£20BILLION more Cuts! To fund another £93BILLION in Corporate handouts?

The Mirror today reports that George Osborne is to slash a FURTHER £20 BILLION from almost every Govt. Dept, including of course, the DWP in November’s budget.

The question I believe the Nation ought to be asking is WHY, particularly when in one year he granted Private Corporations  nearly FIVE TIMES this amount in Corporate Welfare? 

In 2013 alone £93 BILLION was given away to Private Companies, including a  £FIVE MILLION government grant to AstraZeneca; supposedly to develop its research and development centre at Alderley Park, Cheshire. In just five months, the same company closed the plant along with 2,100 jobs; I don’t suppose this has anything to do with the project being in Osborne’s constituency?

To this end I’ve stated a petition on Change.org demanded Osborne STOP using OUR money to finance Private Corporations and to REPAY it into Public Services. I have no expectations of this happening but maybe if the people knew precisely where their direct and indirect Taxes were being spent, they might just recognise the only reason for the Tory Austerity budget was to further enrich themselves and their friends?

If you want to read more about how Corporate Welfare works, Aditya Chakrabortty spells it out.

Come on people let’s spread the TRUTH, we might just wake the people up – and What have we left to lose?

#TRUTHSeekers

Government #Disablism Discrimination in Action

This week a woman not known for her timidity, admitted how a non-disabled man had used his presence and the environment to disempower her; I’m referring to Dame Anne Begg and the she interview gave to the BBC. In the Daily Record Dame Anne is quoted as saying “Iain Duncan Smith took to standing behind me during Prime Minister’s Questions. He stood at what’s called the Bar of the House and occasionally he would lean on my wheelchair…Our working relationship was slightly fraught anyway because I’d been critical of him a lot. I wanted to keep that criticism a professional criticism, not a criticism of him as a person so I never quite built up the courage to actually say: ‘Please don’t do that.’” Dame Anne also was recorded as having explaining how “she would normally reproach people who invaded her personal space but she let him off“.

This is an excellent example of how competent, intelligent, and independent disabled people not only experience prejudice – as people either knowingly or subconsciously, use their bodies, words or actions to oppress us; but how this actively exasperates and diminishes us.

It is no coincidence I use this example with IDS being the perpetrator, as it is again his department, the DWP, I am discussing today. In November last year I introduced you to Burt, who with our support at DEAEP was transferred from WRAG to the support group last December; since then Burt has received up to three letters a month plus texts reminding him of his “Back to Work” appointments! Each month Burt has responded to each letter with a phone call saying “but I’m in the Support Group”, he has received an apology and a promise to rectify this from each call; yet it has continued.

Burt is a former career soldier who fought in wars all over the world, until being retired out with a crushed spine and severe PTSD, amongst other conditions, all contracted during his service.  He isn’t a naturally timid man, he loved his Army life and willingly gave everything to “Queen & Country”, as his service record and the plethora of photographs and awards proudly displayed in his lounge demonstrate; and yet the persistent harassment he has experienced from the DWP in the past 2 years has left him joyless, feeling without purpose and literally unable to complain.

As Dame Anne alluded to regarding IDS, his actions which amount to bullying in my opinion, makes it difficult if not impossible to positively challenge the perpetrator(s); and this is the situation Burt is in. Personally I can totally relate to this, and would suggest many readers and other claimants can also. It is these dismissive attitudes and continuous intimidation by the DWP that creates the ‘Brown envelope Syndrome’, so well recognised by those of us unfortunate enough to claim benefits; it is also this oppression, and misuse of positions of power, that has contributed to the deaths of many us.

How much worse this is going to get following the closure of ILF and a budget, which I believe initiates the removal of WRAG? Being forced to deal with increasing poverty is physically and psychologically damaging enough without having to deal with this prejudice and discrimination from the DWP.

I find this particularly ironic that jobseekers (presumably including those who would have been placed in WRAG)  are being mandated to participate in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), which claims to Stop negative thought cycles; I can’t help but think IDS, his ministers and the staff at DWP would benefit far more from CBT than claimants?

TRUTH Seekers

Two blogs in the past 24 hours, have both raised the issue of the newly elected Tory Government and it’s Ministers continuing to Lie, to the Commons, the Upper House and the People!

