Picture Courtesy of Kanjin Tor


I make no apologies for the length of this blog but it needs explaining so that people can grasp the nettle into this devious policy.

Many people think this vile policy is an outrage, which it is. The Conservative Government under Theresa May has come up with a cunning plan to flog off the family home once you’re dead after decades of encouraging people to save for old age and the right to buy under Thatcher (which they also reintroduced and plan to extend according to their manifesto) led many to jump at the opportunity to buy their first home, work hard and save ,but it not as simple as people think, but a policy contrived in such a manner that the nasty party are back with a vengeance.

Questions are being asked by many how they plan to implement this well, I think they will do the following.


Many disabled people and pensioners get Passported Benefits to top up their incomes including those who own their own homes,some of those are Means Tested benefits, Private Tenants also face bedroom tax under Universal Credit in 2018.


•             Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
•             Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
•             Income Support
•             Pension Credit
•             Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
•             Housing Benefit
•             Council Tax Support 
•             Social Fund (Sure Start Maternity Grant, Funeral Payment,
Cold Weather Payment)
•             Universal Credit

My thinking is as follows that most people do not have wealthy stash of cash to pay for Social Care they may need in later life or currently,so they claim top up benefits such as above list. In many cases when an assessment for care is done many councils who provide social care are now including the care component of DLA/PIP even though it is a Non Means Tested Benefit as the list of exclusions get smaller and smaller with councils tightening their belts due to cuts to their budgets.

In the Tory Manifesto this is how they justified social care promises

A long-term plan for elderly care Our system of care for the elderly is not working for the hundreds of thousands currently not getting the dignified and careful attention they deserve, nor for the people and organisations providing that care, nor is it sustainable for today’s younger people who will potentially one day face care costs themselves. It is not fair that the quality of care you receive and how much you pay for it depends in large part on where you live and whether you own your own home.

Where others have failed to lead, we will act. We have already taken immediate action, putting £2 billion into the social care system and allowing councils to raise more money for care themselves from Council Tax. We are now proposing medium and long-term solutions to put elderly care in our country on a strong and stable footing.
Under the current system, care costs deplete an individual’s assets, including in some cases the family home, down to £23,250 or even less. These costs can be catastrophic for those with modest or medium wealth. One purpose of long-term saving is to cover needs in old age; those who can should rightly contribute to their care from savings and accumulated wealth, rather than expecting current and future taxpayers to carry the cost on their behalf. Moreover, many older people have built considerable property assets due to rising property prices. Reconciling these competing pressures fairly and in a sustainable way has challenged many governments of the past. We intend to tackle this with three connected measures

  • First, we will align the future basis for means-testing for domiciliary care with that for residential care, so that people are looked after in the place that is best for them. This will mean that the value of the family home will be taken into account along with other assets and income, whether care is provided at home, or in a residential or nursing care home.
  • Second, to ensure this is fair, we will introduce a single capital floor, set at £100,000, more than four times the current means test threshold. This will ensure that, no matter how large the cost of care turns out to be, people will always retain at least £100,000 of their savings and assets, including value in the family home.
  • Third, we will extend the current freedom to defer payments for residential care to those receiving care at home, so no-one will have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.
    We believe this powerful combination maximises protection for pensioner households with modest assets, often invested in the family home, while remaining affordable for taxpayers. We consider it more equitable, within and across the generations, than the proposals following the Dilnot Report, which mostly benefited a small number of wealthier people.
    An efficient elderly care system which provides dignity is not merely a function of money. So our forthcoming green paper will also address system-wide issues to improve the quality of care and reduce variation in practice. This will ensure the care system works better with the NHS to reduce unnecessary and unhealthy hospital stays and delayed transfers of care, and provide better quality assurance within the care sector.

Pg 64/5


Sounds good on paper doesn’t it, except the sting in the tail is your home is an asset and they plan to means test you on something that isn’t theirs in first place, especially if you claim one of the above benefits. So either when they shove you in a residential place of care, or you claim top ups to live independently you are going to have Covenant Charge against your property that you bust a gut to buy and things you went without to achieve it, thinking you were doing the right thing.

You can hear the laughter from millionaire mansions as they plot to rob you blind twice, and some will agree that the Conservatives are right to do so. Now ask yourself this who has private interests is Care Homes, yep you guessed it Politicians! http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/selling-nhs-profit-full-list-4646154

So now to nitty gritty in how they will do this, will be not only use your assets from your home but use the above benefits to implement it (as UC documents attached will show).

Supported Mortgage Interest (SMI) is equivalent Housing Benefit for those who own their own homes, from 2018 that will be turned into a loan against your home so you pay it back if you return to work if not Bingo they use the Covenant Charge upon your death. So either way the government will own your home which will solve their house building crisis so some extent while failing to build adapted homes for disabled people and elderly to enable them to downsize.







