Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Housing benefit cuts could increase homelessness

Homeless woman with dogsCrisis has produced a national survey supporting its fear that many of the 88,000 people affected by the Government's planned cut in housing benefit could become homeless if this goes ahead.

The Government is pushing through changes to extend the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) to 25-34 year-olds, which will see an average cut in housing benefit of £47 per week. This is because their benefits will only cover the cost of a room in a shared house, instead of a self-contained flat.

Between 7 and 13 April Crisis surveyed housing advisers across Britain about the impact of the current SAR on their work and clients, and their thoughts about the consequences of extending this rate to single people aged 25 to 34.

Summary of findings

  • 87% said there would be difficulty finding appropriate properties for people on the revised rate
  • 74% said there would be difficulty housing clients for whom sharing is not appropriate 
  • 74% said that the current SAR is a serious barrier to their work with under 25s, or that they do not work with this age group because of it
  • 4% said they have no clients who will be affected by the change
  • 62% felt there would be a higher risk of tenancies breaking down
Crisis would like the Government to rethink its plans, making the point that 25-34 year olds already make up 34% of its clients.

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Monday, 25 April 2011

Last Night....

Random stuff from Jules....

Well I intended to get to bed about three times last night.

But I ended up watching "an Audience with Kenneth Williams" AND cleaning the PC off.

Some of those programs you load and forget about sit there, and SOME ask for info of whats going on slowing down the machine. (not a technical explanation by a long shot but you get the drift)

I cleaned of reserve "spare" "alternative" browsers I had on. Part of those: I had Safari as at one point I wanted a sort of Mac Emulation thing as a "feel good, feel different" type thing. That had a subroutine called apple support, so that, even when not being used was checking web for stuff and nonsence from apple.So that was removed.

The other one I found slowed the machine down - even though it wasnt being used was Google Earth. Wow, when I removed that (rarely used it) the PC was like Daffy Duck on Turkish Coffee.

So my tip is (and I really shouldve known this for years) Dont load ANYTHING onto the machine unless Absolutely needed. And if you dont need it anymore - get rid.

I ended up going to bed at about 3.30am Which in the scheme of things theres nothing wrong with, but it is a disturbed sleep pattern in some respects.
That happens with me from time to time.
Whether its frenetic subconcious brain activity that i'm unaware of, or not, I dont know.
Some people can say, right it's10o'clock, I'm off to bed and DELIBERATELY choose to sleep.
It appears I cant do that, there seems to be a switch missing.

Now I am on the coffee, and the tablets are all taken.

My primary aim is EGGS. I need eggs from the shop.That is my next Mission.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Longshot Kick The Bucket

The Pioneers - Longshot Kick De Bucket by jahprout
I thought I'd share a great tune . If you see the label. Sheesh It was released when I was TWO years old.Wooh.But I love the skanky ska type stuff. ENJOY

Stay Calm?

Just a thought: 

When you choose to forgive those who have hurt you, 

you take away their power. 

When you object peacefully in many numbers, 

the weight of opinion tends to win. 

When you speak the true feelings you have against injustice, 

there is no way you can lose in the whole scheme of things. 

When you are kind to others, 

there is no blame within you. 

There is power in peace. 

But peace can involve loud noises, 
in right places, 
for right reasons 
to be heard against the tumult of the bizarre and horrendous drumming noises of insanity.

Take the position where its not you winning, but EVERYONE winning, even those you oppose

This Blog has a Facebook Group here: 

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Help NOW towards an Action on the 9th May.

GUEST BLOG by  benefitclaimantsfightback

At the first party and protest outside Atos Origin’s UK headquarters on January 24th over a hundred disability and claimant activists and groups held a noisy and passionate demonstration.

On April 14th, as part of the Third National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts, Atos Origin’s offices were picketed around the UK.
As part of the National Week of Action Against Atos Origin, beginning on Monday 9th May, a second Party and Picnic against Atos will take place on the 9th May from 2pm at their Head Office in Triton square, near Euston.
Bring music, drums, banners, placards, food to share and brighten up the faceless corporate wasteland that is home to poverty pimps Atos Origin Ltd.
Musicians, poets, orators, ranters, shouters, all benefit claimants and supporters welcome. Please help spread the word, invite your friends and let’s make this the biggest stand against poverty pimps Atos Origin so far.
Triton Square is on the North side of Euston Road, a minute or so from Warren Street tube and less than five minutes from Euston/Euston Square or Great Portland Street tube stations.