Joe Haleswood enlightened us about Freud, Lying to the Lords about the bedroom tax, whilst Mike Sivier over at Vox Political informs us how the IT system at Downing St deleting emails allows staff and #Cameron to ‘forget’ what has been said/written. Further to this, relating to Mike’s fight for DWP to reveal the truth, a petition to HM Courts & Justice, demanding them to publish the statistics of how many people have died after their benefits were stopped, has at time of writing gained 149,594 signatures.

Regular readers will be well aware of the #TRUTHCampaign, that Debbie Sayers & I have spent the past two years slogging on; this includes our own successful petition, to the Work & Pensions Committee to Hold IDS to account for his use of statistics.

The evidence of misrepresentation by Ministers is extensive, and I’ve watched as other petitions meet the requirements for debate in Parliament and are patronised and belittled, remember the response to the fantastic WOW campaign? The  issues around finding the Truth from this Govt. are growing exponentially, as is the support for finding the truth, the problem is the next stage, HOW to make the Tories take notice and STOP the Lies and unfair practice?

This is something I would normally expect the opposition to be doing as a matter of course, but past performance of the Labour party demonstrates we have no hope of this happening. However given this growing interest in finding the Truth, maybe a letter to the Labour Leadership contenders, signed by all of us Truth Seekers might persuade them that the public expect their Politicians Not to Lie and we expect them to champion for this?

As Jolyon Rubinstein states on his campaign  “If I were to lie in a court of law, I would go to jail. But it’s entirely legal for an MP to lie to Parliament. Doesn’t sound right, does it?”   We agree with that and, as we can’t get the Tories to Listen, maybe we can persuade the new Leader of the Opposition to do precisely this, and hold the Tories and their Lies to account – what do you think, would YOU sign such a letter?

ONLY TOGETHER CAN WE FIGHT FOR OUR SURVIVAL

#DWP no longer produce data for Hardship Fund – WHY?

In this month we’ve finally seen National (and even International) press, about the DWP’s refusal to publish the numbers of people dying after their benefits had been stopped. This is fully justified and it is with no small thanks to fellow blogger Vox Political for his persistence, that at the time of writing 80,572 people are demanding the DWP release these numbers.

Today in daily updates from whatdotheyknow,  another DWP response caught my eye, a FOI request enquiring about a statement from #Cameron re the Hardship Fund for claimant facing financial difficulties. The request asks several questions including what the Hardship fund is, the criteria for application and the number of applicants, both successful and rejected. The DWP’s response did explain what and how but… regarding the numbers, the response intrigued me:

Data on JSA awards was last published in September 2012 which stated “the number of hardship awards made between April 2011 and March 2012 was about 64,000; it continued with “A commitment was made to publish updated figures in May 2015 during the Work and Pensions Select Committee review of sanctions in February 2015.

Now I may be a little cynical here but if these figures were to be published last month – Where Are They? I’ve been unable to find them, and also tried to think of reasons for a delay, but in the end could only arrive at the conclusion the DWP are hoping the data update announcement will by forgotten.

Therefore as I’d like to know just how many claims and refusals have been made for Hardship Funds since March 2012, mostly because I think its highly likely there will be substantial growth in these claims? And also because this promise to publish data in the future, has been used numerous times before, including queries regarding the number of Benefit related deaths; I’ve submitted my own FOI

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In your recent response to FOI – Hardship Fund for claimant facing financial difficulties? made 28 April 2015 by JCG ; on May 29 2015 you stated “A commitment was made to publish updated figures in May 2015 during the Work and Pensions Select Committee review of sanctions in February 2015.”

Therefore, my request is where and when are these numbers to be published?

Yours faithfully,

JayneL

I’ll keep you posted.

#Together WE Fight for Our Survival

The National Disability Union – A Way Forward?

