Posts Tagged ‘sickness benefits’

Next Stop Ducking Stool

August 18, 2010

I must confess I am afraid. I went with my neighbour Nobby for our usual trip to Costa Coffee Shop. I ordered my usual mocha freshcato (primo), a drink that I am convinced contains about two hundred million calories. The only newspapers in the rack were The Daily Mail and The Express. Both had scream-out-loud headlines about benefit scroungers.  Lately, the right wing press have been getting their jollies by excoriating benefit claimants and it feels like a witch hunt.  Their efforts to whip up the masses into a frenzy of hatred against benefit claimants appear to be working if the comments section of The Daily Mail online is to be believed.  Everyone hates The Daily Express so only a couple of people have bothered commenting there.

Today, both The Mail and The Express are aiming their vitriol at those who claim incapacity benefit.  It is alleged that approximately 900,000 people have been wrongly awarded this benefit.  Note that they do not use the word ‘fraud’ but it is not so subtly implied.

Now, as I understand it, in the past few years new and stricter rules have been introduced in order to make it more difficult, and in some cases, impossible to claim incapacity benefit.  Those who claimed before this point, under the old rules, acted in good faith and cannot be said to be defrauding the system.  It would be illogical, not to mention hideously unfair, to accuse them of this.

Here’s a useful analogy: take a sports game of two halves.  If the players adhered to rules enforced in the first half which were then changed in the second half, it would be unfair to retrospectively penalise these players for failing to follow the newly introduced rules in the first half.  This is, in effect, what these two tabloid ‘newspapers’ are doing to benefit claimants.

I am becoming afraid of my own species, paralysed  by terror.

Because this feels personal.

Sick Enough to be Hospitalised

June 9, 2010

In Response to this. * I have a mental illness: schizo-affective disorder. I know this because I have been told by a very clever consultant psychiatrist. I am ill enough to have to take medication replete with negative side effects. I am ill enough to be sectioned. I am ill enough to be imprisoned against my will. I am ill enough to be forcibly treated. I am ill enough to be barred from certain countries and certain professions. But in the eyes of some I am not ill enough to be financially supported by the state, or anyone else for that matter. Please explain this to me, Mr. Bartholomew..

*Scroll down to MAY 28, 2010, in which the site owner pontificates over the future of ‘the sick’ most of whom are fakes.  His trackbacks do not work.

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