Angry Twitter Mob Confronts Philip Hensher’s Benefit Bullshit

atos-killsAnother minor storm blew up on twitter last night after Guardian journalist Zoe Williams led a furious hate mob (*innocent face*) against Independent columnist Philip Hensher.

Obscure novelist Hensher recently wrote a piece which trotted out every lazy stereotype in the book  about sick and disabled claimants, which led to the angry response on twitter.

In a piece entitled “Some people on disability benefits are fit to work” he feigns sympathy for the more extreme examples of Atos abuse.  He then goes on to display all the usual lazy prejudices about people with mental health conditions along with breath-taking ignorance of the very benefits system he’s writing about.

Shrugging off anxiety as a condition completely, he makes the claim that depression usually only lasts a few weeks.  His grotesque assumptions lead him to speculate that someone who can ride a bike is probably ‘fit for work’.

Astonishingly he even comes dangerously close to accusing people commenting on the After Atos website of benefit fraud claiming:  “A campaigning group, After Atos, has the slogan Not One Shall Be Lost. The trouble is, reading its website, that some clearly deserve to be lost to the benefits system.”

Hensher made it personal, but he didn’t it like when people fought back.  When he was challenged last night he predictably avoided talking about the facts and pleaded to all his twitter friends he was being bullied.  Then he threatened to leave.  As if anyone gives a shit.

Hensher’s research skills don’t appear to have taken him further than the Daily Mail.  It doesn’t even seem to have occurred to him to find out anything about the people he was abusing or the system he was criticising.

Had he put some effort in he would have discovered that the chances of getting any kind of sickness or disability payment for a few weeks depression have always been non-existent. It takes longer than that for the fucking application process.  Entitlements were seldom for life and re-assessments were commonplace.  The lurid examples of benefit fraud he quotes are incredibly rare.  And the international study he bases part of his argument on suggests the very opposite of what he implies.

He then goes onto to propose doctors should be involved in the system – which to their shame many of them now are – to prevent what he concedes are some tragedies.  Yet prior to the new regime, every claimant on out of work benefit had been signed off work not just by their own GP, but by a DWP doctor at exactly the kind of medical assessment he proposes.

It would be easy to dismiss Hensher as yet one more irrelevant clown, too stupid or bigoted to understand what Atos is really about – which is the redefining of sickness and disability in line with neo-liberal aims.

But fake friends like Hensher, who dress up their vile propaganda as concern, are the lowest form of scum.

In a week in which The Observer was rightfully mobbed over Julie Burchill’s piece of shit, it is telling that class based abuse of unemployed, sick or disabled people is now so common it almost passes without notice, even in the ‘liberal’ press.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

62 responses to “Angry Twitter Mob Confronts Philip Hensher’s Benefit Bullshit

  1. I think the Government is trying to impose a Hitler mentality and its press buddies are lapping up the crumbs it sprinkles at their feet

    • For Adolf Hitler: – Re: Iain Duncan Smith MP.

      • Or more importantly for Iain Duncan Smith MP: – Re: Adolf Hitler!

        • IDS why don’t you go join the Austrailian government, the unemployed Aussies fell for their version of the Work Programme – Hook Line and Sinker!

          In Britain we have now sucessfully fought back and won’t be lied to anymore by a government that was not voted in by the people for the people.

          • Oh, please, no. They don’t want the bastard, either. (Dual-national – don’t send him to help destroy my other country – they’ve got their own arseholes in charge to deal with).

            • Kayla:

              That is where A4E started their reign over the bloody planet, donkey’s years ago – Emma has been at this sort of shit way before it came to the UK, – or are we just waking up in the bloody UK?

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  3. Playing the bullying card seems to be the favourite defence of ‘journalists’ these days. Shame the threat to leave twitter didn’t extend to them leaving journalism and save us all from their inane, yet vile, wafflings

    • Yes, Emma Harrison used that one when she was challenged on Ch 4 news late last year regarding the miserable performance of the Work Program and A4e. She accused the interviewer of bullying and, in effect, telling porkies about the success rate of the scheme. When the figures were actually published they were worse than what ch4 predicted. They invited her back to explain but she declined. It’s just part of the culture of spin when you turn back on the persecuted their valid claims of bullying knowing that unless the tv viewer has experience of the Work Program they might just believe the bullshit.

