Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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Universal Credit Cock-ups: the Computer Industry Speaks.

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“Basic flaw rests in the idea that we can “personalise” benefits for millions of people. There are just too many moving parts; and in a system with millions of iterations, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. “

Following the advice of many people on this Blog, I have been looking at what the chaps and chapettes in the Computer industry have to say about the piss-poor Universal Credit scheme.

It’s with little doubt that the Macedonian News Factory, the ‘alterative facts’ of the DWP will say otherwise but these are some of their views;

Department for Work and Pensions to spend £90m enhancing heavily criticised Universal Credit IT system – much of which will be thrown away

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is to spend a further £90m on enhancing the heavily criticised IT system developed for Universal Credit – much of which will eventually be thrown away.

But the new “twin-track” approach to the project – which involves developing a new digital system largely in-house with little or no contribution from the existing IT contractors – is budgeted to cut the overall IT costs by £135m.

The figures are revealed in the latest draft Universal Credit business case, excerpts of which have been seen by Computer Weekly.

The document shows that the total IT investment cost for the government’s flagship welfare reform programme is expected to be £535m – down from the £670m forecast in a previous business case in late 2012.

The largest element of that cost is £397m for the existing system– the previous total of £670m was entirely attributed to this element of the project – with £307m of that figure already spent.

“Costs reflect actuals of £307m and future expenditure of £90m to cover the stabilisation of the existing live service in Pathfinder, development of the service to accept claims from couples in Spring 2014, families in later 2014 and tax credit claimants in Jan [stet] 2015,” said the draft business case document.

The department admitted in December last year that it was writing off £40.1m of the IT work already completed on Universal Credit, with a further £91m to be written off over a five-year period instead of 15 years as previously planned. This means that by the time Universal Credit is fully rolled out in 2017/2018, at least £131.1m of the planned £397m IT spend on the current system will have been thrown away.

Most of the overall decrease in budget appears to come from the change in approach that sees a new “end-state” digital solution being developed in parallel with enhancements to the existing system, which is currently being used to support the Pathfinder trials for Universal Credit.

As revealed by Computer Weekly earlier this week, the four big IT suppliers working on the existing system – HP, Accenture, IBM and BT – will have “significantly less” involvement in the digital system, with in-house DWP resources preferred.

Building the “end-state solution” will cost £106m based on the latest assessments, according to the business case document. That figure includes external IT costs of £69m and the in-house “Design and Build” team at £37m.

Computer Weekly. 8th of January.

In the same Computer Weekly Paul Spicker comments,

It is easy to blame the IT when things go wrong, but when people are asked to do impossible things, it is not surprising if they do not deliver

The government’s Universal Credit scheme has been bedevilled by a series of disasters. The problems are nowhere more visible than in the Department for Work and Pensions’ failure to set up the IT.
After three and a half years, the systems the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) needs to make the benefit work do not yet exist. Much of what has been produced has been written off as useless; pilots have been repeatedly delayed; the implementation depends heavily on temporary stop-gaps and manual processing; the continuity of management has been blighted by illness and staff leaving.

It is easy to blame the IT when things go wrong, but when people are asked to do impossible things, it should not be surprising if they do not deliver.

Universal Credit (UC) is supposed to combine a range of existing benefits into one, simpler system. Those benefits include:

  • Jobseekers Allowance, for the unemployed;
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), for those too ill to work;
  • Housing Benefit, for tenants on low incomes;
  • Child Tax Credit, for families in and out of work;
  • Working Tax Credit, for people on low wages; and
  • Income Support, for others (such as lone parents and people with disabilities) on very low incomes.

Benefits are complicated for good reasons. They are trying to do lots of different things, in lots of different circumstances. UC won’t make the system markedly less complex. All the component elements will still be there, fortified by a clutch of extra rules.

The big idea was that UC would deliver “personalised” benefits in “real time”. There were obviously difficult IT issues that needed to be resolved – such as matching up records from the DWP, local authorities and HM Revenue & Customs for people in different jobs – and they haven’t been fixed. However, the problems are more fundamental.

Any computer system could only ever hope to go as fast as the information that goes into it. People whose lives are constantly changing often can’t give clear answers to straight questions. Many current claimants are working in “flexible”, insecure employment, but people who are working casually often don’t know if they’re really employed or if they’re going to be paid.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants has warned that many of the self-employed people they work with find it hard to give a sensible account of their income once a year, let alone once a month. People whose relationships are breaking up, or being newly formed, don’t know what their status is. A DWP minister has tried to explain how complicated UC becomes when two divorced people join their families together – the claim has to be dealt with manually.

A recent survey of people with disabilities – all eligible for benefits – found that 62% of respondents did not think of themselves as disabled. Of the rest, 11% said they were disabled “sometimes”.

The problems of benefits have been extensively researched.

People don’t understand the rules. They don’t know when they’re entitled to, or when they stop being entitled. Many people don’t claim benefits they are supposed to receive. There are particular difficulties associated with means-testing – setting up rules that can be enforced, trying to balance equity and incentives and all while trying to keep tabs on fluctuating incomes and constantly changing circumstances.

The most complicated benefits, such as Pension Credit and ESA, are dogged by “fraud and error”, a tally mainly made up of mistakes by claimants and staff.

Past governments have presided over a long series of administrative fiascos. There was Unified Housing Benefit, which relied on a complex calculation and an arcane set of rules. There was the Child Support Agency, which asked for the current income, liabilities and household circumstances of two families. There was the Tax Credit scheme, condemned by the Ombudsman as being unsuited to the needs of people on low incomes.

UC incorporates just about every design feature that hasn’t worked in the course of the last 30 years. And it adds others, such as:

  • “Digital by default”, which can’t work because of basic security requirements – it has already been given up as hopeless:
  • Applying conditions to couples jointly, which means that declarations by one person are never enough;
  • Setting impossible conditions for job search, which can’t be complied with or policed effectively; and imposing sanctions that cut people off benefits for arbitrary fixed periods.

The most basic flaw rests in the idea that we can “personalise” benefits for millions of people. There are just too many moving parts; and in a system with millions of iterations, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. 

To be able to manage, benefit claimants need secure, predictable incomes. A benefit system needs to be simpler, less individual, slower to change and less intrusive. This one is collapsing under the weight of its overweening.

Bear this in mind!

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Written by Andrew Coates

January 31, 2017 at 12:13 pm

136 Responses

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  1. […] via Universal Credit Cock-ups: the Computer Industry Speaks. — Ipswich Unemployed Action. […]

  2. IMAGINE A TRADITIONAL CLOCK

    More importantly imagine a system of cogs that make up that clock, all turning in precise sequence. Now politicians are imagining this but the problem is the teeth of the cog are ever changing.

    Now imagine that clock again but remove the odd cog tooth, what would happen to the time ?

    You see for an I.T system to work properly it must know where all its parts are at any given moment which when it does not results in freezes,corruption and ultimately crash. An OS is an amazingly complicated thing which all other third party software heavily relies on as after all, they are mere additional instructions and nothing more.
    The problem at its core is one of math, a skill most programmers don’t possess to the degree required to possibly overcome this problem. The math here is extremely high level formulae and this particular problem has an enormous amount of ever changing variables at play.

    doug

    January 31, 2017 at 2:03 pm

  3. Taxpayers still putting their foots in their mouths

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/761102/Benefits-cheats-steal-free-jail-prison-sentence

    Now you read a comment section on any post regarding benefits and you always get an audience of people saying how cheated they were as taxpayers. Now it is wrong to take money you don’t deserve, i wont defend that behavior but its equally as wrong for a taxpayer to cry wolf when actually they pay themselves so very little in actuality when we put things under a public expenditure microscope.

