Protesters Gather at the Courts to Oppose Atos

atos-protest-royal-courtsA passionate and determined demonstration was held outside the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday despite the blistering cold.  Inside the Court members of the Mental Health Resistance Network were arguing that benefit assessments discriminate against those with mental health conditions.

The Work Capability Assessments are used to judge eligibility for sickness and disability benefits.  Private company Atos are employed to carry out quick computer based tests, which frequently ignore the opinions of doctors and medical specialists.  The process has seen hundreds of thousands of genuinely sick and disabled people judged ‘fit for work’.

So frequently do Atos get it wrong that the appeals system is now in meltdown, with 40% of decisions over-turned at tribunal.

Yesterday’s protest saw several moving speeches in which people spoke of their own experience at the hands of Atos, as well as the ever growing number of tragic deaths linked to the process.

The Judicial Review into the assessments will examine whether the process is fair to people with mental health conditions.  Campaigners will argue that many people will underplay mental health conditions at assessments due to fears of being sectioned, whilst others may not have an insight into their condition which allows a fair examination.  Assessors often have no training in mental health conditions, yet are still able to find someone ‘fit for work’ based on a quick assessment.

A judgement is expected tomorrow.  Those inside the Court reported that they felt things could go either way.  The DWP are likely to appeal should they lose, dragging the case out for even longer whilst sick and disabled people die.

Members of Disabled People Against Cuts, Winvisible, Mad Pride and the PCS Union all spoke at the demo.  One message was clearer than all the rest.  Benefit claimants, disabled people and supporters will fight this Government’s vicious policies in the Courts, on the internet and crucially on the streets.

It has just been announced that the assessments are to become even tougher.  Visit the following link for more information and spread the word using the hashtag #esasos

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

79 responses to “Protesters Gather at the Courts to Oppose Atos

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  4. getajobyouspongingtinhatwearingbellends

    So they’re too ill to work but perfectly able to stand outside in subzero temperatures all day?

    Anyone else see what’s wrong with that?

    They probably complain about being unable to travel any distance to get to work but managed to get to the courts on time.

    Piss takers.

    • getajobyouspongingtinhatwearingbellends – stick your index finer on the side of your head and say red backwards.
      Pig Ignorant Clap-Trap. Engage brain before typing. Perhaps learn a little about mental health before coming out with numpty bollocks like the above.

      Wot jobs?


      • getajobyouspongingtinhatwearingbellends, Do you really think that they are doing this for there own entertainment??? do you think this situation is just a little more serious than the government and tabloid papers imply?, so much so, that these people (including myself) risk making their conditions (whatever they are) and there lives worse, because they feel that they have NO other way to get there voices heard other than to stand/sit in sub zero conditions and protest at the injustices being levelled at them by Atos and the DWP. Besides they have the legally protected right to peacefull protest.

      • You fucking ignorant stupid twat!!! it has probably taken these people all they have to manage to make it there an will be in so much pain just standing or sitting there and you insult them, you vile inhumane piece of trash


      • getajobyouspongingtinhatwearingbellends

        HAHAHAHA learn about mental health??
        I work in the welfare to work sector helping people with disabilities and mental illnesses find work!!
        The difference between the people I work with and the tinfoil hat Anarchists that
        A) infect this site
        B) oppose ANYTHING that is put in place to make them find work instead of being a constant drain on an almost bankrupt country.
        C) claim to be to ill to do anything but will happilly trek down in the freezing cold to stand outside ALL DAY holding a banner saying they are TOO ILL to work. (SO YOU COULDN’T BE A LOLLIPOP PERSON THEN COULD YOU??? OR HAND OUT LEAFLETS IN A SHOPPING CENTRE???)

        Is that the people I work with WANT TO GET JOBS and feel like they’re doing something with their lives.

        So cassandra before you call me pig ignorant and make assumptions about my knowledge in this field I suggest you look up the word HYPOCRITE.

        • RMurdoch is Evil

          Yes you’re a mental health professional in your fucking inbred, loony The Sun reading mind.

          This guy’s job being a tory probably involves pedophilia.

          Another one of IDS’s ideological rapists.

          Or possibly a ‘kipper in which case the best cause of action would be being deported to Saudi Arabia.

        • You are a bag of fucking pig puke,you no good tory pigshit.The likes of you and your tory paymasters should have been sent down salt mines to learn what a days work is all about,as you and your verminous kind have never done a days work in your pathetic,disgusting lives.I truly hope that you will one day have the pleasure of meeting an ATOS “health professional”and find out for yourself what these tory lackies are forcing upon the most vunerable in this godforsaken country.

