Report Calls For Expansion Of Residential Workfare For Unemployed and Disabled People

Women_in_workhouseAn independent report, commissioned by the DWP, has called for greater use of Residential Training for disabled people and an extension of the scheme to include long term unemployed non-disabled people.

The report also accepts that this kind of training, which can involve periods of workfare away from home, should be opened up to the market.  This process may begin with a open tender exercise next year.

Residential Training is a little known scheme available for disabled people who are long term unemployed and in the words of Jobcentre Disability Employment Advisors, are the ‘hardest to help’.

The programme lasts a year and includes a mixture of residential and non-residential training, along with a period of up to three months workfare.  Whilst the DWP’s guidance (PDF) states that this workfare should aim to take place in the participant’s local area, in some cases it can also be arranged on a residential basis.

Currently the scheme is entirely voluntary with no sanctions for refusing to take part or leaving the training.  Of course this doesn’t mean that Jobcentre advisors may not pressurise claimants to take part.   Often the most vulnerable claimants, who may be isolated, have learning disabilities, a mental health condition or face other significant difficulties  are bullied onto non-mandatory schemes, with vague threats and over-optimistic promises of what is likely to be achieved.  As the scheme is hugely expensive however, it is unlikely there is currently a large amount of pressure on staff to make referrals.

Like all DWP training, it’s mostly bollocks.  As the Department says:  “Training is not designed to train a Participant to the highest level available in their chosen vocation, but to equip an individual with the skills and knowledge that enable them to obtain and sustain employment.”*

Instead it appears to be the usual low level training for minimum wage work that will be familiar to any claimants who have experienced the Work Programme, the New Deal and the endless other schemes run by welfare-to-work parasites and inflicted on unemployed people.  The true purpose of the training seems to be to operate as some kind of re-education camp for disabled people.  This week’s report says that the residential element of the scheme enables “unemployed disabled people ‘think new thoughts’ about their life chances and their ability to  work.”

The infamous review of training and employment provision for disabled people written by Liz Sayce recommend that the DWP stopped funding this kind of training and instead put the money into mainstream workfare such as “work experience, including internships, work placements and on-the-job learning.”

This consultation report is a response to these recommendations and strongly disagrees, calling for the scheme to be extended to non-disabled long term unemployed claimants.

This comes along with recommendations that this form of training be ‘integrated’ within the Work Programme and the acknowledgement that if these recommendations are implemented then Residential Training will be opened up to the market.

Currently there are nine Residential Training centres, all run by charities and which it is fair to say offer decent standard of accommodation – all residents have their own room for example. However, should this training be put out to competition, then this is certain to undermine these conditions as organisations compete to downgrade facilities and cut costs.

If the private sector is involved in this process, then the implications are even more concerning.  It is chilling to imagine what an A4e or G4S run Residential Training facility would look like in practice.

And once the welfare-to-work companies get a taste of the pie, mandation – which means benefits being stopped for people who refuse to attend – is unlikely to be far away.

This of course is wild speculation.  This report contains only recommendations which may well be ignored.  Any attempt to introduce mandation into a residential scheme would almost certainly require new legislation, which isn’t happening this side of the next election.  It would also be far too expensive to roll this out to all claimants, and however it evolves is likely to remain aimed at the so called ‘hardest to help’.

But this report shows a worrying direction being considered at the DWP.  The potential for a charity run residential training facility to eventually become an A4e run workhouse is difficult to ignore.

Strangely the link to this report, which was published on the 29th July, seems to have disappeared from the DWP website, although it is still available on google cache and at:

*This is a good example of the recently discussed principle of ‘less eligibility’.  If any genuine training was available to unemployed people, then this may be a more attractive option than minimum wage work.  Therefore it cannot be permitted.

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165 responses to “Report Calls For Expansion Of Residential Workfare For Unemployed and Disabled People

  1. Landless Peasant

    Gulags for the unemployed. A very worrying and most sinister development. If this goes ahead we are heading for all-out Civil War.

  2. probably come equipped with gas ovens if IDS has anything to do with it.

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  4. they are after free workers for their cronies, how long till internment camps/workhouses are being built?

  5. I`m sure they are testing an agenda on the unemployed and disabled; perhaps to see how far people can be pushed about before they start to become unstable

    • Yeah, and when that proves to be a success, which it undoubtedly will, they’ll try it out (with certain modifications) on the next-poorest section of society, and so on and so on up the ladder. They’ll only stop short when there’s only the 1% left!

  6. You’re joking right?

  7. They probably want to bring in mandatory euthanasia for the disabled next.

  8. “It is chilling to imagine what an A4e or G4S run Residential Training facility would look like in practice.”

    Sleeping plan is at the bottom of page….

  9. We’ve been here before – work camps for the unemployed, introduced by a Labour government incidentally, operated in the 1920s and 30s. If you submitted to it, your family back home continued to receive the dole…so nice to have the choice.

  10. Obi Wan Kenobi

    This Seriously crosses the fucking line.

  11. Peacefull revolution now.

  12. and he we are in Daily HATE MAIL LYING bollocks mode to perpetuate the scrounger myth and discredit BBc again..”the bloated welfare spending’ would that be the tiny percent spent on unemployment or the amount spent on pensions?

  13. “In November 2011 John Humphrys made and BBC 2 broadcast a nasty programme on welfare”

  14. @jOHHNYVOID this should alarm anyone consideribng G4S track record and the fact of various scandals involving abuses of children at privately run children care homes..

  15. @annos thanks for that -another ‘expert’ in the pocket of this non elected govt..

  16. Hummmm closing down smaller prisons (owned by G$S, crapita, cerco, and building super-max ones (owned and built by the above)…

    G$S et. al now have unused buildings… perfect for residential housing of the disabled and long term unemployed and to give them “training” to the lowest possible standards to “enable” them to do productive work such as manning the G$S DWP help line or perhaps producing mail bags for the newly G$S owned post office or making prison uniforms for the prisoners in the G$S super max’s, which just happen to be able to be dual purpose because the people in these “residential training facilities” might as well wear them as well as after all they have no money as they only receive benefits out of which the residential places impose a charge equal to the amount of benefits for food and accommodation…

    Arrr the Tory final solution… Arbeit macht frei.

  17. My disabled partner has just come out of hospital – having spent time in ITU for trying to take her own life, in part because of worry over this damn governments reforms! Whilst it wasn’t the only reason for her actions it played no small part as it, in her words, ‘didn’t help matters’ – I am now of the opinion that we cannot reason with this government without mandate. It has brought it all much closer to home – we must spare no quarter in trying to get justice and have the likes of Iain Duncan Smith brought to account.

    • Christopher John Ball
      I was sad to read about your wife.. I hope she is feeling a lot better and stronger. So many people have died with these vile malevolent reforms of the callous government. I agree IDS should be made accountable for his terrible mistakes, he has run roughshod over sick and disabled peoples lives. We must get justice I agree.

      • many thanks for your kind words Jasmine, they are most appreciated. I am often comforted by the thought that there are far more of us than them. The danger isn’t that MP’s and Ministers abandon us but we abandon them. If they were smart, which on current evidence is likely, that thought should terrify them. We need to say no, no more – enough is enough.

    • I too wish you both well, and a full recovery. I was very moved to see your post, as a few words speak volumes to those of us also affected by the discrimination by this vicious regime.
      DPAC are currently trying to collect and collate individuals’ experiences of this awful affect and outcome on peoples lives, to use to support Human Rights action against the government. I hope that if or when you feel more healed, you might be able to share your experiences with DPAC, and for the wider reading audience here to make sure as many people know what is happening. I think there are a few chinks showing. We need to be the wedge that breaks it all open with our organisation, numbers and our ANGER.
      We don’t want any more people to suffer as you both have, Christopher. I wish you well. Tell your partner there are many of us who will have you in our thoughts.

      • Many thanks for your kind words Nightingale. As it happens I recently joined DPAC. It is my intention to share the experiences. One of the things I am learning, from those who worked so hard to help my partner through this, is that this is happening far more than the media covers.

        • Hi Christopher
          The media do not cover this. In fact there seems to be a big cover up altogether. I think I too will join the DPAC and tell them my story Nightingale. I too am unwell at the moment. I need an operation, but can not afford to be incapacitated again, as I can not get any benefits at all. I have decided to put op off until I am more financially secure and have got the work fare bullies off my back. I am in wrag and have had my ESA reduced to a pittance. Atos nurse annihilated me after I was trying to recover from a bad accident. I am in a lot of pain. It has been a nightmare. I have had disgusting treatment from the council as well over the council tax billing.

          Christopher your partner is probably one of the lucky ones as she has your support and comfort. Can you imagine people who do not have this, that are totally alone. I am so pleased we have internet these days and bloggs like this one of J.V ‘s, I think this could be saving many people. Just think if this happened and we were not all connected, and informing each other. What would the outcome be? Keep strong and keep talking, getting the anger out, it really helps to keep the depression and anxiety at bay. This Authoritarian government is using oppression to people they think are beneath them. They are hostile tyrants and are causing more people to suffer from mental health, and depression through their double binding policies.

