Coalition supporter suggests sanctioned benefit claimant deserved death

This woman was sanctioned because she told work programme providers she was 23 weeks pregnant. Does she deserve to die as a result of that decision?

This woman is not the subject of this article. However, she was sanctioned because she told work programme providers she was 23 weeks pregnant. Does she deserve to die as a result of that decision?

What follows will be shocking to some of you. Outrageous. This writer would find it questionable if it was not.

It relates to yesterday’s (December 16) article, Benefit deaths: Man was crushed to death by refuse lorry while scavenging in bins, and in particular to a response – not from any official source, but from a reader.

The story was about a man who had been sanctioned off of his benefit and had to survive without any money for 17 weeks. He was reduced to scavenging in bins for leftovers or out-of-date food, and it was while he was doing this that a rubbish-compacting lorry arrived, picked him up and crushed him to death.

Here’s the response from one Nicholas Blanch on Google+: “I’m going to ask you why he was sanctioned in the first place, because if it was for something he had no control over then that was Wrong with a capital W, worth wholeheartedly condemning, and the government should bear the full weight of responsibility for the end of this man’s life and the corresponding loss to all of us of whatever this man might have contributed directly or indirectly to our lives.

“If, however, the sanction came about through that man’s actions or lack thereof then the responsibility for his situation and its deadly consequence lies with him.”

Take a moment to let that sink in.

In effect, this person conferred the death sentence on any benefit recipient who has been sanctioned by Job Centre Plus according to current DWP rules. Anything that happens to them as a result – including death – is their fault, in his opinion.

Hopefully the sceptics who refused to believe the Chequebook Euthanasia article – because they couldn’t accept that people think in such ways – are hastily reconsidering their position.

What he’s saying is so appalling that he deserves to be named and shamed on this blog.

Mr Blanch continues: “To draw an analogy, if a person gets into a car crash and dies, you want to know the cause of the accident before you assign the blame over the death. You don’t just assume that the problem was the speed limit and demand that it be lowered to make the road safer.”

Okay, let’s look at some real sanctions that have been applied by Job Centre Plus staff – these are from a Vox Political article but there are many more listed on the web.

“You apply for three jobs one week and three jobs the following Sunday and Monday. Because the job centre week starts on a Tuesday it treats this as applying for six jobs in one week and none the following week. You are sanctioned for 13 weeks for failing to apply for three jobs each week.” Does that justify a man’s death?

“You have a job interview which overruns so you arrive at your job centre appointment nine minutes late. You get sanctioned for a month.” Would this have you reaching for the black cap and calling the executioner?

“Your job centre advisor suggests a job. When you go online to apply it says the job has ‘expired’ so you don’t apply. You are sanctioned for 13 weeks.” The death sentence?

“You are on a workfare placement and your job centre appointment comes round. The job centre tells you to sign on then go to your placement – which you do. The placement reports you for being late and you get sanctioned for three months.” And if you die, is that fine?

You apply for all the jobs you can physically attend, but the Job Centre says you should have applied for those that are impossible to get to and from. Should you die for that omission? Alternatively, should you die for failing to attend any job interviews at the locations it is impossible for you to physically attend?

Mr Blanch gets worse: “Also, if any party wants to influence my vote away from the Coalition [note: he supports the Coalition Government, made up of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties] on the strength of this issue, then I want to know what their alternative plans are to ensure that my tax money goes only to people that are on benefits because that’s where they have to be rather than where they choose to be.”

Seriously, Mr B, do you think anyone would choose to be stuck in a system where an official can sign a warrant for you to starve to death with the stroke of a pen?

“As poor as this policy is, and as grim as the side-effects are, at least this Coalition Government took steps to try to make sure that all of my tax money goes to that majority of people that are in honest need so that there was a chance that the welfare budget might have been enough for them to have a shot at something approaching decency and dignity in their quality of life rather than forcing them to make the choice to eat or to heat due to the fact that some of my money is wasted on those fortunately few but sadly still-present people who have decided that working the system is preferable to working a job.”

This convoluted and confused sentence takes a bit of unravelling.

