Dear readers, I hope that you were able to celebrate Christmas and the new year, if not you’re not alone I wouldn’t have celebrated Christmas at all this year if it wasn’t for friends and I was in bed early on New Year’s Eve.
Sadly I fear the new year won’t bring us any good news, and I reckon that they’ll continue to squeeze the life out of us with any new policies that they implement.
As a campaigner I’m feeling burnt out, and the general election result has meant that we’ve got to continue to campaign for many years. I had a conversation today with a fellow campaigner and we agreed that we need more people to help because we’re really feeling the heavy burden on our shoulders. Having health problems really doesn’t help either.
Anyway, today we returned after the Christmas break, all the food parcels were taken straight away and we actually started the demo early for a change.
I wish that I could say that things were getting easier but they aren’t, I haven’t spoken to a single person that isn’t struggling in one way or another. Some of these people are in dire situations but still voted for the Tories, turkeys voting for Christmas again.
Today we were joined by a comrade from Rochdale and a local councillor and as usual Gordon was here to help. I don’t know how I’d manage without his support. I digress though. Everyone that we spoke to were given help, advice and were signposted if needed. We also gave people a shoulder to cry on, which is needed when you’re going through the DWP system.
One thing that I did notice today was the amount of people rushing past, heads down attempting to not be seen by anyone.
Today I noticed that there has been a large increase in people being denied their PIP assessments. Yes I do realise that this has always happened, I know this and I help people with their appeals, but it’s now got to a point that they’re point blank denying everyone their PIP benefit which is needed so much by those that claim it.
This got me thinking, the government are targeting disabled people extremely aggressively from every angle, everything that they do is monitored, their constantly under an evil spotlight from the DWP.
You might ask why doesn’t the government leave them alone? They never will because they’re an easy target, they know that many won’t fight back because they simply don’t have the energy to do so.
Whilst I’m writing about this I spoke to a man that had recently won his appeal to reinstate his PIP. The tribunal also decided that he should be given some back pay also which was 12 months worth of payments. Whilst being overjoyed at this, he knows that he’ll have to go through this again and again and then some more.
Not long after I spoke to this chap, I spoke to another man that had also failed his PIP assessment. Luckily I was able to help and advise him, to be honest he wouldn’t have known how to do this if we weren’t there to help him.
I was then stopped by a young couple that wanted to know what we were doing, I explained and they told me that they’ve been homeless for two days and they didn’t know what to do and where to turn.
I advised them of where to go to for help, and what services there is locally, but life really shouldn’t be like this. Young people shouldn’t have all their hopes and dreams crushed by this heartless, cruel government, in fact no one should.
As we were talking a woman shouted over to us “Universal Credit is a pile of shit”. She wasn’t wrong either.
Not long after this we had a conversation with a man who is homeless and had lost his Universal Credit number, without this he couldn’t log on to the system and therefore he would be sanctioned.
Trying to avert this disaster from happening he tried phoning the Universal Credit line, but that was no good because it was Christmas Day. Feeling frustrated he wrote a letter and was under the assumption that he could post it through the Jobcentres door, then he saw that the Jobcentre doesn’t have a letterbox, I mean if they can’t put a sign up telling people where the Jobcentre is then they’re seemingly incapable of anything else.
The DWP seemingly haven’t got the ability to think logically.
Not to be deterred by this he stuffed his letter between the door closings and by some kind of miracle it was picked up and passed over to the Jobcentre who then phoned him and sorted it out.
You can imagine how relieved he was, he was very lucky this time.
I was talking to a friend the other day about people arriving on time for their Jobcentre appointments that were made to wait way over their delegated appointment time.
This happened today to a woman that was made to wait an extra 15 minutes for her appointment. To say that her advisor was less than enthusiastic is an understatement. She handed her advisor her fit note and then asked him if she could hand over the extra medical information that she’s been asked to hand in. The response was basically this. No I’m not going to take it off you now, hand it in next week., they really don’t care.
Obviously she was extremely frustrated at this and she’s now going to take this further. If her advisor is reading this, sort it out please, it wasn’t her fault that you were running late.
This week was a hodge lodge of differing problems, all of which shouldn’t have happened in the first place. If you think that this is awful it’s going to get a whole lot worse. We can thank the people that voted for the Tories for this.
We’ll be back next week doing the same thing.
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