Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

ATOS: National Day of Demonstrations, Ipswich Wednesday 19th February.

with 54 comments


Ipswich Demo.  19.2.14.

As part of the National protests in Ipswich there will be a demonstration:


ATOS Assessment Centre, St Felix House. Silent Street, Ipswich IP1 1TF.

19th February 2014.

10am till 5.30 pm.

Information on ATOS National Demo Page Facebook.

Ipswich Facebook site: here.

IDS Coffin

From Ipswich Demo Tuesday 19.2.14.


Written by Andrew Coates

February 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm

54 Responses

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  1. The statistics as far as I know is 10,600 died when benefits were withdrawn after WCA up until stats stopped in end of 2011; 1300 people died after being declared “fit to work”.

    No recent figures exist. This is one of the most shocking and scandalous LabLibCon policies in recent history – if not the most. Most members of the public are unaware of the extent of the unlawful killing of these sick and disabled people, and the attack on the living sick and disabled people.

    I really hope I can make it. I cannot rule out any violence. Andy, do you know how many people are expected (not everyone has or uses facebook)?

    Universal Jobmatch

    February 15, 2014 at 6:47 pm

  2. See you all there… 🙂

    Molatov Cocktail

    February 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    • Give us a heads up, Molotov, so can evacuate the immediate area… lol

      Universal Jobmatch

      February 15, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    • Bring some petrol to the party…. 🙂 lol

      Incendiary Device

      February 17, 2014 at 12:37 am

  3. I am not directly involved, it’s the DPAC (Disabled People Against the Cuts) people autonomously organising this.

    Last time we had about 30 people.


    Andrew Coates

    February 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    • Anyone in Luton, Beds, demo outside atos building in Alma St, Luton, 8am suoported by People’s assembly n Trades Council, Wednesday 19 February

      kat rehman

      February 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    • I noticed the Norwich protest got brief TV coverage on the news

      Universal Jobmatch

      February 19, 2014 at 10:32 pm

  4. Some more hate for the homeless from the anti-hero, ideas thief and hypocrite – John Bird (founder of The Big Issue)


    He believes that a good old fashioned stint of being sectioned, over medicated, ignored and/or abused in a secure MH ward is the answer to those who repeatedly find themselves homeless.

    MH wards in the UK (as they really are, not as they are supposed to be) are recognised as the least therapeutic environment for those with significant MH problems. It is unlikely that anyone sectioned in this manner will ever receive appropriate assessment from a Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist. The person is likely to be dumped back out to Primary Care without any kind of plan or support and because they are likely still to be homeless on release they won’t be able to sign on with a GP.

    There’s some hard core, homeless hate from Mr Bird and astounding arrogance, there’s also a huge ignorance about addiction and homelessness. He calls for institutionalising the homeless. How has being institutionalised ever helped anyone?

    “Mental illness doesn’t account for 100 per cent of the homeless problem. But it accounts for the vast majority of it”

    Mr Bird thinks his one size fits all approach will fix homelessness. One size never fits all, but always fits everyone badly, and he says he’s interested in saving lives.

    John Bird you are a ludicrous prick.


    February 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

  5. Lets hope Mr Bird is never put in charge of mental Health Issues. The man has such compassion! I don’t think!

    Carol Joyce

    February 16, 2014 at 4:59 pm

  6. I think John Bird is lining himself up for a nice little earner as the government’s Homelessness Tsar. I suspect that with the levels of hate he has expressed in that article that IDS and Lord Fraud will be fighting with Cameron as to who gets to use John Bird first.


    February 17, 2014 at 9:33 am

    • Lord Bird of C***ville?

      John Bird is a C***!!

      February 17, 2014 at 10:09 am

    • I think he’s lining himself up for a gong, i.e. knighthood/peerage. And John Bird isn’t just a c****, he’s a massive, massive c****!

      jj joop

      February 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm

  7. AUF WIEDERSEHEN, PET – Exporting Unemployment

    Although I don’t want to overshadow the ATOS protest on Wednesday, there is another event taking place on Wednesday in Glasgow organised by the European Employment Service (EURES).

    Jobcentres are handing out leaflets about this “World of Work”, with the question: “What if your job was in another country or a different part of the UK”?

    Jobseekers are being asked to sign the following declaration:

    “I authorise the DWP to share my personal details with all recruiting employers participating in the World of Work Recruitment Event, Wednesday 19 February 2014. I understand my information will be used to help me secure employment and match my application with job opportunities and will not be shared with any other persons”


    February 17, 2014 at 10:42 am

    • It’s a good job I don’t sign on while thursday then!

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      February 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    • That declaration is pretty much an invitation to the claimant to sanction themselves.


