Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Noos Just In ...

Whilst investigating the message of Christmas this disturbing report from our interpid reporter, who was investigating claims made, intimated and portrayed.
Some readers may find this shocking...

Our reporter:

" yes Meanwhile back in the cam-cave.... rugs pulled back reveal Pentangles and weird squiggly symbols.
 ... and he starts rocking and chanting kcuf ffo Kcuf ffo
 Amongst chantings in the cam-cave: xat moordeb , and snoitcnas (sitting in midst pentangle rocking) - I often heard "bring my dagger & a goat."

We havent heard from our reporter for a few hours..... Hope hes okay.

Friday, 19 December 2014

I wrote to MY MP re Fracking

as a constituent, i hope you dont mind me writing to you about public health.

Im particularly directing this communication as related to what is in common parlance called Fracking.
I ask you directly as a constituent that i will not be affected by fracking under this social estate/ and that noones health will be worsened by effects of fracking.
I will note US drive is to ban it. New York clearly exhibited their disdain by announcing a ban in their area,
Im sure its not area specific but moreso a condemnation of process itself and there are many existant examples stateside of the detriment it can cause to individuals and communities. Backed by scientific fact existant on search evident that unfortunately i cannot give you in this email . I would if i could.
I would ask you that this open license fracking remit this govt have given.. will it affect me as a constituent . and will it affect all your constituents with this renegade permission granting by this govt? And should the open licence that appears to exist be revoked and current contracts be taken back as null?

Many Thanks

 Update 22nd December:

He wrote back with this as part...

"I have long been opposed to fracking, and a little while ago took part in a parliamentary debate on this matter. I do not know to what extent it will affect you directly, but it will affect all of us in general. "

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bedroom Tax And Foodbanks

Well today i watched two debates and personally I feel the Labour representation to the people was phenomenal.



Today's House of Commons debates - Wednesday 17 December 2014

Version: Uncorrected | Updated 21:31

Opposition Day

[11th Allotted Day]

Housing Benefit (Abolition of Social Sector Size Criteria)

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Dawn Primarolo):
Before I call Rachel Reeves to move the motion, I can inform the House that the Speaker has selected the amendment in the name of the Prime Minister.
1.48 pm
Rachel Reeves (Leeds West) (Lab):
I beg to move,
That this House believes that the housing benefit social sector size criteria, otherwise known as the bedroom tax, should be abolished with immediate effect.
Today, Members of this House have a chance and a choice: a chance to put right one of the worst injustices we have seen under this unfair, out-of-touch Government; and a choice to make about where they stand on the question of how we treat some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society. In just a few hours, we could vote to abolish and repeal the bedroom tax, an extraordinarily cruel and unfair policy that has hit half a million low-income households, two thirds of them including a disabled member and two fifths of them including children, with a charge of more than £14 a week, on average, which most cannot afford to pay, simply because they have been allocated by a council or a housing association a home that the Government now decide has too many rooms.
One week before Christmas we have a chance to bring hope and relief to hundreds of thousands of people who are struggling to stay in their home, pay the bills and put food on the table by scrapping this cruel and punitive tax on bedrooms, which is yet another example of Tory welfare waste.

After much admirable input to the debate by Labour,and much ludicrous counter the motion distraction, obfuscation and downright disregard for human suffering, the Conservatives coupled with the Liberal Democrats , amongst which MUCH abhorence of this policy has recently been stated, probably as popularist soundbite,  Voted AGAINST the motion.

I ask that if you wish you explore all statements from Hansard on this motion debate. Housing Benefit (size regulations) Debate.

I think i shouldnt tell you how to make your minds up. You will, if you look, see abhorrent disregard for welfare of those suffering the consequences .

Moving on , the next motion is following. . 

