So, as you may have heard, the welfare reform bill will go back to the Commons on Wednesday 1st Feb. That's just one day after the third and final reading of the bill in the Lords.
We are all beyond exhausted. Many of us have made ourselves terribly unwell as we fought the worst aspects of the bill. It seems a cruelty to have to prepare for the commons so quickly, but in a fight that has been unpleasant and cruel all the way through, we should expect no less.
It means that spartaci across the internet must summon up a few more ounces of effort for a little while longer.
Since the Responsible Reform report was launched, we now have a Facebook page and a website. People with their own ideas and plans can join the groups and help with many projects - from going through the new PIP thresholds to writing emails. Do take a look if you have some energy to help.
Today, I'm working on a template email that the wonderful people at Church Poverty Action are designing for us. You will simply have to put in your postcode and a letter tailored to your own particular MP will appear. If you can personalise it with your own experiences of ESA or PIP, all the better, but I should have the template for you to use very soon.
In the meantime, it would be very helpful indeed if you wrote to your local paper. They usually have an email address you can use to send letters to the editor. If you feel able to call up and see if they would like a short article, all the better, but many people don't yet know what the welfare reform bill will mean to them, so something very simple pointing out the changes and urging people to contact their MP would be a good start.
Local press have more impact than we might think. MPs worry when they see their local papers full of objections to a particular policy. Their first responsibility is to their constituents and if majorities are tight, pressure can have more effect than in a national paper.
We have a network now that covers most of the country, so let's see how many letters we can get published before next week.
You may have noticed that Scope have joined forces with 38 Degrees to produce an email campaign asking MPs not to use parliamentary privilege to override the amendments to the bill. If you are on their mailing list, please do take a moment to join the action.
Finally, today, a letter to the Guardian from 50 LibDem candidates urges their MPs to let the amendments stand too. We are no longer alone and even the mainstream press are putting pressure on parliamentarians that simply wasn't there a few weeks ago.
We might be exhausted, we might feel that we cannot go on, but this was always going to be a battle we would have to fight to the wire. The very fact we are fighting for amendments at all is a miracle. Good luck Spartaci!! Not long now and every last shred of effort you can find might make the difference.
Thank you so much, Sue If you don't have the energy to do letter templates for CPAG, do use/tweak the ones we've done for the website, at http://wearespartacus.org.uk/2012/01/27/urgent-write-to-your-mp-now/ Some Spartaci are seriously exhausted trying to get these done so they could be uploaded for people to email their MP's for the weekend! In our templates we've deliberately encouraged people to add their own personal response for the different Lords amendments that particularly affect sick and disabled people.ReplyDelete
A method I use for trying to get things out is to post comments, with links, in newspapers such as the Guardian and Independent and even the Mail, as well as local papers.ReplyDelete
I am trying to send emails to as many MPs as possible containing this 'letter' http://stickmancommunications.blogspot.com/2012/01/dear-government.html - if anyone wants to send it to their MP or similar they are welcome. IT won't do any harm for people to recieve it several times, and I'm not sure how many emails I'll be capable of sending before body packs up even more ;)ReplyDelete
im rather pzzled as to WHY...nobody is annoyed ..about the claims that welfare claimants are in receipt of £26,000 a year..personally i have never heard anything as stupid...for most..it isnt even half of that...even on question time last night..it was made clear..they were saying BENEFIT CLAIMANTS recieve this amount,,,when in fact it is WORKING people on a minimum wage...WHY IS THISReplyDelete
A friend of mine is unfortunately losing his sight and will very soon be eligible to apply for benefits such as DLA etc. Over the past few years he has been writing a blog which has built up a considerable readership, however his GP has told him if he continues to maintain it the DWP will deny him any benefits.ReplyDelete
Surely this activity could be regarded as beneficial to my friends mental health and self esteem and if he were to use speech recognition software to 'write' his articles that should be no obstacle to applying for support.
