The Questions That the Work Programme Charities Urgently Need to Answer

Ever since Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship Work Programme was rolled out in 2011, the charitable sub-contractors involved have attempted to dodge and wriggle their way out questions relating to the nastier elements of the scheme.

When the workfare row blew up at the beginning of the year, the members of Disability Works (DWUK), a consortium of disability charities formed to maximise income from the Work Programme, vehemently denied that they had anything to do with sanctioning disabled people’s benefits.  A statement on their website reads: “DWUK members are not directly involved in delivering sanctions – this action is taken by DWP via Job Centre Plus.”

This is a deliberate attempt to diminish their role in delivering punishing benefit sanctions.  Their statement also admits:  “If an individual does not attend a referral or other activity, as required, DWUK would be obliged to report that non-compliance to the Work Programme prime provider.”

This is known in DWP jargon as reporting a Compliance Breach.  It is true that the DWP then make the final decision about whether to sanction a claimants benefit or not – but for the charities to claim they have nothing to do with the process is a bit like saying the police have nothing to do with putting people in prison.  It’s clearly bullshit and the charities concerned should stop treating their users and the people who fund them as if we are stupid.

DWUK’s statement even gives an impression that they agree with sanctioning disabled people’s benefits in some cases.   Whilst they claim that they will make the DWP aware if they believe an individual is vulnerable, they say this information will mean simply that “DWP decision makers can then be provided with all the relevant facts to help them make the right decision.”

At a recent meeting discussing fighting welfare reform a senior figure from one of the DWUK charities seemed to agree with this, claiming that they always challenged sanctions they thought were ‘unreasonable’.  Clearly DWUK think it is sometime reasonable to force a disabled benefit claimant into absolute poverty and possible homelessness because they missed an appointment or failed to start a training course.

Yesterday the DWP quietly announced that from the 3rd December this year –  International Disabled People’s Day – claimants of sickness and disability benefits, who have been judged by their own doctors as unable to work, can now be sent on workfare.

Once again the big charities involved in the Work Programme started spinning away any responsibility for their role in this brutal new regime.  Mental health charity MIND released a statement saying“Mind does not believe that people who have been found unfit for work should be forced to undertake mandatory unpaid work placements.”

It’s worth pointing out that they only say they disagree with this practice, but don’t say that they will not be involved in carrying it out.

Substance misuse charity Addaction (@addactionuk) responded to the post yesterday on this blog with a flustered refutation complaining that they aren’t just in the Work Programme for the money.  On further questioning they went much further than MIND, stating categorically that they have not raised any Work Programme compliance breaches (although stopping short of saying they would refuse to – as this would doubtless place them in breach of contract).

They also state that they are not involved in referring unemployed claimants into any form of workfare, will not be involved in referring sickness and disability claimants into workfare and would refuse to monitor workfare attendance and compliance if the prime contractors (their poverty pimp bosses like A4e and G4S) sent claimants on mandatory workfare.

Which is fine.  Well done Addaction, except that it is only by good luck that they haven’t yet had to refer a compliance doubt and that by taking part in the Work Programme they give charitable cover to what is turning out to be the most brutal and inept welfare-to-work scheme ever devised.

Addaction also claim they didn’t sign the gagging order which many other Work Programme sub-contractors have claimed forbids them from even criticising the Work Programme.

Finally Salvation Army have re-iterated their workfare denial, despite several appeals on their website for companies and organisations who can offer work placements.  It is impossible to know just how ‘voluntary’ these work placements are in practice, but this blogpost gives an idea of what claimants sent to the Salvation Army on the Work Programme can expect:  http://quacking-plums.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/i-fucking-hate-work-programme.html

Homelessness charities this week released a report slamming the Work Programme and its impact on homeless people.  One of the first charities to pull out of the Work Programme was the Single Homeless Project (SHP), claiming the sanctions regime could force vulnerable people to have to “beg and steal to survive”.  St Mungos, one of the UK’s largest homelessness charities, have also pulled out of the scheme.  Their reason was far more pragmatic.  They weren’t making any money.

Oxfam have refused to be involved with the Work Programme, workfare and benefit sanctions – claiming it would be inappropriate for an anti-poverty organisation.

There is obviously disagreement within the third sector about the ethics of any charity involvement in this scheme and the devastation that benefit sanctions can bring to people’s lives.

Charities have a duty to be transparent.  Perhaps they are all like Addaction, tacitly playing along whilst not referring people for sanctions or sending claimants on workfare.  If so this makes Iain Duncan Smith look like the joke he is – talking tough for the television whilst behind the scenes Work Programme charitable contractors are subverting his every move.

