A Little Help From…..

I’ve not blogged much the past few days. We’ve been busy sorting out applications left right and centre to get some mobility assistance to keep me working & generally safe in the house. There’s been the 13 page additional statement for the PIP form that I’ve finally completed (I’ll do a separate post about it later, but suffice to say, it doesn’t fill you with masses of self respect ), contacting Access To Work to help with ramps at school and help with getting my chair in and out of the car, and handing over unspeakable volumes of cash to get a stairlift installed.

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So yes, I’m 2 months shy of turning 36 and I’m having my own personal roller coaster installed. It’s just slower than you’d hope (no loops). And I’m not wholly sure I can get my head around using it just yet, which is a shame considering that it costs over £5k to install  (Getting ill apparently equates to hemorrhaging money).

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I missed a call from Adult social services today for a phone assessment for occupational health. There’s an irony to not being able to answer the phone to occupational health because you’re at work. *facepalm*

Still, at least unlike the PIP trauma, I’m not having to prove how shit I am to get assistance from Access to Work or Occupational Health – a diagnosis is enough. They genuinely feel like they want to help. There’s a general feeling of disinterest for any disability assistance from central government sources -A friend asked if I’d give feedback on the new online form for PIP – for the first time in a long time I couldn’t bring myself to even look. I felt demoralised and dehumanised by that form & the idea of going through all of that again in person in an interview just makes me want to cry. On the flipside, work are being so wonderfully supportive and are absolutely living up to their motto of being a place that people want to come to. Management genuinely feel like they care and I had the most touching email from a student thanking me for not giving up on them even when my own life is falling apart.

I only wish these guys would take a leaf out of my employers book.

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Work & Mr Geek are giving me back much of the self esteem that form kicked out of me and I’m starting to feel like my badass self again. I know it’s really bad taste, but I need to laugh at myself and Cartman just says it best.

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Is middle class a state of mind or a wad of cash?

Ok, you people have brains, so here are the two posts that I am about to refer to. Make up your own minds.

Jilly Luke – http://www.leftfutures.org/2013/08/lentils-and-lager-why-we-forgive-tax-evaders-but-not-benefit-claimants/

A Girl Named Jack – http://agirlcalledjack.com/2013/08/25/dear-jilly-luke-i-tried-to-top-myself-six-months-ago-in-my-beatrix-potter-cosy-poverty/

But here’s my two penneth…

Ms Luke appears to be trying to make an argument (and one that I agree with) that David Cameron and his media circus is attempting to portray the less well off sections of our society as undesirable, unlawful and the reason why our financial institutions have made most of us suffer. Not surprisingly, they are not likely to vote for him. However, the propaganda is extended further to beguile the middling to aspire to the ‘middle class’ which having met some of the ‘true middle class’, is out of reach of many of us. As a teacher, the chances of me earning enough to afford private education and ponies is laughable, however I do consider my family with their higher education, own home, use of cous cous and grasp of grammar (I’m sorry Internet) to be quite middle class. Middle class that teeters on a monthly paycheck.

So in essence, I agree.

But.

She worded her argument poorly. In trying to explain that the propaganda has led many people to judge the ‘poor’ by their outward appearance, she appears to have fallen into her own trap.

Jack is described as living in a Beatrice Potter-esq poverty because of the culinary choices she makes. Because she has made healthy choices, or those which have allowed her to stretch her money further by making use of certain ingredients that the poor couldn’t possibly understand like chickpeas and lentils, she is deemed ‘middle class’ (which is now a slur? I think.) Jack certainly writes with eloquence, which flies in the face of the illiterate picture that people on benefits are meant to be.

It seems the argument is unravelling. Or is it?

I think what Jilly was trying to say is that we love Jack because she’s openly trying. She’s found a way to live through the benefits system without becoming the Cameron stereotype. She’s not the scrounger that the government would like us to judge all claimants to be, but a mum doing her best in the worst of circumstances. There are people who just won’t try, or who don’t know how to, but making them villains won’t work (those in glass houses?)

I think Jilly was trying to say, suck it up Cameron, this woman is proving you wrong and is supported not just by the ‘proud working class’.

At least, I hope that’s what she’s saying.