A Government That Permits The Psychological Torture Of Benefit Claimants Does Not Give A Fuck About Mental Health

mental-health-toolkit

DWP Denial, An Example Of The Shoddy Mental Health Training Given To Jobcentre Staff

This Government do not give a shit about people with mental health conditions, and neither did the last one.  Whilst politicians of all parties offer soundbites and fake sympathy the treatment of people with a mental health condition by the benefits system now amounts to little more than psychological torture.

This is not hyperbole.  Whilst the medical establishment has stood ildly by, and mental health charities have veered between mild disapproval and outright collaboration, the DWP has lanched an all out war on the most marginalised people in society.

Consider the ‘claimant journey’, to use their language, for someone unable to work due to mental ill health.  The first step is to claim Employment Support Allowance, a process which may take months due to a huge backlog of cases.  During this period the claimant will be paid the Assessment Rate, the same amount as mainstream unemployment benefits, and a pittance at currently £72.40 a week.

Finally a dreaded brown envelope will drop through the door from the DWP – an invitation to have your mental health assessed by the notorious Atos.  At this assessment you may be found fit for work, fit for some work, or possibly placed in the Support Group.  What this means is that you might suddenly have your income – your only income – stopped.  The stress this places on people who are desperately in need of stability and consistency can be unbearable.  Is it any wonder that the number of suicides linked to this callous regime grows ever higher?

We know from the number of successful appeals that many of these assessments are wrong.  Equally importantly, these assessments have been ruled discriminatory towards those with a mental health condition in the courts.  It will not be a psychologist and is even unlikely to be a mental health trained nurse who carries out the assessment – it could be a physiotherapist or paramedic, and they will use a crude computer based test to come to their decision.  This decision will be endorsed by a DWP Decision Maker, who will not be a trained mental health worker either and who will never have met you.

If you are placed in the Support Group you will be left alone, for a while.  But you can and will be re-assessed at some point in the future.  When that will be is anyone’s guess, it could be six months it could be six years.  Don’t plan ahead.  Your entire livlihood could disappear at any point with the stroke of an Atos assessor’s pen.

It is those who are found ‘fit for work’ or placed in the Work Related Activity Group, meaning possibly fit for work at some point in the future, who face the full force of Iain Duncan Smith’s tyranny.  If that happens your money can be stopped seemingly on a whim by Jobcentre staff working to unofficial targets to do exactly that.  Thousands of people with mental health conditions face sanctions every month.  The front line advisors, fed a steady diet of propaganda that work is always good for you no matter what,  have no more qualifications in mental health than the person who found you fit for work.  You might even be sent off to a private sector shark like A4e and G4S where a low paid goon with a GCSE in being a twat might ship you off on six months workfare.  If you are unable to attend you will be sanctioned, your benefits stopped, and you might lose your home.  If you miss, or are even late to a meeting the same thing is likely to happen.  The very symptoms that some mental health conditions cause – forgetfulness, lack of organisation, bleak depression that stops you leaving the house – will be used against you to stop your benefits.  Report after report has shown that these sanctions cause ill health, suicidal behavior and desperate poverty.

At this week’s sanctions enquiry Employment Minister Esther McVey went on, and on, about how much the Jobcentre does to protect so-called vulnerable people – and if you’re not vulnerable when you start out then you will be by the time the bastards have finished with you.  But in the Jobcentre Decision Maker’s Guidance, the rules on sanctioning are vague.  Whilst it is acknowledged that someone with a mental health condition may have a ‘good reason’ for not complying with a requirement, the judgement rests with a DWP Decision Maker who has never met the claimant and who is acting on a recommendation from a from a front line advisor, or Work Coach.  The decision to apply a sanction is therefore little more than a guess, and not even an educated one, the training given to Work Coaches on mental health is a disgrace.

The quote in the above picture, which suggests Work Coaches will probably never meet anyone in real mental distress and therefore they shouldn’t worry about it, comes from the Employment and Wellbeing Toolkit (PDF).  This is the training document in mental health for frontline Jobcentre staff who now have such huge powers over unemployed people’s lives. It reveals a breath-taking ignorance of the reality of some mental health conditions.

If a claimant says their mental health is causing such problems they feel like giving up, possibly indicating suicidal thoughts, then Work Coaches should attempt to encourage “Better ability to cope to boost self- confidence and help individual develop a more positive appraisal of their skills and prospects, help to break out of a pattern of reinforcing depression and low mood that can undermine their sense of self worth and purpose.”  If a claimant points out their doctor has told them to avoid stress the advice to the Work Coach is to: “Reflect back that not being able to cope and feeling stressed affects almost everyone at some point, but there are still things that can help.”  Cheer up in other words, everyone has a bad day.

The basis of the training rests almost entirely on the ideological assumption that work is always good for you, in any circumstances.  Even medical treatment should be framed as ‘a step towards employment’.  The toolkit even claims that the “search for a job goal can, in itself, have a beneficial effect on mental wellbeing, in much the same way as having a job can promote better health, because it provides a purpose and meaningful activity.”  Looking for a job is now good for your health as well according to the DWP.  This is fucking mumbo jumbo and if this training document was written by a qualified psychologist they should be struck off.

The idea that work is always good for your mental health dates back to a report produced in 2006 called Is work good for your health and well-being? An independent review by researchers Gordon Waddell and A Kim Burton.  It formed part of the evidence that was used to justify the introduction of the Atos run Work Capability Assessment by the Labour administration.  Conveniently for the party that wanted to strip out of work sickness benefits from one million people, it claims that work is good for both people’s mental and physical health.  This position has come to be regarded as a medical consensus.

However this comes with one vital caveat which is that “account must be taken of the nature and quality of work and its social context; jobs should be safe and accommodating”.  A  later DWP backed report looking into work and mental health specifically notes that the benefits of work do “not apply to some individuals in some circumstances and that the social context and the nature and quality of the work are important factors.”

This follow up report also points out that: “People with mental health problems who do find work are more likely to be underemployed, employed in low status or poorly remunerated jobs or employed in roles which are not commensurate with their skills or level of education (Stuart, 2006). They are overrepresented in the secondary labour market, which consists almost entirely of parttime temporary jobs. Whilst many who have had mental health problems might value the flexibility, jobs in the secondary labour market are often unstable, poorly remunerated or open to exploitation.”

In other words, exactly the kind of jobs that unemployed people with mental health conditions are likely to get are the ones that are likely to be bad for their mental health.  That this stark fact has been ignored lies at the root of the atrocity that is currently taking place in Jobcentres across the UK as Work Coaches are pushed to get people into any job, as quickly as possible.  If they then leave, or get sacked from that job, they face benefit sanctions.

The medical consensus is wrong.  Work is not always good for you.  Some work is good for some people,  and some work is bad for some people. If you spend your life sitting around writing DWP reports on a nice salary then of course, depending on your health condition, you will probably be better off at work than living in poverty on benefits.  But if you are in a low paid, insecure job, where some jumped-up wanker with a clipboard sets time limits on toilet breaks or threatens you with the sack for taking a day off, then work can be very, very bad for you.  Sadly, at the bottom end of the labour market, this is increasingly what work looks like.

The attitude of many employers to people with a mental health condition is appalling.  Discrimination is rife, as it is towards those with any health condition or disability.  The government’s Access To Work fund which is supposed to help disabled people find work is a shambolic disaster. The number of claimants on sickness benefits who find jobs through the Work Programme is tiny, especially amongst those recently judged fit for work by Atos.  There are currently just short of two million unemployed people in the UK and that doesn’t include most of the two million people on sickness or disability benefits who are classed as ‘economically inactive’.

This is the reality of the labour market and no amount of benefit sanctions or Work Capability Assessments will change that.  Instead of employers being taken to task for their shoddy treatment of people with mental health conditions, that discrimination has been weaponised against claimants to cut their benefits.  People with mental health conditions are being sanctioned to death in some cases for the crime of not having a job when there’s no fucking jobs to be had.  It is right that urgent work needs to be done to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health conditions – and that stigma, in part emanates from the DWP Press Office and their snide insinuations that people on benefits are feckless or lazy.  It is also correct that far more should be done to end the prejudice in the workplace that causes people with mental health conditions to become excluded from the work force.  All of these things can happen without blaming claimants themselves for the dire situation.

There is no such thing as a fair benefit sanction, and the claim is not true that these kinds of conditions have always been at the heart of social security, benefit sanctions were barely used prior to 1997.  We live in a society with high unemployment, where real full employment – that is everyone having a job – is deemed neither feasible nor desirable by the very same think-tanks who dream up policies to punish unemployed people.

Benefit sanctions can now last three years and are causing desperate suffering.  It will always be the most marginalised, people with mental health conditions, homeless people, those with already damaged lives, who face the brunt of these policies.   It is time to condemn this mass malpractice to history and work towards a system that provides humane care and security for everybody.  Benefit sanctions must now be scrapped with no exceptions.

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206 responses to “A Government That Permits The Psychological Torture Of Benefit Claimants Does Not Give A Fuck About Mental Health

  1. search for a job goal can, in itself, have a beneficial effect on mental wellbeing, in much the same way as having a job can promote better health, because it provides a purpose and meaningful activity.” erm no its stressful and in a world where there are not enough job to go around, lots of low pay and unsecure work, where you wont even know whether you are going to eat anything one week or not, it is utterly futile. How is this beneficial??? begging in the street is more productive. All this government do is lie and answer their questions with learned of by heart statements which are not true. They are the worst government in history. As for helping vulnerable people, I am a vulnerable person and disabled, I begged them for equipment or their own personal help to help me find a job, they said in the end that what you (me) are asking for does not exist. But we can show you how to put a boarder around your C.V. and make it catch your employers eye. Or you can work for free for an employer, and it might have the possibility of getting a paid job. There is no help any more, there is just a ghost of help and I have had enough of them.

    • “THE DWP MAINTAINS THAT THE INQUIRIES INTO THE 60 DEATHS OF CLAIMANTS, WAS NOT LINKED TO THE DWP”………………………

      LETS FIND OUT HOW MANY HAD BEEN SANCTIONED ???

      From: Anita Bellows

      7 February 2015

      Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
      Esther McVey confirmed during the Work and Pensions Committee
      session on the 4th of February 2015, that DWP conducted 49 peer
      reviews after deaths of claimants, but Chris Hayes said that ‘we
      have found no particular case where, as a direct result of
      sanctions alone, that has led to someone being in that situation’.
      http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidenc
      http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidenc
      I would like to know how many claimants out of the 49 peer reviewed
      cases had received a sanction. This includes previous sanctions and
      sanctions at the time of their death.
      And if it is within the cost limits, the number of sanctions for
      each claimant will also be useful

      Yours faithfully,

      Anita Bellows

      Link to this
      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/number_of_claimants_whose_deaths#incoming-615157

  2. Reblogged this on Rat Xue's Blog and commented:
    «We live in a society with high unemployment, where real full unemployment – that is everyone having a job – is deemed neither feasible nor desirable by the very same think-tanks who dream up policies to punish unemployed people.»

