Posts tagged ‘society’

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.

 

 

Conversation with Opposition Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Minister JP Reynolds


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I saw the new Opposition Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  Jonathan Reynolds MP piece in the ‘House ‘ Magazine I was livid like many others, so I immediately hit the PC and typed a letter to get him to acknowledge how disabled people were offended by the article.

It has been signed by many from all walks of life who think our Social Security System is draconian but should remain Universal and yes it is enroute. You cant really blame us, given disabled people in particular have faced some of the worst cuts in the last decade and many lives have been unnecessarily lost due to DWP administrative errors and a parasitic private contractors who arbitrarily decide your worth,based on their own internal prejudices which society has pushed down the gullets of the taxpayer . A society who objects to paying taxes to help those in need seriously needs to give its head a wobble, as in life we never know what is around the corner and COVID -19 provided that shock for the masses whom no doubt over last decade think or voiced opinions those needing state support are lazy good for nothing scroungers.

Covid -19 and the partial lockdown of the UK to tackle the virus, left many who have had no interaction with social security system the shock of their lives yet many who were furloughed have yet to face the brutal measures metered out by the DWP regarding the claimant commitment which comes back  into play on 30th June 2020 and the Health & Work programme regime. This is going to hit many very hard who are floundering around being given misleading information about Universal Credit , some not meeting the criteria due to having wages so no entitlement to those who are currently easing back to work finding that their tax credits have stopped so need to reclaim them. It will be a shock to the system they never envisaged themselves to be in.

Anyway back to the conversation I had……….

 

Basically a future Labour Government  will scrap Universal Credit! They are committed to ensure those on Legacy Benefits get the £20 top up in line with UC for furloughed workers and are pushing the government hard on this.  They are committed to developing a Social Security System fit for purpose too that’s ‘universal for everyone’.

 

With regards to his comments on contributory benefits which is why I took to twitter asking for a conversation, the pot is getting less and less as the working poor get poorer and contributions are getting less and less and with the  post pandemic and Brexit world ahead and a potentially damaging recession  reportedly worse than the great depression 80 years ago in front of us, they are looking at the ways workers contributions are collected and paid out and how those people are brought into a new system which they hope they will achieve once in power.

I remember Labour releasing the contributory document when the Tories floated the idea of an Income Protection Insurance Scheme to ensure those who paid in, got what they paid out!  This is not the plan for the potential Labour Government should it gain power. GP’s do not wish to be gatekeepers for DWP even though Labour agrees that private contractors are a real issue so how that comes about is another thing but UBI will not be on the table.

To gain public trust they first have to conquer the public’s mindset towards the welfare state which in itself is a big ask after the Tories have poisoned the chalice since Thatcher ‘s ‘No such thing as Society’ rhetoric. we live in a very unequal world where workers are stuck on low pay zero hour contracts needing food banks while working their asses off, to perceiving their neighbours staying at home getting money from the public purse. Hasten to add we have a government who has pushed the Big Flat Screen TV rhetoric to the Free New Mobility Car bullshit which has lead to Disability Hate Crime and a dob thy neighbour culture for fraud when 99% of fraud claims are unfounded and malicious and conducted out of spite. So that is what the minister was referring to, and he agrees that Means Tested benefits are too low for people to survive on given the rising cost so many face.

Why has this happened  I hear many say, well it because the last four decades the Tories and New Labour under Blair  have successfully pitted sections in society against each other is the answer, and you all swallowed their bullshit! Certainly in the last decade this has become blatantly apparent with a Tory Government in power in which the rich have become richer and have more power, while the 99% have become the working poor so Divide and Rule works effectively for the Tories and many have bought into it, turning on each other instead of uniting together to defeat this government and boot them out!  The working class of this country need to unite and help kick this lousy government out of office so we can all live in a fairer society, based on need not greed.

 

Lastly He has promised to engage  further, so putting aside his past under James Purnell during Blair years which didn’t bode well, I felt it was a good conversation and positive. Jonathan does have a child with disabilities so while he in different position to most he is trying to grasp the nettle. I did warn him that disabled people would no longer tolerate being treated by society in such an appalling way as the last decade. These punitive policies have to stop and maybe just maybe, Covid has taught them a lesson too?

 

The Article which prompted to outcry

https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/jonathan-reynolds-interview

The Document Labour released re Contributory Benefits plans by Tories.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QBdAdIfZCAv4uC5L_zK8ozaPE0WCHxQj/view?usp=sharing
 

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.

Letter Response To Our Prime Minister


U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tests Positive for Coronavirus ...

