Archive for the ‘campaign’ Category

Transgender Wars- Silencing the Debate-Updated


 

I have watched with dismay the fight for Gender Recognition and the proposed GRA, which has been very divisive and nothing short of vicious by some on both sides of the debate. Unscrupulous press articles which lack content by some are scandalous and harmful to both sides . It seems common sense has left the building altogether. I am not going into too much depth in this blog or it would resemble something fitting a masters degree thesis but I will be  attempting to engage in rational debate and provide a balanced argument for both sides , but if you want drama look no further than social media. It has also split the communities affected, the Unions and Political Parties

One thing this debate is about is ‘Human Rights’ to live in peace and have respect for each others differences. Secondly this debate is deeply entrenched with patriarchy as well as misogyny and religious fervour governing  the  social control of the masses to conformity of ideology,and plenty of hormones.

The GRA as it is Since the passing of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) in 2004, the UK has had a mechanism by which a person can acquire a legally recognized gender different from their sex. Under that law, a person with a gender recognition certificate (GRC) becomes legally the other sex for most purposes, though there are exemptions set out within the GRA itself. For example, the inheritance of aristocratic titles is exempt, as are what are termed “gender-affected” sports. This was passed under Blair’s Labour government after a decade long campaign by Press for Change, and a number of important legal cases about privacy and the right to family life going to the European Court of Human Rights.

To be able to get a Gender Recognition Certificate currently, one has to be over 18, diagnosed with gender dysphoria, have lived in one’s acquired gender for at least two years, and intend to do so permanently.

In 2010, the UK’s legislation on sex, race, and disability discrimination was brought together under the Equality Act, together with six other protected characteristics, one of which is “gender reassignment.” This is a broader category than people with GRCs, and protects from discrimination anyone proposing to undergo gender reassignment, as well as those in the process of doing so and who have done so.  At the same time, the Equality Act has exemptions that permit single-sex services, occupations, communal accommodation, and sporting activities where these are a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

 

The Change The proposals put forward by Justine Greening MP who was, until recently, the Minister for Women and Equalities, would allow applicants who wished to achieve legal recognition of a gender status on their birth-certificate that accorded with their gender identity, to do so by a simple process. They would be able to self-declare without the need for a ‘diagnosis’ of gender dysphoria. The Exceptions above in the Equality Act 2010 would also be removed to allow those who transition into spaces that they identify with.One way to simplify things for trans men and women would be to allow individuals to self-declare the gender in which they choose to live, without the need for medical evidence or proof.

 

 

Over the decades the rights of women have been in the spotlight, highlighting the positive rights that have been hard fought and won by many who suffered greatly to ensure they had a voice, from the right to vote to equality in many areas of life which is still ongoing, equally that also included gay women who fought for the right to be accepted into the women’s movement  because they are biologically females. Society has moved on to a more liberal footing encouraging acceptance & tolerance in many areas of life, then along comes other differences over the decades including transgender,non binary,and self ID etc. This should be a watershed moment but instead it has turned into a campaign of hate and oppression and neither side is blameless. For decades the warring factions have just got on with it and been accepting and supportive of transgender rights until now, where the threat to women’s rights was met with some anger by the feminist movement and seen as a perceived threat to their hard fought protections, who rightly or wrongly, fear a watering down of  those protections.

 

So how can this be resolved to the satisfaction of both sides? Certainly not the way the debate is being framed.

Many feminists see this as mansplaining steeped in patriarchy and misogyny & sexism to invade women only spaces and to eradicate the rights of women per se as they claim that if GRA goes through in its present format it means anyone can call themselves a woman,so therefore their bio-sexual orientation is erased and to a degree I can see that argument particularly for women and children who have suffered domestic violence situations this is only space they feel safe in.  Growing up under male oppression in a society where men had privilege over women  is what some call a ‘lived experience’ from menstruation to childbirth and violence towards them by male counterparts always seen by society as weaker sex to submit to their male counterparts wishes,or the portrayed temptress leading men astray because they are too weak to control their desires. This is one thing that trans women cannot  say is their  lived experience when a considerable part of their lives they grew up with male privilege,however they can identify with the  ‘violence’ they suffer generally by males who feel their masculinity is threatened, the same applies with gay women, as often but not exclusively  the aggressor is male. Women and children are often victims of government policy to keep them in their place, like the hideous rape clause recently introduced.

Violence is ‘violence and abuse of power’ by another, this goes on in relationships regardless of gender and in same sex relationships too, and no one should be subjected to this kind of aggression and those who commit such acts should be called out and prosecuted accordingly.

