In Memory of My Pop a WWI Soldier, who Fought for Honesty and Freedom

As a child of the Sixties I absorbed the new ‘freedoms’  of that era like a sponge; I watched the development of  the sexual revolution which, to me was everyday women finding a voice, previously before only accessible to the middle class and above.  I read about the Civil Rights movement, and became sickened by the Racial prejudice and discrimination; particularly as I was friends with many children whose families had come to the UK as refugees from Uganda. These struggles instilled me with a personal power, no longer did I have to defer to my ‘betters’, I could and should, question and challenge my elders.

Having said this, my strongest influence at home at this time was my granddad (Pop), he was born in 1899 and lied about his age to serve his country in WW,  only for him to be the victim of a rogue grenade. This resulted in him spending his life in and out of hospital undergoing surgery after surgery, as the countless pieces of shrapnel he carried in him moved towards his vital organs. I adored him, but he was a man of his time born when Victoria was still Queen, and we had endless discussions about right and wrong. I like to think he really heard me when I argued for Equality, but maybe he indulged me as his only grandchild, either way he listened, and even when we disagreed he never shot me down, he taught me to debate and for this, and everything else he was to me, I adored him .

With today being the Centenary of  WWI, these memories of my pop are more emotive than ever, his desire for honesty was I believe, born from his experience of soldiering, he was sold a story of  ‘Britain needing him’  how he was fighting for freedom and this would be “The War to end All wars”; in return he was damaged, physically and emotionally. He never spoke to me (or any other family members) about his experience, but we lived with its effects.  Today I’m convinced he would have been diagnosed with PTSD, he certainly suffered from brain damage, being blown up does that, and this revealed itself in his occasional outbursts of rage. However, despite the pain he lived with for the next 70 years, he always demanded Truth; whether this be because he lived with the fact he suffered as a result of the Lies sold by the ruling classes I can’t say, but knowing him I can’t help but think this is so.

These experiences laid the blueprint for who I am today, I remain committed to Equality, I fail to understand how prejudice and discrimination are anything but destructive, and I believe wholeheartedly in Truth. In this week as I especially remember Pop, I read that  Lord Freud  has been proven to have Lied AGAIN,  joining Mark Hoban, Esther McVey and Mike Penning  to become the Fourth DWP Minster to have Made the SAME LIE – Impact Assessment are Impossible.

This default position of Lying when proven incorrect is unacceptable, the reality is the Lies Politicians spew out today, are resulting in pain as those told 100 years did; and albeit in much lesser numbers, people are still Dying  as a result of the Policies they Lie about.

I can’t help but think it must be common knowledge that Politicians Lie, they’ve been doing it for at least a Century now, and maybe this is the reason people don’t feel the need to demand it should End and End Now?

I can’t and won’t accept this, to do so would not only dishonour my Pop, but I would feel  in collusion with these Lying Ministers, and this I will not do. For these reasons and because I feel if We don’t scrutinise this unelected Government No one will; I continue to urge you all to please share our petition demanding TRUTH from Parliament; the House of Commons has responded to the Recommendations of the Select by basically informing us the DWP is doing a great job!

If you share my belief , this response is yet another example of Government Spin – please Sign, Share and talk to everyone about the NEED for The TRUTH Campaign.

 

#NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

Another Government ‘Fag packet’ proposal for Benefit Sanctions & Cuts ?

Rarely do I come across a Tory Policy proposal that makes me both Smile (albeit at the irony) and Shudder (with fear); but today’s report in the Telegraph does exactly this; “Hundreds of thousands of benefit claimants face being stripped of their state allowances if they refuse to undergo treatment for anxiety and depression“, this worries me on several levels.

The article quotes their source as saying “We know that depression and anxiety are treatable conditions. Cognitive behavioural therapies work and they get people stable again but you can’t mandate people to take that treatment“; I totally agree with the closing proviso but the apparent claim CBT works for depression and anxiety is False.

