The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


At war with Eurasia

Posted on August 28, 2013 by

This site has on several occasions praised the Daily Record for its sustained – and almost alone in the UK media – campaigning against the callous savagery of “Work Capability Assessments” carried out for the Department of Work and Pensions by the ironically-named Atos Healthcare, though we’ve also pointed out the Record’s curious reluctance to mention how Atos came to be in that position.

Today, though, mere economy with the truth has evolved into all-out lying.

recordatos

The leader above is one of the most heinous falsehoods ever perpetrated by the Scottish media on its readers. There is no conceivable spin that can be put on the Record’s words to make them true on even the most tenuous and abstract level.

Both the Work Capability Assessment programme, and the hiring of Atos Healthcare to implement it, were policies instigated and carried out by Gordon Brown’s Labour government in 2008, as a consequence of the 2007 Welfare Reform Act which also brought in the original “bedroom tax”.

The WCAs conducted under Labour were not substantively different to those conducted now. Ever since the scheme’s inception, around 40% of judgements were successfully appealed. Despite that, Labour persisted with WCAs and Atos until the 2010 general election. The only changes to welfare policy since Labour was replaced by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition have been in more stringent consequences for those found “fit to work”. The actual tests, their criteria and their purpose are exactly the same as they were when Gordon Brown created them.

Saying that the Tories and the Lib Dems “brought in” Atos, or that they “put them to work in the first place”, is an unequivocal, indisputable, absolute and barefaced lie. It’s true in neither letter nor spirit, and no weasel words or attempted justification can make it true.

This site supports the Record’s admirable campaign against the brutal inhumanity of WCAs. But we won’t stand by and watch the Labour-supporting paper whitewash Labour’s hypocritical responsibility for them out of history.

Print Friendly

    72 to “At war with Eurasia”

    1. Murray McCallum says:

      Tories and New Labour? They seem to have the same policies and should consider joining together. No wonder it’s easy to confuse people over who introduced what.
       
      The Houses of Parliament are where “Work Capability Assessments” urgently need to be carried out.

    2. Kenny Campbell says:

      Tories and ‘Labour’ , only the colour of their ties differ, even then not always…

    3. Doug says:

      I have said it before, I will say it again.  This system of assessments is a cruel joke.  The distress caused is huge, the number of successful appeals is phenomenal.  The number of patients I have seen who have been told they are ‘fit to work’ when it was plain to see they could barely function enough to live a normal life due to whatever illness was just stunning.  I despair.
       
      As to the lies from the Record – sadly, it suits the agenda of making Labour look ‘better’ than the coalition (which is patently a lie in itself).

    4. Ron Wilson says:

      Great piece Rev – the Daily Record have destroyed their credibility on this issue, putting misplaced loyalty to Labour before the disabled and infirm.

    5. les wilson says:

      Well, just when you might think the press in Scotland could not get any lower, it  just did!
      Funny how this lie has come out a couple of days after Millie has proclaimed he  will bring his shadow cabinet to Glasgow. Look out for more of this kind of reporting by Labour sympathizing press  and the BBC.
      This one is more obvious, there will be many more that will be more subtle in order to portray Labour as something they certainly are not! good guys!
      They are the most deceitful party, the same word applies to the MSM. Democracy is dead in Scotland. We have one chance to haul Scotland back from the brink,we really better take it, or god help us.
       

    6. Lindsey Smith says:

      Yes,  very apt title.  I can’t decide whether UK today feels more like 1984, or 1930’s Germany; either way the propaganda machine has certainly cast the poor/disabled as the “baddie”.  Of course, now they have a ‘real war’ almost organised, what the propaganda machine churn out now.
       

    7. Of course, one could view this leader as refreshingly honest: The Record finally admits that NuLabour are indeed Tories in all but name.

    8. scottish_skier says:

      Hmm, from the title I thought this might be about the next jolly war Britain’s about to start. 
       
      From conversing with those south of the border, Syrian intervention is about as popular as a fart in a lift, even with Tory / UKIP voters.
       
      Wonder how well it will go down in Scotland amongst the undecided. Iraq did heinous damage to the union.

    9. The Powers That Be don’t really give two hoots about Syria.  Syria’s defence alliance with Iran means that if foreigners intervene in Syria, Iran may well be pulled in on the Government side. That’s the war the NeoCons are really itching for.

    10. Geoff Huijer says:

      Rewriting history the Labour way.
       
      Labour have not been the ‘party of the poor’ for years
      but having abandoned their principles they still want
      people to believe they are.
       
      And a compliant media are all too happy to help.

    11. Macart says:

      Not an unexpected slant from the Record.
       
      But still disappointing none the less.

    12. Arajag says:

      The only changes to welfare policy since Labour was replaced by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition have been in more stringent consequences for those found “fit to work”. The actual tests, their criteria and their purpose are exactly the same as they were when Gordon Brown created them

      Not true. Labour introduced the ESA in 2008 for new applicants. The assessments were carried out by Atos. It was the decision of the Coalittion to then roll that out to *all* claimants from October 2010. Which is quite a big change.

