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Iain Duncan-Smith: Helping Disabled Get Off Welfare? Or Just Helping Kill Them Off?

  • Published: 2015-09-01 : Author: Paul Dodenhoff
  • Synopsis: Paul Dodenhoff writes on UN investigation into British human rights abuses against people with disabilities.

Quote: "At the time of writing, a leading disability charity in Scotland (Inclusion Scotland) has released the welcome news that they have recently been contacted by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as part of an investigation into human rights abuses by Britain's Government."

Main Document

In June this year, the British Psychological Society argued that there was significant evidence to suggest that the Government's Work Capability Assessment program (WCA) was failing to assess people's fitness for work accurately and appropriately. Rather than helping to get disabled people off welfare in any positive manner, statistics just released by the Department of Works and Pensions this week seem to confirm that evidence.

While media reports vary at the moment in terms of their interpretations of the data, the majority claim that between December 2011 and February 2014 more than 2,000 people died within a few short weeks after their capability assessment found them fit for work. Of that number, 1,360 died soon after losing their appeal. Another 7,200 claimants died soon after being awarded or re-awarded their 'benefits', but placed also onto work-related activity programs - programs which deem claimants currently unfit to work but who may be able to return to work in the near future.

The data is still being analyzed and I haven't had a chance to view the figures myself as yet. But because the DWP statistics are presented in such a complex manner, only a detailed analysis will reveal the true picture. However, instinct dictates that current media reports of the data may eventually turn out to have dramatically underplayed the scale of these deaths, as past indicators signal that tens of thousands of sick or disabled people may have died shortly after having their work capability negatively assessed and their benefits removed - not just a couple of thousand.

The Department for Work and Pensions has consistently refused to release the data, with its 'Fuhrer' Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) at one point even telling the House of Commons that such statistics didn't exist. The DWP are now suggesting that such statistics do not indicate any causal direction between people dying and the WCA program itself. However, if people are dying days or weeks after being found fit for work via the work capability assessment, this can only mean one thing - that the assessment process is wildly inaccurate. Or is Herr Gruppenführer Smith now going to claim that sick and disabled people are not only faking ill-health and disability these days, but death itself?

Being in denial about the existence of the data is one thing, but if the WCA is not classifying people as fit for work even when some are actually in hospital dying from terminal illnesses (which has been argued to be the case) - why have they battled furiously for many months in trying to keep these figures out of the public domain? What have they got to hide? And why should the dreadful IDS (somebody who seems as kindly and as sympathetic towards ill-health and disability as the Gestapo was during World War II) blatantly lie in the House of Commons about the existence of such data? Something which should now be independently investigated with serious 'sanctions' applied to Herr Smith and his shabby department. Sanctions which should ideally include some kind of long jail sentence and preferably at somewhere like Guantanamo Bay!

IDS and the demonization of the unemployed, the sick and the disabled

'Führer' Smith has come under increasing pressure within recent years over the DWP's vicious 'demonization' of the unemployed, the sick and disabled people - and practically anybody perceived as not being in regular employment. His media department has not only been consistently accused of disseminating blatant misinformation and falsehoods to the public, but IDS's speeches and political rhetoric regularly and aggressively target the sick and disabled for being 'workshy' and 'spongers', as well as repeatedly lying about a widespread 'welfare benefit culture' existing within the UK.

In addition, target setting by his department is argued to be deliberately aimed at forcing as many sick and disabled people off welfare benefits as possible, and into work or onto work related programs regardless of personal circumstances or physical fitness. Target setting that puts intolerable pressure on those who assess welfare claimants for work capability, motivating some to generate negative assessments. Assessments which effectively withhold state help from those most unlikely to physically survive such aggressive and politically motivated tactics.

IDS's department (in conjunction with Britain's media machine) is often accused of singlehandedly creating the 'myth' that widespread welfare abuse exists across the whole of the UK. A myth designed to demonize the unemployed, the sick and the disabled in order to push through welfare reform that actively forces people off welfare, and makes life deliberately intolerable for those who do manage to stay the distance. This is despite evidence from charities and organizations such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation who continually fail to find any evidence to back up the existence of a 'benefit culture' within the UK

No reliable evidence has ever been presented by the DWP that indicates that there are indeed large numbers of people 'actively' avoiding work in order to live off welfare instead. In fact, 'Führer' Smith and his department often get caught out, time and time again of lying to the general public about it, and about the 'achievements' of their policies. Most recently, the DWP had been found to be fabricating and disseminating false stories and testimonies about 'fantasy' welfare claimants who have 'successfully' gained employment through IDS's work programs. A tactic that backfired dramatically on Herr Smith himself as disability campaigners and activists began posting similar fake testimonies about IDS's successes via social media - but with highly comedic effect.

IDS and his 'Benefit Culture'. Who really benefits from benefits?

Contrary to the notion that widespread abuse of the welfare system exists from sick and disabled people, many of those who receive 'welfare benefits' are often workers in paid employment. Often lowly paid and unstable employment that is in effect being heavily 'subsidized' by the British Government, in one form or another.

