Who’s Fighting Welfare Reform

As promised earlier in the week, here’s a list of some of the groups around the UK currently fighting welfare reform.  This list is not exhaustive, apologies to anyone I’ve missed, please post up links to any other claimant groups, websites and facebook groups in the comments.

All groups are open to everyone to get involved in – contact them to join the fightback.

Please share, blog, tweet and help spread the word about all groups.

National Groups

Boycott Workfare – fighting forced labour and unpaid work:  http://www.boycottworkfare.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/boycottworkfare
on twitter @boycottworkfare

Also fighting workfare and keeping claimant’s informed of their rights – http://www.donotsign.com/

Black Triangle Campaign in Defence of Disability Rights involved in organising many protests against Atos and Welfare Reform as well as lobbying and campaigning work: http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/blacktriangle11
on twitter @blacktriangle1

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) – National group who’ve organised many actions in London and elsewhere including blockading Oxford Street and Occupying the DWP: http://www.dpac.uk.net/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/DPAC2011/
on twitter @Dis_PPL_Protest

DPAC also have a network of local groups – for local contact details visit: http://www.dpac.uk.net/contact-details-for-local-dpac-groups/

Solidarity Federation – Not specifically a claimant group by a long way but are running a national campaign against workfare. Were recently successful in forcing Holland & Barrett to stop using unpaid labour and have now turned attention to Poundland – for all details, including local pickets of workfare using shops visit: http://www.solfed.org.uk/

Other national groups which have been involved in action against welfare reform include UK Uncut, Right to Work Campaign, UNISON Community Union, Anarchist Federation and the PCS Union.

Local Groups

Glasgow: Crutch Collective – fighting welfare reform, workfare and Atos, visit http://thecrutchcollective.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Crutch-Collective/132893236781931?sk=wall

Brighton Benefits Campaign – long running campaign which organises regular actions and protests: http://brightonbenefitscampaign.wordpress.com/

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty – another long running campaign, lots of info on their website at: http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Edinburgh-Coalition-Against-Poverty/181015481950367

Liverpool Claimants Network – very active group have organised meetings, actions, protests and communications blockades: http://antiworkfare.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/liverpoolclaimantnetwork/
on twitter @claimantnetwork

Birmingham Against the Cuts – not just benefits related but have organised lots around welfare: http://birminghamagainstthecuts.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BirminghamAgainstTheCuts
on twitter @BrumAgainstCuts

Winvisible – Women With Visible and Invisible Disabilities – based in Crossroads Women’s Centre, Kentish Town: http://www.winvisible.org/

Manchester Against Benefit Cuts (part of Manchester Coalition Against Cuts): http://www.coalitionagainstcuts.org.uk/

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group – hold weekly meetings, more info at: http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/

Bradford Claimants Union – not much detail online but have a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bradford-Claimants-Union/178195065573385?sk=info
email: bradfordclaimants@gmail.com

York Welfare Campaign: http://yorkwelfarecampaign.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/york.welfarecampaign

Mental Health Resistance Network – largely South London based group: http://mentalhealthresistance.org/

Nottingham and Tyneside both have claimant union groups – although its not clear from the web how active they currently are:

http://ncu.wikispot.org/

http://tynesideclaimantsunion.wordpress.com/

Plymouth Claimants Union have taken action against welfare reform and Atos, not sure if they are active, email them at: plymouthclaimantsunion@yahoo.co.uk

Online Groups

Benefit Claimants Fightback – facebook group which was involved in last years national days of action against benefit cuts: http://www.facebook.com/groups/116432071735566/

Social Welfare Union – a union of welfare campaigners fighting benefit cuts: http://socialwelfareunion.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SocialWelfareUnion
on twitter @WelfareUnion

We Are Spartacus – network of disabled bloggers, campaigners and supporters. Recently released The People’s Review of the WCA Report available at: http://wearespartacus.org.uk/

DWP Examination forum – friendly forum for all those struggling with the WCA and welfare reform: http://www.dwpexamination.org/

Unemployment Movement Forum – forum for all things claimant related: http://unemploymentmovement.com/forum/index

Anti-Atos Alliance – facebook group fighting Atos and the WCA: http://www.facebook.com/groups/AntiAtosAlliance/

After Atos – another facebook group supporting survivors of the brutal Atos regime: http://www.facebook.com/groups/afteratos/

Disability Defence: Facebook group fighting for disabled people’s rights: http://www.facebook.com/groups/disabilitydefence/

Respect for the Unemployed and Benefit Claimants – long running facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/25024876259/

Websites

http://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/
http://benefitscroungingscum.blogspot.co.uk/
http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/
http://harpymarx.wordpress.com/
http://wheresthebenefit.blogspot.co.uk/
http://watchinga4e.blogspot.co.uk/
http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/
http://www.crippencartoons.co.uk/

Twitter

To keep up on welfare issues also follow: @patspetition, @IzzyKoksal, @Fight_Workfare, @postpolionews, @Quinonostante, @doNOTsign, @solfed_iwa, @shivmalik1, @missdennisqueen, @LindaBurnip,@suey2y, @HouSolidarity, @AtosStories, @BendyGirl, @redjolly1, @e_lisney, @AtosVictims1, @Miss_Ben_E_Fit, @CarerWatch, @AtosKills, @BrumProtestor, @DarkestAngeL31, @NCCLols, @BrokenOfBritain, @pcs_union, @a4ehighpark1, @VirtualResistan, @slsolfed, @lisybabe,‏ @wheresbenefit, @FalseEcon, @UKuncut

You can follow me @johnnyvoid

107 responses to “Who’s Fighting Welfare Reform

  1. I fear the Tories/NuLabour/LibDems are not for turning.

    We need a BIG true left party, we need to give it money, we need to organise to make this happen, is it going to happen…NO!. Why…

    Problem is ALL the current left parties are all too busy fighting each other to be bothered about us the people, they hate each other more then they hate the Tories!!!.

