Date set for tribunal hearing over benefit-related deaths


An appeal by the Department for Work and Pensions, against being forced to reveal the exact number of people who have died while claiming social security benefits, will be heard by a tribunal in November – if it gets that far.

The DWP appealed to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) on May 28, after the Information Commissioner ruled that it should honour a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by Vox Political writer Mike Sivier. The request demanded the exact number of deaths of people claiming Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance between November 2011 and May 2014.

The Department, currently run by the Conservative Government, initially claimed that the information was due to be published at an unspecified date in the future – but it was later revealed that the facts would be fudged into ‘Age-Standardised Mortality Rates’, presenting the deaths as a ratio compared with the population as a whole. So the initial claim was a lie and the plan was not to provide the information at all.

According to the government, these fudged figures are being rushed into publication on August 27, so we will all be able to see whether they are any use, in good time before any hearing takes place.

The Information Tribunal has now set down the date on which it will hear evidence. This will happen on November 10, at a location in central London. Make a note of it in your diary if you are interested in attending.

A new development from the DWP, as part of the appeal, is an attempt to persuade the tribunal to use its ‘steps discretion’ if it rules against the government department.

The law allows the tribunal to dictate any steps necessary to honour a FoI request – and the DWP is asking for a ruling that, even if it is found to be breaking the law by refusing to publish the requested information, no steps should be taken to provide it.

The Conservative Government debases itself by falling to such depths. Not only that, but the attempt is likely to fail; the ‘steps discretion’ is only used in extraordinary circumstances and there are none in this case.

Furthermore, the tactic may become irrelevant if This Writer is successful in his bid for the Tribunal to strike out the case as an abuse of process. My claim is that the law is clearly against the DWP – it has a less-than-50-per-cent chance of success – so the appeal is a waste of the Tribunal’s time.

If the Tribunal agrees, then the DWP’s appeal will be cancelled and the Department will be ordered to provide the information immediately.

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  1. Lorfarius August 19, 2015 at 11:24 am - Reply

    At last! Some proper answers. Good luck :)

    • JohnDee August 19, 2015 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      Lorfarius – this story has a long history and I believe you are being overly optimistic if you think ‘proper answers’ have been secured, just yet.

      I wish I had as much faith as Mike that the figures offered will be the TRUTH – if they are as damning as I suspect them to be.

      Nonetheless, I add my heartfelt wishes of GOOD LUCK to Mike, and many, many thanks for his tenacity – on behalf of all those UNFORGOTTEN poor souls – hounded to DEATH by the evil Gentleman Ranker (RTU), may he never RIP.

  2. diddiboom August 19, 2015 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Why are they wasting all our money contesting this. Everyone knows they’re a bunch of s**ts.

  3. marcusdemowbray August 19, 2015 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Good luck Mike, keep at it.

  4. Joan Edington August 19, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

    I love that bit of the government quote, “figures are being rushed into publication”. I hate to think what they would consider a delay.

    • Mike Sivier August 19, 2015 at 11:43 am - Reply

      I’m saying they’re being rushed into publication – because they know they’ve got a Tribunal hearing coming up.
      I do appreciate what you’re saying about the length of time since the last statistical release, though.

    • Dez Chandler August 19, 2015 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      The Chilcott tortoise enquiry is what I would describe as a delay

  5. quinnybuzz August 19, 2015 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Keep it up Sivvy great blog. That noose is getting tighter around gentlemen ranker’s neck

  6. Tony Dean August 19, 2015 at 11:50 am - Reply

    If the data is not in the format X/1000/annum It will have been doctored.

    • Mike Sivier August 19, 2015 at 11:51 am - Reply

      No – if it IS in that format, it will have been doctored.

      • Tony Dean August 19, 2015 at 12:21 pm - Reply

        I can’t see why, that is the format that has been usual in the past there is nothing wrong with it because it make for easy comparison and shows anomalies easily.

        • Mike Sivier August 19, 2015 at 9:03 pm - Reply

          Not true – we had straightforward numbers of deaths previously.
          Perhaps you are thinking of figures relating to other deaths – due to cancer, maybe? Or just the UK death rate?

