Monday, 3 March 2014

Magic Monday

Here's my offering for this week's "MagicMonday" action . .
I've opened up the comment thread to all now and hope a few of you might share you actions to inspire others.

"Dear Sir,

I wanted to let your readers know about Mark Wood.

Mark was 44 and suffered from severe mental health problems. Amongst other things, he was diagnosed with  aspbergers and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)

Last year, Atos Healthcare, the French IT company who carry out Employment & Support Allowance (previously incapacity or "sickness" benefit) judged that Mark was fit to work. They didn't consult his GP who has since said that if he had been consulted he would never have recommended that Mark could work.

His ESA was stopped along with his housing benefit, leaving him just £40 per week to cover all his expenses. Food, shelter, warmth.

Mark died of starvation just 4 months later. When they found him, there was just a banana and a tin of tuna in his home.

It is the UK and the year is 2014. Yet people are starving to death, alone in their homes. They do it discreetly, out of sight, but they die just the same.

If Mark was an isolated case, then maybe, just maybe, we could forgive his tragic loss. Maybe the pain his family feel would have been less crushing.

But he's very far from an isolated case. Stephanie Bottril, Karen Sherlock,
Mark and Helen Mullins, Denis Jones, Jacqueline Harris, David Barr, Elaine Lowe, Elenor Tatton, Linda Wootton......

The list goes on and on now. Every day a different death linked directly to government social security "reforms" yet we, the public, seem determined to look away.

I never thought I'd see the day when I had to warn people, right here in the UK, that often vulnerable sick or disabled people are dying and no-one cares.

In 2011/12, 10,600 people died within just 3 months of being found "fit for work" by the DWP. Since then, they've refused to publish further statistics at all.

When this government speaks of "welfare reforms", I'm fairly sure readers don't assume that they will cause tens of thousands of deaths. I just hope we all wake up  soon, before they are joined by thousands more

Very best



  1. Trying to get advice about Corporate Manslaughter anyone got Michael Mansfields twitter? I've contacted Gary Slapper

  2. That's great Annie. I think it's @mikeemansfield xx

  3. the real benefit scroungers are the private landlords that recieve the housing read the daily mail people are being led to believe that the poor are reaping the profits when they dont.the private landlords are the scroungers,not the tennants who have little to no choice over where they live.remember donate to the tories to keep your landlord rich while you get poorer and get victimised for it

  4. i too have OCD. my appeal took sixteen months. In that time, my only other 'real life' friend with OCD took his own life, i've had another friend make a serious attempt on his life, the noise he made from having a further heart attack from blood loss alerted his partner and saved his life. You just have to ask - how many more..?!

  5. Michael Mansfield said last yr he was having to close down his chambers but it appears to still be open:
    Tel No: 0207 406 7551

    Public Interest Lawyers:
    Tel No: 0121 515 5069

    Hope this helps.

  6. Just checked & Michael Mansfield's "Took Chambers" has closed down but re-opened a low cost chambers at the web address in my previous post. So all details are current.

  7. i have buried 3 friends all with mental health problems all died because of this govt will they pay i doubt it

  8. This is just a short list of people who have passed away at the hands of iain duncan smith, atos and the dwp, i really do feel now that it is time to also include the dwp, we have blamed iain duncan smith and atos and rightly so BUT not many people realise that the decision all rests on the dwp, r.i.p to all those that have lost their lives or sadly taken their lives because of this government :(


    Vicky Harrison - died April 2010 R.I.P.

    Paul Reekie - died June 2010 R.I.P.

    Larry Newman died July 2010 R.I.P.

    Leanne Chambers died July 2010 R.I.P.

    Carol Booker - died on 16th Dec 2010 R.I.P.


    Paul Willcoxson - died April 2011, R.I.P.

    Robert Harvey - died on 6th April 2011 R.I.P.

    Elaine Christian - Died July 2011 R.I.P.

    Brian McArdle - died on 27th Sept 2011 R.I.P.

    Peter Duut - died on 13th October 2011 R.I.P

    Hetty BowerSusan Atkingson - died 14th October 2011, R.I.P.

