Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Iain Duncan Smith in Stout Denial on Failure of his Welfare ‘reforms’.


Anything Wrong? Not my Fault Says Iain Duncan Smith.

The Guardian publishes a long interview with Iain Duncan Smith today,

This is worth noting,

Duncan Smith said that Britain’s welfare system – in particular the way in which the pay packets of the low-paid are topped up through tax credits – worsened the problem of dependency by reducing incentives to work. His grand idea, worked on in opposition at his Centre for Social Justice thinktank, and introduced when he came to power, was to encourage people into work by merging out-of-work benefits and in-work support into one monthly payment, known as universal credit. The new system is meant to encourage the low-paid to work longer hours by slowing the pace at which benefits are withdrawn, known as tapering, so that people will receive more of the extra money they earn.

Transferred from the seminar rooms of thinktanks to the reality of Whitehall, universal credit has been subject to numerous delays and criticised by various select committees, although it is now in operation in 54% of jobcentres and will be in 100% of them by next spring. But Duncan Smith is unapologetic about his mission. “What I have tried to set out, from universal credit right the way through, is have a look at the problem, figure out what the problem is, and try to get a system – which, after all, is on a huge scale – at least able to cope with individuals and people, and have the scope to be able to rectify issues and problems. There will always be problems and issues.”

As he prepares to travel to Manchester for the Conservative party conference, Duncan Smith is opening a new front on welfare reform as he outlines reforms to the WCAs. These were blamed by Mary Hassell, the coroner who conducted the inquest into the death of O’Sullivan, for acting as the “trigger” for his suicide.

There follows a lengthy defence of the changes to the  out-of-work employment support allowance (ESA) and the new “fit for work”  programme, and the DLA tests.

For those unwilling to go through this the Guardian also states in a handy form the main points of Iain Duncan Smith’s self-justification in the following key areas.


He used the interview to defend:

  • work capability assessment (WCA), the much-criticised gateway to the main out-of-work disability benefit, the employment support allowance (ESA), which is claimed by 2.5 million people. The five-year-old WCA has been plagued by backlogs, lengthy appeals and, according to Duncan Smith, is too binary in deciding whether someone is fit or not fit for work.
  • Defend the planned removal of an income measure from the child poverty target, saying it is better to measure and target the underlying causes of poverty such as educational attainment and family stability.
  • Reject criticisms of his department’s benefit sanctions system, saying he did not know of any jobcentre staff “flinging around sanctions”. He said: “There are a bunch of Labour MPs who hate sanctions and they don’t want them at all. I can understand that. I don’t agree with it because I think our system is predicated on this idea that there is a deal taking place.”The number of jobseeker allowance (JSA) sanctions has gone down by 380,000 over the past year to 507,000.

It would be interesting to know the details about these claims, particularly of the sanction figures. You can look up the latter yourself, but it’s hard going to try to work out the neat total Iain Duncan Smith offers: Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance sanctions: decisions made to March 2015. It is clearly the case that the massive expansion of sanctions has ended. But are they back to former levels? Are they reasonable?


Why is there such a massive variation in numbers?

Are there simply 380,000 thousand people fewer who are now obedient and eager to fulfil their ‘obligations’?

This shows something fundamentally wrong with the sanction system.

And anybody who thinks that making 507,000 people suffer extreme poverty is a success has something wrong with them.

The Guardian was too tactful – or too ill-informed – to bother to ask IDS about his failing Work Programme and Workfare plans. Or the kind of the fraud and failure they are wrapped up in.

This, by contrast, is without doubt a true observation:

Duncan Smith can expect to be cheered to the rafters at the Conservative conference for sounding tough on welfare. There will no doubt be an appetite for his decision earlier in the summer to scrap the government’s child poverty target and to replace it with a new duty to report worklessness, addiction and educational attainment.

77 Responses

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  1. Well that’s Patrick Wintour crossed off my Xmas card list.

