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Health Scare Alert: Be afraid, be very afraid February 6, 2014

Posted by Phil Groom in Knockabout.
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GOVERNMENT MEDICAL EXPERTS have today identified the number one cause of death amongst the human population: breathing. In short, the advice is: breathing kills and should be avoided wherever possible.

The evidence that breathing kills is said to be irrefutable: NHS health records show that every person who has died since records began used to breathe and research indicates that every person who died before records were kept also used to breathe. Observers have further noted that zombies, who don’t breathe, don’t die and in fact cannot be killed.

Responding to the news, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has pledged to take whatever action may be required to minimise risk to the general public: “The police, the military and all emergency services are on standby to offer whatever support the public need,” he said. “We have reviewed government policy on this matter and we will ensure that people who do the right thing, hardworking families and Conservative Party supporters, will be protected.”

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, threw his weight behind the Prime Minister’s stance: “People should be in no doubt about this,” he said. “Breathing kills and zombies are real. Look at me, look at the people around you next time you travel on the London Underground. Many may appear to be breathing but for most of us it’s an act as we attempt to blend in with the rest of the  human race. If you’re not sure, look us in the eye and you’ll see that dead look as we stare past you and through you. This is the reason we need to close down all the ticket offices: they force people to talk, talking requires breathing, and people who breathe, die.”

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, explained the Treasury’s response: “We are bringing in a new, fairer, tax regime and people who insist on breathing will pay the price through increased taxes and further benefit cuts. We are raising the age at which Housing Benefit can be claimed to 125 to ensure that no one who breathes can claim it. Furthermore, VAT and fuel duty will be levied at 200% on all purchases made by people who breathe.”

Iain Duncan-Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, added his support:  “We will protect those who do the right thing, who work hard for low pay or no pay. We will also protect the wealthy and the wealth creators to ensure that they can carry on receiving their bonuses. But if you insist on breathing, if you do the wrong thing, you will be penalised. Alongside the Treasury’s actions outlined by my Right Honourable friend, the age at which the State Pension becomes available to people who breathe will also be increased to 125 and anyone who carries on breathing after this age will be automatically excluded from receiving the winter heating allowance. Disabled people or those who suffer with mental health problems, however, will be given all the help they need to stop breathing at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Business leaders applauded the government’s response: “Breathing kills. The medical evidence is clear: people who breathe take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide, using up their bodies’ resources. This forces them to eat, and to eat, they have to buy food, which means we have to pay them. Zombies, however, do not breathe and do not need to eat, which means they don’t have to be paid. This means that we don’t have to pay National Insurance and can keep all the money for ourselves instead of most of it.”

The Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to support those who do the right thing: “Do the right thing,” he said. “Stop breathing. Become a zombie. Support the Conservative Party.”


Britain 2015 – if David Cameron is still @Number10gov June 25, 2012

Posted by Phil Groom in Current Affairs, Life.
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IF YOU’RE A YOUNG PERSON in Britain today, here’s how your future’s looking:

Leave school at 16 or 18 because you can’t afford higher education…
Get a low-end minimum-wage job if you’re lucky…
Maybe earn enough to rent somewhere with some mates…

Receive a pay cut because the government has scrapped the minimum wage
» or get fired for no reason because the government has scrapped employee rights
» or get made redundant because the company goes bust

Now you’ve got no money to pay the rent
» your mates can’t subsidise you
» housing benefit has been scrapped for under-25s
» your parents don’t want you back

Hello cardboard box in an alleyway at night, fight for a Big Issue pitch by day.

If you survive, turn 25 …

… by which time housing benefit for under-35s has been scrapped…

Welcome to the Tory scrapheap, if you live that long — and if you live longer, don’t even think about collecting a pension: long before you reach 68, pension age will be 75; and by the time you reach 75, it’ll be 90.

Apathy and indifference are no longer an option: if you’re old enough to vote by the time of the next General Election in 2015, use that vote or lose everything.

