Help needed! 

The poor side of life

Shoutout for help!

You may or may not remember that over a year ago I wrote about the awful troubled family scheme implemented by the government. Well it’s been proven to have only been successful in 2% of cases.

In different areas the TFP is called different things:

Confident Families (Wigan and possibly other areas)

Stronger Families (Doncaster and possibly other areas)

Priority Families (Nottingham and possibly other areas)

Working Together with Families (Preston and possibly other areas)

Families First (Bradford and possibly other areas)

I’m wanting to do a follow up article on this and I’d like to speak to anyone who has been forced to go on this scheme, or who weren’t even told that they were on the scheme and then later found out.

Anyone that contacts me will remain anonymous out of respect for privacy, unless they state that they want people to know who they…

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DWP to disabled man: We’re sticking with the Mandatory Reconsideration we did without you. No PIP for you

Benefit tales

From Kate Belgrave‘s blog

The story below is pretty extraordinary. It’s a classic example of the DWP’s extreme dysfunction and bureaucratic tangling. It also demonstrates how very few rights of appeal disabled people really have when they apply for benefits:

I’ve posted below a letter which was received last week by Sean (named changed), a man in his 50s who has an Asperger’s diagnosis and serious depression and anxiety. (I’ve been writing about Sean’s struggle to apply for Personal Independence Payment, the benefit that is meant to replace Disability Living Allowance).

About a month ago, Sean found out that his application for PIP had been turned down. Then, bizarrely, just a few days after he received that rejection letter, Sean got a letter from the DWP which said that his Mandatory Reconsideration of his PIP rejection decision had already been carried out and the decision to…

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Oops! Labour suspends disabled woman used in Owen Smith PR campaign

Pride's Purge

Owen Smith’s campaign team have been busy distributing to the media a photograph of the Labour leadership contender with a disabled woman – to push his claim he’ll be a “champion of disabled people” if he wins.

Here’s Smith in the photograph with the woman, Jae Robinson:

Smith disabled suspension

Unfortunately for Smith and his team of supposed PR ‘experts’, Ms Robinson has just been suspended from Labour as part of the party’s increasingly bizarre attempts to ‘purge’ the party of Corbyn supporters.

As with others who have been ‘purged’ by the party, Ms Robinson has not been told the reason for her suspension.

So by “championing” disabled people – Smith actually means using them and then throwing them out on their ear without explanation.

Coincidentally, the mass purges come just before the leadership election takes place, and any appeals will only be able to be processed after the voting takes place.


Not as bad…

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The utter contempt of those in power for ordinary people

Fear and loathing in Great Britain


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,538

Tuesday 30 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

What is happening within the Labour party has repercussions for all of us, but more broadly what the parliamentary Labour party and you Tories have in common is utter contempt for ordinary people and democracy.

What has been revealed is a war between democracy and totalitarianism.

Frank Field summed it up very nicely, pouring scorn on the very idea that he is in any way meant to represent the views of his constituents. His patronising, sneering, response on BBC Westminster Live to the idea that, ‘A lot of people watching might think that an MP is there to reflect the views of his or her constituents’, was, “No, dear, they are longing to have somebody they can all boss around as if they had a view.”

This disdain, this contempt, isn’t new, it’s as…

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The benefit cap, phrenology and the new Conservative character divination

Politics and Insights

“This is a round up.”

“Of the forehead, When the forehead is perfectly perpendicular, from the hair to the eyebrows, it denotes an utter deficiency of understanding.”  Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741–1801) .

Back in the nineteenth century, phrenologywas the preferred “science” of personality and character divination. The growth in popularity of “scientific” lectures as entertainment, also helped spread phrenology to the masses, it was very popular among the middle and working classes, not last because popular with the masses because of its simplified principles and wide range of social applications that were supportive of the liberal laissez faire individualism inherent in the dominant Victorian world view. Even Queen Victoria and Prince Albert invited charlatan George Combe to feel the bumps and read the heads of their children.

During the early 20th century, there was a revival of interest in phrenology, partly because of studies ofevolution…

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Hunger, Homelessness and Despair, The Stark Reality of the Benefit Cap

the void

benefit-cap2It is hard to imagine a more poisonous piece of legislation than the lowered Benefit Cap, set to be introduced this Autumn, which will plunge quarter of a million children into desperate housing insecurity and possible homelessness.

This will be the third time that the Benefit Cap – which limits the weekly amount that can be received in benefits – has been lowered in just five years.  In 2011 George Osborne capped Housing Benefit in a sweeping move which made much of central London unaffordable for those unable to work due to childcare responsibilities, sickness or unemployment.  Then in 2013 benefits were capped further, at £500 a week for a family with children, extending the problem of unaffordability out to Greater London, the Home Counties and beyond, with many large cities seeing families affected.  And now the cap is to be lowered again, to around £440 a week in London…

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