    • Workfare must be scrapped it’s a dead duck, it was created not for any positive purpose but to serve an underhanded agenda that is clearly evident today and represents with clear evidence of how out of touch this Coalition and more specifically the Tories are to the majority of people in Britain. Without wishing to make your partners situation insignificant as an individual case it has to be said that such cases are worryingly all too common up and down the country. People living in this so-called democratic country and within the laws who find themselves through no fault of their own either mentally and/or physically disabled or unemployed claiming benefits and quite rightly so as that was the idea of the welfare state.. should be able to do so without feeling Guilty for no reason but for the Tories, a leper in society, scared in doing so. People should be allowed to live in peace within their means and without fear and worry, not just exist but live as a human being. There is no question what IDS is doing could be considered highly unlawful even if legislation happily accepts this. I believe IDS forgets himself and he will eventually pay the highest price of all. Because you cannot treat people as if they are livestock in the 21st century in a democratic country that is openly against such treatments in third world countries even if they do little about it on the world stage except to make them appear civilized or unless there are economic incentives to act… but do it in their own countries.

      I tend to believe when politicians in cabinet can wake up in their ivory towers each morning put on a suit and go out and create corrosive policies, spout nasty rhetoric and weave far right fascist propaganda and have sections of society believe most of it then we have a big problem in this country, it serve’s no purpose but their own self-serving agenda’s.. and then at the end of the day return back to this ivory tower safe from the world they create policies for but do not have to live and endure because of their class status and undoubtedly their financial status too. They have been targeting those who have not been fortunate to have had a proper education but who may work on slave wages and further up the ladder those in the middle classes who aspire to the Tory ideals misguided enough to think they could ever dine at the top table… stooges all without doubt… cruelty comes in many flavours but after WW2 and all that we went through as a country that we have the essence of fascism in the Tory led coalition that adopts so many extreme right-wing ideals with impunity and it’s considered acceptable in the 21st century.. it’s wrong.. we know it’s wrong. It’s sinister, corrosive, cruel, progressively negative… one could go on. Words don’t change things without the power but votes do!.. that is why it’s doubly important people are not disillusioned too much to vote and must not abstain come 2015, I still think much change can still be undertaken through people power and heads can roll long before kicking them out of power, if this does not happen by 2015 there may not be much left to call Great in Great Britain… and simply leaving by hook or by crook would end up being the only option available.

  18. 2. What you’ll get

    You’ll get help finding work through a combination of guidance, work experience and qualifications. Courses vary from college to college, with many leading to National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) in things like:

    * administration
    * catering
    * retail
    * horticulture
    * leisure/tourism/travel

    You can also get help with your living costs and some travel costs. The amount you get will depend – eg, on the cost of your accommodation or price of travel tickets.

    • “You can also get help with your living costs and some travel costs. The amount you get will depend – eg, on the cost of your accommodation or price of travel tickets.”

      I wonder if that means they will have a Wonga representative on hand to advise people!.

  19. I think its time to take to the streets , big time, or an all out workers strike. everyone down tools, then we find out what it is they actually do, apart from attacking the weakest.

    • The problem with society today is a multitude of issues and collectively tend to be the reasons why the tory led coalition can walk all over people without any major recourse. The first one is that people are genuinely scared of losing what little they get as they go cap in hand, the second is they may be grateful for the job they have albeit terrible pay but they don’t want to rock the boat and lose what little they have. Another is they are scared stiff period, and also some are just selfish as long as they are fine they don’t give a toss is person up the road loses their home.. not until it affects them.

      It also has to be said immigration in the uk has badly damaged solidarity against injustices simply because of the humble nature of the immigrant coming from countries still in the stone age. A short while back in a Devon village there was a face-off between a group polish immigrants who have moved there and the locals regarding the immigrants acceptance of very low pay for long hours working, of course this suits the employee’s but it has taken the right to secure proper pay and working conditions for those born and bred there through generations.. the locals never backed off either.

      It’s very naïve or just simply calculating for the coalition to state not many will come to the uk in next month… reality is they have no reason to stay in their shitty countries when the UK offers so much more.. they are more than happy to work for peanuts until they become fully assimilated into our economy and will then begin to see their pay gets them very little here. There is no unity, just selfishness and isolation, those with the character to protest are soon tagged as troublemakers in society… people who the Tories wish to alienate in society simply because they might be financially needy and they associate them with working people experiencing a less than bulging pay packet. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t, this coalition have the weakest in our society on lockdown, Boy George made cuts by stealth that people don’t even know took place recently on welfare, it now has got to the stage where it’s a case of needing to read between the lines to get full picture of what’s happening… it’s cuts, cuts and more cuts, and only you suffer the results.


    Residential Training
    Sometimes, the best way to learn is simply to get away from it all – giving you the space and time to really focus on your training and grasp the topics in depth. So why do not you try a residential training?
    Residential Training means that you will be staying in a residence (venue) during the course. You will be away from outside distractions and save time and money on the daily commute, especially if the course you are taking lasts longer than a day. This helps you to concentrate more on learning, on absorbing more information thus maximising your study, while at the same time giving yourself time to relax and enjoy the venue’s excellent facilities. A Residential Training is an ideal option if you are preparing to get certified and/or to pass an examination.

    • You would need certifying if you took up residential training, exams can be passed without leaving your home.

      • @guy fawkes yes its all too bizarre…money for old rope springs to mind..”looking as if you are doing something but not really”.. either that or yet another poxy scam…

    • would it not be better to put them in prison, then this gov can do what they like, OOps they are

  21. Click to access Hope-Court-slides-pdf.pdf

    Fantastic, modern, designer living! …….

    All flats come with Flat Screen TV’s with integral DVD players and access
    to a DVD library….

    you get a free kettle too…

  22. ah back to the seventys then the same thing then work for those who are ill or unemployed yes they got our welfare at heart this lot not that nice company who will takes us give us a room for a while than rent us out a holiday a busmans holiday infact il think I try for it now perhaps then il get that three meals a day jeff3

  23. Work Placements
    9. Work placements aim to help trainees find work and contribute to an involvement in their employability. The main objectives of work placements are to:
    a)enable the movement of trainees into work;
    b)improve the employability of trainees by providing them with an opportunity to put work skills into practice;
    c)engage trainees in employment that matches their job goals;
    d)provide prospective employers with evidence that the trainee has the necessary skills and abilities to do the job;
    e)boost trainees’ motivation and confidence; and
    f)provide trainees with a recent work reference.
    Work placements can last up to 13 weeks and should be set up by the Provider for every trainee. There is no minimum number of weeks for work placements but they should be long enough for the trainee to meet the objectives detailed above. The Training Provider shall make all reasonable endeavours to achieve outcome targets

  24. What the hell are people going to do when they are forced to go there? Will they start taking children as well? this article has made me feel sick! I work and have no dependents but I know how I would feel if I was on benefits and thought they would make me leave my home. People are going to be terrified, its inhuman.

    • with you there, I felt sick just reading it, do they think sick or unemployed have no social skills , they go into zombie mode the minute they loose a job, totally disgusting idea ,Ive got a good one, let them try it.

  25. overburdenddonkey

    as jv says the implementation of it may amount to wild speculation, but the language used in describing and justify for this “project”, are what alarm me, as if, unemployment and disability amount to a poor lifestyle choice, and need inspiring role models, given by the people who have jobs ie being paid to deliver this project…now being at home, 1 coz got no money to do otherwise..2 i am disabled and can’t get out much, in any case…hi de hi, it is not.
    that one is “over protected”, therefore, the problem being that we are over fed and pampered, surrounded by saints or thugs, and therefore in need of rescue, (and rescued from ourselves), for our own good, to get away from all of these bad be thrown into their world, where we will be removed from our comfort zone, exposed in their world and told what is good for us, as if, we are mentally incompetent.. a triad 2 people talking about 1 above ones head in loud voices, as if shouting makes their message easier to understand… this is behaviourism…what don’t they understand about the word DIS–AB–IL–ITY, it means basically, that our access to energy is limited…as with unemployment, limited access to resources and energy….ie no jobs…from mythical jobs and magical cures plc…thinking new thoughts, learn to take new shit..

    • overburdenddonkey

      being “work readied” TM…part of the hunter gatherer spiral tribe, well coiled spring group of companies, “just waiting for the op to slot u in”..

    • @donkey i am wondering about the actual; places of residence safe they are ? too..will there be security provided by the likes of G4S as they are into that business too…will the ”customers’ be paying rent at these places?..what about your own place where in effect you are paying rent but not living at whilst you are on these training schemes away from home..questions questions..

      • overburdenddonkey

        atm, i’m not going to let my thought processes go that far, where we are is alarming enough, how ever if i were to speculate…they’ll be what ever they tell us they are..

