Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek Voyager’

Vox Political Admits Making Outrageous (and Entirely True) Claims about Ian Duncan Smith

February 11, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political has written a long piece openly admitting that he has made ‘outrageous’ claims about aIDS, and challenged the ‘Gentleman Ranker’ to prove that they’re untrue. The Tory MP currently in charge of killing the poor, the unemployed and the disabled is angry that certain people have been making the connection between his wretched welfare policies, and the mass deaths of people, who’ve been sent back to work despite being clearly unfit. His outburst whining about these critics was written in response to an inquiry by Labour’s Frank Field, asking about the numbers of deaths of people assessed as fit to work and the possible link to his policies.

This has been too much for aIDS’ delicate ego, and he written back trying to defend himself, and accusing some in the media of making ‘outrageous claims’. Mike, understandably, has taken that as a personal attack on him and his blog, as he has been one of those fighting to get the true statistics on the number of people, who’ve been killed by the Gentleman Ranker’s wretched welfare to work policy for years. And throughout those years Mike, and the others also requesting this information, have been turned down, stonewalled and frankly lied to. I’ve reblogged Mike’s pieces on it and commented on his progress here. Now Mike’s hit back at IDS’ own ‘outrageous claim’ that he’s killed no one with his policy, citing academic studies. And, as any good academic does, he also shows that he has a good understanding of the underlying scientific methodology regarding the collation and interpretation of such information. This is probably more than … Smith has. His academic credentials are entirely spurious. He claims to have received a degree from an Italian institution, which doesn’t actually issue them. And when previously challenged on his statistics, which were shown to be untrue, aIDS refused to accept the evidence. Despite it being shown otherwise, Smith stated that he ‘believed’ they were true. No proof, no evidence, just blind faith. It’s an attitude that would astonish theologians and philosophers, who have to deal with questions of proof, evidence and reason in their own disciplines. One feels that Wittgenstein and Popper, two of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century, would have their work cut out trying to teach this man the basic principles of ‘epistemology’ – the theory of knowledge.

Mike’s article begins

Iain Duncan Smith can’t prove us wrong. He deliberately refuses to collect the statistics that would confirm his claims – or ours.

Instead, he has claimed that This Blog (and presumably others) has accused him of “outrageous action”, without providing a scrap of evidence against the allegation.

This Writer is delighted that the Gentleman Ranker has tried to defend himself. I am currently working on a book covering this subject and his words may provide an excellent introduction.

The man we like to call RTU (Return To Unit – a Forces description of someone who trained to be an officer but was a washout) was responding to a request for information from Frank Field, chairman of the Commons work and pensions committee.

Mr Field had asked what data the DWP collects on the deaths of benefit claimants, in an attempt to find out whether there is any link between the work capability assessment (WCA) – carried out on claimants of Employment and Support Allowance and the Personal Independent Payment – and suicide, self-harm and mental ill-health.

The issue had been raised in research by Oxford University and Liverpool University entitled First Do No Harm.

This Blog reported on that document’s findings here – and you would be well-advised to refresh your memory of that article before you see the Secretary-in-a-State’s comments.

You should also read Vox Political‘s follow-up article in which a response from the Department for Work and Pensions – attempting to deny the research findings – is comprehensively disproved.

And there’s more. Much more. It’s at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/02/11/yes-iain-duncan-smith-vox-political-has-accused-you-of-outrageous-action-prove-us-wrong/

As for the title of the Oxford University study, First Do No Harm – this is was part of Hippocratic Oath. You know, the oath that for centuries doctors had to swear, which prescribed correct professional medical conduct. And the first and most important of its provisions was that the physician should do no harm to his patient. It’s a principle of medical ethics that’s glaringly, painfully obvious when you think about it. But not to the aIDS or the Tories. It’s not as though this is particularly arcane academic knowledge either. It gets into Star Trek, in the Voyager series, where in one episode it’s repeated by the holographic doctor played by Robert Picardo. Somehow, I don’t think IDS watched that one. Unfortunately, he didn’t learn it anywhere else either. And certainly not at an Italian college or uni, which didn’t give him his fictional degree.

Advertisements

ATOS Assessors Now Asking Disabled People Why They Haven’t Committed Suicide

December 6, 2014

Every now and then something occurs which makes me ask whether there is no depth too low for the Conservatives, anything so immoral or repulsive that they won’t do it. And the answer appears to be that there isn’t. Just when you think they can’t go any lower, they find a way to do something worse. And that applies equally to the various companies that have signed on to carry out the functions of the privatised state.

The latest revolting atrocity by ATOS is the question many of their assessors are putting to depressed claimants during their interview. Mike reports in his article Work capability assessor asked why depressed claimant had not committed suicide that

An ESA claimant has explained how an Atos work capability assessor asked her why she had not yet killed herself, after she admitted suffering with depression.

Abi Fallows described the interview on the I bet I can find a million people who DON’T want David Cameron as our PM Facebook group after reading Vox Political‘s article on the hidden cost of the Coalition Government’s benefits policy.

“At my last Atos ‘assessment’, when mentioning depression, the ‘assessor’ asked me why I hadn’t killed myself yet,” she told astonished members of the Facebook group.

She said the assessors’ attitude seemed to be that she couldn’t be depressed if she had not already killed herself: “I’ve noticed a few people, over the last year or so, going to Atos with depression are being asked that same question.

This is truly astonishing, and dangerously irresponsible. Apart from the obvious fact that many people have depression, who haven’t tried to commit suicide, there is always the very real danger that emotionally vulnerable people could be provoked into suicide because of that very question. Doctors have already reported a marked rise in the number of admissions for depression and anxiety, including to the level where the sufferer’s life is threatened, because of the stress of the ATOS assessment.

ATOS’ claim is that the assessments are performed by qualified medical professionals, who follow a rigorous procedure. This is rubbish. See Laurattelottiepearson’s comment for her experience in dealing with an ATOS assessor, who claimed to be a nurse, while having absolutely no knowledge of the condition for which Laura was assessed.

It also directly breaks the Hippocratic Oath, a form of which doctors traditionally swore since Greek antiquity. One of the most vital and celebrated clauses in the Oath was the commandment, ‘First, do no harm’. The question itself threatens the health and wellbeing of the people, to whom it is asked, as it implies that they should have taken their lives. The commandment not to harm the patient was proudly quoted in several episodes of Star Trek Voyager by the holograph doctor played by Robert Picardo. Which shows that even fictional holograms have greater medical knowledge and ethical considerations than ATOS.

There’s a very sinister, Nazi ideology underlying the question. The Nazis were extreme Social Darwinists, who believed absolutely in the murder and sterilisation of those they considered to be racially or genetically unfit. This included ethnic groups such as Jews, Gypsies and Slavs, as well as the disabled. I’ve blogged myself about the way the Nazis implemented a programme of extermination by the SS group, T4, of the congenitally mentally and physically disabled. These policies, however, did not originate with the Nazis. Rather, the Nazis drew on the ideas of previous Social Darwinist movements, including legislation providing for the sterilisation of the disabled in America and many European states. The ultra-nationalistic movements that preceded the Nazis took the line that the ‘disgenic’, the genetically unfit, would voluntarily refrain from having children. I’ve got a feeling that some, however, seemed to believe that they voluntarily commit suicide.

So it’s a fair question whether the Tories are beginning an ideological progress towards encouraging the people they see as unfit to end their lives, in accordance with their Social Darwinist ideas, exactly like the Nazis’ predecessors.

Mike’s article is at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2014/12/06/work-capability-assessor-asked-why-depressed-claimant-had-not-committed-suicide/. Go and read it.