      • Tony Dean August 20, 2015 at 7:44 am - Reply

        Mike in the past the DWP has published off flows due to death in numbers but also in the format X/1000/annum.
        The last data the DWP published for off flows due to death from Incapacity Benefit was 68/1000/annum.
        That format makes comparisons between groups of people easy to see.
        Which is why I suspect the DWP stopped publishing what were routinely published data.
        The off flows due to death data for those parked on mandatory reconsideration and the data for those who die between an appeal and a tribunal date when put into that format has I suspect frightened the DWP which is why they have been stalling.
        I suspect based on other experience of people in fragile health being stressed, the off flows for both of those could be 100/1000/annum.

        • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 11:41 am - Reply

          Yes, very interesting, but meaningless to the general public unless we know how many thousands of people were claiming per year.
          People want to know how many deaths have taken place for a very good reason – they want to know how serious the damage is, that the government has inflicted on the population.

    • Kevin Hall August 20, 2015 at 1:17 pm - Reply


      Tony is right. ASMR data is not meaningless, far from it. Nor is it doctored. By all means push for the absolute death figures, but trying to claim ASMR data is fiddled is misguided to say the least.

      If anything ASMR data will be even more damning.


  7. Tina Mad Wolfie Iveson August 19, 2015 at 11:50 am - Reply

    they still gonna bulls**t the figures publish now not at that date any excuse tories should be held accountable and punished for wot they have and are doing no matter wot

    • Msw3681 sw August 19, 2015 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      Tina, it is, ‘They are still going to bulls**t the figures and publish now, not at that date. Any excuse not to. The Tories should be held accountable and punished for what they have done and are doing. No matter what!’

    • Phillip August 22, 2015 at 7:47 am - Reply

      The government should be punished as the withdrawal of benefits from the sick and disabled is tantamount to genocide of the sick and diabaled. if this was committed during a period of war would it not be considered a war crime to withhold medical care to the sick and disabled?

  8. moondancer August 19, 2015 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Ohh thumb screws at dawn… its not like they haven’t had the time to do this on their own is it?! Good Luck, lets hope there’s no more loop holes for IDS to climb through, yet again.

  9. Jeffery Davies August 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Hum the truth the whole truth but nothing but the truth yep
    dont hold your breath they doctor it water it down if they have to but to give those figures out it be worst that that summer of forty one figures well past those but then when does rtu ids ever tell the truth when his mouth is shut jeff3

  10. Kanu See August 19, 2015 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Mike – you’re a true trooper and a saint for sticking at this… and very skillful at spotting the DWP’s attempts to cover up the results of their so called “policies”. Thank you !

  11. janxhamilton August 19, 2015 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Another brilliant but damning article re the shennagins by IDS/DWP to stop these figures being published .. one has to continually wonder why they are spending so much of the taxpayers’ money in preventing these figures being released.
    We can only assume they are so horrific that it will call into question the ability of the inhuman IDS to continue doing his job. As it is, he should be sacked and prosecuted for crimes against the chronically sick and disabled .. this publication will hopefully seal his fate.

  12. steve 1953 August 19, 2015 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Great work you are doing Mike

  13. lisers123 August 19, 2015 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    I wouldn’t believe a word this government said ever again

  14. Gary Burley August 19, 2015 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    if they weren’t guilty or had nothing to hide, the Tories and the DWP wouldn’t be behaving like this. one interesting fact comes from their decision to hide the truth and the Tories rallying around to scupper the reveal; it means there is not only a genocidal aspect to this but that they know that to be sanctioned will kill by proxy and yet still go ahead, showing that they are knowing and willing murderers

  15. Mr.Angry August 19, 2015 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Mike appreciate your concerted efforts, truly hope the truth comes out, they can’t keep hiding the truth. More and more of us are so anxious to see the effects of their murderous regime.

    I wish you every luck in the world

  16. Roger Barton August 19, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your diligent and persistent work – its admirable!

  17. Michael Broadhurst August 19, 2015 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    they’re going to get some **** when they come up here,in Manchester for the Tory
    party conference anyhow !!
    reckon the police will have to do their dirty work for them,while all the time this government is stabbing them in the back by cutting their jobs.
    its about time they woke up,and refused to do that sort of job,protecting this bunch of
    fascist murderers.

  18. Nicholas August 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    How would I go about attending this hearing?

    • Mike Sivier August 19, 2015 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Just turn up – people arrived unheralded at my previous tribunal hearing and were welcome to hear the proceedings.

