Asking a Question, the Challenge open to us all

UPDATE – received replies from both  and @realbritainros and positive conversation – THANKS to both

I know I’m not alone in becoming more ill, month by month, particularly hard is the growing feeling of defeat; don’t get me wrong I’m still striving, hence this post but…the slowness of publications speaks volumes.

I still try to read the news every day, I still work to support people with their disability issues through DEAEP, but the feeling of proverbially banging my head increases; when reading the columns of those journalists I still value, they also seem to feel fighting the Tory onslaught is futile.

What brought this home is the Mirrors 16 of the scariest things we just learnt about benefits reform, it writes of Sanctions, Hunger, Homelessness, Health, IT (crap systems) Debt and touches on Tory Lies; yet it fails to mention the ever-lengthening list of people who have DIED through Benefit Reform?

This is despite the growing evidence of what we all know, these deaths ARE related to said government Policy – “Nearly 90 people a month are dying after being declared fit for work ” according to DWP figures, “One in five benefit-related deaths involved sanctions,”also from DWP stats and when a Coroner finds “Suicide was ‘triggered’ by ‘fit for work’ test“, the proof surely is conclusive.

Yet this loss of countless lives fails to makes the scariest things – Why?

Have we all become so inured to these deaths, the fact Benefit Reform Kills is no longer news; or is it more like the reasons purported for the Lords U-Turn last night? Are the press so afraid of backlash from the Tories, they report the data that affects the smallest group, especially when they are the scroungers?

I’m fully aware this is nothing new, but each time another journalist goes for the ‘softer’ option is another kick to my seriously depleted energy; as is every scrap on social media with us targeting each other – and the question why bother continuing, screams in my head.

This is not a request for neither do I need sympathy for my personal position; I’ve accepted its unlikely I’ll be here to witness the end of the fallout, which has to follow the demise of the cruellest and most brutal Government in the past 50 years. However, hopefully in 15 years or so, my grandchildren will be privileged to live as young adults in a world where, having a warm home with a full cupboard, won’t depend on them winning a lottery. This is my reason to keep on banging my head, to scrape up enough energy to occasionally write, or most importantly keep challenging.

Given this I’ve asked the article writer via  and @realbritainros who promoted this piece, WHY the 16 Scariest things don’t include DYING? Now Will You?

Capita assessors STILL refusing to disclose qualifications

Despite the DWP informing Capita it is a “requirement” that PIP assessors must reveal qualifications, it transpires that in Leicester at least, this information has not been passed down.

Last Tuesday Nicki, one of DEAEP’s Peer Supporters went along with a customer to the local Capita Assessment centre; when she asked for the medical qualifications of Stuart the assessor, she was told it was Capita policy this information was withheld?

I’m making no suggestion this will have any influence on the decision, but it does make me wonder how much the DWP requires of assessors, is communicated to them?

I’d be interested to know if anyone else has had this experience?

IDS Lies to Tory Party – Time for him to GO?

Warning – The post below contains swearing

Just what the Fuck has Iain Duncan Smith on fellow members of the Conservative Party? Thanks to John Pring at Disability News Service, we know this excuse for a man in charge of the DWP has LIED AGAIN.  This time not only to us the people and the media, but also to his own Party!

This round of Lies is regarding the ‘success’ of the Disability Confident Campaign which, claims” the government is working with employers to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.” John, via freedom of information requests has revealed, contrary to IDS claims at last years Tory Party Conference that more than 1,000 employers” had ‘signed up’ to the campaign, the reality is fewer than 400 actually joined, and only 68, are currently “active partners”!! The article is a must read, exposing as it does many other examples of the Minister being extremely selective (to say the least with the Truth).

Debbie Sayers and I are fully aware of the length of time IDS has being getting away with lies and exaggerations, and as regular readers know, we have been running our Truth Campaign for over two years. From our open letter to Esther McVey (remember her), to our petition to the Work & Pensions Committee which went to Parliament, and we are still going, with our current petition IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES.

