Posts Tagged ‘John Pring’

Vox Political: DWP Admits It Could Be Partly Responsible for Benefit Deaths

May 21, 2016

Back on Thursday, Mike put up an article about a very cautious and heavily guarded admission by the DWP that it might be culpable for the deaths of some of those killed by their system of benefit sanctions and fitness-to-work tests. The government has carried out several peer-reviewed investigations into the deaths of 49 former benefit-claimants. IDS and his successors desperately wanted to keep these secret, but they have now been released following a 21 month legal struggle with the Disability News Service. The article Mike quotes states that

In response to a story in The Guardian about the publication of the peer reviews – co-authored by DNS editor John Pring – a DWP spokesperson said: “Any suicide is a tragedy and the reasons for them are complex, however it would be inaccurate and misleading to link it solely to a person’s benefit claim.”

The use of the word “solely” means that ministers have now accepted that the actions of their department can be partly responsible for benefit claimants taking their own lives, and for other benefit-related deaths.”

Mike in his comments notes that this may leave the way open for the families of the victims to sue the government for their responsibility for these deaths. This is what appears to be going on north of the border in Scotland.

And the number of people, who have been killed by the government’s benefit sanctions is far higher than 49. It’s about 590, while 290,000 people with anxiety and depression have seen their mental states made worse through the Tories’ policies. If the legal challenge succeeds, that’s going to be a lot of compensation for the government to pay out. So let’s hope it does.

Mike’s article can be read at: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/05/19/dwp-admits-responsibility-for-benefit-related-deaths-with-a-single-small-word/

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This Fortnight’s Private Eye on IDS’ Bullying of John Pring and the Disability News Service

May 16, 2015

Iain Duncan Smith, the Gentleman Ranker, is in this fortnight’s Private Eye. Their article, ‘DWP’s Mute Point’, reports the way Iain Duncan Smith is refusing to answer Mr Pring’s requests for information on his department’s highly discriminatory and murderous policies towards the disabled. As the Eye’s article reveals, this involves RTU’s usual tactics of responding as late as possible to Mr Pring’s questions, and then making unreasonable requests in return.

The Eye therefore begins its article by asking the pertinent question

Will the bright not-so-very new dawn see the team at the Department for Work and Pensions stop its scandalous bullying of the campaigning journalist who runs the country’s only disability news agency?

It goes on to report how Smith was infuriated by the News Service’s revelation that his department was refusing to publish the fact that it had carried out 49 secret reviews into the deaths of claimants on benefits. It also reveals that Smith was further angered by the Service’s report that Smith and his government are being threatened with even more humiliation by a UN investigation into ‘grave or systematic violations’ of the rights of disabled people in Britain.

According to the Eye, Smith’s excuse for refusing to give answers to Mr Pring is that when the Department’s own press office misses the deadlines set by Mr Pring, he should update his website and alert his subscribers. This applies even when he receives their answers days after the deadlines have expired.

Mr Pring has said in response that this would make his workload simply unmanageable, as he would have to do this for every individual and organisation he contacted to comment on a story.

The Eye’s article concludes with the statement ‘Some might argue that the DWP’s treatment of Pring, who is himself disabled, might amount to discrimination.’

The article just further confirms what a thug and bully Iain Duncan Smith, or ‘Tosser’, to his army buddies, is. Other campaigners, like Mike over at Vox Political, and the other disability campaigners requesting information on his department’s murder of the disabled through benefit sanctions, have received similar stonewalling and denials. This comes from the very man, who was afraid to enter a parliamentary committee room to present his testimony before the Work and Pensions Committee without a guard of armed goons.

Cameron said in the run-up to the election last week that Smith was tough, and that he could ‘crack skulls between his kneecaps’. This suggests the opposite. He’s terrified of searching gaze of public exposure, and his response is only to bully those weaker than himself. This shows what a massive coward he is, and how unfit for any kind of governmental post he and his master, David Cameron, really are.

Vox Political: Labour MPs Asks Civil Service to Enquire into Benefit Deaths

February 8, 2015

Mike over at Vox Political has this story MP asks civil servant to check whether DWP to blame for benefit deaths – Disability News Service about the Labour MP, Debbie Abrahams, request to a senior civil servant to look into this issue. Mike’s article begins

A senior civil servant has been asked by an MP to examine whether any of the 49 secret reviews into benefit-related deaths concluded that the government had been partly to blame, writes John Pring for the Disability News Service.

The question came as Conservative employment minister Esther McVey was giving evidence to an inquiry into benefit sanctions policy.

Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, a member of the work and pensions committee that is conducting the inquiry, told McVey there was “an increasing… and a worrying number of deaths that are being associated with sanctions”.

McVey’s response was the usual government reply to anyone, who dares tell them the truth about their cruel, malicious and lethal policies: she lied, and told her opponent they were wrong to ‘politicise’ and ‘inflame’ the issue.

Mike’s article is at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/02/07/mp-asks-civil-servant-to-check-whether-dwp-to-blame-for-benefit-deaths-disability-news-service/

DPAC also have a report on the incident, which I will also cover later today. This goes into some detail about McVey’s mendacious and highly evasive response to Abrahams’ questions. I’ve avoided blogging on it so far, as it annoyed me so much. So be warned – if you have any sense of fairness and compassion, McVey’s answers and general demeanour will send you through the roof.