Monthly Archives: March 2012

Petrolgate Blows Up In Maude’s Face

The women in York recovering from burns after decanting petrol in her kitchen is not the first victim of this Government by a long way.  The ever growing number of sick and disabled benefits claimants committing suicide and the families forced into homelessness and pensioners into poverty are all casualties of this Tory onslaught.  After Blair’s murderous reign it seems that we can now measure Governments by the bodycount rather than their policies.

But you would have thought, at the very least, not advising your citizens to blow themselves up would be a duty of any Government.  Francis Maude’s comments would have seen him jailed if he was a teenager bragging on facebook.  Instead it’s business as usual for the arrogant toffs who have attempted to blame everyone but themselves for plunging the country into chaos.

In many workplaces, someone who gave out advice on handling flammable materials which turned out to be illegal would very likely be sacked for gross misconduct.  If an industrial accident happened as a result of that advice they may well find themselves in court.  If Francis Maude didn’t realise that petrol could be dangerous, and didn’t know the law, then he should have kept his fucking mouth shut.  These people are in charge of nuclear weapons for fucks sake.  They can’t even be trusted to store petrol.

Maude is yet another toff clown who went to private school then Cambridge.  What is it about the private education system that it turns out such a bunch of inept fuckwits?  I blame the parents personally.  And a lack of basic moral fibre.  Bring back national service for ex-etonians.  If they’d been born on a Council Estate this shower couldn’t get a workfare placement licking ratshit off the sewer walls.  Yet cos mummy and daddy had a few quid they think they have some divine right to govern.

People are literally blowing themselves up because of this Government.  The fuel supplies have run dry due to a pathetic attempt to save Cameron’s blushes after he lied about whether he ate a pasty or not.  Dinner with David Cameron isn’t worth a Greggs doughnut and they can’t even keep that quiet.  How much longer can this shambles go on?

The tragic answer is it’s not ending any time soon.  Labour are no better, the same breed of identikit chinless twats who’ve never done a real job.  Imagine an Oxford Brogue tripping over a man’s face forever and that seems to be the future for this country.   If poverty, unemployment or homelessness don’t get you then third degree burns probably will.

Cameron – From Margaret Thatcher to John Major In Under Two Years

A Government has rarely looked as inept as the Tories have this week.  From pastygate to the granny tax they reveal themselves out as of touch, incompetent and lurching from one crisis to the next.

The budget contained no real surprises.  All Tory Government’s cut taxes for the rich.  Yet it still managed to unite the country in contempt.  The assault on pensioners saw blistering attacks from even the Daily Telegraph.  The pasty tax is as unworkable in practice as it is unfair in principle.  Osborne’s changes to Child Benefit depend on the successful implementation of Universal Credit, and the Orwellian database that lies behind it. The announcement that cheap beer is to be banned only amplified the old Etonian’s contempt for those with least.  It is a brave and stupid Government that taxes pies and raises the price of beer in a near recession.

Increasingly Universal Credit is being presented as the panacea that will fix everything, including the brutal assault on working single parents who are the real big losers of Osborne’s current strategy.

Problem is that even DWP insiders claim that Universal Credit is ‘pie in the sky’.  Even if Iain Duncan Smith manages to construct his new IT system, with all it’s bells and whistles like voice biometrics and real time income reporting, the privacy implications may well be too much for even moderate Tories to swallow.  The fact is that it won’t work, which is why IDS has gone from being the quiet man to the invisible man of British politics.

His acolyte Chris Grayling is reduced to lying to Parliamentary Committees to cover up the collapsing Work Programme.  The Atos health testing system is a shambles that shows little sign of improvement.  The idea that this system can now be extended to three and a half million DLA claimants looks increasingly like wishful thinking.  Plans floated to force sick and disabled people onto workfare seem not only savage but little more than fantasy.

The Government may have ram-raided their flagship Welfare and NHS bills through Parliament, but both look set to unravel in their implementation.  Furious medical staff, teachers and public sector workers alike show no signs of backing down over the destruction of their pensions schemes and the onslaught on public services.  Even the filth are revolting.

The fuel tanker drivers barely needed to twitch and the Government has plunged the country into meltdown.  And the Prime Minister is humiliated after telling lies about a posh pasty he didn’t really eat once.  He must have been a shit PR man if that’s the best he can do.

David Cameron has gone from being Margaret Thatcher to John Major in under two years.  Bungling incompetence and casual brutality are now the only things this Government has left.  Tory sleaze is back on the agenda and the nasty party looks every bit as nasty as ever.  They’ve even managed to lose the support of The Sun.  Who knows how far Murdoch’s revenge will go.

