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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 (Hava A Good Laugh) since 1983. In 2003 after 30 issues he finally called it a day. And the Stanley Baxter of Geordie prose downsided 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 #2 just reviewed elswehere 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 bureacracy 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
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 300 a week. Like most things in shit tabloids though,
reality is perhaps a bit different.

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 British...

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!