On Sue Marsh, Maximus, and Moving On


It is hard to accept when someone you trusted has stabbed you in the back.  It is unsuprising that there are those who cling to the – frankly fucking ludicrous notion – that the appoinment of a prominent claimant and disability campaigner to a highly paid role with Maximus represents a cunning plan by Sue Marsh to take down the system from the inside.  Or that she is still working for claimants really, not the people who are paying her £75,000 a year.  The sad truth is that seemingly nice people do shitty things for a lot less money than that every single day.  No matter what lies Sue has told herself, and us to justify this betrayal, do not believe for a second that it is Maximus who are being played.

Maximus are not idiots.  They are as slick a bunch of bastards as you are likely to find and have ridden out a string of scandals in the US.  They make Atos look like Mary fucking Poppins.  And they knew exactly what they were taking on when Iain Duncan Smith offered them the contract to replace Atos running the despised Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

Atos couldn’t resist the lure of lucrative government contracts, but they always secretly fancied themselves as one of those trendy dotcom type companies like google or facebook.  That’s why they sponsored the Paralympic Games in a crude attempt to spin away their appalling treatment of sick and disabled people.  It’s why they were so over-sensitive to online pressure that they spent half their time trying to get websites run by disabled people shut down.  And it’s why after several years of solid of militant campaiging by disabled people, they slunk away from their contract to assess people claiming out of work sickness or disability benefits and hoped we wouldn’t notice that they are still carrying out a similar regime for those claiming Personal Independence Payments (PIPs).

Maximus have no such pretensions.  This is a company that is rotten from top to bottom.  The kind of company who would pick out a skint disability campaigner and offer them a life changing sum of money to turn on the people they claimed to support.  The sort of shady corporate operation who know only too well the disruption and disagreement this will cause amongst the disabled people’s  movement and consider this money well spent.  They are not idots.  They have thought about this very hard.

The appointment of Sue Marsh, on a huge salary in a role she has no formal experience in, is a bribe plain and simple.  Perhaps most galling of all, it is a bribe with our money.  Ultimately this salary will be paid by the tax payer, out of money saved in the social security system by stripping benefits from sick and disabled people.

Anyone who has followed the tortuous debates amongst politicians and bureacrats about the Work Capability Assessment will have know that the stated aim of the DWP is to change the perception of the process, not the reality.  They honestly believe that if assessors are just a bit nicer to people, and the letters they send out are slightly less scary, then no-one will notice that their benefits are being taken away for the most spurious of reasons.  The hiring of Sue Marsh is part of attempting to change those perceptions and so is born a fluffy new WCA that operates exactly the same way as the old one,  but with the ringing endorsement of a former benefit scrounger and claimant activist.  Be in no doubt, Sue’s appointment will have been cleared by the DWP and probably even Iain Duncan Smith himself, who must be pissing himself.  And he is the only one with the power to make any significant change to the WCA, not Maximus, and certainly not Sue Marsh.

The Work Capability Assessment is on the point of collapse.  The abrupt exit of Atos plunged a project that was already woefully behind schedule into chaos.  Public opinion is turning against these vicious tests, not least within the medical establishment.  The biggest possible threat to the future of the WCA now is that they can’t find enough so called health professionals to carry out the tests and clear the backlog.  Atos warned of this problem themselves in their tender for PIP.  This perhaps is the main reason for Sue’s appointment, so that Maximus can try and give the impression to potential new recruits that they are different from Atos in style if not substance.  The call from claimants and campaigners to the medical sector has been please don’t work for Atos.  But even Sue Marsh works for Maximus the company will claim, we’re different.  She has not been hired to modify the WCA, to make it fairer, or even nicer.  She has been brought in to help try and save it.

We do not know how deep Sue’s treachery goes, but in the interests of basic security we must make one assumption.  Any information that you have ever given Sue Marsh should now be assumed to be in the hands of Maximus, the DWP, and particularly if you have taken part in protests or direct action, probably the police as well.

With all that said the best thing we can do now is put this behind us and build for the first of many days of action against Maximus – which has been called by Disabled People Against Cuts for the 2nd March.  Maximus would be only too happy for Sue to become a lightning rod for protests and a distraction from the real issue – which is the brutality of the Work Capability Assessment no matter how it is carried out, or by who.  Do not forget the original aim of this policy – to strip benefits from one million people – has not changed.  Do forget Sue Marsh and let’s move on from this and double our efforts to destroy the Work Capability Assessment for good.

Above cartoon from the ever vigilent Crippen, disabled cartoonist: www.crippencartoons.co.uk

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261 responses to “On Sue Marsh, Maximus, and Moving On

  1. Still no disability access & wheelchair access to any of Maximus centres across the country. Also there is nothing what so ever about disability & wheelchair access info on Maximus websites.

      ………………extract from “THE DIARY OF A DISABILITY TRAITOR”
      9th january 2015………..

      Of course there are considerable benefits to both myself and MAXIMUS in this development. I will be giving the same 300% passion and commitment to them that I have been giving to campaigning. I won’t be writing about them, I’ll be working with them.

      Crucially, it’s a campaigner’s job to change things, not just to make a lot of noise. That noise is supposed to lead society, stakeholders and commentators to the point where real change can be achieved.


      ………..the reality;
      To make sure that there is a seamless transfer from Atos to MAXIMUS most of the Atos assessor healthcare professionals will transfer to MAXIMUS, which will also use the existing Atos infrastructure.


      ……………aided by a seventy five grand instant convert who was invited to speak by UNUM

      ………ring any bells?

      • Number of People Delivering the Service

        Total Fees £ + Expenses + Vat

        1 £1350.00
        2 to 5 £1650.00
        6 to 15 £1950.00
        16 to 24 £2100.00
        25 to 50 £2400.00
        51 to 99 £2700.00
        100 to 149 £3000.00
        150 to 199 £3600.00
        200 to 249 £3900.00
        250 to 349 £4200.00
        350 to 499 £4500.00
        500 to 549 £5100.00
        550 to 600 £5400.00
        600 to 650 £5850.00

        DWP Targets !!!


        …………………not a coincidece, just corruption in high office

        “IS WORK

        Gordon Waddell, CBE DSc MD FRCS
        Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research, Cardiff University, UK
        A Kim Burton, PhD DO EurErg
        Centre for Health and Social Care Research, University of Huddersfield, UK
        The authors were commissioned by the Department for
        Work and Pensions to conduct this independent review of
        the scientific evidence. The authors are solely responsible
        for the scientific content and the views expressed which
        do not necessarily represent the official views of the
        Department for Work and Pensions, HM Government
        or The Stationery Office

        ……………………..independent review, you must be fucking joking !!!

        • “how unum influences uk policy on welfare reform”

          Click to access hwwb-is-work-good-for-you.pdf

          • ………..taken from hansard

            UnumProvident firmly believes that there is a significant role for the private sector to play in helping to return disabled people to work. As the UK’s leading provider of income protection insurance, UnumProvident is particularly well-placed to share with the Committee examples of projects and initiatives that might be of assistance to the Government.

            UnumProvident is actively engaged with the Government, policy-makers and large employers to share best practice and to see where our systems and approaches might be applied more widely. We are currently working with the Department of Work and Pensions on this, and have had discussions with officials in HM Treasury and the Prime Minister’s office. We have met with officials to help better understand the nature of the IB casebook, and to discuss how our commercial experience and expertise might be more widely applied. In addition, we will shortly be supporting the National Employment Panel in its work on the New Deal for Disabled People through a secondment of one of our senior managers.

            Labelling someone as incapable of work not only sends them the wrong signal, it sends employers the wrong signal too. Someone on JSA applying for a job is to all intents and purposes capable of work, whereas someone on IB has already been found “incapable” of work, and consequently less likely to be considered by the employer. We would contend that labelling people as incapable presents a significant barrier to them finding and keeping work.


    • GEOFF REYNOLDS | January 13, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Reply














  2. Norwich assessment ‘disgrace’ set to end, minister claims

    Eastern Daily Press – 9th Jan 2015

    The “disgrace” of disabled people being sent miles from Norwich because an assessment centre cannot be used by wheelchair users is expected to be brought to an end this month, a minister has indicated.

    The government said in June it would stop sending people by taxi or public transport to Ipswich or King’s Lynn, and even further afield, for assessments to decide if they are fit to work. Campaigners have spent three years calling for the issue to be addressed.

    But Mark Harper, minister for disabled people, has said in a letter to South Norwich MP Simon Wright that the medical assessment centre, used by private firm Atos, has taken on two extra rooms and that the Department for Work and Pensions was drawing up final proposals and was working towards a “go-live” date at the end of January.

    Read More:


  3. The enemy of my enemy wasn’t my friend

  4. I think you make some very good points here.

    What matters now is that we carry on fighting. I won’t pretend I’m not disappointed – actually, I feel betrayed – but this movement has always been and will remain bigger than the individuals in it, however high-profile they might be.

    Thanks for all you do, Johnny.

