Rowdy Mob Confronts Workfare Conference and Spoils Their Lunch

20131202_133225A rowdy mob gathered outside today’s welfare-to-work conference as part of the Week of Action Against Workfare and Sanctions.

The annual conference is organised by ERSA, the trade body established to lie on behalf of the workfare industry.  Whilst vile workfare supporters like Esther McVey and the hard right Tax Payers Alliance gave speeches inside, people outside brought pots and pans, musical instruments, sound systems and megaphones to ensure the delegates could hear the anger at their exploitation of people in receipt of benefits.

Up t0 50 people joined the protest which began outside the main entrance to Senate House, the venue for the conference.  The group then set off for a walk round the building to hunt down the workfare exploiters only to find them having lunch just around the corner.  There then followed a cacophony of noise as protesters whistled, jeered and made as much noise as possible right outside the window ensuring that the poverty profiteers tax-payer funded lunch was as unpleasant as possible.

Meanwhile scores of people took over the #ERSA2013 hashtag for the day, ensuring that any attempt at white-washing their dirty little forced labour schemes on twitter was a dismal failure.  Elsewhere people contacted the sponsors of the event demanding they end any association with workfare.

The main sponsor, who paid out a whopping £6000, were @learndirect.  In an expensive marketing disaster they were singled out and their facebook page bombarded after they were found to be workfare exploiters themselves.  Keep up the pressure  and make sure they bitterly regret every last penny they spent supporting forced unpaid work.learn-direct-workfareProtests are planned around the UK as part of the week of action with upcoming action in Reading, Wrexham, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cardiff along with four more protests in London.  Online actions will continue everyday this week so keep an eye on Boycott Workfare’s website for the latest announcements.

A video of the protest along with a further report is available at:

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid


106 responses to “Rowdy Mob Confronts Workfare Conference and Spoils Their Lunch

  1. Good on you – its time the tides turned against such a bent and corrupt system that systematically sanctions and punishes the poorest for failure to conform to being a workfare slave. Up yours IDS and the W2W industry

  2. When is demo/meet up @Hammersmith job center as I want to join this one.Thanks. So awful all this &the loss of life.:-( They don’t care about poorer people & its bad/ sad etc.I like what you do.:-)

    Connected by Motorola

    • Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group demo at Hammersmith Job Centre against the introduction of Universal Credit. Meet 11am on Wednesday 4th December at Hammersmith Job Centre, Glenn House, 22 Glenthorne Road, W6 0PP

      • Surely tax dodgers alliance should be against UC since its costing a fortune and proving to be waste of time.oh wait its only tax payers money spent on public they complain about isnt it ? Monies pissed away to corporations is just fine and dandy with them isn’t it?

      • In the protests was the issue about wca and benefit related deaths mentioned ?

  3. Nothing in the news about this protest of course..meanwhile on a different planet Cameron in trade talks with China. So expect Chinese style factories in UK with excessive hours low pittance wages all below NMW as employers can avoid minimum wage if they provide accomadation for employees. The accomadation has to be ‘ adequate ‘ so expect sleeping mats and bedrolls..


    this is no coincidence………………………………………

    UNUM Provident developed a special list of “independent” medical examination physicians whom it believed would be willing to write reports denying the existence of disability. As part of this plan, Provident made agreements with outside vendors to provide referrals to IME physicians that they believed would be willing to write medical reports supporting the denial of benefits.

    • Well it has history since I found that doc contributed to by prof aylwood all about malingering and disability deception and him connected to FOM carol black Fairchild and gunyon all of them linked to Atos / unum provident..

    • overburdenddonkey

      bells are clanging, no one can deny the similarities of this blueprint…it is identical to how our welfare system is being run, and run by accountants to squeezing max profit for providing no service in return, only m/t words paid in, little paid out…and the victims blamed and left to suffer, coz human beings, flat broke, powerless…sucked dry…

  5. My only concern about demos like these is there is the potential for the Right-wing media to misrepresent them as the voice of extremist trouble-makers. The Right in America and Canada used the criminal acts committed by a small element in the Occupy protests to try to paint them as a load of vandals, and to contrast them with the law-abiding behaviour of the Tea Party. It’s great that people are protesting, and protesting loudly, but I do feel we have to be prepared for something like that to be tried on protests and demonstrations over here.

    Sorry to be so negative about what is actually a good blow against the system, and hopefully the first of many.