    • I’ve seen this horrible trend to the new PC’ers. These are the people who decry anyone who has what they call PC views but then say the most hate filled speech and complain about free speech when anybody has the cheek to call them out on their opinions. Free speech works for everyone you’re free to say dickish* things and I’m free to tell you what you said is dickish.

      *N.B. Not you Noctilu just the you as in anyone.

  4. Pingback: Angry Twitter Mob Confronts Philip Hensher’s Benefit Bullshit | Mental Health, Politics and LGBT issues |

  5. Sad really….particularly as Hensher seems ‘Able-Bodied’ enough to do his job….but obviously is Clearly ‘handicapped’ in some ‘department or other!!

  6. And he refused to answer any questions about the misleading OECD stats, his blurring of ESA (IB/IS as was) and DLA and the fact that one of the fraud cases he cited actually seemed to be about compensation, not benefits. From what I could see more people asked this than abused him and he ran away everytime.

    Wish we could do that when IDS, The Mail or Atos did that. But no such luck!

  7. War on the weak never really ends does it? It is a perpetual movement. See when all that is perceived to be weak is removed then all these thick fucks who participate in this war on the weak have done their acts of stupidity – they cannot see that another section of “weak will always exist”. This is the mindset of such creatures as ian duncan smith. So infinitely they go on and on with this destruction until their is nothing left which proves ultimately to be a gross act of stupidity. If there are only 2 people left on earth (In the same mold as any Tory), one will always see the other as weak – sadly it is their nature.

    • They won’t stop until they have achieved their dearest desire – the complete elimination of social security. They are completely relentless and merciless. They are like the Terminator: “Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead”.

      • It is not just desire to eliminate social security, it is far far more perverse than that, It is ultimately about self destruction too but these morons / perverts are unseeing. A bit like how the nazis were in Germany after 1930, they cannot see the wood for the trees, it is totally perverse simple as. Their day will come when their number is up, the sooner the better.

  8. Landless Peasant

    A friend of mine who is seriously mentally ill, having being diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic more than 20 years ago, and who is currently the subject of a Compulsory Treatment Order after attempting to take his own life on several occasions and after being detained under the Mental Health Act in a secure hospital on numerous times, has now been referred to the Work Programme run by a despicable company by the name of Ingeus, despite the fact that he is NOT seeking work, is NOT capable of work and never will be. Why the flying fuck has he been sent there? Answer that Hensher you vile cunt.

    • something survived...

      yeah i agree.

      IDS: “Dead? Here’s a shovel! Dig yourself up and get to work, you lazy malingerers!”

      Had a letter today, from DWP. Terrified to open it because I thought it would be saying ‘you are not attending work programme etc and we are stopping your benefits’. It actually says: your benefits are being INCREASED in april 2013 by… £0.00! Thankyou Ian Duncan Smith! I really see the light now!
      (Cost of LIVING going up so actually this is a CUT.)

      As for WP, I have been attending including extra sessions, I even go to those. I spend my signing-on day in JCP standing (and there are no toilets) at their shitty machines looking for nonexistent jobs. Till it shuts and they throw me out. (How that adds up towards my ‘direction’ to look for work 35-40 hours a week, I don’t know.)
      That knackers me for the next few days. (If you’re new to this forum: among my conditions are spine problems and ME/CFS, and chronic infections.)

