2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Advertisements

WOW Petition

Press Release From WOWPetition – Embargoed Until 8:00PM Tuesday December 18th

wowpetitionFrom Stephanie Garner

On Tuesday, disabled and sick people, people with learning and mental health difficulties, their families and carers will launch a petition calling for an end to the War on Welfare being waged by their own government.

The Welfare budget, and particularly benefits going to sick and disabled people, has been heavily and unfairly targeted for cuts. It is said we can no longer afford the current welfare state. In reality however, as a percentage of GDP, the welfare budget is now lower than it was at any time during the eighties. While at the same time the combined wealth of Britain’s 1,000 richest people increased by almost 5% to over £414bn.

In order to resist the government’s cruel and failing welfare policies, sick and disabled people, together with their carers, families and friends, have combined using social media to produce the #WOWpetition. This calls for an end to the War on Welfare. Spearheaded by actress and comedian Francesca Martinez the WOW petition aims to get 100,000 signatures to end this War On Welfare by the government. We will be calling for a Cumulative Impact Assessment, an independent inquiry and if necessary, the repeal of the Welfare Reform Act of 2012.

We believe that every single person in the country has a reason to resist the War on Welfare. Some of us may be fortunate enough not to need the safety net our Welfare State provides, but this could all change for any one of us, tomorrow. It only takes an accident or a shock diagnosis to render us ill or disabled, and dependent on a system of benefits and services which is currently being dismantled.

The ‘Greatest Generation’ fought WWII believing they had secured this safety net for themselves, their children and generations to come. Don’t let it go without a fight! We owe it to them. We owe it to ourselves to ensure a decent and dignified life for all who are sick and disabled, and to provide security for all our futures. The deaths of disabled people linked to the Welfare Reform Act and the Work Capability Assessment administered on behalf of the Government by the private corporation Atos are reported in the press with alarming regularity. We believe that in any humane society the Government would want to know if one of their flagship policies was in any way responsible for a ‘slow genocide’ of the sick and disabled.

Please join Francesca and the WOW campaign in resisting the deaths and unnecessary suffering being caused:

Sign wowpetition.com

wow petition forum

For more information please contact: info@wowpetition.com

Stephanie Garner

An open letter to Government

To whom it may concern,

I would like to write a unique account of how these cuts are affecting me and my family both in health and day to day living, because what this Government are doing is so wrong and are no more than a bunch of arrogant and uncaring posh boys that will do great harm to this nation if they are not stopped indeed the writing is already on the wall.

I watched the chancellor’s autumn statement and was horrified at what I was watching because they seem hell bent of swinging that wrecking ball all in the name of capitalism and the square mile that is the so called city, does humanity, compassion and understanding count for nothing anymore? Because they seem to have an “I’m alright jack” attitude that will do nothing to repair the damage left behind by the banking and financial sector and create growth that this nation is crying out for. Not a week goes by without still reading the damage done by our banking industry from Money laundering to libor rate fixing these are very serious issues and what happens? They get away with a fine that the citizens will end up paying for over the long term these are like I say very serious issues that the banks must be held account for and punished and not given a slap on the wrist.

The low paid, disabled, unemployed, elderly and single mothers are the ones paying for the mistakes, grave errors and no doubt criminality of the financial industry this is quite simply not fair at all.

Growth is what is needed and to create growth you need citizens from all walks of life spending as it is that alone that increases manufacturing and building, this is why this Governments policies will not work because the more citizens spend the more revenue in taxes is brought in to pay down the deficit, why is Osborne not listening?

The Welfare System is a very important part of our nation’s fabric and it should be added that welfare claimants are also tax payers indeed everyone is as there is no escaping from it because they will also be paying via vat, fuel duty, insurance premium tax and many others taxes imposed on its citizens indeed so much of what is paid in welfare benefits the Government claws back via taxation whether that be via stealth or any other method.

I am one of a few who choose not to believe what is written in the press as most if not all does not give the real facts and thus is written to confuse and deceive instead I use press articles as a medium to do my own research as that gives a more balanced view and a conclusion nearer to the truth.

As I said above I am disabled and thus under the cosh of this Government is that fair? Hell no as my text below will explain.

At the age of just 27 my life nearly ended so much so that my heart stopped beating on the operating table this my wife tells me, I had a subarachnoid hemorrhage of the middle cerebral artery that needed a 12 hr operation to carry out a deep invasive craniotomy so that the aneurysm could be clipped. I was then put under induced coma for 2 months to limit brain activity and help reduced the swelling of my brain due to the trauma caused.

This operation caused a stroke of which I was warned could happen by the surgeon but it was either that or die, so no choice really and thus gave consent for the operation, from this point my life changed completely as I was a wheelchair user at just 27 years old, however I was not one for giving up and chose the hard route back to relative fitness.

I am now 49 years old and have dumped the wheelchair but walking is still limited due to right sided spasticity indeed I will never regain 100% fitness and health, I have come to accept that although the DWP and ATOS think I will be fit enough to return to work in 11 months. My mind boggles how that will be possible.

