constant drip drip effect about us being a burden will take it's toll and push many into the taking of their own lives myself included

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  14. My mum has been brainwashed and yet she can barely walk and gets DLA, she supports the tories who are planning to scrap DLA, when I explain to her she just refuses to accept what I am saying as she has blind faith to whatever they say is right. I claim IB and do have a working history, I have not had a life of benefits as the media likes to make out. I worked full time from 18 to 25, and then through no fault of my own I got ill (which now seems chronic) and have been on IB since (apart from when I got told I was fit for work for a short period). The truth is of course I want to work and if there was more specialist jobs out there like working from home flexible hours then that may well be enough for me to support myself, however the job market is a dog eat dog world, the governments method of 'helping' the ill is to simply pay them a benefit each week and thats it, if the system then determines you able to work you then get under pressure to find work in a dog eat dog job market. An example is that a factory setup for disabled workers was closed, those same workers have probably gone from been independent taxpayers to IB claimants again, because noone understands that for people like myself to even have a chance of working the jobs need to be specially catered to allow for many sick days, flexible hours and ideally working from home. The job market instead (unlike rest of europe) is dominantly having to work from work premises and rigid hours. I wrote a letter to both osborne and the tory person in charge of welfare leader 'Duncan Smith', I didnt even get the courtesy of a reply, and i was giving them ideas from a claimant how the system could progress with helping claimants and especially those who want to work. Instead they listen to a banker Lord Frued. One has to wonder why is the government listening to a banker on welfare matters? A banker has experience of making profits not looking after ill people, the answer is clearly their priority is not helping the vulnerable its how to reduce their costs on welfare as much as possible. The media are in on it as well even the bbc, a few years back when labour were in power Frued was interviewed by the bbc and made false claims such as currently GPs do the medicals for IB assessments, any claimant knows thats complete rubbish and that "atos origin" do the assessments, when I contacted the bbc asking them to either correct or remove the article they ignored me, when I persisted I eventually got a reply "it is not in the publics interests to change this article", in addition it became apparent Frued had no authority to talk to the press as he wasnt employed by the government, when the DWP was contacted again like the BBC they brushed it under the carpet and refused to release a statement correcting what Frued had said. In regards to the daily mail and other papers, its also sad that a paper has to think twice about publishing stories about rich companies and individuals and they worried about slander and libel, yet they seem to have free reign to print lies about welfare claimants, using terms such as "scroungers". "Taxpayer" is also a new term I dont like, that wasnt around 10 years ago. The media is trying to seperate people into classes with welfare below people who work and cause a rift between the two. My dad made a good point that welfare fraud has existed for decades probably since welfare started and is not the reason the country is having problems, he traditionally votes tory but has said he feels sick what they doing as 3/4 of what they say to the press is on the welfare system, they seem more concerned about hitting the vulnerable then actually fixing growth and the economy. Even Thatcher wasnt this agressive.

    I would say he glimmer of hope is that I am starting to see on internet forums where people who originally were for the welfare cuts now objecting to them and showing sympathy. When enough people do this then the government will change its agenda.

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  15. Again different story similar feelings...I am coming to terms with the fact it is a system that seems intent on psychologically destroying all genuine claimants...

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  16. I am more convinced every day that the people I know who have health problems and even mental health problems are the most sane people I know and everyone else is just walking around with schizophrenia and psychosis. I hate that I have to feel guilty because after working hard to get through 6thform and university I am now too ill to work. Even if I wanted to work no one will employ me. Against everyones advice I went out and sought work. I tried to be self employed too. I can't do anything. I even now am living on a farm with the pretense of running it but my husband has to do all the work and look after me and the farm doesnt make a profit, only a loss. I hate that for how hard I have tried and tried to conform to what people think a 'normal' person is at my age I can't be that, I can't be thin, healthy, mobile, or 'sane'. I can only be me and every day I am told by the DWP it isnt good enough, they rail road me with forms constantly to fill in and it feels never ending.

    I was bullied all through my school years, I was bullied in my first year of university. I know what bullying feels like. I know I am being bullied now by the media, by the government and by the DWP. This time there isnt a damn thing I can do about it, just like there wasn't in high school. I am trapped and I don't like it.