      I once went to the WP in the snow, as per orders, only to find it closed; they later said not to bother about this, but the DWP put it in now – ages later! – as a ‘sanction doubt’! It was a long time ago as well. They are adding in recent snow/ice when, after 2 hours of walking across it, I had to give up and turn back. As it turned out, nobody from WP had turned up anyway (found out later). Of course if I fell on the ice and broke my leg, it would render all trips to WP and JCP impossible. I’d be confined to my bedsit and unable to get to the shops to buy food, cash machine to pay my rent, street to haul the bins up/down, or front door to get my post. Even the kitchen and toilet are a trouble to get to, at least no stairs to kitchen but either way I’d be crawling. Presumably all benefits would be stopped for not going to WP and JCP, due to being unable to move, due to attempting to get there on their orders! In reality, these 2 occasions are being used by these himmler types as ‘evidence’ to say I’m not participating! On BOTH occasions no staff came in, and said later that they could not drive their cars out in the snow! Poor babies! I’m disabled with no car and they force me, like everyone else on WP, to walk there, which is a 2 hour round trip on good days. But I could be being sanctioned because of days when there was no JCP or shops open or anything else, no public transport, no taxis (which I can’t afford anyway), and snow and ice everywhere and a whiteout/blizzard. Days where NO jobseeker reached the WP (except the first time, when I got to the door buried in a 2 foot snowdrift, to find the place locked and deserted, making me not only ‘ATTENDING’, but in fact constituting 100% of the day’s attendance figures), and days where NO member of WP staff went into work either. On days where WP are there, the longest they let you be there is 2 hours (but usually 20 minutes). Again this is nowhere near your target of time to spend in jobsearch.

      The ‘Time Wasting Amoral Truants’ (acronym!) at the JCP office are ‘pulling sickies’ so often it’s amazing they are not all on ESA, or sacked ATOS-wise for their repeated absences. I mean they often, when you turn up, are ‘off sick’, and they cancel your appointment or send you to some even less qualified person. If I worked in a job and was off that much I’d be sacked. (I’ve been in jobs where I went to work sick as you were expected to be there regardless, but then blamed for being there sick, though I’d have been sacked for trying to say I was too sick to come.) And often when not sick they ‘can’t get their car out’ or are ‘on leave’. They seem to have infinite times they can do this, but just compare their position as jobcentre staff (paid) with that of jobseekers.

      Jobseekers can’t be late by even a second, can’t be absent, can’t be off sick, can’t be on leave, can’t go on holiday. If a driving jobseeker says they could not get here because their car didn’t start in the snow, or their street is blocked with snow, the JCP does not accept that. And if you need a mobility scooter and it packs in, tough. And if you need the bus and it gets cancelled, that is no excuse even when it’s your only way to get there.

      On days of attending WP, due to the crapness of our buses I have to walk there and back. On days when I am more ill/injured than usual, or my ME is bad, or in bad weather, this takes much longer. When I’ve struggled in, I’ve been blamed for being too ill etc to get there earlier!
      I got also shouted at for pointing out that the WP building was designed as a centre for the disabled but it is totally inaccessible. My ‘classroom’ (we aren’t 5!) now, is up a fire escape, so how does someone in a chair go there? For some reason there are several street-homeless guys now enrolled in our WP and forced to attend. Just on the basis of their condition most haven’t washed in ages, but the worst are the non-homeless substance users who just never wash at all. It’s ‘close’, unless the fire escape door is open with the wind rushing in. Some at WP can’t read or write so have a problem with filing in anything on UJM.
      They get stuff typed for or read to them. And the jobs they get sent are for professional ‘suit’ jobs, lecturers in science, and most amusingly female escorts! UJM is either run by morons, or by a computer programmed by morons. Sorry but what is the point of discussing ‘purchase a suit for job interviews’ (things people are ‘directed’ by DWP to do), when you are illiterate, alcoholic, incontinent, sleeping in a doorway, and your ‘cologne is Eau de Baldrick’ (Blackadder quote). Where are you supposed to hang, iron etc said suit?
      Ironically some of our city’s homeless were professional or military, got downsized or demobbed, and maybe under the next cuts the jobcentre staff could be joining them. The WP even put some of our WP’s least hygienic ‘clients’ (sic) up for jobs in food preparation and serving!
      Some make Frank Gallagher look like Gordon Ramsay… I guess they didn’t get the jobs, as they are still at WP. They were also forced to apply as female nurses/carers, despite having no qualifications or experience and being male. If you can’t wash yourself how can you be sent to wash someone else? Of the opposite sex?

      When on the street at least I washed whenever I could. Now ironically I have less facilities for washing self/clothes than when I was homeless, at least in summer you can wash a shirt in a river and stick it on a tree.