    • Well said. We all feel betrayed. But surprisingly, I find myself pitying someone who is so obviously unprepared and oblivious to the reality of mega-corporate life that they would accept a role like that. That is the last time I will bother giving the matter any thought, without a backward glance. In a way it’s a bit of a gift, as it confirms that the neo-libs (and their hirelings like Maximus) will continue to meet all our expectations, no matter how low or despicable. If that were ever needed.

      Thanks, JV, and Ephemerid, and all who will push until we overcome those who try and oppress us.

  5. Sue will be sorry but it was ultimately her choice.
    Now to move on as The Void says and get on with our campaigning and see if anyone can carry the torch again.

  6. Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    When you find you have a traitor in your midst – turn the other cheek – forget about that person and carry on…

  7. Wirral In It Together

    Reblogged this on Wirral In It Together and commented:
    Apparently, Sue Marsh is allegedly a “new woman” following a recent operation. However, if you go to her blog, she’s still listing a long roll-call of disabilities, whilst preparing to take on a full time post with the enemy, under the coalition, under IDS. The scrounging is over and she obviously must be “fit for work”. I hope she never becomes a whistleblower, because she will then truly have the scales torn from her eyes as the wrath of the callous bastards descends heavily upon her.

  8. overburdenddonkey

    imv processes it (grieve, if you like), learn, move on with wit upgrade…
    knowledge is power…

    • Oh no it ain’t OBD, we’ve been told…

      • overburdenddonkey

        i’ll add it to my list of banned words and phrazes…
        i find it surreal for some to say i’m a coward and don’t confront people, institutions, or issues etc when i clearly do…

        • guy fawkes daughter

          Your type of knowledge is not power OBD you voted for Alex Salmond when voting indy, and the type of policies you have put forward off your own back nobody would vote for.

          • overburdenddonkey

            shall i consult my grannies or my grand daughters so i can know what i think….the indyref latterly had nothing to do with it’s instigators, which btw wasn’t just the snp…nor did salmond’s name appear on the ballot paper…
            ‘Your type of knowledge is not power OBD…’ then i’m not powerful so what’s all the fuss about then…@ least i have the guts to put forward ideas for change against the UK imperial state current, which as it goes are mainstream in scotland, that 1.6m voters did vote for…
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGXQG8hyXzA common weal…’freedom come all ye’….

            • nobody adopted your personal ideas for change, you had no input other than to put a cross on the ballot paper, the other 1.5999999999million voters had guts you were just the left over sheep making up the numbers.

  9. Onwards and upwards……
    We live to fight another day, stronger in our resolve and knowledge of truth.

  10. Bravely onward.

  11. Sir Andrew Coates - Head of Workfare Planning & Strategy at Working Links

    Couldn’t agree less, Johnny… everyone has their price, and Ms Marsh’s is obviously £75,000 a year… some of us don’t come so cheap though… 🙂

  12. I thought sue was a friend (and not just an online friend), but a real life friend,her actions of why this move is shocking is because of so many layers. For one a month ago she was too ill to sit up in bed, and was claiming dla and esa, now miraculously she is able to take on a demanding full time job? This in its self, seems to suggest every disability claiment is ACTUALLY capable for work, as Sue has proved! (NOT) But by sues actions suggest that the majority of claiments are just waiting for a massive sum of money jobwise, and we are all just lazy! Still perplexed how Sue is now well enough to take this job. All her actions will do is increase the hatred and ill feeling towards the sick and disabled.

    • I used to think that Jim ‘TRAITOR’ Murphy was a friend… until he stabbed me in the back… 😀

    • Remember when you were a kid and you wanted of off school… you would say you had a ‘sore stomach’ 😉 … then to catch you out your parents would offer you ice-cream and a trip to the zoo… 🙂 and you would like momentarily forgot about your ‘sore stomach’ 😀 Well, this is what it looks like Sue has been offered ice-cream and a trip to the zoo… and it also looks like the rest of the ‘disabled’ population are sat around with a ‘sore stomach’ waiting to be offered ice-cream and a trip to the zoo… or 75 grand for that matter. Jeez, not even the Lord himself or ATOS for that matter could have performed that magnitude of miracle. At the very least Ms Marsh should be investigated for potential and if it is proven as such she should be made to pay back her ill-gotten gains from her ultimately tax-payer funded salary.

      • potential benefit fraud…

      • Small point. I’m in the support group, because I meet one or more of the criteria (they weren’t good enough to tell me which ones, though); however, if someone offered me a job I could actually cope with, that was specifically designed around my limitations – especially for that kind of money, but really, anything I could live on – I’d have to think VERY long and hard before biting their hand off (well, if you can bite someone’s hand off by email). And I’d do it with a clear conscience, because SG is only about whether you meet the SG criteria, which are purportedly designed to evaluate whether you’re too ill to work *in the general case*, rather than absolutely at all. (Of course, we know that in reality an entirely different rationale governs the criteria’s selection; but that’s what the people in charge assert.)

        So it could well be that Sue’s been promised that this job will fit around her disability. And I’m sure that for the 4 months before the election, that’s exactly what it will do…

        Of course, having said the above, I’d check out the company doing the offering, and if they had a reputation like Maximus’s I wouldn’t touch the fuckers with a bargepole. Nor would I accept any job that compromised my integrity. Sue’s basically eaten the puppy on those fronts.

  13. She’ll have to live with herself. And whatever she does, she’ll never be able to redeem herself.

  14. I was ticked off by Mr.Marsh on Twitter yesterday for daring to support another’s comment that perhaps SM might like to pay back the money that was raised for her.
    The point was made that SM had campaigned for 5 long years under difficult circumstances, and there is no question that this is absolutely true, she did.
    I am grateful for that – but one person does not a movement make, and we are greater than the sum of our parts – no one individual is more important than another.

    So today, I want to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of people who have done the same thing for decades. The ones who squatted, sat in, marched, wheeled, staggered, chained themselves to railings; the ones who got kettled, arrested, spat at, insulted, demeaned; the ones who have been doing this for decades, who have been laughed at, ignored, but soldiered on regardless because they believed they could make a difference.

    I salute you all.

  15. The target should be Maximus, it cannot be a coincidence that ex-Unum, ex-Atos, and ex-DWP senior people are now working for Maximus.
    Employing Sue Marsh is a diversionary tactic. Don’t fall for it.

  16. Guess who DWP/Maximus will wheel out after the UN investigation is published? That’s if she’s capable of being wheeled out at that time, one never knows when life will bite you on the ass.

  17. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.

  18. I think maximus seen the donate button on Sue Marsh website and that she was asking for help getting new pc thought this person needs money lets go fishing. They cast a line with big money as bait and reeled in a big fat disability campainger. Once she has out lived her usefullness she will be cast aside after all these big time yank business men are ruthless.
    It wouldnt surprise me if a few campaingers have also been cast a line to see what would happen because it wouldnt just be sue they would tr to get.

  19. £75k=50% tax-national insurance..?? doesn’t seem enough nowadays. Well not enough for her Husband to give up his job and take on her roll in the household…I smell bullshit Mrs Marsh…… sleep well, because when this job comes to an end, of which i have no doubt it will. Lets see if you get back in a support group and your husband gets his job back. if indeed he gave it up in the first place. ?

    Poacher turned Gamekeeper.

    • If she’s been receiving ESA then her husband’s salary could not have been very high – it is means tested. Certainly £75K would be well worth him packing his job in – or he could keep it and pay for a carer/PA.

      What confuses me is that I always thought her health was so much worse than mine (I have severe fibro and a few other lovely odds’n’sods giving me a life of ever worsening pain & fatigue but is not life-threatening) but even with no kids at home, a weekly cleaner and my husband doing *all* other housework (including weekly shopping on his own) & financially supporting me (thank f*ck, no claiming ESA for me, just the DLA/PIP crap to deal with!) there’s no way I could take on any kind of full-time job. I can’t even carry on taking commissions for art & jewellery the way I used to because I can’t guarantee to be well enough to actually complete a piece on time.

      Mind you, I could never fathom how she could manage to get to the various conferences and rallies all the time – I couldn’t, not without a) my husband taking me and looking after me the whole time, and b) going to wherever the day before to stay in a hotel overnight so that I had the energy to deal with people at the event itself (and probably staying an extra night to recharge enough to cope with the drive home again). People cope differently.

      • Contributions-based ESA isn’t means tested, and if you’re in the Support Group it’s paid indefinitely (or until the fuckers kick you back out of the SG).

        • Oh, great the DWP fucked me over again. Had to give up my shop and business because of illness, contact DWP and they tell me I’m not eligible for anything because my husband has a good job. 5 years later discover that I should have at least claimed DLA. Now, another 4 years further on I find that I should have claimed ESA but it’s too late now because I haven’t paid NI in the last 2 years – of course I fucking haven’t, I’m lucky to be compos mentis for more than one hour in five and take enough painkillers & other prescription drugs that I really can’t do anything without risking injury to myself or damage to things around me.

          So, there’s every likelihood that I could have been on ESA in the Support Group for the last 9 years. Then again, offset that against the added stress of the WCA crap… perhaps it’s just as well.