    This latest one was for £134’000 BUT the crime itself spans 17 years (almost 2 decades). To put that into context that £7’882.40 per year (less impact and why the paper chose the headline using the biggest figure they could scrap up). Now at anyone point in the last 17 years, there’s been at least 15 million workers paying tax. So if you divide £134’000 alone by 15 million, that equates to 0.0089 per person. If you now divide that by the 17 years that’s 0.00052 per person. So allowing each taxpayer the courtesy of combining years, that means each of them were conned out of just under 1p

    presidents and prime ministers are elected to represent the whole, a taxpayer is not so can only comment on their individual contribution/s. So like media using the biggest figure they legally can to draw effect, every individual taxpayer that dare make a comment of how hard done by taxpayers are is pulling the same deliberate con trick.

    Taxpayers don’t get to decide where their tax revenue and NIC go, the government does and always has.

    doug

    January 31, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    • “Now at anyone point in the last 17 years, there’s been at least 15 million workers paying tax”

      – Income Tax. Everyone pays taxes in the UK.

      Jake Green

      January 31, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      • No they don’t when earning below their tax allowance when divided out for the year be it monthly or weekly.
        All employees are allowed to earn £11’000 per tax year before paying any tax. Also if your below £112 to 155 a week (lower and primary) you also don’t pay NIC.

        All this information is available on the HMRC website.

        Don’t expect to earn 11’000 then pay tax, an employer will determine if you need to pay tax by splitting it down to your pay cycle (ie, if paid monthly then after £916.67) and it makes no difference if your work lasts only a month with this employer.

        doug

        January 31, 2017 at 10:58 pm

  4. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    January 31, 2017 at 3:07 pm

  5. Reblogged this on campertess.

    Tess

    January 31, 2017 at 3:35 pm

  6. In-work conditionality may well turn out to be the killer screw up as far as Universal Credit goes. Suddenly it won’t only be the non-working holding the shitty end of the stick, with sanctions dangling over their heads like the sword of Damocles, but everybody of working age judged fit for work, whether in work or not, if their earned incomes total to less than 35 hours of work each week on the minimum age. That’s in excess of another THREE MILLION people with part-time incomes subject to the same conditionality and sanctions regime as the unemployed.

    But the really daft thing is that David Freud, whose idea this insanity was, believed that “progression” of those forced to seek “more hours with their current employer, or a job with better pay, or more jobs” thought that people falling short on the arbitrary 35 hour requirement could make up the shortfall in hours by cobbling together 35 hours of work by means of several non-full time jobs, blithely disregarding that every job involves a journey most times with a cost in both time and money which had to be met by the worker. What this boils down to is that unless all of your jobs are close together and near to home you won’t be much better off and may even be worse of when you are working 35 hours a week than you were in just one part-time job or no job at all.

    The next problem is that in an economy where people often work irregular hours, which change on a daily or weekly basis, it is impossible to juggle several jobs because you can’t know in advance when and for how long you will be working for a particular employer and therefore when and for how long you will be available to work for another employer. Unless each of your part-time jobs can be scheduled to avoid overlaps it is virtually impossible to work for several employers at the same time, in which case you have to ask if two employers want you to work overlapping hours on the same day what do you do? If you please one you anger the other, and, depending on your contract of employment, could risk being dismissed which under the current rules might get you sanctioned even though it wasn’t your fault.

    Freud thought that several “mini jobs” could be glued together to be equivalent to a full-time job which of course is logistically a load of bollocks, especially when paid a minimum wage rate for your hours. But as soon as you begin to think about it you don’t need to be a genius to see how impossible such a fluid and indefinite working week would be for almost everyone. Plus, as far as I can see, nobody wants to work that flexibly, running from one minimum wage part-time job to another, with a journey there and back for each post.

    The truth of the matter is that Universal Credit as a system is undeliverable as is and no computer system, no matter how sophisticated, will ever make it workable. Computer systems don’t make the impossible possible. Pressing on with this shite without huge simplification and revision is going to cause terrible misery and suffering and yet the government seems hell bent on crashing the train into the buffers.

    Paul

    January 31, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    • Very important point “In-work conditionality”..

      One aspect that strikes me, just when you’d thought you’d got the bastards off your back by getting at least some work, they jump on you again.

      Andrew Coates

      January 31, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      • With millions more people supposed to end up on Universal Credit eventually, both working and non-working, with many more subject to various kinds of conditionality; with 10% of Jobcentres supposedly closing in the foreseeable future and Universal Credit IT system currently buckling at the knees with a mere 5% of those destined to receive the benefit eventually, after years and years of effort, how the heck will or can Universal Credit ever be fit for purpose?

        Who the heck is going to police all this conditionality?

        And how will working claimants feel about being sanctioned, including losing housing benefit and/or being fined, yes, fined just like being a petty criminal, if they fail to satisfy the Jobcentre that they’ve been looking to increase their hours? How will working people feel when they find out that despit working, say, half a week, every week, that they are not entitled to a couple of weeks uninterrupted holiday, but expected to continue “actively seeking work” for the duration of vacation time when not at work?

        Complete and utter unworkable shite.

        Iain Duncan Smith and especially the cancerous David Freud should be taken out and shot.

        Paul

        January 31, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      • Andrew Coates and Paul

        Have you had a play with the universal credit calculator yet online as it makes some interesting results when you do it twice exactly the same but substituting 20 hours for 30. Then your know why in-work conditionality exists.

        As for policing that will all be done by computers, well that’s what they hope will happen. The 35 hour rule isn’t really enforceable as how long is a piece of string yeah. What i could do in ten may take you 15 and the other person 20 so do we unfairly set the bar at 15 and punish anyone over that figure purely because their slower for what ever reason. Also work in the north could be harder to find than down south and so on and so on. The only place they could have a person was if they lie and that’s the whole point of UJM or at least they thought that until people with a brain messed that up for them.

        A system is only as good as the human that built it/ puts information onto database and humans are fallible ergo the system is fallible.

        doug

        January 31, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      • Driving people off benefits one way or another.

        news seeker

        February 1, 2017 at 4:57 am

      • @ doug

        I agree that the 35 hour rule won’t be enforceable but the DWP will, because of it, be enabled to pester the life out of people, including those in part-time jobs, to have to evidence a probably fruitless work search of get sanctioned, which could be a loss of benefit for weeks, months or years like a conventional sanction, or a loss of housing benefit, or a fine! Plus in the case of part-time workers you may not be eligible to interrupted holidays, even if you get paid holidays from your employer pro rata, but might be expected to fill such periods with job search activities which seems particularly spiteful, nasty and mean: If full-time workers are eligible for four weeks of paid holiday per year shouldn’t somebody working, say, half-weeks be entitled to a fortnight of uninterrupted vacation, plus bank holidays, and drop the job search for the duration?

        Whether these petty cruelties are enforceable or not – and they almost certainly won’t be if you box clever – the DWP will have the power to keep jerking your chain and making your life a misery, plus sanction you if you trip or make a mistake at the drop of a hat. My fear is that many innocent and guileless people will end up getting punished unfairly and unjustifiably.

        In-work conditionality is being piloted now, which indicates that the DWP probably hasn’t decided yet how best to apply it. Based on what has preceded it I think we can make a good guess as to what it will end up being like in practice though.

        Paul

        February 2, 2017 at 8:36 am

      • “Petty cruelties” that sums up the entire policy of the government.

        Andrew Coates

        February 2, 2017 at 12:28 pm

  7. I’ve got a brand new adviser
    And I’m not going to give them the key to me my brand new universal jobmatch account
    They can rant and rave all they want
    But I’m not going to give them the key to my brand new universal jobmatch account
    Because my brand new universal jobmatch account is staying under lock and key
    I’ve got a brand new universal jobmatch account and I’m not giving my brand new adviser the key…

    The Wurzels

    January 31, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    • all they can do is give you a job seeker direction to prove that you have an account, just take a screen shot on ur phone.;)

      same goes for
      email
      phone number/Mobil
      cv

      the jcp do not need physical copy’s of any off them for you to claim jsa.

      i have a job seeker direction from 2013 where the roach did put they wanted a paper copy and i did hand one in.