    Martin Rust - died on 21st November 2011 R.I.P.


    Mark Scott - died on 26th January 2012, R.I.P.

    Peter Williams - died February 2012, R.I.P

    Colin Traynor - died in April 2012, R.I.P.

    Paul Turner - died 2nd April 2012, R.I.P.

    Richard Sanderson - died May 2012, R.I.P.

    David Groves - died May 2012, R.I.P.

    Veronica Kenning - died May 2012, R.I.P.

    Karen Sherlock - died in June 2012, R.I.P.

    W Hill - died June 2012, R.I.P.

    J Hill - died June 2012, R.I.P.

    Colin Traynor - died in September 2012, R.I.P.

    Zachary Smith - died in July 2012, R.I.P.

    Barry Knight - died on July 30th 2012, R.I.P

    Cecilia Burns - died in 27th Aug 2012, R.I.P.

    John Dixon - died on 20th Aug 2012, R.I.P.

    Edward Jacques - died on 25th September 2012, R.I.P.

    Craig Monk - died on 3rd October 2012 R.I.P.

    Charles Barden - died October 2012, R.I.P.

    Emily Collingridge - died in November 2012, R.I.P.

    Paul Bellamy - died in November 2012, R.I.P

    Chris Cann, died on 8th December 2012, R.I.P.

    Peter Hodgson - died on 28th Nov 2012, R.I.P.

    Stephen Hill - died December 2012, R.I.P.

    Nicholas Peter Baker - died December 2012, R.I.P.

    Ian Leaver - Died 7th December 2012, R.I.P.

    Chris F. Lloyd. died 6th January 2013, R.I.P.

    George Scollen - died 31st January 2013, R.I.P.

    Christopher Thorne- died 26 February 2013, R.I.P.

    Linda Wootton - died February 2013, R.I.P.

    Donna Oettinger - died 22nd March 2013, R.I.P.

    Zachary Oettinger -died 22nd March 2013,R.I.P.

    Elaine Lowe - died 27th March 2013, R.I.P

    Ian Carress - died April 2013, R.I.P.

    Iain Hodge - died May 2013, R.I.P.

    Stephanie Bottrill - died May 2013 R.I.P.

    John Walker - died May 2013. R.I.P.

    Victor Cuff - died May 2013, R.I.P.

    Elenore Tatton - died July 2013, R.I.P.

    Mark Wood - died August 2013, R.I.P.

    Ranjit Singh - died August 2013, R.I.P.

    Lee Robinson, died August 21 2013, R.I.P.

    Colin Bobb - died 12th August 2013, R.I.P.

    David Barr - died 23rd August 2013, R.I.P.

    David Coupe - died 7th October 2013, R.I.P.

    Julian Little - died November 2013, R.I.P.

    Jacqueline Harris-died November 2013, R.I.P.

    Denis Jones - died 1st December 2013, R.I.P.

    Chris Maguire-died 9th December 2013, R.I.P.

    Tim Salter - died December 2013, R.I.P.

    Michael McNicholas, died December 2013, R.I.P.

    Edward Jacques, died December 2013, R.I.P

    Richard Sanderson, died December 2013, R.I.P

    Lee Robinson, died December 2013, R.I.P.


    Shaun Pilkington, died January 2014, R.I.P.

    Mandi Williams, died 6th January 2014

    Terry McGarvey died February 2013, R.I.P.

    Others who have passed away as a result of reporting, caring for another, that is also remembered and honoured here

    Lee Harpin, died April 2013, R.I.P.

    Hetty Bower died September 2013, R.I.P.

    1. My heart is breaking :( I know those few names are only a tiny part of a much, much longer list.
      We can't let these people die in vain, we just can't.

    2. Why is this list not on the front page of a newspaper!
      Health Warning - DWP kills!

  9. I'm waiting for a response from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to my letter: I also will be contacting Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), in addition to filing a criminal complaint with the Metropolitan Police Service against the DWP and Atos Healthcare UK.

    Montreal, Canada

    1. Samuel, I can't begin to express my thanks to you for all that you have done and are still doing.
      I wish I was clever enough to do what you do, but I'm not, and neither am a articulate enough.
      It takes me a long time to reply as I keep phasing in and out of concentration.
      From all disabled people across the UK, Thank you so much!