    Another Fine Mess

    October 3, 2015 at 11:56 am

  2. Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions and commented:
    He’s the monster that lurks.

    A psychopathic, narcissistic, sociopath with no human emotions except for greed and himself.

    The Porcelain Doll

    October 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm

  3. Here’s a thought:

    If anyone gets the chance and actually speaks to IDS, ask him these 3 questions.

    1. – Can you remember the reason you first got into politics?

    2. – Do you remember the last time you had compassion for someone?

    3. – Do you actually remember having something called fun?

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    October 3, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    • 4 – Other than claiming expenses off the tax-payer, is there anything at all you’ve ever done that’s been a success.

      Another Fine Mess

      October 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      • He is not meant to be a success.

        He is made to take all the anger and hatred people feel against the Welfare ‘reforms’ on himself as they steadily push the agenda further and further towards destroying any welfare system and replacing it with an privately run insurance scheme and workfare/training run by ‘providers’ in the Tory camp living off the public purse.

        As a committed Christian he is also there to make sure that charities take some of the role of the equal welfare state, so that we are reduced to dependency on the good-will of Mr and Mrs Bountiful.

        Iain Duncan Smith: a human punching bag.

        Andrew Coates

        October 3, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      • AFM:


        Obi Wan Kenobi

        October 3, 2015 at 3:39 pm

  4. Iain Duncan Smith 2010

    Iain Duncan Smith 2015

    Ian Duncan Smith 2045

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    October 3, 2015 at 1:51 pm

  5. Been looking around the net for any info on Esther McVile since she lost her Conservative Wirral seat – seems like she’s dropped off the planet.

    Total and true thanks to the Wirral voters for doing Great Britain a massive favour.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    October 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm

  6. Don’t worry only around 39,400 hours to go till Thursday 7th May 2020.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    October 3, 2015 at 4:15 pm

  7. I think we all know who this song refers to:

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    October 3, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    • The Commission’s response focuses on three areas from the UK context that we think are highly relevant to the Special Rapporteur’s inquiry:

      The impact reforms to the UK’s social security system on disabled people’s rights to independent living and to an adequate standard of living;

      Whether the design and delivery of health and social care services in England is consistent with the rights to physical and mental health, independent living and freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

      The impact of reforms affecting access to civil law justice in England and Wales on disabled people’s right to effective access to justice.


      October 4, 2015 at 10:20 am

  8. A proper job full, time job, not full time job cuts, A living weekley wage not a living hourly rate its easy for torys to bribe people with tax cuts because labour market is cheap.
    I would rather pay 2 pounds for a loaf of bread and still keep my job not to be used and abused by employment agency freeloader jobcentreplus employers like poundland, tesco,asda,breezmount, all on the work program scheme.
    With concervetives You have living wage, tax cuts, no full time jobs 90% of employers are now using agency staff.

    Tony Montana

    October 4, 2015 at 8:40 am

  9. “have the scope to be able to rectify issues and problems”. and then “There will always be problems and issues”.” some of those who are involved in the think tank, are not up to the job. many people still think that this think tank doesn’t exist and so blame someone or other people for all the suffering when they should look at the source. but then we don’t don’t see those, does anyone know who they are?


    October 4, 2015 at 9:48 am

  10. Hello
    On September 14th, after serving 5 months of my sentence at a charity shop on a CWP (provider and slave trader Groundwork) I was ejected (sacked) for sharing leaflets (but not at the workplace) and possibly, perhaps, maybe protesting against workfare in the local area sometime in the future.
    I attended a meeting to discuss this at Groundwork and took an IWW (iww.org) union rep. I found my own replacement placement and was told it would be sorted.
    I was then sent a MAN2 to attend a ‘pre-screen’ with partner provider Working Links. I attended the appointment at Groundwork and took a Sgint (www.sgint.weebly.com) advocate. The appointment was terminated due to the guy feeling ‘uncomfortable’ that I was accompanied. He thought it bizarre and had never experienced anyone attending with an advocate and was somewhat ignorant of what an advocate was or of my right to be accompanied.
    On my next signing day the Job Centre was under the impression I was already at a new placement and here I am almost 2 weeks later having received no correspondence from either Groundwork or DWP.
    I am due to sign on next on Monday.

