Saturday, May 13, 2017

A letter to a friend interested in Plato

Dear friend,

After my today's shopping at Sainsburys – reduced price broccoli, milk, reduced price blackberries, and yogurt – I am left with £1.49 on my current bank account, the only bank account I have. I have got £3.95 in my wallet, and £3.00 on my nectar card, which is all I have. This means, if I am very economical, with the food I have I can survive until Wednesday. If no miracle intervenes, on Wednesday morning I shall stop eating. I shall be drinking water, so I can last for quite a while, but I don’t think I shall do much more work on Plato. And yet, I feel I have so much more to learn, and so much more to say about him.

I did a number of hunger-strikes in the past, but I have never stopped eating simply because I had no money to buy my food. I do not relish the prospect. I hope you will agree with me that if it happens, Platonic Studies will be impoverished

I should like to ask you a favour. Would you contact the Department for Work and Pensions and ask them why I am not receiving the Pension Credit for which I applied at the beginning of March? When I applied, by telephone, I was told that my claim would be backdated to November 2016. Then they asked me for my passport and some other documents, which I sent them and they then duly returned. Then I got a letter from the DWP dated April 12, which says 'Having carefully considered your application we have decided that you do have right to Pension Credit. The decision is made on the grounds that you have obtained the right of permanent residence in the UK.' Then on Monday April 27 I received a phone call telling me that on Thursday April 27 I shall be visited by a DWP visitor 'as we need information about your personal/household circumstances, income and savings. This will help us make sure that you are getting the right amount of money.' I was not pleased with the call: 'When I applied for the Pension Credit at the beginning of March, I had an almost two-hour conversation with your officer, explaining to her all the income I have: £112.12 British State Pension every four weeks and £484.97 Czech Pension every three months, that is four times a year. The next British State Pension and the next Czech Pension I expect in June,' I said. Then on Thursday 27 the lady came, she was very nice. She received from me 14 months of bank statements from my Lloyds Bank. She said apologetically: 'We just could not believe that you live on so little money.'

I was determined to leave the place where I live - a sheltered housing, a flat owned by Doina, my ex-wife, where I don't pay rent, but pay monthly £185.10 Service Charges (for services that are of no interest to me), and £220.00 monthly Counsel Tax. I intended to cycle to Oxford on April 30, become homeless, and ask for counsel housing at Oxford, sleeping rough in front of Balliol in the meantime. The lady told me: 'Do not cycle to Oxford, you will pay no Council Tax, and I shall do my best to help with those Service Charges.' She took some documents, and said she would arrange sending me my basic Pension Credit as soon as possible. On May 3, I got back the documents accompanied by one sentence on a scrap of paper: 'Documents returned with thanks.' Since then, I have heard nothing more from the DWP.

Please, would you phone on Monday the Pension Credit General Enquiries: 0345 606 0265, or: 0345 606 0285; simply to ask, what do they intend to do about my Pension Credit, why am I not receiving it? I think that everybody interested in Platonic Studies is entitled to make such a phone call.
Many thanks in advance


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