        • KapitanDeRothschilde

          Aye, because I’ve ever met a professional who spouts-off like a child instead of having a tough skin as a mental-health professional obviously needs to…
          Mate, (‘love’? Excuse the patronising tone but I’m taking my cue from the ‘professional’ here) I myself am one of those ‘want to work’ people, and have been for years. I got myself the two part-time jobs I had (and they were shit and made my condition WORSE, demonstrably, so sure, work is good for you…). How does handing out leaflets in a shopping centre or being a lollipop lady pay the bills, idiot? You’d still have to claim some benefit – then jump through the DWP’s stupid hoops posting-in proof of income – and even then, with the PAYE proof, you’d still be called-in for interview under suspicion, as of course ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is reversed for us despicable scroungers, despite being the keystone of our whole nation’s legal system, thus government and way of life…
          I can say I tried, and the cowardly welfare-to-work jokers I met couldn’t find me a job application feasible to apply for, let alone likely to get an interview / offered the job. I’ve had one ignorant woman taking over £20K from the government for an easy job say ‘I hate people like you…’ (What, because we actually have problems and can’t make for easy success statistics? Tough titty, love). I’ve had her AND another at Reed Partnership claim the bonus or credit for finding me a job, when it was me on a good afternoon feeling up to walking in off the street when I saw a job advert in a window (after having drunk a beer as I was semi-alcoholic due to childhood abuse, mind, which I’m not now – guess who helped beat that; ah yes, just myself and overdraft paid for the alcohol, not benefit). No, Welfare To Work employees are jokers (the nice psychologist quit VERY quickly, or funds were cut – even odds on either being the case, methinks). I can ONLY get jobs where no questions about health and employment history are asked and no C.V. is required to have to lie on or waste time and money printing.
          Get over yourself, you backwards troll. You victim of being raised by the tabloid press and TV.
          You know one universal failure of human beings? Failing too often to realise the limits of their own pathetic perception. Einstein did. He also said: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Thanks for making me relate to Einstein – I once scored in the top 10% of the nation in an official, extended IQ test. I got good exam results before breaking-down under the effects of the abuse. I’m from a family with strong ethics, etc.

          Shouldn’t I be earning at least in the top, say, 50% (to allow for other variables) instead of being ill? But SURE, I must have chosen this lifestyle

    • Ignoramus Maximus.
      Butticus Farticus.


    • Who are you? Another of IDS’s goons no doubt.One day that could be you.

    • why aren’t you doing your job? If you’ve got time to write on blogs you’ve got time to work. Lazy cunt.

    • getoffyourfatbacksidesyoulazyscrongerssaysfillbert

      too right, getajobyouspongingtinhatwearingbellends , and who can afford a beanie like that on fucking “disablity”

    • phil the plumber

      Troll tory loving tit go die back in your hole.Shock i work full time and i am behind the peaple 100% BELLEND 🙂

    • You fucking ignorant stupid twat!!! it has probably taken these people all they have to manage to make it there an will be in so much pain just standing or sitting there and you insult them, you vile inhumane piece of trash

    • What a stupid thing to say. Shame on you.

    • CodewordConduit


      I’m the kind of ill that makes me partial to sticking sharp objects into nasty little cunts like you… Then fucking sledging and snow angels, why not!


  5. I read your post with great interest ,here on BROKENBRITAIN a lot of research goes into anything before it is put into print .At first the site was overtly careful about fairness and being non biased ,but the more the fight goes on the more dirtier it has become from the side of DWP/ATOS .The defence of moral justice has now become a fight for it ,because of dirty tricks by DWP/ATOS .Atos has closed sites down because of their stance on Atos non medical practices,Grayling has been publicly castigated for being very liberal with the truth ,the Government sneaking in legislation through the back door .As far as ATOS ‘kills’ comments – I having worked in mental health would agree with that statement and if a relative of mine where to die within weeks of an Atos assessment ,and deemed ‘fit for work’ I would certainly stand up in a court of law and condemn Atos for contributing to the anxiety/stress they had caused which made a contributing factor in that death.Obviously your opinion is judging the content of peoples comments rather than the issue in its raw context.

    (link removed – jv)

  6. There was a case published in the guardian not so long ago from a gp who was concerned about a patient of his who was driven into extreme behavior where after being atos assessed she was nagged constantly by dwp into finding work that she ran away and was wandering the streets and rough sleeping becoming unstable intent on the fact she must find work or else starve . She became more and more ill as result . She had no money to pay for accomadation so was sleeping rough . The gp knew that this patient was in denial about her condition which was deteriorating rapidly . This demonstrates how ignorant dwp and atos are about mental health problems which can be quite complex . What concerns me is that by simply stuffing people with severe mental problems into any old job and thinking its just another statistic sorted are building up more problems elsewhere.