        • @donkey yes of course but as we have seen there is someone making a mint out of these schemes and thats what needs to be explored..”who benefits fom all these schemes? its not unemployed that fer sure..

          • overburdenddonkey

            ah, the benefactors, according to al capone, it is the ruling classes, and who would be the ruling classes to him?

  26. UK going back to Victorian era

    This is just asking for big problems – moving disabled people away from their carers to be with strangers – of course DWP wont have to pay them carers allowance – so a few pounds saved. Moving people with mental health problems away from familiarity, family and friends etc this won’t work either this will make their problems worse and as for care in the private sector – it doesn’t exist!

  27. Reblogged this on Oprichnik Rising and commented:
    I fuckin knew it. I have for a long time now said that the direction this government is taking will inevitably lead to the re-introduction of the workhouse. That archetypal victorian image of poverty and suffering will be coming to a town near you with new paintjob and private sponsorship.

  28. i try to supply as much info on these schemes to clarify the situation as possible but some people dont want that said fuck knows why..i thought.. govt info and posting means they cant.deny it…

  29. “The Nazis worked hard to keep their deadly secret from the world. Concentration camps were often referred to as “re-education camps,” and the camp at Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia was made to look like a model ghetto to impress outside visitors and calm new prisoners, who arrived by the trainload. Established in 1941, Theresienstadt housed a number of prominent Jews, including heroes of World War I, Danish Jews, and others who were actually forced to pay for what was euphemistically called a “transfer of residence.” The camp was ostensibly administered by a Jüdenrat, or Council of Jews, but, in fact, the Nazis held absolute power and intimidated council members into doing their bidding”

    “re-education camps,” Now where have I heard that said!.

  30. Who was it that said The Tories final solutions represents the greatest threat to humanity in the UK since the second world war?. It’s important to remember there are many fascists in the Tory party and we only know some of their names, there are many more who might have considered Hitler a visionary genius with an elegant if not vulgar solution to a problem in the desire to reach a position of total “World Domination”, megalomania begins with someone knocking on your door wearing a rosette and then you become a hideous creature like IDS. All these hideous reforms and the twisting and turning of Workfare, shows similarity to a nasty cancer that mutates and spreads before it finally kills it’s victim, The Tories are the cancer upon this society and country as a whole and we are the researchers sharing and hopefully supporting a developing and sustainable cure for a bearable and healthier time in a non fascist way.

    Also what can anyone say about the argument for the bedroom tax not being about attacking the mentally and physically disabled and unemployed on benefits when they allow people not on welfare to continue renting social housing when the size criteria exceeds the number of occupants living in those homes?. They say it’s about freeing up much needed homes for those families who need them as opposed to cutting the welfare requirements to sustain the rent. Isn’t that proof positive?, or is it about kicking an elderly couple out of their home where one is carer to the other.. their crime?.. a spare room, and moving in a problem family the council need to relocate under anti-social circumstances.. and yes, they are on benefits. These are the twists and turns of the cancer in our society, the stress, the fears, the hatred and the violence along with all manner of other hurdles people face when having to sustain a life on welfare with little or no choices. What this government offers the unemployed as way of changing their lives to a road back to employment is as cynical as a rattlesnake in a lucky dip, and the job centres are fast becoming the amusements arcades for a sick kind of entertainment for those who get off on this kind of treatment to their fellow human beings… mainly tory supporters and those who would be willing to carry a millstone around their necks for life as long as they can feel good about others feeling good about them too, social martyrs?.

    This has only ever been about attacking anyone on welfare, the propaganda has worked, the Tories have won that war… no question, that does not make it right and the truth always outs in the end but at the cost of how much misery and death?… putting mental healthcare and the welfare state back 30 years just to feed the tory deep and worrying hatred of people below their class levels and using people they look down upon (working middle classes and inverted snobs) to do the dirty work for them.
    This is about attacking anyone on welfare and it’s become a vanity project of ruthlessness for weak and feeble men like IDS in order to attempt to wrestle back his political integrity after years of failed mediocrity… the fact being two wrongs don’t make a right. The day will come when all this will come to pass and history in political success will only ever have IDS down as a meagre footnote in history as a weak and cowardly political pygmy of a man… amen.

    • overburdenddonkey

      moi and another amen from me, it is a pr war..but remember hitlers final hours…what did we learn, but how to replace tyranny with tyranny, yes, a brief rest-bite, then “dominate or be dominated”..where have all the flowers gone, long time passing, when will we ever learn

      • Well said Moi,
        I couldnt agree more! Do you think this could all be the tip of the iceberg. is something strange going on in USA? Are the Government up to things,’ all in it together’ stuff. Has anyone heard of the Fema camps, and Fema coffins in USA? what are they? Perhaps someone should google them and have a research. There is footage to view. They sound very sinister and strange. I hear this from my son and his friends, they talk about new world order, martial law and things like that, but you know what the young people are like. very wild imaginations, or have they got a point? The stuff in Korea is a bit dodgy too.

  31. This almost certainly won’t happen because a lot of money would have to be spent on individuals rather than given to private companies operating the Work Programme. I’m on the Work Programme and next to no money has been spent on me. As far as training goes I’ve done a six hour course on first aid and various one hour classes, on a weekly/fortnightly basis, about polishing up your CV and overcoming obstacles to work and such like, which were useless. Twice a month I have a review where I present “evidence” in respect to by “job search” and a chat with an “advisor”.

    That’s it!

    One of the advisors confided to me that he’d only actually found one person a job and that if the Work Programme works at all it only does so by pissing of its participants so much that some of them successfully find themselves jobs principally to escape the hectoring, badgering, and fear of getting sanctioned – conditionality in other words.

    Money gets spent on companies and their staff not on Work Programme participants or their training. I really cannot see the government spending more than it does now on unemployed individuals, which would exclude residential training from the menu of conditionality on offer.

    What looks set to happen is more and more pressure being applied to unemployed – an ever increasing tightening of the thumbscrews – in the false hope that people being rejected by employers will be accepted by them if their pain and distress is racked up to impossible levels, e.g., a mandatory 35 hour a week jobsearch.

    I am pretty sure that if David Cameron had his way benefits would be increasingly reduced the longer a person remains unemployed and possibly even removed from the very long-term unemployed completely, forever, which is what happens in America, where many of Cameron’s advisors on social policy hail from.

    God forbid this from ever happening.

    • I can’t believe how much support you have had. All I have got is a new cv to replace the perfectly good one I already had.

    • I hear you there Cockney. I was on the work programe, all I got was how to do a job interview and CVs and pretty much the same as you. Kept badgering them for experience. Finally getting to speak to someone for voluntary experience in this 6 month post WP which really hasn’t address something major with me what so ever. My dyspraxia.

  32. In other words they are bringing back the workhouse,how can this be allowed

    • Only if they want a civil war on the streets on this country, and believe me if things don’t change in the name of humanity and common sense, the hardest pill of all will be the final taste in the mouth of a government on the way to being booted out of power. The Tories are like some ancient army who have never moved with the times, their policies remain truly in the 70’s and 80’s and should have stayed there frozen where they belong deep in the ground where other dinosaurs that ruled this earth still remain.

      • Their will never be civil war on the streets of britain.
        Everything is media controlled and no one cares about the unemployed or disabled anymore.
        Anyone that protests is shouted down as being a ‘scrounger and lay about’
        The unions are all in the government pockets, labour who should be fighting left right and centre against these welfare cuts and systems are too damn scared about losing votes.

        • Sadly I agree, there won’t be a revolution. Despite many separate small factions of people fighting hard with integrity for the rights of vulnerable individuals, society is very different from the 80s or even the 90s when we had the Poll Tax Riots. We have for well over fifteen years had far less freedom to demonstrate our opinions in real life public spaces. Some of those restrictions came about precisely because people did demonstrate out on the streets.

          The powers that be do not care about integrity, alas our Daily Mail nation care not one jot for the vulnerable of any kind. They have even lost sight of the fact that they too could one day be in our shoes. The creed of divide and rule has blinded too many for there to be much chance real change. But it is so important to keep on keeping on.

          Props to Johnny Void and all those putting it out there like it is, those who call others to join them in physical demonstration and protest. Props to those who manage to get out there in person and do these things. For so many of us, it is impossible to do this.

          These days, so many are voicing dissent or just plain old opinion on the internet, their faces reflected in the black mirror of their chosen device, we have, I fear, almost lost touch with the real world and what might be possible. Getting a “like” for rants, opinions, theories or for inspiring fear is for some, more important than a real world consequence.

          Signal to noise ratio is way out of kilter these days, because it’s so hard to safely take action.


        • You would be surprised, not talking about hand to hand combat on the streets but a social breakdown, we saw what happened when one man is shot and killed by the police, regardless of the reasons it sparked a terrible and to be fair anarchic period when everyone jumped on the bandwagon who had any angst inside them for what reason that might be.

