Recap on The Just World Fallacy

This is a comment left by Florence on The Just World Fallacy post – I fell it needs distribution 

 

So, let’s recap.
1. Policies to discriminate, demonise, and in some cases kill disabled and chronically ill – tick
2. Policies to limit freedom to campaign before elections – tick
3. Use of mass psychology to bend society to normalise acts of aggression or intimidation against minority groups and the vulnerable – tick
4. Changing the language to mean something else for political control of the people – tick
5. Bringing in laws that make “being thought to be about to cause a nuisance” criminalised – tick
6. Bringing in laws that mean assemblies of two people can be subject to a banning order by private security guards and police – tick
7. Making criticism of the government a criminal offence (see 5 above) – tick
8. Giving untrained staff the right to declare someone an enemy of the state ATOS, DWP, workfare providers and sanctions – tick
9 Making being unemployed or disabled a crime against the state, leading to destitution – tick
10. Then they came for the rest of us …………..

These are all policies of totalitarian states – Nazis, Stalin, Maoism, East Germany
These are all policies that our government have deployed against us.
What next –

1.Paying children to shop their parents for activities in the home, like criticising he government? The Stasi made that one an art form.
2. Not doing government prescribed activities at home (such as job search)
3. Paying neighbours to report others activities that fall under any of the above
3. Gulags, forced labour camp, imprisonment of political opponents
5..Giving political favourites in industry slave labour – oh…..tick…..that should be on the above list

Really good piece, really chilling. If we don’t get out & start complaining, demonstrating, or even civil disobedience, forming a real opposition, providing proof that these are not the will of the people, we will never get the boot off the back of our necks.

 

If you agree with me, please share

The just world fallacy

A Joint Post with Sue Jones inspired by Lynne Friedli & Robert Stearn  in their post “Whistle while you work…”

 

