Archives for posts with tag: means of survival


We are not rational creatures, as a descriptor of humanity, we have the potential to be rational, but even attempting to be rational has subjective bias for all sorts of reasons including regional and cultural bias. We also use reason and logic selectively, prejudice is very real, but also irrational. We make no conscious choice to abandon reason, but we do abandon reason for particular beliefs, often defending them stridently and even violently. One of the critical factors of prejudice is that it is all too often impervious to reason.

We have laboured far too long under the Newtonian bias of living creatures as discrete biological machines, which is far too simplistic for the complexity and subtlety of being.

Just before the year 2000 I expressed a hope that the millennium would mark the end of the age of reason and the idea that life submits to reason. Reason, logic and rationality all exist in our life tool box, but whether we choose to use them, or how much, is another matter.

Life becomes less confusing and more explicable if we accept being irrational and unreasonable as essential parts of our self. We feel most alive when our thoughts and internal dialogue are overwhelmed and silenced, most naturally experienced when we are awed by something, like a glorious sunset or some incredible view. But we can also be overwhelmed by trauma, which can be so shockingly real it overwhelms our ability to reason and even function. In such moments or circumstances, life can become too immediately and brutally real for us to deal with and we ‘go into shock’.

If we think that there is a reason for everything and that life submits to reason, we reduce life to meet our expectations of it. It doesn’t work that way, or only in a fundamentally flawed way, and we succeed only in reducing ourselves and on that path lies much that we call mental illness, like depression, (conflicted self), dissociation, and schizophrenia which is known to frequently be triggered by trauma, although exact causes are unknown.

The idea of us as rational creatures is a fallacy and any therapy that embraces that fallacy is toxic to both the practitioner and the client. A therapist with a behavioural or psychological agenda is a danger to clients, not least because they are in a position of power and the presumption that they know best reduces the autonomy, and the ability to be self determining, of the client, which is precisely the problem we have today with a paternalistic government which presumes to know what is best for everyone else and are offended by, and contemptuous of, people, ‘not like them’. Cognitive bias is a real and present danger, it is an irrationality of judgement based on ones own perceptions and/or propaganda and the affirmation of those of the same mind.

Paternalism is the irrational belief in ones own superiority to others and, in asserting itself, it perpetuates itself by keeping others down. We need look no further than the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to see this in action and the DWP is a perfect reflection of the broader mindset of the entire Conservative government.

Many people are going into crisis under this Conservative government and mental ill health is on the rise. One of the problems, I suggest, is that people are cognitively biased (educated) to think that governments are, or ought to be, ‘good’ and have our best interests at heart. Firstly, there is little to suggest in history that this is the case, and secondly, changing government policy for the benefit of the people all too often comes from long, intense and determined struggle against governments which are determined to ignore or suppress protest and progress. Votes for women and universal suffrage being a, currently celebrated, prime example, another is the abolition of slavery, after protracted and brutal struggle, which saw slave owners rewarded and compensated for their loss and former slaves ‘liberated’ and abandoned with nothing and forced back into the harsh employment of their once ‘owners’ and the owners unreconstructed mind set.

The presumption of reason is that we should or ought to be reasonable at all times when demonstrably we are not. If I decide I want to buy a particular picture or even just a pair of shoes, my primal concern is about whether I like whatever I am buying. Rationalising comes after the fact. The ‘art’ of buying is getting ‘what I like’, my aesthetic taste comes before anything else and it is to aesthetic taste that advertisers appeal, despite all the baloney they throw our way. Even if the product is a pile of junk, it is the advertisers job to make it as appealing as possible and to extol its real or fictitious virtues to persuade us to buy it. It is very easy to confuse what we want with what we need and to bleat about needing what we want. I am not a fan of being needy, but a big fan of being wanty, If I am expressing what I want, I am being self asserting, if I am being needy, I am being beggarly, no matter how vital that need is, and if it is vital, then I very definitely want it and should, most likely, strenuously demand it.