      February 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    • Tobanem:

      That DWP statement contradicts itself – many will be caught out.


      I authorise the DWP to share my personal details with all recruiting employers .

      and Here:

      will not be shared with any other persons.

      How stupid do they think we are.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      February 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

  8. UK Government Pays Sex Clubs to Employ Teenage Girls.

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has paid cash incentives of over £2,000 to lap-dancing bars and similar establishments to hire young unemployed people aged 18-24 as part of its Youth Contract scheme.

    Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart, who unearthed details of the payments and has now raised the matter in Parliament, has demanded to know how many people employed in such establishments go on to become sex workers.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 17, 2014 at 12:50 pm

  9. […] They are disgustingly comparing ATOS methods of Means Testing with the Nazi’s Final Solution. You can see the leaflet here […]

  10. The end of ATOS:


    But don’t start celebrating just yet, it’s a new beginning for the likes of G4S, Serco, A4E and Capita and others – who are all in the list of preferred bidders for the new contract!

    God help the sick!!


    February 18, 2014 at 9:29 am

    • Looks as if things will get worse as the Government is rather content with Atos just feel that they are being paid too much? A4e tried to get into “healthcare” so perhaps they will go for the contract? G4s would be so lucky, and Serco and Capita are in prime position I would have thought.

      Perhaps they want to avoid a single provider to strengthen their anti-disabled stance.

      Universal Jobmatch

      February 18, 2014 at 9:37 am

  11. I saw John Bird on C4 last night on the post-Benefit Street debate. The guy is clearly bonkers and should be sectioned.

    jj joop

    February 18, 2014 at 9:54 am

    • I couldn’t bring myself to watch it.

      That, and something about Immigration on Channel Five, what a night!

      Andrew Coates

      February 18, 2014 at 11:34 am

  12. The ‘Bishop’ is bashing IDS/DWP yet again.

    “The voices that I hear express anger and despair … Something is going seriously wrong when, in a country as affluent as ours, people are left in that destitute situation and depend solely on the handouts of the charity of food banks,” Nichols said.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 18, 2014 at 1:09 pm

  13. Yes, last night’s TV aired quite a bit about benefits.

    Have a look at “Newsnight” (around the 14 minute mark):



    February 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm

  14. Atos Healthcare blog.

    Protests targeted at Atos Healthcare Assessment Centres on 19th February.


    Looks like Atos are rather worried regarding the Demo’s.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 18, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    • …and note how the blog post has space for comments but no comments published!

      They are such cowards.


      February 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    • Plus as Tobenham pointed out, “The government is preparing to oust Atos Healthcare from its £500m contract administering millions of fit-for-work tests for sick and disabled people, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

      A leaked Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) financial review says ministers across government are working together to build up competition to the multinational company by commissioning other private firms to add “further capacity” to the assessment system. The DWP will then enable “these providers to take over the whole contract” from Atos after the present agreement expires in 2015.

      Atos has become the lightning rod for widespread public and political anger over the health test, known as the work capability assessment. The test has been criticised by MPs and campaigners as crude and inhumane, amid mounting evidence that hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people have been wrongly judged to be fit for work and ineligible for government support.

      Ministers have been in private discussions with the company since the summer over the quality of its operation. Last week the disability minister Mike Penning told MPs that Atos’s work had caused “real concern” because too many people appeal against their decisions.

      Penning also said the current contract setup, with a single company holding a monopoly on the contract, was “flawed”. He was responding to the Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams, who said complaints from his constituents about the work capability tests had reached a “head of steam”.

      “I’m not just getting constituents …coming to me but actually I’m getting them saying the DWP themselves are saying ‘go and complain to your MP’. Surely at that point we have to ask if the system is working in the appropriate way? We are talking about some of the most vulnerable people after all,” Williams said.

      Labour introduced the work capability assessment in 2008 to stem the rise in new incapacity benefit claims, and the coalition rapidly expanded the scheme in 2010 to reassess all 1.5 million people on sickness benefits, despite a warning from the government adviser Malcolm Harrington that the tests should be improved before being rolled out.

      Last year the work and pensions select committee said the government’s handling of the assessment was “damaging public confidence” and causing claimants “considerable distress”. The committee said the problems with the computer-led, points-based assessment “lay firmly with the DWP”, but added that the department was failing to apply “sufficient rigour or challenge to Atos”.

      More than 600,000 appeals have been lodged against Atos judgments since the work capability assessments began, costing the taxpayer £60m a year. In four out of 10 cases the original decisions are overturned.

      High-profile cases include people who reportedly have been found fit to work despite having debilitating terminal cancer, and instances of people who have been pursued for examinations while they have been lying in a coma.