          Obviously nobody wants to see that ever again but an unreceptive government never seemingly understanding how their actions in regards to policies that divide and rule will create a division where in the end it will be a kind of Rich v Poor, the last time I checked there were by far a greater percentage of poor people in this country than rich people who may or may not support this Tory propaganda trip.

          The reason this has happened was because everyone appeared to hate Gordon Brown as PM and now we hate David Cameron for completely different reasons along with far more cabinet members than was the case during labours period in office. One could make up a complete deck of cards like the most wanted one’s during the Iraq war.

          I’m not a dyed in the wool labour supporter and with the leader they have it makes things difficult for the opposition to capitalize on a tory party dismantling all that was human, sincere and fair. Nobody for one minute would argue Welfare did not require some reforming but this belt and braces approach goes beyond merely trying to save the country money in a time of austerity… greed created by people of their own class level when enough was never enough and they wanted more and more, and those responsible allowed them to feed that need and continue to do so even today as we sit here and debate all this.

          The logical answer to the solution is not to vote for them at the next election but that is where we have a problem here in the uk with our antiquated political system.. who do we vote for?.. UKIP?… Labour?
          and there does indeed show the problem and at this time will be
          the very reason why the Tories could end up back in power and we could end up again with another hung parliament which I hate the thought of, even if it’s the less of two evils.

          Some people have said by the time the next election comes around there will be nothing left to save, we shall have an NHS which will be private in all but name with more parts of it going out to tender to private companies and we shall have a welfare system driven into the ground by the influx of more people coming to the UK from EU countries, the government talk about new rules in this area, they talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.

          Of course all this can be talked to death, and we know how the Tories love the sound of their own voices but the reality is the only people who truly suffer under this government are the real people of this country, people who come here at Void and share the pain of their lives, see what it’s doing to people they love in so many ways. The reality is the Tories would love a two class system.. Rich and Poor and a brick wall between the two, if you are rich then all is possible, hopes and desires are fed, if you are poor there will be nothing but an illusion that you could ever be a rags to riches story and join that side of the wall. In a way it’s an odd kind of quasi class genocide, the fascism is there, the history and associations in both upper class and party are there. And are we now witnessing an odd variation of the “Final Solution” in some of these tory commissioned think-tank’s proposals.. YES WE ARE.

          Working class people need to remember the tax they pay goes on far more than welfare and little in changing their neighbourhood, If we could see the money this Coalition has wasted since they came into office people would despair in ever thinking that for being a hard working and honest upright citizen of this country and part of Cameron’s twisted “Big Society” bullshit , they have busted their hump merely to survive another month while Tories look down and smirk at them knowing their propaganda has worked well and the rhetoric they spout at each opportunity is believed.

          The truth will out in the end, and all will be clear to see… there will be some very disappointed people who buy into the Tories deceit and the smoke and mirrors. Sad fact being by the time that happens it could be too late and the tory Masterplan will be signed sealed and delivered…. see you in the workhouse.. let’s see that tattoo.. ah yes 2015.

      • I take it by “70s and 80s” you mean the 1870s and 1880s!

  33. WTF I have Lung & secondary brain cancer if these bunch of Barstewards sart messing with me they have another thing coming….lets send them ans their families to their modern equivalent of the workhouse WHERE THEY ACTUALLY have to work for their supper & see how they would cope……ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING

  34. You should be careful when jesting about such things. the twits that run this country could start looking at things like this as a real (Final?) solution.

  35. Pingback: The Void on the DWP’s Suggestion for the Return of the Workhouse | Beastrabban's Weblog

  36. “More recent (unpublished) figures for 2011/
    12 show around 850 starts on RT, from a
    wide mix of age groups. These are taken from
    around 1100 referrals. From this, there
    were 317 job outcomes achieved at a
    cost of (approx) £49k per job.”

    There’ your answer.
    It’ll never happen: too costly.

    • Landless Peasant

      Not if the inmates…erm..I mean ‘trainees’ are forced to work for private companies for no wage, just for Benefits, with money docked for food & lodgings whilst they are incarcerated for a year.

  37. Elizabethgardner

    It will never be too costly when the aim of the game is control and somebody somewhere made alot of money out of such schemes

    • They are about to spend in excess of one hundred BILLION on Trident, no problem finding money for what they want, we are after all paying for it all, while they pay NO taxes on their secret off shore account, which stand into the many TRILLIONS of pounds…that too is our stolen money!!!.

  38. Reblogged this on Double Karma and commented:
    Work houses imminent

  39. Reblogged this on Sheva's Cross of Change Blog and commented:
    back to the poor houses ? the excuses are building & deplorable treatment advocated, all for our own good, forgetting of course that the sick & disabled contain vast amounts of survivors of child abuse much of it sanctioned by the gov/t of the day. including now. and knowingly, imo mistreating us, making us feel worse, then drugging us with stuff they used many orphans to experiment on, or foster care children. The drug companies and therefore governments by taxes are making profits from the murder & abuse of children.

  40. I believe boycotting will be the new democracy- It’s all about money- big corporations have vast power over ordinary people- Hurt their profits and you can take back the power- Since corporations are all interconnected there are many things to boycott- There is a free phone app that lets you scan goods and tells you if the Nasties are involved with the product and recommends what to boycott- This govt don’t listen to the public- but they do listen to their corporate masters- So boycotting is the only potential power we have left-

  41. something survived...

    (some of) the problems with this ‘plan’:

    1) They divide everyone into ‘disabled’ and ‘longterm unemployed non-disabled’. You could be both disabled and longterm unemployed. It seems that they have decided (not us) what ‘disabled’ is. (Never addressed that many of us are too disabled/sick to work at all or for most/much of the time). All 9 Homes were in England and half were for the blind or deaf. Under UC, disabled people who managed to get a paid job will be hounded and penalised for not making enough money and/or not working enough hours. They could have a perfectly good job already, and be forced to leave it in order to be sent for half a year to a ghetto to ‘teach you how to stack cans of beans’. Even if they’re a postgraduate/doctorate, intellectual, academic and highly intelligent person, from a managerial background, with lots of skills.
    2) The disabled people involved in making this report should be ashamed.
    3) It cites DEA’s at the JCPs, but most of these are hopeless. Even when they’re disabled themselves, DEAs tend to have zero knowledge on disability (especially other disabilities). Plenty are just (if disabled) saying things like ‘I’m here working at DWP so therefore your disability is irrelevant and you can get any job, and I can send you to do any job I tell you to do’.
    4) It says residential training helps if you have chaotic/stressful home life. But what if it messes that up even more? Makes it more unstable and chaotic? Messes up your routines? And for people with conditions where they need a routine or familiarity? What if you have pets to walk/feed? Do you leave them to die? (RSPCA say that is a criminal offence) And relocating blind people to a different area?
    I have memory and other problems incidentally, from a head injury sustained in a serious assault (for being disabled) 10 years ago, that happened at the entrance of a supermarket (the only supermarket I can get to). So I have to keep trying to relearn things, places, faces etc or I forget. Tonight, I saw that this same supermarket has completely changed its layout and the locations of every aisle and product. It’ll take months to relearn even the basic layout, let alone where any specific product now is. A trip formerly taking 2 hours could now take 4.

