Author Topic: Thinking of you all  (Read 1113 times)

JLR2

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #15 on: 24 Mar 2021 06:58AM »
I've been wondering if anyone makes suits like that worn by Cary Grant in the movie North by North West, you know the one that you can wash whilst having a shower?

Reading the pages of the Guardian there and for whatever reason it just dawned on me it wasn't Charade but North by North West that Grant had the shower scene in :f_doh:
« Last Edit: 24 Mar 2021 07:17AM by JLR2 »

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #16 on: 24 Mar 2021 09:39AM »
I love the way this thread meanders  :thumbsup:

The mentioning of a laundry allowance reminded me that I used to get a shoe allowance I think it was less than £2.00 a week.

A suit that can be washed in the shower hmm now I am thinking of the film The Man in the White Suit starring Alec Guinness. If memory serves correct the suit unravels at the end and the people chasing the main character no longer see the suit material as a threat to capitalism. I have polyester fleeces that seem to be wearing well, but I do worry some about how the washing machine can cause particles of fleece to end up polluting the sea. There is no way I could hand wash them though way too heavy when wet. I remember the old twin tubs, being the youngest and poorest in the family I ended up with a hand me down one. The dials did not work properly so it had to be switched on and off at the wall plug. The spinner also kept spinning when I open the lid so getting the washing done was quite an event. Back then I was more able and getting the washing done and on the whirly gig drier was satisfying. Using a automatic front loader can feel like every day is wash day.

Sunny,

https://www.rnib.org.uk/connect-community/connect-technology/rnib-and-miele-launch-washing-machine-designed-people-sight-loss

:f_smiley:

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #17 on: 24 Mar 2021 02:41PM »
That's an interesting washing machine. More dithering!

As for clothes, I'm not sure if I've mentioned (and I'm too lazy to scroll) how handwashing, then launderette, made me think about how often I wash things.

I suddenly realised after I'd been handwashing for a while how much needs washing far less often than I did, although a couple of things need washing more often.  With experimenting, I've realised I can wear the same long-sleeved T-shirt all day plus overnight for two days in a row.  I'm not sure if that will work in summer, but I'll see.   On the other hand, a shower-towel used 2-3 times a week can last over two months in warm weather if hung over the bannisters where it dries fast.

I suppose it maps onto housework.  I've got sloppy with housework, but again I ask myself, how often does a kitchen or bathroom floor actually need mopping?  How often does a carpet actually need vacuuming?  On the other hand, a neighbour came round the other day to sort out something practical for me and afterwards I looked at how much dust there is on surfaces in my study.  Eek.

I've just taken time out from typing to open all my windows for a spring house-airing.  There's a window I'd stopped using because the allen-key lock is jammed.  I've a spare lock but no confidence to fix it.  Daft.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #18 on: 25 Mar 2021 11:53AM »
Quote
Being without a machine but being able to afford a launderette reminds me of the days when if you were on the dole or on the sick and you were getting income support, you could get a laundry allowance if you didn't have a bath or big sink to wash sheets etc.
Ah,that was in the good old days - pre-April 1988 - of Supplementary Benefit, which Income Support replaced.  One used to be able to get various 'add-ons' to that, like the laundry allowance you mention.  There were a few others, not that I can remember them now! (the shoe allowance is a new one on me)  Also there were actual grants, not 'Social Fund' loans, and they were even available to people signing on, as opposed to the Community Care Grant which only a relative few could claim.  And the DWP was the DHSS, which personally I thought was a much better name.... Now I'm really going down Memory Lane :f_wah:



As for washing clothes, doing it by hand really sucks when it comes to wringing out the water - certainly a good old-fashioned mangle would be helpful there and I've often wished for a mini-version on the occasions where I  handwash my smalls!

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #19 on: 25 Mar 2021 01:33PM »
Supplementary benefit?  How could I have forgotten?

As for DHSS, I should know that as well, and that's prompting something else - wasn't it DSS before that?  A close relative of mine (now deceased) was an appeal tribunal chair.  They probably insist on being called judges now, but his 'qualification' to do it was as a magistrate and having sat on other tribunals like the rent tribunal.  Gosh, more memories - a time when there were limits to how far landlords were allowed to rip you off.

