|Trev Hagl is a very well known face on the British punk zine
scene and has been knocking out issues of his hilarious fanzine
HAGL (Have A Good Laugh) since 1983. In 2003 after 30 issues
he finally called it a day. And the Stanley Baxter of Geordie prose
downsized his dodgy humour and turd filled ink cartridge to a
quarterly review newsletter called Savage Amusement. However
the cut 'n' thrust of cut 'n' paste wouldn't leave him alone, so
along with two new sidekicks on board he launched his latest
fanzine venture Negative Reaction in 2004. Issue #11 is reviewed
elsewhere on this site is heading back to the legendary HAGL
era. And is the source of this hilarious, razor sharp critique of the
petty UK government bureaucracy you see below.
For more of this go get the zine.
Or you can contact Trev himself here...
20 Front Street, T/Lea, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 9LY. UK
or TREV HAGL
8 million you hear 8 million voices
"Lowest unemployment in 27 years!" ? Who's the accountant-Fred West? ("I know I said I only buried a couple
of bodies officer, but I'm a builder, it was only an estimate"). Even Royal arselicker and unofficial Govt propaganda
chief Trevor Macdonald admitted in his "Tonight" programme (if only to prepare the public for a harsh new wave of
benefit cuts) that the real figure is not 1.4 million ; it's over 8 million - only Blair - like his fellow Tory predecessors -
has skillfully divided the "workshy" into different groups, of which only Jobseekers Allowance is counted in the
figures. Why? Probably because it's easier staying on a bucking bronco after 14 pints than it is staying on JSA.
The Government and their political advisors, the tabloid press, have painted a grim picture of a welfare line full of
smack-taking / house-breaking / granny-robbing crooks who stick two fingers up at the benefits system and live -
totally undisturbed - in luxury on Â£300 a week. Like most things in shit tabloids though, reality is perhaps a bit
I guess JSA just wouldn't have the same ring to it if it took on it's full title "jobseekers allowance as long as you've left
your last employment in appropriate circumstances, paid enough NI contributions, filled in a huge booklet agreeing
to beg like a dog for any shit job we can find you, yes that means Macdonalds degree-or-fucking-not-mate, sign on
not a minute late every week or two, supply proof that you've spent half your dole on stamps and phone calls to
employers who think 'oh fuck not another one, we're laying people off for fucks sake', attend 3 month/ 6 month
interviews, restart courses, have your mobile on you at all times, be available for work 24 hours a day and lick the
desk clerk's big hairy arse".
True story; a mate had his JSA stopped as, during the 3 hours a week he was at college, he wouldn't be 'available
for work'! After eventually getting it into their thick skulls that he was trying to better himself, they reluctantly
reinstated his benefit. A few weeks later, he's hauled in again and told he's got to attend a restart course, which just
so happens to be on college day - 2 weeks before the exam! He naturally refused; dole stopped again! This time he
writes to his MP who puts a bit pressure on the little Hitlers who reinstate his money again. Not, however, before
telling him they've found him a job in Mothercare(l) and if he doesn't attend the interview....
But it isn't just intimidation of JSA claimants that keeps the master race of pen pushers amused. Incapacity Benefit is
to be the latest lamb to the slaughter, Trevor Macdonald being only too happy to inform us of this shyster's paradise
where all-singing, all-dancing conmen lead a lifestyle like the girl from the Tampon adverts whilst pretending to look
as ill as Michael Jackson. Far be it for me to pass judgement on such a hard working bloke who slaves away on that
chair reading autocues for half an hour a week, but McDonald my son I think you is wrong. So wrong that even The
Sun thought it a bit much when they learned that a one legged bloke had his Incapacity Benefit stopped after been
caught playing in a disabled football match!
Then there's the fucking "grass em up" billboards and ads in newspapers; 'We know where you get work cash in
hand". Do you now? Then why waste millions of taxpayers money bragging about it? When you add up all the
Gestapo-esque advertising would it not be cheaper just to leave the unemployed alone? Well I suppose that
wouldn't be quite as much fun as causing mini civil war in blighted communities as sad cases play "snitch thy
neighbour". Instead of playing the Government's game of divide and rule, wouldn't it be better just to try to change
your own life instead of interfering in other people's?
There are people in this society who are no use to anybody; lowlife who'd be in your house faster than most of us
would be in The Fight singer's knickers as soon as your back was turned. But trying to stereotype Rat Boy as the
typical UK dole-wallah is about as accurate as saying punks are Tories just because of the odd wanker like Michael
Graves or Dave Smalley. Most people I know on the dole have worked for years and paid their taxes - and for what?
To be harassed like a prisoner at Guatemano Bay when they eventually dare ask for some of their money back?
This Government have made hypocrisy an art form; expressing outrage at the money wasted on the dole whilst
letting the ultra rich off with taxes because they're scared to close the loopholes and lose their bribes - sorry-
political donations. They are taking on billions worth of PFI projects which are like huge Capital One loans (with even
worse payback rates) that will bankrupt the country for 20 years to come. They took part in an illegal war to please
Blair's retard monkey friend in The States ; more billions. The UK has the biggest jail population in Europe -half of
which aren't even a threat to the public ; more billions... They even paid for Saddam Hussein's weapons to kill our
own troops under the ludicrous "Credit Export Guartantee" scheme whereby if UK arms firms sell to foreign dictators
who tell them to fuck off when it's time to pay, then the taxpayer pays instead! Don't it all make ya proud to be
JOYS OF LIFE PT 1 - "THE INCAPACITY MEDICAL”
It's almost as if they don't wanna give you money!!! After so many months on the old ICB
you get invited to meet Dr Goebells. The medical centre is situated a mile from the bus
station , and you're given a street map. And I mean a street map. No pubs, shops or
distinguishable buildings; just streets you've never heard of before. And just to make it a
little bit more difficult you must bring 3 , that's 3, forms of ID. Quite why an identity thief
would pose as you to get your dole stopped I'm not quite sure. Anyway, manage that and
possess the combined ill health of a limb amputation ward and Bob's your uncle. YOU WIN!
Easy when you know how eh!