Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Even Iain Duncan Smith’s Advisers Call for Review of Benefit Sanctions.

with 97 comments

Cause for Review of Sanctions?

Review of benefit sanctions urged amid concern over regime’s effectiveness.

Reports today’s Guardian.

NOTE: this is buried in a dry-as-dust report  SSAC Occasional Paper 15: Universal Credit: priorities for action  (SEE Below for more details*). In the Conclusions and Recommendations: they call for “ an urgent review of the operation of the sanctions regime ensuring that existing rules are thoroughly evaluated and greater testing with incentives rather than penalties is explored.

Advisers to Iain Duncan Smith say there is no hard evidence that stopping payments to claimants is helping people get jobs.

Official advisers to Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, have called for an urgent and robust review of the government’s controversial benefit sanctions regime amid concerns that it is failing to help jobless claimants.

The independent social security advisory committee says the policy of stopping claimants’ dole payments for alleged breaches of benefit rules should be put on hold until “a firm evidence base” has been established.

Sanctions, under which claimants lose benefit payments for between four weeks and three years, have come under fire for being unfair, punitive, failing to increase job prospects, and causing hunger, debt and ill-health among jobseekers.

Although ministers say monetary penalties are effective in helping people into jobs by changing their attitudes to work, the committee says there is no hard evidence for this and urges ministers to consider trialling non-financial sanctions.

It states in its report to ministers: “[The committee], among others, has raised concerns about the increased use of sanctions, not because we believe that they are necessarily ineffective, but because we do not know for certain that they are effective, at least in terms of getting people into good quality jobs.

“We believe that the sanctions regime needs to be tested.”

The 13-strong committee, chaired by former Department for work and pensions (DWP) permanent secretary Paul Gray, is appointed by the work and pensions secretary to provide independent scrutiny of welfare policy decisions. Its members include economist Matthew Oakley, who authored a DWP-commissioned evaluation of sanctions published last year, as well as academics and business professionals.

The committee’s report also flags up concerns to ministers over “highly sensitive” plans to impose conditions on recipients of universal credit who are in work. They face the possibility of financial sanctions if they fail to respond positively to job centre encouragement to increase their hours or move to a higher paying job.

It says guidance must be issued urgently to DWP staff on how to deal sensitively with working claimants and their employers. “An over-zealous drive to get claimants into full-time or better sustainable work without regard for, or full recognition of, the demands of their everyday life would not only jeopardise the relationship but damage the potential for giving people the support they need.”

In a statement, a DWP spokesman said: “Benefit sanctions are a longstanding part of the benefit system and encourage people to engage with the support on offer.

“We’re working closely with social security advisory committee and other groups as we head into the next phase of delivery, to ensure that claimants continue to benefit from the better work incentives and simplicity of universal credit.”

The committee also warns the DWP against an over-strict approach to the issuing of sanctions. It says frontline officials should be allowed to exercise discretion over whether to impose a penalties, especially where very vulnerable claimants are involved, such as those with mental health problems or a learning disability.

The report says: “There are suggestions that the department’s default position may have been to apply a sanction sooner rather than later whenever a failure in compliance has been identified… But there have been many voices raised to say that this is inappropriate and that sanctions ought to be a last resort.”

Initial findings from a major five-year academic research study led by the University of York into the effectiveness of sanctions presented to MPs earlier this month [14 July] reported that despite widespread political support for increased welfare conditionality “the key issue of its effectiveness in changing and sustaining behaviour remains largely unanswered”.

The social security advisory committee’s advice echoes the conclusions of a cross-party MPs reportin March, which called for a review of the sanctions regime after concluding it was unfair, punitive and ineffective at helping people into work.

MPs heard evidence from the PCS union that job centre staff were threatened with performance reviews if they did not instigate sufficient sanctions on claimants, and that managers drew up sanctions targets for staff, a claim the DWP denied.

Separate evidence from former job centre employees claimed staff were encourged to “agitate and inconvenience” claimants so they fell foul of the rules, enabling their benefits to be stopped. One ex-official said unscrupulous staff would target vulnerable claimants, such as those with a learning disability, for sanctions.

Although successive governments have tightened benefit conditionality over the past 10 years, ministers dramatically escalated the use of sanctions under new rules introduced in 2012. Annual sanctions numbers, which were about 500,000 in 2010, soared to over 1m within 12 months of the new rules coming on stream.

Latest figures for December 2014 show job seeker allowance sanctions numbers fell to 700,000, as job market conditions improved, though rates, expressed as a percentage of claimants, fell only marginally.


*Reference in Report:  “More generally, SSAC has recommended that conditionality and sanctions should be discussed at the point at which a claim for Universal Credit is made so that claimants understand fully what is expected of them at the outset.

The possible outcome for a claimant who fails to comply with those requirements, along with the requirements themselves, should form an essential element of the Claimant Commitment.

We have previously made clear our view that the conditions in the Claimant Commitment must be reasonable, clear, unambiguous, achievable, demonstrable and tailored to each claimant’s circumstances and abilities.

