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??

Attending ATOS? WE Can Help:

Disability Enabling and Empowerment Project (Leic’s) (DEAEP) was set up in 2013 in response to identified needs; disabled, chronically sick and vulnerable people are increasingly required to demonstrate their need for the financially support necessary to survive, both often in employment, as well as not.

DEAEP is a social not for profit business that offers accredited training to  sick and disabled people, unemployed, and other vulnerable individuals. The training experience enables participants to, knowledgeably and confidently, actively support others during times of extreme stress; this could be attending ATOS assessments and, or to participate in social and community engagement.

So far we have a 100% success rate with people we’ve represented

The rationale behind DEAEP:

Anyone who’s disabled or chronically ill in the UK 2013, is only to well aware of the devastating effects of The Welfare Reform Bill, whether it be someone on Incapacity Benefit (IB) waiting for the dreaded assessment onto Employment Support Allowance (ESA); a new claimant for ESA after losing their job, or a current ESA recipient  who’s almost at the one year cut off time. It might be a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) recipient waiting for the claim form to apply for the new  Personal Independence Payment (PiP)

These are just some of the ways that Welfare Reform is affecting those of us too ill to work or live with the ever increasing costs of being disabled.

What these changes all have in common is the growing number of ‘assessments’ we’re all forced to undergo.

Many of us who have already experienced the cold, inhumane and in some cases, downright dangerous process of being assessed by ATOS,  know the associated costs these visits have on our health; from waiting for that now dreaded brown envelope, the energy it takes to complete the overly long complex claim form, the stress caused by actual ‘assessment’, through to the wait for the decision made at the DWP by a low level civil servant who might have had two days training in disability!

None of this is news to many of us, and many more disabled and sick people will soon be au-fait with this ever rotating process.

Many people on social networks like Facebook & Twitter have expressed the view that when  having someone to help them through this experience,  be it form filling, support at ‘assessments’ or at appeal it has helped them; and it is this what we at DEAEP aims to do.

We  offer free accredited training for people to skill them up, to then act as peer supporters for others going through this process.

We also can help with support at hospital/GP visits or in fact anywhere sick and disabled people feel having someone at their side to prompt them tell their story and get the truth across.

The training programme will also help participants in other areas, and can open doors to further education or even employment.

So if you are interested or require our help please contact us athttp://www.deaepleicester.moonfruit.com.

All personal and medical data disclosed is destroyed on conclusion of case

 

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.

Your chance to #haveyoursayIDS

As you know from yesterdays blog we are going to meet with Liz Kendal and Kate Green on the 18th of November to submit our Petition about IDS & the DWP’s misuse of statistics, and asking the Work and Pensions Select Committee to hold Ian Duncan Smith to account for this and how it paints a dark and inaccurate picture of those on benefits, especially those on DLA and ESA.

As well as inviting those of you who signed our petition all 104,696 of us to attend the submission; we would like you to make a comment about how this misuse of Stats by the DWP has affected you, whether that’s emotionally, physically or if you have been a victim of hate crime associated with the media attacks fuelled by these Lies.

If you would like to make a comment please use the same email as before –  disabilitywatch@gmail.com and we will print out as many as we can, to bring with us to the hand over…

Lets tell the committee how we feel about what is happening… Please keep it clean, we don’t want to edit, we want it to be in your own words but we don’t want to lose the sympathy of the committee by being abusive…

Without all of you this campaign wouldn’t be going anywhere, it’s your voices that are important to us…

Jayne and Debbie xxx

The Conspicuous Absence of IDS

In the words of Debbie Sayers, my Hold Ids to Account campaign buddie –

Back in June we had reason to feel positive our petition asking the work and pensions select committee to hold IDS to account for his use of statistics had reached 100,000 and we had been told that the committee wanted to tie it in to the end of year review of the DWP so they had all the facts at their disposal. A date would be forthcoming…

Time dragged on  and in June we were told MR Smith had cancelled because the end of year review was still not ready…

Time dragged on…

and once in July again the appointment was cancelled with the promise of something in the autumn…

Time dragged on…

and in September we were told November but…

Time is still dragging on and now on the 31st of October 2013, and we’re told it will be December…

That means the end of 2013, the 2011/12 Annual Report from the DWP will be eight months late… Yes that’s right EIGHT MONTHS late why is nobody shouting about this… well I guess we are…

I’M wondering why the press AREN’T wondering what’s going on, why MP’s AREN’T asking questions…

So I’m calling on everyone for help can we start making a noise about this can we tweet #whereisIDS #DWPLateReview

 I would also ENCOURAGE  everyone to start writing to their MP, asking why the DWP’s end of annual report is nearly eight months late… and asking when he will be seeing the Work and Pensions Select Committee in person. We don’t want his juniors to be answering questions we want him to explain what is going on Ultimately Mr Smith is responsible for his DEPARTMENT not Mr Penning or Ms Mcvey…

When a whole department can’t be held responsible and circumvents the balance and checks process we should all sit up and pay attention

Perhaps MR Smith thinks he is above answering questions… Perhaps he’s busy… either way time should be made to get the review in and discuss its good points and short comings… that’s the process that’s the job if he doesn’t like it perhaps he should resign…

Thank you all for your continued support of Debbie and myself, I assure you we are doing all we can to push for this and any help you can give us, and MPs like Sheila Gilmore who is also fighting to get IDS to committee is very much appreciated… I’d just like to take this opportunity to once again thank all those that have helped with the campaign fund… We  plan to be using it soon 🙂

HELP NEEDED – Stats Watch

Hi folks we need your help,

Over what’s left of the summer and while we wait for October to roll around and the Work and Pensions Select Committee to give us a date to see them quiz IDS.

We have a project to do.

We need to collect together as many examples of DWP ministers misusing, twisting or completely making up statistics as we can find.  We would like to forward a report on said ministerial behaviour before the committee meet the secretary of state. Giving them a chance to look through it before meeting him…

How can you help

We already have some notable  fellow seekers of the statistical truth on board to help make a report worth reading and we want to be sure we have it all… knowing that we are just two fairly unwell people it makes sense for us, to work together to find what evidence we can, to get this report in on time and covering all the bases.

We would like you to send us anything you get either direct from MPs or on line that you think would be of interest. Be aware we might receive lots of copies of articles from newspapers so if you see us sharing them on line it’s likely we already have them :)

If you have anything for us please send it to disabilitywatchuk@gmail.com

 

THANK ALL IN ADVANCE xx