Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Early Day Motion 295 - Atos and Work Capability Assessments

An Early Day Motion is a chance for MPs to raise awareness of serious issues.


"EDMs are used for reasons such as publicising the views of individual MPs, drawing attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view. Although there is very little prospect of EDMs being debated, many attract a great deal of public interest and frequently receive media coverage."

John McDonnell, backbencher Labour MP has been the most loyal supporter of the sick and disabled in our campaign to scrap the DWPs Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) that are used to determine "fitness for work." He has tabled this EDM to raise awareness of the problems, consulting widely with disability groups, disabled people and charities. (full text at the end of the post)

Currently, the EDM has received 78 signatures, making it the 9th most signed EDM!! This is completely fantastic and thank you SO much to those MPs who've already signed. It's wonderful to see so many new names strengthening the voices of sick and disabled people and realising that far from being unreasonable, we are urgently concerned that the WCAs are failing so many people with serious illnesses and disabilities.

But I have even better news! Jamie Cartright, disability campaigner and writer (@Epipsychidion86 on twitter) has put together a brilliant, simple website to help people ask more MPs to sign. He had the idea a few days ago and must have spent every hour finding all the information and putting this together.

This link http://edm295.blogspot.co.uk/ will take you to the site and you can see who's signed, who can't sign, who can and use an easy tool to approach any you feel might like to know more about Atos, ESA and WCAs.

Although EDMs are largely symbolic, the more MPs that sign, the more we know support their constituents suffering through wrong decisions, lengthy, stressful appeals and increased poverty.

Please, support Jamie's website http://edm295.blogspot.co.uk/ and help to share it around.

Full Text of EDM 295 

"[T]his House deplores that thousands of sick and disabled constituents are experiencing immense hardship after being deprived of benefits following a work capability assessment carried out by Atos Healthcare under a 100 million a year contract; notes that 40 per cent of appeals are successful but people wait up to six months for them to be heard; deplores that last year 1,100 claimants died while under compulsory work-related activity for benefit and that a number of those found fit for work and left without income have committed or attempted suicide; condemns the International Paralympic Committee's promotion of Atos as its top sponsor and the sponsorship of the Olympics by Dow Chemical and other corporations responsible for causing death and disability; welcomes the actions taken by disabled people, carers, bereaved relatives and organisations to end this brutality and uphold entitlement to benefits; and applauds the British Medical Association call for the work capability assessment to end immediately and to be replaced with a system that does not cause harm to some of the most vulnerable people in society."


  1. Just emailed all MPs on the EDM285 list people need to be aware of what some disabled people are going through

  2. 295 even sorry eyes aint the best when the light shines the wrong way

  3. Got my MP..Paul Goggins to sign this EDM 3 or 4 days ago

  4. Early day motion 295

    [QUOTE]deplores that last year 1,100 claimants died while under compulsory work-related activity for benefit and that a number of those found fit for work and left without income have committed or attempted suicide; [/QUOTE]

    That's a lot of deaths that the government will have to explain at some point to the courts and for the life of me i cant see how. I think once these deaths get to the attention to the main stream public then it should bring about their downfall once and for all

  5. The DWP have also posted details on their website of the third part of Professor Harrington's consultation project and submissions are being invited from organisations and individuals on whether there has been any discernible improvement in the WCA process as a whole. Unfortunately the site does not make the questionnaire accessible to be filled in online; you can view the document but not complete it. Deliberate obstruction? Anyway, you can email them for a copy, complain about not being able to do it online, and then the maximum number of people can hopefully have their say.

  6. hidden away in the Independent is this little piece:

    The News Matrix: Wednesday 18 July 2012

    Government admits Mau Mau torture

    The Government has admitted publicly for the first time that Kenyans were tortured and sexually abused by colonial forces during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s. The admission came as a trio of elderly Kenyans told a court how they were beaten and castrated.

    but that won't stop the present government from abusing and killing disabled people

  7. have just emailed my mp the right horrible david willits, tho it is part and parcel of his parties policies to trample on the less fortunate in life .let me rephrase that, it is party that only looks after the rich ad wealthy. tho all should be emailed and named and shamed if they do not sign up to end the suffering and deaths each year caused by there ideological cruelty .can you remember what ca moron ,used to spout, it is not what you cant do, it is what you can do? we will help the disabled, well i have had numeros tests, examinations, filled in many forms, all drawing the same conclusion i am disabled, and i have been left to rot . i am scared to go out, just in case i take that one to many step, or walk faster then i i am deemed able to by thees draconian measures, to be labeled a scrounger . the condom party are paying me the benefit that i should, get as i have payed tax for 30, years. i am now awaiting an answer from atos again, and i am worried if one day they say i have to go on the wrag i couldnt do it. but there are no jobs any way . are there going to be any promps to any mps who will not sign this or abstain from the process? i hope so. we should all do our best if we feel well enough to spread this information. all the best people steve.