    We are LOST!.

    • The Socialist party have always been against ALL CUTS. They are small, yes, but have joined with left leaning unions to form the TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist coalition) where they stand local candidates on a mandate of opposing all cuts. They have a manifesto for a socialist society ~ Internet searches provide lots of info should you want to get involved. :)

      • “The Socialist party”

        Problem, how many MP’s do the “The Socialist party” have, how many MP’s does the “Trade Union and Socialist coalition” have. You can be against the cuts all you want, you need to gain power to stop them. Up in Scotland the left parties (on purpose) stand against one another to STOP another left party getting an MSP elected, spilting the vote!!!….FACT, they won’t join and form one big party…FACT.

        We are LOST!.

        • None, you’re right… and of course it’s terrifying to think how safe this govt must feel in order to push through what they have done. I don’t know the answer I only know that along with all the smaller pressure groups there has to be work at foundation level to build a party that’s truly representative of the people, controlled by the people. At the moment, I can only see the SP doing that, you and everyone else will/may see other options. The point is, these are our lives, our children’s lives and our planet these people are f*cking with. If we decide we’re lost, we will be. We’ve got to make things as difficult as possible and stand up for ourselves as much as we can. Bottom line is, we can’t afford to stand by and do nothing cos we’ll get our faces stamped over by very expensive boots!

          • What we are up against….

            “The Enemy within: Thatcher’s Secret War Against the Miners
            Author: Seumas Milne”

            Product Description

            “Margaret Thatcher branded Arthur Scargill and the other leaders of the 1984-5 miners’ strike ;’the enemy within’. With the publication of this bestselling book a decade later, the full irony of that accusation became clear. There was an enemy within. But it was not the National Union of Mineworkers that was out to subvert liberty. It was the secret services of the British state – operating inside the NUM itself. Seumas Milne revealed for the first time the astonishing lengths to which the government and its intelligence machine were prepared to go to destry the power of Britain’s miners’ union. Using phoney bank deposits, staged cash drops, forged documents, agents provocateurs and unrelenting surveillance, MI5 and police Special Branch set out to discredit Scargill and other miners’ leaders. Planted tales of corruption were seized on by the media and both Tory and Labour politicians in what became an unprecedentedly savage smear campaign. In this new edition, published for the twentieth anniversary of Britain’s most important postwar social confrontation, new material brings the story up to date – and, in the wake of the Iraq war intelligence scandals, highlights the continuing threat posed by the security services to democracy today.”

            http://www.amazon.co.uk/Enemy-within-Thatchers-Secret-Against/dp/1844675084

          • And it turned out that Joe Gormley (Arthur Scargill’s right-hand man) was an Mi5 agent!

          • Article here .

  2. Campaign at the above re; bedroom tax also against comments on welfare reform on my blog. The more of us get onto this the better.

  3. Thanks for this it will be very useful to me. Keep up the good work.

  4. I think that the people who post on here are doing a fairly good job at fighting welfare reform, it’s now obvious (DWP backs down on Universal Jobmatch) that the DWP and other government departments are monitoring all websites such as this one.

    Good Job people – keep it up.

    • I think Iain Duncan Shite gets “The Void” delivered to him on a silver platter every morning with his tea and croissant.

    • “The Void” has been mentioned in DWP dispatches! Of course they read this.

    • Exactly where has it been reported that the DWP has backed down over Universal Jobmatch? I can find no reference to that anywhere.

      • It has been reported on here.

      • DWP update as of 21/11/12

        Requiring Jobcentre Plus customers to use the services

        10.7 When the Services are implemented, Jobcentre Plus customers (including potential jobseekers) will not be mandated to register and create a profile.
        Discussions are ongoing with the Authority and Ministers, and requiring customers to use the services may be introduced at a later date. The Contractor shall ensure the design of the Services is such that they are scalable in the event of such a change in policy.

        10.8 At implementation of the Services, Jobcentre Plus customers will be encouraged to use the Services, via their ongoing interactions with Jobcentre Plus staff.

        10.9 For the avoidance of a doubt, there is no requirement to migrate any Jobcentre Plus customers information to the Services to create a profile/record.

        From: DWP TLMS Schedule 2.1, Authority (Universal Jobmatch) Requirements

        • Unfortunately my local job centre appear to be unaware of this ‘backdown’. I was given witten information telling me in bold print “it is vital that you carry out these activities”, I was told I can register NOW and could use their computer to do so.

  5. Please also follow @Hephaestus7 on Twitter. I’m a Disability Specialist from Canada, who is accusing the British government of employing draconian austerity measures to murder its sick and disabled citizens.

    Here’s my latest letter to the DWP ministers:

    http://mydisabilitystudiesblackboard.blogspot.ca/2012/11/my-latest-letter-to-dwp-ministers.html

    Here’s a petition in support of my efforts to seek an ICC trial against several British ministers:

    http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/letter-to-the-icc-at-the-hague-re-mistreatment-of-the-disabled-and-sick

    • Hello Samuel,

      Thank you so much. I have been hoping to find that something like this was in existence. I hope everyone reads/signs and forwards this on. I feel really relieved that someone has been able to effect what you’ve done and it’s given me some renewed energy (I am currently trying to help a family member with this and trying to find our way round the ‘process’ – if that’s what you can call it).

      So, thanks again.

  6. Generally speaking I don’t think we can afford to trust any of the mainstream, and also the not so mainstream ‘left-wing’ parties, (I use the term lightly) as they are all, to varying degrees perhaps, advocates of the state, which really means that even if they follow through on their promises, (in the unlikely event of the loonies getting into power) we’d end up in a similar stew, or worse. Even the Tories haven’t gotten as far as considering gulags, which would no doubt be the case should the Socialist Party or or one of the other Trot parties gain any measure of power. As it is I wouldn’t feel comfortable even working with them, (too often burned in the past) and feel that we need a movement that is at one and the same time both local and national through federation. I would never turn away support on the front line,even from Trot groups, (if they were being sincere) though, of course, nazis of any variety would not be at all welcome!