 

The trans women feel that this harms them considerably and imagine feeling trapped in the wrong body and unable to express their natural feelings it most certainly is going to damage you mentally and emotionally in the same way an abused child is affected for life by their experiences and no human being should suffer ,because it is seen by society as outside the majority lived experiences. According to the recent ITV programme Transformation Street which was portrayed positively, As of April last year, there were 280 patients in the UK on the list for gender reassignment surgery and another 169 consulting on the process, according to the Imperial College Health Care Trust. Figures published in July showed that the number of children being referred to gender identity clinics has quadrupled in the past five years.  Since 2010  650,000 people have come forward to ID as Transgender with 86% not having fully transitioned.Prices at this clinic start at £5,000 for procedures such as Adam’s Apple reduction, chin shaping, brow contouring or a nose job, rising to £35,000 for full gender confirmation surgery, which is a four- to five-hour operation and only lower surgery is on NHS.Historically, female to male transitions have been less common but now they are on the rise — and patients are getting younger. The minimum legal age for gender reassignment surgery is 18 so many young people that have attempted suicide, or have been estranged from their family because of gender identity .

Guardian Update:

Schools are supporting increasing numbers of transgender students, using a variety of guidance from the teaching unions and charities such as Mermaids (which has a grant of £35,000 from the Department for Education to deliver training to 35 schools).

This rise is reflected in referrals to the children’s Gender Identity Development Service (Gids), run by the Tavistock and Portman NHS trust, which increased by 1,978% – from 97 in 2009 to 2,016 in 2016-17. Of those children, 70% are biologically female.

Bernadette Wren, a clinical psychologist at Gids, says many young people seen by the service have been bullied or self-harm, and a number are on the autistic spectrum.

They feel they have a right to be included in society and treated like any other person and live the life they chose in the gender they feel comfortable.

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) asserts that medical evidence should not be necessary for trans people to gain legal gender recognition. WPATH says “no particular medical, surgical, or mental health treatment or diagnosis is an adequate marker for anyone’s gender identity, so these should not be requirements for legal gender change.”Indeed, 17 countries, including the UK, have already adopted the approach that medical treatment is not a prerequisite.

 

The amount of reading I have done to understand the issues from both sides has been phenomenal and lengthy. There is an awful amount of misinformation in both camps about the real issues and heavily influenced by the USA and the intersectionality argument which originated  regarding a court case about women of colour ,facing racism and sexism being used by some as the way forward,which to my mind only clouds the issue further.I get the argument for it but the origin has seemingly been hijacked to justify a course of action.

Intersectionality is a term that was coined by American professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. The concept already existed but she put a name to it. The textbook definition states: The view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity.15 Jan 2014

1.Political intersectionality is a form of structural intersectionality that addresses sexism, racism, class exploitation or homophobia in policy-making processes and policies. It indicates how inequalities and their intersections are relevant to political strategies.

2.Structural intersectionality refers to how a person’s legal status or social needs are marginalized (Shields, 2008). Representational intersectionality refers to the cultural construction of the identity, including the production and the contemporary critiques of the identity (Crenshaw, 1991).4 Feb 2016

 

Journalist Eleanor Robertson wrote in the Guardian 2017

Intersectionality is the buzzword to end all buzzwords, the term that launched a thousand hot-takes, a discursive sinkhole where political disputes go to die. Depending on who you ask, it’s the most important theoretical innovation in feminist history; the cancer that’s killing the left; a critical tool in on-the-ground organising; or a totally meaningless liberal shibboleth. I am not overly invested in trying to claw back some kind of clarity on what intersectionality “means”. Like much of the work done by feminists and queer theorists around the same time, there is a certain ambiguity to intersectionality, if only because many of the people interpreting it come from this poststructuralist milieu.

The abuse some face, is both verbal,and physical threats of violence and name calling seems to be most prominent which I will not be repeating or including in this blog because as a decent human being I find them all equally offensive . I have seen some extremely aggressive behaviour by some which I have found unacceptably distasteful and bigoted.  The statistics are flimsy and poorly researched material and quoted regularly. It would do everyone a favour if there was independently fully funded long term study with a long term view of providing accurate research/stats for both sides . According to the Trans Murder Monitoring Project  8 people have been murdered between 2008-2014 in the UK, Home Office Hate Crime figures of transgender   have steadily risen to the current figure of 1,248 between 2011/2012-2016/2017.

The barrage of articles recently from both camps from various journalists and academics leave many affected by the debate more confused than when they started out, as rational debate is silenced and those who shout the loudest seem to get the most coverage. If we are to change with the times then it is a debate that is needed and both sides should be invited  to put their arguments in report form on the table so that they can be independently scrutinised by those tasked to make a decision. Its is reported that the Tory government put this on the agenda when the opposition stated if they didn’t, they would, when in power. A consultation is due to be announced in the Autumn but many have concerns that like many consultations the decision is merely a formality as the decisions have already been made.

