Weasels

Weasels From the Amazing @juxtaposed – Enjoy

Half a ton of faecal advice
Half a ton of Sméagol
That’s the way the government goes
Outcrop of weasels

Fast and fat the parasites grow
Addicts love the treacle
That’s the way the hosts are betrayed
Blank cheque for weevils

In and out Conservatives rush
Sleight-of-hand and bluster
That’s the way the blue army goes
Tricks of a hustler

All along the concubine road
Turncoats lie spread-eagled
That’s the way the Lib Demmers go
Pimped and enfeebled

Here and there a ‘socialist’ squeaks
Scared of its own shadow
That’s the way the half-hearted play
Pop! goes an M. O.

Round and down the plug hole we go
Alice found a needle
That’s the way the money goes
Drained from the People

Everything the idiots bring
Is tainted, spun and crafted
That’s the way the weasels prey
Pop! we are shafted.

 

Police State Britain: Tories would arrest you for looking at them in a funny way

Another must read  blog on the same topic as my own – Social Control

They will change the law to ensure that their version of events and opinion on issues can be broadcast to the masses, while opposing views are gagged. Yet they describe all their actions as “fair”.

How would you describe their behaviour?

Get your answers in quickly; they’ll soon be illegal.”… 

Read More at Police State Britain: Tories would arrest you for looking at them in a funny way.

Control of the People becomes Law

Quite simply a law to remove the soul from the non Elite – Social Control at its highest

Tomorrow in The Lords the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill reaches its report stage, the penultimate phase before before it gains Royal Assent, enacting it as law.

I understand how it’s got so far without a major discussion it has some powers which on the surface appear to “protect the public“; including forced marriage, sexual harm and illegal firearms used by gangs, what’s to argue with there?

But scratch the surface ever so lightly and you find the new  ipnas (injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance) can impose this new ‘community service order‘ on people who have committed no crime; it will allow tenants to be evicted for deemed anti social behaviour, it will allow the police, under the  dispersal power  to remove people from an area where their behaviour is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress, or is likely to contribute to the occurrence of crime or disorder in the area. I could go but you really do need to read these new powers for yourself.

It’s the purpose behind this bill that worries me most, personally I view this as no more than yet another form of Social Control, this Elite Tory led government has persistently introduced Reforms and Bills that have removed or reduced the freedoms of the lower classes; from economic control via Welfare Reform, which I and others have covered in great detail. to removal of access to justice which even our barristers protest about!

It is the fact this Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill makes illegal any behaviour that can be deemed as ‘nuisance’  or liable to cause annoyance that is my greatest concern; because it actually allows the police to arrest any group in a public place they think may upset someone!

Can you imagine what this will mean to us in practice – your children aged 10+ could by arrested and issued with an ipna for playing too loudly; you take up your right to protest peacefully and bang – you end up with a criminal record! These are REAL possibilities.

If this worries you at then I urge you to contact members in the House of Lords,  tell them why this bill concerns you and ask them to reject it; please use your own words because as it says “if more than six copies of the same email are received, all will be deleted”.

And, if you’ve not signed the petition – please do so –  http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/53083

This is our LAST chance to STOP the Tories taking away our Rights of Innocent before PROVEN Guilty!!

The battle is over…let the War Begin

Well I’m back home in one piece although parts of me don’t feel as if they belong. It was a wonderful day on Monday meeting the valiant  Debbie Sayers, the super people from change.org  Ros from the Mirror and other campaigners Paula Peters & Chris Ball who both came with Cameras.

Aside from the day challenging my photo-phobia, it was fantastic that both Liz Kendall,Shadow Minister for Care and Older People & my MP and Kate Green Shadow Spokesperson for Disabled People took the time out to meet with us, receive the final 105,069 signatures on our petition & more importantly; both women actively listened to what we had to say.

The only thing that took a slight shine off the experience was whilst  we were in the gallery of the House of Commons there was IDS & McVey both up to their old tricks – spinning the truth or Lying as I prefer to call it. This desire for straight talking did lead to a slight change in the wording of the petition but I believe it made it stronger; the exact wording that was formally placed into the green bag on Tuesday afternoon read –

To the House of Commons.

