A link to an article giving some useful hints on how to stop people from stalking you on Facebook using a simple adjustment on your privacy settings.
Ok, yesterday was wacko-Wednesday. Somehow or other I got embroiled in this strange conversation with a man about the use of psychic self-defence in cases where someone has been forced to “sever a soul connection.”
For those of you who are blissfully unaware of these concepts a couple of definitions:
A soulmate (or soul mate) is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity. This may involve similarity, love, romance, intimacy, sexuality, sexual activity, spirituality, or compatibility and trust. (Wikipedia)
A Soul Connection is said to be the deepest, most meaningful connection, with the meeting of souls over many lifetimes.
You get the drift.
This particular person was convinced he had a soul connection with his soulmate over the course of many, many lifetimes. Apparently this was confirmed by a
charlatan expert in the area of past life regressions and the recovery of memories from our long past lives. There was in fact a whole back story involving marriages, attempted suicides, and so on. All very romantic I’m sure until one day it all took a turn for the worst when, following a trip to an ancient stone circle the woman informed him that “Archangel Michael has severed our soul connection”.
To most people that would say “go away” very loudly but no, instead he moved to the town in which she lived and joined several clubs of which she
is was a member. She runs away from him if she sees him in the street.
Now apparently, this is all about reconnecting with his soulmate and his love with whom the
charlatan expert had probably taken a lot of money to “confirm” he was “meant to be” with. At this point it all started to get even more creepy. But I think it illustrates the point that sometimes telling people what they want to hear for money can have some pretty serious consequences. Including it seems, a form of new-age stalking.
What’s sad is that he cannot see that this is not love….love is reciprocated. If someone loves you and wants to be with you they don’t run away from you in the street and destroy their own social life just to avoid you.
A self explanatory appeal letter to Mendip District Council, or more accurately Capita plc who crunch the housing benefit numbers these days. I was in 2 minds about whether or not to blog this but there is no much press about “scroungers” these days, when many of the people who claim housing benefit are actually those who, like me, are in work.
I am not hopeful of success but you have got to try, after this appeal I will not be allowed to appeal further. I will, however, be complaining to the Financial Ombudsman about the fact that they have deliberately withheld information essential for submission as evidence to support this.
As I am still waiting for my appeal with the Mendip District Council to be assessed, just for the hell of it I went onto a benefits calculator this morning and typed in my details, based on working 16 hours for an employer, and 20 for myself. Here is what I should receive according to the law:
This is what I do get:
Housing Benefit = £75 Council Tax Benefit = zero
If I gave up work and signed on here is what I would get:
My point here being not that people on JSA get too much money because obviously they don’t, but that due to an administrative cock up ie, Mendip, or more accurately Capita either; employ people who cannot add, read a tax return or input data accurately into a computer, or that the system is simply not geared up to the concept of how self employed income works, we are now at the point where if this continues my business will be forced to close. I won’t sign on, I will still be employed. But what will happen is that my income won’t fall significantly but my housing and council tax benefits will go back to a reasonably acceptable level, commensurate with survival at least.
At present I am resisting this scenario because I have spent 2 years+ building a business that is just about turning a profit. Albeit a small one. I would rather be working full time than working 16 hours and sitting on my arse the rest of the week. I have explained that I may soon be forced into this situation because, frankly, we are going to go under big time if not. Please could they hurry up? To no avail.
With a Government who claim to support small business and/or people who work and “take responsibility for themselves” I find the level of hypocrisy (almost) unbelievable. I really don’t know why I bother!
I used to listen to my grandparents and my parents bewailing how society had changed and it seems I am now doing exactly the same thing. The fact is that during my lifetime we have become more fearful, constantly monitored and watched and judging by some of the tragic crimes reported (like people being killed over a parking space) many people are so stressed out they are wound up like tightly coiled springs. It’s sad that we let things continue in this way.
Recent months have seen increasing moves by the Government to bring in new laws ostensibly to “protect the public”, these have included ensuring that people disclose the contents of packages through the mail to destinations within the UK, proposed internet censorship, immigration officials on the streets of cities stopping people to ask about their movements, and proposing new legislation to increase police powers to the point where even getting annoyed will see you in the dock. Very interesting article giving more detail about this can be found here. The attitude of “well, if you are doing nothing wrong you have no need to worry” seems to be to be missing the point somewhat. I am not doing anything wrong, therefore it does bother me that whilst I am going about my legitimate day to day activities I suddenly have to answer to the state police. This sounds uncomfortably familiar to me from studies of European and World history.
As things are, I can’t even go and have an ice cream on Glastonbury High Street now without being filmed on CCTV. I’m not doing anything wrong. I just find it irritating that every aspect of my daily life seems to be either captured on film or traced in other ways. For example, I shop in a supermarket somewhere, I pay by card and maybe scan in a loyalty card. Suddenly my entire shopping history is a matter of public record. The store, and whoever they go on to sell this information to, knows if I like marmite, what cereal I buy for breakfast and even if I use tampons or towels. If I buy a TV there is a whole hoo-hah if I wont give over my full name and address even though it may well be a gift and is going to live somewhere other than my own front room. And if you do give it over “because you aren’t doing anything wrong”, 2 weeks later you are being hassled by the TV License enforcers. You have purchased a TV ergo you must be watching TV. By that logic if I have milk in my fridge, I must own a cow.