The current benefits system routinely deprives people of the means of survival (money) through sanctions. Too many people are so traumatised, broken down, dehumanised and beaten by such inhuman cruelty and brutality, that they take their own lives in despair because they can see no way to assert themselves to obtain something so vital to all of us for our survival in the modern world. It can be intensely difficult to grasp the idea of demanding money, especially when we have not ‘earned ‘ it, because it is a manufactured commodity in which the majority are conditioned to its politically and ideologically imposed scarcity, whilst the super rich are conditioned to endlessly increasing their wealth and being politically and ideologically rewarded for their greed.

The world in which we live is becoming ever more irrational whilst claiming the moral high ground of bogus rationality. As the saying goes, ‘It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society’, and right now society is profoundly sick indeed. It is entirely reasonable to oppose and actively resist this appalling descent into ever increasing chaos, irrationality, unreason and despotic greed.

But that’s not good enough because reason has little to do with it, reason is not getting people galvanised and motivated to act. Reason falls on deaf ears. It requires something else, a different approach. Those who follow the herd and submit to, and even support, the tyranny of our times, will follow the tide wherever it goes, it’s not a particularly rational process and we are being irrational if we believe it should be.

We actually have gone past the age of reason, it’s no longer a functioning ideology. What is required, by the most creative means at our disposal, is to get real, visceral, vibrant and vital, our purpose needs to be more of a celebration than a dismal fight. Every day people engage in online debates, climbing into their bunkers, digging in, ever deeper, and looking for the next round of ammunition, hoping it’ll be more hard hitting and effective than the last lot, till someone finally mentions Hitler and everyone can buzz off and live to fight another day, persuading themselves that they are absolutely in the right and reason is on their side. And move not one inch further forward.

It is actually our minds fault that we repeat the same mistakes again and again hoping for a better outcome. Every serious thinker has to, of necessity, challenge their own mind and if we really do want to change society, then the first thing we need to change is right between our ears and that is more challenging than we might imagine, because we are all conditioned thinkers and thinking outside the, so called, box is actually very difficult.

What do we want? We want things to be better. Why? Because we’re better than this, no matter how much you or I might feel in despair, we are absolutely better than this. We are living, breathing, human beings, who made it here, into life for this all too brief journey in time and I’ll be buggered if I’ll accept a beggarly existence, eked out by, and on the sufferance of, some hideous despotic government which is robbing us blind.

This is our one shot at life, for fucks sake, and saying that is more accurate than it might at first seem. We are the biological progeny of life itself. Is that not amazing? Are we not wonderful, glorious even? For all of life’s many tribulations,I am gloriously alive and life is amazing. Who are these dismal dullards who are killing us off because it is economically expedient (for them) to do so? Akk, akk, akk, akk, stick in my craw, fur ball, moment. If only metaphorically, spit them out, who the hell are they to dictate how we live or whether we’re worthy to live? We are definitely better than that. You are wonderful and I am wonderful and if that is difficult to grasp, it is time to work on it and change our own minds, until we really and truly get it and realise we’re something extraordinary.

Last word from the indomitable Harry Leslie Smith to a critic, “That I am healthy, relevant and feel loved so late in the game is my life of Riley.”

KOG. 11 February 2018.



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,492

Wednesday 13 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

I am afraid I do not have any words of welcome to offer you, there would be nothing laudable or useful in such words of insincerity from me. I prefer to leave them to politicians, for many of whom insincerity and downright hypocrisy is their stock in trade.

Before attaining the crown of leadership by default you campaigned under the banner of, ‘A country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few’. Given your voting record of supporting the bedroom tax, voting against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices , voting against higher benefits for long term sick and disabled people, voting to reduce council tax support, voting to reduce social security, to name but a few, your campaign banner does not inspire confidence.

As a member of the privileged elite, it is fair to ask you, what have the elites ever done for us that has not come through bitter and protracted struggle? History does not inspire confidence in attention grabbing banners and what has been a six year war against the poorest and most vulnerable people in Britain at the cost of thousands of lives.