    5) The report has strict criteria for who qualifies and who doesn’t. On those grounds, I don’t qualify under ANY of the criteria really. I’m not ‘newly disabled’, am getting worse not better, do not volunteer for RT, do have outside responsibilities, do not have reasonable prospects of employment with or without the ‘training’, am not suited to the low skilled training/jobs, etc. Of course as few others will fill these requirements, the DWP is likely to lie about individuals completely and refer them to RT anyway.
    6) What happens to your home if you are absent? How do you pay your rent? (Mine has to be paid monthly in cash; but also requires you on the contract to be actually living there). It will cause people to lose their home and possessions. If you are living with a person whose house it is, who looks after you or financially supports you, etc, they will lose all their related benefits as you are not living there, and so they could lose their home too or have to rent out your room.
    7) It separates you from your spouse/partner, children, rest of family. What if you have caring responsibilities, that could be formally recognised somewhere (legally, or via benefits etc, or otherwise), or could be informal but longstanding/established? People whose home you clean/guard? People you do gardening, plant-watering, mail-collecting, cat-feeding etc. for? People you babysit for? In the latter case your absence could mean they (who also might be disabled) have to leave their job, and go onto benefits (or be destitute with no benefits, for ‘voluntarily’ leaving a job). Your own plants and garden to maintain? Other social links and responsibilities? Clubs and societies, committees, weekly meetings, being keyholder of a church or hall, etc…. Organiser of major local events (which could be cancelled if you’re not there)? Actor in local play?
    [Excuse me while my mind goes off on a tangent:….
    ‘The LocalVillageName Players proudly present Romeo and the DWP Regulations Mandated Absence. By William Shakespeare, amended by Esther McVey and Iain Duncan Smith. Starring the elderly male retired mayor as Juliet’s Understudy. Juliet is picking strawberries in Scotland and her understudy is learning the valuable skill of how to stack beans.’
    MALE MAYOR (Juliet): Where the fuck art thou, Romeo?
    MAYOR’S WIFE (Nurse): Romeo is in a gulag being taught how to serve fries.
    CAPULET: So you’ll, Nurse, have to fight Tybalt, except he’s digging holes in Amersham. Okay I’ll fight Montague myself then.
    ‘Juliet’: But Montague’s understudy is possibly one of the few remaining Players in the village not redeployed to a reeducation camp. She’s a five-year-old girl.
    MONTAGUE: I want my mum
    ‘Nurse’: Sorry, we have custody of you, while your mum is forced to build walls despite being in a wheelchair and with a twisted spine. Oh, here’s your cat, maybe that’ll cheer you up.
    ‘Juliet’: That’s the reader of the epilogue and is also playing the apothecary and the priest.
    DWP OFFICIAL: Requisitioning Mercutio and all the extras for some important road-building work! Requisitioning Montague’s mum’s wheelchair to be melted down for scrap, she’ll have to crawl on the ground and build walls like that! Requisitioning Montague’s cat for conversion into gulag rations and gulag clothing! Requisitioning fake poison as fake threat to detainees if they don’t work fast enough! Look I’ll test some myself! (drinks)
    ‘Juliet’: Um, sorry but actually that’s real poison.
    (DWP Official dies in agony)
    CAPULET: And so in the Mandated Absence of everyone else of any importance, Juliet married her Nurse, which would have been a lesbian marriage except Juliet is male and they’re already married so it’s alright. The remainder of the House of Montague, and its cat, were adopted by the House of Capulet, ending the feud. Mercutio’s Ghost fled to Liechtenstein to escape the Sanctions. This has been a very short play, thanks to Ms McVey and Mr IDS, but the rest of the night is free now for us all to go home and fill in our What I did to Look for Work forms.
    FRIAR LAWRENCE: miaow]

    8) If forced to give your kids into official or unofficial Care while you do this RT, what if the kids end up with a paedophile? Or are you meant to abandon them at home without food while you do RT?
    9) If forced onto RT and your disability/illness means you can’t do the work, what then?
    10) If allowed to take kids on RT with you, how do you sort out new schools, creche or childcare for them? When most places have waiting lists even for residents? What if the RT accommodation is unsuitable for families/kids? If a sex offender mandated to RT is in the accommodation with you?
    11) If you have disabled kids you care for or another disabled person? Or if you are in a couple, both disabled but with different disabilities and need to be there because you each do the things the other can’t do?
    12) If you live with your spouse/partner who is your carer and they do intimate care of you, why should you be expected to swap that for being forced to live in a box full of strangers and ‘cared’ for (wiped etc) by strangers? If on an outdoor or other privacy-lacking placement, how do they do things like take you to the toilet or undress you? In front of other detainees of the opposite sex, and members of the public? And that would cost extra to the government, or perhaps they want to sew you into your clothes for a year till you are a bag of piss and shit?

    13) How do you receive your mail, pay bills to banks, and do other similar tasks when on RT? Without it you’d get £30+ monthly bank charges per account. Do they want to financially ruin us as well?
    14) The RT accommodation could be like a jail. They’d have to have a curfew, guards, ankle tags, searches, drug screening tests. All against human rights, so they’d have to rewrite the law and redefine us as not humans. Without all these measures, people (especially if under curfew) would take drugs, drink alcohol, shout and swear, smash things. It’d be impossible to get away from it, if you were an inmate who hated that sort of thing. If they didn’t ban drugs some people would force other inmates to take drugs and/or deal them.
    15) There’s no choice over what work you do (could be things you’re against, hate, can’t do), or who you are jailed with. They could be moronic bigots and bully other inmates, or do general antisocial behaviour. There is nothing in the report about racist, religious or homophobic or sexist bullying/harassment/attacks by inmates or staff against inmates (or staff). Guards are often BNP/EDL and relish working in such places. People jailed would be stuck with their tormentors 24/7. It’s not clear how you get food at an RT (or if it would be suitable and sufficient); catered food would mean it could be unsuitable for special diets and of low quality. Self-catering could result in disabled people too disabled to cook, starving; and inmates stealing or spitting etc. in the others’ food. It’s not said how/where/when/with what they could buy food, and as it is another area the cost of food would be higher (not your usual place). Mixed sex (and same sex) accommodation would mean sex. Also rape and sexual assault by inmates and guards would be a major problem (it is in immigration detention centres, with G4S and Securicor and Serco guards often the perpetrators). Inmates could become pregnant by consensual sex (particularly if not allowed out of the jail to get condoms), or by rape. Pregnant inmates on physical work would be a problem, as would sexual diseases caught during detention. Prolonged RT workfare would mean people having babies while incarcerated. (They did not say what breastfeeding mothers are meant to do if separated from their baby, toddler, or in the case of some vegan mums an older vegan child)
    16) Nothing in the report refers to the medical needs of RT detainees. If under curfew you can’t go out to see a doctor or nurse. People with chronic conditions and in ongoing treatment, need this to continue. Getting to another doctor as a ‘temporary visitor’ is tricky, so is getting them to continue your existing treatment. Especially if they don’t believe in it, or the area your RT is in doesn’t provide (or rations) the treatment.
    Also if your home is adapted for your use, but your RT jail is not.
    RT jails do not necessarily have adequate private washing and changing facilities. If you need treatment in daytime hours how do you get it on RT when you’re working, possibly outdoors in the middle of nowhere? If at night, how do you get DWP to pay for private carers to come in? And then how can you guarantee that you won’t get a life ban from NHS treatment ‘for having received private healthcare’? What if you have a complex specialist condition only treated in your area, often requiring continuous residency for eligibility (and what if the treatment is keeping you alive?) ? What if you are on large and heavy equipment like oxygen, dialysis, etc? How can you live in communal RT jails if you are seriously incontinent? How do you do dirty physical work if you have open surgical wounds or infections? If you are immunocompromised? If you can’t feel parts of your body so don’t know when you get pressure sores, frostbite, injuries, or necrosis/gangrene?

    17) If a parent is sent on RT but has to abandon a behavioural difficulties type child, perhaps one excluded from school and homeschooled, what happens to the child and their education? In particular if separation anxiety makes the child’s mental state and behaviour much worse?
    18) Nothing has been done to address the massive stigma of being sent to an RT jail (workhouse). Suicides (as in the past) will go up; to avoid being sent there, poor people killed themselves. They jumped in rivers, or cut their throat, or drank rat-poison. Debtor’s prisons were not as bad but still a stigma. People there could avoid things like stripsearches (compulsory at workhouse and jail entry), and their family living with them who were not inmates could come and go during day hours.
    RT jails will cut people off from their family/friends. It will break up relationships with your spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, children, parents. Older relatives could be ill and die while you are in the RT jail. As it is a jail, your mail in/out could be searched by the guards. If under strict curfew, they could only allow in things like one type of soap/toothpaste (vegetarians in this case would have to go without, as normal soap/toothpaste is unsuitable).
    RT jails today would be a social stigma nearly as bad as having HIV/AIDS, or being a real/falsely-accused ‘paedophile’. It would look terrible on your CV, but as it is for a significant period of time you’d have to include it. ‘In jail for being a crip or a dole scrounger’. Neighbours would object to you living there and maybe campaign for your eviction.
    Anything you get for demonstrating independence, such as certain medical treatments, would be taken away because of being forced into dependence while jailed.

    19) Your landlord could evict you for being in the RT jail. Or they’d promise they wouldn’t, then as soon as you leave the RT jail you come home to find your stuff in the skip, the locks changed and someone else living there.
    20) They have not said who pays for the travel to or from the RT jail on the way to start and finish your incarceration. Or who pays for emergency visits you need (sick relative, consultant, home flooded…) back home during it. Please don’t ask us to pay for our own incarceration as well!
    21) Antisocial people could bully teaching staff on the ‘courses’.
    22) Muslim women (and many other women!) object to sharing accommodation with men who are not their husband, brother, son, father etc.
    23) What goes on the tax forms and employment record? We are detained against our will in an institution, so it could have a tax/election code like ‘being in prison’. It can’t be employment as we are not paid and it is not voluntary. It is not a religious residence as (even if the WPP is religious) not all inmates are followers of religion. It can’t be training as not all inmates (the more severely impaired) can be trained or learn.
    Oh, forgot to mention, it buggers up our council tax. We are non-resident in our former home so lose residential entitlement and have a second unauthorised home. CTB probably gets stopped and we can be charged for our previous home (though probably if treated as jail/institution don’t get charged CT for our cell in an RT jail.).
    24) As above, if there is TV provided the RT jail probably pays a communal licence, but probably chooses only a few channels we can watch. However we still have to pay TV licence for our unwatched TV at home, and our household bills, and our bank payments/charges.
    25) Final point: The government have failed to address a major flaw in this entire proposal; the fact that it has been drafted by morons.