    • “This demonstrates how ignorant dwp and atos are about mental health problems which can be quite complex.” But are they really ignorant or is it that they just don’t care? Take a look at the first post above and though it’s not good pr for ATOS or IDS & co to say such things they perhaps are fellow travellers of the above merchant of hate.

  7. The ignorarance spewed by the first poster is typical of hate mongers .the same ones who believe there are no ill people only workshy are same ones who bang on about cripples cluttering up the pavement and how .’fucking ugly ‘ they are and should be put down at birth .

    • KapitanDeRothschilde

      Exactly, I say at least they should admit their views, preferably in front of their own mothers and friends. Better the devil you know…

  8. Pingback: Protesters Gather at the Courts to Oppose Atos | The Grim Truth |

  9. chewie

    If the gp was so concerned about an extreme case and she was clearly ill if she left her home to run off to sofa surf, why wasn’t she sectioned for her own good by this gp
    I’ll tell you why because they are too busy sectioning others on false premisses of mental illness and claim your delusional or unaware of your condition if you deny it and jv keeps repeating this mantra about people being unaware, another great one is your a danger to society and your being locked up for yours and others’ good. It’s a load of bollocks and I would testify to that in a court of law.
    I’m accused of self interest because I present my case, I don’t think so ,especially as I was the one helping the mentally ill when I was detained, more than the nurses who were locked in staffooms on computers typing up notes not answering the door to patients when they knocked for assistance.

    • The Female GP had no way of contacting or locating a patient when they had left the address that was registered with her surgery.
      She could only act to help the patient on her return to the area — after the damage
      had been done.
      Sometimes people in a state of Mania will disagree with someone who tells them they are ill because they are simply very high because of their illness.
      If you tell someone who is Manic they should work and are perceived as a medical professional and your report removes their income many people with such conditions may immediately go looking for a job as if it were a new exciting quest that simply must happen. This is dangerous, and systems must be put in place to ensure people can recognise that on occasion highly suggestible individuals are in fact very unwell and should not be exploited.

      • @Samantha. You’ve explained that really well. I have a friend who’s in exactly this situation and it is going to be up to others to try to keep some balance – attend the Appeals Tribunal alongside him, keep an eye out for changes to his mental state – which his close friends do anyway – (effects from the barrage of changes and changing ‘expectations’ mean that some effects are already been felt – who wouldn’t feel anxiety when threatened/treated in this way). There is a strong tendency to over think/worry then lose sleep, then potentially start to become manic and a DWP/ATOS letter/trip to the JCP/Tribunal Centre could be highly dangerous at whatever point it is thrown into the mix.

        There is a high degree of self-awareness and a unique understanding of where ‘becoming manic’ (or very unmotivated) can lead – but the day-to-day effects of these tendencies (and medication taken to limit them) mean that it’s also particularly hard to find any distance/objectivity about how others judge sometimes ‘different’ or ‘unusual’ behaviour/actions. Even harder to try to explain the experience of living with this to a judge/doctor at a Tribunal or on piece of paper which has a rigid set of boxes and yes/no answers.

        The injustices being done are staggering.

  10. One issue that I have not seen addressed by the likes of IDS or, when he was at the DWP, Grayling is the reluctance of employers to take on a physically disabled person or an individual suffering from a mental illness. In all honesty, if an employer has a number of applications for a vacancy, one of whom is disabled, do Ministers seriously think that employer will offer the disabled individual the role?
    I appreciate there is legislation in force prohibiting discrimination but in reality it happens. Having worked at a senior level in Financial Services in the City, I have known of cases where an application has been discarded due to the applicant’s age, health problems, sex or colour. Passing legislation is fine but as no employer would be so foolish to place on record the real reasons for turning an application down (or if they do, they should not be in business) who is to know?
    No, the real reason for the WCA is no more than an attempt to reduce the welfare bill despite the cynical propaganda put out by the DWP under the guise of concern for these unfortunate individuals. As for the plainly ignorant comments made by getajobyouspongingtinhatwearingbellends, the less said the better. They are not worthy of a dignified response.