    CWP Slave

    October 4, 2015 at 10:00 am

  11. Andrew Coates

    October 4, 2015 at 10:45 am

  12. Manchester protest (from Twitter):

    Andrew Coates

    October 4, 2015 at 11:46 am

  13. Cameron focuses on national and economic security. – what else is in store for us all.



    October 4, 2015 at 2:56 pm

  14. David Cameron rejects calls to soften impact of planned tax-credit cuts.

    Prime minister defends cuts in face of cross-party campaign warning that 3 million of poorest working families will be worse off.

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies said in its post-budget briefing that 13 million families will lose an average of £240 a year, while 3 million families will lose £1,000 a year. Paul Johnson, the IFS director, said it was “arithmetically impossible” for the increase in the minimum wage to compensate for the loss in tax credits.



    October 4, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    • And Cameron’s new answer to many things. “whatever”


      October 4, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      • enigma

        I agree – Blah blah blah – pandering to the Woosters and Wannabe who hate the poor.

        This will I hope bite the ConCons in the ass – realize and scramble to repair the damage but hopefully it will be too late and everyone will see them for what they are – Scum.


        October 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      • And millions of us have this man who comes out with such crap as our PM.

        The sooner they go the better, for everyone.


        October 4, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    • Even with tax credits I’m no better off working 31 hours then I was doing 18. I’m dreading the cuts and the move to the UC

      kat rehman

      October 4, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      • I know what you mean Kat, all we hear is “better off in work” which in most cases is nonsense, food banks are going to get very busy, of course many people will suffer with the loss of tax credits.


        October 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm

  15. Tens of thousands of people have joined an anti-austerity protest in Manchester on the opening day of the Conservative party conference, voicing opposition to policies including spending and benefit cuts, NHS reforms and restrictions on trade unions.



    October 4, 2015 at 6:07 pm

  16. enigma

    October 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm

  17. enigma

    October 4, 2015 at 7:05 pm

  18. enigma

    October 4, 2015 at 7:11 pm

  19. Lets not forget those who were also at the protests in Manchester and London who are expected to work longer hours and be paid less than they currently are. – up to 90 hours per week and a pay cut up to %40.

    Deal over junior doctors’ contracts was torn up, reveals ex-health minister

    Tory MP Dan Poulter says government reneged on an initial agreement last year, replacing it with terms that have triggered ‘understandable’ anger.



    October 4, 2015 at 8:10 pm

  20. Gotta love how those who use their position so wisely love to have the expenses budgets published to shove it in the faces of the very people who pay taxes so we know what a good job they are doing on their gardens and food shopping. Out of all the sperm those ones made it!

    Making waves

    October 4, 2015 at 11:05 pm

  21. Iain Duncan Smith Says Work Is ‘Good For Your Health’



    October 4, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    • Looks interesting.

      Sports Direct site ‘called ambulances dozens of times’

      Inside Out is broadcast on BBC One East Midlands at 19:30 on Monday 5 October and nationwide for 30 days thereafter on the iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06g1gtt

      Another Fine Mess

      October 5, 2015 at 8:07 am

    • “working under fear” as the majority are with being laid off, most know by now that they are stuck in their jobs, weather they like it or not, because they know what will happen if they leave their jobs, and the employers know it, so they take advantage of that and exploit people. I agree that it amounts to that of workhouses.


      October 5, 2015 at 10:26 am

  22. The Taxpayers’ Alliance has been criticised after suggesting the government could cut pensioner benefits now because they might “not be around” at the 2020 general election.

