Winter fuel payment

I found myself cursing Iain Duncan Smith today. Living here in tropical SW France how was it that whilst walking my dogs in the balmy sun, despite one pair of mittens and double walled thinsulate gloves my finger tips were stinging and with two pairs of thick walking socks in my boots my toes were hurting? Was occasionally slipping on frozen patches part of this tropical climate the DWP have used to justify ceasing to pay our winter fuel allowances?

If anybody has been following the news over the last 24 hours, the two freak snow storms that stopped traffic in the lower Alpine regions leaving people trapped in their cars will have reminded you of the temperatures that are clearly too high to pay us that allowance. Then the rest of France, where nude sunbathing between our pools and palm trees with a Martini has been temporarily suspended.

Yes IDS, I felt kind toward you this morning, kind of like having you plonked down in the middle of a field anywhere in France without a stitch of clothing and then asking you what kind of too warm country you find this is at this very moment?

See the 'Winter fuel payment article in Daily Mail' started by Mandy Davies as well. It adds insult to injury.

Aye, cannae be doing wi' they loons at a'. Gi's Keir Hardie 'n Robbie Smillie, aye?

Nye Bevan would sort 'em, too :)

Ulp! I was an early member of the (then West) Berlin Alternative Liste, part of the Greens in Germany that his redness DC-B was part of setting up with Petra Kelly and company, even though I had no electoral rights. Pushing 40 years on they are now squabbling and place-jobbing - sounds familiar or what? They are far more amateurish (yes, it is possible) in the UK, not my cup of herbal tea nowadays.

Well, it's just to be hoped, Brian, that those Anglo Greens are better at politics than the French ones ; since me old mate Dany hopped it they're back to their endless squabbling and place-jobbing...

The politologists are already saying that a Tory return may see them in office for two or more subsequent terms because the opposition (think they mean Labour) is undergoing negative change. If Labour take office supported by SNP then they will be hostage to their own ongoing undoing with little chance of survival unless a lot of concessions are given to Scotland (possibly a new referendum - for which I most naturally am in full agreement) that will more or less end the union by one means or another. It has been said that SNP demands for the end of the Lords, particularly the right of hereditary and Church of England seats, which would have to go to the Lords for approval if it passed through the Commons, would unseat that parliament then Labour would be done for many years. Also, SNP would not allow an EU referendum, again another denominator in the demise of the union if it all goes awry.

I find it to be interesting times, if also grim for the poor souls in the UK whose standard of living is plunging like a stone whilst the wealthy elite get even richer and more powerful. May will reveal a great deal more. Fringe parties may play a role but then they may implode because of the amount of infighting that is going on at present. The joker in the pack is the Greens, who I (my own opinion, seldom shared I agree) is that they are more of a hobby than a political force but are gaining a lot of support among young voters, especially those with hefty debts thank Clegg's 180°turn on student loans.

Fragmented, Jane, appears to be putting it mildly!

The British Chambers of Commerce are more worried about the forthcoming election given the fragmented nature of British politics at the moment than any other probable cause of economic instability.

So, if we have a totally different form of government and the Midlothian question is eventually solved, we will surely be seeing a different form of politics.

The demise of the Labour Party, which accuses the Government of trying to outmanoeuvre it, when it failed to address the question of its own falling vote in Scotland, will inevitably be part of it, plus the other fringe parties.

Sadly true.

"He will cause the UK to spend more on defending his indefensible position when the UK is taken to the Commission."

By which time, he will be cloaked in ermine claiming his tax payer subsidised lunch and his attendance allowance, guffawing loudly about 'how we are all in together, what!'

And, don't think for a nano-second that the other weasels who will replace him will change matters one iota...

I posted on this subject yesterday, but it does not seem to have arrived.

IDS is the most disgusting politician, which will be agreed by all those unfortunate people who are being charged bedroom tax, even though there are not smaller homes for them to move to.

He will cause the UK to spend more on defending his indefensible position when the UK is taken to the Commission.

Oh yes, and the lovely cosy Alsace & Massif Central I was driving through yesterday to get home from Germany - MINUS SEVEN, very tropical, + freezing fog & driving snow, just wonderful, visibility down to about 40 metres.... The drive took me 13 hours rather than the 8 it usually takes - just under 1000 km and almost all motorway. Coming over the Plateau de Millevaches & the particularly godforsaken stretch just before it I was averaging 35kph, deeply irritating.

...and serve him bloodless* right.

*I mean that, being inhuman they don't have any... of any of those parts that is ;-)

Yes Brian, same thoughts run through my mind too.

Might it be too much to hope that some aficionado from the DWP is enjoying tropical France in the lower Alpine regions stuck in traffic freezing his nuts off in the lower nether regions (if he has any left by now, that is) wondering wherever the notion that France is a warm place ever came from?