      2 months later had a different coach and again asked for a cv again and pointed out i had given one in and guess what, the old adviser did put it on the system they had received it yet my cv was know where to be found.

      cos they put it in the bin hahaha.

      keep all the paper work ppl 😉

      superted

      January 31, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      • It is as funny as fuck when they look up your ujm account and they see that “CLIENT HAS REFUSED ACCESS” message lol They are like a little kid who Santa has passed by, face dropping, about to burst into tears, you can smell the disappointment lol Then their face goes all red and they go into a rage lol Fuck ’em 😀

        UJM - KEEP OUT!

        February 1, 2017 at 11:14 am

      • After we leave the EU data privacy laws that came from the EU, like refusing to allow the DWP to track your use of UJM, will more than likely end up repealed. Enjoy your privacy while you can over the next few years because as eggs are eggs when our Conservative government gets the chance it’ll go out of the window. If you are poor and on benefits if you think it’s bad now, while in the EU, better prepare yourself for a much worse and very much harsher future after the country leaves the EU. You ain’t seen nothing yet!

        Monowheeler

        February 1, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      • They can rant and rave all they want

        And they do.While Universal Credit is in the headline Universal Jobmatch is in a class of its own too.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9757895/Jobless-to-be-remotely-monitored-by-Government.html

        Universal Credits the signs have been there for some considerable time.


        29Apr13
        As they say its the aftermath.

        ken

        February 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      • superted;

        The exact same thing happened to me. Gave them a CV back in the day. Now, lo and behold, it’s nowhere to be found. They do bin them.

        jj joop

        February 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      • Same with me, and I’ve given them more than one copy.

        Andrew Coates

        February 2, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      • If you give a roach a paper ‘CV’ there is a strong possibility that they will bin it, because it is just sat their cluttering up their desk. But if you give them an electronic one…

        Papier Machete

        February 2, 2017 at 1:39 pm

  8. <input type="hidden" name="__VIEWSTATE" id="__VIEWSTATE"

    <!–
    var theForm = document.forms['aspnetForm'];
    if (!theForm) {
    theForm = document.aspnetForm;
    }
    function __doPostBack(eventTarget, eventArgument) {
    if (!theForm.onsubmit || (theForm.onsubmit() != false)) {
    theForm.__EVENTTARGET.value = eventTarget;
    theForm.__EVENTARGUMENT.value = eventArgument;
    theForm.submit();

    is that the back door to ujm?

    superted

    February 1, 2017 at 12:03 am

    • Just a bit of Javascript, mate, which runs locally in the browser of the client user. It’s automatically generated by programs like Dreamweaver and Visual Studio when developing ASP.NET web pages to support controls that require postback logic, e.g., asp:LinkButton and asp:ImageButton, which aren’t standard HTML Form controls and so require a dollop of client-side programming to trigger a POST, to send data previously entered by the user, when clicked on a link or button on the page.

      Nothing significant really.

      Shagnasty

      February 1, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    • Nothing to see here, move along now…

      PC Plod

      February 1, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    • <input type="client-denied-access" name="__GUID" id="__GUID_UNIVERSAL JOBMATCH"

      <!–
      var theForm = override.forms['ACCESSALLOW'];
      if (!tpassword=NIL) {
      theForm = document.aspnetForm;
      }
      function __doAllowAccountAccess(eventTarget_ACCOUNT, eventArgument_GUID) {
      if (!theForm.onsubmit || (theForm.onsubmit() != false)) {
      theForm.__ACCESSALLOWED.value = eventTargetACCOUNT_ALL_GUID;
      theForm.__EVENTARGUMENT.value = eventArgumentDWP_ALLOW_FULL_ACCESS;
      theForm.submit(ACCOUNT_ACCESS_GRANTED);

      This DOES look kind of suspicious…

      Java Script

      February 2, 2017 at 1:45 pm

  9. Well well well – someone from the ICT industry puts its hands up and says its crap and always will be crap – what a surprise.

    As I mentioned over at JVoid – I know someone who was in on the design stage and all this was pointed out in graphic, plain english detail to the fools involved on the DWP side at high high level… but still they pressed on, what could possibly go wrong? [lets not forget all the money swilling around this piece of junk, going into pockets via performance pay, inside and outside DWP] Belief alone would make it work.

    Belief. Yes. Right. Really? Like its working now? Or ever will?

    Anyone heard of the Real Actual Verifiable Numbers now on UC lately? Not the drivel that “Alternative Facts DWP” dribbles out

    Gazza

    February 1, 2017 at 2:42 am

    • I heard about 400,000 reported as being on UC, most single, with reports of catastrophe in the small number of areas. e.g.,Croydon, Yarmouth etc., where the “full digital service” is being piloted. It’s hard to know what’s going on these days. The DWP is so secretive and slow to release data that it’s hard to know. Since the development of computer systems is now being done in house it’s become virtually impossible to have any real idea of what’s going on with the IT either. All you ever from government is the “Universal Credit gets people into work sooner and keeps them in work longer” mantra from the DWP in reference to the long delayed and failing project. Based on all the bad reports that have surfaced during the attempted implementation of Universal Credit, I would have thought that any good news that the DWP could roll out to big up the UC project would be released into the public arena as soon as possible. As no such events have happened – apart from the odd post-truth article written by old duffers like Peter Oborne,, link to one such appended below – UC is probably still failing spectacularly albeit secretly.

      http://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/03/lord-freud-the-man-who-saved-the-welfare-system/

      Paul

      February 1, 2017 at 8:30 am

      • Bad News Is Always Buried On The Back Of Other News. ”TRUMP PROTESTS BREXIT PROTESTS ET-AL The Protesters Of Course ”Will’ Come From The Unemployed. This Will Give The Government An Excuse To Do What They Did Years Ago When Regan Came. Everybody They Were Able To Get Hold Of Was On A Course For The Duration Of The Visit

        Hatzaetos1924

        February 1, 2017 at 9:09 am

  10. OT: JCP Closures

    It occured to me this evening there is a serious flaw in this plan beyond the obvious ones.

    Put simply, Time. With the reduced numbers of staff and vastly increased number of claimants, where is the time/and staff bodies going to come from? There is only so much time that can be allocated in the day for staff to do their work.

    That is unless they’re going to automate it… But even then, its going to be like going to Rugby/Football match… And in being like that might well breach safety rules… hhhhhmmmm

    Gazza

    February 1, 2017 at 2:48 am

  11. OK. I lost access to my Ujm account access for just over a week because of a problem with the library computers. I was actually sitting next to Andrew in the library when this happened. I even thought it was something I did and tried multiple times t’o reset my password . This just resulted in the account locking. Turns out it was a keyboard problem. When entering password and user id, not all alpha numerics were appearing where and when they should. What will happen when this does happen with uc. I can see everybody trooping down to the job centre if it’s still there to use their computers. At least you will have other witnesses and DWP staff to see for themselves If’ there is a problem. By the way folks with more unemployed in Ipswich than computers at the job centre. I think G4S maybe looking for staff. I have also noticed that there are quite a few staff members at the job centre wearing the temp passes. Have not found out yet if they are new or on work experience. I almost forgot. When I complained to the library about the keyboard issue, they said it was not their problem. When I said I could get a sanction and it would be their fault. They said that you use their computers at your own risk. What is the legal here.

    Hatzaetos1924

    February 1, 2017 at 3:01 am

    • The Jobcentre uses “work experience” by the “shedload” .The “staff members” that show you how to use the computers and ujm are on “work experience” even though they may wearing a DWP badge with their name on it. Kind of like a Stanford prison experiment, some of the prisoners have become warders!