In our report on Universal Credit and Conditionality we highlighted a number of lessons drawn from various studies. Those lessons, which are worth repeating because of their continuing relevance, call upon the Department to:

• recognise the importance of being sensitive to the personal circumstances of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable claimants, recognising that conditions must be personally tailored;

• take account of the fact that the ability of claimants with chaotic lifestyles to understand the sanctions regime and comply with it may be compromised by their circumstances;

• encourage early identification of claimants who are especially vulnerable, such as those with mental health problems or a learning disability, and most at risk of sanctions and enable advisers to ensure that appropriate support is made available to them at the earliest opportunity: this could be reflected in the Claimant Commitment; and

• allow discretion in applying a sanction as a vital component in an effective sanctions regime which seeks to change behaviour. There are suggestions that the Department’s default position may have been to apply a sanction sooner rather than later whenever a failure in compliance has been identified. The onus would then shift to the claimant to show that the sanction should not be applied or should be mitigated in some way, for example, by demonstrating good cause. But there have been many voices raised to say that this is inappropriate and that sanctions ought to be a last resort.

The thing we’d like to know is: what on earth do they mean by “testing” sanctions?

It’s a bit like,  ‘testing‘ a blow to the head.

A ‘test’ on what happens when hit a stomach.

But that’s overshadowed by the rubbish the DWP comes out with:

” “Benefit sanctions are a longstanding part of the benefit system and encourage people to engage with the support on offer.”

Like, er “”engage”, like, er, “hey guys”…

And…why not….





97 Responses

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  1. Wasn’t IDS the one who sanctioned (no pun intended) the sanctions process in the first place? Sure, you won’t find his name on any official paperwork saying I want these bastards sanctioned off welfare. But then you won’t find Hitler’s name on any paperwork saying I want you guys to exterminate the Jewish race either but he made his feelings quite clear to his subordinates. Ho-hum!

    jj joop

    July 27, 2015 at 5:02 pm

  2. Sanctions shall be suspended by the neck until they are dead! And may the Lord have NO mercy on Iain Duncan Smith’s soul!

    Hanging Judge

    July 27, 2015 at 5:27 pm

  3. Its all about saving money,creating mayhem in the benefits system to those claiming.Sending visibly ill people into jobcentres telling to claim JSA and then expect an employer to take them on isnt really going to happen and is a completely negligent practice,what is more likely is a sanction.

    The help on offer never was,what did surface is what everyone knew.The truth.


    The economy isnt performing.Towns are eaten up from long distance commuter,building houses where once factories stood,unaffordable to people working locally.people live in debt ridden Britian.


    July 27, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    • “ken”

      You’re right. As I said on here this morning, IDS gave the game away in his reply to “The Tablet”, when he emphasised that recent budget reforms were first and foremost about “reducing welfare spending”.


      July 27, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      • Off topic but I replied to your message the other day Tobanem on Andrew Coates last thread on where Linux is heading.


        July 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      • What particular message was that – and when, precisely?


        July 28, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      • This one,


        Thanks. Clearly, it has to be one or the other! I’ve yet to try Linux out, but I’ll be giving it a go soon.

        It appears most people (not all) who try Linux say there is no going back (to Windows)!

        Do you think Windows will ever go the same way as Labour did at the General Election – especially in Scotland? Will Linux become the “SNP” landslide Operating System?

        Ive also clocked the other one and will look at it later as im about to post a piece here you all will be raising more than an eyebrow at.


        July 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm

  4. OT: Care Sector & Living Wage


    You have to laugh [or cry] bbc is reporting care sector is predicting collaspse due to ‘living wage’ increase.

    How is this a living wage? Care sector more interested in profits than caring for those who pay or who they pay.

    It appears cash squeeze means one of two things – increase pay, less jobs as jobs cut to fund it OR no increase in pay and staff starve even more and be in breach of Living Wage.

    Also councils warned Gov of lack of budget for increase – this is looking more and more like a deliberate plot to cause a collapse to me.

    Why? Look at the statement at the bottom of the article.


    July 27, 2015 at 6:55 pm

  5. Gazza, i have two words for you, Jeremy Hunt.


    July 27, 2015 at 10:38 pm

  6. We now have ‘flexible’ signing on times: flexible for them that is.

    This means we get an appointment with Coachey each fortnight, and times vary to suit the Job Centre management’s allocation of staff.

    Andrew Coates

    July 28, 2015 at 10:25 am

    • Preparation for the expected flood of people – think tax credits, dwp expects to see in the near future….


      July 28, 2015 at 10:29 am

      • my advisor wasn’t in and I slipped through the cracks so to speak and had to prompt them to be seen after 40 minutes – I’m used to it, DWP, NHS losing records/scans – couldn’t make it up.

        But there was a young chap signing on for the first time & he was told he’s on weekly signings – It apppears to be standard practice for young people now.


        July 28, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    • Was 9.50, 10, 10.20, 11.20, next – 10.30, the JC is looking pretty empty but not for long.