    • @beast sadly it comes with territory look at UK uncut Fortnums protest all well behaved but BBC and daily hate potrayef them as shop smashers…you either protest and run risk of discredit or shut up and do nothing you just hope that ppl with critical thinking skills will see through the propaganda fog of deception

      • PS another example was calums list of benefit related deaths. Torygraph tried to portray disability rights organisations as using a new ‘ low ‘ of exploiting deaths to show welfare reforms were severe ..I notice the torygraph didn’t deny or try to debt benefit related deaths ..

    • I too have been very critical of the lack of action and would like to say God bless the 50 that turned out, I guess there are not so many unemployed in london that they could have made a bigger impression, perhaps they are all on workfare.
      Pity we all can’t travel down there and march on Parliament itself, I’m sure the media would report that……..but then again………

  6. Smash the Workfare Exploiters

    Well done. Any film footage uploaded any where yet?


    @johnny void another upcoming event in January review of benefit sanctions chaired by Matty Jokely in between doing his which guide to getting paid lots of money for being useless guide..


    @Johnny Void upcoming events let’s not forget the thinly veiled attempt to prop up the abysmal Universal Pox Scratch computer ‘ system ‘
    Bloody hell its so blatant this claiming that most jobs are more likley to be found online ..not with UJM it isn’t ..
    Spam anyone ?

  9. “Giving businesses access to up to a total of £250 million over two years”

    In January there was a W2W gig
    Maybe one of the reasons companies showed up there was this little item above


    Sorry I got name slightly wrong its mansel aylward who contributed to the doc about malingering and disability deception ..

    Well here is a book by him ..its all about belief in that patients imagine they are sick and because if that they are ..but if they believe they are getting well they will .
    That psychosocial twaddle

    I note that this book costs over hundred quid so based on his theory of belief paying that amount of money should make you think its a very helpful book…
    Some how I don’t think thats gonna work

  11. Reblogged this on The Heckler and commented:
    Okay, we re-blogged a post from The Void about an anti-workfare held today (2.12) outside the ‘Welfare to Work’ conference held at Senate House in central London – well here’s a write up of the day’s events. It wasn’t the biggest protest – most likely down to the cost of getting into London – but judging by the report, it was certainly noisy!

  12. What hope is there in JCP with this tyrant in charge – here it is in black and white – the truth about SANCTIONS. What do you think of his attitude?

    • overburdenddonkey

      he is in denial of emotions of human being, that is what i think…

      • @donkey. ” its the law ” which law public law corporate law ..a law which
        States you have to get someone to starve to death ..isn’t that against the law ..?

    • stokebloke

      He is trying to justify the unjustifiable (who is he by the way?) Why should he be hell bent on following the law when ids is breaking laws?

    • I think he’s a wanker, making thinly veiled threats against JC staff who won’t impose sanctions. By saying they are in breach of their employment contract means they could be fired. Not that any of the tossers at my JC need any persuasion to issue sanctions at the drop of a hat…. they are wankers too.

      • I bet there are none that would not impose sanctions, like I said earlier they are employed because not only of their bias opinion of the unemployed but because they are pliant sheep.

        • Or fear losing their job guy…thus joining the ranks of those who are at the sharp end of these measures ..what a trap eh ? Treat claimants like dirt or end up being a claimant …

        • agreed…. I’ve just had my adviser changed because i rang rings around the last one – had him stuttering and red-faced every time I went in. This new one. however, is Hitler’s granddaughter… don’t know how I’m gonna handle this one yet…. They’ve started a new thing as well – recording the time you arrive at reception. When i went on thursday, my watch matched their clocks exactly – when I went today, the receptionist wrote the time and when I checked it against my watch it was 5 mins fast. I asked how it was possible for their clocks to have gained a full 5 minutes in 4 days – she just said – I’d advised you to come at least 10 mins early in future. I swear they’ve put them on 5 mins to make people appear late on purpose…..

    • He is not a tyrant he is the worse kind of bureaucrat can you be actively seeking work if you are malnourished and homeless ..don’t you need an address to be able to apply for a job and I think it helps if you are alive too…

    • Like Nazi Germany all over again. Very worrying times!

      Good people need to stand up and do what is right!

  13. @Johnny Void sorry about this but I have a weird thing am looking at to do with Oakley lot…

    Ok we have the policy exchange clown Matthew Oakley who had also written about capping pensions .
    But also about smart cards for benefit claimants stopping them buying stuff..
    Then there is a Kate Oakley who wrote a book about how tough it is being an entrepreneur and that book was by Demos the think tank funded by MasterCard who proposed the smart card for claimants..
    Then there is david Oakley who did the document on malingering and disability deception he is part of hipnosis UK who believe all sickness and problems can be cured by hipnosis ..creepy eh ?
    Pyscho social models anyone ?
    And that Mandel Aylward stuff about belief …his contribution to malingering book and connected to gunyon carol black Fairchild and Atos looks like health and social policy is being not only by corporates but also by cranks with crank ideologies …

  14. The whole of the psychiatric system is Cranky and run by charlatans, quacks and control freaks,not to mention sadists.