      • Please see comment below to overburdenddonkey

  20. I’ve just learned about Sue Marsh’s new job, I’m not the slightest bit surprised by this turn of events. For five years she has been performing as a campaigner, when all the time, her beady little eyes have been set on a paid role that will provide the stepping stone to what she really, really wants – a career in politics.

    Sue Marsh has always run with the hare and hunted with the hounds.

  21. Only way to skin this particular cat is to keep up the same pressure on Maximus that was applied to Atos and kill her job stone dead.

  22. Onwards and Upwards people.
    Use our energies, our anger, to fight the good fight and not waste it in the direction of SM any longer. Does she deserve this publicity any longer?

    Mabe our silence on that subject would now send a clearer message to the opposition?

  23. You have to give credit to the Tories,they are true to form,a bunch of coudn’t care less about the poor and needy,shower of b#######

  24. It’s like becoming the press officer for Dachau because the new owners have promised to make the gas smell nice.

    If Ms. Marsh is suddenly fit enough to take a full time job, which I’m sure will entail constant hard work and not simply being Maximus’ pet to be paraded in front of the media as required, I wonder if the DWP will be investigating?

  25. A clear conscience is a soft pillow, sleep well Ms Marsh.

  26. Saint Susie, you couldn’t make it up!

  27. Wow – harsh people! Can Sue Marsh change the WCA in her new role? – no of course not, that’s in the hands of the politicians. Can she make Maximus focus on people not profits? Seriously doubt it. But she can try to make the whole process less degrading and more humane for the people going through the mill, and I’d rather have her in the post than some corporate yes man. At least she’s been through it and knows the problems from our side.

    • I think you must be incredibly naïve. Companies like Maximum are heavily populated with sociopaths, and probably a higher than average number of psychopaths in the management and board. SM will achieve exactly what her Job Description says – make money for Maximus. That will NOT include any “improvements”. It will involve SM going on the likes of Newsnight and HoC committees, etc. to make all the right noises. BTW – the Job Description on SM’s blog IS EXACTLY WHAT A COPORATE YES-MAN (or woman) does.

    • dirt under their feet

      Even if they make the experience itself less unpleasant, which they could easily do, it doesn’t mean that the decisons will be any better, which is the much more important part of it.

      There are those who’ve had the HCP seemingly being sympathetic, and then found their report was full of complete lies about what what was discussed and observed. The experience and the outcome can be two entirely different things.

  28. It shows how nervous Maximus are getting like Atos death threats that were thought up by IDS. Now IDS has to put death threats on Maximus. Media PR of under the table contracts with Atos. Media fame is what they all want. Maximus kills. Who gives a shit about SM I never have !!! She is Maximus ear to the round in finding out what we write about her employers. Careful lots of red herrings. Now we can move on without all the dead weight holding back real disability things & not social networking standings.

  29. Great Maximus roll out on March 1st by 20th March no one wants to talk about Maximus failures. Watch out for loads of undercover recordings from disabled people with special guest Maximus !!! Atos staff are now working for Maximus. PLC Private Laws.

  30. Back to Sue Marsh a £75K Gagging Order. Going down n silence. Now back to the people who do have a voice, even if they are deaf & dumb.

  31. I have just completed a job application for a new job and one of the questions was “how many days sickness leave have you had within your current employment in the last two years”? When completing the previous employment section, the form states “please explain any gaps in your employment”. Obviously, there has been no need for completing an application for this role which I believe is a poisoned chalice.

  32. People who have been disabled all their lives laugh at that these newbeeies who have only been disabled a few years. Stop & learn something from these disabled people who know no different. Disability is not a toy to be seen as a selfish tool for gain, but for education.

  33. When was the last time you had a job? 1984
    What have you been doing for the past 30 years? Looks good at a job interview !!!

  34. Why are people not happy for Sue Marsh? She now has a job, and she is paying tax. On her salary, that will be about 33 grand per year. she is a contributor now. This should be celebrated, not derided. And if Sue’s from London, then the 42 grand that she has remaining after tax, well, well it won’t go far. Be happy for Sue.

    • But a job with Maximus. Seriously !!! I am finding loads of Tory idiots here lately – Shows we hitting a raw nerve on the DWP Maximus contract.

    • “Why are people not happy for Sue Marsh?”

      1) Because she allegedly had a serious illness which precluded her from work. Indeed so bad was the illness, allegedly, that she couldn’t get out of bed some days. But now suddenly she can take on the work and responsibility of a full time demanding job that pays £75,000 pa.

      2) By her actions she has damaged the cause of many sick people with similar illnesses/diseases to her own. The Tory/DWP/Maximus thought line will be along the lines of “If she can do it then there’s no need for them being on sick benefits. They can all do something too.”

      I’m perfectly willing to accept she was/is seriously ill. But how does this translate into the acceptance of a position like the one she’s taken?

      • It translates using the following keywords Raining…
        Lack of conscience.

        • Yes very much so i agree. Just don’t understand how a person like that can do something along those lines. It’s very disheartening to see someone desert our side for the enemy.

      • So we all ask ourselves – if SM was always worth £70K then she should have been fending off the head-hunters and be able to find a job (obviously with flexibility to cope with disabling conditions) I know, because that was me.

        It wasn’t SM. But I’ve met many like that in the senior management of large corporations – the sort whose shoe size you know, because they leave foot-prints in the middle of your back as they use you as ballast to help climb the greasy pole. Those usually have the talent-less self-belief that plays well in these companies. The very fact someone can be so duplicitous is one big skill that is not explicit on the Job Description.

        • “talentless self- belief” – yep, met a few of those.

        • I state in my blog post on this subject that I had other offers. I turned those ones down.

          • So you made a positive, “I’d rather work for Maximum than anyone else” decision. Was it the money, or the promise of the high profile / political contacts that swung the decision to go & work for a company with a known track record for appalling track record including fraud in the US, or was it the opportunity to work alongside all those Unuum / Atos sociopaths? Taken together, they do look like the dream ticket for a “Labour Disability Activist”………………………….

          • “Those ones” Sue? I thought you had an English degree!

    • overburdenddonkey

      by that token we ought to be glad ids has a job with a good salary!

    • If i was offered that job i couldn’t take it up. Guess why? Because my disabilities would not allow me to do any job. S marsh was supposed to be in the same state and then suddenly WHAM*@#~ She is fit to do a demanding job!
      She should be investigated for fraud but won’t be as she is part of the system now.

    • Roger,you either have the wrong figures or your maths is awful. £75k pa equates to around £50k take home, plus DLA at HRC HRM,minimum. So over a grand a week. Just saying.

  35. There would be no Maximus or any other private contracts and the DWP cruel benefits regime, if only The Greens’ Leader Ms Natalie Bennett would put into The Greens’ 2015 manifesto, policies which are hiding unused in The Greens’ policy website, of new and unique Greens’ policies that would pay off national debt and end starvation both at the same time.

    There would be no need of assessment centres or much of DWP admin or having Jobcentres or all of the private contracts involved in welfare admin, that is rising in cost by the billions each year, as money is decreasing the billions to the starving of all ages, from babies to grannies.

    The Greens’ policy is:

    – Automatic and universal Citizen Income, just the same in or out of work, able bodied or disabled, up to retirement age.

    With a supplement to those who live alone and for those who are disabled.

    Full State Pension with no conditionality of level of National Insurance contribution / credit history, to the same amount as the Citizen Income.

    Instead of the flat rate pension that leaves women born from 1953 and
    men born from 1951 with NIL STATE PENSION FOR LIFE and LESS NOT MORE state pension for bulk of rest, after 7 years denied state pension payout since 2013 for a couple, with over half of all over 60s poor.

    DPAC might just ask Ms Bennett Why?

  36. It took me four days to complete that application form – CV’s are no longer acceptable and you have to explain in detail how your past experience relates to the position you are applying for – there were 24 essential and desirable skills that had to be completed. It was like a ‘bloomin’ catalogue. Still, I consider myself lucky to have a job in the present climate – even though I hate it – but no-one’s job is safe these days and due to paltry wages I too struggle on a daily basis.

  37. I can’t understand why she is not being prosecuted for fraud. Surely, if she was really as Ill as she claimed (enough to be in the SG) then how is it she can now manage to work? Its all very dodgy.

    • Well in the Support group there is the allowance to co permitted work, up to 16hours a week, up to £101pw (Approx. £5K pa). It’s there to allow people to test out if they are capable of work. We should beware that we don’t tar all with the same brush, as Support Group people might try & get themselves back to work (out of isolation and boredom, as well as poverty). None of which apply to a £75K full time job.

    • I believe she’s picked up far more than anyone might reasonably have expected after a recent hospital procedure which went far better than anticipated. Suey2y has something of a new lease of life, I gather. Good luck to her.

  38. MAXIMUS who is it run by Max KEISER or Max BUYGRAVES!

  39. Another Fine Mess

    “Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!”
    I have 3 times. But is doesn’t appear!

  40. Another Fine Mess

    Reply to roger January 11, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Why are people not happy for Sue Marsh?