  10. Today I am overcome with sadness.
    Today I want everything to go away.
    Today they tried to wear me down.
    Today I knew I had to stay.

  11. This is yet another horrific story, and there by the grace of God goes my son. Who also has Asperger Syndrome, severe OCD, as well as SPD. That part wasn't diagnosed properly at the time. This includes food intolerance to certain foods and that different foods must be on different plates. He has great hypersensitivity to feeling , touch, smell, taste and sound. I have not dared put him forward for ESA, not just because like poor Mark. I realised Atos, or the DWP wouldn't not recognise his great vulnerability. Unlike Mark we have no GP who understands my son's condition, no specialist either who understands or has ever stayed long enough involved my son's case/care to even begin to understand the complexities of his case. I would also describe my son as fragile and helpless. For the moment he has DLA indefinitely, as I do, I am also very disabled. But at 64 next year, I am due to lose my DLA, and the pension I get will not be enough to sustain both of us. My son has difficulty with face to face interaction, that's one reason why no one has bothered to help him. With no help or understanding from 'professionals' for my son, and that includes Atos (or any other private corporate body) or DWP. If I wasn't around my son could be another future Mark Wood.

    1. Rosalind - please, please get in touch with your MP or your local Councilor. Your council has an obligation to help you and your son. Also, google Help for adults with Aspergers and you will find many, many contacts that you can help from - for your son and for you. Please Rosalind - don't give up and please get the help that you are needed and are entitled to.

    2. Hi Rosalind

      You should not loose your DLA when you become 64. If you are already getting DLA it should continue after you reach 64. I am a similar age, 64 this year and have had DLA for a few years now and made my usual application last year which was renewed for five more years . As you are already getting DLA indefinitely it should continue. I might be wrong but this appears to be so in my case and I can't see you would be any different. As far as I am aware people over 64 continue to receive and are able to apply for DLA. It is complicated though and depends on various factors so please check it out as I do not wish to give you false hope. You may be able to get some information about this from Age UK.

      About DLA

      You might also get advice from the CAB -

      I also have a son with AS , anxiety, stress and depression and I have OCD and a number of other physical conditions, I rather suspect I have some degree of AS myself while my husband is depressed, so life is a struggle . Like your son I can't do face to face interviews so don't get much in the way of help though fortunately my son sees a good GP who understands his problems though he does not tell her everything and other than a monthly GP appointment gets little help coping with his condition as it seems there is little available.

      Have you tried the National Autistic society. Here is their help-line page:

      if you scroll down the page there is a list of other contact numbers
      You may find the parent to parent helpline useful

      Parent to Parent (P2P) is a UK-wide confidential telephone service providing emotional support to parents and carers of children or adults with autism.

      Also their Benefits and community care:

      You can get welfare advice:

      I hope this is of some help.

  12. A beautiful face
    With such a pretty smile
    I wish with all my heart
    You could’ve stayed a while
    This unhappy fate
    That you’ve been given
    I wanna drop and cry
    Instead of just living
    This may be His plan
    But I don’t need to like it
    I keep praying to God
    I’m still trying to fight it
    Your hand, I keep holding
    As your eyes, they start closing
    I feel your love, suddenly strong
    And at last, I know,
    You’re exactly where you belong.

  13. well as i have stated on other blogs sue' mark and i are so similar with our health and even look alike we could be mistaken for brothers so was very deeply shocked to hear of his death i can tell you and i just hope his family get some justice for him in due course through the courts

    1. Nick, do you get any kind of help? Do you have a person you can turn to if you have problems and they can fix them? I'm worried about Rosalind Brewer who has written about her son who has the same illness and cannot get any help.

  14. You should leave the donate thingy active. People read your blog to read your writing and it is right that you should receive royalties for that.

    That you choose to spend your pay campaigning for others is your donation to those who, for whatever reason, are unable to work and campaign as effectively as you.

    I for one, am grateful you make that choice, but the justness of your cause is not the only reason I'll willingly pay to read your work.