Reblogged from Black Triangle & DPAC


More background from Black Triangle Campaign’s sister organisation Disabled People Against Cuts: ‘Claiming ESA under Universal Credit: Nobody is unfit for work anymore’ Wednesday May 25 2017
What you will read may be very distressing for you, but we are looking at the worst-case scenario and identifying measures to help you and other claimants. It would be good to have some feedback on the Health and Work Conversations from people who have made an ESA claim. More we know about it, and more we can fight this.
What you should not do, is to decide not to claim ESA. That is what DWP wants you to do.
Some documents released by the DWP have shown the direction of travel in terms of claiming ESA under UC.
Under the old regime, a person wishing to claim ESA was placed in the ESA assessment phase, attracting the lowest ESA rate (JSA rate), and also no conditionality, and this until a Work Capability Assessment could decide whether the claimant was fit or unfit for work.
The Work and Health Conversation
Under Universal Credit, a person wishing to claim ESA will be first called for a Health and Work Conversation (HWC). This conversation is basically a Work Focus Interview, and is mandatory, which means that a claimant can be sanctioned for not attending. Attending does not only mean being physically present at the interview but also fulfilling all the requirements set by DWP for a WFI:
Regulation 57 of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008:
57.—(1) A claimant is regarded as having taken part in a work-focused interview if the claimant—
(a) attends for the interview at the place and at the date and time notified in accordance with regulation 56;
(b) provides information, if requested by the Secretary of State, about any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (2);
(c) participates in discussions to the extent the Secretary of State considers necessary, about any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (3);
(d) assists the Secretary of State in the completion of an action plan.
 (2) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(b) are—
(a) the claimant’s educational qualifications and vocational training;
(b) the claimant’s work history;
(c) the claimant’s aspirations for future work;
(d) the claimant’s skills that are relevant to work;
(e) the claimant’s work-related abilities;
(f) the claimant’s caring or childcare responsibilities; and
(g) any paid or unpaid work that the claimant is undertaking.
(3) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(c) are—
(a) any activity the claimant is willing to undertake which may make obtaining or remaining in work more likely;
(b) any such activity that the claimant may have previously undertaken;
(c) any progress the claimant may have made towards remaining in or obtaining work;
(d) any work-focused health-related assessment the claimant may have taken part in; and
(e) the claimant’s opinion as to the extent to which the ability to remain in or obtain work is restricted by the claimant’s physical or mental condition.
So the main difference with the previous regime is that people with a fit note from their GP saying they are not fit for work, will be (are being) called for a mandatory WFI.
They also will be asked to fill a questionnaire which is also mandatory and to undertake an optional exercise called My values. There will be another article specifically about the questionnaire
According to the DWP, some ‘vulnerable’ people will be exempted from this conversation. [1]
The DWP defines vulnerability as “an individual who is identified as having complex needs and/or requires additional support to enable them to access DWP benefits and use our services.” but has not yet released the guidance given to Work Coaches on who will be exempted from the HWC. As these conversations have already started, this guidance exists and should be released immediately by the DWP.
Unfortunately, based on the DWP ghastly track record, it is likely that pressure to attend will be placed on people unable to attend because of their health conditions. DPAC has already encountered a case of a person with mental capacity issues and a life threatening health condition being requested to attend a HWC.
After the Health and Work Conversation
Unlike under the previous regime, when ESA claimants with a GP fit note saying they were unfit to work were not expected to fulfil any work related requirements until a WCA said otherwise, ESA claimants under UC will be by default assumed to be fit for work and expected to fulfil all Work Related Requirements until their WCA . [2]
Claimants to whom the All Work Related Requirements apply:
claimants who have a fit note and are awaiting a WCA claimants who have been found not to have limited capability for work at the WCA and are appealing against this outcome
claimants who have some paid work but are earning below conditionality earnings threshold claimants who do not fall into any other group
What All Work Related Requirement means:
Claimants in this group must be available for full-time work of any type and look for this within 90 minute travelling time from their home. Restrictions can be applied to looking for work, the type of work and hours of work where it is appropriate due to the claimant’s capability and circumstances.
Claimants must be engaged in work search and work preparation activities for at least the number of hours they are available for work. Claimants must take all reasonable action to obtain paid work.
Work Coaches must set work search activities for the claimant to search for work for their expected hours (This is the number of hours that the claimant is available for work or 35 hours, whichever is the lower figure) less deductions from this for the allowable time spent undertaking agreed work-preparation activities , voluntary work and paid work.
Only one restriction for people with health conditions is mentioned in the document: claimants who have a fit note will not be required to take up work that they are not capable of doing until their fit note ends
Any other derogation to the All Work Related Requirements will be at the discretion of work coaches. For most claimants, work coaches will not have more medical information than the fit note (the diagnosis) or in some cases, the WCA outcome when they have not be found to have Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity, and they should not be able to ask claimants for this kind of information without breaching the Data Protection Act. These work coaches are also not medically trained. Any Work Related Requirement will be based on the diagnosis, and on what the claimant would have told them during the HWC conversation and in the questionnaire. Also based on that, claimants would have to complete an action plan and sign a claimant commitment. Failure to do so could result in a sanction.
This is deeply worrying because:
1) an extra step is introduced before the WCA which is already stressful enough
2) all claimants assessed by their GP as unfit for work, will be considered by default fit for work by the DWP.
3) work coaches are medically untrained and unable to comprehend whether a work related requirement can have a detrimental effect on the health of a claimant
4) GPs medical judgement is undermined by medically untrained staff.
5) DWP definition of ‘vulnerable’ may be so restrictive that some claimants with very serious health conditions could be requested to attend a HWC and sanctioned for failing to do so
Additional Things I have since found:


I have pondered on this for months now, but I cannot think of a more poignant time to get on my crippled knees and beg every voter to do the right thing for the sake of everyone in society not just the privileged few, but more importantly for future generations to come, who will either die or live in squalor. We are on the precipice of a historic moment as many of us prepare to go to the polls for Local and General Elections. Since Thatcher decided to change the course of society, the working man & woman have continued to suffer, we  have had brief moments of light through broken windows of opportunity and a few small victories,but the last three decades have seen Thatcher’s plans come to fruition damaging the very fabric of society where extreme wealth is the sole objective, and the working classes & immigrants blamed for everything that was wrong in society,when they didn’t cause it in the first place, our masters did.

It was the scheming wealthy individuals who rule us ,that lied, cheated their way into powerful positions to rule over the masses infinitum, and none more than those who rely on state assistance for basics to survive in the last 7 years, disabled people have been at the forefront fighting against the brutal machinery that has seen their lives destroyed with welfare reforms and care services removed leaving them alone and frightened with many believing the only way to escape the pain & distress is to commit suicide or their health has taken a turn for the worse or starved to death while the world carries on without even noticing their demise.

We live in a uncaring world where human life is no longer valued. We are on the brink of leaving the EU with Brexit, where those on Social Security are seen as having less worth than the dog on the street, and subjected to the most disgusting vilification of  sections in society not seen since 1930’s Germany, and the jewel in the crown our NHS is sold off to the highest bidder with the fattest wallet.We have the world powers selling arms faster than McDonald’s sell burgers and trying to lead us into wars that will lead to the total destruction of humanity with nuclear bombs. If that doesn’t scare the shit out of you then you are living in a parallel world.

Reject the individualism that has spread like a cancer in society, think not just of self, but as a collective of human beings ,and inject some care and compassion back into society for the betterment of all. I believe still that most people in society do care, but many are not aware of the suffering caused because the media denies them the information, which is why ‘I Daniel Blake’ was such a poignant breakthrough because it gave us a voice, that thus far has been silenced through ignorance of the facts. If the Tories get back in after the election the catastrophe that will unfold on us all will set us back centuries, back to victorian times of  the film Oliver, which will make  ‘I Daniel Blake ‘ look like a satire

We have children going to school hungry,and tired , public services stripped to the bone, charities starved of funds to prevent help and support , social care almost non-existent. zero hours contracts are rife  and food banks becoming the norm and the elderly’s most basic needs neglected and the young are forgotten altogether. Long term I cannot state the huge costly implications of these measures for every one of us. We are lining up more homelessness, more absolute poverty, and poorly educated children,elderly people dying in their thousands along with disabled people, and a healthcare system that is broken will be of catastrophic proportions as the only winners will be the wealthy,funeral directors,and insurance companies who will profit from your miserable existence,while selling you insurance policies for almost everything, if you are lucky to survive in the first place. We are seeing that anything and everything is being sold off for profit, if it isn’t nailed down this government will sell off the family silver and more just because you allowed it to happen.

Our political system is broken and corrupt but unless we return a  working class government to power we are doomed to a life of absolute misery, and are condemning future generations who do not have the skill set to survive such traumatic times. We face more cuts which will make the journey so far feel like a walk in the park in comparison

History repeats itself ,thats for sure, but unless we ‘really’ learn lessons quickly we are about to make the biggest mistake in history. If we really do want change then it is up to each and everyone of us to stop and think when we go to the polling stations in the coming weeks, to give our children and future generations that we have made the ultimate sacrifices to ensure they have a future, which is completely radical from the past mistakes. If we do not, then we are flawed human beings who probably need some serious  Gestalt therapy, even animals learn from this whereas humans don’t seem capable of self sacrifice to help the collective and secure the survival of human race.


For those who think the present administration is doing a good job, just stop and think about the bigger picture, not just you & yours, and the world will thank you for making the hard personal sacrifices needed to change the world ,which will be your legacy to humanity of which generations to come will admire you for. We each have a personal responsibility to get out there and ensure we get the change we need.

Lets vote for radical change, that’s the real revolution!



This  is one I have been contemplating a while, what will it take to get people to see the fact that austerity is ideologically driven and that those who think they are safe are not? None of us are safe from a Government out of control!

