ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


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Another post in/for a Brave New World?

Where is everyone? Busy celebrating inauguration? I was very glad to see there is still somewhere that LOOKS like Washington – and not surprised to see it so quite quiet. Quite surprised to see that an apparent extortionist can actually proceed to such circumstance. Maybe I should be begging forgiveness for my bare English cheek but I wouldn’t waste my breath! That man has no authority whatsoever in my mind’s eye and I shouldn’t waste my breath even giving him a mention! I do try to remember he is just an old man from another place, a father and grandfather. Just a man. Shoddy as any other. And worse besides…

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m just a shoddy woman too! But I’m not a bully like some appear to be – and I won’t put up with it either!

I assume to be as entitled to freedom of speech and creative expression as previously but…

This is what happens when my energy supplier blocks my online account and forces me to trek to the store to get prepaid electricity to feed to my meter. I bought newspapers. Just in case the world collapses overnight and there might never be anymore. And I’ve been using my Facebook as if it’s a blog in the most unwise ways lately – like answering that ‘what’s on your mind?’ question … in bits and pieces and all at odds, with…

In some parts of the world,for many people, their world might have collapsed. Anytime between now and then…

Not so long back, pre-November 2016, online news headlines was suggesting that the British public should NOT be going online, as if there were some great threat and that we should only be receiving our news from our newspapers. How do you get a newspaper if you can’t get out to the shop and WHY would anyone not wish to check the propoganda campaigns against other sources for some measure of reliability? Not long after, and having ignored the ‘stay offline’ suggestion, there was a more sensible headline about hoax news stories. There seemed to be plenty of them. For decades.

I should get about reading blogs more. But everything’s changed at WordPress. A reflection of how the world has changed? How the poor have no equal rights even to an online blogging platform that previously encouraged amateur use, simply as humans, blogging for enjoyment and community and a sense of being human, connecting with other humans.

All of a sudden there’s this ‘premium’ with the ‘best for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs’ slant to it. That’ll get a lot of us Brits in trouble as hobbyist-bloggers, just passing time. When it’s your only way of having ‘social contact’ with the outside world it’s a very precious thing. In some cultures we’re not worthy enough for their sense of elitist privelege and should be weeded out – is how it feels. Maybe that’s why Brits should have been staying offline? Until it’s safe? Or what was there to really be scared about and why should we hide our online natural selves when propoganda instructs us to do so? The real world seems far more dangerous and abuse usually occurs from someone known, rather than from strangers.

Apparently we can ‘build a business website in just 10 days’ and with no offence intended to the Blogging U team, there’s a lot about that notion that flouts English Law and risks devastating deprivation to UK bloggers who might then be assumed to returning £250 weekly income as a minimum. Some of us blog to learn and practise and communicate and would NEVER wish to ‘monetise’ our blogs with advertising revenue. [If that’s what monetising a blog means, because there’s no clear info anywhere.] Some of us are fussy. Monetisation? That’s not BUSINESS!

I’ve not seen any statistics for quite a while, but a couple of years ago something like 94% ‘small businesses’ were failing within their first year in Britain. That’d be for these vague ideas of how easy it is and for inappropriate ‘support’ from Employment Services. Wondering how many made it to their second full year?! No doubt online service providers are getting more than their fair share of the blame for that too – although individuals should always accept responsibility for their own choices and actions. It’s been an oppressive and pressured experience for many tens of thousands of UK welfare claimants to ‘just start a business’ while set up to FAIL and having no viable alternative choice.

It maybe ok in some parts of the world to ask for donations as an individual in need too. But in the UK it’s illegal to beg, or even to give to someone who’s starving, homeless either money or food, or we risk a fine or arrest and a criminal charge. Crazy as that seems. I tend to ignore that law on the rare occasion I get anywhere, but with due care. And aware of the risk for myself and the other person. But I don’t have an active PayPal account and so can’t even buy anyone their coffee online and no way I’d risk that charge! And it’s a bit sickening seeing (local) professionals with a salary asking visitors to their website to donate by PayPal when you were expecting to find a method for giving an item for their art project!

