Only you can close the Atos slaughterhouse

If any MP, government representative or stooge tells you the UK is bankrupt, or close to it, ask them why we can afford to pay Thierry Breton £1.9 million to preside over a company running a flawed system that leads to the deaths of 73 of us every week.

Mr Breton is the boss of Atos, the company that has been “reassessing” people who used to be on Incapacity Benefit, in a bid to clear the vast majority of them from the government’s welfare benefit bill within a year of assessment.

Only between 12-13 per cent of those who go through the Atos ‘work capability assessment’ keep their benefits indefinitely, going through to the ‘support group’ of the new Employment and Support Allowance. This means they have conditions which mean they will never be able to work in any way – and, in practice, many are likely to die in the near future.

Atos and the Department for Work and Pensions say this figure should be 30 per cent, but that seems more likely to be the percentage transferred from IB. In regard to new cases, I’ll stick with what the Atos trainer said on Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary in July.

The others are either put into a ‘work-related activity’ group and told to get better within 12 months, or marked ‘fit for work’ and told to get looking for a job. These are where the controversial deaths take place, due to stress exacerbating people’s illnesses or suicide because they cannot see a way to go on.

For this, Mr Breton is being paid around £1 million per year. His bonus – nearly another £1 million – means he pocketed £1.9 million in total (before tax – although he could always seed it away in one of the tax havens the government is assiduously failing to close down).

This is why disability specialist Samuel Miller needs to hear from people whose family members or friends have suffered at the hands of Mr Breton’s company. Mr Miller is putting together a file of atrocities which he intends to send to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations.

The aim is to show that austerity measures are violating British people’s human rights. His best hope is in receiving coroners’ reports where the cause of death is found to be destitution and/or suicide.

He can’t do this on his own.

I reported Mr Miller’s plan last week and as a result he has received some responses – but many more are needed. He needs you to get in touch – if you have been affected.

If nobody does anything, the government will merrily assume it is right to persist with a regime that leads to 73 deaths, of your loved ones, every week. And they will continue. If you are disabled, you may be next.

So don’t leave it to somebody else. If you have been affected, get your story in to Mr Miller. You could also contact your local news media and get them to run a story about this, with his email contact details: [email protected]

If they don’t run anything, ask them why. There does seem to be a media blackout and this must be overcome as well.

Otherwise you, or someone you know, could end up like Susan Atkinson, who died of cancer last year, aged 37, after Atos told her she was fit for work.

A friend of hers, Donna Thornton, wrote: “I’m not saying they caused her death but they did add  more stress and worry, which I do think helped her give up the fight.

“Her quality of life before she died was so very sad for me to watch – instead of her last few weeks of life being happy ones, they were sad and upsetting. I couldn’t even help her as I was going through the same.”

Donna, who has been in three car crashes, has fibromyalgia, nerve damage, has had shingles and suffers depression, wrote: “I just received a letter saying I have got to got to court this time to appeal.

“Not only do I feel like a criminal but feel sick [that] I’ve got to go through all this to prove I am sick and disabled.

“This system is so wrong; they have got me in so much debt over the past two years, I now want to give up the fight. Life is hard enough being sick, never mind going through all this.

Please help before I end up on Atos’ death list.”

Is this familiar? [email protected]

It’s not just the Atos assessments that are pushing people to the brink, of course. How many of you will be affected by the so-called ‘bedroom tax’? [email protected]

Pressure from the public can stop the insanity of Iain Duncan Smith’s Department for Work and Pensions, and the other government “reforms” (what a cheek, to suggest changes that will ruin the lives of millions of people are improvements).

But it’s not going to happen if people can’t be bothered to lift a finger.

All it takes is an email. If you can read this, surely you can do that?


  1. stan salmon December 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    good luck you will need it as nobody cares as long as they have there I Pads I phones x factor and towie they are not intrested.

    • Mike Sivier December 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm - Reply

      If somebody has lost a family member because of this, they’ll care. If they’ve lost a friend, they’ll care.
      The problem is the continued silence from the mass media – both on the right and the left. The message is stifled and people who should be hearing and helping just don’t know.
      That’s why it’s important for those who do read articles like this – such as yourself, to help if you can.

    • DAVID A BAINES February 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      QUESTION TO Stan Salmon. And how many of these gimmicks do you have? I have to walk to the Library to get the latest news.

  2. francis healy -mcadam December 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Thousands care about this continuing atrocity. And we will hold those responsible to account one way or another!

    • Mike Sivier December 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm - Reply

      Are you going to get in touch with Mr Miller – or will you be encouraging somebody else to do so?

  3. Steve December 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    The trouble isn’t the silence from the media it is their active support for these measures, demonising the vulnerable in a classic ‘divide and rule’ manouvre. They do however generally not give so much attention to Corporate and Individual tax evasion, that if it was addressed would wipe out any deficit and place the economy on a positive footing.

