Sweep is finally here, so I’m typing this whilst I’m not needed. A sad one sorry in many ways, but as I said earlier, we still have to keep the issues in the forefront.
I read this article today from a link on DWP Examination:
Probably like yourselves, I’m wondering how far they will take this spying: will it just be for those in the ‘t’ group (we daren’t even type the name), or are they going to track all kinds of people to try to catch them out somehow? Benefit recipients for example?
According to ‘Benefits and Work’, someone got turned down for PIP the other day because he uses Facebook so much, and supposedly lied about it. Once the claimant had left the assessment, the assessor checked his Facebook page. The claimant says that his partner also uses the account to post, and that – as he had stated in the assessment – he didn’t use Fb very often.
So we’re already being spied upon! Someone from Atos regularly checked my Linkedin account, likely for my activity, but with not being in work now, I rarely use it, unless it’s an old colleague contacting me.
Now of course, sometimes people are so ill that they can’t do anything at all. When I catch a virus now – as if it wasn’t bad enough before – it will set off the heart condition, so if I stand up to make a drink or go to the loo it triggers it. The spray to combat it then leaves you with a migraine. This carries on throughout the day and night; I can hardly pick my head up let alone type anything.
In fact I read this sad news in Jayne Linney’s blog today:
Although her blog post was about a different issue, she explained why she hadn’t blogged for a while. Like many of us, our illnesses have a toll, a cost to us, and some of us are becoming more ill by the day, especially those like Jayne who have helped and supported others.
Back to the subject, since when is it a ‘sin’ to use the internet in any case? Sitting propped up by pillows and cushions, whilst feeling too ill to do anything else, is hardly the same as working even part time in an office; it’s no proof of ability to work, but it seems now that it is. The internet is a lifesaver for me the same as many other chronically ill people; my life wouldn’t be worth living without it now that I’m largely stuck at home. I in any case use FB a handful of times during the year as I can’t be doing with it, but of course I communicate and do other things online.
It really annoys me because the previous benefit DLA was initially advertised as a benefit to help you lead the life that you wanted. Similarly, care plans used to contain ‘socialisation allowances’ to encourage ill people to get out and do things like a creative college class, going to the cinema and other things, in fact some still do. I no longer get an allowance, but I do receive socialisation hours, so that carers can keep me company or push my wheelchair in my rare visits to town. Just because disabled people did such things as those, that didn’t mean that they were capable of the physical and mental pressures of holding down a job.
Are we now saying that disabled people aren’t allowed to have any enjoyment in their already sad lives? Is this really where we’re at? It’s so pathetic, and likely geared towards stopping claimants from becoming activists and helping people, as well as further spoiling people’s lives, and of course activists need the internet to engage with each other and inform people of their rights.
We are made to feel that we barely have the right to live nowadays: it seems that the welfare reform related deaths are now literally yesterday’s chip paper, in a landfill somewhere, so let alone that the disabled people who are left entertain themselves in any way.
Really, life is very very short – and if you’re on a low income, also quite boring – just like children with their games, grown ups need something in their lives to pass the time, but when there are few resources available to them they may just watch TV, read a good book, and use the internet. People should have that at the very least, because everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone including those who aren’t disabled, deserve a ‘right to play’.