Now it feels like it could be risky even visiting to read some blogs I’d normally visit, for the association with other individuals engaging in what might be entrepreneurial or professional writerly progressions. I’m not knocking them at all and mean no disrespect.

SAM_2477.JPG

My poem inspired after reading Cid Corman in SloPo last week and doodled this alternative presentation of it, just for fun. [I don’t write poetry often. I’m not a writer.]

But my blogs here are my personal creative space. If whenever i were to start self-employment, there’s no way I’d be bringing it into my personal /our community spaces.and it’s gonna take me maybe about five years to regain my health and maybe get my own Empty Plan together somehow in the meantime. There’s a lot of very complex issues to take into account. And I know it might not look like it, but still…once upon a time and every fairytale begins and ends in a nightmare of a tale.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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On my soapbox (again) – with a Ten Bob note

What’s fifty-pence worth these days? Is it as good as ‘a ten-bob-note’? (UK currency)

In ‘old money’ in England, ‘ten bob’ is fifty pence. I’m not sure there was ever a ‘ten bob note’, perhaps in the days of crowns and sixpences and farthings etc. My good father’s use of the term ‘a ten bob note’ was often used humorously during my childhood, perhaps with potential underlying meanings I could never fully understand at that time.

I was born just before the imperial system was replaced by metric denominations of currency and measure. At school we had to learn, apply and be able to convert to and from both systems in our maths lessons – I still prefer the imperial system of measure but tend to interchange and use both. 

A sample fifty-pence option shopping list

  • at least one or two bananas most places
  • one apple if you’re lucky, but unlikely in many shops, depending on variety of apple
  • the cheapest loaf of bread in a supermarket but usually nowhere else
  • not even a postage stamp!
  • maybe not even a single disposable pen! perhaps a cheap HB pencil
  • not even one single packet of potato crisps!
  • a 500ml bottle of water some places, but not most
  • one long ice pop (frozen chemical flavoured coloured frozen liquid in a plastic tube)
  • not a packet of chewing gum
  • one of the cheapest packet of biscuits in a supermarket
  • two tins of cheapest baked beans in a supermarket, but not even one in most small shops
  • not even the smallest portion of chips (fries) in any take-away
  • the very cheapest jar of coffee in a supermarket, but not even a quarter of a cup in most cafes
  • a cup of tea and two slices of toast in a church charity subsidised community cafe
  • a very small child size chocolate or sweets (candy), but not most small packets of sweets in most shops
  • a box of economy cornflakes in a supermarket but nowhere else
  • not a pint of milk most places
  • one packet of cigarette papers most shops, two packets if you’re lucky
  • a small box of matches?
  • maybe one rubbish toilet tissue roll
  • maybe a small amount of fresh loose vegetables such as: two carrots, OR two medium onions, OR one garlic bulb, OR one medium baking potato, OR 6 to 8 brussel sprouts, OR half a small cabbage, etc.
  • no type of over-the-counter medicine most places
short answer, not much…

and nothing for a penny or tuppence, nor a shilling (5p), maybe one bubble gum for 10p (2bob), perhaps a small lollipop…

What else might ‘a ten-bob-note’ (fifty pence) pay for?

  • it doesn’t cover the running cost of my fridge freezer for a day, but it might for a modern one
  • it didn’t pay for 1kW/hr of mains gas at last check of unit prices
  • it covers one day of standing charge cost on either pre-payment meter for mains electricity or mains gas
  • not enough for the charge for one day’s supply of water direct to the tap ( includes sewage drainage etc)
  • only just enough for one hour of heat using an electric fan heater in one room
  • two showers, only in summer when no room heating is needed to use a shower
  • it’s not enough for a phone call from a public payphone
  • not quite half of what is needed to travel on a bus to the next bus stop (maybe only 200m) 

Multiply that ‘ten bob’ by eighty four and that’s the amount UK law states is the amount a person being ‘sanctioned’* needs to survive. That amount in many cases is not being paid to those needy people entitled to at least this much State asistance while by one use of legal rule or another claimant’s are entirely deprived of the means to live and left with no income.

