Got the picture?

Source: Got the picture?

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Tattoed a short story.

Source: Tattoed a short story.

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Dear Mr. IDS

Dear Ian,

I was reading today about your plans to make people on ESA work ten hours a week at something they are able to do for at least 10 hours a week or risk losing their benefits. I sighed and remembered when I worked in a day centre where folk crushed cans as a form of employment. It was done away with as it was seen as demeaning. I would like to know how you will find meaningful work for my friend’s bairns and those of us are too ill.

Today the work capability assessment test was described as “binary” by you. I wish you could hear some of the stories that folk have suffered due to WCAs which cost the public purse billions too. A woman amputee taken off a life long award of DLA for example. I know the language you will use, “We are condemning people to a life without work”, is one of your favourite phrases.

I am ill and I do work as a carer to my sons who both live with autism. I live with several major health conditions which limit my life. I may be able to tap away today but I will pay for it tomorrow in some way. Recently I have seen many fellow carers talking about their health and the impact caring has on it. We contribute 10 billion pounds in unpaid care but we are seen as scroungers.

Like many I   dread the brown envelopes, sometimes the admin can get on top of me and I worry with a capital W. I know I am not alone. I remember when David Cameron was elected. He promised to protect the most vulnerable. I have seen little evidence of this without a public outcry. Your main emphasis is apparently going to be on those with mental health conditions. We are an easy target and already stigmatized without the media lash you outpour on us.

I remember when you visited Bob Holman at Easterhouse. I have great respect for Mr. Holman as a poverty activist who lives in the community. You came away with an “ephihany” It was not to Mr Holman’s liking though he openly criticized you and your misinterpretation of his facts. I hope folk will now see enough is enough and make an outcry about this. Forcing the most ill to go to work? Shame on you IDS. You need to go out and talk to real people. In fact why not pop in for a chat and I can tell you a few things about living in poverty.

I don’t understand where your seeming hatred has started why not encourage the richest to pay their taxes.I don’t want any more suicides, or people to die when they are passed fit for work. I notice you avoid a reply when asked these questions. I want a kinder, fairer, society Do you?

Sandra.

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THE PRESENCE

Although I love reading ghost stories especially M.R James at this time of year I am a skeptic. Another favourite author Arthur Conan Doyle promised after he died if he could communicate he would. I have seen no proof of that yet. Growing up I read a lot but was always a skeptic. My friend Caroline died after being told by a psychic she would grow up to be “an auld, auld women”

I remember the visit to that psychic in Dundee. She lived in a flat right in the city centre of Dundee before it was gentrified. I had to be persuaded by my pals, this was the era of the post mass hysteria of “The Exorcist”. We were all too young to have seen it but some of our parents had and parish priests told us not to watch it for peril of our lives. Every Catholic child has the dread of Hell and the demons who can attack you when you are least prepared.

I was a teenager never comfy in my old skin. I was never happier than when reading a book. My parents said I was “highly strung” and I was. A girl who cried at Lassie movies (still do) and was terrified of the videos my big brother watched. My friends asked me to go to this medium and eventually I agreed. She was an old woman who I remember having numerous layers of clothing like the grandmother in “The Tin Drum”. She sensed my nervousness and gave readings to my friends assuring them they would all grow up to be “auld, auld, women”. Maybe she saw and didn’t want to share but I wish Caroline was still here.

Over the years I have had a few “experiences” that cannot be explained. My friend reminded me when we stayed in The Beresford in Glasgow and we both felt something at exactly the same time.

I have shivers going down my spine.” I said.

So do I. She said. “How can we have that at the same time?”

The roots of the hair were standing on edge.

I explained it through “stone tape theory” old stones could act as a recorder of significant events and people. I have done this all my life. Studying psychology exposed me to the need for empirical evidence and scientific verification. I needed proof.

