It’s not easy

The last time I went to see my mother-in-law she was stressed. When I walked into the house, she didn’t look up from the mountain of paperwork which lay around her. She flicked between different bits of paper, muttering under her breath, completely consumed with the task at hand. When she did finally look up, it was not to say hello to me or give her grandchildren cuddles, she looked to her husband and said “How far can Matthew walk?”

Continue reading It’s not easy

An open letter to David Cameron and Nick Clegg

I was so excited to hear that you are taking such a pro-active approach to fix “Broken Britain”, especially seeing as you want to make children spend time with their absent parents. I wish you could hear the sarcasm in voice because that is by far the stupidest idea I have ever heard. Let me explain the harsh simple truth behind this problem- most of these “absent parents” are absent for a reason, because their kids don’t want to see them. For most people it has nothing to do with denying access, sure it happens, but if you ask most of these children why they don’t see the other parent, it boils down to not wanting to see them. And now you want to force children like my daughter to spend “quality time” with someone they hate. Nice one.

Continue reading An open letter to David Cameron and Nick Clegg

Loyal to a fault

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As the twitter storm rages on, I’m sure David Cameron is starting to get the point of it. After my post yesterday I was contacted by so many people I lost count, mainly because I said what everyone was thinking. Not that my own circumstances really mattered to anyone but it is the fact that everyone is in the same boat. Everyone has their own personal problem with the governments actions which affect our way of life. The governments broken promises affect everyone in different ways as they filter down through to us. I admit, what has happened with disability benefits does not affect me greatly but it’s the knock on effect that it has had in the rest of the system that has caused me problems. For some people it affects their life greatly with a lot of hoop jumping for something they should be entitled to. For others, it just the fact that those in power, those we have put our trust in to run the show, have let these vulnerable people down.

But what can change? It seems to be left wing versus right wing. But why? Neither party has had any luck in trying to sort us all out. I have no alliance to either party. Left wing, right wing, chicken wing. I don’t care who sorts it out, just as long as they do it. But maybe that is part of the problem, are people loyal to these parties to a fault? Has their loyalty put rose-tinted glasses over their eyes so they can’t see what is really happening?

It also begs the question, if we get Cameron out, who is going to take over? Both sides seem as bad as each other, so do we really want the other lot in power? Is it time for a change in our political system? I think yes. I have seen both sides argue constantly over the years but neither side has actually done anything about the issues that annoy us all. But because I think both sides are rubbish and I want someone new, I get tarred with the brush of being a tree-loving hippie who hates the government and has a problem with authority. Maybe that’s true but my view is just as valuable as anyone else’s and those who believe that the entire system needs a good seeing to shouldn’t be dismissed. Maybe it’s time that we remove those rose-tinted specs, step outside our comfort zone and think outside the box for the sake of the future.

One thing is very clear, whoever is next in the big chair will be held accountable for their actions. The public has found their voice and the internet is connecting the voting public in a way that we never thought possible. The problems that we have with the government, big or small, will be aired for the world to see. And these problems should not be dismissed. I hope David Cameron reads all of our complaints because he needs to know what is wrong. And to anyone who has a problem, stop and breathe a second, just put it into words. Together, we will make this place great again, even if it has started with a twitter rant.

Education at it’s worst

I am a disappointment to my parents, not a bitter disappointment, but some of my life choices have left my parents feeling rather ashamed at times. Not so much now, but when I was a teenager I was a real smart ass. Rules were meant to be broken and I spent many a day in the principles office for “bending” the rules. Teachers used to send notes home with my report telling my parents that if I applied myself I would excel at my studies. I knew every loop-hole in the school rules and used them all to my full advantage. Although I left school with decent grades and have my fair share of qualifications now, there are times when adult conversation leaves me feeling confused and doubting my level of intelligence. For the last week I’ve been talking about politics and how it all over-complicated toss that most people can’t follow. I include myself in that statement. As I thought about my education and politics, something struck me as strange. Here I am wondering why it doesn’t make sense to me, despite my attempts to educate myself further, when I realised I was educated in a state school. A school that is funded by the government, the government says what is to be taught, and everyone is to be treated the same. Yet, if you look at the politicians, they all went to private schools and were educated to a better standard. So what?