As his decision on what to do must be made this weekend I would be very grateful if you could please reply asap with any advice or experience of similar restirctions being applied to others.
The DWP have in their power to deny benefits to anyone who goes on line or who users the internetDelete
I myself am restricted and cautioned by the DWP to one hour a day so i know full well all the regulations on Internet use
Four banks That is utter bloody rubbish and you know it...GPs or dwp cannot tell you when where or indeed how long you can use the internet....THIS blog and countless others would be gone if it was true...FREE SPEECH right!!! stop it with the conspiracy stuff its not bloody helping....WHAT next GPs dwp tell you which paper you can read FFS....Delete
I wish you were correct sarcboy but with regret that is indeed the situation that i have been faced with the past yearDelete
On one of their many visits to my house they had got a complete profile of what i do on the internet facebook/twitter/blogs/ etc and yes i was surprised by how much they knew about me and they made it quite clear that one hour per day was the order and that is what I'm stuck at
As for myself one hour is enough anyhow so it's not a loss but for someone who uses the computer more then it could be a problem if and when you get a home visit
I should also point that the DWP have got me to remove any facebook twitter etc and not to involve myself with this type of activityDelete
As for this blog so far so good it would appear that this blog is ok so until told otherwise I'll stick around
Of course should i disappear then you'll know that they have cut me off but in that situation i would let sue know as i have her contact email
Why don't you "re-invent yourself" ?Delete
A new facebook and twitter profile, a new name? And hide your laptop when you expect a visit. If you pretend you play with their rules, they'll leave you alone, no?
fourbanks - absolute drivel. Are you by any chance a 'troll' or more likely a Tory?Delete
Look sue knows of me and I've been around here from day one and I'm not a Tory nor a trollDelete
I don't need to reinvent myself as i have nothing to hide if I'm told one hour a day by the DWP or lose my benefit then it's one a day
Very important point about writing to the local papers. And yes, "many people don't yet know what the welfare reform bill will mean to them". That I think goes for a lot of Lib Dem members, who I really don't think have yet taken on board what exactly these proposals mean and just how messed up they are. Or they may realise and be merely despairing, putting all their energy into local campaigning (all the more reason to write to local papers).ReplyDelete
Scary how little time there is and how much persuasion still needs to be done. But it can be done.
I have done my letter to our (Tory) MP and got the stock reply quoting parts of Frud's ramblings!ReplyDelete
We could better publicise the Pat's Petition, currently at around 25k sigs but needs to be over 100k to force a debate in the HoC.
We must attack the government and in particular the DWP.
No not bricks through windows, that would hardly scratch the surface! No, we need to keep gathering facts from them to use against them and their ministers.
For instance, do you know that in 2009/2010 the DWP spent over £3.5bn on Atos Medical Services alone?
We need to find out the most recent budget to see if their spending has evidence of being "out of control", to this effect an FoI has been made to find out.
Note that Grayling still will not release costs for ESA so far, what has he got to hide? Anyone fancy doing a FoI for that little nugget and run with it? I can't, I have too much to do already.
If you could email me Sue I have some ideas.
Ian i was joking about the brick through the heartless window but given these developments one does have to wonder just What we have to do to get these people WE put in power that this is all so wrong and getting such news on a day we now know that one banker who works in OUR bank is getting such a huge bonus for doing nothing more than what we pay him 1.2 mill for is makes things so much more one sided and points even more to the fact that we are NOT all in this together...Now are we all sure about those bricks...Delete
I am trying to raise awareness about this in Canada. I've written a couple of blog posts, but don't have a huge following. Please let me know if there's more I can do to support your efforts from here...ReplyDelete
It may be useful to have facts but more importantly we need stories that people will empathise with.ReplyDelete
Look at how the government are campaigning they ignore and mislead with the facts instead they have a series of stories about benefit cheats so that people get the impression that all claiments are cheats.
We need to drip feed the press with a series of stories of disable people particularly children and how they are suffering from disability and how the cuts will make life imposible.