Firstly Depression is not a ‘one size fits all’ disorder, there are different types of this debilitating illness, and a notion it can be conveniently summed up to enforce potentially damaging treatment is downright dangerous as well as being futile.  This position applies equally to Anxiety, again there are different types of Anxiety disorders which require different specialist treatments; therefore this all embracing decision, being discussed by Politicians based upon saving money is, to me, terrifying.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy works to enable people understand the relationships between their feelings, thinking, behaviours and environment, and to identify ways in which these can become problems; ergo CBT only works when depression and, or anxiety arises from internal conflict. Personally I have found CBT to be of little or no use when clinical issues, i.e. schizophrenia, is  the primary causes of the disorder; further where external factors are reinforcing the disorders, I personally have found CBT only has limited benefits.  I am not purporting CBT has no use in supporting depressive or anxiety sufferers, but it is not the only form of treatment necessary for enabling improved mental health. Given the mandate for this scheme is the ” loads of people who claim ESA (for Depression and Anxiety) who undergo no treatment whatsoever“, it is difficult to understand how the Government is to utilise fully trained CBT workers anyway?

Minsters are already piloting different ways of implementing this scheme, four JobCentres are currently “combining “talking therapies” with employment support“; soon we will witness  “group work” to help build the “resilience” of individuals who are out of work and suffering with poor mental health” the “hiring specialist private organisations outside the NHS and welfare system to take control of providing a combination of psychological and employment support to claimants” and finally “online tests and therapies at improving individuals’ health and job prospects“. These four trials will then be assessed, presumably with cost effectiveness, being the primary focus’ so no prizes for guessing which ‘approach’ the Government will adopt – more work for the nudge unit coming up?

These trials are a joint effort between the DWP & Dept of Health, and emerge from the report Talking Therapies: a four year plan of action  and initially was targeted at people 18-65  as an “economic case on which it was based showed that providing therapy could benefit not only the individual but also the nation, by helping people come off sick pay and benefits and stay in or return to work“. There we have it another quick fix based on Finance First and presumably will form the basis of yet another area of Cuts in Welfare; but once again aimed at sick and disabled people

As I acknowledge at the beginning of this post, the Government Ministers making these decisions about how mental health sufferers should be treated, deny participation in these trials will be mandatory, seeming to recognise willingness to participate is central any talking treatment working. However the Telegraph states “Conservatives could include the proposal for mandatory treatments in the party manifesto next year as part of the next phase of reforms to the welfare state” and I can’t help but think they are probably accurate in this.

Will this turn out to be yet another example of how the Government says one thing and then does another? If you agree with me in this Join the TRUTH campaign

#NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

Fight For TRUTH – STOP the TORY LIES

A Quick update on the petition  – THANK YOU – we’ve now passed 2,500 signatures and some very kind person had paid to promote the petition (a SPECIAL Thanks to you xx), Now WE NEED to SHARE this as much as possible

If you need any more evidence Joe Halewood of the excellent SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites) informs us in June 24 Lord Freud deliberately mislead the House of Lords over bedroom tax; by quoting figures easily proved to be bogus, he stated ” There are some 200,000 smaller premises in the social rented sector available through each year” ! But the actual and universally accepted figure is 68,000 not 200,000 and so we see Lord Freud tripling the amount of the real figure as is his want. Freud also said “The process of which I am aware is when people appeal to the tribunal; there have been more than 100 such cases,” However Joe claims “Having personal knowledge of over 80 bedroom tax appeals myself just from one small part of Merseyside alone and further knowledge, some first-hand and some second-hand of a further few hundred bedroom tax appeals in Merseyside and hundreds more across the UK we again see Lord Freud knowingly misleading the House of Lords yet again.”

Further, as Bernadette Meaden yesterday wrote in Disabled people demand truth in politics. “Statistics should give us a true picture of what is happening: if the government misuses them it distorts the public debate, and leads people to judge policies on an inaccurate basis. It undermines democracy”. We know this to be true  and this is why the TRUTH Campaign formed a part of this article in Ekklesia.