Firstly: “This Coalition Government took steps to try to make sure that all of my tax money goes to that majority of people that are in honest need.” No it did not. If you’re talking about all of your tax money, what about the huge amount that goes to the City of London – £103.4 billion a year, despite the fact that there is no need for any subsidy at all? What about the millions that go to work capability assessors and work programme companies, despite the fact that they make no material contribution to a claimant’s needs (work capability assessments may be carried out just as efficiently by a claimant’s doctors, and it has been calculated that claimants are statistically more likely to get a job if they do not take part in the work programme than if they do).

“The welfare budget might have been enough for them to have a shot at something approaching decency and dignity in their quality of life.” No, it would not. The Coalition Government’s benefits squeeze is nothing to do with the number of claimants; it is about ensuring that the unemployed cannot enjoy a decent, dignified quality of life. The aim is to make them desperate for any job, in order to keep wages down. Employers can argue that they don’t need to give anyone a raise because “there are hundreds more out there who’ll do this job for less than you”.

“Some of my money is wasted on those fortunately few but sadly still-present people who have decided that working the system is preferable to working a job.” Such people comprise roughly 0.7 per cent of benefit claimants – a figure that has not changed since before the Coalition Government came into office, no matter what measures Iain Duncan Smith has forced on them. It is such a small proportion of the claimant population that any action by the Coalition Government to tackle it is hugely disproportionate to the threat it represents – initiatives to stop the fraud are more harmful than the fraud itself.

All of this information is freely available to anybody with a modicum of curiosity – you only have to go and look.

That is why Nicholas Blanch’s comment is not only shocking and outrageous; it is also disgracefully ignorant.

So no, Mr Blanch, there is no point in seeking to influence your vote away from the Coalition parties.

With attitudes like yours, nobody else would want it.

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57 thoughts on “Coalition supporter suggests sanctioned benefit claimant deserved death

  1. joanna may

    His tax money has a chance of been spent on IDS’s underwear, after all that is one of his expense claims.

    Personally I just think this idiot only wanted to cause a storm, and we are bowing to his wishes and his notorious comments!

    Either way he just shows how much of a conceited idiot he really is, it is a pity we can’t just ignore it!

  2. aussieeh

    He is just one more moronic, brainwashed imbecile that is no more capable of thinking for himself than a dog turd. The poor man who was crushed to death obviously died because he didn’t want to spend any of the thousands of pounds he had amassed while living the high life on benefits. He would sooner go rifling through bins eating stale or other peoples left over, thrown out food, than dip into his amassed fortune. Let us hope that Mr Blanch keeps his tax-paying job and does not finish up on workfare or a zero-hour contract, or disabled. Because then the cretin will be looking for support and if justice prevails he won’t find any. After four years of state-sanctioned murder I’m afraid cretins like Mr Dickhead Blanch have got to me; I am now that effing depressed that this moron is breathing my oxygen and I want to rip his effing throat out.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      For once, I’m leaving the expletives in because this comment pretty much says how I feel about this person, too.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        … and then he posted a comment under the article, apologising for his mistakes. It’s a move that has – rightly, I think – earned him a lot of encouragement from other readers. Hope for the best, eh?

  3. lanzalaco

    in the 21st century humanity has progressed and achieved a lot, but how to prevent twatheads like this from emerging into existence might be one of the most difficult problems to overcome

  4. Neil Shaplin

    Personally, I DO want this guy’s vote. Yes, he’s a heartless, cruel, vindictive and petty-minded idiot, but each vote we take away from this coalition means we’re one vote nearer to getting rid of the monsters who allow things like this to happen – or worse yet, actively arrange matters so that this is the rule rather than the exception.
    Any creature who can look at the list of “reasons” for benefit sanctions and not feel absolute disgust and rage at them doesn’t deserve to be called human, and only barely qualifies for being called a Tory.

  5. leonc1963

    Well said Mike, perhaps we need a bog on ” my tax money” because so many use that term and the way I see it that’s not the case. As soon as that tax leaves your pay it is never yours it is the governments to spend in any way they choose and we no longer have a say and especially under this coalition

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Someone (sorry, I can’t remember who it was) recently took me to task for calling it ‘tax money’ so I know prefer the term they used – ‘public money’.