    • ………….The papers are heralding the fact that the family with the seven year old with cancer, have had their benefits reinstated.
      The papers should be making an example of the evil DWP bastard that made a decision to take the benefits away in the first place.

      Be it a man, or woman, they are not fit to walk this earth ……..

      • It just goes to show that public opinion shames those in power.

        • “THE BENEFIT DISENTITLEMENT TRICK”

          7 February 2015

          Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

          FOI request: JSA disentitlement as a FIRST resort as opposed to JSA
          sanction as a LAST resort.
          In the Gov.UK press release of 6 November 2013 titled: ‘ ending the
          something for nothing culture’, it states the following:

          ‘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.’
          ‘The decision to impose a sanction is taken by an independent
          decision maker – and everyone has the right to appeal. Crucially,
          people are always made aware of their right to appeal BEFORE any
          sanction is imposed.’

          So, that’s what happens if a JSA claimant is SANCTIONED (has a 100%
          reduction in their JSA imposed by DWP) for missing a JSA interview.
          But what happens if a claimant is DISENTITLED to JSA ( has a 100%
          reduction in their JSA imposed by DWP) for missing a JSA interview?
          Well, here, the cosy, warm little World of Sanction does not apply
          – the claimants benefit is stopped as a FIRST resort, without
          warning, and without good reason.
          In the Decision Makers Guide, Volume 6, Chapter 34: Sanctions:
          Lower-level sanction
          34161
          2.1 ‘Claimant fails to participate in an interview at the JCP‘.
          34205
          ‘Claimants will be given the opportunity to explain why they have
          not complied with requirements…’
          The new sanctions regime came into effect on 22/10/12, and within
          the sanctions guidelines is a particularly unjustified and nasty
          little surprise.
          Under the title : ‘Time to show good reason’
          34211 it states:
          ‘The time a claimant will have to contact JCP where there is a
          failure to participate in an interview at JCP is 5 working days’
          And then Note 1:
          ‘From 22/10/12 non-participation in the interview leads to
          DISENTITLEMENT in ALL cases except where the claimant makes contact
          within 5 working days in which case the DM considers a sanction.’
          What all this means is that if a claimant fails to attend a JSA
          interview (they simply didn’t receive the appointment letter for
          example) and they didn’t contact JCP within 5 working days to tell
          them that they hadn’t received the JSA appointment letter (how
          could they if they didn’t know about it?) then they will be
          instantly disentitled to JSA (100% reduction) for up to two weeks –
          as a FIRST resort. There is no right to appeal BEFORE a
          disentitlement is applied, unlike when a sanction is applied,
          although both result in a 100% loss of JSA. Even when you find out
          that JCP has sneakily and secretly disentitled you to JSA behind
          your back, then there is also no automatic right to appeal, and no
          automatic right to request a Mandatory Reconsideration (
          disentitlement is like being sent to prison without a trial, except
          the DWP don’t make you wear an orange jump-suit, at least not yet
          anyway ).The DWP have stitched-up many thousands of claimants in
          this way, and that is probably a substantial understatement.

          Questions:

          (1) How many claimants have been disentitled to JSA for missing a
          JCP interview they didn’t know about, and couldn’t know about,
          leaving them destitute and reliant on food banks?

          (2) If DWP doesn’t record these figures, then can it explain why it
          does not do so? Is it because you do not want the public to know
          the TRUE number of claimants being unjustly deprived of JSA by the
          DWP? Sanctions are just the tip of the food bank iceberg,
          unrecorded and unaccountable disentitlement is what lurks beneath.

          (3) How much money has the DWP saved by unjust disentitlement of
          JSA claimants?

          The DWP knows that unjust disentitlement of claimants goes
          unmonitored and unchecked. This little gem of deception sits almost
          unnoticed in the current sanctions regime, and because it is not
          technically a sanction, though it has exactly the same result, it
          has been designed to fall outside of the ‘safeguards’ built into
          the sanctions regime. Very crafty DWP.

          Yours faithfully,

          M Boyce
          https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/the_benefit_disentitlement_trick#incoming-615145

          • “MORE DWP LIES, SANCTIONS AS A LAST RESORT”

            Unfortunately the information you have sent me is not what I
            requested.

            “Last Resort” is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “A final course
            of action, used only when all else has failed”
            http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defini

            You have provided *outline* information about setting requirements,
            decision making processes, etc. I am already familiar with detail
            of all that so far as it is accessible to the public but I can’t
            find the information that says that sanctions are final course of
            action, used only when all else has failed with a claimant. It is
            that information I’m requesting. Thank you🙂

            A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
            available on the Internet at this address:
            https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s

            Yours faithfully,

            Mr Harris

            Link to this
            https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sanctions_as_a_last_resort#incoming-615139

            • “HOW STRANGE THAT THE DWP WANT TO RELEASE INFORMATION REGARDING THE 60 DEATHS THEY INVESTIGATED ON THE 6TH MAY, JUST A DAY BEFORE ELECTIONS?”

              Date: 6 February 2015

              Dear Trudy Baddams,

              Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 9 January
              2014. You asked: “Can the DWP confirm it is in fact investigating 60 suicides
              relating to benefits being cut?”
              …………………………………………………………………………………………….

              Response

              I am writing to advise you that the time limit for responding to your request for
              information which was received on 9th January needs to be extended.

              It is occasionally necessary to extend the 20 working day time limit for issuing
              a response. In the case of your request, I need to extend the time limit
              because the information requested must be considered under one of the
              exemptions to which the public interest test applies. This extra time is needed
              in order to make a determination as to the public interest.

              Accordingly, I hope to let you have a response by 6th March 2015

              If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the
              reference number above.

              Yours sincerely,

              DWP | Operations

          • It’s confusing Geoff. I have had my money stopped for a month without a SANCTION being applied i.e. I have been DIS-ENTITLED for a fortnight, then there is a two week wait to apply for ‘hardship’ but you can’t apply for hardship anyway because you haven’t been sanctioned. Benefit payments resume as normal after a month, so I have all these DIS-ENTITLEMENTS on my claim i.e. no money for a month but they aren’t counted as sanctions.

            • Someone need to ask Esther VcVey about this, but I wouldn’t expect answer!

            • Also I don’t think you can ‘challenge’ or Appeal these ‘dis-entitlements’ either. ‘Dis-entitlements’ and the (newer) ‘sanctions’ appear to be two distinct entities within the benefit system. I think ‘dis-entitlement’ goes back to the days of the Labour Exchange.

            • Also, I think if you are sanctioned the first two weeks of the sanction period are counted as a ‘dis-entitlement’.

            • REGARDLESS OF WHAT DWP SAY, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHALLENGE ANY OF THEIR DECISIONS,
              THEY LOVE TO TELL A CLAIMANT THAT THIS DOES NOT CARRY ANY APPEAL RIGHTS………………….

              THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!

              YOU CAN APPEAL ANY DECISION MADE BY THE DWP, THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN DISALLOW THIS IS THE TRIBUNAL JUDGE, AND HE CAN BE OVERRULED…………………………

              The Department cannot provide a definitive reply to your question. As stated in the previous
              reply, the decision on whether or not to accept an appeal is for the Tribunal judge to make.

              Why do you therefore persist in telling people that they cannot appeal, knowing full well, it is
              not in your remit to do so?

              The Department for Work and Pensions in its Guidance states that: The customer has the
              right to dispute, or appeal against, any decision of the Decision Maker (DM) that carries appeal
              rights. These are decisions which in law clearly carry the right of appeal. Neither the
              department nor the tribunal can interfere with these rights – nor give approval for them to
              apply.

              https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/171865/response/423153/attach/html/2/FoI.3674.response.pdf.html

              • However, the Regulations would appear to preclude this, specifically (in the case of
                Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment) Regulation 7(2) of the Universal
                Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and
                Support Allowance (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/381), which
                states:

                (2) In a case to which this regulation applies, a person has a right of appeal under
                section 12(2) of the 1998 Act in relation to the decision only if the Secretary of State has
                considered on an application whether to revise the decision under section 9 of that Act.

                YOU STATE, “HOWEVER, THE REGULATIONS WOULD APPEAR.”

                THIS IS NOT DEFINITIVE. CATEGORICALLY STATE THE CASE ONE WAY OR THE
                OTHER PLEASE.

                The Department cannot provide a definitive reply to your question. As stated in the previous
                reply, the decision on whether or not to accept an appeal is for the Tribunal judge to make.

    • Grandad passed fit to work by Atos – despite brain damage, depression, diabetes and stroke

      Despite his poor health, David Waite was told his Employment and Support Allowance was being stopped and he’d need to get a job or sign on for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

      A grandad has been passed fit to work by Atos – a month after a stroke left him unable to hold a pen.

      David Waite, 60, suffers from a string of health problems including brain damage and depression.

      He was referred to a stroke clinic after taking ill in November, just weeks before he was assessed by Atos.

      But he was left shocked when examiners told him his benefits were being axed because he was fit for work.

      His family say David suffers tremors and shakes and is having more tests to establish his underlying condition.

      He also suffers from neck pain and diabetes.

      Despite his poor health, he was told his Employment and Support Allowance was being stopped and he’d need to get a job or sign on for Jobseeker’s Allowance

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grandad-passed-fit-work-atos-5039957.

      • The Department for Work and Pensions said: “If Mr Waite’s health has deteriorated, we would ask him to provide medical evidence and we’ll look at his claim again.”

        Atos said: “A person can have significant health issues and still be deemed fit to work as the assessment looks at what you can do rather than what you can’t.”

        ……………………………which is legalised jargon for.

        “WE COULDN’T GIVE TWO FUCKS IF HE LIVES OR DIES”

        • Humiliated blind woman asked by ATOS benefits assessor: ‘How many fingers am I holding up?’

          Natasha Pogson, 28, says she was made to feel “stupid” before the DWP slashed her benefits and declared she needs to get a job

          Evening Gazette Natasha Pogson
          Upset: Natasha has had her benefits slashed by more than 50 per cent

          A benefits assessor asked a blind woman: “How many fingers am I holding up?” before declaring her fit to work.

          Natasha Pogson, 28, says she was made to feel “stupid” by a female ATOS worker who carried out her disability assessment.

          As well as holding up her fingers, the woman also made Natasha try and touch her toes and lifted both arms before asking Natasha to do the same.