If Debbie & I have learnt anything over the past 4 years it is – If WE don’t scrutinise and Challenge Government – No One Will!

So if you believe Government Budgets, Polices and Programmes should be based on FACTS and not skewed statistics; PLEASE continue to push this.

Join out Thunderclap and help us get the SOCIAL REACH of 69,038 to sign our Petition

Tweet – #NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

As Robert Livingstone shows in his latest piece

SelfServatives

Government Policies are Bad for our Health – Time for Challenge #NowPetition

The latest group to be hard hit by Government Policies are women employees, Female workers hit hardest by Austerity Agenda & associated Cuts, this won’t be a surprise to anyone not fortunate to earn enough; but for most of us, this is another example of how Government Policies are penalising the majority of people – simply because they are not rich.

The past four years are strewn with evidence demonstrating precisely how, outcomes of Government Reforms have been detrimental to the general public; Welfare Reform has brought about WorkfareBenefit CapBedroom TaxPIP, and  changes to ESA, JSA sanctions  & Tax Credits, to cite a few of the programmes. All of the above, have been criticised by numerous independent groups, charities, think tanks and across social media, as not only being prejudicial but as being incongruous. Similar criticism applies to Policies in Justice Reform, the Home Office, the Health ServiceTax & Revenue etc. Further we’ve been subjected to a series of inconsistencies from various Minsters & MPs across Parliament, from expense claims to downright untruths; and this behaviour in the main goes unchallenged, or worse is defended.

These Policies and Programmes have had a negative effect on  disabled people, older people, black & minority ethnic people, low paid people, jobless people, children and women, and  the articles used in the above links, are merely examples of the plethora of  evidence available. This leads me to one conclusion; current Government Policies, particularly when based upon such questionable, data are damaging the health and well-being of the majority of people in the UK.

It is for this reason we are challenging Parliament to STOP the SPIN, we want Government to ensure  their Laws and Policies, are fair and based upon Fact; further we are  dissatisfied with Political attempts at psychological coercion, with MPs persistently misusing statistics to justify prejudicial Polices.

For these reasons we believe the TRUTH Campaign will positively challenge Government; and as people afflicted by the current raft of unjust Policies, we demand change.

If you, your family, friends, colleagues etc are negatively affected by any Government Policies – Join the TRUTH Campaign – sign our petition, join our Time For Truth Thunderclap, tweet #NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP, share on Social Media; and Spread the word Government Policies are Bad for our Health

 

Recover or DIE – Time to Fight Back #NowPetition #ImpeachDWP

I find it intriguing to read that ACPO (The Association of Chief Police Officers) argued, in their case for purchasing water cannons, “it would be fair to assume that the ongoing and potential future austerity measures are likely to lead to continued protest. Experiences in Millbank in 2010 demonstrate how quickly protest can turn to serious violent disorder. In addition, the social and economic factors that are currently being experienced have the potential, when combined with a significant (and often spontaneous) “trigger” event, to lead to the outbreak of significant disturbances“. So the Police understand that the Governments austerity measures result in protest;  further Richard Seymour also acknowledges the reason for the Mayor of London spending £218,000 on such weaponry is about, “policing austerity“.

This purchase suggests Government is fully aware that its Polices such as  Welfare Reform, Civil Justice Reform, Media Reform, Tax cuts for the Highest Earners etc; result in the majority of people experiencing (often severe) economic distress, and concern for their Rights; and yet, Government perseveres with its agenda

Sue Marsh today asks, “What do you call a government who….”, in this she lays out a wide range of the actions taken by Government to date; in response to Sue rather than state what I call the Government I elect to examine the rationale for such behaviour. Having analysed the paradoxical manner Government acts and speaks, albeit focussing on Welfare Reform, in many occasions;  I can determine Government’s primary purpose to be the subjugation of the majority of the people

For me, Steve Bell’s cartoon in the Guardian today sums it up nicely –

 

Steve Bell 12.06.14

 

Now the question is – Are you going to let then get way with it?