    I’m neutral, does that count?
    If it was an unadvertised job and she was chosen for it, they could have at least fiddled the job description to make it look like a good fit.

    She now has a job, and she is paying tax. On her salary, that will be about 33 grand per year. she is a contributor now.

    LOL. Her salary is paid for by tax-payers.

  41. “For instance, when it comes to disability management, if you thought Atos Healthcare were bad, then sit down while I explain about the company about to take over from them.”


  42. Well, that’s as surprising as it is sad. Wow! I would never have had Sue Marsh down as a callorator. If I feel let down and disappointed just imagine what Ms. Marsh’s sick and disabled fans and supporters will feel like when they hear this news. I can’t think of another thing to say beyond advising Sue to make the most of it while it lasts, which might not be too long if her party of choice, Labour, wins the next general election.

  43. joshuachristian19691

    Reblogged this on THE SIEGE OF BRITAIN.

  44. Reblogged this on loopeyange and commented:
    I’m finding this hard to digest. A person who is in Support Group can suddenly take on full time work – irrelevant of who she was, or indeed who she’s going to work for – the reason WHY I say this, is because it puts every claimant in a bad light. Is there some miraculous cure out there? – because there is NO amount of money that could get me into work. I just couldn’t do it, physically and mentally.
    I could understand if she had recovered well enough to go from the Support Group, down to the WRAG group…wouldn’t that be how most people take that route – and indeed be advised to?
    When you have an illness or disability that effects you so badly that you are IN the Support Group, I cannot see how you can rehabilitate back to a full time working environment?

    I don’t know this woman personally, and don’t know her illness, but I feel able to comment, purely on the fact that one isn’t in a SG because the right job hasn’t come along yet! – either you are fit for work, or you are not – if you are? Then I think in her case, certainly questions need to be asked as to WHY she was in that group?

    Someone once said to me about ME ( one of the conditions I have ) “Its like having flu – not man flu – but real flu. If someone placed a £50 note on the ground outside, if you HAD flu, you wouldn’t be able to get up and retrieve that note – it’s just the same with ME, but we live it EVERY day”
    At the time I had fibro, but managed to cope with limited daily goings on…I didn’t really ‘get it’ – I now have Severe ME and chronic pain – I now DO get it.
    I hate my mundane life, but try to make the most of it. I miss working. I miss being able to help people, both physically and financially. I would hate to think that this one woman could potentially change the publics perception of poorly and disabled people who are unable to work….least not forget the hundreds, if not thousands of deaths that have occurred since this ‘wonderful’ cruel new Welfare Bill came in.

    I would like to end by paying my respects to all those who have died at the hands of this cruel system. May they all RIP and never be forgotten.
    I would also like to thank everyone who campaign tirelessly for the Rights of the Disabled , and those who help with benefits, those whose presence is both on ground and online, and those who are active just online – everything makes a difference, and everyone deserves to pat themselves on the back ( not literally! )

    This person will regret her actions and as has been said in the blog, everyone needs to move on…..errrr what was her name?! Forgotten already!

    There’s a March being organised in March! Thank you 💞

  45. overburdenddonkey

    now here’s the thing sg means definitely not fit for work wrag means possibly fit for work not now but @ some time in the future….

    • Nope. That’s the lie government has spread around (and very successfully). The reality is that SG and WRAG are defined solely by the criteria. And even in the official rationale, the definition of WRAG is “limited capacity for work, but could undertake some form of work- related activity”, whereas the definition of SG is “limited capacity for work-related activity too”. Limited capacity does not mean no capacity at all. (Although the government’s definition of “work-related activity” certainly constitutes a bait and switch.)

      Incidentally, I’m only describing the definitions, not defending it. At the very least, ESA should revert to using the information supplied by your GP or specialist (with the option to have an independent assessment for those who don’t trust their GP or specialist); but I’d prefer to see it abolished altogether, both because of the stress such assessments cause in the first place, and because of the hideous distinction it sets up between “nearly ill” and “really ill” – which has enabled the Tories to steadily erode the distinction, to the point where they’re only about 3 steps from dumping everyone in WRAG back onto JSA, they’re already subjecting people too ill to work to unbounded coerced labour, and they seem to be on the verge of making the near-scrapping (reducing it to about a fiver) of the WRAG component of ESA a manifesto commitment.

      • overburdenddonkey

        j p
        i know that they are eroding the distinction…a friend of mine who has MS has been put in the wrag from an sg…there is serious talk about the wrag benefit rates of being set @ just 50p above jsa rates…ids is hell bent on the wrag effectively meaning jsa claimant…my experience of wrag is as i claim it is…

  46. Reblogged this on idontbelieveitagain and commented:
    Excellent stuff. look what’s coming.

  47. Another Fine Mess

    Why are we even pretending there’s actually work/jobs for all these WRAGs, SGs, ESAs and even JSAs.
    Automation and software is replacing jobs all the time, the number of people needed in productive or useful ‘work’ is only going one way.
    We already produce enough ‘gadgets’ to supply 2 planet earths, the days of infinitely increasing growth, production and employment are over, might as well get used to it.

    “We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

    • overburdenddonkey

      a f m
      i totally agree which is a driver for some of my main points, perma-culture and eco villages, et al…but some want to have and/or to hold power over labour, production, profit, and control vitality giving vitals of life, so that some don’t have to labour and can profit from the labour of others….those who demand to be served via withholding vitals of life, and are served in return for them, serving others has never been justified nor is justifiable….this must be glaringly obvious to many now…some still, as if, frozen in time, hold onto their dogmatic beliefs that it is their inherited right; to own, control, decide who gets what, and we must continue to pay for their lavish imperial lifestyles….some say that this is how the world works or is the real world, but actually it is a completely artificial proposition….
      that we should be grateful for what we get in return as a privilege of their charity, generosity and benevolence…still waiting for the promised age of leisure, it’s always around the next corner….aka the promised land or held in stasis…some are plain greedy and want it all, and will justify themselves in any way that works …

      • Funny but the bbc have announced this morning that those coming up to pension age will not be given even the flat rate of pension, so they are obviously in favour of EVERYONE being given a basic income to add to their excessive incomes.

        The sick/unemployed and pensioners should be getting not a flat pension/benefits but a mansion pension/benefits for putting up with their years of parasite politicians, manipulative media and mad medics.

        The mansion tax should be on all properties over 1 million not the watered down 5, and it should be a large enough tax to pay pensions and sickness benefits generous benefits.

        • overburdenddonkey

          can you post the link to this story so that i know what you are describing because their are many different scenarios to consider….ie loss of serps with the new single tier pensions and affects on FS, GMP’s, via fat rate contributions with no inflation increases…a rise from 10.5% to 12% NI contributions…. etc etc…

          • BBC ‘This morning’ programme were talking about it on their news yesterday. Whole Pension pots can now be claimed by those with private pensions and the flat rate pension is to be reduced on top of the extra years you have to wait for it, which will split the pensioners vote between those who are getting full rate and those that are not.
            Divide and rule as usual.
            My final word on this site au revoir.

            • overburdenddonkey

              i don’t get your logic, equity release schemes don’t benefit all pension pot holders, only the state and those with more than one PP…ie mp’s and more state cash to suck up in profitisation schemes…it’s not a gift but an irresponsible act….which will lead to even greater pensioner poverty…yes with the pension age escalator with loss of state pensions for women (62+ for women) who can still work on and/or claim their PP @ 60 (without state pension, until currently 62+ which can still be deferred with bonus from the state for not taking state pension) whereas men to claim PGC (62+ for men) have to cash their pensions in prematurely…savings credit is still intact atm…
              the income position for most pensioners is made dire by the state…
              only those with assets/means beyond the need for a state pension will benefit…the majority of pension pots are small, which is a nevertheless welcome few thousand £/pa income…but even then still way below the value many european state pensions… which is one of the reasons we need a unconditional basic income…
              http://www.theguardian.com/money/blog/2011/apr/09/state-pension-reform-nasty-truth the reforms have been done to slash pensions bills..both PP’s and state pensions…eventually millions will get no pensions and will have to work until they drop…

              • overburdenddonkey

                p s succinctly explaining the changes in all state reforms has deliberately made increasingly complex and lengthy…..obfuscated a subterfuge spin of permutations, smoke and mirrors which makes explainers, unravellers, people like jv even more vital..we have to know that @ root we’re all entitled to get our vitality giving vitals of life as nature intended or we are done for…that is the basis of our struggle, so that anything that stands in the way of that is abuse…

    • Brilliant quote AFM. Many thanks, I’d not seen that one before. Clearly Buckminster Fuller was even more switched on and far-seeing than I knew. Wonder if Ronnie Raygun knew about Bucki’s subversive views on work when he awarded him a Presidential medal, heehee



  48. Another factor to consider just how insidiously-cunning Maximus may have been here is this: if Sue Marsh had refused this job, would she have faced a sanction for said refusal? Exactly how did this job offer come about – did she apply for it, or did Maximus seek her out with the offer? Whatever the answer to the latter, I agree with your article, Johnny: she can now wave goodbye to any credibility she had (& she DID have) by accepting the position & essentially silencing dissent via assimilation.