      Alpha Numeric

      February 1, 2017 at 9:11 am

      • Yep, they asked me if I’d like to do it!

        news seeker

        February 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

      • Same here, but told them to fuck off! 😀

        Alpha Numeric

        February 1, 2017 at 9:25 am

      • The housing association I rent off now has an employment and life style coach. Also running an in house jobclub. So far there are only 3 going but NOT MOI.

        Hatzaetos1924

        February 2, 2017 at 5:46 am

    • And the “work experience” “staff” just wear the regular DWP badges, exactly the same as the paid staff (assuming the roaches are paid?) wear. No difference whatsoever!

      Alpha Numeric

      February 1, 2017 at 9:20 am

    • Hatzaetos1924

      Sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience at the library. unfortunately, it is ‘use at your own risk’. As far as the sanction is concerned ask for a note with a name on it and contact details for when the outage took place.

      if you have a phone with a camera, in future, if possible take a picture of the screen as proof.

      Gazza

      February 1, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      • Or you might be able to do a screen dump (PrtScr) although you probably will have to pay the library for the paper. It depends on how the system has been set up. Jobcentres often use thin clients and don’t upgrade anything or patch anything in a timely fashion making their systems very insecure. In my Jobcentre the creaky old Ubuntu HP workstations networked wirelessly and have Firefox 11 as their browser, which is years out of date, the latest Mozilla release being Firefox 51.0.1!

        I wouldn’t recommend that anybody using Jobcentre or Library computers make any financial transactions, or shops online, or does anything serious that involves sensitive information like passwords, or debit/credit card numbers, or similar. Your activities are logged and, because you have to book computers, these activities can be liked to you personally. Plus most likely network security will be below par and the operating systems and software way out of date and insecure.

        Paul

        February 2, 2017 at 8:59 am

    • Like I imagine lots of people I’ve had problems with simple things like logging into UJM.

      It’s odd that I never have problems with, say, Reed, CV library…. I could continue.

      Very odd…..

      Andrew Coates

      February 1, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      • Its funny you say that as totaljobs does not like it when you untick keep me signed in. On top there starting to join the bandwagon of sites that at the moment are asking you not to block adverts. This will and has happened on other sites, turn to outright locking you out.

        Sadly for those sites though, their traffic fell off the map soon after so i would imagine a modern approach will be to block certain features instead.

        doug

        February 1, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      • Indeed! How many times have you been ‘locked out’ of your Reed, CV library account? Like NEVER! But with that ujm piece of shit it is like EVERY TIME. EVERY. TIME!

        Frustrated UJM user.

        February 1, 2017 at 9:04 pm

  12. UK faces return to inequality of Thatcher years, says report by RF.

    Resolution Foundation says inflation, welfare cuts and squeeze on pay will punish least well-off hardest.

    The Resolution Foundation’s study found that the current parliament would be the worst for living standards for the poorest half of households since comparable records began in the mid-1960s and the worst since the early years of Thatcher’s 1979-90 premiership for inequality.

    “It is becoming clearer by the day that working families will be forced to pay for a Tory Brexit that favours the rich and not the rest of us, as our country faces its biggest rise in inequality since Margaret Thatcher.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/31/theresa-may-inequality-margaret-thatcher-resolution-foundation

    news seeker

    February 1, 2017 at 9:09 am

  13. ! ATTENTION TRAMPS !

    First it was spikes in doorways, now we have this:

    On You Bike

    February 1, 2017 at 10:49 am

    • …That’s if you can afford a bike!

      On Your Bike

      February 1, 2017 at 10:50 am

      • On Your Bike

        February 1, 2017 at 10:52 am

      • … or a unicycle if you want a part-time job!

        Monowheeler

        February 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      • On Your Bike and everyone

        Go read the comment section as the consensus is the public would rather stick it to the homeless than realize the inconvenient truth.

        All this go get a job, foot in mouth talk.
        WHO BESIDES BIG ISSUE HIRES HOMELESS PEOPLE WHO LIVE ON THE STREET ?

        HOW MANY HOMELESS ON THE STREET ARE HIRED ALREADY BY OTHER COMPANIES IN THE UK ?

        WHEN THE APPLICATION FORM SAYS ADDRESS, WHAT DOES A HOMELESS PERSON PUT DOWN ?

        Then there’s the homeless people are lazy talk

        It takes more work searching bins all day than it does doing a nine to five in an office, especially when your still doing it long after the office worker has gone home.

        Then of course there’s the bring back workhouses mantra.

        The working public spend most of their time bitching they don’t get paid enough yet expect homeless people to work for a mere bowl of soup, a cut of bread and a bed. Work houses were created as a sole byproduct of a failed and corrupt state that made a lot of its population poor (didnt have chain stores in those days hiring thousands). It was also used for abusing children with no parents,women who got pregnant out of wedlock, prisoners. What started out as a means to hide shame and failure quickly turned into a cull factory of mental torture. Getting away from history a more modern approach after the war was the remploy factories. But between New Labour and the NOW Tory government, they were all shut down dew to not being able to make a profit which says something as the workers never slept there or feed there.
        They were never self buoyant meaning the taxpayer had to foot the bill for the failure and why successive recent governments shut them down or flogged them off.

        Remploy became such a disaster and tax burden that it was sold to maximus. The joke is the very working public are paying this company stacks of taxpayer revenue to operate, that’s right, there for profit business profits totally from the taxpayer and various funds also paid for by taxpayers. Even in the states where prisons are used as workhorses, its still the taxpayer that lines there pockets or should i say investors which is largely made up of judges, senior police officers and officials that twist law to keep them populated.

        Yes, well done public, yet again you put your mouth into gear before your brains and eat foot again.

        You know it would be nice JUST ONCE if the public could come up with an idea that would actually work and actually fund itself but oh know that’s just to hard and besides they elected someone so why should they.

        Dumb to dumb dumb.

        doug

        February 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm

  14. OT: Globalisation and the penny drops

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38600270
    Tim Bowler: Will globalisation take away your job?

    “Millions around the globe may have taken to the streets in recent years to protest against the impact of globalisation on their jobs and communities – but this backlash is only likely to grow as globalisation itself becomes more disruptive.
    The stark warning comes from Richard Baldwin, president of the Centre for Economic Policy Research think-tank, who has been studying global trade for the past 30 years.
    Technological advances could now mean white-collar, office-based workers and professionals are at risk of losing their jobs, Prof Baldwin argues.
    .
    .
    .
    Protectionist trade barriers won’t work in the 21st Century, he says. “Knowledge crossing borders in massive amounts [is the] big new disruptive thing.”
    .
    .
    .
    “What it will do is unbundle our jobs and change the nature of our occupation. Some of the things you do absolutely require your judgement – but parts of your job could be off-shored, just as some stages in a factory can be off-shored.
    “All you need is more computing power, more transmitting power and cheaper robots – and all that is happening.”
    .
    .
    .
    A typical industrial robot can cost about £4 an hour to operate, compared to average total European labour costs of about £40 an hour – or £9 an hour in China. And robots are getting cheaper to buy and are increasingly able to do more complex tasks.
    This means the increased use of robots is also threatening millions of jobs in developing countries, says the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), as well as in developed economies.
    .
    .
    .
    But from the 1990s a second wave of globalisation kicked in, with the rise of information and communications technology. There’s been a dramatic change of gear, and “a century’s worth of rich nations’ rise has been reversed in just two decades,” says Prof Baldwin.
    G7 as share of world income; 1820 to present day
    Old-style globalisation “worked on a calendar that ticked year by year” whereas the current wave of globalisation is being driven by IT which is changing and disrupting economies and societies with increasing rapidity, he says.
    .
    .
    .
    Balancing act
    The trick is to accept “21st Century reality”, he says, and the fact that many jobs simply aren’t going to come back.”

