Chris Grayling’s Reign of Chaos at the DWP

Lying bastards always get caught out in the end and the recent judgement in the workfare court case may only be the beginning of bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling’s undoing.

Whilst workfare was recently ruled not to be illegal, the judgement in the case brought by Cait Reilly and unemployed HGV driver Jamieson Wilson, contained a vicious sting in the tail for the DWP.

The ruling was highly critical of the lack of information provided to benefit claimants about the Government’s workfare schemes. Thousands of people have been forced to work in private companies for no pay under the threat of benefit sanctions. Due to the recent ruling, many of those who were sanctioned may yet be able to claim back benefits.

It is hardly surprising that the DWP should find themselves in this position. Lies, smears and often deliberate confusion have been the hallmark of the department since the almost absent Iain Duncan Smith and his underling Chris Grayling began their current reign of chaos.

Grayling has repeatedly gagged Freedom of Information requests attempting to find out exactly what the DWP is up to. When the workfare row blew up he lied to the public, the business sector and other MPs alike as he attempted to squirm his way out of trouble. Documents were disappeared, or hastily rewritten, as the DWP said one thing and Chris Grayling said something quite different.

Under this regime it is hardly surprising that benefit claimants are unable to find out the true nature of the schemes they may have been sent on. The Minister himself barely seems to know what’s going on half the time.

Chris Grayling’s behaviour over the last couple of weeks reveals that this deceitful shambles shows no sign of slowing down. Grayling this week banned publication of a report looking into the treatment of unpaid stewards at the Jubilee earlier in the year. Claiming the document is commercially confidential, it seems that Tory stooges Tomorrow’s People – the so called charity that sent unemployed people to sleep under a bridge for the night – are not to be held to public account for their actions.

Meanwhile, two recent television documentaries once more saw Grayling spinning out of control as he declared that there are no targets for the private company Atos to find people ‘fit for work’, despite the clear evidence to the contrary presented in Channel 4’s Dispatches.

The documentary explored the Work Capability Assessment, the now notorious assessment process inflicted on those claiming sickness or disability benefits, undertaken by French IT firm and Olympic sponsors Atos.  The system was described as toxic by the very people paid to carry out the tests who revealed how some cancer patients were judged fit for work simply for being on the wrong type of chemotherapy.

Grayling still claims this brutal process ‘helps’ people, despite the untold suffering and increasing number of deaths which have occurred due to the endless assessments. Professor Malcolm Harrington, the man brought into the scrutinise the process, has been ‘resigned’ after being critical of the assessments and Grayling is ploughing on regardless.

In an effort to stem the growing number of successful appeals challenging Atos’ decisions, Grayling has now effectively banned a video produced by the Ministry of Justice providing advice on the appeal process.

Shortly after the documentaries were aired it was announced that Atos are to be awarded the contract to carry out similar assessments on those claiming the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). This time there can be no pretending from ministers that there will be no targets. The Government have already announced that 20% of disabled people are to lose benefits due to the new assessment regime.

So still the Chris Grayling comedy show marches on. His latest pronouncement, as workfare collapses around him, is to introduce yet more workfare on the Community Action Programme. Under this madcap scheme, around one million long term unemployed people are to be forced into six months full time workfare for community projects and charities.

Grayling has neglected to ask the voluntary sector whether they want a million full time volunteers, many of whom won’t want to be there. There has been no assessment as to whether the sector can even absorb, supervise and afford this influx of unpaid workers. The more ethical charities such as Oxfam have already stated they will take no part in any workfare style schemes.

Welfare to Work insiders already claim that finding enough workfare placements on the current schemes is proving almost impossible. The few charities left using forced labour, such as Scope and the British Heart Foundation, only have so many shops. Once again a back of the envelope scheme aimed at punishing the unemployed is set to collapse simply because no-one at the DWP has thought through what is likely to happen in practice.

Cait Reilly is set to appeal against the recent court judgement meaning workfare will be back in the courts this Autumn. A judicial review has also recently been granted to challenge the Work Capability Assessment. More protests against both workfare and Atos are scheduled in the next few weeks.  Everyday more and more people are waking up to the reality of welfare reform, as it happens to them, their friends, neighbours or loved ones.  If Grayling thinks he can lie, scheme and cheat his way through yet another session of Parliament he may yet have an unpleasant surprise.

39 responses to “Chris Grayling’s Reign of Chaos at the DWP

  1. Chris Grayling is a Lying Cunt

    Fuck this Nazi piece of shit!