  49. Sue Marsh = Jim ‘traitor’ Murphy in trousers. These two blood-sucking leaches should get together, they would be like peas in a pod. They could even stab each other in the back whilst they are bleeding each other dry.

  50. 1f49e.png

  51. Please remember that anyone who turns down a job risks sanctions, so she really didn’t have much choice

    • diaryofapieceofshit

      clutching at straws here buddy… the fucking malingerer was on ESA so she wasn’t subject to the brutal sanctions regime in the first place… you are talking bullshit…

      • how did she get on ESA if she was a malingerer????????????

        • Because there are some people who make a career out of claiming benefits and complaining about it. They are experts on every detail and acronym of the system, and how to play it to their advantage. Perhaps you’ve noticed one or two of them on sites such as this…

          • Landless Peasant

            “there are some people who make a career out of claiming benefits and complaining about it.”

            There are some people (like me) that have no other option but to claim the State Benefits to which they are Rightfully and Lawfully entitled, and when obstacles are deliberately placed in their way by Millionaire Toffs then they might complain.

            • Both are true. The difficult part is weeding out the people who are really capable of work. Apparently offering a fat salary works! What doesn’t work is contracting it out to a company which has purely financial objectives.

          • overburdenddonkey

            one has to be an expert on the benefits system to survive it or they’ll crush one like a bug….or are you claiming that the benefits system is fair and operates humanely…the WCA is biased/set up to find MOST fit for work, that’s it’s sole purpose…unless you are claiming GP’s and nhs employees are all fools and don’t know their job’s, it is they who have to agree with their patient sign and tick not fit for work box!….and also people don’t know their own capabilities…?
            she said he has had an operation that has been successful…

            • No, the system is unfair and inefficient. Labour and the Tories both made the fundamental mistake in thinking that to weed out the false claimants the system needs to get harsher. That’s wrong. All it does is weed out the people who don’t know how to play the system (often the most vulnerable), leaving the scroungers sitting happy.

              Yes, it’s very handy that Sue Marsh suddenly got better just in time to get her nice job.

            • Thanks for pointing that out overburdenddonkey. I had a very successful operation in October to remove half a metre of bowel that was so diseased and damaged it no longer functioned. Basically, imagine appendicitis pain symptoms but in about 10 times as much area and the vomiting that goes with that. I’d lived with that particular nasty section of bowel for 3 years since my last operation.
              So when it comes to the worst of those symptoms, I am free of those, for a while at least. I am so thankful for it, I cried with gratitude all over my surgeon. Great racking sobs of gratitude..
              My actual complications now are short bowel syndrome – you can read about it here. http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Short-Bowel-Syndrome-(SBS).html Less than 2 metres of bowel is classed as short bowel syndrome. I have 90 centimetres left which is critical. I have to take a LOT of medications every day to at least partly relieve those symptoms. I’m currently awaiting IV feeding to be arranged at home for the rest of my life as my intestinal failure is so severe. I plan to work despite the risks attached to that because it is my choice to. The risk of life-threatening infections from IV feeding are considerable and you are hooked up to the machine for 12 hours every night. But I’m allowed to choose the level of risk in my life. I will almost certainly work for 6-8 weeks from a hospital bed at some point as they admit me to arrange the home IV set-up.
              I owe nobody this explanation, but as one comment a little further down implied you can manage on much less bowel than I have, this clears up that inaccuracy. If anyone would like to arrange swapping my short bowel syndrome for 10 times my full salary, please contact me asap.

              • Perhaps you should give up smoking, appearing on television and radio so often, writing all those articles for newspapers, travelling around giving lectures etc., – must be exhausting for someone who was so “ill” Still I’m sure you had a goal in sight. By the way whatever happened to Carl that poor war veteran you used to blog about. Was he as real as your principles??

                • Sick and dsabled people should what? Stay hidden indoors with no life? if they have a life they must be a fraud? FFS listen to yourself.

                  The role is the issue, not fact that a person with serious illness got paid work and does things. You sound just like the fucking daily mail.

          • dirt under their feet

            There are indeed many making careers out of the benefit system and all too many who are experts on how to play it to their advantage.

            Like by paying as little as possible for their employees and getting the state to make up the difference; like by putting up their rents for housing allowance as much as they could while there was no limit on it; like by getting free labour from the jobcentre and pocketing a ‘training’ fee for them as well; like by setting up organisations to collect big contracts for containing and bullying the unemployed and doing nothing else of the slightest use; like by making millions out of creating false paperwork to find people fit when they are obviously not fit; like for awarding those contracts with the promise of a cushy position when leaving parliament, etc.

            Large numbers wrongly thrown off of IB and never allowed ESA, through duplicitous actions for the profit of others, and still it’s all supposedly the few who manage to get away with putting it on; or pretending that most of them are putting it on, even when many have died soon afterwards. All of those very sick people crushed because of those few. Really?

            How’s about we instead just keep a focus on where they don’t want it to be, which is on the hugely big benefit-cheating rogues here, such as Atos and Maximus, and all the rest of them.

            Nobody who is claiming social-security money to which they are legally entitled is doing anything wrong. This is what is really under attack – the right of poor people to collect their legal entitlement.

            What is wrong is the continuing and increasing propaganda inferring that it’s equivalent to a criminal act, and the persuing and punishing of persons only claiming their lawful legal entitlement. That demonisation of an entire part of society, simply based on levels of poverty, is not only very wrong but downright wicked.

            For sure there will always be those who manage to ride the system, however vigilant the system, but it was before being vigilant. While all the time there are far more further up society fiddling away, and for far larger sums, and doing much more harm. Who are able to influence that the media doesn’t look at them so closely, and swat away those that attempt it.

            So the wealthy continue claiming benefits for properties and land and workers, and anything they can, while avoiding paying their taxes. Which is all okay because they are decent citizens . Why are they decent citizens? Because they have money and property.

            I know a chap who has always been fit and healthy and is now at retirement age, and has literally never done a day’s work in his life. Shouldn’t there be a rush of tabloid condemnation? No there wouldn’t be, because his ease of life has come about from inheriting property and living off of the rents. Property and money, even though he never did anything to earn them, make him automatically a worthy citizen.

            While those trapped in cycles of poverty, mostly caused by powers and misfortunes beyond their control, are condemned for being the victims of those who are intentionally creating more powerless citizens for their own purposes. Even for those working fulltime, if they still have to claim benefits, they are still scum, whatever their own personal decency.

            And creating a focus on those least able to defend themselves, and criminalising them, keeps the focus off of all of the weaving of webs more and more tightly being spun around us by the growing above-the-law corporatocracy.

            To which I will only add that I would never personally be able to feel any respect for anyone intentionally joining them.

          • …..OBD ??????

          • Oh, horseshit. I’ll tell you what really happens, because I know firsthand.

            We get diagnosed, sometimes after years of not / barely coping and not having a clue why. Someone says to us “oh, you should apply for incapacity / ESA / etc”. We do so, not thinking we’ll get anywhere, but equally recognising the hopelessness of expecting anything to change in the future. And that’s really where the nightmare begins, because suddenly we find ourselves in a maze of twisty little regulations, all different, and any one of which could cause us to be kicked out on our ear with no income and no hope of an income. And also, we’re bored out of our minds, because some of us are really quite bright, and easily capable of doing even the most intricate intellectual work – if only our bodies or brains worked properly. So a toxic combination of stress, fear and boredom (not to mention, in some cases, being prone to obsessing about things / devouring knowledge about very narrow subjects anyway) means we obsess about the object of that fear. And because of that obsession, we end up learning the ins and outs of it quite well – except for some of us, all it does is underline our own sense of hopelessness, deepening our depression, isolation and even paranoia.

            If you think that’s in any way a fun way to live, I dread to think how hideous your own life must be, that you have to envy ours in such poisonous terms. By all means carry on advocating for the abolition of sickness benefits, but when it comes to victimising people based on your own personal incredulity or despair, you can fuck right off.

            • overburdenddonkey

              j p
              spot on! PD’s aka mhps’ are given to others, and all start as/with physical deprivations, and made much worse by sanctions, tangled rules, and conditionalities of our so called welfare state…by the withholding (emotional blackmail) of vitality giving vitals of life…but don’t be too hard on part timer (if your post was aimed @ him that is?) coz as he explains to me that’s not what he meant…but nevertheless the main thrust of your post is excellent, and very much in truth…glycogen rules ok…our brains cannot function properly with lack of it…i realize that this short post might cross uncomfortable thresholds…but @ this moment in time i am not fully able to give a more comprehensive answer, sorry in advance…i need to eat and rest now…it is @ the base of dr’s alice millers/rowes/johnson’s and robert whitakers work…vitality giving vitals of life…not turning people into compliance machines…robots…

      • overburdenddonkey

        rubbish…people on wrag can and do get sanctioned, being on e and sa is grueling…

        • dirt under their feet

          Those in the ESA WRAG are, yes, in a wretched situation and are those most likely to be sanctioned; but Sue was in the ESA SG, and they don’t go to the Job Centre and they can’t get sanctioned. The confusion comes from just saying someone is on ESA.