The government and press have set created associations between disability, cheating, unworthy, undiserving and its all the sick peoples faults. We need to change these associations - its a long slow process.
We have actually tried that earlier on, and were consistently dismissed as being "merely allegorical". Ironically, no one wanted to touch the Spartacus Report because they "wanted stories". Go figure. But yes, if you can get your local paper to write a story, go forth and do so.Delete
I would contact my local paper but thing is, pretty much every national newspaper keeps spouting goverment propaganda that we're all scroungers and are all fit for work, and that we're all cheating the system and that disabilities simply don't exist in their eyes.ReplyDelete
It's depressing and makes me want to not pick up a newspaper as there is so much hate against disabled in them. I blame the goverment, they're on a different planet to the rest of us.
If I can just add something here - please don't expect Sue or others of Spartacus Report-writing to take up the thousands of ideas one may have. If you want to brainstorm on ideas there's a facebook group where we can all do some brainstorming and figure out what to get. So please join that group - Sue is actually still very ill and just doesn't have the energy here. She's created the momentum, but it's up to us to build up the wave.ReplyDelete
Join and contribute http://www.facebook.com/groups/362465830435590/
And the spartacus site
Let's give Sue a bit of a breather to try and get her life back and recover a little.
You already have a wave and it is Pat's petition with 25,000 supporters, so why not everyone join and see the wave crest.Delete
Anyone writing letters may want to point out that 25,000 people (ok, at the moment its 24,984 - keep signing!) have signed the government e-petition calling on them to stop and review all the changes which are impacting unfairly on disabled people and carers.ReplyDelete
Ideally we need 100,000 signatures - the government HAVE to respond to that. But even 25,000 is a huge number of us - and it's being noticed. This number should be MILLIONS! If we all get onto it, we'll get there.
Point it out in your letters - let everyone you know hear about it - encourage them to sign. The link is at the top of Sue's blog (thank you) and here -
pat's petition is still well short of the mark and it will be some time before she hit's the target if everDelete
As to why she has not hit the target is unclear as sue and the team have done more then their very best
Personally i don't think she will and as i say i don't know why
We can all make guesses as to why it might not reach 100,000 signatures - we can focus on that very negatively and get very annoyed or frustrated about it.
Or, we can be inspired by people like Anne Williams who had an epetition on the same site for her son Kevin. Her petition gained 60,000 signatures in the last week to go past the 100,000 target. It was right down to the last day.
While we wouldn't want that to happen for Pat - way too stressful!! - it does inspire as to how it is an achievable target.
Together we can do it. It's past 25,000 now - if each one of those signatories persuaded just 3 people each, it would get the 100,000 signatures. Please do sign and share.
Link here again - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968
Well that's football for youDelete
We should by right hit the target as there are over one million sick and disabled people in the uk
so where are they ?
They must know of this blog by now ? and if they dont they never will
Maybe there to well off and dont care what happens or maybe they have no access to the internet
Well whatever their excuse they should be playing a part however small as their is no excuse for being that idle
sure there are many who are that disabled as to not understand on what's going on but that would only be a minority of people
I am angry in the fact that the majority of sick and disabled people in the uk are leaving it to others like sue and co to sort out that is not on
We are in this together and we all need to face up to that fact and look at this blog and pull together failing that the government will win the day and who could blame them when such a laid back attitude from the sick and disabled
Thanks Fourbanks - it's true that the football community did a great job for Anne - I wonder who our 'disabled community' is?Delete
I prefer to remind people that anyone can become disabled at any point. None of us knows what the future holds. So this issue affects everyone. Of course, it's human nature not to be too bothered until it affects you (or your family and friends), but I still think it shouldn't just be down to us. Especially when you realise that many disabled people just do not have online access for whatever reason.
It's great to see UK Uncut and 38 degrees showing their support. If 38 degrees members signed Pat's Petition, we'd easily get the 100,000.