Food Banks

4.43 pm
Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood) (Lab):
I beg to move,
That this House notes that the number of people using food banks, according to the Trussell Trust, has increased from 41,000 in 2009-10 to 913,000 in 2013-14, of whom one third are children; recognises that over the last four years prices have risen faster than wages; further notes that low pay and failings in the operation of the social security system continue to be the main triggers for food bank use; and calls on the Government to bring forward measures to reduce dependency on food banks and tackle the cost of living crisis, including to get a grip on delays and administrative problems in the benefits system, and introduce a freeze in energy prices, a national water affordability scheme, measures to end abuses of zero hours contracts, incentives for companies to pay a living wage, an increase in the minimum wage to £8 an hour by the end of the next Parliament, a guaranteed job for all young people who are out of work for more than a year and 25 hours-a-week free childcare for all working parents of three and four year olds.
I welcome the Minister for Civil Society to his place in what is, I think, his first debate from the Front Bench, but I note that the Environment Secretary is not taking part in this debate. She transferred a question about food poisoning away from her Department just this week. She does not want to talk about food aid today, but she is—[Hon. Members: “Welcome!”] I would like to welcome the Environment Secretary to her place. She transferred a question about food poisoning away from her Department last week. This week she does not want to take part in a debate about food aid, yet hers is the lead Department. I just wonder what part of food policy she thinks she is responsible for.
Since the last Opposition-day debate on food banks a year ago, things have worsened. Over the past six months, there has been a 38% increase in the number of people seeking food aid from the Trussell Trust’s 420 food banks. The Trussell Trust expects the full-year numbers to be over 1 million. The report of the all-party parliamentary inquiry into hunger in the UK, entitled “Feeding Britain”, published last week, said that 4 million people are at risk of going hungry, 3.5 million adults cannot afford to eat properly, and half a million children live in families that cannot afford to feed them.
Nobody would choose to go to a food bank if they had any other option. Let us be clear about that. Research conducted by Oxfam, the Child Poverty Action Group, the Church of England and the Trussell Trust and published in November, entitled “Emergency Use Only”, indicates the truth of what many of us who have visited our local food banks have seen. People are acutely embarrassed to have to go to a food bank. They feel ashamed to have to accept such help, but the research is clear: people turn to food banks as a last resort, when all other coping strategies have failed.
The Trussell Trust says that 45% of people who visit the food banks that it operates do so because of problems with the social security system, a third because of delays to determining their benefit claims, and the rest because of benefit changes and sanctions, often unfairly applied, which have left them with no money.

I would ask you to consider my own MP's input to this debate: 

6.10 pm
Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab):
The hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley (John Hemming) talked about Members of this House who have been around for some time. Well, I have been around for some time and I have never known a situation like this.
Last Saturday, I attended a Christmas lunch for pensioners at the Trinity House community centre in my constituency. It was a lovely occasion, but I did ask myself what kind of lunch some of the people would have been having if they had not been there. I went to a school and the head teacher told me that the meal provided for children there was the only proper meal they had all day; I had to ask myself what happens during holiday periods.
I went to the New Covenant church for a carol service last Sunday in another part of my constituency. I had a chat with the pastor and I was told of the things that were done at that church. He told me about its food programme and its food bank. He told me that the church has volunteers who work there and in the community but cannot find jobs when they have left the volunteer period.
That night, I went home and saw on television a commercial that said, “Help Unilever and Oxfam fight hunger in the UK”. I found it utterly shaming that a commercial such as that had been made, where people were saying that there was so much hunger in this country that action against it had to be organised. Despite the damage done by this Government, this is one of the richest countries in the world, and it is utterly humiliating that people should have to go to food banks to get a meal.
Kerry McCarthy:
I do not know whether my right hon. Friend has yet had a chance to visit the excellent FoodCycle Manchester. I am a patron of the organisation and was at FoodCycle Bristol on Sunday. It uses food waste—surplus food—to provide meals for people who cannot afford them. For the 60 or so people I met there on Sunday, it was probably the only nutritious cooked meal they were going to get that week. I urge him to visit.
Sir Gerald Kaufman:
My hon. Friend has got it right, because one sees this again and again. Why? It is because of poverty. The figures show that in my constituency 42% of children live in poverty. Mine is the 10th worst constituency for that in the whole UK. The city of Manchester is fourth in Britain for poverty, and that is according to the Department for Education’s own definition. Children are said to be living in relative poverty if their household’s income is less than 60% of the median national income.
Manchester is a target for this Government. They have taken away more Government funding from my city than from anywhere else in the country, whereas in other parts of the country, such as Surrey, they are actually increasing the amount of Government funding. It is a cynical political trick. They know that they cannot win seats in Manchester, so why make life comfortable for people there? By contrast, in Surrey they do have some hope of winning constituencies. It is a political manoeuvre and my constituents suffer because of it.
The Government’s policy can be summed up:
“For whosoever hath, to him shall be given…but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.”
Benefit sanctions are spoken of again and again. Heaven knows I have a case load, as the Secretary of State knows from his correspondence with me, but people should not look for benefits other than those to which they are entitled by family circumstances. They should be able to have jobs. In Manchester, we have the Manchester living wage, but it does not prevail. If people do not have incomes or jobs they cannot buy food. It is terrible that we have in this country—a progressive western European country—hunger that is categorised by Unilever and Oxfam. The people who provide food banks are fine, decent people. They are good people—valuable people—but we should not need them.