    • No need really for Ministers to explain whether they believe that more than a very few employers would employ someone with ongoing/recurring ill-health in the first instance. It’s just not a big concern as this is so much more than an attempt to reduce costs for social security/benefits. Apart from anyone who has suddenly been found ‘fit’ (and doesn’t go on to have the judgement overturned after appeal), the biggest number of everyone being (re)assessed – including after appeal – are in the
      work-related-activity group. This (not small) group, has been recognised, at least tacitly, but also openly – just in a badly-explained way) as comprising of a great many people – perhaps even most of the group – for whom the (factual) likelihood of getting and being able to remain in regular work isn’t high. (Suitable jobs) would more than likely have already been the case, otherwise, for reasons to do with not just employers reluctance, but also other, individual, practical, health-related reasons – the reasons that meant the person was awarded income support/DLA due to Incapacity in the first place. So, it’s not about ‘finding suitable work’ (or offering ‘support’) – as far as allocating people to these misnamed groups is concerned.

      Being allocated to the WRAG group is described as (something like):
      ‘.. has been found not fit for work but capable of carrying out work-related-activity’. (No mention that this ‘label’ can be applied “for the rest of the WRAG’es natural life”). From this point on, JCP advisers are to adopt a similar approach to their new ‘WRAG’ customers as the tried and tested method they use in job-related interviews with existing JSA ‘customers’. Which means they contact WRAG participants at (perhaps varying) intervals – around every 3 months is one current interval being used, for either a face-to-face or a phone interview. The WRAGee is asked to explain (?show) what they have done (to fulfil ‘work-related’ requirements) since the last contact. The intention is that these contacts then extend to include (via an individual adviser’s non-existent medical judgement/own discretion) the introduction of ‘work-related activity’ in all it’s glory – more widely known as going to work without being paid – more recently termed working for benefits/’something for something.

      So, work-related experience, for an unspecified amount of time, exact details to be divulged ‘as and when’ via the adviser/through the process of being in the WRAG group. (Maybe some exceptions/leeway will be made (but based on not having been placed in the – again, misnamed – Support Group), it can only realistically be a small proportion of people who might potentially be exempt from the WR ‘experience’ – where they already volunteer or if the adviser’s discretion tells them it’s just not a good idea. Or where they are struggling to come up with something which they feel able to put forward as being even vaguely suitable as a ‘work placement’ and so don’t introduce this to the ‘customer’ (yet).

      In this context, potential discrimination by a potential employer (it will happen – as it’s inherently likely as part of the WR ‘experience’) seems to be just a part of the inhumane and ‘interminable’ as well as ‘indiscriminate’ charade. Knowing that a ‘real job’ is unlikely to result from the periods of enforced so-called ‘work-related activity’ (leaving aside that this might not have been on the agenda anyway), whilst constantly being pushed to ‘comply’ with ‘work’ as a part of everyday life – for people who were already dealing with their health difficulties in their own way (very often ‘managing’ life successfully/preventing relapses/remaining as well as possible). This level of patronising everyone who is long-term ill/disabled doesn’t happen by accident, it can only be by design, and it is about a means to end, (and if some savings are made along the way, then that’s something that can be ‘legitimately’ boasted about).

  11. Of course there are the type of discrimination you describe by employers preventing people from getting a job and why some people may want to deny illness or even age, but it would be foolhardy to if you were either.
    In one respect by being refused for jobs they are doing you a favour, the way the workforce in all areas are being treated by employers if you believe what is written in the media – nice if you own your own company or independent of increased workload for less pay and conditions though.

    On the one hand the government have deferred pensions so that you can work longer, then don’t want to provide any decent jobs or out of work benefits on the other, all to save the elusive tax payers money.
    Those in a better position than most to pay extra taxes are either avoiding or evading it, yet according to cameron and co. they are being taxed more than others. Not when you make proper comparisons they are not.

    This government has made people ill and is as culpable as atos for causing death to those it has withdrawn benefits from, just to make sure they can’t claim their old age pension, that the rich on average live long enough to have access to.

  12. Don’t worry about the first poster…y’know?..the one with ‘bell-end’ in his moniker. He, for it is surely a ‘he’, is projecting a wee bit there.
    The blue rinse brigade have an army of wealthy stay at home types with shares, wealthy spouses etc., who are dragooned by the right-wing and their think tanks into trawling the internet (or should I say ‘trolling’?) and the airwaves and then descending like locusts to cause offence & trouble and sow dissent.
    Ignore, or just laugh at them.
    It’s what they understand.
    That, and a swift kick to the gluteus maximus….you know?…the area from whence they utter their sewage.

    • CodewordConduit


      Yep, just a chickenshit bellend getting their kicks out of anonymously knocking vulnerable people.

      Swift kick up the arse back to ToryTown!

  13. Seems that workfare providers don’t employ disabled candidates . Of course you could go through an Atos wca assessment and be found fit for work so you can apply and stand a chance of getting a job with them . Until Atos runs an occupational health check on you and you are fired.

