The state is policing social security claimants in hospital and via their medical records to find reasons to cut their support

Politics and Insights

Related imageThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) officers have been visiting patients in hospital to check if they are actually unwell, a damning new review into the roll-out of universal credit has revealed. This news comes after it emerged that the DWP are in the process of designing an automated system to trawl claimants NHS health records. 

Doctors have already raised serious concerns that social security claimants could be deterred from accessing healthcare after it emerged that the government is to start accessing medical records as an intrusive part of the welfare assessment process. A job advert posted by the DWP shows that a team in Leeds is building a system to “capture information from citizens and present this to DWP agents”. The work is proceeding on the controversial assumption that the consent of patients would make the system lawful. 

However the DWP have told doctors that when people make a claim…

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The DWP call handlers’ strike and the Milgram experiment framework

Politics and Insights

DWP-Department-for-work-and-pensions-500x320 (1)Universal Credit call handlers working at centres in Wolverhampton and Walsall have overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action, accusing the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of treating them with “utter contempt”.

A ballot of PCS members working for the DWP on it’s highly controversial programme was announced earlier this month, warning of “severe under investment, staff shortages and ironically, criticism from claimants on how they are treated”. They also want full contracts for fixed-term workers, and an end to “management by statistics.”

Speaking ahead of the vote, PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka challenged assumptions by government ministers that “Universal Credit is working well for workers and claimants”, instead arguing that “the opposite is in fact the case”.

He said that is was clear the DWP “want to run this service into the ground”, but the DWP insisted its “top priority remains assessing and making payments to customers”.

PCS…

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DWP is trying to co-opt GPs in forcing ill people into work

Politics and Insights

facade welfareYesterday on Twitter, I posted one of my previous posts – Jobcentre tells GP to stop issuing sick notes to patient assessed as ‘fit for work’ and he died in which I discuss a letter addressed to a GP regarding a seriously ill patient. It said:

We have decided your patient is capable of work from and including January 10, 2016.

“This means you do not have to give your patient more medical certificates for employment and support allowance purposes unless they appeal against this decision.”

The patient, James Harrison, had been declared “fit for work” and the letter stated that he should not get further medical certificates. 

However, 10 months after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contacted his doctor without telling him, he died, aged 55. James clearly wasn’t fit for work. 

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Theresa May considering scrapping Human Rights Act following Brexit

Politics and Insights

humanrightsThe prime minister is to consider repealing the Human Rights Act after Brexit, despite promising she is “committed” to its protections, a minister has revealed. This is, after all, a government that has always tended to regard the human rights of some social groups as nothing more than a bureaucratic inconvenience. Many of us have been very concerned about the implications of Brexit for human rights in the UK.

The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee has exchanged correspondence with the Government about clarifying the wording of the Political Declaration regarding the European Convention on Human Rights. 

There is no justification for editing or repealing the Human Rights Act itself, that would make Britain the first European country to regress in the level and degree of our human rights protection. It is through times of recession and times of affluence alike that our rights ought to be the foundation of our society, upon…

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Single parent, zero hour contract. Two wages in one month, universal credit stopped. Forced to go without any payments for at least ten weeks.

The poor side of life

Dear readers, I’ll be blatantly honest with you. Today was awful, really difficult and wasn’t helped by a person denying that universal credit is the best thing ever.

The conversation went on for about fifteen minutes and took me away from helping people.

It’s not hard to find evidence to prove that universal credit doesn’t help people  is it. It’s been plastered all over the newspapers these past few weeks. Anyway at least I wasn’t spat at this time. And  we know how much that people are suffering because we see it, we live it.

Anyway today was freezing cold and I can’t thank Roy, Pat and Ron for coming along to help. Also to a facebook friend that joined us for a while. I really do appreciate this.

Today was hard for many reasons, I did my best but I’m not a miracle worker. We handed out our usual…

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Jeremy Corbyn’s calm decency is the best antidote to the Conservatives’ perpetual politics of spite

Politics and Insights


Yesterday I wrote two articles about the Conservative’s latest grotesque dead cat strategy. The second was concerning an email I got in the early hours from the Conservative Party’s Vice Chair, Helen Whatley, which gave the whole series of  ever-complicit mainstream media commentaries and events in parliament a staged and an “integrity Initiative” kind of feel to it. I wrote a very angry and swift response. The bloomin’ cheek and brass neck of the Tories, asking ME to join their party to “show” Jeremy Corbyn. Needless to say I told them exactly what I thought of their psyop-styled invitation.

The Conservatives turned parliament into a spite-riddled pantomine yesterday, despite the fact that a homeless man who had collapsed outside the houses…

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£435k Brexit donation to DUP wasn’t reported says Electoral Commission

Politics and Insights

A DUP advertisement that appeared in The Metro A DUP advert that appeared in the Metro

A £435,000 donation to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) from a pro-Brexit group was not reported to the Electoral Commission, it has been confirmed. The BBC has reported that Scottish unionist funding organisation Constitutional Research Council (CRC) has been fined £6,000 for failing to report the donation.

Following an investigation, the Electoral Commission ruled that there was “no reasonable excuse” for failing to report it, along with other political contributions.

It was a record fine by the Electoral Commission.

However, the Commission accepted that the donation and its donors were “permissible”.

The DUP received the donation during the Brexit referendum campaign and spent £282,000 of the money on an advert (pictured above) in the Metro newspaper.

A BBC Northern Ireland (NI) Spotlight programme asked questions about whether the DUP incurred joint spending with other EU referendum campaigners but did not declare it…

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