  19. John McArdle August 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm - Reply


  20. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady August 19, 2015 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    The point is even if they do release the Age Standardised Mortality Rates, it matters not a jot because that is NOT what Mike has asked for so ner ner ner ner ner DWP!

  21. Ian August 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    We know what politicians say when we object to them knowing all our private business: nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

    They need to take a leaf out of their own book.

  22. robert elsy August 19, 2015 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Why have the freedom of information act
    if the government wants to hush it up.
    Being an ex miner and disabled the torys
    have done enough damage to the country
    it’s time they came clean.

    • Florence August 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      They are currently hatching plans to alter the FoI Act so that they won’t ever have to go though this again They want any Minister to be able to decline to answer an FoI request, without having to state any reasons why.

      • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 4:12 pm - Reply

        I wasn’t aware of this! I’d heard about the ‘thinking time’ play by Michael Gove… Where can I find out more?

      • Florence August 20, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

        I have been reading voraciously recently, but I’ll check my history. My regular reads are the Grauniad, ilegal, etc. I’l do a check. There was something in the Con manifesto, that was one of the usual sneaking under the radar type things too. As I say, will dig around.

        • Mike Sivier August 25, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

          Despicable, isn’t it?
          Irrelevant to my case, though.

  23. irene sepion August 19, 2015 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Good work – how can they possibly admit that their policies cause heartache and death? Hence the weaving and scheming of their stats.

  24. Mike Porter August 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    I think the Government is aware the figures are shocking, hence trying not to publish them, BUT, by being so bloody devious, if they are as bad as we think, then Ian Duncan Smith MUST resign, also, his advisory civil servants that hide in the background. This amounts to serious misconduct. NO GOLDEN HANDSHAKES SHOULD BE ALLOWED. THIS IS ABUSE OF THEIR POSITION.

  25. hilary772013 August 19, 2015 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Good Luck! Mike and many many thanks from all of us xx

  26. MAUNDER August 19, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Mike Sivier. – I voted Conservative last May, and I’m not in any way a Tory. What else was on offer was a bad joke, unless my vote was Green or UKIP as a protest. The vote system has to change. – D.W.P. with I.D.S., plus the hidden support for T.T.I.P. by this Government, and the facts being kept from us, with every intension of being massaged, is not what I voted for. The Benefit related Deaths, should have an end stop in Court, of a form of Corporate Manslaughter, especially since the first duty of Government is the safety of the Nation’s people ! – Go to it Mike. You have my support.

    • Tom James August 20, 2015 at 7:07 am - Reply

      So you think the electoral system has to change but you voted for the party that only wants to change it to improve their chances of getting elected. You now add your ‘backing’ to this campaign when you could have voted Green or even UKIP to show your dislike of the Tories! You’re as deluded as IDS if you think anyone is going to be fooled!

  27. Kevin Hall August 19, 2015 at 6:37 pm - Reply


    This Government lies through its teeth and is certainly not to be trusted with welfare issues. Even so I can understand why they want to present ASMR rather than the number of people who die while living on benefits. The number of deaths would be a misleading figure. It would include people who statistically would have died anyway. Unless I’ve misunderstood your objections to ASMR figures of course. ASMR would show how much more likely you are to die when on benefits.That would be just as damning of their policies.

    If campaigners latch onto the unadjusted absolute deaths figure they will lose credibility.


    • Mike Sivier August 19, 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      I think you’re making a mistake here. It seems entirely likely that people who, statistically, would have died anyway were made to die before their time – due to DWP harassment. The ASMRs, it seems to me, are intended to be misleading, partly for this very reason.
      We had unadjusted death figures before, and there was a large amount of discussion about whether deaths in certain groups should be used. Everyone agreed that nobody in the Work-Related Activity Group should have died, because this was the group in which people were expected to be well enough to work within a year. It was also argued that those who had appealed against a “fit for work” decision and died should not have done so – for the very reason that the DWP had ruled they were fit. Yes, there may have been instances in either group where something extraordinary happened to a person – would that be picked up in a ratio per 100,000? I don’t see how it could.
      The support group was the thorny subject. At first it wasn’t included as people in this group include those who are not expected to get better. However, it emerged that the DWP was even harassing these people, with the constant threat of reappraisal among other things, and so the decision was made to include these people because there is no way of knowing that any of them were not subjected to this intolerable cruelty.
      How do ASMRs adjust for DWP policy? If you can tell me that, you might be on the way to convincing me.

