#Suicide is A Deadly Serious Issue A Response to Health Select/PHE

This week has seen a number of articles across the media focussed on Suicide; presumably this is a result of  reports from both the Governments Health Select and Public Health England (PHE) .

The report from the Health Select  chaired by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP , is an interim  progress update on the Suicide Prevention Programme, the committee  concluded ‘suicide is preventable‘ and made several recommendations, most of which will require the Government to increase spend across mental health  and support services for the programme to work. The report commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) aimed to to ‘gain a better understanding of factors that influence suicide‘ and was analysed by the  Office for National Statistics  to identify “which professions have the highest risk of suicide“.

The Health Select report also according to The Guardian  to “stop raising awareness of methods, which puts vulnerable people at risk” Now I can’t deny that watching or reading about suicide attempts may inform people however, I totally dispute people are driven to kill themselves as a result of  receiving this information.

The suggestion that most individuals watching a TV programme wherein a character kills themselves  would imitate the actions on screen is to me, highly offensive. As someone who has seriously considered ending my life on occasions, I am enraged by this patronising and totally simplistic idea. More importantly this conjecture indicates those MPs responsible for monitoring the Suicide Prevention Programme have little or no understanding of the complexity of the reasons why 18,998 individuals who ended their life 2011-15.

The  analysis of the causes of these 18,998 deaths between 2011 – 2015 was undertaken to inform the Health Select gain a better understanding of factors that influence suicide;  from this there are numerous media articles highlighting the varying occupations of people who have taken their lives. I’ve read of male construction workers, female nurses, tortured geniusesprimary school teachers, carers and  low skilled male workers all being at great risk; but few of them mention these findings of the ONS ” it may not be the actual occupation that puts individuals at risk, but features of the job such as low pay, job security and the wider socio-economic characteristics of individuals employed in a particular sector.

I suggest a common denominator amongst people employed in these high risk occupations is an equally high risk of stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues and propose it is these factors rather than information of ways to take your own life?

Given this I suggest the Health Select ought to be telling the Government to cease the destruction of Rights at work, introduce a living wage, stop the cuts to benefits and invest in immediate housing developments so low paid employees can access decent homes with long term secure leases and immediately provide the Health Service with the resources it needs to secure appropriate mental health services and support. Fulfilment of these suggestions would actually go some way to addressing some of the complex reasons for suicides, and therefore assure many suicides being “prevented”.

It must be noted, regardless of the purported desire by the Government to ‘prevent suicide’ it is ironic the committee report was released on the same day as NHS England finance chief Paul Baumann said £800m held in reserve, was to be available from CCGs for mental health services, community health services, primary care and other things, will now” be used to offset hospital overspends”  This is a clear demonstration of the lack of commitment the Government actually has to its ‘Suicide prevention programme’ and to the people living, and dying with and due to, poor Mental Health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Tories indicate Benefit Claimants to be their REAL Enemies in WAR

Here we go – the lead up to the last Tory Conference in this round of Government and the ‘big guns’ are blazing across the Tory press, making their pre-election ‘promises’/threats. Cameron in the Times states,  he will cut a further 3,000 from the benefit cap reducing this to £23,000 & stopping all out of work benefits for anyone under 21, Grayling in the Telegraph is vowing to strip away the remainder of our Rights, with the shredding of the Human Rights Act; and then we come to IDS, who according to his latest delusions he is responsible for breaking up TV programmes!

IDS, relegated to the tabloids says his” DRASTIC curbs on welfare benefits are starting to break up Britain’s “Shameless” housing estates”; he justifies this by stating ” the proportion of people in social housing who do not work had fallen from just under 50 per cent in 2010 to 41 per cent”. Where IDS gets this data from is as usual a mystery, it may be based upon the the fact “The proportion of people in social housing has dropped from almost a third (31.4 per cent) in 1980 to one in seven today (16.8 per cent)“, which is in due to the scarcity of social housing rather than anything to do with benefits. Alternatively, it might be the reality a growing number of people are paying towards their Council Tax, albeit this was a response from Local Authorities to DWP Cuts,  that aided him form his belief.

