Don’t Blame Us For The Suffering We Cause Say Atos, We’re Just Making Money

atos-bannerPoverty profiteers Atos have published a whining blogpost asking for people to blame the Government, not them, for the shambolic and cruel assessments for sickness and disability benefits.

The statement comes in advance of a day of action tomorrow which will see protests outside Atos assessment centres throughout the UK.  The company, who have made hundreds of millions out of welfare reform, yet still pay no fucking tax, have pleaded:  “Atos Healthcare has no control over welfare policy, the design of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), or the specific eligibility criteria for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).”

Not for the first time, the excuse I was only following orders has been replaced with but I was only trying to make money.  It is  truly a sign of the times that a company like Atos would even dare attempt this as a justification for their vile activities.  There was a time, when war profiteers and others who made money exploiting human misery, were the lowest of the low.  Now simply having lots of money in itself is seen as a moral virtue, no matter what you did to get it.

The Work Capability Assessment is making people’s health worse and has led to an increasing number of tragic suicides.  Atos cannot simply wash their hands of this by claiming they’re only in it for the money.  And neither can their so-called healthcare professionals who are all breaking the fundamental medical principle of ‘first do no harm’.

Atos are fully culpable for their actions and their pitiful whinging should be treated with the contempt it deserves.  Their bosses are lucky not to be facing trial along with Iain Duncan Smith and his murderous henchmen at the DWP.

Join the Day of Protest Against Atos tomorrow and show the bastards what you think.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

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134 responses to “Don’t Blame Us For The Suffering We Cause Say Atos, We’re Just Making Money

  1. Britain (especially the British Government) has never acknowledged that The Nuremberg Principles, The Doctrine of Higher Law or The Moral Imperative applies to anyone in this country – and it probably never will!

  2. Reblogged this on gingerblokeblog and commented:
    After all, who can blame a corporation for wanting to make a bit of money?

    • @ginger by lobbying govt of the day to get all public services to be outsourced to suit themselves. Then make a mess of it .
      There has been talk of legal wrangles over the contracts involving competition
      I wonder how long that will drag on ..and hold up any plans to award contract to another company .
      Did it occur to the govt dept to go back to letting proper NHS doctors carry out assessments ? No because that would go against their ” private is best ” ideology
      Which has now been shown to be ridiculous .

      • Indeed. The government seem to think that the public sector is a great place to help their friends and ultimately themselves to make a fast buck at the expense of the tax payer.

        I work for the NHS because I wish to serve the public, not because I am interested in making money.

        If public services really ever need to be run by private companies, the contracts should very tightly controlled to ensure that the moment a private company makes a mess of running the service, they lose the contract rather than what is happening now: the service is put right again at more expense to the tax payer.

        • @ginger indeed ..this seems to be the case everytime a public service is outsourced ..them making a mess of it due to their lack of experience in the field.
          According to the guardian article about Atos losing the contract it suggested G4$ may take it up..
          Nightmare scenario follows
          Btw I wonder how much the legal wrangle on all this is going to cost the tax payer ?
          And how that will contrast with the DWP £600 cost to look up stuff when FOI requests are asked

      • Atos have lost the contract in a lot of areas and capita have taken over doing PIP assessments Personal Independence Payment. Theses area where a qualified health professional will assess how your disability affects daily life, you can work while on it though many were unable to. It is also not means tested, unfortunately many people will swing the lead but that’s third human nature, I hope it is awarded to all who are entitled to it

        • Enjoy working for Crapita do you?

        • Isn’t Capita the debt collection agency employed by the BBC? Harrassing the vulnerable and calling police to kick in the doors of anyone who refuses to support Auntie’s institutional paedophilia by purchasing a TV license?

  3. Pingback: Don't Blame Us For The Suffering We Cause Say A...

  4. socialaction2014

    Reblogged this on Social Action.

  5. They are right in that they are just following orders coming from the government via the DWP. But ‘I was just following orders’ was not accepted as a defence in the Nazi war crime trials. Atos has far less excuse than soldiers risking court martial if disobeying.

  6. Reblogged this on Political Pip Spit or Swallow its up to You and commented:
    Privatising pain and vulnerability was a new low for politicians, those who choose to work in this ‘new’ ‘industry’ deserve all the criticism and condemnation that’s hurled at them.

  7. ATOS are very closely linked with UNUM, who provide the DWP with “expert” advisors and who fund the research the DWP uses to justify its policies. So ATOS are right in there at the heart of the entire vicious fraud that currently passes for a Welfare Policy.

  8. yes but they got our medical recordshas a reward each month gathering new medicl reports each month rewarded for killing people pluss they got it working for government they aint going far just other busness selling your medical records off to Unum or insurance companies has for the rest are they now going to jail us now for dissent they mostly seem to jailers nah it might seem its better but until this lot are out its more the same im afraid jeff3

  9. Fuck these Nazi bastards!

  10. Just been with GEOFF REYNOLDS to his tribunal in Scarborough.

    They had stopped his DLA and he was fighting to have it reinstated.
    Geoff put forward a powerful case but sadly the decision went against him.

    Geoff is registered disabled for life and they refused him his lifeline, what kind of evil bastards are running our country?

    He told the magistrate that he has a seventeen year old son at college, a partner who works a couple of afternoons at Marks and Spencer and is struggling to live on £32 per week.

    Outlining that they were living on cup a soup, cream crackers and out of date, 8p mushy peas, the panel did not show any feeling whatsoever.

