A letter a day to number 10. No 1,309
Friday 08 January 2016.
Dear Mr Cameron,
The DWP death squads strike again.
I don’t want to hear, as I did today, another person breaking their heart and saying, ‘I can’t take this any more!’ But – let – me – be – very – clear – about – this, I will and I will not begrudge them a second of my time, all the time they need to let the terror and the grief out; that time I will give, and will continue to give, willingly with every breath of my being. Because I know, as sick and disabled people across the land know, my day too will come: the brown kiss of death envelope will arrive because George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith and his death squads are gunning for us. That isn’t conjecture, that’s fact. I’ve already survived two battles with them but they’ll try again, as certainly as blackest night follows day.
Another life has gone, Dawn Amos, and on the day the agonising decision was taken to switch off her life support machine a letter informing her that she no longer qualified for her personal care allowance was sent by the DWP and found two days later by her husband. The DWP who, as they frequently inform us, never comment on individual cases said, “Our thoughts are with the family of Mrs Amos. The decision was based on evidence which included the opinion of Mrs Amos’ own GP.’ The opinion of her GP? GP’s practice medical science, not opinion, and Mrs Amos was reported as suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and, as her daughter said, “Obviously she was ill enough for the benefit because we had to watch her die.’
The DWP doesn’t use evidence, it uses tick boxes with the sole intent of getting people off benefits even if they are on deaths doorstep. The tick box process was assessed by David Daish, a programmer and software tester, who reported, “The assessor can basically say anything they like. Nothing in the software forces them carry out the assessment fairly.” He described the test as, “little more than a glorified Word document: A piece of programming that is not integrated in any way, has no checks and balances to make sure the business process it is supposed to support works as it should, that is, the PIP assessment itself, is in my view unforgivable. I’m inclined to think it is deliberate.”
Esther McVey told parliament in 2012 before a single assessment had taken place, “More than 300,000 disabled people will have their benefits cut when Disability Living Allowance is replaced by a new benefit.” Set the target, meet the target, ignore the evidence. That is the reality we are seeing and living with today. I don’t know how many more people will die before we bring this filthy regime to an end, but die they will and their blood is on the hands of you and your government and, the oh so smug, Iain Duncan Smith in particular and his hired mercenary death squads.