My first-ever radio appearance – 24th Feb 2012

Tomorrow at 15:30 GMT I’ll be a guest on Tim Abbot’s “Technical Difficulties” Resonance FM radio show.

You can listen online HERE

 

The details are as follows: Technical Difficulties

When: Fri, 24 February, 15:30 – 16:00

Description: Insights into disability with Tim Abbott and crew.
On this week’s show, we are joined by Lisa J. Ellwood, Disability and Mental Health campaigner to cast light into the relationship between out-of-work benefits, employment and sanctions and the rise of ‘workfare’ in the UK. More from her can be found at http://www.thecreativecrip.com and on Twitter @creativecrip . We can be always be found on Twitter @lightchronic and facebook.comlightchronicles
Related information:

Dear #UKgov – The #Workfare Tarot doesn’t lie …

Tarot has always been an interest of mine, to the chagrin of some of my fellow NDNZ who don’t have an affinity for anything “New Age”.

Being that as it may, it’s been a log time since made use of my Tarot.com account. Cheeky madame that I am, this is what the digital soothsayer shared with me when I asked specifically about my ability to move house and get off of needing Benefits:

The Card is JUDGEMENT (Celtic Cross, Lesson position):

“MEANING of POSITION

The card in the Lesson position points to a possible sacrifice you might have to make for the sake of business success.

You have made progress, gleaning some understanding and wisdom from your efforts to succeed in business. The card in the Lesson position points to a remaining issue that holds educational value for you, or to some sacrifice you still need to make for the sake of fulfilling your goals. You may have to let go of something you like, for the sake of balance in your plan.

Stubbornness or selfishness in this regard could cost you.

It is crucial to acknowledge the value of your work experience for the sake of your financial success. No matter how difficult it may be, make sure to honor what you are currently learning as you do you reaffirm your commitment to developing your skills and growing in your ability to contribute.

Personal investment is called for in order to derive the full benefits from the business you conduct in the world. “

source: Tarot.com

I find it hard to believe that I should sacrifice my creative and technical skills for a McJob that pays less than minimum wage. As I said in my previous post – Workfare is not  (and should not be) an option for me. Seems the Great Spirit agrees.

 

Related Information:

 

#Workfare #WorkProgramme: My Solutions for #UKgov #WRB (UPDATED)

A4e Work Programme Customer

 A4e Work Programme Customer
(Photo credit: Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty)
 

Minister‘s anger over ‘job snobs’ opposing Tesco work experience for unemployed screams the latest scrounging headline in the Daily Telegraph (aka The Torygraph). UK government and media should be ashamed of demonising people with disabilities, the   lower-classes & unemployed benefits claimants. Yet they conveniently overlook public figures, the middle class & wealthy who also claim benefits and MPs who have more lives than a cat when it comes to landing on their feet despite expenses scandals. The steady diet of lies & misinformation fed to the British masses is abominable.  Continue reading

#Workfare #WorkProgramme: My Solutions for #UKgov #WRB

New at thecreativecrip.com:

 #Workfare #WorkProgramme: My Solutions for #UKgov #WRB

Excerpt:

The majority of those championing workfare have no direct experience of it. I won’t hold my breath that Employment Minister Chris Grayling, DWP Secretary Ian Duncan Smith and other MPs would gladly “volunteer” to give up their cushy role & expenses – and live on workfare for at least one year before again passing judgement.

Read the full post here

Millionaires and the welfare state

New at thecreativecrip.com :

Millionaires and the welfare state http://t.co/K0PB9EDR

Scrounging Statistics and Soundbites No. 3: Millionaires & The Welfare State #WRB #benefits #ukpoli

 

“@: I have just published my blog ‘Benefits and the F word’ herehttp://paullewismoney.blogspot.com/2012/02/benefits-and-f-word.html

My thoughts:

What most people don’t realise is that in order to be “officially” recognised as Disabled you *must* be in receipt of DLA. Without it, it is impossible to get much needed help and support – even something as basic as a blue Badge, utility bill discount or motability car. The various programmes that exist are also run along the same tiers used by the DWP – ie, lower, middle & high rate for both care and mobility. If you don’t get higher rate of mobility or care, youre out of luck. This was my experience after becoming disabled a few years ago and using my savings, post-redundancy to fund my needs. Once that money was gone and I needed help, only then did I begin the arduous process of claiming benefits to try and keep going while I aimed for self-employment.

Were DLA not the determiner for access to services etc, I would say it is a moral issue for wealthy people like this man or David Cameron – and given the difficulties of those without such financial comfort in trying to meet the most basic of needs, the wealthy should bear the costs of their needs as long as they are financially able to do so.

