Posts tagged ‘political rhetoric’

A Modern Dystopia- A Glimpse Into The Future


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello it a while since I blogged anything deep but as you know I’m not one to shy away from the responsibility of speaking out or the truth.

This has been something I forecast many years ago  to those who follow my blog, I have said some things which labelled me  a scaremonger or others implying I was a dangerous lunatic, yet I have been proven so far to be correct. Insight can be enlightenment and a curse.

So here I go again, jumping into the deep end of the cesspit of politics and the way we are ruled by those who think your life is worthless and of no use, and blaming you the individual rather than the chronic decision making by those in power. Quite some time ago as way back as 2012 I forecast this Tory government would lead us to hell in a handcart and now we are finally seeing their true colour’s as there is nothing to stop them enacting their game plan.

Why…because you let them!

Covid 19 has moved that plan fast forward and they are scurrying about in the corridors of power  trying to plug the holes that have been exposed. I said that they would come after the middle classes through welfare reforms and that Brexit would expose us to hardship never seen in over 100 yrs or more as the economy would take a severe nosedive plunging us all into the darkness of a dystopian world even George Orwell had not envisaged the savagery  about to unfold.

Do you all remember a BBC program called Years on Years and everyone was shocked to the core at the parallels of modern britain , well that is the  reality many now face, it wasn’t meant to become a reality I hear you say  or was it a dry run to test the nation to see how they would cope with what was coming who knows? In the clip below portrayal of  Trump and Vivviene Rook as a female Far Right Politician reminiscent of Farage.  It well worth a watch if you missed it anyway.

 

Covid has now plunged us into a wormhole  where nobody has the resilience to cope with partial lock downs where it highlighted our vulnerabilities  as human beings who have grown accustomed to having what we like when we like, but Brexit is about to bring that reality home  along with huge job losses and a failed  government which really isn’t governing. Many thousands are dying of Covid that’s before the flu season hits us, sounds like a conspiracy theory only it isnt!

All most will look towards is many will be lucky to have a job at all,  more homeless people on our streets,  our food banks over flowing with those who work and unable to keep up with demand, as ‘Charity’ replaces state support while they demolish and state assistance and social care will only lead to further deaths and deprivation most people have never seen in their entire lives and don’t be surprised after Brexit if Ration Books don’t make a return, as many as 5-9 million unemployed is forecast which will take decades to recover from and a rise in civil unrest and the boiling pot spills over onto our streets which will be exploited by the far right if someone doesn’t step up and take charge and automation will replace humans in Jobs.

The government is already looking at alternatives to state support in a post brexit world where food shortages are most likely and most alarmingly millions more people will die from abject poverty and starvation. It is a frightening picture I paint I know will UBI Plus help stem the disaster or will they continue to tread the same path and let eugenic practices like natural selection take place .

 

Its time to wake the hell up and stop and think what we are doing as a human race not just to each other but to the planet we live on which we are also destroying with our consumerism.

‘Its all your Fault’ isn’t just a convenient catchphrase its intentional to ‘blame you’ rather than you’ blame them’ for their incompetence , but there is a grain of truth that it is your fault for allowing it to happen in the first place rather than taking note of the warning signals but allowing your greed to absolve you from responsibility you needed to take. You wont be here , But your kids and grandchildren will be and that’s the legacy you left them. So expect to take the blame if you are able to survive the future as it will come home to roost.

 

 

Lockdown and the Virus -Guest Blog


Coronavirus: What it does to the body - BBC News

Image Courtesy of BBC News

 

Guest Blog by Florence

I was 57 a few days ago. I have comorbidity but was not designated as one of the vulnerable, or extremely vulnerable despite being the kind of person who has had to have flu jabs since my mid-40s and has had the pneumonia jab. I have a serious congenital heart defect that is heritable and which was not discovered until my mid-40s.  It did explain a great deal about the lifelong fatigue I have experienced, but that’s another story.

 

I have been kindly, lovingly and unofficially shielded by members of my family who live in my household. I would do the same for them. To be frank I have been fortunate, myself and my partner have been furloughed. I know many who have not been able to self-isolate, but as key workers continue to go into their place of work.  The cleaning of shopping and packages, the changing of clothes immediately after coming inside the house has been something new to organise. It reminds me of my father’s strictures about never putting library books on the kitchen or dining table and of washing one’s hands after touching for the first day or so. He’d grown up in world where contagious infection was an everyday fact of life.  Most of our parents and grandparents knew about this and that is why much our late nineteenth and twentieth century health improvements were brought about by working class people, in particular women the home, in service, or in public buildings cleaning things all of the time.  Cleaning, boil washing,  plus modern sanitation and sewerage systems were as crucial as medical and scientific advances: Cleanliness + Vaccines  = Better Health.  That’s a simplistic expression of the  history of public health, but very often the scientific advances have overshadowed what was considered to be something quite lowly: cleaning.

 

Because of the Victorian nature of the working class terraced housing I live in, it’s not always been possible to go in my front or back gardens when my neighbours  are out.  Narrow houses mean narrow gardens. When my neighbour sunbathes lying next to our party boundary fence I’m going to have to move further away. I  must also be mindful of the wind direction. I know that because I read the science papers written about airborne transmission.  There however rises the question,  just how distanced or isolated should people be? An MIT laboratory research group suggested 27 feet not six feet based on their findings about the distances particles ejected by sneezes and coughs can travel.

 

Every weekend since the 75th anniversary of VE Day there has been get-together’s of around six households on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in those front gardens. And loud and aggressive clapping on Thursdays too.  As people are continuing with is admittedly fun and socially cohesive thing to do, none of them dropped like flies from COVID, even though I know that some of them are also keyworkers.  It’s understandable that people are frustrated with the lock down, but the fact remains we have had a quasi-lockdown which has not been on the scale of undertaken by governments in other countries which have had far fewer death.

 

We never had a real total lockdown in the UK..

 

Now on 1st June working class people are forced out to schools, to workplaces by the Government, despite the exhortations of scientists. I do wonder how long it will be before one of the neighbours who parties in my street to become ill.

I have now decide how much longer I can stay inside. If I can be shield and isolated for another month to six weeks or more. I can hope to not catch a disease that could potentially be lethal.

The Chance Of a Lifetime -Missed Opportunity!


Image result for jeremy corbyn

Trigger warning this is brutally honest.

It is with a broken heart that I write this blog after spending the day feeling angry and hurt, this old bastard socialist was hoping to see a Labour government in power before my toes curl up. We have missed the opportunity of a lifetime to elect a principled man who put decency and decorum back into the political arena.

It is well known that many socialists have always been resistant to the EU project and Jeremy himself hid no opportunity during his career to attack it when the opportunity rose, however we live in a decade where that can no longer be ignored or taken into account and that I’m afraid  is part of what cost us the election and Jeremy his golden opportunity to implement some of the best socialist policies in decades. Ones that would have lifted the very people it needed to out of suffering of the political ideology that is Austerity! Granted Corbyn wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea as leader.

