Beyond the age of reason

Fear and loathing in Great Britain


We are not rational creatures, as a descriptor of humanity, we have the potential to be rational, but even attempting to be rational has subjective bias for all sorts of reasons including regional and cultural bias. We also use reason and logic selectively, prejudice is very real, but also irrational. We make no conscious choice to abandon reason, but we do abandon reason for particular beliefs, often defending them stridently and even violently. One of the critical factors of prejudice is that it is all too often impervious to reason.

We have laboured far too long under the Newtonian bias of living creatures as discrete biological machines, which is far too simplistic for the complexity and subtlety of being.

Just before the year 2000 I expressed a hope that the millennium would mark the end of the age of reason and the idea that life submits to reason. Reason, logic…

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Frank Field’s letter regarding the DWP’s non-existent/existent data: a Schrödinger kind of paradox

Politics and Insights

cat schro

The data is only real when someone looks for it

Following on from the article yesterday, (DWP spent £100m on disability benefit appeals over 2 year period), I have copied Frank Field’s letter to Esther McVey below, which highlights the discrepancy between what McVey informed the Work and Pensions Committee when they asked her to provide evidence regarding the costs of disability benefit appeals and madatory reconisderations, and the details of a Freedom of Information request. 

Key facts

  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spent £108.1 million on Personal Independent Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) reviews and appeals since October 2015
  • Ministry of Justice (MoJ) spent £103.1 million on social security and child support tribunals in 2016/17
  • Around two-thirds of PIP and ESA tribunals have been won by claimants this year
  • More than 300,000 PIP and ESA decisions have been changed at review or…

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Private firms contracted to assess people for disability benefits, failing to meet the Government’ s own quality standards.

Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Government Responds to Critical Report by Wheeling out Lies.

Capita and Atos, the latter later replaced by Maximus, names that should be on every infant’s lips… as bogeymen.

The crooks contacted to run our public services have come a cropper again.

This time they have created misery for thousands and thousands of people caught in the Benefit’s system.

Disability benefit assessors failing to meet Government’s quality standards


Errors in assessment process lead to ‘pervasive lack of trust’ in system and ‘untenable human costs’ to claimants, MPs find

All three private firms contracted to assess people for disability benefits are failing to meet the Government’ s own quality standards, leading to decisions being made based on inaccurate or incomplete assessments, new research shows.

A report by the Work and Pensions Committee found failings in the assessment process have contributed to a “pervasive lack of trust” in the system and an “untenable human costs” to claimants, as well as financial costs to the public purse. They concluded that the process was in need of “urgent change”.

In one case…

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DWP spent £100m on disability benefit appeals over 2 year period

Politics and Insights

Image result for welfare reform disability UK

Part 1 of this article is from the Press Association and part 2 is written by me.


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has spent more than £100m in just over two years on administering reviews and appeals against disability benefits, figures show. 

Tens of millions of pounds a year are also spent by the Ministry of Justice on the appeals, about two-thirds of which were won by claimants in the past 12 months. 

The costs were described as “staggering” and a former Conservative minister said “something is seriously wrong with the system”. 

The DWP said a small proportion of decisions were overturned and most employment and support allowance and personal independence payment claimants were happy with their assessments. (However, please see: Summary of key problems with the DWP’s recent survey of claimant satisfaction.)

But the department is facing questions from the work and pensions select…

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How our incompetent leaders are leading us into a disastrous Charge of the Brexit Brigade

Pride's Purge

The infamous and tragic Charge of the Light Brigade is the story of an out-of-touch leadership so blinded by over-confidence that they willingly chose to charge headlong into a disastrous situation they knew they couldn’t win.

Sound familiar?

The tragic charge at the Battle of Balaclava was caused by misunderstandings, strategic incompetence, over-confidence on the part of an arrogant leadership, squabbling between the main decision-makers and a general over-estimation of the strength of the British position.

Exactly as Brexit is marked by tactical misunderstandings, strategic incompetence, over-confidence on the part of our arrogant leadership, squabbling between the main decision-makers and a general over-estimation of the strength of the British position.

The original orders for the Light Cavalry to put on a simple tactical show of strength, were deliberately and recklessly misinterpreted by incompetent leaders to lead their men into a suicidal and futile full-frontal attack.

Exactly as the Brexit referendum is…

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Summary of key problems with the DWP’s recent survey of claimant satisfaction

Politics and Insights

The Department for Work and Pensions Claimant Service and Experience Survey (CSES) is described as “an ongoing cross-sectional study with quarterly bursts of interviewing. The survey is designed to monitor customers’ satisfaction with the service offered by DWP and enable customer views to be fed into operational and policy development.”

The survey measures levels of satisfaction in a defined group of ‘customers’ who have had contact with the Department for Work and Pensions within a three-month period prior to the survey. The research was commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and conducted by Kantar Public UK –  who undertake marketing research, social surveys, and also specialise in consultancy, public opinion data, policy and also economy polling, among other things

One problem with the aim of the survey is that satisfaction is an elusive concept – a subjective experience that is not easily definable, accessible or open…

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