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The Bedroom Tax

17 Apr

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People outside Britain might not have heard of this, but it’s a very unpopular and divisive new tax affecting the poorest people in society. If you are living in a public-sector home with more than one bedroom and receive welfare benefits you’ll lose at least 14% of your housing benefit. This is a significant amount of money for the people concerned. In Wales, 28,000 households will be affected. They will be expected to pay the extra tax or move to smaller properties. But there are only 400 one-bedroomed homes in the public sector. Now, I went to a State Primary school, where I learned arithmetic. I can work out that 28,000 into 400 won’t go. Unfortunately the people who govern us don’t seem able to do basic maths. Strange, when you think that most of them went to the poshest, most expensive schools in Britain. Obviously a waste of money.

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There have been loads of protests around the country. I went to a couple for a scribble. I’m not affected by this tax but I have friends who are and I’m going to these protests to support them and because I think this tax is cruel. My friends are decent, kind, law-abiding people who are living in absolute terror in case they can’t manage to pay this heinous charge out of their tiny benefits or low wages. If they cannot pay they may lose their homes. The government expects them to move to the private sector, which has much higher rents and poorer quality housing. Which will cost the state more in housing benefit and increased healthcare. But they can’t do maths, can they? Or else they want to see a return of vast slum estates managed by unscrupulous slum landlords. Either way, it is shameful.

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I drew these into my A5 pink silk recycled sari sketchbook, with a Pentel V5 pen, later augmented with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S, M and B. It was raining and the damp paper was difficult to draw on. It’s good practice to draw crowds; to get the measurements and proportions to look right. I might try redrawing from these to see if I can put a composite picture together.

Art Imitating Life

17 Apr

A marvellous blog from Chaucutier, with the difficulties of maintaining a small farm in the present economic climate and loads of arty stuff as well.

Charcutier

On Monday night Liesel and I headed out to the theatre. We rarely have the opportunity to do so nowadays, having been up and working for 13hrs we had to pack up quickly in order to make the start of the performance. So what did we see? A new ‘promenade’ performance from Theatr Genedlaethol called Tir Sir Gar. I won’t divulge everything as it’s well worth attending, I know performances have sold well, so purchase your tickets asap.

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Saying that we went to the theatre is a little misleading. We didn’t attend a physical theatre in the traditional sense, but the mainstay of the acting performance took part in the varying rooms of Carmarthen County Museum. During our bus journey to the Museum, the shows ‘curator’ Marc Rees mentioned that there were two strands to the performance a fictional and factual one. The first, the fictional theatre piece tracked…

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