    The comments were made by Alex Wild, the group’s research director, during a fringe meeting at Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

    Mr Wild said the cuts should be made as soon as possible after an election for two reasons.

    He said: “The first of which will sound a little bit morbid – some of the people… won’t be around to vote against you in the next election. So that’s just a practical point, and the other point is they might have forgotten by then.



    October 5, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    • The way this country is going there’s going to be no one left to vote!! With pension cuts, starting jobseekers, sick people being found ‘fit for work ‘ and workers working til they drop….

      kat rehman

      October 5, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      • Starving jobseekers I mean

        kat rehman

        October 5, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      • Jeremy Hunt says. tax credit cuts will make British people work harder. but not make them worse off.


        October 5, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      • – He didn’t say people would be worse off. but then he wouldn’t do, meanwhile Jeremy Hunt now realizes he made a mistake saying what he said. as is the norm for many of those so all good!


        October 5, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      • Not that voting ever solved anything. Vote in Labour next time, and you’ll still have government, whose interests are are not those of the people. Capitalism will still rule the roost, and the government will still take more notice of big business than it does of the voters.

        We need change, but is change that we should be making ourselves, by building our own institutions that belong to us, and only us. Workers should be taking over the industries they work in, and sacking the parasite bosses.

        Big protest marches are good for the soul and have an important psychological value, but in and of themselves they are pretty ineffective at bringing any kind of change. Real change has to come from deep within each and every one of us imagining a better future and then committing ourselves to making it real.

        Yes, of course it has to be within the realms of the possible, the doable, the practical, but why not have dreams? It was such aspirations that drove those well-meaning, but ultimately flawed reformers who brought us the Welfare State, despite the fact that already much was being done by ordinary people themselves without the state. State control means government control, and if there is government control we are fucked, as we should have learned by now. Voting in a Labour government next time will only maybe reverse some of the Tory reforms, but we should be demanding now that IF we get a Labour government that they bring in changes that put things like the Health Service directly in the hands of those working in it and the patients who use it, i.e. all of us. Transport likewise should be placed in the hands of transport workers and so on. No state ownership.

        Abolish government, as it’s expensive and undemocratic – we can do the job ourselves at a fraction of the cost, and far more efficiently.

        Read stuff on libcom.org for ideas of how to run a democratic, non-hierarchical, free society without the millstone that is called government.


        October 9, 2015 at 11:20 am

    • enigma

      whats not to like [if you’re a ConCon that is?] the scenarios :-

      Pensioner converts money to buy expensive goods gets hit by huge unexpected tax bill, sent to poor house, must work from there on.
      Pensioner doesn’t spunk off pension, so lets reduce benefits and Nudge his/her health in the right direction, claim unused pension when kicks the bucket
      Pensioner doesn’t spunk off pension, so lets reduce benefits and Nudge his/her health in the right direction, oh they’re now senile so they won’t notice.


      October 6, 2015 at 10:32 am

  23. A national disabled people’s organisation is to provide disability equality training workshops to staff from the controversial US-owned company that won the government contract to assess people’s “fitness for work”.

    Disability Rights UK (DR UK) will provide training to about 1,600 members of staff employed by the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA), which is owned by the US outsourcing giant Maximus.

    Every member of CHDA staff – including healthcare professionals, managers and reception staff – will go through the training, which will be delivered through about 100 two-hour workshops.



    October 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    • Enigma I saw the tax credits article apparently I lack self respect by relying on tax credits and not earning 16,000 a year. No matter I work 5 hours a day in back breaking school cleaning and have been promoted to senior midday supervisor..!
      I know it’s not personally directed just at me but I think of my fellow cleaners. We all have health problems and all of us work 2 or 3 jobs!!
      And I don’t buy the unemployed don’t want to work.. They do!! You could have ten million jobs for brain surgeons and still there would be unemployed!
      I physically can’t work any more hours and I can’t put a gun to the council and tell them to up my wages!!
      And now they plan to attack pensioners!!
      I’m utterly livid!!

      kat rehman

      October 5, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      • Don’t let other peoples opinions get you down Kat, it’s just those who are against us. like you I know many here who will lost out, some of them won’t know about this, as you’ll know many people haven’t a clue what is happening.