  15. Any employer that thinks they can take on a employee without paying them a wage should be ashamed of themselves and deserve all they get like scumbags they really are.

  16. The guy in the video is Neil Couling – he’s the work services director of Jobcentre Plus. A particularly slimy jobsworth who obviously relishes sanctions

  17. Sanctions are the biggest problem. They are using sanctions to get people off the claimant count. Workfare is a trigger to make it easier for them to sanction, by the claimant refusing to do it.

  18. IDS seems to have given up on getting people into work – now he wants us all sanctioned. I got sanctioned for 6 months for resigning my job due to workplace bullying. Sanctioning is easier and cheaper for IDS to lower the claimant count

    • overburdenddonkey

      j d

      • overburdenddonkey

        i think that they should get lines for not paying attention, not doing their homework, and staying out late…”we must not fall asleep in class” times 10000…

    • She is the worst combination of tory stupid and twisted …never mind esther daddy will look after you…he always does…

    • I have just watched that snapshot of the video and am as disgusted with the panel that are interviewing as I am with the morons sat opposite them. All of this clap trap is not going to reverse the unjust laws and conditionality that have already been imposed on job seekers, infact it is only giving the death squads permission to enforce more job seeking and impose more sanctions. They have let them set out their stalls.
      To tell the job centre that they have to follow up on people that have signed off is outrageous, why should they be under the jurisdiction of a body they are not claiming from – these so called interrogators are just dancing around the problems created by IDS, they should be outraged at the suffering and deaths caused by LIARS. So much for parliamentary accountability – they need blowing up the lot of them.

  19. I hate that woman – she is so cold and callous – she should marry IDS. I watched that whole select committee meeting and wept. 2 of the most horrible people in charge of welfare and jobcentre plus. I despair sometimes

  20. They are making the conditions of claiming so outrageous – 35 hours a week jobsearch so that we can be slipped up into being sanctioned. Who in reality jobseeks for 35 hours a week? Sanctions are the new method now.

    • 35 hours doing what exactly? Idiotic, out of touch with reality? Or maybe just purely evil?

      Why don’t they just put their cards on the table and stop beating about the bush – they want everyone sanctioned off benefits!

      • overburdenddonkey

        j d
        they don’t want people on benefits full stop, and having scribble this crap on a back of a fag packet have tried to justify the unjustifiable….were completely out of their comfort zones, cringing at the sound of their own voices….to put people off, more sanctionable and drive people off of benefits, to make it look like unemployment is falling…callous…

        • overburdenddoonkey
          They might have some case if there were actually jobs out there for people to go to but they simply are not there in my experience and it seems that of many others actually at the ‘coal face’ so to speak. Ok there are some scrips and scraps but nothing like what is needed.

          They are of the philosophy it seems that if they keep repeating loudly and often enough that there are plenty of jobs out there it will stick with the public that the unemployed are the problem and not them.

          • which is what Goebbels said – repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it.

            • StokeBloke
              This is the beauty of the internet era and sites like JohnnyVoid’s. We can use the same methodology to cancel out their campaign of destuction and win the battle overall. Keep spreading the word far and wide of the “Nasty” Tories and their vile policies. No right minded person would want people like them in charge.

            • Of course it is important that we talk to “normal” people also, by that I mean the working population who might be your neighbour, your brother-in law, the librarian, the cafe owner etc, etc.

    • You will have to job search in your sleep next ….workwork work work work wwork..
      Forget your family they don’t matter just keep on working . forget about your kids keep on working ..sod everyone else keep on working they are bloody obsessed

  21. The word “off-flow” when used by him is chilling. Even the woman who is interrogating him doesn’t mention that most of the “off-flow” outcome might be due to sanctions;
    Meanwhile in the Mirror newspaper of 3 days ago:
    Iain Duncan Smith has spent more than £75,000 of taxpayers’ money on polling the popularity of the Bedroom Tax.
    The money spent by the Work and Pensions Secretary would have paid the tax for more than 5,300 victims of the hated policy.
    The Department of Work and Pensions paid pollsters Ipsos Mori £14,700 to run a poll on the impact of the bedroom tax and a further £60,920 on polling and a report into its benefit reforms.