The Petition of residents of the UK,

Declares that the Petitioners believe that Mr Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has used incorrect facts and statistics relating to the Disability Living Allowance; and further declares that an online petition demanding that the Work and Pensions Select Committee holds Mr Duncan Smith to account for his use of statistics has gathered more than 105,000 signatures.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Work and Pensions Select Committee to question Mr Duncan Smith at their earliest convenience to hold him to account on his use of statistics and further requests that the House requires Mr Duncan Smith to retract any incorrect statistics that may have been circulated in the public domain by his department.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

This now means that on December 9th when IDS goes in front of the Work & Pensions select Committee to answer to his misuse of statistics, 105,069 people request he not only is held to account but that he also RETRACTS his own lies and those of his junior minsters!

The day without doubt was a enormous success which I am extremely proud to have been a part of; now the question is What Next????

WATCH THIS SPACE…..

The First Tory Truth??

I think I’ve read the first set of comments from a Tory I can believe in! Today’s Guardian covers a speech by Cameron to the Lord Mayor’s  banquet  wherein he finally admits the “government is to forge a leaner, more efficient state on a permanent basis…We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently.” I’m sure most of you will agree the ONLY word in this that isn’t true us WE!

Prior to this we’ve been forced to listen to the Lies that he and his Tory collaborators have claimed the cuts were ‘necessary’  and built on need rather than through “some ideological zeal”.

This recognition does two things, firstly it terrifies me; if the people of this country are either selfish or uninterested enough, this man and his cronies might actually get into Government again in 2015. This would spell the END to any real support for the  mid/low waged, the un/underemployed the sick and disabled and anyone who has the misfortune not to be at least a high rate tax payer with private pensions and insurances for Health, job loss etc.

Secondly in a strange way in gives me hope; maybe people might come to the same realisation that many of us in those ‘lower’ socio-economic groups have grasped and decide her and now they will not sit back and let this happen. Perhaps people might decide to take note, determine to fight back against the current status quo and…more importantly choose to participate in the next election and Vote these Bastards OUT!

Interestingly as I write this I’ve also just seen an article in The New Statesman that concurs with my thinking.

Our Petition goes to Parliament at LAST

At last we finally have a date to submit our petition for the Work & Select Committee to hold IDS to Account for his persistent misuse of statistics; on Monday 18th November @ 2pm we are meeting with both Liz Kendall – Shadow Secretary for Care and older people and Kate Green – Shadow spokesperson for Disabled people at Parliament.

From there Liz will  place the petition in the Petition Bag (which hangs on the back of the Speaker’s Chair), and after presentation The Votes and Proceedings publication will record:

  • The petition’s subject matter.
  • Description of the petitioners.
  • that the petition was presented formally.

The full text of the petition will then be printed in Hansard. A copy of the petition will be sent to the DWP who are expected to offer observations which will also then be printed in Hansard.

This process guarantees we will receive a response which should be that IDS is attending the Select Committee on December 9th and there he will be challenged on his untruths.

If anyone wishes to join us in submitting our petition please let us know by commenting below before Monday 11 November.

Academic study confirms: fake psych test is tool of neoliberal manipulation

This is probably one of The most important blogs you could read, Skarkbox has been researching the so called ‘psych test’ for Job seekers for a while and now his findings are supported by Martin Willia in Academis.edu.  so if you only read one post this weekend make it this one…

Academic Study Confirms: Fake Psych Test is a tool of neoliberal manipulation 

Back in May, the SKWAWKBOX exposed how the government, via the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) and David Cameron’s pet project the ‘Behavioural Insights Team’ (BIT), colloquially known as the Nudge Unit, was coercing benefit claimants to take an unvalidated, unscientific psychometric test devised by a US ‘torture guru’ by threatening them with the loss of their benefits if they didn’t comply.

The government claimed that this test was ‘scientifically proven’, but the truth turned out to be very different…

 Another example of how thisGovernment’s Welfare Reform is built on manoeuvred by Untruths!!   

 

neoliberal manipulation.

Tory Lord Promoting Sham Employment??