It is the breadth of Lies issued by each of the various Ministers under IDS along with his own, and if you’re feeling masochistic and want to read more, search Lies on this blog alone, that makes me ask the question I began with – what the Fuck has IDS over the Tories?

I fail to understand why, they tolerate someone who alone, demonstrates every reason why this Government can’t be trusted; further I can not comprehend why the public aren’t screaming about it either?

I am fully aware of how difficult it is to keep on fighting when you’re suffering. I’ve not written, or done anything other than the bare minimum, for almost 2 months, due to very poor physical health and an exceptionally dangerously dark state of mind!

BUT, I can not and will not stop, pushing to have the Lies of all Ministers of the DWP Exposed – it is these Lies and Spin that drive the Policies which, according to coroner Mary Hassell, Triggered the suicide of Michael O’Sullivan, and most likely many many more.

If this bothers you as much as it does me, please let’s have a HUGE push to have #IDS Indicted.  No matter how futile it would be to ask Kathryn Hudson the Commissioner for Standards to investigate IDS; gaining a large number of signatures should afford us with enough media coverage to help actually get rid of IDS from the DWP; and that would make me feel better, how about you?

SIGN IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES, Share it and keep on sharing until the mainstream media can ignore it no longer.

#IDSIndicted  #TRUTHCampaign 

DWP again refuses to release data on disability benefits….

From The Independent –   Are the Media finally catching up?

The Department for Work and Pensions has again refused to release data about the impact of changes to the disability benefit system after a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Last week the DWP was forced to reveal how many people had died shortly after being found fit to work by disability tests.

Ministers and officials had resisted the demand for months and only accepted it after a warning from the Information Commissioner and a campaign that went all the way to Parliament.

But on Tuesday DWP officials refused another request for basic information about disability benefits using the same “Section 22” exemption they had tried to use before.

The Department had been asked under the Freedom of Information Act to disclose how many Disability Living Allowance claimants had been made worse off after being moved onto the new Personal Independence Payment benefit.

The Department refused the request, made by a user of the WhatDoTheyKnow website, a tool which helps people scrutinise the Government’s record.

Some claimants have lost out from the move from DLA to PIP. The reason given for rejecting the request is the same as that given in the case of the death statistics – under section 22 of the Act, data which officials say is reserved for future publication can be blocked from release.

The Department also previously stalled on responding to the request based on the fact that the person who made it had initially used a pseudonym.

The civil servant who answered the reply ultimately said that thought there was a public interest in the data being released, they should be allowed to publish it “in a manner of form and at a time of their own choosing”.

“I can confirm that the Department holds the information you are seeking. However, Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act exempts this information from disclosure. This is because the information is intended for publication at a future date,” the Department said in its reply.

“This exemption requires the public interest for and against disclosure to be weighed in the balance. There is a public interest in information being released as soon as possible. However, I am satisfied that there is a strong public interest in permitting public authorities to publish information in a manner and form and at a time of their own choosing.”

Disabled people are being transitioned by the Government from the Disability Living Allowance benefit to its placement, the Personal Independence Payment. Some people lose out from this change because of the new way in which the PIP is calculated.

One person affected by a payment cut, Jane, wrote in her blog about the difficulties the changes had made for her and criticised the DWP’s lack of transparency.

“I have found myself so behind with bill payments, I now am past ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ and am at the bailiffs knocking on the door stage,” she said.

“Once again the DWP hide behind Section 22, but fail to indicate when these figures are to be produced; could this be because the data once revealed, will show another proven case of how the Welfare Reform Act is persistently failing disabled people?”

In the case of the benefit death figures, the Information Commissioner said the Government had no good reason to withhold the stats under Section 22

Mr Duncan Smith at one point caused confusion when he told Labour MP Debbie Abraham in Parliament that the stats did not exist.