    We are on the horns of a dilemma, and the moderate, sane Left needs to regroup and come up with a strategy. This needs to be from a grassroots level and bottom up, with the grassroots firmly in control. Ultimately it’s not so much about smashing the state, or supporting someone else’s vision of the state, but coming up with something that makes the state redundant, something that belongs to us all, the ordinary people in a way that no state would dare even try to take it away from us.

    The irony is that much of the Welfare State that we increasingly see disappear before us was based on interventions originally created and owned by the ordinary people. Think of the once great NHS, it was based in large measure on the Tredegar Medical Aid Society

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

    Ironically that society applied to be exempt from having to be absorbed by the NHS in 1948, but that was refused by the then Health Minister Aneurin Bevan.

    Only when we have complete ownership and control of our own institutions with no support, and therefore no control from the government will they be safe.

    On a different note, I think that perhaps we need to start thinking of using different forms of social media other than those like Facebook and Twitter that collect data about us, they are owned by the enemy. I’ve just started to use the ixquick search engine on Firefox as ixquick neither collects, nor stores any information about you.

  7. I mentioned this in reply to another article here but last night on Question Time the subject was left until around the last 15 minutes of the programme, IDS was not grilled enough and i think there was an unfair balance between both sides.. for crying out loud Deborah Meaden and Charles Kennedy, if you add IDS and Dimby the host we are talking just two additional guests and that represented the opposing views. There was too much stench of wealth from those who have a right to voice their views but cannot do so without proving regardless to how rich they might be they are clearly out of touch and quite ignorant to the realities of real people in real life the moment they step from their ivory towers of wealth and open their gobs… check this… http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b01p2wbj/?t=49m19s

  8. 90% of that audience was middle class – chosen purposley – and probably had to agree to stay away from the suject of welfare reforms – or Iain Duncan Smith agreed this with the BBC before hand.

    • The biggest insult is how this government is treating even the working middle classes as stooges and they are going along with it because the government know by their nature and misguided belief regarding the Mentally and physically disabled, or even people in any manner on benefits are taking money from their pay packets, it’s truly cynical.
      There will come a time when even the working middle classes will see through this illusion and feel the right to ashamed they were manipulated and used to do their dirty work for them, it’s all propaganda, we know it’s
      dissemination of stereotypical views and is doomed to fail eventually.

      I would like to think there is still a good majority of the working middle classes who do not subscribe to this theory because if you drill deep into it you will see it comes straight out of a comic book, if they hold to it then you have to conclude they are foolish and easily controlled by the puppet masters of this coalition.. but mainly the Tories. The theory that you can live better on benefits than in a position of employment with a reasonable wage is absolute nonsense, this would only be the case if a large family were all claiming benefits under one roof and in those cases it would be hard not to believe many under those situations could not work but this is the template the government use to dupe the working middle classes to persecute the entire spectrum of benefit claimants and that includes the Mentally and Physically Disabled.

      Those who are genuine find it hard to obtain the benefits they are entitled to due to those who are not entitled yet quite often get them, this is down to an entirely different matter this government have no desire to address, they decide a “One-Size Fits All” policy and that can never work, it’s lazy of them it also shows up their lack of vision to weed out those who should not be claiming including but not solely economical migrants and leads us simply into the other issue about an amnesty of X number of illegal immigrants in the UK they are unable to trace and deport. Indirectly it all ties in but we know how the government must appear to be politically correct whilst still throwing billions of pounds of foreign aid to rich countries with their own nuclear and space programs who themselves now give aid!… check this…
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9560326/British-still-giving-hundreds-of-millions-of-pounds-in-aid-to-wealthy-countries.html

      This government is arrogant on the world stage, it abuses it’s position and the money it wastes often to convey wealth and idiotically will waste billions each year on foreign aid that could have been used on domestic issues and solid policies that could lift this country, could build new affordable homes amongst many other things. This country cannot wait until 2015 for the next election and i’m entirely convinced this coalition will fall before that date, in a democratic country those with wealth and power cannot always have it their own way. As the old saying goes… “See the buildings Rise, see society fall”… greed amd power…. check it out…
      http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=1404871&q=hi&newref=1

      • How can these ‘economical migrants’ be claiming ‘our’ money if they are unable to be counted/traced?

        • They obtain complete new identities and documents, they will take an identity and you would be shocked how easy it appears to be. People are making themselves very rich arranging and selling such documents, opening doors into obtaining a G.P amongst many other things, you may have seen a recent panorama programme on the subject relating to how easy it was for illegal immigrants to obtain healthcare in the UK, costing millions of pounds to the NHS.

          No matter what the reasons are for them wanting to come into this country there will be people happy to exploit that and make money, sadly in the UK it’s a massive business and this government is no closer to stamping it out than the previous one. You ask how economical migrants are claiming well.. many have addresses with a false identity and a full background and there are people who ease the passage along to what they require.

          I do want to make it clear i am not a racist personally and fully understand the importance of immigration and those bringing required skills to this country and helping the economy by paying taxes and embracing our culture and not isolating themselves in ghetto’s without being able to speak a word of english. Racism is a cancer that breeds in the minds of people who experience the injustices of people in power not to get to grips with illegal immigrantion amongst other things, of course there is also a big group of racists who are just full of hate because their own lives are complete and utter shite and want someone to blame except themselves.