    I was completely stunned at the verdict.

    I have witnessed disability denial that i thought i would never see in this day and age.

    What is happening is pure unadulterated evil, perpetrated at the most vulnerable.

    Toddy.

    • I am sorry that has happened to Geoff. If you see any irregularities in how they conducted the Tribunal, then it might be worth a shot to appeal for leave to appeal to the Upper Tier Tribunal, but you will know to get proper advice about that one. I believe that Legal Aid might still be available to those appealing to the UTT on benefit matters.

      Regular readers of rightsnet might have noticed that in recent times some Tribunals are right behind the disability denial overlords in power. Some of the accounts of how people have been interrogated by “doctors” at Tribunals have been truely shocking.

    • Appalling to hear about the outcome of Geoff’s case. Hope he keeps on fighting, and eventually wins!

    • @Toddy GEOFF has been treated like shit for ages . I sympathise with him as my dear friend is being threatened with having her lifetime DLA removed also..she has brittle bone and is in pain .The DLA helps her keep her car on the road and as result keeps her in a job if she loses her DLA she might lose job as result .

      • @ Toddy
        I am very sad to hear about GEOFF too, and I hope he will be back fighting again soon, It is disgusting how they have treated him. Totally inhumane. I too experienced the utter contempt, and hostility at a tribunal. They spent the whole time trying to trap me with with the bus travel thing, and not wanting to hear about my condition. They had still faces with no empathy what so ever, I know what you mean Toddy. Geoff said a lot in his bloggs the tribunals are bent too. Lucky Geoff had a good friend like you to be there for him and witness this vile abuse on disabled people. I too lost my tribunal, only scoring 6 points. I re applied for esa again as the 6 month time limit had past since they last snatched it. Still at reduced amount mind, perhaps Geoff could do this, saying his condition is worsening, by all the stress and utter poverty ,of how he is not eating properly. Not good for his health. I hope to see him blogging on here again soon. Don’t give in Geoff., and take care of yourself please. I am going to this atoser day of action tomorrow and I will let them know what I think of them.

  11. I see that the whining blog post from ATOS has a comments section. I don’t see any comments published, which is no surprise. Cowards rarely face up to any challenge.

    Even if the whining, gutless cowards of ATOS never publish the comments, you can be sure that most of the comments made, will be read, as they pass through moderation.

    • Reminds me of how A4e acts when they are clearly in the wrong and guilty.

      I think they are worried about the safety of their staff.

      About 42% of protesters seem not to be taking this as a silent peaceful protest – its about time these sick and disabled people that have died got some justice. it will be highly probable that Atos will close for tomorrow.

      Is any of the protests expecting pre-emptive action by the police to prevent the right to a peaceful protest?

    • @Lucy I did find comments on previous Atos blogs..some were asking about the credentials about Mental Function Champions ..the reply was pretty vague and lacking in detail

      • Well done Bob, I admit I didn’t read through any of their other blogs, too busy worrying about cleaning my pc with bleach after visiting their site :)

  12. This vile attack on the poor, sick and disabled isn’t sustainable, something just has to give, we have to unite and rise up against this sick unelected trash. Atos employ monsters.

  13. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.

  14. Pingback: Pentagon-war profiteers revolving door in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  15. Money is a sickness and we should all strive to destroy it

  16. So in effect ATOS HAS OPENLY ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE WCA IS CRUEL AND DANGEROUS.

    How can the abomination of this inquisition against the sick possibly be allowed to continue in the face of this admission?

    And how can LABOUR still have the audacity not to pledge to scrap it and revert to the old, safe system of assessments and IB/DLA?

    • Jezz: The Labour party don’t care any longer about ordinary people and their plight. The sooner everyone realises this the better. There are some exceptions in the Labour party, Dennis Skinner is one, he’s a good traditional Labour man. But he’s a lone voice in the wilderness. Ever since the Blair government the Labour party has become unrecognisable and they certainly won’t change any of this if elected. You heard the other day Ms Duncan-Smith Reeves saying how they’re gonna crack the whip at anyone who dissents and how they’ll sanction them. More of the same if Labour gets in i’m afraid.

      • D’Reeves and her esteemed front-bench hench-colleagues are probably are really hoping to be voted back in so they can have the next go at stripping more essentials of life away from migrants … poorly people … anyone who doesn’t own their own home … anyone they can reach out and kick – preferably when they’re already down, but not a prerequisite – it just saves a bit of time and takes less effort to go for easy targets (obviously thery’d need to have scapegoated these and any other groups they decide to bestow their ‘help’ on to within an inch of their lives – but that’s mostly already been done for them, so one thing less for them to do if they did get back in).

  17. What is the difference between AIDS and IDS?
    One is a dreadful curse on large sections of humanity from which it seems to some the only escape is death.
    The other is a disease which reduces the body’s cellular immunity for which scientists hope one day to find a cure.

  18. the vital thing to remember is that atos were chosen, to do a job, employed to do a job, put themselves forward to do a job….and now they try to be seen as victims….

  19. Is it true that the Tories are implementing a law that you have to be a political party to protest?

    I know the LibDems dropped the “sack-your-MP” (vote of no confidence petitions) policy. Not sure anyone sane will ever vote them again.

    I have to say, if you want to protest (in London) its probably best before they get in the water cannons…

  20. and make plenty of money they do by repeatedly sending people ESA forms to fill in every 3/6/9/12 months and continually assessing them when they have been found not fit for work by the DWP .. based on Atos information. We find you not fit for work ,, yet as in my case 14 weeks and then 19 weeks after that decision you’re sent another form.. just in case your disabling conditions have improved.!!

