A couple of days light blogging has induced a sort of paranoia, a panic, in your humble Devil. He sees those big numbers, denoting hundreds of unread posts, hovering around his RSS Reader icon, and starts to get in a flap; dare he leap once more into this sea of opinion? Does he have the drive? Is he angry enough?
Ah, yes; that anger. That anger drives your humble Devil to write his tripe, becoming steadily more apoplectic as he tears through the news of yet more evil and stupidity from our rulers. This, then, must be the key: anger! That will be your correspondant's way back in. But how to get that rage, without actively diving in first? It really is a Catch-22.
Luckily, it's Toynbee day over at The Guardian: salvation is in sight! But wait, what's this? Has she written something sensible?
No, of course not. Like a faithful spaniel, she is always guaranteed to invite a kicking by nipping yer heid. Today, she's banging on about people on Incapacity Benefit...
In fact, the unemployed were flooding back to work.
Er, no, they weren't. They were being signed onto IB in order to reduce the unemployment figures (and this started with the Thatcher government, I'm sad to say); however, Labour have turned this sort of obfuscation of the true figures into an art form.
David Blunkett, when Minister for Work and Pensions, made much of his pledge to get a million IBers back to work.
Well there's almost 2.8 million people on incapacity benefit, it used to be called invalidity, that's four times as many as 25 years ago, even though the world has improved dramatically for them. So we're aiming to get a million plus back into work.
What does this suggest? That they should not have been on Incapacity Benefit in the first place.
Look at the facts: 2.7 million claim IB, but the number is falling fast, with 100,000 fewer new claimants in the past year.
OK, Pol; 2.7 million claim incapacity benefit, yes? What's 2.7 million plus 100,000? That's right, you bone-headed, slack-fannied old bitch: it is 2.8 million. So, last year, before this year's 100,000 new sign-ons, there were 2.6 million, and now there are 2.7 million.
Now, are those numbers falling or are they... ahem, as I suggest... increasing? Yes, Pol, that's right: the number of people signing onto IB is, in fact, rising not "falling fast". Now, Polly, we all know that you failed your 11-plus—presumably because you are as thick as shit—but surely even someone as specious, ignorant and haggard as yourself can work that out? Twat.
Why does it need reform? Because it is badly run, not unlike the old asylum system that lost people. For example, GPs sign people on to IB, but 30% of GPs never fill in the form so those people sit on IB forever unquestioned.
Is that so? Crippen, what have you got to say for your profession, eh? Bunch of slackers, or just bullied?
Perverse benefit incentives mean if someone takes a job and it fails, they lose their old right to £20-a-week IB, so why risk it? The longer they stay on IB, the higher it rises, so trying out a job gets riskier.
Well, fuck me, my heart bleeds. If they can work, then they should not ever have been signed onto IB in the first place. IB is for those who cannot ever work, as far as I am concerned.
The system asks people to stress their illness, leading to a cycle of helplessness and depression. Once on IB for a year, most will never work again.
Unless you stop their benefit. Interview them all, and unless they are quadroplegic, then their benefit is removed. If they refuse to be assessed, or they do not turn up to their scheduled appointment, then their benefit is removed.
Pilot schemes - Pathways - have been hugely successful and will cover a third of the country by the end of this year, doubling the number returning to work. They offer new claimants medical and psychiatric support, training and specialist advisers.
Well, that's lovely. And how much of our hard-earned cash are these fucking playschools for malingering fuckwits and tragic failures costing us, the generous taxpayer? Who knows, but you can bet that there are probably seven figures in whatever numbers are revealed.
There is a £40-a-week return-to-work bonus, with a promise that if the job fails, they can return to their old IB status. It has been so popular that old IB claimants who don't strictly qualify have asked to join.
I'm not fucking surprised! If your IB is an extra £20 a week, and this programme gives you double that, would you take it up? You'd have to be a total fuckwit, without even the animal cunning of many of our stupidest scroungers, not to be able to work that one out. And how long does this extra £40 a week last? For fuck's sake, I'll repeat myself: if they can work, then they are not incapacitated and shouldn't be on the fucking IB in the first place.
I was going to nominate Polly for stupidest person of the year, but I suspect that Neil has already bagsied it...