In the next two years more harm will come to those who can least afford it and the people who are the ‘Jams’ will get shafted more, as there  those on benefits face more unprecedented cuts to their financial stability while the  basic safety net is cut time and time again. This is Class War and it is scary and time people opened their eyes to the unpalatable truth and took their rose coloured spectacles off.

In the future our Children will find themselves in a world totally unknown to them,where they don’t have a voice,where they don’t get justice and are left brutalised by the state.



During 2017

Tax Free Childcare

Tax Free Childcare is to be introduced as a replacement for employer supported childcare (childcare vouchers).

The government will contribute up to 20% of the first £10,000 of registered childcare costs per child, per year. This equates to a maximum of £2,000 per child, per year.

The scheme will be available to people who have an annual income under £150,000 and are not receiving help with childcare via tax credits. It is expected to reach more people than the current scheme. For further details see our Tax Free Childcare information sheet.

April 2017

ESA Work-Related Activity component abolished

From 1 April 2017, new ESA claimants who are placed in the Work-Related Activity Group will receive the same rate of payment as those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and the equivalent in Universal Credit.  See our Summer Budget 2015 page.

Benefit Cap exemption for Universal Credit claimants changing

From 1 April 2017 the earnings threshold that applies to the Benefit Cap exemption for Universal Credit claimants will be changed from a fixed amount of £430 per month to the amount claimants would earn if they (or one of them, if a couple) was working 16 hours per week at national minimum wage.

The change means that for example, after April 2017 a working Universal Credit claimant aged over 25 in receipt of the Housing element (who is not otherwise exempt from the Benefit Cap) would have to earn £520 instead of £430 per month to be exempt from the cap.

The same change will be applied to the earnings threshold for the 9 months grace period but will not affect people who have already started a grace period. Read more about how the Benefit Cap is applied in our Benefit Cap guide.

ESA permitted work limit removed

From 3 April 2017, ESA claimants who undertake permitted work and earn between £20 and £115.20 per week will no longer have to give up their work or stop claiming ESA after 52 weeks.

ESA sanctions reduced

From 3 April 2017, ESA claimants who are sanctioned will continue to receive 80% of their payments, instead of the current 60%. This change does not apply to ESA claimants who continue to receive the work-related activity component after 3 April 2017; they will remain subject to the 60% rate.

Bereavement Support Payment

The current bereavement benefits (Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement PaymentWidowed Parent’s Allowance) will be replaced with the new Bereavement Support Payment (BSP). This will be introduced for new claims from April 2017.

Tax Credits and Universal Credit two child limit

In the summer budget 2015, the government proposed that support for children through Tax Credits and Universal Credit will be limited to two children from April 2017.

For Child Tax Credit, elements will not be included for a third (or more) child born on or after 6 April 2017 unless an exception applies. Elements will continue to be included for all children born before 6 April 2017.

For Universal Credit, elements will not be included for the third (or more) child who joins the family on or after 6 April 2017 unless an exception applies. Elements will continue to be included for all children who were part of the family before 6 April 2017. Families with more than two children cannot make a new claim for Universal Credit until November 2018, even if they are in a full digital service area. They will have to claim Child Tax Credit in the meantime.

Equivalent changes will be made to the Housing Benefit rules. See our Summer Budget 2015 page

Tax Credit Family Element removed

People starting a family after April 2017 will no longer be eligible for the Family Element in tax credits. The equivalent in Universal Credit, known as the First Child Element, will also not be available for new claims from April 2017.

Universal Credit requirements for parents to look for work

Parents with a youngest child aged 3, including lone parents, are expected to look for work if they want to claim Universal Credit.

Universal Credit Youth Obligation

From April 2017, 18-21 year olds who have been claiming Universal Credit for six months will have to either apply for training/ apprenticeships or attend a work placements, unless they are exempt (considered to be vulnerable).

Universal Credit Housing Costs Element removed for young people

It was proposed in the summer budget 2015 that unemployed claimants aged under 21 would not have a Housing Costs Element included in their Universal Credit from April 2017 unless an exception applies. See our Summer Budget 2015 page.

Universal Credit taper to be reduced from 65 per cent to 63 per cent

From April 2017 the taper rate that applies in Universal Credit will be reduced from 65 per cent to 63 per cent. This means that claimants will be able to keep 37p for every £1 earned in work above work allowances rather than 35p for every £1 earned. See our Autumn Statement 2016 page.

Autumn /End of 2017

Free Childcare Extended

Free childcare entitlement will be doubled from 15 hours to 30 hours a week for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds from September 2017.

Change in Hardship Payments for mentally ill and homeless

The government proposed that hardship payments (of 60% of the benefit amount) be automatically payable to jobseekers who are mentally ill or homeless when they are sanctioned. These claimants currently have to wait two weeks before they can apply for hardship payments when they’ve been sanctioned, and may be refused. The proposal means to add them to the group of vulnerable people who can apply for hardship payments immediately (such as claimants with children or long-term health problems). The date of this change is yet to be announced.

See Link:https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Benefit-Changes/Benefit-Changes-Timetable-2017-2018#guide-content


Then In 2018 the following will impact on many families across britain not everything is negative but mainly its not a good picture of the future many hope for!



April 2018

Employer Childcare Vouchers no longer available to new claimants

New claims for Employer Supported Childcare (Childcare Vouchers) will not be accepted from April 2018.  Existing claims will continue until the child is 15 years old (or 16 years old if disabled) or the claimant starts claiming under another scheme (Childcare element of Working Tax Credit, Childcare element of Universal Credit or Tax Free Childcare), whichever is earliest.

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) payments

The government announced in the summer budget 2015 that from April 2018, new SMI payments will be paid as a loan. Loans will be repaid upon sale of a claimant’s house, or when claimants return to work.

Self-Employed National Insurance Contributions change

The government announced in the Spring Budget 2017 that from April 2018, self-employed people will no longer pay Class 2 National Insurance Contributions, which currently count towards entitlement to contributory benefits such as New State Pension.

The government announced that the rate for Class 4 National Insurance Contributions will be raised to 10% in April 2018 and 11% in April 2019. Clarification is awaited regarding how Class 4 National Insurance Contributions will count towards contributory benefit entitlement.

Autumn 2018

Universal Credit two child limit

From November 2018, families with more than two children who make new claims for Universal Credit will no longer be directed to claim Child Tax Credit instead. The two child limit will apply to those families. Families who have been awarded Universal Credit after April 2017 and have two or fewer children but who then have a third or subsequent child will have the two-child limit applied.


July 2019

Universal Credit roll out

The phased introduction of Universal Credit has been pushed back numerous times. The government now expect to have Universal Credit available for all new claimants from July 2019. They expect that all claimants on existing benefits will be transferred onto Universal Credit by March 2022.



What will it take for people to stop this Rogue Government that punishes those who have little or no defence, we have a long wait to 2020 to effect a change that needs to happen and the deaths of UK citizens and sanctions continue to rise, the evictions and homelessness rise where our young are deprived of the basics of survival for humanity to show its face. Where children live in abject poverty and fail to thrive and punished for being born in the wrong class in the eyes of the state, and starvation is used as a weapon. The only thing that is looking rosy is the wealthy are becoming richer by the second, are gaining prominent positions in society from old boys network.

This is 21st century UK and its one of the most ugliest things I have witnessed in a lifetime where individualism dominates while survivalism is a matter of time for the rest of us.

