lizziec: (Frazer-doomed)
I've written to my MP about the Health and Social Care Bill that's currently wending its way through parliament. I do not hold out high hopes that he will vote against it, as he's a Conservative MP who tends to vote with the whip, but I'm hoping he'll take notice. I've tried to be respectful and outline clearly and concisely why I disagree with the bill. At least he can't ignore me because I was rude or using a form letter.

If you're in the UK and disagree with the H&SC bill, which will lead to greater private involvement in the NHS and could possibly lead to the end of the NHS, then please please please take the time to let your MP know how you feel about it using Write to Them. If you need to (lack of spoons/whatever) then please feel free to adapt my letter to your own views.

--

Dear Mr Brazier,

As a constituent, I would like to express my concern about the Health and Social Care bill currently moving through Parliament, and respectfully ask that you vote against it. If you do not feel that you can do this, I would very much appreciate it if you would please delay voting for it until after the Risk Register has been released and all the information available about the possible consequences of the Health and Social Care bill is available. I would also appreciate it if you would put pressure on the Government to release the Risk Register, in accordance with the recent ruling by the Information Commissioner, which was upheld on appeal. Unless this available for everyone to view before the legislation is passed I will not be reassured that all possible information was available for a properly informed choice to be made before the bill is passed into law.

All the reasons I disagree are outlined in here )

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/434121.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Frazer-doomed)
I've written to my MP about the Health and Social Care Bill that's currently wending its way through parliament. I do not hold out high hopes that he will vote against it, as he's a Conservative MP who tends to vote with the whip, but I'm hoping he'll take notice. I've tried to be respectful and outline clearly and concisely why I disagree with the bill. At least he can't ignore me because I was rude or using a form letter.

If you're in the UK and disagree with the H&SC bill, which will lead to greater private involvement in the NHS and could possibly lead to the end of the NHS, then please please please take the time to let your MP know how you feel about it using Write to Them. If you need to (lack of spoons/whatever) then please feel free to adapt my letter to your own views.

--

Dear Mr Brazier,

As a constituent, I would like to express my concern about the Health and Social Care bill currently moving through Parliament, and respectfully ask that you vote against it. If you do not feel that you can do this, I would very much appreciate it if you would please delay voting for it until after the Risk Register has been released and all the information available about the possible consequences of the Health and Social Care bill is available. I would also appreciate it if you would put pressure on the Government to release the Risk Register, in accordance with the recent ruling by the Information Commissioner, which was upheld on appeal. Unless this available for everyone to view before the legislation is passed I will not be reassured that all possible information was available for a properly informed choice to be made before the bill is passed into law.

All the reasons I disagree are outlined in here )
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
In trying to wind up mum's estate we have been stymied at many turns by a complete lack of paperwork. Apparently mum didn't like to keep paperwork of any type. I won't go in to too much detail here, because it makes me grumpy and you don't need to know about it.

For one of the things I need to prove I am mum's daughter, which apparently involves sending in my birth certificate, and this is where a huge problem I've been meaning to correct for a while comes in. At some point in my growing up my long form birth certificate vanished. No idea where it went. I don't remember ever having it. When I applied for student finance in 2002 I had to physically take my short form certificate in to the council so they could photocopy it.

The reason I had to take my short form birth certificate in person? Ah yes, that would be because my parents in their infinite wisdom, stuck my short form certificate in to my baby book. With glue.

Generally I've managed to avoid it being a problem for some years. I have other forms of ID. However, this set of paperwork that needs it has forced me to order one on a rush from the General Register Office, who I have to say are fantastic. I paid a premium for a next day service and they delivered. You can order certificates online, and if you can wait 16 days the price is a fairly reasonable £9.25 (to put in context, to get a death certificate copy from the registry office after registration is completed is £7 - if you get copies at the time of registration it's quite a lot less).

The GRO helpfully search one year either side of the year you name, just in case you're wrong about the exact year - which is what they had to do when I asked for a copy of daddy's death certificate (mum didn't keep that) because I had no idea when the death was actually registered (he died on Christmas day, so the registry office wouldn't have been open much between christmas day 1991 and january 1992).

I paid more than the £9.25 for my birth certificate because I needed it as a rush job, and they've delivered. Really the price serves me right for not just ordering one when I've thought about it countless other times over the years. But it's now here and I can finish that lot of paperwork and yay! And hopefully I'll never have to go through the embarrassment of sending my baby book anywhere to prove who I am in the future.

lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
In trying to wind up mum's estate we have been stymied at many turns by a complete lack of paperwork. Apparently mum didn't like to keep paperwork of any type. I won't go in to too much detail here, because it makes me grumpy and you don't need to know about it.