    From when I was 13 till I was 21 I self harmed. It took a lot of effort to stop. It took even more to stop feeling like I had to every day when something went wrong. Now, however, whenever a new form to fill in arrives I feel that urge again to hurt myself because I feel like I can't take it. I am not the only person out there thinking of suicide when faced with their DWP forms, not the only person thinking if they end up in the appeals process it would be better to die. I certainly wont be the last person to feel that way and some have already died. Thats what happens when you make someone with poor mental health feel guilty for their existence, when you make them feel like they are just a burden to the world.

    There is also the stress. So many of us are threatened with losing our benefits, making us stressed, making us iller and more in need of our benefits. It seems like a neverending catch 22 currently.

    So I sympathise Sue, it all seems kinda hopeless right now, it seems like the world is stomping us under the carpet to be invisible, ignored, trod on. When will it get better...I just don't know anymore. I just hope I survive long enough to see that day when it does get better.

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  17. Sue you placed this on Labour list, take a look

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  18. This country does not help the real ones, who are in genuine need,(easy targets) But we have an endless amount of imported benefit scroungers and laze kid breeders who have made a living of not putting anything back inn,

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  19. @ Anonymous 10:28
    I am trying to build up a list of real facts. Please supply the evidence you have for your statements.

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  20. I have actually been quite ferociously verbally abused by a stranger for parking in a disabled bay, even though i am fully entitled to do so, I have an illness that is not "visible" straight away, but am in constant pain 24/7. I worked until I could no longer even drive myself to work, let alone do the job, so gave it up. I earnt good money. for the first 5 years of my illness I didn't claim any benifits, but now have to. I am truely grateful for the benifit I get, but who in their right mind would choose to give up a well paid job to live off of less than £150 a week, household bills, food petrol etc etc to come out of that! Only you and God know how you feel at any given time and only you and God know your capabillities, I do volunteer one afternoon a week, it nearly kills me some weeks, but I do it in gratitude for my benifits.

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  21. Brilliant article - it is extremely difficult to become sick/disabled and adjust to all the things that we can no longer do. This impacts hugely on self worth. Many people who become sick/disabled lose their job, their home, their partner within a very short space of time. One of these things is difficult enough for a healthy person to deal with. To deal with all this whilst being ill is a nightmare and then ontop to be described as a scrounger and a waste of space in the media is unimaginable unless youve been through it - also dealing with the benefit system which theres been a marked change in attitude and culture where the starting point is at best one of disbelief and at worst one of a nazi attitide where denial of benefits even though the assessor full well knows the claimant is extremely poorly (eg cancer, parkinsons, ms etc.) is a disgrace.

    I have to say - all the sick and disabled people I have met are amazing - campaigning despite how sick/disabled they are - keeping going when they can - amazing people from whom society could learn a lot!

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  22. Anonymous said...

    This country does not help the real ones, who are in genuine need,(easy targets) But we have an endless amount of imported benefit scroungers and laze kid breeders who have made a living of not putting anything back inn,



    Your doing the rounds with this crap I suspect your either EDL or BNP.

    Now prove to me your statement which has all the hall marks of a bigot racist.

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  23. OK here is my rant and my annoyance sorry if it offends. BLUE BADGES.

    The idea of the extra large spaces at parking bays has always been for people with wheelchairs or people with walking aids such as powered wheelchairs, this was the idea also behind mobility and the old disability vehicles.

    I still belong to an access group in my council we use to go out in town to tell people parking in disabled parking bay it was wrong, we were abused so often in the end the council had a Police officer come with us and if somebody abuse us they'd get a ticket and the last time the police actually towed away vehicles after finding the person using a blue badge was fit health and his mother had died two years before.
    For me it's not about being in pain, I do not know how many times people say to me we park in the disabled parking bays because we have pain, yet they do not use walking stick crutches or wheelchair. One lady told the Police officer she was arthritic, and suffered so much pain, we were watching her walk away no walking stick no wheelchair she came back three hours later with a pile of shopping bags, OK she has pain, if she can walk for three hours or an hour then why not walk two yards from a non disabled parking bay.