Enough is Enough




Photo provided by Family

Joanne Lee Stephens was utterly disgusted and posted on social media disability forum the plight of her brother Edward Lee failing his assessment.


This is my brother Edward Lee who was diagnosed with cancer of the jaw and Lymph Nodes.
On the 04/01/2017 my brother was admitted to hospital for an operation to save his life.
On the 5/01/2017 my brother had his operation and very ill when he left theatre.

On the 6/1/2017 ATOS did an telephone assessment to decide his fitness for work.

On the 23/02/2017 DWP wrote back stating that he had scored ZERO points even though he is on very high doses of Morphine as well as other Morphine tablets to kill the pain.

My brother is confined to bed unable to eat still and the cancer has made its way through his neck into the chest
His benefits were immediately stopped and any benefits that were owed were refused.
My brother also has a long list of health problems but ATOS told the DWP his cancer is not life threatening.


The appalling way this government treats very sick people is nothing short of criminal. Many are rightfully denied  support for the state when needed. The state peddles lies about languishing on the state while ‘hard working taxpayers foot the bill is just wrong and not true. Now if you don’t need a DS 1500  to state you have less than 6 months to live  you ain’t dying quick enough to garner state support.

Chronically sick people are being denied access to support even when they have medical evidence in front of them which is disregarded as they think behavioural changes need to happen with claimants to weed out the ones sponging off the state purse. There are many stories highlighted now where denial of support is common place among the corridors of power at DWP. In fact not once is chronic illness mentioned  which affect so many and which are often hidden disabilities. this week many changes were also announced to change PIP (Personal Independence Payments ) another benefit designed to support disabled and chronically sick people with the extra costs they face

How much longer can the general public turn a blind eye to the suffering of thousands of people without saying that’s enough this stops now? We also have later in year the prospect of further changes to the work capability process which was announced in the Green Paper ‘Improving Lives’ by the New Tory Minister for DWP Damien Green.  Labour minister Debbie Abrahams a former public health consultant called these new changes as dangerous. https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/debbie-abrahams/dangerous-new-changes-planned-to-force-sick-people-into-work-or-into-poverty

Even Lib Dems Lords have motioned a Bill to stop these changes http://www.libdemvoice.org/lib-dem-lords-aim-to-kill-new-tory-restrictions-on-disability-benefits-53391.html

This is state sanctioned torture for those unfortunate to rely on the state for support during difficult times in their lives.

Meanwhile the WCA process continues to terrify those on Employment and Support allowance which has in some case resulted in fatalities, while making those with MH live in fear . It is time for public to stop believing the press and ministers and start to question their consciousness of whether they are going to defend the human rights of the very people they oppress and stand up and say enough is enough to those in the corridors of power whose aim is to demolish the welfare state so no one will be entitled to state support in the future with an ideological agenda to cut the welfare bill costs by any means necessary and ignore the suffering it is causing to those claiming and their families. There is plenty of research out there now both in HOC library ,DWP select committee evidence and Independent Research to highlight this flawed assessment process which should be scrapped  immediately.


This has to stop now.


UPDATE:  a second story in the matter of days  http://www.welfareweekly.com/terminally-ill-women-found-fit-for-work-by-callous-dwp-needs-your-help/




What is the Human Cost of Austerity?

Well for most working people it not affected them yet, they actually have been least hit, unless you’re on low pay poverty wages .The pensioners are ‘untouchable’ as far as political ideology is concerned,but for some of the most vulnerable groups they have been affected the most and they are ones least likely to be able to take the hit of both financial and personally as they have least means for survival. the last 6yrs has seen sick & disabled people penalised the most, resulting in fatalities that should shock anyone with a ounce of humanity in their souls.

Why has this been allowed to happen I hear people cry, well I will tell you why …because you allowed it to happen by not standing up for a fair society for all!

A colleague Kitty Jones summed up this in one of her thought provoking quotes Read more here ..  https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/

Neoliberalism is based on competitive individualism. In such a competitive system it’s inevitable that there will be a few “winners” and many “losers”. That’s what “competition” means. It means no rewards for most people – inequality and poverty for the 99%. It’s not possible to “work hard” to change this. It’s built into the very system. Therefore it’s hardly fair or appropriate for a government to blame and punish people for the failings of their own imposed dominant ideology – a political and economic mode of organisation – which most ordinary people did not intentionally choose.


The fact is this Government blames anyone and everyone but themselves and they spout on about ‘people taking responsibility’ which is all well and good in ideal world but the one we live in now is a far more dark and frightening space. It uses behavioural conditioning to pit one section of society against the other  in a global hunger games like experiment you would see in an apocalyptic movie, but its not a movie , for many it a reality of daily struggle in some mind bending experiment of your nightmares.

Again Kitty Jones points this out well

The Tory mindset is very disciplinarian. In their view, everyone else needs “corrective treatment” to ensure that society is shaped and ruled the way they think it ought to be. The government believes that rather than addressing social problems – many of which are created and perpetuated by their own policies, such as growing inequality and absolute poverty – can be addressed by “incentivising” people to “behave” differently. In other words, they believe that people can be punished out of poverty, being ill, being out of work, and being less “competitive”, cost effective citizens, letting down the conservative’s constructed, overarching neoliberal state.

The government is conducting behavioural experiments on the public without their consent, to fulfil the needs of government, rather than the needs of the public. This turns democracy totally on its head. Citizens are being coerced to act as the government deems necessary to fulfil conservative notions of cost reduction and “efficiency” – such as their notion of a low tax, low welfare society. “Living within our means” means austerity for the poorest, tax cuts for the rich => growing inequality and poverty.

The government mindset: “Psychology as a behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is … prediction and control.” From – https://gcs.civilservice.gov.uk/…/GCSBehaviourChangeGuideJu…

And: “Behaviour change is one of the primary functions of government communications – helping change and save lives, helping the government run more effectively as well as save taxpayer’s money.

Our approach is to use a mix of awareness raising, persuasion, practical help and behavioural theory, to demonstrate why changes in behaviour are important and to make these changes easy for the public to adopt.”

Making changes “easy to adopt” sounds like choices are being offered, however, the use of “incentives” includes rigid, coercive measures such as welfare sanctions and savage cuts to public support and services.

A government that imposes policies on citizens using coercion is not “democratic.” It’s a government displaying some very worrying totalitarian tendencies.



As this governments ideology marches on towards it goal of dismantling the Welfare State,NHS social care and redefining chronic sickness & disability (as in to eradicate it ) ,and  child poverty at alarming rates, a government which stokes racial disharmony , and homelessness which will swamp streets in every part of the UK then we are heading for very troubled waters indeed . In April the two child policy comes in, further cuts to a variety of benefits that people receive and the process of getting them made almost impossible to get, and enforced treatment of some claimants to make them fit for work with a very dangerous Health & Work programme  later this year,  will cause preventable harm to many and most likely more deaths that go hand in hand with Mental Health issues, poverty,malnutrition etc that we can barely see the apocalypse coming as so many are blinded by their own survival and greed.


What sort of legacy are we leaving our children and future generations? One where human life is deemed worthless and disposable, christ we only need to look at what damage we do to the planet we live on and the destruction that is causing to see this a road of no return.

Unless we wake up, Mad Max will become a reality and those left behind will not have the coping strategies to cope and the knowledge of their forefathers will be lost forever.

