Archive for February, 2013

Posted: 28/02/2013 in Uncategorized

the void

Patrick LynchFrom Public Interest lawyers via Disabled people Against Cuts

A disabled man who was wrongly found fit for work under the government’s disability benefit assessment scheme is launching legal action to try and stop more disabled people being wrongly kicked off the social safety net.

Patrick Lynch, a former social care worker who was forced to quit work because of his impairments, is seeking a judicial review of the controversial disability benefit assessment scheme run by Atos.

The Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which determines eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for people whose health or impairment stops them from working, is at present hugely unreliable, with many people wrongly found fit for work despite severely debilitating and in some cases life-threatening conditions.

The legal action is seeking a ruling that would require Atos, the private firm that runs the WCA process on behalf of the Department of Work and…

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Nov 252012

At DPAC we receive regular emails from people who have lost loved ones and attribute this to the process of the WCA, indeed with recent evidence of 73 deaths and suicides per week we are seeing these emails increasing.  December 3rd is being marked as a day of remembrance for all ATOS victims. Disability activist Samuel Miller from Canada is taking this outrage against human rights as far as he possibly can in an effort to secure justice.

Samuel has made many efforts at the United Nations level on behalf of disabled people in the UK and the constant attacks they face under the Tory regime. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. He is looking for evidence of linked Atos deaths. DPAC supports this and want to help in any way we can –below we repost the blog from Vox Political with permission from Mike from Wales.

Please help if you can by publicising and also subscribe to Vox Political at: http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/ids-off-the-hook-with-icc-so-evidence-needed-of-atos-deaths/

IDS off the hook with ICC – so evidence needed of Atos deaths

Brian McArdle. On the BBC’s Question Time last Thursday, Iain Duncan Smith flew into a rage when Owen Jones challenged him about what happened to Mr McArdle, “57 years old, paralysed down one side, blind in one eye; he couldn’t speak. He died one day after being found ‘fit for work’ by Atos.”

People whose family members have died while going through the DWP/Atos work capability assessment are being urged to contact a disability specialist – who has been seeking international legal action against the austerity-enforced injustice.

Vox Political reported back in September that Samuel Miller had contacted the International Criminal Court in The Hague, intending to file a complaint against Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling and Maria Miller, the ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions, considered most responsible for “draconian welfare reforms and the resultant deaths of their society’s most vulnerable”.

Mr Miller got in touch over the weekend, but said that the result had been disappointing: “They stated that the International Criminal Court has a very limited jurisdiction. The Court may only address the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes as defined by Articles 6 to 8 of the Rome Statute.”

The Rome Statute is the document under which the ICC was established. Article 7, which covers crimes against humanity, states: “For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

“(k) Inhumane acts … intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.”

I thought this – Article 7 (k) – was a perfect description of what the DWP and its ministers are trying to achieve, and Mr Miller agreed. But he said: “Clearly the ICC is striving to discourage the filing of austerity complaints.”

There is a way forward. He added: “On a welcome note, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recently acknowledged that austerity measures may violate human rights — which certainly is a step in the right direction.”

He’s right. The chair of the UN committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay said on October 23 that, although member states face tough decisions when dealing with rising public deficits, austerity measures are potentially violations of their legal obligations to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“All States Parties should avoid at all times taking decisions which lead to the denial or infringement of economic, social and cultural rights,” Pillay said, citing an open letter to States Parties from the committee earlier this year that clarified the committee’s position on austerity measures.

By ratifying the Covenant, member states like the UK have a legally binding obligation to progressively improve, without retrogression, universal access to goods and services such as healthcare, education, housing and social security and to ensure just and favourable conditions of work, without discrimination, in accordance with established international standards. These rights must be achieved by using the maximum of available resources.

Pillay pointed out that austerity measures are also a disincentive to economic growth and thereby hamper progressive realization of economic and social rights.

The committee had pointed out that social insecurity and political instability, as seen in parts of Europe today, were also potential effects of the denial or infringement of economic, social and cultural rights.

The poor, women, children, persons with disabilities, older persons, people with HIV/AIDS, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, migrants and refugees were particularly at risk, the committee had noted.

Having identified the possibility, we come to the burden of proof. Mr Miller said: “My best hope lies in procuring coroner’s reports where the cause of death is found to be destitution and/or suicide.”

Inevitably, there is a problem. The UK Coronial system does not involve the collating of such information, nor does it look for national trends. The role of the Coroner is case specific, so wider information is not available. This is because the system of inquests into deaths was never intended to investigate whether those deaths were being caused by insane decisions of the government itself.

The law in relation to death certification may be amended in 2014 to provide for Medical Examiners whose role will be to examine such matters – but that is two years from now, and the DWP/Atos system could pile up another 7,600 bodies in that time (using the generally-accepted average of 73 deaths per week).