The Tories now deem anything that criticises them as “abusive”. Ordinary campaigners are labelled “extremists” and pointing out flaws, errors and consequences of Tory policy is called “scaremongering”. Language and psychology are a powerful tool, because the use of this kind of  “pre-programs”  sets the terms of any discussion or debate. It also informs you what you may think, or at least, what you need to circumnavigate in order to state your own account or case. This isn’t simply name-calling or propaganda: it’s a deplorable and tyrannical silencing technique.
The government have a Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), which is comprised of both behavioural psychologists and economists, which apply positivist (pseudo)psychological techniques to social policy. They produce “Positive psychology’”courses which the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are using to ensure participants find satisfaction with their lot; the DWP are also using psychological referral with claims mandatorily being reconsidered by civil servant “decision makers”, as punishment for non-compliance with the new regimes of welfare conditionality, to which people claiming out of work benefits are subject.These “Positive Psychology’”courses, and the use of psychological referral as punishment are examples of the (mis)application of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy  (CBT).
CBT is all about making a person responsible for their own thoughts and how they perceive events and experiences, and can be used to empower people. But used in this context,  we are seeing the “responsibilisation” of poverty, with claimants being blamed for not having a job or for being ill or disabled. However, responding with anger, sadness and despair is normal to many events and circumstances, and to deny that in any way is actually grotesque, cruel and horrendously abusive; – it’s a method called gaslighting Gaslighting  is a method of psychological abuse that is usually associated with psychopathic perpetrators; techniques may range from a simple denial by abusers that abusive incidents have occurred, to events and accounts staged by the abusers with the intention of disorienting the victims.
The government is pre-empting any reflection on widening social inequality and injustice by using these types of behavioural modification techniques on the poor, holding them entirely responsible for the government’s economic failures and the consequences of those. Sanctions are applied to “remedy” various “defects” of individual behaviour, character and attitude, and poor people are being coerced into workfare and complicity using bogus psychology and bluntly applied behavioural modification techniques.
Poor people are punished for being poor, whilst wealthy people are rewarded for being wealthy. Not only on a material level, but on a level of socially and politically attributed esteem, worth and value. We know from research undertaken by sociologists, psychologists and economists over the past century that being poor is bad for mental health. The government is choosing to ignore this and adding to that problem substantially by stripping people of their basic dignity and autonomy.
The application of behavioural science is even more damaging than the hateful propaganda and media portrayals, although both despicable methods of control work together to inflict psychological damage on more than one level. “Positive psychology” and propaganda serve to invalidate individual experiences, distress and pain and to appropriate blame for circumstances that lie entirely outside of an individual’s control and responsibility.
Social psychologists such as Melvin Lerner followed on from Milgam’s work, exploring social conformity and obedience seeking to answer the questions of how regimes that cause cruelty and suffering maintain popular support, and how people come to accept social norms and laws that produce misery and suffering. The “just-world” fallacy is the cognitive bias (assumption) that a person’s actions always bring morally fair and fitting consequences to that person; so all honourable actions are eventually rewarded and all evil actions are eventually punished. The fallacy is that this implies (often unintentionally) the existence of cosmic justice, stability, or order, and  serves to rationalise people’s misfortune on the grounds that they deserve it. It is an unfounded, persistent and comforting belief that the world is somehow fundamentally fair, without the need for our own moral agency and responsibility.
The fallacy appears in the English language in various figures of speech that imply guaranteed negative reprisal, such as: “You got what was coming to you,” “What goes around comes around,” and “You reap what you sow.” This tacit assumption is rarely scrutinised, and goes some way to explain why innocent victims are blamed for their misfortune. This Government divides people into deserving and undeserving categories – the “strivers” and “scroungers” rhetoric is an example of how the government are drawing on such fallacious tacit assumptions; this draws on an inbuilt bias of some observers to blame victims for their suffering – to justify social oppression and inequality they have engineered via policy.
The poorest are expected to be endlessly resilient and resourceful, benefit claimants are having their lifeline benefits stripped away, and are being forced into a struggle to meet their basic survival needs. This punitive approach can never work to “incentivise” or motivate in such circumstances, because we know that when people struggle to meet basic survival needs they are too pre-occupied by that to be motivated to meet other less pressing needs. Maslow identifies this in his “Hierarchy of Needs”, and many motivational studies bear this out. This makes the phrase trotted out by the Tories: “helping people into work” to justify sanctions and workfare not only utterly terrifying, but also inane.
Unemployment is NOT caused by “psychological barriers”, it is caused by feckless and reckless governments failing to invest in growth projects. It’s not about personal “employability”, it’s about economics, political policies and subsequent socio-structural problems.
Public policy is not a playground for the amateur and potentially dangerous application of brainwashing techniques via UK government’s Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) or “nudge unit”. This is NOT being nasty in a “nice way: it is being nasty in a nasty way, as it’s utterly callous. The rise of psychological coercion, ‘positive affect as coercive strategy’, and the recruitment of traditional and economic psychology/psychologists into monitoring, modifying and punishing people who claim social security benefits raises important ethical questions about psychological authority, and we are very concerned about the professional silence so far regarding this adoption of a psychocratic approach to social control by this government.

To point a finger or a gun?

Another view of the issue with IDS and armed guards at Portcullis House, written by my partner and carer

When I was in the armed forces We were told that our loaded weapons should always be pointing towards the ground and we should never to point a loaded weapon  at anyone who was unarmed unless we thought our lives were in danger. So what do the armed Police with in this building think they are trying to prove, is it protection of a Ministers or is it intimidation?

To point a finger or a gun?.