For one of the things I need to prove I am mum's daughter, which apparently involves sending in my birth certificate, and this is where a huge problem I've been meaning to correct for a while comes in. At some point in my growing up my long form birth certificate vanished. No idea where it went. I don't remember ever having it. When I applied for student finance in 2002 I had to physically take my short form certificate in to the council so they could photocopy it.

The reason I had to take my short form birth certificate in person? Ah yes, that would be because my parents in their infinite wisdom, stuck my short form certificate in to my baby book. With glue.

Generally I've managed to avoid it being a problem for some years. I have other forms of ID. However, this set of paperwork that needs it has forced me to order one on a rush from the General Register Office, who I have to say are fantastic. I paid a premium for a next day service and they delivered. You can order certificates online, and if you can wait 16 days the price is a fairly reasonable £9.25 (to put in context, to get a death certificate copy from the registry office after registration is completed is £7 - if you get copies at the time of registration it's quite a lot less).

The GRO helpfully search one year either side of the year you name, just in case you're wrong about the exact year - which is what they had to do when I asked for a copy of daddy's death certificate (mum didn't keep that) because I had no idea when the death was actually registered (he died on Christmas day, so the registry office wouldn't have been open much between christmas day 1991 and january 1992).

I paid more than the £9.25 for my birth certificate because I needed it as a rush job, and they've delivered. Really the price serves me right for not just ordering one when I've thought about it countless other times over the years. But it's now here and I can finish that lot of paperwork and yay! And hopefully I'll never have to go through the embarrassment of sending my baby book anywhere to prove who I am in the future.
lizziec: (XKCD sheeple)
I'm currently feeling rather annoyed by this. " All travel plans to be tracked by Government". Under the plans, starting to be brought in already: "Anyone departing the UK by land, sea or air will have their trip recorded and stored on a database for a decade."

I don't know where to start on this, or what annoys me most. Perhaps it is the justifcation from the government:

"The changes are being brought in as the Government tries to tighten border controls and increase protection against the threat of international terrorism."


How does tracking people leaving the country and holding the details for 10 years protect us against terrorism? This comes across as a standard line from the government, much like how ID cards will apparently protect us, even if they didn't protect the people of Madrid.

Or it might be the "condemnation" of the plans by Chris Grayling, the home affairs spokesman for the Conservatives:

""Of course we need to keep a proper record of people as they come in and leave the country.

"My worry is that the Government is creating something which will be unwieldy, impossible to manage and expensive to operate.

"I think this system has to be much simpler."
"


I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound much like it's condemning the plans to me.

Grrrr. This government is making me so annoyed with plans like this I barely know where to start. As soon as one lot are withdrawn, another lot comes up. I'm starting to feel quite worn down by it all.
lizziec: (XKCD sheeple)
I'm currently feeling rather annoyed by this. " All travel plans to be tracked by Government". Under the plans, starting to be brought in already: "Anyone departing the UK by land, sea or air will have their trip recorded and stored on a database for a decade."

I don't know where to start on this, or what annoys me most. Perhaps it is the justifcation from the government:

"The changes are being brought in as the Government tries to tighten border controls and increase protection against the threat of international terrorism."


How does tracking people leaving the country and holding the details for 10 years protect us against terrorism? This comes across as a standard line from the government, much like how ID cards will apparently protect us, even if they didn't protect the people of Madrid.

Or it might be the "condemnation" of the plans by Chris Grayling, the home affairs spokesman for the Conservatives:

""Of course we need to keep a proper record of people as they come in and leave the country.

"My worry is that the Government is creating something which will be unwieldy, impossible to manage and expensive to operate.

"I think this system has to be much simpler."
"


I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound much like it's condemning the plans to me.

Grrrr. This government is making me so annoyed with plans like this I barely know where to start. As soon as one lot are withdrawn, another lot comes up. I'm starting to feel quite worn down by it all.
lizziec: (Big ben fireworks new year)
Typical, that on the day the Government withdraws the plan to keep MPs expenses secret my MP should write back to me about voting against the proposed measure.

