2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 2

welfare-reform-bannerRead Part 1 at 2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 1

Despite welfare-to-work and DWP favourites G4S almost wrecking the entire show, the Olympics took place in August, ending with the dire closing ceremony which highlighted the all too real danger of leaving pop music in the hands of rich old men.  The Paralympics soon followed at which George Osborne and other Tory slime were routinely booed as they pretended to give a shit about disabled people.

Disability denying poverty pimps Atos also attempted to cash in on the Paralympic Games by acting as an official sponsor.  This quickly turned into a PR disaster after a week of action against the company saw protests in every major city in the UK, a mock funeral outside their London Headquarters and finally a successful occupation and blockade of the Department of Work and Pensions – a protest only marred by an unnecessary and vicious police assault which left one disabled protester with a broken shoulder.

Cameron also attempted to use the Paralympics to push a benefit bashing agenda, whilst blundering Employment Minister Chris Grayling took the silly season one step too far by announcing that care homes would soon be staffed with teenagers on workfare.

Unemployment also came into the spotlight – causing yet another tantrum from Iain Duncan Smith – and it was revealed that people on workfare, as well as many of those who have had benefit sanctioned, do not show up in the unemployment figures.

DWP bungling got back into full swing in September beginning with Iain Duncan Smith’s clueless pronouncement that people living on just £41 a week in emergency hardship payments are ‘frittering’ the money away on holidays and nights out.

Then came the shocking warning from Women’s Aid that every women’s refuge in the UK could face closure as a result to changes to housing benefits.  IDS and Lord Fraud reacted with such astonishment to this it was almost as if they didn’t know that much of the UK’s supported and temporary accommodation is funded by housing benefits.  A fudge was hastily announced, which even today has not yet been adequately explained.

Once again Universal Credit, the all encompassing change to the benefit system, was under threat because incompetent ministers hadn’t  bothered to learn about the very thing they are trying to reform.  In fact it was revealed in September that banking failure and Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Fraud doesn’t even know how much unemployment benefits are worth!

The workfare farce suffered another setback after long term unemployment rose again and rules were changed which means that workfare must now not lead to a job offer.  The ever present brutality which accompanies the DWP’s inept reforms was also brought into sharp focus with the news that disabled people could be forced back into institutions due to the scrapping of the Independent Living Fund.

September’s cabinet reshuffle saw David Cameron fail to sack Iain Duncan Smith, although bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling managed to jump from the sinking ship into the Justice Department, where his bullshitting may not go down quite so well.

Internet con man Grant Shapps was also promoted, having left behind a legacy of soaring homelessness as Housing Minister, whilst non-entities Mark Hoban and Esther Mcveigh were brought into the DWP as Employment and Disabled People’s ministers.

George Osborne’s benefit bullshitting was exposed in October as he persisted with the lie that people in benefits are better off than those in work.  Elsewhere Iain Duncan Smith launched a garbled attack on people with more than two children and began to float the idea of a food stamps style scheme in the UK.

The newly appointed skiving Employment Minister Mark Hoban only made it into the office once in October, to declare that disabled people who have successfully appealed after being found ‘fit to work’ are to blame for the rocketing number of successful appeals against Atos and DWP decisions.

Mark Hoban is also possibly behind the comedy moment when the corporate secrets of disability deniers Atos were published for all to see on a Government website.  Showing a worrying yet sadly typical misunderstanding of computers, redacted sensitive information could be read simply by copying and pasting the text into another document.

The DWP leaked tender documents were those which won Atos the contract for the new DLA replacement Personal Information Payment.  The tender revealed that in many cases Atos are intending to sub-contract the work back to the NHS.  Which could be seen as money for nothing, showing that even the Work Programme contractors could learn a few lessons from Atos when it comes to scamming the DWP.

The much awaited TUC March in October saw hundreds of thousands on the streets, but by far the most encouraging signs were the direct actions taken by Boycott Workfare, Black Triangle and Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)Whilst Boycott Workfare shut down workfare exploiters in Oxford Street, DPAC blocked the busy Park Lane, yet again bringing traffic chaos to central London.  Both organisations are threatening to step up action against welfare reforms in 2013, along with countless other groups around the UK.

