Dear readers I’m back after last weeks absence. I apologise and I hope that it never happens again.
The weather was cold but sunny definitely hat and winter coat weather. My thoughts always go to those that are homeless or can’t afford to put any heating on.
As usual the food parcels went straight away which is awful in itself. A terrible indictment of how the government regards the working class.
As I was walking towards the lift to the Jobcentre I was greeted by a friend from a local town, he noted that I was walking quite quickly. I told him that I was cold and I was trying to get warm. We both laughed at that.
He then went on to tell me that they’d recently found a rough sleeper sleeping in the lift recently. I replied saying that I was surprised that it hadn’t happened sooner. Whilst I know that there’s organisations that he could go to for the night but some people either aren’t ready for that or they fall between the gaps of society. When that happens it’s not easy to find the help that they need.
The first thing that I noted and I do so every week is the complete lack of signing outside the new council building of which the Jobcentre shares. No one knows where they are going, they only know when they’ve visited once before. Tameside Council please can we have some outdoor signing upstairs on the plaza? Also the steps are very dangerous and even I struggle climbing them.
I know that it sounds petty but for anyone suffering from anxiety related conditions will panic when they can’t see where they’re going. Some won’t want to ask for help and will most likely go home in a state of panic.
We can do better than this can’t we.
I had a brief conversation with a heavily pregnant woman who was going to the Jobcentre. She had just claimed the steps and was exhausted. When I told her that there was a lift that she could use she replied saying that she didn’t know that there was one but she was glad that I told her. It’s things like this that can make a massive difference to someones life.
This week we had extra bread to hand out as well as food parcels, they were taken by anyone that needed one. Can you imagine not being able to afford a loaf of bread?
It was then that I stopped to speak to a chap that I have spoken about before. He had been promised that his first universal credit payment would be made on the last week of September. He’s still waiting for that first payment, it’s the 31st of October.
Understandably he’s furious about this but he is also upset. As I was advising him I could see tears in his eyes. Life is shit for him he said saying that he’s got absolutely nothing to look forward to because ‘That lot’ (The DWP) keep lying to him.
How on earth does the government expect people to survive on a zero income? The honest answer is that they don’t. They don’t want us to survive, they want us to disappear off the system or die.
The government doesn’t give a stuff about us and never forget this. Never forget the cruelty that they’ve inflicted upon the poorest and most vulnerable. We can never ever forget and I’ll certainly never ever forgive them either.
I had a chat with a woman who is constantly being hounded to go on the pointless, basically rubbish DWP courses. She has to sign on every week and they never miss this opportunity to tell her about another course.
Last week she was told that it would ‘be good for her’ to go on the latest course offering. When she told them that it wasn’t mandatory so therefore she wasn’t going to attend they replied saying something along the lines of ‘oh but it would have helped you’ Yep right.
I was then asked to speak to an older chap who is finding it hard to cope with the DWP.
He’s 65 years old and has been told that he has to be online for 35 hours a week looking for work.
We all know that there certainly isn’t enough jobs advertised out there to fulfil their expectations of him. He’s been told that if he doesn’t do this then he will be sanctioned.
I always take issue with this. He’s 65 years of age, who in earth is going to employ him. Its hard enough trying to find work when you’re young. There just isn’t enough jobs to go round.
Of course the DWP know this but they’ll take great pleasure in sanctioning a 65 year old man. Speaks volumes doesn’t it.
I spoke to a chap who had been told that he had been given ‘too many’ food parcels and was refused a foodbank voucher. He’d already had three foodbank vouchers.
Luckily I was there to advise him, to give him food etc.
It angers me so much when I hear of people being turned away from foodbank voucher providers because of this. Do they think that poverty ends after three food parcels?
It’s absolutely ridiculous to think so. Some people have a swinging rock in place of a beating heart.
I had a conversation with a woman who was struggling to contact the DWP via their freephone numbers.
Not all mobile phone providers regard the freephone numbers as free making it impossible to contact them.
This needs to be sorted out now.
We ended todays demo knowing that we had helped lots of people. We had given hope, solidarity, food, and a shoulder to cry on.
It’s not been easy doing a continuous demo for as long as we have but helping people makes it all worthwhile.
You might also be aware that we have a general election coming on the 12tb of December. Please can I urge you to use your vote and vote for Labour?
Labour are committed to stopping universal credit, the constant ESA and PIP examinations, sanctions and much more.
As you might hve already heard the Tory government have also got plans in place to sell the remaining parts of the NHS to firms in America.
This will leave us without an NHS and we will be forced to use an insurance based system.
I know that I certainly won’t be able to get or pay for medical insurance. Many of you won’t be able to either.
This is literally a fight for our life’s and we have to win this fight!
We have also made plans for our Christmas demonstration which will take place on Thursday the 19th of December between 10-12. It will be outside of the Jobcentre and we hope to have some speakers, some festive food on offer and hats, gloves and scarfs to hand out.
Please come and join us we would really like to meet you.
I will be making a Facebook event for it but if you don’t have Facebook then feel free to email me.
We’ll be back next week between 10-12 outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. Come and say hello!
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A huge thank you to everyone that supports out demos and who supports my blog.
Without you I couldn’t be able to continue so thank you so much.
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