The only way we can finally know the truth about the involvement of MIND (@MindCharity), Mencap (@mencap_charity), Scope (@scope), RNIB (@RNIB), Leonard Chesire Foundation (@LCDisability) and all the other Work Programme sub-contractors in workfare and benefit sanctions is if they will answer the following questions.

  1. How many and what has been the nature of any Compliance Breaches (your organisation) has raised with the Prime Contractors or the DWP?
  2. How many people have had benefits sanctioned as a result of Compliance Breaches raised by (your organisation)?
  3. Would (your organisation) refuse to raise Compliance Doubts in defiance of their contractual agreement with the DWP and Prime Contractors as Work Programme sub-contractors?
  4. Does (your organisation) have a strategy in place to support Work Programme participants who have had benefits sanctioned due to compliance breaches and if so what is it?
  5. Is (your organisation) involved in mandating JSA* claimants to ‘work experience’ or ‘voluntary work’?
  6. Will (your organisation) be involved in mandating ESA WRAG** claimants to ‘work experience’ or ‘voluntary work’?
  7. If the Prime Contractors choose to mandate Work Programme participants with (your organisation) to some form of unpaid work will (your organisation) refuse to monitor these placements and report Compliance Breaches.
  8. Did (your organisation) agree as part of their Work Programme sub-contract that they will not criticise the Work Programme, meaning that (your organisation) cannot campaign against forced unpaid work being implemented for thiose on unemployment, sickness or disability benefits?
  9. Will (your organisation) be actively campaigning against forced unpaid work for sick and disabled claimants in the ESA WRAG group?

Charitable organisations are now at the heart of all mandatory work placements which must be able to demonstrate ‘community benefit’.  Along with workfare for sick and disabled claimants, unlimited workfare is being planned for those leaving the Work Programme and entering the Community Action Programme.  A fierce and co-ordinated response from the larger charities could kills this form of workfare stone dead.

The question is whose  side are they on?  Will they stand with disabled, unemployed or unwell people who are already struggling desperately due to the vicious welfare cuts?  Or will they stand on the side of Iain Duncan Smith and the DWP?

* JSA means the unemployment benefit Jobseekers Allowance
**ESA WRAG means  claimants of the sickness and disability benefit Employment Support Allowance who have been placed in the Work Related Activity Group due to being assessed as being able to work at some point in the future.

Join in with the Week of Action Against Workfare Charities beginning on December 8th.  Actions already announced in Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Brighton and Liverpool:  http://antiworkfare.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/week-of-action-against-workfare_29.html

About these ads

69 responses to “The Questions That the Work Programme Charities Urgently Need to Answer

  1. Another cracking post. The charity’s are run by professional administrators. They are no different to other business people, save for their sanctimonious self-belief in their utter wonderfulness.

  2. It all comes down to money as usual.
    If you do this we give you money.

    Ok then.

    When accepting the contract they were admitting they were run on greed.

    That’s the trouble with the system we have, people are that desperate they will do anything.
    We’re pissing against the wind as long as money is God.

  3. Pingback: The Questions That the Work Programme Charities Urgently Need to Answer | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  4. “As Cold As Charity”
    Should be the motto of The DWP

  5. As you are likely aware, the British Medical Association has officially called for the abolition of the WCA as performed by Atos Healthcare U.K. I strongly suggest that you solicit the opinion of the BMA on this matter of forced unpaid work for sick and disabled claimants in the ESA WRAG group.

    Who is legally responsible for the health problems, injuries—and even death—of the sick and disabled due to forced Work Programme participation?

    If http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/work-programme-memo-082.pdf is implemented on December 3, UK’s sick and disabled should hire a human rights lawyer by raising funds on http://Indiegogo.com

    Samuel Miller

    http://socialwelfareunion.org/archives/2501

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

    http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/tag/the-hague/

    http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/ids-off-the-hook-with-icc-so-evidence-needed-of-atos-deaths/

    E-Mail: disabilityinliterature@gmail.com
    Blog: Hephaestus: Disability Studies

    http://illnessandcivilization.blogspot.com/

    Blog: My Disability Studies Blackboard

    http://mydisabilitystudiesblackboard.blogspot.com/

    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Hephaestus7
    (Montreal, Canada)

    • No one, no one, is going to stop this gang of psychopaths. No one.
      The same tactics were used as they rammed through the ‘reform’ (privatisation) of The NHS. No one, no one, wanted that except the mad greedy bastards in our corrupt and bent Parliament; but still, it was implemented.
      As will all these illegal and un-mandated ‘directives’ deliberately designed to fuck up, and possibly kill, the most vulnerable in society.
      And the chattering class are so well off and cocooned that they just see all this as dinner table debate, not the most grave matter which requires urgent action.
      People will die, are dying because of these ‘policies’ being implemented via the guise of fake austerity.
      This is the fascist right at the soul of The ConDemNation acting out their brutal fantasies on the most defenceless in this rotten country, The UKplc.
      IDS, Lawd Fraud, Hulk Hogan, Maria Miller, Emma Harrison and many more : killing the poor for fun and profit.