Are the Tories so desperate to kill off those of us the DWP begrudgingly has been forced to concede are ‘Unfit for work’, ‘Unlikely to work in the near future’ & therefore are in the ‘Support Group’ for ESA; by tempting us to sign up to something that could technically put us in breach of our benefit ?

I’m one of the fortunate who successfully fought to be placed in the Support Group, so imagine my amazement when today I received a Direct Message on Twitter from a Conservative Lord –

Direct messages › with Sir Peter Bottomley

11h

recommend http://89.161.247.3/twitter.com.news.php

Curiosity overcoming me I clinked the link to find Sir Peter was personally recommending I pay to work from home?!

Indignant I decided to take a look at this ‘opportunity’; it seems I’m being invited to pay to participate in a scheme that actually guarantees me Nothing in return.

By becoming a member I would be agreeing to “For a limited time only, the cost of this product is $97.00 ( usual price $299.95 ) and every 32 days thereafter you will be billed the member’s only price of $9.95 for the monthly use.”  I suppose this seems a small amount to “basically make $6,000-$8,000 a month online”; and yet once I read the Earnings Disclaimer I noted “We cannot guarantee your future results and predict your future success. There are some unknown risks in as with any new business venture that COULD AFFECT YOUR RESULTS“. What a Surprise!

I suppose to a Conservative Lord and MP $97.00 is nothing but £60.68 is more than half I receive to keep 2 people, fed, housed, clothed and alive for a week; and this is with NO guarantee of a return. Further if I did elect to risk this money, surely I’m deciding I’m ‘Fit’ for work and therefore am no longer entitled to ESA??

I want to know, Why would a Member of Parliament be actively promoting a scheme to lose money & Why would a Lord of the Land be suggesting I put myself at risk of either losing my benefit or committing benefit fraud?

I thought I’d ask Sir Peter the question above, but apparently I wasn’t allowed to reply because he doesn’t follow me on Twitter; so I  tweeted “@PBottomleyMP Why are you sending direct messages to links for bogus employment? http://89.161.247.3/twitter.com.news.php.

Having little faith in getting a reply I also emailed him- Yesterday I received a Direct Message from you on Twitter…The link is a self employment working at home opportunity that requires me to pay $99.00 upfront to be guaranteed Zero return. Why are you promoting such?

I imagine I will receive many excuses and apologies for what will be called ‘an error’ and I’ll update any replies I do receive but, for me the real question is Someone physically used Sir Peter’s Twitter account to send this message and I want to know who is was and why they think sending bogus employment opportunities to people in severe poverty is a good idea??

The Poorest in Society are Doomed to Fail under The Coalition Government?

I always start the day by reading the online papers and this morning the Huff Post ran with a blinder ” England’s Poorest Children Start School in Nappies, Unable to Speak or Recognise own name..” ; this particularly resonated as my 3 year granddaughter started school last week.

My immediate reaction was shock and my mind rolled back 35 years to my first adult job. with pre schoolers; I found myself scanning all the children I worked with in my 6 years of work in this field, and found I had known a good few of them to whom this shocking headline could apply to.

I then turned my thoughts to the parents of those children and realised they ALL came from families struggling with a multitude of difficulties. Our response as staff In those days, was to ensure the parents had access to all the support they needed; this regularly meant linking the up with a benefits advisor, Home Start or similar, and the relevant officer from the Pre School section of Social Services, we would all then work together with the family to address the problems, Usually this approach worked and the children went on to develop and grow, often catching up and surpassing their peers by Junior school.

The biggest difference is today, in 2013, this support network isn’t there, the benefit advisors have been made redundant or moved, projects like Home Start have been decimated by Cuts & the Pre School groups are only financially accessible for a fortunate few.

It is this lack of non threatening, non judgemental help & support that particularly worries me; for the children who need extra attention and input, their families who also need the same, but also for the future of our Country.