Universal Credit was in yet more trouble in November as research revealed that two million people risk difficulties in managing budgets and possibly falling into rent arrears due to the new payment system.  With both the head of IT and Universal Credit’s Programme Director both reported to have left the DWP, the chaos going on behind the scenes appeared to be even worse.

Iain Duncan Smith’s increasingly bizarre behaviour took a turn for the worse with a rant at step or same sex parents, bringing the shadowy Christian think tank he founded into the spotlight.  The Centre for Social Justice were shown to not only be employing one of Iain Duncan Smith’s key advisors, Phillipa ‘pray away the gay’ Stroud, but are also funded by some of the very companies who have trousered so much cash due to Iain Duncan Smith’s reforms.

Workfare was in trouble again when British Heart Foundation announced that they were ‘moving away’ from using compulsory unpaid workers in their charity shops.  This received a cautious response from campaigners as stories emerged of people still being sent on unpaid placements with the charity.

There was more trouble in store for the Government’s welfare to work schemes as the Work Programme performance figures were finally published.  In a humiliating disaster for the £6 billion scheme it was revealed that the Work Programme was performing worse than doing nothing at all!  Some startling statistics could be pulled from the information, including that for those on sickness benefits yet in the DWP’s eyes capable of some work, the Work Programme was costing a whopping £60,000 per job.

Whilst homelessness charities finally broke silence and condemned the whole racket, many other charities were once again left with serious questions to answer due to their involvement with the scheme.  Pressure on these organisations escalated when it was announced that from December 3rd, International Disabled People’s Day, sick and disabled claimants could now be sent to work unpaid as a condition of receiving  benefits.

The brutal reality for those found ‘fit for work’ was also brought into the spotlight with the publication of the Spartacus Report, a document featuring testimonies of sick and disabled claimant’s experiences of the Work Capability Assessment.

November ended with one of the funniest cock ups yet by the DWP with the launch of the Universal Jobmatch website.  This time it was recruitment firm Monster Job’s turn to scam the DWP by providing a  jobmatching website that doesn’t work for nearly £20 million.

And so as December began adverts for sex workers, MI5 hit men and Mafia drug couriers began to appear on a Government website along with open attempts at identity fraud scams.

George Osborne announced his latest benefit cap, pegging even Housing Benefits below the rate of inflation.  With Housing Associations warning less social housing will be built due to Universal Credit, the Chancellor’s announcement could end up being the tipping point which leads to unprecedented homelessness in the UK.

More charities pulled out of workfare, including household names Cancer Research UK, Age UK and, for the second time, disability charity Scope.  With the charitable sector having been less than honest about their involvement in unpaid work, it remains to be seen just how sincere these announcements are.  Taken at their word however this could be a potentially fatal blow for the DWP’s mass workfare ambitions, leaving them desperately short of placement providers – a problem already identified even before the exodus away from the scheme.

Some charities remained unrepentant over their use of forced labour, despite the announcement that sick and disabled claimants can now also be sent to work unpaid.  @PDSA_HQ have been silent on their use of workfare and even won an award from the Queen for their services to fake volunteering, whilst the environmental charity BTCV even boast of their use of workfare – tell their vice-president @BillOddie what you think.

Also this month Lord Fraud’s plans to charge vulnerable claimants for help with budgeting when Universal Credit is launched came under fire, whilst some stupid Tory twat starting muttering away about launching a food stamps style scheme for benefit claimants.

There was still time in the year for one last tantrum from Iain Duncan Smith as he vented his fury at people mocking his crap job matching website.  In one last shining example of the Secretary of State’s stunning arrogance (and failure to do his homework), it became clear that the DWP cannot legally force claimants to have their accounts monitored by DWP snoops or force them to accept cookies on their home computers.  Whilst signing up to the scheme will become mandatory in the New Year, there is no requirement to tick the box giving the Jobcentre access to personal accounts – something every claimant urgently needs to know.

With IDS, Cameron and Clegg all launching a co-ordinated attack on the working and non working poor alike over the New Year, it is likely that the fight to save the welfare state will dominate the agenda in 2013.  The ongoing comedy show at the DWP will be of no comfort to the hundreds of thousands of people forced into poverty and homelessness due to this Government.  But it does show one thing.  We can beat these thick posh bastards.