  6. after reading yesterdays blog, Sick and Disabled Claimants Now to Be Sent on Workfare (by the same charities who claim to support them)
    I copied & pasted the DWP;s memo to workfare providers to my local radio station, & also to my local free weekly newspaper, we should all shout from the rooftops about the way ids & freud are treating the sick disabled, unemployed.

  7. Does anyone know if these austerity measures against the sick and unemployed are prevelant throughout the whole of Europe or as usual are we trail blazing cruelty across Europe first , trying to make the pm and his cronies look like tough economic competents

  8. Yeah we should. No argument there.

    But your average bloke on the street think that the unemployed are beer swilling, cannabis smoking deadbeats, who do not get out of bed until lunchtime then watch ‘The Jeremy Kyle’ show before going out on the rob. The fact is, that until it affects THEM, the Great British Worker is the biggest wanker going. I have had to point out that I do NOT get three hundred quid a week and all my bills paid. I live on the magnificent sum of £71 pounds a week. I do not smoke. I rarely drink. I have NEVER been in trouble with the law, not even for a cycling offense. The only crime that I have committed, is to not have a job. At one point, not so long ago, I was working four days a week UNPAID as a volunteer. But I am ready to commit crime NOW. If that’s what it takes to get this bunch of fucking psychopaths out, then so be it.

  9. Nothing as savage as this is going on anywhere else in Europe. Nothing as draconian. We are the new Nazis.
    IDS & Freud are, without doubt, psychopaths. This is not hyperbole. When you see them being questioned or confronted over their un-mandated policies, they exhibit all the well documented clinical symptoms of the psychopath.

    • When the Jews were sent to the gas stations it was called “the final solution”. People misunderstand this terminology to think it was the last solution thought up by these Nazi fascists but it wasn’t. The first solution was to get rid of all the mentally and physically defective babies and children the second phrase was to remove opposition, gypsysies, communists, physical & mentally ill and mentally affected adults, that is why the jews were the final solution. The public either were ignorant, ignored or actively supported the first policy it became quite easy to move to the next stage when no-one turned a hair. Remember these were German people and if you looked a bit odd watch out for that neighbour twitching the curtain they could have been naming you.
      The program was named Aktion T4 after a letter by some parents were sent to Hitler to plead that their child be euthanazed due to “severe” disabilities. I see parrelles to what this gov. is now doing, first the benefit bashing then the workfare and now mandated workfare for the very sick and disabled. I refuse to see this coalition governments actions anything but an Aktion T4 in operation and when the public do finally wake up it will be far to late and the whole nation will have blood on its hands.

      • Well argued Joanna, but you could have more clearly pointed out that what underlies all these arguments is the planting of the idea, ever so subtly at first, that all these vulnerable groups are somehow ‘less deserving’ as so called ‘ordinary folk’, i.e. less human, and therefore deserving of being beneficiaries of civilised and humane treatment. Britain isn’t quite yet a fascist state, but it is well on it’s way to becoming that. Ironically it was the Labour Party that aided and abetted this scheme by planting the seeds during the thirteen years of their misrule when they cosied up to big business and turned their backs on any principles they may once have had. Whilst they cannot be blamed for the setting up of this present evil regime, they are certainly guilty of silently standing by and being ‘train drivers’

        Perhaps we need to start to connect the imagery of organisations like Aktion T4 and the Todt Organisation with this present government’s WRAG and Work Programme schemes? Moderate’s (complacent Labour and Guardian readers) may not like this variety of demonisation, but it’s not really their fight, it’s ours, and we have already been demonised in a like manner. I know it’s venturing into dangerous waters, but it is about propaganda, which unfortunately involves the deformation of truth. We didn’t get to decide where the battle lines would be drawn, but we must form a response using terms and imagery that are strong, and widely understood. Likening this government’s schemes to Aktion T4 and the Todt Organisation is a little strong, and perhaps not strictly accurate, but it is on the right lines, and definitely does open the gates to even more vicious attacks on the most vulnerable. Let’s call a spade a spade, the Tory party is nothing but BNP Lite in the way it seeks to scapegoat the vulnerable and weak for the perceived ills of society.