      1. robinmcburnie

        I think the term ‘Public Money’ or better still “State Funds” to remove this Tax nonsense – it makes people focus on their income tax, when the reality is that it comes from a wide range of tax and other sources.

        I think there should also be a campaign to separate State from Government. I personally find the conflation of the two that has been creeping in over the last 30ish years is a source of a lot of the problems such as the case of sanctions.

        The State (Civil Service, Police, Military, etc) should be operated according to a set of humanitarian standards – and any Government that tries to order any part of the State to breach those standards would be told to go back and think again!

  6. Nicholas Blanch

    Dear Mike, while I might wish that you had responded to my comment in kind, trying to convince me one-to-one rather than simply republishing me across the internet in a full blog post, I accept the power of your evidence, which I was not aware of, not having had a chance to explore your blog much before this evening. I am even grateful to you for your justified scathing response, because I would far rather have my eyes opened and be exposed to the truth than be left to my own ignorance. You may rest assured. if there was ever any doubt in your mind, of the power of your blog to influence people’s minds, it has influenced mine, and while I’m not ready yet to say that I agree with you on all of the issues that you write about that I have looked at so far, because if your post has taught me anything, it is that I have not yet done nearly enough research to open my mouth in a political arena, I am ready to say that my stance on this one was Wrong with a capital ‘W’, and I take full responsibility for that.

    My intent, if you, and anyone else that reads this, will be patient enough to allow me some modicum of explanation for what you rightly view as a travesty of ignorance, was to point out that your infographic did not publish the circumstances that led to the sanctions taken against the victim. I imagined far graver circumstances than those you describe as cause for sanctions. From my understanding, which as you have pointed out, and I must now agree, was pure ignorance, these sanctions were only applied in the worst circumstances such as the victim having been accused of benefit fraud and refusing to cooperate with an investigation. I also intended to point out that your infgraphic seemed to remove from the victim any personal responsibility for his situation and lay the entire situation at the door of government officials and ministers, which at the time I was affronted at because being master of our own choices is one of the most basic rights accorded any human being. Not to have that right is something I equate with slavery, and it offended me to think that you had reduced this man to the status of a slave. It is only after your wake-up call that I can see how it came out in print, which is not at all how it sounded in my mind. As for my commentary supporting the Coalition’s policy in this matter, you are entirely correct to call it ignorant, I myself am shocked to think that I wrote it only 24 hours ago, it seems unconscionable to me in light of just the information you linked directly to in your post, let alone that which you have alluded to which I have not yet had the opportunity to look for.

    The only part of my comment that I would like to stand by is my statement that I am more than happy to pay for those in need to have something that comes close to a decent standard of living. I notice that you chose not to criticise my opinion that the JSA should be at least twice what it is, and I hope I can take that as something that we agree on.

    I’m sure that my commenting here is likely to attract a lot of negative attention, and perhaps you will not even permit it to appear on your page, but I felt that it was worth the time to let you know that you changed my mind, to thank you for doing so, and to ask/encourage you to keep writing this blog to better inform people like me. At the very core, I want this country to be one I can be proud to belong to, one where all people are able to live in circumstances of both decency and justice. I thought that on this issue the Coalition was my best option for this outcome, but as you pointed out, I was disgracefully ignorant, so much so that I am now planning on abstaining in the next general election. In the last one I voted for one of the constituents of the Coaltion (I prefer not to say which one) but perhaps I know too little to cast a vote properly. I intend to follow your writings religiously from now on in the hopes that this will help me to become less so; only you can decide whether that is a good thing or not.

    1. Maria

      If you do not vote, that is worse than voting for a party of the current coalition. Do your research, then vote accordingly – it is your right. If you want a free and equal and decent world then seek the party that does that best. A word of warning – every politician lies, look at their own policies, look at people who criticise them. View all sources biased and unbiased, then vote accordingly. But I will say this nobody deserves a death like that, even if they committed a heinous crime. This man was innocent and vulnerable and did not get the help he needed, when he needed. Like so many people.

