Controlling the plebs

VIII hate the word “hysterical”, derived from the word for “womb”, but it has no precise synonym. Irascible and neurotic together fit the circs. I had a letter from the landlord’s agent, about the safety inspection for my gas boiler. “It is imperative that the appointment is kept.” In Bold at the bottom, it says,

If you have a card/key operated gas or electricity meter, please ensure that gas and electricity is in credit, as the plumber requires both to carry out his tests. If there is no gas or electricity and the plumber has to call back you will be responsible for the call out charge of £25. It would be far better to arrange another appointment, than incur a bill for an abortive call out.

XVIII wonder how often that happens, that people have no money for gas or electric, the paltry Emergency Credit of £5 runs out, most of the money they have paid in has gone to past arrears, so they are cut off at the exact time of the annual safety inspection. Possibly only once, or possibly the agent has thought- oh help, what if that happens? A hectoring WE WILL BLAME YOU AND YOU WILL SUFFER!!!! paragraph is necessary.

What about this, from the friendly DWP, requesting information? If I have not received this information within 14 days from the date at the top of this letter then I may need to suspend your claim to benefit [stop paying your income] until this info has been received.XIII

Stop paying my income! Plunge me into crisis! Crises come regularly. I was in the surgery when a woman wanted a prescription the following day. “We need 48 hours’ notice,” said the receptionist, and the woman had a melt down. The receptionist relented.

I can still pass for middle class, my underclass status comes out later, and Phil told me how unpleasant it was to work in the jobcentre. When she joined a few years ago it was about supporting people to find work, but now it is about bullying and threatening them. Pete said that people were bullied into any sort of job- zero hours contracts, minimum wage- rather than found jobs fit for their skills.

When the DSS stopped paying giros on the sick weekly, making them fortnightly, I had people complaining that they could not budget for a fortnight, the money would run out two or three days early. The DSS would send a special giro book paying weekly in only exceptional circumstances. Now, they are starting to pay benefits monthly, in arrears.

Though now I read that if it is more likely than not that one’s health will be adversely affected by having ESA stopped, it should not be stopped. Brilliant! I record this, for my next struggle with ATrOciouS and the Department for Withdrawing Payment.

10 thoughts on “Controlling the plebs

  1. It’s rather sad how a limited knowledge of others’ cultural nuances limits another’s understanding.
    Though the nuances are lost, I can agree that limiting help to those who need it, not just in the form of extending it to monthly as opposed to weekly, is a horrid crime.
    Can’t wait to read more about ESA and DSS


    • Welcome. It is lovely to hear from you. Catholics are welcome here, despite the post yesterday. I find your blog winsome and lovely, and laughing at road-signs is fun too.

      We had a safety net in Great Britain, and it is being eaten away, by cuts in benefit levels and “sanctions” making provision uncertain- see this comment.


  2. Oh, Saint Maggie, and the legacy of green-fanged black widowism she left behind. I’m sure she’s got them sorted down there in Hades … though the Gryphon may have to go (I hear). Well, he keeps talking about community and the Magster keeps saying, there is no community, just people.


  3. I sometimes think that recipients of government SS payments etc should actually front up to the offices and seek to be paid for the effort as the office or the jobs behind counters would not exist were it not for their needs. Get the “bullying” going on the other side of the counter so to speak


      • Thought as much, Clare – similar things happening Down Under, harder and harder to receive entitlements – I guess the staff behind the counter are there to put in action the policy coming down from minister etc. It’s just awful that something we set up as an entitlement for those in need from our tax dollars is becoming such a hard thing to secure and feel safe with for a time etc


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