      • Joanna, I too think that that Aktion comparison is valid in many respects. It was protrayed at the time as a humane solution to the “high costs” of supporting “non-productive” members of society and “reducing suffering” . Amongst the tangled web of influences that influenced Nazi ideology I think in this particular instance it was the perversion of Darwins theory of evolution, filtred through the ideology of the Social Darwinist’s, that was the dominant infuence. The propoganda that paints an absolute evil as a good is clearly apparent with the modern political spin on “helping” the unemployed and disabled back into a non-existant job market. God knows the number of people who have been pushed over the cliff edge of mental health or have given up in despair and taken their own life after being subject to the humane and kindly regime of our modern politicians. They no longer know right from wrong so steeped are they self-deception.

        The Liverpool Care Pathway, unlike conventional palliative care, is for some people not truly about the humane treatment of the terminally ill but rather an economically driven program like Aktion to reduce costs and ease the strain on the NHS by euthanasia. Harold Shipman thought he was doing the humane thing but it seems once this door is opened, as it was with Aktion T4, a very dark spirit takes hold.

        The charities which have become involved with the Work Program have been corrupted by money by slow degrees. Like addicts they have become fixed on Government money and the tutelary spirit that rules Westminster was glad to provide it so long as they compromised their founding principles. Now so dependent on the largesse of the DWP they find it hard to kick the habit so, like a good dealer, the DWP threatens withdrawal of funds unless they go that little extra mile and betray entirely the spirit of good that set them up in the first place. So deluded have they become they think they are doing good by doing evil.

  10. Overheard in Jobcentre

    Overheard in Jobcentre: “I vas vonly following orders” [ in a German accent] *snigger, snigger* as a sanction rolled off the fax.

    • I don’t doubt it for a minute.
      Back in the day during the Thatcher junta I knew a few shop stewards of whatever union it was back then who worked in the then DHSS….they told me that they were never allowed anywhere near front desk activities, and that staff were biometrically tested so that the most right-wing and capable of lying were detailed to be the ones who dealt directly with the public.
      That certainly seemed to be borne out in fact.
      This latest gang of nincompoops happily implementing their masters directives are like turkeys voting for Christmas. All they have to do is refuse. ‘Digital by default’ means many of them will soon be claimants. Jobs for life? They’re learning……too late.
      Stupid Nazis.

  11. United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U.)

    The State & it’s supporters doesn’t like claimants of any benefit getting paid for doing nothing.

    A high majority of the public doesn’t like to work for no pay.

    So, if the State & it’s supporters can create paid jobs for the public so that we can pay our bills and treat ourselves to something there is no need for the Work Programme Training Providers (the people in the states social circles).

    An individual who claims that another individual requires extra assitance because they have problems, should possess a medical Phd!

    That person should be a practitioner of medicine. NOT work behind a desk at the DWP, TP or studied psychology etc.

    Here is a new angle for my fellow victims of power abuse.

    I don’t mind paying tax to pay for people who are mentally/ physically disabled (or the carers of mentally/ physically disabled) to avoid the workplace.

    I DO mind paying for these Sav & ills type MP’s to fly about looking for new vulnerable types to abuse and take advantage of.

    U.S.T.U 29-11-12

  12. Before Blair the Labour Party would be up in arms about a scandal like this.

  13. This is my first posting on this site, though I have been following it for some time and I find it very informative. This story was an especially chilling read. Charities that get money to help people with problems are themselves causing more problems for the people they claim to help! It does not seem like an ethical way to make money in my view. I have also noticed some disingenuous comments from the workfare beadles on what exactly it is that they do.

    • Welcome to the site Jeff, But these companies dont want to heal/fix the problems because they would be out of a job. Charities used to be there to help Now they are there to make a profit for the directors/managers etc When 95% of the money raised goes for “admin” How much money has been spent to solve these problems, they still exist and in fact have gotten worse.

  14. I’ve done a bit more work on the official figures, they now show how much money each Private Provider received based on a referral fee of £400 per person referred.

    Work Programme Private Provider Referrals & Fees Received.