          There will be those who will make a recovery from the SG, depending on the reason for being so incapicitated. Of course someone can be too unwell to work at all for a period and then for that to change. While this one rather exceptional example doesn’t suddenly make it a universal possibility. When for the rest no amount of an offered wage would bring about that result.

          However, nobody is helped towards recovery by anything that is done to them by the ‘support’ of Sanctions Centre.

          One of the big cons was talking on and on about two-and-a-half million left abandoned on IB as if they were the same people throughout, while of course there were actually a very fluid group, with people moving on and off of IB all of the time; with those permanently on it being a core of some thousands, and the majority of those of mature years, as you would expect.

          And you’re right, that anybody who doesn’t study up as much as they can how to combat the manoeuvres of the DWP will be truly lost – will be as scraps fed to the piranhas of our society.

          It’s not wrong to do that, or a sign of deviousness, when there’s so much more deviousness on the other side. What’s wrong is that it needs doing at all.

  52. When I read the news about Sue Marsh last night I felt shock and dismay.

    Many of the comments responding to the announcement on her blog are critical, some harshly so. But then I noticed a comment from Sue Marsh herself, stating that it was only the same two or three people, using multiple accounts, who were slating her, and it struck me that this is exactly what someone from Maximus would say when replying to criticism.

    I fear that she really is lost.

    What does a Maximus Head of Customer Experience do, anyway? Is this someone who ensures that, instead of bare boards, you have a nice piece of carpet to tread on as they walk you up the steps to the guillotine?

    Oh, Lord.

    • diaryofapieceofshit

      Yeah, JBS it is only the ‘two or three people with multiple accounts’ on the Void who are slating this treacherous cunt as well… pull the other one… 😀

      • diaryofapieceofshit

        Waiting to Sue to tell us that is is our “attitude” and to ‘get out of our comfort zone’… this is the type of psycho-bullshit-babble we have come to expect from DWP stooges… fuck you Sue…

    • Strangely people are confusing Head of Customer Experience with a senior PR role. No. She is to sit in a corner, come out when told, say what she is told to, and perhaps collect data on “customer experience” that will be as unwelcome as a fart in a lift, so will probably find herself a more comfortable niche in the viper nest asap. Still, that is enough for some people who will take £75K, and use it as a stepping stone and networking opportunity. I’ve known many like that.

      • And, perhaps, smile at and shake hands with Mark Harper and/or Esther McVey and/or (saints preserve us) Iain Duncan Smith at Maximus/DWP photo ops?

      • Oh, no, you’ve said that’s not what she’ll be required to do. My mistake.

      • She wont be analysing data – that is a task that requires specialised skills. And as someone who did analyse Gvmnt data then its probable she wont know what to collect, because data collection isnt as obvious as it seems either. However she may present the findings… I am sure she can do that with credibility and aplomb.

  53. It’s quite plain now that Sue Marsh was perfectly capable of employment the whole time she was claiming that she was too sick to work and was claiming benefits on that basis. Offer her a nice salary and suddenly she’s feeling much better! How many more are like her?

  54. Will Sue fucking Marsh get rid of all the bullshit ‘homework’ the fucking jobcentre gives to jobseekers to complete… filling in fucking work plan books, job diaries and all that bullshit is like being a big kid being given lines…. it is fucking infantile or is that the point… ?

  55. I have to say that some of the comments here are a bit excessive.

    If Sue’s recent surgery has made her so much better that she can contemplate a full-time position with support from her husband (as she has said) then I am pleased she has made such a recovery.
    I am assuming that Maximus will have made the “reasonable adjustments” required by law when employing her; Given what she describes as her situation, I can’t see how she could work at all if it hadn’t.

    The truth is that the vast majority of SG claimants cannot work – when you consider the hoops they have to jump through to get a SG allocation, it’s ridiculous to think that any significant number could work.
    Sue expressed the view in her blog that having large numbers in the SG is not inherently a good thing – actually, it is if they are all ill and fulfil the draconian conditions for inclusion.

    Whilst I take the view that Sue’s justification for joining Maximus is risible, and I remain unclear as to whether she applied for an advertised job or was head-hunted, she’s done what she’s done – and I do not think it’s OK to accuse her of benefit fraud.

    I was very angry when I heard the news; I remain very disappointed. But as someone who has been involved with this stuff since 1995, I know that many people have been working for many more years than Sue Marsh to champion disability issues and they will continue without her.

    The movement has been going for a very long time, and if one person’s defection to a corporation that represents everything that’s wrong with the current system is that big a deal, we’re in trouble.
    The fact is that no one person is as important as they think they are (me included) and although I am not impressed with what I see as a betrayal, we’ll keep fighting as we always have.

    I’m inclined to think that the only person who will suffer through this is Sue.

    Time to move on.

    • overburdenddonkey

      she chose to take a job with maximus, now if she took a job with say an org like… http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/ then for me that would be fine…she does advocate ‘work sets you free’ which is logically incorrect…
      sufficient vitality giving vitals of life sets one free…not work but income…the proposition that the WCA, PIP assessment, the WP, and sanctions should be scrapped, is the only humane stance to take….

    • Being head-hunted, which by definition means that you haven’t actually applied for the job, can be an uncomfortable experience.

      When I was a research scientist I was approached about a job at Porton Down. I refused. I was offered another job which involved lab work on cats, including killing and analysing them. I refused. You see, that wasn’t hard at all, was it?

      But if you don’t actually have a moral & ethical framework in place, then it’s ego, ego, ego, ‘ere I go all the way to the bank.

      I feel & share your disappointment.

  56. Government seeks expert in 1970s technology to revamp DWP’s systems

    London Loves Business – 12th Jan 2015

    In what sounds like the strap-line for a low-budget thriller, the government is hunting an expert in 1970s technology to overhaul its decrepit computer system.

    The Department for Work and Pensions is looking for a new chief technology officer (CTO), who will make use of a £1bn-a-year budget allocated to revamping the technology currently used for a range of essential public sector functions including making BACs payments used to pay wages, the BBC reports.

    In addition to the system’s existing tasks, the new CTO will need to turn their hand to bringing in “next generation web, social, mobile, cloud, big data and deep learning technologies,” according to the job description.

    They’ll need to understand both the antiquated systems of the 20th Century, alongside cutting-edge digital technology.

    Read More:

    • £1 Billion to UNUM IT systems. Where has that gone. Technology Gurus UNUM !!!

    • Good Luck to anyone picking up this Poisened Chalice. DWP uses DOS, yes DOS based Applications. Biggest problem? Getting hold of the source code. One Gov Dept [cant say who] is using something similar. Problem is The guys who know of the Source code are all retired/dead. When I last heard of this particular issue there was One Person, yes one in the UK who knew of how to program this stuff they were using or had knowledge of it.

      All I can say is good luck – they’re going to need it. And a whole lot more!

      • Haha!! *I’m* not dead… DOS no problem. PL1 & COBOL too if you like!

        But there’s just one problem. Apart from anything else, the morphine addles my brain and I spend too much time traipsing to & from hospital or in and out of bed.

        God knows I could use £135K p/a… or even £50… £30?

        No miracle cure for me.

  57. DWP seeks CTO to fill £135,000-a-year role

    Computing.co.uk – 6th Jan 2015

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is on the hunt for a chief technology officer (CTO) with a track record of transitioning a large enterprise from aging mainframe to next-gen technologies using “infrastructure-as-code”.

    The £135,000-a-year role would be suited to a person who is passionate about technology with “the personal stature and gravitas to inspire”, according to the director general of digital technology at DWP, Mayank Prakash, who took over the responsibilities of former CIO Andy Nelson in September 2014.

    Read More:

  58. That is why maximus is doing medicals over the phone because none of their work because the DWP computers don`t work. What a £500 Million contract mess with Maximus.

    • Stepping, the fault lies squarly and entirely on the heads of the senior civil servants in the case of the types of contracts they sign off on.

      How can it be right to sign off a contract with no access to the sourcecode?
      How can it be right to have no “claw back”
      How can it be right not to have the same type of performance/penalty clauses as in the commercial world?
      How can it be right for Senior Civil Servants to leave and join said companies?
      Ditto the above with the ministers
      How can the said companies charge double/treble+ that a commercial company will be charged for a equivelent service?
      etc etc etc

      As a little hint, the contracts charge £120 per week per PC,
      A nice little earner for someone. That does not include the software costs per PC.

  59. Con-Dem benefits axewoman Esther McVey turns down third invitation to explain her brutal cuts to Holyrood

    Daily Record – 7th Jan 2015

    THE Tory Employment Minister has repeatedly refused to give evidence to the Scottish welfare reform committee on the policies she has implemented.

    CALLOUS benefits axewoman Esther McVey has again snubbed Scotland by refusing to visit Holyrood to defend her brutal policies.