          Natasha and her dad Karl, who also attended the assessment, say it was made “crystal clear” beforehand that she had been left “completely blind” because she was born so prematurely.

          But Natasha, of Billingham, Cleveland, has now had her weekly income slashed and been told to get a job – because she can cross the road with her guide dog.

          http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/humiliated-blind-woman-asked-atos-4287595

        • The sister of a partially sighted man who killed himself after his benefits were cut is calling on the UK government to publish details of its review into his case, one of 60 internal investigations of suicides linked to benefit changes it has carried out since 2012.

          Linda Cooksey, 60, found the body of her brother, Tim Salter, 53, who was agoraphobic and suffered mental health problems, in his home in Stourbridge in September 2013. There was no food in his house, no money in his bank account, and in the dustbin she found a letter from a housing association threatening him with eviction.

          A few months after his suicide, Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh ruled that a major factor in Salter’s death was that his state benefits had been “greatly reduced, leaving him almost destitute”.

          http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/11/publication-secret-review-benefits-cut-tim-salter

          • Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

            Section 82(3) –(4) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980

            1, How many fines where issued to defandants in 2014 2, how many where means tested to see if they could afford the fine,

            Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

            I can confirm that the Ministry of Justice holds some of the information that you have asked for. However, some of the information requested is exempt from disclosure because it is intended for future publication.

            With regard to the part of your question on how many defendants are means tested, please note all defendants are sent a Statement of Assets and Other Financial Circumstances to complete when they are summoned and the responsibility is with them to complete and return the completed form.  If the court doesn’t have any means information they are allowed to assume the relevant weekly income

            https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/245521/response/607787/attach/html/3/012%2015%20FOI%2095179%20Reply.doc.html

  3. overburdenddonkey

    great post jv…there is virtually no healing therapy out there….to cure mental pain see the assistive work of quaker dr bob johnson…a spin off from healing is the total REJECTION our toxic system, not learning to cope with it, and/or cope with mhp’s!! http://www.soteria.freeuk.com/176_16-18.pdf

  4. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Johnny Void in this detailed post demolishes the DWP’s patronising and lukewarm attitude towards protecting the mental health of their claimants. In addition to the complete absence of any serious mental health training of the assessors and decision-makers, the assessment form itself was heavily biased towards physical incapacity. It had very little to say about mental health issues, despite the fact that acute anxiety, depression or other health problems can very profoundly affect one’s life and ability to work. As for work always being good for you, and finding work also being beneficial, this isn’t always the case by any means. Sometime those with acute depression or anxiety simply can’t work because of the nature of their illness, and certain types of job will make it worse. When I worked in the inland revenue, there was a saying that no-one should be left to work doing nothing but filing, because after about three months of doing this the sheer boredom of doing this tedious job would send people crazy. Literally. As for the threadbare guidance offered to assessors dealing with people with suicidal thoughts, it’s clearly not written by anyone with any understanding of mental health problems at all. Depression is not a case of ‘feeling a bit down’. One of the best, short descriptions of it is the title of the book Dr Wolpert wrote about his own struggle with depression after the death of his mother: ‘A Malignant Sadness’. The cretinous advice offered by the DWP clearly doesn’t come from anyone, who knows anything about it, nor have they met anyone who suffered from it. It’s written by someone, who’s obviously been extremely fortunate enough to enjoy good mental health, and thinks that giving someone a brisk talking to and telling them to ‘pull themselves together’ will do the trick. And as for cruddy jobs destroying your health: the civil service knows this. A little while ago Horizon even did a programme on how the employment records kept by the civil service actually show that you will have worse health the further down the chain of command you are. You are far more likely to have a heart attack or some other disease if you are a low-paid grunt humping the files around, than if you are one of the high paid mandarins at Somerset House, whose incredibly inflated opinions of themselves is reflected in the name they gave their ‘staff association’: 1st Division. Really, the DWP’s and government’s attitude to mental health is a disgrace. They should be sacked immediately, and not let anywhere near anyone feeling even the slightest bit emotionally frail.

    • one of my jobs temporary jobs, that came to an end was inspecting crisp packets for holes eight hours a day. I did not go crazy, probably because I have strong mind, but it was mind numbingly boring. Even though I did not like it I did it, I wanted a job. Not everyone can do what I did for so long. I was willing to work in a place where they cleaned intestines for sausages, they would not take me on. I tried very hard to find work and could only find a few bits a pieces here and there in my whole working life. I worked hard, before sanctions and all this mean treatment. I got nothing out of it, for working hard. I should be mad and have committed suicide for the trouble I have had for years, but no. I feel sorry for those that cannot cope with this terrible system. I also feel that if there is not even job satisfaction, never mind pay enough to live on, what is the point? Why work for companies only for them to exploit you? You may well say it is just as hard to survive on your own, but more rewarding to do so.

      • Sort of reminds me of a story I heard years ago. A major US motor manufacturer (Ford or GM I think) had a problem with production. Cars were being produced and subsequently sold that rattled as they were driven. Naturally customers were not happy and they returned their vehicles.

        What inspectors at the manufacturers found astonished them. Crushed soda cans had actually been inserted into the door wells and covered over with plastic or fabric. Why did this happen?

        Because the motor workers were bored stiff! They were doing the same mundane tasks day in day out. So perhaps not surprisingly, to pass the time they performed pranks such as this. The plant management had the sense to increase the basic pay and perhaps more importantly vary the tasks their of their workers.

        Work that causes major anxiety, stress or massive moral dilemmas is not worth it in the medium to long term. Very much like one job vacancy I applied to and actually did for a couple of days. It involved knocking on people’s doors and asking them if they had an accident in the past three years. Basically door to door ambulance chasing.

        • true but there is a job for everyone and everyone is different there are people that would enjoy my terrible job. And then as you point out the pay has to be good too, as people need to be valued for the time they give. I think most people these days if they are lucky to have work, are in the wrong job, when surely it is better to find someone the right job which leads to a more productive worker. And an happier society. If only MPs listen.

      • Jeez, maria when I used to work in an abattoir the ONLY thing and I mean ONLY part of the slaughtered animals we throw in the skip was the intestines. Now you are saying they are running under a tap these shit-filled stomach-churning organs and incorporating them into sausages! Disgusting, just disgusting!

        • yes but they have been doing it for years, well centuries as far as I am aware, that is the skin of the sausages, you can get skinless now as an alternative. and Haggis that uses the stomach for a container. I mean I never actually worked there as they did not give me a chance but as far as I know they clean the shit out and they wash them in salt to preserve them. I will never forget the smell, I have never smelt anything worse in my life. And still I was willing to do that for an income. but not many are willing to take be on and no one has took me on permantly. Quite sad really. The next lesson if you like, are the secrets of working in a crisp factory, not as nice as you expect.

          • I will never forget that nauseating smell either. When you are young and naive and desperate for a bob or two you just assume that when something is being thrown in a skip that it is destined for disposal. Jeez, we used to lop off pig’s ears and all sorts; there was nothing that we threw away; brains, uteruses all made their way into the food chain. It makes me sick to the stomach to think that unsuspecting folk are actually eating INTESTINES – yuck! it is true that if slaughterhouses had glass walls we would all be vegetarian. You never really know what you are eating, especially when it is ‘processed’ – I shudder to think what goes into a ‘chicken twizzler’, and people actually eat sausages, those ‘grey’ pies… yuck. You need to tell us more about the secret machinations of the crisp factory…🙂

            • All I can say is don’t eat low budget sausages, meatballs, mince, or even already chopped up meat. And as the old saying goes, everything in the pig is used except the tail and the squeak. The crisp factory or the one I worked at, you are supposed to throw any bags of crisp that the machine didn’t seal properly away, but they told me to open them all up again and put them in a huge clear bin bag and go up to the line upstairs and put them back into circulation again. if the flavour machine broke you where sent upstairs to root through he product with your bare hands and find some crisp with no flavour on and pick them out manually. The lines were not cleaned except once a week or when the line changed and if the grime of the flavour coated the bottom of the line too much you got the pan they were using to sweep the floor with and clean the line out with that. Well I didn’t do that bit but I seen some people do it, the doors were always open for delivery even in the cold in winter and the flaps to keep the files were sometimes held open so all kinds of pests like flies came in. I used to look on the board on the wall and every month people would complain about maggots and bits of hair and nails and screws and parts of the machinery found in the product. And people who work there used to pinch the crisps and eat them on the shop floor. I was very young then, and had no clue about food hygiene and I don’t think I knew that you had to have a hyeine certificate, then. I did not know they existed. Its pretty disgusting when I look back and see what they had me doing in my innocence.

              • Ex-Slaughterman

                Thanks for that, Maria, fascinating stuff… will be thinking twice before I tuck into a bag of pickled onion Monster Munchies😀

  5. Having witnessed a healthy teenager be psychologically mangled by JCP it is clear that the system is designed to destroy the moral and confidence of young people.

    Not incidental the JCP strategy is designed to psychologically destroy healthy claimants as well as the already vulnerable.

  6. Never were truer words spoken or written. There seems to be hidden in government policies the ability to reduce the sick and or disabled population, by any means possible, whether it be forcing people into suicide, or outright corporate manslaughter through destitution or starvation. All of them who have subscribed to this atrocity must be held to account for the sake of common decency and humanity.

  7. Reblogged this on Christopher John Ball and commented:
    The systematic torture of people by this Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition is shameful

  8. In front of me i have an ESA 50 LIMITED CAPABILITY FOR WORK QUESTIONNAIRE.

    I am helping, through my sons keyboard knowledge, to fill it in for a man who has serious mental depression problems
    The guy is a friend and his health has been ebbing away fast, since they imposed the bedroom tax upon him
    He struggles to survive and is on a very low ebb, contemplating suicide as i speak.

    The guy was sexually abused as a child by his own father and other men he invited to share his son with………………………

    My friend has never been able to really communicate his problem, thoroughly ashamed at what happened when he was so vulnerable. The DWP persecute him all the time, unaware of the horror of what he went through.
    Indeed, he cannot hold down a job, his head is in pieces.

    The questionnaire is the most evil document ever produced, a summary of non related tick box fucking claptrap dreamt up by a private health insurer who advised the government DWP department.

    “IT CONTAINS IMPLIED THREATS ON EVERY PAGE, A DOCUMENT PURELY DESIGNED TO KILL”

    …………………..What dates will you not be available to see a HCP?
    Can you lift an empty cardboard box? Can you go up and down two steps? Can you lift one of your arms high enough to put something in your top pocket of a jacket? Ca you pick up a £1 coin……………………

    “THE FUCKING CLAPTRAP IS ENDLESS AND THEY WANT HIM TO SEE AN EX BEDPAN CLEANER WITH A SHINY CERTIFICATE ENDORSED BY THE “FACULTY OF OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE”.

