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Everything posted by dalek

  1. You seem to not get the irony of my calling myself a 'dole scrounger'. However, the answer to your question, which makes a few assumptions, is simple. I used up the circa three months' worth of savings I had in first three months. Mortgage benefit doesn't kick in until fourth month, and then only half of interest is paid (Don't. I've already discussed this in another thread - and it's my day today! ). It seems to me that people fall into two main camps, if they're lucky - i) has no property but oodles of cash ready to buy at right price - but yes, are therefore hit after six months of unemployment as the savings cap becomes £6,000 ii) has a property with a mortgage, but no huge amount of savings - due mainly to the ongoing number of repair and maintenance bills that comes with 'owning' your own property (and my flat is one of two in a Victorian house) - so can continue receiving JSA after six months Jack's Creation said: 'What was your previous job?' I was a journalist for 32 years Thanks again for congrats everyone.
  2. Ha ha! I've already pressed the ignore button...
  3. Jesus, can't you give it a rest? Just for today, while I share my good news? Yes, I said I love it. That's because it's my home, not because it's lovely. And no, I did not imply it was in a high-value area - but as everyone knows, Greater London prices are ridiculously high. But, humble one-bed garden flat though it is - and you can't really downsize from that here! - it's my home, not an investment. Without the Welfare State - which is a safety net for all of us - I would never have got back on my feet.
  4. Ah ha! (they're coming out of the woodwork after all). You're never satisfied, are you Venger? Once a dole scrounger always a dole scrounger, eh? BTW, I never said my flat is 'lovely' and it isn't in central London. You come over mighty bitter, you know...
  5. Thanks masked! Much appreciated. And thanks to everyone else for well wishes. Reading another recent post about workfare for the young, it makes me shudder. Being forced to work during the day would have made it well nigh impossible for me to get a job, with all the work it takes researching and applying. It would simply have delayed the process, so serves nobody, except, of course, big business taking advantage of this slave labour
  6. For all those who think people claiming benefits are all a bunch of layabouts, I started a job yesterday and sign off today. Three days a week at £16,000 with a lovely local Italian family of Italian food wholesalers (ten minutes by car from my flat) who know I have no experience of office management and sales, but have given it me anyway. The first company to give me a chance despite my lack of experience and being supposedly 'over-qualified', due to my obvious passion for Italian food, the fact I'm already learning Italian and my communication skills in general. They, unlike so many other firms, had the foresight to realise that those skills are transferable and can only contribute to their company. Sorry if I seem to be blowing my own trumpet, but I'm delighted, and still have two days a week on which to find other work to boost my income (half what I was earning before, but still a huge improvement considering the past few months!). And I want people to know that if you keep plugging away, something will turn up. And maybe all those baying dogs on here who have joined the government's propaganda campaign to scapegoat everyone claiming benefits - despite the fact that the coalition, in collusion with their friends the bankers are causing mass unemployment - will think again before they castigate those who have to turn to the Welfare State to get back on their feet after losing their jobs. And as I keep saying, many 'dole scroungers' - demonised as wastrels being bailed out by the 'taxpayer' - have also paid their dues in taxes, as I did for 32 years. That is all.
  7. The issue, Timbo, is the inconvenience, hassle, intimidation, time wasted etc ad nauseam. When you buy a flat, under the lease you have right to 'quiet enjoyment of your flat.' That has nothing to do with noise, but everything to do with peaceful enjoyment with no said hassle. LVT cases (and in my case a civil small claims court) can take up to a year to resolve and it costs a fortune. You never know if you will win, so you have a year of 'non-quiet non enjoyment' of your flat. It's horrible to live with a rogue freeholder. I have to say that at least with a local authority you always have eventual comeback, but with a rogue like that Marcel Sulc mentioned by Ungeared (did you even bother to read that) you could still end up losing your home, even when you've paid all your service charges including ground rent. And there was no redress in those cases. (I'm sorry, but you are a freeholder, and I claim my £5...)
  8. Ugh. Freemason link stinks to high heaven.
  9. Blimey, ungeared! How did he get away with breaking and entering and then selling the property when they had paid ground rent!? Where is Slade now I wonder - all I get on google is stuff about a murder...