I have linked many articles and orgs from both sides below……………You Decide but lets have a real discussion without the abuse

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535764/Government_Response_to_the_Women_and_Equalities_Committee_Report_on_Transgender_Equality.pdf

 

https://sexandgenderintro.com/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/30/intersectional-feminism-jargon

https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/transformation-street-itv-transgender-documentary-a3737876.html

https://womansplaceuk.org/

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/why-do-we-need-new-women%E2%80%99s-movement#.WqQC7UubaG8.facebook

https://medium.com/@julian.vigo/the-invisible-woman-gender-identity-in-the-age-of-neoliberalism-33f9e1203b0a

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32979297

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/31/man-explains-what-means-be-woman

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/04/private-gentlemans-club-allows-first-woman-member-150-year-history/

http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/theorising-feminist-transphobia.html

https://medium.com/@GappyTales/a-crisis-of-misogny-a-plea-to-the-labour-party-4ce9d39e11c4

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/03/transgender-activists-and-the-real-war-on-women/

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/gender-recognition-act_uk_5a9417f5e4b0ee6416a5400f

https://thedebrief.co.uk/news/politics/gender-recognition-act-law-change-sex-trans-transexual/

https://www.transgendertrend.com/professor-robert-winston-joins-transgender-debate-share-concerns-young-children/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5041267/Backlash-Lord-Winston-gender-operations-warning.html

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/lord-winston-warning-on-sex-change-surgery-sparks-abuse-v0c6q95pb

https://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k1312

http://rosieswayne.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/unqualified-lesbian-swerves-abruptly_23.html

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/lgbt-britain-trans-report

https://www.equality-network.org/your-rights/gender-recognition/

https://www.gires.org.uk/

http://www.petertatchellfoundation.org/gender-recognition-act-time-for-reform/

http://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/

http://uktrans.info/

http://www.edf.org.uk/government-equalities-office-announcement-gender-recognition-act-consultation/

https://www.socfem.net/faq#q1

http://www.counterfire.org/articles/opinion/19538-as-a-trans-woman-this-is-the-unity-i-want-to-see

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/the-current-debate-about-whether-trans-women-are-women_uk_5a71b6a9e4b00248476f1506?utm_content=buffera7be3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

https://www.sparkle.org.uk/single-post/2016/11/25/Parliament-Debates-Transgender-Equality

https://medium.com/@tom_farr/the-left-are-abandoning-women-and-in-doing-so-abandoning-everything-they-stand-for-51fd63457d8c

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/02/the-violent-misogyny-of-the-gender-debate/

http://www.feministcurrent.com/2018/01/04/thanks-trans-activism-2017-saw-return-old-school-sexist-dismissals-women-womens-rights/

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/03/fear-and-loathing-grips-the-gender-debate/

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/17/elena-ferrante-even-after-century-of-feminism-cant-be-ourselves?CMP=share_btn_fb

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/women-have-every-right-discuss-changes-law-could-affect-them

https://gendercriticalgreens.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/a-feminist-view-of-gender-identity-politics/

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/may/15/transgender-row-teachers-afraid-challenge-breast-binding#comments

 

 

Advertisements

The Letter David Gauke will not be expecting and won’t want to receive


Related image

Image Courtesy of the The Telegraph

 

Mo Stewart – Independant Researcher WCA……..After her letter to Mansel Alyward one of the architects of the WCA and  her extensive research and publication of her book Cash Not Care , Mo Stewart has sent a explosive letter to the current Secretary Of State David Gauke. I have been granted permission to use it for my blog. One thing that springs to my mind is I would love to be a fly on the wall when he reads this to see his face. For too long now this government as blagged it way to convince the public it is justified to cut benefits to disabled people. This researcher keeps holding them to account.

Redacted Letter to SoS David Gauke by Gail Ward on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/368603275/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-OfbQJpuEQVhzoVpl48LA&show_recommendations=true

 

Mo Stewart -Independant Researcher writes to Mansel Aylward -WCA


Image result for Mansel Aylward

 

 

Independent Lead Researcher Mo Stewart and Author of Cash not Care has been a thorn in the side of those who came up with the biopychosocial model of disability for many years and has been relentless in her determination to bring to the attention the harm being caused to disabled people by the WCA assessment process which has instilled fear and dread amongst the disabled community. I am publishing her letter to this man  in May 2017 as those in the community and beyond need to read her work and her book, about the demolition of the welfare state. This hasn’t been accidental process but one that has been designed , and even when respective governments have been told this is a flawed process governments continued to use it with deadly effectiveness.

Redacted Letter to Mansel Aylward Public Health Wales by Gail Ward on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/368592854/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-Y0JF0JK0uyx1xVvAjeuk&show_recommendations=true

IAPT -The Governments Magic Cure for Mental Health


75629_107145729354964_2536493_n

Most people will have heard of CBT therapy for helping those with mental health problems, some may have received it and felt it helpful,but for the majority with serious mental health problems this will not make a jot of difference and in some cases cause more harm. What is insidious about this is that it will be forced upon those who claim Social Security payments in helping them get back to work with their new  health and work programme which is integral to Universal Credit.