    WHO THE FUCK DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?

    TIN POT GODS WHO LOBBY TO CREATE JOBS FOR THE CRANKS THAT EXIST WITHIN IT’S RANKS.

    “MY FRIEND IS SO CLOSE TO WALKING AWAY FROM THE LITTLE HE HAS GOT LEFT, TO SUIT A DECISION MAKER FROM THE DWP, WHO HAS LESS MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE THAN THE MAN IN THE MOON”

    “PLACE ANOTHER POSSIBLE DEATH ON YOUR EVER INCREASING MORTALITY RATES, YOU FACELESS, SICK AND TWISTED BASTARDS………..

    • “THE CLAIMANT JOURNEY, TO HELL AND BACK AGAIN”……………….

      From: Yasemin Yilmaz

      2 February 2015

      Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

      On 4 December 2013 the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of the
      Upper Tribunal in May 2013, that the Work Capability Assessment
      (WCA) process of Employment Support Allowance places people with
      mental health problems, learning difficulties and autism at a
      ‘substantial disadvantage’ compared to people without those
      disabilities. This was followed by an Upper Tribunal hearing on 7-9
      July 2014 concerning ‘reasonable adjustments’ that could address
      the discrimination faced by the above groups undergoing the WCA. I
      understand that the outcome of the hearing in July is yet to be
      announced.

      However, my questions are:

      1. Since 4 December 2013, has the DWP taken any steps to prevent
      the WCA from placing people with mental health problems, learning
      difficulties and autism at a substantial disadvantage?

      2. If the answer is Yes, please clearly specify what steps it has
      taken, including any relevant changes introduced to the WCA from
      that date?

      3. If the answer is No, please explain the reasons for this and
      indicate whether and when the DWP will be taking action in response
      to the court ruling ?

      Yours faithfully,

      Yasemin Yilmaz

      Link to this
      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/esa_work_capability_assessment_c

    • Geoff – It’s quite likely he also suffers from PTSD – it’s not going to go away without professional help at some point, ideally ‘stepped up’ to a senior psychologist, that isn’t constrained by the lower levels of maximum 6 sessions. It isn’t a cure – and the waiting lists are huge, but it does help – Ive just done a year of dbt, mindfulness and EMDR (we ran out of their maximum sessions) It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, because of what you talk about (though you aren’t compelled to tell all, just what you feel able to), but it has made some difference, particularly with waking up in the night with flashbacks/nightmares. He will have to go to CBT first – they are the people who say – too much for us, you need more and refer you up, often they insist on the cbt first, even though they know it doesn’t help ptsd (that made my mental health worse) Send him virtual hugs from me, tell him he is not alone, and f’k stigma – it’s not us who should be ashamed, it’s those who did this to us.

  9. “SANCTIONS ARE ONLY USED AS A LAST RESORT”

    ………………….Yesterday i could visualise the DWP dead, itching to get their hands round Esther Mcveys neck as she consistently lied through her teeth.

  10. Vote CLASS WAR!!

    EAT THE RICH!!

  11. too right these bastards in the jobcentre and ‘work programmes are systematically DESTROYING their victims mental health and DELIBERATELY so, some have been driven to take their own lives which is these cunts whole objective .. the “we care about your mental health” bullshit campaigns can also be lumped in with all those bullshit “anti-bullying” campaigns – bullying is the bedrock of the jobcentre and their third-party ‘provider’ collaborators… it is the whole foundation these cunts are built on.

  12. Benefit Sanctions protest at Croydon Job Centre

  13. Iain Duncan Smith is a CUNT!!

    Reblogged this on iainduncansmithisacunt and commented: Iain Duncan Smith is a CUNT!!

  14. Maybe Morrissey had a point when he sang:

    Burn down the jobcentres
    Hang the fucking work roaches
    Because the sanctions they constantly issue
    Keep fucking up my life…

    HANG THE FUCKING WORK ROACHES

    HANG THE FUCKING WORK ROACHES

    HANG THE FUCKING WORK ROACHES

    HANG THE FUCKING WORK ROACHES

    HANG THE FUCKING WORK ROACHES

    HANG THE FUCKING WORK ROACHES

  15. Gordon “work is good for you” Waddell is part of the Wessley clique of quacks that have been causing deaths by forcing graded exercise and CBT brainwashing on ME sufferers. (The aim seems to be to drum up business for psychiatry ‘treating’ paitients suffering from what the World Health Authority has asserted for more than half a century, to be a NEUROLOGICAL disorder and not a mental health issue).

    ME patients have been demonised as ‘malingerers’ since the 1980s by the publicity seeking antics of this bunch of trick cyclists, with the result that by the early ’90s the NHS were denying sufferers credibility and appropriate care, in order to serve them up as fodder for Wessley, Waddell, et. al.

    The ineffective and often dangerous forced exercise & CBT regime has been widely viewed as amounting to physical and mental torture, and prepared the ground nicely for the demonisation of ALL sick and disabled individuals under the WCA.

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/09/09/dwpunumatos-scandal-professor-simon-wessely-it-is-only-human-for-doctors-to-view-the-public-as-foolish-uncomprehending-hysterical-or-malingering/

    http://niceguidelines.blogspot.com/2012_12_01_archive.html

    https://internationalgreensocialist.wordpress.com/illness-as-deviance-work-as-glittering-salvation-and-the-psyching-up-of-the-medical-model-strategies-for-getting-the-sick-back-to-work/

    • Bill Gunnyeon former DWP CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, now MAXIMUS, paved the way for Dame Carol Blacks fit note reforms to be introduced through the back door.
      Gunnyeon was president of the trick cyclists, the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, F.O.M., the same people who issue the DDAM diploma for Health Care Professionals (atos maximus capita), to play grown up doctors……….

      …………Unums chosen twisted children

    • “INDEPENDENT STUDY COMMISSIONED BY DWP, ON BEHALF OF THE DWP, FOR THE DWP, TO BRING SAVINGS TO THE DWP”…………………….

      IS WORK
      GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
      AND WELL-BEING?

      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.

  16. The work coaches are being told about the effects of workplace bullying, not mental health issues.

    Bullying moves through stress injury, psychiatirc stress injury and into clinical depression stages.

    A mental health issue is far more complex and dangerous to both staff and sufferer, who is a suicide risk.

    Someone bullied does not become a suicide risk until the clinica depression end stage.

    Workplace stress itself is not one thing, because it can cause
    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (by the dripping tap metaphor of never knowing what the heck a bully boss wants of you) or
    Burn Out, which gives amnesia to common daily tasks and you need to be looked after.

    You must not confront someone with mental illness and say they are mad. Somewhat dangerous to staff and sufferer.

    The Jobcentre management neither know workplace bullying nor what is mental illness.

    Thios is a health and safety issue for the staff, who are not trained mental health workers.

    I once went for a job interview in a probation office as night clerk. Was told that Schizophrenics sign on, not because of committing crime, but just signing on. With me with no laminated protection glass between a seriously delusional person and a frail woman.

    The management have not got one clue.

    But as most staff will be gone when the Jobcentres go digital in March 2015, it is a moot point.

  17. Given the chance, this government would ruin my life and have me homeless lying in a gutter. I was annoyed with Blair, but I never saw him as a threat to my basic way of life. I get the feeling that this government really personally dislikes me. If there was a job that was genuine, stable, paid more then benefits, was open to me, and that let me both be a night owl and sleep when my mind was mush, I’d take it, but not the crap low waged stuff or the downright scams that is all that would be offered to me.

  18. A great post, JV. I fear what will happen to me if things don’t change and I ever lose my mother: I’m quite sure I will be homeless on the streets.

    Just wanted to comment that some time after I filled in my own ESA50, and it was sorted out, I heard that they changed the rules so that you can ONLY have physical symptoms considered, or ONLY mental ones. This, even though a lot of severe mental illnesses and conditions have physical symptoms as well, such as tiredness/oversleeping, problems with co-ordination, enhanced perception of pain, shaking, weakness, dizziness etc.

    The only reason for this is to dismiss a large part of the suffering of those with mental illness/health problems in order to deny them benefits they are entitled to. At least, that’s what I see.

    • @Nina……..one of the most serious illnesses you can suffer is a stroke which results in both physical and mental consequences. I was lucky – I survived intact.

      • And one of the main causes of a stoke is stress which increases blood pressure leading to a stoke. This is why the JC/DWP/WP pile on so much stress – they want their victims to keel over with a stroke if they haven’t been driven to suicide before hand. These cunts are really mass murderers!!

        • I know, and I know this has been said over and over, but I can’t believe the government hasn’t been charged with corporate manslaughter already.

      • I am glad you survived. Also, the best way to annoy them is to stay alive for as long as possible. But this just shows what I said works the other way for them as well, i.e. those with physical disabilities and illnesses and/or chronic pain can easily become depressed (even without DWP intervention) and this new rule ensures those secondary health problems are completely dismissed.

        • overburdenddonkey

          nina
          i think the rule change you are referring to, is what they ‘think’ might help…

        • Too right, nina😀 We’ll be stayin’ alive… for as long as possible😀 and fuck you DWP😀

        • overburdenddonkey

          nina
          as many are found fit for work….the decision would rest with MR and subsequent appeal to look @ what the ‘might work’ consideration…this would have already been explored by the claimant and GP, when GP signed and ticked not fit for work on med cert…the esa50/WCA is for illustrative purposes only…the WCA should consider ALL symptoms both diagnosed and undiagnosed…meaning that this new rule makes no materiel difference to the already established process, as it will all be considered @ FtT and/or UtTribunal…
          see also UtT rulings on ie use of assistance aids..

    • overburdenddonkey

      nina
      the 1st point; when one takes pain killers the affects according to dwp shift from physical to cognitive if the drugs cloud mind…. ‘This, even though a lot of severe mental illnesses and conditions have physical symptoms as well, such as tiredness/oversleeping, problems with co-ordination, enhanced perception of pain, shaking, weakness, dizziness etc.’ is actually physical…because the gummed up mind is working overtime and under severe stress, caused by heavy demand of glycogen for cognitive function… creating cell hypos, coupled to lack of vitality giving vitals of life, and is disastrous for the individual, malnutrition is rife in the UK..what happens is that CBT EDMR often used in conjunction with drugs, set up a perfect storm, all rely on formemberance ie forget past abuses and remember to forget…this creates a draining of energy cogfog stammer of rules, grace and etiquette or way of being that fits in with cultural norms…MH cannot recover in such away…

  19. My Jokecentreminus has now got those new-fangled digitial signing pads installed ready to be up and running over the next few weeks or so. Does this mean I can smash them up with a hammer and chisel if the new system fucks up my meagre money allowance?

