BBC, Lies And The Tory View Of The World

When next you hear a Tory, or one of his University chums at the BBC, explain that the “welfare changes” are really to help the poor and disabled, then do remind them of these relatively unreported examples:

“…[Henry Sherlock] had been “bullied and harassed” by Atos Healthcare, the French firm slammed for carrying out the humiliating eligibility tests for the Department for Work and Pensions.

Henry worked for the DWP for 18 years until he was forced to retire on medical grounds eight years ago. He lost his sight after suffering meningitis and also has chronic heart disease, diabetes and depression. He said: “I found it such a shock being on the other side of the fence.

“Being a claimant, you are treated with total disrespect.

More begging is what the Tories want:

“When I worked for the DWP it was the case that the client came first and they were given the best support possible but now all they are interested in is cutting costs.

MSPs were told how a blind former health worker, Henry Sherlock, was reduced to begging after being interviewed and reassessed by the Department of Work and Pensions and Atos Healthcare, the private firm paid to carry out fit-to-work medical assessments, claiming both of them had “harassed and bullied” him.

He told how he had been threatened with having his benefits stopped after refusing to provide personal information after receiving an unannounced call from Atos one Saturday evening.”

Read what he said.

Brain-damaged amputee fit for work, says Atos:

“An amputee who cannot walk, struggles to talk and is brain damaged has been passed “fit for work” and had his benefits cut under government reforms.

Mark Evans, from Daubhill in Bolton, said his incapacity benefits were cut by £440 a month and has been left with just £220 to pay his monthly rent, bills and food.

The 50-year-old had received incapacity benefits, now known as employment and support allowances, since 1993 when he had a brain tumour. He also had his left leg amputated below the knee in 2004 after contracting deep vein thrombosis. “

Anxiety over Atos fit-for-work test brings on father’s heart attack:

“The controversial assessments by the French IT firm are part of a benefits shake-up by the Con-Dem Government, who are looking to cut billions from the welfare bill.

Former welder Jim, who had worked all his adult life until he suffered a heart attack 18 months ago, said: “It was very clear that I wasn’t 100 per cent.

I was sweating profusely, my breath was very laboured and I had been confused during the interview.

“I wasn’t able to concentrate on a lot of what they were saying.

“They gave me a glass of water but that was it.

“They were more concerned with asking me questions such as, ‘Can you walk 200m and can you raise your arm up in the air?’”

Jim, of Cambuslang, near Glasgow, added: “I was telling them I was stressed and that I was anxious, and that I didn’t feel like I could go out and work at that moment.”

The very next day, he had a heart attack as he was walking down a street in Glasgow’s west end. “

Cecilia Burns:

“Ms Burns, a mother of two boys, was diagnosed in 2011. After surgery, she underwent months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and was on the drug Herceptin until her death.

In March 2012, her employment support allowance was reduced by £30 and she was told she was fit to work, even though she was still undergoing treatment. “

“Fit For Work” After Double Heart Bypass?

I wonder how the Tories will justify this:

“A HEART patient last night claimed he was told he was fit for work by a healthcare firm working on behalf of the Government – just a day after he endured a double heart bypass operation and was recovering in intensive care.

Former welder Danny Shurmer, 60, of Gaerwen on Anglesey, who had been in Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital in May last year, said: “I was in intensive care when my daughter came in with the letter. I was shocked. Even the consultant could not believe it.”

He spoke as it was revealed more than 2,000 people on sickness and disability benefits in North Wales have been ordered back to work after their cases were re-assessed under controversial Government fitness-to-work tests.

Mr Shurmer’s employment and support allowance (ESA) – a benefit which has replaced incapacity benefit – was later stopped. It was only restarted after he went to a tribunal.

He was given the “fit for work” bombshell weeks after a medical examination by a doctors from healthcare firm Atos.

Mr Shurmer, who didn’t win his tribunal until nine months after the withdrawal of benefit, had three more bypasses in July this year at the same hospital.

But there is still hope for him because last week he had another examination by an Atos doctor and is awaiting their decision.

Asked whether he is optimistic or not, he replied: “God knows.”