This is most likely going to be part of the so called ”Universal Support’ in Universal Credit where the government has target groups, and I’m sure this isn’t the worst of the many packages this government proposes to force upon those groups mentioned in my other blog ‘Universal Support’.

The government in its wisdom wants to half the disability employment gap which most governments have failed to do consistently for decades. The base rate of 5% has never really changed,so it is folly for them to think so , as employers are reluctant to take on people who have mental health or other disabilities let alone the many with chronic ill health which is never catered for in any policy they dream up.

Work is not a ‘cure for all ills’ as this government would like to peddle to media and swallowed by the gullible public who seem to resent our very existence until they are affected personally because of selfish desires not to pay taxes for those needing support from the state,which I hasten to add have paid their own taxes until they became mentally unwell or disabled, so are eligible to claim payment,after all that’s what NI was all about an insurance to cover you if you fell on hard times .

In an ideal world it should be standard practice for disabled people to obtain work on merit if able, but it all comes back to that real issue of ‘productivity and profit’ so  majority of disabled people don’t tick that box precisely because we are not as productive as our able bodied counterparts by the very nature of disability,being off sick when things are bad, hospital appointments,or regular treatment or surgery.

Its a no- brainer to a rational thinking person, but we know our government don’t think like normal people, they just dream up pointless expensive schemes to waste taxpayers money to show the public they are doing something even though they have demonstrated  most fail and cost more than paying benefits in the first place.

Many more dark oppressive schemes are coming to light so we must be vigilant and stand up against forcing people to be so distressed that they harm or worse death to its citizens. It is not like we don’t know how many have decided to end it all over the constant pressures they are put under daily by the DWP monsters, who are out of control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Will It Take ……….


 

 

What will it take for the people of the UK to wake the hell up? There is hell of a difference in a british stiff upper lip to standing idly by, and getting shafted right up the rear end. The Government openly shows it contempt for the people time and time again and all you do is shrug your shoulders and walk on by those less fortunate, and blame them for the countries ills. Today Budget is for the wealthy yet again while most of the population is crawling on its knees to survive. Angry doesn’t come close and you should be angry too.

Without workers ,nurses and doctors,teachers,emergency services and many other professions this country would not be able to operate, the machinery would stop, yet you all seem content with having your faces rubbed into the mud, or your palms crossed with silver  while the wealthy fleece you and take the clothes off your back and food out your child’s mouth or for some bizarre reason think you are part of a class you are not. You work, your Working Class! 

Globally we are a laughing stock  and productivity is low while this shower of traitorous fools laugh in your faces while asset stripping our country. You want to take your country back well get off your high horses and do something about it, stop ignoring the reality. We are not a poor country and these ideological policies are designed to make the poorest pay for a crisis they created by their constant mismanagement  for decades and the constant crises would have removed any other Government from power forthwith, so who is pulling the strings besides the obvious global barons and media corps?

Now they want to invest in technologies that make you redundant and driverless cars, while not investing in solar power  and address the climate changes that are killing us all, including the animals we share it with.

We have families surviving on food banks , diseases long gone returning,malnutrition a potential public health timebomb building,rising numbers of homeless people on our streets , disabled people denied their rights and a basic income, our elderly freezing to death or being cruelly beaten in care homes  and suicide rates escalating around the globe and worst of all a total disregard for human life unless you are productive  and this is progress .What fucking planet are you on?

 

This social engineering project needs to stop!  It is time to remove this Government from power before it is too late for the many,not the few.

 

The Abuse of Power In a Corrupt Society


 

 

This isnt the easiest thing to write, it may anger many (which is not intended),but we need to understand how the abuse of power works on the psyche of people who are the downtrodden victims of a corrupt government.

The Blame always belongs at the top of the chain, but more often in a culture of blame we misdirect our anger to those struggling within the corrupt system to enact policies which are grossly unfair and cruel by its very nature of its design. So we have a government which is rogue and a dictatorship that now cannot be denied, however things can change. We can change it by changing our thinking, by garnering information and using it to make that change happen.

We all remember  lab rat experiments where they place food in one place and poor rat goes back time and time again choosing to get electrocuted in the  hope it can eat, well thats precisely what this government are doing to its citizens right now. Its starves them and controls them with deprivation of basic needs, but what if we choose to turn it on its head and not play the blame game. For the last 8yrs many disabled people and those with chronic ill health, the unemployed and carers and workers have been subjected to such experiments,at the really harsh end of that pointed stick,however many others have too, some knowingly and some who just found themselves in the place of choosing to do what morally is right or keep their heads down out of fear in such a unstable job environment.

These same tactics were used in holocaust, people lived in terrible fear and the horrors that ensued cannot be denied to the victims who lost their lives in such appalling circumstances. Where they were encouraged to report neighbours because failure to do so could result in their own demise, helping those poor souls in need  of a hiding place could at flick of switch result in your death as well as theirs, where people followed orders they knew were wrong but out of fear complied none the less as their own survival depended on it. We are all parts in the machinery, some more important than others from the government’s standpoint.