        October 5, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      • Now Jeremy Hunt says, in an attempt to make up for what he said earlier, “We have to proceed with these tax credit changes because they are a very important cultural signal”

        “My wife is Chinese. We want this to be one of the most successful countries in the world in 20, 30, 40 years’ time”.

        “There’s a pretty difficult question that we have to answer which is essentially: are we going to be a country that is prepared to work hard in the way that Asian economies are prepared to work hard, in the way that Americans are prepared to work hard? And that is about creating culture where work is at the heart of our success.



        October 5, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      • = In short, tax credits for working people are being cut as part of a wider effort to lower the wages and working conditions of the UK to those of China and the U.S.


        October 5, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      • I guess your already helping the new midday supervisor, remember the truth about how many things we have to do in a week, regarding jobs applied for etc.. and those docs on whatdotheyknow which come in handy for us all.

        Myself, I take abour 30 docs with me to sign on, when I’m in front of the advisor I put all those docs on the desk, meanwhile the adviser then wonders what they are ………………….. and so everything goes ok. you know what I mean Kat.


        October 5, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      • Kat, are you in a union? Cleaners are vital to so many organisations, and literally, as you would know, without cleaners and the like, things go down hill pretty quickly. The Tories are very fond of reminding us of the bad old days of Labour in the 70s, especially the Winter of Discontent when people like the bin ‘men’ and mortuary workers, and fire ‘men’ went on strike for better wages, or rather, pay rises to take account of what they were losing through inflation, which was around 25% pa at the time, if I’m not mistaken. Soon there was a real mess, with bodies building up, and mountains of rubbish left mouldering in the streets. The poorly paid but essential staff potentially wield tremendous power, as you know. No cleaners = No School! Now I’m not advocating that everyone should go on strike at the drop of a hat, as the strike should be the ultimate deterrent, but other actions can be very effective in improving conditions.

        The IWW has an industrial union that is largely made up of cleaners, and it has been very successful in getting significant improvements for cleaners. This link is for the London area, but they would be more than happy to hear from anyone in the UK:


        There is also the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain IWGB, which is similarly organised to the IWW, though one caveat is that they also represent security guards, which the IWW won’t do, as they are part of the repressive system:


        There is also the United Voices of the World, which again is predominantly cleaners, and again very similar in structure to the IWW – this is no surprise given that both UVW and IWGB have their roots in the IWW, but for various reasons, left the IWW and set up on their own.

        The biggest, and cheapest of all three is the IWW, where monthly dues start at £2 for most workers, though for claimants, pensioners and students it’s £1 a month. I can’t speak for the IWGB or UVW, but the IWW is completely democratic and run by the grass roots. I would think that both the other two are similar in structure and they way in which they are run, but you’d need to ask them about that!


        October 9, 2015 at 11:58 am

      • @ Enigma

        Yes, working conditions are being driven ever downwards, not so much in China where standards and wages have been going up in recent years, and workers becoming increasingly militant. What is happening now, is that there is a bit more of a crisis now that the Chinese economy has had a bit of a sneezing fit, but they can still grow based on internal demand. What has also happened in the Chinese economy that workers laid off as a result of the economic crash of 2008 is that many returned to the rural communities they came from and decided to stay, thus creating a bit of an employment shortage, which of course put upward pressure on wages. We don’t get to hear about what is going on in terms of worker organisation, as it’s no doubt doubly repressed, firstly by the Chinese government, and secondly by the mainstream press in the developed world.

