Anonymous Commenter on Forcing the Disabled Back to Work


An anonymous commenter posted these interesting remarks on my piece on Atos’ lies and doubletalk. They make the very good point that the disabled have already been examined by their doctors and declared that they cannot work. He also points out, as I did in the original article, that the previous benefits to help the sick and disabled back into work have all been removed or cut. They say:

The nation-wide protests against Atos on Wednesday were covered ITV Meridian. They reported on demonstrations at Brighton and …

” ‘It’s right to see what work people can do with the right support, rather than write people off on out-of-work sickness benefits as sometimes happened in the past.’

“Well yes, absolutely. It’s a statement with which no-one can reasonably disagree.”

Sorry, I think I can reasonably disagree. Above all with the paternalism, the compulsion (and of course the lack of any jobs out there).

The decision whether to attempt to work should be made by the disabled individual, taking into account the advice of the physicians treating them. And since every claimant for disability benefits will already be the holder of a sick/fit note certifying that their doctors have advised them to refrain from work. NHS doctors are not fraudsters, and NO further inquistions should be required.

The WCA is not vocational guidance counselling, and that is what people need if an accident or illness leaves them capable of a return to some form of work, but needing to change direction.

There again, every useful form of support for recovering individuals attempting to resume work – such as access to quality training/retraining – have been CUT.

Under the previous government recovering workers could ‘try out’ a return to the workplace. If, during the first six months they needed to throw in the towel, their former benefits were reinstated, with no questions asked. This pragmatic and compassionate policy is another to have been replaced with bullying and compulsion.

And until it was dismantled, there used to be legislation requiring organisations with over 20 employees to employ a quota of 3% disabled workers. If Cameron wanted to get disabled people into jobs, he could start by reinstating such quotas for all governemnt departments and local authorities.

Notice also Camoron’s switcheroo from the “stopping fraud!” excuse, to bogus paternalistic ideology, now that the fraud figures have been widely exposed as negligible. (If you worked for the IR, you should know all about writing off small sums of money because it is not cost-effective to pursue them. Atos costs over twice as much as the tiny loss from fraud. And most such fraud is from identity theft scams of one kind or another, not faked sickness).

However the bottom line is that the UK has NO shortage of ‘available for work’ able-bodied unemployed individuals. Cameron is maintaining the neoliberal economic policy of trapping a vast standing army of able bodied workers in unemployment, there is no excuse for this propaganda farce of pretending to ‘help’ people return to work against their doctors’ advice.

An interesting research paper examining sick and disabled peoples’ right NOT to work is here:

Click to access Grover.pdf

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16 Responses to “Anonymous Commenter on Forcing the Disabled Back to Work”

  1. rainbowwarriorlizzie Says:


  2. Anonymous Commenter on Forcing the Disabled Bac... Says:

    […] An anonymous commenter posted these interesting remarks on my piece on Atos' lies and doubletalk. They make the very good point that the disabled have already been examined by their doctors and dec…  […]

  3. Jeffrey Davies Says:

    how true yet this lot dismantled remploy from which one could work most factorys made moneys yet they closed them down were are they to get work when there are many ablebodied to fill theseplaces nah they want you gone but quietly it seems the sick disabled have found the voice to fight back against this tory lot jeff3

    • beastrabban Says:

      Too true, Jeffrey. Mike over at Vox Political has pointed out that none of the Coalition’s reforms makes economic sense. They’re just there to throw as many people out of work as possible.

  4. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  5. Jo Yelland Says:

    Fantastic comments and put together in a well-thought out and logical way. If only such thinking were present in our Government.

  6. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7) Says:

    The fraud figures have NOT been widely exposed as negligible in UK’s right-wing media, and the DWP ministers have abetted the misperception that benefit fraud (including disability fraud) is rampant.

    Montreal, Canada

  7. beastrabban Says:

    You’re absolutely right, there, Samuel Miller. It’s only in the very few left-wing newspapers and blogs that this has been done.

  8. rainbowwarriorlizzie Says:


  9. The Swans New Party Says:

    The national debt has risen just as fast under the Tories as under Labour. Two things they did in common, was Welfare Reform and have such private companies as Atos doing the private contract yet paying back no corporation tax.

    Someone chronically ill and/or disabled has indeed been medically diagnosed by a specialist consultant, far more qualified than any lesser staff on the expensive WCA.

