Monthly Archives: August 2011

G4S, disability testing and the DWP – what’s going on?

Are notorious security firm G4S being lined up to administer disability testing for the new Personal Independence Payment scheme?  Could they even be set to replace arch-bastards Atos?

With a history of bungling and brutality they certainly seem well qualified.  The news that a security company  are involved in disability testing trials on behalf of the DWP confirms what has long been suspected – that this government regard benefit claimants and disabled people as  a criminal fringe, to be harrassed, bullied and impoverished along with travellers, asylum seekers, homeless people and others on the economic margins of society.

Just how involved G4S are to become in policing of benefit claimants remains to be seen.   Let’s see what the DWP have to say …

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I request some information on the current trials being carried out
by G4S concerning the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
system.

The information requested is:

What are the scope of these trials, how many people are expected to
partake, what are the time-frames and are any other companies or
organisations involved in delivering this trial?

Were these trails made available to competitive tender and if so
can the tender specification be published, or information given on
where it may be obtained?

If these trials were not available for competitive tender then can
the department release all correspondence with G4S (excluding
financial information and other contract details which may be
exempt from the FOI under competition rules)which relates to the
nature, methods and administration of the trials. This information
should include the nature of the trails being carried out eg what
is the level of medical qualification (if any) of those conducting
the assessments, the nature of the assessment including any formal
or informal documents relating to the testing procedure or
standardised questions, the methods of selection of candidates to
take part in the trials etc.

When will the study be complete? How will information be evaluated?
Where and when will these evaluations be made available to the
public?

Are G4S involved in any other work relating to disability testing
or health testing for the DWP, whether regarding the new PIP system
or the current administration of eligibility tests for ESA?

Are there any formal plans to include G4S in the roll out of PIP,
are any agreements in place, or will the independent testing
element of the scheme be made available to competitive tender?

Finally I refer to a previous request made in June 2010 regarding
employment or other destinations of those denied ESA due to the
Atos testing procedure (your Ref: FoI 1370). In your response you
specified that “the Department is planning to commission a survey
which will look at the destinations of a sample of people who make
a claim for ESA. We would expect to publish the results of the
survey as they become available”.

Has this survey been carried out, and if so can the Department make
available it’s findings? If this is not the case then can the
Department confirm that there is still no information or statistics
available relating to how many people denied ESA are able to find
work and in what timescale?

Yours

johnny void

Is Prison Company G4S Set To Take on Disability Testing?

In a sign of increased hostility from the con-dem government to disabled people  and benefit claimants it appears private prison company G4S is currently trialling medical testing for the New Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

G4S are an international security company who run prisons, prisoner transportation and immigration detention centres amongst other things. Three G4S security guards are currently accused of causing the death of Jimmy Mubenga, who died during his forcible deportation on a British Airways flight to Angola. All round bastards in other words.

The PIP is set to replace Disability Living Allowance,  a non means tested benefit for people with disabilities and long term health conditions.  The aim to to cut the budget by 20%.  It has already been made clear this will be achieved by more stringent medical eligibility testing, probably along the lines of the brutal work currently being carried out by Atos. It has been made clear that only in the most  extreme exceptions will a condition or disability be deemed so serious that the individual may be exempt from testing.  Everyone claiming will also be subject to regular retesting, even for incurable conditions.

G4S are already moving into the Welfare Sector and currently operate a Welfare To Work scheme in the North East. There core business however is security and boast they: “draw on our global experience of working with governments to secure government buildings and key assets around the world, support the justice and security strategies of nations and ensure that government personnel are well prepared to operate in some of the world’s conflict hotspots”.

Are disabled people and benefit claimants the new enemy within?

The Great Atos Rebrand – Update

The challenge to redesign the logo of poverty pimps Atos is rolling along quite nicely with creative versions of the Atos logo cropping up all over the place.