Continuing his chosen way of utilising personal creed rather than reality,  IDS proudly quoting the fictional  ‘Shameless’ & the much derided Benefits St TV programmes as his examples of ‘evidence’, continued to praise the Work Programme; claiming this has added to the ‘success’ of people leaving benefits. This is of course despite countless sources demonstrating the failure of this project, including the DWP themselves.

These messages all combine to indicate the speeches and associated media coverage over the next week will continue Lie about demonising the poorest and most vulnerable in society. To me this seems to be an enormous use of hype against 5.3 million working age benefit claimants, (excluding HB DWP Feb 2014), compared with the total number of people in this age bracket is 39.4 million. Further when we add the 4.9 million of Housing benefit claimants, this group also form a part of the ‘Hard Working People’ Cameron pledges to cut taxes for?

Is it any wonder we as dependants upon Social Security are angry? Every day across social media, people are talking about the injustice of  this small minority of the UK being wrongly blamed for the ills of the nation because we are ill, disabled, unemployed etc, we’ve dealt with persistent Lies, and have even been called “Extremists” in Parliament!  For me, it raises the question of exactly WHO DO the Tories, consider to be the greatest enemy of the Country?

Time for TRUTH #Nowpetition #ImpeachDWP

Time For The Truth

I’ve discussed the behaviour of the DWP misusing Statistics on several occasions, from our successful petition asking the Welfare & Pensions Select to investigate these actions, to the introduction of  the newly formed single fraud investigation service, (SFIS), allegedly costing £140 millionThe misrepresentation of information is how different Politicians have repeatedly spoken on Welfare Reform, they have persisted with their interpretations even after the UK Statistics Authority have refuted it.

The Governments rationale behind such conduct certainly indicates their increasing use of  psychological coercion with various Departments insisting, their version of data is correct rejecting all alternate information and separate opinions, they have devised rules that control the topics they determine permissible to discuss, and all communication is highly controlled.

A recent example of this was the development of  SFIS a cross Government strategy to reduce fraud and error”. I’ve previously considered the validity of the DWP’s claim, this group was established to save money, but with One Billion Pound being spent to reduce the cost of Fraud & Error, when the total annual amount lost  is One Billion Pound, this seems highly unlikely? The official press release from the DWP quoted Lord Freud’s claims “Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support fraud and error overpayments are at their lowest recorded levels.” Yet looking closer at this claim we find Council Tax data is no longer included in DWP figures, the responsibility has shifted to Local Authorities and this Tax is equivalent to  “2% of overall welfare expenditure” which is the difference  in Fraud and Error pre the inception of SFIS.

This example fulfils both the definition of  psychological coercion above and as used by Dr Lynne Friedli in her claim, Government uses such  to ‘formulate and gain consent for the current regime of welfare reform’. Friedli also discusses how psychological coercion affects the way both claimants feel about themselves and those not claiming benefits view others; this becomes even more relevant when the misuse of data by Government is reported verbatim by the media, as it reinforces the principles and purpose behind programmes like SFIS.

The incessant use of psychological coercion has multiple negative affects, it results in the recipient becoming “confused, intimidated and silenced by actions accepted as harmful, such as uncompromising influence, involuntary servitude, and infliction of emotional distress“; it leaves us “compliant” and ultimately brainwashed. Interestingly The Home Office already includes coercive control as an element of abuse, but only as it applies to domestic violence.

The fact the Government’s Department responsible for Law, recognises the damage of psychological coercion, is an irony not to be lost, as we continue to struggle against the gamut of detrimental Policies and daily rhetoric of  media coercion; nor should the paradox of the Government’s attempts to catch people allegedly falsely claiming benefits, whilst using falsified data to justify the expense.

Time For The Truth?

