The Ideal Alternative To The Benefits System

*Kicks hornet’s nest: I think the Benefits System needs scrapping.

Comrades – Hear me out; I will start this memo off with a fact. I am claiming benefits and I am also a disabled British National (I have Schizo-Affective Disorder and I was born in Norfolk – I am also British). As a claimant of ESA, DLA, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit I am on the ‘top whack’ for a lot of these due to chronic illness. But, I am doing okay for myself because of it. Some months I have food in all the time. I am comfortably impoverished. If my health was good, I would return to education. But, in this Blog post, I hope to outline a ‘good idea’ for the scrapping of the benefits system.

A Turkey Voting For Christmas?

Why would I state that the benefits system needs scrapping? Why would I say that after my bold boast that I am “Comfortably Impoverished?” I am saying the benefits system in the UK needs scrapping because it has become a game.

I have just applied for the replacement to ESA, called PIP. The idea of the “PIP Game” is that the governing body has to realise how ill you are and then you will be awarded your set amount of money from the government. The government have a set number of benchmarks to gauge how ill you are. The iller you are, the more money you get. It is in peoples interest to be ill because the iller you are, the more money you get.

There are even people who’s job it is to ensure you get the right benefits (ie “You are ill with X, so you receive X money”). It is a charade.

The Solution

I believe I am paraphrasing Marx when I say this – I think I am just re-iterating the redistribution of wealth. But, here goes: would it make sense to offer a Universal Salary to everyone who is a subject of HM Queen?

A standard set amount of money is distributed throughout the year regardless of your health, income, race, gender, sexual preference or anything that unites or separates us? Paid for by our current taxes.

Wouldn’t it be the compassionate thing to do? To extend the hand of brotherhood to each and every person of this fair isle? To embrace all that is great about the diversity of this island, and kick the Gammons in to touch once and for all?

With the Universal Salary – people would be able to ask for the money – if they are in a tight spot or not – without the assessment. The sheer amount of faff that goes into a benefit claim means that the government are sometimes spending more legitimising the recipient’s claim than the recipient will receive in benefits.

It is a game. Kafka’s “Trial” reminds me of the whole process. A man is arrested without being told what he has been arrested for – he is allowed to go about his normal life regardless. He is just ‘Arrested + on trial’. As in Kafka’s book, you are constantly on trial without committing a crime when you are on benefits. You are marked when you are on benefits.

The redistribution of wealth, the Universal Salary, means that peoples taxes, the taxes that they already pay, will be used for a fairer society – a society that helps the ill person and the single parent. A society that helps the student and helps the pensioner.

A fairer society.

I rarely talk about this sort of thing on this Blog – I do not have the wit to become a campaigner for Disability Rights, or the charm – I am a man who sits in his pyjamas working as a web designer. It is rare I write about my Health. I try and keep it to myself.

But this really, really got to me. DWP: don’t send me back to Dark Place.

Thoughts On Nocturnal Living

It is currently 02:44 – this gives me license to be as camp and as melodramatic as I want; there is nobody here to judge me. This proposed course of action may sit uneasily with me. But, hell – let’s ride it out, there is nobody around to judge me after all. But what of this Nocturnal Living? Is it just tonight that I am wide awake in the small hours?

Unfortunately, I have a good few nights a week where I am up during the darkness. Does it bother me? I don’t know – I will get to that. Does it bother Kathryn? I hope not – that is the only real sticking point. To be honest, I am unsure whether my health (for it is a matter of health – ask not) impacts much on Kathryn’s modus operandi. She is an incredibly independent lady and a pleasure to be with. She seems to enjoy the time we have together all the more for being apart. So do I – she is a joy to be with and I still get butterflies when I hear her waking up in the morning after I have had a sleepless night, ready to greet her for the day.

So, let’s get to the crux of the matter – does my health make me appreciate Nocturnal Living or is Nocturnal Living seen as part of the landscape? As in, I appreciate there would be no nocturnal living without my ill health but would I still strive for this lifestyle?

I appreciate I do not want this blog post to turn in to “… what could have been” post. But I am instead making the best of a bad situation: listening to the cricket, producing a radio show, reading, listening to music (headphones – Sennheiser) chatting to mates in distant lands – all this is only achievable if I have a sleepless night.

I appreciate that, as an outsider to me, you may think I would actively strive to try and get a good nights sleep, a regular pattern – but – here is the thing: it is quite enjoyable to howl at the moon. In a nutshell, financially – I am broke. I will never be flush. Tapestry of Life: richest weave in the immediate family. There is so much I can do within the confines of my own four walls on a sleepless night that I cannot do in the daytime when Life gets in the way.

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise

– William Blake, 1757-1827.

The Parish News

Here, listen to this – you may/may not dig it. Well, give it a try, what is the worst that can happen? Ear-pox? Inspiration-flu? Jazz-hemmorhoids?

My mind is racing – a few things are going through my mind as I write this and listen back to the radio show to check for swear words. This blog post, where I am thinking aloud, can either provide contentment or be a sign-post to a committal in hospital.

After listening through to the above show, it is the best show I have yet done – not an excessive amount of ‘umming’ and ‘aahing’ but still a fair share – I must get a grip on that.

It is the early hours of Easter Monday.

So, Spring has officially sprung – Easter Sunday has been and gone – have you left your cave, drank the red wine and found your light? Religious festivities are easy come, easy go with me. Yes, I admire the Quaker Tradition but that is seen as a spirituality – and a lived spirituality at that. I am not in a position mentally or physically to commit so I will cheer from the touchline ad hope for the best.

With it being Easter, there is a lot of moon in the sky. I have been told that a full moon exerts the same gravitational pull as a mosquito sucking blood from your skin – I am unsure whether it is the ambient light in the night sky or not – but either way I feel alive and yet slightly meh at the same time. It is an interesting dichotomy in that I am physically drained yet mentally I feel like I have just mainlined an espresso. I hope it calms down but I appear to be in for the long haul.