      • Tony Dean August 19, 2015 at 9:05 pm - Reply

        “Everyone agreed that nobody in the Work-Related Activity Group should have died, because this was the group in which people were expected to be well enough to work within a year. ”

        Really Mike? At the very least they should die at the same rate as the general working age population, 2.9/1000/annum.
        As it is the last dataset from the DWP for ESA WRAG worked out 60/1000/annum using the DWPs own numbers.

        • Mike Sivier August 28, 2015 at 2:07 pm - Reply

          You raise a good point that some deaths were likely to have occurred.
          But the overarching point remains: It should not have been as many as it was.

      • Kevin Hall August 20, 2015 at 8:37 am - Reply

        Mike, with great respect if you don’t normalise the data you cannot possibly see the effect of DWP policy in this. The total number of people who die while being harrassed by the DWP would be interesting but have zero relevance in a campaign, other than being a headline figure easily exposed as meaningless. You cannot use it to show that it was DWP harrassment that caused the death. However if the ASMR figures show that there is a higher than expected death rate in such people then you have a smoking gun.

        I’m with you in your aims, believe me. But you have to use evidence properly. Forcing the DWP to divulge the total number will be a FOI victory, but it won’t help much in proving DWP sanctioning policy is the cause.

        • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

          Of course you can see the effect of DWP policy, if the number of deaths increases noticeably.
          What I don’t understand is how you don’t accept that ‘normalising’ this data is tampering with it. An ASMR is a relative figure – a statistician’s toy. It says nothing about what is actually happening to real people.
          We have people dying, in a group where they are supposed to get better – doesn’t that tell you anything? If not, why not? The problem is with you.
          Yes, you have to use evidence properly. But ASMRs aren’t any kind of proper evidence.

      • Kevin Hall August 20, 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply


        Then I’m afraid you don’t understand statistical analysis. Normalising data is not tampering with it. It’s a way of comparing things on a like for like basis. In this case it would tell you how much more likely you are to die when being harrassed by the DWP. If you don’t see that’s important then you are wasting you’re time.

        I understand why you have focussed on obtaining the total number, and that getting that number released is important. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. You have to have a population not on benefits to compare with to see how much higher death rates are for people on benefits. They almost certainly will be much higher. ASMR figures will tell you this.

        Your blog says the number of deaths as a proportion of the population are misleading when in fact that is not the case. You know the population so it’s fairly easy to work out the actual number of deaths from that ratio. Comparing by age group is also important because death rates increase with age, so a higher number of younger people dying is hugely significant. The total number will not show this, the ASMR data will.


        • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 1:18 pm - Reply

          Don’t YOU see that a ratio of deaths per 1,000 (or whatever) is not telling the public what they need to know – because it won’t say anything about the true scale of the deaths?
          Your ASMRs are the figures that won’t tell the whole story. It’s clear from the fact that the DWP wants to put them out, rather than the actual number of deaths, that they won’t tell the whole story.
          This is not about comparing death rates between those on benefits and those who aren’t. It’s about the fact that people are dying when they should be safe.
          People want to know how many people have died. They don’t want to know how many died per thousand population. That’s just a statistician’s toy, as I wrote before.
          I wonder why you are continuing to push this skewed point of view on the rest of us.

      • Kevin Hall August 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply


        Death rates are ALWAYS expressed in terms of deaths per thousand. Always. The total number is meaningless for comparison purposes.

        Say hospital A has 10 deaths for a given procedure per year and hospital B has 5 deaths. On the face of it you would choose hospital B. But what if hospital A treats four times as many patients as B? The death rate for A is 10 per 1000 and for B is 20 per 1000. So B is actually worse. That’s why death rate is so important, not absolute numbers.

        If you can’t work out the actual number of deaths if given the number of deaths per 1000 population then I’m afraid you might need a new calculator.

        • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

          I see your problem now.
          The request was never for death rates – that was never what was wanted from the DWP. It was always the number of actual deaths.
          Death rates can be skewed, you see. Suppose you have a certain rate one year, among ESA claimants. Next year the number of claimants increases. The rate goes down – but the number of deaths may have increased – and the DWP has managed to hide the fact that its policies are killing more people.
          Remember also, that there is no choice here. The DWP is a monopoly. So your example is false.
          Also, you know and I know that the rate is for a 10-year period in which the number of claimants fluctuates considerably. Your thinking is simplistic.
          Think again.