      It is winter now and if I attempt the same, any clothes I stick outside will freeze solid.

      At WP I’m actually ‘fraternizing’ with the non-washing guys. But you (the ‘clients’; for ‘clients’, read ‘dole scum’) are not really meant to talk to eachother at all. One said: go and work on an oil rig. I actually used to apply years ago when I was less sick/disabled, but they didn’t want me then so definitely don’t want me now. Since then, offshore workers must have stricter medicals, and pass helicopter evacuation and sea survival etc courses, all three of which rule me out. I simply said ‘they only hire ablebodied people’. I’m also not sure exactly what job I could usefully do on an oilrig (I can think of a few actually, but none of them printable).
      Today, after a week or so of the internet and email down, I had 55 new emails. And one was from the UJM computwat. It said it had 49 job matches. Actually it only had 22. None were anywhere near me geographically. The closest was over 100 miles away. And none was in anything I had any skill/aptitude for, interest in, or qualifications in. How UJM can say that it is an ideal match!?

      UJM is like a dating agency that matches up Ann Widdecombe (elderly Catholic rightwing anti-sex bigot politician) with a randy, sex-mad guy in his 20s. Or that sets up a blind date between Leon Rosselson (straight, leftwing, Jewish, folk/protest singer) and Nick Griffin (straight, rightwing, white, Nazi, racist homophobe). Actually, to digress, if a real dating agency wanted to find the perfect match for let’s say… Ian Duncan Smith,
      then if its computers were working properly its best move would be to match him to the one person that would understand him completely: telling him to ‘go and biblically-know thyself’. And if IDS can’t be matched to himself on some mythical dating computer, then perhaps we’d settle for him being locked for 10 minutes in a cupboard with our very own Mr Dogbone. At least where IDS is concerned Dogbone gets straight to the point. I admire his restraint!

      Last night I watched an old cinefilm clip on TV, on the fall of the Fascists in Italy, at the end of which was Mussolini hanging upside down from a lamppost. I wasn’t even born then, but (sigh) those were the days!
      (Actually if I had been born then I could now be ‘enjoying’ the absence of a pension.) Himmler was on the programme too, it was about him. (Does anyone think Himmler looked a bit Asian or Jewish?) Some issues raised in the documentary were the contrast the Nazis emphasised betwen themselves, the ‘healthy fit pure racial Germans’ (whatever that means!) and the ‘non-Germans’ (everyone else). Particularly the stereotypes of the old and disabled so that they could say ‘these people must be killed’. Himmler, Hitler and loads of the others needed glasses. Hitler was on like a zillion pills and injections, and half the top Nazis probably had some physical problem. If they followed their logic all the way, then even their own Nazi heroes injured in battle should be left to die. They should close all hospitals because weakness proves you are not fit to live! Every Aryan ex-maiden should climb up to the top of a mountain to give birth, then ski down it naked with the baby strapped between the horns of her helmet… Anybody older than a certain age should be killed. Schools should be replaced by fightclubs for the boys (Hitler Youth did organise mass fights!) and ‘motherhood lessons’ for girls. Gas chambers if you have a squint, spots, one leg longer than the other, the wrong shaped head – not to mention the wrong colour skin. Too poor to raise your kids? We’ll gas the lot of you!

      We seem to be working under the assumption that the Nazis lost the war. Actually it looks increasingly like they won. Their ideas are being used to run the ‘welfare’ state. It gets criticised enough now as ‘soft’ or ‘generous’, but if you are at the receiving end the term ‘welfare’ is a misnomer. It combines nazi purity views on perfect and imperfect bodies, fitness and health, with Victorian concepts of the deserving or undeserving poor. A German at college a few years ago asked people’s views on ‘the war’ and whether it should or should not be mentioned. I said ‘there are a lot of Nazis now; and most of them are over HERE.’
      (Countries with the worst level of infestation with neonazi groups include:
      UK, USA, Russia, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria, Denmark, South Africa…)

      Another reason the DWP want to ‘sanction doubt’ me is over the UJM webshite. Since signing up, against my will, it’s never worked. So they say their website not working means a sanction doubt about me not participating! Every time it freezes, crashes, doesn’t let me in, won’t save searches, won’t let me apply. (It doesn’t help that someone has lied that I have a job, and debt people I don’t owe money to are asking for money I don’t have.)