  42. While I am not going to look at the more imaginative possible trajectory of such schemes, I have seen in the US there are schemes which effectively ‘monetise’ the residential ’employees’ who then become tokenised income for the companies, who have glossy websites, with smiley feel-good disabled people of all kinds featured. When you look at what these organisations provide it is virtually impossible to find out what their clients do in terms of work. In some cases they have even got the families of disabled people paying for this ‘training’. Effectively it is residential care without being called that. As to the UK model – most disturbing to me is the DWP pdf document, in which the only example of work is as a self employed plumber. Residential accommodation is to be one room. Childcare costs are mentioned more than a few times, as in payments for childcare, so from this we are to expect that people with children will be expected to participate. And be on a residential course for 52 weeks! Nowhere is any provision for if a child is unwell mentioned. Qualifications seem to be aimed at NVQ level, with no list of potential subjects, as I said only plumbing is identified. Another anomaly is that while transport is mentioned in terms of cars, buses and trains, nowhere are wheelchairs or any other assistive devices mentioned, and neither are any accommodations in terms of accessibility mentioned in requirements of the training provider. The only existing providers seem to be organisations that provide for the ‘blind’ or ‘deaf’. (Please forgive me, I do not know how these two groups prefer to be named, so have used the terms in the document.) Neither is any provision in terms of needs spelled out. As in different types of disability. For instance will providers be required to have assistants of any kind, and where are they going to source them. My questions immediately would be, what happens to the house or flat the person is currently living in, as they vacate it and go into residential ‘education’? Following on from that, training will not take place over the weekend, and people will be allowed a statutory 20 days holiday over the 52 weeks. My guess is that most people would want to use at least part of that time to return to their partners, families or children. If they have to give up their homes, then there will not be anywhere to return to. Again my concern is for any children, nowhere are their rights to parenting referred to, and there is equally no reference to the rights of parents to be with their children. But also for other family members, too, as disabled people do not exist in isolation, and this residential education stuff is hardly the same as going to uni, or even a FE college. Though somewhere it does seem to mention them as colleges rather than training centres. As the programme does not specify types of disability or age range this might well affect more people than one might think. Taking this further to the end of the training period, the trainee with newly acquired NVQ in hand will be returned to what? Given the governments policies on housing I scarcely think that they are going to cough up for two dwellings. And in the meantime, though childcare is mentioned for daytime purposes, nowhere is there any mention of what happens to children at night, i.e. where do they live. Who knows what this idea will produce, but in the meantime I suggest that in terms of accommodations of all kinds this plan is deeply flawed and will give disability rights campaigners a lot of leeway to argue against implementing it. There also seems to be no mechanism to enforce it unless you sign up to it, so the main thing is not to be induced into it at any cost. Simply refuse. As another poster said boycotting could be the way to go. NVQs are evidence based qualifications, which generate a lot of paperwork, reams of it, and they mostly provide for vocational work that many disabled people will simply not be able to do, unless they have a condition that is invisible, does not impair mobility or cause intolerable discomfort. Given the figures for 2011/12 I cannot see that this programme is viable. I would love to know what the 317 job outcomes consisted of though……. perhaps the 3 month built in work experience, for what looks to be just over a third who get that far… Don’t buy into it, or think it is inevitable, fight it, or if you want education, make it into a mainstream college of some kind.

  43. This is more bonkers insanity from this crazy government who never seem to learn about the constant welfare failures!!!
    Every scheme they have brought in has failed (yet somehow they deem they are all succes’s!!!!!)

  44. Pingback: A Tory plan to reintroduce the Workhouse | jaynelinney

  45. Oh dear. I don’t agree with this at all and think it could cause enormous fear and distress amongst people who might read it.

    You don’t mention the extraordinarily high cost of the schemes – between 35 and 75K per successful job. You don’t mention that those on the schemes themselves find it very helpful. You don’t mention that they are trained to get real skills or that the job outcome ration is very high – 1 in 3.

    Do you honestly think the gov would roll out a specialised scheme that costs 75k a pop to every worker?

    I can see your concerns, but surely it’s best to wait to write about concerns in this way until ANY evidence the gov might use it in an underhand way comes to light?

    If it was sanctioned, I’d agree, but it’;s not and people find it valuable. We don’t have to shoot down every attempt to help sick and disabled people find work. As for referring to it as “workfare” in this context, I think that’s sensational too. It is genuine work experience related to the course and often resulting in work.

    We spend a lot of our time revealing terrible things you and I, but if we jump on everything and distort it, we’re as bad as they are. If we scare people unnecessarily along the way, that’s terrible.

    • overburdenddonkey

      sue marsh is govt policy that is causing fear and distress, not writing about it and highlighting the kind of language used in these types of documents, knowing about something that on previously did not know may shock…the article is well written, informative and valid, i believe we need to know what is going on in as much detail as is may trigger alarm, but it does not cause it..i have no way of validating the individual a/c’s of the people who have found work through this type of you? seems like a template, perhaps scaled down in costs a pilot of a more widely envisaged scheme…some thing that probably will be rolled out in the future, we should all be able to evaluate and have an opinion on it. a workhouse environment has happened before, in our history..we seem to be moving in that direction again..we should be alarmed by this…”mind the gap”..”beware cliff edge”…i welcome people being in work, i love work and would love to be able to work, but for me personally the demands of work would have a serious detriment on me..i am a skilled tradesman, (old style 5 yr apprenticeship), so i know the world of work very well..i welcome genuine skills training that fits the passions, the true abilities of the individual..that leads to a real job and a real job description…atm work is very very scarce, and getting even scarcer..our local economy is being starved of investment..the bulk of investments now go into a very limited range of portfolios, mostly those that service global economic interests etc…truth may be a bitter pill, but only truth sets ones mind free…

    • If you read the piece I make it quite clear that these schemes are expensive and would be unaffordable to rolled out to every claimant. I’m sorry you feel that calling work experience workfare is sensational, but some of us believe all workers deserve a wage and this practice, of unemployed or disabled people being expected to work without pay on the off chance of a job in a shop, should be wiped out.

      There are real dangers in this kind of residential training being opened up to the market – which is what’s going to happen if these proposals are implemented – I think it’s better people are aware of that before it happens rather than after it’s a done deal.

    • also fwiw, a comment left by somebody who says they attended one of these training centres on facebook: “your posting is spot on. i attended a one yr course at The Queen Elizabeth Training College in Leatherhead. General quality of teaching was third rate, level was so low, would be very little use in real world. There was a culture of bulling by the staff and i remember the head of the college saying many students ‘mucked up’ their work placments. never occured to him that the workplacments were not suitable because of peoples disabilities or because of a lack of support.”

      • @JV also if they represent good value for they actually lead to something positive…plus the obvious which is that if one living away from the home you pay rent on…there you are paying rent on a place that you are in efeect not living in…because you are doing this ‘training’

      • overburdenddonkey

        “help, the hardest to help”, is semantic is branding, you have been blames the victim straight away, before the victim has even got through the training camp door. (we, help thee—oh, hardest to help). the statement is an official one, it means that many assumptions have already been made about the individual, also the credence of those in authority and their presumed right to say it..therefore it is how one will be treated by cause of it, there seems to be no official right to challenge it, which would be a pretty daunting task in any case, given the many natural disadvantages the “trainees”, might face, in any case, to challenging it..
        it gives the “trainer”, get out clause and creates room for further brandings, “they resist”, or “we tried our best”, “we could not just give up on them”,”we did all that we could..(the next bit implied, but not said), but thee failed to hear us”, and now the victim feels even worse about themselves…as if the trainers have special insights, the trainee failed them, and did not get it right..
        i wish they would share their special insights with me…perhaps they should write self help books…they use guilt, blame, and shame as prime tools to get at the victim, and get the victim to change their mind set and “think new thoughts”…now we are at mind over matter…(they don’t mind and we don’t matter)…

      • Fair enough. But the internet is alive today with talk of Gulags and concentration camps. People are already very very scared and this is making them more so. Please don’t be offended. I have great respect for your articles and think they are balanced and fair. Just in this case, I read the entire report and noted the people who had compiled it and felt we had little to fear from this being something people were sanctioned to do. Of course that’s just my opinion.
        It’s interesting there was that one comment against, but in fact, yes, I do know that many people with learning difficulties very much want to get places on these kinds of courses and can’t as the cost is prohibitive. If they want to take part and gov are willing to pay AND they get work at the end of it (1 in 3 isn’t bad at all) I just wanted to keep an open mind about it.
        When it comes to “wortkfare” you KNOW I don’t believe in anyone being sanctioned to take part in unpaid work against their will.
        However, a period of work experience as part of a year long course that may lead to a job is not in my opinion workfare – surely saying that is devalues the valid fight against workfare? Many many students take part in work experience.
        Anyway, as I said, I value your articles and just wanted to say that in this case, I don’t think government are likely to be sanctioning people onto 75k courses any time soon. If they did, I’d be the first to denounce it.
        I only wanted to remind people that we are in the middle of a terrible, frightening time and it’s so important we don’t frighten people more. I realise that sounds patronising and I really don’t mean it to. There’s plenty for us to fight and unite on xx

        • I see your point about scare-mongering and agree, I toned this post down several times, and hence the phrase ‘wild speculation’ – when I don’t think it’s that wild at all, I think a short sharp shock of unpaid work away from home is exactly the kind of thing likely to get IDS’s rocks off if they win the next election. If this goes out to tender, with such high unit costs, the welfare to work sharks will be all over it, and will lobby for mandation – if it is integrated within the Work Programme, as the report recommends, then mandation to the unpaid work part of the scheme, if not the residential element, is already there. Even now WP ESA participants could be bullied onto this programme against their will with the threat of a longer period of charity workfare elsewhere if they don’t attend. And don’t forget there are countless examples of jobcentre staff threatening people with sanctions even when schemes are voluntary – what is officially supposed to happen, and what actually takes place in jobcentres is very different.