    2. Dave Pearce

      Kudos to Nicholas for actually coming here and admitting that he’d been blinded by Westminster and media hype/ propaganda. I would advise him to get as much info as he can from various sources, to ensure he gets balanced data (every source will carry some bias). There are many excellent bloggers out there worth following (even if you don’t follow their particular bent). Politics is a murky swamp that most of us only have a vague idea of – which leads many to just tick a box without thinking too much about. If more people had the time to wade through the mire of manifestos and party history, then I’m sure many would change their voting habits. But it’s just so much easier to just tick a box because the media says every other party is bad – or it’s not worth voting for party A because everyone else is voting for party B .

      Nicholas please do vote next year but look at the option fully – think what would happen if…. and I needed what no longer exists, as well as what would that policy mean for me as things stand.

    3. Evan

      Well done it’s not often that you see such a humble post 🙂 most time people just go on the defensive. You sir should be commended.

      Abstaining however is not a good solution. I would recommend:
      http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/

      Personally I came out nearly 50/50 Green Liberal, but I do not forsee voting liberal again for a while, too many broken promises.

      1. Nicholas Blanch

        Ironically I take this test you recommend and find myself equally split between Conservative, Labour, Green and UKIP (UKIP?!! Really??!! I dislike them…a lot!). Honestly I think that this survey, and my result, illustrates the problem perfectly. No single party has a perfect policy set, and no single party proposes only bad ideas. Often on that test I was forced to choose the set that I least disagreed with rather than the one I most agreed with, and I always wanted to have an option to pick and choose my own policy set from points in all 6 options. Maybe we should cut up the state into small chunks and hold a separate election to see who gets into power in each one. Like multiple mini-governments. A crazy idea, I know, but I want to vote for something I can believe in, not something I disagree least with. Perhaps it’s too much to ask?

      2. Evan

        Well those were 2010 policies, the site will be updated for next year so remember to check again, things may have changed.

        Who knows UKip might even actually have some policies by then lol, not that we’ll be able to trust them because they flip flip every 24hrs anyway.

        I agree totally that no one party has the proper solution but the last 5 years has shown to me that the coalition have broken every single promise that I am aware of that they made prior to the election, UKip have flip flipped their way through the modia, and I have no idea how they are trending above the Greens personally.

        I find that I empathise heavily with the greens,but I cannot get behind their immigration policy (I would never ever Support UKips total seeming hatred of immigrants but I can’t say that i’m for an open door policy either).

        So it will be a choice that MOST meshes with my opinions than the one that fits like a glove, but I cannot stand by with the fountain of lies that is spewing out from the coalition and the MASSIVE damage they have done to our economy and economic recovery.

        I’m not in the position where I just want to vote for someone who isn’t them (even if frankly the only policy that has had any direct effect on me so far is the closure of one of the NHS surgerys in my village (waiting lists have shot up)) – oh and we have a conservative MP.

      3. maria

        They kept one promise only that they were going to sort out people who are on welfare and sort them out they did just not in a reasonable and decent way, they helped them of their benefits alright and into destitution.

    4. lallygag26

      I think you are brave to post on here and it’s extraordinary – and should be welcome – that you have read the evidence and realised what an error you made.

      For those of us who know quite how destructive this government has been, to the civil service, to the NHS, to civil society as a whole, we see nothing but pain and personal tragedy in the death of each sanctioned claimant. The immiseration, the suicides and now this death at worst. And we place the blame squarely on the cruelty of this government’s policies.

      You must also understand that there is now a culture which has been carefully cultivated by this government to encourage the dehumanisation of claimants and the poorer members of society. We tend to focus on sanctions against those currently out of work or unable to work through disability but, of course, there is misery being inflicted on the working poor too. The language used, ‘feckless’, ‘scroungers’, ‘workshy’, ‘scum’, people described as not making any effort when they are on permanent standby on zero hours contracts or working two part time anti social hours jobs on minimum wage – anything to make ends meet.