 

So you think what am I waffling on about?  That is now being repeated in 2017 under this Government, and those before it, the similarities cannot be ignored any longer, when the UN has twice slammed this government for human right abuses of disabled people and a society which is largely unaware of what is happening as the government control the propaganda releases. The problem with it is the last 8yrs of successive governments have managed to experiment on its citizens in the biggest behavioural science project ever thought of ,using the flawed ideology that its all your own fault that you are unable to find work , or that you live in poverty since the late 1920’s. The divide and rule tactics that ensure we blame everyone else for our misfortune or treatment, rather than the ‘real culprits in power’ who create policies of harm,while forcing others to do their dirty work. Claimants have been scapegoated by the government to such a degree that society has swallowed the rhetoric wholesale, rather than blame their bosses for ‘piss poor wages’ or ‘zero hour contracts’ which caused a huge inequality between worker and claimant, then it was immigrants stealing our jobs or terrorism, yet the real reason that jobs are not being created to give a living wage. To exploit you and keep you begging. The DWP have blamed ATOS et al and vice versa, the NHS has been absorbed into DWP now hence why the likes of big business giants like ATOS,Maximus,CDHA,G4S,Capita et al all grabbed the multi million pound contracts out of pure greed while treating their staff with same disdain that ‘if you dont like it piss off’,when in reality ‘real’ jobs are not available creating fear in workplace through lack of workers rights or fear of becoming one of the downtrodden, they willingly or unwillingly oppress daily. Yet now more suffering will be inflicted via  Universal Credit and the Health & Work Programme only this time it will affect workers too, almost no one will be unscathed.

Governments blame councils and workers demands for breakdown in services we all need daily, so while you turn on the frontline staff, they are cutting budgets faster than you would believe year in year out, all deliberately done to under fund and force privatisation  while literally making a killing themselves from profits as they dip their bloody grubby little hands into every conceivable project they can to turn a profit. Gradually reducing most services to its knees and letting others go to the wall and sold off so they can profit from that too. The welfare state is no different it run like a business hence the use of the word ‘Stock’ they are stocktaking the country for the biggest sale in the world to highest bidder,the USA and China being major players.We are stock and services are stock.

 

Why so they can then sell you Insurance products to bail the banks out again , yes the ones that sold you down the swannee river  before when they crashed the economy in 2008.  It is they who will profit if you can afford to buy their products, and many will deny your claims too and if you can’t afford a policy tough shit you will just snuff it like in victorian britain where if you were poor you were denied,exploited and worthless if unable to produce profit for your elitist masters benefit.

I get why people are  so enraged by the way they are treated having been through process myself many times,  I feel every death just like rest of society that actually gives a fuck, as a compassionate person who wouldnt?  This brings me back to my point of setting us against each other, while they literally get away with murder,but you are blaming other workers for trying to survive,while your masters rule over you  and serfdom is re-created where you doff your cap for the crumbs on offer at the table. We owe this change of thinking to those we have lost along the way.

 

Dont be a Lab Rat! Fightback against your oppression, take the reins from their hands and then we can change things for everyone in society and get people caring for each other again, where we don’t treat others any less favourably than ourselves.Don’t collude in oppressing others who oppress you because it their job  .That’s real change! Thats a Future to look forward to?

 

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mo_Stewart/publications

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BypgDGmCVGDTYWktZ0lpMDFiczQ/view

https://dpac.uk.net/research/

https://benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/3013-sobbing-decision-makers-plead-with-claimants-not-to-appeal

https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2016/nov/12/assess-disability-benefits-esa-fit-to-work-dwp

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/universal-credit-report-hidden-dangerous-policy-decisions-that-will-cause-harm/

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/universal-credit-the-conversation-nobody-is-talking-about/

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/cuts-that-will-cut-deep-it-is-time-to-say-enough/

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com

http://www.nsun.org.uk/assets/downloadableFiles/ALDONSKOY-Workfare-coercion-in-the-UK_AL-Donskoy2.pdf

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/rogue-company-unum-had-a-profiteering-hand-in-the-governments-work-health-and-disability-green-paper/

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/government-plan-further-cuts-to-disability-support/

 

The 2 yr Job Rule for Disabled on Universal Credit is not True!


 

In the last few days it has been widely reported by various bloggers that those disabled claimants claiming Universal Credit are subjected to finding a job within two years or face a 1 year sanction. This is utter fabrication and feeding many claimants fears which could potentially cause harm. So today I called Welfare Rights ,who called DWP while I remained on the phone, they denied that this information was correct and was downright alarmist and dangerous. That doesnt mean I trust DWP and have submitted a FOI too given 7 years of shenanigans. So you see folks, you can take the fear project and destroy it with Facts!

