Our country was ticking along fairly well,we could have done with a more productive economy(making things as well as selling and serving them) but having lost mining and ship-building(1) amongst others we were muddling along. No one was starved or deliberately made destitute by the state.
Then the banks gambled once too often with our and the countries money,everything crashed and we nearly bankrupt the nation bailing them out,and as is the way of things that vocal minority who once were skin-headed boot-boys and football hooligans blamed it on people they considered not of their tribe. Their moans were picked up on by right-wing political parties and press, in whose favour it was ,that the money market gamblers didn’t take the blame. So more people came to hear that it was the fault of Johnny Foreigner and everyone voted UKIP locally,thinking that because Farage(2) liked a smoke with his pint he was ‘one of us’ except of course he is a hypocrite of the first degree,wants rid of foreign incomers except of course his German wife,tells everyone the NHS needs to be privatised, until he is out campaigning proper, when suddenly he is the NHS best friend forever,and nobody noticed he was an ex
gambler commodities trader.
When that only worked locally everyone read the daily mail and decided that it’s opinions(obviously not those of it’s owner)(anyone know of a snark mark I could insert here?) Lord Rothermere (3)one of the richest man in Britain who is also registered as a nom-dom so avoids paying his fair share) were the ones to agree with,so shed loads of sheep voted conservative and are now crying because their benefits are being cut or downgraded which include amongst other things unemployment benefit/sickness and disability benefit and the now famous tax credit cuts (thanks to Question Time and women who voted conservative only to find her own benefits cut).
You all moaned about Johnny Foreigner ,scroungers and health tourism, the daily mail and the conservatives like to tell you that the cost of this is a huge burden on the NHS, but when the government did a study it turns out only £70million(4) is the cost,which sounds huge,except the NHS costs £109billion a year so is really just a drop in the ocean,so now every hospital,clinic and GP surgery spends time and therefore money checking every single patient is entitled to care, probably in the end costing more than the health tourists of legend.
So where are we now ?
We have sick people being told they are well enough to work and dying(5) in desperately awful situations,no money,food or heating and even the threat of eviction. The poor in this country haven’t had a decent pay rise(6) in years yet the bankers and market gamblers are becoming wealthier(7) by the day, those with a few bob to spare don’t want to pay so the health service is now so run-down that even junior doctors only earn £23000 a year and are about to strike(8) because the conservatives (who really want to sell everything that made this nation great) are running it down ready to flog off.So now we have less cancer drugs available,less nurses,and doctors are quitting and/or emigrating in droves and because of those who hate poor old foreigner it means that doctors and nurses will no longer be so easy to recruit from abroad.The MPs we all voted for get enormous amounts of paid expenses far exceeding anything most Brits get,who amongst you gets rent and power and council tax paid, for an extra home nearer work,all you get possibly is some mileage and £30ish a night for staying away. Their pensions are bloody enormous compared to ours and that brings me onto something else,have you ever wondered which benefits costs the country most money ? Bear in mind that all benefits used to come under the old National Insurance header. The biggest cost is pensions by a huge margin(see chart after rant).So when the conservatives realised that it was mostly xenophobic old white men who voted for them they didn’t just not cut pensions they gave them a decent raise.
We also have bedroom tax while MPs get spare homes,cuts to housing benefit for the poorest while those working pay the same, but can also own homes that they let out to rent. We have just had the conservatives announce that affordable homes are no longer a requirement for planning consent for builders,so will we be back to conservative politicians saying that the homeless are what you step over outside the theatre like Sir George Young, 6th Baronet and former MP for North West Hampshire is alleged to have done.Education is becoming more of a burden,all those older people who want to keep a decent pension and pay no tax are saying we can no longer afford a free university education having had it themselves,all those people who claimed benefits for years but now don’t qualify,including the multimillionaire PM Cameron who claimed DLA for his late son who now say other people don’t deserve it/we can’t afford it.We need Johnny Foreigner to work and pay tax because the big businesses and the wealthy don’t/won’t pay a decent share and there aren’t enough young working Brits to cover the bills.
So today is Rare disease day,did I miss it ? so what’s my rare condition, apart from pissed off that is, I am the only person known to have this version of what may, or may not be, hereditary spastic paraplegia. Well I saw a neurologist ,until I got a sort of diagnosis and that was that,I saw a geneticist who found out what my genetic error was and that was that.I saw someone at a bladder clinic as I have a bladder that screams ‘you need a wee’ every ten seconds,so as soon as I had a script, that was that. I was sent on a fatigue management course,which involved learning a mindfulness technique,which I already knew and practised and which doesn’t help one iota, so some private company is making a fortune, running a course that lasted 20-odd hours, to learn something of no use, that I already knew.I felt I had to attend because government rumbles at the time were saying that if you refused help you may well have your benefits sanctioned.Now I see an MS nurse yearly, who asks me a load of questions from a tick sheet, the majority of which are irrelevant to my condition,she confirms I am happy with my meds (pain meds and anti-spasm/stiffness drugs) and buggers off for another year……..
