The title of this post is slightly misleading - but over the last few days while I have been thinking about what to write about this, I kept coming back to something like, "I just wasn't programmed like this" or "I just wasn't made for this". Well a lesser known fact about me is that I have long been a fan of the musical stylings of Mr Brian Wilson, especially with the Beach Boys - so I settled on this title. In fact, it would much better be called I just wasn't brought up this way.
This week I have had a long conversation with the Department for Work and Pensions. This is based on the fact we received a letter from them, stating that the application for E to receive Disability Living Allowance has been rejected. During the conversation they were referring to this "standard" that the application had not reached. This standard seems to refer to a mythical line by which all people of the same age can be judged against, as needing more assistance or not. This is obviously much more complicated when you talk about someone who is one year old! My reference to the "mythical line", may be unfair - but it is... because there is no way to find it out. I would happily read all of the standards by which they would judge E and make my own mind up whether it is worth me spending some considerable time on the forms. I object to spending that time only to be judged against something i have no access to.
Now this is where we come to me "not being made for these times" - I am an honest man - I am a fair man - BUT I am (as you may have guessed) a Dad. In that I want to be honest and fair in my fight to give my boys everything I can. I will not steal to do it, I will not lie to do it and I will be realistic in what I try for. So I think it would be nice to be treated fairly and honestly.
Those of you that know me, however, will know I am built for a fight, both mentally and physically, I am not designed to shy away from the argument - especially if I'm right. So DWP - you are on my list - it's not a long list yet - but I'm happy to open as many fronts in this war as it takes - and I'll recruit an army behind me if I need to - E has a big family and a lot of our friends will stand up for him too! So I'm going to lobby for some open and honest governance in this country - and rather than just ask people to tell a story - asking for documentary evidence. This is what I think should happen:
- Give people the criteria against which they will be judged.
- Give people the evidence standard which is required to be provided.
- When you write with a judgement, break it down into the full reasons why.
- When people call to talk about the poor quality judgement letters, don't take 2 weeks to call back.
- When you do call back, don't treat people like they are telling lies.
- When you call, don't treat people like they don't have the intelligence to understand.
This is not a forum for me to put Es problems in detail - and more importantly, this is something i have documented - I hope this is one which will be resolved quickly!