200 People to Save Ali Quant January 13, 2011

Posted by Phil Groom in Appeals, Death, Life.
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I have changed my socks

I have changed my socks

YESTERDAY I was feeling frivolous and I changed my socks. Yes, it happened. Unfortunately the yeast was too strong and my bread collapsed, but that’s another story.

Today, however, I am in a more serious frame of mind and I would like you to join me in a campaign to save my friend Ali Quant.

Ali has been a victim of serious domestic abuse and is battling and blogging her way through various mental health issues, all of which you can find out about on her blog, Purple Noise. She’s also a great Scrabble player, which is one of the (admittedly more selfish) reasons why I cannot allow her to go through with her recently announced plan to commit suicide if our inglorious government (yes, David Cameron, that’s you and your crew I’m talking about) pushes her over the edge with its programme of benefit cuts that is demoralising many of the most vulnerable people in our society such as Ali. In fact, it wouldn’t be suicide: it would be murder, death by a thousand cuts from a knife wielded by the UK Government — the very people whose job it is to take care of the poor, the weak, the vulnerable on our behalf as taxpayers.

So I have a plan. It’s simple: I need 200 people who will stand with me in committing themselves to a regular monthly gift of £5 to Ali. That works out at £12,000 per year (more than I earn, as it happens) and I think Ali is worth far more than that. She may be unable to work in the conventional sense of the word, but through her blog (alongside many others: see the Madosphere links in my sidebar)  she is providing an essential service to our society: helping to erase the stigma of mental illness by telling it how it is; and exposing the shabbiness of our government’s policies and the impact those policies are having upon people’s lives.

At the same time as publishing this I’m setting up a facebook group with the same name: 200 People to Save Ali Quant. Even if you’re not in a position to make the regular financial commitment I’m asking for, please consider joining it anyway to show your solidarity with Ali — and please spread the word: between us all, between my friends and yours, we must be able to find 200 people, maybe more, who can make this level of commitment. You may be able to offer more, in which case we may not need 200 people; or less, in which case we may need more. I’m not asking for any money right now; what I’m asking for is commitment to the cause: to make the effort to pull Ali back from the brink onto which the government is pushing her and let her know what we think she’s worth, that we think her life is worth living, that we think she is making an important contribution to our society.

The world needs people like Ali Quant: people who aren’t ashamed to describe what they’ve been through, what they’re going through and who aren’t afraid to shine a light on the government’s failings. If and when those failings reach the point Ali describes and she feels she has to jump, that’s when I’ll come asking for your money: if it helps, think of this as a safety net; but please don’t commit if you’re not prepared for that safety net to be deployed — this is not a game, this is a person’s life.

I realise that in a sense doing this is precisely what Cameron wants us to do with his bleating on about the ‘Big Society’ — “Let’s get people off state benefits into community care”, or something like that. To that I say up yours to Cameron et al: the vast majority of this country didn’t vote for you and we don’t want you or need you: go back to your world of privilege and reward for failed bankers — one day it’s all going to collapse around your head. The ‘Big Society’ was here long before you were and we, the people, will continue to take care of one another with or without your help using our money (and speaking of our money, if there’s anyone reading who’s in a position to advise or help on registering the group as a charity, we should then be able to claim tax back via Gift Aid on taxpayer’s donations; and that, I think, would be a result!).

Will you stand with me? Will you spread the word? Will you help to save Ali from our cut-throat government?

Finally and very importantly: please note that I haven’t consulted Ali about this. When I hit ‘Publish’ it’s going to be as much a surprise for her as it is for everyone else. This is me, Phil Groom, asking, not Ali … because if I know Ali at all, she’d never make this request: she’d die first. But I’m not willing to sit idly by and let that happen.

And if we get more than I’m asking for, there are others out there whose blogging deserves better recognition too, starting with another of my friends, Pandora Serial Insomniac

Where Next?

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