 

 

UK Poverty IS a National Disgrace – For Everyone

This is an email I felt had to be wriiten, it was sent to Paul O’ Grady in response to his article on Child Poverty in yesterday’s Mirror – sent to him via his website email

 

Dear Paul

 
Further to your article in the Mirror today, whilst I totally agree with you, I wish you and others concerned with this disgraceful situation,would also acknowledge this problem extends to include Millions of disabled, elderly and other vulnerable people; in fact dozens of disabled people are dying weekly and to date the figure since the inception of Welfare Reform could be as high as 38,000+
 
I totally concur with your points that poorer children are more likely to have mental health problems, and again this is the position with all people in poverty;
and I agree the current position should be a national disgrace, particularly whilst the Richest prosper disproportionally in the UK. Embarrassingly whilst the treatment of disabled people is so severe, our media, in the main ignores it, and yet other nationalities agree it warrants reporting in their National Press press, I refer to this article in Le Monde
 
I hope you can find the time to read the links as I’m sure you will agree that Poverty in the UK is a Disgrace regardless of the people it affects.
 
Regards
 
Jayne Linney
I’ll let you know if I get a response
 

An Exercise in Social Control – The REAL Agenda behind Benefit Fraud Campaigns 3 –

This year to date, I’ve  written two articles questioning the REAL agenda behind the Benefit Fraud Campaigns, the first in January considered how Politicians use psychological coercion to control us, whilst the second in April, introduced the newly formed single fraud investigation service, (SFIS), “a cross Government strategy to reduce fraud and error” apparently costing £140 millionIn April I questioned whether the SFIS would prove to be value for money, particularly as according to DWP figures Fraud and Error has cost the Nation approximately £1 Billion for the past Eight Years?

Well it seems my concerns were justifiable, the latest figures in the DWP official Report shows a significant rise in Fraud, although a minor decrease in Error:

,Image

This situation is despite the DWP already having spent at least  £296,726, just on campaigns to reduce Fraud & Error; when the REAL costs to the DWP, the SFIS, Justice Department & the CPS are added, the amount of spending on reducing this £1Billion bill must be phenomenal.

Johnny Void in his excellent post on this latest shambles by IDS said “This is a huge embarrassment to Iain Duncan Smith who is currently squandering almost a billion pounds in an attempt to halve benefit over-payments by next year.  It is unsurprising that the DWP’s fraud and error strategy was this week given a red/amber rating (meaning it’s a fuck up) in the same Government report into major projects that revealed that Universal Credit has been ‘reset’.” 

So that’s One Billion Pounds spending to reduce a One Billion Pound loss – Where is there any logic in this???

However you wouldn’t have thought any of the above existed if you relied solely upon the official press release from the DWP with Lord Fraud, Freud, claiming “Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support fraud and error overpayments are at their lowest recorded levels.” Yes once again we have Politicians making statements that are untrue and based upon erroneously used statistics and ignore reality; the fact is Council Tax is no longer included in DWP figures with the responsibility going to Local Authorities, and this Tax is equivalent to claimed drop in Fraud and Error  “2% of overall welfare expenditure“! 

This persistent misrepresentation of information is how Politicians, and the media when it reports verbatim rather than investigates the Truth, is precisely how they use psychological coercion to manage our thinking; IDS, Freud and the rest have consistently –

  • Rejected alternate information and separate opinions
  • Devised Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss and
  • Ensured Communication is highly controlled.

it is for these reasons  Debbie Sayers and I decided it was time to follow up on our successful petition of last year, this resulted in the Work & Pensions Committee calling IDS & Freud to answer for their Lies, and a report stating this social control through the misuse of statistics should cease. This time We are Demanding the Coalition ensures IDS, Freud and Co STOPS this blatant manipulation; we aim to show Parliament, the people will no longer tolerate this abuse, but you need to play your role – Sign the Petition, tell your friends and families, share it on social media, blog it, do whatever, because unless we all tell Politicians & the Media, WE Will NO longer be Controlled it Will Continue.

This slow erosion of independent thought eats away out our psyche, leaving us unable to see the Truth and falling into the very trap set for us by those in Power, this is Not a World I want to live in? 

Time For The Truth

To:
House Of Commons – Stop Ministers Spinning Statistics 
Dame Anne Begg MP, Chair W&P Select
Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of Public Admin
Enforce the Recommendations of W&P Select of Use of DWP Statistics and Ensures Minsters and others present statistics in a way that is fair, accurate and “unspun”.

