austerity is class war

Posted: March 3, 2013 in anarchy, politics, protest

austerity is class war.

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NO DASH FOR GAS

EDF is trying to sue the activists from No Dash For Gas for £5 million. The activists shut down the first in a new generation of gas power stations, which if built will mean we won’t hit our climate targets.  You can help No Dash For Gas by leaving a nice message on the EDF Facebook page by clicking here.

For more information, click on the following links:

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The Guardian

No Dash For Gas

GOVERNMENT WORKFARE PROGRAM

The government’s workfare program is basically endorsing slave labour.  There is not other way around it.  Expecting people to work around 35 hours a week to get their measily £69 worth of dole money means that they have to work well below minimum wage.  Nobody is suggesting that working for your benefit money is a bad idea, but fair pay for fair labour should always overrule.  Here is a list of the companies that have agreed to take part in the workfare program.  Send them a message to show how you disagree with what they are doing.  Try to be eloquent, that always hits them harder than swearing at them.

To make life easier for you, there is also a fantastic template you can follow to send them your message of discontent.  Use Facebook, Twitter, email and everything else you can think of.

Remember, one person can make a difference at that one person may just be you!

Dear [Use full name if apparent]

I am a longstanding customer of [Name of retail outlet] but I have decided to boycott your company because I object to your involvement in mandatory unpaid labour (Workfare) schemes. I believe that the exploitation of unpaid labour is morally wrong and urge you to reconsider your involvement with these DWP Workfare placements.

I believe that as a responsible employer, your company has an obligation to meet the statutory Minimum Wage for all of your employees. I shall continue my boycott until I am provided with satisfactory evidence that your company is no longer involved in these mandatory work schemes and agrees to the principle that all employees deserve to earn at least the UK National Minimum Wage. I also believe that it is actually in your own interests that these unpaid labour schemes are abandoned, since workers with wages in their pockets are consumers and consumer spending is the principal driver of demand in the retail sector. It may seem counter intuitive that paying your staff better wages would increase your profitability, however Henry Ford demonstrated that he understand this economic principle almost 100 years ago when he made the decision to price his cars low and to pay his workers reasonably well.

I would like your company to make a public statement (press release) explicitly stating these two things:

1 That your company is no longer involved in any of the various unpaid labour or “work-for-your-benefits” schemes administered by the DWP or by private sector interests working on their behalf.

2. That it is company policy that all workers (including trainees) are paid in accordance with the National Minimum Wage.

I would appreciate it if the issues I have raised were dealt with by someone in authority. I shall look forward to hearing your response to these concerns.

Yours

[Your Name]

Complaining – it works

Posted: February 17, 2013 in Fun, protest, social

I have recently started a one woman action against the driving parents at one of our local senior schools and have made great strides.  It has had newspaper coverage and road signs have been repainted as a consequence.  Baby steps, but we are getting there.  More on that some other time.  I decided that it was about time I ceased to be a couch potato and took up an age old hobby of mine – swimming.  That is, until I saw the price of it.  Couch potato doesn’t sound so bad after all.  However, why should I have to get unhealthy simply because sports are unaffordable?  Isn’t that wrong?  So, I have emailed the Forum (where our local swimming baths are), to see how their prices work.  My email is below, I’m looking forward to their reply.

Take a guess first, however.  I foresee one of four options:

  1. They won’t reply at all, or only send a standard “thank you for your interest bla bla” response
  2. They will tell me that they appreciate my concerns but…
  3. They will give me a voucher for one free swimming session but won’t change a thing
  4. They will waver the administration fees (a girl can dream right)?

Which one do you think it will be?  Or have I overlooked an option.  Here’s my email anyway.

To whom it may concern,

I would like further information about the following:

Monthly – 6 month Committed swimming membership

All for only…

£20.00 per month per individual 

£16.00 per month per individual concession** 

Please note a one off administration fee of £25.00 is payable for this package.