      July 28, 2015 at 10:35 am

    • Ealing Unemployment Benefit Office Tried This It was in the 1980’s though and it failed. Too many people working at the JC were reliant on public transport. There were lots of strikes then but not amongst th UBO staff


      August 21, 2015 at 7:40 am

  7. OT- something stolen from you? your not likely to see it again.

    Chief Constable Sara Thornton, head of the new National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said that significant budget cuts and the changing nature of criminality meant that police had to prioritise.

    She admitted that if someone had an iPad stolen from their home, “it could be” that an officer would not be dispatched to investigate.

    Ms Thornton, who is often described as David Cameron’s favourite police officer after her eight years as his constituency police chief, said that instead, officers were focusing on child sex offences, cyber crime and terrorism.



    July 28, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    • How long before its just cyber crime [can’t have plebs downloading stuff now can we?], and Terrorism [can’t have our Leaders being targetted can we?]


      July 28, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    • You know I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much bull come out of a coppers mouth since sir Paul Condom.

      When have the police ever been there to save the day, to prevent an actual crime taking place, Hmmm.

      The police are what they have always been, reactive to after the fact instead of this pedalling bollocks that they use to be some sort of minority report type officers.

      Its interesting to note that predominately the areas they wish to spend there time in all starts out life on yes you guest it, the internet.

      This police woman is basically saying the police will become another branch of intelligence, who spend most of there entire life behind a screen. Of course there train a few mindless gorillas as someone’s got to go door bashing at some point but generally there become the couch squad playing there version of space invaders.


      July 28, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      • With a name like that, Sir Paul Condom must have taken a right ribbing… 😉

        Du Rex

        July 29, 2015 at 9:00 pm



    Well it appears im not the only one spreading the word. This is a well presented piece i feel worthy of reading.


    July 28, 2015 at 2:02 pm

  9. OT

    For some people, the last straw with Microsoft Windows might be finding out their purchase turns out to be “not genuine” – even although it was bought from a reputable dealer.

    For others, it might be the price, or the endless updates or the way it eventually slows down. Then there are all the viruses, spyware, malware, shovelware and bloatware etc. There might be a million-and-one other exasperating reasons why people get fed up with Windows.

    But for me, the last straw must be the possibility of Microsoft “locking down” Windows so as no other Operating System – including Linux – can be installed. In windows 10 it looks as though you will not be able to run Linux or indeed any alternative OS in a laptop, and it might well be decided by the vendor if users are going to be allowed to install alternative Operating Systems on desktops.

    It’s all to do with “Secure Boot” and EUFI – which has already being causing headaches for millions of people trying to install Linux on Windows 8 machines.

    Microsoft’s monopoly has lasted long enough. Time for a landslide to Linux – or anything else of your free choice!


    July 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    • ( A repeat reply I made on your other post of this topic on the last thread Tobanem).

      Ive read it and according to the article its up to motherboard manufacturers to decide.

      Now I personally build my own PCs so its all just another thing to consider when purchasing a motherboard but as I tend to build gamer machines and so use gamer boards, would highly imagine the option will be there considering the prevalence of Linux in the industry.

      For those that don’t build there own, do pose the question before buying a system in future and don’t take, “I think so” or words to that effect from the salesman as an answer.


      July 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      • Gaia, it it possible or not to add all my saved favs into the now bookmarks, at the same time, in linux mint, and which AV would you suggest.


        July 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      • enigma,

        I use “Comodo Free Antivirus for Linux”.

        A PRO Tip for others worried about internet security – the Linux Mint disk can run Linux if you boot from it – that means no information about your bank etc is on hard drive before dvd inserted or after it is removed.

        Negative: must input wifi details each time, and any other passwords each time of use. this use of the dvd drive will cause wear on it via this type of use.

        To test before install/use in boot mode press F2 and change boot order [Google is your friend…].

        the Warning about Windows 10 I made? Mate was round at weekend with laptop as password stopped working… on investigation it was caused by a update! couldn’t make this up…


        July 29, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      • Although unwise to be dismissed, as things stand what with the low take up of Linux on domestic desktops, infections for Linux are generally reserved for attacking multiple processor systems such as mainframes for example.

        This said just like SQL windows servers, commercial infection tools do get eventually turned out to less corporate minded people if you know what I mean.

        Anyway, AVG, Avast and bit defender do such software as well as Gazza’s recommendation of comodo.

        ClamAV is probably the best but its not as simple to run as the others I mentioned so I wont bore you with it.

        As for importing bookmarks, do it the same as you would for different browsers on a windows system but this time select backup. Onced backedup to say your desktop for instance, then place the file on a disk or USB memory stick.

        Once on Linux and the browser is open simply now select export and locate the file on the disk or stick and bobs your uncle its all done.

        Well I hope that helps Enigma alongside Gazza’s thoughtful reply.


        July 29, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      • Thanks Gazza for the info about comodo.

        Gaia, favorites to bookmarks, doesn’t work on firefox, maybe something wrong with it, on my pc.