For good measure, I'm putting a copy of his reply here. Bits in italics were handwritten and not always very clear ;)

Letter from Julian Brazier )

In other news, should you have any spare cash lying around (I know that this is unlikely given the current economic climate) and fancy putting it towards a cool cause, the National Railway Museum in York are trying to gather funds so they can finish their restoration of The Flying Scotsman. "Steam our Scotsman" - the campaign to raise money to finish the restoration.
lizziec: (Big ben fireworks new year)
Typical, that on the day the Government withdraws the plan to keep MPs expenses secret my MP should write back to me about voting against the proposed measure.

For good measure, I'm putting a copy of his reply here. Bits in italics were handwritten and not always very clear ;)

Letter from Julian Brazier )

In other news, should you have any spare cash lying around (I know that this is unlikely given the current economic climate) and fancy putting it towards a cool cause, the National Railway Museum in York are trying to gather funds so they can finish their restoration of The Flying Scotsman. "Steam our Scotsman" - the campaign to raise money to finish the restoration.
lizziec: (apod - milkyway)
I was watching Newsnight just now and there were some politics experts talking about the new Counter Terrorism Bill, which is going to be voted on by MPs next week. There are lots of things in the proposed bill which make me angry, and I'm not going to go in to that right now, but the major thing being discussed tonight was the clause of holding suspects without trial for 42 days (the current is 28 days and the highest in the world already). What made me especially angry tonight, livid in fact, was the man who basically stated that the bill with 42 days would probably pass because most of the Labour MPs who would rebel feel that they have caused Gordon Brown enough trouble right now and that the bad headlines would damage their party. There are just no words for how angry that makes me.

The idea that a flawed bill with a hugely flawed detention without trial limit would be allowed through because some people feel that they need to conform for the good of their party and are not willing to stand up for what they believe in (and the fact they were considering rebelling in the first place tells me that they think this is wrong) makes me really angry. What a ridiculous reason for letting this bill though. I could almost respect them if they thought it was the right thing to do but just because they think they've caused enough trouble for now? It strikes me that it is an inherently bad law if the best reason for passing it that someone voting for it can come up with is that they don't want to rock the boat any more.

ARGH!

AngryAngryAngry.
lizziec: (apod - milkyway)
I was watching Newsnight just now and there were some politics experts talking about the new Counter Terrorism Bill, which is going to be voted on by MPs next week. There are lots of things in the proposed bill which make me angry, and I'm not going to go in to that right now, but the major thing being discussed tonight was the clause of holding suspects without trial for 42 days (the current is 28 days and the highest in the world already). What made me especially angry tonight, livid in fact, was the man who basically stated that the bill with 42 days would probably pass because most of the Labour MPs who would rebel feel that they have caused Gordon Brown enough trouble right now and that the bad headlines would damage their party. There are just no words for how angry that makes me.

The idea that a flawed bill with a hugely flawed detention without trial limit would be allowed through because some people feel that they need to conform for the good of their party and are not willing to stand up for what they believe in (and the fact they were considering rebelling in the first place tells me that they think this is wrong) makes me really angry. What a ridiculous reason for letting this bill though. I could almost respect them if they thought it was the right thing to do but just because they think they've caused enough trouble for now? It strikes me that it is an inherently bad law if the best reason for passing it that someone voting for it can come up with is that they don't want to rock the boat any more.

ARGH!

AngryAngryAngry.
lizziec: (apod - Venus)
I got this from [livejournal.com profile] jmkg, and she explains it best, so I'll let her:

"Please sign the petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/flexibleleave/ which was set up this week. The current system of new parent's leave in the UK is very unbalanced, where the mother can take 52 weeks off (13 unpaid) but her partner can only have 2 weeks off at a low rate of pay. We believe that this needs to be changed.

We believe that families should be able to choose what works for them, rather than assuming that the mother will always be the parent who will be taking the childcare leave. In a lot of situations the mother may wish not to have a full year off work, or the family may not be able to afford for her to. Yet there is no provision to transfer any leave to the mother's partner, who equally may well prefer to have more than the two weeks allocated to spend with their new baby. Naturally a lot of families would still choose the traditional route of the mother taking the full leave, but *there should be the choice*. Please sign the petition even if you don't think it affects you personally, but you think that other families should be able to choose what's right for their situation.

A flexible system of leave could also have the advantage of reducing sexist employment behaviours. MEP Godfrey Bloom (UKIP) said "No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age", but if parental leave wasn't automatically assigned to the mother then a major incentive for unscrupulous businesses *not* to hire women of child-bearing age would disappear.

The petition doesn't propose any increase in the overall amount of leave allowed to new parents, though that could be a focus for future campaigns. It is just intended as a first step - a large first step, which could make the world a fairer place without costing money for businesses (a major reason why other proposals to make the leave allowances fairer have failed).