 

PM Letter to Nation On Coro… by Gail Ward on Scribd

 

 

Response Template Letter….. Copy and paste and amend as required

 

Dear Mr Johnson,

 

Thank you for your letter regarding the crisis we currently face. I hope that you are starting to recover from the mild symptoms of Covid-19.

 

I would like to know given the lessons this national crisis has shown us, I would like you to confirm in writing that you are now seriously considering  the following measures to ensure that you can make sure the the people of the UK feel their government is listening and taking full responsibility for this crisis.

  1. Fully fund and equip the NHS and renationalise it ,and rid us of private contractors
  2. Sort out the safety net for those requiring state support like Universal Credit,and the failing assessment processes and remove private contractors from the process and pay carers a real living wage.
  3. As soon as possible pay all emergency services a decent wage so they don’t have to face hardship or use food banks
  4. Restore funding for the military and support for veterans as a thank you for their support during these difficult times while supporting the governments efforts to tackle the crisis
  5. Ensure low paid workers are paid a real living wage so we can grow the economy
  6. Ensure that the homeless are permanently housed as soon as possible, lay before parliament a nationwide house building programme becomes the top governments priority
  7. To ensure disabled people and the elderly are entitled to properly funded  social care and financial support to live independently in  their communities and that their Human Rights and Dignity is restored immediately.
  8. To ensure that all SME are supported financially by the government to recover, retain jobs and to rebuild their communities and in long term create jobs locally

 

Yours Faithfully

 

 

 

Angry British Citizen

Transitional Payment -Mobility Loan Sharks


 

 

 

 

 

In 2012  The government announced it was scrapping DLA and replacing it with PIP.  It sent shock waves around disabled peoples movement at yet another change after the move to ESA and all the problems that caused. So the Government and Motability Scheme released a  joint statement, assuring disabled people that nobody would lose out and that a transitional support package would help people if they lost their awards under the introduction of PIP, to remain mobile. The Package had  two options dependent on when you joined the scheme, disabled people would be compensated for the loss of a vehicle so many rely on to live independently in their communities.

 

So when my transfer to this new benefit came and I was invited to apply for PIP in 2018 I went through the motions like so many before me. I Lost my award after 20 yrs so I challenged it firstly via Mandatory Reconsideration and ended up at the appeal stage, which I finally won. During these challenging processes I was contacted by DWP /Motability to say my award was ending. So I rang Motability as I knew I was eligible for one of the two transitional Packages but wanted an explanation in detail to help me choose the right one for me and try to stay mobile and attend my appointments and socialize with friends. I spoke to a very helpful man who advised me that option two would be better support for me while awaiting decision outcome of my challenges as I was concerned about if my challenges failed I would owe them money which I hadn’t got and he said they could extend it to 26 weeks and longer in required. So I told him this is option 2  I would take based on the information he provided as I had recently had eye surgery and was blind temporarily hence my call.

So Today I went to look at returning to the scheme at my preferred dealer to order a new vehicle. going through all usual documentation my application was submitted and rejected. This confused both myself and the agent who has known me since joining the scheme so he said it a glitch I’ll ring them, which he did.  What transpired was a restriction was on my account and he was put through to someone who could explain this. Imagine my horror when it was relayed to me that this restriction was because I owed them £1570.90p which I had not received any correspondence about for more than 12 mths and that DWP had also not advised me that should I get back payments I would have to settle this with Motability. Unless I’m mistaken Option 1  take the money and run and after 6 mth rejoin at no additional cost seems unjust. Now I don’t mind paying what I owe if I know about it!

 

I understood the reduction in the option 2 I had chosen were to cover the monthly payments for the continued use of my vehicle. Guess what it doesn’t! This package in effect is a ‘loan’  until you get award back  and repayable and until this debt is paid you are not able to return to the scheme. Even the agent was shocked as in all his many years he had never come across this with other clients. Imagine I was pretty angry firstly at the misleading advice given I couldn’t read it until my eye had healed, and secondly at DWP for not advising  claimants that if they were on the scheme then some of this back payment would have to settle the repayable debt which I didn’t know of. Both are equally as Guilty as the other. I’m very lucky as a  close friend  remedied the impasse which still leaves me in debt for a long time with them, but enables me to have a vehicle to suit my needs. I went onto the Motability site to hunt down the quotes at the end of this blog and also state it is in the letters sent to the claimant, but given at time I couldn’t read anything seems a bit pointless after the fact. So please be very careful to read the small print as nobody seems to talk to each other and are separate entities, unconnected, when it suits.