        July 30, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    • Yay: Go Linux!

      jj joop

      July 29, 2015 at 11:34 am



    This is the first article I saw but will also supply the links I visited there after.


    (This link above will give you once on the article a link to the full report).


    This link directly above is another article on the Adam Smith Institute website.


    July 28, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    • A better way of describing this: how to reduce unemployment by not having any way of registering as unemployed and getting money for longer than a few months.

      Andrew Coates

      July 29, 2015 at 11:09 am

      • Also for the five years you get paid at a much higher rate then the UK equivalent rate of JSA. 5 years is equivalent to like 40 odd years of UK JSA. You could budget your 5 years of USA JSA to pad out a ‘life-time’ on UK JSA. Just something else that they aren’t telling you. They are trying to make out that in the USA you are paid 5 years of UK equivalent JSA and then that’s it, to the gutter you go. And wouldn’t it be such a jolly stupendous idea to introduce this practice to the UK old bean. They never give you the full picture, do they?

        Hunni B

        July 29, 2015 at 11:45 am

    • Thanks for the heads-up on this one, gaia. Please keep posting, especially on this subject.

      Having friends in America I know that you can only draw welfare (cash-in-yer-hand) in the US for five years, and that’s it. What most people fail to realise is that if you’re still unemployed, having had a total of five years dole, you then get food/clothing stamps in the form of a plastic debit style card to use.

      So in real terms, there are no savings because the same amount is still being doled out to US claimants every month. I don’t doubt the Tories will try and bring something like this just before the next general election with White Dee as their cheerleader in residence. However there will be no savings. In fact it will probably cost more to administer than it saves, Sigh.

      jj joop

      July 29, 2015 at 11:22 am

      • It is not like Obama runs a policy that leaves USA citizens in the gutter after 5 years ‘on the dole’. But Sam Bowman and his ilk are suggesting a policy that would leave UK citizens but off from all state support after a fixed time ‘on the dole’ rendering them destitute. It is also disingenuous to imply that this is the situation in the USA because is is quite simply not.

        Hunni B

        July 29, 2015 at 11:52 am

      • * cut off from all state support

        Hunni B

        July 29, 2015 at 11:52 am

      • Payment by giro cheque was ceased and moved over to bank transfer simply to save money*. Introducing convoluted schemes merely to inconvenience and hassle claimants is simply bonkers and a sheer waste of ‘hard-working taxpayers’ money just to fill the coffers of the corporate interests who run these ridiculous schemes.

        Just before payment by Giro ended the post office charged something like £1.50 to ‘process’ a Giro, and something like 50p to produce and mail out the Giro. Bank transfer brought this cost down to something like 1p. A ridiculous convoluted scheme such as ‘food stamps’ especially if they were in printed form like a Ration book last issued just after the Second World War over 50 years ago would cost the ‘hard-working taxpayer’ an absolute fortune.

        Hunni B

        July 29, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      • It wont be White Dee, cant have an obese person fronting a party that’s wants to suspend unemployment benefits to over weight people now, can we ?


        July 29, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    • Bollocks! This ‘time-limiting’ benefits policy is not going to slash unemployment; instead it is going to increase dramatically destitution. Anyone who has been unemployed knows very well that the longer you are on benefits the harder it becomes to enter employment. Statistically speaking once you have been unemployed for 2 years you are more likely to retire or die than enter employment. Is it going to be the case when through out-dated skills, age, gender or whatever reason you are no longer deemed ‘useful’ to an employer you are going to be kicked to the gutter. In that case let us start with kicking that useless little shit Sam Bowman into the gutter.

      Hunni B

      July 29, 2015 at 11:38 am

      • If you research as I did and placed in my reply to there site the facts, your see homelessness is a major problem in the states that’s costing a fortune in time and money not to mention the addition of those that took to crime as an alternative to escaping poverty.

        Like Newton said, “for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction”.


        July 29, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      • Homelessness is also a major problem in the UK!

        Hunni B

        July 29, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      • Hunni B,

        Look around, here, USA, Australia, or any westernised country, there all suffering the same symptomatic results of failing to tackle the problem that is a poorly designed and wholly unbalanced capitalistic system/train of thought.

        If you want proof just look at the gap between the richest and the poorest and why every government keeps pouring cash incentives into the businesses pockets in the hope they may open the tap and actually let money trickle down.


        July 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm

  11. Fit for Work programme starts to go into practice.

    While chatting to a support worker this evening, they happened to mention there company was calling a meeting about the introduction of the new scheme aimed at reducing sick leave.

    Now what was particularly interesting in this chat was that this employee doesn’t get any sick pay for being off work and was completely unaware that its not mandatory and requires implicit consent, something the employer neglected to mention during the chat in which they also used the threat of being sacked if employees didn’t engage.