That's true the people at 38 degrees need to get on board with us and soonDelete
They have 75000 signatures already with regards the RBS chairman's bonus
That is incredible for just a few days work
Just to let you know Chris Wlliamson MP for Derby North has wrote back from the House of Commons to say, Walter receiving the Responsible Reform Report, he will raise our concerns on the 1st February. He is very supportive & a great MP for our area in Derby North.
When it goes back to the house of commons do they have one vote that they can over turn the benefit cap? I understand its something rarly done but can be done in certain circumstance ie if they say we cant afford it.ReplyDelete
They had peace on homelessness in London growing and said rubbish about caps not going to cause it! Quite how they think families can live on 100 or less a week without borrowing from the rent money to live I dont know.
All what has been discussed in the house of lords will be over turned that you can be sure ofDelete
IDS and co reckon that by holding back your benefit there'll stave you into submission
your be so desperate you'll plead for work any work your illnesses or any disabilities you have will vanish
It will be like that you've been to Lourdes
As IDS would say your soul will have been cleansed and all evilness will have faded away leaving you fit for work
Fourbanks...please, rein back on the despair predictions. We're still working on things, and we're not "sure" of anything. Even if it's overturned, I for one will still keep fighting and will continue to do so.Delete
So I'm not going to buy into the Apocalypse prediction just yet and will hope others don't either
Maybe that's where we'll all end up in Lourdes
Suit's me i could do with a break and i dare say so could we all
OK heres a thought...How much would it cost to take out a one page ad in the paper of your choice and spell it all out as to what is actually going on here...costs of artos and unum and the 3.5 billion mentioned above. Put in links to the spartacus report and whtever else we can squueeeze.If its not too much we could ALL pay for it through the fund on here...surely one of them will give us a good rate....anyone ??? WE could then call out ids grayling and all of em to explain the truth..what do we have to lose here.Maybe one of the papers who would take it on could see that we have a fund on here and if we aint got enough give us time to pay too...If we dont ask we dont get and these people are playing dirty with this feb 1st date so lets get dirty too.Somebody among us somehwre must have some good media experience or contactsReplyDelete
The people on the panel on programs like question time are Mainly just acting the fool and know nothing about DWP benefits whatsoeverReplyDelete
A bigger problem thow is the daft public attending it that doesn't help at all
All it goes to show is what a backwood country we are where no one knows any facts or figures and then just plays the fool
Yep qt is so biased and just makes me so bloody angry most of the time.Which is kind of my point that maybe we should do the one page ad in the paper thing...thoughts on that and any other forms of action that could be taken...On the facebook page just been on it and a lot of people dont want to have thier names and details out on an open source page so what could one do to join it but remain private ??ReplyDelete
Just alerted this on a couple of sarcoidosis sites so if you are on any illness specific sites please do the same as peeople on these sites might not know what is going on and should be made aware.....i added the url of this blog and asked them to come on here and join the fight...ReplyDelete
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."ReplyDelete
went for my usual periodic lithium blood test this morning. Arrived at appointment for 9.40, went in to see phlebotomist, passed pleasntries. She asked what time I had taken my dosage I said 10pm previous night. She then point blank refused to do the test until 10am. I could either wait or book another appointment.
WHAT!!!! I was livid and asked why this was so as I had had tests regularly at the surgery for 4 years with no problems. I was told, and by this time the duty office manager has sauntered in, that the hospital would only accept lithium test at 100% the 12 hours after taking the dose.
Being a trained haematologist I said that was bollock. I explained the issues about taking prolomged release lithium and that the recommendation for tests to be taken between 11 and 13 hours since dosage. They ignored everything I said and remained unmoved - either I stay or leave and book another time. NEVER NEVER NEVER have I been treated in this fashion. I had the tests and have since made a formal complaint to the surgery and a formal complaint to the PCT.
I despise my surgery so this just adds to my misery. They are arrogant, insensitive, rude and that's just the head GP. It is appalling. I shouldn't be so angry. I don't want to be this angry. I am currently ill and this is making it worse. Who the hell do these people think they are?????
