Well. Here I am. Up, showered, dressed. Early enough to have gone to work, but, happily (?), in too much pain to have driven there. So, as is my custom, I turned the radio on. Listened to the 9.00am news. Which reported the release of the most recent figures of people off work on sick leave.
I was somewhat disturbed by the tenor of the piece – which seemed to suggest that the majority of these people were/are ne’er-do-wells, milking the system, and certainly probably well enough to work.
Now – my tetchiness about this may have something to do with my present incapacity. It may, indeed, be because I did not hear the complete report (I turned the radio on in the middle of this article). Nevertheless I felt it was yet another attempt by a punitive government to justify future cuts in benefits. As we know, people on DLA have been having their entitlements challenged, and their levels of support reduced, over the past few months. This seemed like a preparation for a further onslaught against an easy target.
Although as you will guess, my injury is (hopefully) resolvable and certainly not likely to be long-term, I felt distinctly uneasy about a report which implied that I was some sort of malingerer just because I have had to (on doctor’s orders) absent myself from the workplace for a short period.
Am I too touchy? Has this report hit a raw nerve? Would I stay home from work at the drop of a hat? Well – yes to all of these questions. The point is – people who are off ill are generally just that.
Their condition has been confirmed by a medical practitioner who has agreed that their health does not permit them to work at this point.
There have been many things in the news recently which I could have commented upon. Things which make one question the morality of our society and our government. Things which make one question the wisdom of those we entrust to manage our local/national/international affairs. Things which make us realize the impotence of our own tupennyworth of theory/perspective/prescription.
Despite being a regular rally-er in my youth, campaigning for principles close to my heart, marching through town centres, reclaiming the night, camping out in protest against US policies, staging street theatre productions to raise awareness of just causes, etc etc, it seems I have sunk into the complacency of middle age. (A stage in life I otherwise deny!!)
Perhaps it’s time I became more active again. Reignited that fire of conscience. Rejoined that political discourse process. Became the responsible, involved, participative citizen.
Although this week I have a bad back (and, as you know, not able to drive) and next week (well – in nine days time) I’ll be in the South of France. After which I’ll have to catch up with the fundraising target for the big charity adventure. Leaving just a little time left for the blogging. And very little for the body politic!! Oh dear!!