      • fuck this shit about work-shy claimants and economical migrants

      • But the unemployed are taking money from our “pay packets”, Moi – I mean if they are able bodied they should be forced to work should they, especially those economical migrants. If it wasn’t for the unemployed and economical migrants the government wouldn’t be attacking people who are mentally physically disabled, and there would be more money to pay in disability payments, I say the able-bodied unemployed should be forced to work. I would jump at the chance of a job buy with so many discriminatory employers who would employ someone who has been suffering from depression and a back for the past 30 years. We need to get rid of economical migrants and force the unemployed back to work, they have had it too good for too long under successive soft governments.

        • Sorry but I don’t think this government would stop at the unemployed. You need to realise that there are no jobs, that’s why people are unemployed. The bit about ‘workshy’ and ‘feckless scroungers’ is just goverment lies and propoganda. And if and when people are forced to ‘work’ as is already happening, it is for no money, and is also replacing real jobs. And you also need to realise that there are many unemployed people who have mental health problems and are struggling to get work.

        • I would not defend anyone who was capable of working and is just being plain lazy, but i’m sure you know all too well it’s not as black and white as the government would lead us to believe, yes benefits do come from tax payers and yes there are many on benefits who should not be, and it’s those who need to be sorted. It’s become a culture in this country and many be them legally or illegally on benefits have almost become for want of a better word “Institutionalized benefit dependent” in many cases it goes back generations and that is one of the biggest problems.

          The government are imposing these reforms without putting any solid mechanisms in place… like for example jobs that people can take and feel part of the working class, rather than being enforced to work in a job with no motivation for the employee to see a future without benefits. There are too many questionable areas this government want to spring upon people who would take that leap of faith and end up seriously up the creek without a paddle, this government cannot be trusted with that aspect of helping the unemployed back to work. it’s doomed to failure by the way it has been pushed through and has not been properly thought out.

          It is said that if the working class are genuinely certain the mentally and physically disabled and unemployed were getting more than they earn in a job, maybe they should get the sack and sign on, they would soon begin to see that a good majority of those claiming benefits certainly do not have a better life or have more to spend than someone in employment unless it’s the worst job in the country. There is a firm belief that by 2015 there could be as many as 70 million living in this country and i use the term “Living” very loosely given the current political climate, and what the hell happens then?, are we still going to be so fixated on the welfare state so the tories can slice up the cake for themselves?.

          They don’t care about the so-called squeezed middle, if the truth be known they barely have any time for the working middle classes, they just represent a means to an end for the bigger agenda and that is the elite rich classes who seek to reap not what they sow but what we sow in more ways than one. There can be no honesty in society whilst we have a Tory led coalition who is not being honest with the country and it’s people. I’m not a communist either but if there is no level of equilibrium how can it work in all sincerity?, much less with a prime minister and a party who is there by default without a majority, lib-dems sold out their voters to leapfrog Labour and get into bed with the Tories, the only way they would ever taste power.

          The 1942 Beveridge Report spelled out a system of social insurance, covering every citizen regardless of income. It offered nothing less than a cradle-to-grave welfare state, it was never designed for the kind of things we face these days, sadly it’s never had a full belt and braces revamp to take into account the 21st century and all the additional burdens that are imposed, these tory welfare reforms are nowhere near that kind of revamp, these reforms are a cynical ploy just to take money away, they speak of “austerity” but if they can bankroll billions of pounds in foreign aid it makes a mockery of it all, especially to countries that don’t need it but take it and have their own foreign aid provisions too!.

          • The welfare state is and R4 are going to broadcast a 3-hour programme tomorrow morning (tuesday) on it’s past, present & future. It’ll be interesting to hear how much time they allow for the ‘present and future’ parts and what angle it’s talked about from ( how much the reality of what’s happening to will be in there).

            Current ‘Reforms’ (maybe amendments would be more realistic) definitely have nothing behind them. So even if person ‘A’ tries to do everything that they would traditionally they have done to get paid work – the rug is being pulled from under their feet in some new & ever-more-impossible-to-keep-up-with way every week. (The conditionality; sanctions; 3 strikes and you’re out and the fear-factor that goes with these) – none of them are conducive to ‘helping’ anyone who is serious about not wishing to become welfare dependant or institutionalised. For anyone fortunate enough to have gone through their life so far and not been unlucky enough to have any mental health difficulties currently – it’s not too hard to see how some soon will become ill (with stress/anxiety) under this new, improved benefits ‘regime’. For anyone who comes up against the deliberate wall which has/is clearly being built erected inside the benefits system with the openly expressed intention of tripping up a many as possible, so as to be able to remove their their essential source of income – how long will they be able to put aside the ‘fear factor’ and continue to fulfil the increasing and shifting ‘requirements’ with ‘failing’ in one way or another – as they try to concentrate on looking for work and not fighting off another ‘assault’ on their integrity or sense of self-worth.

            And, If there are those who do fit within a category of having become at all institutionalised on benefits, (this must be a complex thing to quantify – due to factors which interact with other factors in everyone’s lives) – then they are part of a group who will stand even less chance under current ‘reforms’ of finding a way through their difficulties and into work. They are already considered ‘lower than low’ by (at least some) job centre staff who openly slate them to other ‘customers’ at every opportunity.

          • Welfare State is 70.

  9. DUCK DUCKGO on Opera does the same on not tracking etc (but opera have to sort bugs out in latest version (in the plug ins and extensions).
    Using fax to pc would avoid snooping (pings rather than ascii) and mailing lists could be built up.
    Websites set up in Iceland are protected by their freedom of speech legislation.

  10. Here is a FACT for you all, over a 25 year period,1982-2007 under both the Tories and NuLabour, 3, I will repeat that “3” council houses were built in Scotland. Scottish NuLabour are expecting to gain votes over this (and they will get them) by calling out the SNP over not having enough housing for people at this moment in time……you couldn’t make it up.

