Quiet Dictatorship

Nothing for 6 months from the panda. Why?
I’m trying to start a business during the worst recession in decades, and it’s hell.
I’m not helped by the welfare state which, despite my 20+ years of working is treating me like a scrounging scumbag. Through ridiculous rules and restrictions they are doing more than anyone to make my business fail.
So I have little time. But allied to that is a sense of futility. Apart from Owen Jones in the i paper, nobody seems to be protesting as we get nailed to the wall by both government and big business.
So why am I writing this? I don’t know. I’ve missed my WordPress friends, and apologise for my rude exit, but really I think I’m motivated by anger.
I’m writing this post (on my phone, so no pictures I’m afraid) because today’s headline, today’s story, is too clear, too perfect an example of how this government is going wrong not to write something.
There have been a number of stories recently about how some care workers are neglectful.
While people will sometimes be mean just because they can, I would dare to suggest that the main reason for neglect in care homes and hospitals is that staff are massively overworked and terribly underpaid. There are too many managers, not enough carers, and the service is governed by ministers with no knowledge or experience, who seldom if ever actually visit the services they legislate.
What care needs is more money, better protection for staff, better working conditions and all that jazz. But this would of course take time and effort.
So instead the government is making neglect a crime.
Brilliant.
First make it impossible for people to do their job well, then make it a crime for them not to.
I dislike the notion of conspiracy theories, since I’ve always considered that conspiracies require a level of coordinated effort well beyond the abilities of our government (or any other). But it’s already clear that the Tories want to do away with the NHS, and probably the welfare state as well.
What the Tories have failed to realise is that you can only be rich if someone else is poor, otherwise we’re all the same. The welfare state isn’t so much offering riches to the lazy, as doing the bare minimum to keep the poor alive so that others can be rich, in their contrast to these poor. The rich are more or less paying for a sort of open zoo, where they can go to look at hungry animals, without whom the rich would not exist, and feel smug about how their hard work (read ‘ daddies money’) has insulated them from such hunger.
But failing to understand this, the Tories would see us all starved out of existence. Only then would they realise there was no-one left to clean their toilets and fetch their shopping.
Once the poor were dead it could go only one of two ways. Either the once rich would be seen as the new poor by the elite mega-rich, or a new standard for what qualified one as rich would be invented, the now homogenous wealthy would arbitrarily factionalise and turn on each other, and they’d start killing themselves for want of a common enemy.
Still, having plenty of greed but no foresight, Cameron pursues our extinction, and thus his own.
All of which leads back to the conspiracy, or lack of one. Nurses must do an impossible job or face prison. Is it coincidence that the poor have had their benefits cut, been forced into impossible living conditions and now face jail if they try and survive by other means?
Maybe, but it’s a remarkably similar scenario all the same.
When the government wanted to cut benefits the public were outraged. So over the next decade, through subtle policy and propaganda, the deserving poor were transformed into scrounging bastards. Now they can hack away at welfare and nobody makes a noise.
Cameron wants to sell the NHS, as the Tories have always done, with trains, the post office, energy companies… If it works the conservatives will sell it for their own short term gain. Then it will break. But public protest stops them selling the NHS. So, magically, all the proud success stories about our wonderful health service, unique in the world, are replaced by horrors such as bad nurses, viral outbreaks, bad management, and now neglect. Those in the caring profession have been shifted from kindly and praiseworthy, to negligent and cruel. Florence Nightingale has become Dr Crippin.
So just how many nurses will we send to jail before Cameron gets to sell our hospitals while we all applaud and say, ‘ good thing too’…?

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25 thoughts on “Quiet Dictatorship

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  1. It is amazing how ugly the world has become in such a few short years, relatively. I’m sorry you are going through a rough time. Not much more I can offer, but we have missed you on here.

  2. Panda,
    I’ve missed you. Thanks for writing today. We all have to speak up.

    It sounds like the UK is on the same path as the “land of the free”, selling its soul, bite by bite, to the beast. You’re simply a bit further behind us on the curve of doom. Our soul’s been digested years ago.

    America has sold out everything to mega-for-profit corporations. Utilities, telecommunications, food safety, medical care, research, care of the disabled, education, prisons… everything… has gone down the gullet of the for-profit beast. The dragon guards its hoard with a war machine funded with our taxes.