    As we know not mandatory means without regulation so these employers don’t have the weight of the law behind them. Also as is clear in this case, the employer used the threat of being sacked on grounds of misconduct as a premise to succeed in there aims despite,

    A: Obviously being deceptive in there wording and,

    B: Using a threat to coerce an implicit consent that the law stipulates is not legally binding when done by way of force, threat and or deception.

    Naturally im imagining this will be a common theme from company to company so urge you to remind your friends and family that this is a non mandatory scheme along with what constitutes as legal implicit consent as I have already outlined above in points A and B.


    July 28, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    • Oh nice one gaia!! And thanks for raising it. As a working single mum with rheumatoid arthritis I’ll keep that in mind and also inform my colleagues. I work in a school and we do get sick pay but you never know. I’ve had to threaten twice to involve my union over stunts they tried to pull regarding our contracts ect so….

      kat rehman

      July 29, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      • If it helps its called, “fit for work” if you have time to look it up Kat rehman although this support worker said the employer called it the braxham hicks plan, assuming they heard right. I say that as I couldn’t find any such title online.

        The thing to remember is your GP is involved and as such does require implicit consent on data protection and medical patient records ethics.

        Here’s just a few links for you and your co workers.



        Hope this helps Kat rehman.


        July 29, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      • Gaia, thanks again, I’m on leave at the moment summer break and have plenty of time, for research and will keep colleagues and also all of you on here posted. Again a big thank you!! X kat

        kat rehman

        July 29, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      • Have a good break Kat.


        July 31, 2015 at 11:46 am

  12. This link might not be up for long but it is a good example of how phishing sites work.
    You will also notice that COMODO – the useless pieces of crap that they are – seem to hand out ‘certificates’ to any old Tom, Dick, Harriet or scammer.




    Scam Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 29, 2015 at 1:06 am

    • Got this shit in me email box too – addressed to me personally, first name. Had been doing me ujm jobsearch on same computer – use a separate, secure and isolated from all other networks computer to use ujm, just don’t trust it, so maybe this had something to do with it. Noticed the COMODO SSL ‘certificate’, but it had no ‘pad-lock’, that’s the important bit, but even this can be fake, no doubt COMODO sells ‘pad locks’ to scammers’ to. Too bad if you enter your details into this scam crap when you have been drinking, not thinking straight or otherwise distracted… and find out your account has been gutted. Whoever is behind these scams are the lowest of the low.


      July 29, 2015 at 9:59 am

    • Encryption keys (padlock sign) are not the reserve of business and are open to anyone who holds and runs a website that requires a layer of protection.

      The public like so many matters relating to I.T make the assumption that such a sign is proof positive of a genuine upfront honest site.

      All such a thing does is secure a connection through encryption between the user and the site and not the morals of the individual handing them out.

      Public users need to demonstrate more consideration than they currently do when surfing the net and not expect the various sites to act as a conduit for responsibility.


      July 29, 2015 at 11:03 am

    • Thanks enigma!! I’m pretty tired so it’s really nice having family time and sleeping in!!

      kat rehman

      July 31, 2015 at 5:47 pm


    I seriously don’t know where to start and then stop laughing at the premise of this ridiculous review.

    The UK population sits around 64.5 million people with around 15.5 million being under the age of 19.

    According to already carried out studies on alcohol use the NHS estimates that around 9% of men in the UK and 4% of UK women show signs of alcohol dependence.

    So that’s if we for the sake of argument subtract the under 19s who themselves drink excessively that means 2.2 million males and just under 1 million women.

    This demonstrates that the problem is way bigger than just the reserve of the unemployed and only gets worse when you add under 19s binge drinking.

    On the topic of obesity let me drop a few names,

    Eric pickles,Chris Christie,Dick Cheney to name but three politicians and not withstanding the inclusion of celebrities who all hold down regular work despite there respective weights.

    Oh wait right there as I haven’t done finished ripping the behind out of this.

    When I put the sentence “fat politicians” in my Bing search engine, none other than Eric Pickles topped the list of search results so please give it a go and see what you get ?

    Also a study carried out in 2010 found the public trust fat male politicians more and quoted in the telegraph,

    “Voters believed that overweight male candidates were more reliable, honest, dependable and inspiring than their thinner counterparts”.


    Keep paying attention now as wait for it, wait for it,


    Bam, how do you like the treatment Osborne and just look at what the public said in retaliation, especially one Angela Meadows who if she can ever possibly remember posting a reply, is now left to eat her very own satirical words as regards I quote, “Perhaps if he spoke more nicely to George, the Tories might consider implementing a law against this kind of thing”.

    Hmmm, I think with x amount claimed vacancies out there and a stagnant long term unemployment problem coupled with dumping single mothers, the ill and infirm onto JSA, that the problem is a bit bigger than someone’s addictions.

    Perhaps, its something to do with stigma and bigotry Mr David Cameron ?

    (Bought to you by THATS A FACT JACK).


    July 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    • There was stupid programme on Channel 5 the other night: “87 Stone and too fat to work”. Just how many variations on the ‘benefits’ theme can this sordid and pathetic excuse of a TV channel churn out: “Benefits by the Sea”, “On Benefits with a Dog”, “Ice Road Truckers too lazy to look for a job”….

