Archives for posts with tag: Britain’s secret penal system

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Every time I see a headline like, ‘Government is failing disabled people’ or as in the Guardian, 1 April 2017, ‘This benefit cut will make youngsters homeless. It’s another Tory failure’, I am immediately stuck by an overwhelming sense of disbelief that either the media simply doesn’t get it, which is unlikely, or this is wilful perception management to keep us wrong footed or to deliberately deceive us.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the Tories are entirely comfortable with their policies and the effects they have and, indeed, lie through their teeth and spin endless nonsense despite overwhelming evidence of the harm their policies cause.

Whether it’s making work pay, the bedroom tax, sanctions, multiple attacks on disabled people, racist vans, bullshit jobs for bullshit pay, ending housing benefit for young people, no more top down reorganisation of our NHS, using European workers as bargaining chips, the junior doctors debacle, ending access to legal aid, denying the escalating numbers of suicides, the housing crisis, mass deportations, privatisation of the state, selling off state assets at knock down prices, cuts, caps, raising VAT, abandoning care for the elderly and raising pension age, tax cuts for the rich, austerity for the poor (and that is just the short list), the Tories are entirely comfortable with it all, their policies are working exactly as intended. They are not failing, they are succeeding.

Anyone who says they are failing, especially journalists, is misinformed (as much of the public is), an idiot or fully complicit in this mass deception.

This is not about cognitive dissonance, ‘the mental stress (discomfort) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values’, this is perception management on a grand scale.

How many deaths would it take to give any reasonable organisation cause to examine its policies or even just acknowledge that there might be a problem? Since 2010, tens of thousands of people have died or committed suicide and the government is not only not interested but denies there is even a problem. Damian Green took over from Iain Duncan Smith in July 2016 and has not only continued with the punitive regime put in place by Smith, but has escalated the attacks on poor and vulnerable people and claims the benefits cap, ‘costing almost 90,000 of Britain’s poorest families more than £2,000 a year, is a “real success”.

And he’s right. It is a massive Tory success. Poverty is rising and persistent poverty for children has consistently risen since 2010 and food bank usage under the Tories has gone through the roof, leading Chris Mould to state that the DWP regards people driven to food banks as “collateral damage”. Iain Duncan Smith, far from doing anything about the situation, accused the Trussell Trust of scare mongering and he and Lord Freud have consistently refused to meet with the Trussell Trust.

Why would they meet with the Trussell Trust? The system was designed by Smith and Freud, and it is doing exactly as intended, to penalise and hound people to death. Dr David Webster, writing on the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies web site, called Benefit Sanctions, ‘Britain’s secret penal system’, which imposes more and harsher fines than the entire British court system.

What does it take to call a spade a spade?

To even begin to understand the Tories we have to see them as they see themselves and report accordingly, as a towering success. Their policies are not ill informed or hastily come by, they are well planned and enormous amounts of time have been spent formulating them. The Welfare Reform Act 2012, introduced by Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud, and the unfolding misery it has given rise to, was not written in a day, or hastily, it was long in the making almost certainly predating the 2010 general election. It’s 350 sections and 187 pages were meticulously written and is a huge success story for the Tories.

Reporting any of this as failing or failure, is to entirely misreport the reality of Tory success. They are not failing disabled people or young people or anyone else, they are successfully implementing policies which they fully intended would cause pain and suffering on the grand scale we see to this day.

Alex Brooker on the Last Leg rightly called Tory disability cuts, “disabled genocide” and if you have a terminal illness but are expected to live longer than six months you do not qualify for extra support. So yes in real terms the government is failing ordinary people, but they are doing so wilfully and knowingly and mocking us in the process and consider their policies entirely successful.

The mainstream media headlines should reflect the reality of the situation, and hit hard and true. That they do not is to entirely fail to understand what is going on or to wilfully mislead.

Given the cost in lives for their failure to present the facts and the reality of the situation, then they are culpable in this unfolding catastrophe in the lives of millions of people in Britain today. Too much of the corporate media is engaged in perception management for self serving reasons and given the proliferation (thankfully) of independent media, bloggers and writers, it falls to us, ordinary people, to hold them to account and to call a spade a spade. The Tories have blood on their hands and it bothers them not one jot.