      What if you did everything on UJM, except also put a CV that was obviously BS, or full of stuff against the jobcentre?
      eg ‘1999-present: Being starved and frozen by the jobcentre which is shite’
      Education: ‘Was doing a course until jobcentre kicked me off it but there were no jobs anyway’
      Qualifications: ‘Any time I tried to get new qualifications the Jobcentre kicked me off the courses!’
      Experience: ‘Many years of being harassed by the DWP trying to get a job, and not getting a job.’
      Work Experience: ‘Endless shitty placements, forced workfare, and work programme, going round and round in circles’
      References: ‘I have one personal reference – from your mother!’
      Motto: ‘Gissa job!’

      At JCP and WP I’ve overheard many instances of people being ordered to lie on their CV saying they did stuff they never did. ‘In order to get a job’. Perhaps we should take them at their word and write deliberately BS CV’s.

      ‘Yeah, I discovered America, and did the Moon Landing.’
      ‘Previous role was in Men In Black deporting Aliens, to protect the earth from the worst scum of the universe’
      ‘In my spare time I mountainbike up skyscrapers, or wrestle grizzly bears’.
      ‘I am actually Alan Sugar. You’re fired!’
      ‘I work 57 hours a day in a treacle mine.’
      ‘I hold down 8 fulltime jobs while feeding 16 babies using only my feet’.
      ‘I’m paralysed from the neck down but have been forced to apply for this job as a worker on an oilrig.’ (this could be a true one!)
      ‘I designed the UJM computer but I was drunk at the time, which is why it’s so crap.’
      ‘My name is Emma, I used to run A4E. Gissa job!’
      ‘I used to work for the jobcentre but found so few people jobs (there weren’t any) I got fired. My job got replaced by a shiny new UJM computer. That couldn’t find anyone any jobs either, because it is a stinking pile of rancid crap. So it just goes round the ether like a Dalek, zapping everyone off benefits one by one. My mortgage payments defaulted and my house got reposessed. I’m now sleeping in a doorway, and for 50p I’ll sell you my knickers.’
      ‘I am the UJM computer. I am looking for a new job. Perhaps processing child benefits? I’d be very bad at that! Go on, you know you want to!’
      ‘Give me a job or I’ll blow you up.’
      ‘In my past employment I was a bouncer and debt collector so I’m the perfect person to work in a benefit centre or with asylum seekers. I like shouting, football, and the BNP.’

  9. 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.

    • UniversalPoverty

      Does this mean UJM is starting to die a slow death? does this mean it will never become mandatory like IDS claimed it will this year?.
      And also ive noticed something when ever i go to the jobcentre they can never access the system has anybody else noticed this?

      • It means UJM is no longer a concern for anyone claiming JSA or working and having to claim JSA as a top up benefit.

    • thanks for udated info re uj, i am going to print loads of copys and hand them out to everyone i know who are being bullied into signing up to uj

  10. Summa these cunts who keep sniping at the disabled need to be forced to watch and listen. Me? I’d opt for sending them all to political re-education…teach the bastards a thing or two.

  11. but having to go through this atos abuse then tribunels for 4yrs you now you got mentel abuse used against you so its no wonder we got more wrong with us after atos abuse but for papers to say or writers in the tyory properganda against us well so shall they be abused by those who now jeff3

  12. To put it mildly, what an arse.
    I always used to think that I wouldn’t wish ME and depression on anybody.
    But after the amount of abuse dishes out to people suffering from these conditions and worse, and since they refuse to listen neither to experience nor reason, the bastards need to learn the hard way,.

    The, “just pull yourself together” bastard brigade need a tough dose of what does harm. Feck em all. I am sick to the back teeth with them.

  13. Landless Peasant

    It’s only a matter of time before some poor sod is pushed over the edge and attacks their Work Coach with a meat cleaver.