You see I did return to full time employment for 17 yrs post stroke doing various manual labour jobs until the spasticity pain and joint degeneration got too much to bare any longer so on getting made redundant from my last job in 2007 I decided to take 6 months out to recover and seek more physiotherapy of my hand and drop foot in the hope I could continue with the job search because I am far from being a scrounger perceived by Government, I am old school and value the ethos of a working life as it was taught to me from a very early age from my late dad who was a serving Royal Marine from 42 Commando.

After this period of employment inactivity due to having a well earned break and having more physiotherapy I decided to look for more work as by this time I was getting bored at home and was far from being a lazy scrounger as this Government likes to call us however it was during the time of the banking crash and mass redundancies so jobs were few and far between but still refusing to give up until one employer committed discrimination and refused to interview me sighting that their was no way he could employ me with the disabilities I had and given that their was 16 able bodied citizens also in the queue for interview.

I so wish I could have brought him to tribunal however the is no employment law for interviewees so just had to suck it and move on, this employer said I would be better off on disability benefits if only he knew now how hard they are to get and keep if you do not tow the Governments line of mandatory work fare that now applies to all disabled citizens whether they can work or not.

So on the bus home in deep thought as to my next move I thought maybe he is right, why am I putting myself through this, after all I had been working for the last 17yrs full time often doing many hours overtime so maybe he is right and I should claim the benefits I have never claimed before but had entitlement too having paid my tax and national insurance all these past years since I returned to work and the years before the SAH Stroke.

Maybe then I could devote my time to caring for my elderly mother in law with my wife and doing some hours voluntary for the stroke association and/or league of friends as that would be working with citizens who care and understand the rock and a hard place I find myself in.

So that was my plan going forward which I am sure you will agree is honourable and worthy so I went back to my GP to explain this in the hope he would sign me off so I could claim Incapacity Benefit, this he did and I found my simple life being fulfilled and away from the dogma that the private sector is becoming in their pursuit for fat profits.

I never wanted to be rich just earning enough to pay my way and be the good British citizen is all I ever wanted and that still holds true as I find humanity, compassion and understanding greater than the power of money which I see as the beholder of war.

I am grateful of the SAH Stroke that struck me down in a matter of minutes why? Because it has made me the person I am today and I feel that is a better person than the one before however please tell me why I feel the need to watch prime ministers question time because all I see is a load of spoilt brats who feel the need to slander the opposite party, make derogatory remarks and belittle the British citizen indeed some of the quotes which I will not repeat here are simply disgusting and thus parliamentary standards have never been so low. Oh how this Government make their citizens out to be so bad which they pass to the press and media all in their pursuit to swell there bank balances never has the gap between the haves and the have not’s been so great they must be so proud of themselves oh to be an MP.

I have never claimed any disability benefits until October 2008 and never claimed any mortgage interest help because buying my home was my decision and thus fail to see why I should get help with that indeed I want to pay my mortgage by me and me alone as the feeling of ownership once paid will be greater, sadly I cannot say the same for our Government who think it is a god given right to have there mortgage interest paid on second homes the disparity between MP’s and its citizens is truly shocking indeed.

David Cameron once said that this Government would be transparent is that a true reflection I ask myself, well it depends in what context he uses the word transparent because in some ways yes he is because I and many others can see right through him and what his aims are like a sheet of glass on the shard building.

I now have a health condition called Keratinizing Squamous Metaplasia of the bladder as if the SAH Stroke was not enough to deal with it is a condition that not enough is known about but suffice to say it can lead to a carcinoma if not regularly kept in check via cystoscopy of the bladder.

I had to move GP because of a misdiagnosis and a failure to carry out a simple swab test that takes seconds to do and had he had done so the white blood cells in urine would have been spotted 2 years ago and possibly saved my bladder which now may have to be removed, I have another biopsy this Friday 14th December but as I have seen the cystoscopy images I know the prospect is not good a fine Christmas present indeed.

Have you ever had incontinence? It is not good having to have a radar key and having to plan everywhere I go to ensure toilets are available.

So again I find myself having to fight the DWP and ATOS to get the benefits I am entitled to, am I not disabled enough, over the years I have saved this wonderful government of ours thousands of pounds by not claiming benefit until their was a real need as I had an entitlement to Disability Living Allowance since April 1990 but did not claim this until October 2008 and never claimed support for mortgage interest.

We also care for our mum at home and would never dream of putting her in care so have saved this wonderful Government thousands of pounds their too and not forgetting the under payments since my claim due to them being wrong.

Do I really deserve the shocking treatment being given to me? Do I really deserve more cuts that will be imposed on us come April 2013? I truly believe not but then who am I to say as I am just a British citizen and no more than cannon fodder to be trampled on.

I live in hope that our wonderful Government sees the light and changes its ways before my life comes to an end and that I can then live out my life in peace without the constant worry of just what will this Government do next.

Finally I will apologise if this letter is blunt in places, however it is no more that is dished out by our government often on a day by day basis.

I look forward to hearing from you