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

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 Rationale behind Poverty Street Media?

Poverty StreetIndependent Voices today carries a piece discussing the 200 year tradition of writers and the well to do ‘visiting’ the poor to see for themselves how we live; I suppose if my 19 Century great great…grandmother were able to access the articles and books scribed of these visits she may well have felt as I do – incensed. The difference is she most likely didn’t, indeed she would have been fortunate to be able to read, never mind have access to what was written.

Today these journeys into poverty have become a sport; each time I read articles of yet another new TV ‘reality’ show, with a few very wealthy people spending a week living with a poor family, I feel sick. Truthfully I’m not quite sure who I’m most angry with – the so called celebrity who I doubt participates with pure philanthropic reasons, the TV production team who pretend their programmes are documentaries, ( OED definition–  to provide a factual report on a particular subject) or the families hosting the show? Perhaps this is in part, down to my working class upbringing – you don’t wash your dirty linen in public, but whatever my personal reasons for my fury, I certainly do not appreciate my peers being treated as a different breed of human, one fit only to be examined under the microscope of a camera.

This latest round of the dubiously named Famous, Rich And …(this time)Hungry is the fourth is the series from the BBC, and having previously ‘investigated’ Slums, Homeless and Jobless,  what has been the outcome –  have the participating celebrities learnt so much they now dedicate their time and money to resolving these very real problems, or has the lives of those who shared their misery altered? I can find positive evidence of neither option; this is the same with ITVs 2011 offering ‘Home is where the heart is’.

So what is the real purpose of these snapshots into life on Poverty Street, – to allow those fortunate individuals not surviving there, sit back and after 55 minutes and using the remote control, switch off their conscience as the credits role; I put to them, since when did I and my peers become nothing more than creatures to be observed from the safety of the sofa?  However it must be noted, the ever growing number of programmes like this play no small part in the ongoing Systematic desensitization of the public; repeated exposure to the vile and increasingly deadly results of Welfare Reform and other Government Policies actually neutralises their effect; it is possibly for this reason, the public generally, are not reacting.

The only way to address these results is through the use of critical thinking, we’re all told to read the small print at the bottom of official papers and this is the same idea, you wouldn’t automatically trust someone you don’t know with your money or your children, so why trust the the Government or their agents with the same? We’ve had years of rhetoric from the press and media repeatedly reporting how we on poverty street, are here out of choice; we’re lazy, scrounging, skivers who create our poor health through our inability to find a job, budget, eat well and become disabled as a result. This combined with such TV spoon feeds the national with their ‘truth’  “Apart from the telly and the cigarettes, they’re living like animals“;  well yes I am an animal, and I’m from the same species as the celebrities, reporters and producers that create this fodder, and those above them that endorse it.

Both the Director General of the BBC – Tony Hall and the Director of ITV – Andy Haste certainly belong to the Elite in terms of finance, earning £450,00 and a whopping £2,56627.20 in 2013/2014 respectively; and it is these, predominately men, and others like them that determine the content and the messages of the media. And the the fact these media designers choose to label me and my Poverty Street neighbours as lesser, raises the question of why, what is there to gain by his persistent outpouring of uninformed negative press?

It is proven that “use of Fear-provoking words like poverty and illness stimulate the brain in negative ways”  it can impair logic, reason and communication; used repeatedly it can “damage key structures that regulate your memory, feelings, and emotions”  and “ make you more prejudiced toward others” ; given this, the relentless declaration of blame upon us residents, isn’t as harmless as it first appears.

This is the reason why I implore everyone who watches/reads this media onslaught doesn’t merely ‘switch off ‘ afterwards, and muse on there for the grace of…personal deity; but instead asks the question who made the rich zoo-keepers of the poor?

And if you’re not convinced, the next time you read or watch this hype, – think of IDS & Co saying this   George OrwellAnimal Farm

Comrades!’ he cried. ‘You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.”

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 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.