2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 1

Boycott Workfare have a review of last year’s struggle against unpaid work at: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1934

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

 

62 responses to “2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 2

  1. Hi Johnny, I’m trying to get the hang of the jobseeker’s alliance fb page. Once I suss out how to do itI want you to be able to ‘post’ on there at will. OthersI wish to have the same power include Boycott Workfare, Consent me and forum for fair employment. I don’t want the page ‘swamped’ and I wish it to stay ‘on message’, but I could do withsuggestions forany organisations/bloggers that you think are relevant. What say you? HappyNew Year, LYW as always, Pierre Lapin.

    ________________________________

  2. So it’s a new year. Where are the unions? Where is the resistance? When are the strikes?

    • I wonder that myself. It seems there is no real opposition in UK politics at the moment. There is only one big ugly concensus between three right-wing, free market worshipping parties.

    • so much silence is worrying – maybe the unions have been muzzled? or do not want to be seen as taking the side of the ‘shirkers and scroungers’?

  3. Pingback: 2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 1 | the void

  4. When do we get armed? When do we get to go to war with the shower of shit?
    Because that’s what it’s going to take.
    The entire political class and edifice has to go.

  5. Where is the judiciary and the mental health assessors to shoot this government down in flames? Well done jv two brilliant posts.

  6. Pingback: 2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 2 | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  7. Ghost whistler.
    I am unemployed and on the work programme (Just meetings at present) i asked my son for a union membership for a christmas present i am now in unite as a community/unemployed member i now will be attending meetings etc to try to get some kind of “togetherness”, we all need to join if possible we need a voice to get more people involved and one by one met up from different unions,This is the only way i can see action happening. I am lucky in that my son paid for the membership i think it was something £25-£27 .
    Let the Battle begin!

    • For information. Both the IWW and the IWA are organising amongst the unemployed and traditionally unorganised work sectors such as the London Cleaners and the Pret a Manger Worker’s Union. You can find more information about what the IWA is doing on the SolFed website. ~I don’t know what the union subs are for the IWA, but for the IWW it’s a pound a month, and then still very low when in work. Both unions are very much ‘do it yourself’ unions, so you need to be prepared to be ‘hands on’. Unlike the mainstream unions, it is YOU and not the union bureaucracies that decide the agenda.

      • As yet, (though hopefully this will change) most of the mainstream unions have done nothing/very little to seriously combat the increasing austerity measures we all face. Joining them may give a sense of doing the right thing, but don’t be fooled, they are led by bureaucrats who are on fat salaries who do deals with the government/employers. They DO NOT represent your interests, even though they may appear to. If you are a disillusioned member of a mainstream part you can still join the IWW, as ‘dual-carding’ is common in the IWW. It’s early days, but it seems that more and more people are becoming disillusioned with the mainstream unions, and memebrship/interest in the IWW and IWA is growing. In time it could lead to a really powerful and effective opposition, and neither organisation will ever become dominated by a bureaucracy as they are both very much grassroots led unions, with severe limitations on the powers of any elected officials who usually can only serve for a limited time, and unpaid at that!

  8. Pingback: 2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 2 | Disability Issues | Scoop.it

  9. Re:Universal Jobmatch

    Although checking the ‘DWP Access Accounts’ box is optional, it is mandatory to accept Terms and Conditions and Privacy -> Monster is a DWP Data Processor and may therefore control all data.

  10. TL;DR, but I’m voting for Defenestration. From the top of the Gherkin.

  11. Did you forget to mention Iain Duncan Smith’s tantrum on BBC Question Time a few weeks ago when challenged about an Atos victim who had died?

  12. Another excellent post. I found your blog after universal jobmatch was introduced with limited but sinister information from the jobcentre, I’m so glad I did, your posts are so informative and well-written. Knowledge is power against this government.

  13. Who the hell is Harry Worth, who keep popping up with inane comments?

  14. If you’re unemployed, disabled etc.,. you can join Unite for 50p per month.
    Worth it methinks for extra protection in the gathering storm.