    13. Mah auld bunnet says:

      Libs/Labs/Tory/UKIP are all one Thatcherite plutocracy now. I canny separate them in sight or sound. It’s govt by the rich for the benefit of the rich even when the country has unsustainable debt and it’s rising £3k a second. The Bankers and city spivs that caused it get the tax breaks and they make the worst off pay, that didn’t have any say in the collapse of the failed Thatcherite experiment. Go on London we’ll see the back o’ ye next year.

    14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Not true. Labour introduced the ESA in 2008 for new applicants.”

      Labour’s policy was always to extend the scheme to all claimants over time.

    15. sneddon says:

      Daily Record’s one last throw for the labour party.  Everyone knows who brought in ATOS.  How stupid do they think people affected by the bedroom tax and welfare act are?  

      O/T just looked at your twitter feed, blimey didn’t know there were so many dickheads apprently on the nationalist side.  Funny that, I’ve been involoved  in the SNP for 20 years but there’s some people tweeting claiming to be in the party I’ve never heard of until now. Conincidence? Or just a bunch of fannies for whom the point is just beyond their grasp.  A sad statement on the state of scottish education.  Top tip  ‘read the article’ and provide factual evidence HTH

      I couldn’t go on twitter, I’d spend all my time slagging people off.  I’d rather do it face to face to be honest. 🙂

    16. Stevie says:

      The article is good but the title sounds like its about Syria – change the title to ‘At war with the truth’.
      I understand the use of media as a controlling weapon but it does confuse.

    17. Mosstrooper says:

      @Stevie.  Not if you’ve read “1984” Note the Rev’s posting of some time ago “Always at war with Eastasia”

    18. Susan says:

      O/T bbc scotlandshire is suggesting where the secret location of the UKOK’s public meeting is.

    19. Arajag says:

       Rev Stu Writes: Labour’s policy was always to extend the scheme to all claimants over time.

      Was it? Do you have any evidence of this?
      Nevertheless, it still stands that it was the Coalittion that  increased hugely the number of people affected by WCA’s. Regardless of what Labour’s plans were.
      You are quite right to say that Labour introduced ESA and Atos. But I don’t think the change from New applicants to all applicants should be just ignored in the article.

    20. James Kay says:

      scottish_skier
      According to this YouGov poll (page 5), Scotland is hardly distinguishable from other parts of the UK in attitudes to war with Syria. If anything, to my surprise, we appear to be slightly more hawkhish!
      http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/9ytf2ekflo/YG-Archive-Pol-Sunday-Times-results-230813.pdf

    21. Brian Powell says:

      Will the S Sun, the Courier, the Press and Journal,the S Mail let this go by?  Probably; right now they want everyone to hate the SG and SNP, if there is a No vote then after that they will soon remember who did it!

    22. #bettertogether with the labour & tory parties, red tories blue tories and yellow tories too. all right wing all attacking the vulnerable.

    23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Nevertheless, it still stands that it was the Coalittion that  increased hugely the number of people affected by WCA’s. Regardless of what Labour’s plans were.”

      That’s not a change to the actual policy, though. The policy is identical, and it’s Labour policy. I don’t think murder is okay if you only murder 20 people instead of 40. The problem I have with it is the murdering, not the stats.

      “You are quite right to say that Labour introduced ESA and Atos. But I don’t think the change from New applicants to all applicants should be just ignored in the article.”

      This isn’t an article about ESA and WCAs. I’ve written several of those in the past, going into much more detail. This is a short piece about a disgraceful lie in the Daily Record.

    24. The Rough Bounds says:

      @James Kay
       
      I suspect this is because the Scots ‘feel’ more for the poor people being gassed.
      The British media has of course fallen into line with the British State Government regarding propaganda against the Syrian Government.
      I personally don’t believe a word of it. And since when did the Syrian Government become ‘the Syrian Regime‘?

    25. Jeannie says:

      Scotlandshire’s new concept – The Nay Team – brilliant!

    26. Angus says:

      The defence of a lacklustre and incapable of government Labour is still prioritised even if the daily record still has a conscience on occasion the bottom line is to defend labour in the main, not that this has resonated with voters in Scotland as labour support is on the same downward slide as the press circulation sales due to be announced today.
       
      Anybody here the ‘soft talk’ interview with some guy representing the press on bbc radio Scotland this morning where he kept citing an ‘adaptive’ media in changing circumstances rather than admit that disenfranchised members of the public are not putting their hands in their pockets to be sold a media turkey on a daily basis.
       

    27. Erchie says:

      Arajag/Wings

      ESA migration was Labour’s plan as well. New claims for Incapacity Benefit ended October 2008.

      From http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forum-archive/index4a41.html
      ““We want almost everyone to be on a journey back to work – either looking for work or taking steps to prepare to return to work in the future.

      “We will continue to increase support to tackle worklessness, with extra help matched by extra obligations to take up the help that is on offer. This includes:

      “Continuing the roll out of the WCA for those where health or disability is a challenge.

      “From October 2010, beginning a reassessment of all customers receiving Incapacity Benefit or Income Support on the grounds of disability for ESA.”
       
      That was Yvette Cooper, Labour minister, in a report ” Building Britain’s Recovery: Achieving Full Employment” published by the DWP in 2009

      http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/9837/1/building-britains-recovery.pdf
      Page 14
      35.     From next year we will begin the assessment of those currently on incapacity benefits
      with the new Work Capability Assessment that focuses on what they can do, rather
      than what they cannot do and increasing help for those who are able to work. We will
      also continue to roll out JSA for lone parents with children over 7 with family-friendly
      safeguards so they can look for work that fits with school hours.
      36.     In line with this, we will now accelerate plans to make out-of-work partners of
      benefits recipients who can work look for a job – ending the historic anomaly
      whereby partners could claim benefit without seeking work when they are able to do so.

