Benefits Scrounger…


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Having spent the majority of my adult life in full time employment and paying huge amounts in tax and national insurance from my weekly wage, I, like many others, including servicemen, health professionals and teachers foolishly believed that having paid into the system, our country may look after us should our situation change in terms of health or employment.

So after over 20 years of faithful service at my place of employment, I found myself no longer able to function in the workplace as my long-term schizophrenia became worse and my job that allowed me to work and function in near partial solitude was axed.

After a year or so of bouncing around the mental health sector, I became involved in numerous creative therapies & projects that allowed me to find coping mechanisms for my condition & hone my writing and performance skills, including a mental health theatre group for whom I wrote plays as performed by myself and other mental health service users in an effort to raise awareness of mental health issues, including 2 stage plays, 1 audio play and poetry CD.

I also had an album of my music released on a local record label that I had financed myself from my redundancy that raised money for the only school in Wales to cater to the educational needs of children with autism and with a live band of mental health sufferers, I was able to also use it as a vehicle to raise awareness of mental health issues. The album was considered for nomination in the Independent Music Awards.

In 2009, I found myself homeless, but am thankful that I have such good friends and family that allow me to couch surf between them, so as not to see me sleeping on the streets. And though my possessions have been in storage since then, until such time as I can afford a place of my own, I haven’t given up on my creative endeavours within the mental health sector. I have run creative writing groups, film making groups and been involved in numerous music and performance groups to promote Mad Pride and World Mental Health Day.

I’ve even had 10 books published, seven of which were in the running for the Welsh Book of the Year award. And though I barely get any sales and don’t turn a profit on any of my creative projects, I still feel that it’s an achievement that they are out there… I have been told on numerous occasions that my achievements are an inspiration to many within the mental health sector, not something I boast about generally, but seemed important to the context of this piece.

You see, all this time, after paying my way into the system for so many years and contributing my time and effort to the mental health sector, and despite my hardships, I didn’t doubt that my country would look after me. So imagine my surprise and upset to find that I am now deemed a benefit scrounger, like my years of paying into the system meant nothing. Now, my eyes are wide open…

Recently I have been contacted by the DWP (Dept of Work & Pensions) to tell me that my DLA (Disability Living Allowance) that I had previously been assured that I would receive for life is to axed & replaced by PIP (Personal Independance Payments) and that I have to apply for it anew… So far, after having filled out the form, Capita (The firm dealing with claims) have performed 3 alleged clerical errors in regard to dates & locations of the interviews, also deliberately antagonising myself or anyone who calls on my behalf, refusing to confirm anything, reminder letters with inaccurate information & phone calls, even on a Saturday afternoon to clarify the appointment, despite having confirmed it the day before in another phone call… The phone calls have since become daily… So I’m left to ponder, are Capita yet another bunch of incompetent govt sanctioned fools? Or is there a larger agenda to deliberately persecute & victimise mental health sufferers by messing with their heads to intensify their symptoms, so that they meltdown in the interview & can be escorted away by security for unruly behaviour & have their benefits stopped… It would look very neat & tidy in the paperwork with many less people claiming benefits & falling through the poverty cracks in our corrupt & decadent system… Or am I just being cynical & paranoid?

I mean, am I the only one who thinks that David Cameron, Iain Duncan Smith & ATOS should be held legally & morally accountable for numerous breaches of the Human Rights Act & the deaths of the 10,600+ disabled British Citizens (73 people a week, according to statistics issued by the Dept of Work and Pensions *DWP*) that have died as a direct result of these degrading and demonising, fraudulent medical assessments that slash the welfare benefits of those who desperately need it… Some starve to death, some freeze to death, some can no longer afford needed medications or therapies, some end up homeless, while others commit suicide because of the desperate situations that they have been thrown into… Their blood is on these men’s hands… Nobody should have their medical evidence from doctors and specialists ignored or have to justify their medical condition to soulless pen pushers who disregard and ridicule them…