    We stopped a man who got out of his car no walking aid no carer, he stated to the council officer who asked to check his blue badge he was suffering mental health issues, ok he had mental health issues, but he had no carer with him, he parked went into the large retailer, we went in for a cup of coffee he was having food he got up went into another shop, later on he came back with shopping got into his car and drove off, why did he need to park in a disabled parking bay.

    I have heard it all before and I have seen it all, simple fact if you can walk around a shop for an hour you can park in a non disabled parking bay.

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  24. Than the problem lies directly with the authorities who issue the BLUE BADGES exactly the same as with a normal driving licence you cannot arbitrary discriminate by use of opinion. Those with BLUE BADGES have legal authority to park irrespective of what their medical condition is that allowed them to qualify for the badge or the badge would have not been issued. Using a blue badge fraudulently is another matter entirely.

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  25. Disabled bays are both wider, and closer to the place the parking is for (generally). Some people with a badge need the extra space around the vehicle, some simply can't walk as far. The difference in distance between the two is very variable - sometimes you'll have a couple of hundred yards extra to walk from the nearest free non-disabled bay.

    Sure, there are abuses, like using the badge of a deceased relative. A person returning with lots of shopping is very hard to judge because you don't know what they did in the meantime. I've never had a blue badge, but I know that in supermarkets the walking around inside is easier than the walk to/from the store because you have a trolley, and you can lean on it quite heavily.

    TL;DR: there are blatant abuses, but not that many, and it's almost always more complicated than it looks.

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  26. Robert
    To an extent you are right.
    But...

    The time I needed a blue badge the most was the time I was the earliest on in my illness, when I had no stick or wheelchair and it was the pain and fatigue which was the trouble.

    I knew I had a specific amount of energy and time allocated to me before I had to turn around and go home. As soon as I left the car the clock was ticking. I could only stay out a very specific amount of time and walk a very specific distance. And bear in mind I had to also get back to the car. On several occasions I misjudged it, didn't make it and collapsed in the shop.

    So for instance I would go to a shop and walk round it for exactly half an hour and leave again. I had at that point exhausted my allocated time. If I had NOT parked in the disabled bay I would not have been able to do what I needed to. Those extra few yards (doubled as you have to cross them both ways), that extra bit of time was just not available to me. It was often a huge percentage of the amount of time I could spend out or the distance I could cover. I had to also consider the possibility that I might have to unexpectedly wait at the cash desk or something like that.

    I would then go home and stay in bed for the next day or so.

    I think though, that you would have considered me to be using a blue badge wrongly. I know though, that I would have collapsed in the shop far more often than I did if I hadn't done so.

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  27. in answer to robert; I do try to park in non-disabled bays if they are close to the store, I always think that someone worse off than me may need it, but in the car parks where I live you are only allowed free parking in a designated disabled bay, the parking charges are £4 for 2 hours! Having difficulty one day in getting a space I had to pay, on arriving back at my car 5 minutes late, and even though I had my badge showing and the clock card showing, (belt and braces job-taking no chances!) I had a parking ticket, I was late because of difficulty getting back to the car, and had had to stop and rest. So on top of the £4 I had to pay to park, I now had a fine of £35. A large chunk out of my £150 a week . Needless to say, I couldn't go out all week, couldn't afford petrol and food was on rationing. Things aren't always as straight forward as they seem.

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  28. It is very divisive judging other disabled people - we are all experts on our own conditions and loopyS makes the point brilliantly. The pain or fatigue that limits the amount of time you can spend on your feet does just that - also many people will do their shopping on one of their good days to be able to have a hope of completing it, with the help of being able to use the disabled parking bay. We need to stay united in regards to rights and benefits being taken away. the case of people using them fraudulently is another matter and from what I can gather most of the fraudulent blue parking cases are people who have a fake blue badge rather than one which has been issued. To balance up for you I am unable to get out and about do shopping etc. My partner is my carer and does the shopping - neither of us has a car or drives and therefore we do no have the blue badge as we would not be using it. I do not begrudge the people who have or use theirs due to fatigue/pain symptoms. Having pain probs myself Im glad they do get them!!