  10. You're a freeholder, I take it. There may well be legal redress, but being a leaseholder can still be one big nightmare - being forced to put up with inconvenience, distress, and then the battle for redress, which can go on for years. Add to that, if your freeholder is the local authority, as in my case, the total waste of council money to put right the damage caused by their cheaper-option cowboys (though by no means cheap when the leaseholder is billed for their bodging). Just to give you one tiny insight into my life as a leaseholder of Southwark Council - a few years ago I had just finished decorating my flat and laid new carpets. Five months later water damage came in through the wall into my living room caused by southwark contractors leaving rubble in the guttering when 'repairing' the chimney stack. Rubble 'removed', charged for having rubble removed, charge when challenged taken off service charge bill. Wall had to be hacked out, terrible mess, left like that for a couple of months to dry, replastered, redecorated by my own decorators. Two years later, same thing happened on other side of wall as all the rubble hadn't been taken away and had gone down the gutter down pipe, bursting it. Again, wall hacked out, left to dry for months, replastered, redecorated. This time I'm told I have to use decorators on southwark's 'approved' list. They bodge so badly I refuse to pay their extortionate £1,800. For instance, green paint all over my white bookshelves and cupboards, skirting, picture rail. They take me to court. One year later, and three court sittings, judge rules in my favour, having seen the pictures. She says: 'It looks like a three-year old had been let loose with a paintbrush.' Meanwhile, my own decorators come in again. Wall hacked out as plaster the bodgers used was in fact polyfilla, replastered, redecorated, this time including all the woodwork because of the paint splashes all over it. So after three lots of major works in my living room, carpet looks 15 years old, according to carpet cleaner, and beyond repair. Southwark coughs up £3,060 for me to replace them and shells out £2,000-odd for the redecorating needed. On another occasion, newly laid lawn wrecked by scaffolders - both playing football on it and dumping an old bath full of cement on it. Southwark pays out for new lawn. Garden gate wrecked by another set of scaffolders. We are charged to repair it. Charge taken off when challenged. I could go on... To sum up, in total, Southwark has shelled out £10,000 over the past 15 years just to put right the damage they have caused to my home. Great use of public money (and no, my upstairs neighbour and I weren't able to afford to buy the freehold...)
  11. Digrif dros ben Caius! Dwi'n licio'r: 'I'll 'ave a six-foot-seven Welsh-speaker standing orver me in bed, Cymraeg in hand, ready to ram it right good and proper down my breathin' tube.' Fetish go iawn! (a 'dwi di adio tipyn bach mwy i'r darn ynglun a'r dominatrix...)
  12. Tulip, Catherine Zeta Jones speaks fluent Welsh as her first language. I've heard her do so on't telly with an S4C interviewer, and it was perfect. In fact, she's also bringing up her children Dylan and Carys (good Welsh names) to speak Welsh, having even employed a Welsh-speaking nanny on a £70,000 a year salary. Wish I didn't know this, actually... I detest celebrity culture. There was a great sketch on TV, with Armando Ianucci playing Michael Douglas and his female sidekick playing CZJ. You'll have to imagine her South-walian accent: CZJ: As my old mother used to say: 'Ach, cach, iach, bach, zach, ech, dach' MD: Gee, Catherine, that's beautiful. She was speaking Welsh, yes? CZJ: Noooh. She was just maaad! So Tulip, when are you going to sign up to your first Gwers Cymraeg (Welsh lesson)?! (and imagine, a whole new world of Welsh-speaking dominatrixes opening up to you: 'Ar dy ben-gliniau, bachgen!' - on your knees, boy! - doesn't the sound of that send a shudder down your spine?)
  13. Caius, control yourself! I didn't say 'vile' Welsh nationalism did I? I can't stress enough how Welsh nationalists are not, on the whole, anti-English. As to British nationalism, now it's you who's confused. You're wrong about British nationalism being acceptable. To me, and most people here in London anyway, a British nationalist is someone to be avoided, and the term is used to mean members of the BNP or English Defence League. Hence my worries about the word. What we are seeing at the Olympics is pure, unadulterated patriotism! But you are quite right to suggest that Welsh nationalism isn't the same as extremism, like that of real British 'nationalists' (or German national socialists during the 30s/40s). And it's a shame that many English people, maybe because of their experience here in England with nationalists, equate Welsh and Scottish nationalists with anti-English sentiment. In fact, Caius, my cousins' mum and dad - my aunt and uncle - who, like their children are Welsh nationalists, used to climb road signs in the 60s to deface the English-only road signs. I was and still am immensely proud of them for doing so. Now, thanks to people like them we have bilingual signs, with the Welsh first. And quite right too. It's just me who has a problem with the word nationalism, even as it is used in Wales. Words, and the use of, can be extremely complicated, and powerful...
  14. That is exactly the point I was trying to make Caius... people often think Welsh nationalists are English-haters. I was making the observation that they're not. However, there are distinctions: I'm a Welsh patriot, but not a nationalist - I wouldn't be living in London if I were. All three nationalist cousins wouldn't dream of leaving Wales, send their children to welsh medium only schools and work in exclusively Welsh-speaking jobs. The word nationalist still worries me though as it does have connotations... but that's just me.
  15. Chip. On. Shoulder.? What's come over you Tulip, you normally talk a lot of sense! Anyway, isn't it time you learnt your own language? Even Catherine Zeta Jones - who's from your neck of the woods, i.e. the Mumbles - speaks Welsh as a first language, for God's Sake! And Chuffy, have to say I love Shropshire too - am toying with the idea of moving to Much Wenlock myself. Blue remembered hills and all that. But I really don't know of any 'militantly anti-English' areas in Gwynedd, I really don't, and I have been back there often enough. The only anti-English types I've come across are a handful of Welsh-speaking students at Bangor - and they're regarded as nutters by most Welsh speakers - but then they grow out of it when they join the real world. That's students for you. In fact, three of my cousins are nationalists, but one of them married an Englishman! Love conquers all...