    1st Figure: Contract Total Referrals
    2nd Figure: Start Up Fee £400
    3rd Figure: Start up Fee Total Received

    Notes: June 2011 until July 2012

    Overall Total: 877.880 x £400 = £351,152,000

    East of England: Ingeus UK LTD 30.930 x £400 = £12,372,000
    East of England: Seetec 30.250 x £400 = £12,100,000
    East Midlands: A4E Ltd 29.260 x £400 = £11,704,000
    East Midlands: Ingeus UK Ltd 29.510 x £400 = £11,804,000
    West London: Ingeus UK Ltd 19.160 x £400 = £7,664,000
    West London: Maximus Emp UK Ltd 18.830 x £400 = £7,532,000
    West London: Reed in Partnership 18.870 x £400 = £7,548,000
    East London: A4E Ltd 26.690 x £400 = £10,676,000
    East London: Careers Development Group 26.630 x £400 = £10,652,000
    East London: Seetec 26.550 x £400 = £10,620,000
    North East: Avanta Enterprise Ltd 27.860 x £400 = £11,144,000
    North East: Ingeus UK Ltd 27.600 x £400 = £11,040,000
    Merseyside, Halton, Cumbria, Lancs: A4E Ltd 28.090 x £400 = £11,236,000
    Merseyside, Halton, Cumbria, Lancs: Ingeus UK LTD 28.110 x £400 = £11,244,000
    Manchester, Cheshire, Warrington: Avanta Enterprise Ltd 19.460 x £400 = £7,840,000
    Manchester, Cheshire, Warrington: G4S 19.330 x £400 = £7,732,000
    Manchester, Cheshire, Warrington: Seetec 19.220 x £400 = £7,776,000
    Scotland: Ingeus UK LTD 43.730 x £400 = £17,492,000
    Scotland: Working Links 43.480 = £17,392,000
    Thames Valley, Hamps, Isle of Wight: A4E Ltd 17.650 x £400 = £7,060,000
    Thames Valley, Hamps, Isle of Wight: Maximus Emp UK Ltd 17.740 x £400 = £7,096,000
    Surrey, Sussex, Kent: Avanta Enterprise Ltd 21.440 x £400 = £8,576,000
    Surrey, Sussex, Kent: G4S 21.500 x £400 = £8,600,000
    Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset: Prospects Serv Ltd 11.890 x £400 = £4,756,000
    Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset: Working Links 12.020 x £400 = £4,808,000
    Glouc, Wilts, Swindon, West of England: JHP Group Ltd 11.820 x £400 = £4,728,000
    Glouc, Wilts, Swindon, West of England: Rehab jobfit 11.700 x £400 = £4,680,000
    Wales: Rehab jobfit 22.350 x £400 = £8,940,000
    Wales: Working Links 22.410 x £400 = £8,964,000
    Birmingham, Solihull, Black Country: EOS-Works Ltd 21.800 x £400 = £8,720,000
    Birmingham, Solihull, Black Country: Newc College Group 21.840 x £400 = £8,736,000
    Birmingham, Solihull, Black Country: Pertemps 21.780 x £400 = £8,712,000
    Coventry, Warwicks, Staffs, Manchester: ESG 16.290 x £400 = £6,516,000
    Coventry, Warwicks, Staffs, Manchester: Serco Ltd 16.480 x £400 = £6,592,000
    West Yorkshire: Business Employment Services 21.040 x £400 = £8,416,000
    West Yorkshire: Ingeus UK LTD 21.140 x £400 = £8,456,000
    South Yorkshire: A4E Ltd 13.520 x £400 = £5,408,000
    South Yorkshire: Serco Ltd 13.450 x £400 = £5,380,000
    NE Yorks, The Humber: G4S 13.250 x £400 = £5,300,000
    NE Yorks, The Humber: Newc College Group 13.200 x £400 = £5,280,000

    • ££££ E Harrsion ££££

      ££££ Fantastic news, money well spent … that’s only £1BILLION per job!! Wow! You lot must think I am some sort of bloody genius. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Krishnan bloody Guru – Murthy you bloody big bully Love & Kisses Emma ££££

    • That’s some work there. Now, if only someone would throw this in the faces of the millionaires’ front bench at p.m.’s question time…….but the supine ‘opposition’ are shit, and shit scared of the Tories and their LibDem poodles.

  15. It’s ok the Bank of England can print another few billion off.

  16. United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U.)

    Thank you Obi Wan Kenobi.

    I hope others appreciate your work as much as I do.
    & view the real figures.

    The real reciept.

    The DWP didn’t expect any one to put the effort into an ‘audìt trail’, the movement of money. No one else has.

    • I just took the publish table from the Guardian and worked out the cost for overall referral’s per provider based on £400 per each individual referred.

