Rare Social Commentary

04 Apr


It is not very often that I decide to spurt forth in general commentary about the woes of the world and the idiots who try and run it.  But well, the dam has sprung a leak, the gasket is blown, the patience over stretched.  Stand back … no bit further, juuuuust a bit further, you should be all right there, maybe just a baby step more.

BEDROOM TAX – Now yes I agree, there does need to be a shake up of the system, who gets where, who gets given what and how much benefit, plus work also on fraudulent and erroneous claims.  There has become a culture of “I am owed” rather than “I need help”.  I do not think this new ruling should apply to 2-bed housing because nowhere has the stock of 1-bed alternatives.  Yes, a social house is not a house for life, I appreciate people put time and effort and money into their ‘home’, their castle, their secure dwelling but the fact remains, it is not a property for life, but a dwelling to fit the needs; things have reached a point where demands out strips supply.  When it was first hinted that such a system would come in, Jeremy Vine covered the topic and he had an irate widow call in saying how wrong it was, how unfair that her married daughter and three children were crammed in a two bed house because there were no alternatives.  When asked about her own home [3-bed council house] Jeremy said “Shouldn’t you give up your house for families like you daughter?”, she had no answer and just kept on about how her house is where her husband die, where her children grew up, where her grandchildren visit once a month etc.

Even with this system there are inconsistencies galore.  I have two friends both in the same situ, living in a 2-bed social housing bungalow adapted for wheelchair living, they have day carers and night carers, both are subject to the changes where the second bedroom is deemed as ‘spare’ and therefore their Housing Benefit has been reduced.  Neither Council has 1-bed wheelchair useable properties.  Both wrote to their respective Councils and outlined [with medical statements etc] that the second bedroom was needed for the night carer to use, to sleep in, to be available when needed in the night [which they are every night at least twice].  One Council wrote back and said they agreed for the second bedroom need and that the property would be exempt from the reduction in benefit – woohoo result common sense prevails.  The other Council wrote back and stated that they considered the night shift to be a ‘waking shift and not a ‘sleeping shift’, therefore the second bedroom would not be needed and the reduction remains in place – gob-smacking stunned jaw-dropping unbelievable.  Her saga continues.

Can no suited big-wig see that ideas, ideals and protocols of the past thirty+ years have meant that the stock of social houses has dwindled significantly [for each one purchased, how many have been built to replace, 20%, 25%?].  
Can they not see that the hike in house costs and lack of affordable mortgages means that there will be a greater demand for social housing?
Can no one see that force repossessions as those struggling lose their jobs and have to give up their homes, increases the demand for social housing?
Can no one see that as medicine advances, there will be more and more demand for properties suitable for those with physical and mental disabilities?

BENEFIT REFORMS – Yes the system does need overhauling, it needs completely reworking.  Again, attention needs to be given in what circumstances it is paid and work on fraudulent and erroneous claims.  Some, many see it as free money, and a right, they don’t see where it comes from, the VAT on chocolate biscuits, the extra 5p on the income tax, the stopping of a children’s play ground.  If a person or couple decide that they want twelve children, good luck to them but if they make that decision they also take on the responsibilities and consequences of that decision – there should be no “I want 12 kids, give me house, car, tv’s, iphones, holidays, living money, now”.  If someone wants the iPhone5 then fine, but they have to take on the consequences of having that device, they have to earn the funds to pay for it and be responsible with it – because it is a must-have social item does not mean it is a ‘give-me-now” item for a face-less entity to provide.  There have been no implementation of new rules for benefits, they are being applied more strictly and sanctions and consequences are being metered out as per the guidance and procedures guides, where as historically rules have not been applied so stringently.  There are a great number of people in receipt of disability benefits where the disability is not as debilitating or restriction as they once were.  Rules were applied laxly in the 1980’s to avoid increased operational costs.

Can the fat-cats not see that as people are made redundant and laid off, more will urn to benefits and the benefit bill will increase?
Can they not comprehend that taking someone off disability to go into work, if there is no work will put them back on benefits?

JUSTICE AND SENTENCING – The recent Philpott Trial whilst it has been harrowing and incredible also brings up other questions.  The Prison Service is over stretched, sentences are being declared and decided upon because of number incarcerated and not as per the weight of the crime, 17 years for mass murder of children?  Disgusting.  There has been reports of the over use of ‘cautions’ instead of court declared convictions for so called minor offences.

Do the Tsar’s not see that increased population + increased poverty + red tape inconsistency, means more are pushed to crime and more will be guilty of crime and therefore need appropriate punishments.  And I don’t mean a cushy cell with sky tv, I mean the removal of civil liberties.

HOSPITALS AND THE NHS – across the weekend our major hospital in Norwich had to erect an incident tent because of the delays in handing over patients to A&E.  Why was it taking so long.  Because the hospital is too small, too understaffed, too under bedded for the increase in population and increase in accidents. It was said so when pen was put to architect drawings that it needed to be 50% bigger to cope with the expanding needs of the area.  The Ambulance Service has been lambasted and stoned for poor service, but again it is under funded, under staffed and under equipped.

It’s time to take the politics out of politics … the house needs to be out in order and everyone has to work together towards clearing up the mess and getting things back on track. Of course it will never happen because of the fundamental flawed element, humans.  Some will always have more, get more, do more than others, some will lie more, cheat more and blame more than others.

The Tree of Life is dying … time to trim the top 1% and feed the roots … or call the vet and put is all down.

Wasted too much time on this rant today.


Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized


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4 responses to “Rare Social Commentary

  1. Bushka

    April 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Hope you feel just a ‘tad’ better for ventilating your feelings here….;) Hugs! :)xxxx


    • amgroves

      April 6, 2013 at 11:54 am

      Well yes and well no, lol [when do I ever make things simples] … it sort of unleashed a mini flood to which my big Sister has said I am officially a member of the “Grumpy OLD woman” club …. as I replied she was a found member I would be in excellent company!



  2. gillyk

    April 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I really appreciate this rant, amgroves. There’s a lot of thought in it and I agree with you. I’ve been saying for ages that there is no joined-up thinking, and in any case, governments tend only to be interested in being re-elected, so a lot of their decisions are short-term and angled towards getting votes. The day somebody comes up with long-term solutions that are fair, will be the day they get my vote!


    • amgroves

      April 6, 2013 at 11:59 am

      I follow your thinking … even politics has becme selfish with the ‘I’ and ‘me’ … where is the greater goo, problems cannot be solved within 5 years … they make changes in the first 2 then start thinking what crap of doodoo they can leave for the next incumbent but leaving a get-out-clause should it happen to be themselves again.

      Globalisation has not equalized everything, there never will be a level playing field – business wants to buy low and sell high, the consumer wants to buy low.

      Like you say there needs to be joied-up thinking, a cross party structure to take care of Health, Education, Policing, Justice/Prisons, Soclal care, etc .. these elements need to be beyond politics.



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