In the workplace and on the streets they have been fought to a stand still.  They are out of ideas, panicking and making mistakes. Hawks on the right of the Tory Party despise Cameron every bit as much as any Trade Union leader.  They’d hang him out to dry in a second, just like beleaguered old John Major in the 90s.  He’s managed to isolate himself from both European leaders and anti-Europe Tory zealots.  The poor little posh boy doesn’t appear to have any friends left.

Expect increasingly bonkers schemes to be announced and the Tories reverting to type.  The recent report on the riots is being spun to blame poor parenting and a lack of moral fibre for the failure of social policies.  This looks like the beginning of a new Back To Basics style campaign.  Bashing the chavs has long been Tory strategy when the chips are down.  It will backfire, just as it did for John Major.  The druggie past of Cameron, Osborne and Boris is a tale that is bound to fully emerge in time.  And right now there will be some Tory minister who can’t keep his dick in his pants ready to explode onto the front pages just like the last time.

Cash for dinner is reminiscent of the cash for questions scandal that saw ministers jailed in the 90s.  With the Government up to their neck in dodgy deals with bent millionaires, who knows how far Tory sleaze will go.  Meanwhile the Leveson Inquiry rumbles on and Cameron’s ex-friends are sharpening their knives in vengeance.  And the OECD has just announced that the UK is back in recession.

The ongoing comedy show shouldn’t detract from the devastation this Government are causing in people’s lives.  But it reveals what has long been suspected.  The Tory Party hasn’t changed in the slightest since the mid 90s when they were condemned to the dustbin of history.   Cameron is not the Tory messiah, he’s just another posh fuckwit.  If Thatcher knew what was going on these days she’d cringe at their shabby incompetence.  Now is the time to attack the fuckers with everything we’ve got.

Let resistance sing from every street, workplace, dole office, school and university.  Let’s show these over-privileged chinless twats what Class War really looks like.  Don’t wait for the Labour Party or the Unions to fire the shots and forget about the Lib Dems.  Let every waking moment be devoted to bringing this unelected toff Government of the rich to their fucking knees.

And fill up those tanks whilst you still can.  It’s getting hairy out there.

Pastygate Spreads – Cameron’s Fake Pasty Habit

David Cameron has been reduced to boasting of his love of pasties, bizarrely claiming that he must do because he goes on holiday to Cornwall.  He goes on to say that he last enjoyed a pasty bought from a stall which closed in 2007.  That’s one pasty every five years.  I know a bloke who can eat five in a day.  He loves pasties.

More importantly his pasty came from the West Cornwall Pasty Company.  They have them in London and they are well posh.  A medium sized pasty costs nearly three and a half quid!  It’s fucking yuppie food for pissed commuters.  You can get three pasties from Greggs for that, and dinner from some greasy spoons.

Attempting to establish proletarian cred by eating the poshest pasty of all is like claiming to be a pleb because daddy’s only got a knighthood and isn’t an Earl or Duke.  I bet the Queen thinks twice before spending the best part of a fiver on a fucking pasty.  Cameron’s attempt to show he’s down with the poor has only revealed exactly how out of touch the fucking toff is.

Has there ever been a more pathetic sight is British politics than an old Etonian telling made up stories about a posh pasty he didn’t really eat five years ago?

From the Anarchist Media Project some pastygate propaganda:

Osborne’s Pie Tax Is Yet Another Attack On The Poor

Still reeling from the news that coppers are to face annual fitness tests, Greggs Bakery have been hit again with Osborne’s Pie Tax.

Greggs are workfare using scum who deserve little sympathy.  They leech money from both their workers and customers alike.  That’s capitalism.  This move will also hit local independent bakeries, if you can still find one.  They are capitalists as well, as are your local independent health food store.  Ask the workers in there how much they get paid.  Chances are they’d be better off at Tesco.  Fuck all the bosses, large and small.

But the Pie Tax isn’t really about Greggs.  It’s about yet another assault on the working class at a time when food prices are soaring.  This comes along with a  a tax on caravans and announcements that cheap beer is to be made illegal.  And fags have gone up again.  It reveals Osborne’s utter contempt for those who weren’t born with silver spoons in their mouths.  None of these things will affect him and his chinless chums.  All are aimed squarely at working class culture and will hit the very poorest hardest.

