Yet another disabled death due to DWP harassment means #CameronMustGo

Distortion With Prejudice: Will we get some FACTS from the Department for Work and Pensions - or just more spin and spiel?

The death of Jacqueline Harris is another suicide we can lay firmly at the door of the Department for Work and Pensions.

This poor woman, a former nurse who suffered chronic pain in her back after an accident at work, in her hand after a dog bite, and partial blindness due to a head injury, took her life after the DWP axed her incapacity benefit after a one-question work capability assessment. The question? “Can you get on a bus?”

The coroner’s verdict was suicide but we should all know that she would not have taken her life if her Atos assessor and the DWP had recognised the seriousness of her condition. They may well suggest that Ms Harris had mental instability that led her to suicide – shouldn’t the assessor have identified that?

Responsibility clearly lies with the Atos assessor, with the company that employed this person, with the DWP for distributing the (clearly inadequate) rules they followed and with the government ministers who approved and enforced those rules.

The charge should be corporate manslaughter and the evidence is irrefutable. Here’s the Western Daily Press report to prove it:

A half-blind widow racked with pain took a fatal cocktail of drugs after a controversial fitness test ruled her OK to work and her incapacity benefit was axed.

Former nurse Jacqueline Harris, 53, pinned a suicide note to her pyjamas and left post-it notes on her belongings saying who should get them after her death.

Despite being in constant agony she was declared fit to work after a cursory check by ATOS, the Government-appointed benefits assessors.

Speaking at the time of her death, her sister Christine [Norman] said during this ‘two-minute’ hearing in August 2012 she was asked only one question – whether she could catch a bus – and her incapacity benefit was scrapped.

Devastated Jacqueline pleaded with the government workers, explaining she was waiting for a complex operation, but she was ignored.

Her sister added: “She knew she wasn’t going to get any help. She was waiting for a review date for an appeal. I knew she wasn’t going to wait till this date.”

Christine said: “Her life really had no meaning. She just could not cope with the pain.

“Everything was an effort and she was in serious pain.

 “She detested her existence. Disempowered, she wanted to die.”
A statement from Atos passed the buck onto the DWP. Responsibility lies with everybody involved in the chain of events that led to Ms Harris’s death.
Perhaps someone should organise a funeral parade past Caxton House, with coffins representing all the known DWP-related suicides since 2010, one of them might get the point. But even this is doubtful.
When will these people get justice?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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40 thoughts on “Yet another disabled death due to DWP harassment means #CameronMustGo

  1. amnesiaclinic

    Actually, that is a very good idea to march past Caxton Street and houses of p and finish in parliament sq with all those coffins piled high or laid out!
    We owe it to them to do something dramatic and stop the traffic and draw attention.

    1. catherine lowe

      i agree a march doing as you suggest would be a good idea ,we do owe it to those who have died and to all those who are suffering at the hands of the DPW and ATOS i really ,really hope this happens ,,,as i really do not think this government has any concept of the anger towards then with regards to the way disabled ,the long term sick are being treated ,,,we need to do something ,,,we have to

    2. Michelle Thomasson

      I agree, a very good idea, if only it would wake people up so that they could understand and feel the harsh and sometimes deadly reality of their work and policies.

    3. Wayne L

      A march would be a very good idea indeed, ending it at Westminster, with all those coffins lined up, outside. I wonder if they would get the message then? And i wonder if it would make the main news media?

  2. Jeffrey Davies

    yet on its going more deaths more abuse more stress to those who dont now whots hit them only wanting to live their lives quietly away but this lot cant and wont allow that stating through their robustly filled reports by their highly trained chimps are taking away their rights but then its not atos fault they award zero or few p[oints is it jeff3

  3. Ian Duncan

    Could Labour not promise to have a proper, thorough, investigation if they win the next election? Maybe create a new law to deal with such things if necessary, or at least make a proper jail term (5 years minimum in a real nick, not six months in an open prison) for anyone found guilty of serious wrongdoing.

    If it was expanded out to make wilful misgovernment then Osborne would be in prison for selling off East Coast for political reasons and deny the country much needed profit from a well run nationalised train company. Those two landlord MPs who filibustered the revenge eviction law out of existence and all the MPs with private healthcare interests would similarly be in trouble.

    These smug, arrogant, lying, gangster b*****ds *must* be made to pay for what they have done to this country. One way or another, they must pay. IBS and Osborne need to be dealt with first and hardest.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes, this was a report on the inquest. Are you likely to send it on to your contacts at the UN?

