MPs should work for less than minimum wage – oh no, it’s the disabled who are a drain on this country isn’t it?

As advocates for disabled people and having provided support, guidance and advice to disabled people looking for work and for employers who want to consider employing disabled people we are fully aware of the realities of disabled people in the workplace and find that Mr Davies’ comments are not only wrong (on so many levels) but utterly and completely evil.

He has shown us a clear and unequivocal example of ‘institutional discrimination’ as anyone could wish for.  Not only is he uninformed, he is insulting beyond belief – he should not apologise, he should resign and head for the darkest corner he can find and thank God that he doesn’t have to himself endure the kind of life many disabled people face every day of their lives – a prison sentence that has no parole and where the light at the end of the tunnel is death.

A wrong but honest reply in The Mail only goes to show how ill informed employers are; the long term disabled are far more reliable because they actually know what their barriers are and have spent a lot of time adjusting and managing them the result of which is greater reliability rather than less.  We could give an endless list of examples such as how PP, a blind person has replaced two ‘able’ bodied people on a switchboard and retains phone numbers, doesn’t need a directory, has perfect voice recognition and so makes his employer seem able to offer a personalised service to all his customers.

Many disabled people have been failed by institutional discrimination from education onwards but it only takes finding (or making) the right opportunity for them to be able to shine – often brighter than their ‘able’ counterparts.

There are suggestions of a “trial run” for disabled people which seems, on the face of it, sensible but consider how discriminatory it really is; are ‘able’ people required to work without pay to prove themselves, of course not – there is a probationary period during which people prove they can do the job.

Institutional discrimination is rife in this country and even those who feel they ‘understand’ the needs of the disabled often do not – the problem we face now is that the previous and current governments have set up to demonise the disabled of this country and present them as scrounging, whining lazy and complacent layabouts which cannot be further from the truth.

Government spin prevails and the most vulnerable suffer as a result; when has it every been acceptable to prey on those who face barriers in every day life that would exhaust most ‘able’ people after a week of effort?

 

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Jobcentreplus leaked memo puts lives at risk

The Guardian reports on a “six-point plan” being distributed to DWP workers dealing with job seeker’s who
claim to be suicidal. Here it is in all its glory:

  1. As most job seekers are liars and cheats many threats of suicide are likely to be bogus. It is important to establish the genuine suicide cases from those who are attempting to skive workfare provision. Job seekers should be asked which methods of suicide they have considered, or whether they have taken opportunity of the countless suicide website’s to research their opinion and network with other suicidal individuals. Have they found a suicide buddy yet?  Fifteen minutes access on the Job Search computer may be allocated to job seekers to research suicide websites as well as the effective fatal administration of prescribed medication, self-gassing, hanging, slit wrists and stabbing themselves in the heart. It is vital that job seekers are empowered to make choices about options themselves, with the encouragement and continued support of the DWP.
  2. Once satisfied that a job seeker’s claim of feeling suicidal is genuine then it is important vulnerable claimants feel motivated and empowered in this decision. Explain to claimants that suicide may well be an appropriate outcome for some people and that they should not feel stigmatised or discouraged by friends and family. Many job seekers who have committed suicide in the past have been completely successful outcomes for the DWP, with none seeking further benefits or training support. Whilst we remain committed to finding people employment at Jobcentre Plus we fully recognise, and will co-operate with, the more complex needs of some of our target group. No-one is to be discriminated against for committing suicide.
  3. We recognise and understand that for many long term job seekers suicide can seem challenging and
    daunting. Encourage claimants to take small steps. Suicide statistics reveal that suicide attempts, far from being selfish, are in fact a ‘call for help’ with many going on to kill themselves properly in later attempts. DO NOT DE-MOTIVATE CLIENTS WHO ATTEMPT SUICIDE AND FAIL! Remind them gently there’s always a next time and discuss more effective methods of self-administering fatal injury.
  4. It is not uncommon for job seekers to become anxious or agitated in the lead up to their suicide. Whilst distressing for client advisors, who may well have worked hard towards this outcome, these doubts can be overcome. Explain to the job seeker that they are worthless and their lives are not worth living.  Referring to them as chav scum, parasites; useless eaters is perfectly acceptable in this case. Re-enforce any negative or self-destructive behaviour whilst cautioning against statements of self-worth, dignity or confidence. The DWP is investing heavily in encouraged suicide, in return we expect suicidal job seekers to ‘do their bit’ as well. It is entirely appropriate to discuss the possibility of benefit sanctions if the client appears to be ‘bottling out’.
  5. Whilst all methods of suicide are to be viewed as ‘positive outcomes’ it is important to distinguish responsible suicide from irresponsible and anti-social behaviour. Throwing yourself from a bridge or under a train, whilst it has a positive impact on unemployment figures, may put pressure on other Government agencies. A quiet suicide, in the job seeker’s own home, is to be encouraged.  If the client is homeless then jumping in the Thames on a cold Winter’s night may be a seen as a reasonable and environmentally responsible approach.
  6. Workfare providers A4e will be rolling out the Work Programme Suicidal Clients Option soon. Job seeker’s will spend thirty hours a week at A4e’s offices being told they are shit and worthless. It is anticipated that this will dovetail with A4e’s current job search provision, meaning both mainstream and suicidal clients can be told they are shit and worthless together. This will not only minimise
    costs, but will allow clients previously considered ‘job ready’ to consider whether more appropriate action may be taken towards a successful outcome for the DWP.