The fine folk at Schnews have this to offer:

We’ve also had some turn up in the comments from Doggy and Katie:


Finally the just turned eight year old would be disappointed not to be included:

Lots of sites are also now carrying rebranded logos and copies of the piece which initially led Atos to use dodgy legal threats to have the Carer Watch forums closed down.

LATEST – via DPAC:

and from here:

Here’s a current list, apologies to anyone missed, please put a link in the comments and we’ll keep it updated.

http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news7855.php

http://the-newrepublic.blogspot.com/

http://www.disinfo.com/2011/09/stop-atos-from-censoring-the-web/

http://www.freedompress.org.uk/news/2011/08/28/atos-macht-frei-%E2%80%93-that-censored-carer-watch-post-revealed/

http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/2016

http://edinburghanarchists.noflag.org.uk/

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/09/484274.html

http://penseenoir.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/fuck-atos/

http://janespoliticalramblings.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/atos-and-fascism/

http://artsagainstcuts.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/work-make-you-free/

http://musingsfromtheden.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/atos-origin-vs-the-internet-stop-atos-censoring-the-web-via-the-void/

http://libcom.org/forums/libcommunity/15-websites-now-defying-atos-legal-threats-please-help-29082011

http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2011/08/27/atos-macht-frei-%E2%80%93-that-censored-carer-watch-post-revealed/

http://www.dpac.uk.net/2011/08/atos-rebranding-competition/

https://network23.org/grafittikill/2011/08/29/atos-re-branding-competition/

http://whitthef.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/fuck-atos/

http://dlahelpgroup.com/new/news.php

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/08/483747.html

http://tim-theregency.blogspot.com/2011/08/atos-rebrand-better-look.html

http://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/atos-kills-the-words-that-sank-a-website/

https://london.indymedia.org/articles/10092

http://www.indymediascotland.org/node/24900

https://sites.google.com/site/armadillosagainstatos/

http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/fighback-against-atos-censorship/

http://thefanaticonline.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/fightback-against-atos-censorship/

http://www.politicus.org.uk/news/redesign-the-atos-logo

Keep ‘em coming …

A National Day of Action Against Atos has been called for September 30th.

Atos Macht Frei – That Censored Carer Watch Post Revealed!

Thanks to cunning use of wordpress.com’s excellent analytics widget (who loves ya wordpress) we can reveal the post which led to poverty pimps Atos issuing legal threats against the Carer Watch forums.

It turns out that it was a repost of a piece (re-produced below) which first appeared here (ooops!).  Carer Watch have rightly questioned why their site was targetted, when the repost clearly linked to this site and so far we’ve had no such legal threats.  A more pertinent question is precisely what in the piece Atos consider to be libellous.  Here is the offending piece in full:

Atos Macht Frei – Atos Origin Team Up With Gas Chamber Firm!

Atos Origin, the poverty pimps currently pocketing hundreds of millions harassing people who are claiming sickness or disability benefits have teamed up with manufacturers of the holocaust’s gas chambers Siemens.

Siemens will contribute its Siemens IT Solutions & Services for €850-million to Atos Origin and become a shareholder of Atos Origin with a 15% stake.

Siemens are most famous for their use of slave labour during the holocaust.  Prisoners were utilised by Siemens to build the gas chambers in which they would eventually be murdered.  Siemens ran factories at Ravensbrück and in the Auschwitz subcamp of Bobrek, whilst the company supplied electrical parts to other concentration camps.

Atos Origin should fit right in with these former eugenicists as they carry out their state funded program to strip both benefits and dignity from those in society deemed to be unproductive.

Some have criticised the use of nazi imagery by some disability and claimants activists recently.  However the parallels between the current Government’s attitude to disability and the early days of the Nazi regime in 1930s Germany are increasingly hard to ignore.  The above poster is directly based on Nazi propaganda at the time which attempted to use fears about the economy to stigmatise disabled people (the original poster can be viewed here along with many other examples).