  17. There is no ‘Labour’ party. There is nothing except corporate enablers, toffs and spivs in a gang of reprobates carvin’ up the taxes and th bidness for themselves and their cronies. There is nothing…..only Monsieur Void and the abyss.
    This is all we have left.
    And the psychopaths are coming for us all.

  18. If someone were to provide er, let’s say, a list of “suspects” ie company names and addresses and so on, there is a website willing to “Name & Shame The Corporate Workfare Offenders” http://areyoutryingtokill.us/ This information has been refused under the Freedom of Information Act.

  19. Date: November 29, 2012

    To: Ms. Navanethem Pilley
    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
    Palais des Nations
    CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

    Jorge Araya
    Secretary of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    Groups in Focus Section
    Human Rights Treaties Division
    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
    E-mail: jaraya@ohchr.org
    Tel: +41 22 917 9106
    Fax: +41 22 917 9008
    Web: http://www.ohchr.org

    Subject: Workfare In Britain For The Sick And Disabled [Forced, Unpaid Work]

    Dear Ms. Pillay and Mr. Araya,

    Britain’s Department For Work and Pensions has recently announced that from the 3rd December this year – International Disabled People’s Day – claimants of sickness and disability benefits, who have been judged by their own doctors as unable to work, can now be sent on workfare. (Please peruse the attached (http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/work-programme-memo-082.pdf) as well as the following articles, which are pertinent to this matter: http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/sick-and-disabled-claimants-now-to-be-sent-on-workfare-by-the-same-charities-who-claim-to-support-them/ and http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/the-questions-that-the-work-programme-charities-urgently-need-to-answer/ )

    Although Britain’s High Court has given legal sanction to workfare schemes (see: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/aug2012/bene-a11.shtml ), I wish to point out that Britain is a signatory to both the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which states, “…the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses to accept…”; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which in Article 23 states: “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and protection against unemployment”.

    Furthermore, forcing sick and disabled welfare claimants, judged unfit to work by their doctors, into unpaid work may violate their rights under the UNCRPD and endanger their health. I am trying to obtain an answer to this question from the government, as well as charities:

    Who is legally responsible for the health problems, injuries—and even death—of the sick and disabled due to forced Work Programme participation?

    Given my serious concerns and the urgency of the situation, I am officially requesting that the United Nations investigate this matter thoroughly, and if necessary, intervene to safeguard the health and security of Britain’s sick and disabled, many of whom are terrified by this government workfare directive.

    I have provided, below, my personal information as per UNCRDP protocols as this is an urgent request for official communication with you.

    Best wishes, and I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.


    Samuel Miller

    http://socialwelfareunion.org/archives/2501

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

    http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/tag/the-hague/

    http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/ids-off-the-hook-with-icc-so-evidence-needed-of-atos-deaths/

    E-Mail: disabilityinliterature@gmail.com
    Blog: Hephaestus: Disability Studies

    http://illnessandcivilization.blogspot.com/

    Blog: My Disability Studies Blackboard

    http://mydisabilitystudiesblackboard.blogspot.com/

    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Hephaestus7
    (Montreal, Canada)

    • Great work. I hope it has an outcome for our rotten and corruptly psychopathic government.

      • Yes, great work indeed, I hope something comes of this – perhaps, with your permission, lots of us could also write to the OHCHR as well, using your letter as a template? We need to at least win the moral argument, as government’s usually ignore any international legisaltion/judgements when it suits them.

    • Excellent, I really hope this request is listened to and acted upon, I hope they go into the DWP and Iain Duncan Smith’s office and leave no stone unturned and find him guily of human rights offences.

  20. Has anyone noticed the correlation between the numbers 3 and 4 being used in abuses of power and atrocities enacted i.e. The 3rd riech ? to blair and mandlesons 3rd way (whose grandfather was an apologist for Oswald mosley). Now we have the tories with their G4S G4E re-enacting Aktion T4. as described by Joanna.

  21. No, not noticed that, but surely it’s a coincidence rather than a correlation. Let’s just call them evil bastards and leave it at that – but I agree, when I first heard of NuLabour’r ‘3rd Way’ it did sound very ominous – the third way has always indicated some form of fascist corporatism in history.

  22. The analysis above on referrals and fees received is illuminating. It calls into question the often stated claim that the Work Programme is a “payment by results” scheme. Presumably these fees have been paid on behalf of the 96.5 per cent of participants who have not found work lasting more than 6 months. Is there any information available on how the sub-contractors are paid and whether any payments they receive for Work Programme work would be identifiable in their annual accounts?