I have heard some pretty heated debates since the result but one thing is certain, people voted without seeing the wider impact that would have on the future of this country and those on their bones of their arses suffering under austerity.

Under Thatcherism many of those leave constituencies suffered greatly and never recovered with many closures of what built this country into a thriving one ,even though as a result, it also added to climate changes re pollution. Many voters who have turned the country blue by voting against Labour candidates because of their many hardships in their areas,  from central government cuts which hit many Labour councils the hardest ,it was by design so you would blame the council not the Tories, that lead to public services cut to the bone or non existence , to the shops closing on the high street, to rising crime and drugs with not enough police to safeguard them and their families. Those communities that felt left behind so voted for Brexit in 2016 and used this election as a re -run to assert the notion they were not being listened too, BUT YOU WERE ,YOU DIDN’T LISTEN !

Not stupid, Just politically ignorant  living for decades under what effectively has become a society ruled by the greedy  because you know nothing else, it is why he appealed to young people and that’s why Political Education needs to be back on the curriculum but the Tories wont offer that cos they like it that way. Civics of how Parliament works and what Capitalism is and Socialism and many others to either far right to the far left. that is the future debate to be had. The young listened and so did many of us old bastards who remember the last left Labour government  .

Many swallowed the soundbites, the lies and smears the deep state of 1% threw against Corbyn ,from Communist to Terrorist to Venezuela and everything in between by the Tory run right wing media. the resounding noise of ‘Get Brexit Done’ was a subliminal message that seeped into the brains of many fighting to survive, and social media which turned into info wars of click bait on both sides, of what was a two horse race. Those messages aided and abetted by the likes of Farage,Tommy Robinson, Trump,and others fueled the skewed debate so you stay slaves to the 1% and doff your caps like the good servants that you are. They removed the fixed term parliament act before the election so now you are trapped into subservience , while they reign supreme masters over your every waking moment of the lives you lead.

No socialist worth their salt should have voted against their own interests to enable the Tories to remove hard fought Workers Rights and Human Rights that they have been afforded under the EU , but recognize that while EU needed reform to enable us to trade ,freedom of movement etc it was designed when the world was different and needed to change, We should have stayed and reformed it, as this was something Corbyn realised, which is how he was persuaded to call a second vote based on the impact of Brexit would affect us as a country, and you never turned up for the lesson he was trying to get through to you because you thought he was denying your original vote…….He Wasn’t!

You are not going to get your country back under Boris and the nationalist agenda which has lurched to the far right, where racism and many other ism’s are now front & centre stage by slick oil salesmen in suits with a clown in charge of the circus pretending to be the class clown who will brutalize the many groups in society at will. While people laugh because they think he is funny, as he is as openly misogynist and racist as the country is reminiscing of the once colonial power it once had. You have condemned yourselves and many others to untold misery you took to the streets over regarding Austerity, Foodbanks , Universal Credit, NHS , the many deaths under successive governments the last decades etc you have sealed their fate with a stroke of the pencil.

Congratulations you have prevented the change the country desperately needed for the many not the few. A country where insurance profiteers will empty your wallets and purses,where healthcare is for those who can afford it, no social housing or educational program ,no safety net for those in need and where your bosses can use and abuse you at will ,without recourse ,because  your tick box gave them permission to do so.

The party will have to change  and rebuild and continue under another leader with possibly not the same insight as Corbyn , as those who could have stepped into his shoes were the very ones who lost their seats. Its time you took a long hard look in the mirror to reflect what you have done, and recalculate your moral compasses.

The future is bleak for the many, many more lives will be lost, the blood on your hands wont wash off, you are complicit in enabling your class destruction and noone will be at your grave to weep as you are surplus to requirements and your replacement is already in place. I may not be around to see this in full tilt who knows, but while I am, I will continue to fight for those you abandoned and left behind while you carry on living your Brexit dream.

Health Transformation Programme – The Next Step


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Trigger Warning for those with sensitive disposition >>>>

Since March 2019 the mutterings of  merging assessments has been muted which sent shivers through people with disabilities as they felt another onslaught was coming and saw this as a negative move. Its linked in part to Health and Work Programme too, which Department of Health combined to help design,  to enable DWP plans to close the disability employment gap and get more people into work. This doesn’t exclude other groups in society as it all part of welfare reforms and part of Universal Credit  and Social Prescribing is likely to be part of this complex joined up thinking by the government.

Contracts were first noticed in 2019 when the then Minister was Amber Rudd made a statement  on Improvements to Universal Credit, so when I went looking and  it’s part of ‘Intergrated Health Assessment Services’ Contract.

I remembered reading about it in the government 2016  ‘Improving Lives’ the work,health and disability Green Paper,which like most things are slipped in under the radar, by the DWP Ninja’s with the date of 2021 start date. I also recall IDS flunky Charlotte Pickles writing about it and Dame Carol Black in think tank reports way back.  This week Theresa Coffey the new minister being grilled about  by the DWP Select Committee about universal failures of Universal Credit, where she lost the plot when Frank Field  challenged the minister ,and she blurted out they were not uncaring they were trying to make things better quoting the previous ministers statement, which jogged my memory. So off I went down the rabbit hole which is my archive documents to search for these mutterings. I recall Alex Tiffin Campaigner also wrote something on it at the time.

OBR & Rudd

“The idea of of this was the cost involved in repeat assessments which were costing the DWP millions when 72% of PIP appeals were overturned according to Rudd and ESA appeals on top were also very successful,which seriously highlighted the administration of this in turn cost the taxpayer a small fortune. Contracted assessors should have been shown the door and financially penalized, but no this government instead extended those contracts to continue carrying out the assessments while they still were getting the majority wrong. The OBR report showed:

The admission, quietly revealed in the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) economic outlook report, suggests the DWP never had sufficient staffing levels to carry out the repeat assessments for personal independent payments (PIP) alongside its other workloads.Repeat assessments to check eligibility for PIP, a benefit intended to help pay for extra living costs as a result of having a disability or long term condition, have been labelled “unnecessary and stressful” for claimants.