  2. That’s a brilliant summing-up of the current Grayling/IDS fiasco. Thank you. And now we find that the latest wheeze is to farm out what few remaining jobs aren’t being done by various shades of Workfare, to prisons. Prison call-centres…..

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/aug/09/prison-call-centre-plans-revealed#start-of-comments

  3. Oooh Betty, it looks like Chris has done a whoopsee…

  4. Arbeitsscheu UK

    I thought the whole point of Human Rights legislation was to challenge the legality of current laws, let alone challenging the contemporary thinking of the 1%, but there again I also thought the judiciary were above making political rulings

  5. Yes, I am afraid the judiciary are not as always as independent as they claim to be. To find that forced labour is lawful under human rights legislation damages the concept of human rights. The judge argued that because the forced labour under review does not have a colonial context then it is lawful. I disagree. Forced labour is forced labour and is permitted only in the very few exceptional cases set out in the HR legislation.. Workfare is not one of those exceptional cases. I hope the appeals succeed. If they don’t we might as well forget about human rights – it means the judges can interpret them away. Words will mean nothing.

  6. Somehow I can’t quite see Grayling putting his hands in his pockets to reuimburse claimants wrongfully sanctioned.
    I bet the DWP still hasn’t changed their letter wording leaving more people to confusion as to whether non-compliance wiil be punished with a sanction. The system is kept deliberately vague.

    • Rage Against the Machine

      Well, (as a result of these court cases) he is putting his hands in his pocket to send out a threatogram to millions of “work programme” “participants” to remind them” of the “consequences” “if you fail, without good reason, to participate in the Work Programme”.

      • The dwp are appealing that sanction repayment which could take.. who knows how long,.Banning the video.. theres a programme that i have used to download this very video.. so i have a copy stored on my computer.. Just shows how idiotic he is about the net. the moment you ban a video.. the more it spreads.. he is creating more awareness..

      • lol …. half expected to see on this letter: WP Version 1.0 (March 2011) lol

  7. A nazi by any other name still goosesteps the same.
    Some mendacious cunts will come on here and talk in the tones of reason.
    Trolls.
    We are dealing in ths country with the most right-wing government in history.
    An elected non-mandated dictatorship.
    Nazis. Make no mistake about it. And do not let the mealymouthed tell you otherwise.
    This shower of shit are enslaving people and killing them with their policies.
    And they are doing it ‘legally’……just like it all got started in Nazi Germany.

  8. This self-elected government, without mandate, is shirking every responsibility of the state to the people.
    Prisons-outsourced.
    Benefits-increasingly being outsourced.NHS…education….sports…Even child protection (G4S in the running there.) All being handed over to private mitts so that they can make money. And people will suffer. Real, live, breathing, hurting, feeling people…not statistics.

    David Cameron blethers on about responsibility. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word. In fact, the whole damned (please god, they will be) lot of them wouldn’t recognise responsibility if it bit them in their wallets.

  9. I think we should follow the lessons of Gandhi, the Suffragettes and the IRA. Organise a hunger strike – refuse workfare on the basis that it is forced labour and (quite rightly) you have a moral objection to slavery in all its forms. Get sanctioned by the DWP, publicly declare that you are going on hunger strike. A few weeks in, get admitted to hospital, get fed, get discharged, go on hunger strike again – repeat as necessary. It would present the DWP with an dilemma, they cannot be seen to let you publicly starve to death, but they are officially withholding benefit.

    Whatever the judge says workfare IS forced labour. He exact words were:

    However, characterising such a scheme as involving or being analogous to “slavery” or “forced labour” seems to me to be a long way from contemporary thinking.

    Unfortunately he is only looking at the governments thinking not the thinking of the victims of this practice. Arguably it is the victims perception which matters not the governments. He also said:

    For my part, I do not see any material distinction in principle between Van der Mussele in terms of the matters considered in that case by the Court to render the requirement on the applicant lawful and the schemes or programmes under challenge in the present case.

    For those not familiar with this case: Van der Mussele was a lawyer required to do a certain amount of free work in order to obtain entry into the equivalent of the Bar Association in Belgium.

    However the material distinctions are clear:

    1)The free work complained of amounted to 17 hours. The Community Action Programme (CAP) amounts to 30 hours a week for 6 months.

    2)Van der Mussele entered his profession knowing his obligation to do this work, the CAP is imposed.

    3)Van der Mussele gains a benefit from this free work as part of his professional training. the CAP is a blight on any CV – it reduces the probability of obtaining work (despite the governments claim to the contrary).