Those who will be put on Universal Credit (UC) will have to sign the claimant commitment regardless, some will be subjected to full conditionality some will have their conditionality limited depending on the circumstances, and subject to sanctions if they fail to comply with the agreed commitments they agreed with work coach via the Work Plan,My 4 steps,My Values documents.  (Document links provided at bottom of the blog.)

As promised last night, the SKWAWKBOX has been looking further into conflicting reports from DWP insiders concerning the WRAG (work-related activity group) category into which the government, more or less arbitrarily, places some disability benefit claimants and the possibility of sanctions after a fixed period of two years under the Universal Credit (UC) system if claimants have not found work.

Some activists insisted that this was part of the UC system and this was initially confirmed by long-term DWP employees. Others subsequently disputed it. The only thing all were agreed on was that the rules are ill-conceived and extremely confusing.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted a PCS union official who specialises in UC for clarification and received this response:

 

I’ve been looking at the regulations and I can’t find anything that refers specifically to a fixed time limit in which to find employment.

That is right, because no fixed time limit exists in the regulations

 

The ‘disabled’ argument, as I’m sure you are aware, is notorious because ultimately the Department through the provide contractors are essentially able to define who is fit or not for work.

For example, a claimant maybe moved from ESA to UC on the back of a WCA [Work Capability Assessment]. The claimant may disagree with the decision but they are stuck.

If they are adamant they are not fit for work, they could refuse employment in an environment they believe will affect their health.

 

If they have been found to have no Limited Capability for Work, they cannot refuse employment. The fact that claimants think they are unfit for work has been the main issue with the flawed WCA since 2008

 

This is where the sanction process comes in – a 13wk, 26wk and 156wk sanction could apply (although similar regs existed prior to UC and the 2012 Welfare Reform Act if not as harsh or severe).

 

In this case you’re looking at failure to apply, not accepting work or leaving on one’s own accord. Their argument is they aren’t fit, the department will still look at sanctions.

The circumstances described here apply to somebody who has not been found to have Limited Capability for Work.

 

The sanction regime is clearly arbitrary, deeply unfair and dangerous – but there is no rule mandating a fixed time-limit for a claimant to find work.

Again no time limit

 

However, another PCS/DWP source warned that while the rules don’t include such a limit, the way they are applied may not be as clear cut:

I can tell you that we have received complaints from WRAG claimants about having their ESA revoked after two years. And now they are treated as JSA claimants because they are ‘fit for work but not necessarily their precious occupation(s)’.

ESA cannot be revoked. It simply cannot be claimed after a claimant has been found fit for work. Previous occupations are not a consideration. That has always been the case.

 

Sanctions have been applied because the claimant has not fulfilled their requirement to find work. The purpose of the WRAG was to enable people to return to work despite being disabled, but this component has now been removed as WRAG claimants are now treated as jobseekers.

 

WRAG claimants under UC are described as having Limited Capability for Work.. They are not required to search for, be available for and start work, and cannot be sanctioned for not doing so, but they are required to accept work preparation requirements within their commitment and attend WFIs

.

 

Other WRAG claimants have been booted off ESA or the sickness element of UC after a period of two years because they failed their WCA – deliberate decision to bully them back to work.

 

Some claimants will fail their WCA after 2 years. Others after 6 months, 12 months  etc.

2 years is actually a prognosis period, meaning a number of people are reassessed at this stage. Unless there is any evidence of a pattern, this period of 2 years is meaningless

 

Thanks too to Anita Bellows who has worked with me on this 🙂

 

So you see folks, you can take the fear project and destroy it with Facts! 

https://www.scribd.com/document/353594773/4c-ESAHWC1

https://www.scribd.com/document/353595852/CC-O18-E15

https://www.scribd.com/document/352833734/CC-Work-Preparation-Activities-v1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/353603319/1359203507-UJcompanyleafletJCP

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185048/CC-Requirement-to-Accept-a-Claimant-Commitment-v2-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185364/cc-commitment-not-accepted-v1-0

https://www.scribd.com/document/354185650/My-4-Steps-Template

https://www.scribd.com/document/354187257/1816-my-values-1-pdf

https://www.scribd.com/document/349517725/UC-Claimant-Committment

https://www.scribd.com/document/349520361/FTS-FTP-in-WFI-and-Failure-to-Undertake-Work-Related-Activity

https://www.scribd.com/document/349517543/Handout-08-01-Commitment-Pack-v7-7

https://www.scribd.com/document/354182466/Dealing-With-Sanctions-Facsheet-4

https://www.scribd.com/document/353627563/HWC-Exemptions

 

Read Frank Zola Blog below;

https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/disability-rights-uk-disrightsuk-questions-why-dwp-esa-health-work-conversation-mandatory-foi/