Mr Miller has written to the DWP, seeking a change of coroners’ duties to allow proper and robust reporting of trends such as stress-related deaths, suicides and/or destitution deaths of welfare recipients and recipients who perished shortly after being stripped of their benefits can be reported to both the DWP and the Ministry of Justice.

But I think we all know there is little chance of success there. This government is hardly going to hand over the tools by which its own ministers might end up in an international court. They’re insane, but they’re not stupid!

So people are going to have to do it themselves. We know about high-profile cases in which deaths have been blamed on Atos. Information about the others needs to be available now.

This is why I want to appeal for anyone who has lost a loved one because of the DWP/Atos work capability assessment system to get in touch with Mr Miller. He needs to know the verdict that was reached at the inquests into their deaths.

His email address is disabilityinliterature@gmail.com

I would strongly urge that anyone writing to Mr Miller keeps their correspondence to the point. It is to be hoped that he will receive a strong response, but this entails a large amount of work. It is therefore important to make that work as easy as possible, perhaps by putting the deceased’s name, address and the verdict at the top of your email.

Follow mike on twitter :@MidWalesMike

– See more at: http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/11/deaths-and-suicides-linked-to-wca-more-evidence-needed-for-justice/#sthash.za0c2VuT.dpuf

Please read the following link:

http://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/2013/0…alympic-games/

With respect to the article that I linked above:-

Maybe if a large portion, if not all of England‘s Paralympian superstars had chosen to walk out of the games on day one of the paralympics; (especially as it was sponsored by ATOS) it would have been a great platform, a worldwide platform, to express all disabled people‘s grievances about the cuts to benefits. I think that they would have got a lot more respect for that, than by winning any medals for our country.

Did ATOS sponsor the paralympics on purpose as a political move to ensure that they also got the government contract to do the medical assessments for PIP? There are many huge global and British companies that could have been approached to sponsor this international event. ATOS purposefully pitted disabled people against disabled people, they exploited the paralympians to showcase to the media what (some) disabled people are capable of and then our government let the media run with it.

No-one, including  media personnel and their families are not immune to disabilities, what if (heaven forbid) they or their children are born or become disabled, and then they get called scroungers and benefit cheats, but just like the Paralympians who had no way of foreseeing how their achievements would be twisted and used against them and the non-paralympian disabled people, the media also have no way of foreseeing what the future holds for them; except, by what they choose to write next, as most of the population believe what is written in the news and the media are well aware of how they influence public opinion.

I know this is a big ask, but maybe, just maybe, if some, if not all paralympians give back their medals in front of a media spotlight, people might wake up and see how the paralympians were manipulated by ATOS to gain public support for disability benefit cuts? Or is it too late now to show their support? I was quite disgusted that ATOS were sponsors.

With regards to Dispatches Britain on Benefits; one of the things that stood out was that people kept saying the benefits bill needs to be cut, WHY? , shouldn’t we be proud of the fact that we support vunerable people who suffer, to have a decent standard of life. I think it’s abhorrent that a Government has chosen sick and disabled people to fund economic recovery, whilst turning a blind eye to tax evasion etc etc etc………….. I don’t think the programme did anything to change public understanding. A protest by paralympians would have made far more impact to public awareness. Although not on the same scale as the Olympics in regards to coverage but the disabled athletes could walk out or refuse to take part in the Commonwealth games in Scotland in 2014 where again ATOS are one of the sponsors. However, whom would that hurt the government, it would hurt those people who have worked hard to get into the games. What these people now have to work towards is getting the same payments as non disabled. Disabled athlete will get £6,000 a year to pay for his expenses, Non disabled athlete will get £130,000 . The battle is now to be treated the same.

However, if the disabled athletes threaten to walk out of the commonwealth games due to benefit cuts, the government may then offer them more than £6,000 a year to cover their expenses, thus buying them off…..However, one day they will get older and will eventually be unable to compete, and what then, there will be nothing for them……What will they be saying then???? Lessons have been learnt; we are being persecuted??? But they’ll be learnt by the normal non-athletic disabled first, we are already being persecuted by our government and the disabled athletes are supporting them to do so by not taking action now!!!!!  If they do not take action by 2014 commonwealth games then it will be too little, too late!!!!!! 

It is not just about ATOS being a sponsor (although that really is a knife in the back) even if ATOS’s sponsorship is taken out of the equation, it is the amazing achievements and incredible effort made by our ‘superhuman’ disabled athletes which is then blown out of proportion by the media who expect that all disabled people can achieve these levels so therefore must be scroungers and cheats, and Joe-public believes them!!!!

As I asked earlier:- “Did ATOS sponsor the paralympics on purpose as a political move to ensure that they also got the government contract to do the medical assessments for PIP? There are many huge global and British companies that could have been approached to sponsor this international event. ATOS purposefully pitted disabled people against disabled people, they exploited the paralympians to showcase to the media what (some) disabled people are capable of and then our government let the media run with it.