It’s a conspiracy! Call me crazy but is it possible that the government is making sure that education in state schools that much lower than private schools to keep people out of politics? Or at the very least, ensuring that we lack the confidence in our ourselves to question their actions when they have done the opposite of what they said they would do? Think about it for a second before you throw the idea away like a dirty sock. The government sets the education standard, so why not set it to a certain level were people think they are smart but not smart enough to challenge those in power? I’ve tried to have conversations with politicians about the world that we live in and by the time they have finished talking, I want to smack them round the head with whatever is closest to hand. Have you ever heard the saying, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, just baffle them with bull.” That’s what happens when you try and get answers out of a politician, and when you tell them that you don’t understand, they smile because you weren’t supposed to and they are smarter than you.

With the twitter storm #CameronMustGo still going after a week, and the big media calling everyone involved idiots, clearly something must be done. If we are all so stupid, then why doesn’t the government raise the education standard in state schools to bring our children up to par with those in private school? If we are dumb and don’t understand what is happening then at least give our kids a better education so that they can follow what is happening. I know that no matter what the standard of education is, there will always be idiots but at least give those with a chance to improve the world a better opportunity (or education) to actually have the confidence to fix what we have broken.

I know that if my parents had the money to send me to a private school, they would have, but it just wasn’t an option for me. I feel the same about my daughter, and wonder if I should get her some help so that she will excel in her studies, especially since there are rumours of cuts and lack of funding for the school system. But maybe that is the plan, to make sure that the next generation even dumber than us so that the working class gets pushed further and further down the ladder until each person has the IQ of a potato.

Are you listening Mr Prime Minister?

I’m cross, really cross. Today I had to contact the Child Support Agency because my ex partner owes me over £18,000 in child support. In six years I have maybe received maybe £200. And that grinds me the wrong way. It’s not about the money, it’s about his lack of respect for me and his daughter. Not only is he not paying, he is self employed and tax dodging. How is this fair? Sadly I am not the only person who is affected by this. Across Britain, hundreds of single parent families struggle to get by when they should be getting financial support from the absent parent. But what can be done when the Child Support Agency seems powerless to do anything? Or, more to the point, are unwilling to do anything. I have supplied all of the details I can about my ex partner, including his address, but here I am, still receiving nothing. I have even contacted the Prime Ministers office about this on several occasions to vent my fury over being forgotten and being left powerless against a system that I can’t even begin to understand. What am I supposed to do? Handcuff the ex and dump him outside Downing Street?

Another thing that I don’t understand is car insurance. Sure it’s a legal requirement but it’s expensive. I, like many others, have to spread the cost out over the year but recently hit a bump in the road when Government legislation changed. I went from being able to spread the cost over the year, say nine months, to having to pay it in three months. Now, I’m no maths whizz but imposing something like this on the unsuspecting public means a lot of people couldn’t pay their car insurance. In fact I’ve had friends crying down the phone because their insurance company wiped out their bank accounts for their policy, leaving them with no money for food or to pay their bills. But I only found this out today when the very nice insurance man that I was screaming at managed to get me to calm down long enough to explain it to me what the Government had done. I knew nothing about this and it screwed my car insurance up big style.

Last week I had posted about the twitter storm surrounding the Prime Minister and today #CameronMustGo is still going strong if my twitter feed is anything to go by. But something has changed, it no longer appears as a popular tweet in my little sidebar. Have they finally taken away our freedom of speech? Have we finally got under the skin of the Government? It looks like we have started to enter a new era and the message is getting spread far and wide that we are not powerless lemmings. People are researching and digging deep to explain why they are angry. No longer is it just random ravings from loony tunes like myself, it has evolved into a powerful message that we don’t have to take this crap. Those who were once powerless are being empowered by others to stand up and make their voice be heard. People who understand the system are educating those who have no idea. No longer will we tolerate being walked over with sudden law changes that can screw us over. Those who are entitled to help should get it, and shouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail to receive it. A revolution is coming. And right now, I’m sure that the Prime Minister and the all the rest are scared, but are they listening? They had better start paying attention to us all.

Now now, everyone calm down

A while back I was accused to being a bully on twitter just because I used the #CameronMustGo thingy that is going around for the last while. I’m offended by that statement and to call someone a bully, or in this case anyone who has been using this hashtag, a bully. It is missing the point of what is going on. Sure, a lot of people are using it to vent about the injustice that they can see happening around them, and maybe we aren’t going about it the right way. So I sat down and had a think. How can we make this better? How can we get our point across without seeming like thugs? How can we make the a change that will force the Government to take notice? A plan evolved as I mused over the possibilities. Violence is not an option but action is.