They say history repeats itself, well yes it does, because we still haven’t learned to value what’s precious and not repeat past horrors like both wars where humans are brutalised and then become emotionally disconnected because it is too painful to see or feel. This has to change if we are to make a real difference and that change can start with ourselves and join together to unite against what is wrong.

People think they do not have power to change things so become accepting but collectively we do have power  and thats what scares governments the most. It is time to wake from your slumber and rise up like lions to defend life and create a better world for all.

It is  time to put our differences aside and work together as a collective to achieve changes we wish to happen!










Guest Blog by Mo Stewart

Dear Christian van Stolk

Re: Psychological Wellbeing and Work

Please excuse this unsolicited contact by an independent researcher in Cambridge.

I have read with interest the Psychological Wellbeing and Work report, as conducted by RAND Europe and funded by the Contestable Policy Fund and, FYI, please be advised that I am a former healthcare professional in my previous career.

I shall copy in the Secretary of State for Health, who now leads on mental health, and his Shadow together with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and his Shadow.

Now in my 8th year of independent research into the ongoing welfare reforms in the UK, as guided by neoliberal politics and strongly influenced by American social security policies which have had a detrimental impact on claimants, may I please draw your attention to the book ‘Cash Not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state’, which has achieved critical acclaim since its publication in September 2016.

To that end, may I suggest you invite access to the research by contacting my publisher and inviting a review copy of the book.

 This recent book review may be helpful: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/disabled-researchers-book-exposes-corporate-demolition-of-welfare-state/

It is cause for continued concern that major DWP policies, often negatively impacting on the wellbeing of some very ill and vulnerable people, are invariably introduced using research commissioned by the DWP, whilst disregarding the vast catalogue of distinguished research evidence as provided by a variety of academic experts when not commissioned by the DWP and whose funding is not linked to political ideology.  Please see attached examples of academic excellence.

It is noted that your report refers to ‘work’, which exclusively identifies with paid employment and disregards the beneficial nature enjoyed by an army of volunteers in the UK, many of whom are chronically ill or profoundly disabled and for whom a return to paid employment is neither practical nor inducive to their wellbeing. As a volunteer, it is possible to benefit from a working environment with colleagues and a purpose when well enough and enjoying a ‘good day’.  There is no-one to make accusations when too ill to leave the house, with a diagnosed condition that will never improve regardless of DWP intimidation and threats.

In keeping with reported comments by David Freud, all DWP commissioned research seems to presume that anyone in receipt of out-of-work disability benefits should have access to the benefits for the short-term, with no acknowledgement at all that many, many health conditions are permanent, cannot improve  especially with endless intimidation and coercion by the DWP, and that there is no evidence whatsoever other than totally discredited DWP commissioned research of the claimed one million people on out-of-work disability benefit who should or could return to work.

It is also noted that a report identified as ‘Psychological Wellbeing and Work’ disregards the ongoing identified preventable harm created by the DWP, the relentless political manipulation of the public with claims for which there is no foundation, suggesting that 75% of claimants of out-of-work disability benefits are ‘inactive’,  ‘bogus’, ‘idle’, ‘skiving’, ‘workshy’ and ‘scrounging’.  This has created a situation where chronically ill people, who are not capable of paid employment, now live in fear of the DWP following relentless coercion and intimidation, aided by the national press, which led to a 213% increase in disability hate crimes in the UK during the Coalition government’s term in office, and genuine claimants now living in fear of applying for welfare funding to which they are entitled, to this nation’s everlasting shame.

There are now claimants who have starved to death in the UK, quite literally, as the unreserved and savage use of sanctions has been imposed by the DWP in an effort to force compliance of the unprecedented DWP welfare ‘reforms’ on those least able to protest.

The most vulnerable in society are paying a high price for the political ideology of neoliberalism, some with their lives.

Suicides and deaths are the tip of the iceberg of misery and suffering on an unimaginable scale experienced by those who

are physically or mentally unfit to work, as the government implements an increasingly punitive and authoritarian regime

against benefit claimants. Vulnerable people are left destitute by sanctions that suspend or end their benefits if they fail

to comply with orders to attend ‘assessments’, ‘training courses’, or submit the required number of job applications.

Psycho politics, neoliberal governmentality and austerity

Philip Thomas

Self & Society Journal

Volume 44, 2016 – Issue 4

Perhaps, when considering future interventions for mental health, Consultant Psychologists and Psychiatrists who are not politically motivated could be consulted as they actually have clinical experience of working with ‘common mental health’ problems, which should not imply that they are not serious problems, and they are less inclined to have the welfare budget as their top priority as opposed to the wellbeing of often very ill patients.

It seems unlikely that more coercion by Jobcentre Plus and the DWP, when masquerading as psychological support, is likely to benefit sufferers of mental ill health, who are not known to respond well to relentless intimidation with endless threats of sanctions and the possibility of starvation close to their lived experience.

The travesty of this ongoing government imposed human suffering, where chronically ill people in receipt of welfare benefits are presumed to be bogus, was adopted due to the introduction of neoliberal politics, the outsourcing to private companies very lucrative DWP contracts and the failure to audit the contracts.  Chronically ill people have suffered and died due to political ideology that is unrelated to the health or the welfare of the claimants, and was motivated by the desire to reduce welfare costs regardless of human consequences. The fact that the DWP have refused to publish updated mortality totals of those who have died following the totally discredited Work Capability Assessment may alert you to the ongoing problems, as faced by those least able to defend themselves against this ideological assault.

See: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/green-party-calls-on-government-to-launch-benefit-deaths-inquiry/

I would alert you to the fact that a great deal of the identified increased mental health problems are due entirely to the DWP policies of recent years, where all chronically ill and disabled people in need of welfare benefits are presumed to be bogus unless proven otherwise, the constant savage rhetoric in the national press, the increases in disability hate crimes and the fact that the British public have been successfully misdirected on route to the UK eventually adopting private healthcare insurance to replace the welfare state.

Your research will no doubt benefit administrators in the DWP and the DoH, but will not benefit anyone suffering from a common mental health problem as enforced ‘therapy’ may well now be added to their many burdens for the enormous crime of being too ill to work. The fact that what was once guaranteed and vital financial support has been removed actually guaranteed an increase in the onset of mental health problems, for those who are physically disabled as well as for those with a mental health diagnosis as their primary health problem.

I trust this information may be helpful.


Mo Stewart

Disabled veteran (WRAF)

Disability studies researcher

Retired healthcare professional







One thing this government doesn’t get is the difference between a person with Chronic Illness and Disability, they simply cannot join up the dots. Work is NOT a ‘Health Outcome’ if you are disabled or chronically ill!

What I mean is you can be well overall and have a disability but, by the same token, a person with chronic ill health will have to battle with much more and it this that disables them.

Reading the Green Paper for Health and Work Programme which the Government plans to inflict on JSA/ESA claimants in the faint hope it will half the disability gap is frankly a joke, given that the disability gap hasn’t changed in a very long time.  It is like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. It’s un-achievable because chronic ill health and disability are two seperate things for which I will explain my reasoning in more detail. This is a failure by governments over the last 4 decades to grasp, when trying to reduce chronic ill health and disability to mean minor obstacles to employment.  They are not minor on any level, when we still do not have accessible transport or access to buildings. Many disabled people who do work are now threatened with the loss of employment, which enabled them to be in work and sustain some independance,  as they are now having their Motability cars removed under PIP, thus preventing them from going to work and, lastly, for reasonable adjustments to be put in the workplace as standard procedure.