Yet again – the system that is at the heart of the problem even more than any one person’s sense of “entitlement”.

http://tl.gd/foeimf ·

One life to live: the irony of #benefitscamp

 

thecreativecrip.com exists solely to document the problems faced by disabled & otherwise ill people who are routinely denied the opportunity to prove to those that judge us, and ourselves, that we are useful. Shame that in the short time it’s been up the content is split between documenting my health problems and the never-ending nightmare of trying to get much-needed help from the government to become more independent & self-sufficient. I can guarantee you that despite the platitudes on high – none of the Cabinet have the faintest understanding why they are pushing so many of us to not even want to try to live our lives anymore. Quite frankly, its obvious the coalition govt & many in Opposition don’t care.

I have spent the better part of two years floundering, barely keeping my head above water as I begged for help and fought to not be forced into the usual dead-end workfare schemes. It was purely by chance that I caught wind of last weeks #BenefitsCamp event organised by FutureGov, a consultancy and social innovation incubator helping to shape the future of government through social innovation. The event itself was for “anyone up for helping fix/change/improve the benefits system – or even better create entirely new ways of doing things”.

The great irony of #benefitscamp is that the team dominated by people with disabilities and invisible illness won the Ideas pitch session. The supreme irony for me is that in the days leading up to the event I had a suicidal meltdown capped with my “I don’t want to live this life” blog post the day before. It took willpower I didn’t know I had to keep myself alive in the aftermath of the Prime Minister, with the full support of the House of Commons, invoking an archaic privilege and overturning Welfare Reform Bill amendments passed by the House of Lords.

The day of #BenefitsCamp I was trapped in bed watching the event on my mobile via the UStream App until it was time for the event participants to split up into teams and work on the shortlisted ideas. I had 2-3 hours of pain and insomnia-fueled sleep and very nearly called it quits as I struggled to stay conscious. Working together virtually aided by Skype and the #benefitscamp livestream, my team came up with a solution that would allow disabled (and not-yet-disabled) people to get much-needed support when able to work & the desperately needed compassionate helping hand when they can’t – but without the pitfalls of the existing DWP process.

The proposed Universal Credit and other benefit “reforms” being pushed through Parliament are no more than plasters on an already festering wound. End-users have not been given a genuine opportunity like the one provided by FutureGov to offer a compromise that would help us to help ourselves, despite the Coalition government’s claims to the contrary. FutureGov have set the standard for virtual participation and collaboration. My team’s success at #BenefitsCamp shows what disabled people are capable of when we are allowed to work with much-needed adjustments.

Related information from some of my team-mates:

Benefits Camp 2012 – Workgroup 7  (worklifebalance.thecreativecrip.com)

Benefits Camp – Confidence-building (janetdavis.posterous.com)

Not idle, just unsupported (thecreativecrip.com)

FutureGov (http://wearefuturegov.com)

Not idle, just unsupported: my original #disabilityUK #dpulo idea for #benefitscamp

I‘ve had many crises over the past few years which chipped away at my resolve to stay positive and be grateful that things could never get any worse than they were in those moments. Becoming disabled is a challenge I never anticipatedI have followed the discussions of the Welfare Reform Bill in the Commons and now the House of Lords and it has literally driven me to despair. What hope can ordinary people have if a disabled Peer, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, is publicly disrespected and her concerns about the inaccessibility of the chamber summarily dismissed by her esteemed not-yet-disabled colleagues?  Continue reading

Scrounging Statistics and Soundbites No. 2 #WRB #Benefits #ukpoli

 

“We are ALL taxpayers & majority of #benefits goes right back into govt coffers & economy including landlords & retail sharks like Brighthouse. The housing & amenities of poorer locales tell a story and it’s not a nice one.” ~ Me on Twitter via twitlonger.com (@CreativeCrip)

 

Continue reading

I don’t want to live this life… #wrb #disability #ukpoli

 

It seems I can kiss my #ESA goodbye with the 1yr limit. Submitted yet another review pack for Xmas and STILL have not heard back. #WRAG has been humiliating & useless. A4E – they of benefit busters infamy. Found Venture Wales on my own – they saw me once, made promises & then vanished. I’m being punished despite pushing myself to do everything that I was ordered to do.

Then again everyone’s attitude is “eff off home” despite the fact that I’m domiciled here and have paid top tax pre-disability. I also have nowhere to go back to in the US even if I wanted to. Would rather die than have to go back to situations I fought hard to escape from.

I’m newly disabled – it’s tough enough having to cope with all the things I can’t do and need help with and the pressure & upset brought on by the DWP & Atos has made things much worse. I’m tearing my hair out with worry over becoming homeless again. Council homeless unit & housing programme admin pathetic. Too bad the suicide attempt Xmas 2009 failed.

And for any assholes that want to snipe about Tweeting, blogging & work – I’m trapped in bed, soaking wet and have slowly tapped this out on my mobile while flat on my back. I’ll crash unconscious another 3 or 4 times before I might have the strength to force myself up. Give me perfect health and the #ukbiz & #ukcare support I need to be self-employed and you can take my ESA and housing benefit.  I hate what my life has unexpectedly become.

 

Note:  For further background, review the section “The ‘Me’ You Don’t Know” and my Atos, DLA & ESA Category posts on the my experiences trying to get help.