  22. I am quite fortunate in that my Work Program adviser is down to earth and has actually lived in the “real world” unlike these plonkers making policy. He amusingly refers to them, the DWP, or more specifically, the government as “Arseholes”. I don’t argue with him! For that reason if I ever do get a job he is welcome to his outcome fee!

    • Your wpa can call them what he likes, he is sitting pretty getting paid to con you that there are jobs out there or that he is doing something useful for you like putting you on workfare.

  23. Off-flow is all they are bothered about. End of claim. They don’t give a stuff if you are not going into work – they don’t even measure what happens to you after you stop claiming. Sanctioned means you are off flow as you are hardly going to keep signing on and not get paid anything during a sanction are you?
    Its an easy way to fiddle the figures. Force you on workfare – make life such hell on benefits that you flout the “rules” on your ever more unachievable claimant commitment.
    IDS is now closing in for the kill – no more mesing about – he wants us all sanctioned, and watching that committee meeting says what I knew – Jobcentre plus are only out to sanction claimants – Couling admitted it.
    We had better start finding other ways to survive.
    Reports are already coming in of food theft and more shoplifting, foodbanks everywhere…
    I predicted this way back when Lord Fraud was trying to get the welfare reform bill through parliament – big trouble was on the horizon – now its reaching warp speed.

  24. And what amazes me more is that there were no riots about this during this summer. People are just resigned to their fate. Todays demo was good, but it needed 100 times more people. IDS is destroying the welfare system, and people are letting him do it.

    If there isn’t a revolution soon, it will be too late. 2015 will be too late for Labour to undo the carnage that IDS and Cameron have wreaked on the welfare state – sorry, the social security system. America is arriving here rapidly with all the ills that America suffers from. Camoron wanted this all along – for the UK to be a mini USA.
    We have let him do it.

    • Labour will not undo the carnage, they support it!!! They are all the same.
      They sat on there hands when IDS retrospectively changed the regs with the welfare reform bill. Scum.

  25. Also, what is with all the hand gestures by Couling and Mcvey? It is so obvious that their actions are unjustifiable; the hand gestures just emphasise that fact and do not distract attention from it as they obviously hope.

  26. Couling is only following IDS’s orders. Increased conditionality and strictly enforced more long lasting sanctions. I swear IDS still thinks he is in the Army the way he goes on. Obsessed with work and discipline

  27. campaigning against workfare will only mean that IDS is left with less options to trip people up to be sanctioned – hence the 35 hours a week jobsearch. We can campaign against the W2W sector, but the real problem is the draconian conditionality and brutal sanctions that IDS is now turning to.

    Campaigning to stop workfare WILL help though to make more PAID jobs available and stop the use of free labour. It WONT help those who are on JSA fromm being sanctioned, as JCP will only trump up other reasons to sanction.
    This is why protests need to be just as much aimed at the brutal sanctions regime that IDS is blighting us all with.

    • Stokebloke

      With the millions they are now ploughing into small businesses they are intending to provide work for the young as APPRENTICES, 5 years of cheap labour and hard graft usually labouring is what is intended for the young unemployed.
      After 5 years who knows they just want this country to be as productive as China and bring in enough immigrants to match China’s population.
      They truly are insane slave drivers.

  28. totally given up

    after being spoken too like a piece of crap by the jc staff,it amazes me that they dont realise that without claiments,they themselves would be without a job…maybe they should think more about that

    • Cheer up everyone, Christmas is round the corner. Just try to be positive not negative

      • overburdenddonkey

        and just what does christmas “celebrate”….capitalism! neg, pos, neutral, people feel as they do…core capitalist ethos grin and bare it and make the till bells ring….fight….

  29. IDS needs to get laid, the bald, slimy twonk!

  30. “IDS needs to get laid”, preferably in a cemetery..

  31. Thought i would give you an update of my condition since the joint theft of my subsistence by EMMA BRODRICK, a lying HCP, working for ATOS, and CHARLOTTE TRUSLER of Blackpool DWP

    BRODRICK’S lies took away my Incapacity Benefit and TRUSLER’S, my Disability Living Allowance……………………

    Notwithstanding, the government keep telling claimants that £71.20 is the amount of money needed to live on, yet i do not even receive this and was declared disabled for life after an accident at work…………….

    My hands are riddled with rheumatoid arthritis and i have problems wiping my backside. I wear disposable pads that hide the fact i cannot hold my bladder sometimes when rising from a sitting position.
    I purchase the pads and any medication i need from my own pocket, finding it cheaper than expensive prescriptions.