  16. Tulip, you're talking utter rubbish! And swallowing Daily Mail propaganda to boot. I'm a Welsh speaker and grew up in Gwynedd and my father actually grew up in Penygroes. I went to the local comprehensive - in Harlech - and there were/are loads of non-Welsh speaking pupils. No one was or is victimised, according to English friends who have children in the local schools. It wouldn't work anyway - there are just too many non-Welsh speaking kids to be bullied for it. But as Gwynedd has the highest number in Wales of people who speak Welsh as a first language - 75% - it is courtesy to make an attempt to learn it. If I went to live in Barcelona I'd make an effort to learn Catalan. In fact, you will endear yourself greatly to the locals if you do. Having said that, there are plenty I know who have never attempted it - it's not an easy language to learn - and they have still managed to integrate themselves into the community. In my village near Porthmadog, there was a shop/sub-post office run by a lovely couple from Birmingham. They've since retired and the shop turned into a residence - a common story in the region. They both went to Welsh classes. She did really well, but he failed - admitting he was cr..p at learning languages. But we loved him anyway, just for trying! The main thing though is that they were thoroughly nice people, got involved in the community and never complained about the use of Welsh - as many English ex-pats (though a minority) did, thinking we spoke it just to p..ss them off. But those particular ex pats would have been the same if they had moved to Spain - eating only fish and chips and marmite and drinking in 'British' bars. As to your claim that children, by having Welsh lessons at school, are likely to suffer educationally, that is laughable! There are plenty of studies that show that being bilingual only increases a child's intelligence and capacity to learn, whatever the languages. Learning English never did me any harm . Additionally, many English parents, to their credit, decide to start learning Welsh when their kids come home speaking it with their friends. Penygroes is a dump though...
  17. I'll try not to tear you apart - however, an unemployed jobseeker is what I am. No getting away from that. But I can assure you that when I apply for jobs, I never actually tell them I'm unemployed. I'm able to fudge it for now, even on my CV, but I still haven't had one interview. So I don't believe my being branded over-qualified is just an excuse. I can see where they're coming from, even if I don't agree. And I couldn't lie if they asked what I'd done in the past six months even if I wanted to as they'd see from my P45 if I got the job. I know from experience that it is much easier to go to a new job when you're in a job. My experience does not lend itself to being self-employed unfortunately. Like most people, that would be perfect. So for now I am simply applying for any job out there. I have not given up, despite hundreds of rejections. My age (53) may be a factor, but I don't initially state my date of birth either when I apply.
  18. Ha ha!!! Now you're scraping the barrel! So when they ask for my CV which shows the only jobs I have had are in professional ones, I say what? Or do you expect me to lie? Jesus. And when you say 'They [workfare] will give you a reference. If it says you turned up on time and did as told, that will likely distinguish you from an awful lot of others?' it will also likely not distinguish me from an awful lot of others - those people looking for work who do actually have a record of excellent working practices but have simply been made redundant due to the current economic climate. But again, you're making the assumption that most unemployed are a bunch of work shy tossers...
  19. You are ignoring the fact that employers' main gripe is that I am over-qualified. Workfare would not make be less qualified. One insurance company I applied to said I'd be off as soon as a job I am qualified for and paid double came along - and he's probably right. He said it wasn't worth the time training me up in their myriad products and sales techniques. I disagreed with his short-sightedness as I know I could bring a lot to the job even if I were only with the company six months. It fell on deaf ears. And by the way, workfare is a compulsory concept, so it would not demonstrate I was 'willing' to do a low-end job - only that I was forced to while on benefits.
  20. Thanks, Silver Surfer, I need all the luck I can get! As to Monger of Doom's 'Can you please tell me why you are so opposed to working for your benefits? It's not like you have to claim them with assets acquired over 32 years to fall back on? And it's not like you would not have had six months plus to find another job before anyone would ask you to?' I never said I was opposed to working for my benefits, but yes, I would regard it as slave labour. And it takes all my time searching for jobs and applying for them. I don't need any distractions. Right from January I was applying for jobs paying less than half what I was paid in my previous ones - including my local Sainsbury's when they were recruiting for cashiers (I didn't even get an interview) - and have been constantly told I'm over-qualified for them and haven't a chance against those with the relevant experience. When applying for jobs in my field I am one of 300-400 applying for each one. And for your information, the only asset is my flat, and I face losing that as only half my interest is paid since changes by the coalition capping payments at 3.36% interest rate (my rate is higher because I thought I was being prudent getting a five-year fixed) so I'm now three months in arrears. Plus a meagre pension which has dropped in value by half since Brown's 'raid'. I did have savings to cover my first three months of unemployment, which is more than most have. I never thought it would take so long to find a job with my skills and experience and being in London. You learn the hard way.
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