  8. Although a very different set of circumstances the point is still very valid as is what is happening in Syria

    President Bashar al-Assad says that both he and his wife are not to blame for what is going on and are in the dark as to why his instructions for piece are not being implemented by his administration and very much regrets the deaths that have taken place so far in the conflict

    David Cameron has said the same thing for the life of him he and his wife Sam cant understand why ATOS and the DWP are causing all these unnecessary deaths with much anguish being felt along the way

    so their you have it in crystal clear terms both leaders failing to understand on how their policies are being implemented at the very highest levels of government and both failing miserably to protect the lives of the vulnerable people they are supposed to be serving

    They should both be tried at a later date for crimes against humanity and both need to be removed from office ASAP if the ongoing deaths are to stop

  9. Very helpful website. My Tory MP always says as he's a minister he can't sign EDM's, not that he would sign this one, but he's damn well going to receive the information anyway!
    Just like to flag up the following Patrick Butler article in Guardian, it's a bit buried and hard to find, but worth reading and adding comments:


    1. Hi findlow
      my conservative mp never signs these and has said that it would be to dangerous to discuss these deaths in the house of commons as it would be the downfall of his government if it leaked out to the bbc

      most people don't watch the parliament channel so you could talk about these deaths in the house of commons and get away with it

      However if the bbc went with it with a broadcast then it would be the end for the government as word would then spread that we in the uk were putting thousands of lives of vulnerable people at risk and we would be in a very dangerous uncharted waters as they will be those at the DWP and ATOS who are mentally sick and do wish harm on others so the public need to be mindful of this fact

      With such a vast amount of money being paid out to ATOS in bonuses anything could happen and the death rate goes even higher

      personally i don't think the speaker will allow a debate on the deaths of vulnerable people as he will have to have the full facts to hand first so that he can be completely sure as to how these deaths have come about and by what circumstances have led up to them

      the queen will also have to be involved if the situation is as being correct Early Day Motion 295 and that people are dying by policy's that are being put forward by HER government

      Any deaths however caused and by whatever means are always looked into by the police if the circumstances involve any type of pressure or threat or in any way falls outside of the Human Rights Act 1998 in which some of these deaths most certainly do

      As i have stated time and time again the only thing that is of importance are these deaths and how they came about nothing more nothing less and it's about time that the labour party got to grips with a very deteriorating alarming situation that could go on to destroy the lives of millions in one way or another if left unchecked

    2. this from a previous blog from sue say's it all

      [QUOTE]RIP Karen Sherlock
      I just found out that Karen Sherlock, @pusscat01 has passed away.

      Here is here twitter profile : "Chronic Spoonie, lots wrong. ESA stopped by this inhumane government. Preparing for dialysis. Each day is tough."

      Karen embodied our fight in almost every way. She was desperately ill. Her kidneys were failing, putting a huge strain on her body. Ultimately it seems she died of a cardiac arrest. An operation had recently been cancelled at the last minute, though I have no idea why or if it is relevant to her death.

      She had been found capable of some work by the DWP. Placed in the Work Related Activity Group, her Employment and Support Allowance was time limited to one year after the welfare reform bill went through. Not only that, but it was limited retrospectively, meaning that she only had a few months left to appeal for long term support (Support Group) before she lost everything.

      I won't go into more detail here. It's not for me to list her complaints and trials, but there is one thing everyone in this country should know.

      She was terrified. Beside herself with fear. She lived her last months desperately scared that her family would not survive the onslaught it faced. She was "the most vulnerable" whatever that is. The system failed her and she spent her last precious moments in this world fighting. For herself, for her family and for others. [/QUOTE]

  10. Telephoned the constituency office of my MP Frank Roy this morning to ask if he would sign EDM 295 – I am awaiting a reply, as it was his Personal Assistant I spoke with (who was very nice!)

    So far 83 MP’s have signed this very “humane, understanding and good intentioned” motion – Thank You So Much!!


    83 MP signatures on [18th July 2012 @ 14.10] include:

    66 Labour
    5 Scottish Nationalists
    4 Liberal Democrats
    3 Plaid Cymru
    2 Social Democratic & Labour
    2 Democratic Unionists
    1 Green

  11. Time for ALL these disability groups, organisations and ALL others to come together and speak with one voice to be heard loud and clear so that Cameron and company cannot turn a blind eye.

    In addition to this once ALL these disability groups and ALL others come together they should start fund raising to pay for GOOD legal advice looking into all the legalities of what has happened regarding ALL matters regarding this matter from start to finish with the view to challenging Cameron and others in a Court of Law.