      That second one, 36 is also nasty, hitting a lot of basically unpaid carers

    28. Training Day says:

      “Anybody here the ‘soft talk’ interview with some guy representing the press on bbc radio Scotland this morning where he kept citing an ‘adaptive’ media in changing circumstances rather than admit that disenfranchised members of the public are not putting their hands in their pockets to be sold a media turkey on a daily basis.”
       
      Aye, I heard it Angus – a demonstration of wilful ignorance and distortion aided and abetted by the GMS interviewer.  The claim made by the guy that there is a ‘demand’ for the ‘quality journalism’ of the type of which apparently there is no shortage in our MSM will, to readers of this site, seem utterly risible.

    29. scottish_skier says:

      According to this YouGov poll (page 5), Scotland is hardly distinguishable from other parts of the UK in attitudes to war with Syria.
       
      170 people or so unweighted (weighted as part of a UK population demographic rather than to the Scottish demographic) means a big error so subsets are just a rough indicator. However, once again Scotland more ‘opposed’ in most cases although my main point was that if the rUK is not exactly happy with Syria intervention, then you can be damn sure Scotland isn’t either. Scots have a way of making their unhappiness known however… 

    30. saporian says:

      Rev. Re the disgraceful lie in the Daily Record – is this something that could be reported to the Press Complaints Commission?  If so would the Record have to publish a retraction?

    31. scottish_skier says:

      If Cameron does lead Britain into another war which even Tory voters are quite opposed to, Nigel Farage should be happy anyway. Could well give UKIP a boost for the EU elections…

    32. HandandShrimp says:

      Are the Record not simply counting the Blair Brown years as another Tory Government?

    33. Vambomarbeleye says:

      The Eastern world it is exploding.
      Old un’s on the site will know the rest of the lyricis. If you don’t then google it.

    34. Arajag says:

      @Erchie
      Thanks for that post  – I was trying to dig out something that said Labour had intentions to roll it out as happened under the coallition, and I couldn’t find anything, but you have provided proof that this was indeed the case as Stu asserted.
      I think it was an important point to clarify.

      So, Rev, not only do you have the Record making either a massive blunder (haha), or straight up lying, you now have closed the only get out there was; that the Tories rolled it out to all applicants where Labour would not have done.

    35. joe kane says:

      WOS is correct in praising the Daily Record for its fine old school journalism social justice campaign regarding the DWP and Atos unethical and unscientific human rights atrocity of the ESA regime. Same goes for the Herald and the Scotsman, all of whom have actively sought out the opinions of the grassroots Edinburgh-based Black Triangle Campaign (on Facebook, Twitter and dedicated website) which is fighting these medical atrocities tooth and nail. Our three main Scotland-based newspapers have been magnificent. Compare their sympathetic coverage to that of the Scottish editions of London-centric papers and it could be more stark. The Sun, Express and Daily Mail are vile beyond belief. The Daily Mail has even gone as far as printing an “arbeitsscheu” map of Britain.

      In a recent speech Labour’s Shadow DWP Secretary Liam Byrne has promised to retain the whole ESA regime along with every other piece of Coalition policy and spending cuts and caps on the welfare state to date. He’s promising any future Labour Government will make the Work Capability Assessment and Atos work more efficiently, but the whole point of the ESA disability denial regime is to throw as many long-term patients off social security benefits as possible. Even when sick and disabled patients qualify for ESA benefit nowhere does the DWP actually acknowledge they are either sick or disabled. They are all on a “claimants journey” back to work which includes those with degenerative diseases and terminal illnesses. Hence the reason for the constant never-ending merry-go-round of assessments, Appeals Tribunals and desperately sick and disabled people with obviously long-term health conditions having to keep re-applying for ESA.

      The ESA regime needs to be abolished not reformed or have a better private firm to carry out its tests. This whole neoliberal biopsychosocial disability denial ideology was developed and pioneered under 13 years of a Labour Government. It has been adopted by as the official ideology of the DWP and even the Ministry of Defence which uses it deny there is anything physically wrong with Gulf War Syndrome veterans in order to deny them war pensions.

      Here is essential background reading which used to be available on Compass Online –
      New Labour, the market state and the end of welfare
      John Rutherford
      http://www.midmoors.co.uk/Unum/unum_in_uk.pdf

      Reference –
      Workshy map of Britain revealed: Thousands of incapacity benefit claimants found to be capable of working
      Daily Mail
      04 May 2013
      http://archive.is/7bibS 
      Fiscal Discipline in Social Security: DWP under Labour in 2015 – Byrne
      Labour 
      21 Aug 2013
      http://www.labour.org.uk/fiscal-discipline-in-social-security,2013-08-21

    36. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “So, Rev, not only do you have the Record making either a massive blunder (haha), or straight up lying, you now have closed the only get out there was; that the Tories rolled it out to all applicants where Labour would not have done.”

      Well, Erchie has, while I was working. But I knew it was true, because I remembered it extremely clearly.

