Tag Archives: IDS

So the Tories have a majority, what do we do now?

 

**** Please note that I am safe now and am receiving help for some of the issues I mention in this blog. Thank you all for your concern ****

 

It just started raining in London, maybe this is god’s way of saying that the Tories winning a majority at yesterday’s general election was a bad thing, I hope so at least.

As someone who has an expensive, long term health condition, mental health problems and Autism, it would be a fair assessment to say that as a result of this, I am royally screwed. Now that the Conservatives have a clear majority and they don’t have the Liberal Democrats interfering to water down their policies, they can effectively do what they like. Welcome to a Britain where there is no support for people who are unemployed or disabled and they are just left to die, where there is no National Health Service and people can’t get help for their medical problems without paying huge sums of money to private companies, where we have destroyed all the oversight and protection given to us by the EU and European Court of Human Rights in exchange for strict controls on immigration and an end to freedom of movement within the European Union, where the rich are taxed at a knockdown rate to encourage the myth of a trickle down economy and keep big exploitive businesses in the UK. Welcome to a country where rich people have overwhelming power and don’t care about anyone but themselves.

The last five years have been bad, but there is no doubt it is going to get worse. Only hours after the result was declared, Jeremy Warner – assistant editor of the Telegraph is calling for an end to the NHS on the basis that it costs too much money (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/11590377/Do-we-want-better-health-care-or-do-we-want-to-keep-the-NHS.html). How will I live if I cannot get insulin for free to treat my diabetes? How will I cope without the excellent diabetes team at Barts and Homerton Hospitals to keep me going?

I am sure the next point to be brought up will be benefit ‘scroungers’ and how we are spending too much money on welfare – we didn’t kill enough people last time, so it’s time to go further with those cuts. The Guardian announced on Tuesday that they had seen a list of potential cuts to the welfare budget, including: ‘Making it harder for sick people to claim state aid when they are out of work by introducing “stricter” fit-for-work tests and/or tighter limits on eligibility.’ (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/05/revealed-coalition-plans-to-slash-welfare-for-sick-poor-young-and-disabled) well, it’s already difficult enough as it is for me to claim ESA, I have in the past been able to work and ‘chickened out’ at the Work Capacity Assessment stage, but my mental health problems have become much worse lately and I can’t face dealing with recruiters or applying for jobs, I haven’t worked properly in six months, so that’s another thing that an employer or recruiter can hold against me when I try to apply –
Employer: “Explain why you haven’t worked in the last six months?”
Me: “Well, I was ill”
Employer “So that means you’re going to be ill again then and wasting my time not working?”
Me: “Well I can’t rule it out”
Employer “Next!”

I have spent the last Five months living very close to the breadline, I have had to borrow money for rent and it is very uncertain where I will find the balance of the next rent payment from. I have tried to get help from my local council and they are paying me the full amount of housing benefit that they are able to, but the dates do not line up with when I have to pay my rent and I will be short £500 at the end of May again, after borrowing £500 this week to top up what I had. I have built up another £3,000 of credit card debit which basically paid for day to day expenses whilst all the rest of my money went on trying to pay the rent and bills. That brings my total to £7,000, only 7 years after being made bankrupt because credit card companies and banks were pushing overdrafts and credit cards on me like they were candy. I have no savings, no pension, nothing much to show for my nearly 35 years on this planet.

In the past few weeks I have talked about getting out of London and going to live somewhere else that would be less expensive… This would be a start, but what point is there if I move only to discover that I am no-longer eligible to be helped, because I am deemed not to be sick enough. Yes, I can stand up, I can walk… but it’s hard to explain to people how it is, what’s going on in your head and why you feel so upset about what is going on… it’s even worse when you tell them that and they don’t believe you – because that is what is going to happen, people think that I am delusional, but I don’t think so, I think it’s pretty clear that if you can be in a coma and still be found fit for work, then really the rest of us are screwed (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ros-wynne-jones-sheila-hounded-death-5353202). This is only going to get worse as the Tories get their own way.

I cannot go on like this, I am tired, I am worn out, maybe once I could do a job – it is true that I do have a lot of skills and abilities with computers, but I need a break, I need help to find a job where my employer will understand my circumstances and help me to stay in work. I need stability and a roof over my head that isn’t going to be taken away by some rich foreign landlord when I can’t pay the rent. I need the certainty that I will have money to feed myself and my cats, and pay my bills.