      Hunni B

      July 29, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      • PS Don’t watch this crap. In fact, don’t ‘receive’ Channel 5 any more – deleted it from the channel list.

        Hunni B

        July 29, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      • Sadly our species seem addicted to reality TV, what with probably leading very shallow and uninteresting lives coupled with there own insecurities so what better way than to fling mud at other people.


        July 29, 2015 at 12:25 pm

  14. Obese people and drug users who refuse treatment could have benefits cut.

    David Cameron launches review by Dame Carol Black of welfare for those with drug, alcohol or obesity problems.


    Andrew Coates

    July 29, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    • Come guys and girls, the flimsiest comment todate to come out a mouth since the first person ever tried to justify racism causes birth defects (impurity) let alone a politicians and no one wants to have fun with it at the Tories expense.

      No one to mention the Tories could call it the Sewell review, drugs tick, alcohol tick, obese tick.

      Seriously people, this couldn’t have been mentioned at just the worst possible time for parliament and no one thought to jump on it.

      If i didn’t know better, i would say maybe benefit claimants are feeling a little deflated, a little depressed.


      July 29, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    • More patients could be denied NHS treatments as a result of cost-cutting by health authorities, with hearing aids, vasectomies and knee and hip operations among services set to be rationed in some areas.

      In some areas controversial requirements for smokers to give up and for obese people to lose weight before being offered certain surgical procedures, will be used to reduce costs.



      July 30, 2015 at 2:10 pm

  15. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    July 29, 2015 at 9:09 pm

  16. NHS estimates 1 in every 4 adults in UK obese.


    As news travels, even tory MPs appear outraged at the mention of forcing benefits claimants to undergo treatment or face benefit withdrawal.

    According to NHS estimates and applying my rather generous under 19 count of 15.5 million kids, that would mean 12.3 million adults are obese.

    The Government says there are more than 9,000 people nationwide claiming disability or illness-related benefits whose biggest problem is obesity.

    So that’s 0.08% of UK obese figure count or 0.01% of total population.

    Hey, do you think its down to all that rich living on £74 a week before utility bills not to mention the accused sky subscriptions and costly phones and contracts, oh lets not forget about the designer labels shall we ?


    July 30, 2015 at 8:11 am

  17. Slippery road leads to fossil fuel job cuts

    Only yesterday the media announced strong UK economical growth largely dew to gas and oil production yet a day later and both gas and oil companies are already shedding staff.


    July 30, 2015 at 8:20 am

    • Ah the second contraction put off from before the Scottish referundum, strange that. Does make one wonder if Gov knew before election if this as going to happen [Having worked in the particular Gov dept I can tell you categorically Yes, they knew/know what’s coming – possible reason for the savage cuts being undertaken perchance?] i.e. recession.


      July 30, 2015 at 8:46 am

  18. For those of you who like petitions here is one on a vote of no confidence in IDS:

    The petition already has over 9,000 signatures. !0,000 are needed to get a response from the Government, and 100,000 are needed to consider having a debate in Parliament.



    July 30, 2015 at 11:09 am

    • Signed with the greatest of pleasure!

      kat rehman

      July 31, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      • “kat reham” – I’m surprised no one else on here responded to this link.


        July 31, 2015 at 6:31 pm

  19. “HIV on the rise, Tories seek to repeal same sex marriage law”,

    Funny right , well perhaps not when you consider that’s the premise for todays government to warrant the demand for a review into the viability of stopping benefits for those claimants who refuse the kind godly offer of treatment.

    I mentioned a while back about the phrase, “democratically liberal” being banded about in government”, well this is a fair example of it.

    So its alright to be gay proud and loud, even bisexual or cross gender just so long as your not fat, drunk and strung out on drugs at the time.

    You just cant make this stuff up can you.


    July 30, 2015 at 11:33 am

    • It’s all, everybody should be like me!

      I notice the woman in charge of this inquiry into denying fat drunk people benefits is as skinny as a rake and looks like she only drinks sugar-free Ribena with her meals.

      Andrew Coates

      July 30, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      • Hey , lets not forget shes the very same person who advised hastening the Work Capability Assessment so as to push claimants onto JSA and out the door.

        On that note I would have to say she is already biased.


        July 30, 2015 at 7:02 pm

  20. The Government is reviewing the Bribery Act after business leaders claimed it was making it difficult for British firms to export goods.

    The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, is inviting companies to comment on whether the tough anti-corruption measures are “a problem”.



    July 30, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    • What happened to the days when a product/service sold itself ?

      This is still more of that how do we compete with China crap stuff again. The writers quite correct in that what may start out small will inevitability grow, just cast a stone in a pond, melt an ice cube and tell me it just didn’t spread.


      July 30, 2015 at 2:27 pm

  21. “gaia”

    A few more questions about using Linux Mint.

