Friday, 25 January 2013

It's family allowance day!

We're all middle class now....I used to joke that my mam spent our family allowance on gin and cigarettes, she didn't she spent it on bibles and Val Doonican records.  Thankfully we do still have a tiny trace of universal benefits to spend on gin - and we still place so many conditions on the money that people need for support to get them to the gin shop.....
Next week - whydoesn'tvaldoonicanstandup?becausehe'lljustvaldoonican or something slightly less funny than that.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Chocolate Fireguards

It's a right laugh making these tales from serviceland.  The process for me is - what absurdities have I carried out as a result of the clutches of serviceland? Do I think other people might do it as well? Is it vaguely amusing? 

I've done some useless stuff, not what people wanted or needed.

Hopefully, this process is reversed for the reader - Ha Ha Ha.....Hang on that's true.......shit I've done that.......

Next week chocolate teapots or something like that.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Insidious Genius of Capitalism

I don't really remember how the title fits; but the insidious genius of capitalism and partnership boards are inextricably linked in my memory from one of the the very early Valuing People conferences. I remember talking to a fantastic woman called Simone Aspis who said that Valuing People and it's associated 'involvement' was just a 'mechanism to control a movement' - her fear being that instead of a strong self advocacy movement taking what ever action they saw fit, people were being welcomed in to become part of the excuses.  Something good enters the big clunky sausage machine of government and comes out looking and feeling very different.  

I reckon there is a lot of truth in that prediction, when I supported a People First Group I remember making banners and trooping off to the Civic Centre uninvited, we felt liberated, powerful, active.  At the partnership board, I recall feeling important - seduced by the gleaming stainless steel of the sausage machine. What a load of old shit, you silly man.

I've been part of a few Partnership Boards and seen a few Powerpoints and colluded with  some discussions like this;

"What do you think of this decision we've made?"  

"Ooh that's a good point we'll take it to the executive board who make the decisions" 

"Who wants to join the Impenetrable PowerPoint Slide Accessibilty Forum?" 

"We need some volunteers to join our Emploment Workstream Stategic Plan Development Forum Sub Group (EWSPDFSG) - what? No we can't pay you, it'll mess up your benefits....."

Happy Health and Wellbeing Board and all the best for a co-produced New Year.

Next week some more self-righteous codswallop.