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  29. Robert, let me put it another way.

    Upon arriving in the carpark, my question was:
    "Can I safely do what I need to without using my blue badge?"

    If the answer was yes (eg I was having a good day, or there are empty spaces right next to the blue badge ones, or the amount of time I was able to be out of the car was greater than the amount of time it would take to get from any space and around the shops and back) then I wouldn't use the blue badge.

    If the answer was no (eg the amount of time I was capable of being out of the car for was about equal to the time it would take to walk from a disabled bay to and around the shop with absolutely no leeway) then I would use it.

    What was the alternative? Not go? Have to make several small trips? That wasn't an option as I would need days to recover from each trip.

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  30. Robert.. Are you a blue badge holder.. If so are we now turning on each other? Yes I use disabled spaces and no I dont look disabled.. I even manage to go shopping? I pick up a small trolley whether I need it or not as leaning on it helps me shop.. And low and behold as a consequence I come out with bags of shopping.. Now If your arguement applied it would mean no one could use these spaces because they are unable to shop??
    Wheelchair and mobilty scooter should always get priority in the wide space and I would be the first to give up that space for such a person.
    Now im going to go to a sign makers next week and by a great big neon sign to wear on my forehead.. I HAVE MS..
    maybe thats what it has come to..

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  31. This is similar to those politicians who make instant medical assessments of people and I would add police and council workers and members of the public are also not medically qualified to do this. Even a medical qualified professional would have to do proper direct examination in order to make an assessment.

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  32. Nope your totally wrong, I can spot the people who lets be honest abuse the system miles away, I can spot the people who are disabled with fatigue and tiredness, I can also spot the person who walks in Tesco without any difficulty, or the person who has reached retirement and has a blue badge.

    This week I went to town parked my car in a non disabled parking bay, unable to get to my wheelchair which sits on the passenger seat had to go on crutches into Tesco and use their wheelchair, two people passed me both carring bags both walking and a fair old pace , get into their disabled car and drive off, now they may well have a disability, sadly they had no reason to park in the parking bay.

    In one week we caught in total 46 people illegally using a blue badge, the badge belonged to somebody else, ten badges were illegal and they were prosecuted and god knows how many people in wheelchairs who had to park in normal parking bays.

    Nobody is talking about people with severe disabilities but believe me doing this access task has opened my eyes. We even had nine Police cars who park in disabled parking bays to pop in to get some shopping.

    And I say again walking two yards from a non disabled parking bay is not going to hurt many who now use the parking bay , if you can walk around Tesco for two hours then walking an extra two yards will not hurt.

    It was our and other access groups which stated the blue badge should be ten pounds, so that medicals can take place before a badge is given out.

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  33. Nope thankfully from the future to get a Blue badge people will need a medical and it does look like it will be returning to people on high rate of DLA.

    In no way I'm I attacking people who need a blue badge, but sadly you see it each time you park in Tesco or Asda the people who will walk without difficulty. have no carer, and do the shopping.

    If you can spend two hours walking you can walk a few more yards from the non parking bays.

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  34. What you are describing is your own frustrations with respect you cannot “spot” people who abuse the system. I am both disabled and have some medically qualifications and I cannot do this. Please do not confuse or “lump together” those who have various disabilities and have legal badges and those who commit fraud or illegal acts whoever they may be.

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  35. your right Robert and it's not an easy fix
    I am entitled to a blue badge but declined as i get enough hassle when I'm out from the DWP I have to be with someone or cant go out at all
    If i have a blue badge like a neighbour of mine i then would have the council and police following me around as he does as well
    So that's why i declined as I'm very unpredictable if approached by a person with an agenda to destroy me and like you Robert i can spot them a mile off
    Most normal people give me a wide birth as i suspect they sense that something is not well with me by my looks of starvation and thankfully i always get ignored

    However from time to time some clown may say something out of turn not to me i may add but someone else who is disabled i will then leap in a very extreme way to their defence so they are in no doubt to move on and you can be sure they do move on and at a very fast pace they run for their lives and so they should

    To the person i have helped they just stare in amazement and say thanks to which i always reply your welcome and move on myself

    I only go out for one hour a week as it is with my wife to do the weekly shopping after all and the last thing i need is some clown like David Cameron and his friends passing some sort of judgement on me

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  36. I'm very sad reading these comments.