DWP Benefits: How to Appeal or Dispute a Decision from 28th October 2013

Essential Information for ALL benefit Claimants – SAVE THIS

www.refuted.org.uk

Last update: 18/11/13

Specimen, post 28/10/13, Jobcentre sanctions notifications letter: (pdf – poor quality image)
From: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sanctions_regime_letters_and_tem#incoming-446079

(1) Ten step guide to mandatory reconsiderations and appeals
(2) Disability Rights: Two new factsheets to help you challenge benefit decisions
(3) DWP: Memo DMG 20/13: Mandatory Reconsideration Prior to Appeal and Direct Lodgement of Appeals with HMCTS
(4) Links to more detail
(5) Tips on disputing a decision
(6)  DWP: ‘How to Appeal or Dispute a Decision’
(7) DWP: Explanations reconsiderations and disputes guidance

(1) Ten step guide to mandatory reconsiderations and appeals

http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/help-with-money/benefits-a-tax-credits/challenging-a-benefit-decision

(2) Disability Rights: Two new factsheets to help you challenge benefit decisions

http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2013/october/we-have-two-new-appeals-factsheets

Changes to how you challenge decisions
http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2013/october/changes-how-you-challenge-decisions

(3) DWP Memo DMG 20/13: Mandatory Reconsideration Prior to Appeal and Direct Lodgement of Appeals with HMCTS

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/m-20-13.pdf

(4) Links to more detail

Appeals process changes for DWP benefits and child maintenance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/appeals-process-changes-for-dwp-benefits-and-child-maintenance

Appeals reform http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/dwp-news.cfm/appeals-reform

(5)…

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IDS and his Armed Bodyguards: Are the Police Arming themselves against the People

An intriguing post from Beastrabban which considers the issues of an increase in armed Police – Well worth a read, and if you agree, follow the advice therein!

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

My blog post on the reports that IDS appeared before the Work and Pensions committed surrounded with bodyguards and armed policemen, who intimidated members of the public, including a group of disabled people and their carers, has attracted a lot of attention and comments. Some of the most significant and ominous have been made by Slugabed, Joseph Jesus and CAS.

Regarding the legality of police officers raising the guns at innocent civilians, CAS commented:

‘Police officers broke regulations if they pointed the guns at you and their fire-arms licenses should be revoked. They are trained to never aim a weapon at anyone, even one that is not loaded, unless those people pose an imminent threat and are being arrested. You should never aim a weapon at anyone unless you are willing to shoot them; this is basic firearms practice. Such a weapon may fire accidentally, even with the safety pin…

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Armed Police in Parliament – Is this right?

Further to many accounts from the past three days of both IDS & Pennig turning up at Select Committee meetings with several armed police; and the more from disabled people saying how they felt intimidated having guns pointed at them, I have to wonder what is going on?

This seems to be a fairly new development in fact when I asked Paula Peters from DPAC, who has been attending Select and other meetings at Parliament for years she said “last year they patrolled the ground floor and security, they never went upstairs, security from September to now at parliament has been stepped up dramatically; have never seen armed police in any corridors before but the security has been raised to substantial”.

I noted in my blog from the W&P Select on Monday, I had to hobble through this group of armed police to join the queue waiting, but I failed to note a small incident that happened earlier in the day; whilst I was meeting with Kate Green, my carer was straining to see the art work liberally placed around the central lobby of Portcullis House, Kate noticed and suggested he go to view it. Minutes later he returned having been stopped from crossing the lobby by a security guard and told “You must stay with your MP at all times”; asking sarcastically no doubt, ‘what about the loo’ she replied – “You Go with her and You Wait”! Kate’s response to this was “that is not true” as she  shook her head, some comments around ‘jobsworth’ were then shared and we laughed it off.

It does seem that this current ministerial behaviour, needing to hide between bodyguards, is at yet, confined to Ministers of the DWP; however is this behaviour indicative of how we, the public, are being viewed by Parliament? If so I’m concerned on several levels; is it have the powers that be become seduced by their own rhetoric, and now perceive anyone who is interested with Democracy and their Rights as a terrorist? Or does it speak hidden volumes as to the mental health of certain Politicians, do they really need help with living with Paranoia?

Whatever the real reasoning behind this raised security, it is in my view unacceptable that disabled people, lawfully engaging in Politics, are left feeling terrified by armed police. Even if a genuine risk assessment reveals a true threat to the lives and well-being of Politicians; is that any reason for highly trained armed men to use their weapons in a threatening manner – I think NOT?