Meandering, but it's the entwining of that and benefits and disability...(doom and gloom followed by a little non-gloom)...

Where I live, as in various other large urban areas in England (don't know about rest of UK), there's an issue with 'exempt housing'.  If anyone reading this doesn't know (and I only do because of news stories about it) the situation is that if a landlord wants to bung loads of people in a house, turning it into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) he finds he's subject to loads of regulations; but if he fills it with people who need some support and says he's providing it, he avoids most of the regulations relating to HMOs and his tenants, who are on benefits, get a higher rate of money for their rent and it gets paid direct to their landlord, who doesn't have to be vetted or prove he's actually providing any real support.

In some cities, there are thousands or even tens of thousands of such tenants crammed into properties, sometimes several properties in a single road.  This results in places where neighbours are having to deal with behaviour prompted by various sorts of severe mental illness, drug/alcohol misuse/addiction, aftermath of trauma from domestic abuse or sudden loss of home & job etc. 

Care in the community had its failings, but at the outset DLA wasn't a nightmare to get,  and local authorities and the NHS still had enough funding to provide a fair bit of support. We've seen how that's deteriorated and the informal term Don't care in the community's been around for a good few years now.  But whereas some of us still call being in a psychiatric unit being in the 'bin', metaphorically this exempt housing isn't even dustbins, they're just roadside tipping.

Never mind, make people whose lives fall apart visibly undesirable and they can be blamed or more to the point victim-blamed.  Oh look, problems in our society aren't caused by politicians (so we don't need to argue whether they're malicious or incompetent or not-bothered or whatever) they're caused by these visible 'parasites'.  Well, treat someone like rats, they'll soon be like hungry rats, eating the food others abandon and being smelly for want of somewhere nice & clean to live. 

Gosh, I'm ranty, ranty about that sort of thing still.  Be thankful I'm resisting the temptation to go into wider political issues.

Well anyway whilst there may have been cuts to social security, people do donate free 'kindness'.   The 'kindness banks' in communities can be a bit stretched, but I'm still getting free 'kindness parcels' from my neighbours.  

I seem to have some 'hugs' left over from the 'parcel' my neighbour gave me the other day.  Have some...

:f_hug: :f_hug: :f_hug:

Oh, and this was in with them as well...

:f_peacedove:
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

lankou

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #20 on: 25 Mar 2021 03:03PM »
Supplementary benefit?  How could I have forgotten?

As for DHSS, I should know that as well, and that's prompting something else - wasn't it DSS before that? 
The Department of Stealth and Total Obscurity.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #21 on: 25 Mar 2021 05:18PM »
Supplementary benefit?  How could I have forgotten?

As for DHSS, I should know that as well, and that's prompting something else - wasn't it DSS before that?
The Department of Stealth and Total Obscurity.
There's a phrase I'd forgotten.  It's those little phrases that make things more manageable.

I read Private Eye and in the midst of the gloom and corruption exposés that rarely seem to bother the people they're about, there are those plays on words, like referring to Capita as Crapita.  I wish I could think up an alternative name for Maximus to recommend to them.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #22 on: 25 Mar 2021 08:17PM »
:big_hugs: :thumbsup:

Fiz

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #23 on: 26 Mar 2021 10:09AM »
Gosh I claimed income support in February 1989 I had no idea then that it was such a new benefit. I remember it was £75 per week which when you compare it to either IR ESA or JSA basic rate was a King's ransome! They also paid the interest on your mortgage from day one of your claim.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #24 on: 26 Mar 2021 10:25AM »
The psychology of the changes is hideous and the more I've thought about this sort of thing over the years, the more aware I've become how affected we are by what I'll call automatic underlying assumptions and beliefs.

This is the one where high flyers see themselves as being motivated by rewards but poor people motivated by penalties.  Ironically, I can see a semi-logic there.  After all, they were motivated by rewards and were successful, but the other people weren't successful, therefore rewards didn't motivate them, so try penalties instead.  Hmm.  Like that dreadful thing they tell children that "You can be anything you want to be."  For a few years now, I've been challenging people who tell children that "What if thirty children nationally each year want to be prime minister, and five hundred want to win an olympic gold?"

