Friday, 28 September 2012

The Failings of Capitalism

Looking for an easy to digest and take in explanation of the crisis in capitalism? 

Then watch this video produced by RSA Animate, with renowned academic David Harvey, along with some very clever cartoons, questioning whether capitalism has had its day and why a system that is responsible, just and humane cannot take its place.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

ATOS is a Capitalist Organisation First and Foremost

French, British, American, Japanese, Chinese...
who actually cares?
Reader, what has ATOS being a French company got to do with anything? Would we feel better about ATOS if it was British, or American? ATOS is a capitalist organisation, which means its first and last loyalty is to its profit margin. Using French imagery to denigrate ATOS is a distraction.


What point is being made by associating ATOS with French-ness? As we are aware, ATOS is now identified by a great many in a negative light. Indeed, up to recently if you Googled ATOS healthcare the first site that came up was 'ATOS Kills'!


When I come before ATOS either for the WCA, if I lose my job, or for a PIP medical sometime in the near future, I will not be measuring ATOS' incompetence and greed in national terms; as I doubt do the scores of thousands who ATOS continues to fail.


Let's condemn, attack and beat ATOS on its failings to disabled people, not on some simplistic national connection.   

Monday, 24 September 2012

Trespassing Scum versus Elitist Yahoos

A group of anti-tax dodging activists decide to hold an impromptu award ceremony to coincide with a big thank you bash arranged by the filthy rich for the even filthier former head of HMRC, Dave Hartnett.

Hartnett during his tenure as top honcho at HMRC, or the tax office to the rest of us, showed great generosity to the likes of Vodaphone, Goldman Sachs, to name but a couple. Letting Vodaphone off paying a whopping £8 billion!

The group, who go by the name of 'We are the intruders', looked and sounded the part, togged up in black tie with crystal cut accents. However, as their praises for the friend-to-the-filthy-rich became more blatant, so a couple of the cannier diners cottoned on; with one particularly nasty gobshite threatening to set the dogs on them. Another spat out 'trespassing scum' - probably works near St Pauls and gets his rocks off at weekends watching foxes torn to pieces by a pack of hounds.

Trespassing scum? As opposed to tax-dodging-child-starving-youth-aspiration-stealing-disabled-benefits-robbing-NHS-closing-welfare-state-smashing bastards...

Give me the trespassing scum every time.

It is great to see the great and the good in their true light; how exactly they view the rest of us, the 99%, who aren't multi millionaires.

Last week we had the government's Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell, calling police officers, who guard Downing Street, 'fucking plebs' (this a few days after two women police officers were brutally murdered in Manchester) because he was asked to a use a side gate, an exit more convenient both for the officers involved and security purposes.

In many ways I am pleased that the dinner guest at the HMRC boss's leaving party and his close relation, Mitchell, are speaking in this way about those they perceive to be inferior. The more the merrier. Let's have more accusations of pleb and scum directed at us. Hopefully they'll broaden out, 'chavs', low-life, working class drudges, riff-raff, rubbish, detritus, shit...maybe, sub-human.

The more the privileged open their mouths and minds in our direction the greater the opposition to them will become. The working classes will only tolerate this kind of abuse for so long. Cameron and his cadre of millionaire and billionaire Bullingdon Club Yahoos are an anachronism; one which we should have done away with decades ago. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012


I agree with all the descriptions of McKenzie penned on many blogs and emanating from the mouths of decent people everywhere, but especially women and men from Liverpool. The man is a disgrace to humanity.

However, aren't the tactics used by Alex Thompson exactly the same as those used by Scum reporters. That McKenzie is a bully there is no doubt. In fact he reacted the way most bullies do when the balance of power is switched; that is he tried to run (drive) away from the threat.

If an outsider watched the video clip without any sound, the good guy could very easily be mistaken for a bully himself.

My point is that the Sun, Mail, et al are the real bullies. Whether it is misreporting, through hateful lies, the circumstances the deaths of the 96 people at Hillsborough, and in doing so smashing through the grief of thousands; or demonising disabled people to such an extent we are experiencing unprecedented levels of violence, this is their modus operandi.

Channel 4 is a decent media organisation; it does not need to resort to door-stepping scum like McKenzie. Let's leave those kind of reporting tyactics to the likes of McKenzie and his acolytes.     

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Glory of Sport

Single leg amputees playing football on a beach
in Sierra Leone

Not for these young men the splendour or glory of the Paralympics. No TV cameras projecting their feats across the globe; no stadiums full of appreciative supporters cheering on their sporting endeavours. 

These are the single leg amputee footballers of Sierra Leone. Years of civil wars have left a stark legacy in this West African country. Scores of thousands of people disabled, mainly, as a result of land mines indiscriminately seeded around the countryside.

This picture put the whole Paralympic and Olympic Games, bread and circuses into perspective for me. 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Unconditional Love

Ordinarily I avoid feel good stories, especially were animals are involved. However, when I saw the captions below on Facebook my heart melted. Lily, was blinded by a bizarre medical condition; and Madison has become her sight. A true case of unconditional love and kindness.

Lily and Madison are inseperable

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Stop Using the Medical Model as a Blunt Instrument

“The easiest way to check for cheats is to check hospital records for continued attendance to a consultant, pain clinic or whatever the persons disability and their respctive hospital department the cheat wont have these records will they as they will never have attended ,”

The above statement was taken from a response to an article on: "Free Conference – Outsourcing and Austerity: Civil Society and the Coalition Government" on the Hardest Hit Website, and in my view is a very ‘medical model’ take on disability, presupposing that ‘genuine’ disability can only be measured by medical means; as though medicine has all the answers to disability.

There are lots of conditions that don’t necessarily respond to medical treatment; or can be treated by routine visits to a GP. If a person has a condition that has stabilised or reached a point where medical intervention, at consultant and hospital level, is no longer required, then what is the point of them visiting hospital?

Many disabled people get on with their lives without a continuous round of consultant appointments, visits to clinics or respective hospital departments. A person does not have to be perpetually ‘under’ a consultant to qualify as disabled or indeed to qualify for benefits such as DLA.

Regular visits to a GP can keep people abreast of the medical side of their conditions. If and when conditions worsen the GP can then refer the person to a hospital consultant.

Conflating the issues of a need for medical intervention with the needs of disabled people only serves to reinforce the medicalization of disability and does not recognise the fact that disability cannot be measured in medical terms alone.