"AnonymousJan 27, 2012 04:05 AMReplyDelete
im rather pzzled as to WHY...nobody is annoyed ..about the claims that welfare claimants are in receipt of £26,000 a year..personally i have never heard anything as stupid...for most..it isnt even half of that...even on question time last night..it was made clear..they were saying BENEFIT CLAIMANTS recieve this amount,,,when in fact it is WORKING people on a minimum wage...WHY IS THIS"
I've said something similar and instead of those who are in work or not ill or disadvantaged yet "Having a go" at those on benefits they should ask why the rents on properties are so high that they need to still try and claim housing benefit and tax credits...people should not be trying to come down to the level that people who claim supposedly get(few do)but asking why the companies that employ them pay such poor wages.
And why even when you work the State has to try and subsidise their income still. And I cannot think of any jobs that pay a decent "Living " wage to the masses...
You might be better off working but only because they are making it so difficult to live on benefits. You might have more by working then but it won't man that you'll really be better off, you might just be reaching the level you were original on when receiving help. So you'll still be struggling.
Why? Because, it is just above the national average wage. If you can convince enough people that someone, anyone is getting more than they are, for not working, when you are clearly not having a wonderful life complicated by a full working week... and it's working... the Tories position in the polls is going up. It is the old lie, if you want to abuse a group in society, you have to name, demean and segregate so the majority can 'unidentify'. It's not me, it's 'them', it makes screwing 'them' over much easier.Delete
These Tories are very scary indeed, nastier, more arrogant than their 80s predecessors'. Cameron now makes me feel physically sick; he's smug, complacent,nasty, no humility,no humanity, no emotional intelligence, no intellect, not actually too bright - his one liners all pre written,economically illiterate, a total bastard really, - I think quite a lot of moderate, decent people are just waking up to them, but is it too late?ReplyDelete
A good friend of mine this week, educated and intelligent, actually thought all unemployed people automatically got £26,000! such has been the evil ubiquitous propaganda the Tory's have sprouted. Its not difficult to imagine how Hitler managed to brainwash an entire nation in the 30s - with this kind of divisive hatred.
The welfare reforms need to be fought, but the NHS MUST be saved! These bastards need to be fought in every town, in every village in this land.
I applaud your fight. But I'm afraid we will need to fight this ghastly set of individuals a lot harder then we are presently. If the Labour party refuse to fight for us, we need to come together and make then irrelevant. For many millions this is now a fight for basic human dignity, these Tory fascists must be stopped
in every area of our lives the tories, continuing were labour left off, are creating a fscist state in this country. health, welfare, education, public services are all being infected by the invidious odour of FASCISMDelete
Yes this is the problem ,well one of them but an important one,they keep repeating this bloody 26,000 number and people really do think that everyone gets it.Those on working tax credits and family credits and similar think that they are not really on benefits if they are working but of course they are and when these are gone or reduced then the boots will be on the other foot and they will see what is being done ....but meanwhile the govt keep spinning this 26 thou number.I have just seen a reply from someones Mp on a site and this MP repeats the downright lie that DLA is overpayed by hundreds of millions so obviously needs reform....this is fantasy and he is spouting lies fed to him except this MP is a bloody minister so is either a lazy basttard who cant be arsed to check or is content to lie out right to his constituent.Delete
WE need to start on this RECALL bill when ,and if,we are done with this and hold these employees to account and then maybe we would get some bloody respect instead of them bloody moaning about the food in the house which we subsidise to the tune of £7.30 out of ever £10 it costs and they still claim £400 a month for food.....greed knows no bounds BUT hey dont worry we are all in this together...
"Today, I'm working on a template email that the wonderful people at Church Poverty Action are designing for us. "ReplyDelete
Have you ever thought about putting these boundless talents to work to help support yourself?
