Tag Archives: Iain Duncan Smith

Yet More Evidence of the Dishonesty of IDS

Spotted on Twitter by Same Difference:


And yet Iain Duncan Smith persists in denying that there are targets. Is he a liat=r, is he delusional or is he, perhaps, both?




Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Clutches of Maximus


When Atos walked away from the government contract to run the “fitness for work” tests, or Work Capability Assessments, some thought that things would improve for the many sick and disabled people suffering at their hands. There was never a chance of this government doing the sensible and decent thing, and scrapping the WCA and starting from scratch, but maybe the next company chosen to run these tests might have a bit of integrity.

Not a fucking chance.

The company tipped to succeed Atos, Maximus, has an abysmal record in the USA.

I won’t list any of the examples of this company’s corruption; I don’t need to. Others have done the work for me, so the government cannot claim the information is difficult to find. One useful, but by no means exhaustive, list can be found at Pride’s Purge. Click on that link, and you’ll find a list of just some of Maximus’s lawbreaking.

It’s almost as if the DWP, and Iain Duncan Smith, have deliberately sought out the most criminally-minded company they could find to pick on disabled people.


See also:

Maximus Are The New Atos: Destroy Maximus (johnnyvoid.wordpress.com)

Here We Go Again – DWP to Repeat the ATOS Disaster ? (jaynelinney.wordpress.com)

An Ever Decreasing Spiral of Despair


Esther McVey and Iain Duncan Smith. Do they want more poor people to die?

“Tories discuss stripping benefits claimants who refuse treatment for depression” screamed the Telegraph headline.

This is worrying for so many reasons, I hardly know where to start.

Perhaps with the unnamed “Senior ministers” who “now believe the rules should be reviewed in order to reduce the “huge” numbers of people who are declared unfit for work due to mental health problems. ” I have to wonder what qualifications these politicians hold in the field of mental health. If they think that treating mental illness is so simple, I have to conclude that they are not qualified at all.

Or perhaps I should start by wondering who would provide this “service”. It probably won’t be people’s own GP, as the government don’t trust them enough to take their word above that of ATOS assessors when it comes to the notorious Work Capability Assessment. It may be a similarly incompetent company, leeching money away from the NHS in return for a pseudo- cure. That cure would probably simply be to declare the claimant “fit for work”.

Or it could be job centre “advisors” pronouncing on people’s health, ignoring the claimant’s own doctor’s advice, and just sanctioning people to meet their targets.

Since the proposed “treatments” seem to include prescription drugs, some kind of health professionals with the ability to write prescriptions will likely be involved, but they would need to act professionally, rather than just have some impressive looking letters after their names. Giving antidepressants to people with other medical problems, and with other medication, could be unhelpful, or even dangerous. My doctor is reluctant to give me antidepressants because I also use eye-drops, which could be undermined by taking other drugs. I could end up blind as a result.

Or perhaps it’s enough to point out that threatening to deprive already ill people of their means to survive is going to be stressful, and will only serve to deepen any existing anxiety or depression.

An ever decreasing spiral of misery which some victims will only be able to see an escape from through suicide. It’s already happened to far too many people, and it’s likely to happen to more.



Read more on other blogs:

“Don’t Bring Politics Into Politics!”

IDS and Lurch Selous
This is Andrew “Lurch” Selous with his boss, festering Iain Duncan Smith. It was Selous who is reported to have threatened that the government would “shut down” the Trussell Trust for campaigning on behalf of the people who have been reduced to relying on foodbanks. Apparently, the Trust should “keep politics out of charity work”.
Starvation is about as political a problem as there is. To talk about it at all is political. What it isn’t is Party Political unless, of course, the party you support is working hard to push people into poverty and starvation. Most decent people don’t want that. No doubt Christians who owned slaves had much the same problem with abolitionists (most of whom were also Christians, by the way).

Another DWP lickspittle, Neil Couling, has claimed that the Trussell Trust’s foodbanks are merely a front for their “evangelism”.

As an atheist, I’d find it disturbing if that was true, but even a cursory glance at their website strongly suggests it is not:

“Whilst we are a Christian organisation, we serve people of all faith groups and beliefs or none. We are passionate about inclusion and being non-judgemental is central to what we do. We believe that everyone has the right to have food on their plate, dignity, skills, a chance to work and hope for the future.”

