The faces of Mr Penning

Mike Penning, Minister for the Disabled [Image: The Guardian].

Mike Penning, Minister for the Disabled [Image: The Guardian].

There are two sides to every story, we are told – and two sides to the new minister for disabled people, Mike Penning, it seems.

Asked why many cancer patients had died before their claims for the new Personal Independence Payment had been processed – during periods of up to 10 weeks – Mr Penning told The Guardian it was vital that the service must be improved.

“We have to get it right because these people need the help as fast as they can get it,” he told the Commons Work and Pensions committee, according to the paper.

Penning said he wanted people with terminal illnesses to be able to claim and receive payment within seven days – but was reluctant to introduce targets, saying he would enforce the goal with: “My size 10 boots.”

Presumably this means he’s going to use them to give his officers a kick up the backside, meaning he wants to encourage a culture of bullying in the DWP – from the top down – rather than professionalism. That’s worth knowing.

He talked up a storm, though. “I have a passion about this. Not just because it’s something that has touched my life, but because it is a moral position,” he said. “While I am the minister, I want to see seven days. I can’t see why we can’t achieve seven days or even less.”

What a change this is from the man met by Paula Peters after the Work and Pensions meeting in Westminster on Monday!

According to Paula, Mr Penning met people from organisations representing the disabled and told them, in her words: “Our disabilities are our fault. Everyone who claims benefits is frauding the system.”

Considering the performance statistics, it seems likely that those at the latter meeting may have seen Mr Penning’s true face.

If so, then perhaps he should make better use of his size-10s…

And take a hike.

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10 thoughts on “The faces of Mr Penning

  1. Mike Sivier

    It seems Paula Peters took the opportunity to have a word with Mr Penning. This is what happened in her own words (stolen from the Facebook page Atos Miracles):

    Hi all, got home literally 10 minutes ago. I got to Portcullis House by 8.50 this morning, and someone had my back to me in the lift, it was the Mike Penning the minister for disabled people! He was grinning away, So, i asked for 5-10 minutes of his time, and I said this to him. Mr Penning, please do not say that we are all frauding the benefits system, because we are not. Benefit fraud is 0..5 per cent and fraud is very very low. I said you need to check the official error within your department at the dwp which was at 70 per cent in 2011 (source social security advisory meeting 07.12.11)

    Said, please do not say that disability and illness is our fault, BECAUSE IT IS NOT no one deserves to be born with a disbability, be struck down with a terrible physical or mental illness, no one, and said to him, Mr Penning you too, could develop an illness or disability, no one is immune from having an illness.

    Please do not say diabetes is a life style choice, if you do not know anything about it educate yourself on it as ignorance can cost people ignoring symptoms of diabetes and getting checked and ignorance with illness costs lives. I said Mr Penning Type 2 diabetes is hereditary in families if one member has type 2 the chances of another member getting the disease is higher, and then had a dig, by your waistline Mr Penning, you had better check your sugar levels, too many meals in the subsided restuarant there eh?

    Then said two weeks ago on 25th November you said to the labour party during DWP questions when they raised the issues about the welfare death statistics and the W.C.A that they should stop scaremongering. Well I have lost 18 friends, thousands have died because the stress and fear has made thier health detoriate and many have died by their own hands I know poeple who have lost loved ones, care to comment to them about that as the goverenmental polices are devastating many lives?

    My last comment was this. in april 2013, my six year old niece abigail with type 1 diabetes was denied DLA as they said she had no care needs at night, she is 6, has constant hypos and toilet accidents at night, and has a canular attached to a stomach pump and needs constant care day and night at school and at home. That she and the family were put through the ordeal of an appeall and were one week away from a tribunial when DM overturned decision and upgraded her care needs. I said my brother heard from me about your remarks about Diabetes being a life style choice. He has written to you a letter how diabetes affects his children of 6 and 9 his wife who is 37 and him who is 39 all type 1 diabetics. They would like a response from you about the ordeal they had with DLA over their daughter and the DWP and a response to the anger and upset you have caused by your remarks about diabetes. I placed my brother letter in his hands.

    He stared at me I stared back, down the corridor the smile was wiped off his face. He looked at me, and the one finger salute was what he got from me. He was then surrounded by his staff 15 minutes before the meeting and he was clearly rattled. The armed cops came by and what happened on Monday happened again, three cops for me. Not nice to have a nosel of a gun pointed at you, with their hands resting on their guns, but then with security alerts as high as it is (i can be anyone) it was still frightening though especially as they could see i had my tri rollerator with me and in a great deal of pain.

  2. Thomas

    If he indeed *did* say people are disabled through choice and that everyone claiming benefits is committing fraud, then he needs to be thrown out. I can only speak for myself-I was born with Asperger’s Syndrome, and the only people who would want to give me a job are those trying to scam me. I’m not useless and I do have skills, but I doubt they are much use to employers. I claim enough to pay taxes, to live on, and to buy a few small luxuries like a few I-tunes songs and a book or two.

  3. Jim

    We don’t need the words these people declared war on benefit claimants disabled or not. They have set up requirements that the legality have not really been tested

  4. steve

    The truth that no one wants to hear or even repeat is…..”If you are disabled,ill or unemployable then you will be replaced with able people from other countries”…It has been said for several years now and finally the chickens are coming home to roost. If this bunch of thugs get back in 2015 then the diabled should seriously consider banding together for a fight to the death….because the only other choce will be suicide. National Socialism by the back door.

  5. jim

    ” Mr Penning told The Guardian it was vital that the service must be improved.”

    the only improvement we need is MP’s ,,, they are not fit for use !!!!!!

    1. Mike Sivier

      And yet they are set to get a pay rise equivalent to twice as much as a person on Jobseekers’ Allowance gets, every week. That’s just the rise, by the way. They already get 18 times as much as the jobseeker, every week.

  6. Norma Roberts

    Love the bit when you commented on the size of his girth and suggested he have a blood sugar test! He also has a florid complexion, maybe he should get his blood pressure and heart checked too! You do not get to look like he does if you have a healthy lifestyle, so he has no business lecturing anyone.

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