Monthly Archives: July 2009

A4e Internet Censorship – Call For Support

We’d already reported that A4e, formerly Action for Employment, recently appeared to use legal pressure to attempt to force two blogs which were critical of them off the net.

We then reported how one intrepid blogger had fought the decision by wordpress and had their blog re-instated, in full, with an apology from wordpress.

Well, those fickle geeks at wordpress have changed their minds and once again removed the frozen New Deal Scandal and hidden the post stating that Neil Watson had resigned as a director of A4e Ltd. A fact which is demonstrably true and recorded at Companies House.

New Deal Scandal have been in touch saying that they don’t have the energy or inclination for another email tussle with wordpress but will be back soon with a new home.

A4e seem to put a lot of effort into protecting the upstanding citizens of the internet from the truth about these shady corporate scumbags.

If you google A4e, all but two of the entries on the front page are websites run by A4e themselves. Google ‘A4e are cunts’ to get a more accurate representation of what most people think of these bullying … cunts.

Blogs and websites, even those on the left, have so far remained quiet on this issues. We say attack now and attack often. If they want a war with the interweb, then let’s give ’em one.

And if you’re one of those lefties who just doesn’t like to think about the unemployed too much, well, good news, you don’t have to! There’s a whole load of liberal issues to get your teeth stuck into.

Do you care about the Palestian people – kill A4e in the face

Care about local services being sold off to private companies – kill A4e in the face

Care about freedom of speech and internet censorship – kill A4e in the face

Care about benefit fraud – kill A4e in the face

They are even involved in tormenting asylum seekers and immigrants by helping to administer the ‘Life in the UK’ test. So No Borders types join us and kill A4e in the face.

Or if you just care about the poorest and most vulnerable people in our class being exploited, bullied and harrassed just so A4e founder Emma Harrison can buy more stately homes then kill A4e in the fucking face.

And they probably do some really bad shit to the environment as well.

So there you go, there’s something for everyone. Fire at will.

UPDATE: facebook group now set up at:
Stop A4e censoring the internet

UPDATE NO2: New Deal Scandal is back for now but aren’t confident about staying that way. WordPress appear to have relented once more, we’ll keep you posted.


Boring London Don’t Come Cheap

“We want to help support new types of event that showcase the brilliance of London, its history and society and its creativity.”

So said Munira Mirza, the former stalinist orchestrating Boris’ cultural revolution and the woman behind June’s Story of London festival. The festival was roundly criticised at the time, with poor publicity, an atrocious website and events either not going ahead as advertised or not not being publicised.

Although the chinless one promised a pan-London event, with things happening in every borough, this was a porky the size of Scotland Yard. Three boroughs had none at all with several more only having one.

Another feature of the festival was the whopping entrance fees for many of the events, plus the fact that many of the events were happening anyway and had been in existance for years.

We suggested at the time that this was merely a branding excercise for Herr Boris, with no real new cultural events being organised.

So we asked the Mayor what it cost. Our first response was a curt “The GLA budget for Story of London is GBP 150,000.”

So we asked for a little more detail, such as how much of this went on actually organising new events. And then some time passed.

We’d almost got bored when we received an email out of the blue informing us:

After consulting the Mayoral Decision form for the Story of London I need to make a correction to my earlier response – the total GLA budget for Story of London was in fact GBP 165,000, not GBP 150,000 as previously stated. My apologies for this error.

The Story of London’s GLA budget broke down as follows:
– GBP 100,000 allocated for marketing and promoting the Story of London festival
– GBP 65,000 allocated to make a series of grant awards to organisations participating in the Story of London.

The Story of London also attracted support from other heritage funding bodies, with the Heritage Lottery Fund making a funding stream of GBP 200,000 available and the London Museums Hub and MLA London jointly making a funding stream of GBP40,000 available for organisations wishing to mount events as part of Story of London.

We’ll ignore the financial incompetance as indicative of the dire state of tuition in the countries top public schools.

We’ll also point out that the Heritage Lottery Fund were celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, so it’s a fair bet that money would have been spent without Boris’ intervention.

So we finally have our answer, more or less. £65k spend on events and 100K spent on marketing. And we’re willing to bet those events include the £10k spent on the Refugee Festival, an event which had been happening for many years as well as on other events which were previously funded by the Mayor’s Office, or were due to go ahead anyway. We’ve asked for more clarification.

Many bloggers derided the marketing campaign at the time including Dave Hill, Boriswatch and Diamond Geezer. Essentially it seemed to consist of an insert in Time Out and a crap website.