The Government ordered fresh assessments on thousands of people claiming incapacity benefits back in 2010. Since then nearly 6,000 people have been reassessed in North Wales by healthcare firm Atos to determine whether claimants are “fit to work”. “

Some Good News: A Woman, ESA and Altos

Whilst this nonsense and victimhood by Julian Assange plays out, there is some good news:

“A housebound disabled woman has scored a victory over welfare assessor Atos – using the power of the internet to force it to change its practices.

Anyone wanting to claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA) must have a disability assessment carried out by Atos, a private firm, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

Jayne Linney, 50, wanted her assessments with the firm to be recorded after what she called “basic errors” were made by Atos staff in previous meetings, which could have affected her entitlement to benefits. Other disability claimants have also complained their payments were cut after Atos assessors misreported their answers to show they were capable of work.

After repeatedly being told all Atos’ tape recorders were broken, Miss Linney, from Leicester, set up a petition on campaign website Change.org. The former community development worker also wrote a blog documenting her “saga” with Atos, and used Facebook and Twitter to gather support.

After she amassed 1,000 signatures on her petition, Atos finally backed down and agreed to record her assessment. Ms Linney, who suffers from fibromyalgia and Sjögren’s syndrome, began to claim ESA after she was forced to leave her job in January 2010.

“I’m amazed at the response,” she said. “It’s the comments [on the blog] that keep you going. To know that people agree with me, it’s amazing. Because I’m housebound an online campaign was the only option for me. ”

Atos has apologised on its website for not providing the equipment to record the meetings quickly enough. “

This is her blog, http://jaynelinney.wordpress.com/

The DWP, Olympics And Glenn Greenwald

I hadn’t wanted to post for a few days, but some news items struck me as deserving of a wider audience, lest I forget.

Surprisingly for the Torygraph, the story of double amputee asked by the DWP to prove that he’s unfit for work:

“A disabled man has been asked to prove he is unable to work by the Department of Work and Pensions despite having both legs amputated due to diabetes.

Chris Cann, 57, was left wheelchair bound after losing both legs and four fingers to diabetes.

Despite being housebound, the widower has been ordered to attend an assessment centre to prove he is too disabled to work or his £600-a-month benefits will be stopped.

Chris, who developed diabetes six years ago, started claiming disability allowance in 2008 – before he had his legs amputated.

Two years ago he had his right leg amputated below the knee and in January this year Chris had surgery again to have his left leg removed as well as four fingers on his right hand.

This week Chris received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions ordering him to undergo medical tests to prove he should receive the new Employment and Support Allowance.

This is not an isolated instance as the Diary of a Benefit Scrounger documents.

Foreign Policy has an amusing piece on the best and worst countries to be a returning athlete.

As Oscar Wilde said “Work is the curse of the drinking classes” and the Economist tries to prove it, unsuccessfully in the Middle East:

“NOBODY knows exactly when Islamic scholars decided that booze was sinful. In the 1970s political Islam led some countries such as Iran and Pakistan to ban alcohol, although many do not and exceptions are made for non-Muslims. In some countries the punishment for Muslims caught quaffing are severe: 80 lashes in the case of Iran. Things may get more arid yet as Islamist parties from Indonesia to Tunisia moot restrictions on alcohol. The number of drinkers varies by country, but some put the total at 5% of those identifying themselves as Muslim. Drinking may even be on the rise. Between 2001 and 2011 sales of alcohol in the Middle East, where Muslims dominate, grew by 72%, against a global average of 30%. “

A white supremacist road trip ends in bloodshed:

“Their three-state road trip, during which they are accused of killing a middle-aged black man and a 19-year-old stranger singled out because they thought he was Jewish, ended with Grigsby allegedly telling police she and Pedersen were on their way to “kill more Jews” in Sacramento, California. “

Never sure what to make of Glenn Greenwald, but one thing those at FP don’t like him.

The Department of Homeland Security and its inability to recognise the threat of the Far Right.

Pam Geller’s stupid ads get ripped into.

More police violence in Bahrain.

Putin’s thugs beat up a Chess Grandmaster.

Well, I am, truly, shocked a Banker being selective with the facts. Whatever next? Banks doing dodgy deals?

Pussy Riot and Russia.