  4. Gordy

    Didn’t David Cameron once repeat a quote that said something like….’you can judge the state of a country by the way it looks after the most vulnerable’
    What does the latest suicide say about this country then!!
    I have been saying for a long time that people need to stand up for those who can’t. Instead of standing back and hoping someone else will do it. If I lived in England or could afford to get there. I would be most willing to stand up for those suffering because of these vile policies. ESA and the work related action group were supposed to help people get back to work not bully them.

  5. Tony Dean

    My preference would be to stack them outside Iain Duncan Smith’s home in Buckinghamshire blocking his front door. We do know where he lives.

  6. Diana Perry

    It would never be reported if they did, none of the matches in the past have been , it need a mob protest in the BBC and itv buildings

    1. Florence

      Judging by the success of the currently trending #Camronmustgo and #notamosque, if something can go viral, then it has a chance of getting noticed by a larger audience or even the mainstream media.

      We really don’t want to become the next Ferguson, where it was reported “(the news) only took notice after the violence started”. Or maybe that is the master plan to avoid a date with the electorate next year?

  7. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    It is time we sought assistance to prosecute IDS and those responsible for the maladministration in the DWP for the atrocious disregard for human dignity and life. I thought the European Convention on Human Rights was dealing with this disgraceful lack of care.

  8. Nick

    another death mike I’ve sent it on to my contact in the UN as I’ve been doing the past few years

    it amazes me how many hundreds of sick and disabled people have died and certainly puts pressure on the likes of myself who are very frail

    it’s going to be a very tall order for the sick and disabled in the coming years and i doubt if many will even survive the onslaught next April i think most like myself will just give up and pass away

      1. Michelle Thomasson

        Please Nick don’t give up, please help people to understand your trials, it sounds as though you can do that with grace.
        We need to understand – so many of us are blinkered by our own concerns while many others as ‘sick of this murderous government’ said below ‘remain in denial’, caring for each other is the very stuff of life help prompt us to do so

      2. Nick

        thanks Michelle for your kind words. If i were a little stronger I’d fight my own corner but I’m not so am stuck with well minding people looking out for me but in reality do a bad job as my wife has to do all the running around when those like my mp should be able to lend a hand once in a while does a typical disappearing act and what care i get is left just to my wife alone

        It is mentally very hard just staying alive with Cameron and co living just 100 miles away dismantling all the has worked so hard for the past 100 years and yet here we have someone with no world experience as the prime minister

        there no doubt about it the majority of the public today fall well short of the older generations where there greed for everything always remains excessive consumption and there selfishness shines through every time

        its this overriding background those with longterm illness and mental health have to put up with and thats living in country so very from removed from a decent civilized society of the past and the sheer dread of what the future holds and this with regret causes many deaths as the very simplest of things prove to much and becomes the last straw in the desire to stay alive

  9. sick of this murderous government

    The dwp might as well just start handing out cyanide capsules. It would be kinder than genocide through this slow attrition and torture.

    Since IDS is so “proud of his reforms” (as he retorted to Owen Jones several years ago on national TV when challenged over the deaths) why not at least be up front about it and openly pronounce the collectivedeath sentence on the sick and disabled that has plainly been agreed in private.

    We are reliving the Germany of the 1930s and now, just as then, the killers are getting away with it because the majority remain in denial.

    1. Carole Kennedy

      I’m seeing what you’re seeing. Growing numbers see deliberate depopulation tactics. IDS is following orders. As will his replacement in the next ‘g/ment’.
      The agenda/script/programme continues.

  10. Carole Kennedy

    We’re looking to the EU and the UN for remedy?! (cough, splutter!) These entities are the front runners behind these outrageous antics. The EU is calling all the shots now. Bringing peoples to their knees so they will accept EU and then UN government. There, there, there, we will help you. Just sign up as an EU citizen. As people are not receiving their rightful NI based entitlements from this system then stop paying into the system. Local and national taxes is a start. Along with a reappraisal of our NI system that folk are still unknowingly paying into! Or this poor woman won’t be the last.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The Conservative Party (along with its little yellow helpers, the Liberal Democrats) is responsible for “these outrageous antics”, Carole. Blaming the EU won’t stop that being the case. Your concerns about National Insurance, for example, can only be remedied by the UK’s national government. They have nothing to do with Europe.