    The Daily Record can reveal the Tory Employment Minister has now turned down THREE invitations to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s welfare reform committee.

    McVey sent civil service hatchetman Neil Couling to face the flak for her last April.

    This time, she said she was too busy preparing to give evidence to a Westminster committee.

    Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith has also turned down four invites, while Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud snubbed one.

    Read More:

  60. Esther McVey ‘a coward’ for blaming jobcentre staff

    Morning Star Online: 9th Jan 2015

    NEWCASTLE MP Chi Onwurah branded Employment Minister Esther McVey a coward yesterday for blaming front-line staff for gut-wrenching examples of the government’s cruel war on the unemployed.

    Labour MPs from across north-east England besieged the Tory with horror stories from a region where unemployment stands at over 9 per cent — the worst in Britain.

    Ms Onwurah demanded straight answers from Ms McVey over a string of incidents where constituents had benefits stripped.

    In one case a man hanged himself after being found fit to work despite repeated warnings from social workers.

    In another, a son faced sanctions for failing to apply for jobs in the week his father had died.

    “Is there anyone in this country who does not believe that a son should be given the opportunity to grieve for and bury his father?” said Ms Onwurah in the Westminster Hall debate.

    Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald declared that people were no longer being judged by their needs but by a “punitive regime” that saw benefits suspended to meet “arbitrary targets.”

    But shameless Ms McVey failed to come clean on reports that jobcentre staff had been ordered to meet goals for sanctions — preferring to blame a few bad apples for some of the cases raised by MPs.

    Furious Ms Onwurah accused the minister of mounting a “cowardly defence” by attacking front-line workers instead of taking responsibilty for “the culture that she has created.”

    But McVey again ducked the issue, declaring glibly: “Satisfaction by claimants has actually gone up.”

    That`s It:

  61. Oh… I forsee something like this:

    MAXIMUS: Make the experience for people going through the WCA better, new-head-of-customer-experience.

    SUE: Okay. (to HCPs): Be nicer to people you assess. Take your time to listen, find out the truth, and get the decision right.

    HCP: Okay.

    Some time later…

    MAXIMUS: Lots of people are being put in the SG and WRAG. Very few people are being found fit for work.

    SUE: You mean there is a target?

    MAXIMUS: No. We mean you and your team of HCP’S are creating a statistical anomoly. It has to be better than this.

    SUE: They are doing their job right.

    MAXIMUS: If this continues, the contract will be taken away as we will not have met the criteria.

    SUE: So there are targets?

    MAXIMUS: No, there are no targets. Research by the DWP suggest we are falling far short of providing an effective and efficient WCA, which will result in a loss of the entire contract. But that is a lot of money. So… we could just get rid of you, and get someone better, who can ensure the work is carried out correctly.

    SUE: …

    You have reached the end of this story arc. Should Sue:

    (a) Carry on the way she is and end up being performance managed out?
    (b) Tell the HCP’s to find more people fit for work, which will result in wrong decisions, human misery, likely suicides and shrinkage of the work pool of people willing to be HCPs, eventually making the entire contract unviable?
    (c) Quit.
    (d) Turn whistleblower despite lack of evidence?

    • But you forget, if Labour get in they will penalise Maximus for wrong decisions that are won at appeal – so everyone will get support group recommendations from Maximus, and Sue will have done a great job.
      The poor DMs at the DWP will carry the whole can of shit.

  62. I want a job wiping your arse DWP !!! Look at all the shit coming out of the gagging orders.

  63. I think she’s made a bad decision, but I can’t summon the will to hate her for it. I guess we have to hope, however naively, that maybe she can actually so some good with it. At the end of the day if you’re living on the breadline and someone offered you that kind of money and you believed you were doing good with it….

    Sign of the times.

  64. new-head-of-customer-experience

    ME – Hello, Am I talking to the genocide camp?
    Sue – What !! No you are through to Maximus I am sue I am here to help you with your disability !!
    ME – OK right place then. How do I get rid of my disability & become fully able in mind & body Sue?
    SUE – Well look at me & anything is possible. You need passion & confidence to confince yourself you are not disabled.
    ME – I thought the word disabled is a banned word !!!
    SUE – No it`s not when Disability Confident.
    ME – You sound like a DWP advert.

  65. Never forgive, never forgot, sorry if that annoys or upsets people but Marsh has been a money oriented, self important media whore from the off. She enjoys talking down to people and making sure her gullible sheep supporters don’t take notice of what she is doing, IE making her bank balance as big as possible no matter who she craps on.

    2 laptops, a holiday, £2k’s worth of donations missing after a fundraising campaign, seeking money for posts she makes on forums, she thinks she is worth it because she is out of pocket because of campaigning, well here’s the deal, campaigners aren’t in it for themselves or their own betterment, many disabled people and carers campaign and I’ve yet to know one that isn’t/wasn’t “out of pocket” or imagines they are worth the money raised (which Marsh has mentioned)

    So yes target Maximus but Marsh sure as hell needs to face the backlash of those that failed to see through her and financially supported her, lets face it she is likely to have filled in her job application on one of the laptops her followers paid for

    • overburdenddonkey

      damn right, never forgive and never forget or one can never heal…

    • Well said Clive. I would dearly like to see her repaying the money she accepted from her “followers”. Some of those who donated will have been financially far worse off than those residing in Marsh Towers and genuinely believed that she was campaigning for them.

      I will guess that she has already forgotten about those people.

  66. Dodgy Daves news legacy

    ‘Road to recovery’

    Mr Cameron said an additional £30bn will need to be saved before 2020 to meet these targets and to substantially reduce the level of debt as a share of national output.

    The Conservatives envisage that £12bn of this will come from welfare cuts, £13bn from a further squeeze on departmental budgets and £5bn from a further crackdown on tax avoidance.


    The collaborationist government participated – willingly or unwillingly – in Germany’s Final Solution. Quisling was put on trial during the legal purge in Norway after World War II and found guilty of charges including embezzlement, murder and high treason. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on 24 October 1945. The word quisling has since become a synonym for traitor, an allusion to the very poor light in which Quisling’s actions were seen both at the time and after his death.

  68. ……………………..an introduction to the DWP world of fiction where tinsel and baubles cover the coffins that they are trying to hide from view….

    From: Mr Harris

    11 January 2015

    Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

    I refer to
    which says in part “Sanctions are used as a last resort and the DWP
    has put in place a comprehensive monitoring regime to ensure that
    sanctions are always and only applied where appropriate to do so.”

    Please send me all recorded information on the comprehensive
    monitoring regime to ensure that sanctions are a last resort and
    always and only applied where appropriate to do so. Please include
    any and all reports and audits produced by the regime.

    Thank you

    Yours faithfully,

    Mr Harris

    Link to this

  69. Sanctions are a last resort, 60 peer reviews into deaths generated by DWP policy have proved this………


  70. “It’s No Longer “Your” Body…It’s “Our” Body”


  71. Landless Peasant

    Does anyone know what’s going on with CV Library? It’s not displaying any of the search results.

  72. So many posts in the thread – The important bits get lost. Constructive moving forward.

  73. Sue Marsh’s new tag line: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you sell out.”

  74. £75,000 pa, £194.77 per week AFTER TAX!!!!
    The working class can kiss my ass,
    I’ve got a well-paid job at last!!!!

  75. jobs4boysUKplc


    seems maximus are appointing the ‘specialists’ in their fields hey???????

  76. ………………….and the reason why ATOS MURDERING SOFTWARE was prefered by the DWP, “BECAUSE THERE WAS NO COMPETITION”

    The department said that this was for ‘technical reasons’, some of which were set out in the award notice, which was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) at the end of last week.

    The DWP said that an alternative provider would not be able to set up the new services in time without there being “an unacceptable level of service transition and delivery risk failure”.

    In the OJEU notice, the department also claimed: “Another supplier would be unable to provide the IT services using the existing hardware, software, premises, etc, because the physical assets are owned by the current provider of the assessment services rather than the Authority.”

    The DWP said: “Another supplier would be unable to replicate the current IT services because there is insufficient documentation to build them.”

    It also said that another supplier wouldn’t be able to replace the physical assetes on a like-for-like basis because some of the assets were out-of-date and now unavailable.



    • “In a statement to Parliament in March, disability minister Mike Penning MP said that Atos had paid the department to terminate its contract early.”

      • I can confirm that DWP does not hold a record of the date that Atos first
      contacted DWP to discuss an early exit from its contract.

      Please accept the Department’s apologies for this previous misunderstanding

      • Atos have however confirmed that during negotiations they raised the mutual
      termination of the contract with DWP in November 2013,.



  77. Disability – A lot of people writing on JV don`t have a disability. A lot of people also see it as some sort of social networking like twitter with the bullshit crap you get on there. What the fuck do I wanna know about SM ever. There are to many hypocrites there are wasting time while more poor & disabled people suffer & die from the serious situation we are faced with. There is also a certain standard to maintain because JV`s blog is the place people go to get the latest news & views & is read by loads & loads of people including the government. When threads get unconstructive the government plan starts working to shut us all up.

    I Have No Time For Time Wasters.