    Have you even read what I wrote?
    Have you even tried to understand what I'm saying?
    Have you ever gone without milk for a week because you accidentally walked past that aisle and you know that if you go back to get it you won't be able to reach your car? Then try telling me that an extra 10 yards doesn't make a difference.

    I "look fine" even today apart from the wheelchair. You would not be able to tell me apart from anyone else without it.

    We have enough trouble at the moment. Stop attacking legitimate badge holders. And stop judging disabilities you don't yourself have, particularly when you don't seem willing to listen to the difficulties they present.

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  37. Thank you Sue, I feel exactly the same. I worked hard at school and university, worked hard in every part time job I had from the age of 14 and worked hard to do charity work or take on voluntary positions of responsibility in any free time I had.

    Then I became so ill that my life was stolen away from me and now I spend my days in bed and my aim in life is avoiding emergency hospital admissions or death.

    The greatest pain of incurable illness is from the loss of the life we expected to have and any implication that we wanted to have no career is just rubbing salt in the wound.

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  38. Another poignant post with words that speak to so many in Society. If only we could reach the other half,the rich upper classes, deluded in their high towers,protected from hardship by their surplus cash and breeding. Keep up the good work, yours is a voice Society needs to hear!

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  39. Does anyone remember in the early days of the Joanna Yeates case how the “public” were very quick and ready and so sure of their facts to condemn that innocent man? Let us not make the same mistake. Judge not least yea be judged.

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  40. There is a bill on euthnasia coming up in the new year and that will be very intersting to see how that pans out

    I think David Cameron and co along with the press feel that if they put enough pressure on the sick and disabled to work they will in turn take their own lives as the subject of forced euthanasia is for their private thoughts only

    On voluntary euthanasia yes they the government would much prefer that option as they could then be seen to be helping people to end their lives to save money from the long term sick and disabled

    The government on helping the long term sick like myself and the disabled people with paying them the £12000 fees for euthanasia in Switzerland would indeed very much appeal to David Cameron as the cost would just be on average one and half years benefit which would be a lot cheaper in the long term then if i were to stay alive and die in the gods natural way which could take years

    I think David Cameron will go down the £12000 route as it will get a lot of support once it's up and running it will please the press that's for sure it will also please those that are sick and disabled who would like to die now and not face prosecution

    Al lord freud doesn't care for us he could be put in charge along with IDS to make sure that a steady stream of us get off to Switzerland and that at last the government will start to save money so that the country can get back on track ASAP

    What i do know is this and it's a cert is that this subject and welfare reform will run and run until we the sick and disabled are no more and if i were a betting man that's where i would put my money

    Is their an alternative i hear you say ?
    not really as we are a democracy and we as the people have a vote on who runs the country be it good or bad we the people once voted have no further say for 5 years

    The middle east is different theirs is a form of dictatorship and the people have to make there own way of life at all times and if you get sick you die as simple as that we in this country are better but not always as in a democracy you can still live under pressure with no redress and no justice as we are seeing today

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  41. No but I've gone home because I cannot park...

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  42. The fact that there are abuses to a system can't be used as an excuse to scrap the system!

    Every time a person is found making a false claim it makes the front page. This feeds into our 'availability bias' - i.e. if your only experience of disability is gleaned through the media, you will get the impression that a large majority of claimants are defrauding the system. Each new case confirms that bias.

    And it is entirely deliberate, in line with the intention to 'use stigma as a tool of social policy'.

    From the evidence of this post it's obviously working very successfully - with many disabled people feeling guilty about their very existence, and more casting aspersions on others' claims to disability.

    In my experience, disabled people can be their own worst enemies - hitting out at scroungers and malingerers as a defence against their own claims, reinforcing the idea that abuse is much more widespread than it really is.

    Yes, some very sad people do spend their lives feigning disability in order to pick up benefits - but these people are probably best kept well away from the workplace anyway!