    The sick and disabled have been lied to (Cameron's promise during the final televised electoral campaign debate 2010) where cameron promised if you are sick, disabled, vulnerable or the poorest in society you have nothing to fear because he would protect that group of vulnerable people in society if he became prime minister but the reality is that once Cameron became prime minister the sick and disabled were deliberately targeted for discrimination as Cameron and company pushed out false and misleading information to vilify the sick and disabled to justify their cutbacks upon that group of people. As a result the sick and disabled have been lied to, discriminated, persecuted, abused and subjected to draconian and barbaric treatment by ATOS under instructions from Cameron and company. From start to finish the sick and disabled have been continuously abused without respite.

    It is now time for ALL to come together to fight as one to deliver people from this evil. Only once ALL these people and groups come together as one will your voice be heard but you also need to let Cameron know that you will take this fight to court to protect the most vulnerable in society that do not have a voice.

    Give that voice to those people that cannot fight and do it now.

  12. Once ALL those disability groups and organisations come together to fight as one, you could also do ONE big petition whilst raising funds for legal advice and possible court proceedings.

  13. Thats the answer is is not ? Yes all those disability groups along with all the others should come together and speak as one. This Government can be brought to account and that will only happen if everyone comes together so that they cannot ignore the weakest in society. Once all the groups come together it could be called The Coalition For Justice.

  14. what we have here has never happened before in my lifetime and had i been an mp would never have happened in the first place

    The thinking of politicians today is way off the mark and are a disgrace to all of mankind as they represent horror to those that are vulnerable even if they say they dont they do and nothing they say will ever justify their means

    how the public have allowed it to continue remains unclear also but for myself as a life long church goer and a retired member of the establishment it has been a very black period and it may not even be possible to make things right as those that have died passed away in which many should not have and there is no possible excuse for these deaths other then to be of a mind like Hitler and others throughout history of one of hate for those they dont like living among and to blame for all of society ill's

  15. Tricia Dickson18 July 2012 at 16:22

    Email sent to my MP, who is good at supporting me when I email him.

  16. Wow, I have just come across this site. I cannot believe the amount of ill-informed and emotive comments. I was always taught to get the full facts before making any comment, which is why we have two ears and one mouth. But most of this is just ill-informed vitriol. How can we possibly expect to be taken seriously as a group when we allow these sorts of comments to be published?

    1. [QUOTE]Anonymous18 July 2012 16:45

      Wow, I have just come across this site. I cannot believe the amount of ill-informed and emotive comments. I was always taught to get the full facts before making any comment, which is why we have two ears and one mouth. But most of this is just ill-informed vitriol. How can we possibly expect to be taken seriously as a group when we allow these sorts of comments to be published?[/QUOTE]

      Well you could make a start by clarifying your professional opinion as all you have done thus far is to make a closed statement and from myself from the establishment you will need to state your point about who is ill informed ? and why as I'm sure the readers to this blog would love to know ?

    2. wow, i have just come across this site .i can not believe the amount of ill treatment and emotive feelings by the last government and this to me and i do not mean the majority i mean all of the sick and disabled, o apart from you that is the full facts are blatantly obvious to me, we as the disabled are being systematically abused, and i will make that comment as i am living with the consequences of an uncaring elitist government. it is not ill informed vitriol, it is fact. i feel this site is taken seriously .it is just a shame when subversive negativity rears its ugly head over well informed truth in the shape of living proof steve.

    3. "How can we possibly expect to be taken seriously as a group when we allow these sorts of comments to be published?"

      who is 'we' in your statement?

      "I cannot believe the amount of ill-informed and emotive comments. I was always taught to get the full facts before making any comment, which is why we have two ears and one mouth. But most of this is just ill-informed vitriol"

      what is 'ill informed?'

      what's wrong with 'emotive'?

      who says so 'ill informed vitriol'?

      Two ears and a mouth - you should be so lucky!!

      Are you :
      a) David Cameron?
      b) Iain Duncan Smith?
      c) Andrew Lansley?
      d) Maria Miller?
      e) Lord Fraud?
      f) a congenital mixture of the lot of them?

    4. 'Ill-informed vitriol' - I think I rest my case

  17. Thank you so much to everyone who's emailed MPs so far!

    From the feedback I've been getting it seems a lot of MPs aren't really aware of this EDM, so the more of them we can get in touch with, the better chance of securing some real support against ATOS and the Work Capability Assessment. I've already heard of one more Labour MP who has signed today - it's been really encouraging to see the progress which has been made over the last few days. :-)

    If you want to get in touch about anything to do with this campaign, my email is in the opening section of the website above (http://edm295.blogspot.co.uk/).

    - Jamie

  18. Mine refuses to sign Edms sadly

  19. in future when you post Anonymous it is normally best to quote the person you disagree or not with as it makes the thread much easier to follow. If we all posted Anonymous the blog would end up in a right mess so do please quote