Read the whole debate if you wish.
I was particularly impressed with Maria Eagle and her clearly researched and well held views . Her speeches taken in whole actually stands for people before profit, and that highlights just how bad this govts actions have continued to be. Sir Gerald Kaufman was spot on, and i will leave you to disparage those that werent for the people.

The whole foodbanks debate is linked here FOODBANKS DEBATE

Not much intros/ comment from me on this blog piece. Its your mind. I present considerations on both these emotive subjects. Read into it or not. Its completely your choice. 

Helping people Costs nothing or does it?

Now i help people with "admin" type stuff when theyre stuck.
Thats about how I shall describe it.

Sometimes it costs NOTHING.
Others theres bus fares / post/ phonecalls / bits and bobs..

Usually i dont mind and build that in.

You can only build so much in though.

I rescued myself from the always help to the can i do this realistically - even if say its four quid or even a quid.

Because contrary to what some believe im not an affluent philanthropist.

The odd loaf of bread / potatoes.. or have you got an envelope, or envelopes used or phone calls on behalf of, and other stuffs I need not mention because you know.. etc they all add up. Its hard to make it not do so.

This impacts usually without me having any qualm whatsoever.

Then theres times where i scream internally as in Why did I do that, im now short, ah well.

I found Mobile data on 3g was eating me. (money actually) So found the BT Basic deal to get broadband...  then Just found  id used nearly 3gb of 10gb allowance in five days.

Something DOESNT have to give. Just that I have to look at it differently.

Whether I like it or not helping people costs money.

NOW this is where i start a thing....

The Big Society thing Cameron harped on about? Everybody for everbody etc etc... It was never defined. Why? Because it costs money. How does it operate without? The spin on it was spin alone and some swallowed it whole.

Am I making a point here? Am I?

Probably am.

I know people that HAVE and continue to say I'd love to help but cant afford it - theyre everywhere those people.
How much poorer do people in general have to be to see what is going on around them?

Why dont more people help. I'll tell you.
Theres a default setting of placation in loads of minds.
Theres ah "i dont have to because x is already doing that"
Reliance on the few do-ers. Expecting the do-ers to carry on do-ing without making a sound about it.

And theres the "but we all help people where we can"  case - acknowledged.

Is this a ramble? Yeah sort of.

...and yet theres people who offer to help me with probably same issues I have, and I say no - YOU cant afford it. 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights says...

The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

"Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."

HOWEVER there have been people starve to dealth / suffer malnutrition / worsened health due to draconian attack on sickness and disability rights and income by the DWP and this GOVT.

How can this be acceptable to ANY ONE , Universally?

Is Welfare Dead? Author J.P thinks so

From J.P.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Where I email My MP on The ILF High Court Decision

Closure of Independent Living Fund Legal Judgement


8 December 2014 at 15:31

The Independent Living Fund must affect several people within your
constituent base Sir Gerald.

Its closure is a shock to many people requiring it to facilitate their lives.

The further shock is highlighted by the knowledge of its closure
impact being deemed as reasonable within lawful process and the
relevant minister was awarded a lawful status of his decision by the
judge in the High Court.

In all common decency this is an abhorrent part of this draconian
governments actions.

This is extract from Kate Whittaker's comment acting on behalf of Mr
Pepper and Mr Aspinal on the Judicial Review case at the High Court.

However there is a really significant point arising out of the
decision. Essentially the legal challenge was to the process of
decision-making and specifically the question of what information the
Minister had available to him about the likely impact on disabled
people so as to be able to properly exercise the public sector
equality duty.  What the judgment highlights is that, in the judge's
view, the Minister clearly believed that the impact of closure on
disabled people and their ability to live independently will be really
severe, and many or most ILF users will be at risk of losing their
ability to work, study or live independently in the community as a

For the purpose of the legal challenge, that meant that (in the
judge's view) the Minister had sufficient information to make a lawful
decision - and that was end of story as far as the court's role went.

But in wider terms it really begs the question of why, in that case,
the Minister decided what he did:

    How can it have been justified if he thought the impact would be so severe?
    What is the benefit of getting rid of this tried and tested system
of protection for those people who are most at risk of losing their
independence? There has never been any suggestion that it will save
money overall - indeed there is evidence that it may cost far more
than it saves because of (a) the false economies of people losing good
support then getting into crisis and being institutionalised, (b) the
ILF system being such good value for money (extremely low running
costs as it uses trustees) and (c) the double benefit of the ILF
system which not only provides a funding top-up but (crucially) puts
leverage on local authorities to put their contribution towards proper
independent support packages instead of institutional care.
    How can  this decision to cause such a negative impact on such a
large number of the most severely disabled people in the country be
squared with the need for the Government to actively advance equality
of opportunity for disabled people, including meeting needs better and
increasing participation in public life rather than the other way
    Similarly how can it be squared with international obligations the
UK has signed up to such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which stipulates that contracting states
must move forwards not back in realising rights such as that under
Article 19 - the right to live independently in the community with
choices equal to others.