Why are there so many CCTV cameras? Apparently they help prevent crime. Really? I seem to remember that “back in the day” there was far less crime, and we had never seen a CCTV. The College of Policing has indicated that CCTV has caused a slight reduction in car related crime but has had no noticeable effect on violent crime, which is the type of crime the majority of people are most worried about. Maybe we should be looking at the type of societal attitudes that seem to have prevailed since the Thatcher years where it is just a case of every man for himself and screw the effects on other people. Call me old fashioned, but maybe there should be more focus on creating a society where consideration and respect for others is not seen as weak and pathetic, but as a positive quality. Or maybe a society where it is not demonstrated by our own Government’s policy that is is OK to attack the vulnerable, the disabled, elderly or unemployed people because after all they are are fair game, because they are just being a drain on everyone else.
And all the time we are constantly bomarded with awful stories of muggings, abductions, robberies and so on by the news channels and other media, as if this is all a new phenomenon. Everyone feels they are much more likely to be a victim of violent crime and yes crime rates have increased. But then again, so has the population, alongside better ways of recording data. The key factor in generating a disproportionate fear of violent attack is, in my opinion, the way telecommunications are now compared to in the past. We now know much more of what is going on much more quickly than we did previously. You are still more likely to be raped or murdered by someone you know than as the result of attack by a stranger but we are made to be fearful, we avoid engaging with each other because we assume we are surrounded by psychotic, violent weirdos at all times, and and then we agree to being constantly filmed “just to be on the safe side”. How long until your webcam switches on automatically to watch all your activities in your own home, and it becomes illegal to turn it off? Far-fetched? I used to think so, now I am not so sure. Pretty soon, there will be a record somewhere that you picked your nose whilst watching an online movie! And you had 3 glasses of wine and not the 2 you said you had!
Of course you may not have the option of watching an online movie for much longer, especially if it is of an “adult nature”. We are being told that in a few months time that we will have to “opt out” of being prevented from accessing certain perfectly legal websites. Apparently this will protect children from pornography and paedophiles. Firstly, sites depicting obscene images of children are already illegal. Judging by the type and number of police stings it would seem that Paedophiles are are actually much more fond of using forums to liaise and to distribute obscene materials, and accessing social networking sites where they can hide behind fake profiles and groom children and young teens. Censoring legal porn sites will not stop any paedophile from getting into these forums or social networking sites. The internet is constantly blamed for people’s behaviour, yet there were plenty of mass murderers, serial killers, paedophiles and child murderers long before Tim Berners-Lee was even a glint in his dad’s eye. Albert Fish was one of the vilest child murderers and sex offenders that ever lived. He was born in 1870 and I am pretty sure he didn’t have access to vast quantities of porn, snuff movies or violent computer games.
Of course no one wants kids to have access to pornography or other disturbing images online. But surely this is the responsibility of the parents? If they want to opt-in to an internet block then fine by me. It’s their choice. Since their children’s internet habits are not my responsibility I should have to do precisely nothing for my internet to remain the same. If, as a consenting adult I want to access the legal pornography available online it is no one’s business but my own. It is certainly nothing to do with my internet service provider or the Government of the United Kingdom.
In cities up and down the UK we saw random people being stopped and asked to account for their movements. This was apparently a crack down on illegal immigrants, even though official figures confirmed that the majority of arrests from these activities actually came about through intelligence ie, the police already knew about the individuals, and through raids on sweatshops employing illegal workers. Only 21 out of 160 arrests took place at the spot checks. So what was the real point of this? Maybe there will be new moves to bring in an identity card which you will be required to show on request regardless of whether or not you are actually doing anything wrong. Maybe it is just a way of getting us used to being stopped by the police and asked for our papers. Whatever the reason, it is not protecting us from anything as far as I can see. But it is making people fearful. Again, people were shrugging and saying “oh well I wasnt doing anything wrong”. Surely that is the point, why should we get stopped for doing nothing wrong? Would I be happy about it? No not really, I just want to be left alone to get on with my day!
So the state continues to monitor our lives in almost unnoticeable ways, so much so that a lot of the surveillance is now just seen as normal. On a recent trip to the Post Office I was informed that I had to divulge what was in a parcel I was sending within the UK. I asked why they had to have this information and was told the law had been changed and that they had to be aware of what was being sent in the mail. Obviously any international terrorist is going to happily report the contents of his dodgy package to the guy behind the desk in the post office. I still can’t see how this is any real use in the fight against terror but it does serve to make you worry about the risk of some madman sending anthrax through the post. After all if the Government have had to bring in yet another law, there has to be something to worry about, right?
In all of this the thing I find most disturbing is the public’s complete apathy, or just ignorance, as to what is going on right in front of them. They seem to think people living within a dictatorships just woke up one morning to find everything clamped down. The reality is that most of the draconian measures are brought in piecemeal, aided and abetted by people who think that if you aren’t doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear. Right up until the point they are marched off to an internment camp somewhere.