Britain's welfare system has indeed become a big part of life within the UK for many people, with over 20 million working families a year (60% of all families) receiving some kind of state help, and with working disabled adults being twice as likely as non-disabled adults to be on low incomes. Therefore, a 'benefit culture' may well exist within the UK, but not in the way that Herr Gruppenführer Smith often argues. A benefit culture chiefly designed to 'benefit' Britain's businesses by helping to keep their wage bill as low as possible - via a hand-out from Britain's hard pressed taxpayers. Nice one IDS.

Iain Duncan Smith's name unfortunately comes up regularly on social media, on a daily basis and at a furious pace, and often linked or tagged to the words 'inhuman', 'barbaric' or 'evil'. Herr Smith is the Government's Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and he is ultimately to be held accountable for any misguided, inappropriate or aggressive welfare reform that seeks to 'incentivize' sick people and disabled people into employment by removing their right to state help. While cruelly bullying terminally ill people during their last remaining days on Earth.

Below are a couple of quotes that make that point:

"Chris lay in a hospital bed, dying of cancer. He should have been helped by the system, the welfare state which was established to help people like Chris. Instead, they bombarded him with texts telling him he had to apply for jobs, and letters urging him to come to 'job workshops.'"

"A disabled dad died two weeks after being judged fit for work as he lay in hospital with pneumonia. Diabetic David was stripped of his disability benefits in April after a work capability assessment".

IDS's obnoxious actions are arguably less about saving the state money, and far more about crude ideology and political dogma. It's an ideology that primarily revolves around the 'work ethic', about business 'needs' and about people 'not getting something for nothing'. It works by feeding falsehoods into the public domain in order create social stereotypes that crudely split Britain's poor into two distinct categories - those who are lazy by not being in employment for any reason, and those who are 'hard working' by being in employment. It works by 'clamping down' upon the 'non-workers' by severely monitoring anybody who claims social welfare and who are not in regular full time work.

By labelling sick and disabled people as fakes and scroungers, IDS has arguably also sought to pressurize welfare claimants into re-entering themselves into the world of employment and no matter what state of fitness that person is in. If these 'non-workers' don't bow to public pressure by 'volunteering' themselves for primarily low paid employment, then the state would step in via WCA to deliberately and falsely label as many claimants as possible as being fit for work - with disastrous consequences for many. In a sense, IDS has begun a process that acts to redefine what 'disability' is and what it isn't, in order to remove state help and support from as many people as possible. But without considering and removing the physical, social or cultural barriers that often hinder disabled people getting into the world of work in the first place.

The words 'inhuman' and 'barbaric' may therefore be highly appropriate words to use in describing Herr Smith's welfare reforms, and I make no apologies for using the titles of 'Führer' or 'Gruppenfuhrer' to indicate Herr Smith's style of political agenda.

Some good news. The UN may be about to act (at last)

At the time of writing, a leading disability charity in Scotland (Inclusion Scotland ) has released the welcome news that they have recently been contacted by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as part of an investigation into human rights abuses by Britain's Government. The charity has been advised that the UN will be sending a Special Rapporteur to the UK in the near future as part of their probe into the Britain's welfare reforms and their disastrous effect on the lives of disabled people. At present the DWP has refused to comment on the news, but we can be quite sure that the UN will have been in regular contact with Britain's Government over the past number of months, particularly as news about a UN investigation into British human rights abuses against its disabled was actually released a year ago. And we can be quite sure that IDS will have thrown a proper tantrum over the news of an ongoing and continuing investigation into his grubby practices.

However, anybody watching Britain's political system over the years will know that Britain's political elite rarely get seriously 'sanctioned' for any political or personal wrong-doing or political incompetence. It's an elite who laughingly address each other daily with the prefix of 'the Right Honorable', despite many being accused of being involved in all manner of dodgy practices. Yet these 'honorable' people always manage to stay firmly rooted in the House of Commons, getting passed around from one Government department to another. Until dumped one day by the electorate, only to be offered a seat in the House of Lords as compensation at some future date, where they can continue to cause chaos and mayhem with their dodgy bag of 'British Values'.

So, will Herr Smith and his bunch of pathetic storm troopers now be forced to eat 'humble pie' by the UN over welfare reform that has arguably contributed to a miserable existence for many sick and disabled people, and possibly the needless deaths of thousands of others. Or will he just be 'rewarded' like countless others before him for his efforts in helping to destroy a welfare system that was once the envy of the world. Time will only tell, but I'm quite sure there will be a chair in the House of Lords being prepared for him right now, with the title 'The Right Honorable, Gruppenführer, Iain Duncan Smith' on it.

Good Luck UN. I think you are going to need it if you are investigating David Cameron, IDS and the rest of this motley crew of cut-throats!


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1 : The Dominance of Right-Wing Think-Tanks Over Disability Welfare Reform in Britain : Paul Dodenhoff.
2 : President Trump's Chance to Prove He Really Cares About Disabled Americans : Rafael Lemaitre - Former Director of Public Affairs for the Federal Emergency Management Agency under President Obama..
3 : U.S. Government Just Doesn't Get Americans : Johns Hopkins University.
4 : REV UP Campaign - Making the Disability Vote Count : American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
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