Those transferring from DLA to PIP were also being failed adding to the pressure in the dept and like it or not Rudd was one of the better ministers to hold this post before quitting over Brexit.”
The issue is as Coffey announced they are looking at more reforms, the new forms designs, the IT structure to enable this project will cost more taxpayers money but also cost disabled people a lot more in terms of stress. Is it for instance one assessment which means you are eligible for both benefits as suggested by many in field, or is it really one assessment lose all scenario as that could potentially mean PIP is going to become means tested which it currently isnt? Lots of disabled people also just get one of these benefits for instance and work already. many severely disabled people with chronic illnesses get both as they are deemed unfit to work, and others can be looking for some limited type of work they could manage. The last ten years have left many traumatised by the DWP and sadly some have taken their lives over DWP tyranny inflicted upon  the disabled community as a whole as fighting for what they are genuinely entitled to.
Many DWP projects are dressed up as the dept being helpful and inclusive with IDS mantra of ‘Work Sets You Free’ ideological warfare, this is unlikely to be a positive experience either.
Only last week they were caught red handed asking people to downplay their illness to make them more employable and use positive statements and avoid using certain words to describe their disability or Illness. What many have failed to spot is the managed migration of those deemed too ill to work date also starts in 2021-23 is the date coincidence, I doubt it!
Rudd stated

“The corporate empire will be able to rake in millions of pounds more from the ‘Work Capability Assessment’ – to pave the way for a massive shake-up in 2021.Benefits outsourcing giant Maximus will have its contract for hated ‘fit-for-work’ tests extended by more than a year, ministers announced today.

The corporate empire’s benefit testing firm will carry out ‘Work Capability Assessments’ for ESA payments for a further 16 months to July 2021.

The extension – the second since the contract began in 2014 – will allow the firm to rake in millions of pounds more taxpayers’ money from the tests.

But ministers insist it is a temporary measure to ensure “stability” ahead of a huge shake-up of disability benefit tests to help claimants.

Two separate tests will be merged into “one unified, integrated service” from 2021, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd announced.

The tests are Work Capability Assessment for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit – run by a subsidiary firm of Maximus called Centre for Health and Disability Assessments Ltd – and separate assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), run by Capita and an arm of Atos. Today’s extension comes despite more than two-thirds of appeal tribunals (68%) overturning fit-for-work tests last year.

Yet confirming the contract extension, Ms Rudd argued it would pave the way for “a more joined-up claimant experience” in future.She added: “This will allow for a safe and stable service now, and as we transition to the new integrated service.” The announcement came ahead of a wide-ranging speech by Ms Rudd vowing to improve the disability benefit system after years of warnings it is throwing people into destitution.She admitted disabled people feel “put on trial” by the DWP process and “we need to do more” to “close the gap” between intentions and reality. She said the enormous rate of appeals ruling against the government – 72% for PIP last summer – is “of particular concern” and the number is “too high.” according to The Mirror in March this year.”

IDS in 2015 when he launched Universal Credit claimed 

“I have said many times that I believe work is the best route out of poverty.

It provides purpose, responsibility, and role models for children.

As a one nation government, we believe everyone in the country should have the chance to benefit from the security and sense of purpose that comes with being in work.

That is why our guiding principle has been to place work at the heart of everything we do in our reforms.

Getting people into work is more than just earning a salary and certainly more than balancing the public purse.

These matter, of course, but they are not the primary reasons.

For culturally and socially, work is the spine that runs through a stable society.

Let me be clear – a decent society should always recognise that some people are unable to work because of physical or mental ill health – or both.

It is right that we protect these most vulnerable people in our society. And that support is there.

For despite the scaremongering, it is worth reflecting on the fact that we in this country spend more on sick and disabled people than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average.

To put that in perspective – and according to the OECD, the UK spends more on incapacity than France, Germany, or Japan.

However, we are also ensuring that the resources are in place to support people into work.

I’m proud that we are providing significant new funding for additional support to help claimants into work – £60 million in 2017 rising to an additional £100 million a year by 2020.”

This will no doubt strike fear into the heart of the disabled community as it will many other groups who will be targeted on Universal Credit,via its Health & Work Programme and its Social Prescribing of  Intergrated Health Asessment Services. No Guidance is currently available. Its been a very long journey for many of us campaigners ,who are also trying to inform and support many as well as look after their own health and manage their own disabilities, but it appears that this journey still has still a long way to run.
“DWP under the Health Transformation Programme (HTP) are exploring the future delivery of Health Assessments with the objective to transform the health and disability assessment services provided for people with disabilities and health conditions.
The Health Assessments help by providing advice to DWP Decision Makers to determine eligibility for benefits paid to claimants across a range of benefits including Personal Independent Payments (PIP) Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC) and a number of smaller benefits.
Currently the services are delivered through a multi health assessment provider base with varying commercial and delivery operating models. The aim of the transformed service will be a more effective, efficient integrated service for customers.”
Please try to read some of the links provided below as I know this blog has been a long one for those who cannot deal with Info overload.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/work-health-and-disability

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/564038/work-and-health-green-paper-improving-lives.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-awarded-to-help-people-with-health-conditions-stay-in-work

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/40-million-personalised-support-package-for-long-term-unemployed-disabled-people-launched

https://inews.co.uk/news/dwp-quietly-admits-never-had-capacity-pip-reviews-pensioners-disabilities-dwp-benefits-505474

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dwp-extends-maximus-fit-work-14089513

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2019-04-11/HL15269/

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/gp-topics/legal/government-could-automatically-access-gp-patient-data-for-benefits-assessments/20038333.article

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/dwp-benefit-claims-medical-data-sharing-nhs-healthcare-doctors-charities-a8797991.html

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/02/19/dwp_health_data_tool/

https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/8859

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2019-03-05/HCWS1376

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/dwp-universal-credit-pip-and-welfare-reform-outsourcing-contracts-bill-revealed_uk_5c17a7a9e4b05d7e5d84273e

https://blog.sense.org.uk/2019/03/is-combining-pip-and-esa-assessments-really-a-good-idea/

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/closing-the-gap-between-intention-and-experience

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/08/jobseekers-told-to-call-their-depression-low-mood-on-applications

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/359865b3-b1e1-4071-8bc6-f02067c9f216?p=%40FQxUlRRPT0%3DNjJNT08%3DU&fbclid=IwAR1l0AvqucHKCGYBU-cWx0V-0YwBSP0zV2id_2kh4UhgudPu4K6c7t9u9b4

 

Updated July 2020: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2020-07-09/HCWS353/?fbclid=IwAR3Q4jLRyQ09LJOgMNb_fs1R1Un5iWuStsgRZgukcAqvbRKO_5a5dMQRfMg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Silencing of Common Sense


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We live in interesting times and the Brexit debacle rolls on daily with media only reporting the likes of Trump,Boris,Farage and now Swinson in a identity political world which has no honor amongst thieves. The daily smears on Corbyn continue from the usual sources, while salivating over the UK division, while all the variables of those who shout the loudest start stabbing each other in the back. Politics is a mire of personal attacks and the press are selling their poison to those willing to listen. Boris has become the UK version of Trump  whose self interest and arrogance to sell us off to USA while Farage offers to destroy Labour in a pact with the Tories to leave the EU whilst Blaming the EU for all its ills is astonishing to say the least, while Swinson wants to remain in the EU but sell her party down the river in offering a pact with the Tories.