2 letters one from 02 (who Wescot is claiming to be working for) and one from Wescot Credit Services.
Wescot – “we are looking into your complaint.” Roughly translates as “we will fanny about for a couple of weeks and then decide we acted appropriately so pay up”
02 – “the account has been closed and there is nothing further to pay on the account. We have also recalled the debt from Wescot so please ignore anyletters that you may have received.” They also apologise for the distress caused.
Waiting to see if there is anything further from Wescot. An apology would be nice.
Todays name and shame is for you Westcot Credit Services!!
Even by the debt collection industry standard, which is probably so low it is undetectable by the human eye, these guys really showed the rest of them how it should be done today by sending a letter addressed to my brother (deceased) to my house. Just as if he had decided to come and live here. So I rang them.
I did get to speak to a real person not a robot. However I was told that there was no one available to discuss the fact that they had sent a letter addressed to my dead brother to my home. So, I wrote them a letter instead:
I am in a complete Catch 22 situation with Nat West Bank. I simply cannot win whatever I do. About 2 months ago Nat West bank decided they wanted to up a payment I have been making to an account every month for the last 5+ years. Instead of writing to me direct to discuss matters they referred the issue to a debt collecting company called Fredrickson International. (A quick Google Search will tell you a little about their Modus Operandi and reputation).This company was not keen to confirm either who they were, or to provide any information that they were in fact working for Nat West. After I refused to talk to them on the basis that they could be anyone who just upped and decided to ask me for money, they became abusive and threatened to take me to court for libel.
In the meantime I received a letter from Nat West thanking me for agreeing a revised payment up in the £100s a month. At this point I rang Nat West, in order to complain about Fredrickson International, tell them that the letter that I had agreed to any such payment was a lie (and possibly fraud), and to inform them that actually the standing order was still going out to them on the same date each month and I hadn’t “stopped paying them” as was being claimed. I obviously have evidence to this effect. I told them to write to me regarding the issue and I would take it from there. As it turned out I got a letter from another company called Triton Credit Services, which are actually the credit control department of Nat West Bank. A fact I only ascertained when I rang Nat West to complain that they had referred me to yet another debt collection company without first giving me the chance to sort this matter out direct with them. Meanwhile the standing order is being paid as usual.
I returned the income and expenditure form to Triton. Bear in mind that I am still paying the debt off. I got a reponse that they would not accept my offer because I had £1 left over at the end of the month, and wanted to know what I spent it on. Here is my response:
They wrote back again after this, again demanding information about my creditors, how much I owe and how much I pay them back. I sent them a screenshot of my credit report, only to receive a response a few days later saying they weren’t accepting the offer. Meanwhile, the good old standing order is still being paid.
I wrote back to the effect that my offer was more than generous especially since I have recently had over £100 loss in income per month. I enclosed a revised income and expenditure statement which indicated that, until this issue is resolved, I am currently actually operating on less money per week than JSA and I have a deficit of over £88 a month on average.
Their response this morning is as follows:
We confirm that normal recovery action will continue as a plan cannot be agreed on a deficit budget
So, the response of the in house debt management department of the National Westminster Bank, one of the major financial institutions of the UK when faced with someone trying to pay off money (And I AM STILL PAYING THEM EVERY MONTH!) is to refuse to collect money. Their responses are totally contradictory:
Meanwhile I have responded to the letter, and the good old standing order is still being paid.
Amusing. I particularly love the texts to the racist van number.
Stewart Lee once said that if ‘political correctness’ had achieved one thing, it had forced the Conservative Party to cloak their inherent racism behind more creative language. This July confirmed that Lee may be onto something. The Tories have evolved from this catchy little 1964 Tory campaign leaflet distributed in Birmingham at the time:
To their new, far more subtle campaign, featuring more creative, yet similarly dirty language and imagery:
The campaign has drawn condemnation from all sections of the political spectrum. From Lib Dem coalition partners like Business Secretary Vince Cable, who called the vans “Stupid and offensive”, to, amazingly, far right, anti-immigration Nigel Farage who quite rightly noted:
“The danger is that the kind of message that is being sent from these billboards will be taken not just by illegal immigrants but also by many people of settled ethnic minorities as being some sort of sign of open…
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This is well worth a read if, like me you are self employed. Our lives, if we need any help from the benefit system, are likely to become a lot more difficult with the introduction of Universal Credit.
The new rules for self-employed people on Universal Credit are to set to be some of most complex ever designed and will prove devastating for the lowest earning workers. Self-employed people could find business ideas rejected by panels of government busy-bodies or face having to cancel organised work to attend workfare, all whilst attempting to battle unprecedented levels of red tape.
Under current rules, low paid self-employed people who work 30 hours a week can claim Working Tax Credit. This is a lower amount of benefit than Jobseekers Allowance and is removed at a lower rate when wages increase. Housing Benefit can also still be claimed, at a reduced rate dependent on earnings. This has meant that self employed workers can take work, or develop a business, without being forced to sign on and off unemployment benefits everytime they earn anything. Much like Working and Child Tax Credits, which are…
View original post 1,608 more words