  14. yes they say at atos they been trained to but then how longs a bit of string so atos gets away with it again its so unbeleavible that they can jeff3

    • I’ve attended two of these assessments alongside people with mental health problems.
      On both occasions the person conducting the assessment refused to give their medical qualifications.
      In my opinion and on both occasions the assessments came across to me as a hurried form of triage with instantaneous interjection when the patient attempted to communicate what they had planned to say about variance in their condition.
      Where cyclic mood phase changes or other features of their mental illness could put a patient in danger was planned to be communicated, I felt the assessor was not listening and in fact talked over the clients attempting to communicate very difficult memories of how low they can get.
      Even where you are in the room to facilitate two way communication,I noticed that the stress of the situation had silenced the people I have tried to support.
      The only thing I could do is voice my concern and have it added to the record.
      When both clients had stopped fighting their corner because of continual interruption and panic had set in, it seemed more of a positively cruel interrogation rather than an assessment from where i was sitting.

  15. @guy fawks it is indeed a double edged sword . You are declared fit by atos and dwp force you into situations which are near impossible . Your gp who is concerned about you (hopefully) feels you are driven into extremes. Where as result you get sectioned. The point is to break the cycle . Knowing how vulnerable a patient is the gp could intercede there and stop the whole mess. Small wonder that atos via FOM are recruiting gp’s to get them on their side to make them look ‘respectable’

  16. How could the gp intercede chewie by sectioning her or speaking up for the girl in the story in the first place about her being harassed by the benefits agency. It is not just the benefits agency, it’s councils and housing associations that join in with the harassment, and if you don’t crack like me they will make sure they lie about you to get rid of your objections to their madcap policies, using gp’s, health services, social workers the whole bloody state apparatus to fit you up.

  17. The ignorance of the first post says it all, all can say to this ignorant twat is do your homework, you could become ill and you can develop a life changing disability, and one of those was me at the protest, you have no idea of the pain i was in that i was sick after that protest and that i had not slept in 4 days…….its a shame about people like you…no brains and a right wing tory pillock…must be sucks to be you, because with the horrendous pain I am in I am making a stand agasint this government and for people who cannot what do you do? Moan and bitch and do jack shit…you have no idea of the people stuggles at that protest….none… shut up….

    • I don’t really do hero worship, but in your case i’ll make an exception 😀
      Your sacrifices and suffering you made in making that protest appreciated more than you could ever know, by those of us who could only be there in spirit.
      Thank You.

  18. You take an elastic band and you keep s…t…r…..e……..t………c……….h……….i……………n……………g. it.
    Then…… s🔫n✨a💉p💣s back in yer face👿
    Understand? Herr Schmidt? Do You!? Ya fuckin’ Rocket🚀!

  19. This is the Hansard report on the ATOS discussion in the house of commons, If you want to be furious, read the 2nd page what Mark Hoban said

  20. Just a passing thought:
    Why has Grant Shapps, a.k.a. Michael Green, internet fraudster & Tory Party Chairman, not been nicked yet?
    Instead, he is given endless oxygen of publicity all over the compliant, supine msm, and allowed to sneeringly shrug off hs criminal activities.
    This is the kind of thing at the heart and soul of this spiv’s paradise of a country, this wholly corrupt and mendaciously vicious ConDemNation.

  21. Not much to add really other than to praise those brave souls that demonstrated. You should be proud of yourselves.

  22. getajobyouspongingtinhatwearingbellends

    The protest poet,

    Firstly you know NOTHING ABOUT ME OR MY LIFE!! so don’t make yourself look a bigger fool than you already do.

    I work with people with disabilities and mental illnesses EVERY day and the people I want to work with WANT TO WORK because they wan to be treated like everyone else!! (it’s called EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY I suggest you look it up you ignorant prick)

    The one thing that makes me puke more than anything else is this…………………..HOW DO YOU THINK YOU ARE AFFECTING ANYTHING BY BITCHING AND MOANING ON HERE?? DO YOU THINK YOU’RE CHANGING THE WORLD WITH YOU’RE REBELLIOUS VIEWS (or just increasing production of hat grade tin foil)

    Try putting the same effort into finding work and CONTRIBUTING something to society instead of looking for new ways to be a leach and this country has a chance of recovering from the fucking mess the past 3 governments have put it in.

    But I guess the only responses I’ll get to this will be to call me a “twat, goon, ids lover, nazi, mail reader or tory” because you don’t know how to debate, you only know how to oppose (and to be honest you’re not very good at that either).

  23. getajobyouspongingtinhatwearingbellends

    Here’s a thought even you simpletons could understand though……

    Are you sitting comfortably

    Ok I’ll begin

    If you are all right about this being an outrage and so many people agree with you then why don’t you all become MPs? I’m sure with ALL the support you have it’ll be a walk in the park.