Am I allowed to mention my favourite incentive absurdity that I doubt will never be understood by the majority of politicians?  It's to do with prison sentences.  It's common practice in a range of countries to have more than one length of sentence for the same person.  It's described in different ways.  Let's take a simple version and use a non-standard way of describing it.  "Five or ten."

It works this way.  If you go to prison and you behave well and seem to be reformed, you get out after five years, but if you don't do what you're supposed to, you serve ten years.

If you call it something like "ten years with five off for good behaviour" (which is the sort of description we use in this country) then the tabloids and Priti Patels of this world will kick up a fuss saying prisoners should serve their full sentence.  It makes good headlines.

But actually the 'full' sentence is five years.  Ok, so why not say "Five years, but if you don't behave, we'll give you another five"?

Because if saying that if they don't behave they'll get a punishment of five years in prison worked, they wouldn't be there in the first place, would they?  So for the sake of society and the safety of prison guards and other prisoners, you turn it upside down, tell them the sentence is twice as long and offer them a 'reward' for good behaviour.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #25 on: 26 Mar 2021 10:43AM »
Which is the same as benefits.

Offer lots of punishments.

I wonder whether the people in government that introduce and maintain the sort of benefits systems we have now have ever actually been hungry or known anyone that has been.

The irony is that I don't think the previous, kinder levels of social security were intended to be 'generous'.  I think they were intended to be practical.  It's just that certain politicians bought into their own rhetoric.  I doubt, though, that those same politicians would hire a constituency office worker, even one in a job they'd consider menial like a cleaner, if that person turned up looking a bit grubby and scruffy, maybe even a bit smelly. 

Not because the applicant doesn't care, but because they can't afford enough soap powder, shampoo, sanitary towels etc.  They can't afford a haircut but no one's taught them to cut their hair. 

And maybe they need a bit of disability kit they can't afford because either their PIP is too low or they don't get it at all.  Maybe they can't concentrate because they're hungry.

Then there are people like me.  Got in the psychiatric system after a breakdown.  Got back into work.  So many blasted appointments, endlessly changing, leaving me distraught for days that I couldn't cope with my full-time job as well.  I'd call a team meeting then my nurse would call and I'd have to cancel.  Yes, I was a berk not to say no, I can't come, but I wasn't brought up that way.

So I dropped down to part-time but it still wasn't sustainable, so I gave up and just focussed on voluntary work and studying.

However, the benefits system got nastier and I got more scared. Terrified as each bit of voluntary work ended that if I took on more, someone trying to hit targets would say it's a change of circumstances and reassess everything.

I oscillate between feeling ashamed of my cowardice and reminding myself that it's a logical response.  I'm not arguing others shouldn't do voluntary work.  I'm just saying that personally, I don't feel able to take the risk.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #26 on: 26 Mar 2021 01:19PM »
A few thoughts. Volunteering is a non starter on disability benefits, volunteer and the DWP can end disability benefits in an instant the idea being if you're fit enough to volunteer you're fit enough to work. A few years back I asked my MP during a local constituency party meeting if were I to volunteer to either do leaflet drops or drive would be voters to polling stations would this affect my disability benefit entitlements and she came back to me, having looked into my question, to tell me yes it would, so for me no volunteering.

Regarding prison sentences, the early release resulting from "good behaviour" to my mind is a nonsense as for example someone convicted of burglary being released early because recently they have not broken into anyone's house, the rapist who has not committed rape since being jailed or the paedophile who has not abused any children whilst in prison is plain daft for the simple reason they were in prison.