      I’ve emailed the Record’s “readers’ editor” about the error, with the appropriate sources. I look forward to their correction tomorrow.

    37. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Rev. Re the disgraceful lie in the Daily Record – is this something that could be reported to the Press Complaints Commission? If so would the Record have to publish a retraction?”

      Good point. Might drop them a line too. Man, I need days with more hours in them.

    38. Erchie says:

      @joe kane
      Thanks for that link. I can never find the old copy of that and it is a bloody important article

    39. joe kane says:

      My pleasure Erchie.

      Just out of interest, take a look at the slide presentation given by former Labour Government mandarin and current coalition government mandarin Dame Carol Black at Glasgow University, September 2011, where she compares sick and disabled people on benefits to a Victorian plague of cholera. See slide 6 of her presentation entitled “Turning the tap off”
      http://www.gla.ac.uk/researchinstitutes/healthwellbeing/research/publichealth/hwlgroup/scottishobservatoryforworkhealth/worklessnessandhealthsymposium/

      Dame Carol Black is the current government academic medical mandarin responsible for pioneering and implementing a loopy Atos-style WCA for sick and disabled workers which the government hopes to roll out sometime in 2014 –
      New support to tackle long term sickness absence
      17 Jan 2013 
      gov.uk 
      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-support-to-tackle-long-term-sickness-absence

      The sharp eyed will notice that Labour and the Tories haven’t just adopted the same biopsychosocial disability denial ideology and the same anti-welfare policies but they also share the same personnel when it comes to the ongoing destruction of the British welfare state such as Dame Black and Lord Freud.

    40. Arajag says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      28 August, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Good point. Might drop them a line too. Man, I need days with more hours in them.
      My advice would be to spend the time you would use contacting the PCC more constructively, like, say, watching paint dry.
      I once had a complaint that actually got quite far with them, about Littlejohn, but it all came to naught.
      Basically, unless you are personally affected by an outright lie printed in the press, and by that I mean they print something like “Stuart Campbell in torrid love affair with Johann Lamont” then they will, at best, pay you lip service.

    41. Tris says:

      In fairness, it is easy to mix the Tories and Labour up.
       
      But seriously, were the press always this mendacious, or is it a recent thing?

    42. Eddie says:

      Another attempt by the Daily Sevco to sheperd their readership into voting Labour and conveniently lying about who implemented these cuts in benefit for those who really deserve it.
       
      Truth be told, I do believe there is a need to reform benefits but not with a one size fits all approach where the most needy are lumped in with the most greedy.

    43. Frances says:

      Tris,
      The press have always been this mendacious! 
       
      Morag a few weeks ago recommended Murray Ritchies Scotland Reclaimed.  It is essential reading on how both Labour and their support network of MSM works.  The read is fascinating, terrifying and hilarious all at the same time.  Thanks Morag.

    44. Betsy says:

      Atos were carrying out the old incapacity tests as well -they weren’t much better at those either. Labour knew exacyly what they were doing when the handed ESA over to them.

    45. Stuart Andrews says:

      I was born without a backpasage way as a child and also with NO MUSCLES in my bowel areas that help me go to the bathroom etc, after 12 major operations and a calostomy bag insetrted then taking out i still have no control over my bowel movements and for the past year bleed on a daily basis, I had a meeting only a few month ago with an ATOS doctor who said he could clearly see my distress and daily problems and that i was due to see anotherr surgeon in the next month that he was satisfied and that i my case would be reviwed in 6 MONTHS, about 2 WEEKS later i get a letter saying all my money had been stopped as you need 15 points to get my money and the doctor i seen awarded me……. NONE, ZERO, NIL,
       
      EVERYTHING he said to me in the interview etc was a LIE!!!!
      He had no intention of giving me any points or reviewing ANYTHING in 6 months he just wanted me out the room and off benefits….
       
      So im forced to have to now take new “pointless” multiple choice” exams and find another £220 to try seek employment that i will struggle to keep…
       
       
      If anyone wishes to contact me for my story etc in more detail and more info on how much i have personally been screwed over by the NHS, and ATOS, DWP then by all means please do
       
      STUART
       
      mrstuartandrews [at] live [dot] co [dot] uk

    46. Titler says:

      One reason why I’ve only been dipping into Wings here and there is because I’ve been fighting exactly this on behalf of my fully autistic brother, who has a Tribunal this Friday to appeal the decision to move him from disability to Work Related Activity Group ESA (which is designed to eventually move you to JSA).

      It’s true that Labour introduced this hateful system, and it was unfair then. However the rise in awareness of it’s horror is coming from the Tories both tightening up the medical criteria that ATOS are set, and the forthcoming swap to Universal Credit which will remove the Disability benefit entirely, when it’ll be rolled into the Personal Independence Payment;
      https://www.gov.uk/pip-checker
      http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-points-system

      This is being applied across the board and is already being rolled out to stealth privatize social services. It’s coming not from ATOS but from Coallition policy, at both national and local Council level.

      I’ve mentioned this before, but let me just recap to illustrate the wider problem; I volunteered at a daycentre for them for 6 years in Bristol, it used to get a £80,000 block grant which covered all our staff and material expenditure. That was removed, and replaced with PIPs for individual clients. I ran a petition against this, and braved making a speech to Bristol City Council in session, but the argument they used against it was “We’re not closing your daycentre, just changing the way it’s funded!” 