 

Fight Back – join the Truth Campaign –  Make them Admit the Real Purpose for Hiding behind things, be they Water Canons or Dodgy Statistics SIGN & SHARE; We’ve done it before We CAN Do It Again

Tweet #ImpeachDWP #NOWPetition

 

 

Unfair Policies, a result of Government denying the Truth? #ImpeachDWP #NOWPetition

Two very different articles in my inbox this morning,  epitomise the way Government purposefully Selects what information to use and,or misuse at will; this (mis)management of data hides the Truth and unfortunately appears to underpin the current behaviour of some MPs.

At a recent Scrutiny meeting of the Public Accounts Committee,  the Head of the Major Projects Authority (MPA), John Manzoni confirmed the  ‘reset’ Universal Credit Project budget is still un agreed, this was one of several revealing disclosures about UC; Manzoni, in the final minutes of the hearing stated “I am not actually sure that DWP has set out Universal Credit budget at the moment“. This statement is alarming, particularly as it comes  four month after The Minister for DWP Iain Duncan Smith. informed the Work & Pension Select “We understand that DWP has now submitted the Universal Credit Strategic Outline Business Case to the Treasury for approval and expects to receive a final response in mid-April“.

This is yet another situation where a Minister of State appears to make claims, without any underpinning knowledge of the facts.  For the people the reality will presumably be, another few Billion pounds of our taxes being wasted on this ill thought, untenable project; and thousands of jobless, or part-time ‘customers’ of the DWP,  continually forced to comply with the ill conceived demands of the seemingly unworkable UC project.

The second article is a life story of 27 year old David, who since losing his job in February 2013 has experienced what can only be called, a catalogue of errors from the current Government favourite, the multi-agency approach.  In David’s case agencies seem to have included DWP,  Justice system, Probation, Housing Depts,  out of which came a situation described by David as “ if you went 24 hours without food you will shoplift“.

David’s story is well documented by the author Ann McGauran, and I urge you to read it; In her conclusion Ann says “The government is still arguing that there is no link between welfare reforms and the use of food banks.  Is it equally convinced that benefits sanctions don’t lead directly to desperate people shoplifting to feed themselves?

This is a question I’ve asked before and appears to be paradoxical to the behaviour noted above; these actions have Government denying an abundance of statistical and other evidence, despite it coming from multiple sources, including members of the Scottish ParliamentTrussell Trust, the Government led Defra and, perhaps most interestingly  Kent County Council, which was later suppressed.  These examples along with many others demonstrate  direct links between Welfare Reform & Foodbanks.

Denial of selected evidence, combined with a persistent misuse of other information, results in uniformed Policies, Projects, Reforms and Acts, with both participants and recipients experiencing what can be deemed as unfair and unjustified treatment by their elected Government.

It is for these reasons we have launched our Campaign for the Truth which challengesGovernment denial and misuse of information.

The Campaign  is currently at stage three, and includes a petition demanding it is time Government STOPS The SPIN and accepts the recommendations of the third report from the Works & Pensions Select.

This is NOT the End of the War merely the battle for the moment #NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

The Truth and Statistics Campaign – Petition 2

Yesterday I asked if you thought our campaign for The Truth & Statistics was worth it; overwhelmingly you all share our need for truth, and for this I THANK YOU  and am pleased to report the sharing of the post resulted in another 200 signatures; today I’m picking up on the comments and you advice offered and setting out the current tags, possible promotional ideas  etc for our campaign.

Our second petition reads-

The House of Commons – Stop Ministers Spinning Statistics  Enforce the Recommendations of W&P Select of Use of DWP Statistics.

  Last year over 100,006 people said Hold Iain Duncan Smith to account for his misuse of Statistics, both The  Work & Pensions Select 3rd Report Monitoring the Perfomance of DWP 2012/13 and the Public Administration Committee 1st Report Agreed.