The present day smear campaign against those with disabilities or illness is relentless.  The right wing press spew out daily lies about benefit fraud and scroungers whilst Disability Minister Maria Miller has claimed the cost of disability benefits (and therefore presumably disabled people) is ‘unsustainable’.

As early as 1933 the Nazis passed a law passed ordering enforced sterilisation of the disabled and long term sick, something that today might be seen as many Daily Mail columnist’s greatest fantasy. Later came the infamous Aktion T4 euthanasia programme when hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities were murdered.  The medical profession notoriously facilitated many of these deaths.

Atos Origin are currently recruiting healthcare workers and doctors across the UK.  Plans to retest everyone on sickness benefits and apply similar tests to those currently claiming Disability Living Allowance will require a lot of doctors.   GPs, consultants or other experts with an in depth knowledge of their patient’s condition will be ignored however.  These health professionals are not trusted to make a decision on their patients ability to work (yet strangely are going to be trusted to control the NHS budget).   Only Atos doctors,  nurses and other unspecified ‘healthcare’ workers are involved in the decision, which is based on a short test and interview.  With huge numbers of those denied benefits having them re-instated on appeal it appears that in a ‘target driven environment’ Atos doctors simply work to rule, regardless of the long cherished medical idiom of ‘first do no harm’.

Disability message boards and blogs have been inundated with people threatening suicide due to these plans.  It is impossible to know how many suicides have happened already as a result of Atos Origin’s medical tests.  Enforced euthanasia may not be the intention of this government’s policies, but in many cases it is likely to be the result.

In Nazi Germany the disabled and sick were seen as surplus to the task of building a mighty Reich.  In Cameron’s Britain the disabled and sick are seen as surplus to the task of ‘bringing down the deficit’.  What counted in Hitler’s day was whether you were a good soldier, industrialist, scientist or labourer.  Under Fascism people were judged purely on their ability to contribute to the goal of German imperialism and genocidal savagery.  Under capitalism we are judged purely on our ability to create wealth for those at the top.  If you ain’t making the rich money, then they couldn’t care whether you live or die.  Nazism it ain’t, we’re a long way from that.  But if it takes being a little bit nazi to continue to line the pockets of the filthy rich, well then it takes being a little bit of nazi.  Now fuck off and get back to work.

The original post can be found here.

A National Day of Action Against Atos has been called for September 30th.

The Carer Watch forums are now fully restored with the offending post removed.

The Great Atos Origin Rebrand – Call For Support!

Poverty pimps Atos Origin are currently in negotiation with Carer Watch, the forum forced offline by bullying legal threats.  Atos claim they used legal threats only to “request that the libellous content relating to Atos Healthcare and our employees be taken down in order to protect the reputation of our employees and company against the false and malicious allegations that were posted.”

So far it is unclear what those false and malicious allegations were.  Atos have also forced at least two other websites offline with legal threats.  In particular they have complained about their precious logo being misappropriated and the phrase Atos Kills.  They also objected to the name of the Atos Register of Shame website, a clear case of ‘fair comment’  under libel laws.  It seems that Atos care as little about the law as the disabled and sick people they harass.

All this is taking place during a huge rebranding exercise for the Atos Corporation.   Despite being harangued and hounded from both facebook and twitter they are back with a new facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/Atos?sk=wall whilst they appear to be using the hashtag #atosblog on twitter.  They also have a brand new logo and as ever the internet has been quick to help.  Two latest suggestions on how to promote a more honest corporate identity come from The New Republic:

Meanwhile on facebook this redesign has been suggested:

Other designs up for consideration feature on an earlier post.

If you have a blog or website please republish these pictures and come up with your own.  Let’s show the bastards at Atos we won’t be silenced by their threats!

A National Day of Action Against Atos has been called for September 30th.

Redesign the Atos Logo!