    However there wont be any knighthoods for editors and proprietors of media outlets if they campaigned for those in need of support. This is cynically evidenced by Mr. Cameron standing firmly against the Leverson Report conclusions and recommendations. Is it just me that smells the odious aroma of collusion between Downing Street and the Press on this, a case of you report things in a way that supports our aims and we will support you in retaining a situation of zero accountability?

    • Mike Sivier December 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      It’s not just you!

    • Steve December 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      And before you ask, yes, I will be contributing to this campaign.

    • Fab Kay December 2, 2012 at 11:21 am - Reply

      If the benefits system can be done away with and replaced with a private insurance model a la Unum’s in America, there’ll be an advertising bonanza in this country which the media will benefit from greatly. This might account for their continuing silence on the subject. The media may not be the only ones who stand to profit mightily from insurance company’s gratitude for opening up a multi-billion pound market for them. Oh, by the way, here’s Iain Duncan Smith on the BBC assuring the electorate that no money of their is at risk in the Work Programme (which the sick and disabled are being mandated to from tomorrow) as it’s specifically, and he’s very specific on this point, pay by results only Here’s the WDP tendering document for the Work Programme Providers describing how they’ll get £400 just for taking a claimant on their books and £600 for a disabled one. That’s just for taking them on, right, nothing to do with pay by results at all. Just so you know.

  4. dean smith December 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    didnt we realise what CAMORON was like before he got into office?THATCHER was the same with her poll tax but CAMORON is 100 times worse,worst prime minister England have ever had with his big changes that dont work

  5. simmo2012 December 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Throughout different forums and different Petitions – they are getting nowhere – stand up and be counted – question everything that is asked of you whomever from – that is your right – lets stop being collective sheep you are all individuals ,fight in your own right ,you have all complained before about noisy neighbours or your bins not being emptied ,this is going to affect your whole life ,do not rely on anyone else to stand your ground -question anything that is asked you as an individual – you will receive a reply but it will also help overheat the system – do something practical .

    • Marion December 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm - Reply

      Have tried to click on link to the above website,, but it comes up under BT as not found? Interested to do anything I am able to do(suffering a lot at present from my disability/health)as though on Jobseekers, struggling with that, going for work I have no hope of getting, dealing with a private work programme who have been worse than useless and causing me more stress, living now in damp, disgusting conditions, worried about rent and bedroom tax, waited 4 months for useless new council to assess/pay my Housing Benefit, scared about losing more DLA/going on to PIP, need I go on!!!? Marion, Norwich

  6. Mark Anthony Ferrari December 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Im going to email this guy right now.. My brothers, brother in law hung himself through worry, and im currently on ESA too, due to epilepsy and damaged spine and berve roots which put me in silly amounts of pain all day. AQnd the surgeons will not operate on me.. How do I get better, and my epilepsy is uncontrollable and im on maximum dosage..

  7. Suz December 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    its all a total waste of time. Vulnerable and disabled people have been targeted since the day this coalition government took power. I’ve lived in my house for over 18 years. My children finally growing up and leaving me with only my 17 year old son and myself in a 3 bed house. I’m on highest care dla. I have a severe anxiety disorder, agrophobia and other problems and i really am desperately worried. My third bedroom is a box room. Sometimes i need someone to stay overnight to help me as I have multiple panic attacks. Says though that you have to have evidence of someone permanently staying to care for you. If i had someone permanently staying every night to care for me i’d lose my housing benefit so am in a catch 22 position. I asked my housing association to downsize me if they had to to an area near my sons college and to a 2 bed house. I was told no 2 bed houses and i would have to go from a three bed semi to a 2 bed flat. My illness makes that impossible. It also makes it impossible for me to publicly write to people etc. I wish everyone the best of luck.

    • Mike Sivier December 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry, Suz, but it isn’t a waste of time. It’s valuable evidence that could really help make a difference. I’m afraid I don’t understand why you think your illness makes it impossible for you to write to people publicly when you have just written a message that appears publicly on this page! If you email Mr Miller, it will be a private communication, with a view to being publicly available when he passes his information to the UN. You can do it, and I’m sure he’d be glad to hear from you.
      In fact, all you’d have to do is copy and paste into an email what you have written here, and add your personal details – name etc. No problem!

  8. upsidedownflag December 2, 2012 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Only joint action will finish ATOS. If corporate companies can be prosecuted for ‘Corporate Manslaughter’ then I am sure ATOS could possibly prosecuted for Corporate Murder. I’m sure if enough stuck together and sought legal aid this would be ground breaking territory for bringing prosecutions against Gov agencies / quangos making all their actions fully accountable. Or am I just dreaming? I think not, sometimes the system has to be tested.

    • upsidedownflag December 2, 2012 at 10:31 am - Reply

      sorry, I forgot to say, add to those charges Attempted Murder and / or Assault. This is mental punishment / torture = Assault.