  21. Why is virtually every blog post on this issue only really blaming Atos? Yes, they are to blame. Hugely. But the core of the problem is the Work Capability Assessment and the absurd, insidious descriptors which make it extremely difficult for most people (especially those with mental and behavioural problems) to gain enough points to be declared not fit for work.

    Don’t get me wrong, on the whole I love this blog and think the writing is spot on. But I’m starting to tire of the emails I get (I’m signed up to a number of blogs about the DWP, ESA, Atos, etc and get emails every time there’s a new post) – I’d say 90% of all blog posts focus almost exclusively on Atos. This is absurd. Ridiculous. I say again, yes Atos are to blame – but if they’re replaced, then what? The new company will STILL be using the same ESA descriptors… So why is everyone virtually ignoring this?

    The same goes for the endless lazy thinking of many people (not the Void), stuck in the same old, alsmot 1970s narrative of evil Tory this, evil Tory that, Atos, Atossers, etc., and normally no mention of Labour, the same rhetoric again and again – when in fact the problem isn’t about the Tories, it’s about all main parties. This is key, because if only the Tories are attacked ad infinitum, then people sort of think, oh, well Labour isn’t as bad, I’ll vote for them… and round and round we go: Tory government – Labour government – Tory government – and the SAME welfare policies, getting worse and worse. Labour introduced ESA and the descriptors, for God’s sake. They currently have EXACTLY the same policy as the Tories.

    I despair.

    • @Dave no its possible Crapita will use a different system. However the whole deal is about kicking people off benefits ..whatever system they use..Atos use WCA descriptors aided by A4e who claim to have set it up.
      Crapita I think use different system but result is the same as the remit is to deny benefits to as many claimants as possible
      And whose idea to ” save tax payers money ” is that …
      BTW you didn’t address Johnny’s point about Atos only in it for the money ..perhaps that’s a good thing ? Surely the endless outsourcing of public services with no accountability to public is the problem
      ..I think thou doth protest too much

    • You dont despair about Atos making money
      I notice Dave ..

    • dave
      yes, the core problem is the wca, coupled with the descriptors plus all of the bolt on’s, and how this makes it easy for anyone in control of our vitals of life, to manipulate us through using this system, that was intended and designed to do just this/that…the main thrust is to expose the types of mindsets that uses this system to manipulate our minds and bodies in this vile way…the wca should/could not exist in any humane culture…any public body that uses this system should be vilified…

      • @donkey the WCA was geared to fail claimants in order for privateers to profit from ..
        Thus explaining the involvement of A4e at the setting it up in first place
        That same A4e had had run of the roost at DWP. That same fraudulent A4e company

        • chewie
          i agree companies do profit from processing us….but the deep idealogical purpose is to get rid of the welfare system/state altogether…..it is not so much who does what to us, but that they do…

          • & there is a sickness denial centre in ?every town and city? to turn up at and try to raise some awareness/get some publicity/demonstrate how angry people are and how serious the issue is. Whereas not everyone can arrange to be outside no.ten en masse – even if we thought anyone in there wasn’t just playing on their nintendo wii or whatever is the equivalent (chillaxing while Rome – metaphorically speaking – burns).

      • @donkey .Malcolm Harrington who
        along with A4e suggested double checking using outside health professionals knowing that the WCA was flawed .Atos brought in Mental Function Champions who we find later are not even present at assessments and also their qualifications are even in doubt .
        Even the ” nurses ” they claim to use
        Are from UDC ( university of Derby corporate ) which turns out to be business orientated towards training systems ..

    • You might despair Dave, but the reality is that thousands of people, on the net have been waging a campaign to get the WCA scrapped and a fairer system put in place. One campaign was (and still is) called Spartacus. There have been tens of thousands of us writing to our MPs, local counsellors, anyone who might listen, help us or act with us.

      Maybe you’ve been a bit too busy despairing at our lazy thinking? Maybe you missed the fact that so many of us who are able, and are right in the middle of being fucked to within an inch of our lives by ATOS or indeed good old JC+, know what the core issues are and are trying to make change happen.

      We know that the big three parties are so similar it’s almost impossible to distinguish them. That’s been evident ever since Blair was elected leader of New Labour.

      What are you doing Dave?

    • Thank god you said that, Dave, because it saved me from having to say it, Yes, Atos are vicious, mean, disability- denying etc etc, everyone knows that, but they get the lion’s share of the blame when it’s the DWP who made the nasty policies. There would be no Atos without them. It is they who are in the driving seat and Atos are just the obscenely overpaid stooges carrying out the DWP’s dirty work. Hitler and the SS spring to mind. Let us not forget who are behind these pernicious changes. It’s very convenient for the government to have Atos as the fall-guts. Atos are, as we know, replaceable with Crapita or anyone else – someone equally as bad or, heaven forbid, worse.

  22. Atos is the lowest of the low. Disabled people have been made homeless or worse because of them.

  23. @Johnny Void yeah I noticed this when I was digging up more stuff about them yesterday
    This blame game between Atos and DWP
    no side willing to take responsibility
    What with the new transparency option of DWP having put their head in the noose now. And Atos panicking over losing the contract
    The association of Atos and University of Derby corporate which is business training and not health as they claim it to be just shows what they are really about

    • I wonder what the effect of this will be on Crapita who no doubt will be the successors of the WCA but after Duckworth who is head of Crapita Disability Assessment has rubbished disabled people it looks like the whole WCA shambles might be called into question .let’s hope so

  24. Dr Stephen Duckworth OBE’s Summary

    Current Position – Capita plc – Chief Executive, Personal Independence Payments (Health & Well-being Division)

    2012-2012 Cabinet Office – Account Director responsible for Serco’s relationship with the Cabinet Office, Number 10 and Treasury.