These I think are very fair questions and I would like you to address
them to the Minister Concerned for considered reply.

This is written in the faith that you are aware of people in the
constituency affected by this horrendous situation.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Samuel Miller - Update on UN / Labour dealings regarding Welfare reform debacle

@Hephaestus7 Samuel Miller: 

Early this year, I attempted to have the personal files of the late Mark Wood (see sent directly to Jorge Araya, the UN's Secretary of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). I was thwarted by UK's Data Protection Act. Apparently, the estate executor must make the request. According to Mark Wood's sister, with whom I have a correspondence, her mother is his executor and she'll strive to get his files via her. (personal correspondence, October 13 2014). The British government has admitted to wrongly terminating his benefits (

The DWP has seriously breached its duty of care: See A public inquiry into benefit claimant suicides is also urgently needed; the Work and Pensions Select Committee has launched an investigation into Britain's sanctions policy (, but is prohibited from investigating individual cases.

In my opinion, the DWP needs to re-examine its policy which puts the onus on benefit claimants to procure medical evidence from doctors attesting that they are not fit for work, and the Department must be less inflexible when circumstances warrant. The DWP must also recognize that this responsibility of medical evidence procurement is beyond the capability of some claimants, especially those living with mental health conditions.

In the tragic Mark Wood case, his GP Nicolas Ward was not contacted by Atos or the Department for Work and Pensions about his patient’s medical history. Dr. Ward told the court that, had he been asked, he would have ruled him unfit for work.

In the tragic case of epileptic Trevor Drakard, his family struggled to gain detailed medical records of his multiple hospital visits down the years to make a second appeal. He was given a month to get the information, and, as the deadline approached, Trevor became more and more worried. His GP had just retired and so had his consultant in Sunderland, making it hard to get his history. (

I have made a FOI request to the DWP, asking that the 60 peer reviews following the death of a customer since February 2012 ( be mailed to my home address. I have given the Department permission to redact personal information in order not to trigger the Data Protection Act.

Most of my statements on Britain's benefit sanctions regime are contained in this recent post (; and today, I have
called on UK's Labour Party to make an election campaign promise to pause benefit sanctions to the sick and disabled, in view of the soaring use of sanctions against claimants of out-of-work disability benefits—and this significant legal judgement (, which has found the Claimant Commitment 'unlawful'.

The Labour Party has announced that, if elected, it intends to pause the roll-out of Universal Credit and ask the National Audit Office (NAO) to review the cost effectiveness and implementation of the new benefit. It must also pause and review benefit sanctions to the sick and disabled, otherwise there will be many more tragic additions to my list of welfare-related deaths (

Thursday, 4 December 2014

You dont look ill/ Its a lifestyle choice/ A brilliant look at this

Another LU Blog that literally has read my mind....

"I have this neighbour and.."

I have this neighbour who receives full disability benefits, gets a free car, a blue badge, and full carer support and there’s NOTHING wrong with them!!!
Okay, I don’t. But sometimes I feel like I’m one of the only people who doesn’t.  The above urban legend has been doing the rounds for a few now and created an atmosphere of suspicion surrounding people with disabilities and the care and welfare they receive. It’s one of those things where half of the people know someone who knows someone and it’s been used as a justification for the massive cuts which have severely, negatively harmed disabled people.

Read more: Click here >

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The media ignore our voices

from a great blogger. About *That* hashtag and media stacked up against vox populi ...

I’ve been following the #CameronMustGo hashtag with great interest. It’s been an opportunity for those of us who have been negatively hurt by the coalition’s policies to amplify our voices. Of course there are a few people who will just throw insults, but I would not like to question their validity in doing so. I’ve met some great people over the last week. Most of whom have heart breaking stories about the hell they’ve been put through....


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Ubiquetous? No. Accessible? Possibly. Digital Inclusion

So you know I believe that everyone should be given access to the web on a ubiquetous basis? YES.

This isnt about Ubiquetous access, its a step towards it though.

Those on very low income might think that broadband isnt affordable or even grantable to them because of low income?