IDS, on the other hand, doesn’t get this accusation from Couling, even though he often uses his Catholic beliefs to override actual evidence. He “believes” that taking money away from poor people helps them, while IDS himself needs the taxpayer to pay for his underpants, because marrying into money makes hime somehow more deserving.

Andrew Selous is so strapped for cash that he once claimed 55p on expenses for a cup of Horlicks. Perhaps he has an addiction for the drink, and slept through some of the more pertinent Bible passages, the ones about compassion, and caring for the poor.

The War on the Poor (continued)

Food Banks
I’ve mentioned before that, though I don’t respect religion, I have a great deal of respect for some religious people. The Trussell Trust is a Christian organisation that battles poverty and injustice, best known for running food banks. There is no religious test to receive their help, however, so I can happily endorse them, even though I’m an atheist.
Some Christians are less sympathetic. Iain Duncan Smith has accused the Trussell Trust of having a “political agenda”, and his DWP lackeys regularly brief against them. The Trust’s crime? Telling people facts about their work. There are more food banks than ever before, and they are used more and more.
Now the Mail on Sunday has joined the fray, sending a reporter to a Citizens Advice Bureau office to obtain a voucher by misrepresentation. That he succeeded is not an indictment of the Trussell Trust, nor even of the CAB really, though they could beef up their procedures a little.
It is an indictment of the Mail and its staff. Just because they are dishonest, and because they can find a few other people who are, doesn’t mean everyone who uses food banks is a crook.


There has been one positive note following this story. The backlash against the Mail has encouraged more people to donate to the Trussell Trust. If you’d like to add your donation, click here.


More from around the web:

Capita – The New Punishers of the Poor


As Atos desperately try to extricate themselves from the Work Capability Assessment contract. Capita stands ready to take up the reins. The coalition government, and IDS in particular, must think that, as Atos have made such a mess of the job, Capita will give them some breathing space, and any difficulties would be described as “teething trouble”.

The problem is, Capita have already blotted their copybook in their dealings with people on benefits. This is the company that’s responsible for Voice Analysis Tests, which several councils are eagerly spending millions of (taxpayer’s) pounds buying.

Lie detectors aren’t noted for their reliability when they’re used in controlled circumstances, but these are telephone tests. They supposedly detect stress in a callers voice but, even if they work, they won’t be able to tell what causes the stress. It might be that the caller is lying, as Capita claim on their website, but people on benefits, at whom this pseudo-scientific technology is aimed, have many other reasons to be stressed and, when you throw illness and disability into the mix, there are even more.

Whether Capita is as bad as Atos, time will tell. There’ll be a lot of us watching.

#IDS – Still Evil or Incompetent. Or Both.

Would you like to annoy this person? See below!

It’s over a year since I posted about the bogus jobs on Universal Jobmatch (and I wasn’t the first to notice even then), and the mainstream media have at last noticed the problems too, at least some of them. Even the BBC are reporting the story.
When it was pointed out that some of the “jobs” advertised weren’t compliant with the DWP’s own rules, the response was not, as we have a right to expect, to tighten up enforcement of those rules nor, as we’ve come to expect from IDS, to change the rules. The rules were simply hidden, as if pretending there wasn’t a problem at all would make it go away. Yet catalogue jobs still infest the site. Just one page contains a block of Avon “jobs”:
Avon UJ
If you narrow the search to local jobs it is often worse. I’ve seen several pages in a row filled with “jobs” advertised by Avon, Kleeneze and others.

Bullying young people into working in the sex industry seems to be OK with the DWP too. Although their now invisible* rules say otherwise, it seems to be acceptable to advertise “escort” services, at least until there’s an outcry. Then the advert is taken down, and assurances are given that the DWP “regularly monitor the site and remove jobs that don’t meet our rules, such as duplicate advertisements or jobs for franchises.”

Such assurances ring more hollow every time.



*Correction: The relevant rules are visible again, but numbered differently. Who knows how long they’ll stay this time, so I’ve taken a screenshot and highlighted the one that refers to catalogue “jobs”.