At the very least we need an end to the atrocious sanctions regime and tick box Work Capability Assessments which are depriving people of the most basic means of survival.

Whilst George Osborne has consistently laid the responsibility for Britain’s recovery at the door of the poor, it was not the poor who broke the world’s economies, it was not the poor who made Britain one of the world’s most unequal countries and it was not the poor who raised Britain’s debt to £1.6 trillion. All that and more lies with the privileged elites.

It falls to you to negotiate Britain’s departure from the EU and even the Washington Post has picked up that you proposed using Europeans living in the UK as bargaining chips. It says much about you that you would even consider treating the lives of ordinary people in this way. Andy Burnham said in parliament this week, “My own kids would quite like their mom (from the Netherlands) to stay here forever if that is okay.” I hope you were listening, because people’s lives are not yours to play with.


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,468

Saturday 18 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Are you or are you not the leader of your party? If you are, something I have serious cause to question, you need to reign your party in and stop the deliberate spreading of misinformation, fear and lies.

I know it is a tough call for someone who has lied to parliament and the nation with impunity. Remember your statement about the bedroom tax and telling parliament, “Obviously, what we’ve done is exempt disabled people who need an extra room?” Remember your 2010 election pledge? This what you told the Royal College of Pathologists on 2 November 2009 “With the Conservatives there will be no more of the tiresome, meddlesome, top-down re-structures that have dominated the last decade of the NHS.”

Baroness Manzoor, the Lib Dem work and pensions spokeswoman, has raised the issue of Priti Patel breaching the principles of the Ministerial Code over “misleading and inaccurate” claims about Turkish membership of the EU and has warned Patel to ‘consider her position as a minister’. Manzoor has asked Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood to consider whether Patel has issued an ‘outright falsehood’ over Turkey and is concerned that Patel could ‘stoke public fear and resentment of the existing Turkish community in the UK’.

Britain is having a seizure over the referendum and it is no accident. It is a culmination of 6 years of lies and manufactured hate by you and your party, from Osborne’s rhetoric of people sleeping off a life on benefits to the DWP depriving people of the means of survival. But you are not alone, the media has brought the nation poverty porn and right wing rags like the Sun and the Mail glory in the lies they tell, not least about immigration and their xenophobic peddling of fear and hate against any human being who isn’t pale pink or spray on orange and dresses in drapes/robes rather than a frock or tee/shirt and trousers like wot yer average English mongrel race type person does.

My letter yesterday was castigated by one Facebook user as a hate piece against the Leave campaign because I had the temerity to suggest that the damned referendum be called off because of all the chaos, and another added a map of where I live with the following, “Check the address. It’s a care home for the clinically insane”.

Right now, as a life long resident of these islands, Britain is about as attractive as something a dog vomited and which only a dog would go back to and it’s headed up by the most divisive and offensive government in our history.

Cameron misleads Parliament on Bedroom Tax and disability in PMQs

Priti Patel ‘could have broken ministerial code’ with Turkish claims


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,464

Tuesday 14 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I would like to thank you for the GOV.UK web page – “Report online material promoting terrorism or extremism”.

I have taken the opportunity to report an organisation that has recently accepted that its actions are a factor in the deaths of many people in this country. In their defence they state that it would be inaccurate and misleading to link deaths solely to their behaviour. Which may be so, but that does not in any way absolve them of their extremist behaviour towards people in the UK and the part they play in causing the widespread distress that has led to so many deaths. The organisation is, of course, your governments own Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The website I reported was the Gov.UK ‘Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance sanctions statistics’. I included the following in my report: “The website represents Britain’s secret penal system, imposing judgements and sentences without trial or representation and depriving people of the means of survival. Something no court in the land would do. The sanctions regime is government extremism which leaves victims destitute and desperate.”