One thing for sure, it is blatantly obvious that it will be the same contractors/sub-contractors who are going to implement this false ideology.  It will just depend on what they choose to accept given the loaded options which they are in control of, it will be another work programme on the cheap. Fact is this government want the cheapest option for them, rather than seriously address the issues and invest in disabled people which would cost them an eye watering amount of money.  If they really wanted to support people into work, those that could work anyway and then just admit that a good proportion of people simply cannot work because of the barriers they face in doing so, as well as their chronic ill health means they are too sick to work. The rhetoric of the last 6yrs has been the idle,workshy,demonisation of people who with right support could work and want to work, but find they are locked out  of doing so. The general public swallowed the rhetoric hook line and sinker.

Why employers don’t take on sick & disabled people is due to the following:

1) Employers are concerned about employing disabled people due to sickness absences, and the liabilities that would need to be addressed such as  health and safety regarding sustainability, reliability, safely to maintain a 9-5  job 5 days per week.

2)Without the government giving them some assurances via incentives to take disabled people on, this could lead to bullying in the workplace as productivity is linked to profit margins.

3) The able bodied complaining about being paid same when the disabled counterpart produces less due to capability/disability, although this will not always be the case, causing discourse and resentment in the workplace.

The employer will always choose the able bodied over the disabled or chronically sick person.  Fact!

Now we don’t have a magic solution to all problems that could arise but what worries most people more than anything is the government’s plan to make this ‘mandatory’, which if you fall on your backside, then you are being set up for failure resulting in a waste of public money on another failed scheme, just so the figures look good to the public that they are helping people into work.

Yet again those with Mental Health are the main targets along with musculoskeletal group of claimants. This is why I think this government are targeting this Group. Not that this is acceptable as High Courts have already ruled regarding the discriminatory nature of this government towards this group of claimants.

So what are the proposed options? Lets look at these in more detail. Non are 100% satisfactory by any means. In fact, most are just another train crash to the participants who this will be inflicted upon, it just means the level of whether you survive it or not is the crux of these duplicitous proposals to the health and wellbeing of claimants and do they meet the Equality Act 2010? The following  are  taken from a Health and Work Report commissioned by DWP & the DoH in a joint collaboration.


Option 1: Embed vocational support based on the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model in primary care settings. The key principles of IPS are specified and the model has been tested in secondary care settings for people with severe mental illness. This intervention would be accessed through services offering psychological therapy or even through GP practices.

What it means: Embed model vocational support based on the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) in IAPT or other suitable psychological therapy services. IPS is a fidelity/specified model and has been tested in secondary care settings for people with severe mental illness. IPS would be offered through IAPT (as currently is the case in some locations) and referrals to the IPS service would be made by IAPT therapists. A greater group of individuals with common mental health problems would be able to have access to evidence-based support that addresses both their mental health problem and supports them into employment. This option would also place more employment advisers (EAs) in primary care, and increase the number of EAs overall. On the basis of available evidence, we estimate a benefit-cost ratio of 1.41. This means that for each £1 spent to achieve an employment outcome, the Government would save about £1.41. This option has a relatively high cost per participant (about £750) and appears particularly effective in terms of achieving an employment outcome compared to the other options proposed. IAPT is open for individuals who are in and out of work and it creates incentives to move them off sick pay or benefits. While the route into IAPT is through referral by GPs, individuals can self-refer, and Jobcentres and employers may encourage people who need help to self-refer.

Option 2: Use group work in employment services to build self-efficacy and resilience to setbacks that benefit claimants face when job seeking. This intervention would be based on the JOBS II programme that has been tested in several countries but not yet in the UK. It would be accessed through Jobcentre Plus but delivered in neutral settings. Job Club In effect.

What it means: Use group work in employment services to build self-efficacy and resilience to setbacks that benefit claimants face when job seeking. This intervention would be based on the JOBS II model (also known as the ‘Winning New Jobs’ programme). The focus of JOBS II is to build resilience and inoculate the participant against setbacks in the job searching process. The approach has a supporting evidence base as to its effectiveness. The intervention could be offered through Jobcentres, whose advisers could assess participant suitability using an employment strengths and needs assessment tool or, if necessary, other agreed criteria. Other referral paths could be considered such as IAPT and the Work Programme. The intervention would target the Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) group or the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) group before they enter the Work Programme. The programme will need to be modified for the ESA group. JOBS II costs around £875 per participant. The annual net benefit to the Government would be about £280 per employment outcome with an estimated benefit-cost ratio of 1.07. This means that for each £1 spent to achieve an employment outcome, the Government would save £1.07. This policy option has the highest estimated cost per participant of all options. It appears reasonably effective in terms of achieving employment outcomes compared to the other policy options proposed (though less effective than the estimated effectiveness of Option 1).


Option 3: Provide access to online mental health and work assessment and support. This intervention would build on models of online mental health assessment and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (that have been tested). It would include a vocational element, which would have to be developed, and it could be open to the general population.

What it means: Provide access to online mental health and work assessments and support. This option would build on eHealth models of online mental health assessment and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) (which have been tested) with a vocational element, which would need to be developed. The service could potentially be opened up to the general population (including the in-work group). People with common mental health problems often find it difficult to actively seek and obtain support. Providing online assessments and interventions will enable greater access to specialist services which have an inbuilt vocational element. This in turn could lead to better health and employment outcomes for these individuals. Careful consideration would need to be given to where the platform would be hosted and to its functionality. It could be hosted in the NHS. The platform could combine assessment of common mental health problems with signposting and potentially treatment (such as Computerised CBT). There is very little information on likely costs of the intervention. We estimate the cost between £200 and £400 per participant including set-up and licensing fees, though this per participant ratio is likely to fall as scale is increased. There are challenges with measuring employment impacts. This intervention is the least costly per participant, and is less effective in achieving employment outcomes compared to the other options


Option 4: Jobcentre Plus commissions third parties to provide a telephone-based specialist psychological and employment-related support. Telephone based services offered through this intervention would be very similar to the support provided by Employee Assistance Programmes and models designed for the Work Programme. It would be offered access through Jobcentre Plus.

What it means: Telephone-based services offered through this model would be similar to Employee Assistance Programmes and interventions designed for specialist service provision in the Work Programme. In this case, the intervention would be used for the JSA group or ESA group before they enter the Work Programme. Jobcentres would assess claimants using an assessment tool and refer them to the service. We estimate a benefit-cost ratio of 1.12. This means that for each £1 spent to achieve an employment outcome, the Government would save £1.12. Compared to other options proposed, this option has a low cost per participant (about £ 250), is not as effective in terms of achieving employment outcomes, but can potentially reach a good number of people with common mental health problems. Improving the employment outcomes of those with common mental problems is a complex issue. There is no single ‘one size fits all’ solution. It is likely to need a variety of interventions. The policy options proposed are complementary. Where we have data, the benefits to the Government are estimated to exceed the costs. They have slightly different aims and client groups. They offer different approaches, some more intensive than others. They have different estimated costs per participant and levels of effectiveness. They imply different models of integration, commissioning and funding. The aim should be to test of the effectiveness of each.

“These policy options are complementary – they serve slightly different objectives and client groups. They imply different models of integration, commissioning and funding. They have different estimated costs per participant but for most the benefits to Government are estimated to exceed the costs, providing a case for investment. In all business cases, we see an employment outcome as a person moving from sickness or unemployment benefits into employment for a period of at least six months. The four policy options combine different approaches: intensive individual case management; group support; online; and telephone-based intervention”.

