“Surely the greatest burning injustice of all is children having to go to school ill-clad and hungry.”

Gordon Brown

 

Universal Credit was advertised as making work pay and empowering those on low incomes but in fact two-thirds of poor children are now in families where someone is working.

Universal Credit is harsh by design and cruel in its intention.


Inside the castle walls there was much eating, drinking and merriment

whilst the poor outside succumbed to starvation.

 


A National Audit Office (NAO) report revealed that Universal Credit is not value for money and may even cost more than the benefit system it has replaced. More importantly it slammed the failure to respond to the “the hardship faced by claimants” as more and more are driven into destitution by the system.

 

Whilst UC is sold to the general public as a simplification of the benefits system, it is sold to employers as giving them ‘access to a more flexible and responsive workforce’. Part-time jobs and zero-hours contracts have proliferated in recent years, because they suited employers, but UC seems designed to keep workers in this casual, insecure employment under constant pressure. They will be required to attend a Jobcentre and demonstrate that they are attempting to work more hours or increase their pay, on pain of sanction. So UC is paid monthly in arrears because it wants claimants to behave as if they have a steady and secure income, pressures them to try to increase their earnings, but enables and encourages employers to turn those same workers on and off like a tap.

 

The touch of your tears on my face never left me.
Your pain was my pain, when I hurt you, I hurt myself even more.
The feeling when we reconciled brought joy into my sadness
And the touch of your lips created an indelible memory of the moment.

 

When a broken love is repaired, it is like being transported from a drowning sea to a beach where silver sand glistens in the sunlight and blue waves lap gently against the shoreline.
After love is restored, the birds in the trees start singing again and happiness reigns.
We hurt ourselves when we hurt those we love, but the elation when we make up is unparalleled.

 

Sometime at eve when the tide is low,
I shall slip my moorings and sail away,
With no response to a friendly hail,
In the silent hush of the twilight pale,
When the night stoops down to embrace the day
And the voices call in the water’s flow.

Sometime at eve when the tide is low,
I shall slip my moorings and sail away.
Through purple shadows that darkly trail
O’er the ebbing tide of the unknown sea,
And a ripple of waters to tell the tale
Of a lonely voyager, sailing away
To mystic isles, where at anchor lay
The craft of those who had sailed before
O’er the unknown sea to the unknown shore.

A few who have watched me sail away
Will miss my craft from the busy bay;
Some friendly barques were anchored near,
Some loving souls that my heart held dear
In silent sorrow will drop a tear;
But I shall have peacefully furled my sail
In mooring sheltered from the storm and gale,
And greeted friends who had sailed before
O’er the unknown sea to the unknown shore.

The iconic Scottish band Runrig, which formed in 1973 in Skye, will be playing their final concert in Stirling next Saturday.

All good things must come to an end.

 

Hearts of Olden Glory

There’s thunder clouds
Round the hometown bay
As I walk out
In the rain
Through the sepia showers
And the photoflood days

I caught a fleeting glimpse
Of life
And though the water’s
Black as night
The colours of Scotland
Leave you young inside

There must be a place
Under the sun
Where hearts of olden glory
Grow young

There’s a vision
Coming soon
Through the faith
That cleans your wound
Hearts of olden glory
Will be renewed

Down the lens
Where the headlands stand
I feel a healing
Through this land
A cross for a people
Like wind through your hands

There must be a place
Under the sun
Where hearts of olden glory
Grow young

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