          There’s a big difference between day release on a college course, where some work experience is a necessary part of the training, and required so people can be assessed for NVQs etc and a block of three months unpaid work for a private company. That is unacceptable imo, just as unpaid internships, and all other work experience schemes which are used by employers to cut down their wages bills are unacceptable – this is a smash and grab raid by capital to stop paying trainees and get workers for free and should be resisted.

        • Sue Marsh,

          ” In 1936 Halifax visited Nazi Germany for the first time. Halifax’s friend, Henry (Chips) Channon, reported: “He told me he liked all the Nazi leaders, even Goebbels, and he was much impressed, interested and amused by the visit. He thinks the regime absolutely fantastic.” ”

          “In November, 1937, Neville Chamberlain, who had replaced Stanley Baldwin as prime minister, sent Lord Halifax to meet Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Goering in Germany. In his diary, Lord Halifax records how he told Hitler: “Although there was much in the Nazi system that profoundly offended British opinion, I was not blind to what he (Hitler) had done for Germany, and to the achievement from his point of view of keeping Communism out of his country.” This was a reference to the fact that Hitler had banned the Communist Party (KPD) in Germany and placed its leaders in Concentration Camps.”

          The Halifax type of Tory is what rules the Tory party today, and the hijacked New Labour party/ LibDem party. The old type of VERY semi caring Tories have long been expelled, they are now an extinct species …

          Sue Marsh , Wake up to what is going on, its a bit by bit, step by step to the world they want!!!.

          • Annos – Get a grip. Have you hand on heart read all 40 odd pages of the report?? You’re comment is patronising. I don’t know if you read my blogs, but where there is a genuine threat, I am at the forefront of opposition. I read every word of these reports and do my best to disseminate the information in them to the best of my ability. If I believe there is a threat I say so.

            This is NOT a DWP report, it has not been enacted in any way, I very much doubt it will be at 75k a pop. There is no mention whatever of the word sanction. The courses are very popular amongst those that use them and in fact there are not enough to meet demand. It is going away to study, just as many able bodied people do – do you begrudge sick and disabled people that if they want? Why shouldn’t they go away to study if they want to?

            Do you REALLY think I haven’t compared the situation today with Nazi Germany? Do you think I haven’t written articles about it? Did you read the one where a Rabbi wrote a sermon for me about just that?

            YOU wise up. If we jump on everything, regardless of evidence and God forbid, actually read the report through without foaming at the mouth, we’re just as bad as the DWP. We twist and turn things, make everything terrifying, scare vulnerable people with utter nonsense, then how – tell me – how are you any different to IDS?

            Save the rhetoric for the real situations where it is needed, or you are simply crying wolf and no-one will hear us when we have every reason in the world to make those comparisons.

            • overburdenddonkey

              sue marsh..
              this looks very much like a dwp 43p report to me, it has their name on it…is this the one you refer to? “residential training provision-independent advisory panel report?”

            • I’ve read the report and I’ve also read the provider guidance, which does contain things which are problematic, such as encouraging participants to come off ESA and go onto JSA. There is a risk that if they do, and subsequently change their mind about the course they may face sanctions – although I have no idea what decision makers would come up with if that situation arose.

              But I think the problem is not this provision as it stands, which is far from perfect, but any future extension of the scheme. It’s splitting hairs to say this isn’t a DWP report, it’s a DWP commissioned report and if the proposals go ahead then a tendering exercise is planned for next year. The fact it currently costs £77k a job is not particularly relevant, if it goes out to tender its a pretty safe bet it wont cost that much anymore. And even so, the Work Programme isn’t much cheaper per job for ESA claimants, sums like this being spent on the ‘hardest to help’ are not uncommon, largely because no government can see anything other than getting someone into minimum wage work as a positive outcome.

              • @JV as well as the obvious which is that you wiol be home from home paying rent on premises you are not residing at because you are on this ”scheme’

            • Sue Marsh,

              I think you are not what you try and portray yourself to be. Read what I wrote again…

              “its a bit by bit, step by step to the world they want!!!.”

              What it starts out to be and what it ends up in being, you will no doubt accept any evolutionary progress of these so call “Residential training centres”.

              Your whole post reeks of someone no better then a right wing apologist!.

              “how are you any different to IDS?”

              You rehearse saying that into a mirror ?.

              • Look, I genuinely want to do what’s best for sick and disabled people. I won’t reply after this. You can attack me or attack IDS, up to you.

                • @sue marsh no one wants to attack you sue, you are very much appreciated for the support yoi give to so many..i think the problem being is the DWP absurd schemes which look ok on paper but in reality is an excercise is passing more dosh to organisations and companies..

              • @annos dont be a t.w.a.t sue supports many people..

            • overburdenddonkey

              annos is not being a twat…

            • overburdenddonkey

              ok my opinion is annos is not a twat

              • @donkey you say ‘either ‘i say ‘malfeasement’ you say ‘corpohdyrene’ i say ‘unexpurgated’…lets call the hole thing off..the trouble is there are too many people saying things… wonder the werld is in a mess…

            • overburdenddonkey

              carl gustav jung..”all activity leads lead to inactivity”, i dearly hope for the latter, but alas we have along way to go on this road…i read the whole post and the report summarised and extrapolated it, and agree entirely with the conclusions of jv and others..
              anything the has dwp brand on it is chilling…it is the generalised roll out of such schemes that is harrowing…the settings that sue describes, are well known to me..they are not the issue and we do need many more truly caring settings, for people to choose to go to for retreat from the world..just to relax and play, where people can naturally find themselves…see i remember willie whitelaws boot camp ideas, this where things are now heading, short sharp shock….imho

              • @donkey its just this idiot govt showing off–to appeal to the nasty element of society how its ‘GETTING TOUGH’ with unemployed people , immigrants, the economy etc etc..its all bollocks really…as they just havent got a fucking clue..

            • overburdenddonkey

              that is the dangerous bit, they think that they are right..

            • overburdenddonkey

              i need a fcuking holiday, not working is hard shroud see the pile of dwp generated paper work i’ve got to get through…by next week or no nothing for me…

            • overburdenddonkey

              how about a virtual..self catering workhouse…and boot camps for those “hardest to help”?

        • Sue, you are pretty naïve if you think the government will not force people to take unpaid work against their will. In fact, they have already tried it, but the two people won their cases at court. But the government can and do re-write the laws in their favour and take away any victory the claimant had, e.g. being sanctioned, e.g. benefit removed, which is illegal.

  46. well at least Disability Rights UK ( how ironic is that for their name) made lots of money from their report

    • Linda – I do wonder how Liz Sayce gets to put these opinions forward and quite how they’re meant to square with the constant research and surveys DRUK carry out – which never back up much of what she says

  47. There are local schemes already which go for a few months and organised locally whereby you can get paid & spend part time in College and part time on Work Placements. These can actually be helpful! Of course, residential study is fine – if it is doing something you are interested in – but we know how DWP operate. Unless it’s something they ‘approve’ they are likely to stop your money.

  48. Given that G4S is in the frame, perhaps We should volunteer the unwashed George Iain Duncan Smith, Mr Freud and Esther McVey (notorious for being previously a mere autocue reader on TV) for such assistance to make them all “Work Ready”, with G4S using their well known camps in Israel.

  49. This is fucked up!

    Who are these charities? These are vulnerable people with health problems being forced to attend some fucking year long summer camp bullshit? God only knows what goes on behind the scenes; remember Winterbourne?

    Even if that’s an extreme example, where is the NHS in all this? What input do specialists, carers, doctors etc, have to say about this? Demanding that someone just give up their home and move into some cunting workhouse that doesn’t even train you to the max?