I accept that many readers will probably be thinking it’s a parents job to teach a child the basics, potty train her/him etc , and whilst in regular circumstances I agree, it’s vitally  important to acknowledge the real difficulties people experience when they’re faced with a genuine struggle to survive,

It was recognised in 1943 by Abraham Maslow  in his Hierarchy of Needs theory  that when people don’t have access to their basic needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep. they cannot focus on anything else. Maslow’s theory has been criticised, challenged and adapted by many other scientists and business gurus but, they all agree that without our basic needs we do not fully function.

Similarly it is well established that when people are truly hungry, they are unable to think about anything other than food, and given we know that Food Banks are rising expedientially, is it really surprising that young children for the poorest families aren’t being taught to read?

I believe this is only the top of the iceberg, and as the real grassroot effects of 3 years of economic austerity continue to emerge into wider public conciousness, we will witness similar and countless other associated Societal problems, directly linked to the decimation of Social Security under the guise of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

Given this, without intervention the poorest sections of Society,  without a financial safety net, without access to recourse, without a network of support, have little hope. We know Poverty drains our intelligence, it disables us from nurturing our young, it prevents us from functioning as human beings and working together for a better future.

Therefore, unless those of us who still can challenge and fight, begin to do precisely what those deprived of basic needs can’t; come together, share our intelligence, support each other and lobby and work with those in Parliament who CAN make a difference, surely The poorest in Society are Doomed to Fail under The Coalition Government?

McVey ‘answers’ Politicians, even if she ignores us!

As many of you know I, along with Debbie Sayers have been engaged in a battle to try & get Esther McVey to answer an open letter signed by 866 others, that we sent in April. The letter challenged Ms McVey’s misuse of statistics regarding the introduction of PIP on 4 key areas   This letter was supported by several Labour MPs and Michael Meacher MP, was one who also asked Ms McVey for an answer; well he DID get a reply on August 5!

Unfortunately it is a wordy 3 1/2 pages but in order for you to decide if Esther McVey answered our letter, below is the body of her response: (Missing from the below are 3 tables, figures relate to the relevant docs linked)

DWP statistical release procedures

Throughout the development of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) we have published a wide range of information to keep claimants,disability organisations, and the media informed about exactly what is happening. This includes answers to frequently asked questions, a range of statistical and ad-hoc reports, impact assessments, and a suite of information products to provide support to organisations of and for disabled people.

We aim to provide figures and statistics that are accurate and appropriate. Many of our statistics are produced from high quality sources that allow detailed analysis to be conducted. The majority of our statistics are also formally assessed by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) and designated as meeting the standards for National Statistics, meaning they are fully compliant with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, and we invite UKSA to assess new statistics each year.

Reform of Disability Benefits
I turn to some of the specific points that have been raised. The 2004/05 DLA National Benefit Review estimated that levels of fraud in DLA were around 0.5 per cent. However, that review also found high levels of incorrectness in awards with an estimated £630 million (11.2 per cent of the case load) being overpaid and £190 million (6.3 per cent) being underpaid.

I can confirm that over half of claims are made without additional medical evidence. The report cited was our own ad hoc statistical report”DLA Award Values and Evidence Use for New Claims in 2010, in Great Britain”. This report clearly demonstrates that over half of all decisions are made without additional medical evidence; 16 per cent on the claim form only and 36 per cent using other additional evidence other than an independent medical. factual report or examination. (Table used page 8)

The following table from our ad hoc report “Analysis of DLA: DLA Awards” provides clear evidence that over 70 per cent of the current caseload continues to have an indefinite award while the remaining 29 per cent has a fixed term award. Although we are able to reassess the level of award, there is no systematic way of ensuring that awards remain correct unless claimants report a change of circumstances which leaves disabled people more vulnerable to incorrect claims. (Table 2 )

In relation to award lengths, additional guidance introduced around three years ago provides greater clarity for decision makers. The new guidance made it clear that indefinite awards can continue to be made where appropriate, including following an original fixed term award. Whilst this has driven down, for the time being, the numbers of indefinite awards, such awards continue to be made.

