Saturday, 26 June 2010

"Will you still need me, Will you still feed me"...

Erm, nope... When I'm 64 I could still have another 6 years of work ahead of me before I retire.  That is of course if I am still alive and fit for work.  My father died at 57, mother survived a heart attack at 66.  At 39, I already have chronic osteo-arthritis so things look bleak under our Coallition government.

Much has been said in this past week about DLA, which was introduced under John Major in 1992. Briefly, it is an allowance to enable recipients to live as independently as possible. Measures are to be introduced to cut down on the claimants, who will all now face a medical examination. If I were entitled, I would use my allowance to pay for transport as I can only walk short distances and struggle to drive. I do not qualify however as I currently only score 6 of the necessary 15 points, despite being signed off working as a carer as I can only stand for 5 minutes at a time. Once my shoulders completely freeze and I can no longer raise my arms above my head, I will qualify.. something to look forward to then..

My point is, this allowance is difficult to qualify for.. currently it is belived that 0.5% of claims are fraudulent. In order to hunt out the 15,000 odd fraudsters, around 3 million people will face the medical exam.  At what cost? This raises a massive paperwork issue and more doctors and clerical staff will have to be recruited to implement it. When you consider that the lower-level care allowance is just £18.95 per week, the ends cannot possibly justify the means.

The majority of DLA claimants are people who suffer from Mobiliby problems, Autism and anxious behaviour.  Getting to this examination will be an ordeal in itself and surely can be avoided through proper contact with their GP, Social Worker or Specialist?

And so, to Retirement.. our Beloved Leader wants us to work for longer before claiming our State Pensions. Immediately raising the retirement age to 66 with a view to increasing it to 70. Sounds fair enough, we live longer right? Sure! Maybe thats why George Osborne has abolished the back to work allowance for over 55's?  But lets look at a few scenarios for workers over 55...

Politician - "No worries for me, I ll be in the Lords and dont really have to show up that often"

Dentist - "Sorry about your bleeding gums, my grip isnt what it used to be"

Teacher - "Please excuse me again class"...   runs to loo before she wets herself

And how about the "normal folk".. the 69 year old bricklayers, electricians, cooks, hairdressers, care assistants.. can you imagine.. ?

I can, and it is ridiculous.  I ConDem this Budget to the House!


Fact check by Cathy Newman

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Yea Ole Red Box of London Town

The red budget box wearily opens its eyes, blinks twice and deeply sighs. Crackles and groans on its way to the bathroom, blearily looks in the mirror. Looking its age today, 150 years of boom and bust has taken its toll on its once scarlet, now brown leather face.

As it prepares for its annual outing, one wonders what it would make of todays' "Emergency Budget". Would if feel as scared as we are should it have feelings? I imagine it cringing in the corner, "please dont take me George, take Gordon's one.. I dont want to be remembered for this"..

And why would it? "Emergency Budget".. hmmm.... What emergency? As someone wise once said.. "Where's the fire?"..

After today, Gladstone's box is to be retired and place in the Cabinet War Rooms in London. Safe and secure, protected from future harm... unlike the rest of us. God bless us everyone.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

PMQ'S “Its Time To Put On Make-Up”

Its Time to Meet the Muppets...

Is it just me, or does the HOC sometimes take on the appearance of a theatre? Prime Minister's Question Time often descends into farce with pantomime “Boo's” and jeers. MPs shouting “Hear Hear”, heckling and constantly bobbing up and down in their seats. Half expect them to do a Mexican Wave or call for an encore.

One day the penny dropped and my Muppet MPs were born... Inspired by our new “Coallition government”, still very much a work in progress.. here is a collage of my Muppet MPs to date, enjoy !

Introducing the Muppet MPs

Cast list:

  • Bert & Ernie played by Cameron & Clegg

  • Count Von Count is Chancellor George Osborne

  • Dr Teeth depicted by Frank Dobson

  • Janice the glamour chic played by Nadine Dorries

  • Pepe the King Prawn can only be Michael Gove

  • Sweet Prairie Dawn is Justine Greening

  • Beaker the idiot represented by Danny Alexander

  • Dr Bunsen Honeydew by Keith Vaz

  • Fat Blue is the one and only Eric Pickles

  • Cookie Monster played by Jessica Lee

  • Sam the Eagle IS Alistair Darling

  • Waldorf & Statler aka Tony Benn & George Galloway

  • Kermit the Frog performed by Speaker John Bercow

Muppet Mps, The Sequel;

  •  Swedish Chef  is Stephen Lloyd
  •  Rowlf the Piano played by David Heath
  •  Zoot the Sax player looks a lot like Simon Hughes
  •  Miss Piggy is the glorious Gloria de Piero
  •  Fozzie Bear is the laughing William Hague
  •  Newsreader played by David Willetts
  •  Crazy Harry stikingly similar to bizarre Michael Fabricant
  •  Lou (Jughuggers Band) is Jenny Willott
  •  Timmy Monster is Mike Hancock
  •  Floyd Pepper demonstrated by John Thurso
  •  Slim Wilson is John Pugh
  •  Captain Link Hog-Throb is the sexy Anthony Steen

Here comes the summer! The violent season!

Here comes the summer! The violent season! Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

June brings with it sweeping changes to our country. The Coalition government are announcing cuts left right and centre. “With a slash slash here and a cut cut there, here a slash, there a slash.. everywhere a cut cut..”

Dark rumbles of disapproval can be clearly heard already on the back benches. The peasants are revolting! But enough about the Lib Dems.. Cameron and Clegg seem to be in a world of their own; playing with our public services and welfare system as though they were blocks of Lego.

I wont blog on the Cuts, I ll leave that to the far more capable and informed “Growd-Ups” but I will give you my take on one of the side-effects of this new, modern Parliament.

Among the changes is one which causes me much amusement. The timing of Cabinet Meetings have been moved in order for Cameron and Clegg to do the School Run.. Now, forgive me if I am wrong but are they not supposed to be running our country rather than acting as housekeepers? Clegg has always been the children's main carer as he has a “powerful lawyer” for a wife and she is the main breadwinner.. Great! Admirable even but perhaps he should have considered that before he jumped into bed with David Cameron? There is no room for his kids in that particular divan, King-size though it may be. Power is a terrible affliction on family life... So, what to do? Lets change the working hours in Parliament to suit...! Genius.. Flexi-Time for MP s? But why stop there? Lets all join in!

Surgeon “Can you expect me when you see me, little Tommy has a cut knee”

Teacher “Sorry I'm late class, the dry-cleaners don't open until 9.00 ”

“Allo Allo, what's going on 'ere then? Oh, too late? The burglar left an hour ago? Well, I had to take Buster to the Vet first”

Clegg “Can you postpone my DPMQs today, Miguel has done a number 2 , need to change his nappy”

David Cameron “Yes, simply dreadful news Barak but Corrie is just starting , I ll call you back..”

“Your Majesty, its DC here.. cant make our usual Tuesday, Gracie has a swimming lesson”..

Yes, maybe I exaggerate but already we have seen the very first PMQs of this new Parliament being delayed to allow MP s travelling time and Cabinet meetings switched to later in the day to accommodate school runs. Where will it end? Dave burping baby whilst finger painting in between meetings or debates? Enough nursery school behaviour in the chamber already without adding to it..