First of all, you state that the subscription is “only” £20 a month (I believe this is now £19.75?).  Considering FULL membership to the Forum and all its activities is “only” around £25 a month, would it be possible to only pay £6 a month and use everything except the pool?  I can already guess that your answer to that is going to be no, but I do hope it illustrates how bizarre your pricing plans are.  All I want to do is swim, I have no interest in going to any classes or to use any equipment except for your pool.  I find it completely unfair that I should have to pay 80% of a full membership, when I only want to use a single facility.  I’m sure you will now say that this is simply the way your pricing works, but before I part with my money, I would like to know why this is the way your pricing works.  We live in a very difficult global economy at present and enabling people to stay and get healthy should be a priority, but you make it very difficult for us.  I currently do not work, nor am I in receipt of any benefits.  As a consequence, I am not even able to receive the Option 3 leisure card.  Why is it that people like myself always have to get penalised?

My second issue is the “one off administration fee of £25”.  Having worked as an administration worker for many years myself, I know how very little admin workers are paid.   An admin fee of £25 would suggest that you require somebody to work for 4 to 5 hours just to enter my details on your system.  If you were to provide me access to one of your computers, I will enter my own details in about 10 minutes, and I will even do that free of charge.  Again, please explain to me where this seemingly random amount of £25 comes from, and why there is even a need to charge this, consider the exorbitant amount a month you will already be charging me for swimming.

I look forward to your reply.

 

I hate them.  Not just out of some misplaced sense of jealousy because I don’t drive.  I quite simply can’t drive.  I can park (even parallel), I can change gears, I can reverse around a corner.  What I can’t do, however, is steer.  At all.  In fact, the only car I have ever driven without banging into a curb or driving straight over the roundabout (and I do mean STRAIGHT OVER), was a 1969 Morris Minor.  But I thank my lucky stars for the fact that I can’t drive, because drivers are, quite frankly, wankers.  All of them.  Not just the taxi drivers or the white van men, just all of them!

My Mode of Transportation

I walk and I cycle.  And I have never felt like I couldn’t get anywhere.  If the destination is a little bit too far, I’ll take a train or a bus and walk from there.  Besides the fact that it is reasonably convenient, it is better for the environment and a whole lot better for my health as well.  I try to instil these values into my son as well, who, at just five years old, cycled from my home to the beach, a good hour or so bike ride across hills and busy roads.  Find me a five year old who can do that when he or she has parents that drive everywhere?

My Major Gripe

My major gripe at the moment is with a senior school where I live.  The school is in the middle of a residential area and parents INSIST on driving their kids to school.  As a consequence, the whole residential area is at a complete standstill twice a day.  This wouldn’t annoy me so much, because I don’t actually live in that particular area, so I don’t have a problem with crubs getting destroyed, not being able to get in or out of my own house, or the exhaust fumes.  What does annoy me, however, is that me and my son either cycle or walk there and almost get ran over every bloody time.

What I Have Done

So, I’m seriously pissed off and I’m taking action.  I hate people who complain to others but refuse to stand up and actually do something.  So far, I have done the following:

  • Play lollipop lady every morning by simply jumping in front of the cars and letting everybody pass at a leisurely pace.
  • Petitioning residents to ask for a solution and sending this to the local council.
  • Write to my MP.  He recently wrote a letter saying changing the area into a one way system wasn’t feasible.  Fuck a one way system, parents need to stop dropping their kids off in front of the school.   The school is within walking distance of a town centre, a large supermarket and a number of other main roads, why not drop them off there?
  • Speak to the school.  Who, by the way, casually informed me that the children at their school could not be expected to have sufficient road sense, mainly because the school is responsible for these children and doesn’t want to get sued.  No, of course kids don’t have any bloody road sense if they get driven EVERYWHERE!!!

I am now in the process of making a huge sign with “kids can walk” or another catchy text, which I intend to hold up to the cars whenever I get passed them.  The other thing I have done is scream at any driver who does the typical driver thing and just simply doesn’t look.  If you are a driver, do you have any concept of the fact that you are driving in a huge killing machine?  Getting ran over by a car doesn’t just hurt, it kills.  So open your fucking eyes and pay attention to the rest of the road.  Particularly since I may only be a person on a bike, but I still have right of way!  I don’t have a driver’s license and even I know shark teeth on the road mean you bloody well have to stop.