Labour MP John Mann (who went to public school himself, albeit on a scholarship), floored Osborne when he asked him when he last had a Greggs Pasty.  The answer quite possibly is never.  He has no idea what it’s like to try and get something with some sustenance to eat for a quid.  It’s far from ideal fucking situation but the fact is that cheap high calorie food stops some people from going hungry.

Working class people aren’t fucking stupid.  No-one thinks a Greggs pasty represents a high point in human cuisine.  We’ve all seen Celebrity Masterchef.  We know what we aren’t getting.  But a lot of us have neither the time or money to head off to a Farmer’s Market on some other middle class wankfest to buy our food.  And I’d rather have a Greggs pasty than some manky old vegetables that came out of a skip anyday.

Bone’s got it right when he says: “We seem to be developing a bunch of METROPOLITAN  sneerers at Gregg’s and Wetherspoons – AND PROBABY STATICS – who’s lives are far removed from the daily reality of our class and prefer ‘poltical issues’.”

You’d think the former editor of Class War would be able to spell political, but that just sums up the point.  People mistake aesthetics for politics all the time, as if what you watch on television or where you shop is some kind of political act.  A striking trade union member eating a Big Mac on a picket line is more politically active than a hippy vegan poet  will ever be.  It’s really not about where you shop*.  The price of a Greggs pasty, a tin of beans or a can of lager is directly related to wealth grabs by the rich. A tax on cheap food is helping to cut the taxes of multi-millionaires.  Politics is about distribution and control of labour and resources.  We should fight every attempt by the rich to take even more from the people with least.  It’s time to reclaim our pies.


*Having said that all good hippies should be boycotting Holland & Barrett.

Call To Action – From Disabled People Against Cuts

Protest 18th of April led by Disabled People Against Cuts
Call To Action

Make Osborne and Cameron Obsolete

Disabled People are asking as many people as possible, from every section
of society, to come to London to show their opposition to “The Scapegoating of Disabled People” including Remploy workers and “Selling Pensioners Down the River” with the  “The Granny Tax”.

Trade Unionists, Pensioners, Disabled People and all claimants need to stand UNITED against these vicious attacks.

Meet Leicester Square McDonalds:  at 1:30Pm on the 18th of April. There will be a short stroll or wheel from here. Any accessible transport queries can be addressed to Transport for All: telephone 02077372339.

Grass Up Grayling

No-one like a grass.  But people hate politicians even more.  Especially lying Tory bastards like Chris Grayling.  So let’s snitch.

Problem is who too, and what for?  The Beeb, who know about this kind of stuff, say examples of Contempt of Parliament could include:

“Examples of contempt include giving false evidence to a parliamentary committee, threatening a Member of Parliament, forging documents and attempting to bribe members. “

Which seems to cover Chris Grayling’s outright lies when questioned by the Work and Pensions Committee last week.   If Grayling is found guilty of Contempt of Parliament he could, in theory, be committed to the Clock Tower under Big Ben.  Which would be kind of a laugh.  This hasn’t happened since 1886, when secularist Charles Bradlaugh took his seat in Parliament despite refusing to take a religious oath.  Grayling’s fibs are far less noble, but sadly these days he would be more likely to be suspended or expelled from Parliament.

It’s entirely possible that if the Work and Pensions Committee members are made aware of Grayling’s lies and take no action then they may be in Contempt of Parliament themselves.  So let’s make sure they know all about it.  Below is a list of the member of the Work and Pensions Committee, along with contact details.

Harriett Baldwin (acting Chair of the meeting and the person who asked the question Grayling was responding to)

Karen Bradley

Sheila Gilmore

Debbie Abrahams

Glenda Jackson

Brandon Lewis

Teresa Pearce

Andrew Bingham

Stephen Lloyd
Tory in disguise

Not present

Committee Chair
Dame Anne Begg

Oliver Heald

Is This Chris Grayling’s Biggest Lie Yet?

Employment Minister Chris Grayling told a string of breathtaking lies last Monday when he appeared before the Work and Pensions Committee.  The Committee asked a number of questions about the Atos shambles, Work Experience and other current DWP schemes.  Looking increasingly shifty-eyed the Minister bluffed and blustered his way through right up until almost the last question,when he was asked:

“Chair:  Can I ask about another possible area for confusion, at least for me? Say you are in the Work Programme and are in one of the black boxes; is it possible that some of those black boxes contain mandatory work experience and that is where some of the media confusion is coming from?”

The black box is DWP jargon which means that Work Programme providers such as A4e are able to mandate claimants to almost any activity if they think it will help them find work.  This can include workfare.