Leave Campaigners who have duped supporters have all been out for talks with Trump over the last three years so we know who is yanking the chain of the UK politicians prepared to crash the country and sell the family silver . While Tommy and his thugs try to cause discourse and  incite violence amongst the very people who need help, and who for decades have felt left behind and unheard by the Thatcher de-industrialization , by targeting sub groups in society on the shirt tails of the chaos we now find ourselves in.

Yesterday the man  responsible for all this mess states he is sorry, yet who has a book coming out next week! He starts attacking his party and his former colleagues from a safe distance in nothing more than a publicity stunt. A man who promised a vote on a negotiated deal and for a referendum to be held once the deal was sealed, which never happened in reality he just fudged it to save his own ass and Tory party by holding a referendum anyway. That’s what has caused the division and for those who fell for his lies knew it was also to try and run over the Corbyn rebellion,but it backfired.

Earlier in the week we had the revelations of Operation Yellowhammer which will cause considerable harm to the country and its citizens as a base scenario on paperwork while the PM’s cabinet skuttle about in the corridors of power saying it worst case scenario that they are sure wont happen as they are making provision to take care of the people according to Gove the snake oil salesman.

Why in gods name should we trust them to run a bath, let alone the country?

Relatively few stories about genius of Corbyn who has wisely used the chaos to hone his pincer like movement on the Tories with lethal effect inflicting successive defeats on the Tory prime minister never seen in modern politics, trapping Boris et al by working with cross party group to agree to prevent a no deal being inflicted on citizens, that will cause death and destruction to those most in need of help and support not seen since the 1920s. Swinson and few others within the Labour Party go all out to undermine a common sense approach of the cross party crew,while jostling to be top dog.

The Corbyn cross party compromise to both leave and remain factions is a deal already negotiated which will require a vote on a deal with both leave and remain on the ballot paper, while offering to sacrifice himself thereafter in a election process . Some would call it a dangerous but brave move, others may call it stupid and naive. I have no doubt in his sincerity to put the country first even if that means Labour lose an election,which I’m hoping it wont, given the fact that so many citizens are living in life critical situations and millions are dying as a result of incompetent management of the last 9 years. I can see why the Corbyn Machine relies on going out into the community and speaking to the people and using social media platforms for it voice,while rejecting the right wing rags who peddle hate and division while slandering a man who is a threat to the gross wealth of capitalism’s worst excesses of tax avoidance and greed. The cross party solution is a common sense approach and then maybe we can put this Brexit horror to bed for good and many peoples lives can be saved as a result. Meanwhile Climate change threatens us all.

 

Feed the needy not the greedy

For the many not the few

CLASS- THE STRUGGLE OF THE MANY


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class is a way of describing the hierarchy of society. Where you fit on the social class ladder affects your opportunities in life, because it determines your social, cultural, and financial resources.

Many either talk about it in real terms or deny its existence, but the fact is the working class communities were broken up by Thatcher but previous efforts of others prior to Thatcher that led to hunger marches 1923-36  also echo as loud today as they did then.  . The class system has always been around and depending on the definition used, it changed politics and utterly devastated the communities who worked and were just able to sell their labour for a price and keep their heads above water. In Modern Politics it is used less and less.

The workplace has changed in the UK many industrial and manufacturing processes are now lost,  and more and more people work in the public sector, in offices, IT, and other service areas with a few exceptions such as the Construction/Steel industry,  where hard manual labour is still happening just about.

Research suggests that working-class people place a higher value on the good of the group, whether that is the family, co-workers, or the neighborhood, than middle-class people do. Working-class culture focuses on everyday life, while middle-class or professional-class families tend to focus on individual advancement. No definition can adequately capture the complexity and diversity of the working class is today. But regardless of the nuances, working-class people have some things in common – strong commitment to family and community, economic vulnerability, a solid work ethic, occupational health risks, negative cultural stereotypes, limited access to education.

Parts of the United Kingdom have disappeared from public view over the past 30 years, and been erased from social memory. The coal mining communities in the North, in the Midlands and in Kent, that once roared in their fights for the dignity of the working class are now silent, long forgotten.Political, economic, and institutional power has moved away from the docks, the mines, and the shipyards and found a new home in London, with the financial and political action. As a consequence, vast parts of the country are now deemed uninteresting; they’ve been left unfunded, unheard and uncared for by politicians, the media, and business. Their voices were raised in June 2016, though, when many of these communities voted to leave the European Union. That made people takes notice.

But they were still misunderstood. Many would have you believe these communities voted for Brexit because they are stupid, ignorant or racist. In fact, they voted Leave because the system simply doesn’t work for them anymore. They understand that they are dispensable to our ‘economy’ and they resent the fact that ever since the manufacturing industries went and the large warehouses arrived, they have been exploited and left with zero-hour contracts, low wages, and poor quality jobs with little chance of moving on to something better. Being working class isn’t an identity I wear in order to get funding, or a free place at a seminar, my type of working class doesn’t get these things anyway, my type of working class has come through experience and a history that has been passed down to me by generations, my values, how I see and think about the world is knowledge that has been shared with me by mother, by her mother, by her mother and her mother before her, my dad, my granddad and so on, by Mrs Bell my next door neighbour who looked after me when I was a child and her collective knowledge, being working class to me is about power, history, and experience. Being working class is about the relationship a group of people have with other groups of people, looking at each other and seeing that pain, but in turn having others look at you as ‘other’ and not one of them. This collective knowledge isn’t about nostalgia, and the past, it’s about the past the present and the future, a pain I inherited and a pain I have passed on. Working class people are hurt from the day they are born, even before they are born, questions are asked about our inception, about our family’s abilities, and the moral fibre of what we may become the minute our eyes are open. If class isn’t political its nothing. Says working class academic Lisa Mackenzie.

 

 

One thing for sure is the Labour movement was built on the collective movement of the people and we should never forget that, or we will surely pay the price at the ballot box.  Today we have swathes of working class people forgotten and left behind, disenfranchised who have been abandoned and it is down to us to reunite them with the Labour Party and it values.

We are part of huge political turmoil with Brexit where Corbyn’s ‘For the Many not the Few ‘ring out loudly but not loud enough to engage those who feel they don’t have a voice or are not listened too. When I talk to those who feel silenced I hear ‘politicians don’t care about me and mine’. We need to listen, feel their pain in Austerity Britain of the 99%, where those in work are struggling and having to ask the state for a helping hand because they are not paid a living wage, while the 1% whose wealth has tripled ignores the many . We need to be rebuilding those communities at the core of Corbyn’s ideas to rejuvenate that collective to stop the rise of the far right narrative poisoning of minds of the future generations.  It would be a dereliction of duty not to do so as a socialist movement.

 

https://lisamckenzie1968.wixsite.com/website/blog/class-politics-is-about-power-not-identity

https://lisamckenzie1968.wixsite.com/website/blog/a-howl-of-anger-from-the-heart-of-forgotten-britain

 

Will UBI Be The Right Solution?


