• Page update – 30/10/12

    Joe Citizens - new story, regarding Motability scooters. My favourite!

  • The Un-Civil Servant

  • BB

    BB is Bureaucratic Bullsh*t.
    It can also stand for Big Brother.
    In the civil service, they are one and the same.

  • What’s it all about?

    Bureaucracy is an umbrella term for official incompetence; that is, incompetence which has officially been sanctioned as being good practice. No-where in the world is that more apparent than in the British public sector. Misadministration of public services is the backbone of every government led department.
    Trust me, I’m a civil servant.

  • It’s a disease

    Bureaucracy runs rife through the corridors of power like a child riddled with ADHD, high on fizzy pop, crisps and jelly-beans.

  • Blog Stats

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  • Bullsh*t Alert

Give us a break!

Today we were told most emphatically that our break times would be closely monitored.  We get twenty minutes morning and afternoon if we’re full time.  Every minute of our day has to be accounted for and we have various ‘codes’ that we log into on the computer to show what we’re doing at any one time.

We don’t quite have to raise our hand to go to the toilet but there is a computer code equivalant.  If you need the loo you click on the break code and off you go.  But mind you get back as quick as you can and if it’s a number two, you’re pushing your luck!  You think I exaggerate?  I honestly don’t.  That’s why we were warned today.  Obviously some of us are taking too much time wiping our bottoms or drying our hands.  Oh, the bullsh*t!

Consequently I am yet again getting rather sozzled on a bottle of red!  We civil servants are a bunch of sops, you know.  It comes with the (bureaucratic) territory.

Statistics you won’t believe OR What the hell’s going on? Or 101 reasons why people apply for DLA

As I have mentioned before, approximately three million (3,000,000) people claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA), only slightly less receive Attendance Allowance (AA).  They are amazing statistics in themselves.  Especially without considering the millions claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA – which seperately used to be Income Support (IS) and Incapacity Benefit (IB)).  On top of these you have Carers Allowance (CA), Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit, Tax Credits, etc, etc…

Is it a wonder the country’s skint?  Anyway, if we get back to DLA.  Do you know how many people phone us requesting a claim pack every day?  No?  Neither do I but I can give us a decent guesstimate.

On our helpline, we currently have about 430 officers.  Now, I get between 4 and 10 requests for DLA claim packs every day, so on average lets say thats 7 per day.  Every officer will receive about the same, so thats 3,010 requests in total every day!  So there you go.  It begs the question, why?  We’ll come to more of that later but if we get that many every day, what portion of the population have put claims in since DLA began?  What do you mean, ‘Why am I bothered?’  Well, it makes me wonder how many ill people we have in this country and if it’s a lot (which I suspect), then what’s wrong with us all?  Is there something dodgy in the water and the food chain?

So, DLA has been going in its present form for 18 years.  Back then there were less than 30 officers on the helpline and not many on the new fangled benefit.  So we will make some allowances for that.  Interestingly enough, the claims for DLA increased by 25% between 1998 and 2003.  Anyway, lets level out the staff to a low 250 for the 18 years.  If 250 staff took 7 claim pack requests a day that would be 1,750.  Lets say – on a low estimate again – that we take calls for 250 days a year, that’s 425,000 requests in one year.  Multiply that by 18 years and it is 7,650,000.  And that’s a conservative estimate.  We now have claim packs on-line.  Also they can be ordered in bulk by nursing homes and other such facilities – claim pack requests that don’t come through our selves.  The true figure is probably somewhere between nine and ten million.  We’re talking about 15% of the population, even accounting for the rise in population over the years.  And that’s just DLA.  What is wrong with us in this country that a large amount of us are sick and disabled?  And why?

Well, a lot of it is to do with those dogooders!  No offence meant.  But the amount of people we get phoning us saying, ‘My doctor says I am entitled to DLA’, or ‘My child is dyslexic, and my support worker says he should get DLA’, (that’s the child, not the support worker) or ‘Welfare Rights have told me I can get DLA’, that sort of thing, is rediculous.  The thing is, DLA is so complex that no-one knows who should be on it (I’m not far off there)!  A lot of Joe Citizens just don’t know what it’s all about anyway, so when their doctor or social worker tells them they’re virtually guaranteed it, they see pound signs.  You may think I’m being harsh and admittedly a lot of people on DLA are on it for good reason but what about an alcoholic, say?

Each person on DLA has a code which corresponds to a primary and secondary reason for award.  One of them is alcoholism.  Does that scream out disability to you?  No.  But the thing is, DLA isn’t actually awarded for the condition, it’s awarded depending on how the condition affects you and what problems it creates in terms of you looking after yourself or what help you need with your care and mobility.  So if you’re drunk all the time you need help getting dressed because you can’t stand still whilst putting on your trousers and you might put your shirt on back to front.  Or your shoes on the wrong feet.  You may need helping into the bath so in your drunken stupor, you don’t slip and crack your skull.  And most certainly you will need supervision outdoors so you don’t get run over crossing the road to get to the pub or ‘offy’.  Not to mention needing the DLA money to buy vodka.

Well, it’s only going to get worse, as I always bemoan.  As the population grows, so will the applications.  Just think, we had only 30 helpline officers 18 years ago, now we have 430, not including a back up of another 120 when needed.  Won’t be long before we’re palmed off to India – more staff potential there.

So there you go.  Now, before asking me what the criteria really is for getting DLA, I’m not going to tell you.  I would miss you all phoning me and making me laugh – sorry, I mean do my job – by telling me why you feel you should get a claim pack.