Grayling’s response was astonishing:

“Chris Grayling:  There is no evidence to suggest that has happened, and indeed all of our Work Programme providers said to us, “What would be the point of forcing somebody to go and work for one of our commercial partners, because if we did we would lose the opportunity to send other people in the future?” What we have done since the Work Experience row is sat down with our Work Programme providers and agreed with them that they will pursue exactly the same strategy as us nationally for the Work Experience scheme. They have the power to mandate but they will only mandate to community benefit projects. All participation in Work Experience with commercial organisations will be done on a voluntary basis in the Work Programme as well as through Jobcentre Plus. So we have exactly the same rules applied across the board and we are making sure all the guidance is in line with that.”

Note he says no evidence.  Not I haven’t seen any evidence.  Not even I am unaware of any evidence.  The Minister is adamant.  Which seems a little strange when you consider this Freedom of Information response.  The DWP were asked which organisations were involved in providing mandatory work placements under the Work Programme in the South East.  The document reveals that claimants had been mandated to work at Holiday Inn, ASDA and Poundland amongst others.  This document was removed from the DWP’s website during the workfare row and the DWP are now refusing to answer FOI requests relating to the Work Prgramme.

It doesn’t end there.  Up until recently the DWP’s Work Programme Provider Guidance stated:

“Where you are providing support for JSA participants, which is work experience you must mandate participants to this activity. This is to avoid the National Minimum Wage Regulations, which will apply if JSA participants are not mandated.”

When this paragraph was pointed out, after Grayling had lied in the Telegraph that no-one was mandated to work for a big company, it promptly disappeared from the the guidance notes.  Perhaps this is what Grayling meant when he said that guidance had been updated to bring it into line with the new rules that up until last Monday hadn’t even been announced.  It’s far more likely however, that just like the disappearing freedom of information response, this was a bodged attempt to cover up for Grayling’s lies.

The DWP even contradict Grayling’s claims that he sat down with the providers and decided: “They have the power to mandate but they will only mandate to community benefit projects. All participation in Work Experience with commercial organisations will be done on a voluntary basis in the Work Programme as well as through Jobcentre Plus.

A Freedom of Information response received just over a week before the Committee meeting stated explicitly that: “Jobcentre Plus is not routinely informed of participant’s activities, which may include work experience placements, by the Work Programme provider.”  The DWP had been asked specifically how many people had been mandated to workfare  for private companies.  If Grayling had been telling the truth they would surely have said no-one.  Even if Grayling had only been fibbing a bit, they would have said that no-one will be anymore.  But they said they didn’t know.

So Chris Grayling lied to the Committee when he said there was no evidence of people mandated to workfare on Work Programme.  He lied when he said that all work experience for private companies would be voluntary, when in fact until recently the guidance said it must be mandated, and he quite possibly lied again about his cosy little chat with Work Programme providers.

Furthermore, documents have been altered, or removed from the public view, in an attempt to cover up these lies.  Lying to  Select Committee can be punished by a fine or imprisonment, although this power has not been used since the 19th Century.  It still remains a serious charge however, and Grayling should, at the very least, be forced to resign.

It is now impossible to know whether people are mandated to private companies under the Work programme.  The DWP said they were, now they say they don’t know.  Chirs Grayling says they weren’t, and still aren’t.  Someone, whether under Grayling’s orders or not, is rewriting and hiding documents to make it appear this is the case.

Not even a Commons Select Committee can get to the truth about what the DWP are really up to.  Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith, who is ultimately in charge, should also consider his position.  He has been just as economical with the truth.

It remains to be seen what action, if any, will be taken.  It is likely they will do everything they can to sweep this under the carpet as well.  Should that happen, then we now have clear evidence that this Government will lie to the press, to the public and even to Commons Select Committees about their activities and we can no longer trust a single word they say.

If Ministers can lie with impunity to the public and Parliament alike, then we have entered a different league in British politics.  The House of Commons becomes little more than a talking shop whilst the Government carries out their real intentions under a cloak of secrecy.  And that, however you stretch the word, is not democracy.

Take Action Against Workfare This Weekend

National Day of Action Against Workfare – Saturday 31st March

Resistance to workfare shows no sign of dying down with protests planned around the UK throughout the week and then next weekend.


Boycott Workfare will be outside Chris Grayling’s workfare conference on Monday 26th at 9am before heading off to visit other local workfare exploiters at 10.30.

On the 29th Boycott Workfare in Birmingham have a public meeting to discuss continued resistance to forced labour.