      • Mike Sivier December 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm - Reply

        In all honesty, I don’t think there would be a case against the company for murder. I think we’d all be very hard-pressed to find evidence that proved an intention to kill people.
        On the other hand, your comments about assault are interesting (although I don’t think assault is the right crime. Harassment, alarm or distress might be – it would be with intent, therefore s. 4(a) of the Public Order Act 1986. But, again, it might be extremely hard to get any court to accept it.

  9. Silver December 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    You would think,Atos,had a case to answer under Corporate Manslaughter.

    The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 is a landmark in law. For the first time, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care.

    Signing Sick people of has fit,would to me anyway,seem a gross duty of care.

    • Mike Sivier December 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      Agreed. There have been moves towards this.

      • upsidedownflag December 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm - Reply

        If not the corrupt UK courts, maybe the European Courts, purely because they have a bee in their bonnet with regards to the UK.

  10. s0ciallyh0used December 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Everyone needs to do their bit – ATOS is a cog in a big “Social Cleansing” machine & if YOU can get onto Facebook – YOU can write an EMAIL or Sign an onlne Petition – Like You I struggle daily & I am being squeezed, BUT I am Going to fight!!!!!
    Please Wake up UK – PLEASE …

  11. thecatsloveme December 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    I really fear for my future.

  12. forcemajeure007 December 2, 2012 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on forcemajeure007.

  13. jessicamccarnun December 3, 2012 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    My name is Jessica McCarnun I am one of the ATOS victims I have severe nerve damage that at time I have to be hospitalised to have the pain controlled as I am screaming the house down in shear agony. My pain is made worse by 4 other conditions that I have one of which I am now sporting £2500 worth of platinum coils in my abdomen to improve my blood going to my heart, They fluffed that up too.

    This country was once proud and known for taking care of it’s genuinely sick and disabled but now we are known for materialism and greed. We are known for protecting the wealthy and elite and it is not a country that I want my brain-damaged son to be looked after by when I am gone.

    This scares me so much and the amount of pain that families are going through right now makes me chilled to the bone. I will have joined forces with so many groups and now the UK’s first ever personal petition has been born. Everyday now in short burst as this campaign now has nearly hospitalised me twice I am screaming from the rooftops in the name of the vulnerable and weak.

    My page is called Bedroom tax And Disabled Tell us Your Story on FB

    It is for ATOS victims too as all of the letters are being categorised and marched to Downing Street next year.

    Yes petitions have been done before and some are very effective but how many have a soul? How many have a face? This one will. Imagine the sight of boxes and boxes being delivered to Downing Street.

    These stories are also being shown in the media across the UK so please don’t think you are alone. But also don’t think that because some other people are doing that we don’t need you r help like these good people do on this blog x

    Lets all club together and show them what we as a country can do once and for all


  14. Lesley Kinney December 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    The crazy thing is there aren’t enough jobs for able bodied people. Of course if they can make people work for free, there will be no incentive to create jobs for able bodied people.

  15. k davies December 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    We should be attacking the DWP because they administer the contract with ATOS so they should be responsible for their actions

  16. starrystez December 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Agreed. Why isn’t this being reported by the media? It is an absolute disgrace. I’ve been writing letters to every UK newspaper about this. People are being treated with no respect or dignity. It’s abuse.

  17. Phil Heslop December 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    This is either Eugenics, or Genocide, or maybe both! Not a lawyer, so cannot decide. At the least, I suspect Eugenics. Look it up folks, get back to me on your views, either here, or through me at [email protected]…enough is more than enough!!!!!

  18. Richard Harris December 23, 2012 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Think it’s a disgrace the media are hiding all these suicides yet one Royal nurse and there was uproar

  19. Nothing left to lose December 31, 2012 at 2:52 am - Reply

    Have found Breton’s youngest daughter, living in London. Planning to kill her in January. God help my soul.

  20. nicola159nicolaNicola Hogg December 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Thank you for a most informative article. I have just emailed Mr. Miller as requested.

  21. jeffrey davies (@jeffrey33333) December 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    where are our mp,s who stand up for us they rather quite as of late about the atos dwp treatment but there again its making the torys mates rich with the effort they got to put into it money thrown at them whilst we get it taking away and very day more of us driven to our deaths yes welcome to britain in the yrs of tosy rule were the rich get richer and the poorer lose out and even their lifes because of the tory rule ,but where are our elite who payed to look after rather they look away with some pointing but not alot being done ,yes its drivel we get but there aagin there are 99/00 percent poor so why aint they showing the torys get out jeff3

  22. wildthing666 January 2, 2013 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    duly sent

  23. ned January 3, 2013 at 11:22 pm - Reply
  24. gra howard February 12, 2013 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Are ATOS exempt from the Corporate Manlaughter Act ?. Just a thought.

  25. roberta conway February 12, 2013 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    well, dont know if this fella believes in God,but one thing is for sure, if he does God will never forgive him for this grotesque greed. the man is vile and the fact he tweeeted his boastful comment on twitter,whilst folk are dying is vile. Hang your head in shame Breton. you have sold your soul to the devil. may God forgive you. you have blood on your hands.

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