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Thursday, 26 October 2017

Not a person to be messed with!

Trawling through my e-mail back catalogue just now in search of something else just now, I came across the following that I believe worth sharing here.
Perhaps a potential advantage of 'being known to the authorities' can be identification as 'a person not to be messed with'?

When I had my second 'Work Capability Assessment' [Feb 2011] after three deferred appointments[1] and after having won ESA tribunal [Dec 2009] they had the realisation that I had a McKenzie Friend [the person who went to my second WCA with] who could write a very direct and 'this service [sic] was substandard and degrading' type letter. (That letter had been in support of my request for a further deferment on account of the icy conditions grounding her ComCab support, even while Atos call-centre operative treated me like 'the accused' who was obliged to attend 'court appearance', with Atos assuming the role of G4S. My friend has a law degree.)

So this time round, despite the fact that the Atos 'Examining Medical Practitioner' claimed to have received none of the certification that I had sent separately from the ESA50 that I had completed with carefully customised word processed text boxes, I did not have to go to a tribunal. I was told by letter that the WCA had resulted in no change to my Support Group status.
Blog post by Dude Swheatie of Kwug

DWP: (n) UK-state-run modern slavery gangmaster

DWP: (noun) UK-state-run modern slavery gangmaster

Modern slavery — that the UK Government signed up to oppose in 2014 (1) — frequently uses unjust debt as a mechanism toward further enslavement.

Yet the kinds of debt that the UK's Department for Work & Pensions [sic] (DWP) imposes on economically vulnerable people are enslaving in themselves, deducted from income at source through implementation of 'Universal Credit' as the 'Conservative government's flagship' 'welfare reform'. See Kate Belgrave's latest blog post for substantiation of this argument.(2)

I would argue that introduction of a non-conditional Universal Basic Income (3) without 'deduction of debt at source' mechanisms would be far more effective at opposing debt-related modern slavery that is instituted in the so-called 'Universal Credit'.

Reference links


Placard and blog posting above by Dude Swheatie of Kwug

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Are these the kinds of 'experimental statistics' the DWP wants to hear on Universal Credit -- publicly, I mean?

Yesterday this blogger placed a comment on Kitty S Jones' 'Politics and Insights' blog post, The connection between Universal Credit, ordeals and experiments in electrocuting laboratory rats:(1)

Thanks for this, Kitty, especially as it is now written and can thus be referenced.

I commend you to send it to:
Stephanie Sarwar
Universal Credit Official Statistics team
Data & Analytics
Department for Work and Pensions
Benton Park View
NE98 1YX

A: “Open consultation [sic] — Universal Credit experimental statistics [sic!]: future developments:
“From: Department for Work and Pensions
“Part of: Universal Credit statistics
“Published: 13 September 2017

“We are seeking views on plans to expand the range of our Universal Credit statistics….”
More at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/universal-credit-experimental-statistics-future-developments
Endnote (for now): “Sir Bert [Massie, who died last week] once said that disabled people ‘have been invited to look up to the stars while having the rug pulled from beneath them’.”
I met Sir Bert Massie after a Radar debate in 2008 in which he opposed David Freud’s motion: “Most disabled people can and should work.” (That was when David Freud was Labour's 'welfare reform guru' as one who had never been near the benefits system before his appointment.

(Massie and Kate Green — then of Child Poverty Action Group — in ensemble with the audience and questions and comments from the floor, heavily defeated Freud’s motion and replaced it with one that included reference to support requirements.)
In meeting Sir Bert I told  that I had met an Occupational Psychologist [sic] at a Manpower Services-run ‘Employment Rehabilitation Centre’ (ERC) [sic] in 1978 at age 24, and she — with her MSc in Experimental Psychology — told me, “You will be terminated [sic] at the end of next week,” with no further help stemming from my six-week ‘vocational assessment period’ there.
Sir Bert Massie then responded that he had ‘been terminated from an ERC ten years earlier!

