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

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 

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

Armed Police in Parliament – Is this right?

Further to many accounts from the past three days of both IDS & Pennig turning up at Select Committee meetings with several armed police; and the more from disabled people saying how they felt intimidated having guns pointed at them, I have to wonder what is going on?

This seems to be a fairly new development in fact when I asked Paula Peters from DPAC, who has been attending Select and other meetings at Parliament for years she said “last year they patrolled the ground floor and security, they never went upstairs, security from September to now at parliament has been stepped up dramatically; have never seen armed police in any corridors before but the security has been raised to substantial”.

I noted in my blog from the W&P Select on Monday, I had to hobble through this group of armed police to join the queue waiting, but I failed to note a small incident that happened earlier in the day; whilst I was meeting with Kate Green, my carer was straining to see the art work liberally placed around the central lobby of Portcullis House, Kate noticed and suggested he go to view it. Minutes later he returned having been stopped from crossing the lobby by a security guard and told “You must stay with your MP at all times”; asking sarcastically no doubt, ‘what about the loo’ she replied – “You Go with her and You Wait”! Kate’s response to this was “that is not true” as she  shook her head, some comments around ‘jobsworth’ were then shared and we laughed it off.

It does seem that this current ministerial behaviour, needing to hide between bodyguards, is at yet, confined to Ministers of the DWP; however is this behaviour indicative of how we, the public, are being viewed by Parliament? If so I’m concerned on several levels; is it have the powers that be become seduced by their own rhetoric, and now perceive anyone who is interested with Democracy and their Rights as a terrorist? Or does it speak hidden volumes as to the mental health of certain Politicians, do they really need help with living with Paranoia?

Whatever the real reasoning behind this raised security, it is in my view unacceptable that disabled people, lawfully engaging in Politics, are left feeling terrified by armed police. Even if a genuine risk assessment reveals a true threat to the lives and well-being of Politicians; is that any reason for highly trained armed men to use their weapons in a threatening manner – I think NOT?

These men are fully aware and capable of doing their jobs in a professional manner without their weapons being pointed towards wheelchair users; and in my opinion, there is NO excuse for this.

DPAC has published an personal account of their experienc of this along with a Freedom of Information request which asks questions as to the reasons and I for one look forward to the response