    2011-2012 Director, Serco Institute that aims to foster the development of sustainable public service markets through an outward-facing programme of research and communication.

    2010-2011 Strategic Development Director, Serco Welfare to Work, supporting a 45 strong business development team to secure £210 million of business (Work Programme) to help disadvantaged people return to work.
    • Project Board – Compass Project (Asylum Seekers – Repatriation & Immigration/Employment) – £150 million bid
    • Contract Director – Two NOMS ESF Contracts in the East of England & South East England – £15 million annual contract

    2009-2010 Regional Director West Midlands Flexible New Deal, Serco Welfare to Work. Responsible for £20 million annual contract supporting over 5,000 long-term unemployed jobseekers in their aspirations to return to sustainable employment – 11% net profit.
    Specialties

    Innovation Director, Business Development, Contract Director, Government Relations & Urban Regeneration

    • @Toddy it left out his attack on disabled when he claimed that because of his own disability then everyone else who was could ” easily work “. and if not then they were shysters ..
      I thought he was head hunted from Atos from what I read..a lot of these firms are rather incestuous so to speak

  25. Dear All I think all this highlights the issue outsourcing almost every public service
    and the gagging law that has been passed which not only tries to prevent campaigns that is seen to be of a political nature but also wants to keep business lobbying secret
    That way it avoids scrutiny ..we now see the result of secret lobbying and outsourcing laid bare .with acrimonious blame being played out ..overlooking the huge death toll that these policies have caused .

  26. ATOS Healthcare

    Gary Gear from ATOS will be speaking alongside Stephen Duckworth from Capita.

    This is the ‘healthcare’ arm of the French IT firm ATOS, well known for making millions out of DWP contracts for ‘work capability assessments’ designed to strip people of out of work sickness and disability benefits. They are also well known for earning hundreds of millions from WCA and payingno Corporation Tax in the UK.

    – See more at: http://dpac.uk.net/tag/freud/#sthash.xAmo6daC.dpuf

  27. Giant NHS database rollout delayed http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26239532

    NHS DATABASE ROLLOUT DELAYED

    Perhaps after Atos fuck up having privateers access to our medical records ( insurance ?)
    Has made the govt think again ..such timing is of course merely coincidental

  28. Welfare state presides over ‘culture of fear’, charities say

    http://gu.com/p/3mpmq

    WELFARE STATE CULTURE OF FEAR: CLAIMANTS SET ON UN REALISTIC TARGETS

    Fear and intimidation more like ..

  29. Work and Pensions is presiding over “a culture of fear” in which jobseekers are set unrealistic targets to find work – or risk their benefits being taken away, leading charities have told an official inquiry.
    Hostel residents with limited IT facilities are being directed to apply for 50 jobs per week, while single parents are being told they must apply for full-time jobs to continue receiving jobseeker’s allowance, the charities say in evidence to an official inquiry. On Wednesday, new figures are expected to show a record number of
    claimants have had their money stopped

  30. Trudy; my love do you really think £26000 is being on the poverty line!!?
    I’m afraid benefits need to be cut even further to force the lazy scroungers to work.
    If EU migrants can come here and find work; then pray tell why can’t our lazy benefit scroungers find the same work.
    Is it because that doing such work leaves them no better off or in some case worse of than if they just stayed on benefits!!?
    The answer is an emphatic YES!
    Until every job is taken by the unemployed so that there are no jobs for migrants then I’ll believe they have made an effort to find work.
    These benefit scroungers are just not prepared to get on their proverbial bikes and find work.
    We need the OBC reduced to about £20000 and no benefits for under 25’s apart from JSA.
    Benefits are far too much and consequently disincentivise the feckless not to work.
    Benefits in the UK provide a very nice lifestyle and to suggest that being on benefits is being on the poverty line is ridiculous.
    Try living on £14400.00 for a year.
    Mortgage  payment of £1100 on £220000 IO debt with  no capital payment element; so come the mortgage term expiring I’ll be homeless.
    Council tax  £113
    Ground rent and service charges water charges £125 pm
    Food £200 pm
    G/E £60 pm
    Note; no money for clothes; holidays etc
    By my reckoning my expenses are £1723 per month but my pension is £1200 pm! so a shortfall of about £500 pm
    If I had nothing I could ‘earn’ up to £18600 on benefits
    So don’t tell me people on benefits are on the poverty line

    This comment from our dear old friends
    ” Landlord Referencing ” after a landlord posted thaf Xmas delays to claimants had severe effect on them
    One Landlord even posted with a smiley that delays in Xmas payments to claimants was good as claimants just wasted their payments on Xmas presents

    Such nice people eh ?