KOG. 02 April 2017

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/government-is-failing-disabled-people-on-discrimination-say-peers/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/01/housing-benefits-cut-young-adults-homeless

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uk-poverty-the-charts-that-show-the-true-state-of-low-income-britain-a7031666.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/food-bank-usage-at-record-high-reveals-trussell-trust-a6984921.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britons-driven-to-food-banks-by-poverty-seen-as-collateral-damage-by-dwp-says-trussell-trust-a6794101.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/iain-duncan-smith-accuses-food-bank-charity-the-trussell-trust-of-scaremongering-9021150.html

https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/benefit-sanctions-britains-secret-penal-system

https://www.loc.gov/law/help/welfare-reform/great-britian.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_Reform_Act_2012

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/the-last-leg-diability-cuts_uk_58ba72f0e4b05cf0f400d555

https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/money/benefits-entitlements/living-with-terminal-illness/special-rules

24_august_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,532

Wednesday 24 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

Paul Marlow is a man who reports he worked for 31 years taking only 2 days off for sickness in all that time, until he developed cancer in 2002. Since then he has had 42 operations and is suffering from hepatitis B, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a medical drug addiction and other health problems and yet the DWP found him fit for work. Five weeks after the DWP stopped his support payments he has now won his fight for the reinstatement of his social security payments.

The Oxford Times reports, ‘The Department for Work and Pensions originally said they found Mr Marlow fit for work and added decisions were not based on the condition of claimants, but on what they can do’.

This is an explicit admission, as many have experienced, that the DWP routinely ignores medical evidence even to rebranding ‘Sick Notes’, with the Orwellian ‘Fit Notes’. If someone can nod their head they are capable of hitting a machine button with it and turn out egg cups, or whatever. The fact they might be dying in the process is neither here nor there.

Of course this is all part of a set piece gouged out by ‘Lord’ David Freud and the outlaw USA based Unum Provident insurance company to rebrand sickness and disability as ‘malingering’ and the ‘motivation for claimants of disability benefits’.

Whilst this whole filthy business began under ‘New Labour’, in the unlovely hands of Iain Duncan Smith it rapidly expanded into Britain’s secret penal system imposing heavier fines than the entire UK legal system and depriving people of the means of survival, something no court in the land would do.

Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow had the following to say, “The British political class has come to believe that benefit claimants must be punished to make them look for work in ways the state thinks are a good idea.”

This arrogant authoritarian paternalism is an affront to humanity. It is little more than a psychotic perversion from over privileged and over bearing elitists who are too big for their own britches. Life is not a sweat shop for profit.

As I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions, the philanthropy of the poor to the rich far surpasses anything we might claim in feeble benefits, yet for which we are despised.

http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/14699246.Cancer_sufferer___39_put_through_hell__39__after_told_he_was_fit_for_work_by_government_assessors/?ref=fbshr

Mo Stewart: ‘The influence of the private insurance industry on the UK welfare reforms.’

#DWP ‘Benefit sanctions: Britain’s secret penal system’ by Dr David Webster University of Glasgow

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-graph-that-shows-how-the-poor-are-paying-more-than-the-rich-in-tax-10353982.html

http://www.desmog.uk/2015/07/27/landed-gentry-jackals-claiming-billions-farm-subsidies

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jul/07/corporate-welfare-a-93bn-handshake

14_june_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,464

Tuesday 14 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I would like to thank you for the GOV.UK web page – “Report online material promoting terrorism or extremism”.

I have taken the opportunity to report an organisation that has recently accepted that its actions are a factor in the deaths of many people in this country. In their defence they state that it would be inaccurate and misleading to link deaths solely to their behaviour. Which may be so, but that does not in any way absolve them of their extremist behaviour towards people in the UK and the part they play in causing the widespread distress that has led to so many deaths. The organisation is, of course, your governments own Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The website I reported was the Gov.UK ‘Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance sanctions statistics’. I included the following in my report: “The website represents Britain’s secret penal system, imposing judgements and sentences without trial or representation and depriving people of the means of survival. Something no court in the land would do. The sanctions regime is government extremism which leaves victims destitute and desperate.”