But boring Londoners doesn’t come cheap and several cultural events have been cancelled and more faced budget cuts so this advert for Boris could go ahead.

Little was more sickening then watching Ken buy his way into established cultural events and then rebranding them into an advert for City Hall.

But at least with Ken you actually got the party, with Boris all you get is the advert.

ps: The Evening sub-Standard, rebranded and inexplicably worse since the KGB take over, report that just 16 people entered a ticket competition on the Story of London website. We make that £6,250 each!

A4e Censorship Attempt Repelled

New Deal Scandal is now unfrozen and back publishing,with even the post that poverty pimps A4e got sniffy about, once again available. Some credit should grudgingly go to corporate bastards wordpress who, after initially acting like a bunch of cowardly twats, have now shown a bit of bottle and stuck up for their users rather then sucking corporate cock.

A4e’s recent attempt at web censorship has not been very successful. Watching A4e, the site closed after Webs received allegations of defamation, is back online at blogspot whilst their attempt to close down New Deal Scandal was, as we’ve mentioned, made of fail.

As New Deal Scandal reveal, A4e appear to have a far ranging policy on controlling information on the internet. Their unused community site, various blogs and other posts cropping up on the net seem to be part of a poorly thought marketing strategy to deflect criticism by getting A4e staff to post about how wonderful they are. We’ll be having a closer look at this in the coming weeks.

In the meantime it’s time to fight back and tell the truth about (in)Action for (un)Employment. Blog early, blog often and tell people about your experiences at the hands of A4e.

Bloggers vs A4e

Calling all bloggers!

Poverty pimps A4e seem to be intent on starting a cyberwar after now seemingly shutting down two blogs which were critical of their shady shenanigans.

We’d already mentioned that ‘Watching a4e‘ had been taken offline by freewebs. According to freewebs someone had alleged ‘dafamatory content, that someone seems alomst certain to have been A4e. We can now reveal it appears they haven’t stopped there in their bid to censor criticism on the internet.

New Deal Scandal
have had their wordpress account suspended after receiving the following notice on their dashboard:

“We have a concern about some of the content on your blog. Please click here to contact us as soon as possible to resolve the issue and re-enable posting.”

According to New Deal Scandal they are now unable to post any new material on the blog and have received limited information so far as to why. WordPress have also made this post on the blog private. This post contains the information that in April of this year Neil Watson resigned from his directorship at A4e. The post can be found in the ever helpful google cache here.

Now this is all pretty tame stuff. Early indications suggest that A4e have contacted wordpress informing them that Neil Watson is still an employee of A4e. Nowhere in the offending piece does it say he isn’t, it merely points out his resignation taken from Company House Records as detailed here.

Several things seem possible. Perhaps Companies House records are wrong. Perhaps New Deal Scandal made up this rather trivial fact in the light of other more serious accusations aimed at A4e. Perhaps, somewhere, a mistake has been made.* UPDATE BELOW

Or perhaps, and most likely, A4e feel the noose tightening and have panicked, whereas wordpress have seemingly rolled over in the face of a corporate legal onslaught from a company already facing investigations of fraud.

Whatever the truth a worrying precedant is being set. If Neil Watson is still a director of A4e Ltd then a simple clairification from A4e to New Deal Scandal would not have gone amiss. From our dealings with the site they seem particularly consistent in establishing the truth before they post (even going so far as to hide potentially libellous comments) and it’s likely a retraction would have been published.

But that’s doesn’t seem to be what A4e did regardless of the truth of the matter. Much like in the case of Watching A4e, they appear to have snuck behind the backs of the bloggers to threaten the platform they published on. And so far both those platforms have backed corporate might rather than the bloggers, hacks and citizen journalists on which their empires are based.

Will this see any company with a hefty legal department able to close down criticism without debate or basic checks made to see if the information is true?

Folks the very future of what you all call the blogosphere could be in danger.

At present wordpress appear to be looking into it and New Deal Scandal appear to be attempting to glean information from wordpress as to exactly what A4e’s fucking problem is.

Perhaps the war profiteering poverty pimps are getting nervous with the prospect of that juicy Flexible New Deal contract looking ever more shaky.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this and posting new info as we receive it. In the meantime we call on all bloggers and associated internet itinerants to act in solidarity by posting information about this latest attempt to censor free speech and honest criticism on the internet.

Should this blog disappear then we’ll be back over at blogspot.

*here’s a screenshot taken from the records at Companies House


roll up, roll up …


A4e – War Criminals, Fraudsters and Bullies

A4E, the bunch of scumbags contracted by the Labour Government to harrass and bully benefit claimants, have been busy attempting to set up an ‘online community of people who are dedicated to improving people’s lives.’