*sanctions under the 2012
Welfare Reform Act = claimants demonised and persecuted for for failing to meet claimant conditionality for Jobseekers Allowance, JA. This is often achieved by employees of the State using dirty cheap tricks, hitting soft targets, vulnerable people with no or little way to meet unreasonable conditions imposed upon them.

UK citizens are dying of health-related issues and suicide as a result of this inhumane legislation. Some of those people are sick and disabled, but denied their due legal status. Many become sick or disabled as a result of such short-sighted abuses of power and budget controls.

The UK cannot claim to be a ‘developed society’ nor is this ‘civilisation’ while such inhumanity persists. The UK has no rightful place among world leaders claiming democratic status and adherence to fairness and justice. 

Of course, many people of the world survive with not enough food, lack of clean, safe water and no sanitation. These people probably work for their survival. There are many places in the world where state welfare assistance does not exist at all. We are not very far behind them. Opportunities for work and shelter as may occur in developing countries do not exist in the UK. Such types of living and work/livelihood are illegal.

I realise that from the examples shown in my lists, it may appear that £42 is enough for most people to survive for a week. It might be considered that a person at such level of destitution deserves to lose their home and thus have no overheads of domestic service charges of water, electricity, council tax. However (a) that minimal amount is often not provided to people in extreme hardship with no other income or savings. (b) Small shops often don’t have economical food or water to buy and eat and might not sell fruit or vegetables that could be eaten raw (if no means to cook). (c) People deprived of the means to live may be so ill that they have no way of reaching markets, supermarkets, etc for economical shopping or food banks or other services for charitable assistance. (d) Church and community cafe facilities providing such a low-cost breakfast as 50p might provide are rarely available.(e) Food bank referrals are often reserved for those with children and do not exist widely enough that all have access. (f) Hardship provision from Local Authorities (councils) is only available to persons with a current open claim, not those denied a claim. Also those funds from local governement are not being spent on the designated use are used for other local budget shortfalls, as their is no legal duty to ring-fence those funds for individual hardship provision. (When well enough I might cite sources for reference).

NB: I am not currently of the category of welfare claimant described above. I am one of thousands of clamants entitled to disability support while medically unfi t for work. Under legal rules for my type of claim I may legally be left with no income for six months at a time while too ill to manage bureaucratic demands. Such deprivation is often dished out as winter approaches, increasing hardship and further ill health and disability. Court judge’s decide that if you appear at the court to defend your case you are able to work thirty five hours in types of employment that do not exist while not well enough to repeatedly and reliably turn up even two days a week and unlikely to last a full day. I am not alone in this experience, there are tens of thousands of us, not all able to claim alternative help and not all with borrowing capability or savings to fall back on. For claimants to be decided as disabled and unfit for work by an ignorant middle-class magistrate (as most seem to be) the claimant is expected to have legal welfare representation that also does not exist in reality for demand not meeting service availability. I am perhaps at continuing risk for persistence in daring to convey such opinion. NB: I write these things not for myself, there are so many more in such greater need.

The Writing101 day 2 task focusses on making lists – not ways of usings lists for purpose, which of course there are many. I started the day’s writing in ‘adverse to lists’ mode. As the day has progressed, I have more ways of making and using lists than I can probably work with today, but am likely to perhaps scatter my list posts around my blogging rooms throughout the day and who knows what might become of them next.

Throughout my writing101 course participation, anything I write on any of my blogs in response to assignment brief’s are being listed on my page index at this site. Word counts and summary of post-type is provided for additional reader selection or rejection. If as a reader you are confused by my use of different blogs, please try and see them as different rooms in my blogging home, each decoratedly differently and of different size and purpose. Hope that helps 🙂 I write for myself primarily and do not expect you to read everything, if anything at all. 😀