Monday 30 July 2012

Dispatches AND Panorama investigate "Fit for Work" tests Tonight

*Trumpet-y Fanfare Noise*!!!!!

As most of you will probably know by now, the two main BBC investigative journalism programmes - Dispatches AND Panorama - are showing programmes on ESA and the Work Capability Assessments used to determine whether sick and disabled people can work or not.

First, on Channel 4 at 8pm we have Dispatches : who claim to uncover targets built into the system that aren't really targets. I guess it will be a hard hitting piece, both shocking and brave. You can read more about it here :

Straight after Dispatches, on BBC2, we get the Gold Standard of media reporting in this country, Panorama  :  They will be looking at the role of the Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) and how they feel about ESA. You can read all about it here:

At last, we have some investigative journalism, at last, we're being heard. At last, the media are starting to listen to us and respond, at last they are starting to question the DWP corporate line....

at last, at last at last....

**Please tweet this or link it to your Facebook page, maybe put it up on a blog if you have one. We need to let people know to watch, to drag their eyes from the Olympics for just an hour and see the programmes we've been desperately hoping would get made. So, calling all Spartacii! All hands on deck to make sure everyone watches these programmes. 


  1. Whoops, Dispatches is C4, not BBC! But still 8PM

  2. I see Harrington's bailed. Coincidence? Hmmmm...

  3. Dare not watch as will cause PTSD in me the amount of stress this has caused.

  4. they did not like what Harrington was saying so got rid of him

  5. David g there are TWO programmes on; the Dispatches one and also at 8.30, Panorama on bbc2. Terrible scheduling but hopefully enough people will be bothered to watch; and Panorama disgraced itself not that long ago with a propaganda riddled 'expose' of 'Britain on the fiddle', so let's hope they can redeem themselves and return to the good old days when they really were the gold standard.

  6. Scotland 4+1 repeats Dispatches at 9pm.

  7. Think the listings must be different in Scotland. I can't see either.

    1. Yes.It was annoying to look at 8pm and it not be on but to find it at 9pm. Gremlins at work?

  8. Brilliant! Finally, the truth is starting to come out.

    I was expecting Panorama might do its usual cover up job for the government, given its repeated failure to broadcast anything about disabled protests etc and its previous efforts, like John Humphries atrocious State of Welfare.

    If anything I thought it was the slightly better of the two, because at least it mentioned the number of people dying and the mental health effects. Neither of course mentioned the suicides but one day...

    Shame Dispatches thinks 15 points gets you into the Support Group. Obviously so complicated even investigative journalists can't get their head around the fact that most 15 point scores only qualify for the WRAG. They could have emphasised that it is virtually impossible to qualify for the support group. But big credit and hugs to the GP who went undercover for this. We need more like him.

    His trainer seemed nice and appalled at the "toxic" system. I have seen video on You Tube of another training centre where the trainer just laughed at it all made really sick jokes and the learners joined in. they really didn't care at all.

    I look forward to Graylings grilling after the foul abuse spread all over the papers by him over the weekend and today.

  9. Two good docs, even the BBC one, it was dynamite, not least credible evidence from the Dispatches one that there are targets to fail people with the ATOS medical test as the brave ATOS trainer asserted.

    Most shameful ATOS moment, many to choose from, the guy who died but maybe this: welfare rights officer from the Maudsley who said one of her clients when being assessed and informing them of multiple overdoses, was saked by the assessor ''why aren't you dead?''

    words fail me..

  10. What's this about Professor Harrington, could someone enlighten me please?
    I thought they were both excellent and how Grayling can continue with the crap he comes out with is beyond me. The evidence is damning, though most of us knew that anyway. There are defiantly targets, despite the denial, if Atos haven't got anything to hide why dont they make theyre contract public. I hope Panorama and Dispatches dont just leave it now, the pressure must be kept up. I was totally shocked about the guy with bipolar who was assessed while in hospital under section and then placed in WRAG,unbelievable!!! Anyway its promped me to write to my Tory MP, something I've not done for a while but tomorrow I'm on it!