    ME: And that last sentance above poses the big issue to be faced. The jobs are not coming back, and in fact are going to get fewer in number as time goes by – at a increasing rate I suspect.

    Gazza

    February 1, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    • Gazza

      To show you how not thinking the public are globally, you know all these recent protest against trumps ban in certain countries getting access to the states for 90 days. It was Obama,s idea.

      Go to 2.09 in the video.

      doug

      February 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      • Whats deplorable also is Theresa May’s visit playing up to this character.He has been in two weeks and there is signs of serious situations arising.Whats worrying here also is that the UK appears to be following this and allowing itself to be dragged in to a dangerous corner politically by association.Its hard to see him lasting those protests will at some point start to have an effect if they continue.

        ken

        February 1, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      • But President Trump isn’t a dictator, ken, he was democratically elected, but then again so was Hitler 🙂

        Hilary Clinton

        February 1, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      • Dictator? We’ll have to wait and see. Dick? Well’ the jury isn’t out on that one is it?

        The World is Flat

        February 2, 2017 at 2:58 pm

  15. In the name of free speech and proper debate:

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/178844

    It’s about time there was some calm about all this foaming hysteria.

    Free Speech

    February 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    • I see the petition is very popular.

      That will sadden all those members of public who couldn’t give a toss about Muslims before Trump got elected.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38822229

      See how the rich and powerful are using their wealth because there way of life is under threat along with globalism. There also funding all the other protests prior and still running. If you ask me, if they can waste money like that then its high time they were taxed more as there still trying to control centralized governance.

      doug

      February 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm

  16. Ocado trials fruit-picking robot

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38808925

    Robot hands, humanoid maintenance, it gets closer everyday.

    Now before anyone says, “yeah when it can climb a set of steps”, WHY ?

    The bot is liable to have telescopic legs,

    Secondhands my ass as that makes it the most expensive tool belt toolkit in the world. Aint no one going to pay for that so i suspect it not just handing out tools.

    AI program beats humans in poker game

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38812530

    Anyone taking bets for the future of gambling ?

    doug

    February 1, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    • Not if it was playing online p*oker and up against a crooked Rigged Number Generator (RNG) 😀

      Online P*oker is RIGGED

      February 1, 2017 at 8:53 pm

  17. UNIVERSAL CHAOS – THE CLOWARD-PIVEN STRATEGY

    Is Universal Credit some kind of bizarre variant of the American Cloward-Piven Strategy from the 1960s – a theoretical strategy intended to overload the welfare system and thus create a crisis which would ultimately have the welfare system replaced with a national guaranteed annual income in order to end poverty?

    Is it all Cultural Marxism on steroids?

    Do you really believe the poor will not always be with us?

    I Don't Believe That

    February 1, 2017 at 7:50 pm

  18. Meanwhile, here is an much needed antidote to the hysteria surrounding Donald Trump’s visit

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444370/donald-trump-refugee-executive-order-no-muslim-ban-separating-fact-hysteria

    I Believe This

    February 1, 2017 at 8:17 pm

  19. Good to see democracy at work on Brexit:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38833883

    Democracy

    February 1, 2017 at 8:55 pm

  20. Coroner orders inquest into ‘fit for work’ man who collapsed after leaving jobcentre

    Lawrence Bond is said to have collapsed on the pavement shortly after leaving Kentish Town jobcentre, following a back-to-work appointment.

    http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/coroner-orders-inquest-into-fit-for-work-man-who-collapsed-after-leaving-jobcentre/

    ken

    February 2, 2017 at 1:32 am

  21. I think this is what Gazza was referring to as a Claimant Commitment/Jobseeker’s Agreement contract.

    This means that every jobseeker’s agreement – and its subsequent enforcement by DWP – is “potentially an utter violation of the principles of the rule of law”, because the basis of the contract is to enforce behaviour through mechanisms such as sanctions, without informing the claimant that that is what they are agreeing to sign

    http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/judge-brands-dwp-jobseekers-agreement-unlawful-action-disabled-claimant/

    ken

    February 2, 2017 at 1:59 am

    • ken

      thanks for that – i think its worse than that. As an example, you point to the death of a person.
      Whats wrong with this entire picture/

      a] “Alternative Facts DWP” always, always say can apply for a reassessment if decision is wrong – problem if dead how does that happen?
      b] “Alternative Facts DWP” says lessons learned – and when is this communicated to staff?
      c] “Alternative Facts DWP” says lessons learned – and how is this communicated to staff?

      if b/c never happens – and I have never heard/seen of that happening it is a deliberate corporate decision right to the top civil servants/minsters would have been informed as a matter of course of such issues. Too NOT correct things shows they agree with past/current policy.

      WHY has no one in Legal/Media/Labour questioned this?

      Gazza

      February 2, 2017 at 3:29 pm

  22. Next week Channel 4 are featuring a load of programs about false news, which is a welcome change from serial shows about the antics of specially selected and often peculiar benefit claimants.

    The World is Flat

    February 2, 2017 at 9:06 am

    • The World is Flat:

      “specially selected and often peculiar benefit claimants” – by that I take it you mean yo-yo’s and knuckleheads!

      jj joop

      February 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      • Yep. Why else would anybody in that boat agree to appear since, if they get paid anything they will lose their right to benefits and so be kicked off the show.

        The World is Flat

        February 2, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    • I will watch it but something tells me there concentrate on outlets like RT news, Drudge and info wars. If they have any decency they will cover outlets like the BBC, new york post, CNN, Washington Post, to name but a tiny few of mainstream media that have been feeding us false news for decades and still doing it.

      doug

      February 2, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      • Probably it’ll be slanted towards America where the current president before election claimed such things as his predecessor, Barak Obama, hadn’t been born in America (and so had no right to be president at all), had personally created ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, that global warming was a lie perpetrated by foreign countries like China to make America less competitive, that more people had attended his inauguration than any previously (photographic evidence proved the opposite)… the man is a dyed in the wool liar and bullshitter. Just Bing or Google something like “Donald Trump lies” and see for yourself. If it wasn’t scary enough to make sensible people shit themselves it would be hysterically funny.

        It really is like the lunatics taking over the asylum.

        The World is Flat

        February 2, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      • Trump is just the new face on the block. Mainstream media has been bull crapping us for decades in every country, not just here and the USA. What makes the Trump era interesting is how mainstream media are making absolute tits of themselves pumping out false news instead of the usual twist of spin. Even here the news cant help but try control the narrative on brexit by stoking any fire they can.

        Its a shame the majority of mainstream media cant be more like wikileaks, E Snowden and chelsea mannings of the world as we all know governments lie through their teeth so rightly so should be boxed into a corner they cant get out of.

        Governments and mainstream media must be made to account for their lies, spins and cant frankly facebook/twitter reporting.

        doug

        February 2, 2017 at 5:17 pm

  23. The government’s Brexit strategy will come under scrutiny when an official policy document setting out its plans is published later.

    The White Paper, which was promised after pressure from MPs, comes after the Commons voted to allow the PM to begin the Brexit process.

    MPs backed the European Union Bill by 498 votes to 114 on Wednesday night, with 47 Labour rebels voting against.

    The bill will now face more debate before it can become law.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38836906

    news seeker

    February 2, 2017 at 11:31 am

  24. Conservative MPs attack Government for plans to close dozens of local jobcentres

    The Department for Work and Pensions was accused of using Google Maps to pick jobcentres to shut down by MPs angry at the plans, which were announced last week.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jobcentre-closures-tory-mps-rebellion-a7553836.html

    ken

    February 2, 2017 at 12:18 pm

  25. G4S lobbied the BBC to drop a damning documentary and it worked, says film-maker

    https://www.thecanary.co/2017/02/01/g4s-lobbied-bbc-drop-damning-documentary-worked-says-film-maker-video/

    ken

    February 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm

  26. news seeker

    February 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm

  27. REMEMBER MY CHAT ABOUT USA CHARTER SCHOOLS ?

    A while back i mentioned how academy schools were nothing new, that the idea actually came from the USA back in the early 1990s where they called them and still do,charter schools. Call it charter or academy, the premise is there funded by taxpayer money and are public asset privatization.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-38809805

    The scams begins

    doug

    February 2, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    • Academies since being introduced have had one problem after another like poor performance, financial irregularities, closures, questionable higher equipment costs, high cost directed places for school uniforms, turning pupils away for as they claim, not wearing the right uniform and costing them valuable learning time.

      doug

      February 2, 2017 at 4:30 pm

  28. Employers encouraged to ‘boost the number of older workers’

    New strategy aims to boost the number of older people in work, but Labour warn initiative could be undermined by Universal Credit cuts.