      In reality, when it came to individual elderly assessments most (about 26 out of 30 or so) didn’t get a PIP for daycare as it was classed as “Non-Essential”.  When it was pointed out this meant they couldn’t go, the argument used again was “They can! They can choose to spend their PIP any way they like!” Meaning, they’d have to sacrifice “Essentials” to go, things like transport to hospital, or things that you can imagine how serious they were, if ATOS acknowledged them. And you the daycentre you had to operate like a business, and persuade the client they wanted to spend their PIP with you more than they did elsewhere.

      The daycentre closed a month or two back, because of course, our clients needed the other things too. They didn’t have the PIP money to spend on other things as well, let alone instead of, and as a charity providing social care, we weren’t set up to fight over the limited PIP with powers of marketing and persuasion.

      Now, what’s been happening is that yes, the Government have been pushing the harder medicals, but not just because of the Disability issue itself, but to try and avoid the absolute tidal wave that will come with the swap to Universal Credit and the closing of DLA.
      My brother was caught in the first wave of this, but my mother, who isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, didn’t understand what being moved into the Work Related Activity Group meant. I basically badgered her into appealing, and it’s taken a year for the Tribunal to turn up, so overloaded are they already with people being caught under the new criteria. And the logic behind that is to get him classed as not-quite-as-disabled in advance, so when it swapped to PIP he then wouldn’t be awarded one, as he was not listed as being Disabled in that sense.

      So whilst acknowledging this;
      “The only changes to welfare policy since Labour was replaced by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition have been in more stringent consequences for those found “fit to work”. The actual tests, their criteria and their purpose are exactly the same as they were when Gordon Brown created them.”

      … it also misses the point. The purpose has changed. They aren’t just using the criteria to toughen up definitions of disability; they’ll will use it to destroy the entire concept of state support for disability itself. Like my daycentre, they are switching off the funding behind the scenes now, ready to swap to PIP, and the charities and care suppliers need to budget now for a funding stream they cannot predict at all. And isn’t likely to be there for the same numbers, because of the medical tests. In effect, they have to plan for a massive cut in funding even before one has been announced, due to the medical standards applied. The more people who fail a PIP now, the more insecure and likely to fold the State sector becomes.

      Then when people aren’t given the money for those things via PIP, and even if some of them are, there won’t be any services there for them to use. And once the care support itself is gone, any money that is awarded… is likely to just sit in the PIP bank account unspent. Because who knows what will be lost next? Better be careful with what money you do get eh? Thus you destroy the State, cut funding for social care, and what funds are awarded a chunk of it will sit with the Banks. It’s a true Tory wet dream.

      And best of all… you have “Personal Independence!” to choose where the hammer falls! Peance! Freance!
       
      The Record then, whilst being outright wrong about who started ATOS and the medical tests… is actually completely right about the fact policy has changed. Labour had kept central funding and DLA. The Tories have replaced it with PIP. My daycentre had run for 20 years previously. It’s gone now. Because the policy is being applied with a much wider assault on the State behind it. And that’s due entirely to the Coalition. In the face of such unmitigated evil then… I’m somewhat more tolerant of the Record telling an outright lie about where it started. The point now is, where the fight currently is

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to work on a letter to my MP protesting against breaking international law to prove it’s wrong to… break… international…
       
      Fuck me, I’m so exhausted with this crap.
       

    47. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’ve been fighting exactly this on behalf of my fully autistic brother, who has a Tribunal this Friday to appeal the decision to move him from disability to Work Related Activity Group ESA (which is designed to eventually move you to JSA).”

      Meanwhile, outside a tiny clique of insufferable political wankers obsessing about language, this is happening:

      http://t.co/PKVEnrB1uY

      I didn’t lose a wink of sleep over a bunch of wankers calling me names, and I’m usually pretty steely with the written word (compared to movies or songs), but I wept with fucking rage reading that this afternoon.

    48. Morag says:

      Bloody hell, Titler. I don’t know how you cope.

    49. We all I think know it was the last Labour government that brought in ATOS,and I do hope that was the very LAST LABOUR GOVERNMENT.

    50. Titler says:

      “I didn’t lose a wink of sleep over a bunch of wankers calling me names, and I’m usually pretty steely with the written word (compared to movies or songs), but I wept with fucking rage reading that this afternoon.”
       
      I hope I’ve not come across as one of those wankers. You know I disagree with you on some areas of debate (mainly this Scotland thing, ho ho ho) but I am critical on the small details because this is exactly where they’re hiding the reaming these days. 

      I left the daycentre just before it closed because we used to have blazing arguments over PIP, and the office staff thought I was being too political; they just wanted the Block Grant back, and couldn’t (or didn’t want to) understand that the PIP was why they never could get it, not without tackling the whole destructive nature of it.

      The story you link to is agonizing yes; but this is the line you need to watch.

      “there is an industrial, machinated subjugation of ill people to demeaning, degrading, invasive medical assessments being enforced at the behest of a pathological DWP and implemented by an arrogant, uncertain ATOS.”

