WoW Petition for rethink of disability ‘reforms’ hits its target

This is a great response from the people of Britain! Thanks to Vox Political (Mike Sivier) for bringing us the good news and all his efforts in highlighting this campaign. Cheers Mike!

Vox Political

What a great result for the WoW Petition – it has reached its target of 100,000 signatures with time to spare!

The petition calls for a cumulative impact assessment of welfare reform and a new deal for sick and disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions – rather than the political aims of the current Westminster administration or any motive to cut welfare budgets.

WoW (it stands for resistance to the ‘War on Welfare’) demands an immediate end to the humiliating work capability assessment and a free vote on repeal of the Welfare Reform Act, along with an independent, committee-based inquiry into welfare reform. And it wants an end to forced work under threat of sanctions for people on disability benefits, along with other demands.

Passing the magic 100,000-signature mark does not mean the petition has automatically won a chance to be debated in Parliament; the Backbench Business Committee has to…

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High Importance: DLA Progress!!

Same Difference

Remember this, readers? Well, I’ve just received an email from the Lib Dem Disability Association saying:

Following concern raised by some of our members, myself included about an article that claimed anyone investigated for suspected fraud of DLA regardless of the outcome of the investigation claim would end and they would be forced to make a claim for PIP, the LDDA exec arranged to attend the DWP PPG meeting last night to raise the issue with our parliamentarians. I am delighted to be able to confirm that I have today revived confirmation of the following:
 
Where fraud is alleged on DLA case and is investigated and in most cases, where an accusation  is just malicious, and the investigation is dismissed the individual stays on DLA on the same terms as their previous award. If, upon examining the case, the DWP decides the case isn’t at the right payment level…

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Information Commissioner rules on the cover-up of DWP-related deaths

Vox Political

Long-term readers will know that the author of this blog has spent the last few months trying to get officials at the Department for Work and Pensions to release mortality statistics for people undergoing the assessment procedure for Employment and Support Allowance.

It is in the public interest for the nation to know how many seriously ill or disabled people are dying while they wait to undergo the controversial Atos-run medical assessment, while they await the result, and while they appeal against a result that puts them in the wrong group or claims they are fit for work.

These deaths may be due to deterioration in their health – whether or not it was caused by the process – or suicide prompted by the process or the decision.

An initial Freedom of Information request was rejected by the DWP on the grounds that it was “vexatious”. I disputed that claim, and…

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Stop knocking the British people.

Why is it that politicians, the media and numerous employers are so fond of knocking the British? Why is it that so many British people believe their propaganda? We are a nation of great people, run by greedy incompetents. Their greed makes them money so they consider themselves successful. They are so blinkered and so short-sighted that this enables them to think that they are doing a good job. Wrong.

Any society worth belonging to is based on humanity, compassion and fairness. It needs a legal system based on true justice for all rather than endless petty laws and regulations available only to the rich and powerful and enforced only on the poor and powerless. It requires good physical and mental health, adequate housing, good education, tolerance, freedom, security and high morale. When money is a measure of those things, it becomes relevant. When money is the only measure of success, it becomes irrelevant.

We hear so much crap about the economy but as far as I’m concerned those enormous figures just represent how badly we are made to feel about our national and corporate mismanagement. Whichever government is in power makes little difference. They all blame the poor for being poor, the old for being old, the sick for being sick and the disabled for being disabled. The media whip up a xenophobic storm, perhaps in a misguided effort to restore some national pride. The downtrodden of this country lap up the xenophobia because it deflects the blame for the country’s ills away from them. The government jump on the bandwagon because it distracts attention from their own self-serving agendas and bungling incompetence.

And so it continues. The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. The country gets poorer, not only financially but also in every respect that actually matters. Morale, health, general wellbeing, compassion, security, housing, true justice and humanity are all extremely low and falling rapidly. Yet, even now, the authors of our misery – the politicians, the bankers and the corporations – are patting each other on the back and congratulating themselves on a job well done. Still they point their grubby fingers at the British people and blame us for their failings.