  14. Just who is this Hensher twat? As someone who HAS had severe clinical depression all I can say is he is talking out of his arse & I did NOT claim DLA at the time, in fact I had a job, which did not help my frame of mind. I do get DLA now but that is for my autistic teenager, maybe Hensher who seems to be under the illusion that most DLA claimants are frauds can wave a magic wand & cure her ASD!

  15. it seems now that the government are bullying the sick,disabled,unemployed and strivers,as the government terminology for those who are working long hours to just make enough money to get them to the next pay day if they are lucky.has now started to make others want to bully,i just hope they are ready for the consequences when people have had enough and fight back. the only reason all this is happening is because the greedy bankers lost lots of the greedy rich peoples money so now the plebs as they call us have to pay it all back because they have become so accustomed to having it all to them selves and living lavish life styles,and the only way out of this sad unjust situation is to have a revolution to remove all these useless corrupt and rich politicians and form a new government from the ordinary people in the street then we may see real change.

  16. Have you seen that the torries are selling off our blood? Well privatising the currently state owned company that is responsible for providing the NHS with blood. See here

  17. AFTER ATOS – Still here. Counting and Accounting for the Disabled. Based on the professional ways of accounting for patients and social care clients. It is valid and legal.
    I must read this person’s rubbish.

    Get round to it too busy now.

    Xxx Aunty Admin
    Counting the Disabled Back In – Because People Matter

    Ah well, I suppose Fame if the Spur. I must poke him with a sharp object back.

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  19. RMurdoch is Evil

    Evil, inbred tory (nazi) bastard posts:

  20. Thank you for leading my attention to this.

    The full statement on AFTER ATOS is this:

    “I travelled on my mountain bike as I can’t stand being on a bus for more than ~15 minutes. I get off before I panic. Last time I tried was ~2 years ago and I got off after about 2 miles with 5 still to go and walked the rest of it”

    The respondent is Mental Health sufferer. And this is clear.

    Henshaw has clearly misrepresented and defamed a respondent when he says he did not know what disability the respondent had or how what affected him could discriminate him from work.

    If anyone wants to join me for a phone up to Independent and Right to reply tomorrow then get in touch.

    Johnny – thank you for your consitent posting and help.

    Get in touch via Facebook to help. I am getting better but not press savvy and PR smart.

    have posted the ful statement on his twitter feed.

  21. ATOS often state it’s not them who make the decision, they are only doing the testing for the DWP and it’s the DWP who make the final decision! So I wonder is they recall that ” I was only following orders – A Nuremberg Defence ” …FAILED (Think i’ll borrow some money to invest in ‘rope manufacturer’ shares..I have a hunch they may be more than a penny share very

  22. Its all going TITS UP for IDS – Keep the pressure up lads and lassies – were getting there! – slowly, but there’s an old saying:

    Slowly, Slowly, catchy monkey – this phrase is very relevent when it come’s to the DWP and IDS!

  23. The last part of feedback reads (I always split it up so respondents cannot be guessed at)

    Finances: ended up over £600 overdrawn, thankfully HSBC are an even better bank than I had realised and helped me work out a repayment solution – only ~£40 left to go atm. Council have taken me to court once already over unpaid rent due to housing benefit being stopped. Mental Health: I spent a lot of time working out how I could kill myself while making it seem an accident so as to upset friends/relatives as little as possible. I also left the house even less than before. Motivation to do anything, which was low to begin with, became almost zero Physical Health: I lost a lot of weight because I didn’t have either the quantity or the quality of food necessary. Social Life: What social life? Work Life: n/a

    I have written a email to Independent cc to press complaints commission and will be sending this to follow.

    To be honest I do not know if my respondent is one of the many who has taken their life since.

  24. Front page of independent January 4th
    Headline ‘ brainwashed by Tory welfare myths ‘ survey shows public ignorance of the level of benefits and who gets them.
    Doesn’t this twat read own newspaper?

  25. When I read the press or listen to the media, one of the things I regularly despair over is the stupidity, ignorance and lack of research of journalists. It is unfathomable that they are meant to be educated and are in the position where they educate others. There is no hope for anyone unless this ignorance – purposeful or otherwise is overcome.