      I think people should not only be angry but should realise there is real cause to fear what this government has done. People’s rights are being systematically removed, whilst the power of corporations grows. That’s a recipe for a sick society. Government now has legislation written by the same management consultants and accountancy firms who advise the corporate sector on how to buy up our public services and avoid their taxes. Those same consultants act as special advisers to government and head up our public services. All this is done under the mantra of private sector management being better than public sector management. It is nothing short of a corporate takeover of our public policy. And we should worry very much. It is not a question of ‘management’ it is a question of a public sector ethos – in which the life of the individual within society is of paramount importance – being taken over by those for whom the profit motive is the only driver.

    5. Neil Shaplin

      Dear Nicholas.

      I was one of the people lambasting you on this site for your words – words you now admit you wrote from a position of ignorance. To admit that takes guts; a courage we seldom see in this day and age.
      I am writing to congratulate you on this point, and to ask you not to abstain from voting – our votes are our one chance to influence Government on issues such as this, and in my opinion an abstention says to them, “I clearly don’t care enough to have an opinion on this issue, so please continue as you are doing.”
      As you can see from the evidence posted by Mike, we cannot continue to treat the most vulnerable members of our society with the contempt that our coalition Government clearly holds them within. It is not my place to tell you how to vote; we don’t (yet) live in a dictatorship, although the three main parties are now so similar we are creeping close to a single party state, but can I please implore you – read up on your local candidates and get out and vote.
      Again, allow me to say well done for your courage.

      1. Nicholas Blanch

        I appreciate your advice, but it brings me to another dilemma. You will probably be less than pleased to hear that my local candidate is Grant Shapps (featured elsewhere on this blog in a decidedly negative light). The thing is…as a local candidate he is and always has been excellent in my opinion, or at least far superior to his predecessor, Melanie Johnson. I’m not old enough to really remember her predecessor for further comparison. The first big point in his favour is that he actually lives in Welwyn Hatfield,so issues that affect us affect him as well, whereas Melanie was a resident in Cambridge so she could happily fob us off with promises and no action, which she did until we voted her out (a particularly sore point for all of us was a teaching hospital for the university of Hertfordshire campus in Hatfield, which was promised and planned for from the start of her tenure, through the period when she was Health Minister, and the plans for which mysteriously disappeared when we finally said goodbye to her). Beyond that he is very much a point-man for our community’s welfare. He’s been against hospital closure and centralisation in the area (and when I say against, I mean he’s organised demonstrations and personally shown up for hours at a time in all weathers). He’s supported local school improvements, helped to get funding for better-quality preschools and modernised equipment for primaries and secondaries in the area. He campaigned (ultimately unsuccessfully) to allow investment and job-creation in the area in the form of a new Tesco opening in place of a long derelict Shredded Wheat factory on the outskirts of town. He’s raised the profile of the local YMCA, personally helping to fund their ‘Space’ initiative that seeks to work with young people who are excluded from school or struggling but still surviving in the mainstream.

        Now contrast all of what I’ve just told you with Mike’s article on how he threatened legal action against a blog here on the web. That’s a side of Grant that I was not aware of, and it lowers my opinion of him somewhat, but does it outweigh the good he’s doing for our community? At what point should I stop looking at the local scale, where Grant is by far the best choice, and start thinking about the national scale, where it turns out he may not be so great?

        You might answer that what I’ve said is a perfect example of why Proportional Representation is needed post-haste, and I admit that I would agree with you to a large extent. However I am also keeping in mind that the last large scale European example of a proportional representation system was Weimar Germany, and that was how the Nazis got into power. I also have friends who live in Israel, which apparently faces similar problems with its PR system in that minority radical parties hold the swing votes and therefore wield far more clout than they should in the Knesset. What if we went for a PR system and it turns out that the swing vote is held by the BNP, or the English Defence League? Perhaps I overthink, or am excessively paranoid?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        From what you say here, it seems Grant Shapps is playing the game of pitting one part of the country against another, instead of working for the good of the nation (and remember – this Coalition government has always claimed to have been formed in the national interest). So he’s against hospital closures and centralisation in Welwyn Hatfield – what about the many, many A&E closures, planned hospital closures and other reductions of services elsewhere? Is your constituency only safe because he’s the MP? In that case, is your constituency being held to ransom – elect Shapps or we close your services? YMCA uses forced unpaid workers on the workfare scheme, which may have more to do with his support of it than anything else. Scratch the surface and there’s always something interesting underneath.