        In the USA there have been some remarkable victories on the part of low paid workers campaigning for $15 an hour. Teachers too have become very involved in radical action, as in many places in the USA there are increasing pressures being placed on them. This is also in the face if so called ‘Right to Work’ legislation which seeks to remove the right for unions to act at all, and despite the high minded label, is in reality heavily anti-worker legislation. The key is organisation, whether through the One Big Union approach of unions such as the IWW, which is active in the USA and Canada as well as the UK and several European countries, or a plethora of other grass-roots workers and people’s organisations, be they unions or social action groups.

        The situation is far from bleak, though no-one could be blamed for thinking that we are on the losing side, but do you know what? Perhaps that isn’t so suprising, given who is telling us, constantly reminding us that we are the losers!

        We must also be wary of ‘messiahs’ such as Jeremy Corbyn. I am pretty sure that Jeremy Corbyn himself doesn’t seem himself as a messiah, but the fact is that is the kind of spell that is being cast over both him, and us. No one man can deliver what we need, and anyway, his position would soon become clear once he was installed in Downing St. He would have to deliver, mainly to the capitalists, and any ‘radical’ solutions would be drastically watered down. Jeremy Corbyn isn’t radical left-wing by a long way, and as someone suggested recently, there were Tories in the 70s who were more left-wing! Perhaps a bit of an over-statement, but not by much!

        The same must be said of those unions who promise the earth, and then don’t deliver. Only unions truly run both by and for the membership can truly be said to reflect the values and aspirations of the workers, and not the bureaucracy are the ones that have a hope of delivering. Any union can achieve this, but none of the TUC affiliated unions is such. There are hundreds, if not thousands of dedicated people who are members of these mainstream unions who are badly let down by their union bureaucracies and paid professional leaderships that do deals behind the backs of the rank and file. The same can be said of organisations such as Unite Community – in essence it looks like a good idea, but is it? Why can’t students, pensioners and the unemployed be full members of the main Unite union? Join Unite Community and you’re likely to be used as cannon fodder by the Trot infiltrators who tend to run the local branches of Unite Community; you’d be better off joining the IWW where you get full membership and all the activity you want for a quid a month!

        I’d urge people to start thinking about joining a union, especially a union like the IWW, who will provide good training to workers on how to organise and start to turn the tide on the bosses and start to make their lives a good bit less comfortable and ours a good deal less constrained. The IWW is growing, largely as a result of more and more marginalised workers realising that things for those in work are getting worse, and are set to become even worse under the constant Tory assault on workers. Unlike mainstream unions, the IWW puts you in control, you make the decisions, you take part in the actions, you, with your colleagues challenge the boss. The IWW will support you with training and advice, encouragement and help.

        Solidarity for Ever!

        (Sorry about the impassioned rant, but sometimes it does require a bit of passion. Some of the above, especially about the IWW being run by the workers might seem like rhetoric, but in fact it’s true. No major decisions can be made without the involvement of the members, and at a local branch level it’s completely down to the local branch, provided it remains within the broad principles and values of the union. However, the IWW is an activist union, and full benefit will only be derived if you are prepared to actually take on the work. The IWW has no paid bureaucracy, and all union officers are subject to recall and at a national level, restricted to two terms in office.)


        October 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    • Disability Rights UK (DR UK),

      Is funded by self same companies with gov support – there is no independence from Corporate control or direction.


      October 6, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      • Thats interesting, thanks for that Gazza,


        October 6, 2015 at 4:30 pm

  24. Just seen one of the grinning neighbours drive past me as I stood in the pouring rain waiting for a bus to get to work in their gleaming brand-new ’65 plate’ Nissan Qashqai courtesy of Mota-fuck-bility. Absolutely fucking livid!

    The Grafter

    October 5, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    • Enigma I read the Chinese comments and it didn’t twig at the time. Sadly u could be right. I’m beginning to think the tide must turn soon. They are basically attacking everyone and everything.
      Thanks for your kind words by the way.
      Solidarity! I may work but I’ve been through the system and know how bad it is.
      One of the new midday supervisors is signing on.she’s not worked in years and lacks confidence.
      Instead of congratulating her on making a start they’re already hassling her to get more hours /more jobs. They are offering her no support at all.

      kat rehman

      October 5, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      • That’s to be expected, sadly. All we can do at the moment is to take stock and see what the emerging pattern is. It’s still too early to see what the full impact of UC will be, as yet there are still so few signed up to it. Also, there seems to be very little information about how exactly it’s affecting workers.

        Unlike the JSA regime, which has been around for 20 years, and is basically just a rehash of what went before, there are well known ways of minimising it’s worst effects if you know the rules, and realise, for example, that most sanctions are actually unlawfully imposed. UC is a game changer, and until we know it’s cull effects we won’t know how to counter it effectively. There are bound to be loopholes and flaws in the system, it’s just a matter of finding them and exploiting them.

        Meanwhile, has your colleague got someone she can take with her to the Jobcentre interrogations? It’s always worth excercising your right to be accompanied, as even though the rules won’t change, the presence of another person is likely to really put the JCP advisor on the back foot. It’s my guess that eventually the DWP will realise what an unmitigated disaster UC really is, and that it will become totally unworkable. That’s not going to help the current ‘early adopters’ who are at present the guinea pigs, and, like your colleague, are suffering from having the pressure piled on.

        Once we’ve worked out ways of opposing UC you can expect some robust actions to counter it. It’s my guess that eventually UC will collapse under it’s own weight, and could well provide for the introduction of an unconditional citizens income as a more rational, sane, and above all, affordable solution to the unholy cockup that UC is going to be.

        What else could the fruit of IDS’s genius be?


        October 9, 2015 at 1:07 pm

  25. ken

    October 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm

  26. “The terrible immoralities are the cunning ones hiding behind masks of morality, such as exploiting people while pretending to help them.”

    – Vernon Howard

    Vernon Howard

    October 5, 2015 at 7:16 pm

  27. OT

    Edward Snowden interview: ‘Smartphones can be taken over’

    The former intelligence contractor told the BBC’s Panorama that UK intelligence agency GCHQ had the power to hack into phones without their owners’ knowledge.

    Mr Snowden said GCHQ could gain access to a handset by sending it an encrypted text message and use it for such things as taking pictures and listening in.

    The UK government declined to comment.



    October 5, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    • So don’t use an iPhone with a sealed battery. Far better to get a cheap Chinese Android smartphone from ebay – then when you go somewhere sensitive, simply follow the old activist practice of switching off and removing the battery. Then let the bastards try and switch your phone on, or try and track you!

      It’s getting to the stage where we need to remind ourselves that sometimes less is more, and resort to low-tech solutions… snail mail instead of e-mail, dead letter boxes etc, messages hidden in plain view, such as a coloured rag fixed to a significant item.

      Use technology for misinformation purposes.

      I know all the above are perhaps a somewhat paranoid response to what GCHQ can do, but we need to remember, that just because we’re paranoid it doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out to get us!

      Our government is scared of us, and so is increasingly keeping us safe from terrorism… by terrorising us!


      October 9, 2015 at 1:18 pm

  28. Now Michael Gove Says …

    People should “challenge” the “undeserving rich” who use their positions to undermine society, Michael Gove has said, insisting that the Conservatives care about inequality.

    The Justice secretary and close ally of David Cameron launched an outspoken attack on the “uber rich” who had “rigged the rules” of the market to their own advantage.


    And, some of us knew this would come.

    Make space for your grandparents at home, Cabinet ministers tell families.

    Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt both said that Britons can learn more from Asia about caring for elderly relatives in their own homes, rather than pay for them to move to care homes



    October 5, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    • I will note that the 16Apr16 regulations don’t turn the screws on home carers nut I have to wonder….
      You know if people connected can say “Dead or Senile” its just a matter of time before they go after carers too.


      October 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      • I was just talking to a carer, he also can see what is coming.


        October 6, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    • I blame the Corbyn effect for all this sudden (mock) Tory concern about compassion. They have more than four and a half years to go before the next general election, and already they’re running scared of this Corbyn guy.


      October 9, 2015 at 1:21 pm

  29. Parents of truants to have benefits docked.

    Parents in England who refuse to pay a penalty after their children play truant will have their child benefit docked, the prime minister has said.

    A civil penalty of up to £120 would be claimed through child benefit if the fine is not paid after 28 days. Currently, 40% of fines go unpaid.

    David Cameron told BBC Breakfast it was about making sure children get “the great start in life that they need”.

    Teaching unions said docking child benefit could end up hurting children.



    October 6, 2015 at 8:33 am

    • Brilliant idea from Leading ConMan…

      Lets make parents have less money for food so starving children don’t concentrate [therefore not learning when in school due to starvation]

      Brilliant – why didn’t I think of that myself….


      October 6, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      • Yes, it is a good way to stop those kids getting any further in education with the possibility of a career so that they can then be exploited on workfare in the future.


        October 6, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      • That’s if those kids are alive.


        October 6, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      • @enigma – even if they do manage to obtain the dubious benefits of a higher education, they’d still end up being exploited on Workfare. There ain’t any jobs, and many of those that the university educated do will end up automated before long.

        Something needs to change. 21st Century economic and technical realities don’t fit well with 19th Century ideas about work. They keep telling us that we need to get a job, and we keep telling them that there just aren’t any jobs, cos they and their mates don’t create the jobs, (and to be fair, there just doesn’t need to be so many jobs if you still insist on a working week being 40 hours.). They of course know this, but persist in believing that we are thick enough eventually believe them if they repeat the lie often enough, (and to be fair, with some evidence to support that view… how many on forums like this come out as having obviously at least partially having swallowed the bullshit fed them by the Daily Mail etc?).

        We need a big, fun campaign that takes the veritable piss out of all the idiots that govern us. Nothing hateful, as hate just breeds hate, and loses support (though hating the deeds, but not the person is okay) but publicly take the piss, educate and have a lot of fun. But it also needs to be a compassionate movement, one that develops and builds it’s own institutions, such as food banks, credit unions, advice centres, cooperatives or whatever the movement decides it needs, all from it’s own resources, and thus always under it’s own control. Not a monolithic, centralised and bureaucratised movement, but a distributed, federalised and decentralised movement based on respecting the wonderful variety there is in being human.


        October 9, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    • If the lessons were interesting and relevant I doubt the truancy rate would be anything like the rate that it is now. School should only be compulsory for the teaching and support staff and voluntary for the kids. Kids and staff should run the school on an egalitarian and democratic basis.

      If school wasn’t so boring and irrelevant the truancy rate would be close to zero. Sure, if democratic control and voluntary attendance became the norm there would initially be chaos… but after a time the vast majority who still played truant would get bored, as they’d soon realise they were essentially kicking against themselves and not some authoritarian regime that seeks to incarcerate them, albeit only between the hours of 9 and 4 each working day.

      Only ‘compulsory’ subjects, the Three Rs (Reading, Writing, Arithmetic) all the rest would follow as those basics would allow the individual to follow their own interests and develop their talents fully.

      The basic question is, is education for the individual; to create self-regulating human beings, or is it brainwashing to provide the next generation of workers to be exploited by the capitalists? Strikes me that our ‘education’ system is producing a docile, but Microsoft ready workforce devoid of any real education.


      October 9, 2015 at 1:35 pm

  30. Reblogged this on Politics and Insights .


    October 18, 2015 at 8:01 pm

  31. this is legit son, nice article farticle


    October 28, 2016 at 9:48 pm

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