  15. Even though everyone knows now what a little tinpot hitler IDS is, he’s still there, still intent on mayhem and death.
    One of the worst individuals in the country, and that takes some doing. But he’s down there, with the bottom feeders.
    Anyone who can deliberately snarl and gesture menacingly on national tv when confronted about his policies being the cause of death for a disabled man really needs the boot.
    Several times over.

  16. Excellent 2-part summary of a year of eye-watering stupidity coupled with smug callousness and mindless cruelty. And the comedy hits keep on coming; I daresay you saw this in the Grauniad 2 days ago?:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jan/01/universal-credit-computer-failures

    Ian Humpty-Dumpty is to failure what Paganini was to the violin: a master. I look forward to dancing on his political grave.

  17. Pingback: 2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 2 | Mental Health, Politics and LGBT issues | Scoop.it

  18. As bad as things are if IDS left the GWP and Osborne had his way things would be even worse than they are now – a lot worse! This isn’t because IDS is good – he isn’t, he is a bad bastard – but because Osborne has the potential to ruin millions of more lives by seeking £10 – £25 billion more cuts in the already insufficient social security budget. Osborne is ten time more evil than Iain Duncan Smith.

  19. The whole bloody cabinet are evil. I see we have saint’s and scroungers back on BBC1 morning tv. Why don’t they do a programme on scrounging bbc executives or government ministers that are bleeding the public services dry?

    • Not just saints & scroungers but also that tory shill & hypocrite Jeremy Kyle with his succession of stereotype “chavs” from sink estates futher reinforcing the opinion that all the unemployed are druggies,alcoholics & pop out kids just for benefits further reinforcing the opinion that all the unemployed are useless wasters.

  20. @johnny void I see front. Page of newspaper today where it was saying t&at Britain should not be spending money on the eu but should be spebding that money on our elderly. In care homes. I wonder if they mean interserve the work program provider who recently bought up advantage health who run elderly care homes who expect the business to be profitable of which i posted in your blog recently .

  21. Where did my interserve cashing in on the elderly care home market post go ?

  22. I wonder where the money saved on child benefit off the rich will go? probably in new beneficial tax codes for the rich or salary increases for the executives in the NHS, or perhaps higher costs for drug companies, anywhere but on the most deprived in society who it has been stolen off over the past twenty years.

  23. Chewie not wanting to knock the elderly at all, but they are not facing cuts to their pension, they are not suffering extra bedroom tax, they get free travel heating allowances etc. Someone should start sticking up for those of working age who are being hit the most. Labour’s new jingle ‘you must be working and training not claiming’ is just keeping the rich rich wp etc and the poor poor, cheap labour, part-time work or voluntary work.

  24. Pingback: Disabled face ‘exorbitant’ fees in benefit appeals | Atos Victims Group News

  25. A fine 2nd part summary of DWP ineptitude and lies during 2012.

    I heard someone speaking recently about how the Trussell Trust supplied rations to over 100,000 destitute last year. He also said that a growing problem was that the people getting the rations could not cook them because their energy supplies had been disconnected. Not sure whether he was fishing for government funding to start up soup kitchens, but with so many food banks springing up I wonder whether the government has considered using them to give out food to claimants instead of money.

  26. Remind you of anything?

    What’s the difference between this govenment and the Nazis? About 70 years…

  27. I’m sure Jeff would like to see soup kitchens implemented, he seems quite explicit in his suggestions of what the government might do, is jv one of your ukip pals. A vote for ukip is a vote for tories.

  28. I see labour is stating 6 months jobs which yes it would work, but not in a recession. Other people are saying bring back conscription that will solve the problem.. all that will do is hide these people for 3 years

  29. Universal Poverty

    Can anybody point me to the infomation where it says DWP cannot legaly force you to tick the snooping box i would be very gratefull.

  30. Successive governments have been trying to hide the sick and unemployed in skewed statistics, colleges, training centres, charities and temporary jobs, now there are more perverse suggestions that they should become cannon fodder. It is insubordinates that keep countries free as much as any army.

  31. Underclass Underdog

    Why the fuck do the fucking BBC keep deleting my comments !!!