    • That’s because the focus for social housing was shifted on to housing associations, who whilst charging so called ‘affordable rents’ in actual fact charge some quite unaffordable rents, which only look good if they are compared with the grossly overinflated private sector rents. Housing associations are by and large turning themselves into charities that have no accountability to their tenants, and increasingly are becoming part of the oppressive government machine, part of the corporate state, more than happy to act as implementers of government social policy. ‘Affordable rents’ are by and large decided by people like barristers who, with their £400 per hour fees have a somewhat distorted notion of what affordability is compared to those of us in low paid or insecure work, (most of us who live in social housing fit into this category). Even organisations such as Shelter have proven themselves out of touch with their notion that rents should be no more than 25% of incomes, but that stands in stark contrast with the British Tenant’s Federation who consider anything more than 15% of income as unaffordable. I know who I agree with.

      • I agree with you there, many rent in the private sector and if that was not the case they would not get a roof over their heads, with the tories love of all things private sector at the expense of the public sector it’s no surprise because although private landlords can be greedy they are paying capital gains tax so the government is happy regardless how far the tenants stretch busting their hump to meet the rent.

  11. What happened to the unions? They seem – again – to have given up and given in!

    • The mainstream unions are now by and large spent forces, even the ones that have detached themselves from supporting NuLabour seem still to pathetically believe that a miracle will happen and we get a principled Labour government in power. Apart from a brief period, 1945-51 Labour have never been a principled socialist party.

      There are some signs that things are beginning to change, but with the alternative unions such as the IWW and IWA, as evidenced by the recent victories of the John Lewis cleaners. If a previously unorganised, and traditionally hard to organise sector can win small, but hugely important victories like this, (with no help from the mainstream unions, who seem to be more on the side of the capitalist paymasters) it is tantalising to imagine what could be achieved if this was upscaled and many more of us joined these unions – which have sections for the unemployed too. I can’t say what the monthly dues are for the IWA, but the dues for an unemployed person in the IWW are a pound a month, with gradual increases once you are employed, depending on what your earnings are. Meagre though the dole is, surely a pound a month could be found by most of us? Unlike the mainstream unions, these unions are grass-roots unions, with no paid officials, and direct accountability to membership – they truly do belong, and are controlled by the members, and not by an overpaid and corrupt gang of salaried officials.

      • £1 a month sounds like a really good investment to me – the tricky part would be (& I know it sounds mad to anyone in their right mind) trying to decide from which other part of the ‘budget’ it be found (deducted) in any given month:- (telephone company; pocket money; gas&electricity; milkman (!) ok – there is no actual milkman – milk money); food shop; travel costs to essential services/school/job centre …

        I really wish it was the case (& it should be) that a pound a month could be found by most of us and when I was working ’til quite recently, that’s a statement that would probably ring true – but even then it wasn’t always completely true as balancing the books is all relative to income and everyday demands, which can vary depending on any household’s total income/make-up. I agree with what you are saying (other than that) completely though.

        • Apologies: £1 a month is probably do-able (!!) – just mentally scaled it up to £1 a week for some reason & was thinking of the massive sum of £4 a month …. apart from that the above is still true and it would still have to be ‘found’ from a budget which doesn’t (if we are honest) include any ‘disposable income’ after (not) covering the essentials ….

          • A pound is a pound is a pound, you can spend it on a loaf and a can of beans, top up the lecky/gas, could even buy a lottery ticket :-), and £1 a month comes in at 12 QUID a year!!

          • You could treat the little uns for £12… especially at this time of the year.

      • I’ve looked at this idea but have tended to find that you have to join as a full paying member and the reduced rate tends to be for members who become unemployed during their membership, and is not a joining rate for the unemployed.

    • Ghost Whistler,

      They always have, so many (not all) were bought and paid for…”the enemy within”.

      http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TU.htm

      Two more that were “the enemy within”.

      http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TUgaitskell.htm

      http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRhealeyD.htm

  12. Dr Demento Smith is the Tories tough guy on claimants. He thinks spending money on benefits so that poor people, including the working poor, can pay for food and heating and housing is sinful and profligate.

    That’s right, an advocate of ‘let’s stop featherbedding claimants’ who doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with handing over substantial sums of money to work programme organisations that are incapable of meeting soft as shite targets and website organisations who’s products are nothing more than a handy reference library for every gang of spammers, hackers, and identity thieves on the planet.

    He’s like an environmental health officer who finds nothing wrong with a restaurant that has cockroaches running all over the kitchen.

    Yet when he’s called out on the damage his policies are having on people’s lives, like on last night’s Question Time, he has the temerity to get all indignant and furious and give a petulant defence of his policies that amounted to ‘See, I done proved it ?’

    Dude, the poor and sick and disabled people watching your purple faced rant are the one’s entitled to offended by the cuts and conditionality you and your Lib-Dem accomplices are imposing. They’re the people taking the biggest hit in this brave new world of austerity. They’re the one’s who are forced to think twice lest they upset some know-nothing, jumped up clerk at the Jobcentre.

    And you have proven nothing by the way. Two and a half years ago your magic-bean theory stated that cutting public spending to the bone would somehow lead to a sudden surge in private sector employment and those wide boulevards lined with jobs trees (you know, the one’s that exist in your fantasy) would become a living reality.

    You might like to pretend that the magical thinking you do at home doesn’t affect what you do at the DWP; but it absolutely does. The brain that believes in angels, virgin births and Jesus taking a romantic walk on a lake is trained to see the world not as it is, but how you want it to be.

    So your idea of getting ever tougher on claimants will certainly create more poverty in this country, and cuts in public spending will inevitably lead to more unemployment. The proof ? That’s easy. There are now more people out of work than when you took office, and even the the most shit-for-brains pundits are admitting the UK economy is in recession once again.

    • Iain Dumbo-Smith is one of the most EVIL politicians Britain has ever had. I have no doubt he gets his absurd beliefs about benefit claimants from his Roman Catholic religion. I personally wish he would drop down dead along with Cameron and Osbourne. These wretched ‘men’ have no idea as to why people claim benefits. I am sure they think claiments do it all for a laugh!