      You can, and usually do beat that attitude at Tribunal. When my brother goes to Tribunal, there will be an independent Doctor and professional Judge sitting in judgement. But they can’t change the Law, which is the medical criteria, and centrally set. They can get around it though, if you can prove that the spirit of the law is met… for instance when the law says “cook a meal”, the law means “Meat and two veg”, it doesn’t mean “buttons on microwave”. On the form however you have to either tick or not tick a box. In person, the doctor can judge that accurately, judge the difference between theoretical ability to support yourself and practical incapability, and thus the high success rates of tribunals.

      But what does it matter if Meals On Wheels can’t budget for you getting the correct PIP payment for them, or it’s redefined as “Non Essential” to bring you meals anyway so no one gets payment for that? Even if you win at tribunal, even if you prove you need food provided, the service is gone. The medical is just part of a much wider, and much more evil policy.

      And THATS what infuriates me. Same with my brother. Even if he wins (and I’ve been coaching my mother all week to list the problems he has… yes he can get meals; he’ll go to the fridge and take and eat raw bacon if you dont watch him. That doesn’t mean he’s healthy) he’s going to lose long term, unless something seriously changes.

      Like Independence maybe? Well… maybe. Fucking Labour will follow the Tories rightwards still; “Oh we don’t approve of ATOS, but we can’t take away people’s Personal Independence!” They’ll do it in Scotland too. My concerns are more abstract then, how do we stop Wankerism?
       
       

    51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I hope I’ve not come across as one of those wankers.”

      No, of course not.

    52. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “They’ll do it in Scotland too. My concerns are more abstract then, how do we stop Wankerism?”

      Labour has a party to the left of it in Scotland, and the Tories are still toxic, so Labour will have no reason to drift right if decoupled from the need to pacify right-wing English swing voters.

      How to solve it in England is where my insight runs dry.

    53. Morag says:

      The thing is, there’s nothing really wrong with the principle of assessing people and helping them to become more independent and weeding out the lead-swingers. If it was done sympathetically and realistically for that purpose, and not as a means to cutting back and saving and just basically dumping the disabled on the rubbish heap.

      What’s actually being done is however a howling scandal.

    54. Titler says:

      As an aside, here’s the letter I meanwhile completed to my MP; feel free to use any of it if you are also pushing against current UK policy. Some feelings that make sense from an Indy perspective too I know; if your major powers insist on being wankers, it makes sense to pull yourself away from them… just holy fuck, is this what it has to come too?!


      Dear Kerry McCarthy,
       
      You will no doubt receive many, many emails expressing an opinion on the forthcoming House of Commons vote; we do not as yet know what the terms of debate will be, but we can be sure of one thing before Thursday… The United Nations inspection team will not have had time to report back on whether chemical weapons have been used in Syria, let alone who may have done so. No matter what evidence is provided by the security services, this means that the United Nations will not have been able to take a vote, or at least an informed one, on whether any such action could be legally justified.
       
      Syria in turn is not a signatory of any treaties outside of the United Nations framework which would justify any external action either.
       
      This means that any action would be outside of International Law.
       
      Ignoring the whole concept of International Law will do more damage to the safety and security of the people of the world than waiting a few weeks to ensure the correct criminal is punished for a proven crime. A quote from the sordid history of the League of Nations.
       
      “Let us be frank with ourselves. There is on all sides complaint, criticism and suspicion. People are complaining that the League is devoting its activity to matters of secondary or very minor importance, while the vital international problems of the day, problems which touch the very existence of our peoples, are being shelved or postponed or ignored. People are saying that the equality of States does not apply here in the things that matter, that the smaller States whilst being given a voice have little real influence in the final determination of League action; and that they have not that which they were intended, or are entitled, to have under the Covenant. People are becoming impatient and starting even to enquire whether the apparently meagre, face-saving results of successive League conferences and meetings justify the burden which contributions to the League budget and the expense of sending delegation after delegation to Geneva, impose upon the already over-burdened national taxpayer. Finally, there is a suspicion abroad that little more than lip-service is paid to the fundamental principles on which the League is founded: there is a suspicion that the action of the League in the economic sphere can be paralysed by the pressure of powerful national interests, and that if the hand that is raised against the Covenant is sufficiently strong, it can smite with impunity.
       

      Opening address by Eamon de Valera to the Thirteenth Assembly of the League of Nations

      Geneva, 26 September 1932

      http://www.difp.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=1496
       
      History has shown what the failure of the League of Nations eventually meant. Are we to discredit our own United Nations even further now, simply because “We Must Act”, even against the world’s will?  After Italy invaded Abyssinia in 1935, de Valera went on to state;
       
      “peace is dependent upon the will of the great States. All the small States can do, if the statesmen of the greater States fail in their duty, is resolutely to determine that they will not become the tools of any great Power and that they will resist with whatever strength they may possess every attempt to force them into a war against their will.”
       
      Is this the world we intend to inhabit again, one where the great States cannot be trusted to respect their own legal obligations, and the small must secure themselves with what ever means they can? Is this, and the assault upon Iraq before it, not an argument for rather than against eschewing any weapons possible, including chemical, to try and assure your own sovereignty? Is a violent unpredictable world, where being a paranoid dictator with weapons of mass destruction makes sense really the world we want to create? Must we continue to see the rise of the far xenophobic Right in our own countries yet again, because “England Alone” is to be the name of the game?
       