What you can do: please sign the petition, and visit our website at equalrights.org.uk for more information. Please pass this message onto other people: tell your friends, tell your online communities, get people interested, help spread the word!
"
lizziec: (apod - Venus)
I got this from [livejournal.com profile] jmkg, and she explains it best, so I'll let her:

"Please sign the petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/flexibleleave/ which was set up this week. The current system of new parent's leave in the UK is very unbalanced, where the mother can take 52 weeks off (13 unpaid) but her partner can only have 2 weeks off at a low rate of pay. We believe that this needs to be changed.

We believe that families should be able to choose what works for them, rather than assuming that the mother will always be the parent who will be taking the childcare leave. In a lot of situations the mother may wish not to have a full year off work, or the family may not be able to afford for her to. Yet there is no provision to transfer any leave to the mother's partner, who equally may well prefer to have more than the two weeks allocated to spend with their new baby. Naturally a lot of families would still choose the traditional route of the mother taking the full leave, but *there should be the choice*. Please sign the petition even if you don't think it affects you personally, but you think that other families should be able to choose what's right for their situation.

A flexible system of leave could also have the advantage of reducing sexist employment behaviours. MEP Godfrey Bloom (UKIP) said "No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age", but if parental leave wasn't automatically assigned to the mother then a major incentive for unscrupulous businesses *not* to hire women of child-bearing age would disappear.

The petition doesn't propose any increase in the overall amount of leave allowed to new parents, though that could be a focus for future campaigns. It is just intended as a first step - a large first step, which could make the world a fairer place without costing money for businesses (a major reason why other proposals to make the leave allowances fairer have failed).

What you can do: please sign the petition, and visit our website at equalrights.org.uk for more information. Please pass this message onto other people: tell your friends, tell your online communities, get people interested, help spread the word!
"
lizziec: (milky-way eating)
I have to admit I'm impressed. Or possibly more shocked. After I emailed edexcel two days ago (after the yelling ranty call to the tax office following major incompetence and stuff) I expected very little in the way of either cooperation, speed or competence and this morning my statement of earnings turned up. It's even been signed by a real person! I'll be taking a photocopy of that then before I send it off to be eaten up by HM Revenue and Customs. Still, as I said, I'm impressed. It seems the key to dealing with edexcel is to set your sights and expectations very low and then they may actually impress you!

In other news, I went to curry to celebrate Adam's birthday (on Tuesday evening), which was lovely. I also met up with Oziris for coffee (on Wednesday), which we must do more often and today I looked after Sue's baby, John, who is delightful and lovely and not terribly hard work (or at least wasn't today) - the best part is having a nice time and handing him back afterwards! Finally tonight foo and rah came round and we had uber lasagne of doom. Yum.

Now I'm off to bed - I have a counsellor's thing tomorrow, preceeded by a gulbenkian breakfast :D Atfer that the day is mine. Any ideas? ;)
lizziec: (milky-way eating)
I have to admit I'm impressed. Or possibly more shocked. After I emailed edexcel two days ago (after the yelling ranty call to the tax office following major incompetence and stuff) I expected very little in the way of either cooperation, speed or competence and this morning my statement of earnings turned up. It's even been signed by a real person! I'll be taking a photocopy of that then before I send it off to be eaten up by HM Revenue and Customs. Still, as I said, I'm impressed. It seems the key to dealing with edexcel is to set your sights and expectations very low and then they may actually impress you!

In other news, I went to curry to celebrate Adam's birthday (on Tuesday evening), which was lovely. I also met up with Oziris for coffee (on Wednesday), which we must do more often and today I looked after Sue's baby, John, who is delightful and lovely and not terribly hard work (or at least wasn't today) - the best part is having a nice time and handing him back afterwards! Finally tonight foo and rah came round and we had uber lasagne of doom. Yum.

Now I'm off to bed - I have a counsellor's thing tomorrow, preceeded by a gulbenkian breakfast :D Atfer that the day is mine. Any ideas? ;)
lizziec: (acid)
Honestly, it's days like this that make me wonder if I'll ever be a useful member of society again! (I should write a CBT sheet for that thought I suppose)

Anyway, I woke up in a pretty good mood and went to collect the post. The first one I opened was from HM Revenue and Customs. I should mention at this point that I am waiting on money (over £500) to come back from them that I overpaid in tax last year. This has been going on for four months. I sent them a letter when I got my P60 from Kent (which was when I realised just how many squillions of pounds I had overpaid) enclosing my P60 and my forms from edexcel (essentially a payslip, but it's all they give me - edexcel don't issue P60s). When I first called in April to find out what I needed to do to claim back my tax I was told these forms would be sufficient. I got a letter in August (two months exactly since they recieved my original letter) asking me to fill out my employment history for 2006. I did that and sent it back. Cue the clock starting again on my claim (they say it'll be up to two months from the date of my last communication arriving with them). More or less two months since I sent back that form I get another letter today, saying that they've sent back my P60 (which wasn't enclosed) and that my stuff from edexcel was not sufficient, despite what I had been told four months ago.