That changes now.

With a few conditions and qualifying by income related benefits BT have an including you package.

That gives you 10gb of data on broadband , access to wifi out and about and a phone line.

And its under a tenner a month.

Its not highly visibly promoted either hence this blog. 

If this sounds like it could help you or someone you know - heres the link

BT BASIC <click here

Monday, 1 December 2014


 This South African story was told me as a kid.... theres so much socialism thought in it .. 

Once upon a time in southern Africa, a terrible drought hit the land, and the animals searched far and wide for food and water. They came upon a magnificent tree they had never before seen, and from every branch dangled a piece of fruit riper and more fragrant than any they had ever seen.
"Who can this tree belong to?" the animals asked each other, and at last they learned that the owner of the tree was a chief who lived far away, near the sea. They decided to send a messenger to ask the chief if they might eat the fruit.
"We'll send the hare," the animals decided. "He's very fast." And so the hare sped through the villages, across the bush, down the mountain, all the way to the sea.
"Excuse me, chief," said the hare as he bowed before the owner, "we were wondering if we might eat the fruit of your tree."
"Certainly," said the chief. "My tree will bear fruit all year round, in all kinds of weather. And when you eat a piece, a new one will grow."
Hare's mouth was watering at the very thought. "Thank you," he said.
"There's just one thing," the chief explained. "In order to eat from the tree, you must state its name. My tree is called Uwungelema. Just say the name, and you will never be hungry again."
"Thank you, thank you," said the hare, bowing deep. "We are forever in your debt." And with that he turned around and raced as fast as he could back to the animals who were gathered at the tree.
"It is ours!" the hare cried. "And this tree will bear fruit all year round, in any kind of weather. All we must do is say the name, and the name of the tree is "
The hare looked puzzled for a moment. He shook his head, and the others gathered close. "What's the name?" they cried.
"Umawumagamba Uawuraree Umawumumumu " The hare kept trying to say the name, but try as he would, he could not remember the name of the tree.
"Never mind the name," one of the elephants cried, and he reached up to grab some fruit, but he could not pull it from the branch. "We must send someone else!" the elephant roared. "Let us send the springbok. But this time we will send two so they can remind themselves of the name."
And so two springboks streaked through the villages, across the bush, down the mountain and raced to the sea. "Chief," they panted heavily as they reached his home, "please, won't you tell us the name of the tree of fruit?"
"The name is Uwungelema," said the chief. "Say the name `Uwungelema,' and all the fruit shall be yours."
"Uwungelema," the first springbok said to his brother.
"Uwungelema," echoed the second.
And they turned toward home, running fast, for they could almost taste that fruit.
"Uwungelema," they said in unison as they rushed toward the mountain, but as they scrambled up the rocky side, the first springbok tripped on a rock, and the second, close on his heels, fell over him. They bumped their heads against each other. "Ouch!" they said in unison, and nursing their sore heads, they stood up and began the trek home across the veldt.
"What is the name?" the animals cried when the two arrived back home.
"Uwuwgoo," said the first springbok. "Oh no, I cannot remember."
"Uwugaa," said the second, and he rubbed his head. "My memory is lost!"
"Oh no," the animals cried. "What will we do?"
And so they sent the lion, but he too forgot, and they sent the mongoose, and he could not remember, either. They sent the buffaloes and then the zebras, and they too forgot. "What will we do?" they cried.
Suddenly a little voice from the ground called, "I will go."
Everyone turned to look down at the tortoise. They began to laugh. "You're far too slow," they chided him.
"I'll go anyway," said the tortoise, and with that he ambled off. Walking slowly but steadily, at long last he reached the chief.
"Thank you," the tortoise said to the chief after he learned the name of the tree. Then he began his long, slow trek back home. As he trundled along, he remembered a lesson his mother had long ago taught him. To remember something important, you must repeat it over and over, and so, as the tortoise trudged along, he said out loud, "Uwungelema, Uwungelema, Uwungelema."
"What is that you're mumbling?" the monkeys chattered from the treetops. "Why do you talk to yourself?" They howled with laughter.
The tortoise did not care. "Uwungelema, Uwungelema, Uwungelema," he said, over and over. Even when his children saw him on the road and cried, "Father, say hello to us," he shook his head and said only "Uwungelema."
Finally he reached the tree. "What is the name?" the animals cried. They were faint from hunger.
"Uwungelema," said the tortoise, and at the sound of the word, the fruit began to fall from the tree. All the animals cheered and sang their praises to the slow, steady tortoise who had saved their lives. And never again did they tease him for his lack of speed.