Why do so many of us nod obligingly and agree that we are unworthy? Why is there such a level of self-hatred that assumes that any foreign worker must be better than our own?

These horrendous myths are used to divide us. They’re used to subdue us. They are used to ensure that we will be grateful for the pittance they deign to throw us for our efforts. They’re used to enslave this great nation for the benefit of the rich and powerful.

Next time a politician tries to tell you what a great job they are doing, point them towards the national debt and tell them that that is a measure of their failure. Ask them why they ignore and side-step the issues which make society worth living. Ask them when they plan to put those things right. The fact is that unless those issues are dealt with, the national bank balance is irrelevant.

When a company brags about it’s profits, tell them that that’s a measure of their greed and their debt to their workers. It’s the difference between what their products and services are worth and what they got away with charging their customers.

I’m proud to be British despite the efforts of the rich, powerful and bigoted. I’m proud to be human despite the inhumane way that the rich, powerful and bigoted behave. I care very much about my country, the world we live in and the people who live on it. It is time for us to stop allowing ourselves to be divided.

Stop knocking the British people. Stop knocking foreign people. Stop having a go at the poor, the old, the young, those who are looking for work, the sick and the disabled. If you have to pick on someone, pick on the ones who caused the mess and those who profit from it. Pick on the ones in a position to put things right but who choose not to.

Stand up for the real British people. Stand up for all humanity and stand up for true justice.

Sleepwalking further into Police State Britain as law offers new powers of repression

Vox Political

policestate

Scriptonite Daily has published a piece that everyone should read. It begins:

“The UK Government is about to pass legislation which will make any behaviour perceived to potentially ‘cause nuisance or annoyance’ a criminal offence. The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill also grants local authorities, police and even private security firms sweeping powers to bar citizens from assembling lawfully in public spaces. The Bill has successfully passed through the House of Commons without issue, and is now in the latter stages of review by the House of Lords, after which it will receive Royal Assent and become Law. Those who refuse orders under the new rules will face arrest, fines and even prison time.”

It seems to me that this legislation is being made partly to deal with concerns about section five of the Public Order Act. This, as stated in Vox Political‘s article last year

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The aspirations of a British man

Here’s a reply to David Cameron’s accusation that the people of Britain lack ambition and aspirations. I don’t imagine for one second that he will read it, or that he would understand it if he did. I’m writing it because it makes me feel better to get it off my chest, and because I get the feeling that I’m not alone.

Ambition and aspiration are very subjective terms. The first instance where these two diverge in individuals or nations is defining them in terms of cost or value. To a person with millions in the bank, a loaf is just a loaf. It’s worth around 0.00001% of their bank balance or less. It’s insignificant. To an average person, that same loaf is a staple part of a meal for their family. Regardless of it’s monetary cost, it is an essential and therefore valuable. This very difference is why many of the privileged don’t understand what real aspirations are. It’s also how wealthy people extract ever more obscene amounts of profit from a population who are increasingly unable to afford it.

My aspirations are very simple, basic, humble, and yet far greater and more profound than anything I’ve heard from government. I aspire to live in a country where everyone matters. One where everyone has some effective representation. One in which nobody goes hungry or without shelter. A country where our differences are celebrated rather than feared. A place where the weak and defenceless are protected. Somewhere where people reap the rewards of their own efforts – rather than having to pay dues to the rich at every turn in the form of ever increasing compulsory insurances, and wasted taxes which don’t apply to the wealthy. A country which invests in the health and education of it’s own people instead of the death and subjugation of those in far-off foreign parts. One where our Ministry Of Defence is not spun by politicians into a Ministry Of Attack at enormous cost to the nation and the courageous souls sent to do their political bidding.

I could go on but I suspect I’m preaching to the converted. I doubt that anyone crawling around that dung-heap at Westminster will even give this a glance.

My ambition is to leave a country like that for my kids, and their kids to grow in and enjoy. Do I share Cameron’s shallow, empty aspirations and ambitions to sit astride the dung-heap counting my money? No I don’t.

Life is worth far more than that.