Now The Guardian has produced a news story headed:

Universal credit behind rising rent arrears and food bank use, 'guinea pig' councils say

Research by Southwark and Croydon councils reveals devastating effect of new benefits system (2)
So when the DWP calls for people [and presumably welfare state privatising corporations] to send in their ideas about 'Open consultation [sic] — Universal Credit experimental statistics [sic!]: future developments', (3) what do they mean, especially given that when challenged on broadcast and Internet news media, they send statements without spokespersons, that say, "Universal Credit works wonders and is going entirely according to plan," without giving any evidence for that stance?

NB: That supposedly 'open consultation' ends at 23:45 today, and if this is a truly 'open consultation' perhaps you could dismiss the bullshit and refer to Kitty S Jones' above cited blog post, and also blog posts from Kwug Blog such as There is an urgent need for real evidence-gathering re DWP practices, not dehumanising experimentation.(4)

Blog post by Dude Swheatie of Kwug

Link references

  1. https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/the-connection-between-universal-credit-ordeals-and-experiments-that-electrocute-laboratory-rats/
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/23/universal-credit-sending-rent-arrears-and-food-bank-use-soaring-councils-say
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/universal-credit-experimental-statistics-future-developments
  4. http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/there-is-an-urgent-need-for-real-evidence-gathering-re-dwp-practices-not-dehumanising-experimentation.html

Monday, 23 October 2017

Tues 24 Oct 2017 KUWG Public Meeting against local jobcentre closures

Agenda for KUWG Public Meeting Against Jobcentre Closures,
Tuesday 24/10/17 6.30pm-8.30pm Kingsgate  Community Centre, 107 Kingsgate Road, NW6 2JH

6:15pm: Room set up and grabbing a seat!
6:30pm-to-8:15pm: Meeting
8:15pm-8:30pm: Room clearance
Chairperson: A KUWG member who uses Neasden Jobcentre


  • Giselle as KUWG and Chair of Unite Community Brent, with the aid of a big map, highlighting how people especially with walking problems will be seriously affected, and thus more easily sanctioned
  • John Kilvington from Somali Cultural Centre, on the absurd cases he has had and how it obviously will make people with language and cultural issues prone to misunderstand and get sanctioned. 
  • Winvisible [Women with Visible and Invisible Disabitlities] to confirm our experiences and offer their campaigning skills.
  • Pete Firmin as Chair of Brent Trades Council will speak about how workers could be affected, and mention how other closures of public buildings impact the community.
  • Tulip Siddiq MP has sent message of support. 
  • MP Dawn Butler has been asked to come or send message of support. 
  • Siân Berry Green Party Member of the London Assembly has sent her apologies. 
  • Brent Green Party member Peter Murry will speak from a Green Party Trade Union Group perspective
  • Green Party Member Alan Wheatley has sent KWUG placards as room decorations, while he cannot attend in person
  • Councillor Shama Tatler (Brent Council) who wrote to DWP about proposed closures has been requested to attend.
  • PCS [jobcentre workers union] speakers invited, but no response.
PS: WinVisible add:

Tues 24 Oct - WinVisible speaking at KUWG meeting vs Jobcentre closures

Tues 24 October 2017, 6.30-8.30pm

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group (KUWG) have invited us to speak at their:
Public meeting on the proposed Jobcentre closures of Kilburn & Neasden JCPs
the impact on claimants and what we can do

(wheelchair accessible)
Speakers include: Giselle Winston (“Benefit Tales” blogger, KUWG member); John Kilvington, welfare rights worker at Camden Somali Cultural Centre.
We’ll be speaking about how the closures will affect people, and what we’ve been doing, including pressing the exemptions from ESA/PIP exams, and about the latest benefit concessions won by public pressure.
(See our blog for self-help info, search “exemption”.) 
In March, we attended the PCS (DWP staff union) meeting in Parliament against Jobcentre closures.
Come along if you can!

Tuesday 24 October update: Cllr Sham Tatler writes:

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately I cannot attend due to a prior engagement.