At the moment I seem to be able to go between extremes of emotions. I ended up getting very angry very quickly and I called them and first yelled at the person who answered the phone and then requested a supervisor and yelled at her. When I'd yelled at them for about 20 minutes about how the legnth of time wasn't acceptable, nor was the fact my P60 was MIA, nor was the conflicting advice I had got from their office I got off the phone to them and burst in to tears. I went from angry to very sad and virtually helpless in a matter of seconds. Now I feel bad for yelling at them. I've done jobs like that and I know it's not their fault, but I was very angry and had to take it out on someone. I called edexcel who don't do P60s and are instead sending me a statement of earnings. I'm now more than a little terrified. I am waiting for them to send me the right document as soon as possible. I'm basically combining the incompetence of Edexcel with the incompetence of the tax office. I'm starting to wonder if I'll see my money this side of Christmas.

As I said above, it's days like this that make me wonder if I can ever be a useful member of society again. It probably doesn't help that my hormones are all over the place at the moment, as I have come off the pill to see if it helps with my depression. At the moment though I just feel even more out of whack than before. Argh. I'm also annoyed at myself. It's moments like this that I feel a real burden on those who are close to me, especially my husband. Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything silly, I've never been that depressed. I just needed to get it all out. There.

By the way, I still haven't filled in the forms for Incapacity Benefit. I'm so scared of getting them wrong. Wow. Talk about lame excuses.
lizziec: (acid)
Honestly, it's days like this that make me wonder if I'll ever be a useful member of society again! (I should write a CBT sheet for that thought I suppose)

Anyway, I woke up in a pretty good mood and went to collect the post. The first one I opened was from HM Revenue and Customs. I should mention at this point that I am waiting on money (over £500) to come back from them that I overpaid in tax last year. This has been going on for four months. I sent them a letter when I got my P60 from Kent (which was when I realised just how many squillions of pounds I had overpaid) enclosing my P60 and my forms from edexcel (essentially a payslip, but it's all they give me - edexcel don't issue P60s). When I first called in April to find out what I needed to do to claim back my tax I was told these forms would be sufficient. I got a letter in August (two months exactly since they recieved my original letter) asking me to fill out my employment history for 2006. I did that and sent it back. Cue the clock starting again on my claim (they say it'll be up to two months from the date of my last communication arriving with them). More or less two months since I sent back that form I get another letter today, saying that they've sent back my P60 (which wasn't enclosed) and that my stuff from edexcel was not sufficient, despite what I had been told four months ago.

At the moment I seem to be able to go between extremes of emotions. I ended up getting very angry very quickly and I called them and first yelled at the person who answered the phone and then requested a supervisor and yelled at her. When I'd yelled at them for about 20 minutes about how the legnth of time wasn't acceptable, nor was the fact my P60 was MIA, nor was the conflicting advice I had got from their office I got off the phone to them and burst in to tears. I went from angry to very sad and virtually helpless in a matter of seconds. Now I feel bad for yelling at them. I've done jobs like that and I know it's not their fault, but I was very angry and had to take it out on someone. I called edexcel who don't do P60s and are instead sending me a statement of earnings. I'm now more than a little terrified. I am waiting for them to send me the right document as soon as possible. I'm basically combining the incompetence of Edexcel with the incompetence of the tax office. I'm starting to wonder if I'll see my money this side of Christmas.

As I said above, it's days like this that make me wonder if I can ever be a useful member of society again. It probably doesn't help that my hormones are all over the place at the moment, as I have come off the pill to see if it helps with my depression. At the moment though I just feel even more out of whack than before. Argh. I'm also annoyed at myself. It's moments like this that I feel a real burden on those who are close to me, especially my husband. Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything silly, I've never been that depressed. I just needed to get it all out. There.

By the way, I still haven't filled in the forms for Incapacity Benefit. I'm so scared of getting them wrong. Wow. Talk about lame excuses.

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