We demand The House accepts these Recommendation 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

We are using Stop MPs Spinning Stats in all our posts/tweets/shares and #ImpeachDWP & #NOWPetition

it was suggested we also approach backbencher MPs we do trust, to engage them in this fight for Honesty from Ministers, I’ve picked up on this with members of the Work & Pensions Select (who have a vested interest)  –
Member Party
Dame Anne Begg (Chair) Labour
Debbie Abrahams Labour
Graham Evans Conservative
Sheila Gilmore Labour
Glenda Jackson Labour
Kwasi Kwarteng Conservative
Nigel Mills Conservative
Anne Marie Morris Conservative
Teresa Pearce Labour
Mr Mike Thornton Liberal Democrat
Dame Angela Watkinson Conservative

MPs who supported the 1st petition included  John McDonnell & Michael Meacher; I’m sure there were others but…time has done its usual job on my memory, if you are in contact with any MPs you feel may support us please tell them about it.

Roswynne Jones of the Mirror has from the start supported this campaign and I’m sure will cover the struggle soon; again as with the Politicians it you have contacts for any journalists – press or TV/Radio please contact them; should you, or indeed they, wish to speak to either myself or Debbie let us know in comments, Tweet @JayneLinney @DebbieSayers or via the same names on Facebook; we’d Love to hear from you.

It is Vital we don’t forget the reasons MP Misuse stats – they are using the spun data as a form of social control  applying  psychological coercion to as Friedli says  ‘formulate and gain consent for the current regime of welfare reform”. They do this without underpinning knowledge nor without concern for the real damage this causes to the mental health of the people they purport to serve.

 The question now is –  if We don’t Fight Back, Who will?

Please Continue Sharing, making contact – Together We Can Achieve Positive Change  xx

Check out the Amazing Official ‘Truth’ Campaign Poem by @juxtaposed

Cast-on Cast-offs 

MORE Reasons to Sign – STOP Ministers Spinning Stats (or LYING)

Over the weekend I’ve noticed three separate articles all linked to DWP actions that, we the public have been LIED TO about by Ids, McVey, Penning & even Consultants –

The Guardian wrote how – Frank Field MP has found Evidence behind growth in food banks and benefits claimants; Field as chair of the all-party group set up to investigate hunger and food poverty discovered “the disproportionately large increase (use of food banks) seen in the poorest households is due entirely to rising housing and fuel costs” . However this week McVey wrote to the Scottish Government this week stating there is “no robust evidence linking food bank usage to welfare reform”  

Fellow blogger Kitty Jones reported on – Rising ESA sanctions with a rise of “334% between December 2012 and December 2013″; it took a Freedom of Information request to release even these figures which are an ‘estimate. Debbie Abrahams MP asked McVey for an Independent investigation  into the growing number of sanctions last November, which she agreed to however ” the Government have now said they won’t set one up“; what could possibly be the reason for this, Abrahams believes “The last thing Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey want is for that uncomfortable truth to be uncovered by a focussed and independent investigation.”

Mike Sivier at Vox Political questioned How Prof Lichfield, the man assessing the suitability of WCA could claim he hadn’t “any information” and he hadn’t “seen numbers” on any people “dying every week as a result of being found fit for work after an assessment”; as Mike says “He could have, at least, looked up the government’s own statistical release‘Incapacity Benefits – Deaths of Recipients’ from July 2012“. Further it doesn’t take any mathematical experience to make an informed estimate as to the current figure, I did this this in February suggesting  the number could be as high as “38,564 deaths over the 3 years the Coalition has been in Government.”.

These are three different situations where Ministers and the DWP Press office lie to the public about the Reality of life as a benefit claimant in the UK today, and it is for these and numerous other incidents where the Truth is hidden and denied that Debbie & I have published our 2nd petition  demanding the House of Commons STOP Minsters spinning statistics.