I too share your concerns over the closures and the impact they will have on vulnerable residents, particularly as they are in areas in most need.

I had written to the previous minister, and am currently engaging with the DWP over the closures. I have asked to see their equality impact assessment as I am not certain they have taken into account the difficulties our residents will face. I have told them, that we do not understand the rationale for the decisions and am seeking assurances on making sure our residents are protected and not under-served.

I will be continuing to raise the issue and happy to engage with you.

Kind regards

Cllr Shama Tatler
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Growth, Employment and Skills
Labour Councillor fo Fryent Ward
London Borough of Brent

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Would 'hard Brexit' be an excuse for worse claimant cull to come?

Would 'hard Brexit' be an excuse for worse claimant cull to come?
Yahoo News: May privately agrees to pay up to €40bn Brexit bill

Tories, Why run when you can make a U-turn on nasty policies?

Tories, Why run when you can make a U-turn on nasty policies?

Food bank volunteering no cosy photo-opportunity for Tory MPs!

Food bank volunteering no cosy photo-opportunity for Tory MPs!

'Universal Credit' is designed to land us in debt!

'Universal Credit' is designed to land us in debt!

Tell all political parties 'Universal Credit' is a bad idea

Tell all political parties 'Universal Credit' is a bad idea

Welfare reform: (n) Corporate-led bloody fiscal revolution

Welfare reform: (n) Corporate-led bloody fiscal revolution

Dear BBC, Please say, "The so-called 'Universal Credit'"

Dear BBC, Please say, "The so-called 'Universal Credit'"

Ask food bank users if 'Universal Credit' is working!

Ask food bank users if 'Universal Credit' is working!

Welfare reformers, go UC yourselves!

Welfare Reformers, Go UC yourselves!
The wording of this placard comes from a suggestion by Peter Murry of Green Left and Green Party Trade Union Group

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Universal Credit's waiting time starvation is moral bankruptcy, not a saving

Universal Credit's waiting time starvation is moral bankruptcy, not a 'saving'

Universal Credit's waiting time starvation period is stigmatising, punitive and unhealthy, breeding resentment

Waiting time starvation is punitive and unhealthy, breeding resentment

Universal Credit waiting times plumb new depths of government depravity in stripping poor people of bargaining powerSt

Starvation of bargaining power is integral to modern slavery

Friends help when they accompany you to jobcentre interviews, even if just by their being there for you!

Friends help you decide more clearly — even at the jobcentre!

Friends help you feel safe — even at the jobcentre!

Friends help you hear more clearly — even at the jobcentre!

Friends help you think more clearly — even at the jobcentre!

Privatising public assets meets a setback

LB Haringey thought they were onto a good thing by 'joint venture' capitalism between a public authority and privatising global corporation Lendlease.

Haringey Unite Community and Haringey Green Party member Gordon Peters has made them think otherwise, however, with the aid of crowdfunding a legal challenge.

Details at https://uk.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=dwp%20right%20to%20be%20accompanied&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-100&type=newtab

You have a right to be accompanied at jobcentre interviews

You have a right to be accompanied at jobcentre interviews
You have a right to be accompanied at jobcentre interviews, and the golden motto of the KUWG is, "Never attend anywhere official alone."

But the Department for Work & Pensions as currently operating and as it has been operating since at least 2004 is a bully, and like all bullies, likes to minimise your knowledge of your rights so as to deny your options base on those rights.

So, because, "To be forewarned is to be fore-armed," here is an Internet search link to help you on your way to more successful interviews at your local jobcentre — while it is still there! dwp right to be accompanied


'Universal Credit' 'full roll-out' is still a phased roll-out

'Full roll-out' of so-called 'Universal Credit' is still a phased roll-out

Universal Credit (UC) roll-out 2018

Full Digital Service Areas

Universal Credit is being rolled out ....

