When you see news about US torture, remember this – Skwawkbox blog

The news at the moment is full of the ‘revelation’ that the ‘enhanced (or coercive) interrogation’ techniques used by the CIA on so-called ‘enemy combatants’ amounted to torture, writes Steve Walker in his Skwawkbox blog.

These techniques, including waterboarding, extreme sleep-deprivation and forcing people into contorted ‘stress positions’ for hours on end, were devised by a US psychologist who has been called a ‘torture guru’.

When you see these reports, remember this: psychologically-coercive techniques devised by this same individual and his team have been forced upon British benefit claimants at the behest of David Cameron’s ‘Nudge Unit’, via a bogus ‘psychometric test’ that they had to take or else lose their benefits.

Yes indeed – the Nudge unit. Skwawkbox goes on to detail a relatively new use of its techniques, and you are urged to give it a visit for that reason alone, but mention of the nudge unit at this time gives rise to another consideration.

Vox Political has been running a series of articles recently, on the apparent use of persuasion techniques that lead ESA claimants who are disabled or suffering with long-term illnesses to consider committing suicide during stressful ‘work capability assessment’ interviews.

It doesn’t take a wild imagination to put that together with this and suggest that the DWP may be employing ‘nudge’ unit techniques to make people end their own lives, while they are particularly suggestible.

Now that would be an utterly unethical way to behave!

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  1. bevchat December 9, 2014 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Fascism rising up rapidly and taking this country backwards into Dickensian times where those who couldnt work, or were too poor,or disabled would be sent to the Workhouse…and stripped of all human dignity forced to work and live under horrific conditions… Whilst the ruling classes and the elitist raked in profits..and lived luxurious lifestyles…whilst the poor starved to death…

  2. joanna may December 10, 2014 at 12:41 am - Reply

    why aren’t people, forced onto these schemes speaking out? So far I have heard nothing from the most important witnesses to all of this!!!

    • Mike Sivier December 10, 2014 at 11:35 am - Reply

      They don’t know they’re being used in this way.

  3. wildswimmerpete December 10, 2014 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Bear in mind the Camoron’s “Nudge Unit” has been………..wait for it……………PRIVATISED!! You couldn’t make it up :-(

  4. Wren December 10, 2014 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    As your a Labour candidate Mike, or were. How do you see labour dealing with the benefits issue?

    • Mike Sivier December 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm - Reply

      Which benefits issue would that be? There are many.

      • Wren December 12, 2014 at 9:18 am - Reply

        The whole issue of unjust benefit cuts.

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