These men are fully aware and capable of doing their jobs in a professional manner without their weapons being pointed towards wheelchair users; and in my opinion, there is NO excuse for this.

DPAC has published an personal account of their experienc of this along with a Freedom of Information request which asks questions as to the reasons and I for one look forward to the response

IDS at W&P Select Committee – Was it worth it??

By now you’ll have all read many accounts of how IDS performed at the Work & Pensions Select on Monday; how ‘he got way with it’, his choice use of language, his need for bodyguards etc.

It’s taken me until today to write my account, this is due in part to initial feelings of fury and outrage at his behaviour and the seeming inability of the Select members to nail him down; also the trip itself – a 220 mile round day trip to London with complimentary train tickets courtesy of The Mirror, which in regular circumstances is relatively easy and enjoyable, has left me feeling as if I’ve physically and mentally wrestled with dinosaurs!

Prior to gong into the Select Committee I met with Kate Green MP to get her views on the persistent misuse of statistics by IDS and his junior ministers; I was impressed by her clear understanding of the complexity of issues around misusing statistics, and how this has resulted in a press witch hunt against disabled people and the clear links to an increase in hate crime; she also spoke of her desire ensure this behaviour does not go unchallenged in the future. We went on to talk about the issues we as disabled people have experienced under the Coalition and I left her hopeful that we have a shadow minister who not only understands how we have been treated but who is determined to listen to and learn from us when writing her part of the Labour manifesto for 2015.

Leaving Kate my long suffering carer & I went to the 1st floor to the Wilson room where the Select was due to start; as we came out of the lift I had to hobble past IDS, Fraeud, the 2 Civil Servants due to give evidence, and a further 10 bodyguards and junior aides, none of whom moved or even acknowledged my existence, to join with fellow campaigners and journalists queueing to access the meeting. As we patiently waited, IDS refused to look in our general direction, he stood amid the huddle of bodies as if trying to seek shelter, in total contrast Fraud persistently shot looks across the top of our heads as if he wanted his glances to be bullets.

Inside the room IDS demeanour changed, he was on his turf, the playground of Politics, ready to hit back at all and any claims he was in any way wrong; begrudgingly I have to admit that he knows and can play what he clearly sees as his game; I can only liken it to a sporting match with the opponents knowing they have the ability to win but…fail to believe it.

The worse thing with this is whilst the opposition continue to act in this way IDS will continue being the bully boy and WE will keep paying the price; having watched this spectacle unfold I’m convinced there is only one thing we can do, we must make the opposition fear us more than they fear him. This requires all of US suffering and dying under the Policies and Cuts of IDS & Co to unite; to cause these peacocks realise just WHO is in it together and that WE have had enough. The reality is we’re Dying because of their game playing, so WHAT do we have to lose?

The Petition we, Debbie Sayers & I started, asked for the “Work & Pensions Select Committee to Hold IDS to account for his use of statistics“; well they tried but, as I ask in the title of this piece, was it worth it? I think it’s time for us to decide; today’s Mirror contains Ros Wynne Jones account of Monday and closes with something I said to her outside the Select “We haven’t got 18 months to wait for an election. I don’t want to think what the figures will be by then of how people are living, and even how many of us will be left. We’ll keep up the fight and keep campaigning. It doesn’t end here“; I am absolutely convinced this is true but now it’s over to you – Was It??

 

ESA Assessments DO Have Targets?!!

At last, Kaliya Franklin,  has produced the evidence we all have been waiting for – Proof that ATOS & the DWP operate the ESA assessments against Targets!

This means People must both score the number of points required for benefit receipt and fall within the proportion of people the norms system will allow to receive the benefit. In other words it matters not how many points you might score if the target has already been met your claim will be denied!!

Read Kaliya’s post at – Benefit Scrounging Scum: and her full report here How Norms Become Targets