    • Fen, they’ve set up the PCs in my office… they appear to be constantly no working… Imagine that! Spend big bucks on a crap system and you get a crap service. Wait that describes DWP/UJM/ATOS/Maximus/Workfare…. uuuhhhhmmmmm….

  20. Film of a DWP/WP sanctioned workfare placement leaked out:

    • IDS watching on at 0.32 thinking up punishment for non compliance.

    • “35 hours a week jobsearch – it’s supposed to drive us mad!”

      • “Makes no sense, serves no purpose. They do it to drive us mad.”

        • of course they do, they want you off their books, they instead of helping are playing dirty. Making vulnerable people destitute, because there isn’t enough work for everyone to go into. So they want to appeared to have done something about their problem and now they have come up with the final solution, deny them of their worth and their means and let them fend for themselves. Let them survive by their own rules of evolution. Deny them as people of all their basic rights including food and clean water, and of shelter. That is what they are doing, how can they be doing anything else?

  21. The Social Darwinism/ Social Cleansing/ Nazi fucking murder continues unabated. I wonder what the Labour Party have to say about this? What does Clegg think? What about UKIP? BIG FAT NOTHING – all happy to carry on on behalf of their rich masters – they are all fucking cunts

    • It is exactly the same policies and objectives as the Nazis and achieves the same results except that the approach is more subtle and the implementation a lot more stealthy and discreet.

  22. The DWP/JCP narrative that work makes (you) free and cures all ills forces the debate onto the DWP premise that ALL welfare claimants are feckless and therefore have mental health problems.

    This allows the DWP/JCP to push the agenda that unemployment is a psychotic disorder of claimants. The DWP Employment and Wellbeing Toolkit is an affront to ALL claimants.

    Dangerous stuff in the hands of deficient and hostile JCP work coaches.

    • overburdenddonkey

      mr r
      work, rest, and play….work makes/keeps one free, ONLY if there is suffient RELIABLE/REGULAR/CONSTANT vitality giving vitals of life INCOME…
      income should always comes before work, from larder/store….no one would expect a car that has run out of energy 10miles from fuel, to drive to energy station would they?…that is what our crazy system expects nay demands…pretend to be well fed and happy (normal) or be attacked…

    • If you don’t want a shitty “job” that will destroy you physically, emotionally and psychologically you must be bonkers😀

    • Income Macht Frei!!

      It is not work we need – it is INCOME!

  23. Just a Little Note to those going through the Mill with DWP and ATOS/Maximus/Work Programme – at the final stage beyond these organisations there is : http://www.ombudsman.org.uk to appeal to about your treatment.

    • Imagine you had to demolish the wall of a bricked up front door every time you wanted to take the liberty of walking outside, where is the liberty if a citizen has to appeal every sanction imposed of that liberty.

    • ………….It’s really strange how the ombudsman recognises one issue of suicide caused by health trusts and completely ignores the thousands who have died due to DWP WELFARE REFORMS………………..

      AN OMBUDSMAN WITH ONE EYE SHUT AND THE OTHER MADE OF GLASS……

  24. Seeing is believing

    The whole point of digital work centers (which has not really become clear yet) is to privatise job centers.
    Shortly after the switch over you can expect the minimum referral time for claimants to be put on the work program to be reduced which will and is already creating a massive client list for the likes of Reed in Partnership (Partnership with Reed the Slave agency,as a exercise in interest conflict denial).
    Indeed,large offices are being opened with sites relocating upwards to population centers,from cheaper back street offices.
    The situation was designed from the start to depress the rights and
    conditions of workers even further,including the publicly employed job center roaches who are now facing the sack!
    These people cannot compete in a young arena like a private agency.The workload and pressure is high whilst the pay and conditions are little better than any other agency employment.The idea I see planned out eventually is to have the unemployed forming a queue work house esq at the doors of the agencies every morning and possibly be allocated a minimum wage job for the day which will of course result in the humble employee effectively working for the (in partnership) agency who will be creaming off half the money whilst being liable for no employer obligations whatsoever.
    It all falls on its face because the job center staff were employed as civil servants with a gold plated pension and cushy number for life, whilst the agency employees (consultants? ROTFLO bloody L!) have little reason to hang on to a job that pays them poorly for dishing out shit; As others may have noticed,these young ambitious people are already leaving or moving sideways in droves.You will see a new face every 6 weeks.
    There is one simple truth in everything implemented by the quarter wit
    In Deep Shit.
    Its a fundamentally flawed ill thought out expensive fiasco monumental Cock Up!!

    • Reed in Partnership are SCUM!!

      Reed in Partnership (with the Devil) are complete and utter cunts, pure fucking scum, the lowest of the low.

  25. Tried using one of the job terminals in my jokecentre to do some jobsearching the other day. But this was a complete and utter waste of my time as the job point I wanted to use turned out to be on an extremely slow dial-up connection from BT internet. After five failed attempts to get UJM properly working for me on that crappy computer terminal I gave up in the end and sodded off to the library instead.

    I don’t know about JCP’s going all digital by March 2015 but this will fail massively if their customer access computers don’t even work properly and keep crashing every time a job is searched for. I reckon that the DWP/JCP’s have now got to the technological stage of how the internet was back in 1990.

    All those billions of pounds they have floating around spare (unless they pay old baldy bonce smithy each money a nice fat bonus) and they can’t even get decent computer/internet access for us to use.

  26. Seeing is believing

    The pc is there primarily so that nobody can claim they have no access. Secondarily to get round the privacy laws that mean individuals can refuse to use the jobmatch site on there own computer.
    Hence It is the cheapest piece of crap going.
    Many people are not pc literate anyway and have no need to be for work or they would have learnt.The way Deep Shit would have it,these people would be euthanized and quietly burnt in large pits because they will be difficult to ‘Cybermanage’.
    I could set up a fist full of cheap old pc’s that work great for peanuts,but its all subbed out to ‘experts’ that rake all the money out as per usual.
    The pc ticks the boxes and the company gets the regular cheque,but nobody said it had to work ‘within reason’.

  27. Seeing is believing

    The ‘experts’ btw are chums of those in power.Its another money laundering scam.
    I once saw an engineer change a button battery on a job center access point motherboard.I asked him how much the callout was and he said;3 days wages.You and I will never be privalleged with such remuneration unless you start paying off a member of the house.

  28. stitchedupandbroken

    I read today(Guardian) how Alex Ferguson is being paid £108,000 a day. That’s excluding all his other financial agreements and salaries. At the food chain other footballers are being paid the same,more perhaps. Meanwhile, down in the locker room, thus have I read,the lads cleaning the footballers boots don’t get paid…on apprenticeships…outsourced firms…zero hours. GREED. Naked greed. How can these people live with themselves. Surely these eminent people can put up enough ££ to pay the minimum wage,the living wage even!
    £££: When is enough?
    You hear about the footballers betting on some low-paid coach driver on skivvy money betting the bloke wouldn’t down a pint of his own piss? Maybe it was even the footballers piss!! The bloke did it to earn £100. Peanuts. That’s what we’ve come to: one o the most unequal societies going. Its just one step away from having to sell your sister.

    I am afraid it has to get worse. And worse. Not until there’s violence,or the threat of violence,will those who have relinquish some of that they have to make a better world.

    It is very unfortunate that the deprived take it out on their immediate neighbours…by stealing or unsociable behaviour ,when, just a short busride down the road are the architects of this inequitable swamp.

    I read that the average age of those going to the gallows from ‘the clink’ was somewhere around 15/18 years old. Oftentimes they were completely terrified,shitting and pissing themselves. Crimes: petty pilfering. Whilst at the same time those in Parliament trousered millions(in todays money). And got titles and rewards. This is the Conservatives wet dream.

  29. “WILL THE NEW DIGITAL JOBCENTRES MEAN A HUMAN WILL NO LONGER BE CULPABLE FOR A CLAIMANTS DEATH ?”

    “FOUR PEOPLE DIED AS A RESULT OF A SOFTWARE GLITCH”……….?

  30. Seeing is believing

    It is a strange sort of greed that grows.
    Personally if I got paid 100k a day I would retire after a month.
    People get caught up with the notion of ‘owning’ vast lands or yachts,jewels,art,the list goes on.It is not enough to have it,for them they must be seen to be squandering what others cannot afford.The price for this is directly linked to others going without;If one man must have 50 acres 49 other men must have none.A thousand men must toil for bread so one man can look at some musty old painting and keep it locked behind shutters..
    I have worked for several wealthy people and I have not yet met one that did not get rich at the expense of others.
    Liars and thieves, mostly.
    But in the case of football,they are rich at the expense of fools.
    Its just the entertainment business ; nobody has to buy a ticket,
    and working for them for free shows football idiocy is contagious.

  31. Seeing is believing

    There are many unforeseen (by George Deep Shit) problems with a ‘digital’ delivery system.

  32. It can only be plainly deliberate.was sent on a course and found dyslexic,went back to the jobcentre and was told its not a learning difficulty then.

    The Aim appears to antagonise people.they are seeking to play on peoples’ conditions,such as mental health and use it against them,while acting in denial.that can be the only conclusion.

    G4s are everywhere at least two on each level and others on a break.they are on sanctioned claimants like a ton of bricks,when they complain.

  33. Seeing is believing

    Sanctioned but infirm claimants I will wager.
    The ‘goons’ in my local joke shop could not handle my Granny unless her hip is playing up..

  34. “Searching for a job can have a beneficial effect on mental well being” LOL Yeah, looking for a suitable job and finding I am hardly qualified for any roles due to lack of experience, despite holding several different jobs-it’s not the exact experience required-whilst overqualified for the minimum wage-slave jobs the DWP would like to push me into makes my depression and anxiety so much better!

    I was already severely depressed, anxious and suffering suicidal thoughts, having lost the 6 month job I came off ESA for when I went to my first signing on session. The man told me I hadn’t done enough, even though I applied for 6 jobs and spent ages looking for more. He suggested I applied for cleaning work when I have a good degree have worked in professional jobs. He implied I was workshy, I’m sure he was deliberately trying to humiliate me. I cried for rest of the day and following day and was seriously close to attempting suicide (plan that was likely to work etc.) As I was due to see my Dr that afternoon anyway I asked for a sick note which he gave after seeing the state I was in. So now I am back on ESA, with the constant begging for sicknotes to send, then the form from hell, then the medical. Almost as bad as JSA, but not quite.

    The right job can improve mental well being, absolutely, but only if the person is well enough to work and it is a decent, suitable job-of which sadly few seem to exist.