  32. The most beautiful thing about the new DWP website is the fact that to access it you need to be on the internet. On the dole who is going to have the money with prices increasing on food, bills etc for that? Oh IDS [or as I like to call him "I Dumb SH&*"] also wants you to search for a job for 35 hours a week…. hhhhmmmm I’ll just pop along to the Library then… Oh that’s a long line before me… what it’ll cost £2.50 an hour and councils are increasing it in the new year!!!! Well at least I managed to get to one of these library PC’s anyway. Lets see 7 x 2.50 = means I will pay £17.50 for one days use – I wonder how long my benift will be able to cover this? But you ask why am I at a Library [that's if you can find one in your local area after the councils start closing them of course] well I am poor and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show 1/3rd of the poor cannot afford Internet access whats a man/woman to do? ‘I Dumb SH&*” would probably say I waste all my money on trips to Spain and other exotic place [I have to walk to sign on as no mone for bus fair most of the time!!]. But as Seagul Cameron says we are all in this together [Not].

  33. IDS + the gang of clowns in parliament talk Balls.
    The whole shower of shit are full of shit, and they spew their shit over us every day, filling everything with shit until it’s all shit, endless shit to give us all shit lives in this shit cuntry.
    That’s why we call the cunt, InDaShit.

  34. Silly me thinking the rich were actually going to have their child benefit taken away, when all they have to do is stash half of their income in a pension pot and their income drops below the child benefit withdrawal level of 60k. simples!!!

  35. something survived...

    Universal JobTwat have written to me saying why was I not on the internet over the winter break. Well it has not been working here and the access points were closed for the holidays. Also why have I not been applying for jobs? Well I’ve got back to find 53 emails in my inbox. Then when I actually click on their ‘suggested jobs’ to apply for, nothing happens. When I try the Universal JobSnatch website, as has been the case for weeks, it doesn’t work or won’t let me log in, and certainly can’t ‘save jobsearch’. I sometimes can get on the site but only the one where you are not logged in. Universal FistFuck then proceeds to describe what will happen in Sanctions. Fuck off! I already get that from JobCentre Pustule and the Wank Programme. I have several copies, so next time I run out of bogroll… (and if Bubo Cameron and his Running-Sore, Nick Clegg, then want it BACK!..)

    So what do I say?: I could not apply for the shitty nonjobs at the wrong end of the country (or quite often a different country), that are looking for ablebodied drivers (Universal JobGash doesn’t let you specify you are disabled or nondriver), in stuff I don’t have qualifications or aptitude for? And quite often that I am sent jobs ‘for female applicants only’? And the reason I still could not comply with your mental direction to apply for these jobs? Each time I try your Universal JobSpite pants arsing crap smeggy webshite, it freezes or crashes or won’t let me in.. or lets me in but only to the Guest area where ‘Apply’ buttons aren’t there. Or on the rare occasion I get in to my own account, to which you have falsified all my personal data, when I click on the button for applying, it stops working?

    Meanwhile jobfarce people at DWP want to know why I’ve not done enough jobseeking activity though I already spend most time on it anyway. Possibly I can do without sleep! They say it only counts if on a computer. Their computer at JCP is only on a waiting list and is one hour, and if I wanted to (which I don’t) there are no free slots to even get on the waiting list as there are 2 JCP jobsearch computers and several thousand jobseekers in the city. And the work programme want to know a) the same, as in why not apply more and spend time on computers? So I told JCP that Work Programme only let me jobsearch on their computer 20 minutes and sometimes 1-2 hours max, but the computers hardly ever work; and they often kick you out cause they want lunch. Or send you there but not turn up so you arrive at a deserted locked building. Though it is 2 hours walk in the cold to walk there and back, worse when disabled. They say I can only come once a fortnight, I’m not meant to come extra times. So how do I do the 35-40 hours jobsearch? Another thing is that lately my CFS/ME and epilepsy have been bad, so I can start watching TV and right at the start have a fit and then sleep for hours. Even if I was directly working on a jobseeking activity before, chances are that when I come round I have no idea which way is up, what day it is, where I am, or what I was just doing before the fit, so stuff doesn’t get finished. I often forget all about it. b) And why I can’t use their nonworking computers to apply for nonexistent/remote and irrelevant jobs on Universal SkidMarks.

