Tory Cuts KILL – perhaps it’s because they’re Psychologically disturbed?

Yesterdays news was full of the latest findings from Institute for Fiscal Studies demonstrating  the ConDems Changes to the Tax and Benefits system has cost households £1,127 a year on average, and even the Mail concedes this means “poor families have lost the most as a percentage of their income“; and yet despite this, the Government still maintained “UK income inequality is now lower than when this Government came into office“.

I doubt anyone will be remotely surprised at the Coalition disputing the data, this is another example of how this unelected Government has persistently and systematically Lied to the people.

There been countless claims on social and even occasionally in main stream media about the number of people dying as a result of Welfare Reform, and those of us involved in any of the campaigns to raise awareness, need no persuading this is an absolute truth. The situation where respected organisations produce solid date, which then gets refuted and spun by Politicians is the pro forma stance by the Condems.

Lucy Mangan in Today’s Guardian writes maybe the best answer I’ve read in the national media – “If you don’t understand how people fall into poverty, you’re probably a sociopath“, this is something many of us on social media have said on countless occasions, and it certainly seems to apply to Cameron, Ids and Co, but what does this mean in reality. A Sociopath is listed in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), as an Antisocial Personality Disorder, with a “propensity for violence, a remorseless mind, indifference to others’ rights and not caring about ethical behaviour or laws”; this suggests the cabinet at the very least is led by people who have a recognised psychiatric disorder.

If we accept this as an explanation as to why those in question behave the way they do it explains much, perhaps this is how IDS can laugh as fellow MPs relate tales of hunger and starvation from their constituencies, why vital cancer treatments can be denied because of a budget target, and precisely why The poorest were not hit hardest by tax and benefit changes by chance: it was by design. 

However explaining what is behind the behaviour of the Government doesn’t help us, what it can do is offer us another argument to demonstrate just how damaging the current Government is the the nation’s people. I expect I will now receive the popular refutation of Political parties all being the same, I do not concede with this . I do agree given the definitions above, all Parties do have certain members to whom this may be applied, but this is not reason to do nothing; we have an opportunity in May to rid ourselves of this dysfunctional group, and we Must, for the sake of the people take it.

If you accept any of the above argument, don’t sit on the proverbial fence of having no choice, reclaim your personal power and pass on the evidence – the unelected Party in power today are Unfit to Govern and MUST GO.

Join us in our campaign to hold #IDS to account and sign IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES and make at least one of the Sociopaths answer for his actions

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 

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

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

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

Expenditure for campaigns                                       Year Campaign Total amount

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

IDS and his Armed Bodyguards: Are the Police Arming themselves against the People

An intriguing post from Beastrabban which considers the issues of an increase in armed Police – Well worth a read, and if you agree, follow the advice therein!

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

My blog post on the reports that IDS appeared before the Work and Pensions committed surrounded with bodyguards and armed policemen, who intimidated members of the public, including a group of disabled people and their carers, has attracted a lot of attention and comments. Some of the most significant and ominous have been made by Slugabed, Joseph Jesus and CAS.

Regarding the legality of police officers raising the guns at innocent civilians, CAS commented:

‘Police officers broke regulations if they pointed the guns at you and their fire-arms licenses should be revoked. They are trained to never aim a weapon at anyone, even one that is not loaded, unless those people pose an imminent threat and are being arrested. You should never aim a weapon at anyone unless you are willing to shoot them; this is basic firearms practice. Such a weapon may fire accidentally, even with the safety pin…

View original post 1,147 more words

IDS at W&P Select Committee – Was it worth it??

By now you’ll have all read many accounts of how IDS performed at the Work & Pensions Select on Monday; how ‘he got way with it’, his choice use of language, his need for bodyguards etc.

It’s taken me until today to write my account, this is due in part to initial feelings of fury and outrage at his behaviour and the seeming inability of the Select members to nail him down; also the trip itself – a 220 mile round day trip to London with complimentary train tickets courtesy of The Mirror, which in regular circumstances is relatively easy and enjoyable, has left me feeling as if I’ve physically and mentally wrestled with dinosaurs!

Prior to gong into the Select Committee I met with Kate Green MP to get her views on the persistent misuse of statistics by IDS and his junior ministers; I was impressed by her clear understanding of the complexity of issues around misusing statistics, and how this has resulted in a press witch hunt against disabled people and the clear links to an increase in hate crime; she also spoke of her desire ensure this behaviour does not go unchallenged in the future. We went on to talk about the issues we as disabled people have experienced under the Coalition and I left her hopeful that we have a shadow minister who not only understands how we have been treated but who is determined to listen to and learn from us when writing her part of the Labour manifesto for 2015.

Leaving Kate my long suffering carer & I went to the 1st floor to the Wilson room where the Select was due to start; as we came out of the lift I had to hobble past IDS, Fraeud, the 2 Civil Servants due to give evidence, and a further 10 bodyguards and junior aides, none of whom moved or even acknowledged my existence, to join with fellow campaigners and journalists queueing to access the meeting. As we patiently waited, IDS refused to look in our general direction, he stood amid the huddle of bodies as if trying to seek shelter, in total contrast Fraud persistently shot looks across the top of our heads as if he wanted his glances to be bullets.

Inside the room IDS demeanour changed, he was on his turf, the playground of Politics, ready to hit back at all and any claims he was in any way wrong; begrudgingly I have to admit that he knows and can play what he clearly sees as his game; I can only liken it to a sporting match with the opponents knowing they have the ability to win but…fail to believe it.

The worse thing with this is whilst the opposition continue to act in this way IDS will continue being the bully boy and WE will keep paying the price; having watched this spectacle unfold I’m convinced there is only one thing we can do, we must make the opposition fear us more than they fear him. This requires all of US suffering and dying under the Policies and Cuts of IDS & Co to unite; to cause these peacocks realise just WHO is in it together and that WE have had enough. The reality is we’re Dying because of their game playing, so WHAT do we have to lose?

The Petition we, Debbie Sayers & I started, asked for the “Work & Pensions Select Committee to Hold IDS to account for his use of statistics“; well they tried but, as I ask in the title of this piece, was it worth it? I think it’s time for us to decide; today’s Mirror contains Ros Wynne Jones account of Monday and closes with something I said to her outside the Select “We haven’t got 18 months to wait for an election. I don’t want to think what the figures will be by then of how people are living, and even how many of us will be left. We’ll keep up the fight and keep campaigning. It doesn’t end here“; I am absolutely convinced this is true but now it’s over to you – Was It??

 

ESA Assessments DO Have Targets?!!

At last, Kaliya Franklin,  has produced the evidence we all have been waiting for – Proof that ATOS & the DWP operate the ESA assessments against Targets!

This means People must both score the number of points required for benefit receipt and fall within the proportion of people the norms system will allow to receive the benefit. In other words it matters not how many points you might score if the target has already been met your claim will be denied!!

Read Kaliya’s post at – Benefit Scrounging Scum: and her full report here How Norms Become Targets

Pls send this letter to your coalition MP

If You are unfortunate enough to have a Tory/LibDem MP, here’s a great & simple challenge:

I would therefore like to enlist your help to send a letter or email to every coalition MP that cuts out – or at least renders overtly embarrassing – the option of doing the same thing in response. Hopefully, the wording of this new missive will at the least focus the attention of the recipients on trying to actually respond to the questions asked, rather than parroting some lines that simply sidestep them.”   

Interested it’s easy follow the link and get copying & pasting Friends

 

Pls send this letter to your coalition MP.

This is an excellent way to clearly demonstrate how concerned the ConDems are in your opinion!

HAVE FUN