      1. Carole Kennedy

        There is only one party, Mike, with 3 different faces.The UK is registered as a corporation.They don’t give a damn what their employees/slaves think.They just put on a show to make us think we had something to do with the matter. We don’t. In their world they have sold us off to the EU. Deal’s already done.Their fortunes have been made and they have now scarpered. Leaving us to to come to terms with the new reality. Currently being introduced to all us. Incrementally. That they would allow anyone to suffer from lack of basic daily needs does not augur well for where we are going.The unemployed left to starve? The sick and disabled forced into nazi type testing? Working till they drop where they then pick up their pensions at the age of 70?! They have already crossed all the lines. What are we waiting for? How bad does it need to get?To use their system to change their system is just pissing in the wind. Instead don’t even register to vote. Message sent. Consent not given. No contract. Any movement by their forces after that will be an act of war against their own people. No piddly vote will help here. It’s THAT bad.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I tuned out after “There is only one party,” because – as everyone here knows – my response to that is always the same: “Did Lynton Crosby pay you to write that?”

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        The reason I ask people who say what you did whether they’re being paid by Lynton Crosby is that one aspect of his campaign is to convince non-Tory voters that all parties are the same and their votes won’t mean anything. Then the non-Tories will be disillusioned and won’t vote, while the Tory voters will do exactly what they’re told, like the good little sheeple they are, and the Tories will win a huge victory. In 2015 that could mean the end of British democracy for a considerable period of time – certainly the end of all your human and workplace rights, the end of the welfare state and the NHS.
        Do you even know who told you they’re all the same?

      4. Carole Kennedy

        I was never a tory voter even when I was registered to vote, Mike. I’ve found past tory voters were the first to cotton onto the scam that is our voting system.They were more alert to their personal sovereignty being lost once one has registered. Disillusion is growing among all parties. How can any entity be at the same time a ‘government’ of a country and also a profiteering corporation? Every MP is registered as a profiteering corporation also. Check them all out on . Also our Councils, Police Authorities (owned by IBM) and Courts. All registered as profiteering entities.They have been so for some time now. By simply registering (regis/king/crown) we have already handed over our political power to the UK Corporation. Whatever outcome they rig. This is my local MP. Type in the name of yours and see for yourself:

        Democracy was always an illusion. But as a corporation they were still legally required to honour all contracts they entered into, like the NI Act/contract. But they have now reneged on that. To the detriment of people like Jaqueline Harris. Deliberately so, so they can destroy all notion of country and company, to place us all under the control of their next metamorphosis – global governance. The EU, NAU, African, Asian UNIONS, all overseen by a global government. That’s where we are being taken. By force or starvation, if they have to.

        Here’s an easy introduction to how things are and the world we are now leaving:

        Remove your consent to all this by – not registering.

      5. Mike Sivier Post author

        You don’t remove your consent by not registering – you remove any ability you have to make a difference. You make yourself utterly powerless.
        Don’t try to con anybody here into thinking otherwise.

  11. Michelle Thomasson

    Mike I agree, disheartened we definitely don’t need, I did a quick scan of Crosby’s PR firm, the tobacco tactics were telling enough, thanks for clarifying what you think the tactics are. While the alternative media is brimming with dispiriting disinformation and we know the nastiest side of the right wing didn’t all just disappear in a puff of smoke after the last world war – they and their wealth don’t own everyone.

    Nick, I was saddened by your last reply, this world’s selfish trajectory is a self consuming emptiness but not everyone is like that. I’ve been volunteering for many years (not just in the UK), during which time I’ve come across many amazing kind hearted folks and I know some fantastic young people who aren’t about to party away their youth. Please take heart – do you have a local community cafe?

    Last year when I was having a low week I went to my local community cafe and a gentleman who often popped in with his wheel chair and wonderful dog Teddy had a longer chat with me. Turned out Teddy and his kind owner Nigel did regular hospital visits to cheer up patients having a difficult time. Nigel didn’t realise how many heart warming tears he put in my eyes after I left. Also about to stick up my United Response community advent calendar (charity to support young people & adults with a wide range of disabilities and mental health issues). Day 1 suggests saying hello to everyone you meet today, I’m going to be running behind schedule

  12. Stephen Tamblin

    I have put in for pip I had a letter from them saying my claim for pip is in the hands of atos so I wonder what sort of bulls**t thay will ask me. But I am hopefully having my wife and my practice nhs nurse with me.cause I am suffering from deep depression and angsity attacks and vascular dementia and muscular problems so if thay try to catch me out at least my carers will make sure that it is fair. If they don’t treat me fair I think I could do the same as anybody in the same situation take my own life.

  13. Jeffery Davies

    Stephen if one takes your own life then you are
    giving rtu ids whot he and his erk want another
    that they havent to payout to yes its hard harder
    by the day but giving in nah its a fight for our
    rights its a fight for our lives but given in to that
    piece of humanity id rather stay and realy get up
    his nose by winning that benefit this hurts him
    more stay and fight Stephen dont give in jeff3

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