      It is not enough to abstain in any Commons vote which chooses to launch an internationally illegal act then; to do so will still allow the Government to claim it had a majority to do so. The Government has no such majority. None of the recent polls of the public support such an act. Note even in the Sun or the Telegraph.
       
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10267519/Should-the-UK-pursue-military-action-against-Syria.html
      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/5099867/brits-say-no-to-war-in-syria.html
       
      Any abstention will allow the act to physically occur. It must not be allowed to do so, even if it any strike were to hit the people responsible for any horrendous massacre. That would still be seen as an accidental good in the name of a completely hypocritical and illegal act, taken before any honest targetting could have been done. The UK Government must wait for proven facts. Not “Dodgy Dossiers”. Not “The US Believes”. The whole concept of independent, honest justice is at stake, and if we cannot lay claim to even that, we abandon any “Soft Power” we could conceivably have in the midst of a much worse security situation for all.
       
      As my MP, I call upon you to VOTE NO to any military action against Syria at this time. To defend the international laws so many struggled to build over generations, which were set up over the graves of so many millions of people; to not forget the lessons of history and to resist the temptations of the shock of the moment, and demand the Government wait until the United Nations can clearly state who and what crimes where committed.
       
      Yours Sincerely,
       
      (me)”
       
      Oops, one or two minor spelling mistakes I see. Oh well, it’s an MP, she won’t likely read it anyway (although Mr Auto Reply was nice and prompt)

    55. Titler says:

      “Labour has a party to the left of it in Scotland, and the Tories are still toxic, so Labour will have no reason to drift right if decoupled from the need to pacify right-wing English swing voters.”
       
      That explains why you have a Left, it doesn’t explain why you don’t have a cynical political machine like England. One criticism of Alex Salmond is that he makes “gaffes”, that is he actually says what he’s thinking; in Westminster that would destroy him, but it doesn’t seem to bother the Scots electorate. When polled, such honesty seems to appeal to the English electorate too; But there’s something in the English political culture which seems to punish honesty and the outsider… hence why Nigel Farange, although his politics are largely shared by the Southern media and establishment, is mocked too for being an auteur. It’s as if it’s more important to be part of the culture than part of the Left/Right… which is why when Scots mock Farange, well as one of us compared to Scotland, suddenly he’s defended by the same media (as is any politician when the hoi polloi start throwing fruit or eggs)

      I struggle with the idea that the Scots are just too cannae to fall for it, or the English are too dumb to see it happening. But how to stop it taking root, or uproot it where it has, I’m not sure.

    56. Morag says:

      Canny. Cannae is a contraction of cannot.

    57. Braco says:

      Stuart Andrews,
      my god, what a fucking country! It’s of no use to you I know Andrew, but you have my whole hearted moral support over your disgusting treatment. I am ashamed to have any part in a society like this!

      I will work as hard as I possibly can to bring down this morally septic political system, that cares nothing for it’s own citizens, but focuses all, on the small chosen elite.

      This thing has come down to a choice between civilisation or barbarism. It’s hard to believe this is Britain, but it’s slowly sinking in.

      I apologise for my inability to help or even express my feelings properly. I hope someone takes you up on your brave offer and blows your story all over the MSM. Name and shame that shit of a ‘doctor’ for a start!

    58. Davy says:

       
      “Titler & Stuart Andrews”, It takes a lot of guts to go through what you two both have, and thats both mentally and phyiscally. And with every fibre of my being I hope things turnout for the very best that they can for the both of you.
       
      Your experiences help to remind myself and I hope many other people, that the reasons for fighting for independence are many, but sociel and economic justice for the people of our country must be at the top of them.
       
      People should be the priority before political parties and their mantra’s, and a ‘Scotland fair and honourable in both word and deed’ should be our ambition.
      I wish you both the very best.
      Caesar! Gu snooker loopy! 
       

    59. Braco says:

      Titler,
      thanks for the posts and for helping to explain the organised, multi fronted nature of the assault being perpetrated on our welfare state by the current system of government. I use the word system because I simply cannot see any way of changing this through the vote for a Westminster party. They all seem completely captured! 
       
      Without Independence to work for and invest my hopes in I would be completely lost. I don’t know how you keep going, but you have my admiration. Maybe the shock waves of Scottish Independence will weaken the British political foundations just enough to allow some sort of progressive change throughout the British Isles? What’s the alternative? I honestly can’t for the life of me see one.
       
      Thanks again Titler and good luck with your brother’s appeal. I will have everything crossed for him.

    60. Braco says:

      Stuart Andrews,
      sorry for calling you Andrew there, was struggling so much with trying to put down my disgust of it all. My apologies.

    61. Robert says:

      Yet again they “have been weighed, you have been measured and been found wanting” (no apologies to A Knights Tale)

    62. Braco says:

      Davy,
       A great post, the sentiments of which I would like, whole heartedly, to associate myself with.

    63. Scotus says:

      – and Morag – the number of orphaned and misplaced apostrophes on here is driving me batshit!

    64. john king says:

      tried to post a comment on the daily record
      “Would the Daily Record care to remind its readership WHO  actually employed ATOS? no ? well let me elucidate it was Gordon Browns government, so lets not try to kid people on here eh? 
      if you want naked aggression against the disabled then Labour are just as capable of that as the tories”
      response
      We are unable to add your comment at this time.
      oh? I wonder why?