    4)Van der Mussele’s work was part of the normal civic duties expected of a prospective member of the Bar. Work on the CAP is only expected of criminals and is a sanction imposed by the courts. It therefore full fills the requirement of ‘forced labour’ of being “unjust” or “oppressive”.

    For these reasons I think this judgement must fail on appeal. Nevertheless I still think a hunger strike is worth while to defend the poor and unemployed against forced labour – it’s a basic principle that we shouldn’t be willing to give up.

    • I agree with Anton’s analysis. The case that the judge compared workfare to has very little in common with workfare.

      I would also add that workfare has not been shown to be helpful in getting claimants jobs, although I am not an expert in that matter. In contrast the pro-bono work required of Belgian trainee barristers does help them to qualify and to advance their careers. . Their pro-bono work is only part time – the rest of their time is waged. The pro-bono work is directly relevant to their chosen careers and provides them with additional experience relevant to their chosen careers.

      That the judge did not see these key differences makes this an unintelligent judgement. It needs to be appealed.

    • Arbeitsscheu UK

      Like the idea of hunger strikes but a step further, with added impact, would be hunger strikers posting daily updates on youtube with thousands including the media tuning in every day to witness the gradual deterioration highlighting the consequences of the governments evil policies.

  10. Very insightful blog.

    I am profoundly aware of the new culture and ideology in politics & business since a change in government in 2010.
    Cynical, conservative values which reduce people to a commodity or an asset to be bought and sold, sweated or liquidated.

    Companies can enjoy the ripest and brightest fruits in the employment market. Meanwhile, the older and wiser, poorer and more vulnerable are dealt with, by a pro business government, bank rolled by big business donations.
    The tax liabilities to growth of the private sector who might otherwise choose to move even more jobs to India or South East Asia are being eased along with the welfare burden.
    All this comes as no surprise from a government who leaves the body parts of soldiers in a hospital.

    The top of this government don’t care, people in crisis are of no use to a morally bankrupt government.

  11. Pingback: Chris Grayling’s Reign of Chaos at the DWP | WeAreSpartacus News | Scoop.it

  12. Grayling is unquestionably a sociopath along with Duncan Smith. Unquestionably the cru.
    shing of the unemployed/sick&disabled for propaganda purposes leads to.this coalition being labelled as Nazis
    Workfare destroys economies and nations. Slave labour won’t make the country any more competitive but less.
    Whats the point of education and research if we’re all that is available is workfare???

  13. The bottom line is you can not hope to get growth in a first world economy by devising a cuts agenda which stigmatises the ill and vunerable. People deserve rights and paid employment. Workfare will not succeed because enough people have seen this as a very out of touch government hoping to pin all of our economic woes on the poor by deviding them into the deserving poor and the un-deserving poor. The true costs of economic failure will be bourne by the middle class as there are more of them and they will be able to stomach the tax rises somewhat. The poor have meagre resources to contribute.

  14. The Nazis started their campaign of killing by first attacking the disabled.

  15. The work-to-welfare president

    Romney and Obama clash over a requirement to work for checks

    President Obama keeps doing an end run around Congress to enact his liberal policies. His dictatorial move to end the work requirement for welfare recipients isn’t going unchallenged. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has made the issue central to the campaign, which has thrown Mr. Obama back on his heels.

    Mr. Romney has been hammering the point continually this week. On Tuesday, the campaign started airing a TV ad called “Right Choice” which has a narrator saying, “In 1996, President Clinton and a bipartisan Congress helped end welfare as we know it. By requiring work for welfare. But on July 12th, President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check.”

    In Iowa on Wednesday, Mr. Romney said, “When I was serving as governor, my legislature passed a bill that would have taken out some of the work requirements. I vetoed it. Then I went to work to try and extend and to improve and to require even more work requirements because I want more people working if they’re going to receive government assistance.” The former Massachusetts governor promised that if elected, he will restore the work requirement.

    The Obama campaign spun into full-defense mode, putting out 12 statements in two days about the welfare attacks. In response to the Republican TV ad, Democrats released a web-only video called “Dubious” with a voiceover claiming, “Romney, flexible on welfare and the truth.”

    The campaign also orchestrated a statement from Mr. Clinton defending the current president’s policy by attempting to clarify that, “waivers will be granted only if a state can demonstrate that more people will be moved into work under its new approach.” No one denied that states could let people off the hook for working for their checks under these new Health and Human Services guidelines.

    Ted Cruz, the Tea Party favorite who last week won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Texas, told reporters on Tuesday, “This is unfortunately an election-year decision by the president that is pleasing to some of the political ideologues in his party but is sacrificing the welfare of those most vulnerable in society in order to gain a political advantage for President Obama.”