There are three levels of sanctions, lower, intermediate or higher level, that is 4 weeks, 13 weeks up to 156 weeks and since 2012 the amount sanctioned is ‘100% of the prescribed amount for a single claimant’. This prescribed amount refers to the minimum amount the law defines a person needs to live on, in other words the minimum amount of money a person requires for their basic survival.

Without food it is reckoned that it is possible to survive for three weeks, so with no other means of support, at 4 weeks the sanctioned claimant would be rather dead, at 13 weeks they would be very dead and smelly and at 156 weeks I guess they would be a somewhat withered husk. To the best of my knowledge death has an extremely limited recovery rate, so whichever sanction is applied, at the end of the sanction it is unlikely the body would be able to sign on without a great deal of help, nor yet be able to fulfil whatever commitments the DWP demands of claimants. It seems to me that under such circumstances the corpse would very quickly find itself subject to yet another sanction, but on the up side, the corpse will probably not be all that bothered.

Is it just me or does this all sound a bit extreme to you? Living in bonkers Britain it is hard to know any more, after all you Tories seem to maintain some functional capability even though you lack both hearts and souls. Despite this you do seem to have retained some limited ability for speech, yet every word that comes out is a lie, so I wonder if that isn’t just the babbling of the father of all lies transmitted through however he manages to animate your heartless, soulless bodies from the bowels of hell?


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,436

Tuesday 17 May 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Power speaking to me is not democracy, authority is not democracy and in order to speak to me it must be legitimate. I am democracy, I speak to power as a right, that is democracy. Write that down and remember it well, because no matter what happens, or how this present desecration works out, that is the truth. If people fear to speak to power then something is terribly wrong.

Democracy is something I exercise as a human right and when you told us, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone,” you declared your intention to abuse the exercise of power without being held accountable. Whatever the rules are, whatever the law is, you presumed to declare yourself lawless, and to act against us in whatever way you choose. And you have done just that.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) deprives people of the means of survival on a routine basis. The Human Rights Act 1998 states, ‘Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law’. The DWP is clearly acting outside of the law, imposing sentences that are not handed down by a court of law and in excess of any lawful sentences, through its own arbitrary rules and for the most trivial reasons.

The Workfare programme is a system of forced labour, without pay, under threat of sanctions. Article 4 of the human rights act stipulates, ‘No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour’. Workfare infringes our human rights and any normal civic obligations and is a criminal offense. The courts have already ruled that the Workfare programme is illegal, and yet the DWP persists in its pogrom of forced labour.

In making the statement above to the country, you betrayed whatever legitimacy you might have had and became a self declared rogue government. What matters is that people imprint that in their consciousness and, no matter what you get up to, apply that at all times and under all circumstances. You are right that for too long, we have been a passively tolerant society but only in a historic subservience to power. That is what requires a seismic shift.

No one is above the law and that includes you.–e1q_01xlZZ

21_april_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,409

Thursday 21 April 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

A terminally ill woman with cancer has been denied PIP on appeal. So much brutality, so many people dead. I know it’s not the sort of thing you’d put in your manifesto, a thing that has never been burdened with anything approximating the truth, but really, culling the poor, the sick, disabled, the elderly, in fact anyone who is unable to slave for a crust of bread?

You don’t have room for plausible deniability and you don’t even try. Cut off the means of survival and you procure people’s deaths, not in tens, or hundreds, or thousands, but tens, even hundreds, of thousands. Of course the DWP denies any ‘causal effect between benefits and mortality’ and yet it’s own guide lines acknowledge that loss of benefits causes health deterioration.

When considering stopping benefits for vulnerable people, the guidance says: “It would be usual for a normal healthy adult to suffer some deterioration in their health if they were without: 1. essential items such as food, clothing, heating and accommodation, or 2. sufficient money to buy essential items for a period of two weeks. The DM (Decision Maker) must determine if a person with a medical condition would suffer a greater decline in health than a normal healthy adult and would suffer hardship.”

It’s there in black and white and sanctions can be imposed for as long as three years. The causal relationship between benefits and health deterioration is written in the bloody guidelines and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the ultimate in health deterioration is death.

