Buffalo Nickel | The Daily Post

via Buffalo Nickel | The Daily Post. They say that if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves – in our current social climate I’m beginning to think that means the detention compounds that must be readying for an influx of disposessed degenerates that welfare has abandoned under oppressive Nazi-like political regimes and public non-service. It’s an incredibly bizarre Viennese-whirl the dance with the devil our politicians and their henchmen are conducting – these days their henchmen include the medical profession, just as ever, willingly leaving impoverished sick and disabled patients with no financial support and no access to medicine with the demand of a fee for a letter, letters from doctors requested and insisted on by decision-making employees of the welfare state.

It seems crazy that while one person can have at least some of their benefit entitlement for sickness or disability, thereby also having their medicine and dental traetment and so better health than without, and obtaining support letters from doctors for free or reduced fee because they are disabled and in receipt of benefit, there are so many others left with nothing or next to nothing unable to access their basic rights to life support with demands for up to £25 for a letter when that may be all they can borrow to survive with for a fortnight – if they can borrow anything at all.

I picked up two penny coins, the first to hand, both found in desperation – though temporary desperation unlike some of my acquaintances and all the unknowns. The first was the year 2000, tarnished and slightly worn in absolute contrast to the feel-good Millenium factor and celebratory air all round – the good old days of hope and almost glory, (in comparison at least), improved living standards for all and better life chances with less poverty and despair. My (ex) wife dragged me in to involvement in Sure Start for a few months as a volunteer, representing the rights of fathers and children. The sun seemed to shine more, people smiled and chatted, there were vibrant communites around the city rather than now the downtrodden left behinds picking up the wealthy scumbags litter for nothing other than to not be so lazy or ill-mannered as to leave it littering the streets as the smart suits and heels do, while turning up their noses and wishing the vagabonds away. Some clear the rubbish, of their own free will in case there’s the odd penny or five-pence concealed in it’s midst or for scraps of anything edible left in the seams of the packaging.

The second penny is from the year 2012, it still shines, gloriously, in contrast and opposition to the darkness and oppression that fell about our green, grey and concrete pleasant land with the Welfare Repeal Act of 2012. There is no Reform and in a hundred years it will be detested and despised and denounced as the greatest humanitarian atrocity the British governement has inflicted on it’s citizens since the Great Fires of London and beyond.

During 2012 I worried for one of my disabled friends who had to leave her family home because her ex-partner was a convincing liar and still receiving incapacity benefit so treated as disabled (while having means and fitness to drive a car and move himself out to nearby relatives). She had no family, was appealing a fit for work decision as very unwell and very low exertional capacity. She found on moving in that  the house she’d  rented was run-down, over-priced and over-run with rat holes including in the cupboard housing the water tanks. The shower’s unsafe. The water heating can’t be used as (a) the warmth attracts rats and (b) she has no money for gas and a standing charge debt for not having credited the meter so she has to boil kettles for all her hot water. Before she applied for a grant to have it replaced, the boiler was so old and there was no ventilation with a dodgy gas hob to use too and my friend lost weight super-fast and was very ill, getting muddled, seeing things the wrong way round, misreading words and numbers and unable to work things out.

A lazy sloppy joe of an over-paid environmental health officer refused to look upstairs because there’s no hand-rail and told her she had to rearrange heavy living room furniture so that ladders could be brought through the house to drop a smoke test into a waste pipe backed up with water! She closed the case without doing the hazard inspection she was meant to be completing. How can people get paid to NOT do their jobs and be so negligent and cruel as to take serious and discriminatory advantage of disabled vulnerable people? She probably took a bribe off the dodgy landlord responsible – he’s now trying to say the house was fine previously – we took evidence at the time that it wasn’t and some associates have contacts enough we have to hope to rally the troops on her behalf if necessary. You can imagine the likes of this environmental health officer raiding pensioner’s biscuit tins and checking their mattresses and soft furnishings for their rainy day savings, thieving scoundrel scum!

People are left so powerless (and many job-seekers do not have disability status while living with disabling conditions), to rot and die of cold and starvation – she’d say she doesn’t mind cos at least she won’t be carted off to the morgue before she’s had a chance to exhume – she has a strange sense of reasoning and humour. Just down to earth she says, when not pie in the sky.

Over and again from THAT year my friend’s been found fit for work while incapable and very unwell because she shops for her own food with no-one to help her. Not reliably and she can’t plan what to do when for being ill. She managed one fixed commitment a week for her self-led work-related activity during her ESA claim and lived with the chaos of exacerbated illness the rest of the week. If she doesn’t drag herself to the nearest shop and post office twice a week like a seventy five year old for a tin of beans, two tins of soup, a loaf of bread, milk and tea bags she would have nothing at all to eat and no prepayment electricity with no-one at all to help her. But that fact is used as evidence of fitness for work! They do it EVERY year just in time for winter approaching and for increasingly long phases of time each year – she’s been five whole months with no income, no savings, having to borrow a little enough every week to barely survive.