I have tried to get help, every time I go to hospitals in a crisis situation they don’t listen – they say they will help but they don’t, I wait around to talk to them, but then they let me go. They don’t realise that someone who can sit there and describe their problems in a calm and matter of fact way is actually in a crisis, because this is not how people with mental health problems act. They don’t have enough training or understanding of Autism to realise this, they probably don’t really have enough time to listen to people properly.

I would like to say how grateful I am to various people in my life for their support and how sorry I am that I am letting them down and will no-longer be around.

I would like to thank:
Claire Wakefield – for talking to various local officials and trying to get them to listen to me and for trying to get someone to offer me a meaningful job.
Leneh Buckle – for her help in trying to make things better for me and find alternatives to my current situation.
Norman Corke – for always being around to listen and having a good laugh at what was going on.
Nancy Rowell – for helping me out financially – I am sorry I will not be able to pay back what I owe you.
Larry Arnold – for always keeping me entertained and informed with your take on what was going on, I hope you will be able to keep your allotment going.
Gina Muollo – despite being so far away you have always been a fried over 16 years.
Ian Molton & Lyndsey Barwell – for offering support an accommodation, even though it probably wouldn’t have worked out.
EB Algol – for many many chats over the past few years.

To my parents, sister and brother-in-law – I am sorry I have let you down, I wish you could really understand how I feel about things and how I can’t just snap out of this situation.

At home I have 2 cats: Dave and Arnie. They have food, water and a litter box. They have access to outside through a cat flap. Dave and Arnie are brothers from the same litter, I am sure that with me gone they will be sad enough, but it would be worse if they were split up. Arnie is very skittish and will run off and hide when other people are around, Dave is a bit more social but will still run. I suggest that whoever goes in to remove them and re-home them locks the cat flap so they can get in but can’t get out and then goes away and waits, once they are back indoors then it will be a lot easier to catch them. Please be gentle with my babies…
It’s nearly time to get on the bus, so I guess I’d better be going. To those of you who voted Tory, I hope you are fucking pleased with yourselves…

Why do I let them get to me?

Tories… well, specifically members of the current cabinet including Iain Duncan-Smith and David Cameron.

They didn’t need to do this, they didn’t need to cut back on benefits to the extent that people will be made destitute, homeless and left to suffer. They could have looked for other ways to raise revenue, get back some of the taxes owed to the nation, but they didn’t. For this reason they cannot be forgiven.

Yet, supposedly, I am well off. I have a job, I get Housing Benefit and Tax Credits to make up for the fact that although I am paid what seems like a reasonable wage, its not really enough to exist in London. But I feel that I am really just existing, in a cold basement which I have tried to insulate the best I can. Paying £50+ per month for gas. I can’t move because I am a contractor, my job isn’t secure and if a letting agency ran a credit check on me, they would be horrified with what they saw, because I was made bankrupt 5 years ago.

But its not me that I worry about, it’s my friends, the ones really living on the edge, having to deal with these changes to disability benefits. The prospect of more medicals and more paperwork, despite the fact that they will never get better.

Today I let them get to me, those Tories with blood on their hands. I didn’t go to work. I called in sick. I slept on and off, worrying about what would happen to me, that I would screw up yet another job. I know I need help, but I won’t get anything, because in my area the NHS aren’t interested in Mental Health unless you’re about to kill yourself or someone else. You can hardly blame them I suppose, so much crazy in London with so many people from different backgrounds all trying to live together in such a small space. Then you add to that all the cut backs that the NHS is making or will have to make, again thanks to those fifthly stinking Tories…

Tomorrow I will go to work, I will try to forget about it, but how long until it happens the next time. Until something happens at work and my boss just says “I’m sorry Seth, but I’m gonna have to let you go”? I really wish I could fix this.

I came off of Employment and Support Allowance because I found a job and I wanted to work, not because my disability is made up or not a problem. It is a problem, but I have skills that I want to use, I want to help people. I feared the Work Capacity Assessment because my disability is not obvious and Atos/DWP are not willing to make allowances for that. I feel like I have no choice now, I have to get on with this job, but this country is such a hard place to exist in right now, especially if you have a disability.