Two days ago on Hogmonay as it is called in Scotland I was standing in my wee kitchen. It is small three paces across take you to the end of it and it is two paces from the sink to the cupboard. It is cozy and I have always felt peace there. I listen to plays, to music while bumbling on. I was in my rhythm of creating some food for my family. I was thinking back to how many years old this celebration of New Year is when we coory in with those we love and scare away the shadows of the New Year. I felt two taps on my right shoulder; I looked around thinking one of my children was there. Of course I knew no-one was.

I felt the most amazing feeling of peace and love and gentleness. I thought my dad is here. I was so overwhelmed I left the kitchen and told my daughter about it. She said it has happened to her there too.

I felt a need to return and stood and hugged whatever was there and there was something there. I felt so loved. For a skeptic like me giving a hug seemed the right thing to do.

Another friend when I shared this talked about presence. Another one of the most spiritual and down to Earth folk you could hope to meet said, you can’t ask the spirits they will come to you. I don’t know what I experienced but it was a presence which is still around me today and I felt compelled to write about apart from my usual politics. I am sharing it with you and wishing you all the best in the year to come. Much Love.

THE PRESENCE

Although I love reading ghost stories especially M.R James at this time of year I am a skeptic. Another favourite author Arthur Conan Doyle promised after he died if he could communicate he would. I have seen no proof of that yet. Growing up I read a lot but was always a skeptic. My friend Caroline died after being told by a psychic she would grow up to be “an auld, auld women”

I remember the visit to that psychic in Dundee. She lived in a flat right in the city centre of Dundee before it was gentrified. I had to be persuaded by my pals, this was the era of the post mass hysteria of “The Exorcist”. We were all too young to have seen it but some of our parents had and parish priests told us not to watch it for peril of our lives. Every Catholic child has the dread of Hell and the demons who can attack you when you are least prepared.

I was a teenager never comfy in my old skin. I was never happier than when reading a book. My parents said I was “highly strung” and I was. A girl who cried at Lassie movies (still do) and was terrified of the videos my big brother watched. My friends asked me to go to this medium and eventually I agreed. She was an old woman who I remember having numerous layers of clothing like the grandmother in “The Tin Drum”. She sensed my nervousness and gave readings to my friends assuring them they would all grow up to be “auld, auld, women”. Maybe she saw and didn’t want to share but I wish Caroline was still here.

Over the years I have had a few “experiences” that cannot be explained. My friend reminded me when we stayed in The Beresford in Glasgow and we both felt something at exactly the same time.

I have shivers going down my spine.” I said.

So do I. She said. “How can we have that at the same time?”

The roots of the hair were standing on edge.

I explained it through “stone tape theory” old stones could act as a recorder of significant events and people. I have done this all my life. Studying psychology exposed me to the need for empirical evidence and scientific verification. I needed proof.

Two days ago on Hogmonay as it is called in Scotland I was standing in my wee kitchen. It is small three paces across take you to the end of it and it is two paces from the sink to the cupboard. It is cozy and I have always felt peace there. I listen to plays, to music while bumbling on. I was in my rhythm of creating some food for my family. I was thinking back to how many years old this celebration of New Year is when we coory in with those we love and scare away the shadows of the New Year. I felt two taps on my right shoulder; I looked around thinking one of my children was there. Of course I knew no-one was.

I felt the most amazing feeling of peace and love and gentleness. I thought my dad is here. I was so overwhelmed I left the kitchen and told my daughter about it. She said it has happened to her there too.

I felt a need to return and stood and hugged whatever was there and there was something there. I felt so loved. For a skeptic like me giving a hug seemed the right thing to do.