There are food banks but the doctors say they don’t have any vouchers to give out and she’s not well enough to walk anywhere far enough to get help anyway. There are local hardship funds, but you can’t access them unless you have a claim for benefit open and you have to be well enough to reach the city to collect the help in the form of a payment card you can use for food. So she’s excluded from hardship provision too like probably a good many other people. She’s a talented and caring and committed person who while bringing up her children and looking after a sick husband did whatever voluntary work in the community and school that she could manage. She continued to struggle through severe illness with three hours voluntary work or training  a week because she was convinced she had to try and do something for work-related activity even when they kept her back on assessment rate forever so she couldn’t afford her health care costs and mobility needs. She worked as much and as hard as she could, even though it was only those tiny few hours each week because she wanted the references and to be ABLE to work enough to escape the punishment inflicted on welfare claimants. And for being disabled and poor she’s been invalidated but isn’t even allowed to use that word!

Wealthier qualified disabled people are allowed to have disability benefits and status, drive a car to town, go to an art gallery, make paintings if they like, walk round the shops, go the library or yoga or swimming -they have rights as disabled people- my friend has none again now. She’s beginning to look like an Auschwitz victim, a tramp, like she might be made homeless and never pull through – she’s been left with no income, no access to medicine or healthcare, too ill to get help – passed from pillar to post while people in paid jobs collect their pay and avoid helping, expected to pay a disproportionate fee for a doctor’s letter or can’t have one, and can’t have JSA for being unfit but can’t have ESA for being fit – all because if she can get to a computer she can send an email, even if she can’t walk to the post-box to post a letter! Her medical certificate says unfit – but it has to specifically say deteriorated or worsened and I’ve no idea how much her doctor’s want to add either of those words to a piece of paper. Even then she’s been told that if her ESA claim is accepted she will NOT be paid any benefit for several more months because she has to first have another medical assesment before her benefit income can be released to her. In other words, the DWP and government are willing people to die of starvation and no means.

It IS the Viennese-whirl, the sickly-sugar-coated-psychotic-deviant-minds of Nazi-type personalities to be so inhuman. How anyone can work in such employment is absolutely beyond belief and I’d imagine they must fear car-bombs and a knife to the back. I actually imagine they’re poor helpless sods of JSA claimants theirselves on 35 hour week pin-money for their benefit work experience schemes not minding a cushy job doing next to bugger all and power-tripping at needy people on the government’s behalf – those in government departments, JCP etc – maybe even the ministers themselves – they certainly shouldn’t be paid more than £70 a week for such crimes against the nation as they have committed, dragging the country back to the 1920s pre-welfare circumstance. They should be sent to the tower and so the Queen if she allowed that legislation to pass – but she is an old lady with the wool easily pulled over heer eyes by smooth talking slime-bags who probably doped her tea. We need release for our poorest peoples from the indignities, sufferings and neglects of our intolerable government.

My friend’s debts have increased three-fold, in line with her BMI loss I think while her clothes literally fall down as she walks and she’s trying to tie her jeans to hold fast with string for a belt. Her tenancy agreement illegally states she wil be charged daily interest on her arrears and owing £10 a month within one month becomes 385 owed at current Bank of England interest rates. They probably would try and make her pay or leave things behind or just illegally evict her as she saw happen to her neighbours. She’s at risk of being evicted and losing furniture while still owing some of the social fund loan that paid for the furniture – they shouldn’t have given her that, a few weeks later she’d have had free donated furniture from the local authority and no extra debt. The loan had to be processed through an overdrawn bank account with the DWP’s full knowledge of that fact – it’s supposed to be interest free but the debt was instantly doubled for owing both the loan and the bank that same amount of money needed to have a bed for the first time in over three years!

The welfare systems and the so-called human individuals working in those systems take advantage of the vulnerable and the needy, kick them when their down and it’ll soon be back to bovver boys and braces and Belfast on every street corner (no offence intended to Belfast!) I don’t recognise our country anymore and I worry soon I won’t recognise my friend if ever we meet again. It’s no rock and roll  pleasure ride on welfare these days (and often never was) but now it’s a blood-thirsty rodeo with daft cowboys in charge of the show. Written from the Wild West of Nothingham, UK.

Buffalo Nickel | The Daily Post

epityemologloggically …

A little game of lexicography dragged out, as games do tend. … science of discworld and nature of writes… slipped out of practice and the influence of artists -one in particular especially enthused for the long-forlorn low-tech and following their direction for a way of creating a micro-scope.

Epityemologically, it’s been a very long day. Two, in fact. Yesterday, after a solid seven hours job searching, (breaking only for Holocaust remembrance), I had a scientific document trawl around climate change and the environment. Ageing or something.