      • I’m not catholic, I’ m protestant C of E, but I don’t think this is about catholisism or any religion than practises in the UK , this bloody thing includes everyone who is classed as a citizen of the United Kingdom regardless, IDS IS ONE STEP AWAY FROM THE FUNNY FARM – I’D BE QUITE HAPPY TO HELP HIM THERE, OR EVEN PAY FOR A TAXI TO TAKE HIM THERE WITH MY DOLE MONEY- if it means no food or power for a few days – I’d gladly forfeit that!

    • Words like “Sinful” are terms we may associate with religious nutters when they get involved in politics and want to bring their faith into their opinions on what is right and wrong, that is a very serious issue and a threat few may not have noticed until this party crept into power. They probably embrace a faith that will in their mind tollerate their personal and political deviences, we may even hear the word “Morality” but what we all see clearly is “immorality” and i’m a non religious spiritualist. :-)

  13. Reblogged this on Ramblings of a Fibro Fogged Mind and commented:
    Contacts for many of the groups fighting the welfare cuts country wide… Thanks to Johnny Void…Dxxx

  14. I stopped watching QT a few years ago it just frustrates the fuck out of me.

  15. From one posting to another we are just regurgitating the same issues and arguments, the socialist party in Durham is very organised Ed Miliband got a terrible reception at the Durham miners gala from them, perhaps you would like to google this historic gathering of left wing activists.

    • We all know his brother should have got the party leadership, two brothers should not have gone head to head when Ed was the wrong head. :-)

      Fact is the unions thought he would be easier to persuade and control but he has turned out to actually be his own man in many ways albeit not the man one would like to see leading the party, now the unions give him a less than warm reception.

      I’m sure Cameron would appear more acceptable if we looked upon him as a mere dictator pushing through extensive powers openly rather than by stealth, people would not be under no illusions then regarding the slow decay of democracy in the uk.

      We see the human rights act being used by terrorists to prevent them being deported to face trial costing the tax payers millions of pounds (little spoken much about that) yet the moment the human rights act would be torn up you bet the government would then abuse it themselves on the people of this country, sometimes people need to be careful what they wish for, yes it’s flawed and needs to be looked at but imagine life without it?.

  16. I honestly belive it some how goes back all the way to Churchills eugenics early nineties ,the forced abbortions , the Cons wanted ,to many poor the slow of mind (not my words) the crims the handycaped , mixed races the insane we are contaminating the true blue blood.(RE CHURCHILL) admirer of USA. AT THAT TIME.it stopped about 1979. he CHURCHILL WAS stopped.

    • Catherine, what are you trying to say here? None of what you’ve written has any coherence. Eugenics was popular with virtually all political persuasions up until the 1940s, (it lost it’s appeal for a few decades, for obvious reasons). Even people like George Bernard Shaw and many on the Left were in favour of eugenics. I’m sure that there are plenty of closet eugenecists in the Tory Party, but I bet they exist in NuLabour too, as well as probably in the Trot parties, though they’d of course probably want to apply eugenics to any class but the ‘working class’, though strangely most Trots haven’t realised that they themselves aren’t middle-class… so they’d actually be arguing to do away with themselves… which perhaps wouldn’t be a bad idea. The ‘working-class’ may at times be seen as hapless, but we sure as hell don’t need any dubious ‘leadership’ from those arseholes. Churchill himself died in 1965. I don’t even think he was himself a believer in eugenics, even if he did have a somewhat schitzoid relationship with working people – sending in the troops at Tonypandy in 1911, but also responsible for bringing in the Old Age Pension in the early years of the 20th Century, and the establishment of the Wages Councils in the 1950s. He may have been a total shit on most things, but he wasn’t all bad!

      • Lloyd George introduced the Old Age Pensions Act in 1908 that provided between 1s. and 5s. a week to people over seventy, not Churchill in 1911.

        “The improvement of the British breed is my aim in life,” Winston Churchill wrote to his cousin Ivor Guest on 19 January 1899.

        He also wrote in a letter to Asquith in 1910 “The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the Feeble-Minded and Insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate.”

  17. Pingback: Who’s Fighting Welfare Reform | Disability Issues | Scoop.it

  18. What is required has become obvious, no?
    Yes.
    Well…….

  19. “Kalispell Montana Depression”

  20. Voodoo economics. InDrunkenShit. A gangster/bankster/toff/aristo clique.
    Potent. Evil. TheUKplc.

  21. Annos

    IDS is a small fry in the world of global economics – even Obama is because the monied senate are republican and he has been funding the private sector with public money to appease them getting into more debt to do so i.e . bailing out banks, keeping taxes low to the 1% wealthy and cutting services for the poor which is 1/3 of society – 100 million people.
    In 2011 US spending schedule = $3.5 trillion dollars. Money raised from taxes = $2 trillion dollars.
    Deficit in balance of payments (national debt) = $1.500 trillion dollars.
    Mobile corporate capitalists maintian power in the political systems in the west they have decimated while exploiting the countries they have moved their capital to in order to make the biggest profits and least amount of political interference in their agendas. The middleclasses are only now facing what the working class have been facing incrementally for the past 20years but they chose to turn a blind eye to it. Capitalists are not interested in funding a civil service that wants to tax them so it’s off to pastures new. The middleclass pen pushing class now wants to operate government run schemes on the cheap as in Roosevelts new deal and uk Richard Murphy’s book The courageous state, which would also end up being an unfair system with the administrators paid more than the real workers. Even Occupy are realising that what we really need is an anti-capitalist movement that divides politics from the economy. These middleclasses have only just discovered how unfair the capitalist system (has always been) but turned a blind eye to it as they considered themselves better and better off than the working class.
    Only worldwide condemnation of not only capitalism but a monetarist system altogether will rid us of those who have a world domination agenda, leaving them nowhere to hide and live in the lap of luxury while most of the world starves. I hope Asian countries, latin American and African countries are being made aware of this by those campaigning for change.