 

So I ask other disabled people  who have been affected to please contact DPAC if you have had a similar experience. Email mail@dpac.uk.net

This blogger has emailed the Work & Pensions Committee demanding clarity for claimants and for them to ensure changes are afoot. Yet another example of poor communication and disabled people getting shafted when they have so little in the first place.

I Hope Motabilty Patrons IDS and Theresa May are happy with themselves shafting disabled people day in day out they must piss themselves laughing every night especially the former.

 

See Below Quote from the Motobility website

 

How much financial support can I expect as a car customer?

“If you became a Scheme customer by 31 December 2012 and return the car to the dealership in good condition and within eight weeks of the DLA payments stopping, you will be eligible for a one-off £2,000 transitional support payment. However, to give you more time to consider alternative mobility arrangements you can choose to keep the vehicle for 26 weeks after the DLA payments stop, but if you choose this option your transitional support payment will be reduced to £500.

If you first became a Scheme customer between January and December 2013, or you rejoined the Scheme during this period following at least a one year break, and return the car to the dealership in good condition and within eight weeks of the DLA payments stopping, you will be eligible for a one-off £1,000 transitional support payment. This reduced, yet still significant, amount is because information on the Government’s plans for PIP has been publicly available since this point. Alternatively you can choose to keep the vehicle for 26 weeks but your transition support payment will be reduced to £250.

Please note that there are only two transitional support payment options for returning the car – at eight weeks or at 26 weeks and the relevant transitional support payment will apply regardless of if the car is returned between the eight to 26 week period.

Will I be penalised for ending the leasing agreement early?

No further rental payments or costs will be applied to customers whose leases end early as a result of a PIP reassessment.

If I apply for PIP in the future and am successful, will I need to pay this money back?

This is a one-off support package to help with the transition from the Scheme and we do not expect that you’ll need to pay this back if you are later awarded PIP. However, if you decide to rejoin the Scheme within six months of receiving the transitional support package, you will need to speak to us to discuss your options.

If you are later awarded the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of PIP you may receive a backdated payment from the DWP covering the period of time from when your allowance stopped. Should this period cover time when you still had a Motability Scheme vehicle, we will ask you to repay this period to us if you wish to re-join or remain on the Scheme.”

If you became a customer from 1 January 2014, or you rejoined the Scheme during this period following at least a one year break, you will be eligible for a £1000 stopped allowance support payment, if you return the car to the dealership in good condition and within eight weeks of the DLA payments stopping.

Please make sure that both the DWP and Motability Operations Ltd have your correct contact details so there is no delay if we need to send you information regarding your support package, where eligible.

 

Update: 25th Feb.   Take the 2k and rejoin scheme after 6 mths you dont pay it back,  Option 2 take £500 pay it back out any back payments, but if you dont rejoin the scheme you pay back sweet FA and if you dont rejoin the scheme you pay nothing back and Motability dont chase the outstanding debt? How much is that costing?  DWP are invoiced weekly by Motability so I was informed today they kindly gave me a list of payments too.

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.

Independent Researcher Blasts Secretary of State Coffey over DWP Indifference to Preventable Harm


 

 

 

 

 

Mo Stewart Author of Cash not Care and Independant Researcher, who has been a continued supporter of disabled people, being a Disabled Veteran and Health Professional herself, has lashed out at the continued injustice metered out to disabled people via  her ‘Preventable Harm Project’ over the last decade.

 

In the evidence recently given to the WPSC, the DWP Permanent Secretary celebrated the success of the roll out of Universal Credit (UC).

Apparently, all is well, ‘customers’ are quite happy with their experience, and the Secretary of State uses her much celebrated PhD in science to analyse various aspects of UC that will help people chose their dream job and improve their ‘careers’…. Oh dear….

https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/d8df2ad7-4c03-45be-a922-b077d4c0e537   (WPSC live evidence session 16th Oct 2019)

Now Therese Coffey’s claiming that ‘Universal Credit is the biggest change programme in Europe, and the UK is seen as a world leader in welfare…’

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wms/?id=2019-10-31.HCWS66.h&s=welfare+reform#gHCWS66.0

 

Time for a reality check, so I dropped the Permanent Secretary a line.

Letter to Peter Schofield

DWP Permanent Secretary

https://www.mostewartresearch.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/REDACTED-letter-Peter-Schofield-DWP-Permanent-Secretary-DWP.pdf

To look at her website please click the link: https://www.mostewartresearch.co.uk/

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

 

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