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/employers-encouraged-to-boost-the-number-of-older-workers/

    news seeker

    February 2, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    • News seeker

      Do you smell the average working week going down to 20 hours a week for everyone as i cant see how they can get all these people into work.

      doug

      February 2, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      • Yup! Welcome to the three-day week! 🙂

        Sounds of the Seventies

        February 2, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      • … Starsky and Hutch, flares, kipper ties, Ford Cortinas… and the lecky going off at 6pm every evening…

        Blue Suede Shoes

        February 2, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      • Imagine the lecky board unions trying that onto today! Having to cook a meal, get the kids washed, get everything done by 6pm. Before those bastard striking unions turned the fucking power off. And then left you sat in the dark and cold all evening. You think the current Southern Rail situation is bad. Imagine that, your electricity being turned off at 6pm EVERY fucking evening! And people put up with that shit in the seventies!

        Arthur Scargill

        February 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      • It wasn’t Thatcher that destroyed the unions, it was the unions that destroyed themselves. What sort of evil bastards would leave families sat huddled in the dark and cold on a winters evening. And all because the greedy overpaid bastards wanted more pay or whatever. That’s fucking unions for you!

        Arthur Scargill

        February 2, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      • Doug, I just got 14 hours a few weeks ago, but offered 5 more, I am looking for more only will I get more?.

        I’ve seen many people with FT jobs lose hours from 39/40 to 15.16, I expect we all know people this had happened to. the shared society.

        news seeker

        February 3, 2017 at 5:05 am

    • The government has started trailing its coat prior to introducing the Work & Health scheme which is supposedly aimed particularly at getting the sick and disabled and the over 50s into work. As far as the sick and disabled are concerned they hope to get over a million not working into some kind of paid employment which seem bat crap crazy to me and totally impossible to achieve. The article in Welfare Weekly references older workers and hints at the shape of things to come. The only thing we can be certain of is that the whole shebang will turn out to be underfunded and ineffective crap.

      Camp Freddy

      February 2, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      • it will be more work for your benefits aimed at the disabled this time in the hope there that stupid to sign providers paper work.

        the jcp has tried it with me and when pushed as to how or what is running this as they made out it was the jcp that got the placements turns out it is run but providers what a surprise.

        and they think i will volunteer for it they must be off there heads pmsl.

        it will be the same as the work programme get the fees and park the lot and carry on as b4.

        superted

        February 2, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      • Here’s how they dealt with it in the 1930s.

        doug

        February 2, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      • in the last 7 years i have not been to a provider that the main doors are not locked to the public.

        its not a fence round the place but is the same thing.

        just a good job i know how to use windows and throwing a large heavy object at it will get me through them.

        superted

        February 3, 2017 at 12:14 am

  29. foxglove

    February 2, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    • True, what evil bastards these greedy selfish scum are.

      Marie

      February 2, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      • The real reason for ‘global warming’ is to impose a carbon tax on us all,jesus as if we don’t pay enough bloody tax already!.

        Marie

        February 2, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      • Foxglove is pulling your leg, Marie, and you fell for it hook, line and sinker.

        yournewswire.com

        is one of the most notorious fake news sites.

        The World is Flat

        February 2, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    • That’s one of the best know fake news sites.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/dont-get-fooled-by-these-fake-news-sites/6/

      The one that made me laugh the most was the story that Michelle Obama was a man!

      The World is Flat

      February 2, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      • No she hasn’t,going by Marie’s comments I’d say she knows whats really going on,unlike you who believes the mainstream media fake news shite!

        foxglove

        February 2, 2017 at 11:09 pm

      • @ foxglove

        According to her previous posts it looks as if Marie believes that there’s some kind of a new word order taking over dominated by rich Jewish people. Something like that anyway. Proper “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” silliness. I wouldn’t say that anybody who believed fakery like that was particularly well informed at all. But that’s just me. I’m more of a fact over fiction kind of guy and don’t believe in God or father Christmas either.

        This is the problem when respect for and adherence to the truth goes out of the window. People begin to accept untrue information as if it were received wisdom based on their own feelings, peccadilloes, prejudices and preferences. Reality morphs into myth. Anything and everything suddenly becomes actual and factual, in the minds of far too many, based purely on fancy rather than fact supported by proof based on unimpeachable corroborated evidence.

        People accept things as true which they imagine are true and/or feel must be true for no reason.

        (Which, it occurs to me, is a pretty good general definition of mental illness.)

        Tragic really and potentially disastrous.

        Just look at German history from 1933 to 1945.

        The World is Flat

        February 3, 2017 at 11:09 am

      • The world is flat,a link just for you from your fave alt media website,enjoy!
        http://yournewswire.com/wikileaks-soros-vatican-coup/

        foxglove

        February 3, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    • foxglove this gave me a good laugh to cheer me up.

      sometimes, just sometimes Its good to read “Alternative Fact News”

      by the way I worked at UKs space centre when the science on global warming/ozone hole started firming up. The number of people who didn’t believe it still makes me cringe…

      Gazza

      February 2, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    • The World is Flat

      February 2, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    • You shouldn’t have to prove anything is false only that something is true. That IS the scientific method.

      The World is Flat

      February 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      • The scientific method is indeed the correct approach in this psi op of what is false and what is true BUT.

        You can and we all have at one time in our lives told someone something true till we are blue in the face BUT they just wont or don’t want to hear it. So even with the universal agreement that the scientific method is the only method to ascertain the truth, it will do you little good if the person or audience your conveying it to refuses to accept it.

        The end result is people who refuse to apply it and or acknowledge it as a universal way (so everyone agrees a strict method of discovery) end up not knowing up from down. Instead they chose for their mind which one is up and which one is down even if it is wrong. Whats ludicrous about this is that its not hard and they already do it every day. Take the symbol 1, no matter the language, we all agree on what it implies in the context i now mention 1 + 2 = 3 (basic math taught in first grade).

        If we take fake news seekers sentence for example “Alex Jones’s Bullcrap ‘Infowars: “It’s mainstream news, folks” 😀 Yeah, sure, Alex 😀

        It implies all that info wars says is false yet unless you have sat and listened to every broadcast and can remember it all cant possibly know this to be a false or true statement. Now fake news seeker then says in response to a claim this Alex Jones has said ” “It’s mainstream news, folks” 😀 Yeah, sure, Alex 😀”.

        Mainstream is defined as the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are shared by most people and regarded as normal or conventional. So actually both fake news seeker and Alex Jones are both right and wrong dependent on how you receive the data they are imparting on you. An example would be the definition of most people which is generic when we don’t know the actual group Alex Jones is referring to which in his world can only be measurable by his subscribers, hits,etc as after all, whose going to hear it except for those that listen right. So as we know the whole world most certainly isn’t tuning into info wars despite outpacing it appears established media with regard to online singular data measurements one outlet to another, then we know hes certainly cant imply most of the world and he knows it. We also know fake news seeker hasn’t actually asked Alex Jones what he meant by that statement or they would of course naturally tells as much and offer proof of.
        Now even if fake news seeker did ask him don’t forget its only relevant to those that have actually or do watch his material so at this juncture of fake news seekers post, his statement while forming his god given right to an opinion is exactly just that and so even if Alex Jones is all fake, a no more creditable a source for whats true or not as regards the matter.