The night before was Foucault study, trying to fit pieces together to make some sense. The evening before or the day before that was contemporary Mexican art research – if you can call browsing aimlessly within the confines of a topic “research”. Colleen was inspired by a 2005 Minerva Cuevas text – especially this one line, “Where can I find freedom?” and scrawled a poem in the blink of an eye that I have to add somewhere. I don’t enjoy copy typing so I’m glad it’s a short and having to find a more interesting way of of presenting it, perhaps.

Today’s been mainly crisis management and not ever so managing – not really my crisis and this isn’t the place or the time. No big fish to fry. Storm in a teacup.  And I’m frazzled and flaking and hitting the hay soon enough.

Branding starts on Monday, two weeks of, I hope, not torture. Halfway through week two and I’m not sure I’ve gotten very far enough yet but no real rush and we all have commitments and some of us are snails. It’s a relief not to be hurried. I was planning to write something perzazzing with it but epityemolicallicaly AND mologloggically it all went out the window with mantra Earth.

epityemologloggically …

F’light by my Fireside (1) – with the Pie in the Sky

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fireside Chat.”

(and not to hear their life story as such – I’m not sure I’d like to hear or ask that of anyone).

I know of a lady by the name of Sylvia Frank, only through illustrations and synopsis of her work in a book gifted to me by a friend’s husband, more than twenty years ago. It’s a quality art book, called “Image of the Body”.

I’ve no way of knowing if she’s the same Sylvia Frank for whom my mother was given a “New Poets ’75” book, including some poems by a Sylvia Frank and possibly also Sylvia’s mother. They were related to my maternal grandfather I think, and had emigrated from England. I don’t know when, because historical detail remembered and passed down is sketchy.

I frequently read the New Poets 75 book as a young child and intermittently while growing up, and would revisit my favourite poems, which of course were, amongst others, moreso those special poems of relations, I’m not sure how distant.

Whether one and the same, or entirely different, I would have to place their name(s) at the top of my list, for sure. Although I know the lady(s) only through print (and more recent internet resource) I was inspired by encountering their work in my childhood  and as a young adult (art studies, incomplete).

I’d be stuck for limiting myself to one choice invitation, for I also regret the geographical distances between myself and my mother and not spending more time with her and also my uncles and aunts, cousins, brothers, nieces, nephew and so on. Although we all knew each other well, of course, over distance of land and time our life stories change as we grow and we often know less of each other’s lives along life’s paths. Can you choose over family unless it’s for  necessity, or impossibilities such as love…

As thechallenge brief is for lesser known company … if the not the first lady(s) above, then, any of the following… and all those not mentioned:-

I’d like to meet my art tutor again, or not, maybe another, but over an ale with some or all of the other students from that first class group would be a great reunion to attend.

Although I wouldn’t say I know any of them at all, having experienced pleasure and privelege of wider shared company on rare occasion, I’d probably wish for a fantastic regional poet or writer I’ve made vague acquaintance with, such as Wayne Burrows or Emma Cocker.

Or a regional artist I respect such as Simon Withers, Nadim Chaudry. Or so many others from any one of a number of co-participants from some of the workshops and short courses I attended at a Midlands gallery on and off for a couple of years a way back.

Any of the students I was blessed to encounter and share collaborative art time with before dropping out during my first year at uni would always be welcome.

All or any of the lads from Gaffa (or Wholesome Fish) would be most welcome too, as I missed much of the original music scene happening but was fortunate enough to catch a reunion gig or hear word of mouth happenings or still have an old flier or two here and there…

Anyone willing to spare and share time for conversation with another is a special person indeed, but I don’t do long chats well, myself. Hence many a good friend or close acquaintance might feel left out and lacking specific mention is not to exclude them.

However, last, but not at all least, and probably over all – a wonderful lady called Miffy, who took me and my baby son in for a week or more whilst at risk and in fear. She’d never met us, but on the word of our close mutual friend (whom I’ve not seen for so long I could not exclude her) on arrival in my desperate circumstance, she didn’t hesitate to provide shelter and support. I still have a book on my shelf originally belonging to each of these special people.

I’d probably feel more comfortable being the tea-laddy (for polite company) as I need to keep on my feet and keep moving and don’t enjoy being seated much at all. I’ve still a stack of dishes to wash, would need a run to the store for refreshments (and would probably do just that for anyone dropping by, if I could at such time).

You might have forewarned me to be better prepared for such pipe-dreams. I’ve to change out of grubby stuff quick sharp from a leisurely gardening break, most days of most weeks. So, it’s all out the window, with the pie in the sky, for a rain check… and I’m off to the kitchen to meet with the sink and the suds, and some Foo Fighters to wash up with, most likely. Happy days : )