No-one, including  media personnel and their families are not immune to disabilities, what if (heaven forbid) they or their children are born or become disabled, and then they get called scroungers and benefit cheats, but just like the Paralympians who had no way of foreseeing how their achievements would be twisted and used against them and the non-paralympian disabled people, the media also have no way of foreseeing what the future holds for them; except, by what they choose to write next, as most of the population believe what is written in the news and the media are well aware of how they influence public opinion.

FM

Who on earth was that blonde woman who just said that approximately 50% of people on DLA don’t have corroborating medical evidence???

She then said “We’ve got to put this right!” I think she should check that ‘fact’ and get her information ‘Right’

Even David Cameron would have needed medical evidence for his (Now Deceased) son’s DLA!

And where is the argument for people with learning disabilities? so far this program has only dealt with physical disabilities!

Aha ok, it was Esther McVey! That woman hasn’t a clue. She also thinks so many disabled people will magically be better and not need PIP.

Having watched this entire program, how can Esther McVey not know about the ‘Right Payment Programme’ for the periodic re-testing of those on an indefinite award of DLA.

It’s more likely that she didn’t want to let on about it to the general public that we are systematically re-assessed because it makes her case for PIP look weaker. Having had many of these re-assessments since the inception of DLA, it would disarm her claim that we are “on this for life without being looked at again” if she had mentioned it.

Isn’t not mentioning it the same as lying to the public and the media???

And as for Baroness Tani Grey-Thompson DBE, she’s in a cushy little job with a whopping salary and a title to boot! She didn’t show any understanding towards the point of view this program was trying to convey. Whether she claims DLA herself or not, she doesn’t need it as she is well enough off even without it!

And what happened to learning disabilities? Dispatches need to do another program like this one, but with the focus on people with learning disabilities.

FM

From sky.com: Channel 4 Dispatches: The Disability Living Allowance helps three million people with disabilities to work. Ade Adepitan examines government plans to reduce the number of claimants.

Sky channel 104 at 8pm-8:30pm & 135 Channel 4+1 at 9pm-9:30pm

From radiotimes.com:ABOUT THIS PROGRAMME

The Government is planning to stop giving Disability Living Allowance to more than half a million current claimants across the nation. Wheelchair basketball ace Ade Adepitan investigates what this will mean for those who will no longer receive it, and hears the opinions of disabled army veterans, workers and fellow Paralympians.

FM

 

For anyone who missed Dispatches: Britain on Benefits you can ‘hopefully!’ watch it here:-

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od

FM

Mobile Phone Cover

Mobile Phone Cover

Coffee Cup

Coffee Cup

Hip Flask

Hip Flask

Pendant

Pendant

What is with all these quips? Eh, isn’t enough, enough? It’s like a ploy to brainwash everybody! 

The following is quoted from Wikipedia:

Keep Calm and Carry On was a propaganda poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of the Second World War, intended to raise the morale of the British public in the aftermath of widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities. It had only limited distribution with no public display, and thus was little known. The poster was rediscovered in 2000 and has been re-issued by a number of private companies and used as the decorative theme for a range of products. It was believed there were only two known surviving examples of the poster outside government archives until a collection of 15 originals was brought in to the Antiques Roadshow in 2012 by the daughter of an ex-Royal Observer Corps member.

And the following is from the Daily Mail:

Dave, you’re sleepwalking into Britain’s gravest crisis since World War II

By SIMON HEFFER

PUBLISHED: 23:25, 11 May 2012 | UPDATED: 15:30, 14 May 2012

As widely predicted, a vacuous Queen’s Speech this week^^ avoided the main issues affecting this country.

This was partly because the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats find it very hard to agree on policies, but also because the Prime Minister is short on ideas and, embarrassingly for the leader of the Conservative Party, is not really a Conservative.

When asked about the Government’s plans, therefore, for the next 12 months, the line trotted out by loyal ministers is that governing does not just mean new legislation. Indeed, it does not.

Circumstance: If the economy was in a more stable state, then this paper could have found much to applaud in Wednesday's Queen's Speech
Disappointing: The contents of the Queen’s Speech suggested that the Prime Minister is woefully short of ideas

Perhaps, instead, our rulers should simply sit around, reflecting on the joys of power — rather than doing something useful for the country, such as repealing damaging laws, or passing ones that might be beneficial.

I may mock, but it may actually be a good thing that the decks are thus cleared. Because the way things are going in Europe there could be a political and economic crisis later this year on a scale not seen since World War II.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2143230/David-Cameron-walking-biggest-crisis-World-War-II.html#ixzz2LlRhCb4p
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Cleggs_Backbonehttp://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/05/nick-clegg-richard-iii-spoof-news_n_2621290.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

A backbone buried in a car park has been confirmed as that of the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg.