  31. Is it true that ATOS get £1600 of taxpayers money for every claimant they find fit for work?

    • @Sammy they certainly have targets to fulfil
      Despite denials
      Crapita pay assessors £32k pa and are rewarded with £60 per per report which is £40 + £20 extra depending on the grade of original report which I take to suggest is an incentive to put in a negativd denial of benefits report since that is ideally the whole reason for assessments

  32. So we have BTL landlords who thinks we are all scroungers and feckless then DWP forcing us into in realistic schemes .then private companies making money out of us using free labour then crooked work program providers claiming they help us when they don’t then disability assessors who claim there is nothing wrong with us when we are severely unwell then a policy to cut our benefits and force us to move home ..then media portrays us as workshy theivng terrorist gangster overbreeding child and animal killing living in mansions in ghettoes then we have ppl on twitter wanting to kill us or suggesting we kill ourselves ..and then told all claimants ” HAVE IT ALL EASY “. ?????

  33. Please make sure you vote Labour at the general election. Yes I know they are no saints but voting for them will at the very least kick this lot out of government.

  34. Getting rich on disability denial
    Debbie Jolly reports on US insurance giant Unum, whose ‘biopsychosocial model’ is being used to justify the devastating cuts in disability benefits
    February 2013

    When the Tory work and pensions undersecretary Lord David Freud set out his vision of welfare reform for disabled people he used a number of references to back up his plans. No fewer than 170 of these references came from a group of academics based at or connected to Cardiff University’s Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research.

    This centre, originally led by the ex‑chief medical officer at the Department for Work and Pensions, Sir Mansel Alyward, was funded by the US-based insurance giant Unum to the tune of £1.6 million from 2004 to 2009. The objective was to add academic credibility to the ‘biopsychosocial model’ that has underpinned disability benefits reform since the early 1990s – a model used as part of the government’s disability benefits crackdown by the private company Atos in identifying who is deemed to be ‘fit for work’ and hence ineligible for disability support.

    So what is the biopsychosocial model? In this context, its key postulate is that an emphasis on medical causes and effects has failed to provide an adequate basis for disability benefits policy, and therefore much greater emphasis should be placed on the psychological attitudes and beliefs of individuals. It posits that disability – and the ability to work in particular – is not just a medically definable, physical matter but one that has a social and psychological dimension too. And it is used to underpin the assertion that to a very large extent the growth in the cost of disability benefits must surely be the result of people faking those disabilities.

    A whole set of workshops run by Unum with such charming titles as ‘Malingering and illness deception’ should leave us in no doubt about where this approach is coming from. A glance at popular media would appear to substantiate such a view. However, the headline figures of those considered ‘fit for work’ by Atos always miss the successful appeals at tribunal, which significantly reduce those figures (and incidentally cost the taxpayer £50-80 million per year). Who is gaining from this system?

    Unum’s second vice-president John LoCascio was brought into UK government circles as early as 1992 to ‘manage’ incapacity benefit claims. He was also responsible for bringing in ‘health assessors’ and training them by Unum criteria in biopsychosocial views of individual capacity. Back in the US this approach led to the company (which currently provides disability insurance for 25 million workers, half the US market) systematically refusing to pay out on huge numbers of insurance claims. One of its working practices that received widespread negative attention involved rewarding employees with ‘hungry vulture awards’ for their success in closing claims.

    Unum’s behaviour resulted in it being accused of being ‘an outlaw company – it is a company that for years has operated in an illegal fashion’ by California insurance commissioner John Garamendi in 2005, when it was charged with more than 25 violations of state law and fined $8 million. These charges followed a financial and regulatory settlement in the previous year with 48 US states following investigations of Unum’s alleged abuses.

    Nevertheless this same basic approach was to prove useful in helping with the UK’s welfare reform and in overriding the basis of medical opinion as the deciding factor on a whole set of conditions. And the more the government bought into disability denial with its contracted private companies such as Atos and supporting academics, the more Unum stood to benefit from increased market returns on its insurance business as disabled people saw their minimal welfare support diminishing.

    The company was quick to seize its opportunities. As early as 1997, with the roll out of the all work test to assess fitness for work for benefit purposes, in which John LoCascio had played a major part, Unum launched an expensive advertising campaign. One ad ran: ‘April 13, unlucky for some. Because tomorrow the new rules on state incapacity benefit announced in the 1993 autumn budget come into effect. Which means that if you fall ill and have to rely on state incapacity benefit, you could be in serious trouble.’

    Unlucky for some, lucky for Unum.

    • @Toddy Aylward contributed to the Disability Deception report as did a ” Dr ” who runs hypnotist outfit ..
      There are crazy contributions from Aylward who suggest that if you think or dream of getting a job ..you will.
      This area is filled with pseudo science crackpot theorists ..
      All on the payroll of Unum

  35. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/10647538/Cutting-benefits-part-of-a-moral-mission-Cameron-tells-new-Cardinal.html

    CAMERON : CUTTING BENEFITS IS MY MORAL MISSION SAYS ETON TOFF FREIND OF CORRUPT MEDIA MOGUL WHOSE STAFFED HACKED PHONE OF MURDERED GIRL AND WHILST AT ETON SMASHED UP RESTAURANTS WHEN DRUNK

  36. 25. UnumProvident would propose that IB should be retained for those disabled people who are genuinely incapable of undertaking any work whatsoever. The remainder should be transferred to a form of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) which is sufficiently flexible to recognise that they have limited capacity to work. JSA claimants are required to look for work, and indeed are supported in that process by JCP. This simple administrative move sets the expectation of a return to work both for the individual and also for potential employers.