    The charity Mind is not wholly on the side of the sick and disabled. It has given a clear statement that it will not accept money from pharmaceutical companies so why can’t it make an equally clear statement that it will not accept forced unpaid labour?

  23. Jeff

    mind are still advocating work experience as a way of improving your mental health ,still trying to push the work programme for the mentally disabled in principle, yet only now stating it should be voluntary.

  24. So where are the high minded human rights lawyers …

    Where is the opposition, has the bastard offspring of the left which is welfare reform stunned them into silence by the brutality of their own conception.

    The mainstream left have their blood stained fingerprints all over welfare reform just as much as the psychopathic IDS.

    How many Trade Union members administer a sanction?

    But of course they are all only doing their jobs.

  25. I’m but a simple country boy which means I have to keep it simple, so at the offset of charities involvement in #workfare I stopped given anything to ALL charities until such time as the sector gets its house in order and collectively pulls out of this blatant and brutal exploitation. Sorry for the charities that aren’t involved but they are all such a bunch of lying scheming cunts this is the only way I can ensure that I am not contributing to the abhorrent betrayal of my fellow man.

  26. Read a tweet earlier about the TCV (Conservation Volunteers) – seems they are exploiting workfare on a massive scale, and brag about the fact they have been doing this for years as well.
    Heres a link to their statement – I think they need a bit of exposing for the slave drivers they are – forcing people to do heavy manual labour in the middle of winter, I can bet the CAP scheme and the new Workfare for ESA claimants will involve this shower of cunts!

    http://www.tcv.org.uk/sites/default/files/tcv-dwp-statement.pdf

  27. Stokebloke1972

    adding Arbeitsscheu72 to your name is not funny, if you are workshy the interpretation of Arbeitsscheu you are on the wrong website.

  28. Ask your friend johnny void whether this website is for workshy.

    • I suspect his name is ironic.

      Personally I do think there’s a good argument that there should be a subsistence level opt out for those who dont want to work. Theres also a good argument for recognising other kinds of work, such as caring, parenting, creative work and genuine volunteering. It also creates at least some upwards pressure on wages and since we’re stuck with high unemployment then it makes sense that jobs go to those who want them.

      Difficult argument to make in this climate, but was quite a common point of view at one point.

      • Arbietsscheu is German for workshy, yes – I am branded workshy by IDS, so thats my name, and as IDS is a Nazi dictator, hence the german word. Indeed, it is a pisstake, and aimed more at the DWP who brand all unemployed as workshy. I worked from the age of 16 up till I was 36 then got laid off and have struggled to find lasting work ever since.
        So, Guy Fawkes, how about living up to your name and doing us a favour – blow up the house of commons when PMQ’s is live. Now that WOULD be good, make it look like Jonny’s blog title picture lol

  29. Your site jv your rules I guess ironic or not the right wing are posting on such irony.

    • What makes you think I’m right wing? I cant stand the Tories – please stop assuming things, as assumptions can be wrong.

    • So by that logic does posting as guy fawkes make you a terrorist? The mentally ill, homeless, alcoholics, prostitutes, and many others were classed as Arbeitsscheu (workshy) and sent to concentration camps by the Nazis. Of course its use in this context is ironic, perhaps it might be wise to establish what you are talking about prior to criticising others

  30. I was not saying you were right wing, I was questioning the fact that you were calling yourself workshy ironically or not and how these ironic comments are hiding right wing piss takers. As the pen is considered mightier than the sword I prefer to persuade to eradicate parliament as opposed to blowing it up, as it is no longer the power house of truth or justice.

    • There are a few users that use the arbeitsscheu name – its part of the arbeit macht frei german phrases we associate with IDS, who is becoming more like Hitler every passing day with his draconian attacks on the poor, the sick, the unemployed etc by forcing them to do full time work for often little more than £71 a week, and that, to my eyes is forced slave labour, just like Hitler worked people to death in concentration camps in Nazi Germany. People are dying because of unfair WCA’s and dying of cold in winter due to his cuts.
      I used to go under the username I Hate IDS, but decided to make more use of twitter to hear about what IDS et al are up to, and I fully support Johnny Void and many of his articles. He is on the side of the poor and not many right wingers comment here, exept to troll. We try not to attack each other either, as we all want the same thing, solidarity and freedom from this corrupt capitalist system of greed and selfishness – headed by this bent Tory coalition.

