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The news at the moment is full of the ‘revelation’ that the ‘enhanced (or coercive) interrogation’ techniques used by the CIA on so-called ‘enemy combatants’ amounted to torture, writes Steve Walker in his Skwawkbox blog.

These techniques, including waterboarding, extreme sleep-deprivation and forcing people into contorted ‘stress positions’ for hours on end, were devised by a US psychologist who has been called a ‘torture guru’.

When you see these reports, remember this: psychologically-coercive techniques devised by this same individual and his team have been forced upon British benefit claimants at the behest of David Cameron’s ‘Nudge Unit’, via a bogus ‘psychometric test’ that they had to take or else lose their benefits.

Yes indeed – the Nudge unit. Skwawkbox goes on to detail a relatively new use of its techniques, and you are urged to give it a visit for that reason alone, but mention of the nudge unit at this time gives rise to another consideration.

Vox Political has been running a series of articles recently, on the apparent use of persuasion techniques that lead ESA claimants who are disabled or suffering with long-term illnesses to consider committing suicide during stressful ‘work capability assessment’ interviews.

It doesn’t take a wild imagination to put that together with this and suggest that the DWP may be employing ‘nudge’ unit techniques to make people end their own lives, while they are particularly suggestible.

Now that would be an utterly unethical way to behave!

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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