This site is the cat’s pajamas

Month: Mehefin, 2013

Anti Welsh sentiment is alive and well amongst a few on the British Left… (well there’s a surprise!)

I regularly read Johhny Void’s ‘The Void’ blog, and do comment quite frequently, though much of the comment is the usual blog stuff where there are a lot of people justifiably concerned about what is happening in the reforms to the welfare and benefits system of the UK under this present (and probably the next, whatever it’s colour) Tory government.  Some people seem genuinely confused and disorientated by it all, as do most of us, even those of us who are articulate and educated are sometimes somewhat nonplussed about the changes, so I have huge amounts of empathy for those who struggle with this kind of thing – I would suspect that a fair number of people who comment on the blog are those who would normally turn to professional help at a Citizens Advice Centre, or seek help from another source, a support worker or advice centre, except we all now know what is happening to this sector…  Most commenters are more than happy to point people in the right direction, as am I, and I hope that at least that is some help.  Usually it is just a matter of directing people to a relevant website, such as or Boycott Workfare.

There is one commenter on The Void who posts regularly, who seems to do little other than moan and complain how bad things are, but seemingly can only suggest that we do more of the same to remedy this dire situation, i.e. vote Labour, (to be fair, he doesn’t exactly say Labour, and would prefer some madcap scenario where all candidates were ‘independent’).  Einstein said something very aposite about people like this. I personally am pretty laid-back on the whole voting issue, but as I get older I am more and more convinced that I have a better chance of winning the lottery than I do in seeing the kind of humane society I want to see attained through the ballot box. (and I don’t do the lottery). This individual wrote something pretty inane, (he seems to be a past master at this) and I have challenged him in the past, but I am an unwise fellow sometimes, as everybody else on the blog refrains from challenging his comments, as he invariably tries to stir up and argument.

However, he said something particularly asinine in a blog yesterday and was promptly shot challenged by another regular commenter who often has intelligent and insightful comments to make. He of course couldn’t resist commenting back, and was told in no uncertain worlds to ‘fuck off’, which coming from an otherwise extremely articulate individual was an indication that they might consider this guy a moron, and apparently  decided to be sufficiently lyrical to ensure full comprehension!

I made a brief comment of ‘nice one G….’  and that started Mr Apparently None Too Bright off on a bit of a wobbler, who thanked me for my ‘treachery’. This was strange given that I had never given my allegiance to anyone, or anything.  Perhaps rather stupidly, forgetting that rule about never arguing with idiots, I responded, only to receive a counter comment containing something of an ethnic slur in the form of an apparently casual throwaway comment that ‘you welsh know how to stick together’ which is a comment that is so loaded with all kinds of anti-Welsh sentiment that it needs little explanation.  For starters, I have never even mentioned my nationality, merely that I am a fluent Welsh speaker.  I’m not even sure that the other commenter involved in this is Welsh, it’s just an assumption being made by this apparently slow individual. I should be charitable I guess, as he obviously has trouble in discerning the difference between ethnocentricity and racism, as he accused me of accusing him of racism.  Not to worry, I am used to this. However a few sentences later he confounds himself by not only calling us ‘Welshies’ but also calls the other commenter critical of him my ‘Welsh rearebit’, which in this context is not only ethnically abusive, but misogynist as well.


Predictably enough the owner of the blog stepped in and called time on what was developing into a personal spat, but I’d guessed that time would be called, but I ommitted to put on my final comment about it that I’d decided to call a halt anyway – I’d succeeded in drawing him out as the ethnocentric idiot I’d long suspected he was, and the final misogynistic comment by him was a bonus that showed him up as the SuperPrat he obviously is.


However, that has made me consider what kind of comments I will bar from this site, that’s assuming I get many readers who wish to comment!  I won’t tolerate anything racist, ethnocentric, homophobic, sexist or in any other way that derogates a human quality in any way.  You are, however, allowed to suggest that someone may be a prat, even me, because at times I am the biggest prat going.

If this makes me the ‘pontificating, politically correct bore’ that someone already thinks I am. then so be it.  I feel extremely strongly about any kind of ethnic/racial abuse, no matter how socially acceptable it may be in some communities/political groups*


* I don’t particularly refer to the usual suspects here, but supposed fellow travellers on the British Left who have for long not just tolerated anti-Welsh sentiment, but failed to challenge it to the point of actively encouraging it



Once again into the breach…

Please forgive the overly dramatic title, it actually wasn’t that bad this week, which I have to say is just a little creepy.  I was tasked with providing my job coach with a copy of my CV and covering letters for a job application and for a speculative job enquiry, which I was supposed to e-mail to him.  Needless to say I didn’t e-mail him copies but I did take copies of  my CV and the letters with me to the fortnightly review meeting.

Proceedings were, as usual, polite, but also as usual I wasn’t willing to cooperate more than I am required to.  I gave the job coach my job search document to which he commented that I’d done a lot, which is usual for me, I actually do want to be in work and I’m sure that eventually I will get work as sadly the area I have expertise in will be in more and more demand, and at some point the government will release funding to pay for the needed staff.  It’s already happening to an extent, but the jobs being created are zero hour contracts, but I’m used to this, and though at times it can be a bit of a struggle to make ends meet, sometimes I have had so much work that all I do is work and sleep, literally. Great for the bank balance, but not so good for work-life balance! Anyway, I digress.  My job coach then asked to see my CV, so I got it out and held it in front of him, like I was told to on the Boycott Workfare website… He complained that he couldn’t see it, and wouldn’t I even place it flat on the desk.  I said that I wasn’t going to, and then he said that this was getting stupid, (in my mind I agreed, it was getting stupid, me being required to attend every fortnight and prove I can jump through hoops). Anyway, I compromised by laying the CV flat on the desk and telling him he couldn’t have a copy – not that it would have been much use, what with the copyright notice at the bottom and a pale red copyright ‘watermark’ printed diagonally across it.  He, somewhat surprisingly to me, agreed that I could have it back.  He then suggested that I could improve it, and me being the thoroughly reasonable person that I am, was prepared to listen.  In fact I’m glad that I did, as his suggestions were very useful, and I shall be using them to prepare an improved CV, (in fact that’s my assignment for next time)

Even more surprisingly, after he had gone through the suggestions for improving my CV he said I could go… I’d been in the office for just under twenty minutes!

I still have a bit of a creepy feeling though, that there is something about to happen that I don’t yet know about…. Watch this space.


I signed on yesterday at the JCP, and got chatting to my advisor, and he asked me how I was getting on with the WP, my comment was that I didn’t think that it was going to be a lot of use to me, and I was quite surprised by his response – he said that as far as he could see was that it only really ‘worked’ for those claimants who were doing virtually nothing to find work, but that it was not going to make a lot of difference to those already making an effort.

The way things are going, with the number of potential ployers’ pulling out of Workfare, and the subsequent loss of income to the poverty pimp companies, who, let’s not forget, work on the Payment By Results principle is going to put increasing pressure on their profit margins… All good news, from our point of view.

I’ve been looking at blogs about the whole issue of Workfare/unemployment from around the world, especially from the USA where all this rubbish started, and though there is no shortage of redneck comment, there is also quite a bit of support for the idea of actually investing in the unemployed, in the idea of job creation, which, categorically rejects the idea of growing the economy, as this doesn’t address the fundamental issue of income inequality.

There is plenty of wealth in our country, it’s just in the wrong places, and whilst the ConDems are fond of moaning about the costs of welfare to the poor, the unemployed and the sick and disabled, they seem to want to funnel increasing amounts of money to the private sector as corporate welfare.