Surveillance: ten ways to fight back!

Paul Bernals Blog gives us all 10 Great Reason to join The Day We Fight Back”

Today, 11th February 2014, is ‘The Day We Fight Back” – a day of campaigning against mass surveillance. It’s a day where campaigners are trying to raise awareness of the issue – and begin fighting against it. The big question is how can we fight back – what can we actually do. It often seems as though privacy is dead, and that there’s nothing we can do about it. I don’t think so – there are lots of things we can do, lots of things we must do. Here are just ten….

Paul Bernal's Blog

The-Day-We-Fight-Back-2-e1391612024967

Today, 11th February 2014, is ‘The Day We Fight Back” – a day of campaigning against mass surveillance. It’s a day where campaigners are trying to raise awareness of the issue – and begin fighting against it. The big question is how can we fight back – what can we actually do. It often seems as though privacy is dead, and that there’s nothing we can do about it. I don’t think so – there are lots of things we can do, lots of things we must do. Here are just ten….

1     Support The Day We Fight Back

One of the most important things in the whole fight is to raise awareness – and to take advantage of opportunities to spread the message that surveillance is a big issue. Days like The Day We Fight Back help to do that. Check out the website here

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Manufacturing Compliance: The Nudge Unit and its Privatisation

The ‘Nudge Unit is the very same group that devised the Job Centres ” FAKE PSYCH ‘TEST’ TRAINING GIVEN BY UNQUALIFIED ‘EXPERTS’ -http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/dwp-fake-psych-test-training-given-by-unqualified-experts/
This increasing use of pseudo-psychology is nothing more that an attempt an brain-washing by the Tories – To TELL you HOW to THINK!
Are YOU going to let them??

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Blakes 7 weapon

Federation scientist Cozer and his companion, the freed slave Rashel, await galactic freedom fighter Blake in the Blake’s 7 episode, Weapon.

Last Friday and today, the I newspaper has run articles reporting the impending privatisation of the Government’s Behaviour Insights Team, or Nudge Unit. The article describes the unit as using

‘insights from the emerging field of behavioural economics and psychology to subtly change the processes, forms and language used by government – to achieve outcomes that are in the in the “public good” and save money.’

A boxed article at the side then goes on to explain it more fully, stating that

‘Nudge articulates the idea that people can be persuaded to make the right decisions by simple changes in how choices are presented to them.’

It goes on to explain that the theory was first proposed in a book of the same name, published in 2008 by…

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Will there ever be poetic justice in this world?

This is a joint post with Chris Wayne; who like myself, as  I’ve previously disclosed  suffers from a range of illnesses, including depression and other mental health disorders; this results in our moods being erratic (at least).

And …

Some days I feel like sunshine
Some days I feel like dirt
Some days I live life to the max
Some days my head just hurts

I also have a range of physical disorders and these seriously impact on my mental health, which is summed up wonderfully…

Some days I feel I’m floating
Some days I feel I’ve crashed
Some days my mind feels very free
Some days my mind feels trapped

Add the above to the reality that as mental health sufferers, living in the UK today with an unelected Coalition Government who have decimated our Welfare State, we are very concerned that …

Services in the UK 

Are slowly being cut

But Cameron and his chums

Just don’t give a f*ck

Although they provide the public

With a vital need

They’re being sacrificed

For the government’s own greed

They give the country

A much needed stable core

They help those who struggle

Like the vulnerable and poor

So it’s no wonder we and thousands of others are feeling

Anger’s an explosive emotion

That’s the physical embodiment of wrath

If unable to be controlled

It destroys everything in its path.

Having said this, we recognise the power of such feelings and..

 if harnessed in the right way

We can use its energy

To bring positive changes to all

In this squalid society

This acknowledgement doesn’t however stop the frustration that

Yet while it’s now so obvious

How government policies have caused hurt

Most people still ignore it

And deny that it’s occurred.

This is despite the vast amount of information and hard evidence this Government is repeatedly lying, cheating and basically using this short time in Power to rob the Country and its people of all resources possible; therefore we both feel…

Though more people are becoming ‘awake

It still isn’t enough

When will people stop sleeping

and bloody well wake up

Anyone know the answer??

Is this the DWP’s latest statistics fix?

Another excellent post from Mike at Vox Political on another DWP counting scam.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to monitor the vast range of statistical fixes by this unelected Government.
What do people think about setting up a central site where all of this evidence is collated; this would then allow one huge campaign – Thoughts ??

Mike Sivier's blog

According to the DWP, and dutifully repeated by the BBC, more than 3,000 people who were subjected to the government’s benefit cap have now found work.

But have they?

This statistic – and the basis on which it is worked out – seems very suspicious to us here at Vox Political. That is why this site is appealing for anyone whose benefit cap has been removed because of it to contact us with their story.

Here’s what the DWP is saying: “Over 8,000 households who had their benefits capped have since found jobs, reduced their benefit claim, or had another change of circumstance – with 40 per cent of these finding work.”

Lord Fraud – sorry, Freud… although it seems likely that he is living up to his nickname in this case – said: “It is encouraging to see that people who have been subject to the…

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The REAL Agenda behind Benefit Fraud Campaigns – With Spending -UPDATE

In my original post on the topic I argued that given the DWP admit “It is only a small minority who commit fraud“ Freud 03/01/2014; so surely these campaigns, which given the fairly constant level of estimated fraud don’t work, seem to be a case of overkill? That is unless you take a slightly more cynical view of the whole situation – If the Government was truly concerned with fraud,  wouldn’t a different, more efficiently way of managing it, have been designed by now; and, wouldn’t we have actual statistics, rather than than over 8 years of  ’around £1 billion’  estimates??