I would really welcome any ideas anybody else has about what I can do.  I’m getting to the point now that I’m tempted to track the cars and simply slash their tires, or write offensive messages on their cars with battery acid or something (I did write a message of sarcastic thanks in the dust on one of the cars the other day).  So yeah, any thoughts, let me know!

Posted: October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ian Bone

 

Loyal: Morrison with Baroness Thatcher in 1990
 
Sir Peter Morrison PPS to Thatcher and vice- chairman of the tory party linked to 600 attacks on boys in North Wales care homes over 20 years. William Hague was secretary of state for wales at the time and must have known – as must Thatcher.

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I struggled for a long time in deciding whether or not I was going to write this particular blog.  See, the following story isn’t controversial.  It isn’t political.  It doesn’t attack the system or open your eyes to injustices in the world.  However, it is a story about positive energy, and that is also a recurring theme in this blog.  What I struggle with, however, is that this is my own story.  This is what happened to me.  I wasn’t sure whether I was ready or not to share it.  I wasn’t sure whether or not I was ready to have people know exactly what has been going on inside me for the past few years.  But then I thought, I have learned from the two seriously horrible experiences that I have gone through.  It has given me a positive outlook on life.  It has changed the way I am profoundly and for that, I thank these horrible experiences.  So, I think I am ready to tell what has happened, not in the least because it will make me feel better – I hope.

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago, I fell pregnant for the first time.  I was over the moon.  It was planned, it was the next logical step in our relationship, it was right.  Everything went well, until, at 22 weeks pregnancy, I went for a scan and something seemed wrong.  I had what is known as Intra Uterine Growth Retardation, which meant my baby wasn’t growing.  I spent four weeks on bed rest and had to deliver at 26 weeks.  My baby had only grown a little bit since that 22 week scan, meaning she was just 1lb and half an ounce in weight.  I ruined my body in delivering her, forfeiting my chance of ever delivering naturally again.  Small price to pay, to be honest.  Piper was born and she fought like mad.  She fought for six weeks, until she finally had to give up.  See, I am hugely pro-choice.  I don’t care what your reasons are for abortion, if you need one, it is your decision.  However, I beg of people, please don’t leave the abortion limit at 24 weeks.  That is a living, viable child that doctors will deliver and leave to die.  24 weeks is too late.  This was one of the positive lessons I learned from this horrible experience.  Abortion is ok, but only to a point.  What I mainly learned, however, is what it means to be a parent, to be willing to give your life up for someone else without having to think about it.  What I learned is what true love means and that is the lasting legacy of the very short life of my gorgeous little girl and for that, I thank her every day.  Losing her was the worst day of my life, but at least I had the pleasure and honour of knowing her for six weeks.

Three Months Ago

Since Piper was born and died, I’ve had two miscarriages before finally giving birth to a gorgeous little boy, who is my absolute life.  However, a few months ago, we felt the time was right to try one more time.  I was about to give up when the magical second blue line appeared.  I was pregnant.  Once again over the moon, I went to a festival with some friends and was dancing to some beautiful music when I felt a pang.  Worried that I was miscarriaging, I checked for blood but there was none.  Suddenly feeling very faint, I grabbed on to the nearest first aider, who took me to the Red Cross post that was at the festival.  My blood pressure kept dropping and eventually they decided to rush me to hospital.  From here on end, things went from bad to worse.  The pain I have experienced is still fresh in my mind and I don’t think it will ever go away.  I was delirious, decided to get up and fainted.  At 6 foot tall, that is quite a drop, and I suffered a significant concussion from my fall.  Eventually, a scan revealed what the surgeon feared: I was having an ectopic pregnancy and it had ruptured.  I was, basically, bleeding to death.

Rushed to the surgery room, in my delirious state, I thought the surgeon was trying to murder me when they were putting a mask on me to put me under anaesthetic.  I fought like made, getting the mask off some three or four times before finally going under.

When I woke up, I had once again been sliced open.  The doctor rushed to my side and explained it had been a really close call.  I had lost almost four litres of blood and ended up having seven bags of blood, which still left me anaemic.