What we can do to help
In the run up to the event, if Virtual Gherkin people can be tweeting, writing to the media, posting on forums, etc emailing friends with the details and then hopefully we can get the word out there better than we have before. The Virtual side is JUST as important as the actual going to the event.

Join our Facebook Group here

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wednesday Morning

It started with an alarm call I didnt need.

So - i Got up, salvaged a coffee and took my tablets. By salvaged I mean reheated unused coffee from yesterday. Not that i'm tight or anything but there was enough left in a pot that would make an adequate morning slug of the black stuff with restorative powers.

I do Have a new pack of Coffee, but being morning, I thought.... well that thought stays as simple as - Knife, Opening new coffee, pouring into container and a possible fail. Mornings need a wake-up time frame.

I took my tablets and some painkillers and checked the PC . So Anyhow discovers some emails i'd missed. Did what I could.

Yesterday went through my mind. From limited funds I lent a mate enough for his very short term need, a slight lack of funds for him till thursday- hopefully that will return to me tomorrow else I'm buggered really.

Also planned do a little shop for some essentials - including a new bag of dog food as last was poured into said dog's bowl . The Fella was patient for his walk, as he is MOSTLY, and things went according to a reasonable plan.

There was lots of Grass cutting noise about too. Although essential , the noise of it and number of times it happens is like being "worried" by bees - an annoying background sound in anyone's book.
But There Is lots of grass about that gets cut in common areas and stuff- its a "garden Estate".

And that essentially was the start of my morning.

Monday, 18 April 2011

How Monday Morning Started This Week.

I am Up - Kettles gone clunk. So excuse me whilst I fill the cafetierre. G'mornin BTW.
Tesco shuts Sunday Night here. So what fikkin time it open? Is it open yet? I need some co-dydramol as soon as poss. Grrr
Bills Today
TV Licence payments are a frikkin joke at around 14 pound a month ((justsaying))
And Water Rates CHARGING you for collecting the water from the roof when it rains? Ludicrous
Welcome to the fortnightly bill payments by arrangements day for jules.
Have Internet/Phone to pay, Service charges, Water , Telly, Electric, Food, Will leave me with less than 20 a week for all else. 
Might treat myselfto a visit to "The Charity shop" see if theres a 4 quid treat or something. At moment i also paying out for painkillers.
So what would happen if I needed , Say a couple of plates etc? Or A new hoover? No chance.
Its same all the time. Just get minimalistic stuff and hiberfuckingnate. Cant afford not to. People dont realise how shite it is.
That rant was brought to you by "Jules's active mind" and "Aricaba Coffee"

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Virtual Gherkin 11th May- Supporting UKDPC


On Wednesday May 11th thousands of disabled people, their families and supporters from all over the country will come together to protest with one voice outside the Houses of Parliament and make their feelings known about the impact of spending cuts on disabled people 
This will also be ON LINE Protest too.
The day of protest, organised by UKDPC and major disability organisations, will send a strong and powerful message to the Government.
They’re marching to make sure that the Government hears disabled people’s voices. Cuts to vital benefits and services will have a massive impact on disabled people’s independence and could push people into poverty – the Government must act now to make sure that disabled people are not the Hardest Hit.

How do I take part on May 11th - IF i'm too ill, i'm too far away, I cant afford to go, I have responsibilities, I have care for someone etc?

They’re expecting thousands of disabled people to descend on London and join in on the day, THE VIRTUAL GHERKIN is co-ordinating a mass email campaign for those for what ever reason cant make the marches. 

So show your support for disabled people across the UK.

Join The Virtual Gherkin on Facebook here: 

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Virtual Gherkin on Facebook

Do You know we have a Facebook group too now?

Its called "The Virtual Gherkin on Facebook"

May the 11th - Does the Group wanna support Claimants Fightback? 

I can use their stuff, with permission and we can then START a recruit to group?

Your comments are welcomed... 

Patti - also would John Ingamells make a good admin do you think? -
I need your input. 