    The evidence shows that fraud is relatively minimal and eradicating it would save little - which is why the discrediting of the benefit itself has been so important, softening up public opinion for draconian cuts which have NOTHING TO DO WITH ELIGIBILITY.

    We don't fine all drivers because we know some break the speed limit; we don't interrogate every self-employed person because we know some fiddle their expenses; but we do tar every disabled person with the brush of 'cheat' because it serves public policy.

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  43. Fourbanks.

    I think your going way to far, I would not end my life because of welfare reforms I would fight it.

    I have already tried twice to end my life once with an over dose and once when I cut my wrist, both times somebody has found me, these were my bad times when the pain and the fits get to much. But that was due to pain nothing else just pain

    But it is disabled people who have put this forward, one who has dementia wants to change the laws so if somebody helps him die they will not be prosecuted. problem is then of course when do you know that person really wanted to die and when doctors make that decision.

    I myself think it will be open later on with doctors making a decision over the cost of a hospital bed, and people who are looking after a disabled person will decided when and if your ready to die.

    It is a dangerous route to go down.

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  44. Robert.
    So have I.
    Because I couldn't walk that extra distance AND walk round the shop AND get home.

    I have also collapsed on the floor because I "gave it a go" and tried to anyway.

    Do you know what is sad?
    After your comments I feel almost grateful that my illness is worse now and I know that I won't be judged when I use my blue badge next time I am well enough to leave the house. Because I have a nice big wheelchair which shouts out to the world that I am disabled.

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  45. The single biggest difference to my life has been my blue badge. Before I simply didn't (couldn't) go out. If I did, I regularly had to simply give up and sit on the floor of a shop and wait for my husband to come and rescue me.

    I DON'T believe that anyone could see my pain and fatigue, as I've been hiding it all my life.

    As the lady at county hall said, mobility is different for us all. I would give up any benefits before I had to lose my blue badge.

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  46. [QUOTE]Robert said...

    Fourbanks.

    I think your going way to far, I would not end my life because of welfare reforms I would fight it.[/QUOTE]

    oh yes I'll fight Robert no problem but it will be a very serious problem for others my way of doings things is not by talking to the likes of David Cameron he only understands like Gaddafi' brute force

    I think David Cameron will make a serious error at some point and the whole world will get to know about it and as you say yourself when your in a lot of pain you can be become unpredictable and I'm gambling on that fact that a sick or disabled person will challenge him at some point head on and we will have to see how he wriggles out of it

    At the moment he is being kept away from the reality's of what the DWP are doing by the heads of the civil service and the errors being made but he none the less knows what damage is being done but when you see them in the Commons all you hear is about is all the extra money their going to give us when in reality people have and are taking their own life in the meantime

    You cant keep a lid on the deaths of those sick and disabled people who kill themselves it becomes a ticking time bomb for the prime minister
    Up till now it's only been a few who have taken their own life but that in itself means that the damage is done the word will get out to the press and at some point will attack him and not us that makes a good story and it's at that point i feel that many sick and disabled will rise up together and overthrow him and all those involved

    David Cameron like Gaddafi' are and were very clever men in the extreme but a error can and is enviably made even at their level nothings for certain they both have to watch their backs and when your guards down like in Gaddafis case you end up the loser

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  47. I'm not allowed to drive. Fortunately we haven't reached the stage where the general public are 'jealous' of my having a mobility scooter.

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  48. Update
    Freedom and democracy is alive and well then? You decide…
    The dean refused to take action to evict the protesters, adding: “We reiterate our basic belief in the right to protest as well as requesting that those people living in the tents now leave the site peacefully.”

    But the Government yesterday demanded that the activists “pack up their tents and go”, warning that it was considering changing the law to ban such occupations if they were to continue or spread.

    Lord Henley, the Home Office minister, criticised the “part time protesters” as the Corporation of London announced that it was ready to take legal action and would do so whether or not it had the backing of the Church.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8851415/St-Pauls-to-reopen-on-Friday.html

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  49. The thing is we are great at feeling guilty, even when we drag ourselves to the sofa and bearly manage the odd trip to the bathroom and kitchen all day we mentaly beat ourselves up for not achieveing "enough". We feel bad when we say no we are not up to visitors and when we miss the odd social or family invitations we feel guilty all over again.