My world was shattered.  Strangely, not because of losing a child.  The baby was never a baby to me, since it wasn’t viable anyway.  What worried me was that I had come so close to losing my life.  Really dying.  Right after I was dancing in a field to some beautiful music.  What was that about?  I now have post-traumatic stress disorder as well.  That stupid anaesthetic cap won’t leave me alone and keeps coming back to me.  I struggled with the whole dying thing.  I was so bloody easy.  There was no white light, there was no outer body experience, no nothing.  I was just gone.  And worst of all, the world didn’t stop with me.  That was a really weird experience and it made me feel quite insignificant.  And to top it all of, I can’t have kids anymore now because of the three sections your out rule and because it’s too risk…

Now, I promised you something positive, but I had to get the horrible bits of my chest.  In fact, I wrote this quite a few days ago now, toying with whether or not to post it.  It’s such a personal story and still so raw.  But I need to get it off my chest.  I went to see my therapist yesterday who said there is nothing else he can do for me.  I guess I have reached a new level of crazy…  What he really meant was that I need more specialised treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, which I will be getting soon, but it still felt pretty weird being told that.

Now for the positive note, however.  I have learned something hugely important.  You know when people say you could cross the street and get hit by a bus?  They mean it.  You really can have the best day of your life and find yourself dead a few hours later.  I have learned that you don’t have a minute, not even a second, to waste in this lifetime.  It will, one day, be over.  Just like that.  Your day may be today, it may be tomorrow, or it may be in 100 years, but your day will come.  I have learned that I will therefore not spend a single moment of my day doing something I genuinely don’t want to do (I would love to give up my job, but there’s no chance of that lol).  I won’t spend another second of my life being bored.  I will seize the day, every day, all day long.  I will tell people how I feel, that I love them and that they matter to me.  I will make them know that they make life worth living.  I want to tell everybody that you shouldn’t be complacent.  Don’t live your life doing things because you have to, do them because you want to.  Wake up every morning with a smile on your face and remember it is another day in which you have a chance to be happy and change the world.  I’ve gone through hell and back and through absolute shit, but I am grateful for that, because it has made me who I am and I, personally, really like myself.

I love the word fuck.  It has to be the most amazing word in the English language.  You can use it fucking everywhere, can’t you?  Plus, it is a word with feeling.  Fuck yeah it is!  And, when you really think about it, it isn’t a rude word at all, talking instead of love.  For fucking real!

Saying the Word Fuck

You can always say fuck.  You can say it when you are doing what the word actually denotes, but that is why less fun.  Imagine stubbing your toe.  It fucking hurts right?  But that’s where the word comes in so beautifully.  You can put all your pain into that one, simple, four lettered word.  The “f” can be drawn out, coming from your mouth.  The “u” can be equally drawn out and comes straight from your belly.  The “ck” comes right from the toe you have stubbed.  Fucking amazing!  There is no better feeling than saying it at the right time.

It’s not Such a Bad Word

We are raised not to say bad words, and fuck is the big bad word isn’t it?  Kids all over England are told never, ever, to say the “f word”.  Instead, they are told to bugger off or that they are little buggers.  Any clues on what that actually means?  It means something a whole lot worse than “fuck” when you think about it.  Although they are somewhat intertwined of course.

It’s All about Feeling

Now add to that the fact that fuck simply means making love.  When you say “fuck you” to someone, you are actually complimenting them, telling them that they are quite physically attractive.  Plus, you are spreading a message of peace and love across the world.  Nothing wrong with that right?  I say you should say fuck as much as possible, in the most creative possible way.

Then again, I guess you might say I am a bit of a hypocrite.  I don’t want my 6 year old saying fuck.  However, I most certainly don’t want to hear him say bugger either.  It’s not so much about the politeness and shit, swearing is not very polite after all, it’s more the fact that I just don’t think he’s quite ready to yield the awesome power of the word fuck.  He might use it too much and the word might lose its power.  Because the fact is that if someone suddenly decided that fuck wasn’t a swear word anymore, and you would hear global leaders say it all the time during board meetings or shit, it wouldn’t be such a nice word anymore.  So no, use it, use it all the time, but for fuck’s sake, do know when to stop as well!