Further to my blog last week on The Desperate Fight Within Disabled Campaigning, my #TRUTH Campaign colleague Debbie Sayers has offered us a forward :

Afternoon folks,

There’s seems to be some confusion, I get the impression that people think Sparticus or the Spartacus network was run by Sue Marsh, that wasn’t and isn’t true, Sue was one of many individuals that worked towards several goals, her main job was media and PR… It was her job to get the work and ideas out there… Which she did very well… The Spartacus network was started by Jane Young as was the Spartacus forum Sue was not involved with the net work other than helping with getting info out such as tweeting and emailing out the Reversing from Recovery Report, or Past Caring etc the Spartacus Network was a collection of individuals that sometimes worked together, it was never an organisation. The network was handed over by Jane to other people working with Sue nearly two years ago, I think Sue involvement would have been much the same at that point as she was very ill, I’m not sure you will have to ask those involved with the network now.

Me and Gail started a new forum to work on the idea of a national organisation… Many years ago we tried to get groups to work together to no avail… After the election I wrote a blog post called one voice by which I meant a collective voice, Gail and I agreed to write an open letter to see if a national group like a union was wanted or viable even… We agreed to send it to people who campaign that we knew… I sent mine to a list of my friends partly from the old Spartacus network days (I wasn’t around for the Responsible Reform Report sadly) and partly from campaigning I have done since leaving over two years ago. I invited Sarah Campbell who wrote the RRR, Kailya Francklin who was involved with RRR, Jayne Linney who I’ve been working with on the truth campaign to get Mr Smith for his use of Statistics and his lies. And a few others that I’ve got to know who campaign in their own right… Gail invited those she knew, DPAC members, BT members, Mo Stewart, Susan Archibald etc, we asked them if they thought it was a good idea some said yes, some said no and refused to be involved. We put the open letter with a list of those who said they thought it was a good idea up on google docs to get a feel for how people felt about it, the response for the most part was good. In the mean time Sarah Campbell came to me and said did you read Sams blog about forming a union, I hadn’t but having read it we all felt he should be involved, a few didn’t like his connections to the new sparticus network, but his desiar to help form this organisation was the most important element so we asked him to be involved, he’s not keen on forums but he was facilitating open chats about the idea and was getting some good ideas together… This is when I found out about Sarah Campbells blog about forming a national organisation that she had written before the election.

 Gail and I, well Gail mostly set up a forum, at that point some people who didn’t want to be involved started spreading stories about how this was a Sue Marsh project saying the ‘Cult of Marsh’ (If there is one I’m not privy to it) had taken over the project, this was a lie everyone involved had been invited by me or Gail because of their expertise, track record or interest… I was told more than once that I should remove the ‘Spartacus element’ if I wanted this to succeed but how do you remove yourself from yourself? I am an ex spartaci, I can’t change that nor would I want to… I’m still very proud to have worked with the author of the Responsable Reform Report, Sarah Campbell, and worked with her and others on the Revising from Recovery Report and Past Careing Report… but does it mean everything I’ve been involved in since or in the future is some how insidiously linked to Sue Marsh? Of course not… She has said herself she’s not involved, she’s not involved in campaigning anymore… You may not like what she’s chosen to do but it has no bearing on this project, she is not involved… I hope she achieves her stated goals with her new job, but it’s nothing to do with me, I’m sure the flack she’s endured for her decision has been awful if my recent experiences have been anything to go by…

The National Disability Organisation, was to be designed by disabled people for disabled people with a voted for steering group to help keep it ticking over, someone has to do the day to day jobs that keep these things going. Even DPAC has a streering group. At this point someone asked if Sue Marsh could join this organisation if and when it became a reality… Some said no, some said if we want an inclusive organisation then yes she is disabled… It all fell apart at that point… Some of the people that used to work in the Spartacus network began to be personally attacked and bullied, Sarah Campbell was so badly treated she has left campaigning, that is tragic, a very clever lady with lots of expertise lost to us… Gail also took a great deal of crap of of folks for being involved… That is why she chose to close the forum she had made and leave the project, she felt that she couldn’t be involved in a project that would start a national organisation that one day might let Sue Marsh be a member… I respect her decision but…

 I think, that not doing something because of a possible future outcome would be sad and seems a bit daft… A million things have to happen before it’s even an issue…

Even though we’ve all had enough abuse… A few of us decided that although we are less inclined to be involved we still want the community to have a place to organise this national group, so I have made a new forum for this to take place. If you are still interested, please come join the new forum by following the link…if your only interested in spreading lies please don’t bother I don’t want to spend hours busting up fights on the forum as admin, if your interested in what you all have to say and or have ideas to share please come along and try to help create this national organisation… Dxxx  http://ndorg.freeforums.net/