    We’re way past “republicans” and “democrats”. Political parties are only puppet shows to give the enraged masses someone to shoot at. don’t get caught by this magician trick.

    You’ve got it right with this one: ” the once rich would be seen as the new poor by the elite mega-rich” Welcome to “NOW” in the U.S.. There’s a cliff that the formally well-off crash down from into obscurity.There’s no way back up and no recovery from this fall. The population of the impoverished expands and the numbers of even safely employed (much less wealthy) shrinks.

    Yesterday’s American middle-class home-owner is today’s homeless and unemployed. Those who’ve fallen know this cliff well. Those who haven’t yet fallen assume ‘the cliff doesn’t exist’, ‘it’s the fault of the one that fell’ and ‘it won’t happen” to them… till it does.

    My husband and I went off this cliff about two years ago (software architect and physician). High tech employment opportunties in San Francisco’s “silicon valley” turned out to be an elaborate fiction. My medical training, license and experience turned suddenly worthless for anything other than drugging prisoners for a medical corporation or drugging the mentally retarded for behavioral control for another profit-taker. I walked away from my medical career.

    Neither us nor our two children were eligible for any government “safety net”. The “safety net” is a fiction.

    We’re luckier than most. We were able to sell our house. He’s started a couple of new businesses and I’ve turned writer. We’re busy and happy being “self-employed”. But this means we’re unpaid for our work. We’ve been able to move to a cheaper (friendlier, safer) country while he develops his his own software project.

    Those in the “helping professions” are both shackled by the corporate beast and held responsible for the damages done by the beast. “Helping professionals” are thrown to the enraged masses as scapegoat-targets and as an opportunity to play ‘law-suit roulette’ by suing them. This leaves the faceless and immortal corporation untouched.

    ((SIGH)) I’ve sure missed you, Panda. No one knows how to write a rant like you. You got to me with this one. I’ve been ignoring this part of the truth of our “new life” and how we got here. We’re refugees but without refugee status.

    All the best from the bottom of the cliff (living in France now).

    Alice

    1. Wow Alice – You should post this comment to your blog – it’s as true as my post! Well put – although I am still fighting hard. I have no religion (religion is faith turned into a power game by people), but I feel like I need to retain some faith that we can turn this shit around. If I give up then how to I inspire any faith regarding the future in my kids?
      Maybe this is the larval stage for humanity. Post-apocalypse we’ll get it right?!

      1. Yes. Do not give up. I’ve written a post with a link to your article today on this theme. Perhaps it’s better thought out than my spontaneous comment. But perhaps not.

        Keep reading, thinking and writing. Someone has to.

        Alice

  3. haha, yes I quite enjoyed your rant, especially as a former Social Worker. The pay is atrocious, you get docked time and money to partake in professional upgrades (which btw are mandatory), but heck, they find a way around it. Lets not forget about the lack of employee wellness programs, mental health days, mental health short term leave (sometimes you just need 2 weeks off to deal with crazy), and so forth. I got into this work when I was much younger, and thinner, wanting to be an advocate for people and ultimately this is what got me into HR and now finally as a War Strategist, yes the public needs someone to help them (hence social services- incl. health services) however they really need good HR and a workplace advocate to be on their team and support them and provide them with time off, professional upgrades, free counselling (and not through EAP where your sessions are limited and you’re choice in therapy is subjected to Psychologists as counselors- no offence to Psychologists, but you guys make the worst counsellors)- But boy oh boy have you got me in an empathized rant of my own! I do think neglect is a crime, however again siding with your argument on lack of support and resources for the worker, it’s unavoidable. How are practitioners to do their work when their case load is typically 60+ and the stat average requirement is supposed to not exceed 28. That’s crazy! Also, why is the screening process not more vigorous for workers?- I know this opens up another hill of beans, however this kind of work requires you to work with people of a vulnerable nature, why is there not more screening done to prevent people who are working in these jobs from taking advantage of vulnerable clients who are without advocacy and sometimes a voice at all? A lot of people are mislead thinking these workers are making good money because it’s “easy” work- and I hate to say it but up until about 10 years ago was also typically women’s work. Social Services, incl. Health Services, is seen a lot as “emotional” work- giving empathy to clients, understanding family units, etc… For some reason no one thinks that it takes the same emotional and physical toll on you as any other job, if not more. The jobs are just dying for financial upgrade! But for some reason they are the dirt salaries of the world. There’s a myth that they are money pots and you can get a lot of good money fast through these services and they pay so well because the work is not that hard. Such lies. Politics tends to look down on these types of workers and organizations as if they are “lucky” to be getting any kind of financial support to begin with. Yet I can’t help but feel that they were founded because they are picking up where Government and state let go and stopped investing in the people. Oye, now I got a debate team in my head!