There is a heart rending testimony from a woman caught in the pension debacle which has seen hundreds of thousands of women born in the fifties losing out on their pensions, without notification. In her own words she writes, “I guess we all have to die of something….but…I never, in my wildest dreams, ever imagined that I might die from having my pension removed for SIX YEARS by the most brutal, evil and repugnant government, nay, not government, but ‘regime’, ever to have ruled Britain in my lifetime.”

Women who have worked all their lives are now the abandoned victims of economic warfare, struggling for their lives and, of course, just like those suffering under the DWP sanctions regime, on top of the sheer burden of physical hardship is the untold distress that inevitably accompanies the brutal imposition of hardship. And what are you doing about any of this? Nothing, it has your full support and backing.

15_april_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,403

Friday 15 April 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Following the handing over of the HSBC files to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the subsequent investigation, just one prosecution was made although HMRC did manage to offer an amnesty to 3,600 UK customers identified as potentially hiding their money in Switzerland. Nor did HSBC face any formal action from the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Financial Times has revealed that there are unlikely to be any prosecutions arising from the Panama papers scandal though a few individuals might be embarrassed by the revelations. It’s kind of cute when you think about it, some wealthy criminal suffering a little pink flush in an awkward social situation. Bless.

So, well, anyway, that’s that then eh? Another triumph for those who wilfully decide not to contribute to the countries and societies which support and sustain them in their accumulation of wealth.

Not so the hapless recipients of welfare though, the jobseekers and low paid, the sick and disabled and the homeless. Without trial or consultation, the DWP arbitrarily and routinely removes the means of survival from millions of people, 900,000 JSA sanctions in the year April 2013 and March 2014 alone. The single factor that unites them all is the crime of being poor and therefore easy meat for a predatory government to pick on.

Remember George Osborne in his 2015 summer budget speech saying ‘those who oppose any savings to Tax Credits will have to explain how on earth they propose to eliminate the deficit, let alone run a surplus and pay down debt’? Indeed, for who else is there to eliminate the deficit and pay down debt if not the poor?

A Tax Justice Network (USA) report reveals that between $21 – $32 trillion is stashed away globally in tax havens and HMRC basically can’t touch a penny of it. It was your government that opposed EU plans to ‘combat industrial-scale tax avoidance’, bearing in mind that tax avoidance schemes are legal instruments for withholding tax, so that’s before we even get to illegal tax evasion.

It comes down to this, the poor are being deprived of food and shelter and vital aid whilst the rich accumulate ever more wealth whilst avoiding and evading paying money that would prevent poor people from suffering and dying. I don’t know how that looks to you, Mr Cameron, watching you in parliament I’m guessing it amuses you and provides plenty of ammunition to make cheap jibes at those who oppose you. To me it looks like what it is, an obscenity without precedent in post war Britain, an evil so vast and so craven there aren’t even words to describe it. Is this what a generation sacrificed their lives for?

07_april_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,395

Thursday 07 April 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Tax evaders have an implicit arrogant expectation that everyone else will pay for the social infrastructure that supports their criminal lifestyles. Tax avoidance, whilst technically legal, is the equally morally bankrupt equivalent of tax evasion.

Those who exploit such practices even have the temerity and arrogance to accuse people (like me) of the politics of envy. What they fail to understand or wilfully propagandise to their own advantage, is that it is not envy of their wealth that prompts indignation and even outrage, it is their self serving greed and their disdain for the common wealth of ordinary people that supports them.

You really should understand this better than most as your own father established Blairmore Holdings Inc, in Panama in 1981 in which its 2006 investment prospectus stated, “The directors intend that the affairs of the fund should be managed and conducted so that it does not become resident in the UK for UK taxation purposes. Accordingly… the fund will not be subject to UK corporation tax or income tax on its profits.” At this time it is moot whether you profited by your fathers tax arrangements, what matters is the issue of financial arrangements which exist to evade or avoid taxation of which you are indisputably fully aware.

