Saturday, 5 October 2013

Go back & do it again! The Conservative party conference

So just in case you haven’t been fortunate enough to escape to a distant land or planet or you haven’t been sticking your fingers in your ears with a blindfold on & have being going ” La la la, I can’t here you” you will be aware that the Conservative party conference finished this week.

There have been announcements & leaked documents & to say their ‘policies’ have been hastenly rushed seems like the understatement of the century. It’s like they were doing their homework last minute on the bus whilst gigging with their friends, planning to pick on the vulnerable kid at break, whilst making sure they snatch any treats from any of the other kids.

So out of the array of topics that came out just before the conference & during.

1.The Mirror - Working for benefits

The conservatives seemed to have discarded the persona a little while ago that we are all in this together, leaning more towards the principle that there are whole groups that are just undeserving.
This seems to extend especially to those claiming jobseekers allowance, that they are content to ‘languish’ on benefits & that no one wants to get a job.

So they have proposed that to get JSA claimants off benefits & into a job & to stop the ‘Something for nothing culture’, claimants will undertake 30hrs a week on a community work scheme on top of searching for a job.

But the real reason for this is to appease the proportion of society that has the belief that it is one big party living on benefits & that the majority have no interest in looking for a job, whereas in fact its the exact opposite.

I can see this hindering people with disabilities who claim jobseekers. Will there be flexibility in the scheme? & how are people going to be available for job interviews as most would be scheduled for between 9-5.

On this blog Where’s the benefit they have highlighted many people that were claiming other benefits, have been pushed on to JSA despite being in no fit state to work may now be forced to undergo unsuitable treatment or risk losing their benefits.

And just in case you want to complain, there are plans to attempt to withdraw from the Europen Convention on Human Rights, with proposals of new anti-union laws.

2. The Telegraph - Human whatsits?

In the Telegraph, it further explains the Government’s reasons from withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights. I can understand how the Government & the public don’t want dangerous criminals in the country & they want them removed but my concern would be whilst they’re there, will they withdraw other rights for joe public? As with the possible new anti-union laws.

3. The guardian - Plant what?

So just before the conference Mr Osbourne stated that “He doesn’t want to be at the forefront of tackling climate change”. This seems to be because Osbourne believes that other countries should also contribute their own share towards alleviating the impact of climate change. I agree but instead of continuing to do the responsible thing, it seems to be more along the lines of “Well they’re not picking up their rubbish, so why should we?”

This isn’t even approaching the real issue, that the living wage is too low & the profit made on energy too high. Personally I would find it more logical to negotiate fairer energy prices but I have the sneaking suspicion that this wouldn’t be as ‘profitable’ for certain members of society.

But on an important point we need to do what we can to be more responsible with the energy we use & the way we provide it. The Earth does go through natural cycles of climate change, it has done through out its history but we are accelerating this one significantly & we must modify our behavior to be able to leave the planet to further generations for them to appreciate it & not to have a harsher existence brought on through our actions.

4. The Daily Mail - there are no words

So I read this……

There has been a green paper leaked that has set out a “Thermal Reduction Initiative” which would be a 9% duty set on champagne sold in public places. According to the paper, chilled champagne adds on average an additional 0.5% to a bar’s carbon footprint. (& no I did not check this one!! but their stats have been awful so don’t take it on face value)

This IS apparently being pushed as an environmental initiative even though it won’t include Prosecco or Cava even though these also are best served chilled.

My brain further couldn’t believe what it was reading when apparently the Lib Dems had taken the energy to lobby to exempt Pomagne & Babycham!

Now whilst making sure to wear my most serious face, this isn’t an environmental measure as it would include every chilled wine & such, this is just for publicity because of what happened with the pastry tax. I would love to know why the Lib Dems put in all that effort to get Pomagne & Babycham exempt, I would assume that its either because it aided the Lib Dems cause in some way or someone has a real liken for it!

When reading these types of stories, you cant help but think that if they put this much effort into this, why aren’t significant policy changes that affect vulnerable people being thoroughly tested to ensure the smallest amount of people fall through the cracks, unfortunately it probably just comes down to profit.

5. The Guardian - Why aren’t YOU celebrating suffering?

This I find disgusting. Leaked documents seem to show that IDS was trying to find a way of making it even more difficult for sick & disabled people to claim benefits. He was also trying to see if he could put in place additional secondary legislation without the need to go through Parliament to give Jobcentres more powers to sanction people.

The article also goes on to explain how the DWP has had its ‘celebration’ week of new tougher sanctions indefinitely suspended.

I find this both alarming & disturbing that they were going to ‘celebrate’ cutting peoples money. I also find it disturbing that he was trying to circumvent Parliament.

It seems that as long as the people that could carry some of the burden don’t, the vulnerable will continue to carry much more of a disproportional share.

So many different benefits & services have been affected. With it being falsely implied that something is the majority, like most claimants are content languishing on benefits & that they get payed exorbitant amounts of money, whereas instead its a very small minority.

I just wish more than anything else that people wouldn’t read or watch something & take it on face value. The spread of inaccurate figures & facts just breeds ignorance.

I have seen & heard so many discussions & comments that include “I know someone who knows someone thats a cheat” or ” There’s someone in my street that’s perfectly capable of working” & this frustrates the disabled community immensely.

Because more often than not they don’t, often it is a misunderstanding or lack of understanding of the individuals disability or entitlement. You don’t know what goes on when they step through their door, taking painkillers, resting, vomiting & such.

It also doesn’t help with the propaganda fed by certain areas of society making people believe that benefits are too high, whereas in fact wages are too low.

Just remember, to get the complete picture you must read as much as you can from as many sources as you can. Once you block your mind to the possibility that you are wrong, you will never learn anything new.

And to finish this post (thank god conferences aren’t every week, this took many breaks & many days) the Conservatives have been doing a #sharethefacts about how their existing policies have been & their new polices will help people but through out the conference, the only #sharethefact tag i could find appropriate to sum up the conference was this……….

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