    1. Anonymous - Malcom Harrington is said to be "standing down" (not elbowed out, given the heave-ho, sacked etc., etc.,ooooh no...)

      "They said to me 'you have been doing this for three years and you have come up with a number of recommendations which we are going to implement... we think it would be a good idea if a fresh set of eyes looked at it for the final two years'."

      Probably Chris Grayling's eyes....

    2. Thanks Findlow.
      So Harrington is standing down, they must think we're bloody stupid. It's obvious he's been pushed because of the Panorama programme. And clearly according to grayling, the appeal judges aren't doing their job properly either! Graylinjg really is a nasty nasty man!

  11. The DWP under the current regime is probably irredeemable, but at least those Atos employees who do have a shred of conscience (the trainer who described her job as "toxic", for example)could take a stand. They need to go public, expose the system for the licensed killing-machine that it is. Just to lamely take the "just following orders" excuse is what the Nazis did at the Nuremberg trials.
    Good to see the Beeb redeem itself after John Humphry's hatchet job the State of Welfare.

    The DWP's own rules on ESA state that an action must be able to be performed "reliably, repeatedly and safely". It was abundantly clear from both the documentaries that this is either totally ignored, or not known about, by the Atos assessor. I suspect the former. They will assume that most claimants won't know this rule.
    Anyway, I hope that by now Chris Grayling is foaming at the mouth as this miserable and scandalous WCA is increasingly exposed as the steaming heap of ordure that it is.

  12. There was not much mentioned about mental health! I've been refused on the grounds I refuse to attend medical. but didn't even get an invite to a medical. I'm agoraphobic so I guess they assumed I wouldn't turn up!! Would've been nice to know what these assessors think about depression and anxiety!!! Cos as far as I'm concerned they seem to think I'm able bodied so I can work.... yeah course I can as long as no one minds me being a gibbering wreck and crying in the corner, shaking and blacking out.... that's if I actually get to work!!! I can get to my local shop where I know everyone but I have to go at closing time, so its quiet.... at least I can get the reduced stuff!! Lol

  13. Can we NOW please call out DANNY ALEXANDER on this?????!!!

    BBC Scotland made a documentary "Who's Cheating Who?" about the high failure rate of ATOS and the numbers of people suffering unnecessarily as a result in 2010.

    Broadcast just a few weeks before the election. The chief spokesperson AGAINST Atos, throughout the entire programme, was one DANNY ALEXANDER MP,then unknown. Now as Chief Secretary to the Treasury he is fully behind all the welfare cuts, the Reform Bill, and part of the "inner quad" running government.

    He had oh so MUCH to say about what his constituents were being put through and how wrong the system was.

    He was also part of the welfare reform committee in 2007 that scrutinised the Welfare Reform Bill.

    The programme can still be seen, divided into 3 parts on You Tube. Can someone grab it before it is "disappeared"?

    Quotes from DANNY ALEXANDER:

    Part 1

    "Tens of thousands maybe hundreds of thousands of appeals will follow and that will be then a system that is close to meltdown"

    Part 2

    "In practice what is happening is people who should be entitled to the benefit are arbitrarily being denied it"

    "I have had a lot of constituents who have experienced great unfairness at the hands of this new system. People who have been severely disabled.... in practice what we are seeing is gross unfairness and what we are seeing is people who are genuinely in need being denied money that they are entitled to.

    "The appeals process should have a very low rate of success, maybe 10% at most. What you are seeing with ESA is much, much higher than that. The sign that is being sent from the appeals system is that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way the system is being implemented."

    Part 3:

    "The fact is the process isn't working and genuinely vulnerable people are being denied money as a result"

    "If there is a failure going on here and I think there clearly is a failure then IT IS MINISTERS WHO SHOULD BE TAKING THE RAP FOR IT AND IT IS MINISTERS WHO SHOULD BE CHANGING THE WAY THE SYSTEM WORKS SO THAT IT IS FAIR." (8 mins 17 secs in)

    The programme then cuts to Danny Alexander entering No.10 after the election.