The above is courtesy of http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/ and while it all sounds a little far fetched, in reality this is exactly what happens – the DWP and JCP continue their witch-hunt against the most vulnerable while themselves guilty of corruption and fraud on a grand scale.

Elderly dry up and blow away while fat-cats are anchored by the public purse

The blight in government apparently knows no limits.

MPs are sucking the public purse dry with their £2million a month expenses bonanza because they seem incapable of making a move without a payment of some kind from the tax-payer to compensate them (over and above their salary of course) where even a KitKat is too much for them to pay for.

All the while, residents in over 1,800 care homes for the elderly and disabled around the country are being left in conditions which Neil Duncan-Jordan from The National Pensioners Convention says “a dog would not be left in”.

Is it so much to ask that our elderly and disabled get the same treatment that the MPs expect for themselves?  Be treated with some dignity and concern?  But no, they are a burden on society, they are parasites in the eyes of the government and must be brushed aside while the more important matters such as where the next summit meeting on poverty and hunger will be held or if in Europe, the time of the next spa treatment.

Apparently it is and while MPs line their pockets, clean their moats, have mock Tutor frontages on their houses – all essential to their job of course – at the tax-payers expense, elderly people are wasting away for the lack of a drink of water or being poisoned by incorrectly administered medication.

This country is a haven for criminals and the majority of them can be found under one roof in Westminster.  This is a sick country and it’s at the point where the only way to save the patient is amputation.

You’ve got to admire government ‘spin’

Those clever buggers in the government have got to be admired for something and we’ve decided that it is ‘spin’ that gets the Admiration Award.  How else could the likes of this:

 champagne guzzlers and 8-figure bonus boys contributed to the loss of billions of pounds, yet the likes of:

 this old lady gets to pay for the bail-out; and the likes of:

 this lives a life of luxury on council tax while:

 he battles to access services in the community and the likes of:

 this decides the fate of millions of people, while the likes of:

 this man faces an uncertain future.

Spin puts a halo above the heads of the thieves and liars while putting a pitch-fork into the hands of the most vulnerable in our society – you’ve got to admit …. that’s clever!

DWP, Grayling and Duncan-Smith – not fit for purpose

It is reported in The Telegraph that Chris Grayling, minister for employment, suggests that up to 800,000 people will be assessed as ‘fit for work’.  What this is saying is that ATOS, the French IT company who recently won an extension to their contract with the DWP and were awarded another £300million over the next three years have been given a target of ousting ‘a significant number’ of people off Incapacity Benefit.

Mr Grayling’s ill-informed suggestions aside, perhaps as Employment Minister he’d like to direct the nation to his set of policies on job creation because there seems to be a distinct lack of them in the marketplace.

Many people have been channelled onto Incapacity Benefits by the government (it doesn’t matter which colour) as a means of massaging the unemployment figures into a downward trend to support other policies at the time.

We now have a government that is trying to blame those on IB for being there and suggesting that they are at fault when they were put there by the DWP of the time.

Yes, it’s right that everyone should have access to a job; to feel the pride of supporting ones family, of having a purpose in life but to suggest that the pool of available jobs around the country can be filled by those coming off Incapacity Benefit is simply spin of the most inane order.

Yes, Mr Average in Brixton would love to get the salary that goes with the job in Brighton but he doesn’t necessarily have the skills and won’t be selected for interview because he’s outside the area and even though Duncan-Smith feels that they can ride the bus to the next town it is entirely possible that the umpteen hundred other applicants will be closer.

ATOS is being paid £300million to purge the benefits system of people who have been marginalised and socially stigmatised for many years, some to the point where they know no other life other than being on benefits – it’s not right but it’s not necessarily their fault.

Whether Mr Grayling wants to admit it or not when he says “The goal of a reassessment is to provide specialist support to those   who have the potential to return to work. There is no financial target.   There is no goal to achieve.” he is quite simply lying through his back teeth.  There are hidden agendas; there are financial targets and motivations for ATOS and there is a goal of ousting as many people from the benefit as possible – regardless of ability.

There should be job opportunities for anyone who is fit for work or even those who want to overcome their disabilities and find a job anyway but there simply are no jobs of sufficient scope and magnitude to satisfy the need; not everyone has an aptitude for clerical, office or IT work; not everyone has an aptitude to work outside or to work with their hands but there are no opportunities for anyone to find out what their aptitudes are and this is the fundamental problem.

While small business owners are being red-taped into oblivion the government is content to see up to 73% of the working population in certain areas working for or on behalf of local or central government.  There is no need for creativity in government, only the ability to push paper and abdicate responsibility, clock up as much TOIL as possible, go home early, avoid controversy, retire on a pension paid by others and die.