January 2018

In Northern Ireland: Strabane and Lisnagelvin,

February 2018

In England, Scotland, Wales: Accrington, Annan, Ayr, Basingstoke, Bathgate, Blackburn, Bodmin, Boston, Bracknell, Bridgend, Bridgnorth, Broxburn, Cardiff Alex House, Cardiff Charles Street, Chatham, City of Westminster Marylebone, Clapham Common, Coalville, Colwyn Bay, Darwen, Diss, Dumfries, Folkestone, Girvan, Gloucester, Gravesend, Huyton, Jarrow, Killingworth, Kirkby, Livingston, Llandudno, Maesteg, Maidenhead, Market Drayton, Middleton, Newark, Newquay, North Shields, Oswestry, Porthcawl, Pyle, Redbridge, Rhyl, Rochdale Heywood, Rochdale, Rushden, Scarborough, Selby, Shrewsbury, Slough, South Shields, St Austell, Stowmarket, Stranraer, Streatham, Truro, Wallsend, Westminster, Whitby, Whitchurch, Whitley Bay.
In Northern Ireland: Foyle, Armagh, Omagh and Enniskillen

March 2018

In England, Scotland, Wales: Abergavenny, Alfreton, Amlwch, Ammanford, Ashford, Banff, Barnsbury, Bedminster, Belper, Bishopsworth, Bradford Eastbrook Court, Bradford Westfield House, Bristol Central, Caldicott, Carmarthen, Chepstow, Chester le Street, Congleton, Crawley, Darlington, Dereham, Durham, Eyemouth, Falkirk, Finsbury Park, Fraserburgh, Galashiels, Grangemouth, Hanley, Hawick, Haywards Heath, Heanor, Helston, Hereford, Highgate, Holyhead, Hornchurch, Horsham, Keighley, Kingston, Leicester Charles St, Leicester New Walk, Leicester Wellington St, Leominster, Leyland, Lincoln, Llanelli, Llangefni, Longton, Macclesfield, Merthyr, Tydfil, Newton Aycliffe, Penryn, Penzance, Peterhead, Preston, Redruth, Romford, Ross on Wye, Shipley, Skegness, Spennymoor, Stockport, Thetford, Twickenham, Wandsworth, Wilmslow.
In Northern Ireland: Dungannon and Portadown.

More at https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Universal-Credit-timetable/Universal-Credit-(UC)-roll-out-2018

Toghether we are stronger. Join us!

Together we are stronger. Join us!

Some equality & diversity attendance statistics from when this blog editor was Kwug's attendance monitor

KUWG meeting attendance figures, 6 Jan-to-28 Apr 2014
KUWG meeting attendance figures, 14 Apr-to-14 Jul 2014
KUWG meeting attendance figures,24 Jul-to18 Sep 2014
The above figures were in line with Kingsgate Community Centre term times and the availabity of room bookings for us, while the diversity tags were as prescribed by Kingsgate Community Centre's funder, Camden Council.

Please note that too little publicised Tory Government policy is for community centres to operate 'more like businesses', and 'less like charities'. This means community centres receiving insufficient funding to pay a proper quota of staff, and to become more and more reliant upon volunteers, and possibly excluding not-for-profit bookings.

Is that 'behaving more like a business than a charity'?

Monday, 16 October 2017

Are DWP entitled to enslave us?

Are DWP entitled to enslave us?

Debt is a whip in modern slavery

Debt is a whip in modern slavery
The whole point of the minimum six-weeks waiting period in the Universal Credit claiming process is to diminish claimant bargaining power. The fact that the first 7 days' money related to the claim is written off in the sense that the claimant is denied it compounds this fact, as does the fact that 'Short-term-benefit advance' (S.T.B.A.) is a repayable loand deducted at source.

Is Universal Credit a 'flagship' or a 'slaveship'?

Is Universal Credit a 'flagship' or a 'slaveship'

Sunday, 15 October 2017

What do you call a 'death house'?