        I don’t care if your the BBC, info wars or a person in the street, never take whats presented on the surface as fact. Deep research it yourself and by deep i mean deep as convenience often leads to mistakes.

        doug

        February 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      • “If we take fake news seekers sentence for example “Alex Jones’s Bullcrap ‘Infowars: “It’s mainstream news, folks” 😀 Yeah, sure, Alex 😀

        It implies all that info wars says is false”

        Nobody, even Alex Jones, tells 100% truth. If you want to slip a lie in it is best to mix it in with a large dose of truth; the optimum mix is about 90% Truth: 10% Lies, though in the case of Alex Jones is it more like 90% Lies: 10% Truth.

        And if they get caught out: shucks 😀 It is not like a court of law where barristers try to trick witnesses into lying on something trivial or minor (usually the first question they ask) the assumption then being: “If you are lying about… what else are you lying about?”

        Truth Mixer

        February 3, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      • Simple rule: Nothing should be accepted as true unless the balance of a large amount of supporting evidence makes it very probable that it is true. If you possess little reliable evidence that something is true you should assume that it is false or at the very least dubious.

        Example: Evolution is true based on copious amounts of evidence gleaned from the distribution of species, comparative anatomy, taxonomy, embryology, cellular biology, molecular biology, palaeontology, fossil record, observation, and biochemistry, e.g., DNA, which when added together makes evolution a dead cert. Conversely creationism is false having not one single shred of respectable evidence whatsoever to support it and seems mostly based on scripture written thousands of years ago when man had a very primitive understanding of nature and the universe. Same thing could be said of global warming which is supported by vast amounts of scrupulously collected and analysed data and evidence backed up by overwhelming scientific opinion around the world and naysayers who have no respectable evidence whatsoever to contradict the global scientific consensus.

        Shagadelic

        February 3, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      • Truth Mixer

        I like how you just practiced what you preached. Sadly during the 90% as you put it truth and 10% lie, you completely omitted to demonstrating how Alex Jones is 10% truth and 90% lie. I particularly liked the reference to court and ” “If you are lying about… what else are you lying about?” patter as you obviously base that purely on watching to much fictional courtroom TV programs as if that was ever permissible,even accepted as a logical path to follow out of a courtroom let alone in one then everyone on the planet at one point or another will be found to be and viewed as an eternal liar who only just got caught. Remember you said “Nobody, even Alex Jones, tells 100% truth”. In a court of law it either happened or it didn’t happen, a person stole or he didn’t, a person committed fraud or he didn’t. You cant say in a case of theft that because a person lied about going into a shop that regardless of having no physical evidence of his act of theft he must be lying when he says he didn’t steal a candy bar. Hes charged with and in court for theft not fraud. You would need a heck lot more collaborative evidence than that im afraid to secure such a conviction.

        As for the “the optimum mix is about 90% Truth: 10% Lies”, your find generally the optimum is relative to the deception intended. If you put a spin on something any truths should be ignored (as in judging character) as be it 10% or 50% lie, its like a hole in so far as you cant have half a hole as a hole is a hole,especially when the aim is to get people to see something a particular single way/view that inevitably contradicts the event that occurred or will occur.

        doug

        February 3, 2017 at 11:32 pm

      • Shagadelic

        “Simple rule: Nothing should be accepted as true unless the balance of a large amount of supporting evidence makes it very probable that it is true. If you possess little reliable evidence that something is true you should assume that it is false or at the very least dubious”.

        Probable means likely or better phrased might of happened, might be true. To accept something as true one only needs irrefutable incriminating evidence (could be a single document to a video recording, an email and a phone record combined,etc) and not as you put it a large amount. The simple rule as you put it is only really required when not direct evidence is available like a scientific observation for instance like gravity. When it comes to media and politicians much less data is often required dew to there carelessness in imparting disinformation and hiding the smoking gun as so to speak.

        doug

        February 3, 2017 at 11:55 pm

      • Truth Mixer

        OH SORRY

        When i said “you completely omitted to demonstrating how Alex Jones is 10% truth and 90% lie.” part, i completely forgot to add “or is that your 10% part added ? “.

        doug

        February 3, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      • @ doug“Nobody, even Alex Jones, tells 100% truth”, that should have read: “Nobody, even Alex Jones, tells 100% LIES”, but thought it was self-evident. Obviously not 😉 Puts a different spin on things though 🙂

        Truth Mixer

        February 4, 2017 at 12:21 am

      • And the court reference isn’t based on “fictional TV drama”; it is based on a wealth of experience as a practitioner of law.

        Truth Mixer

        February 4, 2017 at 12:25 am

      • Truth Mixer

        Practitioner of law, so your know exactly what i was conveying then about happened or didn’t happen and how one cant merely state one single lie means everything is the accused says.

        doug

        February 4, 2017 at 1:08 am

  30. Jimmy Stirling’s DWP Diary: Do dodgy companies have access to my data?

    I also found out that the only online reference to this company was a Facebook presence with hardly any information apart from the mobile number and the person’s personal email address.

    I returned an email to the company explaining all of the above points and that I was not sure of its credentials. I received an email later telling me that its credentials were not in question and that, “I recruit for several companies throughout Scotland, i do not have a website page, there is a (company name) Facebook page and im not in the habit of publishing my landline number for any job vacancies.”

    https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/10241/jimmy-stirlings-dwp-diary-do-dodgy-companies-have-access-my-data

    ken

    February 2, 2017 at 8:33 pm

  31. Hey ‘Arthur Scargill’ and all your other daft monickers: The electric didn’t go off at 6pm every night during the power cuts because cuts were staggered. And nobody sat in the dark and froze because:

    1. Everybody had candles and
    2. Most people had coal or gas fires. Those that didn’t wore extra clothing.

    In the Seventies, people didn’t constantly whine about the square root of FA. They got on with it.

    If you are going to make up drivel to suit your right whinge narrative at least make it honest. Otherwise you just come across as a shouty spoilt brat.

    milliem

    February 2, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    • in 2017 ppl will be sat in there house with no electric because they have been sanctioned and cant afford to top up the meter and thus freeze.

      they will also starve as have no money to buy food.

      and they will also have to work 8 hrs a day as a slave even if they have been sanctioned in the hope they will drop down dead.

      remember if they get 3 sanctions in a row no money for 3 years and yes you will still have to go to the provider sign on and job search.

      with no money FACT.

      superted

      February 2, 2017 at 11:17 pm

      • We maybe coming out of the EU and the EU Court of Human Rights. But surely in a case such as this. There must be some sort of recourse to The United Nations Court Of International Human Rights In The Haige. As we are also on the security council. I don’t think we will leave the UN. Has anybody as far as we know tried to take the DWP. To the UNCHR. I seem to remember a few years ago the UN sending somebody over to investigate benefit sanctions. If I remember correctly the DWP and ”others” refused to meet them. I also seem to remember that the UN did critisise the DWP. I think the ”Diplomatic Term” is issuing a Demach.

        Hatzaetos1924

        February 3, 2017 at 3:29 am

      • The UN is investigating the treatment meted out to sick and disabled people in the country right now and has been highly critical in respect to welfare cuts in the UK in the past.

        http://rightsinfo.org/united-nations-delivers-critical-report-uk-government-austerity/

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/07/uk-sleepwalking-violating-disabled-peoples-human-rights-charities

        http://rightsinfo.org/united-nations-delivers-critical-report-uk-government-austerity/

        Trouble is that unlike the EU the UN has no legal power to make anything happen domestically anywhere and therefore the UK can just ignore anything it says. The UN can criticise and embarrass the Conservative government but nothing it says is enforceable and therefore any government that doesn’t care can just ignore its findings. The EU was in fact a bastion that put a modest brake on Tory inhumanity. Once out of the EU expect the Tories to go full bore as far as attacking the disadvantaged goes while, all the while, claiming that the money they take away from benefits will be reinvested in programmes to get impoverished citizens into work.

