Posts Tagged ‘‘Fitness for Work’ Assessments’

Vox Political on the Tory DWP Chiefs Forcing Paraplegic Miners to be Continually Reassassed

December 21, 2016

Yesterday Mike also put up a story about a protest by Alan Cummings, the secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association, against the DWP’s insistence that two miners should reapply for their ESA benefit. The two men had been made paraplegic in mining accident 25 years ago, and had not worked since. Nevertheless, the DWP still wanted them to fill in ‘a labyrinth of forms’, according to Mr Cummings, who accused the Department of acting like Scrooge.

Mike states that a spokesperson for the Department has tried to fend off these criticisms by claiming that Personal Independent Payment is a ‘dynamic’ benefit, which needs to reassessed as claimants needs change.

Mike makes the point that this statement is inapplicable, as they were claiming ESA, not PIP. Furthermore, the men had not worked for 25 years, and so were obviously extremely unlikely to find work now.

The spokesperson also announced that the government was going to make sure that in the most serious cases, people receiving ESA would no longer be required to be continually reassessed. Further details would be announced in due course.

Mike concludes that this looks like another case of official harassment to deter the former miners from receiving benefit, before the new legislation was brought in which would prevent this.

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/12/21/tory-dwp-chiefs-know-paraplegic-miners-cant-work-but-still-make-them-take-reassessments/

This follows all the previous cases in which the DWP has harassed and hounded severely disabled and terminally ill people with demands that they be reassessed for their benefit. Such as the incidents where amputees have been asked when they expect their missing limbs to grow back, as if they were the shed tails of lizards. Or found people in comas, dying of cancer, ‘fit for work’.

As for this new legislation, which will exempt the most extreme cases from reassessment, I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for it. The Tories have shown themselves to be inveterate, shameless liars, always making promises they have absolutely no intention of keeping. Such as Cameron’s claim that NHS spending would be ‘ring-fenced’ against cuts. Or May’s promise to put employees in the boardroom. Or all the lies about not privatising the NHS. I think this statement is another lie, and that the Tories have absolutely no intention of exempting anything from their policy of harassing people to deter them from claiming benefit.

Vox Political Welcomes The Independent to Club Vexatious

December 29, 2015

The number of people and organisations, who have had their requests for information turned down as ‘vexatious’ continues to grow. The Independent has now suffered the same treatment by the authorities after they issued a request to see Theresa May’s official web browsing history for the week beginning Monday, 26th October. The government turned it down on the above grounds, and declared that it would take too much effort to find the information to make it worthwhile.

This is, frankly, balderdash. Mike here gives the Independent’s own description of the request and the government’s reply, and his own advice to the Independent. He cites the law to show that their refusal to accede to the request is illegal, and advises the Indie to issue a formal complaint.

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/12/26/vox-political-welcomes-the-independent-to-club-vexatious-due-to-foi-request-on-theresa-mays-internet-history/

It is, of course, no surprise that the government should turn down the Indie’s request as ‘vexatious’. This is what they’ve done to Mike and the other disabled people and their campaigners, who have been pressing for the official figures of the number of people, that have died after being declared ‘fit for work’ by Atos and Maximus. Johnny Void has also described how requests for information on the companies participating the government’s odious workfare schemes have also been refused. In all of this, the government’s real reason for turning down the requests hasn’t been because they’re ‘vexatious’, or too difficult to manage, but because they’ll show how inefficient and vindictive their policies are, or open them to criticism.

Mr Void reported years ago that the authorities openly admitted that they didn’t want to release the information on firms taking people on workfare, as that would leave them open to criticism and the scheme would fail. One of the chief civil servants for the cabinet office a few weeks ago actually stated that the Freedom of Information Act was bad, because it had a ‘chilling effect’ on government.

And the government itself has said that the information released under the Freedom of Information Act should not be used by newspapers to ‘generate issues’, or to criticise the government, but to find out how government decisions are made.

The message here is that of the authoritarian state: Tug your forelock, and don’t question your elders and betters. We’re back to the Mussolini’s slogan of ‘Believe. Obey. Fight.’

As to what Theresa May was looking at, if this was anyone else working in an office I’d probably say that they’d been caught doing the usual: looking at porn and cute pictures of cats. And, indeed, the government a year or so ago did try convincing us that MPs were all looking at pornography on their computers. Private Eye later alleged that the story was a classic piece of misdirection. The story was either fake or a distortion, intended to hide the fact that the Commons’ computer system was massively over budget and didn’t work.

This is a massively authoritarian government, which does not seem to believe in the rule of law when it comes to its own interests. And as repeated government demands for more information on its citizens, more surveillance and further encroachments on our civil liberties, all in the name of protecting us from terrorism, of course, I doubt that May was looking at anything as harmless as cute cats, or just sordid pornography. The suspicion here must be that she was illegally going through the private internet chatter, spying on citizens or groups. But of course, we can’t know that, because such requests to see how intrusive our political masters are into the lives of their subjects, is vexatious.

Islamist terrorism isn’t the only threat here. There’s also a very real threat from May, Cameron and the rest of this wretched government, who want to take away our right to privacy and create an authoritarian surveillance state. And the reasons for this aren’t just about protecting us from terrorism, but protecting themselves from the people they exploit, degrade and marginalise.