    Everyone, whether in or out of work, pays the 75% of UK personal taxes through the myriad of stealth taxes, even on food.

    Only 26p in the pound comes from Income Tax to government.

    As only about 0.07% of the mere 3% of the total benefits bill that is spent on the unemployed is defrauded from the taxpayer and true majority disabled and chronic sick taxpayers, who are innocent, then the cost of Atos of £500 million a year is yet further national debt towards the trillion pound debt our politicians are plunging the nation into.

    An Automatic Citizen Wage upon medical diagnosis of the disabled / chronic sick that factored in the costs of home adaptation and the gadgets needed to promote as much independence as possible, would cost fund neutral, from all the stealth taxes we all pay every day of our lives.

    Ple3ase see my blog:

    Only an entirely new set of politicians, never before in politics or been in parliament before, doing politicis differently than at any time in UK history, will offer a chance of life to the working poor, pensioners, women aged 60 state pension, men aged 65 state pension, disabled, chronic sick and the honest unemployed, and to the general population threatened by an economic crash by the burden of national debt being racked up by current political class’ greed and avarice.

    We are in a Weimar Republic.

    Just maybe the Swans new party has the answer, but only you can make it come into reality. Let’s stop talking, ranting, bemoaning our fate as a beggar at the door of politicians who could not care less. Let’s actually save England:

  10. A6er Says:

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  11. jaypot2012 Says:

    Many, many valid points. As far as I am concerned, my GP and my consultant are the ones who know if I could do any type of work or not, and they have both said “No”.
    I had a doctor come to the house over 15 years ago to see if I was capable of working and he examined me as well. He wasn’t able to tell me what he thought as it was then his opinion if I was to receive DLA or not. Within a week I received a letter telling me that I was entitled to the full allowances and that they were for life, not indefinite, not for 3 years or so, but for life! I know I will be called in by 2017 for the change over to PIP!
    Just because the government have decided to change the names of the awards does not mean that my disabilities have changed to conform with the government.
    I was awarded DLA for life, and that is what it should mean, no changes, no having to be examined and for a computer to tell me what I can and can’t do! It’s the same with IB, my award was given because I genuinely cannot work, I should have not had to fill in an ESA form (which I did and was awarded ESA) – if you want to change the names of awards then do so if you must, but leave people getting the same amount of money and stop the WCA.

  12. jaypot2012 Says:

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    Why are they still doing this WCA?

  13. joanna may Says:

    Beast I seriously need your advice please, I have got loads of broken down and decrepit furniture that I need to get rid of (I live in a tower block, quite high up, I can’t physically do it myself but it needs to be sorted. A new “charity has suddenly cropped up and said they would help me.

    I am thinking it is strange because they have strong connections with the jobcentre and I am in the support group, and so do not need that. The problem is they are bringing in three “volunteers”? to help me, but I am worried that they are actually on workfare with this “charity”? If I let it go ahead how can I possibly live with myself? And what can I say to the council without it sounding like I am refusing help (the council manager has even said she doesn’t know what ESA is). I have very deep depression, but I also have a very lively conscience. Please can you help me?!!!

    • beastrabban Says:

      Hi Joanna – thanks for your request for help. I really don’t know what to advise you, as I’ve never been in that situation myself. If you don’t mind, I’ll ask around some of my friends, who have a better understanding of this kind of situation, and who know how councils and their bureaucracies work far better than I do. I’m sorry I can’t offer you any advice at this point, but I will get back to you on this.
      Just as a start, you might look around and see if there are any other charities around in your area, which may also be able to do the job without involving the council and workfare. You could also ask the charity itself if they are a participant in the government’s workfare programme.

      It may be that there is no way you can avoid using this charity. If so, I honestly don’t think you should blame yourself. The work needs to be done, and turning them down may be awkward for you and for the three ‘volunteers’ they are sending you. Sometimes, despite the dictates and the best urgings of our consciences, there are battles one person just can’t win. The authorities are, unfortunately, just too powerful for too many people on their own to fight. I’ve also fought and lost my own battles with the Jobcentre.

      However, it may not come to this. As I said, I’ll ask around for advice, and see what other people have to say, and hopefully I be able to come back to you with something more positive.

      In the meantime, take care, and don’t let the b*stards grind you down.

  14. joanna may Says:

    Oh and if it is ok, if this so called charity is using workfare would you like all their details so they can be exposed?

    Thank you!!

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