        Crystal Tear

        February 3, 2017 at 10:44 am

  32. With all the {alleged Russian or whoever} hacking into various ”Western Databases”. Just how safe is UJM or UC seeing as ‘Monster Inc’ based in BLUFTON administer these Data Bases on contract. Are the DB’s in the UK or US and under what DP law is our personal info protected if remote from the UK as are some NHS services ?

    PHILIP

    February 3, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    • Really sensitive data. e.g., military data, is shared privately via servers on private networks not available over the public internet at all. Data on servers which are available over the public internet should be encrypted and rendered unintelligible to outsiders and so completely useless if hacked via sql injection or similar without the proper certificates and keys. If the operating systems, web servers and allied technology is kept patched, passwords and access methods kept private, data encrypted, and everything is logged and properly administered it is pretty much impossible for outsiders to steal information these days by hacking servers.

      Hacking only happens because of slack management.

      Why would anybody want to hack UJM? If you want to harvest personal data just create an account posing as an employer and you can check out and nick data from everybody’s CV that has been posted publicly. If you want to check to see if any of your emails are appearing on any lists of users hacked illegally from poorly managed website servers check out:

      https://haveibeenpwned.com/

      Shagadelic

      February 3, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      • news seeker

        February 3, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      • The so called private network isn’t as covert as some would imagine and that s all im prepared to say on that particular subject. As for the rest, hacking is nolonger really a reasonable term to use considering whats going on and being used. Why steal the car from the garage when you can steal it in transit.

        As for UJM, the answer is no one as the prize is the gateway accounts which while may not make sense to many people right about now, will make perfect sense when you get around to learning what there actually going to be used for and are to an extent currently. Keep up shagadelic as you read like a 1950s science fiction novel.

        doug

        February 4, 2017 at 12:37 am

    • Has the Police National Computer ever been hacked into and the data ‘stolen’ and then uploaded to the ‘dark net’? Thought not! There is NO excuse for these so-called ‘data breaches’. It is all down to tardy, sloppy management practices. Joe and Josephine Public’s data is not being handled in a secure manner at all.

      Fortran

      February 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      • The answer to that is unless leaked, your never know as all government and public services have under law the right to abstain informing the public of any major data breaches.

        As much as i agree with your point on sloppy management and upkeep of a system, you cant stop 100% of breaches no matter there intent if your not monitoring the system personally. When something is fresh of boat and extremely well crafted by a industrial programming expert/s it takes one to know one to stop them if you know what i mean. They don’t come knocking at the door or testing the fences like our hacktivists and often don’t get detected for months, even years and usually by then they are long gone. All these would be hackers and punted out hacking tools are just fodder to mask the real scent, keep the pack busy.

        Remember there are many criminals in all criminal trades that never get caught.

        doug

        February 4, 2017 at 12:24 am

    • @ doug

      Military networks don’t use the “normal” telephone system at all: they either communicate wirelessly by radio/microwave or use dedicated private copper/fireoptic lines, not connected to the public telephone network at all, which are completely in accessible to outsiders. The only way really sensitive information can be accessed is through covert activity by staff with the necessary security clearances who breach security measures, e.g., Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, who smuggle data out of secure facilities physically. Much of the data that has been leaked originates by such means and is not caused by hacks but by poor and inefficient security in respect to staff members themselves. Serious installations are not hackable by outsiders because there no entry point to them externally and there is no means to intercept such communications in transit.

      Military networks in particular are not virtual private networks but physically separate physical networks which are completely divorced from and separate from the normal commercial telephone/microwave networks. Man-in-the-middle attacks aren’t possible because no middle can exist when using such technologies. And, for all we know, they may use vastly different private and very different protocols to transmit data unintelligible to an and all outsiders; I seriously doubt if the military uses TCP/IP any more in the modern world even with encrypted packets.

      As far as computer systems go there is always a trade off between usability and security, i.e., as security increases accessing the system becomes much more difficult, which is why commercial IT sometimes does get invaded. Businesses don’t want to make it so hard for customers to use their online services to end up turning them away, but, in principle, it is possible to make any system, even one connected to the public internet, completely secure. Trouble is if you make it too hard and taxing for people to use commercial systems you will end up discouraging them for using such systems and lose business as a consequence.

      When you look at recent hacks, e.g., Talk Talk, Adobe, Ashley Madison etc., all the significant data was unencrypted not encrypted. It’s always like this. In point of fact I don’t know of a single instance where properly encrypted data has been stolen and unencrypted, without help from insiders, and subsequently used for nefarious purposes.

      Can you name one single incident where the above is known to have happened, doug?

      Hacks can occur when systems are poorly administered and security is weak, and/or when software and/or hardware is not kept up to date in a timely manner and/or is not appropriate, and/or where information is divulged mistakenly because of users and/or staff member behaviour by means of malware infection, scams and/or various other kinds of confidence tricks.

      Shagadelic

      February 4, 2017 at 10:19 am

      • Ive already covered what you spoke about to you and Fortran so there’s no need repeating myself.

        doug

        February 4, 2017 at 12:07 pm

  33. Rumour Persists Here In Ipswich That Some DWP Staff Currently At St Felix House In Silent Street Are Moving With Some DWP Services To The Borough Council Offices In Grafton House Russell Road. No Substansive Information On This Yet. Anybody Else Heard This One.

    PHILIP

    February 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

  34. Notice how the supermarkets are quick to react to changing consumer spending patterns in order to position themselves to capture market share, since, well, they sell all, well most of, the ingredients. The current zeitgeist being ‘belt-tightening’. Out go ready-meals and in go home-made delights such as “Andrew’s Spicy Rabbit Stew”, “Doug’s Succulent Swan Surprise”… Before you know it we will be taking flasks of coffee into work, out go over-priced coffee-shops.

    Sign of the Times

    February 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm

  35. Sensitive Personal Data during WFI (inc Health and Work Conversation)

    It seems highly improbably that any such “conversation” could take place without discussion of the claimant’s illness (physical and mental health), disability, treatment and so on. Such information is as sensitive personal data (“SPD”) in for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”)

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sensitive_personal_data_during_w_2#incoming-931565

    news seeker

    February 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    • Schedule 3 Data Protection Act 1998 prescribes the conditions required for the lawful
      processing of SPD. These include the following:

      “1. The data subject has given his explicit consent to the processing of the personal data.

      2 NO 😉

      superted

      February 3, 2017 at 4:14 pm

  36. Universal Credit claims that are ‘closed’ as the claimant disputes the mandatory registration with Universal Jobmatch.

    refused.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/universal_credit_claims_that_are#incoming-924749

    news seeker

    February 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm

  37. Crystal tear. Surely the united nations charter of fundamental human rights has a place in this is . Ie the fear from want or starvation. maybe may will be embarrassed at the next general assembley Or security council meeting

    hatzaetos1922

    February 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm

  38. PIP investigation: Welfare expert says two-thirds of appeals involve lying assessors

    Welfare rights experts have produced evidence that backs up the findings of a Disability News Service (DNS) investigation into the lies told by healthcare professionals in their disability benefit assessment reports.

    http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/pip-investigation-welfare-expert-says-two-thirds-of-appeals-involve-lying-assessors/

    ken

    February 3, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    • Good post there Ken.

      We have all suspected it so its nice not only to see the truth coming out but also seeing DWP back pedal on their MRs. Considering the process of MR has already passed and you have to go through other countless processes just to get to tribunal, it cannot be seen as anything else other than very suspicious and dare i say it contemptuous of the process and law.

      doug

      February 4, 2017 at 11:25 am


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