    Well, at the end of it all, this comment is just for you, not really the public, so if you should choose not to post it, works for me. Also, it’s a bit of a short novel, so fair is fair, haha. Enjoy my friend and more props to you!

    1. I’m very happy with long comments – especially from someone who’s been there are seen the state of things.
      I agree – I worked in social care roles (mainly social housing) for 15+ years and watched it go from well paid and enjoyable (though still hard work) – to understaffed, underpaid and thankless. Several of the places I worked have closed now due to removal of funding.
      Thanks for the comment – hope the team in your head work things out! 😉

  4. A rant from the Panda! WooHoo! Ok – I know I shouldn’t be happy, because you obviously are not, but if you could have seen the way I sat bolt upright in my chair and cheered when I saw your name in the reader, even you would have smiled. Missed you. (Sorry I can’t participate in the political discussion – all governments are inherently evil and inherently necessary. Can’t live with em, can’t live without em and can’t justify the energy expenditure required to rail against them. I’m just going to scurry after my crumbs and try not to get stomped on. 😉 )

  5. Oh goodness (rubs my eyes) am I seeing right? The Panda has returned albeit for a little ruffling of feathers – wouldn’t expect anything else mind 😉 So what sort of business are you into? Glad to see you back – hope you get back into your poetry again…like soon!!! 🙂

    1. Hey Lady-R, indeed tis the furry one. I’m trying all sorts – a community magazine, graphic and web-design, music – I may write more on it all at some point. I was writing a book but needing to pay rent and being a bit crap have seen that stall. Funnily enough, I’m now in a band and this just might turn out to be the thing that succeeds…
      How’s M’Lady? I must pop over and see how your poetry is getting on. Hope your happy and hearty 🙂

      1. Well you do sound a busy boy 😉 Don’t look at the very last one it’s an old one from Dec last year – I have changed a bit since then ..thanks to the leadership of some outstanding poets that I follow….
        WOW on the band – what do you play…base or drums – please don’t tell me the recorder ~ smiles. I am doing well and also have a new career – yes at my age… I am a humanist (Funeral Celebrant)…and no you don’t need to start with the jokes. I am happy and hearty thank you for asking. Good to see you back in the fold Mr. P – we all miss ‘ya.

      2. papergirlmusic.co.uk
        I’m the guitarist and primary songwriter. We’re only a wee local thing.
        What jokes? Lady Thatcher taught us all the value of celebrating someone’s death!

    1. Hi Arty. Not sure if I’m back, or just visiting. Don’t tell anyone but I’m trying to launch 3 different businesses. The rules say I can’t do more than 16hours a week on starting a biz, because I have to be free to look for work in order to be entitled to benefits! It seems starting a biz isn’t looking for work… who knew! So I’m pushing 1 biz and quietly working on other projects. It’s going to be fun when the new rules start and I have to show 35 hours a week of job-search. I feel a rant may result!
      As I said to Rambly, it looks like all three may sputter out, but the musical hobby is beginning to pay off, so who knows.
      Have thought of you too. Hope all is well in Arty’s world 🙂

      1. That’s sooo frustrating – I hope all goes as well as can be expected, given the fact that the gov’t is partly involved. Glad to hear that you are pursuing your music. I remember listening to a couple of pieces that you posted last year – you are very talented, Panda dear. I am well and doing well – got married, am in the middle of preparing for a career change, have dabbled in a little fiction again. I understand about the “just visiting” – I am finding it hard to keep up with my reader right now, and my posts have been pretty thin lately. Hope you are able to drop in now and again. Missed you! 🙂

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