      Private providers likely to be in the frame for the next contract – the current one is worth £115m a year – include G4S, Serco, A4E and Capita Group, who are all listed on the government’s existing “framework” group of preferred bidders for outsourced welfare work.

      Marked “restricted”, the 80-page DWP efficiency review says: “The department is working with Her Majesty’s Treasury and Cabinet office colleagues to seek additional [health assessment] providers to offer further capacity in the short-term and for these providers to then take over the whole contract.”

      It goes on to say that civil servants are “involved in ongoing discussions with Atos Healthcare regarding the quality of the service delivered”.

      An Atos spokeswoman described the contract as “outdated”, saying that in its current form it wasn’t working for “claimants, for the DWP or for Atos Healthcare”.

      She said: “The department has made it clear that it is considering bringing additional providers on board. We recognise that many people have strong feelings about work capability assessments. The constant flow of criticism inevitably has an impact on our staff who diligently endeavour to carry out assessments as laid out in DWP guidelines. We are committed to working with the department to help them meet their needs and the needs of claimants.”

      The admission that the government is planning to oust Atos would appear to be a contravention of public competition and tendering rules – a quasi-judicial process in which government bodies cannot favour one company over another before contract bids are entered.

      One expert in competition law at a London firm specialising in commissioning practices said public procurement required contracts to be awarded on a fair and non-discriminatory basis. The legal expert who did not want to be named, said: “In short, if you have decided up front that you’re going to exclude so-and-so, that’s likely to be unlawful.”

      Last month the Atos boss Joe Hemming told a Commons committee that the company was proud of its work. “We have a real passion for delivering services to the citizen in a way that continues to satisfy the way the citizen wants to be served,” he said. The Labour MP Paul Flynn accused Hemming of suffering from a “reality problem”.

      A DWP spokesperson said the department did not comment on leaked documents, but told the Guardian there was no breach of public procurement rules.

      “In July we announced Atos had been instructed to enact a quality improvement plan to remedy the unacceptable reduction in quality identified in the written reports provided to the department,” the spokesperson said. “We also announced in the summer we will be bringing in additional provision to deliver work capability assessments with the aim of increasing delivery capacity and reducing waiting times.”

      They added that a forthcoming “invitation to tender” would set out that “the quality of assessments and service delivery is central” to the system.”


      Andrew Coates

      February 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      • If the contract is outdated – why the hell are they still making people go for WCA’s?

        Time for the Ato’s whistleblowers me thinks!

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        February 18, 2014 at 5:31 pm

  15. This potential sacking of ATOS is just PR for next years election. The usual suspects will be tendering for the contracts and they will all, without exception, just as shit and unethical as ATOS are now.

    The WCA won’t be changed in any way that will benefit those unfortunate enough to have to undergo it.

    As a last ditch attempt to cling on to the tory faithful, I fully expect an announcement (once the contracts have been given out) that the WCA is to be tightened up so that even fewer people will get the benefits they are entitled to.

    ATOS lost a lot of OH contracts for the NHS because they were so shit, Crapita are repeating the history. Last year they won several lucrative contracts to run HR and OH in the NHS. They are as roundly detested and incompetent as ATOS.


    February 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm

  16. David Cameron says welfare reform is at the heart of his “moral mission”, after the Archbishop of Westminster labelled it a “disgrace”.

    Welfare reform offers new hope, says David Cameron


    February 19, 2014 at 8:33 am

  17. ATO’S Demo London video – today.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 19, 2014 at 12:38 pm

  18. Previously Banned ATOS undercover filming ESA Assessment Just Say No 4th October 2012 which shows the dubious methods used by Atos and the UK government.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 19, 2014 at 1:17 pm

  19. […] We look forward to a response to this news from Ipswich Unemployed Action […]

  20. Anyone knows what happened to ATOS Victims’ Group’s website?

    Showing a 403 error (not authorised).

    Universal Jobmatch

    February 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

    • He shut it down a while ago, maybe a couple of months? If I remember rightly there was a last post to the effect that he’d done all he could do and now had to concentrate on other aspects of his life.


      February 20, 2014 at 9:29 am

      • You think Atos forced him into it? its normally that people decide not to post updates, removing it entirely from the web seems a little suspect.

        Universal Jobmatch

        February 20, 2014 at 9:35 am

      • I don’t know anything else. I never saw anything posted there that hinted that ATOS were after him.

        During the Jimmy Saville furore, early on he made a really wild post that might have been more at home on Ambush Predator’s blog (Julia M) and it was swiftly removed. After that, his posts were less frequent.

        Maybe he just had enough of it all. Keeping abreast of all this shit we have to go through can grind a person to dust.