        You should also consider his dodgy business interests, conducted under pseudonyms. https://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/who-is-the-fool-who-chose-grant-shapps-to-question-bbc-trustworthiness/

        If you want a current large-scale example of proportional representation in Europe, the European Union springs to mind, with all MEPs elected using a version of that system. Among individual countries: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey all operate a form of proportional representation so I am unconvinced by your argument.

    6. Florence

      Dear Nicholas

      I want to join with those who recognise your strength and humility to be able to reply as you have done. It shows you to have humanity that wasn’t apparent in your initial remarks, and it shows that when the facts are shown about the barbarity of the welfare “reforms” to the vulnerable, many if not most people do find it indefensible. This is not a UK the many who voted for the Coalition parties thought would ever happen. It is for many inconceivable, and so block it out, or prefer to believe as you said in your first message that misfortune must be the individuals fault, and they must be guilty of some totally unacceptable behaviour. Even so, no-one should be starving in the UK. Or freezing to death, or commit suicide because they have no way of carrying on living. People are committing crime to be able to get into prison because life to be warm and have food. This is the uncomfortable truth about the UK today.

      Now you have found this blog and the community around it, I hope you do take time to look at past posts and follow through some of the stories. This week there has been a particularly interesting piece by Kitty Jones but there are other sites like Boycott Workfare, or a myriad others such as alittleecon, and beastrabban where there are wider but still approachable analyses provided.

      Most of all, if you can come here to face your criticism so squarely and honestly, can I ask you to take your experience out back into your wider life, and where you hear the same propagandist lines being spouted, gently remind others of the truth which is a lot harder to hear. Even if you can’t change your own vote, someone else may, and then someone else………..every vote can help change this nightmare for millions of your fellows.

      Florence.

    7. robinmcburnie

      A good, full reply from you, Mr Blanch, and a bold one!

      I have seen and so many people pass comments such as the ones you made, without too much thought as to the realities that lie behind the story being commented on. In most cases, simply pointing out those realities, in a gentle way, tends to get most people thinking and they tend to come to understand things from an alternative point of view.

      I would say, if you have done that (and Mike has a new convert!) then good on you!

      If it also encourages you to look further and wider for information and to engage in discussions on blogs such as these, then the entire your original comment / Mike’s response / your response above, has been an excellent example of how a person’s views can be widened and greater understanding spread.

  7. gary burley

    it galls me that somebody this idiotic thinks that a life doesn’t count because he (Blanch) falls for the brainwashing of a gang of parliamentary and media thugs and the new gestapo DWP headquarter staff who callously implement it. i do advocate murder for Ian Duncan Smith, Esther Mcvey, George Osborne and David Cameron. every day these murderous thieves are in power hundreds or thousands more people are being deprived of life and the families are left with the loss and the insults from the DWP, the media and the Tories: the real benefit scroungers and shirkers

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I could never advocate murder.
      Perhaps they should be sentenced to tending the graves of those their policies have killed.

      1. Evan

        You realise that the poor guy has written a post above and retracted 95% of what he said, personally that shows a lot of humbleness and I believe should warrant and edit to your post 🙂

      2. Neil Shaplin

        That WOULD be a form of murder- there are now so many they’d work themselves to death very quickly.

      3. John

        Perhaps a punisment which to them would be worse than death, a life on jobseekers with all the sanctions the dwp gestapo can come up with.

  8. joanna may

    Nicholas, abstaining from voting isn’t the answer. If people abstained instead of voting, may allow this murderous lot back in, that would be a travesty to all the victims. If you want to honour their memory, then educate yourself and then form your own opinions about such issues.

  9. Tony Dean

    Having watched the debates on the bedroom tax and food banks live on BBC Parliament yesterday it soon became obvious that the vast majority of Tory MPs just do not care how many people die as a result of their policies.
    Apart from one national newspaper there thus far appears to be zero reporting about those debates.

    1. Michele Witchy Eve

      Here is the fundamental problem, Tony, as your comment plainly demonstrates – to stand in a public and publicised arena such as a live commons broadcast and defend the poor/disenfranchised would be *professional* suicide and the end of a career. As someone else above alluded in their comment, there seems to be a serious need to separate politics and State.

