Iain Duncan Smith Targeting People Too Sick To Work

“He also wants the system for deciding who is eligible for ESA tightened up.
Since he took on responsibility for overhauling the welfare state in 2010, Mr Duncan Smith has seen the number of people on Jobseekers’ Allowance fall by almost 700,000, nearly halving the 2010 figure, but the numbers on ESA have stayed stubbornly high at more than 2.5 million, a fall of about 90,000.”
Andy McSmith in The Independent, 23rd August, 2015


You know, it’s almost like – and stick with me, cause this is really out there – the percentage of the population who are too sick to work exists independent of the government’s desire to make them work. Almost like the amount that it has fallen could be attributed to the persecution of the disabled and not, in fact, to some miraculous ability to heal the sick.

The stupid thing is this: as discussed way down at the bottom of the article, a version of this endeavor would be welcomed by most disabled people. Just not one like this. Because, in order to reap the economic rewards of removing the exclusion of disabled people from the workplace and larger society, we first need to spend quite a bit of money on overhauling training, access, contracts, etc. It would probably be a net saving, in the end, but if they’re just going all austerity, all the time, and doing this as a cost cutting exercise, then it will not do anything other than make people sicker and cost more. Any savings made by shunting people off ESA will pretty quickly be eliminated by the higher healthcare and social care costs of people who are pushed into situations and routines which actively damage their health and increase social isolation.

A system actually aimed at supporting people to live the most fulfilling lives they can would be best, economically and socially, but any glimmers of that ideal disappeared from the monstrosity that is the DWP long ago. Of course, saving money shouldn’t be the primary aim – that should be ensuring access, justice and wellbeing for the citizens of your country – but human beings have never really counted for much in the eyes of the DWP, so that argument will never work.

Really, what many disabled people believe IDS is saying here is this: ‘you are not dying fast enough. We’re starving you, humiliating you, debasing you, blaming you for everything that’s gone wrong in the lives of able bodied .. *ahem* sorry, normal people’s lives, lying about you, making sure that you’re attacked in the streets and in your homes because people despise you, we’re taking away your transport and your social access so we never have to see you and, while some of you got the message, the rest of you still just. won’t. die. When will you learn?’


Jeremy Corbyn and His Support in Scotland

A lot of the rhetoric surrounding Scottish nationalists’ support of Jeremy Corbyn misses the point in that kind of jaw dropping, bewildering way. They’re convinced it’s some kind of sinister plot to destabilise or punish Labour. The notion that a massive percentage of the independence movement joined because people like Corbyn have been absent from national politics for decades, because Labour became an unrecognisable distortion of its purpose, because anything resembling a soul became a liability in the Commons, is completely alien to them.

Jeremy Corbyn No More War crop.jpg
Jeremy Corbyn No More War crop” by Garry Knight from London, England – Jeremy Corbin. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Corbyn may be a unionist, but that doesn’t make him an enemy. Being English doesn’t make him an enemy. Being Labour doesn’t make him an enemy. We wanted an amicable split, with a fair deal. We weren’t wanting to leave because we hate England, however much it was spun that way (and however angry some members of the movement are). We waited for years for someone to undo Thatcher’s damage, but instead they committed to it.

If Corbyn had come along after Blair stepped down, I think the face of our country would have been radically different. What a world that might have been.

He is our natural ally. We want him to inspire the kind of social change for England that we’ve seen up here. Our hearts have broken for the people below the border who have had no good choices for so long. We want to work with someone who understands that people matter in more ways than their vote every couple of years.

Please take this chance and run with it. Get angry when the hierarchy in Labour says it’ll overrule the will of the people (do they have any bloody clue why they’re in Labour? Is it actually just because they’re Tories but don’t want people not to like them?). Organise. Fight back. Rejoice in the fact that people can still make a difference, even when the odds are towering over them.

Cecil’s Plan

I have a plan to deal with the big game hunters!
(A serious one, not a ‘kill them all’ one)

Cecil the lion.jpg
Cecil the lion” by Daughter#3 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/daughter3986851963/4516561242/. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

So, the complication with banning big game hunting, which seems like an obvious solution to the hunting of endangered species and is now being implemented by some countries under pressure from the West, is this: the people who go to hunt the big game pay many tens of thousands of dollars for the ‘privilege’. That money is used to fund the reserves, maintaining land and preventing poaching and so on. The vast swathes of land that need to be monitored and the animals who need to be protected, tracked, etc, are all paid for in large part by the licences ludicrously rich people pay for to hunt big game. A limited number of licences are handed out each year, depending on how many the parks decide can be sacrificed to save the whole park. It’s an awful mathematical decision, but it’s how the parks have stayed in the hands of people who actually try for conservation and preserving habitats for so long.

Losing that income will be devastating to the ability of the parks to function, to protect the species inside their borders and to maintain the land. What to do?

This is my idea: You get three options.

1 – you pay your tens of thousands of dollars. You hunt the animal – tracking, sneaking up on it, etc. Then you get a photo of you with the animal in your sights, and you don’t kill it. You can post that photo everywhere you want, showing that you are the superior species, you won, etc, but that you chose *not* to kill it because that would be unnecessary now you have proven your worth. Everyone on social media should then share it about, talking about how amazing you are, and look at how fantastic this is, etc. This should feed your need for apex predator status, bragging rights, with the added bonus that you can be smug about how awesome you are.

2 – you pay your tens of thousands of dollars for a licence to hunt and kill big game. Other people are given the opportunity to purchase another licence to hunt and kill you during the period of time that you are hunting. If they fail to kill you before you kill the big game, their chance is over. So you get ultimate bragging rights if you do manage to survive and kill the big game, you get the adrenaline rush of being both hunter and hunted, and you get to represent the ultimate presentation of the Law of the Jungle.

3 – you pay your tens of thousands of dollars for a licence to hunt and kill big game, nobody tries to kill you, but you have to do it without weapons. You can use sticks and rocks you find on the ground, but otherwise you have to give the lion a fighting chance. No guns, no bows, no drones, no mini trebuchets. Just you and the lion. You get all the bragging rights. All of them. If you win. Good luck.