Where is the evidence that work pays? It’s a falsehood. They can’t find jobs (750,00 current vacancies) for able bodied unemployed with 2.3 million out of work, let alone find employers to take on chronically ill and disabled people and all that goes with that.

I was privileged to attend the RI WORLD CONGRESS , 25–27 October 2016 Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Scotland.  What they all waffled on about was the ‘utopian view’ that disabled people are being sidelined and they wanted to change that, so disabled people would be treated the same in society and have same dreams and bloody aspirations as ‘Mr or Mrs Normal’ person to get work, be included in society and then they rolled out the olympic super crip video to inspire us all into action.

Well, real lives of chronically sick and disabled people are not like that. Most aspire just to survive the cruelty of the WCA or PIP assessments and be left alone to manage their complex lives the best way they can. It is amazing that a few chronically ill or disabled people achieve great feats and also  are very successful, that I would never knock, but we cannot all be super heroes either as they like to portray in the media hype.

There are some disabled people who want to work, 45% do successfully but very few chronically sick people work due to the complex nature of their illnesses which disables them. I thought I was in a twilight zone, envisioning all these wonderful jobs would be created  and mean that they were wanting to put in place all reasonable adjustments one would need if you could move towards work,  fabulous accessible transport would no longer be a problem and that accessibility to buildings and many other barriers would miraculously disappear. Then, someone caught my head with a clipboard in passing and brought me back to the reality of real lives of most chronically sick and disabled people.  The fact that some couldn’t even go to the toilet unaided, or get dressed without a care support package in place, or could only manage 2 hrs a day maybe due to fatigue or dialysis, chemo fog etc . I’m all for positive thinking, but I’m also grounded enough to know most people’s lives are just not that simple and neither are their illnesses or disabilities.

Yet with the support of charities, NHS, GPs and JCP Work Coaches this government is intending to find meaningful employment to suit those its intended for and half the disability gap overnight… Don’t let this worry you as you will all be miraculously cured.

One thing they fail to grasp is that this utopia doesn’t exist in reality for most sick & disabled people. When I recently met with Debbie Abrahams at her Disability Roadshow, only 112 employers were ‘disability confident’ to find employment for disabled people  which will mean low paid jobs with no chance of advancement in their careers.  Any training will be short lived at the bear minimum cost to the state, approx £50 per head, and CBT will be no longer than 12 weeks which won’t suit the majority of  those with even moderate mental health issues.  Most have already been there and it didn’t work, or was unsuitable for them, leaving them more depressed and anxious than before they started. The startling thing is that this is coercion by the back door, making it ‘mandatory’ to complete the twelve weeks with the indirect threat of loss of benefit for not engaging in the process as an incentive to comply. This perceived coercion is likely to increase mental health problems, not reduce them. The ongoing DWP tyranny against chronically ill people has already increased the numbers of physically ill people now adopting additional mental health problems, as their financial security has been removed, with the relentless DWP suggestion that many claimants are bogus.

The Government must make sure that all recommendations of the WCA reports and the UN  recommendations are implemented without further delay to meet its obligations to safeguard those whom are the most fragile group of claimants and does not cause harm to their mental health . Claimants health and well being cannot be sacrificed in such a manner without due regard to process under the law.

This alone must be against the grain for any civilised society,let alone breaking the Human Rights of claimants and failings of adhering the Equality Act 2010.Yet again this government is failing in its duty to ensure  preventable harm  that could be caused to what are very fragile group of claimants or in some cases prevent fatalities amongst this group of claimants, as they disengage with GP’s and other stakeholders which can have serious consequences to their health and wellbeing. Many claimants in this group have already lost their lives due to the stress and strain of the WCA processes, which left them unable to cope where they only option left is to take their own lives. This cannot be allowed to continue!

BASE  Blog By Huw Davies

“The Work and Health Programme is the headline act here though. We’ve requested sight of an equalities impact assessment, as we’re concerned that the decision to go with a single programme may not be based on any sort of analysis of the evidence. DWP appears committed to combining a programme that works, albeit with a limited group, and a programme that has patently failed(link is external).

The Work Programme offers a 4% chance(link is external) of getting you a job if you’re an existing IB claimant; 7.7% if you’re a new ESA claimant. Work Choice is nearer to 40% for IB claimants(link is external). Overall, Work Choice is delivering close to 60% job outcomes compared to 30% for the Work Programme where 70% of those referred are sent back to the Jobcentre after 2 years.”


This is why I reject this Report,not that my opinion will count for much being a mortal citizen,they have had 6yrs to make changes to get people into work,and its been a cruel dark road for many,yet again some ideological process to make work pay and lift people out of poverty is failing at a very high human cost.


If you have 5 mins please fill in this survey  http://surveys.parkinsons.org.uk/s/bigbenefitssurvey/?platform=hootsuite

Ekkelesia also did three reports http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/22112


The Green Paper ; https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/564038/work-and-health-green-paper-improving-lives.pdf



New plans were announced today in a Department for Work and Pensions media release and Green Paper, to help more people with long term conditions to “Reap the benefits of work and improve their health.” The plans proposed today include: a review of Statutory Sick Pay and GP fit notes to support workers back into their jobs faster, and for longer encouraging Jobcentre Plus work coaches to signpost claimants to therapy the launch of a consultation on Work Capability Assessment reform encouraging employers to work with their employees with long-term health conditions to stop them from falling out of work a wide-ranging debate about recognising the value of work as a health outcome. http://www.taen.org.uk/news/view/1555

National RA : http://www.nras.org.uk/-improving-lives-the-work-health-and-disability-green-paper-what-does-it-mean-for-people-with-ra-and-adult-jia-

National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey results  http://wellbeing.bitc.org.uk/wellbeingsurvey





Picture Courtesy of Birmingham Mail

Picture Courtesy of Birmingham Mail









Poverty is caused by the failure of society, but most importantly is is failure of government to accept responsibility to address the issues that require massive spending on its infrastructure and job creation which in turn builds a good economy. In 50 years the construction of what was built from nothing in 45 was demolished by capitalism in the last 37 years when Maggie Thatcher decended on Downing Street in 79 and continued under Blair and present Governments and opposition alike. The welfare state in 45  provided a basic safety net for those in absolute poverty,which was expanded over time to be more compassionate,caring and supportive for those who fell on hard times through no fault of their own,compared to its original inception by Nye Bevan.


So why are we here again? Well yes the banking collapse of 2008 didn’t help matters but that isn’t the real reason. Those in power have always tried to fix the so-called ills of society and failed miserably because they don’t understand what causes it,because they are untouched by it as they mix in different circles than the rest of us. Equally some working class are just as judgmental as their oppressors. The fact someone is born into different class should not absolve them from personal responsibility nor should working class be absolved from personal responsibility neither.