Then on Friday a picket called by Solidarity Federation will be held outside Holland & Barrett in Halifax from 11.30

Solfed are leading the charge on Saturday with action in both North and South London.  Meet at Lewisham Shopping Centre at 1pm or Kilburn Market from noon.

There will also be Solidarity Federation actions in Northampton from 11am, as well as Wakefield – meet in the Bullring at at 11.30am.

These coincide with the International Worker’s Association days of action called across the world.

Solfed, along with Liverpool Uncut have called a day of action in Liverpool, whilst  York Welfare Campaign will be meeting at 1pm for a tour of workfare exploiters around the city.

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are meeting at Kirkgate Shopping Centre from noon and plan to continue the drive to make workfare unworkable – they have a planning meeting on Monday 26th (details on facebook).

There will be a picket in Lincoln at 1pm, and a protest in Hastings from 11am.

In Brighton protesters will meet by the clock tower at 11am, target to be confirmed later, whilst they will hold a communications blockade of the same target on April 2nd.

An alliance of groups, including Sol Fed, BADACA, the IWW and Bristol Anarchist federation are joining together for a day of protest in Bristol town centre – meet by the bandstand in Castle Park at 1pm.  Action in Swindon will also take place, beginning at noon, meet at the War memorial.

Then on the 2nd April there will be a picket by posties and Boycott Workfare outside the offices of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) who recently appeared to endorse workfare.

The Government’s workfare schemes are crumbling.  Keep kicking till they break.

(there is more stuff than this going on next Saturday – please post up details in the comments if you are organising anything and I’ll try keep this post updated)

Big Brother is Back – ID Cards Were Nothing Compared to This Government’s Snooping Plans

Iain Duncan Smith’s new database, quietly being built in India, is set to be the most expansive data-mining operation every carried out by any Government against it’s citizens.

The Universal Credit system will contain an unprecedented amount of information on all aspects of our lives, much of which will be controlled by private companies.  In a chilling development it appears that the database will use ‘voice biometrics’ as part of it’s security protocols.

The new system, which is due to be launched in 2013, will dwarf the plans for a National Identity Register which was dropped by Labour after storms of protest.  With the advent of smart phone and hand held readers this new system could easily become an effective, electronic National Identity Card.

Universal Credit is the Government’s policy to replace all benefits and tax credits with one unified benefit.  The database set up to manage it will be built into the tax system and rely on the ‘real time reporting’ system for tax payments which is currently in development.  It is therefore likely that everyone,with or without a job, will find themselves on the database.

Under Real Time Reporting, the Government will require self-employed tax-payers and PAYE employers to submit monthly figures on earnings.  The Government will know where you are on a month to month basis, unlike the current system which only relies on annual returns.  This will create a huge amount of additional work and bureaucracy for self employed people and small firms alike. Like many aspects of the plans, this is something the Government hasn’t been particularly forthcoming about.

Like the current tax database it will also contain details of whether you are married, your basic details such as name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number, along with details of your children.  To accommodate the changes to child benefit, the database will also need details of whether you live with a partner even if you aren’t married.  Presumably this data will need to be updated ‘in real time’.  If you split up with your partner, be sure to tell the Government as soon as possible.

Should you ever claim a benefit such as Housing Benefit, sick pay or Employment Support Allowance, the database will be even more intrusive.  At present Housing Benefit data is largely collected locally, and requires a huge amount of information, ostensibly to prevent fraud.  Claimants are required to provide full financial details, bank statements, tenancy agreements, details of anyone who may live with them, even housemates, plus information about the type of property, how many rooms it contains etc.  All this information will now be held by central Government, quite likely along with information claimed to be for ensuring ‘equal opportunity’ such as details of ethnicity, religion and sexuality.

Should you fall sick and need disability benefits then the database will also contain full details of your health condition.  It will probably also have all the results of the planned regular health checks to be carried out by private companies like Atos and security companies like G4S.  As Job Seekers Allowance is also to be built into the system,it is likely the database will include details of criminal records, job search activity, educational achievements and even your CV.

No Government before has ever attempted to collate such a huge amount of data on their citizens all in one place.  It is not yet even known whether the system will have scope for further information retention as the project is shrouded in secrecy.  Iain Duncan Smith has refused to say how the system will manage any child care payments or whether Council Tax is also to be built into the new software which IT insiders have nicknamed ‘The Beast’.