 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week Labour has been talking about the prospect of UBI if a Labour Government came to power.

A report by Guy Standing for the Progressive Economy Forum UBI Pilots who is deemed the expert in this field published his ideas on how the UK could make this work.  This blog will about that discuss this and the flaws in his argument.

Firstly his claims that other pilots have been successful is a matter of opinion, I cant see how this claim can be made,  given each of the pilots mentioned operated very differently so therefore are not comparable as they would need to be identical in operational terms. Many have been scrapped and reported as failures.This idea has been around since C 1200 yet none of the previous UK governments have implemented it , even though it has been discussed many times. Why because it was deemed it wouldn’t work.  Are Labour digging up a corpse?

The Pilots suggested by Guy Standing are as following:

Five types of basic income pilot that are
recommended:
• Model A. Under this variant, a sample of people – a whole community defined
as a locality – would be provided with basic incomes, with additional separate
benefits for those with special needs. The basic income would be provided
instead of existing means-tested benefits, with the exception of housing
benefit, which should be retained (or be replaced by an equivalent to
compensate for any loss of the housing element of Universal Credit).
Provisionally, it is proposed that every adult in a selected community would be
provided with £100, with £50 for each child, and with additional separate
benefits for those with disabilities. As indicated later, the selection of the
community should be random and be drawn from a group of low-income
communities.
Bearing in mind that existing benefit levels have been allowed to fall in real
terms and that there is nothing optimal about existing tax rates, this model
should be regarded as realistically aspirational, in that it the test would be to
see the impact on the population, recognising that funding such a scheme
nationally would involve a significant cost that would have to be met by tax
increases, diversion of public spending from other uses (such as subsidies and
tax reliefs) or the establishment of a national commons fund as described
earlier. A primary purpose of this Model would be to determine whether the
benefits of such a scheme – such as improved health, reduced stress, more
work and less crime, as found in pilots elsewhere – would merit consideration
of this option in the future.

• Model B. Under this variant, a sample of people – again, preferably all members
of an identifiable locality – would be provided with basic incomes of £70 per
week for working-age adults, and £20 per week for children on top of Child
Benefit. Tax codes for every recipient would become BR, thus imposing the
basic rate of income tax on all earned income below the higher rate tax
threshold. Means-tested benefits would be left in place, and basic incomes
would be added to the means taken into account in their calculation, so each
recipient household’s means-tested benefits would be automatically adjusted
downwards, and their means-tested benefits would also be automatically
adjusted upwards by the changes in net earnings brought about by the tax
code change. Administration of the scheme would be possible if the recipient
community were to be defined by postcode boundaries and the government
was able to instruct HMRC and DWP to make the necessary changes within
the recipient community.

• Model C. Under this variant, a sample of people – again, preferably everybody
in a local community – would be provided with basic income as a supplement
to their existing state benefits. This would be firmly in the spirit of common
dividends, and the per capita amount could be less than in the first case. One
option might be to provide every adult in a community with a tax-free £50 per
week for one year that was not taken into account in determining access to
means-tested benefits. This would strengthen income security and be
progressive, since the amount would represent a larger proportion of the
income of a low-income person than for others.

• Model D. Under this variant, a sample of welfare recipient adults would just
have existing conditions for entitlement to existing means-tested benefits
removed, so as to make the benefits closer to a basic income, notably by
removing forms of behavioural conditionality that permeate Universal Credit
and other benefits at the moment. This type of experiment is close to what is
currently being tested in The Netherlands and Finland, as described in
Appendix A. It would have minimal net cost, and might even save public money.

• Model E. A fifth type of experiment is very different from all the others. This is
sadly relevant to the austerity era, and would be a refinement of an approach
taken in the City of London some years ago. As described in Appendix A, the
gist of the policy was that a group of homeless were given a cash grant instead
of the various measures made available, and it led to most of them obtaining
places to stay, and thus actually saved the council considerable money over
the longer term. Given the horrifying growth of homelessness across the
country, this experiment should be repeated in a few other, randomly chosen
places. It should not be made a national policy, but the results could be taken
into account in formulating and implementing a national basic income system.

To make UBI work in the UK it would take some radical changes not just in thinking ,but with certain groups in society who cannot work such as Disabled People,Carers ,Elderly for a variety of reasons. One annoying trait with all governments is the focus on getting people into jobs, which isn’t a bad idea in itself if they can , but with total disregard to those who cannot, as if it is like some sort of Utopian world view where work is the be all and end all of life. With many on low wage zero hr contracts and not enough FT jobs or skilled workforce to fill current vacancies. Many people are working less than 3 hrs a week but classed as employed by government ,yet complaining about the welfare cost rising and counted as claimants too . Many are grandparents/ parents who are picking up childcare for example or carers which actually saves Governments an absolute fortune in service provision.

For any UBI scheme to work in the UK  these marginalized and demonized groups need to be included and additional bolt ons, like disability premiums,PIP, AA,Carers Premiums,Child Elements,Housing Benefit must be retained and set at a realistic level  and to cope with modern society after Brexit,  if that happens, with rising costs and inflation etc. The figures quoted by Standing are unrealistic in the modern world with AI creeping into the workplace and less than current payments on Universal Credit for some and in Scotland even less money.

A flat rate fits all approach will fail without doubt and plunge many into a worse situation than they are currently facing under Universal Credit. we shouldn’t throw the idea out altogether but if Labour wants this to work, it first needs to Listen to those on the receiving end of the policies put forward not just so called experts. Sanctions and Behavioral Conditionality,  the awful WCA/PIP assessment processes  that currently are costing a fortune both monetarily and with reported deaths of claimants should be abolished as promised and the rapid rise of homelessness. There should be a claw back process for those who gain employment set at a certain threshold ie: 50k.

Disabled people in particular have higher costs (500mth) because of disability and social care needs, we need to make it possible for those who can work to get jobs, keep mobility vehicles to enable them to get to work , eat healthy food, put clothes on their backs and pay their bills  and even a holiday which will all benefit long term costs in other areas as well as make them healthier both mentally and emotionally and  initial costings will in the  long term cut costs in other areas.

Critics on all sides make wild claims for and against this idea but if well thought out , it might just work! Piloting different approaches are not helpful in some ways as they are costly on both sides of the argument, but a well thought out UBI might work for the many and not the few .

I’m still wary of ‘False Prophetic’ claims of a brave new world of welfare state, in fact I may not live to tell the tale, but this has to be done properly for the generations to come who need support of a safety net just because they Can’t!

 

For those wishing to read Standings report: https://www.progressiveeconomyforum.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PEF_Piloting_Basic_Income_Guy_Standing.pdf

 

The Death of the Welfare State-Joining the Dots Series -Part 4


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By blueannoyed and Paula Peters

Finally we get to to the next stage of government bullying via the NHS. How this links in to Social Security Claimants and their ability to keep some sort of financial security while fighting off the despicable onslaught of the Government who is out of control  , whom have sociopathic  tendancies.