  31. I’ll drink to that.

  32. Why are there two postings with Arbeitsscheu in their name coincidence I suppose and it is you that is attacking me. I would love to know what either of you have done to further the cause, have you got yourself sanctioned for going against government diktats?

  33. so much for not attacking each other.

  34. Questioned Alistair Darling MP in the early nineteen nineties over workfare, conditionality and sanctions he was as vehemently opposed to welfare as IDS.

    To claim welfare reform as exclusively of the right is not only historically inaccurate but the perpetuation of a political lie.

    This is not a clear cut left / right fight as some political opportunists would have us believe.

    • Well, it could believeably be argued that New Labour were more of the political Right than of the Left, to the extent that at one point the Welsh Conservatives were to the Left of New Labour. How’s that for an absurdity? Even more worryingly, that argument held water.

    • Yes, I agree, But it’s all over now Darling!

  35. Does anyone believe new labour are a party of the left?

  36. No, Labour isn’t even a socialist party according to Tony Benn, but a party that had (read: had) socialists in it. I live in Wales, and apart from one or two mavericks the Labour Party has merely been corrupt. So, in answer to your question, no, I don’t believe that New Labour is a party of the left, nor do I belive that Old Labour (at least here in Wales) is a party of the Left.

  37. whoops, misquote, Tony Benn said that the Labour Party ‘has’ socialists in it, but that it wasn’t a socialist party.

  38. The Tony Benns the Robin Cooks the Nye Bevans all the old socialst gone from the Labour party in one way or another. Those who were left wing at one time Diane Abbot and Caroline Flint to include women in the round up have sold the left down the river. I’m not from Wales but used to like listening to Rodrigue Morgan.

  39. ‘Rodrigue’ ha ha, love it! (It’s actually Rhodri) He always sounded good, but there was usually little substance I have to say that I always preferred him to Alun Michael, but it was a real shame that we lost Ron Davies, over the whole Clapham Common fiasco… that was just waiting to happen. Ron Davies’ preferences were an open secret, and he remains tremendously popular in Wales, but his downfall couldn’t have come at a better time for Bliar. Ron was no Blairite by a long way, and if he had been First Minister I’m sure that Wales would be even further devolved than it is now. Welsh Labour may be slightly more to the Left than NooLabour, but it’s still dinosaur Labour in many respects. Sadly, though they claim to be opposed to the present Tory government in Westminster, they seem quite happy to implement the policies.

  40. apologies for the spelling of rhodri. Does Wales want it’s own parliament as in Scotland? I think that would leave us in the NE as the only region without any representation of it’s own, because we’re getting nothing but cuts to service the south, so really you could say we have had devolution forced upon us.

  41. It’s early days to say whether Wales wants it’s own parliament, we received law-making powers last year, which some claim is analogous to the initial devolution settlement that Scotland received, but that’s not exactly true. All Wales received was the ability to legislate own it’s own, rather than the previous procedure which involved Cardiff Bay ‘requesting’ that their proposals be debated in Parliament in Westminster, and then legislation agreed and passed, or not by Westminster on behalf of Cardiff Bay. A very involved process, and not exactly trusting us to make our own decisions about the way our country is run, within the limits of the devolution settlement. Of course, the referendum on Scottish independence ups the ante quite a bit, (and I personally hope that they choose independence) and will, no doubt increase demands in Wales for more control over Welsh matters here, probably not as far as demanding independence, but almost certainly over things like welfare and policing. It’s almost inevitable that the law will come under the juristiction of the National Assembly for Wales simply due to practicalities and the amount of legislation being introduced that is specifically Welsh in scope. Long term I hope that Wales too will become independent, but a really sound case is yet to be made. It would certainly allow for a different, and hopefully, more humane (difficult to be otherwise, at the moment, sadly).

    I’m surprised that the North East of England didn’t choose devolution when it had the chance, as of all the English regions it is the North East that is most distinct. Ultimately I think that more and more of the English regions will begin to take much more interest in the idea of devolution, especially if Scotland becomes independent and it’s a success. If we also get Welsh independence, (and it’s a success, but we’d need to rid ourselves of Welsh Labour for that), that would further progress things.

    I don’t think anyone who is positive about independence in either Scotland, or Wales envisages a situation of heavily guarded borders, or anything like that, but it would deliver, at long last, the end of the British Empire. That way all the nations of the British Isles would be those of equals in their dealings. What the structure in England would be is of course a matter for the English people, but I personally wouldn’t mind living next to an English Federal Republic with common ties through Europe and an independent Kingdom of the Southern Counties (non EU) that’s ruled by a monarch and elects UKIP all the time as their governing party!

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s