      1. robinmcburnie

        Absolutely! I believe it was my comment where I pointed out the dangerous conflation of Government (politics) and state.

        I would go further and say that the “special advisers” should be completely banned from having any role in State Operations – although Government may wish to use them to help shape policy. So long as the State can turn round and point out any policies that breach the code that the State would adhere to. In other words, when Governments come up with immoral policies, the State can refer the policy back to Government stating the reasons why it should not be implemented and, in effect, force the Government to behave with humanity and decency.

        Of course that will require strong and bold Leadership from those at the top level of the State – who would ultimately be the ones to deliver the message to the Government of the day!

  10. amnesiaclinic

    At least he has apologised and acknowledged he was wrong and that you have opened his eyes.

    Well done!!

    Agreed – killing is never an option but I think not just tending the graves but that the compensation for the families should come from their pocket!

    x

  11. Pete B

    Perhaps.the Tories,sorry,the ConDems now think that Sanctions should be replaced by the Death Sentence.

    After all,thousands have died has a result of the ConDems attack on the poor.And no,thousands is not hyperbole.Google Callum’s list.If it has not been brought down again.By threat of legal action that the rich like to use.while Grayling is trying to stop the poor getting legal aid.Citizens advice has had its funding cut,so presumably Duncan Smith can off a few more people.

    This should be a national outrage,a disgrace.But most of the media will not report it.We get fed the daily propaganda.

    I hope one day we get a judicial review on all those that think they are obeying orders.Smith and his cohorts should be in the Haige,awaiting trial for crimes against humanity.

  12. wildswimmerpete

    Nicholas, congratulations for posting and being decent enough to stand up admit publically you were wrong. Capital!! However don’t abstain from voting. Vote tactically to help get out the current scumbag government. My constituency is a knife-edge marginal, and the Tories are shovelling money into their campaign to have the current Tory incumbent re-elected next May. Despite the fact I support one of the alternative parties, personally I’ll be voting tactically to help unseat the Tory.

  13. mypipsranout

    Hmmy Nicholas Blanch sounds very curiously like Iain Duncan Smith. I’m guessing ConDem sock puppet.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      In the light of his comment on this article, I am willing to give Mr Blanch the benefit of the doubt. He’s to be judged by his actions, of course (aren’t we all?) but I am entirely unwilling to deny the possibility that anyone can be persuaded by the evidence, as he is saying.
      There is hope here; if one person can be persuaded by the evidence, many can.

  14. Ian Duncan

    Isn’t it weird, the kind of moral slime that thinks it’s safe to come out in the open with such degenerate muck when it has fellow sociopaths in government to legitimise it’s nauseating opinions?

    I strongly believe governments can create an atmosphere, a climate, in a country and I believe this thing is a symptom of that and in better, more decent times, he’d have held his tongue…

    How can it be that a genuine nutter like IDS – and that is what he is, a nutter – how can he assume the right to starve people to death for not obeying orders? The fact that the sanctions are for idiotic reasons is almost incidental; no supposed ‘crime’ should have the penalty of starvation or homelessness. No crime. None.

    Now people might say, ‘why should he just laze about on my money?’ and to an extent I can see the point but starvation, homelessness and death? Really?

    That attitude also doesn’t take into account the variation and individuality of people, some people just aren’t wired up the same way as most of us, some people are just plain unemployable or feckless. That fact that they aren’t the same as these libertarian pr***s and don’t really fit in anywhere is no reason for them to be denied an existence. If it is then who draws the line and where? What if people are condemned for not being able to run a sub 12 seconds 100 metre sprint or cannot remember pi to the 25th decimal place? Remember, there will always be below average people, different people. That doesn’t make them less worthy than anyone else and certainly no less worthy than the moral vermin in the article…

    I know, let’s deny personality disorders and psychopaths the right to move freely amongst decent people to stop them infecting us? Keep them on an island somewhere on subsistence rations?

    How do you like them f***ing apples, mini-Goebbels?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Do you doubt his change of heart?
      Well… Mr Blanch should be aware that, even if he is sincere, he will be doubted. That’s no reason to disappoint those of us who have been encouraged by his about-turn. Hopefully he’ll prove the doubters to be mistaken.

