Health & Education

  • Disabled wheelchair user denied ESA payments. Horrendous Universal Credit waiting times. Today’s demo. November 16, 2017 Well what can I say about today except that it was extremely busy and very cold. It appears that Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre have upped their targeting of claimant techniques, most likely because they are now meeting the claimants that have been transferred over from nearby recently closed Jobcentre, Stalybridge. Far too many of the claimants that I have been speaking to have been telling me how awful Ashton Jobcentre is compared to what Stalybridge was like, I’ve even heard murmurings from the DWP staff that were transferred that they dislike it. Sadly this isnt a surprise is it.   The food parcels arrived with Gordon of which I was really thankful for. So many people are experiencing the well known delays ... Read More
  • Yemen November 13, 2017 Yemen Geneva Palais Briefing Note: The impact of the closure of all air, land and sea ports of Yemen on children This is a summary of what was said by Meritxell Relano, UNICEF Representative in Yemen – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. GENEVA, 10 November 2017 – Yemen is facing the largest humanitarian crisis and the worst food crisis in the world. Nearly 7 million people do not know where their next meal will come from and the survival of millions of people depends on humanitarian assistance operations.  You have all seen the statements from the humanitarian community in Yemen and from the Emergency Relief Coordinator based ... Read More
  • SNP to bring in free personal care for disabled under-65s by April 2019 September 10, 2017 There’s only one problem and that’s the possibility that the nasty Tories will cut disability benefits before they are transferred to the Scottish government and thus limit what they can do. So, according to the news.gov.scot site today: ‘Health Secretary Shona Robison is seeking urgent assurances there will be no cuts to disability benefits for people set to benefit from ‘Frank’s Law’ before these are transferred to the Scottish Government. The Health Secretary has written to David Gauke, the Secretary for State for Work and Pensions, to ensure there is no repeat of the welfare cuts imposed when Free Personal Care was introduced in 2002, which has resulted in the Scottish Government spending an additional £600m to mitigate against those benefits ... Read More
  • British Terrorocracy August 20, 2017 Content societies require little in the way of persuasion. Frustrated and angry societies eventually require brute force to keep everyone in line. We’re not there yet, but the harassment and intimidation is already well underway. One has to at least admire the tenacity of the right-wing personality disorder of the people who cling to this notion that in order to be of value to society one has to benefit the economy. We can understand why the psychopathic Gordon Gekko types prefer this morally bankrupt ethic, the more economically productive, less welfare dependant, the general public is the more there people can bleed from society. Capitalistic greed – or “capitalism” – has a certain grim and predictable logic to it, and this, ... Read More
  • Drawing a Perfect World August 16, 2017 Of all the things that are wrong with the world, baby boxes and free sanitary provision aren’t two of them. Yet the BBC wants us to ignore the costs of Brexit and nuclear bombs and think of these as a waste of money. Many – many – moons ago, while still a nipper back in Bellfield Primary School, my teacher Mrs Miller asked our class to draw the perfect world. What we all drew exactly I can no longer remember. It has been a while. But, having seen other teachers work this magic with other children, no doubt we drew our families holding hands on sunny days, with rainbows and unicorns and that sort of thing. Perhaps there is an unintended ... Read More
  • 58 000 baby boxes to help increase life chances and now Scotland will be the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products to ‘end period poverty’. This is the kind of country I want to live in. August 15, 2017 We’ve just seen the news of the scheme to send free baby boxes with fitted mattresses, a digital ear thermometer worth about £45, fleece jackets, bodysuits, sleepsuits, books, anti-scratch mittens and muslin cloths. It’s hoped these boxes and their contents will improve life chances of many babies to 58 000 young mothers every year. In July, the Scottish Government launched a six-month pilot scheme in Aberdeen to provide free sanitary items for women and girls in low-income households. SNP MSP Angela Constance, cabinet secretary for communities, social security and equalities has expressed her support and it seemed likely to be implemented across the country anyway. However, Labour’s Monica Lennon has launched consultation on a members’ bill to introduce a universal system ... Read More
  • Punishing the poor, a Dirty Businesss August 14, 2017 So the English Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is spending £44,000 of our money to get a bathroom suite fitted in his office.   Robbing the poor is obviously a very dirty business for the millionaire secretary doing his best to destroy the NHS in England. The 15ft-by-8ft shower suite has ceiling-high slate tiles and sensor-activated lights and a large vanity mirror so he can “freshen up” privately after cycling to work . This is part of a wider 25 million of improvements being made to the Department of Health Offices in Waterloo London. Of course Jeremy Hunt has said the story is false while admitting he requested the bathroom for after long cycles. Tory logic. At least we can rest easy knowing that while those ... Read More
  • Our Hypocrisy is not Like Theirs August 11, 2017 As loyal readers of the blog know, I have on occasion published posts in a long-running series entitled “Our Hypocrisy is not like Theirs.” Today we’re up to Part 14. I saw a certain kind of irony in the following two stories, both of which caused news yesterday: Baby Charlie Gard The Better Care Reconciliation Act Let’s review these one at a time. Baby Charlie Gard Charlie Gard is a rather unfortunate baby living in the London borough of Camden who has acquired a rare genetic condition known as a mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. It’s a tragedy for this boy’s family, for sure. The boy was born in August of 2016, was diagnosed in October of 2016, and by January of 2017 was in the ... Read More
  • Delusions. How becoming a comedian got me the correct diagnosis for my mental health condition. August 1, 2017 Below is a link to a short ten minute interview I did recently with the BBC regarding my new Fringe comedy show. And below that is an excerpt from the same show. It’s all pretty much how about I was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 24 and how by becoming a comedian, mental health services arrived at the correct diagnosis of me being  Bipolar One. The show runs in Edinburgh from the 4th -29th. You can get more details from the image above.  BBC interview on mental health. OUCH. HOW BECOMING A COMEDIAN GOT ME THE CORRECT DIAGNOSIS FOR MY MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION. Hello, my name is John and for the past thirteen years I’ve been a professional Stand Up comedian. Also during those ... Read More
  • Sex, Gender and All the Rest | Hidden, Airbrushed, Suppressed and Oppressed PART TWO (reproductive rights, experiences, identities) July 31, 2017 Following on from Sex, Gender and All the Rest | Hidden, Airbrushed, Suppressed and Oppressed PART ONE (adverts, jobs, Dr Who etc.)  http://arwenackcerebrals.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/sex-gender-and-all-rest-hidden.html here I consider specifically the issue of non/parenthood, reproduction and reproductive rights. NB: for anyone who is watching the second series of Top of the Lake (BBC 2) and hasn’t seen the whole of it yet there is a spoiler or two. I have been researching and writing about the reproductive experience, identity and rights of and for girls and women, and to a lesser extent, of and for boys and men, for 28 years. Just a couple of examples follow: It is commonly assumed at the issue of reproductive health is ‘woman’s business’ and arguably for some women this assumption has ... Read More