    • “He suggested I applied for cleaning work ” That’s the bog standard BS we have to put up with Caitlin. Once upon a time cleaning jobs and the like were for mums earning a couple of quid while the children were at school. Now they’re trying to pass them off as ‘careers’. Same as things like dog walking and stuff like that. Carers jobs as well; What they seem to forget is that caring for people is a very responsible job and is a vocation (much like nursing) and is not designed for any Tom Dick or Harry just to shove them off the dole.

  35. Oh and I forgot to mention the stress and anxiety of filling out numerous forms, going to interviews and demoralising effect of rejections. Searching for a job is one of the most damaging things for mental health, unless you are in an in-demand profession and it goes well. Having a decent job, yeah that could benefit mental health.

  36. Seeing is believing

    I’m the other way round.
    I have 30 yrs experience and wont work for thanyou’s.
    £7 an hour? I tell em to get stuffed..
    My c.v. states (between the lines) I wont work for newbies dough and I wont bend over.I have one pair of hands, Days are 8 hrs with a cuppa in the middle paid for by you,if you want 9 hr days I finish early on friday.
    At knocking off time I’m gone.Take it or leave it.
    I dont care,I am not working off the bankers follies!
    I get begging phone calls from agencies. Fuck em.

  37. Seeing is believing

    Must be client facing’; Fresh Shaven and hair cut in company uniform so the client thinks you earn a fortune and is getting value for money.
    ‘Can do attitude’; You will do unreasonable tasks above your pay grade.
    ‘Flexible’; You will work unsocial hours for flat rate.
    ‘Would suit semi retired person’;Although we want you every day,we will only pay half a days money.
    ‘Its tough out there’; Jam tomorrow. This one hangs about the negotiating table for 3 years into a boom.
    ‘Prestigious Role’; You will be unblocking shitters but they are in the hilton.
    ‘Career Growth’; You will start on beginners money and not get a rise until you leave & get a better job because of inertia,which with promises of jam tomorrow will mean you wasted 30 months asking for a pay rise.
    ‘Company Training’; You will be doing qualified work for beginners dough and when you qualify the company will keep your certificates.
    ‘Amazing opportunity’; for an agency to skim another wage packet.
    ‘Dynamic company’;You will need two pairs of hands for 1 pairs money.
    ‘Challenging role’; You will need two ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ”’ ””’.
    ‘Family Firm’; All the profit goes to family members,and the close nit circle we suggest is of absolutely fuck all relevance or use to you whatsover,we will just use it as an excuse to pay bottom $. See what happens if you ask for a £1000 sub when your boiler snuffs it.You will not get shares in the firm,see ‘Richard Branson’s first employees for comments.The boss will be taking your van at the week ends,get the bus.
    ‘Laptop provided’; Of bugger all use except work.Can I have £400 salary increase instead? No? thought not.
    ‘Mobile Phone’; who cares?
    ‘Per Annum’ ; Salaried. Paid monthly.In arrears. You loan us a months wages in perpetuity,weather we get paid in arrears or not.
    ‘Per hour’; We pay you monthly but call it per hour so we can get away with a non professional remuneration.You loan us a months LOWER wages in perpetuity.
    ‘Thank you for all you have done for us this year.We dont know how we would manage without you.’;You really are a dumb shmuck arent you? Have a beer on me you pillock.See you on the 2nd of January.
    All these and more are agency and scum bag employer con tricks and phrases to rope you in.
    Avoid any employer using these tactics like the plague.

  38. Every Lidl Helps

    When the job centre’s go digital and some of these bullying scumbags get the boot they’ll be screaming the loudest.

    Wouldn’t it be a beautiful irony if some of them end up back in the job centre’s doing some other shitty job under workfare and the threat of sanctions.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer lot!

    • Seeing is believing

      The young ones will be Porked. Some of the older ones with a lot of service in will be transferred to other civil service departments on the same salary scale,where possible.The actual number of civil servants will not change drastically, whilst the total number involved in benefit claims inc. welfare to work staff will rise,as will the expenditure. The bill for the welfare to work roaches(they are renting new offices all over the shop)and the pc system will be higher than what was being spent before.The job center buildings and half of the staff will be retained.Like I said earlier,its just a money laundering exercise.
      After the election its even possible another load of money could be spent putting it back.

      • Every Lidl Helps

        SiB

        I agree with you about the expenditure and it’s glorified money laundering. The poverty pimps will suck up as much cash as they can.

        Seetec for example who don’t get their hands dirty, they just sub contract like they did in my area, and these companies are like seagulls fighting over chips.

        Money for nothing and your chips are free!

    • Unfortunetly, I also predict that the good staff who actually help jobsekkers will more likely get the chop than the nasty ones

  39. i get terrible spasms and shakes when trying to confront all this.
    never used to. 3 years of no money really didnt help my anxiety. it was a horrendous and harrowing battle where i basically had to assert some polite threats amidst my epic elaboration on my condition in appeal (a process i very nearly didnt go through again due to the harm it causes me ~ no doubt many more folks chosing to avoid in this manner, skewing stats) before they put me on incapacity benefit (or whatever they call it now). seeing all the rest still going through this government sponsored torture and cull makes me feel guilty that i’m sorted for income now, but scared to ever speak up for all the rest left behind incase the beurocrats decide to make a lesson outta me, or whatever other reasoning they’d make up to take it away again. … it should not be like this! this BASIC necessities income should not be so fragile to attain and retain, ESPECIALLY for folks with conditions such as ours.

    I’d love to be confident and courageous enough to get out there and help fight for you all, but i’m hostage to anxieties n fears they seem happy to encourage. as is though, i can only offer you my sympathy. hang in there folks. keep at them. find whatever support group you can, wherever you can. … even if it’s just your cat. 🙂

  40. Great piece among much polemic online and MSM writing nowadays saying the same necessary things; inspires a shocking, enlightening and educational string of commenting.

  41. Those nazi bastards Seetec appear to be selling on my private, personal details to the highest bidder in the on-going scam marketing business that infests the internet. How low can those sadistic leeches Seetec get with me after I finished with them last month and no longer have to be humiliated by them.

    Only a couple of days ago I received an out-of-the-blue email only keenly inviting me to a job career fair in Glasgow. I should have replied and said yes I will definately turn on on the door to see what the job fair has got to offer me.

    But there is are a number of things wrong with this invite. Firstly, I don’t evene live anywhere near Glasgow as I have always been lead to believe that my home town is actually in East Anglia, not Scotland. (Unless the local map books are lying…)

    Secondly, the nearest main line railway station to me is in Peterborough (East Coast Main Line). Thirdly, I would have had to fork out bus fare money (from my meagre rations of JSA) to get to Peterborough and then fork out a few hundred quid to get to Edinburgh and then change trains there for Glasgow.

    I don’t suppose my local joke shop would upfront all of these travelling costs for me somehow though.

    All this job-seeking and expected to take up all invites of jobs fairs is getting all rather expensive for me nowadays…

    • They want you do to do what people did in Victorian times and walk it to Scotland and then sleep in the bushes on the way there.

      • Been doing a full company check on that person ‘Robert Hope (Robert alanson hope)’ on companycheck.co.uk in the last few minutes. Sounds like the workings of a big job scam currently operating on reed.co.uk and possibly other job website boards as well.

        There isn’t any recruitment fayre at 8:00pm on Monday 9th February in Glasgow for sales reps or sales advisors. No doubt universal jobmatch will be advertising these ”jobs” lately…

  42. I’ve been looking on a couple of websites promoting all up-and-coming UK jobs fairs and this one ”recruitment fayre” doesn’t appear anywhere on the websites I looked through. Also, Job fairs to my knowledge usually start around 9:30am or 10:00am and finish no later than 5:30pm. Here’s a copy of my invite sent to one of my Outlook addresses –
    ———————
    Dear Fen

    Our business is growing rapidly and we need Online Marketers, Sales Operatives and Retail Distributors urgently, to help cope with the demand!

    Too find out more please join me at our Recruitment Fayre in Glasgow on Monday, 9th February at 8pm at Clarkston Hall, Clarkston Road, Clarkston G76 8NE. On arrival please ask to speak to Robert Hope.

    ——————-

    A recruitment fair not starting until 8:00pm sounds a bit far fetched in my own opnion, and I also noticed a spelling mistake has crept in to the above invitation. Is this e-mail invite even real or taking the piss with me? And has anybody else also received the same or similar job fair invite lately?

    • looks like they are faking a job fayre send you to a ridiculous distance expecting you not to go then, well you cant go if you don’t have the money, even if you could possibly walk it, it would take days. Then they can sanction you for not turning up and set you up to fail. If double speak was ever true it would be for the Jobcentre plus, at least what it has become, its nothing to do with finding work and helping people with their finances in the mean time.

      • If you tried walking from East Anglia to Glasgow your feet would be in agony; blister upon blister…. and when you do finally get there there is no job fare/fayre!

        • You would be screaming in agony long before you reached Peterborough!

          • If that recruitment fayre was indeed real, I would have walked all the way to Glasgow. Just some moron with links to Chinese hackers (no doubt) posting fake jobs at a fake recruitment fayre through reed and UJM. Must have been in excess of 300+ people applying for those dodgy ‘sales’ jobs on Reed alone.

            I bet when they get to that conference hall in Glasgow they will have to pay a non-returnable £10 entrance fee just to get into the ‘jobs fair’. More fool them if they think those jobs are real.

          • I know it would take day and weeks to get there, it may not be the DWP this time but I don’t think it will be long before they try this one next, I wouldn’t put it past them to try this one next.

    • Seeing is believing

      Online Marketers; unpaid internet skivvy .Harvesting email addy’s probably.
      Sales Operative; Commission only non job,possibly requiring ‘up front investment’.A scam. Possibly pyramid sales.
      Retail Distributor; Commission only non job DEFINITELY requiring ‘up front investment’. A more expensive scam. Possibly also pyramid scheme.
      It will not be a ‘job fayre’.
      It will be one or two con men trying to get you to sign up and part with money.
      The idea of using a hall as a presentation late in the evening means only the desperate and gullible will come. They will be at a low ebb and by 9.30 or so after a boring presentation they may make bad choices or part with information or details they should not.
      Did you ever hear of a decent well paid job that needed selling in a town hall?
      Its Bullshit.
      AVOID!!

      • Seeing is believing

        Online marketing may also involve sending hundreds of spam emails and monitoring tracking cookie activity,but you can be sure what ever they want they wont make it worth your while or they would not need to ‘sell it’ to you.

      • It will be a “seminar”; a “presentation”; that kind of shit😀 The words “seminar” or “presentation” should see you running a mile😀

  43. Reed.co.uk has been flooded with this ‘great marketing opportunity’ –

    http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/inbound-sales-advisor-in-glasgow

    • wow they want a lot of people for those positions don’t they. Of course It is as I expected, online job search has become a farce, you may as well not bother looking for a job on there. It is futile waste of your time, when you could be out there looking for a real job. If indeed real jobs exist any more.