    But apparently looking in local papers doesn’t count, and I’m meant to only use computers? After sorting through emails which can take all day/night, there is no time or energy to do anything else. And stuff I was meant to go to, I don’t go to, because I get the email too late. Even though the local ads are more likely (but still impossible) to lead to employment, than the Universal PissFlaps site’s ‘recommendations’. Um excuse me? I’m not actually a Lorry Driver? Or a Builder? or a Child Care Worker? or a Registered Nurse? or a brain surgeon? Universal WankToss also told me to join the Army. Er you have to be ablebodied and healthy for a start of which I’m neither.

    Universal TebbitFelch then said I should apply to ‘local’ jobs, and keeps coming up with ones the opposite side of the planet. Who knows, if Branson’s venture progresses, soon Universal SnotNose will be sending out orders to apply for offworld vacancies too. Oxygen fees to be deducted from your pay.
    Then: Labour said they want to force the unemployed to take jobs (presumably the exact same jobs that already rejected them?) or lose their benefits. (No mention of suitability or ability of the person, and no description of what is meant by a ‘suitable job’.)

    Then: WESTMINSTER COUNCIL said they want to stop the benefits of the obese and unhealthy (does disabled count as permanently unhealthy? or malnourished, starving and cold, ? or constantly exhausted and stressed from jobseeking activity and the hassle and sanctions/threats?). If these people don’t do mandatory (GP-ordered, which screws up the doctor-patient relationship, trust/confidence in doctors, patient confidentiality, privacy, and data protection) weight loss, sport and keep fit activity. Which can include swimming. Um forcing somebody who doesn’t want to, and having to wear swimwear etc is against your dignity. If you have any kind of body issues. Even if your only body issue is being fat or unattractive in some way, and you’ve no other body issues, it will make you feel worse not better. And be counterproductive to aims like ‘losing weight’. Plus it could be really inappropriate, Muslim women might want a women-only setting or the right to be more covered up. And people will pick on eachother to make personal remarks about eachother’s bodies. The activity could be seriously contraindicated for that individual. If you are getting no extra money to buy food even basic survival rations, and can’t afford healthy or extra or enough food, but being forced to be physically active, you wear yourself out. ME/CFS makes exercise a bad idea as it can make it worse. And you can’t be active on demand, either. It’s like shouting at a dead or uncharged battery. WankFister Council (Tossers Dept.) are actually creating a postcode lottery, geographical discrimination. People in the rest of the UK would not (yet) be subject to such ‘local laws’.

    If you are weak and undernourished and sick and disabled, how do you ‘keep up’ with an exercise class or a compulsory sport you don’t want to do? With people you don’t want to be with, at a time you don’t want, in a place you don’t like? It’s like school but with your benefits being stopped for not being able to do the sport. ‘Do it in your pants’. And while probably being bullied at the same time by your fellow internees, the person running the activity, and DWP overseers.
    People will get sick(er), have accidents, etc.

    Since all sorts of very ill and disabled people are being kicked off benefits and onto WorkFare by Atos et.al., you will get ludicrous and unacceptable situations arising:
    -The incontinent told to run on treadmills
    -People with hernias, or bust hips, to do step aerobics
    -Cancer patients on chemo made to play football
    -Terminally ill people sent to run round and round a track (while their overseer texts their mates)
    -Menstruating women sent to activities likely to cause ‘leakage’
    -Pregnant women sent on assault-courses
    (okay pregnancy and periods are not diseases but do affect what people can do or what they feel like doing)
    -People with epilepsy told to dance in discos with flashing lights