A Kwuggie writes:
Interesting PIP article, I read the comments below it and from one, learnt a new word 'charnel'. I looked it up. The definition says: short for Charnel House-associated with death. Chancel House anyone?

PIP = Personal Independence Payments, the disability benefit assessed in London by Atos at Chancel House, Marylebone Road. 

DWP call 6 weekks wait 'delivered on time'

DWP calls 6 weeks wait 'delivered on time'

'Universal Credit' is a debt-ridden sick joke

'Universal Credit' is a debt-ridden sick joke

Universal Credit 'flagship' for Neo-Nazism

Universal Credit 'flagship' for Neo-Nazism

DWP statement puppetry, nation of zombies?

DWP statement puppetry, nation of zombies?
For how long will the DWP be able to get away with sending in a statement about how brilliantly Universal Credit is boosting employment and claimant employability, while there is loads of evidence that it is actually making many claimants destitute and demoralised, having to sell everything?

The DWP were told three years ago that less than 6% of a Welsh social landlord's tenants had sufficient savings to manage the long minimum waiting times that claiming Universal Credit entails; and still the DWP carried on as before. (BBC tv 6 o'clock news, Wednesday 11 October 2017.)

Judging by the fact that this Government has carried on regardless with all this inhumane waiting time and the grossly unfair 'Short-Term Benefit Advance' only payable after weeks of waiting and soon followed by deductions at source, that Universal Credit is designed to destroy the spirit of the claimant and make debt slaves of those who might be able to work, and screw the remainder.

Will those listeners who are comparatively comfortable deluge their MPs with 'enough is enough', 'stop this human catastrophe now' calls? Or are we a nation of zombies?

Universal Credit's long waits and short-term-benefits-advance [S.T.B.A.] stab-in-the-back debt slavery

S.T.B.A.: stab-in-the-back debt slavery

Saturday, 14 October 2017

We wage nonviolent war against fiscal state terrorism

We wage nonviolent war against fiscal state terrorism
Fiscal (financial) state terrorism is embedded in right wing welfare reforms, and modern claiming procedures are a minefield. Standing up against such conditions for the welfare of ourselves and others takes great courage and skill. Yet we endeavour not to harm anyone else, even the perpetrators of 'welfare reform' war crimes against the economically vulnerable.

We who uphold the sanctity of social security for all are the real protectors of future generations

Those who take a stand for social security are the real protectors of future generations

Social Security is the only real 'life insurance policy'

Social Security is the only real 'life insurance policy'
Money Marketing reported in 2016:
  1. Theresa May appoints L&G's Godfrey to No. 10 team - Money ...

    Theresa May has appointed John Godfrey as a director of policy in her special adviser team at Number 10. Godfrey joins the policy unit from Legal & General, where he ...
 Well, the Green Party of England & Wales reported in 2008:(2)

The Green Party is ... very concerned about the strong role of one or two private companies in advising the government about the development of welfare to work proposals, particularly in relation to the restructuring of incapacity-related benefits (see Jonathan Rutherford, https://www.lwbooks.co.uk/soundings/36/new-labour-market-state-and-end-of-welfare ) It seems extraordinary that so much attention has been given to the views of a company which is on record as saying that it sees the UK benefits system as one of its major markets for the future; one would expect advice to have been taken from a wider and more balanced range of sources. As Rutherford's paper shows, the credibility of Unum — formerly Unum Provident — has been badly damaged by having been prosecuted for fraudulent businesss in the USA

and independent researcher Mo Stewart later dug much deeper into the links between Unum/Unum Provident, the DWP and Atos and published her findings in the aptly named Cash Note Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state.(3)

Anyhow, since then daytime and night time tv in the UK have been largely colonised by 'life insurance' ads proclaiming that the only real way to protect one's grandchildren is via a life insurance policy, or at worst, a funeral protection plan for oneself so as not to leave one's loved ones enormous bills from one's parting. Of course, much of the daytime tv audience for such ads is made up of older people. The funeral protection plans especially carry the tag, "as long as you keep up the payments" — but what use is such a plan to those "of working age" when it comes to transferring us onto Universal Credit?