    Get to fuck with this you Tory cunts! Fucking burn!

  50. Is there a chance they are really referring to sending people to college, and not forcing people away from their lives (including friends, support networks and even posessions, such as computers like mine which I use daily to pursue my writing) into some hideous asylum?

  51. @linda burnip i didnt know that about DRUK..thats not right they should not be in govts pocket no way..

  52. @something survived brilliant and eloquent as really must do your own are greatly needed..

  53. Pingback: Is a mandated ‘WorkFAREhouse’ the Tories’ answer to the ‘bedroom tax’ court case? | Vox Political

  54. Reblogged this on johncresswellplant and commented:
    People can’t say that I haven’t warned of this for years. This is – after all! – a Managed Democracy!

  55. Dear Meredith Ong,

    Freedom of Information request

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 01 August 2013

    You asked for:

    How many people, who were disabled and were found fit to work after undergoing an ESA
    examination, have now found a permanent full time job?

    Please exclude part time working, short contracts and work placement.

    We can confirm that the Department does hold some information falling within the description
    specified in your request. However this information is not held centrally and to provide a
    response would require us link together data from different sources. We therefore estimate that
    the cost of retrieving and extracting this information would exceed the appropriate limit of £600.

    The appropriate limit has been specified in regulations and for central Government it is set at
    £600. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3½ working days in
    determining whether the Department holds the information, and locating, retrieving and
    extracting the information. Under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) the
    Department is not obliged to comply with this part of your request.”

  56. Pingback: UK Sleepwalking into Fascism: Workhouses for Disabled, The #RacistVan, Racial Profiling | Scriptonite Daily

  57. Pingback: Report Calls For Expansion Of Residential Workf...

  58. @donkey how about this from a bigoted rag?

    BBC shelved report showing Alf Garnett’s bigotry was shared by viewers because bosses were worried about encouraging prejudice

  59. This is all making me quite sad. Same argument going on on Twitter and two of the most radical campaigners I know ripping each other apart over it. ALL of us commenting here are on the same side! NONE of us want workers to be exploited and no-one has done more than I have to defend sick and disabled people where I see genuine threat.

    We mustn’t do this!!! The right love it when we fight amongst ourselves. I love Johnny’s blog and link t it all the time. Forced labour for Tesco? Of course it’s disgusting. Genuine work experience as part of a degree or genuine qualification? That can provide real vale.

    None of us believe this government should be doing any of this and we all give a lot of our time and energy to fighting it.

    • @sue marsh yes Sue its a shame…you are quite right we should be all on the same side…what do you expect from a govt that seeks to ‘GET TOUGH’ on well just about anyone…really..trouble is it will all end in tears wonder the govt wants to stop judicial reviews into its policies…

    • overburdenddonkey

      nah we’ll work it all out and move on..the pressure is relentless atm..the not scared people should stand up for the scared, we all have our fears, i can do some things others are afraid of doing, and they the same….people are bound to be scared, but we must still speak out…we protect ourselves and each other by doing that…express it…use our voices…

    • overburdenddonkey

      sue just read your twitter feed
      i thought that you were saying anger is destructive, it is not it is the most constructive emotion expression human beings have…it is only destructive when it is trapped or bottled up, expressing anger and rage clears the mind…

    • there’s always going to be disagreements, its better we work through them and try find some consensus and common ground than leaving them to fester. I don’t regret posting this, I think it’s right people are aware of it, and possibly it can be nipped in the bud early, at least people are going to be watching out for whatever decision is made and keeping a close eye on any future tender should it happen. But I do wish people wouldn’t jump to over-dramatic conclusions, a problem I suspect is often down to conspiracy theory types jumping on anything and muddying the water – I did make quite clear earlier on the blog that there will be no mass workhouses, simply because they don’t need them – but I do think they will be looking for something stronger than Mandatory Work Activity as the teeth of the DWP regime for the ‘hardest to help’ should they win the next election. There are already boot camps schemes for young unemployed people being considered in Australia:

      • overburdenddonkey

        jv well we got there in the end..boot, and not cheerful…

      • Keith Watermelon

        glad you’ve drawn attention to this, i had an adviser attempting to encourage me to sign up to this earlier today. fortunately she dropped it the moment i questioned how being torn away from the support networks i’ve established could be anything other than damaging. but it suggests they’ve been told to start selling it to claimants.

    • Wasn’t so long ago that you were white-knighting for the ConDemNation. I still remember you live-tweeting a parliamentary debate about welfare, slamming Labour and praising the Reich for their ‘forward thinking’.


  60. This report should be given as much media attention as possible so the British people can finally see what type of Government we would have if the Conservative Party were to win the next election.
    If this idea ever became law then I dread to think of the repercussions for this country. Probably have violent disorder all over the country.
    What the Hell are the Lib Dems doing still supporting the Tories
    Like to ask Lib Dem supporters is the above idea liberal and progressive.
    I would also love to know what Labour are going to do and say about this issue.

  61. Will these camps have a political agenda,like the Hitler Youth Camps.Those on the course will be taught to spy on parents and neighbours and report them to the state for not saying Seig Heil when Call Me Dave appears on TV.Or when Obergrupenfuhrer Dumkopf Scmidt makes a new Propaganda Statement.


    Just had a letter from the DWP;

    Dear Mr Reynolds,
    About your Disability Living Allowance,

    We asked you to fill in a questionnaire that we sent to you on the 06/06/2013. We needed the information to decide if we are paying the right amount of DLA.
    Because you have not sent back the questionnaire we are not sure if we are paying you the right amount of DLA.
    We have decided that from the 24/07/2013 we will stop paying your DLA.
    You cannot appeal against this decision.
    If you want us to look again at the amount of benefit we can pay you, you must send us the information we have asked you for by 29/08/2013 we may stop your benefit.

    Please note, my circumstances have never changed but they are harrassing me to fill in a questionnaire so that they can say, they believe they have.
    In doing this they can then send me for an early PIP ATOS examination where my benefits will be reduced even further.
    Esther Mcvey said in parliament that existing DLA holders will not face PIP tests till october 2015. They are trying to circumvent the statement by sending out questionnaires.

    Observe the two dates they have given to me;
    from the 24/07/2013, they will stop paying me, yet i have until the 29/08/2013 to send them the information or they may stop it…………..

  63. The Establishment will replace social security with Employment Agencies, public housing with private landlords, NHS with something we’ll never afford and private pensions that will be worthless.
    With the destruction of civil liberties and laws relating to employment, housing etc. we are facing the ultimate political tyranny (because it will be global; nowhere to run to!) and a ‘New Slavery’. Workhouses will develop into camps. A privatised police will be the British SS. Look at the way some police forces behave. We need to develop alternative socio-economic resources to help our people survive and eventually withdraw from this evil society. The key is to persuade the functionaries/mandarins of the Establishment with intelligent argument where this rotten country is heading. Labour and Trade Unions abandoned us a long time ago.

  64. Did anyone on here experience bad times with the ‘Employment’ ‘ provider TNG Essex? Their petty rules and bullying were the precursors for what will be a quasi-Nazi approach in the near future. The offices looked like east Germany c.1990, the equipment was rubbish and often 30+ people were squeezed in a tiny room with central heating on in the summer! The staff unpleasant, cruel misfits. The youngsters were treated particularly bad with young girls shoved into working for the pigs at Argos.
    By the way many thanks to people who advised me on how to deal with DWP troubles I have had recently.
    Now will cheer myself up by watching ‘Conquest of the Planet of the Apes’ 1972. The one where Caesar the chimp leads a revolt against wicked slavemasters.

  65. “The UK government’s attempt at broadening Internet censorship does not end with the “opt-in” button on a customer’s broadband account. Web site owners and bloggers who attempt to avoid the government’s filter will be confronted with one of two options—self-censorship or being blocked. Anyone trying to get around the filter will likely be identified, recorded and subjected to extensive network surveillance and online traffic analysis, and face the possibility of an array of allegations.

    The government’s firewall is set to block access by default to web censorship circumventing tools, such as proxy servers and virtual private networks (VPNs). It is highly likely that restricted access to the Tor software bundle, which is free software enabling greater anonymity and connects to the heavily encrypted Tor Network, will also be contained within the censorship filter.”

    “Together with the information made available by Edward Snowden, Cameron’s latest move is a clear indication of the British state’s advanced preparations to implement dictatorial rule.”

  66. Acronyms: DWP – Department of Wankers and Pricks; DC – Doltish Cunt; IDS – Idiotic Dickhead in a Suit.

  67. Pingback: Report Calls For Expansion Of Residential Workfare For Unemployed and Disabled People « this 'n that

  68. Anyone want to write the next Dickens novel, start now, heres your model.

  69. Pingback: A Tory plan to reintroduce the Workhouse | The Blog of Knitted Fog

  70. Pingback: What does an Establishmentarian’s Establishmentarian know about systemic child abuse? | Dorset Eye

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