  15. Ian Duncan

    I guess the decent thing would be to give him the benefit of the doubt (in all honesty, I posted without reading the replies), at least one person has changed when given the facts.

    Imagine all the others, fed on a diet of Murdoch, Rothermere and Barclay brothers lies who might change their mind if they knew there was another side to the story? The problem is, maybe, there are a lot of people who both don’t know much except whatever the media spoonfeed them but also don’t know they don’t know so they don’t even know enough to go looking for the alternative view. The people who push credulity to borderline simpleton levels. These people would be shocked f they knew just how much they were despised by the owners and editors at their newspapers of choice

    This is what makes the BBC’s bias so obviously damaging – people believe the BBC is independent and trustworthy so if the BBC don’t broadcast a story then, by extension, it obviously can’t be a real story. So there are people out there now who don’t think NHS privatisation is a thing because the BBC doesn’t mention it (literally in the case of the Manchester demo a while back. No mention of 60,000 people protesting despite it being right outside the Tory party conference…). Also the same deal with the Atos deaths; it’s not on the Ten O’clock News so it must not be really happening.

    That’s not to say all of the deluded are open to seeing the truth, any look at the newspapers’ online comments sections will tell you there are still a great many headcases out there, some just plain psychopaths totally without empathy, some just using the Conservatives’ misplaced status as a mainstream party as a spurious fig leaf for their own selfishness.

    1. Nicholas Blanch

      I’d like to point out, Ian, that the viewpoint you describe may not even be a point of belief in the BBC, but of simple time management. In a day and age where we are all hugely busy people, a lot of people go for the mainstream media because of easy access and the lack of time to go looking for anything else. At the moment I work on an as-needed basis, so I can occasionally afford the time to go trawling the net and other places for additional viewpoints on current events, but I’m looking to get into a profession where we average 60-70 hour working weeks, at that point, I just won’t have time for looking through these blogs, I might not even have time to go for the BBC at that. It’s part of why I’m trying to get into these debates now while I have the time.

      1. Ian Duncan

        Oh yes, people are too busy these days and when they do get time to chill they’re fed rubbish. It’s bread and circuses. That’s why it’s important that when people find time to watch the news or read a paper, their news source is honest and relates what’s happening accurately. The BBC, which we are effectively forced to fund (unnecessarily with modern technology) doesn’t do this.

        My mother, for example, reads the Daily Mail – despite not being right wing in any way – and watches BBC News 24 late after work. She didn’t know about the NHS privatisation, Atos deaths, the DWP sanctions scandals, fracking and a few other things until I told her. She is, by most standards, well informed but only in the things the media choose to inform us about. Surely any responsible media would have properly covered the stories I mentioned?

  16. aussieeh

    I’m with you on this one Mike. Mr Blanch on his own admittance voted for the current fascists now in government. All be it, we were all lied to about everything, and we have had four years of constant lies. Most people over that time have seen and read the evidence of terminally ill patients being sanctioned, for not turning up to do some kind of workfare or interview, or any number of stupid, petty reasons for taking away a family’s support and being sanctioned. I’ve read many stories and blogs of former LibDem/Tory supporters who are totally disgusted by their party and will never vote for them again. So while I applaud Mr Blanch for his courage and doing a 180 on his opinion and publishing it. I would still have to ask, how someone could go through 4 years of all that propaganda and State Sanctioned Murder, because that is what it has been, and still not see it for what it was.
    That person would have to be wearing blinkers with tunnel vision, or be a true blue Tory with the mind of that Idiotic Demented Sociopath, RTU, Duncan Smith. We all know how genuine that murdering SOB is. The only other possibility, Mr Blanch is still a young pup, maybe living in a Tory household, who still hasn’t found his political footing yet. Let us all hope he does, and sees through all the Lies, Corruption, and Theft if not Treason by the current incumbents in both houses of the privileged. So yes please, vote Mr Blanch but not for the likes of the lying sacks of s*** we have now.
    They are not interested in this country or its people, only what they can steal from us.

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