When the DWP use terrorist laws to close down companies that create jobs for disabled people that in turn serve the community while themselves running monstrosities such as Remploy which lose £2.2million a week and put disabled people out of work while paying their executives £million’s in bonuses despite ‘requests’ from Duncan-Smith to reduce those bonuses, we are left wondering what exactly is the purpose of the DWP, Iain Duncan-Smith and Chris Grayling?

Where are the job making plans Mr Grayling?  Where is the support for the small business to provide jobs at a local level for individuals?  Where are the opportunities for manual workers, training for apprentices, development of skills being lost through a lack of training; who will build tomorrows world – robots?

The DWP can run their own witch-hunt, Mr Grayling should be concerning himself (as minister for employment) with where the jobs come from – how people will be able to take control of their own lives, that is his role and he doesn’t seem to be doing it very well.

TERESA MAY SAID IT HERSELF – THE DWP IS “NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE” AND CERTAINLY CHRIS GRAYLING AND IAIN DUNCAN-SMITH HAVE PROVEN THEMSELVES INCAPABLE OF RUNNING A ONE TICKET RAFFLE.

Thieving whitehall civil servants want to keep cookie jar closed

Senior civil servants who are responsible for the unlawful spending of vast sums of public money on luxury items via the public-purse funded ‘procurement’ cards (or credit cards to you and us) are fighting tooth-and-nail to keep their dirty secrets away from public scrutiny.

This begs that age old question – what do they have to hide?  We’ve already seen £millions spent on things that no government department can justify – including thousands of pounds in Soho ‘private members’ clubs.  These so-called mandarins know that money has been spent inappropriately and that they will have to account for that spending when it reaches an outraged public.

We are very keen to see how departments like the DWP have spent our money – we already know that money has been spent on £561.25 for fast food; £10,542.55 at ‘gift, card and novelty shops’; £1,045.74 at ‘home supply warehouse stores’; £524.40 at ‘record shops and a whopping £68,162.00 at catalogue and retail shops (Argos); £544.85 for ‘family clothing’ with a further £77,732.74 for books, newspapers and periodicals.

When young mothers are taking their babies in their arms and jumping from buildings ending both their lives because they have been pushed to despair and desperation by the DWP benefits witch-hunt while thieving civil servants at the DWP are spending hundreds of pounds at the local McDonald’s, who can expect anything but contempt for these people – where is the justice; where is the equality?

These ‘civil servants’ have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar and are crying because they have to account for their theft and greed; they are following hot on the heels of MPs, council officials and even the so-called expenses watchdog – there is nothing right about this situation yet we’re expected to put up with it.  Lawful Rebellion is certainly on our agenda as wave after wave of corruption and deceit come to light while the rest of our poor sheep are expected to cut back.

WE’RE MAD AS HELL AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!

DWP – the unfairness of the capability test

For anyone who is interested in the topic but not the machinations of The Guardian here is an article published Friday 3 June 2011 containing letters from readers.

I support the views expressed in several articles in your edition of 1 June (Experts: cuts create mental health crisis; Letters; Was listening to the doctor’s diatribe a part of the test?) relating to the government’s targeting of the most vulnerable in society, ie those afflicted with mental illness, in order to produce minimal savings. The personal capability assessment is aimed at depriving those who currently struggle to cope of a small amount of weekly financial support. This is not only necessary from a financial point of view, but has the even greater value to the recipient in that it provides some kind of security in an existence often ridden with anxiety and fear. It is little wonder that some who have been subject to the threat of having this removed have sadly been driven to take their own lives.

It is incomprehensible that any government should feel that those in this category would choose to pose as ill and “cheat the system”. I would hazard that every single one of those entitled to the support would exchange it instantly for a cure of what is a much-misunderstood illness. Moreover, the concept that a multiple-choice test (as it would seem to be) with very general categories could generate any sensible information on a condition that can not only change on a daily basis, but even within one day, illustrates a total lack of understanding on the part of the company that has been brought in to implement this strategy, an example of the private sector being allowed to benefit from the frailty of others.

Susan Randall

Cambridge

• The government says it is committed to a “fair and accurate” work capability assessment. The distress and injustice caused by this new system needs to be publicised far and wide.

My brother died last week of kidney cancer. He was diagnosed a year ago and at Christmas was told he had about four months to live. In the spring he was summoned for a work capability assessment (by this time he had two brain tumours) and found fit for work. In addition to everything else, he became anxious about losing the small amount of money he was living on. He was asked to go in to the jobcentre for an interview but was too ill at the time. On 19 May he received a letter from Jobcentre Plus telling him he was to be treated as having limited capability for work. The medical officer overseeing his case had advised that “death within six months is unlikely to occur due to the client’s cancer” and there would be no “substantial risk to his mental or physical health if he were found capable of work-related activity”.

He died six days later, having been unable to get out of bed for four weeks. What work were they suggesting he was capable of? He asked: “What have I paid national insurance for if not help to pay the bills and feed me at a time like this?”

Claire Debenham

Brighton