    You will then get paid to make the changes that you say MUST be made and you can change the system from within. You have more chance than by whinging about it on here.

    What do you think?


  24. Sick people are useless to the capitalist bosses, who see everyone who isn’t rich as just “stock” to be worked relentlessly until they literally drop. So their solution is to throw those who are surplus to requirements and serve no purpose to the wolves, by removing all their benefits.

    Tory fascist fanatics like Duncan Smith, Cameron, Osborne, Clegg etc, tell themselves that the sick and disabled were just “parked” on Incapacity benefits “without being seen by anyone for years” so these “reforms” are saving them from being left in a corner to rot (these delusional people actually see their “reforms” as benevolent), most sick and disabled people could work if they were forced to try hard enough by having their benefits removed (as proved by the paralympians recent success, so it’s being cruel to be kind) and that the solution to employers being unwilling to hire them, is to agree to work way below the minimum wage and give up all their rights to make themselves attractive to employers.

    By believing these lies, the Tories circumvent whatever conscience they have, so don’t see themselves as the greedy heartless monsters they truly are. They actually see themselves as hardworking, patriotic, public-spirited, decent people. They can come home from ‘work’ (whipping up hatred against the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society and consigning them to destitution, homelessness, and an early grave) and then play with their children, read them a bedtime story, tuck them in into bed, have a romantic dinner with their partners, eat their fill and then go to bed and sleep like babies without a care in the world or a pang of conscience, feeling completely justified and proud of everything they have done that day.

    These creatures believe their own lies. They believe whatever they want to believe no matter how delusional, illogical or absurd it is, which allows them to do whatever self-serving, malicious, cruel, sadistic, evil act they want, without ever feeling any guilt or remorse. With their ability to deceive themselves and believe their own lies, they can literally do anything. They are capable of anything.

    • Yes, some people argue that human beings are not rational but rationalizing creatures. They begin with a point of view that makes them personally happy and then seek to justify it. Most times this is harmless but when it comes to power and wealth structures it harms other people as you point out.

  25. rainbowwarriorlizzie
  26. I agree totally.
    Lets all give up work, stop consuming goods and put the capitalsts pigs out of business!!!

  27. I saw my psychiatrist this morning. I told him I’d been put in the Support Group following a recent WCA. His response was “Oh, what kind of support are you getting?” And he’s someone who is against what Atos & DWP are doing….

  28. The health at work handbook that fom produce with respecf to occupational health is forwarded by dwp doctor. It mentions to do occupational health check to reduce absenteeism and reduce dependancy on benefits. How odd.

  29. So getajob when you send someone off to work for nothing and then that person gets ill or injures themself or others at work (you are aware of occupational health I take it ) you can be proud of the fact it was you that made it possible when the firm.sues your sorry arse.

  30. @getajob you went from helping to force ppl to get a job. How do you help ppl by forcing them to work for nothing. And how do you force / help schizophrenics with severe behavioural symptoms when they are working for zilch and suddenly go into behavioural disorder on the firms premises.
    Still. Talking of leeches like atos serco a4e etc I agree those firms are a drain .
    as in public money thrown down it. Getajob that’s really weird you went from.’helping’ to ‘make them find work ‘ forcing ppl into non paid jobs is helping them. Oh what a give away. I’m curious to know how you help a schizophrenic with severe behaviour disorders find work by forcing him into non paid job where that behaviour could be distressing for co workers and if in a shop upsetting for families . Yes I am sure employer won’t mind one bit.

    By the way you have any views on corps tax dodgers who sponge off public purse to the tune of several billions. Of course not.

  31. I read the link that somebody gave above to a Guardian article telling how some guy had become a multi-millionaire through selling on the cloths handed into the Salvation Army. The same person coincidentally is also on the board of the Salvation Army Trading company. I was passing one of their shops today which has the following text boldly on its large shop sign:
    “Belief in Action”.
    You couldn’t make this up. 🙂

  32. here’s something off u tube that made me laugh

  33. when will we hear the results of this judicial review?

  34. RMurdoch is Evil

    Gee wonder who’s pulling that puppet Cameron’s strings.

  35. Department for Work and Pensions group

    Universal Jobmatch: Update

    17 January 2013

    PCS has received many queries and concerns from members regarding the use of Universal Jobmatch (UJ). This circular provides an update on recent issues.