Even the most politically ill informed must surely be aware of the issue of tax dodging but it is likely that these shady pursuits could well have continued unremarked were it not for one thing, you have weaponised money in the UK. Under your government money (the means of survival) has become weaponised as a means of punishment and torture in order to force compliance to government dictat causing material and life threatening harm to millions.

It is possible that you might still have got away with your ‘permanent austerity’ and ‘all in this together’ rhetoric were it not for egregious policies that reward the rich with tax breaks and protection, including tax havens in British crown dependent territories, whilst impoverishing and depriving poor, sick and disabled people of support and even the means of survival, costing thousands of lives.

The pressure you are under is of your own making. If you want someone to blame for the political storm that is sweeping this country, look in the mirror. If you are feeling hounded and persecuted, it is no more than you have been dishing out for six years to millions of ordinary people. It is too late to expect mercy, the mercy ship sank a long time ago and you were at the helm and if tax evaders and avoiders are beginning to exude some perspiration, it is not before time.

Cameron tax avoidance: If dodgy Dave isn’t getting the money, who will?

05_march_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,362

Saturday 05 March 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

There can only be one possible reason for pushing ahead with cuts to ESA and refusing to conduct an impact assessment on how such measures will affect disabled people, the cuts are designed to be punitive and the effects are intended to be brutally harsh.

The dream that advancing technology and increased productivity and wealth would end the need for full employment and create a world in which everyone would share in a common wealth has turned out to be a nightmare. What no one foresaw in that dream was the polarisation of wealth which excluded the common labourer, or, worse still, that far from gaining a share of wealth, the common labourer would not only be excluded but eradicated along with the unemployed, the sick and disabled and the retired.

Depending on what you read, Britain is hailed as the 4th, 5th or sixth richest country in the world, what is seldom asked is, where is all that wealth?

Britain is the most unequal country in the EU and the most unequal of all advanced nations. Not only are the poorest people in Britain excluded from any share in the nations wealth, they are being driven into ever more insecure and meaningless jobs for ever more insecure pay, if any.

The wholesale attacks on poor, sick and disabled people by Iain Duncan Smith and his coterie of DWP devils are entirely ideological, the message being, if you can’t work, you won’t eat.

Of course Smith doesn’t want an impact assessment on his draconian cuts, he knows the impact will be disastrous because that’s exactly what the cuts are designed to be. In one of the richest nations on the world, incentivising the poorest and most vulnerable into work by denying them the means of survival is purely ideological. It is not state welfare or social security, it is social cleansing and the eradication of the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.

26_january_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,327

Tuesday 26 January 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

A survey by seven psychiatrists found that four out of five politicians have been victims of intrusive or aggressive behaviour and suggests that MPs should be given more protection from the public.

The Mirror reports that, ‘Some 239 MPs took part in the survey and 43 said they had been subject to attack or attempted attacks, 101 said they had received threats to harm them and 52 had faced threats of property damage.’

Whilst facing real and present danger is terrifying and emotionally and psychologically damaging and debilitating, the counter question that the report fails to ask is who protects the public from MPs?

The Mirror report does not offer any insight into what is driving people to act violently towards MPs and yet the news is increasingly filled with stories of people driven to desperation and beyond, even to taking their own lives because of ever more brutal cuts to vital, lifeline, support.

A report published by Civitas last week found that 1.5 million people are leaving the welfare records each year and MP Frank Field reports that the wellbeing of at least a third of people being sanctioned is ‘anybody’s guess’. Once sanctioned, people are wiped out from the system and no longer appear on unemployment statistics.

Being deprived of the means of survival via sanctions as a punishment for even the most spurious reasons is an act of violence that millions are suffering at the hands of Iain Duncan Smith and the Department of Work and Pensions. It can hardly be a surprise that desperate people do desperate acts, many tragically taking their own lives.

So the burning question remains, who protects the public from MPs?