I understand where you are coming from, Whizjet.Delete
Unfortunately employers are often unwilling to employ disabled people, especially those with mental health problems ( http://www.rethink.org/how_we_can_help/news_and_media/briefing_notes/briefing_mental_he.html ) who often appear to be 'fine' and thus face criticism for recieving benefits.
The system does not allow for people who have fluctuating conditions - eg. perhaps can work 2 days then need 2 days off, it also doesn't recognise that disabled people may use all their energy and strength just getting ready in the morning and doing basics like food shopping or housework.
Also, those with disabilities are much more likely to have fewer qualifications and experience (catch 22!) and thus only be eligible for lower paid, manual work - ie. it's not possible to live on part-time work at minumum wage, or someone may be able to do limited office work but not manual work/the kind of jobs that are going.
I'd love a job that I could do a few hours a week at whatever time I was able, however I cannot predict when I will be able to manage it or when I will be very ill; precious few jobs are this flexible.
Making money as a writer etc. is very difficult yet these are the skills you are asking "Benefit Scrounger" to use to support themselves!
The whole structure of workplace/employment does not accomodate or utilise what people can actually give (I wouldn't be surprised if you had found this yourself), rather we are all to often seen as units of productivity to be maximised for another's profit, doing mindless unfulfilling menial work - and by keeping the poor poor, they have a labour pool easy to exploit (who daren't aske for better pay or conditions) as people chase desperately after these jobs.
Ah yes whizjet and patronising if it was a job would suit you perfectley.....troll off then theres a good un eh.....Delete
QUOTE: WhizjetJan 27, 2012 08:44 PMReplyDelete
"Today, I'm working on a template email that the wonderful people at Church Poverty Action are designing for us. "
Have you ever thought about putting these boundless talents to work to help support yourself?
Avenging Angel says: Oh yes, Then to help others. C**T.
I've thought about everything. Whoever does my Atos test in 3 weeks time will know this. My lawyer will know this and will act accordingly. My M.p. will know this.ReplyDelete
When push comes to shove I'm one of the unaffected. I am outraged. This may help others, and that is human.
Best to just go into the Atos meeting knowing you'l fail. I was at one for 40 minutes with 2 family members, covering my disability quite extensively, yet they didnt award points I had evidence for and missed things out entirely, felt like I wasted my time personally.Delete
You'l have to, like everyone else live on the Assessment rate money whilst appealing, you'l need a med certificate for that.
Thanks Anonymous - I'm pretty much prepared for all Atos eventualities.ReplyDelete
My mind is already at the appeal stage.
That demo about disabled and the cuts held in London...Radio Two mentioned it and played some audio from people who were there at 10pm last night, Radio 5 mentioned it as the last story of their news at 11pm and played no audio. As Radio 5 is thought of as a news network that seems totally wrong...ReplyDelete
Another Demo held today in the area that Radio Tees broadcasts has been mentioned in the news and a local MP's soundbite was included and he did at least join the demonstrators and also made comment about someone in a wheelchair who is going to be interviewed about being fit to work is scared and worried that he will lose his benefits and the MP said that he could not see this person being able to do what would be called meaningful work.ReplyDelete
That's fine but again, dare I say such people are obviously ill and its unfair but it would help if the media and the MP also included and mentioned all those who have conditions that vary from day to day from hour to hour and will probably get worse.
And such people may look ok to anyone who perhaps doesn't know them or happen to pass them in the street.
Iain Duncan Smith says that he can do nothing about the boss of RBS taking millions in his bonus payment - but this same IDS is very happy taking tens of pounds away from anyone who is not strong enough to stand on their own two feet.ReplyDelete
Yes, go for it IDS, knock the wheelchair user over to get to his purse so as you can save the money & pass it on to your friends.
Anyone going for their Atos medical in the next few weeks can go happy with the knowledge that the boss of the bank owned by tax-payers will pocket more in a week than you will in a lifetime. Smile please, next for the cuts!
Hate - os in the news again for more apparent miracle working. Man in coma declared fit for work(!!??*!£""**????), or so it says here:ReplyDelete