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Tony Grist

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Assessment [Sep. 5th, 2017|11:37 am]
Tony Grist
Ailz went for a government health assessment yesterday. How long is it since the last one? Four years perhaps? Anyway, they seem to be coming think and fast. Mind you, I was reading the other day about a guy who was told (after fighting for it) that he had been granted his award for life and then a week or a month later received a follow up letter calling him in to be reassessed. That's really energy sapping. Why the government has to harrass the disabled like this is beyond me. It's not kind, it's not attractive- and I can't believe the sums it is dickering over are anything more than petty cash.

The assessment was in Chatham- a town we'd never visited before. The narrow high street has been pedestrianised and is full of charity shops, betting shops, shops with their shutters down and Primark. Next door is the Royal Dockyard- which seems to stretch for miles- a tourist destination which it costs an arm and a leg to get into. That's where the real action is.

The assessment took place in a funny little building just off the high street- which used to house a seaman's charity. They were running late. The guy on the desk had a big red nautical beard and was doing his best to make people feel valued and the clientele chatted and kvetched in the best British manner- like people are supposed to have done in the air raid shelters during the Blitz- doing their best not to succumb to the ambient negativity. We waited an hour and more beyond the time of our appointment.

The nurse who eventually interviewed us was wearing her best stone face but relaxed it when she found we weren't going to bite. We commiserated with her on her boxy office with its view of the side wall of the building next door and she said she and her colleagues swapped around so no-one had to endure the same cell indefinitely. I asked her if the rooms upstairs had a better view and she said "No". She had a lovely smile.

By the time we got out it was lunchtime and we drove out of town onto the Hoo peninsular and found a pub on high ground at Hoo St Werburgh looking out across North Kent Marshes.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: matrixmann
2017-09-05 12:30 pm (UTC)
I just tell myself, with the behavior the public health system and social welfare come towards you these days (here it isn't any different in the bureaucratic way, but sometimes even the people you meet in both systems even personally are this way to you), it actually says in a subtle way it's broke. Over and done, politicians only can't admit it to you loudly, otherwise there would be panic among the people.
And methods to change that state of being they can't introduce because then somebody with a gun would shoot their heads to mince 'cause this is not the way big capital wants this thing to be like. Reform, ts... Those stupid peasants poorer than them, they shall please go and die. They shall not have an advantage from their state or even make the rich pay for the things they need.
That's what it looks like.

Btw, if I'm not mistaken, I think I once heard that, in the UK, a public health system was introduced anyway shortly after WWII only to prevent communism from spreading even onto the island, as communism offerred all these things that shall make a worker's day more comfortable.
So, according to that, it wasn't an invention of capitalism to show its mercy anyway, but just a tool to set up arguments against the enemy's system.
The enemy from back then doesn't exist anymore these days, so one can offord to destroy that invention little by little, I guess... (Who do you run to if you want some different life circumstances?)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-09-05 01:56 pm (UTC)
The Labour government that brought in the National Health Service was committed to social reform. These people (some of them anyway) were genuine socialists and not just capitalists running scared.

But I'm sure fear of the "Red Menace" would have entered into their calculations.
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[User Picture]From: matrixmann
2017-09-05 07:15 pm (UTC)
...I know that between "socialist" in the English language and "socialist" in the political meaning of the history of the red thread of recognition, there's a hell lot of difference.
"Socialist", as the English language mostly means it, often in fact is what they call "social democrat" here.
That practically is like "capitalist dropping a few social gifts", or "you're not gonna be fired immediately, it'll be just in two years".
I know, after WWII, even the social democrats everywhere were much redder than they are these days (these days is a joke compared to that), but still they remained loyal to that system that we have and which fascism only is the most extreme form of it.
So... I always stay mistrusting with that.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-09-06 08:13 am (UTC)
They say that the British Labour Party owes more to the Methodist church than to Marx.


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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2017-09-05 12:58 pm (UTC)
This is way off topic, but to trespass into the domain of creative typos, "Think and Fast" sounds like a bestselling self-help book. Or, more depressingly, the two primary activities of those who fall foul of the assessment regime...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-09-05 01:57 pm (UTC)
Ailz fasts on and off- and swears by it. Maybe she should write the book.
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