Update…….. “The Article originally produced by SKWAWKBOX. Claiming to that Disabled Persons could only claim UC for 24 months, is a mishmash of quotes from Gen William Taggart, who was actually talking about an Early ‘Draft’ of the Welfare Reform Acts. At no time did Gen. T directly associate this with Disabled Persons, in fact it was just a heads up for activists/advocates etc, to remember not to get complacent about the Statutory Instrument placed within the Welfare Reform Acts. “

 

Further confirmation from DWP to my FOI

My FOI response

“Claimants on JSA or UC, who are expected to look for and be available for work, must do all
they reasonably can to find and take up a job. However, the DWP sets no specific time limit for
how long a claimant is given to find a job.
Sanctions are only used in a minority of cases when people fail to attend work-search reviews;
fail to meet the work-related requirements they have agreed in their Claimant Commitment;
fail to apply for work or take up an offer of work; or leave a job, without good reason.
The DWP does not have any statutory powers to sanction or reduce benefit payments solely on the basis
that a claimant has been trying but has been unable to find work within 2 years.”

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/js_a_two_year_clause#incoming-1019979

Universal Credit Report -Hidden dangerous policy decisions that will cause harm


This report from Disability Campaigner Gail Ward is a must read for all benefit claimants and those claiming  ‘in work’ benefits claimed by millions in the UK. It has plenty of references and downloads contained within the document and it will alarm many, it should, as this government is targeting the poorest in society at the expense of saving the rich. Some of those already transferred will know the horrors already highlighted recently by Citizens Advice (CAB),but the majority do not. This blog doesn’t have the capacity to embed the entire report to enable reading online ,but you can download it from the link below in the hope that this will help many prepare for the next onslaught by this barbaric government whose sole purpose is to hound claimants, and save money for the state putting profit before people. If you thought WCA (ESA) was bad this will make it look relatively tame.

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/353794654/Universal-Credit-Report

TOXIC ATOS REBRANDS AGAIN


 

Toxic Atos are again having to rebrand claiming

Following an independent review of the PIP assessment journey claimants experience in December 2014, Paul Gray recommended a number of changes to claimant communications to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Assessment Providers.
After consultation with DWP and reviewing our communications, we have introduced a new business name that better represents the work we do independently assessing PIP cases.
We believe Independent Assessment Services does this because: • It makes it clear that we are ‘independent’ providers, distinct from DWP • ‘Assessment’ explains the service we deliver assessing PIP cases more clearly than ‘healthcare’ does

It can rebrand as much as it likes, it  doesn’t stop the DWP destroying disabled people’s lives when being assessed and losing their money,  vehicles, jobs when they fail to be assessed correctly and leaving some so distraught their health actually deteriorates or they lose what income from working they had , and the worst case scenario is they are left housebound  when they lose their mobility vehicles.

The stories are now coming thick and fast towards those contractors, which Atos is one, of lies and malpractice of assessors. Capita is the other contractor whose reputation has also been tarnished badly .

65% of decisions are now being overturned on appeal, some just give up because they genuinely cannot cope with their health conditions and the long protracted process that it entails and the loss of vital income which helps with the extra costs they face as disabled people. Recently those with mental health were asked ‘why they had not killed themselves yet’ ! Reports given to DWP in a lot of cases are filled with fabrication, claim claimants.

One the eve of election night many are scared witless by these assessments praying to god that Labour are installed into Number 10 who have promised to scrap these assessments along with the notorious WCA assessments which Atos used to carry out until they left their contract early leaving Maximus to pick up the pieces.

Either way these assessments are going the same way,  should Labour get power this will need to be tackled head on to prevent serious preventable harm to those whom are struggling under the last 7yrs of horrific reforms to survive. Many thousands have died along the way, with Atos and the DWP blaming each other, but the blame lays fairly and squarely at the governments door for a badly thought out policy decision that has affected the disabled community on a grand scale, while blaming disabled people for being workshy,lazy , and faking disability which the general public have latched onto and left the disabled community easy targets of Hate Crime. Disabled people do not mind having a fair assessment given the public purse is helping them live independently, what they object to is being hounded to their graves and every waking moment being made scapegoats for a failed government policy that was only ever going to cause harm and they did not even have the decency to step in and stop this happening. The enquiry into PIP (Personal Independence Payments) was conveniently called off due to the fact Mrs May called a snap election in the hope of continuing these awful policies to cut the welfare bill of those they promised to protect.

The disabled community has been hit 9 times harder than any other section of society, for the failure of a society who no longer care, a department who is determined to put saving money over human life of a community that takes the least of the welfare budget.

 

Read here the Stakeholder Document to Advisors

https://www.scribd.com/document/350681967/DRG-Toolkit-for-Stakeholder-Mailing-010617

 

Read more here

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/election-forces-mps-to-abandon-pip-inquiry-but-evidence-backs-up-dishonesty-claims/

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/pip-assessment-lies-and-distortions-exposed-by-double-apology-to-claimant/

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/pip-suicide-womans-sister-blames-barbaric-system-for-her-death/

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/

 

Labour Returns to It’s Roots


Corby with mos book

 

Without a right-leaning New Labour leader, there is now an opportunity for the Labour Party to represent the people it was originally created to serve, writes MO STEWART.

