Tuesday, 17 December 2013

from the Dole to the Bin's

Apparently, and as far as one knows, my electric meter is to be changed this very day, as it has come to the end of it’s life; so whilst waiting at home for EDF to arrive, it has given me the time to start this post. I have not been able to blog as much lately due to the fact that for almost two months I have been working as a self-employed scraper, trying to earn a crust from the collection of unwanted and discarded scrap that I find on London's streets or in peoples bins. Thanks, to Iain Duncan Smith (IDS), and his harsh regime down at my local dole office, and of course it’s not just me that has been treated (sometimes, brutally treated) like dirt by the coalition of the rich that have a grip on the levers of power.

Having been sanctioned twice, and then kicked off the dole without warning, has pushed me into self-employment. I have gone from the dole, to making a living from what people throw away and put in their own bins, anything that I can take and make money from I will do; aluminium, stainless, copper, electric motors, car batteries and so on, all helps to make me a living and at this time in my life.

I never thought of it ever, becoming my own boss, but it beats working and being exploited by someone else. On reflection, this suits me, I am very happy to be doing my own thing, and without anyone else like IDS bothering me, I am free, like a bird (magpie) able to do whatever I like and whenever I like. However, don’t let me dress this up too romantically comrades all. It can be very hard work, with it’s very own dangers, and as I have discovered in the last month or so whilst foraging (“like gulls are equipped by nature to forage for food") for scrap in East London. Many don’t like it, some think you are making money on the side or on top of your dole (nothing wrong with that) money, or it could just be that they don’t like you goin down their bins, that of course I do understand, and I never make an unnecessary mess; but I have been threatened on one or two occasions, with violence, which I hate and there is never a need for it. I think that some people, think that I’m Eastern European trying to make money for food or booze. On the other side of the coin you will get people giving you things, and I have had much given to me by some very nice people, so a big thank you to all of them.

So have things changed for me now that I’m my own boss?

Not really, as I am one of the working poor (solidarity to all of them) that have come off one set of benefits and gone on to working tax credits, still getting housing benefits from Newham Council but have to pay them an extra £20 towards my rent weekly, then there is the utility costs, heating and eating - but the thing is I manage.  

Looking back over the last 3 years, at this government, I do so like many, in anger; but I look to the future with hope, and most importantly, I am still in the class war and doing my bit!”

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