      • companycheck.co.uk and I came across Li Yang as secretary and previous company director for the dissolved company TREELIFER (TRAVEL & TOURISM) LTD. Li Yang has the registered Address: Block 1028 New Vigor International Apartment, No. 128 Lushan Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, 210017

        Fucking chinese scam hacker cunts.

        • Take it as proof and sue the government that they or one of their subcontractors has leaked your information and compromised your security.

          • Well somebody or some organisation has sold on my CV without my written permission in accordance with the data protection act. How else did I get that scam e-mail sent to one of my private Outlook addresses only used for website forums.

            That scammer never even bothered to use my real name, just my online persona I use on the internet. Dug further around on companycheck.co.uk and found an Indian guy also had been involved as a director of the fake energy compnay and that chinese car maker…

            • Sue the arse of these fraud merchants. Get on to JokeCentre Plus and demand they get to the bottom of who breached your privacy by leaking your details to other organisations.

              That’s a crime under the data protection laws.

              Friggin’ whole situation gets worse every day. Now people that are unemployed, and already stressed out with that, have to watch out for these online predators trying to con and trick them.

  44. And he has been involved directly with a crappy little chinese car manufacturer prior to setting up a fake travel agency in Glasgow.

    http://companycheck.co.uk/director/910172288/MR-ROBERT-ALANSON-HOPE

    Chinky, slitty-eyed little cunts are trying to scam us British people into attending a fake recruitment fayre for fake sales jobs.

  45. Oh dear DWP. Your flagship website is carrying numerous scam job vacancies that I found on Reed.co.uk.

    Proof that Iain Duncan Smith sanctions us if we were to refuse a too-good-to-be-true job offer. FUCKING BALD HEADED NAZI CUNT ASS!

    https://jobsearch.direct.gov.uk/JobSearch/PowerSearch.aspx?pp=25&where=glasgow&sort=rv.dt.di&rad=2&rad_units=miles&re=134&tm=7&pg=1&tjt=sales%20advisor

    • It is upsetting I know I think I got a scam job, last year. when I went on UC or what ever name they are using for job search now. I didn’t go into it too much as you, but all the spellings are wrong and it looked just like those lotto scams you get in your e-mails. They wanted to know my personal details. I reported that for a phishing scam. It is not right it makes already vulnerable people like us more vulnerable. They are supposed to be helping, but this is what the tax people pay is going towards, fraud and most of it is not even done by the claimants.

      • All the more reason as to why that utter joke of a website should be dumped in the nearest rubbish bin and set on fire. I can’t see how UJM does any good to anybody looking for jobs on it when all posted jobs, except ‘company confidential’ are re-posts from other job websites – Monster.co.uk being prolific on UJM, considering that Monster (an American company) own a government website.

        ‘Company confidential’ jobs are often re-advertised jobs that failed to attract any applicants previously – probaby because applications made via UJM never get to the intended company whom advertise the job and thus, it makes the system look there are 1000’s of new jobs available when the reality of this is, 90% of jobs posted are re-hashed un-filled jobs from the week before.

        If the job posted is not from ‘company confidential’ it is often seen on more than one occasion on the same job page and 9 times out of 10 the same job title/description is posted in every town across the country.

        The number of job postings onto UJM directly from companies are diminishing day by day and whatever scraps are left are agency jobs, zero-hour, P/T 4 hours per week or links to reed.co.uk, indeed, monster, or CV Library. By doing re-posts to other job boards, UJM itself is pointless and wasteful. There isn’t any need for UJM, except as a sanctioning tool, if all jobs on it cannot be applied for directly through UJM without flaffing about being re-directed to other job boards or having to register/sign-up to company websites just to apply for work.

        The old website used by DWP for applying for jobs worked perfectly well, I found, and I actually did have feedback from employers. With the current system, I never hear back from any employer and I often wonder that my application to them has gone missing, never to be destined for the employer in question.

        • I agree with you, even when there wasn’t much on the old system and you had to remember that if the posts where a month old those jobs were probably already gone, then it suited it purpose perfectly. I cant believe the government want to use that site 35 hours a day when you can see at a glance in five seconds everyday there is nothing there. It will take up peoples time and not allow them to look for work as they should be doing. Their policies are counter productive they have wasted money, the welfare bill is the same and they have destroyed peoples lives with their own stupid ideology. They have destroyed every public system in Britain and it looks like that is what they intended to do all along.

  46. Seen on Universal completely fucked-up mis-match – numerous sales advisor jobs in Glasgow identical to what Reed.co.uk is advertising via that fake recruitment fayre.

    IDS IS A COMPLETE AND UTTER WANKER WHO NEEDS SHOOTING.

    • Nope Fen,

      He just needs to be pennyless and Jobless. That will do me fine. See how he and te other parasites like it on the other side of the table.

  47. As a jobcentre adviser, I got ‘brownie points’ for cruelty

    Former jobcentre adviser Angela Neville has written a play to expose the harsh reality of the benefits sanctions regime

    The Guardian – 4 February 2015

    Angela Neville, 48, is describing events she witnessed as a special adviser in a jobcentre that prompted her to write a play about her experiences.

    “We were given lists of customers to call immediately and get them on to the Work Programme,” she recalls. “I said, ‘I’m sorry this can’t happen, this man is in hospital.’ I was told [by my boss]: ‘No, you’ve got to phone him and you’ve got to put this to him and he may be sanctioned.’ I said I’m not doing it.”

    Neville worked as an adviser in Braintree jobcentre, Essex, for four years and has written a play with two collaborators, her friends Angela Howard and Jackie Howard, both of whom have helped advocate for unemployed people who were threatened with benefit sanctions by jobcentre staff.

    Read Mpre:
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/04/jobcentre-adviser-play-benefit-sanctions-angela-neville

  48. Protesters clash with Cambridge job centre security guards in demonstration for boy with cancer who had benefits cut

    Cambridge News – 5th Feb 2015

    Scuffles broke out after “ordinary people” clashed with security guards at Cambridge job centre in protest over a 7-year-old boy with cancer having his benefits stopped.

    Scuffles broke out after “ordinary people” clashed with security guards at Cambridge job centre in protest over a 7-year-old boy with cancer having his benefits stopped.

    Up to six police patrols cars rushed to the centre in Chesterton Road at about 1pm today after a banner supporting Tommi Miller’s family was torn down by security staff after it was placed on the window of the Chesterton Road building.

    The protest was held just as news was breaking that Tommi Miller, of Thorpe Way, who is suffering from cancer, will get the benefits to which he is entitled for the next four years, as well as backdated payments and compensation for the errors made.

    Read More:
    http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/pictures/8203-Protesters-clash-Cambridge-job-centre/pictures-25986429-detail/pictures.html

  49. TfL picks Atos for Primary Service Desk role

    Government Computing – 4th Feb 2015

    £6m valued contract will form key component of wider SIAM and towers model IT transformation plan

    Transport for London (TfL) has appointed Atos to serve as its Primary Service Desk contractor from March in a £6m deal.

    Under a three to four year contract, the company will be charged with improving TfL’s existing service desk solution, while ensuring cost efficiencies as it moves its operations towards a service integration and management (SIAM) and towers model.

    Atos is expected to play a key role in helping TfL shift to its new model of information management services by working to identify “cross tower issues” through the use of real-time information.

    “The service desk will be able to spot these trends emerging and quickly and proactively suggest solutions to improve the end user experience,” said TfL in a statement.

    TfL launched a tender for a £75m valued, five year SIAM contract late last year as part of a major overhaul of its technology infrastructure, with a separate service towers contract expected to follow.

    Read More:
    http://siam.governmentcomputing.com/news/tfl-picks-atos-for-primary-service-desk-role-4504159

  50. All this digital signing on crap, universal jobmatch, plus other online job search’s involving the DWP, is for the benefit of the great disaster UNIVERSAL CREDIT. Apparently everything has to link in together.
    UC cannot function a claim regarding claimants commitment without UM.
    UM cannot function without other online agencies linking up.
    Signing in digitally, has to eventfully link up with your UC.
    Untouched by human hands.
    Computer says NO.
    No money, no home, no food, no nothing.

    And NO JOB!!!!

    • Would that be such a disaster if JSA/UC IT erred on the side of the blue screen of death.

      Maybe it would galvanize claimants and expose the destruction of social security in the UK.

      • if only someone knew anonymous.. i am sure a major new computer run government monitoring system would be a tempting target..

  51. Learndirect, Conference House, 152 Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3 8EB.

    Who operates this CWP provider is it part of Learndirect England, is it funded by the Scottish government?

  52. On Monday, BBC Four screened a remarkable film in its Storyville series. The Internet’s Own Boy told the story of the life and tragic death of Aaron Swartz, the leading geek wunderkind of his generation who was hounded to suicide at the age of 26 by a vindictive US administration. The film is still available on BBC iPlayer, and if you do nothing else this weekend make time to watch it, because it’s the most revealing source of insights about how the state approaches the internet since Edward Snowden first broke cover.

    To say Swartz was a prodigy is an understatement. As an unknown teenager he was a co-designer of tools – like RSS and Markdown and of services like Reddit – that shaped the evolution of the web. He was also the kid who wrote most of the code underpinning Creative Commons, an inspired system that uses copyright law to give ordinary people control over how their digital creations can be used by others.

    But Swartz was far more than an immensely-gifted programmer. The Storyville film includes home movies which show the entrancing, voraciously-inquisitive toddler who was father to the man. As he grew, he displayed the same open, questioning attitude to life one sees in other geniuses who are always asking “why?” and “why not?” and driving normal people nuts.

    I never met Aaron (though we had a mutual friend) but I spotted him early when he first surfaced as a blogger. What struck me instantly was the freshness and originality of his authorial voice. He was very young when he went to Stanford, and he wrote about the attitudes and social mores of his classmates, many of them brats of the American elite, with a raw freshness and naivete that was startling. He didn’t belong there; he felt himself an outsider; but at the same time he wasn’t judgemental, and that combination of candour and uncertainty was attractive and unusual.

    As he grew, one could see him becoming more and more interested in politics. And this too was predictable, for nobody with that razor-sharp intelligence could look at neoliberal capitalism and not see the unfairness, hypocrisy and inequality that lies beneath it. So he morphed into the most technologically-gifted political activist in history. He looked for instances of manifest unfairness and developed software to remedy it. Discovering that the provision of court transcripts in the US was essentially a commercial racket, he teamed up with other activists to right an obvious wrong: that the law was only readable by those with money.