    When using a live bootable USB drive the system works much slower than it would if it was fully installed on a hard drive. That’s to be expected. I’ve not used Linux from a hard drive yet, so from your own experience, is the difference in speed much, much better?

    When using Linux from a USB, would a 16GB USB stick be noticeably faster than 8GB? Would using USB 3.0 be even better – assuming USB 3.0 sockets are available?

    Of course, it’s not intended to run Linux from a USB stick permanently, but at least this method gives you a chance to try it out – and also let’s you try different “distros” before making up your mind about which one to fully install on your hard drive.


    July 30, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    • Dealing with USB first, basically 3 is 10 times faster than 2. This said within each group different models have different read and write speeds “low, full, high and super speed.

      Now as great as that is and now moving onto the PC hardware itself, its all still relative to the rear side bus (RSB) which is also called backside bus (BSB) of the CPU. Its difficult to cover as technology dependant on age, whos build and what architecture is chosen really dictates the response times especially when in the case of hard drives as then the RPM becomes a factor when comparing speeds. Of course the motherboard has its part to play but the relationship of that and the CPU is another story entirely.

      So without knowing what you’ve got but by judging your response and thus question, tells me your system operates far better FSB than RSB.

      Well hopefully ive explained it well, as to explain it properly will be a serious mouthful not to mention a history trip for context.


      July 30, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      • USB is fast enough, gais ffs. In this household the biggest files we transfer onto USB are ‘downloaded’ movies from the internet most are around the 750mb mark. We can have them transferred onto the USB stick, plugged into the TV and playing in a jiffy. How fast does this stuff really need to be?


        July 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      • USB2 is fast enough, gais ffs. And even then USB1 still did the job!


        July 30, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      • On a side notes media players in TVs are a godsend. In the old days you had to burn DVDs and stuff.


        July 30, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      • Fuck all this bullshit ‘upgrading’ shit! It is for fucking mental retards. If you have a system that is functioning properly why the fuck to you want to give yourself more shit to deal with. Oh look, something has broke, something is incompatible, can’t get this fucking shit to work, can’t get this piece of shit to boot, want to smash it to fuck with a hammer. That is why they keep doing this fucking shit – just to fucking piss you off! How many times have you clicked ‘upgrade’ then discovered the ‘upgrade’ was some dumbed-down pile of shit with have the features you previously used missing and a load of bullcrap added. And you immediately wanted to ‘roll-back’ to your previous operating system/software? Fuck you Bill G and your fucking shit. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

        Fuck you Bill G

        July 31, 2015 at 7:24 am

    • Tobanem,

      gaia as I expected explained this much much better than I ever could.

      A way to guage this speedwise is that things go in this order from fastest downwards : Ram Memory, Hardrive swap file, DVD/USB.

      With a bootable DVD/USB as always, the more applications open during use the less RAM there is, which can hit performance [i.e. no opening Firefox with 20+ tabs and expecting fast performance – each tab is taking up RAM space].

      The bootable whatever is taking a part of the harddrive and dumping everything into there to access i.e. OS, applications, temporary mem swap drive etc – more things used, less space in that area – I don’t think it dymanically grows and shrinks on need.


      July 30, 2015 at 10:32 pm

  22. ffs gaia, it is only really gamers that need high-spec PCs. FSB (front side bus) works perfectly well to run a web browser.


    July 30, 2015 at 10:47 pm

  23. Fuck all this bullshit ‘upgrading’ shit! It is for fucking mental retards. If you have a system that is functioning properly why the fuck to you want to give yourself more shit to deal with. Oh look, something has broke, something is incompatible, can’t get this fucking shit to work, can’t get this piece of shit to boot, want to smash it to fuck with a hammer. That is why they keep doing this fucking shit – just to fucking piss you off! How many times have you clicked ‘upgrade’ then discovered the ‘upgrade’ was some dumbed-down pile of shit with half the features you previously used missing and a load of bullcrap added. And you immediately wanted to ‘roll-back’ to your previous operating system/software? Fuck you Bill G and your fucking shit. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it -dumbo!

    Fuck you Bill G

    July 31, 2015 at 7:28 am

    • “mental retards” should be those with ‘learning difficulties’

      Fuck you Bill G

      July 31, 2015 at 7:31 am

    • FAO “F— you Bill G”

      I read your cynical take on the never ending world of exasperating computer upgrades etc with some amusement. Very bad language, though!

      Yes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but, remember, the big difference between Windows and the likes of Linux, is the cost – the latter is free! Saving almost a hundred pounds would be welcome when buying a new computer, agreed?


      July 31, 2015 at 8:02 am

  24. “gaia” and “Gazza”

    Thanks for your contributions. Fascinating subject this – even if it gets exasperating at times. Mind you, a post graduate mathematics scholar once told me “you’re always learning” [about computers], so if a post grad can say that, I don’t feel such a idiot – which the computer can make you feel like at times!

    You still haven’t said if a 16GB USB stick will perform faster than an 8GB USB when used on the same computer as a bootable drive to run Linux Mint 17.2. (I’ve got 8GB DDR3 RAM on a Core i3 desktop computer at 3.4 GHz – and a 1TB hard drive spinning at 7200 rpm).