Today I discussed the situation of the NHS  10 year plan , The new 5 Year GP Contract , Social Prescribing,and the  needs of claimants trying to get support or access to services they need to maintain their well being, in this survival of the fittest campaign launched by their government with Dr Bob Gill,  a GP who has spoken out against the great NHS heist of Privatisation.

I asked Dr Gill How he thought the relationship between patient and claimant could be damaged with the new GP Contract which every GP will have to sign up to in May 2019?

I also asked him about social prescribing and its potential impact on patients who need state support and claim Social Security?

 

He described to me that Patients are already coming to surgery with anxiety and depression or ill health due to hostile environment that austerity is creating, and the system is making people ill, or in a lot of cases more ill than they were.  Making it unlikely they will be able to manage their conditions in same way they currently do.

He stated that perverse financial incentives for ‘sociopathic ‘ assessors are leading to really bad outcomes for claimants and  pressures upon the public purse, as well as increased workload on GP’s whose patients need help with appeals etc. This contract will effectively making GP’s Gatekeepers which is not what they chose to be when studying medicine to become a GP.

He said the Government is driving a wedge between the patient and their GP and pitting them against each other,  and that will most likely mean the good GP’s will leave while those without no consciousness will reap the rewards offered by the Government and DWP .

Social Prescribing, is blaming the patient for their situation and the whole treatment process of being denied to the proper care that the patient needs. I asked him about the potential that with ‘patient coaches’ (aka work coaches) who have too much power could lead to those who most need support and are extremely vulnerable ,are likely to  disengage with their GP and fall through the cracks and could ultimately end in their demise which he agreed with my assumption. He stated that Patients/Claimants and GP’s are victims of a government who doesn’t care.

 

The definition;  Sociopathic tendencies in people are often marked by lack of conscience within the person. They just care about their own needs and desires

 

Video:

 

This is the tip of the iceberg of how it could impact on claimants needing further medical evidence support, getting a Fit Note if they are off work through ill health to claim state support, which under Universal Credit they would need to do so repeatedly.

The breakdown of trust between claimants and GP or other NHS staff has the potential to cause a rise in further deaths which have happened already under its predecessor ESA. That’s without the 120,000 who died due to poor care in NHS, etc as diseases previously eradicated are now making a comeback due to austerity measures and abject poverty.

This is Government Quackery on the cheap by unqualified people, dismissing medical opinion of professionals while eroding our NHS services and underfunding essential services that patients need and a NHS they can trust and flogging it to their mates. It beggars belief that the public would allow this to continue or collude with the government by being taken in about better services and cutting waste of NHS resources, or blaming migration, when they have slashed NHS budgets for decades along with New Labour who are not blameless in this re PFI acceleration under Blair.

Below Published with Kind Permission of ck999 Blog Page which has lots more  information,  link is  below in further reading.

Instead of caring for a few thousand patients, a primary care network will have anywhere between 30K-70K patients on its list. In order to provide out-of-hospital care, as hospitals are centralised and cut, it will “integrate” a range of services, provided by a “multidisciplinary team”.

 

A number of primary care networks will be linked to a “locality hub”. There are various versions of what this is, but the British Medical Association has endorsed locality hubs as “ alternative mechanisms to meet the urgent needs of patients when local practices have reached capacity”

 

 

A BMJ graphic shows other activities taking place at Locality Hubs, as well as handling GP “overspill”.

Only patients with complex needs will see GPs

Many GPs are not at all happy about this fundamental change to their role.

The way it works is that a care navigator signposts patients to other services, with no reliance on GPs. This has already been happening in GP surgeries for some time and as all GPs are forced to join Integrated Primary Care Networks, it will now become the norm.

Patients with complex needs – who are at risk of admission to hospital through A&E – will be identified through a process of “risk stratification” which segments patients into various categories.

Risk stratification requires the use of digital health technology (so called telehealth and telecare) and shared electronic patient records.

The concern of primary care networks is to cut the costs of the most expensive categories of patients

These are broadly:

  • Frail elderly with complex health problems
  • Mothers and babies
  • People suffering from the “modern epidemics” of obesity, diabetes, heart and respiratory problems
  • People with disabilities

However there is no real evidence that the “care models” designed to treat these categories of patients cut costs. Or give them better care.

Cutting most patients’ access to GPs will have extremely damaging effects on patients who need a Further Medical Examination for benefit claims, because they need access to a doctor to write letters. Without a Further Medical Examination, a disabled person won’t be able to claim benefits. This is about the destruction of the welfare state. It’s about taking rights away.

The DWP now have people in mental distress top of their target list to get back to work. Which is where Universal Credit will really come into play with this.

The mental health charity MIND won the Individual Placement Support contract – part of the DWP/NHS Health and Work Programme. Individual Placement Support is about the ‘health and work conversation’: Work is good for Anxiety and Depression. What barriers are there to you working?

This is where social prescribing link workers come into play – where they look at barriers to you working. And then prescribe self management. Self care. Via a behaviour change scheme most likely run by a cash-strapped 3rd sector organisation with no therapeutic skills.

The “work is a health outcome” programme – a dangerous partnership between DWP and the NHS – is creating a toxic environment that is compromising doctors’ ethics of Do No Harm.

This link between the DWP and the NHS needs to be broken once and for all.

But the NHS Long Term Plan has no such intention. It name checks Sheffield City Region’s “Working Win” large scale research trial.

It focusses on using a new type of Individual Placement Support to get people with mental health and musculoskeletal conditions into employment. (These are the two main conditions that prevent people from working.)

This list is in NHS England’s new Health Services Support Framework, which identifies approved suppliers that NHS commissioners and providers can hire to tell them how change to the way they work in order to fit the global corporate model of healthcare.

Unsurprisingly the approved suppliers include all the usual suspects and then some:

How did this happen?

The government and its quango NHS England – official name NHS Commissioning Board – have engineered this by drastically cutting primary care funding and driving hundreds of GP practices into bankruptcy, while GPs in droves have been taking early retirement or emigrating to places like Australia where the GP workload is far more manageable.

GP practices are folding at the rate of one a week. In the last year, tens of thousands of patients have found themselves losing a practice, or having it merged with some random practice more or less in the same neighbourhood.

Simon Stevens, the NHS England Chief Exec, has been saying for years that the corner shop version of family doctors has to go, to be replaced by a supermarket version of large scale integrated primary, community health and social care services.

Now he is making that happen.

 

Your NHS is on life support, welcome to the American style  health care system you allowed to happen, hope you got deep wallets or insurance which is the real end game , if not  you will be one of those unfortunate that will meet a early end of life because you happen to be poor and can’t afford Insurance.