Please go and have a look at the forum, and if you feel this is a way you support, or even if you don’t but have some constructive ideas, let us have them….REMEMBER

ONLY TOGETHER CAN WE FIGHT FOR OUR SURVIVAL

The Desperate Fight Within Disabled Campaigning

This is my first post in a few months, there’s been several reasons for this including an horrendous bout of depression, an operation and masses of work for DEAEP, our new course starts next week. There also been one issue that has taken over what little energy I’ve had left after this; a month ago I was asked if I’d be interested in working on the setting up of a unifying group for disabled people to fight the Government.

Anyone that’s read my blogs is well aware I’m committed to collective working and collaboration, most of my posts end with some form of plea for Unity or Togetherness, so of course I said yes. To my horror, in this very short period of time several of those willing to do the backroom work have been bullied and verbally assaulted by the same people who purport to believe in campaigning and challenging for our rights. So much so, that a number of the individuals willing to use their spare energy have said they can no longer continue; I simply do not understand this!

What the Fuck is going on, when those of us Fighting for our lives under this Tory regime of Austerity and Cuts, are attacked by our peers; isn’t it enough that people are dying through the bullying of JobCentre & other DWP staff, without resorting to this behaviour ourselves?

When #homelessness is soaring and people are being evicted from their homes due to the costs of the #BedroomTax, or the #BenefitCap; when the loss of ESA or PIP, through flawed and biased ‘assessments is causing people to choose to stay warm or fed; what will happen to those on #ILF that lose their Care packages in 3 weeks? Isn’t all of this this enough to make people angry enough to challenge the Government and to work WITH their peers and not attack them?

I totally agree that different opinions are essential for any project to get off the ground, and this means different beliefs being aired and people feeling frustrated their thoughts aren’t being taken into account; I’m aware not everyone feels a unifying organisation is the way forward and that’s fine. I recognise the pressure we are ALL under and realise that sometimes we say things we might not mean, I also acknowledge that on social media, the words we write can often come across as something different to what we actually meant but…this is NOT what happened here; this was selective Bullying. People were reading derogatory comments and joining in, it was made Personal, through targeted attacks on individuals; all who have been involving in online campaigning for the past 4 years at least. If this behaviour had happened on the street and from a group of non-disabled people, many of us would be, (rightly in my book) shouting about Hate Crime; this is how serious I take what has has occurred.

The outcome is not only, have the abused individuals felt the need to leave the unifying group, several have left the world of disability activism completely; and what a loss! All that knowledge and experience held by these individuals, lost from campaigning and no longer available to work on the real Fight.

To close, I want to state some of us are continuing to work on developing a unifying project for disabled people, a group that can challenge the Government with authority; but it is with great sadness that not only will the work be much more difficult without the lost expertise, but that we’ve lost true campaigners to bullying from within.

I hope that those involved in these abusive attacks realise the damage they’ve caused, not only to the individual victims of their abuse but to the disabled movement; remember when our enemies see this behaviour it only serves to further their cause.

ONLY TOGETHER CAN WE FIGHT FOR OUR SURVIVAL

TV on Tuesday: Celebs in the Workhouse

jaynel62:

As the Beast points out in this Excellent post, several bloggers (including myself) have considered how the continuing decimation of Social Security via the Infamous Welfare Reform Act will possibly result in Workhouses returning the Britain. Now we have another 5 years of #Tory rule – can anyone disagree?

Originally posted on Beastrabban\'s Weblog:

The past five Tuesday evenings, the Beeb has been showing the series 24 Hours in the Past. This is pretty much a reality TV show with an historical slant. Instead of being thrown into a jungle and then made to survive, or compete against each other to produce the finest cakes or dishes, each week the programme’s cast of celebrities are required to go back to a certain period in history and do some of the nastiest, dirtiest or most unpleasant work from the period. It’s like Tony Robinson’s 2004 Channel 4, The Worst Jobs in History, but with a crew of six as the unfortunate Baldricks forced to labour and grub for their living like the inhabitants of Victorian slums. Or the rookeries of 18th century London. Or whatever.

This week, however, they reach the very nadir of poverty and desperation: the workhouse. The blurb for the…

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