So now I see an MS nurse yearly and my GP every three years for a meds review.
I can’t walk 20 yards,I have fatigue so impressive I often wonder if it isn’t some mild form of narcolepsy, serious muscle weakening in one arm and parasthesias of epic proportions, tinnitus, an intention tremor, cramps and spasms like you wouldn’t believe and bouts of epic pain from an annoyed trigeminal nerve amongst others.Rare disease day would have completely passed me by had I not seen it mentioned on twitter.
Oh and the damned cat hat to go to the vet, it cost me £25 to find out he didn’t need any treatment.
So if you want a cat or a rare disease I really can help.
It started with a cat,it usually does round here……….I got up and discovered that one of the mogs had been sick in the food bowl (little darling) so I emptied it, but didn’t refill it soon enough it seems,hungry cats catch mice !
Claude the cat told me about the next problem,he was rooting around in the bottom of the pantry obviously after wildlife that had escaped his maws…….so I emptied the bottom of the pantry and a mouse jumped over my feet and ran under the washing machine.
So….I mumbled abuse at the cat then pulled out the washer,the cat caught the mouse and ran off out through the cat-flap with it. All to the good,except behind the machine was filthy,I had no washing to do and daughter number 3 is having the machine anyway.
Off I went, like a bull in a china shop, in that way I have……I cleaned behind the machine and then thought..’hmm no washing to do until Monday I will disconnect the machine so it is all ready to go.First I disconnected the waste pipe only to discover that the one way valve had failed and when I emptied stuff into the sink it came out in the cupboard below………So I had a thunk and decided I would and could still do some things….I turned off the tap where the washing machine filler pipe thingy connects and unscrewed the pipe……water everywhere and air blue from my language…..I reconnected the pipe ,turned off the water at the mains and then disconnected the water pipe again.
Now I can’t use the kitchen sink or water…….so I get in the new machine from the shed(thanks daughter number 2) which is an amazing feat of manoeuvring involving the use of sack barrow,mobility scooter and grunting,groaning and yet more bad language. So now I have a washing machine that works with lots of lights and digital stuff and no destructions,a spare one in the middle of the kitchen and I can’t get to the cooker,so muesli for dinner and shower and now I am in bed racked with spasms and pains.But I bloody beat it and the mouse got eaten,I even remembered to re-feed the cats.
The bedroom tax (I would call it withdrawal of the spare room subsidy but being given a spare room subsidy was never mentioned when I applied for housing benefit) is not a well thought out policy unless of course you really do feel that helping the less well off isn’t a part of a decent society.There aren’t enough small properties to downsize to http://www.housing.org.uk/media/press-releases/bedroom-tax-some-home-truths ,the ones available are for private rent and are more expensive than social housing http://england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns/why_we_campaign/improving_private_renting so cost the tax payer more,private landlords are increasingly turning down people on housing benefit http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2381330/Buy-let-landlords-turn-away-tenants-benefits-Universal-Credit-raises-concern-rent-unpaid.html and now this >>> http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/10/bedrooom-tax-affordable-homes-face-demolition?commentpage=1 pulling down three bedroom properties as no one can afford them now……..
I used to blog,a lot,I can no longer concentrate long enough to churn out daily posts,so this is my new blog, to update at a pace I can now manage.
I used to cook in a restaurant,grow all my own veggies,keep chooks, raise four kids alone, but the work became too heavy for me,I didn’t know why.
Then I got a job in the village shop,not only did the work become to heavy,I couldn’t manage to stand all day.I didn’t know why.
All this time the kids were slowly growing up and leaving home to start lives of their own.
Then I got the job of housekeeper in a big house in the village,I was paid for a set amount of hours but if it took longer it didn’t matter, as the bosses were out all day,then the week before I was going to hand in my notice as I could no longer manage(I didn’t know why) they told me redundancy was on the cards as Mrs Boss was giving up work to be a housewife.So I just about managed to stick it out.
I could barely walk but could ride a bike,I didn’t know why.
Then I was in lots of pain,the GP sent me to a rheumatologist, who sent me to a neurologist by which time I couldn’t walk, ride a bike or even stay awake long,after 2 years of appointments and tests it was found I had a rare, genetic, neurological disease,not only was it rare,mine was the only time they had seen this particular genetic error.So having found me a diagnosis, I was sent away with no real support,I haven’t seen anyone but an MS nurse in 18 months,no one wants an appointment with me and the MS nurse just reads from a check-list of questions that are irrelevant to my condition,asks what meds I want then writes to the GP with the list of medications
I want she recommends, I would dispense with her services but I suspect that having an MS nurse is the only thing that keeps the ATOS vultures at bay.
So now I sit at home and get very, very angry at our government and their attitude to sick and disabled people.