        I hope he’s ok.


        February 21, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      • …or maybe the hosting fees were too much to cope with?


        February 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm

  21. Here is yet another ATOS absurdity – plus a report on the ATOS protest in Glasgow yesterday:



    February 20, 2014 at 9:34 am

    • Reports will be on Ipswich event will be on here: https://www.facebook.com/events/584663371587491/607737469280081/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity

      We (about 20 people) were addressed by Martin, from disabled campaigners DPAC Suffolk (Disabled People Against Cuts, and by the leader of the (minority) Labour Group on Suffolk County Council, Sandy Martin.

      We were all angry.

      The point was made that getting rid of ATOS and replacing them with other private contractors will not solve the problems created by the system of assessing work capability.

      Andrew Coates

      February 20, 2014 at 10:32 am

  22. Tobanem

    February 20, 2014 at 9:40 am

  23. Hi everyone I keep getting hassled to provide the jobcentre with a contact number… this has being going on for like months and months now… like every time I sign on… it is beginning to do my tits in… I kept saying that i don’t have a moby or landline. Then I got fed up and just said that i don’t have to give the jc a contact number and they can go and get lost. Now the jc have ‘directed’ me to obtain a contact number (it doesn’t say that i have to go and but a moby or install a landline – crafty!) on the pretext that employers can fone to arrange interviews and so i can be contacted on short notice if a job comes up one afternoon that need to be filled tomorrow morning. The jc are trying to make out if i can’t be contacted that i am not available for work. What do i do now. I have read a lot of posts on here from someone called gaia saying that jobseekers who don’t stand up for their rights deserve to be sanctioned. Just quote this and show them this lol But is it not east standing up for your rights in a jobcentre. I wonder if this gaia person has ever had to sign on never mind stand up for their rights in a jobcentre lol


    February 20, 2014 at 10:23 am

    • Kirsty

      It is not mandatory to supply a telephone number to a Jobcentre advisor. Have a read at this:

      DWP Central Freedom of Information Team.

      e-mail: freedom-of-information-request@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

      Our Ref: VTR 2437

      12th June 2013.

      Dear XXXX XXXXXX

      Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

      It is not mandatory for a person claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance to supply Jobcentre Plus with an email address and home telephone number. There are currently no plans for any third parties to be given direct access to accounts on Universal Jobmatch.

      If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

      Yours sincerely

      DWP Universal Jobmatch Team



      February 20, 2014 at 10:36 am

      • Thanks Tobanem 🙂 I notice though that the DWP say ‘home telephone number’. ‘home telephone number’ would more likely to be a landline. The jc ‘direction’ doesn’t mention a moby or landline though it just says: “obtain a contact number”. How do i prove that i have obtained a contact number. Do i just show them my fone? Or is the ‘direction’ just a load of rubbish in the first place. They are not saying I have to give the jobcentre my fone number they are saying i have to provide a contact number – what is the difference? lol


        February 20, 2014 at 11:01 am

      • Kirsty

        The person making the above Freedom of Information request, did not mention “home” telephone number. It was mentioned by the DWP in their reply.

        If you look at this link, at question 5, you will see the questioner asked about “peoples phone numbers”:


        Whether the expression is “phone” number(s), “mobile” number, or “contact” number, it makes no difference. The DWP do not need to know.


        February 20, 2014 at 11:21 am

      • Thanks again Tobanem, the ‘jobseeker direction’ is just a load of rubbish then and can safely be ignored. It’s nonsense any since I am always losing my number – I change my fone number more times than I change my knickers lol not quite… but you know what I mean lol. Was just a bit worried cos it says my jsa could be stopped if i do not comply with the direction unless i can show i had a good reason or was unreasonable in my circumstances lol It’s just that rubbish about needing to contact me in a hurry with some imaginary job offer they keep coming out with lol And i know if i give them my number they will just keep bugging me, and pass it on to lots of dodgy characters. Must be something funny going on when they just have to have your number. A lot of folks probably just hand it to them without thinking lol Anyway, i’ll just tell them to get lost lol


        February 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm

  24. One from my neck of the woods:

    Unemployment is on the rise again in Bradford, denting Government hopes that the recovery has taken root.

    The number of people on the dole in the city stood at 17,244 in January, up 307 on the total claiming jobless benefits at the end of December.

    And that disappointing pattern was mirrored across the rest of the district, with similar rises in Calderdale, Kirklees and Leeds.

    More than 35,000 people across West Yorkshire were docked JSA – for up to 13 weeks, for a first offence – in the year to last September.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 20, 2014 at 3:54 pm

  25. Atos seeks early exit from fit-to-work tests contract


    super ted

    February 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm

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