  37. 13. UnumProvident is actively engaged with the Government, policy-makers and large employers to share best practice and to see where our systems and approaches might be applied more widely. We are currently working with the Department of Work and Pensions on this, and have had discussions with officials in HM Treasury and the Prime Minister’s office. We have met with officials to help better understand the nature of the IB casebook, and to discuss how our commercial experience and expertise might be more widely applied. In addition, we will shortly be supporting the National Employment Panel in its work on the New Deal for Disabled People through a secondment of one of our senior managers.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmselect/cmworpen/401/3021203.htm

  38. yesterday i watched the great benefits street debate,i rarely watch tv these days its crap but in this case i have “to know my enemy” so suffered watching it,it did nothing to help our plight,what shocked me was the guy who started the big issue,a true blue torie gobbing off at every oppertunity about “these poor need to work” once agian sanctions ATOS the working poor were hardly mentioned and the labour shadow dwp minister forgotten his name but he used to be a monk until he realised he was gay,no joke true,insisted that “evrybody will be in work or training if labour win” how the fuck is this possible when 1000 people applying for one job..thoughts ?

    • @totally
      I know someone in my area who used to sell the Big Issue, great bloke, did a lot of fund-raising but he was very scathing of John Bird (Big Issue man). This Big Issue seller was invited to a talk but John Bird completely ignored him. It was all about him and his ego.

  39. @totally given up – I didn’t watch benefits street or the debate, but I happened to turn it on (the benefits street programme not the debate) literally for about a minute, and a female (I think she might be the star turn everybody’s talking about but I can’t say for sure) was saying something along the lines of there are lots of people who want to work but there are those who don’t, and those who don’t have no incentive to work anyway because they get enough money to live on given to them in benefits. I wonder how much the programme makers paid her to say that, or does she actually believe it? If there are not enough jobs there are not enough jobs, whether there are those who don’t want to work or not. And “the people of benefits street invited the cameras into their close-knit community” or something like that – are they comparing those on benefits to gypsies? I look forward to the sequel “My small lean benefits wedding”.

    • fjcpc, not seen it either, but if she actually does think that, she might be in a minority of one (and/or have been well paid ? or maybe could do with raising her expectations/realising her own worth – i don’t mean only in a monetary sense but that’s what this is about – “the bottom line”).

  40. @ Shirley – if she has been paid to say it, her thirty pieces of silver will soon run out and so will her 15 minutes of fame and any further payment she receives as a result of her “fame”, and what will her neighbours who have been sanctioned have to say about her ridiculous comments then?

  41. PS the production team’s sequel would probably be called “My Big Fat Benefits Wedding” but they would miss out their part in paying for it.

  42. David Cameron says welfare reform is at the heart of his “moral mission”, after the Archbishop of Westminster labelled it a “disgrace”.

    Welfare reform offers new hope, says David Cameron

  43. off topic,
    What a win!

    Any separated parent and often the father who has a ‘spare’ bedroom for his child or children who stay at weekends and holidays and is hit by the pernicious bedroom tax for wanting to still be a responsible parent and have a family life then read this and SMILE.

    Then read it again. Then get someone you know to read it out to you just so you know your eyes havent deceived you as to what this SENSATIONAL judgment says.
    It says you have a right to a bedroom for your children.

    http://speye.wordpress.com/

  44. Reblogged this on TheCritique Archives and commented:
    The old American notion that success constitutes justification has taken over the Western World. “I was trying to make money,” is seen as identical in meaning to “I am doing my best.”

  45. Remarkably unreported this month (outside one Daily Mail report) is that four of private work provider A4e’s staff who ripped off the taxpayer and lone parents have pleaded guilty to 30 acts of fraud and forgery.

    http://davidhencke.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/guilty-the-four-a4e-staff-who-fiddled-the-books-helping-lone-parents-get-back-to-work/

  46. Dear Johnny Void,
    Could you write a fact rich, statistically accurate feature about REAL Unemployment.. The latest Govt figures are clearly dodgy.
    Where are the 580,000 vacancies? How long have we had mass unemployment in this country? Etc.
    Csd.

    • csd
      there is no sign of greater general uk wide economic prosperity that new jobs would have brought… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-26227295 clearly shows this, poverty is still on the increase….7.8m are in work poverty…demand for decent jobs has never been higher….part time work used to be seen as pin money, the prize was always full time decently paid work ie enough to live on, and bring up one’s family….the unemployment figures in the early 80’s reflected this, the national tragedy was that 1000000 people were without full time decently paid work…decently paid work was not rare before the 80’s…now it is for many like hens teeth….there are almost no decently paid jobs widely available, work now consists of bits and pieces of part time employment….part time employments always cost more to do, in many many ways, which is why people used to avoid part time work as their main source of income, and saw PT work as for extras treats and luxuries, and never for the basics in life, as is now….at least 4m decently paid full time jobs are required, but this will never happen within the capitalist framework…

  47. I totally agree with you johnny v, about the involvement of the British medical profession in this attack on the fundamental human rights of British patients and British disabled people. Without the cooperation and silence, regarding the vast accumulated evidence that British medical professionals are engaged in criminal fraud and unethical medical practice, the DWP ESA regime would have been shut down overnight by British medical regulatory and governing bodies such as the GMC, CQC, and the NMC (Nursing & Midwifery Council). Despite the evidence of vast medical harms, including evidence of tens of thousands of deaths at the hands of unethical and unscientific biopsychosocial iatrogenic quackology, the British medical profession remain silent and allow it continue unabated.