Universal Credit is set to be ‘digital by default’ meaning people will only be able to input information online.  People without online access at home will be required to use insecure internet cafes and, if they can still find one, libraries, should they need to report in personal information changes to the Government.

It is the voice recognition system however which will be of most concern to civil liberties campaigners.  Known as ‘voice biometrics’ this relies on the fact that everyone has a unique ‘voice print’ which can be used to identify them.  Whilst it has never been tested on such a huge scale, the DWP are trialling voice recognition technology right now in the hope of building it into the new system.  This has the potential to become an ID Card by default.  Whilst coppers will not be able to demand to see your papers they will only need a sample of your voice to access your extensive government file.  You have the right to remain silent.

By far the most chilling aspect of the plans however will be the ability of spooks everywhere to track and access your phone calls.  The US Echelon satellite famously hoovers up all digital information flying through the air which includes telephone conversations.  If they have access to your voice print, they will be able to immediately identify and record any telephone call you make from any phone in the world.

If big brother UK isn’t listening to you then the CIA may well be.  Not to be outdone however are this countries leading eaves-droppers GCHQ.  With well founded fears of fraud and hacking being voiced, it is GCHQ who are being brought in to try and prevent this. 

Iain Duncan Smith said recently:  “We are talking to everybody from the private sector right the way through to GCHQ about how and what is the best point at which you protect that information.”

So private companies and spooks alike are set to have access to your  Government file.

When the ID Card row first blew up under Labour many campaigners warned it was the database planned to be behind the system which was of most concern.  The Lib Dems were one of those voices that shouted loudest about infringement of civil liberties and privacy.  Yet here they are supported a national identity database far in excess of anything that Tony Blair dared to dream up.  Barely any consultation on the power that this will give the Government, or the implications for privacy, has been carried out. Iain Duncan Smith is launching it by stealth, pretending it’s only benefit claimants who will be subject to it.  The Government is hoping no-one notices that by benefit claimants they mean everyone who claims, or has claimed, Tax Credits, Child Benefit, Housing Benefit, Statutory Sick Pay, Disability living Allowance or a state pension.

In fact as the DWP and HMRC databases are due to be merged it is likely that the Government plans for everyone to be on the new database.  They are hardly likely to continue to run the old HMRC database when this one does the exact same thing.  Again this is not something which has been adequately explained by a Government which promised Civil Liberties. It is of little wonder that Iain Duncan Smith has been so evasive about the details of the DWP’s flagship scheme.

Big Brother would blush at this vast state intrusion of privacy.  He may not always be watching, but very soon he could be listening to every phone call you ever make.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Scottish GPs Vote To Scrap Work Capability Assessment

In yet another blow for the Government’s welfare policies, GPs in Scotland have voted in favour of a motion  calling for the end of the work capability assessment (WCA).  These brutal and demeaning tests have been used to strip sickness and health related benefits from as many people as possible.  The annual Scottish GP conference yesterday voted that:

“i. the inadequate computer-based assessments that are used have little regard to the nature or complexity of the needs of long term sick and disabled persons
ii. the WCA should end with immediate effect and be replaced with a rigorous and safe system that does not cause avoidable harm to some of the weakest and most vulnerable in society “

GPs own opinions on their patient’s ability to work have been repeatedly ignored in favour of a short computer test carried out by French IT Company Atos.  Today’s vote shows that doctors are starting to wake up to the implications of a system that violates the fundamental medical principle of ‘first do no harm’.

Tragically several people have killed themselves after learning of decisions made by Atos and the DWP.  Thosands more have had conditions worsened and been forced into the endless round of appeals and retesting that has become the norm for people on sickness benefits.  Doctors and nurses have been employed to carry out these tests in an effort to give them a modicum of medical respectability.  What the implications of the passing of this motion are for Atos’ recruitment strategy are so far unclear, however this may yet be seen as the beginning of the end of this inhumane policy.    Already insiders have claimed moral is at rock bottom at the company and they are finding it harder to recruit and retain medical staff.  Doctors and nurses should not be used as political cover to dismantle the Welfare State.

This vote has come about in many ways through the lobbying of grass roots, claimant led groups such as most notably the Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign who deserve a fucking medal.  The BMA, who faced protests outside their recruitment fair last year due to the presence of Atos, should now consider their medical ethics across the rest of the UK.  A letter signed by countless organisations last year demanded that the British Medical Journal cease all business relationships with the company.

The Work Capability Assessment is failing.  It is time all medical staff rejected their role in the torment it has caused for hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people.  Atos and the WCA kills.  It is time both were condemned to history.