The killer fish is dead.  Poverty pimp’s Atos Origin have rebranded their corporate logo, from this:

into the far less colourful and frankly fucking boring this:

So in solidarity with all the websites closed so far by Atos’ legal threats the void is launching it’s first ever competition to help redesign the Atos logo to show the true nature of this odious company.  Send us your art folks, feel free to leave links in the comments.

Latest – over 25 websites currently defying Atos legal threats.

In the US it is not deemed a breach of copyright to parody a corporate logo, provided that parody is only used to take the piss out of Atos themselves and not any other reason.*

So under US law (which is where wordpress operate from) there should be no problem at all with this.

Atos are sensitive little flowers when it comes to the phrase ‘Atos Kills’  despite the fact that several people have killed themselves after failing one of Atos Healthcare’s computer based benefit tests.  And despite teaming up with Auschwitz building, job stealing bastards Siemens they also seem keen to deny any parallels with their new partner’s nazi past.  So this kind of thing is likely to piss them off:

  As well as closing the Carer Watch internet discussion board over unspecified posts, Atos also objected to the name of the Atos Register of Shame website.  In the UK there is a defence against a libel action of ‘fair comment’.  This means that whilst you can’t legally lie you are able to give an honestly held opinion.  It is this defence which allows us to call Atos a bunch of cunts.  There is no need to quantify this as ‘I think Atos are a bunch of cunts’ as some have suggested.  Just honestly believing (as I do) that Atos are a bunch of cunts is enough.  Did you get that Atos – you cunts.

A National Day of Action Against Atos has been called for September 30th.

Atos Origin vs the internet – stop Atos censoring the web!

Poverty pimps and well known corporate slime Atos Origin have taken their harassment of disabled people one step further by using flaky legal threats to censor and close down websites which have been critical of them.

At least three websites have now been hit by legal threats attempting to censor online criticism of the company.

The CarerWatch forum, which is an online meeting place for hundreds of disabled people and carers has been taken offline by the hosting company after legal threats made by Atos Origin regarding unspecified comments made on the forum.   Atos Origin’s involvement in the condemn Government’s notorious health and disability testing has made them a target of fury amongst many disabled people, which has led to a fierce campaigning against them both on and offline.  Atos are fighting back with the CarerWatch forum being only the latest website hit by Atos legal threats.

In May this year the Afteratos website was threatened with legal action over the use of their corporate logo in the spoof design above.  Atos also threatened the site over their use of the phrase ‘Atos Kills’.  Then last week Atos turned their attention to the aptly named ‘Atos Register of Shame’ claiming that:

“In particular we draw your attention to Atos Register of Shame which is purporting to be a register of health-care professional employees who have allegedly performed substandard medical assessments.

“This is a direct attack on Atos and the name of the website in and of itself is implying that Atos carries on its business in a manner which is shameful.”

Which is perfectly apt since the way Atos carries out it’s business is indeed shameful.  Atos have come under heavy criticism from disability campaigners . charities and increasingly the medical profession for their administration of the government’s Work Capability Assessment and decisions made based on Atos’ computer system has tragically already led to sick and disabled people committing suicide.  The Guardian reveals that 12 doctors are currently being investigated by the BMA over their treatment of vulnerable people and may face being struck off.

Enough is enough – it’s time to call on the trusty internet to resist this intimidation and harassment of disabled people and supporters wanting to speak out against this company.  Please tweet, blog, share – use the image above, or the phrase ‘atos kills’, let’s get spartacus style on the bastards.  If tweeting use the hashtags #atoskills #atos #atosorigin to let them know we’re talking about them.  Please stick up links to anti-atos posts in the comments and we’ll try get a list together.

A National Day of Action Against Atos Origin has also been called for the 3oth September, continuing the protests against this organisation have seen scores of demonstrations outside their premises across the UK.  In London demonstrators will gather outside the BMJ Recruitment Fair in Islington where Atos will be hoping to recruit new staff.  A leaflet reminding future Atos staff what they may be getting themselves into is below.