Archive for March, 2013

Open Studios, Sheffield

Studio desk Jan2011

Open studios in Sheffield will be the delight of the May bank Holiday.

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Patriarchy v Feminism


Good Nuclear Weapons!

America, China, Russia, France and the UK have insisted that the nuclear weapons being developed by North Korea are the bad ones that bring fear and uncertainty not the good ones that bring peace and stability.

Good nuclear weapons are packed with a combination of rainbows, doves and rose petals that cause widespread hope throughout the world.

Bad nuclear weapons are packed with Marmite, flimsy corner shop carrier bags and Tesco Value Bolognese and cause widespread despair.

The North Korean news agency said the underground test used a smaller, lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than before, prompting fears that North Korean scientists may have also developed the capability to produce dubstep.

The use of Dubstep, which has been described by music lovers as sounding like aTyrannosaurus rex being raped by a Transformer, has heightened concerns amongst the international community.

“The development of bad nuclear weapons instead of the nice ones that keep us all safe is a clear and grave violation of UN resolutions,” insisted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“Having the nuclear capability to annihilate the entire planet should only be allowed if your intentions are peaceful.”

North Korea Nuclear test

Foreign Secretary William Hague described North Korea’s actions as a blatant attempt to “outdeterrent our deterrent”.

“What could be more peaceful than having the capability to kill millions of people,” he explained.

“The problem is that the millions of people you have the capability of killing will want to develop their own nuclear weapons so they can kill you back.”

“I can’t imagine what the answer could be.”

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Benefits for Easter.

Easter eggs!

The news about benefit sanctions is increasingly grim.  First, we learn that Labour joined with the coalition in approving fast-track, retrospective legislation  that prevents people on workfare who were illegally sanctioned getting their illegally sanctioned benefits repaid.

Now, whilst ministers continue to deny it, there is incontrovertible proof that Jobcentre Plus staff are being told they must sanction 5% of JSA claimants or face disciplinary action.  One office has allegedly even offered Easter egg prizes  to the team which sanctions the most claimants.

leaked letter from Walthamstow Jobcentre (external link) warns staff they will be disciplined if they don’t  move their Jobcentre up the sanctions league table by sanctioning 5% of JSA claimants.  The letter gives handy hints and tips on how to catch claimants out,  including targeting claimants who have shared child custody  arrangements.  It also explains how to get ‘an easy win’:

‘An easy win is a JSD [jobseekers direction].  Set one, if the customer doesn’t comply then action the direction!’

It’s hard not to wonder whether the DWP, as an institution, even sees claimants as entirely human anymore.  Stopping people’s benefits for between 13 weeks and three years has a devastating effect on claimants’ lives and potentially on the wellbeing of small children and disabled dependents as well.

To turn sanctions into a game with chocolate for prizes or to threaten staff with disciplinary action if they don’t meet targets – as if they were selling double glazing rather than destroying lives – is astonishingly cruel and has nothing to do with helping people find work.

taken from the Benefits and Work

The nail on the head … .


Spring into spring

Thought I’d uplift my blog pages with a spring green theme.

I know it’s snowing but we are living through in a no change ‘climate change’ political “couldn’t be arsed’ness (because there’s no money in it) society.

Anne Dodds


I love this photo of Ann Dodds, the first female driver of The London Underground, about to drive a tube train. It was taken 6th October 1978; I came across it on The Guardian’s photo gallery ‘150 years of the London underground – in pictures‘. As this year celebrates 150 years, this means that women have only been working on The London Underground for roughly a fifth of its existence. Go Ann!

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