    Universal ArseScratch meanwhile thinks that somebody it lists as ‘no qualifications’ (in my case none of mine are listed as options!) can do jobs requiring other qualifications we don’t have. And that we should apply. But the crappest and most basic thing of all is that the technology doesn’t even work.
    Whatever the filters are, it doesn’t seem to include sex as a filter. My ‘cohort’ is an all-male one, at Work Programme. Therefore all of us have been told to apply for jobs asking for only women to apply. Universal BrainFart still orders us to apply anyway, though on Universal SuckerPunch all our profiles say ‘male’. Universal SpamPudding seems to think that a computer programmer in Penzance is ideally suited to up sticks on their say-so and at his own expense, to go and work in an oil refinery in Scotland. Or that a single-mum nail-shaper in Peckham is the best candidate to be a bricklayer in Gloucester. Yes, Universal ShitForBrains (“This is not just shit programming. This is Ian Duncan Smith shit programming”) says if you live in Bristol and can trim hedges, you should suddenly move to Yorkshire to stack shelves for a quarter of the money you can get as a skilled gardener. Never mind if you have a wife and kids too. Your wife could be ordered to stay put (if she left her job to move to Yorkshire with you, that is deliberately ending your employment so lose entitlement to benefits!). Or more likely she will be sent to program computers in Penzance, to fill the job vacancy of the guy they sent to the oil refinery. “Tough on families, tough on the causes of families.”
    “Jobs in different ends of the country? You should have thought of that before you started a relationship!”
    Even better if you work from home and you are your disabled partner’s sole carer. And they tell you to move to another city but your partner is to be abandoned or sent on workfare back where you came from. What next? Sex ration coupons? We are not allowed to have sex, not even with our partner, unless we save up enough sex ration coupons? Which we have to earn by workfare? And they check by cameras on us all the time? Reproduction permits? (the latter is real in some countries) GATTACA? (if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I’m talking about, breeding is for the rich and ‘valid’ genetic people and every child is planned and designed to order, including IQ and eye colour. ‘in-valid’ people get shit jobs taking out the trash.

    And child benefit cuts will affect people who get extra money for disabled adults or disabled children being in the family. Including special needs kids.
    So on hearing these ‘King Cnuts’ ranting about the poor, and the ways to eradicate poverty by eradicating the people who are poor (“My good man, please kill those unsightly peasants – they are getting in the way of my lovely view”)… I’ve been feeling a lot like: “Oh, go and get bubonic plague!” or “Go and shag a dead badger!”

    Whatever mucus-brained div designed the Universal Jobmatch computer
    system, they ought to be put inside the program, like in ‘Tron’. Except instead of fun bike rides there is just a sort of eternal cyber hell where nothing works and Computer always says No.

    Okay, off now to look at some more emails saying how much they would love me to work as an airline pilot, chef, cockle-picker…

    • something survived … Please can you offer a shred of hope for the future by confirming that you would consider collecting posts like the one above into a short book (in your spare time)? It could then be given out as a guide to new claimants when they first go to sign away their dignity/try to hang on to their humanity, to forewarn them about the surreal and futuristic/medieval turn their lives are about to take.

      You’ve just really reminded me of a play called ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ (Samuel Beckett) – no real idea why, it’s been quite a few years since I saw it (& I’ve only read half of your post above sofa) but it’s been a while since I’ve read anything so directly to-the-point, full of insight & tragedy, that was also so funny, against all the odds. Don’t know if you (or anyone else) watched any of the short tv. series ‘Black Books’ which you’ve somehow also just reminded me of that too (Dylan Moran being the best thing in it, closely followed by the other 2).

      None of your ‘Ludicrous Unacceptable Situations’ are at all funny if/were they to be introduced (& organised exercise has never been my cup of tea) but they probably sounds twice as funny as they should because they’re not so far off becoming reality & therefore hysteria has might have set in (at least round here). Your point about being made to move from Bristol to Yorkshire (say) is interesting too – it wouldn’t be so much a case of ‘get on your bike’ as ‘get on our bus’ …

      Sex ration coupons … hmm. Margaret Atwood about this (minus coupons) in a novel set in a dystopian future where women from the lower orders were used as sex-slaves for those ‘higher up’ (ostensibly as surrogates) so that the ‘high up’ wives didn’t need to endure pregnancy and giving birth (too demeaning and too much like hard work). So these women were sterilised first (if I remember correctly) so that things didn’t get too messy (no, I don’t remember correctly – that doesn’t work – I’ll have to read it again now). They were prevented from living in any kind of couple/family of their own choosing and had to go ‘on demand’ to their designated ‘workplace’. The babies they had were whipped away from them – they weren’t allowed the luxury of any children to bring up as their own. (Hope you’re not reading this David/Ian/George). If not a book, could there at least be a dictionary made of variations on ‘UniversalSpamPudding’ & etc?