There is an entire generation in Great Britain who have no knowledge of the original Labour Party, who confuse Tony Blair as its former leader and who have no comprehension of the damage the New Labour Party created.

 

Three consecutive general election wins for Tony Blair when leader of the New Labour Party was, by anyone’s standard, a significant achievement.  Blair was the Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, was the youngest British Prime Minister since 1812 and was to became the longest serving (New) Labour Prime Minister which is an achievement not easily surpassed.

 

However, there was a reason why the party was called ‘New Labour’ as it broke away from its traditional roots, and engaged with right-leaning policies not dissimilar to those of the previous Conservative government. Efforts to impress the middle class voters were at the expense of the Labour heartlands and the workers the original Labour Party was created to protect.

 

Blair claimed to want to move the Party to what he called the ‘centre ground’ which, in reality, created right-leaning policies, which were in opposition to traditional Labour Party values. Under his leadership New Labour reduced what had been historic links with trade unions, abandoned what had been the Labour Party’s commitment to nationalisation and supported Britain’s entry into the European Union.

 

His landslide victory over the Conservatives in the 1997 general election was impressive following eighteen years of Tory rule and, for a while, all was well.  However, the longer Blair served as Prime Minister the more right-leaning policies were produced. He made every effort to attract the middle class vote, whilst distancing the party from the working class and the trade unions, whose members stopped voting at general elections in their hundreds of thousands as no political party represented them.

Blair’s embarrassing devotion to all things American meant that the regularly claimed “special relationship” between America and Great Britain was reflected in foreign policy, as Blair took this nation into a war in Afghanistan in 2001 we had no business fighting, which was used to give the Republican President Bush the moral justification for American hostilities.

 

On the domestic front, it was the Blair government who commissioned David Freud to investigate welfare funding.  As a consequence of a totally discredited 2008 report by Freud, Blair’s successor Gordon Brown was the New Labour Prime Minister who introduced welfare reforms.  The reforms permitted an unaccountable foreign corporate giant to reassess welfare claimants using the entirely bogus American influenced Work Capability Assessment (WCA), and was no longer in charge by the time it became obvious that the use of the WCA would kill people.

 

Time has moved on and Jeremy Corbyn was elected as the leader of the Labour Party, for the second time, in September 2016.  Never in the history of the party has there been such relentless personal abuse by Labour MPs still loyal to Blair , but opposition to Corbyn from some Blairite Labour MPs couldn’t muster the support he attracted from the grassroots membership of the Labour Party, who elected him to office.

 

Corbyn has rejected the austerity measures employed by the Tories, which were always guaranteed to cause preventable harm to the most vulnerable people in society.  He has also rejected the neoliberal politics employed by the Conservative, the Coalition and the New Labour governments, which created a free-for-all in the world markets, which eventually led to a world banking crisis in 2008.

 

Whilst grotesque salaries were offered to the few, Cameron used the banking crisis to justify the introduction of austerity measures in 2010.  The sick, the disabled and the poor have all suffered the most as a direct consequence of the austerity measures, as tax breaks were given to the wealthiest people in the country and corporate giants were permitted to fail to fund corporate taxes.

 

Devotion to neoliberal politics, together with austerity measures and a vast reduction in funding for essential public services by the Conservative government has created preventable harm and vast inequalities. There has been a return of Rickets to Britain for the first time since the Second World War, together with increases in Tuberculosis, which are linked to the savage Conservative/Coalition government austerity measures which meant that the poorest and the most vulnerable would be often left without food.

 

The answer to that is the desperate need for food banks generously supported by the British public, school breakfasts begrudgingly introduced by the Tories to reduce adverse commentary, to be replaced by nourishing hot school lunches if Labour are returned to power in the 2017 general election.

 

As leader of the Labour Party Corbyn would never agree to commit British military forces to another war zone at the behest of the Americans. He will return rights to British workers, stop the university students being plunged into debt when attending university and has promised to stop the dangerous WCA which has been linked to the deaths of almost 100,000 people since 2011.  This, together with a guaranteed increase in funding for vital public services, including the NHS, the Police Service and the Fire Service would secure a much better and safer future for the British people.

 

It’s now twenty years ago since Blaire enjoyed a landslide victory against the Tories in 1997 and introduced New Labour to the unsuspecting British people. Twenty years later, it is possible that Corbyn could enjoy another significant victory over the Tories, and this time he would introduce a traditional Labour government to the British public.

 

All that is need is for a majority of adults to vote Labour in the general election on June 8th.

 

Mo Stewart is an independent researcher and retired healthcare professional. Her acclaimed book ‘Cash Not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state’ was published in September 2016 by New Generation Publishing.

%d bloggers like this: