Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

I Million Hits for Ipswich Unemployed Action.

with 48 comments

Tossed by the Waves We Will Not Sink: We Stand Together By Our Banner.

I Million Hits for Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Today we have reached a watershed: 1,000,097 hits (16.15 Tuesday).

Ipswich Unemployed Action was founded in 2009.

The Site was created by two people, myself, and a young chap from Ipswich.

The intention was to describe what it’s like being unemployed, and to criticise the various “schemes” put in place to to deal with us.

The aim was to let out of work people say what they think about the way officials and the ‘unemployment business’ treat us – not what we’re told to say.

A bit like the alternative community newspapers of the 1970s,

We have always considered the comments to be the most important part of the Ipswich Unemployed Action site.

We also link to numerous Blogs, notably the always essential reading, the Void.

And a range of people on Twitter, such as I’m a JSA claimant @imajsaclaimant

Welfare Weekly has become important as well.

Apart from the fact that many posts come from people writing here – as well as from people I know in Ipswich – it’s the kind of open and up front things people come out with, the information we exchange with each other, that have given this site its special flavour.

Ipswich Unemployed Action has featured in Private Eye, the Sunday Times, and on Radio Suffolk.

We  have been asked by countless other news organisations for information.

My mate from one of the Ipswich estates – produced some of the best posts ever.

But we think that it’s our readers and commentators who matter most.

We have participated in the protests organised by groups such as the  DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts), and more recently UNITE Community.

I urge everybody to join UNITE Community – it’s there for the unemployed, for all of us.

This was an important one (2014): Iain Duncan Smith Greeted with Shouts of ‘Murderer’ as he visits Ipswich.

We support the great Boycott Workfare campaign.

Always with strong links to the Unemployed Workers’ Centres we have attended national meetings at the TUC – the most recent being in 2015, the TUC Welfare Conference: Action on Sanctions and Workfare!

We back this:

The Charter promotes:

  • A Political commitment to full employment achieved with decent jobs..
  • A wage you can live on for all and a social security system that works to end poverty.
  • No work conscription – keep volunteering voluntary.
  • Representation for unemployed workers.
  • Appoint an Ombudsman for claimants.
  • Equality in the labour market and workplace; equality in access to benefits.
  • And end to the sanctions regime and current Work Capability Assessment – full maintenance for the unemployment and underemployed.
  • State provision of high quality information, advice and guidance on employment, training and careers.

This what we said on our founding (May 2009)

Who is sticking up for the Unemployed? Not many. Who is the best placed to do so? Those out of work.  Ipswich Unemployed Action is a group of out-of-work local people determined to stand up for our rights.

What are we up against?

  • The abuses of the ‘New Deal’ scheme. Those who sign-on here know that the YMCA is getting paid to lock up over 150  people in a shed – ‘Dencora House’, doing ‘job search’ all day. They know the conditions they have to endure – treated like children, no proper facilities (computers, even enough toilets).  There are no placements. If they complain they are threatened with being ‘exited’ – losing all benefits.
  • The coming ‘Flexible New Deal’ will be even worse. We intended to expose the company who’s won the local contract A4e – its links with shady senior politicians (step forward David Blunkett), and its record of abusing New Deal participants.
  • Workfare will be a con – forced labour for our dole with private contractors coining it in.

What do we want?

  • We want the minimum wage for any ‘voluntary’ work they make us do.
  • There should be an independent appeal and monitoring system – open to all – for anyone on the ‘New Deal’. Not the present shambles,
  • We want real training, not the YMCA etc sham.
  • Above all we want to be treated as human beings – not things the DWP and Government Ministers can claim rights over. We should have rights, and we want them now!
  • And now, we want the Dencora House  detention centre closed down!

Any suggestions? Join us. All welcome.

This what happened in June 2009: Banned For Blog: YMCA Suppresses Dissent.


This morning I went to Dencora House, Ipswich. For my ‘New Deal’ induction at YMCA Training. A little while in and I was summoned. YMCA manager and colleague. Copies of this Blog, and the Ipswich Unemployed Action’s, on the table. Nervous type. Points to print-out. Picture of medieval Bastille. Legend, “Storm Dencora House“. Liked he it not. Or calling it a “detention centre”. Oh dear. Next, famous (hundreds of viewings), New Deal: YMCA Training, A Major Scandal.

Finally, their account of  this,

“I have placed this website as the Home Page on all computers at Dencora House today. Hopefully some of my fellow detainees here will read it. There has also been print outs of your articles left around the centre. The staff have been going round ripping them off the walls. They then get put up again.

People who merely found this site as the home page have been undertaking these actions on their own. Hopefully more people will involve themselves in such sabotage. If we make it too much hassle for them to treat us like this then they will be forced to stop!”

The upshot is I face being suspended from all benefits for exercising my (see YMCA Induction Pack), “freedom of conscience”. Apparently human rights do not apply to the out-of-work on the New Deal. Still no doubt they’ll find some way of justifying themselves. YMCA Mission Statement, “Motivated by its Christian faith, YMCA Training’s mission is to inspire individuals to develop their talents and potential and so transform the communities in which they live and work.” Needs some creative re-writing.

Oh yes, one of our many invisible supporters  tells us that they’ve blocked their computers’ access to our Blog.

I was reinstated pretty quickly and the YMCA ended up treating me decently.

You wonder what would happen today with the rules they have brought in.

Indeed little did I realise that the YMCA turned out to be sweeties compared to what has happened since.

Particularly after the Liberal-Tory Coalition.

Iain Duncan Smith has stalked the land seeking out poor people to oppress, unelashing the DWP ‘sanction regime’.

The Cameron government has lost no opportunity to let their mates in the ‘unemployment business’  pick the pockets of the state and make the lives of the unemployed a misery.

These are some of more recent best viewed posts:

Is it Compulsory to Register with Universal Jobmatch? What Evidence of Jobsearch do we have to provide? 2015.

35 Hours JobSearch: We Publish the Mad DWP Guidelines. 2014.

Universal Jobmatch – List of fake ’employers’ (Part 1)  2014.

This video shows what we stand for:  we stand together, we never give up!


48 Responses

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  1. Back in 2009 I was that busy with working many hours, {not in the UK} I didn’t know what was going on in the UK, If it wasn’t for Ipswich Unemployed Action I wouldn’t know as much as I do regarding the rights of the unemployed.


    January 19, 2016 at 5:25 pm

  2. Keep Fighting everyone.

    This site has been a invaluable resource for information and advice and as important – support in these “Interesting times”.

    Info Dump:

    JJ Joop – CWP update from next week will be on the 9th Manager in 11 months! New area Manager is a right nightmare apparently.

    Information Act SAR Request:

    Some may know that I Verbally [in line with DWP’s own instructions to staff on Page 3] and in Writing put in a SAR requesting all info on myself back in December. This week finally received a reply. The required Acknowledgement date was 20Dec15 – so its some 20 odd days outside. Then again it was given to same the twat who discriminated against myself and who said did not accept SAR in either verbal or written form.

    Now the odd thing is, is DWP is setting limits on the request by saying that if no reply [despite verbally and in writing made the request back in December and in accordance with their own rules to boot] after 20 days the SAR request is null and void as not on their own form.

    This is going to get interesting in how they explain that double talk.


    January 19, 2016 at 6:19 pm

  3. i have been posting here since the work programme site so long ago and when was sent to the work programme handed them the 6 page letter from that site and was out the dump in 20 mins.

    went for my exit report 2 years later and my file was blank pmsl 400 quid for nothing. FRAUD…

    since then the jcp has sent me here there and everywhere and as i will not sign there contracts have not had to stay and do any off it.

    yes they have sanctioned me over and over and have one every single one of them because i can use there own rules and reg against them why i have grate fun going to sign on as i can drive them up the wall across the ceiling and out the window.



    January 19, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    • Did you find the form you needed superted? Gazza may know.


      January 19, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    • superted what form you after?

      As enigma has indicated I might be able to locate/find it for you.


      January 19, 2016 at 7:23 pm

  4. gl24

    dont say that on the back of the letter tho does it just to make it hard as possible and jcp staff will not give you 1 either, also got the doc to right up a letter for me tho will cost 20 quid admin fee.

    ive also got another sick note for 3 months and am on extended sick on jsa so the decision was WRONG as even the adviser says im not fit to work. or just dont want me in there office any more lol

    as they said i cant use the same sick note again ie fracture arm its now been changed so after the 13 weeks can fire off another esa claim if i wanted.

    so i have managed to bypass the medical decision, appeal or not im back on esa after 13 weeks 🙂


    January 19, 2016 at 7:29 pm

  5. Andrew Coates:

    You’re on the New Deal. I thought that scheme had bit the dust ages ago.

    jj joop

    January 19, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    • i just failed every time so they just change the name and think its something brand new to try brain wash ppl.

      same shit same shovel different name, yeah like im going to fall for that lol


      January 19, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    • JJ, Andrew was referring to what happened in 2009 while on new deal.


      January 20, 2016 at 8:26 am

  6. The companies working to bring youngsters in from the cold.

    Christine Hodgson, chair of the Careers and Enterprise Company on how to improve young people’s access to work in areas with few big employers.

    For Christine Hodgson, 51, chair of the Careers and Enterprise Company, the answer is simple: schools and employers need to work far more closely together to prepare young people for work.

    volunteers who will work with a school to develop ways of engaging with local businesses and building careers and enterprise advice into the curriculum. The volunteers will be supported by paid co-ordinators, the first 23 of whom have already been appointed.



    January 20, 2016 at 9:13 am

  7. Meanwhile, more cost-cutting Tory lunacy – this time concerning the police.

    Since 2010, around 17,000 real police jobs have been axed by the Tories to save money. Now there is to be more “uniformed civilians” given powers to detain suspects for 30 minutes and issue on-the-spot fines etc.

    This is mickey-mouse policing on the cheap. Lunacy!



    January 20, 2016 at 9:17 am


      And now here is another police story – this time involving two ex-police officers (now civilians) threatening an Iraq war veteran with arrest if he did not answer questions about the Iraq war.



      January 20, 2016 at 9:24 am

    • It’s all about volunteers Tobanem. not good at all for all who will lose their jobs because of where we are all going.

      Civilian recruits will help police solve cybercrime under an expansion of the role of volunteers in England and Wales, the home secretary has said.

      The plans include measures to give more power to support staff and volunteers.

      Forces will be able to identify volunteers who specialise in accountancy or computing for cyber and finance inquiries, Theresa May said.

      Unison, which represents police staff, says it is concerned it is a cheap way of plugging gaps left by cuts.



      January 20, 2016 at 10:28 am

      • Well, you know the old saying – NEVER VOLUNTEER!!!!!!


        January 20, 2016 at 11:42 am

      • Never volunteer for anything? what about food banks.


        January 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      • Traffic wardens could be phased out under new plans expected to be announced by the Home Secretary.

        Theresa May is to set out a proposal to replace them with an army of unpaid police volunteers, according to reports.

        The formal role of traffic warden is expected to be abolished as part of a plan that will see unpaid police volunteers’ powers extended to issuing fixed-penalty notices, and detaining suspects for up to 30 minutes while a uniformed constable arrives.

        The plan will be included as part of changes to the Home Secretary’s policing and crime bill, aimed at freeing up uniformed police officers’ time.

        Mrs May said: “We want to help forces to create a more flexible workforce, bring in new skills and free up officers’ time to focus on the jobs only they can carry out.

        “At the same time, we want to encourage those with skills in particular demand, such as those with specialist IT or accountancy skills, to work alongside police officers to investigate cyber or financial crime, and help officers and staff fight crime more widely.”

        Evening Standard.


        Andrew Coates

        January 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      • Now traffic wardens, it doesn’t stop does it, who’s next because there will be yet more plans for yet more employed people to be laid off and replaced with so called volunteers, of course there will be those who will gladly volunteer but most as in all other cases will be forced with the usual threat of losing ones benefit.


        January 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      • Keep volunteering voluntary, that’s what I agree with, forced labour is wrong in 2016 or at any other time in history.


        January 21, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      • Amazon says it will take on 2,500 new permanent staff in the UK this year, bringing its total number of UK employees to 14,000.

        In its statement announcing the new jobs Amazon said it was looking for people with all types of experience, education and skill levels.

        It also highlighted its adult education programme, Career Choice which it said helps employees gain skills which they can use both working for Amazon and elsewhere.



        January 22, 2016 at 3:26 pm

  8. Indeed Tobanem.

    There are also some pretty strange people who volunteer for this kind of thing.

    The whole idea is beyond parody.

    Perhaps they will soon also have volunteers to supervise those sent to Community Action Programme.

    Andrew Coates

    January 20, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    • A lot of people get off on ‘power’; their will be no shortage of ‘volunteers’ for these ‘jobs’. Why pay people to do a job when there is no shortage of people to do their job for nothing. The police are well over-paid. You could ‘recruit’ them all for £0. The police take the piss. They actually enjoy what the do and get paid for it. Imagine having the ‘power’ to ‘detain’ people, cuff them and issue them with fines 🙂 Wow! 🙂

      Of course you won’t see any ‘volunteers’ for MWA/CWP workfare-type jobs like being worked to death in a ‘recycling’ plant or standing around in a ‘charity’ shop all day.

      Volly Teer

      January 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    • And you would get people who would volunteer to supervise MWA/CWP/! Imagine having the ‘power’ to sanction a human being, cut off their means of survival, and have them thrown onto the cold streets to starve to death 🙂 Wow, just wow! Just like the police the sick fuckers who do this for a living in the DWP/’providers’ enjoy every minute of it and get paid handsomely to boot: “We cannot pay you jobseekers allowance” 🙂 Lovely! 🙂

      Volly Teer

      January 20, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      • There are many out there who would be happy to sanction anyone for anything. we’ve all know those kind.


        January 20, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      • Know & known even!


        January 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    • Lets se if I can make a list for everyone?:

      Volunteer Probation Officers – Off Duty Policemen [“I remember arresting you…”]
      Volunteer Accountants – [“Call me privately as I’ve got a nice little tax dodge going….]
      Volunteer Firemen – Insurance salesmen – nuff said
      Volunteer policemen – power seekers

      Add and mix for your own nightmare

      You will note there are no Volunteer Bosses, or MPs in that list…. I wonder why, maybe something to do with no money in the trough?


      January 20, 2016 at 6:13 pm

  9. The One Million ‘Hits’ Big Prize competition has now closed. Congratulations to the lucky winner! Your prizes are on their way 🙂

    Many thanks to all those who took part and a big special thanks to our sponsor Abbot Ale 🙂

    More great Big Prize competitions coming soon. Stayed tuned!

    Andrew Coates

    January 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm

  10. WOW, one MILLION hits and counting… and almost SEVEN years!!!

    It has been truly amazing, hundreds of people commenting with thousands of comments – some information better than my articles! IUA, along with the Void, Boycott Workfare, DPAC, etc have really piled on the pressure on the Government and private sector contractors. On a few occasions they were at breaking point… A4e almost collapsed overnight, a memo was published to all WP providers to counter the RefuseWP campaign – thousands of jobseekers avoided it and others were less lucky when TSol, DWP and Government Ministers colluded in putting an end to it (without lawful authority) – and Universal Jobmatch almost scrapped for the shambles it is.

    I remember Rare Breeds Sally Smith Assistant Manager at YMCA Training’s Dencora House Detention Centre on Labour’s New Deal, before then when people had to “volunteer” in the YMCA charity shop in Westgate Street… and not to forget, lifting very heavy recliner leather sofas up and down the stairs in British Heart Foundation (BHF) Furniture and Electrical store in St Matthews Street, whilst female jobseekers just “looked pretty” at the counter twiddling thumbs with boredom.

    Seetec in Princes Street… and TNG on Flexible New Deal in Wolsey House in Princes Street… a complaint I logged with TNG (which left business rates demands on open display!) later resulted in the woman losing her job… (This was due to her not forwarding my CV on and claiming a business relationship with Haven Power at Ransomes Europark The Havens – when I chased up the CV, not only did Haven Power confirmed that they haven’t not received it but also didn’t know the contact or even what “TNG” was or did. Seemed reasonable thing to lose your job for. I guess it was my fault for following-up job applications. hmm )

    I phoned up an employment agency a year or so after this happened, she answered the phone. Remembered my name with a grudge. (At first I didn’t notice it was her or knew that she got sacked, I have a “life” and don’t hold grudges) She was rude, abusive and hung up… I later got the manager/owner for the agency (Agentis Solutions in Friars Courtyard) on the phone about half an hour later who denied the phone call happened, despite being a small agency with only a few people on the phones. Have since rubbed shoulders with people who despise that agency Agentis Solutions Agricultural, common problems include not being paid *again* or not giving out wage slips.

    Ian Barker Jobcentre Plus Manager, Ipswich Jobcentre…. was also an interesting memory… https://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/ymca-affair-partial-victory/#comment-998 The shit hit the fan, despite telling me and everyone he was Jobcentre Plus Manager… he was actually New Deal Manager for Ipswich Jobcentre Plus… quite a difference. Probably a lie you could get away with down the pub or at a coffee shop on a date; not when the “customer” you were bullshitting was “recording” the conversation and reporting it to your superior. I remember … “I don’t think you are writing those letters…” one week threatening 6 month benefit sanctions, and the next he completely stepped back and my absence of being put back on New Deal was subsequently negotiated.

    Many jobcentre memories… standing outside in the cold with groups of people waiting for the jobcentre to open – deliberately opened later the colder it was outside. Being ejected from jobcentre plus by police and threatened to be banned from the town centre because the grumpy woman refused to sign me on because she was having a bad day (probably doesn’t get sarcasm). Advisors storming off and terminating the interview because they cannot stand the pressure and don’t like not being in control. Sanction dodging was fun especially for New Deal and Flexible New Deal… sorry TNG, I didn’t have an active claim on that day, I signed off and backdated the day to avoid it. Their faces when they check for the sanction on their system… and see its been refused by Jobcentre Plus. Well worth losing two days money. LOL

    Universal Jobmatch

    January 20, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    • I hope you are doing well Uni.

      I did mention your valued contribution.

      People in Town who know of the Blog often begin by referring to your posts: one bloke said last year how important the guides has been to him.

      I had to tell him it was not me but you.

      Andrew Coates

      January 20, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      • Hi Andy

        Apologies for the late reply! Almost 2 months…

        Not doing too bad, yeah I hope my contributions have been really helpful to some people over the years.

        Out of curiosity, what guide was he referring to?

        Universal Jobmatch

        March 19, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    • After many emails back and forth to a certain company I am headed towards a full time job, at 60 hours per week.


      January 21, 2016 at 5:43 pm

  11. UK Unemployed Action?


    January 20, 2016 at 5:10 pm

  12. How much would each person receive?

    British parliament to consider motion on universal basic income.

    Green MP Caroline Lucas has tabled a motion calling for more research into the policy.

    MPs in the British Parliament are being asked to consider the question of introducing a universal basic income paid unconditionally to all citizens.

    An Early Day Motion on the policy, tabled by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, calls on the Government to commission research into the idea’s effects and examine its feasibility to replace the UK’s existing social security system.

    The motion, which raises the profile of the idea but is very unlikely to be adopted into law, says the policy “has the potential to offer genuine social security to all while boosting entrepreneurialism”.

    A universal basic income is the idea of paying all citizens a flat, unconditional income, unusually instead of existing policies like means-tested benefits.



    January 20, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    • Last month the respected think-tank the RSA suggested that the UK adopt a universal basic income of £71 a week for all adults, with children also getting a payment similar to child benefit.


      January 20, 2016 at 10:12 pm

  13. At least that French dude in the video in the article won’t get busted for plagiarism or whatever the French word is 😀 “We won’t give up” lol

    Tom Petty

    January 20, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    • Think you will find that is was Petty who plagiarised the French guy, not the other way around… 😉 Anyway, the French musician’s finely polished production stands head and shoulders above Petty’s rambling vocals and shoddy musical arrangement… 😉


      January 20, 2016 at 11:40 pm

  14. And so it continues: Axed steelworkers are already facing benefit sanctions ‘for not applying for jobs in bars’ .

    Axed steelworkers have already been threatened with benefit sanctions just two weeks after they lost their jobs, it’s been revealed.

    An MP described the “horrendous” treatment at the hands of Jobcentre staff in Redcar, where 2,200 workers lost their jobs when the SSI works closed in October.


    Andrew Coates

    January 21, 2016 at 11:16 am

    • As soon as a claimant first walks into a JC they will be targeted for a sanction, how many of them know any rights/&regs – especially after been employed for years, as in the steel workers. of course the DWP know this.


      January 21, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    • And the X traffic wardens will be threatened with sanctions not long into the world of the DWP.


      January 21, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      • enigma

        here in london if they don’t get enuff tickets in a day that’s already in place!


        January 22, 2016 at 4:43 pm

  15. OT: Even if Disabled – Work will set you Free!

    Hat-tip to Refuted


    Nails it Spot on.


    January 21, 2016 at 4:40 pm

  16. Jobcentreplus advisors lack intelligence,they do not understand the concept of zero hrs contract unfortunately 90 percent of jobs are like it and you are being bullied into it.
    It’s not a case of cheap labour its a case of insecurity which you are being bullied into.
    You get of Jobseekers allowance the only place to seek refuge is battersea power station were you clean toilets sweep the floors take abuse from manargers and are imprisoned for 11 hrs unable to leave site for you lunch and biometricaly fingerprinted and face scanned.
    Hundreds of jobcentrestaff work program providers bully claimants into going the battersea slave camp for work.
    Plenty there if you can handle it.
    The place is full of Eastern European workers if you are English or non white you are classed as an alien.
    I refer to main contractors skanska and carrilion management.

    Buck Rodgers

    February 7, 2016 at 2:19 am

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