There are three levels of sanctions, lower, intermediate or higher level, that is 4 weeks, 13 weeks up to 156 weeks and since 2012 the amount sanctioned is ‘100% of the prescribed amount for a single claimant’. This prescribed amount refers to the minimum amount the law defines a person needs to live on, in other words the minimum amount of money a person requires for their basic survival.

Without food it is reckoned that it is possible to survive for three weeks, so with no other means of support, at 4 weeks the sanctioned claimant would be rather dead, at 13 weeks they would be very dead and smelly and at 156 weeks I guess they would be a somewhat withered husk. To the best of my knowledge death has an extremely limited recovery rate, so whichever sanction is applied, at the end of the sanction it is unlikely the body would be able to sign on without a great deal of help, nor yet be able to fulfil whatever commitments the DWP demands of claimants. It seems to me that under such circumstances the corpse would very quickly find itself subject to yet another sanction, but on the up side, the corpse will probably not be all that bothered.

Is it just me or does this all sound a bit extreme to you? Living in bonkers Britain it is hard to know any more, after all you Tories seem to maintain some functional capability even though you lack both hearts and souls. Despite this you do seem to have retained some limited ability for speech, yet every word that comes out is a lie, so I wonder if that isn’t just the babbling of the father of all lies transmitted through however he manages to animate your heartless, soulless bodies from the bowels of hell?

https://www.gov.uk/report-terrorism

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/27/death-britains-benefits-system-fit-for-work-safety-net

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/how-dwp-rhetoric-on-responsibility-for-benefit-claimants-deaths-has-subtly-shifted-a7041291.html

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions-leaflet/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions-how-to-keep-your-benefit-payment

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/186931/foi-844-2013.pdf

08_april_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,052

Wednesday 08 April 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Betrayal is a terrible thing. The central issue of all these letters has been the betrayal of a nation for an ideology that rewards the rich whilst punishing and penalising the poor. Britain is reported to be the only country in the G7 group of leading economies where inequality has increased this century.

“The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that rising inequality between 1990 and 2010 cost the UK nine percentage points of economic growth. Across OECD members the richest 10% earn 9.5 times more than the poorest, up from seven times in the 1980s. Top UK directors now earn 120 times the average wage, up from 45 times in 1998. Britain’s highest-paid director earned a year’s worth of the living wage in less than an hour.”

But as we know it is far more than inequality that is dogging any form of recovery for the poorest and most vulnerable people in Britain, at its heart are the multi-pronged attacks on poor and vulnerable people by George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith. Disabled people are suffering the brunt of these attacks and, of course, the jewel in the crown of perfidy and betrayal is the removal of the means of survival through Smiths vicious sanctions regime. Smith claims that sanctions are only imposed as a “last resort” and yet in 2013 alone more sanctions (1,122,526) were imposed than fines by the entire judicial system (849,000) and no court fine ever involves the entire removal of all someone’s income. As Dr David Webster put it, “Benefit sanctions are Britain’s secret penal system”.

The front-line troops of these all out attacks on the poor are the DWP staff who bear the burden (those with a conscience) of carrying out the instructions of the DWP.

And how are they to be rewarded? The Financial Times reports that 30,000 DWP staff are to be shown the door over the next five years if a Conservative government is elected in May, a cull of over a third of the workforce of 83,000. I am afraid that I struggle to feel any sympathy for them compared to the suffering they have imposed and yet your government really knows how the stick the knife in the back of those who have served you well. That really is the height of betrayal! I wonder how many of them will end up on the receiving end of a sanction?

How anyone but the blindly self obsessed can vote Tory I will never know.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/15/how-super-rich-got-richer-10-shocking-facts-inequality

http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/resources/multimedia/infographic-income-inequality-uk

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/14/uk-inequality-wealth-credit-suisse

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/04/real-economic-recovery-better-conditions-everyone

http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2012/02/14/who-will-rid-us-of-this-callous-government-assaulting-the-poor-the-unemployed-and-the-disabled/

http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/type/text/ten-attacks-on-disabled-peoples-rights.html

http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/benefit-sanctions-britains-secret-penal-system

http://www.theguardian.com/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2015/feb/03/sanctions-staff-pressured-to-penalise-benefit-claimants-says-union

http://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/news-and-analysis/pensions/conservatives-plan-30000-job-cuts-at-dwp/2019318.article