    Staff accessing their own UJ accounts
    On its introduction, members of staff were encouraged to set up their own accounts to demonstrate the use of UJ to claimants. It has came to light recently that accessing your own records (or that of friends or family) using the UJ icon on your desktop is subject to the same security restrictions as other departmental system such as JSAPS or LMS. Staff are permitted to set up and access their own UJ account, but it must be done through the internet browser and jobsearch activity must be done in their own time.

    PCS has asked that DWP provide clarification to their managers, in addition to the ‘implementation updates’ they have issued already. They have stated that the advice to set up an account and demonstrate its use to the claimant was local and not from the UJ project. Clearly, we believe that no action should be taken against a member of staff where they have been misadvised by their manager.

    Jobseeker Directions and Mandatory Use of UJ

    PCS was aware that, despite assurances otherwise from the UJ project of DWP, management in some jobcentre districts were instructing advisers to tell claimants that UJ is mandatory and access must given to the DWP.

    As a result of legal challenges and negative press attention, DWP have revised the guidance on UJ to make it clear that this cannot be done. The UJ Jobmatch toolkit chapter 3, paragraph 50, states: “You cannot issue a Jobseeker’s Direction to either require a claimant to create a profile and CV in Universal Jobmatch or to mandate a claimant to give us access to their account – this is their decision not ours.” Paragraph 52 also states that “We cannot specify to a JSA claimant how they provide us with records of their jobsearch activity and Universal Jobmatch will not change this.”

    PCS is awaiting clarification from DWP management on the status of the many Jobseeker Directions that were incorrectly issued to claimants before the guidance was clarified. PCS members should contact their local representative to challenge any instruction to inform claimants that the use of UJ or access to it is mandatory.

    • They are doing our work for us! (if that makes sense?). Advisers are lost a large amount of the time as to the most accurate instructions/recent edict/memo sent down to them from on high. They end up asking their nearest colleagues (not unusual in lots of big other organisations) if they’ve understood the most recent ‘change’ properly and how they’re supposed to be implementing it. A few weeks, days (or hours) later, it changes again. It can’t be easy.

      Like UJ before it was introduced, there was some written information circulating during December with details of a Job Centre-run in-partnership-with some local bus companies, travel scheme (free bus travel throughout January to help with job searching). It would be running in SOME parts of the country – so don’t everybody cheer at once – this has been a (not-so) hilarious example of the JCP/DWP ‘eating itself’.

      The 2nd week in January I asked about the scheme which initially returned a blank look, quickly converted into “Oh yes, I think I have seen something about that” from my Adviser-person. She had a good search through emails/memos on screen then an A4 piece of paper was printed off/signed with the suggestion that it would need to be taken to the bus station (“They are running it really, not us” and “You are the first person who has asked …”) – this is almost starting to be a running joke/sore between me & my adviser & she now wants to pass me across to someone else on my next visit as “her job role is changing”.

      She also said “it might not ‘work'” as she wasn’t quite sure this was what I would need to take but to give it a try. Bus station staff knew about the scheme but rolled their eyes and said that the manager of the job centre had agreed to provide the relevant ‘pass'(s) – they just needed photo id. – cost of pass now became £5 – which was (as luck would have it) okay, just not mentioned earlier (how could it have been?). After JCP staff ran around a bit (not literally) and asked me to either come back another time (!) or to phone ‘upstairs’ to ask for a new appointment’ luck-permitting, there and then, a second Adviser did manage to produce the mythical (green) bit of plastic which was dated to expire mid-February (I hadn’t gone in to ask before then as could only bring myself to combine asking about this with a ‘usual’ appointment & because I didn’t really believe I would walk out of with anything as useful as help with travel costs). The special passes were eventually found to be alive and well and hiding in the … Finance Department. He was holding it reverentially.

      Discussing the discount-card threw out the following:
      – These passes are “NOT for Everyone”.
      – They are for ‘certain’ people who fall within the criteria of length of time unemployed but not only that. They can only ever be for people who have heard that they exist (and ask), and then only if:-
      – The person is ‘engaging’ with their adviser. The ‘test’ for this was my adviser looking at me quite briefly whilst reading the memo aloud, then pronouncing “Yes, you are engaging”. (She had to think about it).
      – They are not for anyone who might ‘qualify’ anyway unless those people have heard a rumour/seen ‘outside’-produced information and are feeling full of energy/don’t mind spending a couple of hours in pursuing them (on this occasion, anyway) not a single poster/leaflet was to be seen. Knowing that the possibility of one-month’s help with travel costs exist(s) and more generally a half-fare pass, would have to be by osmosis. Staff acknowledged this, but not in a “We must do something about that” way, more in a “You’re right there but what can we do? And why would we?’ way. This discussion was had when the pass was safely in my hot, sweaty, exhausted, guilt-ridden little hands -as they were by then. I felt like I had committed benefit fraud and mobility fraud all rolled into one.