Reference links

https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/reports/GPEW_writing_off_workfare_final.doc  NB: The Jonathan Rutherford hyperlink has been updated, as its location on lwbooks website has altered in the nine years since the Green Party publication of its response to a Labour Party 'welfare reform' 'green paper'.

When KUWG with Simon of Occupy Highlighted What Went on at Atos' Tresco House, Lisson Grove Medical Examination Centre

An April 1, 2014 blog post revisited before deleting the original.

Why did the original amass the greatest all-time viewings rate of any Kwug Blog blog post — 4,087 in total? This blog controller reckons that the most probable reason is something to do with the 'permalink' accidentally given to it, which was http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/blog-post.html

KUWG with Simon of Occupy Highlight What Goes on at Atos' Tresco House, Lisson Grove Medical Examination Centre

Anti-Atos Day 2, Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group style

Turning our backs on 'Aggressive, Targets Obsessed Sickos'

Estate agents' boards have their uses!

Benefit claimants reclaim a DWP regional office

Universal Credit 'helpline's' glib response: "Call a friend"

My friend and Honorary Kwuggie Kate Belgrave writes on her Kate Belgrave | Talking with people dealing with public sector cuts blog http://www.katebelgrave.com/:

Learning/literacy difficulties & can’t use online Universal Credit? “Find a friend to help,” says DWP. This is dire

Yesterday, I rang the Universal Credit helpline number (0345 600 4272) to ask about DWP support for Universal Credit claimants who have learning and literacy difficulties, and who struggle to use computers. (I’ve posted a transcript of a recording I made of the call at the end of this article).

This is crucial.

Universal Credit is an online system which claimants must manage online. There is a charged-for helpline which people can call if they get stuck. [£33 per hour, Dude Swheatie adds] The charges for this are controversial. People who have no money can’t afford the calls.

This is crucial.

Universal Credit is an online system which claimants must manage online. There is a charged-for helpline which people can call if they get stuck. The charges for this are controversial. People who have no money can’t afford the calls.

10am 11 October 2017:
UNIVERSAL CREDIT: Is that a case of [someone] sort of not being able to do the online procedures?

KB: Yes. [This man] has learning and literacy difficulties and he’ll be moving to [town name removed] which I think is rolling out [Universal Credit later this year]?

UNIVERSAL CREDIT: Right, okay. So, I would normally say unless there is any source of help local, whether it be friends, family in the area that they are familiar with, if they’ve got friends over there… what we would normally recommend is that a friend or family member help out…separate to that, see if they’ve got a local Citizens’ Advice....
 And so I came up with the following placards in response.

"Call a friend" was a feature of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Quiz Show'
Where are the friends with the expertise required to help someone
navigate a tricky Universal Credit online form?
Where are the Citizens Advice Bureaux that are not in meltdown?

The quiz show referred to here was 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire', hosted by Christ Tarrant. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Wants_to_Be_a_Millionaire%3F_(UK_game_show)

The UN disability committee Chair has described what is going on in the UK regarding the benefit sanctions impact on claimants as a "human catastrophe." https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/uk-faces-un-examination-government-cuts-caused-human-catastrophe/

Enforcing people to do what they cannot do with non-existent help furthers such 'human catastrophe', and it must be stopped. Adapting a sentence from Rabbi Joachim Prinz, President of the American Congress of Jews in a speech made at the same event at which Revd Dr Martin Luther King Jr made the famous [but too little understood] 'I Have a Dream' speech, "Britain must not become a nation of onlookers [in the way that Germany did with the rise of Hitler.]" https://www.haggadot.com/clip/rabbi-joachim-prinz-march-washington-speech-august-28th-1963

We need to get others to join us, to form a 'critical mass' sufficient to
halt the perpetrators of this human catastrophe in their tracks

Placards by Dude Swheatie of Kwug, Human Placard Flower of the KUWG