    I’m impressed with Linux Mint 17.2, but it runs pretty slow from an 8GB USB bootable drive. Would it run faster with a bigger capacity USB? Presumably, it will run much, much faster when permanently installed on the hard drive.

    One more point. How do Windows and Linux compare speedwise on the same computer? (I mention the same computer, because, obviously, different computers are specified in vastly different ways)!!!


    July 31, 2015 at 7:53 am

    • Tobanem

      A lot of good info on ….



      July 31, 2015 at 10:17 am

    • Tobanem,

      see :


      It appears there is a set size for the harddrive swap drive & area used on hard drive of 4 gigs.

      reading the thread, it is recommended to use a size larger than 8 gigs.

      one thing to note is that the type of USB/SDCard you use is important – type Ten is recommended as it is much longer lasting – it costs more but is worth it.

      [the writeable media is good for 100K read/writes]


      July 31, 2015 at 11:47 am

      • “Gazza” – Thanks for that. My apologies for taking up so much time on here talking about computers.

        I see Andrew Coates has just posted a new page about obese people on benefits. Strangely enough, when I was recently creating a bootable USB drive for trying out Linux, the formatting style was FAT 32!!!

        It’s almost funny.


        July 31, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      • Tobanem,

        The mint construct if run as a live CD, doesn’t require a hard drive so being the case would mean its using itself for swap, temp and so forth purposes.

        This means your PC is both reading and writing to the USB stick. This would mean there will be a downgrade in speed what with the imbalance in frequency requirements.

        I would monitor your RAM while running it without using any other software and report back how much is in use.

        From here we can look to see if theres any left ample enough to support more software running.

        Not using Mint I honestly don’t know if its using all the RAM the system has or is limited. If its tapping out the RAM then we need to look to see if we can limit its use.


        July 31, 2015 at 5:29 pm

      • “gaia”

        Thanks. The live bootable USB I’m using for Linux Mint 17.2 is just for temporary experimental purposes. Although Linux runs pretty slow, it’s fast enough for me to get to grips with it.

        I’m impressed with Linux after just a day on it. I might just try out other distros and learn all the tweaks and pros and cons of the different variations.

        By the way, I don’t want to go in too deeply about memory usage and a thousand other aspects of IT etc, etc, etc… We’ll be at it for ever then!!!

        When I get a new computer I like the idea of saving around £100.00 by using free Linux instead of Windows, so it’s fun to learn Linux in the meantime – even on a slowish USB stick!!!


        July 31, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      • Gazza and gaia

        Re Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon

        I’ve created a new bootable USB – this time without any “persistence” space on it. The result? Linux MInt goes like a rocket from the 8GB USB 2.0 stick!!! I’m well pleased!!!

        Here is an excellent site for Linux users, new and advanced alike:



        August 3, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      • What an operating system running of off a micro SD card?!


        August 3, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      • Has to be first. A sight to behold 🙂


        August 3, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      • “the writeable media is good for 100K read/writes” – how long is that going to last running an operating system? A nano second 🙂


        August 3, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      • “Kernel”

        A bootable USB flash drive is a standard method of initially using an Operating system such as Linux Mint. You could even run a slimmed down version of Linux called “Puppy Linux” for example on a micro SD card – which you seem so incredulous about!

        You could, of course, alternatively use a DVD; either way It’s intended as a temporary method, which gives a user the chance to learn the new Operating System before installing it permanently on the computer’s hard disk – either by itself, or alongside Windows.

        USBs are easier to use than DVDs!


        August 4, 2015 at 7:47 am

  25. Harriet Harman has written to the Prime Minister to insist that the Government’s cuts to tax credits should be scrutinised by a select committee inquiry.

    The interim Labour leader said the legislation is being “sneaked through the backdoor” with the “scantest possible parliamentary scrutiny.”

    Ms Harman accused the Prime Minister of pushing through measures that were not the Conservative manifesto and reminds David Cameron: “On 30 April 2015, in response to a question on whether you would cut Child Tax Credit, you said: ‘No I don’t want to do that’.”



    July 31, 2015 at 10:38 am

  26. fff gaia you can’t run an operating system of off a USB! USB sticks aren’t really meant for constant re-writing operations. You can only do a limited number of write operations before you have to bin the USB stick.


    August 3, 2015 at 10:25 pm

  27. fff gaia you can’t run an operating system of off a USB stick! USB sticks aren’t really meant for constant re-writing operations. You can only do a limited number of write operations before you have to bin the USB stick.


    August 3, 2015 at 10:26 pm

  28. ffs gaia you can’t run an operating system of off a USB stick! USB sticks aren’t really meant for constant re-writing operations. You can only do a limited number of write operations before you have to bin the USB stick.


    August 3, 2015 at 10:27 pm

  29. ffs gaia you can’t run an operating system of off a jam sandwich!


    August 3, 2015 at 10:34 pm

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