    65. Henn Broon says:

      But I don’t think the change from New applicants to all applicants should be just ignored in the article.
       
      This poster seems to be under the misapprehension that there is some sort of difference, there is none. Its just a matter of semantics.
        
      The old system of Invalidity benefit was changed in 1995 to Incapacity benefit and was granted in blocks of 1, 2 and 3 years depending on the applicants condition. After each of these periods a further application needed to be made. On the fourth year of application, and if there was no improvement in the applicants condition, there was the possibility of it being extended indefinitely. I’m making a distinction from DLA here which if awarded could be awarded for life.
       
      Three years after Incapacity Benefit was implemented it was the first target that the Labour party went after in their shake up of the Welfare State and under the auspices of one Alistair Darling too. Then when the ESA was implemented those not on IB ‘indefinite’ were reassessed as NEW ESA claimants. Effectively IB was moved over to ESA creating these so called NEW applicants from the existing claimants from the old IB. In other words there were no new IB claimants after Oct 2008 only ESA.
       
      ESA has an annual or bi annual review. Each review is treated as a NEW claim therefore everyone NOT assessed as ‘indefinite’ had to be reassessed regardless of whether their own personal circumstances had changed or not. I know all about this as I’ve been dealing with it for a long time as I have a family member who is mentally handicapped (there is no possibility of any change in circumstance ever occurring other than death) and was in receipt of IB indefinite award and is now on ESA. As I’ve already said I deal with all their correspondence and have done since before and after the closure of Remploy Hillington in 2008 when they were made redundant.
       
      In short the Daily Record argument is spurious at best.

    66. Clydebuilt says:

      Great article Rev.
       
      Going to email to my contacts.
       
      Magnify the readership of the site.

    67. Stevie says:

      I appreciate the helpful comment on Orwell but in truth I had understood the ‘Eurasia’ metaphor – just saying, that given the current Syrian BritNat warmongering, I felt it a tad confusing as a title for people wandering on to the site, and as someone who links to the articles it was probably a bit confusing for people not used to the WOS site.  That said, no big deal in the end.  The good reverand does a stand up job always.

    68. joe kane says:

      I see the Scottish Labour Party website has managed to disappear a webpage devoted to a visit to Atos HQ in Scotland, in Livingston, by Ed Miliband and Ian Gray in 2011. Miliband went out of his way to go to the Livingston HQ to hold a meaningless press conference when it would have been far more convenient to hold one in the capital. If memory serves me right, he praised Atos for all the great work it was doing.
      Here is the empty link –
      http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/iain-gray-and-ed-miliband-visit-veterans-charity 

      Thankfully the Black Triangle Campaign has preserved some of the images for posterity, here is one –
      Ed Miliband defends Labour’s introduction of the Biopsychosocial Unum/AtoS Assessment régime and scrapping of DLA for PIP 
      08 Apr 2013
      http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2013/04/08/ed-miliband-defends-labours-introduction-of-the-biopsychosocial-unumatos-assessment-regime-and-scrapping-of-dla-for-pip/

      Here is a small image gallery of the visit –
      http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/lZEXo_HozEn/Ed+Miliband+Scottish+Labour+Leader+Iain+Gray/TwjSogl9jod

    69. Grant Murphy says:

      @ joe kane
       
      That deleted page can be viewed on Wayback Machine –
      http://web.archive.org/web/20130201203417/http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/iain-gray-and-ed-miliband-visit-veterans-charity
      and it’s now on Archive.is too –
      http://archive.is/8ez8E

    70. Titler says:

      Bitter sweet moment tonight; on the phone preparing my mother for the ESA Tribunal tomorrow, watching the results of the Syria vote in the background… “You have to realise, our Government is shit, you can’t just trust them to be fair even to your disabled son… but wait… they also just lost a vote and Cameron is being yelled at to resign. So there’s some hope long term. Hang in there. Get through tomorrow first.”  And then I hung up and smiled.

      Following up on the more recent thread; I shall also Reward Good Behaviour ™ and write to my MP and thank her for holding the party line, and whilst remaining overall shit too also ensuring what may turn out to be a historical change in the unwritten constitution; now Parliament, not Prime Minister or Party claims the right to decide war. And some of the ghosts of the past 10 years are blown away…
      http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/isabel-hardman/2013/08/david-cameron-attacks-blairs-ghost-in-syria-debate/

    71. Titler says:

      Result; My brother won his tribunal in under 10 minutes.
      ATOS assessment; somewhere under 15 points,
      Independent doctor’s assessment: 68 points. Hmm, just a little difference eh? Also instructions to the DWP that there be no further medicals for another 2 years and return to full disability benefits back dated to the previous.
      My mother took him to Toys R Us to calm him down afterwards, and I said I wanted half his disability money for sorting out all his paperwork and so I could go to Toys R Us as well… Lego for the legal!
      Anyway, to those who have a fight ahead of them, keep on fighting. You’re not wrong, you’re not dishonest; when a genuine independent doctor can look at your claim, they can see the DWP is seriously and deliberately under-representing people’s illness. Make sure you have your day in court and prove it. 

    72. Braco says:

      Titler,
      brilliant result! A sick joke that you and your family had to go through it in the first place. I am sure it’s weight off, so congratulations and well done man.



    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.




    ↑ Top