      Last, but not least – this green card … … !Exists Anyway! – separate to this month’s ‘special-offer’, it is a half-fare discount pass – with several restrictions to its use. I know some people will already know this – I’d heard that they’re sometimes spoken about in hushed whispers but almost never seen – giving them a kind of ‘mythical’ quality. Which makes complete sense.

      The reason for saying all this (it could seem a bit peripheral) is just that it seems to embody the ‘wheels within wheels/endless tail-chasing’ set-up of the DWP. Quite incredibly (or is it?), I could be THE ONLY person in a major city in the North of England who has managed to take up/access the January offer (as I was slow in getting there, there were at least a week’s worth of opportunities for these to have been being publicised/given out – but all-too-clearly, not a single one had. There are two main job centres here so it could be different at the other one – but somehow I don’t think so. Memo at the job centre talked glowingly of the importance and usefulness of providing such an aid to job seekers – albeit limited to a one-month period. It almost sounds too good to be true.

      On day one using the green card, I was expecting to have to perhaps explain it (that I was using a half-fare pass but for free travel during January part). Not at all. Three out of the four bus drivers who looked at it had never seen a card like it before (as a half-fare pass, let alone as a ‘throughout January’ pass). Just one seemed to recognise it. The promotional info allegedly sent from the central bus company out to all participating local bus companies was put up on noticeboards and bus drivers are apparently expected to inform themselves about a scheme like this. The ‘main’ company also believe that a half-fare discount pass exists and can be issued by the job centre but they seem to clearly think that “it isn’t green. It’s the same as the local bus pass that anyone can buy and is just stamped in some way by the job centre”. (A change of policy? Almost irrelevant anyway).

      It’s going to be ‘interesting’ to see if I am able to use this after January as a half-fare pass (as it was stamped to expire mid-Feb). That is unless I haven’t used it to run away to the coast before then – which was another half-suggested reason given to explain why they so rarely give these out that advisers had forgotten where to locate them. As in , “SOME” people (less engaging as me – or more truthfully, me on a different week, sat across from another adviser) might use them for their own entertainment (!!!) – to go on days out etc. (in January).

      Something(s) I am taking away from these post-Xmas adventures in Wonderland are that: I should really get back down there and insist they put some posters up, and, on the plus-side, I am not a number. It turns out that I am unique (just not in a good way). And that I should get out more – while I can.

  36. There was a debate last week in parliament on the ATOS debacle. The BBC report on the view concluded that “There were repeated calls for the system to be scrapped or radically changed” Some quotes from mps’s during the debate:

    “The reputation of ATOS may be so damaged it can never be really effective and the time has perhaps been reached were we have to park ATOS and move on in a different direction.” Walker (Con)

    “I have had a lady who had just recently finished chemo-therapy being told she was fit for work, I have had a lady who had suffered 90% burns to her body, who spends each day in severe pain being told she was ready to now join the Work Program, I could list hundreds others, these are sadly all too familiar stories. These people are having their lives ruined by a system that was designed to support them.” Nash (lab)
    [I think Nash is being disingenuous about the system having been designed to help people. The coalition regime are only following in the footsteps of Labour who intended to drive people back into a non-existent work market dressed up with empty platitudes about “helping people”.]

    “Constituents have told me they find the process dehumanizing, degrading; they are often seen by people who are unqualified.” Gilbert (Lib-Dem)

    “Is it reasonable to pressurize seriously disabled people so ruthlessly when there are already 2.5 million people unemployed…..” Meacher (lab)

    “People are not fit to work, they would love to work if they could but they can’t, the jobs are not there, they are being signed fit for work” Engel (lab)
    “They [ATOS] are in the last chance saloon.” Lefroy (Con)

    “There is no humanity, no dignity for the most vulnerable in our society.” Vaz (Lab)

    “There are a number of well supported cases were people have taken their own lives because of this system. It is not too strong I don’t think to say that this coalition government has blood on its hands for the deaths of those individuals” Jones (Lab)
    [It was Labour who first hired ATOS]

    I also wonder if there is any correlation between the widespread reports of what ATOS is doing at the government’s behest and the “significant” increase in suicides reported today by the Office of National Statistics during 2011, i.e 6,045 compared with 5608 in 2010. There are no grounds for believing things got better in 2012

  37. Who gave bellend a job in the mental health sector, he is clearly mentally ill himself? I met bullies like this working for the health services when I was illegally detained.

  38. seeing some of the posts of people working in the mental health their attitude stinks about right for them to wear those dreaded brown shirts

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