    As some of the above comments above (especially referencing the excellent Debbie Jolly’s academic work) elements in the British medical profession have willingly and lucratively engaged in developing and designing neoliberal biopsychosocial disability denial ideology, used by a number of departments of state such as the Ministry of Defence (against Gulf War Illness veterans to deny them war pensions), the Department of Health and our beloved DWP. Only just recently the DWP rolled out its loopy “Atos for workers” service, the brainchild of ex-President of the Royal College of Physicians, Dame Carol Black, At some such Whitehall medical mandarins invariably end up being knighted for services to disability denial ideology.

    Anyway, just compare the amount of energy and effort that gets put into attacking and discrediting the relatively benign practice of homoeopathy, which kills no-one. Compare that to the complete and utter silence on unethical and unscientific biopsychosocial medicine which is responsible for killing tens of thousands of patients and harming the hundreds of thousands more with no end in sight. It’s like night and day.

    • joe
      spot on…collective collusive behaviours are what drive these savage cuts…none of which could have happened without the cooperation of the agencies who’s original purpose was to prevent/heal suffering….not cause it…..they do it to make more money, to boost and protect their portfolios…

      • ps
        oh dear, it’s official they are on a “moral mission” a crusade, to knock some decency into the poor….. to free us of the shackles of our immorality for being sick and disabled, unemployed or underemployed…if only we were moral millionaires like them, all would be well…. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26252095 ….dr alice miller wrote a series of books especially to highlight/show these types of people for what they are, and offer healing to all, victims or perpetrators alike…”for your own good, the roots of violence in child rearing..” the title says it all….those that come up with the moral message, and ruthlessly enforce it by using our vitals as an emotional/physical weapon, against those who disagree, are immoral…moral messages are benign without the force of threat…my message is that no moral person would use violence to bend another to their will…work or starve has no morality….we see life through our own eyes, the moral approach is to persuade through valid arguments, take it or leave it, show people this that or the other works and never to force….once force is used the moral argument is lost…it is always morally right to defend against tyranny…few people are convinced by the arguments they put forward, therefore they must be morally wrong….

        • I wish it were possible to get everyone to read Alice Miller’s books! There’s a full-text online version of ‘For Your Own Good’ here:

          http://www.nospank.net/fyog.htm

          There’s material in the part about Hitler that many on here might find illuminating. Even if they just read the summary of that chapter which has mention of Hitler’s physically and mentally disabled aunt who lived with them during his childhood.

          • bigleyma
            yes, there is a much mention of the childhood torture he was forced to endured, and how this turned out very bad for himself and for humanity…as she also rightly points out, withholding vitals is also violent abuse…

  48. ATO’s Demonstration in London this morning – Dennis Skinner MP attended and made a speech.

    http://bambuser.com/v/4373049

  49. Previously Banned ATOS undercover filming ESA Assessment Just Say No 4th October 2012 which shows the dubious methods used by Atos and the UK government.

  50. I’ve just left this comment/question on the Atos Healthcare blogpost. It’s ‘awaiting moderation’.

    “Hi. In connection with your third paragraph statement that Atos Healthcare has had “no control” over policy, the design of the WCA etc could you please comment on the following claim made to the contrary by the DWP in an FOI request in 2010?

    “The clinical examination results are structured according to the findings of evidence based medical research carried out by Atos Healthcare to determine the functional consequences of specific clinical signs.”

    • STRANGE, BUT TRUE………………………

      DID YOU KNOW THAT THE DWP CAN MAKE YOU EXIST ON LESS THAN THE AMOUNT THEY DEFINE AS BEING THE MINIMUM NECESSARY.

      A TRIBUNAL DECLARED YESTERDAY THAT £32 WAS SUFFICIENT FOR ME, ON LIFETIME DISABILITY, MY 17 YEAR OLD SON AND PARTNER.

      YET THEY WROTE THIS;

      12/ Has a study ever been done to clarify if the £71.00 was
      sufficient to provide a proper diet that would not shorten the life
      expectancy of a poor person?

      We believe that the amounts payable are a reasonable sum, having regard to all relevant
      factors. The amount that people need to live on varies greatly depending on their needs and a
      range of factors so it would be misleading to attempt to evaluate the level of the personal
      allowance against a single ‘cost of living’ measure.
      If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
      above.
      Yours sincerely,

      DWP Central FoI Team

    • WELL DONE!

    • ………..awaiting moderation is natures way of saying that you may have hit a raw nerve……………….

    • bigley
      they may have no control over policy, but they do follow dwp policy,
      i notice they do this irritating thing of not calling things, what others call them ie signs are plainly symptoms…and functional consequences are functional limitations as well as functional abilities….and they do admit it is their medical model, why don’t the dwp, ie the govt that weren’t elected, insist that gp’s follow atos medical model, save a lot of grief wouldn’t it…perhaps gp’s prefer leeches and crawlies in matchboxes, and can’t be doing with all these new fanged gizmo’s….

  51. I posted this on the ATOS blogspot this morning BUT this is what I can see but you can’t:-

    Tony Dean says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    February 19, 2014 at 3:23 pm
    If ATOS is so compassionate please explain how a man who had a heart attack at a work capability assessment, was taken to hospital in an ambulance from an assessment was still found “fit for work” by ATOS.

    • I wonder how many ‘invisible’ comments are sitting there on that blog ‘awaiting moderation’. :/

    • I think it was that in line with their unspoken mission statement of “Dishonesty At All Times” – ATOS sent the poor bloke’s file back to the DWP DM marked “did not take part in assessment” with no other explanation, which resulted in all his benefits being immediately stopped.

