Thursday 6 January 2011


Nineteen year old Elgin lad Kyle Stewart lives in constant agony since he was horrifically burned in a caravan park accident, when a faulty gas cylinder exploded.

Kyle can barely walk or talk, and is unable to feed, dress or bathe himself and getting in and out of bed is particularly excruciating because his arms have been so badly burned and are now just skin and bone. He has had 10 skin grafts since the accident in July. (Can you imagine trying to help someone up when their arms are so horrifically burned?)

His mum wanted to buy him an electrically adjustable bed which would raise him up and let him back down again. So Mrs Stewart applied for a community care grant from the Dept of Work and Pensions so that she could continue to look after him at home, instead of him being in hospital, where they have this kind of bed. (It’s worth remembering that keeping a person in hospital must cost more than £500 a week, at the same time as it causes inconvenience for the family, even more distress for the patient and blocks a bed that could be used for an acute patient.)

So, remembering all that, and that we are all in this together, and that we all have to pull together in these hard times, the Dept of Work and Pensions said NO.

The Press and Journal reported Mrs Stewart and Kyle’s plight and fortunately, within a few hours, someone came up trumps. Highland builder William MacKenzie came forward and donated the £1250 required for a bed for Kyle. Mr MacKenzie, who has a son himself, said that Kyle’s story touched his heart. He reckoned that money was only money; he couldn’t take it with him and you never got anywhere in life through being greedy.

Mr MacKenzie said that what really got him was that the DWP had refused the lad the money.

It gets me too. In the same week as we read this we hear that over half a million pounds had been overpaid in Council Tax Benefit in Dundee in the last 6 months. (Council Tax Benefit is administered by local authorities but paid by the DWP.)

There is no rhyme or reason to the decisions these government departments make, and no explanation was given by the DWP.

It is, however, don’t you think, a great pity that there are not considerably fewer people like the management of the DWP, and a great deal more people like Mr William MacKenzie in the world?

Pic: Kyle before the accident. Now he is covered in bandages.


  1. Sort of a nice story. At least good to see some positivity in the world, even if it is in reaction to nightmare level nonsense. If they have any respectability, they'll pay that builder for what they didn't do.

  2. tris

    Problem is that is how Cameron sees our society working people should rely solely on the charitable actions of others.
    Allowing the state to bail out of supporting its citisens in need of aid it was a kind hearted deed by Mr MacKenzie and he should be praised for his response.

    Unfortunately there aren't enough Mr MacKenzie's in the world but there are more Camerons who would like to leave people to suffer it is a basic tenet of conservatism.....

    feck off and die loser!

  3. This is my third attempt! Sadly the DWP give money to many of the wrong people - the ones who 'know' the system. They should be made to explain their actions on this.

    Well done Mr McKenzie.

    Tris, I think you're being kind of low with your NHS costs. I say it must be well over £1,000 a week to keep someone in hospital.

  4. Laz. I thought it was a great story. Every so often I like to do a story like this that gives people back their faith in human nature (and make me sound like a bit less of a grouch!).

    As I say, I wish there were more like him. As for the DWP paying him back ...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...etc

  5. I suppose it's Cameron's idea of the Big Society Niko, which is great, as long as there is a Mr MacKenzie around. Of course, if there is not, or if Kyle's mum hadn't had the good sense to let the Press and Journal know about this, then the poor lad would have been left to suffer in agony.

    That's what's wrong with leaving it to the Big Society (BS)!!!

  6. SR: I hope that Kyle's MP is made aware of this and takes the matter up with the DWP.

    He will be able to speak to the Area Manager, whereas "ordinary people" are palmed off on call centres where the replies are scripted and no one has any authority to do anything.

    In the dead tree version of the P&J yesterday there was a picture of the lad, post accident, and it would have broken your heart. He’s covered in bandages and what you can see of his flesh is all burnt. Poor wee lad, at that age. Not that that counts for anything with DWP. It's all targets and saving money...until someone tough comes along and scares the pants out of them.

    Yes, you’re probably right about the cost. I did no research because I didn’t know how much nursing he needed, so I decided to just take a figure out of the air. I’m sure your figure is much nearer the truth than mine.

    Were you having trouble with the site?

  7. CH:

    Absolutely right. Labour are uncaring and in uit only for themselves. The story about John Reid spending £4,000 on chauffeurs make me feel physically sick, when you compare that to the tight wad DWP refusing Kyle his money. Why they need to give him protection I really don't know. He wasn't in any job for very long and made a mess of all of them. In any case the NI situation is no longer what it was.

    Further, if he wants protection let the old fool have it on the back of a bus. I very much hope he gets what's coming to him.

    I see Blair costs us £6 million a year to protect. Frankly, if it were up to me I’d withdraw the protection and tell Al Qaeda where to find him.

    Very funny piece from Ronnie Corbet.

  8. I actually rather like and respect Tony Tris ... :)

  9. and no ... I am NOT just being contrarian

  10. Well Dean, he is a Tory at heart, so I guess you would!! Well, no, let’s be fair, he’s more like a southern states Republican than a Tory :)

    But, you see, I can't help thinking about all the UK troops who died or were maimed, not to mention the poor Iraqis who died, or lost the families and friends, or their homes, or their legs or arms, their dogs and cats... and then their freedom (women, for example, under the new regime) all to feed the man's ego of being right a George Bush's right hand.

    Now, given that George apparently had a hotline to the Almighty, that was some seriously privileged role, but, was it worth all that misery that he caused. Well clearly it was to him. He’s even richer than David Cameron or Nick Clegg now, but...well, I still think about the hundreds of thousands who had to suffer so that he could get there.

    It’s a hard one to call, but I think my sympathies lie with them... and like I said, if Osama came round the corner tomorrow and asked me if I knew where Blair was, ...well if I did know, I’d snitch, without a shadow of doubt.

    ‘He’s over there behind that tree Osama! Bye bye Anthony; now you know what it feels like!’


  11. On the day it is announced managers received a 55% increase in bonus payments. Sad to hear of conduct of DWP but glad to here of conduct of Mr MacKenzie.

  12. Yes indeed, I'm sure I read that the rise for ordinary workers was 0.75% ... Now that's what I call "all in it together".

    The DWP staff are, to be fair, incredibly overworked. No one extra has been taken on to deal with all the newly unemployed, but they draft staff in from other parts of the organisation, leaving many places understaffed and very pressured... because no one thought to reduce the targets.

    Of course, there are many there who are unmotivated, depressed, angry and desperate to leave.

    No excuse mind, for treating sick people like muck.

  13. I donot share your dislike of the Iraq liberation, I'd personally like to have seen Bush and Tony go even further and liberate Abyssinia, Somalia, Burma, and any other dictatorship - because it is clear that the UN is a total, canting, bleeting pathetic travesty of an international law institution...and someone needs to defend these downtrodden peoples right to freedom, democracy and liberty.

  14. ...and they are better off today Dean?

    Well, à chacun son goût Dean, but personally I'd have both of them in front of war tribunals, tout de suite.....and then shot as mass murderers.

  15. Well said tris but shooting would be far too kind how about waterboarding for every single civilian killed as collateral damage, or is that inhumane!

  16. It humane enough for my taste... and I think I'd be good at waterboading.... Can I do it please... oh let me do it, I'll be good .....