Time for ALL Survivors of the Hostile Environment to come Together

I’m not the first to say this, Leon  , has both blogged and tweeted as have others and I want to reiterate an belief I’ve written about before

I believe it is now time we multiple survivors of the ‘Hostile Environment, created and managed by those in power, came together. The  racist and discriminatory treatment of the people in the #Windrush generation has appalled so many, and I truly get it. 

We disabled people have spent the past eight fighting to survive as our lifelines have been slashed away and we have lost thousands of our community already as a result. But the discrimination, which I believe it is continues, just as it will for anyone considered unwelcome by the elite.

We who feel this way are no longer alone Kenan Malik in the Observer today considers how the working classes have been used by obscure the racism of the elite; Barbara Ellen raises the points of how the powers are continually abusing homeless people, and in a slightly older post Dt Frances Ryan links the Cuts and Austerity to those with low/no incomes face similar discrimination. These are by no means the only groups striving in this Hostile Environment, spare a thought for Refugees, those trafficked in modern slavery, Rape and Abuse survivors, EU Citizens, the groups are mind blowing.

I am sick of being kicked, threatened, intimidated and abused by the Discriminatory Policies and Actions of the Elite and if you feel the same, then what are the options? We come together to make the Statement of Enough heard , we continue surviving until we can no longer do so or we become as the German citizens did under the far Right; the Choice is Ours to make.

So again I ask is it not time or ALL of subjected to the prejudices of those in , and those who really hold the power came together to say ENOUGH, Change Must Come and it Must be For the benefit of us ALL.

The hows and means are for a later discussion firstly we must decide Together WE Can

 

From Leon (as above)

We should start using those two words (Hostile Environment) in all communications with the DWP whether that be over the phone, in the Job Centre or indeed its contractors who are contracted to create it

All you have to say is ” I feel discriminated with all this hostility”

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Lets Talk about #Inequality – The Core Tool of Oppression

As a tutor of Inequality issues, if there one thing I’ve learnt over the years (In)Equalities is one of the topics that impacts on every Policy, everyone, everyday. If this sounds improbable it’s possibly because Equality is generally only attached to Human Resources in employment, Finance in Politics and rarely in schools and at home; however I would argue Equalities should be at the core of everything we learn, say and do.

I write this from the presumption that everyone suffers from Inequality in some way, whether that be via the labelling resulting from the ‘isms’, from one of the countless strands of financial inequality, or even from the (lack of) capacity for empathy.  This supposition is one that often causes conflict, with many people unable to recognise how, those in the 1% group controlling the worlds wealth, can experience inequality. My counter is, without experiencing or recognising the lifestyle of others, we lose compassion, and without this we cannot adapt our opinions, nor access the tools we need to positively challenge inequalities.

I fully understand the difficulties in this, as a blogger I usually write about current issues experienced by disabled people as a result of Welfare Reform and I use the blogging experience as a way of sounding off; thus I rarely write from the position I’m advocating today. However there is a vast difference between passing on tales of discriminatory polices and making a constructive argument for change, hence my option to use today, as my professional contribution to discuss what I consider to be, the greatest challenge the majority of us face today.

In order for regular people to be in a position to make a real difference, we need to collectively influence current Politics; and we can only do this if the majority of us make the same argument to our Politicians. Imagine if you will, every candidate for MP next year meeting/receiving communications on a daily basis, from numerous constituents; all offering similar constructive reasons why the Austerity measures don’t work and comparable equitable cases for the way forward.  Would they then be so keen to ignore their voters, particularly as then they would be subject to Recall?

This is the process required to champion for Equalities across the board, people naturally fear what we don’t understand, and fear is the greatest reason for attitudes of inequality. It is this lack of understanding and knowledge that allows the likes of UKIP spread untrue statistics around immigration, it underpins the rhetoric for scrounger agenda driven by the Tories for Welfare Reform and it is fear of big business owners, the 1% that results in yesterdays announcements that the UK is the only  country in the G7 where inequality has grown!

Trends in inequality

The majority of us irrespective of personal differences are scraping by, whilst the 1% are accumulating more wealth than the can ever use; this if nothing else ought to be enough for us for us to recognise where the real Inequality lies?

History has taught us that knowledge and learning is the key to challenging Inequality, and when we do we are in a position of power;  I consider  it is a fear of this power of majority, that drives the 1% to insist upon the continuation of Unequal Policies and Laws, Inequality is the core tool of oppression. Perhaps when we agree precisely who, benefits from Inequality, we will be ready to demonstrate our desire for Equity in all areas? And remember what the people demand is often what the people get

 

For Blog Action Day 

 

Blog action day 2014

 

The Government Denies DWP Lies…YET…here are MORE “Lies and Damn Lies”

The Government has responded to the W&P Select Committee’s investigation of performance of the Department for Work and Pensions in 2012-13 – and as we expected the Government’s response is full of rhetoric of how well the DWP is doing and focus on the range of processes to ensure their Statistics are always good.

These include

Select Recommendation –  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

Response – DWP is : is very careful about the language used when referring to benefit claimants, making clear that it is the system itself that has for too long trapped people into a life of welfare dependency. That is why this Government is making such a radical overhaul of the benefits system, to restore integrity and ensure that everyone who needs help and support receives it….statistical releases are produced and published separately to and independently from other Departmental comment or publications. Great care is taken by our statisticians to ensure the statistical releases are easy to read and understand, and are balanced and impartial….Training courses have also been run for Press Office staff, together with guidance having been issued on the use of statistics… ensure ministerial and official public statements are accompanied, whenever possible, by the released data and/or a link to the statistical release to which the press release refers. These statements are cleared with the relevant analysts for their statistical integrity.

And on it goes, defended the DWP and denying its ministers ever use inaccurate or false statistics.

The day after despite all the hype we learnt IDS & McVey are staying in control of the DWP, we witness another set of “Lies, damn lies and failing DWP bedroom tax report“.  Joe Halewood  in this excellent post, which I strongly suggest you read points out “On the same day as the cabinet reshuffle the DWP released a 163-page interim report into the bedroom tax.  Unfortunately this deliberate burial of a report is the best that can be said for it as it really is that bad“. He continues to identify major errors both in the writing of the report and a number of lies contained within it

For me this situation demonstrates precisely WHY we must continue to demand this Government deal with this situation, as despite the official response to the Select…the position remains the same. People from minority and oppressed communities are increasingly being blamed for the state of the nation; whilst Government continues to not only perpetuate this with their Lies but also through denying any responsibility or fault.

For thiese reasons, please keep sharing the #NOWPetition and show the Government WE the People WILL scrutinise them and we WILL Demand our RIGHTS to the TRUTH

Thanks all

 TRUTHCampaign #NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

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

 

 

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 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.