 

 

Gp Contract 2019 by Gail Ward on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/403999299/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-Jj5snwwqSUkSKkijC8SX&show_recommendations=true

 

Further reading can be found below: Also check out my Social Prescribing Blog

 

 

http://www.hcbgroup.co.uk/is-there-a-cure-for-the-healthcare-and-wellness-marketplace-confusion/

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/commission-appendix-uk-private-health-market.pdf

https://www.nhsconfed.org/resources/key-statistics-on-the-nhs

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/benefits-staff-want-permission-to-trawl-through-patient-records-qgfx3qwv6?fbclid=IwAR2_NnYlbY30iDY0R7A5g1kDduyMYQyz3jSVSEtwvuHDauSi2qFIBjQT7GI

https://www.digitalhealth.net/2019/01/hancock-gp-it-systems-shake-up/

https://digital.nhs.uk/services/gp-systems-of-choice?fbclid=IwAR17Oz6RjrDf3JwafPgYKoYNZpZaer6PccQ6CAfpp3F1UCILUbM0yM_NQ5Y

Scotland : https://bjgp.org/content/67/660/294

https://www.hsj.co.uk/policy-and-regulation/all-gps-expected-to-sign-up-to-network-contracts/7024128.article?fbclid=IwAR2n3-PhhNIqkIyk7koL68UUJgbjRvwfUk7oozFRn0r9sKT4j6a4hqkuQl4

https://calderdaleandkirklees999callforthenhs.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/large-scale-integrated-primary-care-networks-what-lurks-beneath-the-buzz-words/?fbclid=IwAR1UKBhGpV9lrEyZNHJAlrbIUhn4gyf1LTZzUhzwgXZY2zBeUDDl5RKvhDI

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-can-move-towards-more-coordinated-and-continuous-care?fbclid=IwAR1dV1Lsx0UW-eryC0hphKqR9H_kV8g7urVdcWRBRo8eMI14U1oueyonVi4

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhsx-new-joint-organisation-for-digital-data-and-technology?fbclid=IwAR2ekyJayhEU-K3qMZWBETmBEnj3JpLWxEDbhfjOADCSL-MrM85Fdu0nH9E

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/12/nhs-ends-block-smartphone-gps/?fbclid=IwAR2UprOiA8MK8gTpJtKHcKw2wzFj4XZYvCVvVXFx5i67dCuiacfXBxMSVUk

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/02/19/dwp_health_data_tool/?fbclid=IwAR1fIqnGW0naqOcwRhVigQvi7RELPmbsnkcL58r8_dKMY8R9r-rhbqEKFvY

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/12/nhs-ends-block-smartphone-gps/?fbclid=IwAR2UprOiA8MK8gTpJtKHcKw2wzFj4XZYvCVvVXFx5i67dCuiacfXBxMSVUk

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/11/back-to-work-support/

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/the-dwp-is-trying-to-co-opt-gps-in-forcing-ill-people-into-work/?fbclid=IwAR1DcTZFX3tIyJ4ogkvYaSf-p-y3zktL7W1mPqUYcRYVlZcmWotLlJe2I30

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/hot-topics/gp-contract-2019/20/all-the-headlines-from-the-2019/20-gp-contract-at-a-glance/20038181.article?fbclid=IwAR3mfOnFVg97TfSd0z2MwbdC_3SlFDzhi45MX350SynIJihZl3Ij7GpCw5U

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/tory-austerity-deaths-study-report-people-die-social-care-government-policy-a8057306.html?fbclid=IwAR2A_EzuW0s_CCrblXJMqvI5MlVwj6aT8Ca5GVeXiyGmp53lqvSz6aJNBKA

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/physician-associates-can-do-gps-work-more-cheaply/20009818.article#.XGgjirXD-vI.mailto

The Death of the Welfare State-Joining the Dots Series -Part 3


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By blueannoyed and Paula Peters

So here we are  with the Tories in power and the many Welfare Reform Bill’s that have been passed  in full swing including the introduction of a further change called Universal Credit in 2013 , which was to be rolled out later across UK  to those on certain Income related benefits, including story after story of people being denied benefits unlawfully and their hardship or worse still the fatal consequences in some cases being highlighted across the HOC by MP’s from all sides. This caused outrage  except with the general public who had not a clue what was happening  thanks to the Tory propaganda machine hiding it all and the media colluding in it except for a few exceptions of some journalists, like Frances Ryan,Patrick Butler, Amelia Gentleman,Sonia Poulton and a few others. to those claiming it was like living in a Orwellian nightmare they had no chance of escaping.

DPAC collected stories and sent them to the UN  asking for help and intervention to bring this to the attention of the public and others highlighting it by taking the Government to the High Court.  This UK Government is only one in history to be found guilty of ‘grave and systemic violations of disabled people’ and further visits by the UN rapporteur Philip Alston condemned them in further reports.   Meanwhile many were distracted by the fact that David Cameron called a referendum which would divide a nation  and privatization of the NHS accelerated to bring it all together to remove the welfare state under the NHS Five year Forward View,and the  Work & Health Programme which is part of Universal Credit, In 2016  The Dept of Health and DWP joined forces  the message was to cut the disability gap for disabled people to be able to work  and remove barriers to work in the green paper Improving Lives-The future of Work,Health, Disability. The catch phrase was ‘Work is a Health Outcome’  This replaced the 2010 work programme’s.

The Impact this will have now and in the future is going to see many people moving into work that can and those that cant forced into impossible situation of mandatory schemes  to get them back to work.The Work and Health Programme is a Welfare to Work programme commissioned by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). It is designed to improve employment outcomes for people with health conditions or disabilities and those unemployed for more than two years.

The rollout of UC has to say the least been controversial  the media stories of hardship forced many changes under various ministers (8 to date) who came and went faster than a windy day due to its failings, yet this government still refuses to scrap this dangerous policy to save face , even when it has been pointed out it wont work for so many and is cruel and twisted ideology behind it is flawed.  Even the media have called for it to be stopped, and it has been subject to the making of a few programmes which have shocked even the hardest critic of those claimants ‘Sitting on the Dole’ ‘Something for Nothing Culture’ screaming about their taxpayers money being spent on ‘Dole blaggers’! The huge increase in hate crime and towards anyone that didn’t work , homeless, disabled and the hostile environment created by this Government has had even some of its supporters  say enough is enough and it must change or stop and fix the problems, but No this government carries on regardless with claims its working and employment rates are highest they ever been which doesn’t bear scrutiny .