    It’s the same everywhere, newspapers, TV and radio presenters – they have all swallowed stupidity pills which they regurgitate along with lies. I believe that what atos is doing, is corporate manslaughter. If it continues now they have had the hard cold facts and statistic,s then perhaps they should be charged. Ditto the government.

  26. Hensher should be called henchman. Have you noticed the more informed and articulate dissenters become the more establishment stooges try to discredit them. Consider the recent legal case brought. to court by the mental health group. Then dead on cue up pops the stooge all ready to rubbish them . Maybe. those in power are panicking and sending their stooges to disredit us all.

  27. Can’t pay, won’t pay.
    When you have nothing, it’s not theft: it’s liberation, it’s redistribution.
    When you fight back, it’s not non-PC, it’s self defence, it’s survival.
    They create the pseudo-legalese/jargonese, the fake language of the oppressor. Don’t buy into it.
    They are greedy, fascist fuckers. End of.
    Do not go quietly, but rage rage rage against the dying of the light, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas.

  28. One of the best comments on this so far by one of the best new blogs out there

  29. I’ve been noticing headlines with the words workshy and disabled in same sentence or variants such as workshy sick. Using this logic everyone in hospital is a feckless idle layabout .

  30. The word disabled put t in quotes because there aren’t any disabled are there if course not so let’s close down all the hospitals and sack doctors

  31. The student room site is becoming more depressing with naive uninformed opinion

    • The student room is where the offspring of Daily Mail/Telegraph readers go. Too many ignorant and utterly horrible people populate that forum. They are the students with the mind set of drink, socialise and have a good time at any cost. And I mean any cost, what these people do to each other in the name of fun is disgusting. At my University to be in with the popular crowd you had to submit to their psychopathy and misogyny. Pain and abuse was fun and games. It was the accepted order of things.

  32. rainbowwarriorlizzie
  33. This is a must read it contains important and legal information on mental health and benefits and also applies to other medical conditions

    Click to access Dr_Ruth_Tindley_thesis.pdf

  34. Pingback: The Truth Behind Philip Hensher’s Bike Riding Slur | the void

  35. phil the plumber


  36. I’d agree with one thing. Some disabled people are fit for work and some of us do and some of us have for years. That’s not really the issue for most of us. The issue is discrimination. We constantly prove our fitness for work but who sees past the impairment how many more fail to employ us because of their prejudices. This is the real problem. Work is not fit for disabled people. And equality laws are a crock of shit. They allow reasonable discrimination against disabled people. What’s reasonable about discrimination? I can’t see them adding that clause into sex or race equalities.

    • something survived...

      Oh don’t encourage them… “It is reasonable for a racist employer (claiming he/she has an allergy to black/Asian people!) to reasonably discriminate against black/Asian people by:
      -Not hiring any
      -Forcing them to use separate toilets, cups, water fountains, benches, etc…
      -Referring to them as ‘Paki’, ‘Chink’, ‘Nigger’ etc and they should take this with good grace.
      -Not promoting them
      -Bullying them in the workplace”
      (let’s just call it Segregation/JimCrow…)

      “It is reasonable to have only men here so all women will be banned”

      Next step: for efficiency all disabled people’s names will be changed to ‘Spastic no. 1’ and so on.
      “Oi, Coon27! Go and help Spastic745 clean the toilets!”
      You didn’t mention the disabled people in jobs who then get called in by ATOS and sacked, against their will, for being disabled. Then Atos says they are fit for work and can’t get benefits!

      Sorry, satire is getting difficult, the closer it gets to reality.

  37. Reblogged this on And Now For Something Completely British and commented:
    Been a bit busy lately so not had time to post myself, however I shall share this as it’s a sad but interesting read.

  38. anonymous password


    they add that clause into age equalities.

  39. ps what I meant by the above was that although there is legislation on age discrimination, when it comes to employment such legislation is ignored.

  40. something survived...

    At college I asked how will the new retirement ages work if you are a pole dancer or a stripper???? Like if you have to work till 75?!

  41. you’ll be told to retrain.

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