    The reporter states:

    "A minister himself now, Mr Alexander has assured the BBC that he remains concerned about ESA and will continue to raise the issue."

    The programme reports Danny Alexander had asked to see a copy of the ATOS contract but was refused access to the part about how they were payed.

    Who would refuse him now?

    Can any tweeters please retweet these links? (Especially the bit about ministers must take the rap for this.)

    This is the BBC's news report of the programme:

    We need justice and we will get it.

  14. Just watched the bbc programme. I found it quite powerful. I think Grayling is a mass murderer, a foul man with despicable inclinations, a nazi - so too is IDS.

    I have a Blue Badge application to complete - have had it a while - I can't do it - not because I'm not eligible or can't rationally do it - I can't do it - I am numb

  15. "Stop and Review the cuts to benefits" - Pat's petition. Please sign, numbers already going up tonight.

  16. the government and ATOS should both be taken to court for mass murder and or inciting mass hysteria, people like myself are struggling on lower and lower benefits, and the banks and ministers of this so called government run around in brand new gas guzzling cars, paying with our money for unecessery things like the olympics, and new, buildings for government purposes, everyone should rise up, enough is enough, WE PAID IN SO WE ALL WANT OUT WHAT WE ARE ENTITLED TO in our time of need, there is no need for all of this, attacking the weaker people, there are plenty of prople who can work who are young and fit, but where are the jobs, ther arnt any, so how in heaven o they expect disabled, mentally ill and elderly to work, they cant its totally impossible, ET THIS LOT UT LETS HAVEA COMPLETE CHANE,NO LABOU LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIV,

    1. Adding EVERYTHING up - hospitals,doctors schools, all your benefits etc., I'll bet most of you have had more out of the system than you ever paid in!!!!!!!

  17. It frightened me but as said decent documentaries at last but a pity they waited until the Olympics so fewer would be watching and Panorama moved to BBC 2 away from it's usual prime time slot on BBC 1!

    Remember the guy on Disptaches using a mobility scooter, arthritis in the knees/legs? You're fit for work because your hands are ok...

    So how does he get to the place of work? Does the place have room for a scooter? etc...


  18. I'm glad someone else remembers the BBC Scotland documentary at the time though living in England I accessed it and always remember what DA said and then soon after the opposite...

    Pity he isn't challenged over what he said...

    1. Yes, I saw it in England too. Through all this I have always remembered that Danny Alexander was so against Atos just about 5 weeks or so before the election and he suddenly became Chief secretary to the Treasury and then kept very quiet about it. I was always hoping some journalist would ask him about it on live television interview. He would SO have to Squirm!!

      Perhaps we can find a journalist to confront him with it? Or just copy the links to You Tube above all over the internet! He must have contituents who are disabled who can ask him?

  19. Oh god is all I can say really. I just hope some of those horrible daily fail readers have watched and will get it through their stupid skulls that the fraud rate really is tiny and the only ones suffering are the genuinely sick and disabled. The whole thing has left me feeling sick though. I really also want to punch Chris Greyling in in smug face.

  20. Avenging_Angel31 July 2012 at 03:11

    Just watched them both.

    According to Greything what us lot are getting with Hateos and the dwp is " . . . tough love . . . ". I nearly vomited.

    Well done BBC, media please keep up the pressure.

  21. Yes, another one just watched both, awaiting my zero points from ATOS after my 'assessment' a couple of weeks ago, followed by the horrible, stress inducing rigmarole of seeing my doctor, asking him to supply me with a note, using that in my appeal application, going to the appeal, waiting for the response, and then, most likely, having to join the ranks of the unemployed, even tho I can't manage anything for more than about half an hour before I need to go sleep a while.

    I just hope this gets thru a few thick skulls of the Sun and Mail readers who've been repeatedly told we're all thieving their tax money and too lazy to work.