With a very strenuous link to what I was just saying about one type of prisoner there I was curious following the news reporting of Prince Charlie's visit to Greece the other day and so did a wee search about Prince Philip's family and learnt a couple of things that were something of a surprise to me. One was the fact that a cousin of Prince Philip served with the SS during the Second World War and another died fighting for the Nazi's in Russia. however The biggest surprise to me was when I read of how when at the age of eighteen Prince Philip began writing to a Miss Elizabeth Windsor (HRH Princess Elisabeth) who at the time was a whole thirteen years old. Now this new knowledge had me thinking of a situation a SNP MSP found himself in when it was revealed he had been corresponding with a sixteen year old boy through the internet, the MSP lost his position as a minister in the Scottish government and I think has now left the party which given all the changes in society under the gay rights changes seems odd. Though it was a different period that Prince Philip was writing to a thirteen year old I cannot imagine such writings being tolerated nowadays without an odour of grooming emanating from it.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #27 on: 26 Mar 2021 06:34PM »
Quote
Regarding prison sentences, the early release resulting from "good behaviour" to my mind is a nonsense as for example someone convicted of burglary being released early because recently they have not broken into anyone's house, the rapist who has not committed rape since being jailed or the paedophile who has not abused any children whilst in prison is plain daft for the simple reason they were in prison.


The point is, though, that the 'real' sentence is the shorter one, not the longer one.  The issue is how we describe it.  If you describe it differently, it's still the same sentence.  But the possibility of an extra period of time in prison acts to keep warders and other staff safe, and acts as an incentive to reform.

It's not about changing the sentence length.

Let's say that you're drafting legislation and you think that the fair sentence for committing a particular crime is 5 years.  Let's say that you think a fair sentence for what I'll call 'misbehaving' in prison is 5 years.

You have three main options to legislate for when sentencing such a prisoner.

1.  Sentence him to five years then prosecute him for a further offence if he misbehaves, with a sentence of five years, so that if he's good, he gets out after his original five years, and if he's not, he gets out after ten years (i.e. two five year sentences).

2.  Sentence him to five years basic sentence plus and extra five years (determined at time of original sentencing) if he misbehaves.

3.  Sentence him to ten years with the possibility of five years off for good behaviour. 

The way you do it makes no difference to how long he serves.   His punishment for the original crime is five years and he does another five if he's not good.  

What changes is how you describe it.

That's the problem in this country.  If someone in those circumstance is sentenced to ten years and can get five off for good behaviour, people conceptualise the real sentence as ten years.  It's not, it's five.  Either way there's an extra five years hanging over their head.

People used to understand this, but the media have gone to great lengths to distort it over the years.  It doesn't help safety in prisons or reform of prisoners to describe it as a sentence of five years then re-sentence later.  If that worked, they probably wouldn't have committed the offence in the first place.

Slightly better is where a sentence like that is described as something like a 'five to ten' but that can still be portrayed as people getting out early if they only do five. 

Yet the likes of Priti Patel and big news editors probably didn't get to where they are on the basis of incentives phrased as a lack of penalties.  It was almost certainly bonuses dangled under their noses that did the trick. 

Look at job ads for jobs with a range of pay.  They don't offer them as the higher salary but docking some if you don't do your job properly, they offer them as a lower salary but adding some if you do your job extra well.  Same salaries presented as carrots not sticks.  Having a salary range of £50k - £100k is the same whichever way you describe it, but the effect on motivation and sense of fairness is different.

But politicians and media moguls, don't do it the same turned upside down. When it's prison sentences not payscales, they use sticks not carrots, even though what motivates them is carrots, and it makes no difference to the actual figures.

So they play to their audience and pretend that someone sentenced to ten years with the possibility of five years off for good behaviour is 'really' being sentenced for ten years, not five years with an extra five years dangling over them.  This maps onto their rarely mentioning that many, many offences have a range of penalties that can be imposed.

So then they do that with benefits.  Dangling the threat of sanctions over people.  The difference there is that the basic benefits are so low that the penalties become absurd.

Think of a different aspect.  The old saying "Might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb."  Because we don't live in an era where people in most of the world would be hanged for stealing a lamb, we take it as metaphorical.  But it was real.  When you could be hanged for stealing a lamb and you felt you needed or wanted to steal food, you had nothing to lose by stealing a sheep instead.

And when the likes of Priti Patel work on the basis of how people must serve their notional 'full sentence' (which is twice the existing 'real' sentence), they create an incentive to 'steal a sheep instead of a lamb'.  Vindictiveness wins over a safer society.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)