We Deserve the Truth from our Politicians, particularly when their Polices result in Poverty, Abuse & Death, if you agree – Sign & Share the #NowPetition widely and help us #ImpeachDWP 

 

 

 

 

Petition 2 – HOC STOP Ministers Spinning Statistics

Yesterday Debbie Sayers and I decided it was time to follow up on our successful petition of last year. We like thousands of others on twitter & Facebook are Sick of the ongoing spinning of statistics but, and perhaps more importantly, the Work & Pensions Select’s 3rd Report  made three vitally important recommendations regarding this:

Use of DWP statistics

19.  DWP releases a great deal of statistical information about benefits. We have commented before that it needs to exercise care in the language used in accompanying press releases and ministerial comments in the media. 2013 saw heightened and quite widespread concern—including from the UK Statistics Authority and organisations representing disabled people—about the DWP commentary accompanying releases of benefits statistics. (Paragraph 141)

20.  The Government is doing a great deal to promote a positive image of disabled people, including in the principles behind its Disability Strategy and the Disability Confident campaign to help disabled people into employment. However, this positive action risks being undermined if the language used in DWP press releases and ministerial media comments accompanying releases of benefit statistics adopts a tone which feeds into negative preconceptions and prejudices about people on benefits, including disabled people. (Paragraph 142)

21.  We agree with our colleagues on the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) that Government statistics should be presented in a way that is fair, accurate and “unspun” and that this is especially the case when they are being used to justify a particular policy or a particular allocation of resources. We reiterate our view that DWP should avoid feeding into negative public views about people who receive benefits, and that statistics should be used objectively to shed light on policy implementation, not to prop up established views and preconceptions. We recommend that, in response to this Report, DWP sets out the specific steps it has taken in response to the comments from PASC, the UK Statistics Authority, and this Committee, to ensure that statistics are released in a way which is accurate, and fair to benefit claimants. (Paragraph 143)

This Report was published on March 18, almost two month ago and as yet the Government has not responded, and THIS is the reason we’re doing this now; It allows us enough time over the summer recess to collect signatures and write the accompanying report.

We believe it is imperative this Government, even in its closing terms, acknowledges the fact we have spent 4 years being abused by the press and media on the back of these false statistics, and their Ministers, namely IDS, with his juniors McVey, Penning, and before them Grayling & Miller, have been responsible.

It is these false statistics that have informed the very Policies resulting in the Japan Times reporting London tops world’s superrich cities; Britons’ use of food banks up 163%, Yes Japan; the countless false assessments of thousands of sick/disabled people, including the hundreds who have died waiting for their benefits, and for the Cuts and numerous other atrocities  made under Osborne’s False Austerity agenda!

 So, we’re Fighting Back in the only way open to us – our second petition is to The House of Commons to – Stop Ministers Spinning Statistics & Accept the Recommendations of Select Committees STOP Ministers Spinning DWP Statistics

For Justice for all of us suffering as a result of the vast number of immoral and unjustified Policies PLEASE SHARE this blog and most importantly SIGN 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

Together WE CAN OVERCOME – IN UNITY XXXX

Tweet #ImpeachDWP

Stop MPs Voting on Welfare – when they receive Housing Benefit!

The National Housing Benefit budget has been cut drastically in the past 3 years, particularly via the Bedroom Tax & the Benefit Cap and the Government persist in telling the Country it is the fault of those claiming.

Yet yesterday The Mirror reported, Richard Benyon, apparently the UKs wealthiest MP  receiving £625K a year from the State in Housing Benefit, this is “despite blasting the ‘something for nothing’ welfare state; he’s not alone either fellow Tories, Earl Cadogan, Sir Richard Drax and Lord Cavendish between them picked up a total of £227,170 last yearn and Andrew Charalambous UKIPs housing spokesman pocketed a healthy £745,351

These MPs then go into Parliament  justifying and voting  for yet more Cuts, all the while spouting the rhetoric of ‘lazy’ skiving, benefit recipients!

I believe this hypocrisy is wrong and they have prejudicial pecuniary interests; given this, Standards Committee must remind them. To this end I’ve set up a petition on Change org  to

STOP MPs who receive Housing Benefit via property they own, speaking/voting on Welfare topics, due to a prejudicial pecuniary interest.!

Please Sign and Share if you agree with me