“She knows very well that the department does not collate numbers on people in that circumstance,” he told her in Parliament.

The block comes after ministers announced a crackdown on the Freedom of Information Act, which Justice Secretary Michael Gove needed to be “revisited”.

Civil servants have long complained that disclosing information can be time-consuming and costly, and that ministers and officials should be allowed to discuss things in secret without the public knowing.

Campaigns say any attempt to water down the act would make it more difficult to hold the Government to account when things go wrong.

More disability benefit data refused for release by DWP.

Back in January I wrote about how my transition from DLA to PIP lost me £140 per month, and in March I posted about the saga I had with my Mandatory Reconsideration; both of these pieces demonstrated precisely what this loss meant to me in real terms. Since then I have found myself so behind with bill payments, I now am past ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ and am at the bailiffs knocking on the door stage.

The reason for raising this is, today a FOI request asking  ‘The percentage of current DLA claimants, who, on conversion to PiP, were reduced in their claims’…was answered by the DWP. Unsurprisingly their response was “I can confirm that the Department holds the information you are seeking. However, Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act exempts this information from disclosure. This is because the information is intended for publication at a future date.

Once again the DWP hide behind Section 22, but fail to indicate WHEN these figures are to be produced; could this be because the data once revealed, will show another proven case of how the Welfare Reform Act is persistently failing disabled people?

The recent outcome of the 18 month long fight by Mike Sivier confirmed that “10,000 people lost their lives” after being determined they were well enough to be placed in the Work Related Activity Group! Will this latest refusal for information, demonstrate yet a further number of disabled people, who although surviving, being adversely affected by the decisions of civil servants

We were warned back in 2012, by the then Minister for disabled people Esther McVey that, “more than 300,000 disabled people will have their benefits cut” under the transition from DLA to PIP, are the DWP refusing to release this data, because this figure is already much higher?

“How *Dare* ISIL Kill British Citizens! That’s *Our* Job!”

Originally posted on TheCritique Archives:

by Martin Odoni

NOTE: I nearly wrote this article back in June, but in the end I decided to wait until evidence was in the public domain of post-Work-Assessment-Test deaths.

Seifeddine Rezgui is the name of a killer. On the 26th June 2015, armed with a Kalashnikov, he attacked a hotel in Port El Kantaoui, on the north-east coast of Tunisia. His frenzied attack, committed on behalf of the extremist terror group, Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), left thirty-eight people dead. Thirty of them were British citizens, whose memory was lovingly saluted three days later, when the House of Commons observed a minute’s silence. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, then ordered that a national minute of silence would be held on the 3rd July, exactly one week after the attacks.

Iain Duncan-Smith is the name of a killer. Since becoming Secretary of State for Work & Pensions in…

View original 440 more words

Dear Iain McNicol -Labour Leadership Vote – What a Farce

This is the letter I sent to Iain McNicol this morning as I too have received my email denying me my vote!

Dear Iain McNicol

As a previous Labour Member who didn’t renew my membership due to concerns with actions by my local Labour Party and what I perceived as a lack of opposition from the Parliamentary group, I maintained my belief in Labour’s aims and values.

Given this I willingly paid my £3.00, which I can ill afford as a disabled benefit recipient, to become an Affiliated Supporter and vote for my preferred candidate in the Leadership campaign.Upon receiving my electronic ballot paper I immediately duly voted but today I received an email informing me my vote will not be counted?

The email states “We have reason to believe that you do not support the aims and values of the Labour Party or you are a supporter of an organisation opposed to the Labour Party and therefore we are rejecting your application.” I refute this supposition completely, and as a lifelong Labour supporter ask you give me your “reasons” by return. Given the deadline for voting, this request is of the utmost urgency.

This is addressed to you as the promoter of the Leadership race and request you give this your urgent attention

In anticipation of a speedy response

I had to send this to Liz Kendall as my MP with the request – please forward this to Iain McNicol who has no email