Sanctioned jobseeker turns tables on Duncan Smith with viral blog – glynismillward189


Peter Styles [Image:].

Some readers may be wondering why Vox Political is drawing attention to an article that has received 8,000 hits when pieces on this blog regularly reach many, many more people. Peter Styles’s achievement is huge because his blog has come from nowhere to achieve that figure; VP had to work its way up over very many months. And it seems clear that he has used his skills to manage this feat – he’s a “communications and PR specialist”.

Here’s the story, reblogged from Morning Star and found on glynismillward189‘s blog:

Brighton man sanctioned despite applying for 67 jobs in a fortnight, writes Joe Gill

A Brighton jobseeker has turned the tables on Iain Duncan Smith’s punitive sanctions regime after his benefits were docked despite applying for 67 jobs in a fortnight.

Peter Styles has written a blog about his experience that has gone viral, reaching more than 8,000 hits yesterday after being launched on Tuesday.

The communications and PR specialist has been out of work and signing on for a year since his last employer ceased trading.

He says he has applied for “everything from copywriter position, to insight manager, probably seven or eight job titles I can do.”

Mr Styles told the Star: “The administrative officer said my job search was good – however it was not broad enough.

“They wanted me to apply to be an Asda grocery colleague and a personal shopper. I did that, neither of which even require a CV. They’re school leaver positions.”

Last month his local jobcentre moved him from fortnightly signing-on to the new daily signing-on system.

When he complained about the regime, created by Work and Pension Secretary Mr Duncan Smith under his work programme, he says he was segregated from other jobseekers and had his benefit sanctioned without appeal.

“I demanded a manager to come down but she was the woman who I’d been having massive problems with,” Mr Styles recalled.

“Throughout this time I was put in a segregated area because I expressed my views about the policy.”

Mr Styles has appealed against the decision and lodged an official complaint against two jobcentre staff with assistance from the Brighton Unemployed Workers’ Centre.

“I’ve been signed off with stress for a month due to the harassment I’ve been subjected to,” Mr Styles added. “The DWP indirectly are trying to destroy my mental health.”

A spokesman for civil servants’ union PCS said the daily signings were punitive.

“If you are hauling people in every day to sign on it reduces the amount of time they can go out and look for work,” he said.

“The sanctions regime is absolutely abhorrent and should be scrapped.

It is entirely counterproductive – it doesn’t get anyone back to work. It’s an absolutely pernicious system for both claimants and job centre staff.”

The Department for Work and Pensions had not replied to requests for comment at the time of going to press.

Mr Styles’ blog can be viewed at

Let us hope an employer offers Mr Styles a job soon. Otherwise – with his formidable skills – perhaps he could try making a living out of the social media.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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5 thoughts on “Sanctioned jobseeker turns tables on Duncan Smith with viral blog – glynismillward189

  1. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    My ambition would be to see IDS made to go out and search for a proper job and do a useful constructive day’s work instead of living of the luxury he enjoys due do to his connections. There is something so horrible about trying to deprive people so less fortunate than oneself; on the other hand I would certainly not like to change personalities!

  2. Ex. JCP worker

    I used to work for Jobcentre Plus. The AO were just following instructions from management. There is a target system for sanctions and district cocongratulations for the JC that sanctions the most “customers”. The system is punitive and some (but not all) staff use it to target troublesome customers. The system doesn’t promote people getting jobs, too much outsourcing and targets. THe only winners are the private companies who regularly fail to deliver. The losers are the claimants. System is a joke.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      ‘Customers’? What do they buy?
      I think you’re right to say the system is a joke – albeit a very bad one – and right to get out.
      “Just following instructions” is what German soldiers said at the Nuremberg trials, right before they were executed for war crimes.

  3. Tom

    On his behalf i tried to e-mail the person allegedly causing his problems to ask for there justification, [email protected] however all i get is “The following address has permanent fatal errors”. Which usually means the mail server on the receiving side cannot receive any more messages because its hard disk is filled, i wonder?

Comments are closed.