  52. 29 April 2013

    Dear Mr Reynolds
    Freedom of Information Act – Request for Information
    Our Reference: FoI 1115

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request which we received on 7 March 2013. I
    apologise for the delay in responding to you.

    You asked:

    Much has been said in the press about DWPs failure to audit ATOS properly.In the last
    three years there has been over 1.8 million assessments with just 633 audited.
    Can you please tell me;

    1/ How many have been audited since the figure above?

    2/ What percentage were men and what percentage were women?

    3/ What areas were audited?

    4/ Were the audited areas perceived to be a good cross section of the country?

    5/ Who carries out the audit?

    6/ How long from the start of the audit to the figures being released?

    7/ Were any significant mistakes by ATOS HCPs highlighted in the audits?

    8/ If the audits recognises no mistakes by ATOS HCPs that needed confronting, can you
    specify why 80% of tribunals result in success for the claimant?

    The purpose of the audit is to validate the quality of the Atos Healthcare internal audit by
    reviewing a sample of cases from each Atos Healthcare auditor.

    In reply to Q1, from 1 September 2012 to 4 April 2013 there have been 134 ESA Work
    Capability Assessment (WCA) audits reviewed by doctors working to the DWP Chief Medical
    Adviser (CMA).

    In response to Q2, the Department does not hold this information.

    With regard to Q3 and 4, each Medical Services Centre is audited at least once a year.

    In response to Q5, doctors working to the DWP CMA and senior auditors from Atos Healthcare
    carry out the audit.

    With regard to Q6, the results of the audits are not routinely published externally.

    In reply to Qs7 and 8, issues found during audits are always fed back to the Atos Healthcare
    Medical Manager for the appropriate remedial action with the individual Healthcare Professional.

    Please note that Decisions on entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) rest
    solely with the Department’s decision makers taking into account the medical assessment
    reports from Atos Healthcare and any other relevant information.

    With regard to appeals tribunals, the HCP’s report is only part of the evidence considered by the
    DWP Decision Maker when making a decision regarding entitlement to benefit. There is no
    direct correlation between the standard of a medical report and the outcome of an appeal. The
    Appeals Panel makes an independent judgement, based on all the evidence before it, which
    may include supplementary evidence not previously submitted to the Decision Maker.
    The Department regularly publishes official statistics on Employment and Support Allowance,
    including the outcomes of completed appeals submitted my people found fit for work at the initial
    Work Capability Assessment (WCA) on their claim. This shows that, for claims starting up to
    November 2011, 37% of completed appeals overturned the initial WCA outcome made by the
    Department’s decision maker.

    The latest publication was released in January 2013 and can be found at the link below, table 3
    in the spreadsheet accompanying the publication provides information on appeals.

    http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/index.php?page=esa_wca

    Yours sincerely

    Business Management Team
    Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)
    [email address]

  53. Listen to this.

    • “HOW MANY TIMES HAVE MEMBERS OF PUBLIC BEEN TOLD BY THE DWP THAT THEY CANNOT APPEAL A DECISION?”

      “HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DENIED THE RIGHT TO AN APPEAL?”

      “HOW MUCH MONEY HAVE THE DWP MADE BY DENIAL OF A CLAIMANT’S RIGHT TO AN APPEAL?”

      ………and yet;

      YOU STATE, “HOWEVER, THE REGULATIONS WOULD APPEAR.”

      THIS IS NOT DEFINITIVE. CATEGORICALLY STATE THE CASE ONE WAY OR THE
      OTHER PLEASE.

      The Department cannot provide a definitive reply to your question. As stated in the previous
      reply, the decision on whether or not to accept an appeal is for the Tribunal judge to make.

      I should also like to add that you have now been informed on numerous occasions that the
      Freedom of Information Act is about the supply of recorded information held only, and is not
      about entering into a debate. As you have once again submitted a request which is attempting
      to engage in debate and is not for recorded information held by the Department, I find this
      request to be invalid and vexatious in nature. In view of this the Department is under no
      obligation to answer it, and will not enter into further debates or respond to further FOI
      Requests on this matter.
      If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
      above.
      Yours sincerely,

      DWP Central FoI Team

      …………………………………………………………………………………………..

      everything can be appealed……………………………

      Leave a Reply

  54. RESULT:- http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/benefits-uk-testing-firm-atos-3168142

    Benefits testing firm Atos wants to quit £500 million government contract EARLY

  55. Meanwhile just in

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26287199

    YEEEEES! The demonstrations and pressure is working!!!

  56. Pingback: Don’t Blame Us For The Suffering We Cause Say Atos, We’re Just Making Money | lezlow2012

  57. Well, I have put my 2 penceworth on the daily mails website, and I can only guess it will be ‘redacted’ if past experience is anything to go by.

  58. Some people are so dumb! The protests have worked the company is out. But hang on another company will come in and carry out these assessments? Quick get the banners out and re-brand them.

    The DWP sit back and rub their hands whilst enjoying a cup of tea!

    Wake up and smell the roses for gods sake!

  59. MY name is [my] name. ab initio

    error, by the : and Portuguese

  60. my name is [my] name. ab initio

    THE UNIVERSE LOVES A… VOID!… ‘NO PUN INTENDED!
    I SEEK NO VENGEANCE. I OFFER NO JUDGEMENT.
    YOU ARE AUTOMATICALLY JUDGED BY/FOR/OF YOUR ACTIONS AND YOUR WILFUL INTENT EITHER KNOWINGLY OR IN IGNORANCE OF THE DIVINE LAWS UNDER WHICH ALL STAND.

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