A Quiet Revolution

“The day of The Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thes, 5:2)

One day, Dave wakes up and finds things have changed.With apologies to Sue Townsend

Good Morning Mr Cameron. Don’t be alarmed. Be very, very alarmed. There has been a revolution while you were asleep. You and your complacent smug plutocracy are no longer in charge. The first thing you will notice is your new accomodation. You are no longer in Downing Street, no longer in a nice comfortable house paid for by the taxpayer. There will be no more mansions and servants for you. Your first challenge will be to work out just where you are, as I’m not going to tell you. It’s not in London, and not anywhere in the south. All I will say is that you are now in a council house on a large, rundown estate, the sort of place you used to delight playing stereotypes of. You know the sort of thing: lazy people who chose a life on benefits, who had endless children paid for by the taxpayer, people who had never worked in their worthless lives. Well, these people are now your neighbours, so you can see just how accurate those pictures that you liked to paint are. You will be able to see at first hand the effect of your policies on places far from London. I hope you like it. Your former colleagues are in similar circumstances too, so don’t expect any help from them.

You no longer have a job. That’s right, you are now one of the idle poor, instead of the idle rich. You have no money, no property, no assets, no car, nothing. The first thing you will have to do is sign on for JSA and claim housing benefit. Unless you want to go hungry that is. Oh, and you will find the house we have given you is too large, so you will be subject to the Bedroom Tax. Plus you will also have to pay some Council Tax: until 2013 you would not have had to, so that’s yet another thing you can thank your government for.

You will find your house hard to heat and draughty. That’s because your local council has been very badly hit by the cuts you implemented, so they haven’t the money to modernise their properties: the insulation is inadequate, no double glazing and the central heating boiler is old and expensive to run. So just pray we don’t have another cold winter.

Signing on will mean you have to catch the bus to the nearest town at least once a week. This is over 10 miles away and the bus takes about 40 minutes, depending on traffic. The bus stop is a ten minute walk away and the buses run only every hour. You’ve probably never had to use a bus: they are the large vehicles with seats in them, and you pay the driver. They tend to be grubby, not very comfortable and expensive. I hope you never develop a bad back, as the rough ride will wreck your spine. Like those people who claim Incapacity Benefit and who have to attend ATOS medical assessments in the same town (remember them?) The other problem is the buses stop running about 7pm, so you won’t be able to go out much. They used to run until 11pm, but stopped because of the cuts.

Your Universal Credit hasn’t been implemented here yet so you will have to take another bus to your nearest council office to claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support. Annoyingly, these are not in the same town where you sign on. Also, because of the cuts, your council doesn’t have enough staff, so your claim will probably take several weeks to be dealt with. I advise you not to kick off about this as they will probably ban you from their office.

Health services are also difficult to find. Your estate doesn’t have a doctors’ surgery or a dentist, so that will mean more bus journeys for you. Your nearest hospital is fairly close, but its A & E closed because of cuts. Several wards have also closed for the same reason. You will need to find out about such things as living here you will need these services. Then you will realise just how much local people rely on them. There’s no private health insurance for you any more. You can’t afford it. Now, let’s see how you manage on those benefits that you think are so generous.

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One Response to “A Quiet Revolution”

  1. Jacki Says:

    Well done, I wish it were so! You should be sending these to the newspapers!

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