    Since my DLA has been stopped i cannot afford these “luxuries”, and have been stuffing old newspapers down the front of my pants.
    As a result of this i have become sore and developed thrush around my genitals. The tops of my legs have become red raw and a sickly sweet smell is evident.
    Behind my foreskin is also red raw and i am discharging liquid. When i urinate i get a burning sensation in my penis.
    I am not sure if the infection on my genitals is connected to having an ability to wipe my bottom properly, it could be a cross contamination of some kind.

    i have developed bad gumboils in my mouth. I am not sure if it is to do with my genital infection or eating bad foods.
    There are many fantastic adverts on our tv sets showing the finest of christmas cuisine, but this is a luxury that me and my family will never be able to afford. Todays menu will be the same as yesterday, an onion ring sandwich, and out of date at that…………………….
    The physical abuse that is being directed at persons with a handicap is no joke. The biggest perpetrators are our own DWP. It seems to have developed into a national sport where the criteria seems to include, who can do the most evil to someone in dire circumstances.

    No doubt there will be people just waiting to ridicule what i write, these are the people who sit back and poke fun at those in the weakest position, those not able to fight back.

    Please feel free to ridicule, as it is you, and not i, who needs help badly. You have succumbed to the lowest base possible……………………….


    • The problems just grow and grow – I cant afford the gas boiler on now, so have to boil a kettle and use that in the basin to wash my hair. Showers are out – too expensive. The great unwashed is no joke but when you are sanctioned and every penny counts, you have to make sacrifices – every penny counts.
      I have to survive another 4 months on meagre savings – luckily I live alone so no family to have to pay for. My life is a misery, I don’t go out, my house is freezing cold, my fridge is bare and I live on packs of asda smartprice custard creams, and smartprice bread, and smartprice coffee.
      IDS wants to break me – but I am determined that I will not let him win – I will fight him with just as much hatred as he does to me.
      I am 41 years old but feel like 70, on the scrap heap – all because of the Tories. Its easy to get depressed – but that’s what IDS wants – he is a sadomasochist who thrives on people’s misery – so is Osborne, and so is Mc VEY – but the biggest ba***rd is CAMERON. HE is a c**t.
      Cant swear on here as it keeps saying “your comment is awaiting moderation”.

    • Geoffrey,
      Did you have your appeal? Are you getting any help or is there anything which can be done to help you?
      I am so angry reading your post.
      Please say if there is anything we can do

      • Going to appeal on the 13th january Anita.
        They have now taken my DLA.

        Will be ok dear, keep the cause alive!

        • Tell me how can we help? Do you want me to highlight your case on the DPAC website and we can also send your case to the United Nations as we are building a case against DWP.
          But right now, if you need any practical help, please tell us, and we will do our utmost to support you until your appeal.
          Are you being seen by a doctor? You cannot stay like this, Geoffrey. You also need to keep your fighting spirit for the appeal, but I know you and I know you will keep fighting.

  32. Pingback: Day 2: Stop Traineeships – workfare for young people | the void

  33. Dear God Geoff, your suffering should go before the Hague court.

  34. Evil George Osborne on daily politics now on BBC2 telling the country that the welfare state is no longer affordable.

  35. Pingback: Rowdy Mob Confronts Workfare Conference and Spo...

  36. Sadly the general public who are not affected by the cuts don’t tend to bother looking for any information on people who are affected. They will just stay informed through newspapers and television news. I have not seen anything on television regarding the protests yesterday and I agree with an earlier remark that by the time of the next election many peoples suffering will be almost impossible to turn around. Once you are forced to leave your home it will be taken over by another resident and the stress caused by benefit sanctions will take an individual years to get over when they are left with a feeling that they have been punished for doing no wrong.
    Today I applied for a job that appeared on UJM. I went to click on the apply button to see it was not red but grey which implies that I have previously applied for it. The advert had an email address at the bottom so I emailed my CV today and found that I had applied for it in june this year through UJM and they had not even viewed my CV. The general public believe that many jobs are available to people but if they just typed in their location and looked for themselves for a few weeks they would soon see signs of job fixing. They would see those dozens of new jobs suddenly appearing for cvwarehouse and agencies just wanting you to register and no job is really available. I guess they won’t make an effort to find out for themselves how misleading the job vacancy count is.

  37. What a shame! the poor things, having their lunch spoiled! At least they can afford to eat!

  38. Salutations from a supporter of your efforts in the U.S.

  39. Pingback: Petition To Scrap All Benefit Sanction Hits 10,000 Signatures To Round Off Successful Week of Action Against Workfare | the void

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