It’s inhumane and what is presently a human tragedy is quickly escalating into a culling & genocide of the more vulnerable members of our population… And while the disabled and vulnerable are forced to fight to hold on to a measly £131 a week, we find that the heartless head of this former death squad we call ATOS drew a £44K a week salary for what is essentially murder by order of the Government… I doubt American firm ‘Maximus’ who have taken over from ATOS, contracted for 3 years at a cost of £595M will be any better, dark times ahead me thinks… Amnesty International have named & shamed this government’s ever tightening austerity measures in a report that states: “Britain is leading the war against human rights”

At least Hitler made no secret of his agenda to cull the sick and disabled, which to my mind makes the Tories worse by definition as they lie and deceive and steal from those in greatest need for little more than profit and greed with such massive funds transferred from the poor to the rich largely unseen since the Thatcher era…

Funds slashed for public services, schools, hospitals, police, emergency services, disabled services, mental health services, disabled children’s respite services, bedroom tax, homeless shelters, food banks, maternity wings, drug & alcohol addiction clinics, slashing legal aid to stop the poor & vulnerable having any legal defence or questioning the legalities as our freedoms and entitlements are squandered and stolen, making people work for benefits instead of wages as they slip around the legalities of minimum wage and open the gate to the reintroduction British slavery for cheap labour so some inbred Hooray Henry secures a profit margin, with The DWP trimming the fat further with the culling of the needy & vulnerable members of society…

Meanwhile, MPs get free iPads, ridiculous pay rises & ludicrous expense accounts, an £8m state funeral for the most loathed PM in Modern British history, huge tax breaks and tax avoidance for politicians, big companies and corporations, bail outs for corrupt banks, illegal wars/invasions/occupations, holidays, trips and spending paid for from public money…

When you see Westminster and all the greed, selfish perks, lack of compassion, decadence, corruption, dodgy dealings, financial discrepancies, falsified statistics and scandals, you begin to realise that there is no longer any justice or accountability in the UK… And as you look around the House of Commons, you begin to see who the real benefit scroungers & thieves are… But I guess if they spread enough media propaganda & lies about the poor & vulnerable to build a class divide & televised distractions to hide their own illegal & immoral activities, the nation will turn on each other & ignore such unscrupulous, devious & evil behaviour & actions like illegal wars for profit, corporate takeovers/corporate political dictation (eg:TTIP) & the reintroduction of slavery under the guise of workfare…

For while the rich moan that they pay high taxes, they seem to forget that they have 90% of the wealth as they buy into the lies and propaganda that demonises the disabled and the vulnerable, and ridicules the poor with accusations that they are lazy & scrounge off the state and are living the high life on benefits by choice, while in reality they can barely make ends meet. What do they honestly think the London riots were about, if not of class divide in an escalating class war?

And all the while, they casually dismiss the fact that there are no jobs out there as the Government (Iain Duncan Smith) falsify statistics to make that class divide wider as they force disabled people and ex servicemen who fought for this country into poverty and onto the streets without discrimination or compassion in the name of greed and the procurement of wealth.

I would love to see the likes of David Cameron and others of his ilk be made to live on basic benefits for a year in a bed-sit without handouts in a Big Brother style TV show and see if they come out the other side spouting the same bullshit, lies and propaganda about the poor and disabled… I would pay to see that show and see if they hold the same contempt and lack of compassion and distinction between a war on poverty and a war on the poor…

In fact, maybe MPs should be made to work on minimum wage with no ridiculous expense accounts until the recession & national debt has passed as an example & inspiration to the rest of us on how it should be done & to prove we are all in it together & that they are not in it for themselves, but for the good of the country & it’s people… Besides, they are all multimillionaires, so it really wouldn’t be that much of a sacrifice for them to lead by example… I think they forget that they actually work for & are paid by the people & that the welfare benefit system is paid for by the people for the people, not for them to squander on frivolous expense accounts, illegal wars & unjustified pay rises…

I mean let’s face it, the only reason they wish to pull out of Europe is to not be hampered by such laws as governed by the court of human rights when our democracy slips into dictatorship & corporate fascism, leaving us defenceless as the likes of Monsanto & Nestle contaminate our food with GMOs, pesticides & chemicals and poison our water for greed and corporate profit, as fracking of our natural resources kills our lands and livestock and people. For who will weep for a declining poverty stricken majority when wealth and greed thrive in the privileged elitist minority.

But what do I know? I’m just a schizophrenic benefits scrounger…

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