 

Further reading;

 

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/the-government-plan-to-nudge-sick-and-disabled-people-into-work/

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/the-connection-between-universal-credit-ordeals-and-experiments-that-electrocute-laboratory-rats/

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/11/back-to-work-support/

https://www.shaw-trust.org.uk/Services/Work-and-Health-Programme

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/panorama-universal-car-crash/

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/iapt-the-governments-magic-cure-for-mental-health/

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/health-work-programme-universal-credit/

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/health-work-programme-part-2/

 

The next blog will be how the NHS changes will affect the many and how all this will link together and the effects of patients and those who will be affected by Universal Credit such as Social Prescribing , access to GP and a Interview with Dr Bob Gill who has been telling us all about the privatisation of the NHS for some years.

The Death of the Welfare State-Joining the Dots Series -Part 2


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Blueannoyed  and Paula Peters

So lets look at the next stage of where it all went badly wrong and joining up a few more dots.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes were introduced to the UK under the John Major Government in the 1990s, with the first project Skye Bridge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDDTu7kZUjA .Tony Blair’s New Labour Government significantly expanded PFI as a convenient way of funding public infrastructure “off balance sheet.” Despite frequently calling for an end to “Labours flawed PFI program” whilst in opposition, in 2011 Chancellor George Osborne re-branded and continued the PFI gravy train under the “PFI 2” banner. NHS Trusts owe £80bn in PFI loan repayments and “unitary charges,” the technical term describing the extortionate ongoing running costs of maintaining PFI hospitals via PFI – where private contractors are granted 30-year monopoly rights to deliver maintenance and services.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/joel-benjamin/seven-things-everyone-should-know-about-private-finance-initiative

In recent years reform of the welfare system in Britain began with the introduction of the New Deal programme  introduced by the Labour government in 1997. The aim of this programme was to increase employment through requiring that recipients make serious efforts to seek employment. The Labour Party also introduced a system of tax credits for low-income workers. The Welfare Reform Act 2007 provides for “an employment and support allowance, a contributory allowance, [and] an income-based allowance.”. The objectives of the Welfare Reform Act of 2007 were to increase the employment rate to 80% from 75%, to assist 300,000 single parents find employment, to increase the number of workers over 50 by 1 million, and to reduce the number of people claiming incapacity benefits by 1 million.

In the 2009 Welfare Reform Bill This welfare reform proposed an increase of personal responsibility within the welfare system. The reform eliminated Income support, and allocated funds over to the Jobseeker’s allowance, to encourage employment. It also encouraged increased parental responsibility by amending child support laws, and requiring births be registered jointly by both parents. This is basically how we got to David Cameron In power with the help of the Lib Dems. Building on Thatchers Legacy they all equally promoted on the capitalist world stage.

Disability campaigners saw this coming this is how the main groups in 2010 like DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) Black Triangle Campaign in Scotland and Spartacus Campaign,Pats Petition,WOW Debate MHRN (Mental Health Resistance Network)and many others were created to fight against the forthcoming erosion of the welfare state and austerity measures in the pipeline that was to be foisted onto the most vulnerable in society in the hope there would be little opposition, well they got that wrong! Disabled people started to take to the streets warning of what the end game was yet they were often dismissed as scaremongering by the general public but that did not deter them. When people start to die you just cannot sit and do nothing and boy did they take to social media too,  all working together behind the scenes collectively to raise awareness of what was happening to people under these new reforms .  The campaigns that hit headlines were Spartacus twitter  campaign ‘I Am Spartacus’, DPAC ‘s  Independant Living Campaign (ILF) 2010  one thing for sure disabled people were not going to suffer in silence they were going to take this fight to the government and still are! DPAC disruptive direct actions are notorious and they took their concerns to the UN over deaths that were occurring as people slipped through the cracks, while others produced hard evidence of what was going wrong and how to fix it by lobbying ministers to their plight.

ATOS  was the main contracted  outsourced provider of new Biopsychosocial model assessment regime designed by the likes of Mansell Aylward , Gordon Wadell,  (The biopsychosocial approach systematically considers biological, psychological, and social factors and their complex interactions in understanding health, illness, and health care delivery.)  Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud,Frank Field et al  grabbed this flawed research with gusto and turned it into something brutal and unrecognizable removing the safety net of the welfare state for those who need it. This government have created a hostile environment for anyone who needs state support with lies about claimants taking taxpayers money while they are working hard to pay taxes. The demonisation started by IDS et al all feeds through to the general public  via the media that those needing support via his scrounger rhetoric, lazy ,feckless , money for nothing,hard working people are just a few of the soundbites used harking back the the victorian days of blaming the person rather than state failures to provide jobs in a failing economy since the 2008 global crash.

 

Iain Duncan Smith (Center for Social Justice)  -Between 1997 and 2001, he was Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security and then Secretary of State for Defence. From 2001 to 2003, he was leader of the Conservative Party and then from 2003, having stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, he set up the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ). The CSJ was an organisation dedicated to focussing on the problems facing those in the lowest income groups in society. It published a series of reports, perhaps the most significantly, “Breakthrough Britain: Ending the Costs of Social Breakdown”, focusing on the five pathways to poverty and a Conservative way to implement social justice and improve the quality of the poorest in society. It is also worth noting that in 2013, the CSJ published the paper on modern day slavery, “It Happens Here: Equipping the United Kingdom to Fight Modern Slavery”, which subsequently led to Theresa May enacting legislation on this matter. In 2010, Iain Duncan Smith became Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a position he held until he resigned in a dispute with the Chancellor over his determination to reduce his expenditure on disability benefits by over £1 billion. During his time as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, he undertook the most significant programme of welfare reform in modern times, transforming the benefit and pension systems, as well as employment services and support. Perhaps the most significant reforms were the introduction of Universal Credit, (bringing together the six unemployment and sickness benefits), the Work Programme, for the first time bringing together private and voluntary sectors to get unemployed people back into work, and the introduction of the Single Tier Pension simplifying the State Pension.

https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/

 

Many battles have been fought since then and the Labour Government started to listen and ministers started to support disabled people in their fight and Ministers from all parties started to have their surgerys full of cases where this regime change was causing preventable harm. Meanwhile the Tories continue to ignore it and dismiss it as ‘work as a health outcome’ and disabled people as scaremongering despite extensive evidence to the contrary.

Further reading:

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

http://www.welfareconditionality.ac.uk/2017/07/demonising-disabled-people-public-behaviour-and-attitudes-during-welfare-reforms/

https://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/killed-by-the-state/

https://www.inclusionlondon.org.uk/campaigns-and-policy/facts-and-information/independent-living-social-care-and-health/ilf-one-year-on/

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/2015/07/18/a-brief-history-of-social-security-and-the-reintroduction-of-eugenics-by-stealth/

Spartacus Reports:

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/search/node/spartacus?fbclid=IwAR0oZ4h1GCEG62yOm4M1V8ir_UnEPN-Oq0jJuhlXBpzLHIPgxko3Luy4H6U

https://spartacusnetwork.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR1uGHwGNaggW9dMo7cbdG1WCT33SJK979fd99uQ4lENhKvi1v5bW-KLA3E

 

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