    • IDS isn’t even a small fry, he’s a failed leader of the Conserative Party 2003 in other words, he’s a second hand polititan – I’m really suprised than the PM gave a second hand polititan like IDS such an impotant role at the DWP – oh Mr CAMERON – GET A GRIP!

      • Any remotely competent PM would have sacked him by now not just because of his manifest idiocy and clear inability to do his job but because it reflects very badly on the whole government and on the PM himself. Hell, even John Major would have sacked him.

    • Excellent post.
      Money is the problem.

    • IDS may be a small fry but he is still a BIG SHIT!!

  22. p.s. I know occupy organization is not popular on this site but in America they have merged with the organized labor movements that they have only just realised exist. A march was planned in 1968 to mobilize a poor peoples march on Washington by Martin Luther King worrying the powers that be – he was murdered on April 4th 1968. My daughter was born on that date 9 years later.

  23. Pingback: Who’s Fighting Welfare Reform | Welfare, Disability and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  24. After the other night on QT – his position at the DWP is now untenable – he should be sacked.

  25. May I remind the Prime Minister that demi ministers have been sacked for a lot less than losing their temper “LIVE” on television at the exact place in Parliament, where LAW AND DEMOCRACY was first introduced.

    As a legal voter in this bloody police state for the unemployed (Iain Duncan Smith has created) – I SERIOUSLY CALL FOR A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN OUR PRESENT COALITION GOVERNMENT, I RECOMMEND THIS TO BE PARAMOUNT, OVERIDING ANY OTHER DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS/LORDS AT PRESENT.

  26. Never forget this Mr IDS, we are your bosses, you are certainly not ours – is that clear, you junped up little tin pot dictator – and don’t ever forget:

    Nobody voted you in – have you got that, do you understand?

    • He has no democratic mandate as a minister only as an MP. NO-ONE voted for a CON/LIB government. There should have been either a Tory minority government or another general election.

  27. InDrunkenShit REFUSED to go in the recent Cabinet reshuffle, and The Claggeron backed down.
    That cunt and his evil sidekick, Lord Fraud, are the ones REALLY running this prison-state.

    • Well, you know what happens to people who are given a direction (from their bosses) that they do not follow – it’s only a matter of time before he’s sacked. (the sooner the better)

    • That just goes to show how pathetically weak Cameron is. Just HOW can a minister refuse to be moved from his post if requested to do so by the PM? I think Cameron is afraid of IDS because IDS was one of the leaders of the Maastrict rebellion under John Major and with the EU issue beginning to cause trouble again for a Tory government obviously Cameron wants it to go away but it won’t with the rise of UKIP. If IDS is sacked by Cameron then he will no doubt try and get his revenge by stoking-up Tory backbenchers to challenge Cameron for the leadership. There are many in the Tory Party who think Cameron is useless and is incapable of winning an election and are annoyed at him having failed to do this in 2010.

  28. Iain Duncan Smith, sitting in the place where democracy was first introduced should never have been allowed, IDS – you are a proper BASTARD!

    • “Iain Duncan Smith, sitting in the place where democracy was first introduced….”

      Eh, he’s in Athens? What’s he doing in Athens? Get out of my town, IDS. Things are bad enough there as it is.

  29. They want you to die. This is getting seriously psychopathic. Will it not be stopped?
    No.
    This is where we are. Psycho Central.

  30. The DWP decide who goes for health assessment at Atos and according to them some people with parkinsons disease are working , therefore their logic is so should other sufferers irrespective of what stage their progressive disease is at. IDS going on the Tory way of thinking is doing a wonderful job, he has got everyones back up, is sorting out the strivers from the skivers and is charging ahead with reforms, what’s not to like in the Tories eyes?

    • was so stunned forgot to put what this idiot wants “And for those who claim without any record of contribution, we should be firmer still. For individuals aged under 25 who have not yet paid National Insurance contributions for a certain period, perhaps five years, unemployment benefit should be in the form of a repayable loan. An unemployed teenager would still receive the same amount of cash as now, for example, but they would be expected to repay the value once in work”

  31. Time for a new beverage – hemlock tea for the under 25’s.
    tied to debt for either higher education or for unemployment benefit,also being denied housing benefit – if this doesn’t start a rebellion I don’t know what will.

    • Being in your 20s should be the best years of a person’s life but jealous resentful old farts have always got to find a way to fuck it up.

      • Yes IDS does doesnt he. I’d use stronger language than a resentful old fart as well. IDS is a lowdown, poisonous, cold blooded reptile, divorced from all humanity and only happy when he is killing people!

        What are you young folks doing about it then? I dont see much rioting happening against this vile and bent Govt? Thats the only way now.

    • All evil comes from the old.They grow fat on ideas and young men die of them.

      —- Jean Anouilh

      • I am in my sixties and I mean the young no harm. I think they are getting treated like shit these days.
        We did have it better in the 60’s and 70’s….make no mistake about it.
        Lots of work, lots of dole, the nhs was brilliant, grants, optimism, good drugs,great music.
        Then came Thatcher & Ronnie Raygun…..
        …..boom, all gone.
        Downhill ever since

  32. Student debts = indentured labour.
    Slavery is returning, social progress never happened.
    Forelock tugging, curtsying, droit de segneur :all de rigeur, doncha know?

  33. To yoofy and Jean

    Do you think all of this is not happening to the old too. Out of benefits I have to find underoccupancy tax, next year council tax because of council reductions and I had my pension deferred for another 6 years. I have had my benefits sanctioned almost every year since 2001 to 2008 and a lot of the policies which ids is implementing are dreamt up by the young not the old – the old wanted and fought for the welfare state – if the young want to keep it they are going to have to fight for it.

