Archive for February, 2014

A Tory plan to reintroduce the Workhouse

Rarely if ever have I read anything that has made me physically sick; this morning I came across a Government Report via fellow blogger johnny void that openly calls for “Residential Training is intended to help unemployed adults with disabilities, particularly those at risk of exclusion from the job market, to secure and sustain employment or self employment”  which to my mind describes nothing more than a workhouse.

Reading through this Report I went from Hot to Cold and back again as I rationalised the contents, from the executive summery to the Recommendations. The emphasis throughout is to stress the ‘benefits’ of the Residential element and attempts to demonstrate how that could apply to people on Work Programme which “provides support, work experience and training for up to 2 year” and Work Choice for people “ disabled and find it hard to work“.

The report also repeatedly recommends how this Residential programme might particularly suit people with “people with mental health issues” so much as the authors find it necessary to link unemployment rate figures against differing mental health ‘issues’ “phobia, panics, nervous disorders (14% employment rate) and depression, nerves/anxiety – (33% employment rate)“!

I suppose in order to provide a fair analysis I must also note the reports willingness to be inclusive, therefore I also note the authors desire to ensure this Residential training is also open to those the DWP deem to be “non-disabled people who are long term unemployed”. Although this is because “the unit cost of provision would then be driven down” rather than the programme suiting these potential trainees.

I can not here begin to offer a full analysis of this Report but I strongly urge you to take a look and if you can’t bear to read it all at least read the the 3 Case Studies which focus on opiate addiction and mental health issues, Scoliosis, Asthma, Autism, Aspergers, ADHD and Depression and severe mental health issues, alcohol abuse and long-term unemployment; these alone demonstrate the ‘type’ of individual the authors feel ought to be in Residential programmes, and then tell me this isn’t a case for a return to the Workhouse??

From Jaynelinney.


Nothing doing, Wu Wei.

Wu Wei is active inactivity  (not just a theme on the wordpress site)


For me it is the action of “relinquishing self expectation” (thanks Sue) or the practice of doing nothing. It’s also taking (present tense as it’s a learning curve) a long time to accept.

Soooo, what’s wrong with reading a book during the day? Nothing right? you probably do it yourself.

Well actually I mean all day.every day, sometimes interspersed with TV, radio or sleep!

Great you say, bring it on.

However, I’ve been doing this since I was diagnosed with M.E. -4 years now – but not with any commitment to myself or the real Taoist principle , just because that’s what the illness does to me. Most of the time I do want to go out, do stuff and have a life!(Or rather my life back)

A virus for 3 weeks over the holidays, follow by a heavy cold at present, meant I not only couldn’t do anything but didn’t give myself a hard time for it.

So back to my reading then. Care to join me?

Just a short weekend

A 17.5 hour course ,over 3 days, with meals and bed, how wrong could it go?

Northern College (I’ve been many times) shifted places in the landscape as I directed my good friend towards it! How the hell could I get lost? it’s almost a straight road!

This was followed by being unable to remember how to switch on a computer, how to follow a simple directive (3 times being told which button to press).

However I did manage to plug the camera in and download the images – yippee!


Then came the crash, about 2.30pm I couldn’t keep upright, keep my eyes open or remember how to get to my room.

Of the the 6 major issues with my M.E. (Fatigue, Sleep Dysfunction, Pain, Neurological and Cognitive Dysfunction, Neuroendocrine Manifestations and Immune Dysfunction) the fog and confusion hit without warning – again.The usual slow intake of information and processing, lack of short term memory, inability to focus vision and attention together with spacial and perception disturbance chose this weekend of all weekends to land, closely followed by a cold!

All this being said, I still enjoyed it, yes I slept (insomnia to hypersomnia in a minute) and rested loads, but I was supported by the tutor and the students and enjoyed the course.

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