      As for not being a woman and applying for ‘women’s jobs’- you’re obviously just not trying hard enough – you probably just need to skill up a bit more (some oestrogen replacement therapy?). Someone recently (I can’t think who it was?) used the phrase ‘when we recommend a job that matches YOU’ – which gives a new meaning to the idea of picking a word, at random, from personal details and the same word, equally at random, to a similar-sounding word in a job description. Voila! Person ‘A’ is now a ‘match’ to Job ‘X’. It seems that we’ve all been trying to be a bit too clever with our supposed skills & work experience & trying to act like adults to place ourselves in suitable work roles. We could have asked the nearest 5 year old instead what they suggest as a good job. They would suggested some brilliant ideas, anything from bus driver, to police officer, to space cadet. In 2013, there really is no need to worry too much about suiting specific kinds of jobs any more – anyone can do anything. A bit like there’s no need to worry about disability or illness any more “Anyone can do anything” (as long as they are breathing and not asleep & this can always be arranged).

      Strangely enough, I’ve been thinking recently that current policies are based around being ‘tough on claimants; tough on the causes of claimants’ and it also looks as though “making the incontinent run on treadmills” is beginning to happen already. This could even be the next ATOS advertising campaign’s ‘hook’ on which to hang their next batch of ‘innocents’. Good luck with the cockle-picking job seeking – you know it makes sense.

    • Id rather starve and go homeless again then endure that level of indignity

  36. Thought for a mo you were going to spoil the ending of GATTACA something survived. Download it NOW!

    • In the not-too-distant future, a less-than-perfect man wants to travel to the stars. Society has categorized Vincent Freeman as less than suitable given his genetic make-up and he has become one of the underclass of humans that are only useful for menial jobs. To move ahead, he assumes the identity of Jerome Morrow, a perfect genetic specimen who is a paraplegic as a result of a car accident. With professional advice, Vincent learns to deceive DNA and urine sample testing. Just when he is finally scheduled for a space mission, his program director is killed and the police begin an investigation, jeopardizing his secret.

  37. All too often ministers release so called ‘facts’ in their speeches which are later proven grossly inaccurate.

    At the moment when this happens the minister or department sits back does nothing which continues to mislead the public. In some cases it gives the yob culture an excuse to attack vulnerable, sick or disabled people. I want this to end. If you do too then please sign and share this petition.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43843

    Thankyou.

  38. Hello Good People,
    Wot a website. To be honest I woz hearing things about cuts but I did not know it was an inhuman attack on citizens. None of what is going on is legal in any way. Same old Tories. Thiz iz worse than Thatcher and Enoch Powell fascists- for real.
    They got me off incapacity even though I am sick / disabled, then after 2 weeks they “DISALLOWED” my JSA even though I spent over 50 hours on websites and other press looking for work.The evil “adviser” even made fun of my disability. I have put down a claim for disability discrimination.
    My best bet is to take this through the High to the ECHR.
    One Question: According to THE LAW every adult needs at least £52 a week to live on: how can these Tories take people’S LEGALLY STIPULATED ALLOWANCE away?

    Respect
    Hotspur
    Manchester

  39. I think we have a budding author and authoress in the form of something survived and shirleynott. I love to read both of your posts.

  40. Carlson

    Have you asked them for a hardship allowance, as I’m trying to find out if they are actually giving them to those they sanction?

    • Thank you. Really appreciate this blog. Props to ShirleyNott. What a great lady. I have to say as the Italians say: sympatico. I actually suffer the same kind of blackout she describes, but IT used to be embarassed report
      ing it. Mine caused by trauma injury, not epilepsy.
      To be honest, the assault on my human rights described above was such that I did not wish to go for hardship. I woz ready to go on street an’ be homeless. I already started
      I happen to contact Shelter and a solicitors and that is when I was told that IS should be put on appeal rate esa already objected to assessment.

      I have already filed all my evidence etc, then yesterday, nearly 3 months after assessment, I was sent an “Appeal Form”.
      Also there seem to be 3 different benefit centres dealing my stuff. I
      Did anyone see on 6 o clock news today the CAB director and report on Disability Care budget crisis?

  41. I read this post completely on the topic of the comparison of most recent and earlier technologies, it’s awesome article.

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