16 thoughts on “I’LL JUST LEAVE THIS HERE…”

  1. Indeed. If you’ve ever tried to support a disabled person in their interaction with the benefits system you know this to be a fact. Mark Frankland described the sort of thing that happens very well in his appeal re “Donald”.
    A person with learning difficulties facing the system alone has no chance of getting the paperwork right.
    A person with fluctuating health problems, be they physical or mental, is in an impossible position re assessments.
    What the UK state is doing to disabled people is cruel, heartless and hypocritical. They claim to be trying to help people into jobs. What they are really doing is victimising, punishing and in some cases killing.
    Where is this going to end?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve worked with a lot of unemployed people, trying to help them into work, or into something that would help them later into work… education, training, and sometimes help with addiction, etc.

      A decent Jobcentre would understand that there are people who need more help…. not just a tick box course, but ongoing help.

      If, for example, you can’t read, there is no point in them sending you letters, or demanding that you fill in applications.

      We need to accept that there are some people who will be unlikely to work again, because no one will ever be likely to want to employ them, for a wide variety of reasons… And we need to be brutally frank about it. These include alcohol and drug problems, learning difficulties, criminal and prison records (yes, prison works, eh Michael?), mental health issues…anger, depression, etc and many more reasons.

      Of course there is the additional issue of age. Who wants you for an employee when you’re in your 60s, for example?

      You can’t take these problems away.

      I suspect that with the exception of the people who transit through unemployment for a few weeks before moving on to something else, we may have reached that point in unemployment where the majority of those signing on come into one or some of the above categorises.

      What to do..?

      No idea. But government needs to be aware of these people and of their problems.

      Disgusted to be part of a country that treats people like Donald the way the UK does. Happy to be part of a country that rises to the challenge when hit by a story like Mark told.


  2. They said there was no evidence sanctions work the Tory scum said they
    believed they did.
    The truth is sanctions are not required to save any money they are there
    to provide a scapegoat someone to blame someone for the public to
    hate and revile. just a distraction for us plebs so while we/they look
    elsewhere the ruling elite can rob us blind .
    austerity is just a con even Osborne admits now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sure that they don;t save much in the way of money, but remember that when claimants are sanctioned they come off the unemployment figures, so it makes it look like their policies are working.

      Hey Ho.


  3. The contributory welfare system is a “sham” and should be replaced by a private insurance scheme, a thinktank headed by the Conservative former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has recommended.

    says it all really .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah well if Iain Duncan Liar says it, it must be…em, a lie.

      So, how, I wonder, would the Donalds of this world get insurance?

      And where would any of us get the money to pay this insurance, since in England, at least, they want us to be paying insurance for health.

      And if that happens then the funding for Scottish health will disappear.

      Welcome to hell.


  4. It was politicians who first stigmatized the poor and disabled. Work is good and claiming benefits bad. “Work is the best form of welfare” (DWP2008). Ian Duncan Smith said workers were, “the true beating heart of the nation.” Ed Milliband wanted Labour to be the “party of the grafters,” while Clegg said he would help members of “alarm clock Britain.”

    Research by Kent University found that a “climate of fear” meant people were not claiming benefits they could. In 2011, disability charities issued a warning about an “increase in resentment and abuse at disabled people…labelled scroungers.”

    In 2015 the Work and Pensions Select Committee reported that the government had not yet provided evidence that the system of sanctions was not “purely punitive”. There was strong academic evidence that sanctions led to “poorer quality emp[loyment, temporary employment or unstable employment”. And, “there are very clear offsetting negative impacts, which are likely to outweigh any small, marginal positive impacts.”

    A subsequent report from Oxford Council and DWP found that benefit cuts were counterproductive and acted as a disincentive to work. Some people were so badly affected financially by cuts that finding ways to survive had a much higher priority than finding work.

    That the system is punitive and dysfunctional is shown by the fact that the appeals success rate against sanctions on jobseekers allowance is 58%. In some places 100%. Jobcentre staff have told the media that targets for the number of people sanctioned is part of their workplace culture.

    Plenty of evidence exists in addition to the UN report to show that this is a political attack on the poor just as there was a political attack on miners.


    1. Thanks, Sam.

      Informative post.

      Of course they’ve been at it since before that. Peter Lily had “a little list”.

      They have all shown a remarkable lack of understanding of the problems surrounding unemployment.


  5. We should not forget that the DWP is an institution staffed by people who are earning their livings by promoting the aims of the organisation. Being immersed in the culture of said organisation is one thing but becoming institutionalised to the extent that you do evil in its name is another. Yes the Tories are bastards but their policies require ordinary people to implement them.

    At the risk of repeating myself from a previous blog. “I was only obeying orders guv ” just isn’t good enough.

    Don’t do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dave,
      In principle I agree with you, but to stand up and say “enough, I won’t do this anymore” requires collective action.
      An individual doing this in DWP would be victimised, sacked and effectively gagged. The dreadful right wing press would ensure either no coverage or would blacken the individual.
      What is required is action backed by unions, opposition politicians and ordinary people, in the teeth of the shitstorm that would be thrown at them by the Daily Heil and the like.
      If I worked for the DWP I would be doing my best to get out, but I doubt if I would have the courage to be a lone whistleblower. Be clear, the State would come for that person and crush them.
      We need collective action, and we need independence for Scotland.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi East Neuker
        I realise my assertion is simplistic to an extent. There’s always more to it and it’s always easier for an outsider looking in. Collective action however has to start somewhere and until individuals do something then injustice will prevail.

        I am not without experience in this, it doesn’t always require a grand gesture. Every little bit helps.

        With more cuts in funding comes increased workloads etc.. Staff become socialised into implementation of systems which increasingly go against the grain. It’s often a drip, drip effect. The older ones are looking for a retirement package while the ones that are left are so glad to have survived the latest reorganisation they’ll agree to almost anything. It’s the barrel that government has public/civil services staff over.

        I totally agree with you re an independent Scotland. We currently have no control over a Tory government and its policies but does common decency have to go in the meantime? I worry how bad it’s going to get

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What I can’t understand is that Labour supporters can;’t see that in the UK we are always ruled by a Tory or Tory lite government.

          And they have policies that keep the rich rich, and the poor poor.

          Now no one could guarantee that Scotland would be better, but it couldn’t be much worse.

          This morning I heard that the English health service is in the can. A massive number of people turning up at A and E are left on trollies. Some can;t even get a trolley and have to sit in chairs.

          What in the name of heavens is that about? Under funding.

          Why? After all weren’t we going to get £350 million a week into health?

          So, why do Labour voters, and indeed Scottish Labour, not support independence?

          Presumably they still reckon that there’s a chance they will form a government and get to feel important.


      2. I remember that the union in our office of the DWP was particularly useless.

        I was paid off after 8 months when there was a cut in funding. Fortunately I managed to get another job pretty soon after on a very considerably better salary.

        But working for them was an awful experience and one I will never forget. The rank stupidity of some of the management was so incredibly mind blowing. It was hard to keep quiet, and on occasions I didn’t.


    2. Aye, but having worked there, albeit briefly, you have to remember that the ordinary staff desperately need to keep their jobs too. They aren’t great jobs, but if you have a family, you can’t go walking out on them, Dave.

      The management, absolutely, but I’m pretty sure that if you developed a heart you’d not be long there.


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