    I also hope Grayling goes mysteriously bankrupt and friendless, then suffers a terrible injury or mental illness (as if he's not already severely mentally ill, with his complete lack of compassion for any part of humanity), where he needs the very basic, small amount of weekly money that is a lifeline to anyone in this situation.

    Enjoy the humiliation, the stigma of being unemployed, the 3 monthly repeated assessments, for some, in case their arms and legs grew back overnight, etc.

    I'd normally be more coherent, but right now I just want to hurt some very arrogant people.

    Strangely enough, I can't bring myself to hate the ATOS staff at the bottom, only the bosses. The lady who saw me was polite and respectful, tho I'm sure I'll still score zero, and it was evident they hate what they have to do, and are just desperate for any kind of employment, even if it's stamping on the poor and weak.

  22. found some links

    bbc even suggesting the paraolympics will help improve disabled people's image!!

    1. I wonder why the link says it is available to UK users only? Does the government not want the rest of the world to know what is happening to the disabled in good ol' Britain?


    For those who missed it!

  24. Greyling has told The Sunday Telegraph he would redesign the Work Program so that those deemed originally too ill to join it would be made to do so. Sorry - can't find the link to the article.

    1. Here is the link;

      Grayling told The Sunday Telegraph "he would redesign the scheme so that those deemed originally too ill to join it would be made to do so."

      Because the "Work Programme contractors were crying out for more “hard-to-help” benefits claimants,"

      {In other words the scheme is going under and they were hoping to make a fortune from the £14,000 bonus they would get for getting someone on IB into work for at least six months}.

  25. crisp greystink is a nazie and a lying nazie at that. atos, have been given targets to fail people on the direction of the condom party .tho i can hear this vile creature now, we have listened and have taken on board all the information we have collected and have decided to drop P.I.P and will now be rolling out the F.S final solution. it is also ironic that the rumanians, not only worked for the nazis as capos in the concentration camps, they are working for them again overriding the british medical system refuting mri scans therapists ,and consultants in their own fields of medicine .the health care professional ,over rides all. even tho as one of thees money motivated profit driven cretins have a qualification ?some where? apparently ?tho in the words of one of them, last night, what ever it was? was not recognised hear. baffling. greystink ,went on to say, people who have all ready have had medicals and have been sent out another form and another medical straight after they have been put in the support group has been reviewed , i live in hope.and to what degree is any ones guess. like so many i have been waiting for my reply(the third one) i must add, with dread for two months now .we live in hope and as for the programming, all i can say it is about time. i would have thought that any journalist, worth his or her salt, would have been shouting from the roof tops about the biggest european social outrage against a class of people since world war two .the scheduling was from the top, interference that was designed to lesson the impact with programs being moved to other channels and scheduling to coincide with the biggest television extravaganza since this this outrage started, that was no coincidence .tho when i mention journalism ,i do not count the mail in the same concept .that is a propaganda pamphlet awash with lies, false facts and discrimination designed to lead a hate campaign, constructed by the nazies, i can not understand in the light of levison ,how they are getting away with this? and why they are not being brought to task? and how can the dummies put their name to this and share such an ideology .their supporters must be reeling .i will finish by writing my heart felt thanks to the under cover doctor and the program makers for investigating such an important anti social stain on the most challenged in society and shedding light ,no matter how hard the curtains are drawn and thank you sue ,for allowing such a site for shedding awareness and allowing comment to be aired all the best steve.

  26. The insurance market is already trying to cash in on the Panorama documentary by using it to try and convince people they ned to take out income payment protection insurance. Which is of course what the whole thing is about in reality. Privatising the welfare state.

    However this site also carries an article which shows that according to research by financial company Defaqto, 60 per cent of financial advisers say clients do not think they need income protection insurance.

    It says that "many people do not think they will ever get ill for an extended period of time." Many people also think that if they could not work due to accident or illness, "they would expect the government to support them financially."

