Tag Archives: society

Please Make It Stop II

Meeting tonight at 7:30 in Langdale Hall, Witney about Green Party member and Bampton resident Mark Wood and other disabled people whose deaths have been connected to the policies and actions of the government’s Department of Work and Pensions.

Reported by the Oxford Mail and The Independent.

Another letter to Mark’s MP…

Dear David,

I wrote to you about your constituent Mark Wood at the beginning of March asking you three questions. When we spoke in June we didn’t manage to get beyond the first, the discussion becoming mired in your government’s perception that GPs are too soft to do the right thing for their patients. That was disheartening, and all I left with was the assurance that a DWP investigation was underway and would report soon.

So, here I am with yet another question: What is the result of the investigation into the actions of your government and the organisations they commissioned with regard to Mark Wood and his subsequent death?

Tonight I shall attend a meeting in Witney at which Mark Wood’s sister will speak. No doubt Cathie Wood will question why Mark’s MP has subsequently done nothing to get to the bottom of what happened, and at least ensure disabled people like Mark don’t suffer unnecessarily in the future. He hasn’t been the only one; Gill Thompson will address the meeting on behalf of her brother David Clapson who died after being ‘sanctioned’. There are more.

You’ve made much of your own family experience of disability recently. Since you’ve brought it up, valid as it is, it’s an experience of one disability in one family. The circumstances of other families living with other disabilities are very different. Are you sure your government is treating them with the same dignity you would wish for your own? I suggest to you that to date it hasn’t, and so I ask again, please make it stop.

Yours sincerely,


David Cameron is too busy

Gazing at the ceiling in Westminster’s Central Lobby on a comfy green leather bench. Beats waiting at the dentist. Are those bulbs in the candelabrum low energy? Judging by the blown ones they can’t be LEDs. Twenty five Watts each at a guess. Thirty two around the upper tier, sixty around the lower less the one where the holder’s dropped out. A rated total of… over 2kW. Looks like a job for Witney’s DFx Technology.

Natasha’s been and gone, responding to the Green Card I filled out. She said David’s in the chamber. I knew that. I can hear his disembodied voice straining above the din of PMQs, drifting across on the sound waves from a distant TV. Pretty much everyone knows where my MP is midday most Wednesdays.

Alan on the desk says Natasha’s checking again and she’ll phone the answer through but the Prime Minister’s bound to be busy. Freewheeling down the fast track to security the Bobby at the entrance called the same thing after me. I know he’s busy. What other reason could there be for not answering my letter over the past two months?

Greg Barker’s here. Jeremy Hunt shakes a hand and leaves with its owner. Tour parties crisscross the octagonal floor and the young woman beside me asks if Prime Minister’s Questions is over yet. It is, sometime ago. She’s early. Didn’t think she’d make it in time what with the tube strike. Yesterday was a nightmare on the bus, but the tube’s running again today. Isn’t the ceiling lovely?

We lean back. Alan comes over to share what he knew all along. My MP is too busy.

Using a Bike for Short Journeys – Part 3

Following on from Part 2: Parking, pavements and potholes – dealing with the stuff you have little or no control over.


So, we’ve got our bike, our basket and our lock and we’re stood outside the shop/pub/café/jobcentre looking for the other half of the parking puzzle – a sheffield stand. Even in cycling nirvanas like Amsterdam and Copenhagen there aren’t always enough purpose made stands or suitable pieces of street furniture to go round, so for short term parking their answer is – take your own.

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