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/house-of-commons-stop-ministers-spinning-statistics-accept-the-recommendations-of-select-committees-stop-ministers-spinning-dwp-statistics

 

 

The Rationale behind Poverty Street Media?

Poverty StreetIndependent Voices today carries a piece discussing the 200 year tradition of writers and the well to do ‘visiting’ the poor to see for themselves how we live; I suppose if my 19 Century great great…grandmother were able to access the articles and books scribed of these visits she may well have felt as I do – incensed. The difference is she most likely didn’t, indeed she would have been fortunate to be able to read, never mind have access to what was written.

Today these journeys into poverty have become a sport; each time I read articles of yet another new TV ‘reality’ show, with a few very wealthy people spending a week living with a poor family, I feel sick. Truthfully I’m not quite sure who I’m most angry with – the so called celebrity who I doubt participates with pure philanthropic reasons, the TV production team who pretend their programmes are documentaries, ( OED definition–  to provide a factual report on a particular subject) or the families hosting the show? Perhaps this is in part, down to my working class upbringing – you don’t wash your dirty linen in public, but whatever my personal reasons for my fury, I certainly do not appreciate my peers being treated as a different breed of human, one fit only to be examined under the microscope of a camera.

This latest round of the dubiously named Famous, Rich And …(this time)Hungry is the fourth is the series from the BBC, and having previously ‘investigated’ Slums, Homeless and Jobless,  what has been the outcome –  have the participating celebrities learnt so much they now dedicate their time and money to resolving these very real problems, or has the lives of those who shared their misery altered? I can find positive evidence of neither option; this is the same with ITVs 2011 offering ‘Home is where the heart is’.

So what is the real purpose of these snapshots into life on Poverty Street, – to allow those fortunate individuals not surviving there, sit back and after 55 minutes and using the remote control, switch off their conscience as the credits role; I put to them, since when did I and my peers become nothing more than creatures to be observed from the safety of the sofa?  However it must be noted, the ever growing number of programmes like this play no small part in the ongoing Systematic desensitization of the public; repeated exposure to the vile and increasingly deadly results of Welfare Reform and other Government Policies actually neutralises their effect; it is possibly for this reason, the public generally, are not reacting.

The only way to address these results is through the use of critical thinking, we’re all told to read the small print at the bottom of official papers and this is the same idea, you wouldn’t automatically trust someone you don’t know with your money or your children, so why trust the the Government or their agents with the same? We’ve had years of rhetoric from the press and media repeatedly reporting how we on poverty street, are here out of choice; we’re lazy, scrounging, skivers who create our poor health through our inability to find a job, budget, eat well and become disabled as a result. This combined with such TV spoon feeds the national with their ‘truth’  “Apart from the telly and the cigarettes, they’re living like animals“;  well yes I am an animal, and I’m from the same species as the celebrities, reporters and producers that create this fodder, and those above them that endorse it.

Both the Director General of the BBC – Tony Hall and the Director of ITV – Andy Haste certainly belong to the Elite in terms of finance, earning £450,00 and a whopping £2,56627.20 in 2013/2014 respectively; and it is these, predominately men, and others like them that determine the content and the messages of the media. And the the fact these media designers choose to label me and my Poverty Street neighbours as lesser, raises the question of why, what is there to gain by his persistent outpouring of uninformed negative press?

It is proven that “use of Fear-provoking words like poverty and illness stimulate the brain in negative ways”  it can impair logic, reason and communication; used repeatedly it can “damage key structures that regulate your memory, feelings, and emotions”  and “ make you more prejudiced toward others” ; given this, the relentless declaration of blame upon us residents, isn’t as harmless as it first appears.

This is the reason why I implore everyone who watches/reads this media onslaught doesn’t merely ‘switch off ‘ afterwards, and muse on there for the grace of…personal deity; but instead asks the question who made the rich zoo-keepers of the poor?

And if you’re not convinced, the next time you read or watch this hype, – think of IDS & Co saying this   George OrwellAnimal Farm

Comrades!’ he cried. ‘You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.”