Vox Political: Let’s Create Form Letter Showing that DWP IS Pushing Claimants to Suicide and Self-Harm

Mike over at Vox Political has posted an article suggesting a way benefit claimants may refute the DWP’s denial that stress over benefit sanctions is pushing people to suicide, self-harm, depression and severe mental illness. He suggests that claimants should sign a form letter stating that this is occurring, and provides a specimen that he thought up this past weekend. The idea came to him after he was told by a friend of his with mental health problems that he was thinking of ending it all because of the stress put on him by Ian Duncan Smith and his wretched department of bullies and frustrated jobsworths. He admits it’s a bit ghoulish, and the specimen isn’t perfect. Nevertheless, he wants your input.

It is scandalous that aIDS and his fellow Tories should believe that there could ever be any doubt about the disastrous effects unemployment and fears about income have on the health, including the psychological wellbeing, of the unemployed. Eric Hopkins, in his book, The Rise and Decline of the English Working Classes, notes the terrible toll unemployment took on working people’s health during the great depression of the 1930s. He writes

Psychological illness due to feelings of depression was certainly common among the out-of-work. In 1932, an average of two unemployed men committed suicide for every day in the year. In the period 1921-31, suicides among men under twenty-five years of age rose by to per cent (though some of these might have taken their own lives even if they had been at work).

When high unemployment hit in the 1980s, there was a spate of suicides. These included a number of cases were young men left suicide notes explaining that they had decided to end it all because they couldn’t find a job. These were widely reported on the national news. Psychiatrists and medical professionals have repeatedly told the government, again and yet again, that people are dying of neglect and suffering a terrible decline in their mental health because of the DWP’s sanctions regime.

But aIDS refuses to accept any of this. And when challenged to offer any facts refuting it, he just waffles and blusters about his beliefs. Well, I’ve got my own beliefs about Ian Duncan Smith. I believe he’s a bully, a coward and liar. And I have more facts on my side than he has on his, whatever he chooses to believe.

Mike’s article is worth reading, and he would like feedback. Please do so. We need to make our case as strong and as explicit as possible. His piece is at

Let’s strip away DWP deniability of benefit claimant deaths

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