    Newt Gingrich, who as House speaker negotiated the changes to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families with Mr. Clinton, stated on CNN Wednesday, “Obama does not have the authority to waive this requirement.”

    Mr. Obama’s political calculation is to guarantee the votes of those on government assistance, institute his liberal policies while in power and bolster his theme that Mr. Romney only cares about the rich. However, he’s on the wrong side of the electorate. A Rasmussen poll taken a week after the policy change in July showed that 83 percent of Americans favor a work requirement for welfare recipients.

    The welfare-to-work concept moved America away from a permanent dependency class, but Obama profligacy has kept unemployment stuck above 8 percent during his White House stay. This new backward policy clarifies that Mr. Obama’s presidency is really about moving millions from work to welfare.

    Article here.

    • Thinking about elections, I’ve often thought that the homeless are uniquely placed to make their voice heard. If enough of them move into the constituencies of Chris Grayling and Ian Duncan Smith they could easily lose their seats at the next election. Being homeless they can move constituency with far greater ease and in contrast to home-owners can claim a legitimate right to vote where ever they want. I think our flawed electoral system should be exploited. I may be wrong but if I understand correctly, this has to be an actual vote as postal votes are not counted unless the candidates are close.

  16. The ConDems need to be removed from office……by any and all means necessary.

  17. I’ve said this before. So apolgies if I sound boring. We have just wasted fuck knows how much on an Olympic Games that we could NOT afford. Last year, we spent SIX MILLION POUNDS A DAY dropping bombs in Libya. We have just commited ourself to a replacement for Trident – weapons that we will NEVER deploy. We have also, this week agreed to supply Syrian rebels with goods including portable generators. We pay vast salaries to bankers, to speculators for fucking FAILING. We let companies like Vodafone get away with paying NO corporation tax.

    I hope all you fuckwits who voted for this shower are happy. Because when they have finished with the unemployed, then they will be coming for YOU.

  18. This artlicle is just lies, lies and more lies
    Come up with something more relevant, or find yourself a job and learn how to do something useful.

  19. Very glad to hear Cate Reilly is set to appeal the decision. She’s an inspiration and a very brave lady given the bile she has been subjected to, particularly a personal attack on her by a certain DWP obergruppenfuhrer.

  20. I’m going to the ATOS office at Five Ways Birmingham tomorrow morning. I’ve been inspired by your work and have posted an ‘ATOS kills’ article. Here’s the link http://dogsharon.com/2012/08/13/atos-kills/
    I’ve uploaded a scan of the back of the letter from the bastards showing there’s no wheelchair access, parking or anything.
    I’ll be back to relate what happened after the meeting.

  21. Keep up the good work everyone! If it’s any comfort, Cameron will be the last Conservative Prime Minister. I admire the courage of everyone who has protested, appealed and done everything they can to fightback.

  22. Just been sanctioned. One weeks money. I didn’t apply for any jobs week one; but applied for 16 following week plus attended one job interview. The DWP stopped all my JSA. No letter or warning. Any advice? When I have sorted my affairs I am seeking a way to get IDS into court for the misery he has caused so many of us. That pig has NEVER worked. Guards officer, non exec director, MP, failed Tory leader. We must fight the NEW SLAVERY.

  23. Ex military ( 9 years ), worked hard for 21 years ( 17 of those providing for my family ), found myself out of work 5 years ago and then spent 24 months signing on, before eventually getting myself a full time job, without any help from the job centre or the work programme. I was sanctioned may 2011 for 4 weeks, with no prior notice and won my sanction appeal 6 months later, after decimating their reasons for the sanction. I was also informed by a solicitor the DWP had utilised the incorrect lasw against me, making it illegal anyways. I won on my own merit though. This year I was sanctioned for 18 weeks. Again utter bullshit reasoning on their behalf and I have just won that appeal too. Just waiting to see if they are appealing that victory, as it is worth approx 600 quid. I’ve just requested a copy of the freedom of information paperwork relating to my file. I intend to hold the DWP to account for both sanctions and the disgraceful and injust way in which they act. They are screwing more and more decent people who are entitled toto their benefits in a rather alarmingly and increasing rate. It is a disgrace and there is no other way to put it. I believe they are getting away with this, because so far, nobody has lodged / won a test case. I’m willing to take a stance and take my personal situation as far as I can,not just for myself but for all of those being affected by this shower of shit. And yes, the paperwork they distribute, is extremely vague to say the very least !! Non-informative !!

    Axle 🙂

  24. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this website needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the info!

  25. You’ve made some decent points there. I looked on the net for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

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