I also discussed how much the DWP had spent on these campaigns over the past 3+ years, and how much the budget for this latest reinvention is; I’ve now received a reply to my FOI request :

Expenditure for campaigns                                       Year Campaign Total amount

2010/11 Targeting Benefit Thieves                                                     £26,118
2011/12 Targeting Benefit Thieves                                                     £82, 605
2012/13 none                                                                                      Nil
2013/14 Benefits. Are you doing the right thing?                                £188,003  (forecast only)

So from the FOI we presume in the past 3 years the coalition have spent £296,726?

Well No! The February edition of Touchbase the DWP Newsletter for ‘advisers, intermediaries and other professionals’ has this announcement “The Government has announced the launch of a single fraud investigation service (SFIS), to tackle all welfare benefit fraud…  investing an extra £140 million to deliver savings of over £2.3 billion by cutting the amount of money that is loss through fraud, error and debt”.

This is on top of the current forecast of £188,003, as the DWP was expressly clear this amount was for the “Are you doing the right thing” campaign only! Which, in REAL terms means an extra £140,000 over 18 months (Oct 16 -Mar 16)

This is a huge amount of money from a Government who persistently tell us, we as a nation are broke; so remember when you read in the press or the  internet, hear on the radio or watch on TV how this is to SAVE £1 billion ‘lost’ in the past year because other people are ‘cheating Stop & Think –  might this the is the same £1 billion that’s been lost for the past 8 years or more??

CHECK OUT the latest Data from ilegal.org  ‘Fit for work or fit to drop’, Over quarter of a million deaths relating to sickness benefit claims?

JobCentre+ – Staff complaints growing exponentially!

A recent FOI request received what I think is an intriguing response; one of the questions asked was “the total amount of complaints made against Jobcentre  Plus for the same period, 2010 – 2014″. The response came under the heading of  ‘DWP Staff Don’t Treat Me With Respect’, and the figures make interesting reading –

DWP Complaints – reporting year is from April to March

Reporting Year Jobcentre+ Complaints
received Overall
recorded under ‘Staff do not
treat me with respect’
2010 – 2011 58,865 7,616
2011 – 2012 59,677 8,979
2012 – 2013 67,982 13,709
2013 -2014 (8 Mth) 38,301 11,611

.
I was unsurprised but still slightly taken back by the huge increase in such complaints in the past 20 months;

The reasons for this rapid rise are not available, but I consider their are a number of reasons for this; it could be one or more likely several of the speculations below –

claimants are more aware of their Right to complain and are using it – I think this is the reason the DWP would like as they could claim they’re empowering claimants

claimants are responding to experiencing sanctions or other conditions being applied to their benefit and are complaining in the only way they can – this is a regular response to ‘hobsons choice‘ situations, we blame the messenger not the Policy maker

staff are reacting to the stress of having to apply the negative conditions to benefit and this stress is showing – when we’re under such pressure it has a detrimental effect on our performance

staff are behaving poorly towards claimants as they believe the Party line, claimants are unworthy – I’ve read/heard comments for years that some staff at the JobCentre treat claimants badly (I’ve also experienced this myself), so maybe such people naturally gravitate towards careers that allow them to indulge in their desire to bully.

Whatever the reasons for such a large increase, I welcome it and I’m certain in my mind it is further evidence of the growing dissatisfaction with Welfare Reform?

The Scandal of DWP Silence

We know from  the official DWP report that between January & November 2011 10,600 disabled people either in receipt of or awaiting benefits died.

Since then the DWP have, despite numerous requests refused to release further updates; we can only speculate their reason why, as we can only surmise just how many more disabled people have since lost their lives?

It is well documented how the ‘Scrounger‘ rhetoric have adversely affected disabled people  and those who are chronically ill, and even Esther McVey – Minister of State for DWP stated she “would not disagree” when it was put to her in October 2013 that “ hundreds or even thousands of people who had died sooner than they should have done, or had a much lower quality of life over their last few weeks or months because of their experience of the WCA.”.

From this we believe it is safe to presume there has been an increase in the number of annual deaths of disabled people in 2012 & 2013; given the loss of life in 2011 was 10,600, even a 2% increase per annum would result in  12,720 in 2012 and a startling 15,264 in 2013. That would give a overall figure of 38,564 deaths over the 3 years the Coalition has been in Government.

Is this shocking statistic what the DWP don’t want us to know?

The fat cats of hubris

A Short poem from the Excellent @julijuxtaposed clearly demonstrating Why WE need to Step up!
The 1% Elite would HATE this – Truth Will Out #ToryGreed

juxtaposed

The self ‘wealth creators’ will eat up the world
As they ‘help’ make each crisis much worse
They proclaim they are vital
For all our survival
Forgetting their cause is our curse

The fat cats of hubris are stealing a march
On a twisted opinion of worth
For the seedy old bleeders
Think we’re here to feed them
Convinced that their needs should come first

The arrogant greedies want us to believe
That they own all the rights to our shirts
Yes, the cretins are betting
That we’ll keep on letting
Them bank on this serfdom to work

The cheaters and fleecers and stealers of peace
Have sanity, rendered inert
If we don’t hurry up
And rise up from the muck
Then the meek shall inherit the dirt.

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