Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Personal Independence Payment


A friend of mine living with HIV recently failed the PIP 'assessment' as well as the mandatory reconsideration. Fortunately, he is in a stronger position than most who are failed by this flawed system as he has the assistance of a friend who has worked as a benefits' advisor.

As justice becomes harder and harder to access, so more of us will find ourselves denied the means to exist. Being turned down for PIP may have far-reaching consequences; and it's not simply a matter of us tightening our belts and getting on with things.

Losing out on PIP could have an impact on employment. Without their Motability car, a person's job could be at risk. Not qualifying for PIP could threaten Access to work, if a person needed a support worker. Councils are cutting care and support packages to ribbons already. Imagine how failure to receive PIP could impact on this resource.

Blue Badge, TaxiCard, Freedom Pass, Free Prescriptions, disability premiums attached to benefits, etc, can all depend on a gateway benefit such as PIP. Turning people down for PIP really does have far-reaching consequences; and I haven't even addressed the impact on mental and physical health, nor the very real prospects of social exclusion and social isolation.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Use of False Dichotomy Weakens Your Argument

Listening to a discussion on knife crime a caller to the radio station stated that poverty was a factor in and around the incidence of knife crime. The radio presenter jumped straight in with: "So everyone in poverty is involved in knife crime?"

This use of false dichotomy by media presenters is annoying. This disingenuous line of argument is prevalent amongst shock-jocks with a reactionary right-wing agenda to promote. It is employed to skew a debate in an attempt to invalidate an opponent's case.

In this instance, the guest speaker made it clear that his thesis did not mean that all people living in poverty were disposed to knife crime; but instead that research had found that poverty was a factor in this area of criminality.

The use of false dichotomy is lazy journalism. Rather than countering another’s views with well-structured argument some journalists and commentators resort to this construct demonstrating a bankruptcy of balanced opinions.     

Monday, 7 August 2017

Strange Sleep Actions

Do an of my FB friends or Blog readers experience their body falling to sleep while the brain remains awake?

For a few years I've experienced this weird phenomenon. This is what happens. During the night, I get up to pee a lot. Between every 50-70 minutes my bladder drags me from the arms of Morpheus to release water. After peeing I sit on the edge of my bed to psych myself up to lie down – as lying down is a very painful action.

At some point as I sit, delaying the inevitable, I nod off. Most times I'm rudely awakened just as I nod off – often dropping my Kindle. At other times I'm asleep, but my mind is functioning in its awakened mode. My thoughts are sluggish, yet I am conscious.

Though conscious, my body refuses to obey instructions from the brain; I’m unable to perform voluntary body movements. At this point I know that I will keel over. In order to secure a soft landing, anywhere on the bed, I attempt aversive action by reaching for, and holding onto the grab at the side of the bed.

Nothing. My arm stubbornly refuses to budge. Panic ensues. As my upper body begins to sway, I attempt to influence its direction of movement.

Nothing. My upper body continues to sway.

Then...

CRASHHHH, punctuated by: "ARGHHHHHH FUCKKKKKKKK".

The fall can result in either a fairly painful landing on the soft bed; or, an extremely painful floor landing.

By this time, I'm fully awake, though maybe stunned.

Have any of you experienced the body sleeping while the brain, or mind, is completely conscious?



Sunday, 6 August 2017

Authorities create greater barriers for disabled wheelchair users

Lilford Road is a nearby backstreet. A few minutes from my home it runs through to Coldharbour Lane and for me it's a shortcut to Kings College Hospital and to Myatts Field Park, places I regularly attend.


Lilford Road isn't particularly accessible for wheelchair users. But then there are access problems on most street surfaces and pedestrian spaces in Lambeth, and London. Yet despite this I was able to access Lilford for its entire length in my electric wheelchair.



Not so now. No, during recent pavement and kerb maintenance by Lambeth Council or the Highways Dpt. it was decided to dispense with properly graded dropped kerbs. Replacing these they've decided to follow the School of Brutal Pavement Design by chucking a few shovelfuls of 'Tar' McAdam's best mix up against the kerb.

These tarmaced short steep inclines make it hazardous for wheelchair users as they create a tipping point  Therefore, I am now forced to use the road itself, not a safe way for me to travel.  

Friday, 4 August 2017

Prince Philip, rude racist royal

Prince Philip is said to put his foot in his mouth with his comments. They are held up as tactless. I disagree. Being tactless suggests to me lacking tact or sensitivity, as though through difficulty.

Prince Philip was never tactless. No, he has simply never given a fuck what he says and to whom the remarks are levelled. He's an arrogant man who has used his position to talk down to people for decades. His behaviour is a form of bullying, as he knows full well he can say what he wants, while those he abuses, racially or otherwise, don't have the right to reply.

Is it then surprising when we hear the sychophant Boris Johnson toadying up to and extolling this exponent of royal racism and rudeness as: "One of the last great impregnable bastions of political incorrectness.”

Prince Philip exemplifies all that is wrong with royalty. His privileged life has endowed upon him a sense of entitlement that has allowed him to say what he wants, to whom he wants, and when he wants, regardless of the feelings, social standing or cultural sensitivities of those he insults.

Philip is a relic from an age that demanded and received deference as the right of royals. Sadly, this anachronistic institution will continue, as it is necessary in order to perpetuate our class system; and for this reason it needs the likes of Boris Johnson for support.