    That explains all the vitriolic comments about people on benefits. People just cannot see that it could be them who becomes ill or disabled tomorrow. They still believe that if they did, the system would be there to help them - because they would be genuine, obviously. We need to make the public see that we are fighting to keep fair benefits for everybody, including them. After all, we know statistically, 1 in 3 people will get cancer. 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental illness. The public is still under the illusion they will be safe. By the time they found out we were right, it will be too late for them.

    1. Fantastic post and a really positive view of the way ahead...

  27. in case anyone missed my post in a earlier thread

    As i expected he has resigned as the enormity of what he has done has sunk in and the death toll was not foreseeable in his eyes ? well it was in my eyes and my mp will tell you so

    Well at least that's a start but in no way does that get him off the hook he presided over a welfare reform bill and forgot the most basic of details to offer protection to those that may be under a lot of stress in the process

    Trying to find help at the CAB was never a option for some many people were told they were fit for work when they were not and in a moment of madness took their own lives which is unforgivable and the government just on this issue alone should be prosecuted for showing complete disregard to those that are sick and disabled

    Harrington along with all of those involved in the welfare reform bill should and i do believe will be prosecuted in a court of law in due course so that justice can be served and that the family's of those that have died get to understand on why they died and why sufficient safe guards were not built in and that history never repeats itself

    It seams that the people of the uk along with the press and bbc have turned a blind eye to those that have tragically died so far in the welfare reform process and that is the most tragic thing for me to have witnessed it has been a most wicked thing i have had to endure that my fellow sick and disabled people have taken their own lives because of such a badly executed policy and just like in Germany in the war years it will take the uk a long time to recover

    The death toll over the past 2 years of those going through the system in where they have been told they were fit for work when they were not and those who committed suicide through the stress of it all has been as i have said the most shocking experience i have had to endue in my life time and i just hope and pray that all of those involve in whatever way however small end up in prison so that the families get to see justice and that their healing process can take place

    As for us here and now the enormity will start to sink in and that in itself will burden us for the rest of our lives as we have had to witness the destruction of others that were vulnerable and not being able to help despite all of our best efforts we failed and failed very badly

    Sue in particular will no doubt be for the rest of her life wondering did i do enough "sue you did wonderful"
    i believe we all did in our own way but were let down by those we voted for and that to me is unforgivable

    1. Hello fourbanks,

      You are right of course. That is the worst aspect of this whole thing. It is the thing that most makes this policy stand out as cruel and sadistic. It is the thing which most shocks us because it it so hard to believe that this is happening in Britain. Who ever thought they would live to see such barbarities being carried out on the most weak and vulnerable in the country that laid down millions of lives for freedom and values?

      I often wonder what an episode of Dad's Army would look like under this government. No bumbling around trying to uphold British values, just Mr Mannering thinking the Nazis had already invaded.
      Take care Fourbanks.

    2. your welcome
      we may well at some point have to face facts and that their are a small minority of people in power government /DWP ETC out to destroy us AND HAVE TO FACE THE HARD TRUTH IN THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST BORN EVIL hard i know and the truth very painful but that's my understanding on this so far

    3. 'Harrington along with all of those involved in the welfare reform bill should and i do believe will be prosecuted in a court of law in due course so that justice can be served and that the family's of those that have died get to understand on why they died and why sufficient safe guards were not built in and that history never repeats itself'
      FOURBANKS, i know that you have often said that eventually there will be court cases but WHO WILL/CAN INITIATE SUCH ACTION IN EITHER A CIVIL OR CRIMINAL COURT?
      How would the family of one of the poor souls hounded to death fund a civil or criminal procecution case against named individuals at ATOS or the DWP /government itself with Legal aid all but gone?
      WHO can ask the DPP, Police, Human rights lawyers or the European Court (DWP only export CB ESA and Support Group) to take up such matters?