 Although we are implementing changes for the working age caseload first, we have always been clear that reform of OLA is reform of the benefit as a whole. For example, in our first consultation document, “OLA reform”, we said we would consider to what extent the new assessment could apply to children, recognising that their needs may have to be assessed by age. We have further clarified that, before we consider broader reform, we want to see how the assessment works for working age adults and that we would consult on any changes. Similar considerations will need to be taken for’ pensioners although reform for people of working” age “will clearly begin to impact pensioner benefit numbers as PIP recipients age. Our use of overall caseload increases is, therefore, entirely valid in the context of DLA reform. The analysis report, “OLA: Growth  in the Number of Claimants 200/2103 to 2010/11 “, provides evidence that around a third of the growth in the caseload can be attributed to demographic factors, with the remainder due to an increase in receipt per head. The report showed that between 2002/3 and 2010/11, growth in the whole caseload was 29 per cent. Of this, 21 per cent can be attributed to an increase in receipt per head, which is partly due to the maturing of DLA. The remaining 8 per cent is due to a growth in the population and a change in its age and gender structure. Specifically for those aged under 65, demographics account for about a third of the growth, which includes growth due to increases in the population and changes in its age structure due to the ageing of particular cohorts. The remaining two thirds of the growth is due to increases in the percentage of the population claiming DLA. We are absolutely committed to reform of DLA and getting the introduction of

PIP right. That is why we have decided to extend the reassessment timetable and take more time and learn from the initial stages of delivery. This will allow us allow us to consider findings’ from the first independent review of the assessment, which will report by the end of 2014, and “ensure the assessment is working correctly before we embark on higher volumes.  In the longer term, it will also help us evaluate how, and to what extent, reform of DLA can be extended to all claimants.

The Department has a strong record of producing and publishing a wide range of data and information. I am committed to this and we will continue to put all the facts into the public domain so that the public can make their own judgements. As a rule, all correspondence to Ministers from MPs is usually signed off at an appropriate Ministerial level. However, given the large volume of correspondence that is sent direct to Ministers by members of the public, it has long been the practice for officials to respond to these enquiries on the relevant Minister’s behalf.

I hope this reply is helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

Clearly this is a much more detailed response than the one we received from the ‘Head of the Correspondence Team’ on June 28 2013; however despite its wordiness, I don’t feel it answers the points raised in our original letter? Neither does it address the issue of the persistent manipulation and misuse of statistics

What has become even more revealing though is the content of this letter was not only sent to Michael Meacher; the body of the reply reproduced above, was also sent to Tim Loughton. MP after a signatory asked him if he could obtain a response from Ms McVey!

To me this clearly indicates two things; the contempt with which Esther McVey treats the people, who obviously aren’t worthy of a considered response and the lack of regard she has for her Honourable friends, who also don’t merit an individual and honest reply.

Intriguingly Ms McVey is not the only DWP Minister that believes it is acceptable to behave in this way; only 2 days ago Mark Hoban Minster for Employment, fellow blogger Skwawkbox demonstrated Mr Hoban acting in this exact manner!

This behaviour increasingly appears to be the regular modus operandi for the Tory Party, as they blatantly rampage across the Policies and Laws of our land, pillaging & cutting our Rights to Freedom, Equity, Justice, Protest & Welfare, justifying their actions with manipulated statistics and blatant Lies.

If this wan’t awful enough, to me what’s even more disconcerting is, the majority of people losing the way of life their parents/grandparents fought for, appear to be indifferent to exploits of this Government?

I know as we grow older and look back, it can often be with ‘rose coloured glasses‘, where life appears to have been happier, fairer and friendlier but, in the case of life in Britain 2013, this is not so. Life WAS better pre the Coalition Government, not perfect but certainly better; disabled and other vulnerable people weren’t hounded by the media as scroungers and fakers on a daily basis; most workers were employed on contracts that meant they know what they would be paid each week/month for X hours; Food Banks were not growing expediently to try and ensure people don’t starve. These are only a minute number of examples of how life WAS better 4+ year ago, to find more try browsing any social media site for a few minutes.

This is the life we get when we allow Politicians to treat us & their contemporaries with the scorn outlined above, I believe they need to be reminded that it is us, the People they answer to; We elect them & We can get rid of them. For the sake of our children & grandchildren We have a duty to not ignore this behaviour any longer.

If you’re angry about what you’ve read say so, but, more importantly tell Ms McVey & Co