The PIP assessment hoax shows we could believe any claim about our corrupt government

[Image: Getty Images]

[Image: Getty Images]

It seems some of your favourite bloggers – including Yr Obdt Srvt – have been hoodwinked by a hoax claim that assessment criteria for the new Personal Independence Payment have been made much more severe than has been the case until now.

If you were distressed by this article, please be reassured that – from what has been said over the last few hours – it is not accurate.

Vox Political only published the claims because they came here via a colleague of good character who in turn received it from a trustworthy source. There were telltale signs that it was a wrong ‘un – for example the fact that the story is based on unsubstantiated information allegedly provided by an anonymous Atos employee to an equally anonymous source – but here at VP it was felt that the possibility of another DWP betrayal merited a mention.

Much of the hoax article focused on the descriptors used to define the effects of their disabilities on a claimant. These are defined by regulations that can only be changed by Parliament (although not by an Act of Parliament, if I understand correctly) and that should have been evidence enough that the claims were false.

But we know that Iain Duncan Smith, Lord Freud and the other vipers infesting the Department for Work and Pensions like to change the conditions in which people receive benefit – especially if it helps them reach their savings targets. This goes for the rest of the Conservative-led government too; they hide information from us.

Look at the ‘negative resolution’ the government introduced last year, to open England’s health service to widespread competition. This happened after the Conservatives (Andrew Lansley in particular) promised on their honour that they would do no such thing. Their plan was that the new rules would not be discussed, and there would be no vote; instead they would automatically become law. How could any of us know whether the government was planning more of the same?

Let us decide, for the moment, that this was a hoax. Some commentators have suggested that it has been planted by fifth columnists working for the government but claiming to be acting for the people, in order to bring other, more substantial criticisms of DWP policies into disrepute. This seems unlikely.

Instead, it shows us that the policies put forward over the last four years by Mr Duncan Smith and his colleagues, together with the way they have been implemented, have shown ineptitude, underhandedness and treachery of such magnitude that people now believe they are capable of anything at all – even the bizarre and contradictory changes that were publicised yesterday.

This is the government department that changed the assessment rules for Employment and Support Allowance to such a degree that the death rate for people claiming the benefit rocketed. Iain Duncan Smith’s solution: Stop publishing mortality statistics for people claiming incapacity benefits.

This is the government department that, faced with a court ruling that its rules for mandatory work activity were illegal, simply changed the law in order to legalise them. This act alone made the Coalition government a criminal regime.

This is the government department whose behaviour shows only one area of consistency – continually making false or misleading claims about its work. Take a look at DPAC’s excellent Report on DWP Abuse of Statistics from June last year for no less than 35 examples of this.

When you are discussing liars it is easy to believe lies about them.

This is why it will be hard to believe any attempt by the DWP to discredit its critics on the basis of this single hoax.

If Iain Duncan Smith wants us to believe him, why doesn’t he give us those ESA death stats we’ve wanted for so long?

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19 thoughts on “The PIP assessment hoax shows we could believe any claim about our corrupt government

  1. Methusalada

    Pleased on your own perspective of disinformation delivered by the IDS Goebbels & the transcribe from the SS division of the DWP . Hopefully you can see now that DPAC are the real action Marquee heroes who have fought alone for too long . The next real target for change must come from an indolent Labour Party , otherwise we are all finished ! Remember I said that at first they shall come for the disabled . Why ?Because they are all knowing & above arty political crappy games in Parliament.
    Thank goodness that the TUC has finally woken up to the value of having the disabled of the UK & Wales on-board to fight this new tyrannical onslaught of the 1% despots against the 99% of human beings.
    May the force be with you young VP !

    1. concernedkev

      We have James Purnell (Dec 2008) for starting these attacks on the disabled. Rachel Reeves is no better and wants her nose tugging and reminding that global capitalism caused the financial crisis not the poor disabled. They are still using tory slogans like “hardworking” implying that those who are sick or long term disabled are “shirkers”

      1. Mike Sivier

        Why are people still determined to blame Labour for starting the problem, when it is quite clearly and obviously the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats who have made it so much worse – pushing Britain’s most vulnerable to breaking-point (and beyond, in far too many cases)?

        Your comment about Tory slogans is timely, but they are not “still” using them – they have started using them in a bid to claim them back from Tory misuse. Whether that works or not is extremely questionable and I would prefer Labour to come up with its own separate identity.

      2. Jim Round

        Have Labour tried to make a noise about the ESA deaths Mike?
        And if not, why not?

  2. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7)

    I refused to publicize that article on supposed changes to PIP assessment criteria, which I received via e-mail four days ago—because it had not been substantiated by the government. However, today I wrote Mike Penning, Minister of State for Disabled People, asking him to comment on its veracity:

    Thankfully, the remainder of my letter to him concerns a more important matter: the plight of Ben and Emma Godsland and their seriously ill baby, Poppy.

  3. jeffrey davies

    I had resent on to a good few mps asking them about it but had reply back yet jeff3

  4. Daily Nanna (@Nanna_Baps)

    It is reasonable to believe in the monstrosities of monsters. I don’t blame anyone who was taken in by this. This unelected Coalition regime are making economic war on the people, and they’ve started with the easiest targets.

  5. Jim Round

    The problem, as I have said previously, is that the disabled/feckless/workshy/scroungers (delete according to headline) are seen as an inconvenience and also make little contribution to society by some of the ruling class.
    A single benefit is a good idea, it’s just that UC is very poorly thought through and executed, I’d personally roll DLA and child benefit into it, working with groups and charities so it is fairly carried out, it would stop those earning a certain amounts claiming it, same with the state pension (I’ve yet to hear justification for millionaires getting these benefits)
    It is also annoying that there are no prominent disabled people making more of the way people on DLA and ESA are being treated, credit goes to Sue Marsh but in terms of exposure, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the exposure, for example of todays article in The Sun saying that workfare weeds out cheats. No comment on how big a failiure it’s all been I notice.

  6. Nicknick

    this indeed was a hoax but the mindset of IDS is real and all the time deaths are reported about sick and disabled people then we must at all times remain on guard as at any time things can change

  7. prayerwarriorpsychicnot

    This is where the game the Professional Liars play fall apart – our govt is close to reaching 3rd world govts status, where people just ignore everything they say on the basis it is probably lies or they are crooks.

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