    I may improve enough to be able to return to work at some future point but this does not mean I am well enough now (or for the next few years if the last are anything to go by) but I expect to be put in the work related group and have to prove I am doing enough now as to why I should be supported.

    When you don't manage the basics its cruel and damaging both mentally and physical to be told we are not doing enough, when most of us give 110% each and every day even if we still fail at living.

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  50. Tonight BBC the documentary , but we are hearing both Labour and the Tories would rather have the UNUM Provident style American insurances bases health and welfare in which case to day we be picking up food vouchers

    John Humphry's
    And yet at the same time, there's resounding support among the British public for welfare. In an Ipsos MORI poll commissioned for this programme, 92 per cent of adults agreed with the statement that it is important to have a benefits system to provide a safety net for anyone that needs it.

    John Humphrys travels the country to talk to the people with the most to lose: people on incapacity benefit; the long-term unemployed; people on housing benefit;

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  51. without a proper benefit system Robert you will either face very severe hardship or be forced to go and live in a country in which you are both able to move to and live in a better lifestyle on what small benefits/pension you have

    Personally i would prefer the forced option to leave the uk under force and never to return and a bullet to the head if i did

    MY BENEFITS COULD BE REDUCED BY 50% so the government would make and hit all of their savings targets if implemented across the uk ?
    i quite like that move

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  52. Anyone got Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis? If so you may find you also suffer from floccinaucinihilipilification ;))
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

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  53. Poll findings
    92% want a benefits system providing a safety net for all (4% disagree).
    63% doubt the UK benefits system works effectively (23% disagree).
    72% want politicians to do more to cut the benefits bill (15% disagree).
    84% want to see stricter testing for incapacity benefits (10% disagree)
    78% want job seekers to lose benefits if they refuse work they can do (16% disagree).
    57% want those on housing benefit in expensive areas to be moved (29% disagree).

    Telephone poll of 1,003 British adults aged 18+ (16-18 September 2011, Ipsos Mori)


    Incapacity benefit is a killer the DWP have always kept me locked up at home with just a little leeway in going out why ?
    because your incapacitated they say and if you go out then your fit for work
    well for the past 30 years i have been living in a sort of prison in fact my care worker feels i would have been much better off had i been in prison

    I think I've just been unlucky one of the forgotten few it would have been kinder to execute me that's all i can honestly say but that at this time isn't go to happen so my nightmare goes on with the DWP

    Out of all the DWP staff in our local office i have seen then all off in to retirement over the past 30 years and am now left with a young bunch of people who haven't a clue in how the system operates
    How do they treat you i hear you say ?
    With a rod of iron their much worse when they come round the house very abusive turning the place over papers everywhere that sort of thing if they do make an error with my benefits they pay me back a year latter but condemn you to the debt teams in the meantime

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  54. We now live in a society that stares at a live torture and killing on TV while making a cup of tea than goes to bed and sleeps peacefully.

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  55. Robert John Humphrys travels the country to talk to the people with the most to lose: people on incapacity benefit; the long-term unemployed; people on housing benefit;

    He didn't have to tour the country he only needed to have come over to me to see the reality and the brutality that has and still is being handed out to those who are ill

    But like most journalists they wont an easy ride and my story is way above their intellectual mark and that is the main problem in not getting stuck in to what punishment is really being handed out

    Having said that if he had come round to see me what then
    nothing as the bbc wouldn't be able to broadcast it as it's to close to the government and has far reaching repercussions hence my own mp doesn't come round to see me any more

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  56. They want a rounded look at society hence they will be looking also at the middle class, not somebody in a council house who has never gone to school and then says "DOH" I do not want to work I'm happy on benefits.

    because that is what the BBC tend to by going to the council houses in Merthyr. I was dropped from one TV program because I was informed I was not the person they were looking for, I had education and my home was clean and tidy, they shot off to the housing estate in Merthyr to get the details from people who had not been educated. From that program you had the Tories and Labour Purnell saying catch a bloody bus to Cardiff, yes and in Cardiff nine people are chasing every job.