    4. Indeed i have and I've done much research on how you go about bringing an action

      In the event of a suspect death of a benefit claimant the first thing the family of the deceased should do is to inform the police that they suspect that their loved one was driven to suicide by the DWP and the death was not foreseeable

      The police are very good and along with the coroner will investigate and if they find any evidence of foul play like repetitive phone calls /letters/ interviews / they will take a prosecution out themselves as the DWP ATOS are not above the law and any threats made by the staff to the detrimental health and well being of the claimant is classed as the police will tell you as unlawful killing

      A private prosecution can only be successful on the back of a strong coroner report as the legal costs are high but in any event a good lawyer will always help you and advise you for free in some cases on your next steps

      The death toll over the past 4 years since the welfare reform bill was put into action is not clear as to how many people have died either from suicide or put into the work group and then gone on to die either shortly before or after a decision had been made and also all those that have died in waiting for their appeal to come through

      Their deaths above have come about by a onset off stress of which is none of their making and as i say will be investigated by the police

      If you know of anyone that is being driven to despair by the DWP etc then you should inform the police of your concerns as they will keep a eye out the police do keep a eye on me for example as do many others professionals that look after me

      The death toll is high my mp tells me very high but their is nothing he can do other then try to get the system working along my lines as i posted yesterday

      There are small minority of very evil people at work in all areas of society who will take a
      great delight in the killing or making the lives as hell as possible for the sick and disabled so you need to be on your guard at all times and if your feeling threatened at any point then seek advice from the police or below

    5. Anyone who is in the UK for any reason has fundamental human rights which the government and public authorities are legally obliged to respect. These became law as part of the Human Rights Act 1998.
      Human Rights Act

      The Human Rights Act 1998 gives further legal effect in the UK to the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. These rights not only impact matters of life and death, they also affect the rights you have in your everyday life: what you can say and do, your beliefs, your right to a fair trial and other similar basic entitlements.

      Most rights have limits to ensure that they do not unfairly damage other people's rights. However, certain rights – such as the right not to be tortured – can never be limited by a court or anybody else.

      You have the responsibility to respect other people's rights, and they must respect yours.

      Your human rights are:

      the right to life
      freedom from torture and degrading treatment
      freedom from slavery and forced labour
      the right to liberty
      the right to a fair trial
      the right not to be punished for something that wasn't a crime when you did it
      the right to respect for private and family life
      freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom to express your beliefs
      freedom of expression
      freedom of assembly and association
      the right to marry and to start a family
      the right not to be discriminated against in respect of these rights and freedoms
      the right to peaceful enjoyment of your property
      the right to an education
      the right to participate in free elections
      the right not to be subjected to the death penalty

      If any of these rights and freedoms are breached, you have a right to an effective solution in law, even if the breach was by someone in authority, such as, for example, a police officer.
      Exercising your human rights
      ...see if the problem can be resolved without going to court

      If you are in a situation in which you believe that your human rights are being violated, it's advisable to see if the problem can be resolved without going to court by using mediation or an internal complaints body.

      Where you believe your rights have not been respected and you cannot resolve the problem outside court, you are entitled to bring a case before the appropriate court or tribunal in the UK. The court or tribunal will then consider your case.
      Seeking legal advice

      Before you decide to take any legal action is important that you seek legal advice.

      The Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help you and Community Legal Advice can put you in touch with advice providers in your area. There are also a number of Law Centres around the UK, which can offer you advice and help on a range of issues.

      Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service provides a leaflet, 'The Human Rights Act 1998 – Information for Court Users', which provides information on how to issue a claim for monies owed or damages under the Human Rights Act. It also sets out some important things to consider before making such an application.

      Community Legal Advice

      Citizens Advice Bureau Opens new window

      Law Centres Federation

  28. Has it never occurred to the masses the reason that 'Benefit Cheats' who lie about their disability or illness whilst perfectly healthy and going around doing marathons or such like, end up on the front pages or in the Headlines of the News. This is because it is such a rare occurrence as to warrant Front Page coverage or a News Headline.If it was commonplace, then there wouldn't be such a huge fuss about it every time a new person was discovered.


  29. Thanks fourbanks, very clear information.