    He was similarly exercised at the fruits of taypayer-funded scientific research being monetised by a few ruthless publishing firms which charge outrageous fees to access the resulting academic papers. His first foray into this field involved downloading a trove of medical research papers and then data-mining them to uncover hitherto-undetected links between pharmaceutical firms and the authors of articles in prestigious journals.

    His downfall came when he turned his attention to JSTOR, a digital library of academic articles hidden behind a paywall. He devised a method of downloading large numbers of articles from JSTOR, using a computer hidden in a closet at MIT. He was arrested in January 2011 and pursued by federal prosecutors with a vindictive zeal, eventually being indicted on a raft of charges which carried a potential jail sentence of 35 years. Ground down by this, he hanged himself on 11 January 2013. News of his death left countless people saddened and enraged. What had made the Feds so vindictive? Sure, he had broken the law. But it wasn’t as if he’d hacked a bank. What came to mind was Alexander Pope’s rhetorical question: Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?. “The act was harmless” wrote Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia. “There was no actual physical harm, nor actual economic harm. The leak was found and plugged; JSTOR suffered no actual economic loss. It did not press charges. Like a pie in the face, Swartz’s act was annoying to its victim but of no lasting consequence.”

    One explanation for the vindictive prosecution puts it down to a politically ambitious federal attorney anxious to make a name for himself. But there is a darker, interpretation – that the authorities had noted how effective Swartz had become as an activist (he had, after all, mobilised the net community to stop the internet censorship legislation of the SOPA bill), and they were determined to make an example of him pour décourager les autres. Which, if true, would mean the Obama administration has taken a leaf out of the Chinese book on internet control: people can say more or less what they like online; but the moment they look like mobilising people, then you come down on them like the ton of bricks that crushed Aaron Swartz.

    Aaron Swartz stood up for freedom and fairness – and was hounded to his death

  53. Believe me, if we don’t get rid of the Coalition scum in May the UK Corporate State will be just as bad if not worse. Tory Gagging Law anybody?

  54. For info@

    JobcentreMole retweeted
    Ligia Teixeira @LigiaTeixeira · Feb 7

    Benefit #sanctions: a secret penal system which is corrupt,unethical & ineffective. Must be abolished | David Webster http://shar.es/1oJxlz

  55. ‘Mandatory reconsideration’ DWP phone calls more like intimidating fishing exercises by the DM to have the claimant incriminate themselves.

    Any safe courts and tribunals service would strike DWP cases out for this blatant attempt at subverting the course of justice.

    • Better not to give the cunts your fone numba in the first place, if you don’t want these DM cunts foning you out of the blue.

    • Anyway, MRs are all DWP-sided anyway, so these DM fones calls are just like the cops or prosecution lawyer foning you to see what your defence is so they can twist it to suit the DM (Prosecution) case. They WILL put in the MR that they did try to fone you but you hadn’t supplied the JC with your numba implying that this makes you a work-shy toe-rag.

    • I mean if you haven’t given the jobcentre your fone numba you can’t possibly be ‘available for work’! What genuine jobseeker would withhold their ‘contact details’ from the jobcenta?

  56. Vote CLASS WAR!!

    DOUBLE DOLE AND PENSION!!

    EAT THE RICH!!

  57. Vote CLASS WAR!!

    VOTE MARINA PEPPER (CHINGFORD AND WOODFORD GREEN)

    AND KICK IAIN DUNCAN SMITH TO FUCK!!

  58. Unsurprising news about the rich stuffing the country and by extension the poor via “All in it together – Austerity”. And who helped it? A Bank [though most likely not just one]

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31248913

  59. Vote CLASS WAR!!

    • I agree with this – I would change “tell them that we’re “helping” them to “Boasting” in their faces as we do it.

    • In the case of the unemployed it is not the community payback of “unpaid labour” it is the forced labour of slavery.

  60. Seeing is believing

    Banks caused the whole sorry fucking mess in the first place.
    The gov. gave 60,000 quid for every man and woman of working age in the country to bail them out the shit then turns round to the poorest in society and asks them to pay for it? These arse wipes dont know when to stop.
    Keep your money under the mattress and fuck ’em!

    • And whatever you do, don’t put your spare ££S in an ISA (if you are on benefits) unless you want busted by the DWP!

    • Your bank details are personal and one of the most sacred and protected thing going. How then is it that the DWP only need pick up the phone and they gain complete access to your account and any comings and goings that are in there? So basically an individual has no privacy or security.

      A friggin’ police state we live in when that can happen.

      People think they (DWP) don’t check into their account and snoop around in there. They’re under a misapprehension, because they do.

  61. A conditionality sanction is a charge of criminal misconduct, the subsistence penalty of conditionality transforms what was a social security system into a penal welfare system exacting retribution on citizens because of their socioeconomic status.

  62. A vindictive or puerile doubt in the mind of a work coach can become the culpable homicide of a another human beings loved one.

  63. overburdenddonkey

    1 worth remembering; ‘give ’em an inch and they take a mile’…..

  64. The stupid cunt who runs that site uses the anti-privacy, sinister, bullshit capcha “Cloudfare” crap! What a fucking arsehole!

    • IT Security Expert

      Probably not a deliberate act of malicious intent (even David Icke and the Pirate Bay use Cloudfare); “Cloudfare” is sold to website owners in a similar manner that “anti-virus” products are sold to unsuspecting PC users: “to protect you from ‘dangerous virii’, and to “speed up your website. Cloudfare doesn’t outright ban proxies as do some websites (e.g. google) but it does display a capcha to browsers emanating from a proxy, ostensibly: “to prove you are human”, but more like to frustrate and “nudge” proxy users away form using proxies. Cloudfare is dangerous because it acts as a “man-in-the-middle” and controls access to website; it also tracks your browsing via cookies etc. and has a separate distinct list of your browsing habits accessible to whoever Cloidfare choose or sees fit – NSA, GCHQ, law enforcement etc.

  65. ………….WHY ARE YOU MODERATING MY COMMENTS JOHNNY?

  66. ffs An article that is going on about tellies listening into your conversation is being hosted on fucking Cloudfare which hassles proxies and is compiling a secret list of your browsing habits… how fucking ironic can you get😀

  67. Number of claimants whose deaths led to a DWP peer review had been sanctioned in the past or were sanctioned at the time of their death

    Anita Bellows made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/number_of_claimants_whose_deaths#incoming-615157

  68. ‘all in it together’ That was the mantra of this debased and deviant government. We all had to make sacrifices and live within our means. So they sanctioned the poorest in society stripped them of benefits and didn’t give a damn if they lay in the gutter dying from hunger and exposure.

    Then just yesterday it’s announced that a bank was advising the mega rich on how to avoid paying their proper amount of tax. This included many super wealthy from the UK and was alleged to include politicians too.

    What a disgusting bunch of hypocritical low life’s.

    • What do you expect from a bunch of useless “Wooster” Toffs?
      Help – only as a slave [an unpaid one at that]
      Money – Sanctions for the Poor lead to cheap labour [See Slave above]
      Fairness – Can’t have that, it threatens the fabric of their rule
      Accountablity – what is THAT? We Wooster Toffs are above the law

  69. Maliciously sanctioned again, work coach stated that it “was no skin off his nose” hope his luck holds out!

  70. Wooster Toffs do not sanction their own, working class work coach thugs do.

  71. What a needlessly cruel and toxic system this is as if people with mental health problems wernt stigmatized everyday as it is without haveing to endure this shit. As if we are not excluded from houseing’ jobs. Society as it is ….for fucks sake cut us some slack …..dxxx

  72. Pingback: Collapse | Gabriel Vents

  73. Pingback: A Government That Permits The Psychological Tor...

  74. what people dont realise is mental health changes from hour to hour.. minute to minute.. they see you are well at atos for an hour.. they dont see you crying the next day or the next hour.. i am getting to the point where i dont care.. i really dont care anymore.. so what if i die in a year due to “Obesity” that just means one less year that i have to suffer the dwp.. tbh i dont care if i die right now.. at least i will be free.. suicide due to self neglect..

    • well just remember that if you ever feel worthless, you would have far tog o to be as worthless as those running and working in the DWP. You must be more valuable than they are. I have had a hard life and although I must of been depressed I have never wanted to die. The way I see it in my situation I am not living now, but I do want to live and I am hoping I will have the opportunity to live in the future.

    • and just to add, that if you go the DWP will rejoice, one less person to they don’t have to help, do not give them the satisfaction.

  75. The Need For Socialism Not Slavery with Constitutional
    Protection For the Right to Welfare Benefits and
    Welfare Benefits together with the Banning of the
    Victimisation of the Poor and Vulnerable by any
    Media Elements is Essential

    Public Services Help For The Poor Now and Forever

  76. Pingback: Middle Class Solutions To Working Class Problems Is Why Charities Like MIND Keep Getting It So Wrong | the void

  77. Pingback: Reasons Not to Vote Conservative in the General Elections 2015: The Injustice of Benefit Sanctions | Rantings From a Virtual Soapbox

  78. I do not understand why jcp staff have never considered that they are actually at risk from some desperate and unwell people. I have no doubt that the quotes from their guidance are genuine but to be honest in my case their ridiculous remarks and attitude would simply light a very short and an us fuse.
    I am now what could be described as economically inactive but during my last encounter with atos I found out just what a 5 foot 4inch usually snivelling wreck is capable of. Under the extreme pressure of the wcp I became unpredictable, hopeless and eventually suicidal (not enough pills in the house), but between these phases I could display a rage that turned me into person I had never been. This rage was Bourne of simple fear, panic and lack of control over my situation but the most worrying aspect was that this rage suddenly overtook me and I had no control what so ever.

    So all powerful little jcp fuckwit take on the mentally I’ll at your peril, but cornered frightened victims can surprise you, so keep a suitable number on speed dial and remember that that skiver who needs a good talking to could be you or yours but for the grace of god.

  79. Pingback: Middle Class Solutions To Working Class Problems Is Why Charities Like MIND Keep Getting It So Wrong | the free psychotherapy network

  80. Pingback: Behind The Benefit Bashing Headlines Lies A Nasty Ideology That Is Not Confined To The Daily Mail | the void

  81. Had my assessment today now to wait three weeks! I’m not fit to work so what do I do when they stop my benefits? I’ll turn to crime and shop lift what I need to survive!

  82. The dip and conservative government are murderers they abuse the children and torture the parents and even get of on filming it and the deaths in the cells are filmed. There even making money from snuff. The conservatives are sick cold hearted haters whom target the vulnerable and abuse them with neurological clinical trials and when it goes wrong they say there manually ill. only under bull mental health acts does this corrupted government get away with murder and child abuse. country is ran by murderess and sex offenders with no heart. The UK government are the psychopaths. making cash from snuffing underdogs scum

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