  34. We now have a country run on fear.
    Fear of becoming unemployed and fear of being unemployed.
    Hard to imagine, but its going to get worse.

    • Exactly, thanks to this government people fear being on benefits, not being in work, being in work and losing their jobs, what other people think, you name it they fear it and it’s different for each individual. It’s a climate of fear that we see this government happy to orchestrate through their rhetoric and excessive propaganda. This coalition is not being big bold and brave and honest in their actions, they do it because they want to and care not about the fallout that will prove when it all comes to pass one of the biggest mismanagments of this countries trust and wellbeing by a government.

      Not too many years ago people were being told there was so many millions of pounds of unclaimed benefit that goes begging each year, this coalition and previous parties in power are guilty of this fact and if we could see the full details of how much of tax payers money this coalition wastes on crazy abandoned and unworkable policies they would be sincerely shocked. Do you remember the Tories said they were going to dismantle quango’s and yet we see more and more springing up.

      The government want to hide from the fact there are so many people in poverty through no fault of their own in the UK. I could take you to locations in London where war veterans with physical and mental health problems have been left to rot in the streets, sleeping in shop doorways or under the viaduct, men who served this country and upon returning were all but ignored and told they are no longer worth the value of the dirty clothes on their backs, let-alone a dignified life everyone in this so-called democratic country has a right to expect.

      My controversial view regarding the welfare budget is for the government not to slash it to the bone but to increase it!, this is one of the very few ways they are likely to get so many people out of poverty. The reality is those who are not entitled to benefits get them and those who are genuinely entitled do not get them, it’s this area of welfare that should be looked at instead of passing crazy welfare reforms that will end up putting more people in poverty and costing the Taxpayers billions when all this comes to pass.

      It is an accepted fact those who claim and are not entitled will not worry about losing them because their deceptive nature will mean they may already work or have other illegal activities bringing them money in, whilst those who are legally claiming benefits will suffer far more than those who i’m sure the working class taxpayers would sooner be tying to a tree dousing with petrol and lighting up. But we know that is not what this government want taxpayers to be thinking they want to maintain this crazy propaganda that 75% of benefit claiments are skivers, a headline on the front of a certain newspaper a while back, now that is a very dangerous opinion to hold.

      Many years ago whilst in london my late mother and father with my older sister who was just a child at the time got caught up in a march that turned violent and the leader of that and many other marches that turned into violence was Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley a fascist and i cannot help
      feeling the signs that we could end up going back to those times again quite chilling even if the tory government in this day and age may not be fully conscious of that fact. I do sense from some of the rhetoric on here that we do have a large percentage of fascists making comments.

      Many here might be too young to know who mosley was, i would suggest those people do a google search or just click this link and learn to know this is not a road we need to travel up again in the 21st ecentury……..
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Mosley#Elected_Member_of_Parliament it is curious why he left the labour party.

  35. This trend of penalizing the poor can be reversed only if enough people fight for it to be, when the kids at university are told there is not enough money to sustain a welfare state, what else are they going to do other than make retrograde policies against the unemployed and sick citing privatization as a good alternative, which it is not.

    I am not sure of the amount of people in the American system who are unable to afford insurance policies to cover health care but they outnumber the 1% who own most of the wealth. The welfare state would, could and should be affordable for all.

    Nobody questions the amount that is spent on privatization or the quangos here that run the nhs which inevitably leads to more being spent by the state i.e.private finance initiatives for hospitals and the private sector Atos, not to mention those running the work programs for the unemployed.

  36. BENEFIT WARRIORS WANTED :
    HOW TO BEAT ATOS :
    ***COPY AND SHARE THIS FROM YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE COPY & SHARE THIS MESSAGE OUT TO ALL GROUPS.
    ***SHARE THIS MESSAGE WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS :
    TO EVERY DISABLED PERSON :
    *ATOS “HEALTHCARE”PLC is the governments “healthcare provider”
    *AND YOU HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT-TO “COMPLAIN” ABOUT A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER. (AND ITS FREE)
    *They have to, HAVE TO, INVESTIGATE-EVERY COMPLAINT.
    *WHAT ABOUT 1000, 10,000, 100,000… MILLIONS OF COMPLAINTS-TOTAL SHUTDOWN…!!!
    *ATOS &DWP- HAVE A LEGAL DUTY, TO ANSWER ALL 3 OF YOUR COMPLAINTS…
    *IT’LL BURY ATOS AND DWP, IN CLAIMS COSTING MILLIONS TO PROCESS.
    * “THAT’S” HOW TO WIN…
    *3 COMPLAINTS MAKE THEIR CONTRACT : “COLLAPSE”:
    TO FIGHT THE DWP CUTS COMPLAIN TO :
    1-The Parliamentary and Health OMBUDSMAN
    2-The Human Rights Commission-Europe
    3-The General Medical Council. ALL THREE ARE ONLINE.
    START ONLINE NOW:
    1- gmc@gmc-uk.org on
    2-THE PARLIAMENTARY AND HEALTH OMBUDSMAN.
    3-THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION-EUROPE
    *Lets halt THEIR :
    “WORK CAPABILITY” AND GET OUR BENEFITS BACK.
    *COMPLAIN, NOW AND
    BECOME A :
    “BENEFIT HERO”

  37. After complaining to my doctors, health trust, data information commissioner and parliamentary health ombudsman on a personal matter I got absolutely nowhere. The health ombudsman mocked, ” why was I even bothering to complain” after being sent selective evidence only by medical providers. I do intend to complain to the three offices you mentioned and I hope others do too and see if numbers make a difference to the cause of the sick. The unemployed should do the same and write to the ombudsman for the dwp and the human rights commission en mass regarding the decimation of the welfare system which is leaving people inhumanly destitute.

  38. Pingback: 2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 2 | the void

  39. Pingback: Who’s Fighting Welfare Reform (nationwide list) | The Thurrock Heckler

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