What we can do-

  1. Get rid of our debt- This is a hard one for most people because most of us are up to our eyes with bills. But we can get rid of it. I have been credit blacklisted for a few years now, I don’t have a credit card to fall back on if I have a sudden expense, and I’m slowly paying back all the money I owe. And you know what? Being blacklisted is probably one of the best things that has happened to me. I learnt how to manage my money better and make do with what I have. It’s hard at times but it’s a better way to live. Once I’m debt free again I will not be taking out any more credit. Whenever you use your credit card or take out a loan, all you are doing is funding the banks. With what they have been up to in the last few years, I’d rather not take part in the lining the pockets of those guys. We need to take control of our money again and by starving the banks of the interest from credit cards and loans, we can force them to make changes that will work for us.
  2. Spread your wealth- If you are one of the fortunate people who has a savings account, ask yourself this, do you really need that money? What good is it doing you? Give it to charity or help out your family members who maybe aren’t so lucky. If that money is doing nothing other than collecting dust in a saving account then maybe you should think about doing something with it. Ok, nobody wants to hand over their life savings to a stranger but if that money is for your kids after you have gone then give it to them now and watch them enjoy it. Pay off their debts, take yourself away on holiday, give some to your local animal shelter, keep some of it for yourself. Enjoy spending it because you can’t take it with you when you pop your clogs.
  3. Go local- I read something a while ago that shocked me. Did you know that if you went to Tesco or Asda and spent £100 only £15 of that money would go back into the local economy? But if you went to your local butcher and spent the same amount of money nearly £45 would go back into the local economy. That’s scary. Where is all that money going? The moon? But this is the kicker, if we all started shopping with our local small businesses, the recession would be over in no time as we would be funding the local economy and local suppliers instead of having to import from aboard. In your local area I’m sure that you would find clothes makers, local designers, food shops, so there is no reason why we need to shop with the big giants. If your own income is a concern, don’t let it be. A lot of local businesses will give you a good deal and will help you shop on a budget. Just ask them and you will be surprised how much they will be willing to help you.
  4. Don’t listen to the big media- I might come as a surprise to you all but I used to freelance for a lot of papers and magazines. I’ve been published internationally and locally mainly doing fluff pieces for a giggle. But when I tried to up my game and write about real world problems that people were telling me about, when it came to get the story run I was told to “drop it”. That was my experience two years ago and I only recently found out that the Government controls around 75% of the media. That explains a lot. When I was working in newspaper sales I got some amount of abuse for the content of the papers. It was one-sided, the writers didn’t know what they were talking about, the paper only printed the articles that took a certain spin on a story. These people, as horrible as they were to me, were right. Big media is controlled and funded by the Government so they are forced to put a certain spin on stories. And when they do publish a story calling the MP’s out, it’s done in a certain way that they aren’t really the bad guys. Freedom of speech and the internet means that people like me, people who have been apart of the media marketing machine can publish what we want. Sure, we don’t have the trusted name of a big paper behind us but there is a good chance that at one time we did. Support those people whose voice is not censored by the corporations and governments who want them to remain silent. We all don’t sit wearing tinfoil hats while we rant about the world, some of us are normal. Promise.

What the Government needs to do-

I’m not expert on any of this but it appears that certain things are coming to light as time goes on.

  1. Wage cuts- Yes Mr Prime Minister, it’s time you and all your boys took a pay cut. You complain that the country is in the toilet but have yet to cut your own pay cheque. Instead you choose to cut front line workers while you sit and drink bubbly. I have no idea how much these guys all get paid but I would imagine that even taking a small pay cut would fund a hell of a lot things.
  2. Do something useful- A lot of these guys have been privately educated so why are they not doing something useful with those big brains? Maybe it’s just me but if I had that type of education behind me I would be doing something a bit more useful with myself, like curing cancer or ending hunger.

Sadly that was all I could think of but at least it’s a start. A blueprint for others to use to build a better plan on. But one last thing, instead of using #CameronMustGo, lets use #empowerthepeople because that’s what it is about. Cameron may be our current target but who says that the next one will be any better? Let’s keep ourselves empowered and make our world a better place.