Monday, 11 April 2011

Email Campaign Against Benefit Cuts. VirtualResistance....

(formerly Armchairarmy)

April 14 Email Campaign Against Benefit Cuts.

April 14th is the National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts. 

There will be many different events taking place across the country. 

But for those who can’t attend those events but would really like to express their fears and ABSOLUTE disgust at the cuts to 
housing, disability, sickness & welfare benefits

Why not join us once again in a mass email campaign.

Whether you are 
a carer, 
a single parent,
 a student, 

or simply... someone who cares about the vulnerable in our society,
take this opportunity to join us and voice your opinions. Let the media and your MP
know that we won’t just let them railroad through their cuts and penalise the most
Join us in a mass email event on April 14.

(You need to copy and past these links into your email client / browser)



2 Have your say

3 ITV Tonight mailto:

4 Channel 4 News

5 Five

6 Sky &

7 Newsnight

8 Politics Show

9 Andrew Marr show
8379560.stm (Leave comment)

10 form for This week with Andrew Neal


11 The Independent


12 The Guardian

13 The Morning Star

14 The Evening Standard

15 The New Statesman

16 The Telegraph

17 The Mirror

18 The Times

19 The Sun

20 The Daily Mail

21 The Observer

If you want to contact your MP and why not? Here’s a useful link to find your MP’s
email address:

Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts

Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts: "Just a quickie today. Thursday, April 14th sees the 3rd National Day of Protest Against Benefits Cuts. Details below. I will be 'blogging ..."

Love Levenshulme, Hate Cuts

We are an anti-cuts group based in Levenshulme, Manchester. Our group arose when Levenshulme Baths was under threat of closure. 

We launched a community campaign to save Levenshulme baths. 

The community mobilised itself, attending demos, swim-ins and other events. 

The Council reversed its decision to close the
baths! We can be contacted on

We are now working on other campaigns; both initiating them and supporting other campaigners. Here are a few important campaigns

Save Levenshulme Sure Start.

The current position is that Manchester Council is proposing various options for Sure Start Centres have the grant which funds them and Sure Start has been cut by £8 million. One option is to tender out services to other organisations form the voluntary or private sector. 

The Council states they will not close any centres.

Key Dates: On Wednesday 13th April, 4 pm, the Council Leader, 
Sir Richard Leece is visiting Levenshulme Sure Start Centre, Broom Avenue, to answer questions from users. It is vital that as many people as possible show their support – not just users
but others in the wider community.


On Thursday 14th April a coach is leaving Portland Street at 7 am with Sure Start campaigners from across the city. They will go to Downing Street to hand-over petitions and lobby the government. The lobby has been organised by Tony Lloyd MP. Beck said there are a few places if anyone is interest in going

Becky asked that a small working group be set up to plan further. This was agreed and supported.

Becky organised leaflet distribution with LLHC for the 13th meeting.

If you want to support this campaign please text 078211 62270 or Facebook Save Levenshulme Sure Start or drop us an email at and we’ll pass on your details.

Save Newbury House.

This is an embryonic campaign started by residents of Newbury House. Chris is a resident at Newbury house, a 16 place supported residence for residents who had faced alcohol problems and homelessness. It is a unique service in the city.

In March their provider, Riverside, was told there was a proposal to cut this service.

Residents are very worried. They were told they would have a statutory right to be rehoused, but they need this vital service and accommodation. Supporting People had been to take photographs of residents’ rooms and residents had held a meeting and then refused to allow photographers into their rooms.

LLHC are supporting this campaign. For more info you can email direct to the group

Love Lollipops Day of Action

LLHC are organising a celebration of school crossing patrols as their roles are increasingly under threat due to government cuts. This event will take place in the summer term. If you want to get involved email us at

Local Election Hustings for Levenshulme and Gorton South

Inspire, Stockport Road, April 28th at 7 pm.

LLHC has organised a hustings, with guest Chair Rev. David Grey. Candidates from Labour, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Conservative and Respect (George Galloway) have confirmed.

ALL WELCOME to attend or email in questions at our email address.


This Blog is another Guest posting due to the Virtual Gherkin having   incredible disbelief at the Speed, and nature of the Cuts from the CSR and beyond.