Another friend when I shared this talked about presence. Another one of the most spiritual and down to Earth folk you could hope to meet said, you can’t ask the spirits they will come to you. I don’t know what I experienced but it was a presence which is still around me today and I felt compelled to write about apart from my usual politics. I am sharing it with you and wishing you all the best in the year to come. Much Love.

vSandra. X

Sandra. X

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CHANGES TO BENEFITS HAPPY CHRISTMAS FROM THE TORY PARTY

The prestige of George Osbourne was to pull out of the hat the announcement on Spending review day that tax credits would not be reduced as was feared by many. However he promised to continue to make 12 billion pounds in cuts to benefits and where there is a will there is a way. This time though the tories have hit an all time low by another attack on families with disabled children.

We all know of the Universal Credit scheme which was first mooted by Frank Fields of the Labour party. With their majority and because of the money already invested in it is is full steam ahead. New claimants already have to apply for this and it is expected to be rolled out UK wide in 2021.Along with phrases such as “making work pay”, and “getting tough on those on those not in work”, this will mean a monthly payment capped to include housing benefit and council tax. When it was announced Ian Duncan Smith said families with children with disabilities would be exempt. Those of us affected breathed a sigh of relief. Perhaps the government understood that there are additional costs bringing up a child or an adult dependent with disabilities.

It has caused a great deal of concern when charities supporting those with disabilities announced that Ian Duncan Smith quietly and without fanfare has decided to change the goalposts. Early in 2017 Universal credit will be digitally launched in a few areas. All claimants including existing ones, and families of children with disabilities will have to claim universal credit instead of the existing tax credits and income support. Unfortunately one of these areas is in Scotland in the town of Musselburgh on the East Coast. It is expected that everyone will be on Universal Credit by 2021.

Contact A Family whose patron is Samantha Cameron have already raised their grave concerns. We who already fear “brown envelope syndrome”, are truly fearful of how the quality of life of our children will be impacted on. The Tories have lied to us after all we are a marginalized group, who will fight our corner?

The SSP condemns the actions of this government who have no mandate in Scotland. condemns the government for the lies they told when saying they would protect the most government. I am asking my comrades to support families in campaigning against this latest attack. Merry Christmas from the Tory party. The families in Musselburgh may be the first affected but Universal credit for families with disabled children coming soon to your area. It is time to fight this  latest but not last cruel Tory cut. Please get in touch via the website for any further message and please share this information. I am going to be affected and I am worried about my childrens future I know you will be too. For a kinder fairer society always.

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THE REAL TEN REASONS SANTA LIVES ON A COUNCIL ESTATE.

Source: THE REAL TEN REASONS SANTA LIVES ON A COUNCIL ESTATE.

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Business as usual for Gideon and chums

I have to give Gideon Osbourne credit where it is due. He is a master of the alchemy of economics. We expected today that more austerity would be piled on top of us, instead out of the cauldron he announced that the tax credit cuts were cancelled. Good news, but the reality is it is just business as usual.

The tax credits cuts may be cancelled but that was going to happen anyway as the behemoth of Universal Credit rolls in by 2020. Gideon says there will still be cuts of 12 billion in welfare in this government. What this means 1s the poor and most vulnerable will be picked off quietly. The Labour party have already agreed to these.

Most worrying for me is the proposed Care Tax, Osbourne’s own words. A 2% levy on top of the existing council tax on those councils who provide care. Let’s that sink in. Only on council’s that provide care. Most if not all provide support to the young, the vulnerable, people with disabilities. It is part of our society. The Tory’s shrinking state sees these services as an optional extra, if not Council’s will have to ask folk for extra money. This is part of Thatcher’s vision in her own words a country where there is no society.

For those facing further poverty, asking for extra money will just cause further divide and conquering and continuing stigmatization of those the most need of support. So although they cheered, threw papers into the air when the news about tax credits were announced nothing has changed. A continuing shrinking state, and 12 billion cuts in this government’s term.

There is much we need to campaign for especially getting organized to fight against the Care Tax and any other additional costs. How long til we get an education tax? So sigh nothing has changed. Please see beyond the Tory lies and remember for them it is business as usual. They may have laughed at the little red book but their little blue book is much more sinister.

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