  78. Public Accounts Committee says DWP is failing to tackle error and fraud in Housing Benefit claims

    Left Foot Forward – 13th Jan 2015

    Despite years of calls for better management, in 2013-14 overpayments amounted to £1.4 billion and underpayments to £0.4 billion

    The Committee of Public Accounts yesterday raised grave concerns about the amount of taxpayer money being lost as a result of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) failing to tackle fraud and error in Housing Benefit Payments.

    Led by the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, the Committee found that despite increasing calls to improve the management of Housing Benefit, the DWP had made little progress in reducing fraud and error over the last 16 years.

    In 2013-14 overpayments amounted to £1.4 billion and underpayments to £0.4 billion. In the same time period, overpayments increased to 5.8 per cent of Housing Benefit spending.

    This represents 42 per cent of total overpayments across all benefits. Claimant error (amounting to £900 million) was identified as the cause of two-thirds of overpayment, largely due to unreported changes in earnings.

    Read More:

    • Whenever i see the word underpayment and the DWP it always evokes the ideal that they have deliberately withheld that amount of money from the claimant……………………….

      The same can be said of unclaimed benefits amounting to ? billion. The DWP can only come up with the figure if they know who they have robbed, and , how much?

  79. what’s that saying about when the storyteller becomes the story, time for marsh to reconsider or fuck off

  80. For those of you who are interested.

    DWP Evaluation Report November 2013 “Jobcentre Plus Offer: Final Evaluation Report

    Click to access rrep852.pdf

    Since the coalition government came to power almost five years ago, child poverty has increased to 3.5 m. Nationally, around a third of children live in poverty, with levels as high as four in ten children in London. Most of these children (around 63%) live in working households. If the coalition policies continue, Barnardo’s predict another 1 million children will be pushed in to poverty by 2020.


  81. Iain Duncan Smith MP

    My Dear Friends

    Sue Marsh is an example in respect to how effective the Work Capability Assessment, sanctioning and Work Programme can be in respect to returning former sick and disabled people back into gainful employment.

    Only a short while ago Ms Marsh was informing the British public on her blog about being laid low with Crohn’s disease and being barely able to lift a finger workwise while pitiously criticising private DWP contractors, like her current employer Maximus, for doing bad and even naughty things to people like her and people even worse as far as health is considered.

    And yet look at her now! Springing spritely from her sick bed suddenly Sue is able to take on a £75,000 per annum position, with no relevant qualifications or experience, with her former bugbear Maximus, an utterly splendid and inspiring example to us all.

    Well, done, Sue!

    Thank you for coming onside and welcome aboard!

    We are working for you.

    Your friend,

    Iain Duncan Smith MP

  82. Pingback: On Sue Marsh, Maximus, and Moving On | M0ELS BLOG PAGE

  83. Call me an IT ‘not know much at all’ but I have been rather curious as to why my not so common visits to DWP and JCP (all to do with child stuff, then past five years IB, ESA, SG, DLA and migration to PIP) for the last few decades, but to me their IT always looked and acted like it was just updated GUI? Kept meaning to ask my ex hubby but never got around to it. We’re not on speaking terms now otherwise I’d recommend the vacancy to him 🙂 😉 The few times since I’ve been disabled have been similar?

    Thanks for the thread and good luck to everyone, we’re going to need it 😦

    (please ignore any links that may come up for wordpress, my main public blogg is here http://babybear3333.blogspot.co.uk/ which I really should update)

  84. I just wanted to check Johnny, how do I donate to you? Is it via the donate button at the top? If you’d just like to direct me to your accounts and where you itemise those donations and what you spend them on? All I seem able to find is “being a bit skint”? Are you seriously going to throw stones from your glass house?

    Criticise my decision – though you don’t know a thing it was based on
    Criticise my employer – that’s called democracy
    Criticise my aims – different aims are good.

    All of that is fine

    But call me a sellout only interested in money – even a fraud? When I gave my life for 5 years voluntarily? That’s just nasty. And personal.

    • Some people have been doing it for decades Sue, so spare us the poor me routine. You are the very definition of a sell out. Your financial security now depends on the WCA continuing and Maximus keeping their contract. To try and compare that with a few hundred quid I’ve had in donations on here over the years is laughable. You work for the Tories now Sue, lower than vermin, that’s you.

    • And please don’t comment here. I know your employers have paid to create a big row amongst claimants and disabled people, but they aren’t using my blog as part of that. If you’ve got something to say why not ask your new PR department to issue a press release.

    • Will you still be campaigning against the WCA, Sue? As a paid employee of Maximus? I don’t understand. For years you’ve been telling us how sick you are bravely campaigning for the rights of very ill people like me and yet suddenly, when the cheque is big enough, you immediately become well enough to take on a senior managerial position working for a private company with one of the worst, very worst, records as per treatment of the disabled and sick both here and in North America. The only reason that makes sense is that you’ve sold out for a high salary which may well be cut short if Labour win the next general election. I imagine that you’ll secretly be voting Conservative on the 7th May hoping to keep Iain Duncan Smith and David Freud at the DWP and secure your well-paid position with Maximus for the duration of your contract.

    • You’ve always been self-serving – & this latest move seals it. Stop pretending that you speak for the disabled. You have no credibility, how could you when you now work for Maximus who do IDS’s bidding.

    • I would still like to know how, despite being in the support group for ESA, you:-
      Wrote so many articles
      Attended so many “meetings” (political and otherwise)
      Had so many television appearances
      Gave so many Radio interviews.
      Attended so many “working lunches” at your husband’s place of employment (The Disability Officer – who is now giving up work to “support” you!!!!)
      Any answers? – I thought not!!!

    • What’s nasty sue is the way you sold out, after years if campaigning they brought your silence. I would also like to see accounts of where all the donated money went. I donated and wish to fuck I hadn’t helped you. Enjoy the hefty salary, it won’t last long and next time your begging for finacial help, which you will when maximus have spat you out, there will be no donations from me. Your finished as a campaigner. Your words means nothing

  85. A person commenting on my blog has said there were various Funds set up to raise money for Sue Marsh, some with quite a bit of money in them, accusations that money was spent on holidays etc and that more than one laptop was purchased?


    If anyone has links to other fund raising sites of Sue Marsh then please let me know??

    Will Sue Marsh come out and openly tell the Sick & Disabled Community how much it has taken to sell the rest of us down the Swanee for????

  86. Don’t take any notice, Sue. You’ve done your time, made a bit of a name for yourself, and now want to cash in. Like Laurie Penny. Shrug off the sticks and stones and have the last laugh as you watch your bank balance swell. As for the sickos and criples… well… fuck ’em! If I were you I’d grab it while you can and while the chance presents itself.

  87. Pingback: Taking The WCA Back To The Bad Old Days, Why Sick and Disabled Claimants Should Fear A Labour Government | the void

  88. Sue Marsh is self-serving scum – always has been. Anyone who has been fooled by her is a mug.

  89. I hate to admit it, but, Maximus is working! Take – for example – a Mrs Sue Marsh. This dear lady was disabled & couldn’t work. However, after exposure to Maximus, she is now in full-time employment. Isn’t it wonderful what £75,000 can do!

    • Well slap7 – perhaps some disabled people could take a shot at some work IF, like Sue Marsh has, they are offered a job that means that they only have to work 2 days week (the other 3 days, work can be carried out at home !!!!) ALL ill health will be catered for, and time off (with pay of course) will be allowed. Interesting to find out if Sue Marsh applied for this job or was there a “level playing field” against other applicants, probably with less health problems and more skills etc., suitable for such a post

      By the way who is funding her employment? Joe public that’s who !!! Everyone in the support group who may be forced into work (are you listening Sue Marsh??) EVERYONE – should cite Sue Marsh’s case as a precedent and INSIST that they too are given the same considerations as she has been given. Surely MAXIMUS/DWP would not be guilty of Positive Discrimination would they? Some legal test cases needed here I think.

  90. Reblogged this on markcatlin3695's Blog and commented:
    Blatant, cynical attempt at divide and rule-nothing more, nothing less!!

  91. Pingback: On Sue Marsh, Maximus, and Moving On | diddybong84

  92. johnny void | January 16, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    “try and compare that with a few hundred quid I’ve had in donations on here over the years is laughable”<– While MaxiMarsh has over £10,000 in donations and sites still up and running. So where did these thousands go Marsh?

    Marsh is a devious cow who PM's people on Twitter to try to put them off communicating with them. Star Etheridge outted her and her pathetic buddy drossylass for this dishonest, sly and untrustworthy behaviour.

    Oh and your complaint to Twitter about me? I've reversed it.

    People need to realise you chip at unsafe foundations to bring down a rotten house, Marsh is rotten to the core, go for her then use that against Maximus.

    • Well said – Clive. Like other people have said, a full legal investigation should be carried out to see what money she and her “friend” have scrounged from the disabled and vulnerable. Just HOW did she get this job? Maximus should at least ensure this information is in the public remit and that everything is seen to be open and above board. They surely would not act in any other way would they???????????????

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