annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary



I didn't get up at all yesterday, just mooched around my bed in pyjamas, dozing and reading the new JK Rowling (as Robert Gilbraith) crime novel. Which I am enjoying for its characters and relationships and general cheeriness despite having a plot that hinges around some scary people. I'd be very scared for the main female if it wasn't so clear that the author enjoys her and she will definitely be back in the next book.

Today was back to Ordeal by Benefits Claim. Fuck. Ing. Hell. I went to the jobcentre first, to pick a form so YD and H could add GS to their claim now he's living with them, money to which they are entitled according to the govt's own online benefit calculator. The hatchet-faced old bag I asked for the form interrogated me as to why there was a new claim for a sixteen year old and when I explained said they'd only pay if he'd been placed with them under a court order. I don't think this is true, but she would NOT give me the form. Somehow I didn't call her a liar to her face. We 'discussed' it for a while and then a man from the queue behind me came up and gently told me to stay strong, it would be OK and I realised I'd become a bit loud and weepy. His kindness finished me off so I sat on the steps outside and just sobbed for a bit, then sighed, pulled myself together and treated myself to the two courses for a tenner lunch special at the French Bistro.

Came home and spent a couple of hours on the phone, being given the run around, put forward to this desk, then that, pretending to be YD on occasion - I have her NI number off pat now and know her date of birth as I was there, birthing - and finally someone at either the DWP or HMRC agreed that they are entitled and a form is in the post.

What worries me, well, one of the things, is the thought of some of the slower-thinking kids I used to teach, up against this system designed to be so complicated you give up. There are two girls in particular, Gemma and Cathy, both good-natured, decent girls who were as dim as they come. They'd be the last to be employed, the first to be let go - the kind of repetitive, undemanding jobs that would suit people like them are long gone - and how do they manage? They struggled to write their name, subject, group and teacher in the grid on the front of their exercise books so would have no chance with a forty page form couched in horrible jargon, and the people that used to be able to help the less literate are also long gone.

But, on the bright side, the pernicious working tax credit cuts have been delayed, by the House of Lords, which is kind of ironic. The Tories called in all their troops to vote, including fucking Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber (said to be worth £620 million), flown back from New York, first class, at tax payers fucking expense to vote to make the poorest working people even poorer. It's all kicking off now - Government saying Lords don't have right to veto a bill, everyone else saying you came to power under false pretences - there's a clip of Cameron on a pre-election TV debate saying he wouldn't cut working tax credits and here he is doing so six months later. There's also a good clip from Question Time (BBC politics show with live audience putting questions to politicians) of a woman who voted for them because of their promise to look after low paid workers who stands to lose enough to not be able to pay her way, crying. Of course the real issue here is low wages and high housing and fuel costs - it is absolutely mental for people to work a full week and not have enough to cover basic costs no matter how they budget.

Well, we'll see what will happen. There are grounds for a bit of optimism but not much.

I had a smoke just now in the light of the full moon. Moon bathing. Going for another one, then back to bed and book. Was going to visit ED tomorrow but still far too exhausted and emotional to be any good to anyone.

Grateful for: a roof over my head; a warm bed; a quiet cat; a full belly; pretty good health, all things considered.

Sleep well, xxxx

12:48 a.m. - 27.10.15


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