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  57. The panorama team cancelled tonight's broadcast on benefit cheats till next week
    so for next weeks bashing we will have to wait how exciting ?

    But like tonight's panorama programme at dale farm you have got to get out of town
    The one thing the conservatives hate more then anything is scroungers if they could kill everyone of us in cold blood they would make no mistake about it we are their one true hate they hate us more then anything in the world and it shows

    They have an art thou of getting others to hate us as well like the press and with the constant talking about us give rise for many others to hate us

    But their hatred runs deep they hate a whole rafter of things and anyone getting in the way will be moved on be you in a church or tent or whatever you have to go as you are costing the country money and that's the one thing they love more then anything and that's money

    It is their only true love after all and i have never met in my lifetime any wealthy conservative who had a different love they love money more then their own children sad but true

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  58. some of the most expensive benefit claimants,,,

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15486792

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  59. Peace Artist Lainey said...

    some of the most expensive benefit claimants,,,

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15486792


    There are by far the worse £2000 a week for them and £200 a week for me and yet i have been persecuted for 30 years as well

    I think these people are one of the same to the likes of Muammar Gaddafi and given a chance they would prove it to you make no mistake about it they have all been educated in roughly the same area Oxford and at worse most dictators have been educated in the uk it's is and has been a breeding ground for corruption and power for decades

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  60. Just like in Yemen Al-Qaeda has been a breeding ground for terror no wonder the conservatives and Al-Qaeda clash all the time where one group wont s to kill those with power and wealth and the other out to destroy those with very little on small benefits

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  61. My DLA HRM and MRC expires early Dec 2011, I had my renewal declined entirely NINE days after posting it in. I have been told the appeal hearing will be in approx a YEAR.

    In a few weeks I will lose DLA, IS, SDP, HB, Council Tax Benefit, motability car, bus pass, blue badge. My pain meds make me vomit, I wet myself and I am an agrophobic autistic with hypersenitivity to pain with a chronic kyphosis of my spine.

    I am the lowest of the low obviously.

    I enjoy your blog very much it makes me understand what I am going through is nothing personal.

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  62. Anonymous has left a new comment on the post "Here's an irony....":

    My DLA HRM and MRC expires early Dec 2011, I had my renewal declined entirely NINE days after posting it in. I have been told the appeal hearing will be in approx a YEAR.

    In a few weeks I will lose DLA, IS, SDP, HB, Council Tax Benefit, motability car, bus pass, blue badge. My pain meds make me vomit, I wet myself and I am an agrophobic autistic with hypersenitivity to pain with a chronic kyphosis of my spine.

    I am the lowest of the low obviously.

    I enjoy your blog very much it makes me understand what I am going through is nothing personal.


    You need to make contact with your mp no one like yourself should be suffering like this and let us know how you get on please

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  63. fourbanks thanks for your reply.....
    I have been in touch with my MP who is in fact Dame Anne Begg Chair of the Works and Pension Committee. Her office person told me today to borrow money from my 80 year old failed Equitable Life Pension Holders to keep the motability car going until appeal heard. What planet is she on for goodness sake.

    I should add that I had a Right Payment Inquiry by the DWP with a new claim to fill in Dec 2010, medical February 2011, "You are being paid correctly" letter received March 2011. So between then and now I have obviously been abducted by some nice Big Society Tories and cured of my conditions. There is a letter in the post from Dame Anne so I will post again if it has anything of interest to share.

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  64. [QUOTE]Anonymous said...

    fourbanks thanks for your reply.....
    I have been in touch with my MP who is in fact Dame Anne Begg Chair of the Works and Pension Committee. Her office person told me today to borrow money from my 80 year old failed Equitable Life Pension Holders to keep the motability car going until appeal heard. What planet is she on for goodness sake.[/QUOTE]

    Your welcome it's the least i can do

    In re reading your condition you need help from a health visitor which can be arranged via your doctor and i would suspect you also have a degree of mental anguish so a visit from your mental health team would also be order to best advise you to help you with the filling in of your DWP forms so that they reflect your health condition accurately

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