Tragic two-month-old baby who lived in car with homeless parents dies

Benefit tales

Friends of the family say the tot’s parents now “have nothing to live for” after they lost their baby son Donald so soon after his difficult birth

A two-month-old baby who lived in a car with his homeless parents has tragically died.

The baby boy, known only as Donald, was born prematurely two months ago and the cause of his death is unknown. Donald ended up sleeping in the car after his parents were evicted from a house they were renting and couldn’t afford the deposit for a new place.

Claire Matthews, who runs the Hope for Food soup kitchen in Bournemouth, worked closely with the family.

The baby boy, known only as Donald, was born prematurely two months ago and the cause of his death is unknown.  Donald ended up sleeping in the car after his parents were evicted from a house they were renting and couldn’t afford the…

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Someone to Safeguard

Last Quango in Halifax

The referral was pretty bog standard these days. The neighbours didn’t get Elsie’s permission for any of her details to be referred to Social Services. In truth it had never crossed their minds they’d be asked for this. When pushed by the call centre about the issue of consent they said that they didn’t think they needed her consent and that this was a matter that ‘the Council must take seriously for everyone’s sake’. And then behind the thinly veiled threat to act the neighbour stumbled upon four little words. Magic words. Words that suddenly change the meaning of everything and words that seemingly come with their own legislation, procedures, judges and juries. ‘It’s a safeguarding issue’. And boom, there it is. Elsie, aged 87, never known to the Council, never having failed to pay for council services or any other tax that propped up with welfare state that she…

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Virtual Abolition Of Benefits Appeal Tribunals As We Know Them

Same Difference

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

The government is poised to bring an end to the shaming success rates at benefits appeals, but they will do so by nobbling the appeals system rather than by improving decision making.

In the future many more appeals will be “on the papers” where success rates are drastically lower, hearings that do take place will be on the phone or via Skype type links and most appeals will be decided by a solicitor (often retired) sitting alone, without a medical wing member or a disability wing member.

Shaming appeal success rates
The introduction of the mandatory reconsideration before appeal system was intended to bring appeal success rates for claimants crashing down to earth. In fact, whilst it has drastically reduced the number of claimants who lodge an appeal, success rates remain sky high.

Only this month the Scottish government, responding to the second…

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UK press ignore shocking survey showing 76% of UK CEOs mulling moving HQs abroad after Brexit

Pride's Purge

As another example of how the Brexit result was not a vote against the establishment but actually a vote organised by the establishment – a shocking survey of UK CEOs has been largely ignored by the UK media.

That’s probably because it reveals that an amazing 76% of UK CEOs are actively considering moving their headquarters abroad should the UK go ahead with Brexit.

Such a massive haemorrhaging of jobs and trade would not just be disastrous for the UK economy.

It would be its death knell.

The news is so important it’s been reported by Reuters, CNN and as far afield as the Afghanistan News and the Bangkok Post.

But not by the majority of the UK press – most of whose billionaire owner-barons strongly campaigned for Brexit.

And who seem to have decided the British public shouldn’t be told about it.

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Grannies write to the Queen to stop fracking for the “health of their grandchildren”

Pride's Purge

A group of grandmothers in Lancashire have written an open letter to the Queen telling her their concerns about fracking.

And from 2pm tomorrow (Tuesday) the nanas will be delivering the letter and having what they call Nana Tea outside Buckingham Palace. They assure they will be bringing their “best crockery” in case she “pops out”.

Here’s the letter:

*The Grandmother Elizabeth,

*Please note that we address you in this way, out of respect for what we consider to be your noblest role and highest obligation: to protect the young.

We recently contacted you about the plight of Lancashire residents who have used every democratic channel available to them in the fight to stop fracking coming to their communities. If you recall, our elected county councillors refused planning permission for two fracking sites in rural Fylde: Cuadrilla then appealed and the decision will now be made by the Secretary…

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A damning report to the UN reveals the truth about the UK’s human rights record [VIDEO]

Benefit tales

A report being submitted to the UN on human rights in the UK has slammed the government’s policies and raised serious concerns about the state of human rights in the country.

The UK, like all other countries, must submit a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) every four years to the UN, to show how it is meeting its human rights obligations. The Equality and Human Rights Commission requested the British Institute for Human Rights (BIHR) to conduct the report in association with a number of civil society organisations. It was launched in parliament on the evening of 22 September, in an event chaired by Harriet Harman MP.

click here to see the video

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Deal dad’s benefits battle appeal hit by cutbacks at the Citizens Advice Bureau

Benefit tales

Douglas Brown, of Golf Road, is now partially sighted and walks with a white stick since he is plagued with vertigo, has vascular dementia, and the left side of his brain does not work properly.

The 62-year-old was only 59 when he had the stroke and since then he and his daughter Emma Holland have been trying to get him the help he needs. But the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) they applied for has been refused.

Benefit specialist Dawn Hardingham at the Dover, Deal Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has been working with them to appeal but as of next Friday, September 30, the specialist team will lose their jobs.

Mrs Holland, 39, who lives in Dover, said:…

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Unbelievable govt comment on Foodbanks


I often pick up on interesting exchanges from the Commons for this blog. However, this week I came across one which went way beyond ‘interesting’ and well into the territory of ‘he can’t possibly have really just said that’.

Image A typical foodbank collection – given by hard-up people for the even poorer

I’ve written before about Foodbanks, and the appalling gall of David Cameron in trying to claim the exponential rise in their numbers as an expression of his ‘Big Society’. Cameron has also been incredibly disingenuous when criticised about this rise, claiming that

The use of food banks went up tenfold under the last Labour government.

As Channel 4’s Full Fact has pointed out, the tenfold increase during 6 years under the last Labour government in the number of people receiving help from Foodbanks (by around 36,000 to 40,898) is dwarfed by the increase of 87,799 (to 128,697)…

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