Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas Everyone

Today is Christmas day, and so Merry Christmas to all those that read this.

Hope you all got what you wanted, those that didn't or got the wrong presents, hope the person who bought the present kept the receipt so you can take it back and exchange it.
I wonder how many people will be changing their gifts in the coming week, I know I will have to be doing so as I managed to get some gifts for Z which weren't right, so back to the store to change them, just hoping the store will let me do so, given some stores are more particular than others.

But wherever you are, hope you are enjoying this festive day

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Please please bring in a smoking ban

I am probably one of many many people in England who are disgusted with our government for not bringing in a smoking ban.

I personally find it a chore when going out, to try and find a bar where there isn't smoking going on, and the reason I look for a non smoking bar is simple, I hate smelling of fags when I get home, the smell makes me feel sick personally, and why should my health be screwed up just because someone else wants to destroy their lungs. I don't allow anyone to smoke in my home, so why am I not entitled to have a smoke free night out.

A case in example, the weekend gone, was the company xmas party, very nice place, good food, the thing that let it down, was the stench of smoke from cigs, it was foul, really foul, and I feel so sorry for those who worked in this restaurant, cause it was awful.

Right now, I am suffering a serious throat problem because of the sheer amount of smoke, it was that thick. I was fine prior to the evening, but now, not and I have the misfortune of suffering each and every time, and why should my health be at risk for someone to light up. If you want to light up, go outside. Okay in this weather that might be unpleasant, and you might not realise when to stop breathing out because it is so cold.

Why is it that in the wisdom of government, they are discussing partial ban in England, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are to bring in complete bans, but England not. When did England become the poor man of the UK, it happened when the current government came to power, with so many of them from outside England, the likes of John Reid for example, his constitutes are fine, as they have a smoking ban coming in, as well as the military which he is in charge of, but not the general public.

Passive smoking 'blindness risk'

And here is more evidence - Smoke plans 'unworkable' say MPs

Why is it the government doesn't listen to those who elected it, as well as those elected, a commons health committee says not workable, but this government wants to be stupid.

Please TB, go away and do something else less important instead, you aren't deserved of being our leader

A new underclass in the UK?

Sadly the answer to the above question is yes, what is debated is whether it is new or not, but a new report out by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. This report suggests that there are fewer people poor in the uk than ever before.

UK poor fall to lowest since 1987

I sincerely hope that is true, but what the report shows is that the disabled in all forms of disability are the new underclass. The foundation was surprised by this, and it affected all disabled people regardless of how well educated they are. When I first read this, I was surprised as well, but then looking back on my recent experience I have had dealing with governmental bodies, looking for a job, just trying to live life as such, and I can recall numerous examples of such a situation.

For example the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions), the attitude of the staff in many of the jobcentre plus places is awful, quite simply awful. They have no understanding of deafness, they constantly have the disabled toilets out of action, so any poor wheelchair bound person isn’t able to go to the toilet, if they need to. They have also in their amazing wisdom decided now that if you suffer the misfortune of becoming unemployed, you have to call up a line to get assigned a reference and then they will decide to then consider your case. Mmm, did someone forget to tell them that deaf people find using a phone very difficult, especially when someone has a strong accent, and guess where a lot of the call centres are, that is right in locations where peoples accent are very thick and heavy, meaning that likes of myself struggle to understand a damn word being said.

I also have suffered the situation with the NHS lack of funding, getting a hearing aid is very difficult to do with cutbacks, and it is made all the worse, by the fact that a lot of staff aren’t able to give hearing aids that are of use, which brings me to a sideline point, just what the hell are the RNID doing with this -

Millions urged to check hearing

Have they not been reading about all the cutbacks in the NHS, especially in audiology departments? While I applaud their efforts to raise awareness of people not hearing properly, I think maybe they should be sure that the NHS actually has sufficient funding to cope. What are they going to do with the adverts – Add a disclaimer at the end that says, “We aren’t responsible for the fact that your local NHS audiologist isn’t going to be available every day, you can only go 2 half days a week – Good luck”

To top it all off, there are a lot of employers out there that don’t want disabled people working for them. I know this to my own, when I was looking for work previously. In my case, wearing gold ear moulds possibly didn’t help matters, but it shouldn’t and doesn’t make a difference to my abilities, but try telling that to employers. I have had the misfortune in the past where the interview has been brought to an abrupt end, just for what seems to be no reason, and when you get feedback, you know full well there is no good reason, other than they clocked my hearing aids and all of the sudden I am not good enough, despite minutes earlier I was good enough. You can tell it in the manner of questioning, as well as their body language.

I am not optimistic that things are going to change anytime soon. All of the discrimination boards are being merged into a single one, which I am sure is going to be for cutbacks, and it isn’t as if the discrimination acts are tough enough as it is, especially as this government is exempt from its own laws, mmm, to me that doesn’t inspire confidence if they aren’t tied to it as well.
Plus as it is rising not falling, it can only get worse, not better. The inequalities in the UK for the disabled are getting worse and with the government push on the IB (Incapacity Benefit), you can see it get even worse. One has to think that things are going along the lines of putting disabled people into institutions which happened even after WW2, so one has to think the likes of this government are doing their level best to ensure that disabled people are without a voice.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Here comes Christmas

How do I know it is coming, well here is a little clue, the date for one, but more real pointers include the mass of Christmas songs in the shops, on the radio, etc.

So now we are hearing the likes of Slade, Wizzard, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, Jona Lewie, Pogues, just to mention a few. If anyone knows UK music and can name the tracks attributed to the above, be interesting to know.

I know poor Z has to suffer these and much more at Selfridges at the moment and I am sure by the end of it she will cringe more and more when Slade and others come up again. Just thankful I haven’t seen anyone do a Noddy yet and scream it’s Christmas, but it is early days.

I had a brain bypass at the weekend and decided to go shopping, and on Oxford street as well, I know I must have been nuts, but I was looking for a present for Z, which I failed spectacularly to find, such a bummer too. But I swear, the place was more packed than normal and just seeing places like Selfridges jammed packed, and seeing people hand over credit cards so easily, makes me think that there is going to be a serious financial hangover come New Year.

This year is going to be a low key Christmas for me, certainly different plans than I had originally expected, Z is going to be here for one, which is going to be great for me, as it was so unexpected, but the main reason she is, is because she is working Boxing day, which is a shame for her. Plus family situation also means it just won’t be a big deal made of it, I think we will be grateful to be around and have some time together.