In yet another cheap marketing gimmick A4e are attempting to portray themselves as nobles saviours of Britain’s underclass by offering advice such as “Jobcentre Plus – this is a great place to look for jobs.”

The shoddy organisation, who have several contracts to deliver legal advice, have disclaimers under many legal advice posts warning that: “Any reliance you place on (this) information is therefore strictly at your own risk.”

And getting involved in A4e is risky business.

The good news is that this site features a way to rate posts and whilst moderated it is possible to leave comments. So even if they don’t publish it you can at least tell the bastards what you think.

Having recently won a huge contract to roll out the upcoming Flexible New Deal, A4e will continue to save the poor from themselves by forcing them to sit in yellow painted rooms for 30 hours a week doing nothing.

the void however may have found a chink in the matrix.

In the provider guidance for New Deal 25+ it states:

“In addition, without prejudice to this obligation, the Department shall in carrying out its functions have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group. The Department requires all organisations delivering New Deal 25+ to act in accordance with the spirit and letter of these statutory duties.”

This clause is certain to be included in all New Deal contracts, mostly because it’s the law.

Now we wonder exactly how illegally operating in the occupied territories in East Jerusalem is in accordance with the spirit and letter of these statutory duties.

A4e operates across Israel, including the occupied territories, under the name Amin. This makes A4e ancillary to Apartheid and other Crimes Against Humanity under the International Criminal Court Act 2001.

Whilst unlikely, it may be possible for anyone referred to A4e to refuse to attend on the grounds of conscience. A4e often work with refugees for example. Could a Palestian refugee really be forced under threat of benefit sanction by Job Centre Plus to attend a training (sic) company that profits from the misery of the occupation of their homeland?

Sadly the answer is probably yes. Whilst it may make an interesting test case, few claimants can afford to risk the loss of benefit to make such a principled stand. But if you are currently undergoing the misery of an A4e course we suggest you ask them about their activies in Israel. Ask them often.

Or ask them about the current fraud investigation underway which is looking into some of the shadier practices of this bunch of crooks.

A4e don’t like this kind of criticism. The website WatchingA4e was recently forced offline after their web hosting company was contacted by someone (presumably A4e) who said the site was defamatory.

Now we’ve mentioned that A4e’s legal knowledge is flaky but they might like to know that telling the truth is not defamation.

They may also like to be aware of the principle of ‘Fair Comment’. This is the defence against defamation which allows us to call A4e a bunch of blood sucking, parasitical cunts.

The good news is that WatchingA4e are back online at

Also worth checking out is who report on general dodginess in the New Deal system in general as well as A4e.

Ever since Talking About Cannabis pretty much shut up we’ve been looking for a new target to re-invigorate the place. We think we might have found one.

Poorest to get less whilst landlords get cash bonus

The Local Housing Allowance, introduced at the beginning of 2008, was a welcome, if flawed attempt to overhaul the shambolic Housing Benefit system.

Previously Housing Benefit rates were an esoteric secret known only to a handful of DWP officials. It was not possible to find out how much benefit you were entitled to until you had moved into a property and made a claim. This left many moving into accommodation only to find that the Local Authority weren’t prepared to pay the full rent, forcing many into either poverty or homelessness.

Now all Local Authorities set a rent based on current market value which is published for all to see and allows tenants to move into a property knowing in advance how much benefit they will receive.

So far, so good.

In addition prospective tenants who find a property that was cheaper than the local market rate would receive up to £15 a week of the surplus benefit. This rare magnamity towards benefit claimants was styled as a patronising way to teach claimants about ‘market forces’.

As the recession has bitten this has allowed canny tenants to pick up properties a little bit cheaper and pocket a few quid extra on top of the meagre pittance doled out to the countries most vulnerable people.

But no longer. A paper (PDF) quietly sneaked out in June reveals that it has been decided that this is “not sustainable in the current economic climate” and the extra payments are to be stopped from April 2010.

This means that up to 300,000 people could see their current income shrink.  Of these people many already live on the pitiful sixty quid a week doled out by Job Seekers Allowance.

A cynic might consider whether this was a ploy to bribe people into moving into cheaper housing and then moving the goalposts once they settled in a new home.

But it’s much worse than that.  Blood sucking landlords now have no incentive to offer a cheaper rent to attract benefit claimants.  Every landlord in the country is now bound to set rents at, or above, the Local Housing Allowance rate.

The end result of this move will not only be further poverty for the poorest, but higher rents for everyone, funded by the tax payer.  And landlords will be rubbing their filthy palms with glee.

That’s New Labour folks.