The spine has been missing since May 2010, its whereabouts unknown until this week.

Historians say that the discovery of the backbone also indicates that Clegg was born with one face, as opposed to the two we are used to seeing him with.

“It’s amazing to see what he looks like with a spine and just one face. It’s like you could just talk to him, have a conversation with him right now,” said Lib Dem party member Philippa Liberally. “Of course, he’d ignore everything you say and mutter something about having to make compromises when you’re in government… But still.”

“He’s normally just bones, just a body,” added historian Paddy Ashdown-Hill. “But now that I’ve seen this reconstruction, he’s really come to life. I felt almost in the presence of an actual, living Liberal Democrat.”

The backbone was discovered in a pub car park, where David Cameron‘s daughter was also found in 2012. Fortunately, she had only been missing for 15 minutes.

>lol<

Cameron_and_the_commons06/02/2013 Here we go again…….PMQ‘s…….http://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2013/february/prime-ministers-questions-6-february-2013/….from 15:06-15:32mins in….  http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/100/…about half way down the page at question 4…

Q4.[141637]

Mr Michael McCann (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow) (Lab):

“Can the Prime Minister confirm that Atos has declared that Richard III is fit for work?”

“That is not a constituency case that has come my way. All I can say is that I hope it will engender a great historical understanding of these events among all our people and provide a great boost to the great city of Leicester.”

……The whole house roared with laughter at this; the PM and MP‘s may well be able to laugh at the question posed by Mr Michael McCann but ATOS’s practices are no laughing matter…..

PMQ’s were followed  by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (Inquiry)

The Prime Minister: “Quality of care means not accepting that bed sores and hospital infections are somehow occupational hazards—that a little bit of these things is somehow okay. It is not okay; they are unacceptable—full stop, end of story. That is what zero harm—the jargon for this—means. I have therefore asked Don Berwick, who has advised President Obama on this issue, to make zero harm a reality in our NHS.”

The Prime Minister: “However, I think that there was another very profound reason for holding a public inquiry, although I know that it will not satisfy some of the victims. They feel incredibly strongly, and rightly strongly. These terrible things happened to their loved ones, but where is the criminal prosecution? Where are the people who have been struck off? There has not been proper accountability, and there is not proper accountability in our system.”
…..Which was then followed by the ‘Suicide Prevention In The UK‘ debate: This was to discuss the increase in suicides in recent times which I have written about in previous posts here….

https://forcemajeure007.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/extremely-urgent-appeal-deaths-and-suicides-linked-to-wca-evidence-needed-for-justice/ and here….https://forcemajeure007.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/atos-death-toll/

Although some suicides have more to do with personal circumstances or mental health problems many more have been attributed to the welfare reforms. Yet the MP’s in this debate barely touched on and even side stepped the subject of ATOS’s practices of the abhorrent treatment and neglect and abuse of disabled and vulnerable people; which is almost certainly a contributing factor for the recent increase in suicides and I am not the only person to say this, as there are campaigns run by DPAC and Black Triangle against ATOS and the welfare reforms who also share this opinion.

How dare MP’s laugh about ATOS and then in the next debate they state their horror at no-one yet being accountable for the  awful treatment at the hands of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and then in the next debate they show so much emotion for the increase in suicides….They are all HYPOCRITES!!!

How about David Cameron making zero harm a reality in  ATOS and holding them and himself accountable for the deaths and suicides caused by the welfare reform, none of the ‘health care professionals’ have been struck off and none of the MP’s are doing anything about it, they are all complacent and in years to come we will probably have a public inquiry into ATOS’s practices……

So it’s one rule for politicians and those appointed by politicians ‘ATOS’ (a private sector service (They can get away with the deaths of disabled and vulnerable people)) and another rule for those who run our rapidly declining NHS (a public sector service (They can’t get away with the deaths of disabled and vulnerable people)) as many of the patients who experienced such horrific neglect which led to their deaths were elderly and disabled and vulnerable people.

FM

Max Keiser said on RT (Russia Today) on Sky channel 512 & 518
“If Britain seriously wants to increase GDP then they need to increase the minimum wage, in fact double the minimum wage!”

forcemajeure007

If the government want to cut the social security bill, then the government should stop paying top-ups to low wages and make employers pay a decent minimum wage. Why should the taxpayers have to top-up wages through paying into the system, when if public sector and private sector companies and employers paid a proper wage the taxes could be better used to heal the British economy. Instead, people on a low wage have to claim benefits to top-up their wages.

Once again it is the private sector that are raking in the money by being wage-shy, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

We are being made to pay for the irresponsible behaviour of our chancellor, with our taxes; and he still believes that his way is the right way.

Our great nation was built on the strength of a nations pride, and will be…

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