I grew up in the slum society similar to that depicted in Ken Loach’s ‘Cathy Come Home’ I was born into what many call a ‘dysfunctional family’ although I know well my parents did their best in difficult circumstances of high unemployment,poverty,homelessness struggling to survive. I as a adult, decided that I would not be like my parents and dragged my ass out of the gutter thanks to them grafting all hours often working more than one job and us kids fending for ourselves. At one point we almost got put in care too. As I started out in life working hard all hours of god send to make a life for myself. I met many people along the way many who were in a different league to me class wise, I could see past their false smiles as they frowned when they looked at me,due to my coarseness of being the rough diamond amongst them, the elite and millionaires with all their wealth on display. I remember one night going to a party with my other half at the time at some country house of their work colleagues ,it was like a different world to one I grew up in,their children were privately educated and well behaved and had social etiquette were finely turned out and high achievers. One thing during the night I observed was they lacked compassion almost robotic in their words and actions and I saw a flaw they lacked basic common sense because everything was done by Nanny and parents where so busy gathering wealth their children were paraded like prized possessions with no feeling or regard. This was like a freak show to me, polished front with a emptiness inside,while I feel I had substance but lacked the polished front.

It made me realise the one who was the richest in the room was indeed myself. I saw this guy ask where to smoke, I was so bloody relieved he had as I was crawling the wall for my addictive fix, so I followed him outside. There was that awkward silence in the beginning and then he broke that silence by asking how I made a living,as a female he was took aback by my answer, I drive a bus around London I said. After a few probing questions he became quite fascinated that a woman was doing what he perceived was a predominantly a male profession and we started chatting amicably as others came and went, indulging their addiction to tobacco and other substances beside drinking like fish and becoming quite intoxicated and letting their polished masks slip. I was like a crash course of social experimentation. By the end of the night we had broken down all those barriers but I was under no illusion that I would not ever be accepted in their circles,yet we discussed all topics including spirituality, humanity we all share etc even them laughing about the queen farting like anyone else as I pointed out when we are dead we all go same place , in the same body bag to mortuary,in same hole in the ground or oven, it is only the crematorial furnishing that is different. I quite enjoyed the evening and went to others after that, where I was greeted with affection,yet deep down I knew they saw me as the nights entertainment rather than the famous names playing live music in the front room, what they failed to grasp was they actually were my entertainment as I saw them making total plonkers of themselves as well as the sneaky infidelity  going on in the garden behind the trees and undergrowth and the shallow lives they lead.

I knew then I was glad I wasn’t like them, false plastic personas while their children were damaged through lack of love and affection and suffered from multiple marriage breakups due to infidelity and domestic violence.The whole thing was a deceitful illusion presented in a Harrods bag ,while I felt privileged with my Sainsbury’s plastic bag.

What we have now in society, is the very privileged running our country like a game of chess,deciding the fate of others without any real connection to the reality of peoples lives they have power to decide over.They are out of touch and have been all their lives with exception of a few working class who have found life hard in the political landscape. It is mass NLP of the nation convincing the poor it is their own fault they are in such a bad way, with those who made good thinking they can join in kicking the fallen claiming to be middle class,when they are not, with soundbites that reflect their own personal shortcomings through transference onto the poorest in society whom over the years are so downtrodden that they actually believe they have no choices left but to accept their punishment of being born into the working class .

We are not empty vessels like many up the ladder we are enriched by our experiences in life and are fully enriched in our own way. This to me is more worthy than a fat wallet or large house and flash cars etc, we adapt to our circumstances and manage far better than our counterparts, and most likely would manage the country far better for all than they do for the few given the chance,which is what they fear from socialism,democracy.I didn’t plan on being disabled or poor but it can happen to anyone at the flick of a switch.

Today we have unprecedented poverty not seen in 100years caused by the mismanagement of the 1% who’s sense of entitlement holds no bounds while preaching to rest of society we need to lose our sense of entitlement for the crumbs on offer. It is time to rise and take our country back, without punishing those who oppress us, but by creating a fair and equal society where everyone flourishes including them while we take a larger slice of the cake to benefit everyone including the planet we live on and animals too.

It is our collective responsibility to help others who have less,if you have more it is your responsibilty to give more than those who have the least to give, to provide everyone with opportunity and hope  for the future, generation after generation. Capitalism has failed society it is time to ditch it and create a new world we can all survive in ,where everyone has a roof,food,clothing and anything else that is considered essential for functioning in the world we currently live in, with insight to adapt for the future.

It is time to raise taxes or are we all too greedy and selfish to see we cannot continue along this path of low taxes and expect good services which are being starved of funding due to the mess we are now in with another crash around the corner?

It is Humanity,Kindness,Compassion for each other that will provide us with a new blueprint for our survival.

It is why we have not learned lessons from the past and until we do we will continue to make same mistakes and cause untold suffering to the many.











 Courtesy of Mo Stewart July29th 2016

Re: Blaming the victim, all over again: Waddell and Aylward’s biopsychosocial (BPS) model of disability.

by Tom Shakespeare, Nicholas Watson and Ola Abu Alghaib


Critical Social Policy, May 25,2016: 0261018316649120


AS you all know, I have been exposing the dangerous WCA in my research since 2009.  Eventually, I was able to expose the use of the totally discredited biopsychosocial (BPS) model of assessment, used for the WCA and adopting a ‘non-medical’ assessment model to resist funding benefit.  Waddell and Aylward’s ‘research’ was based on the modified version of Engel’s BPS model as identified in the 1970s. They are responsible for the BPS model used for the WCA, which has destroyed countless lives.


Finally, the very long awaited academic support has arrived in the form of a blistering attack against Mansel Aylward and Gordon Waddell’s research ‘evidence’ who, historically, have written DWP ‘commissioned’ research that has influenced government policy, which led to the introduction of the WCA.


Originally published in Critical Social Policy Journal, Tom’s scathing attack against the BPS duo is now attached and is available via Tom’s website at UEA: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/58235/1/1351_Shakespeare.pdf


The Waddell-Aylward BPS has remained largely unexamined within academic literature, although it has not escaped critique by disability activists (e.g. Jolly 2012, Berger n.d., Lostheskold 2012, Stewart 2013). In this paper we build on these political challenges with an academic analysis of the model and the evidence used to justify it. We outline the chief features of the Waddell-Aylward BPS and argue that, contrary to Lord Freud’s comments above, there is no coherent theory or evidence behind this model. We have carefully reviewed claims in Waddell and Aylward’s publications; compared these with the accepted scientific literature; and checked their original sources, revealing a cavalier approach to scientific evidence. In conclusion, we will briefly outline the influence of the Waddell-Aylward BPS on contemporary British social policy, and the consequent effects on disabled people.” (p4) (My emphasis MS)


Waddell and Aylward slide between general statements that are scientifically valid, and specific statements that are matters of opinion or political prejudice. They also tend to cite their own, non-peer reviewed papers extensively. For example they claim ‘We have the knowledge to reduce sickness absence and long-term incapacity associated with common health problems by 30–50%, and in principle by even more’ (2010, 45). They underpin this claim by reference to one of their earlier publications, Concepts of Rehabilitation for the Management of Common Health Problems (Waddell & Burton 2004). However, there is no evidence cited in this 2004 work to support such a claim, in fact this publication even acknowledges the paucity of evidence in this area (Waddell and Burton 2004; 50).” (p20)


“In conclusion, the relationship of the advocates of the Waddell Aylward BPS to the UK government’s ‘welfare reform’ does not represent evidence-based policy. Rather, it offers a chilling example of policy-based evidence.” (p24)


The research ‘evidence’ used by the DWP to justify the dangerous WCA, using the discredited BPS model, is finally exposed as having ‘no coherent theory or evidence behind this model’, which is academic speak for being totally bogus.



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