      • Tony Dean August 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm - Reply

        Mike I am sorry but you really do not understand it is the comparison between the general death rate of the working age population of 2.9/1000/annum with off flows due to death of other benefits that leap off of the page when the public sees them.
        68/1000/annum for Incapacity benefit claimants is to be expected as is 60/1000/annum for the ESA Support Group.
        It all goes pear shaped for the DWP and Iain Duncan Smith when the ESA WRAG group also has a death rate of 60/1000/annum.
        It also goes VERY pear shaped if my own data mining of the death rate for those who appeal and die before a tribunal date is close to 100/1000/annum.
        The death rate for those on ESA WRAG who have been sanctioned as the DWP has deliberately been targeting mentally ill and mentally handicapped is I suspect a lot more than 100/1000/annum.
        The DWP have also upped their sanctions targeting recently.

        • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm - Reply

          Even one death is too many, Tony.
          How many people did Harold Shipman kill with HIS policies? 150-200? He was a mass murderer.
          As I’ve made clear, death rates can be gamed. The actual number of deaths can’t.

      • Kevin Hall August 20, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

        The figures cover a 10 year period, but unless they are average rates over that period, which would be scandalous as well as meaningless, then death rates are not being fudged. We should see death rates for each year of the period covered. If we don’t then press the DWP hard for more detail.

        You say I have a problem, but you are obsessed with the idea that death rates are being fudged. How exactly are they being skewed? How are real deaths being hidden? They are in the death rate stats, just multiply by the population size. It isn’t difficult.

        What if the number of deaths remains the same but the number of claimants reduces? By your preferred measure the situation has not changed. Death rates would show that it had in fact got much worse.

        The only thing that can be gamed is the start and end date. This is the usual government technique: pick a date range that makes them look good.

        • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm - Reply

          But which population size?
          ESA claimant numbers change day-to-day, so you’re wrong – it IS difficult.
          Re: Your ‘what if?’ – I shall be very surprised indeed if the DWP produces any figures that reflect badly upon it or the Tory Party’s policies, but we’ve only got a week to wait.
          You’re wrong about what can be gamed, though – as I’ve demonstrated.

      • JohnDee August 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm - Reply

        Surely the DWP could supply the ACTUAL number of deaths and then qualify the figure by saying “But in a normal population of this number of people we would expect X number to die anyway – which we might expect to be higher by X amount because X number were ill.” Or something similar.

        Any way, the issue is moot because:

        a) Mike’s FOI asked for the number of deaths
        b) The DWP released the ACTUAL number of deaths in the previous report
        c) So the two figures can be compared like-for-like, side-by -side
        d) Any deviation from like-for-like comparison then it’s obvious the DWP are trying to spin the figures
        e) The last set of figures left out Christmas – the ‘suicide season’ – signs of previous obfuscation?

      • JohnDee August 20, 2015 at 4:20 pm - Reply

        Oh – and:
        f) We can do our own ASMR calculations anyway, once we know ALL the relevant figures
        g) Sure, and bears might sh*t in the toilet or the Pope become a rabbi!

      • Kevin Hall August 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply


        For the nth time, death rates are the best measure. If death rates of claimants are going up, the DWP is killing more people relative to the current number of claimants. It is the only consistent measure you can make comparisons with over time. If you can’t see that then you risk making a fool of yourself in court. By all means press for the absolute numbers to be released, but please don’t make claims that death rates are skewed which simply won’t stand up. It will weaken your case. I urge you not to.

        You haven’t demonstrated the numbers can be skewed. You have only asserted they can be skewed and ignored the reasoned arguments put to you against that idea.

        • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 5:37 pm - Reply

          For crying out loud!
          Look at what you’ve just written: “If death rates… are going up, the DWP is killing more people RELATIVE TO THE CURRENT NUMBER OF CLAIMANTS.”
          We DON’T CARE about RELATIVE numbers!
          We care about the ACTUAL number of people who have died.
          That’s the heart of the matter – the fact that people are dying and the DWP – and yourself – are turning it into a statistical exercise. That in itself is sickening.
          I won’t be making a fool of myself anywhere – although I think you’re doing yourself a lot of damage here.
          Yes, the death rates will be skewed – that’s the entire point of the DWP releasing them in the manner it has chosen, and taking so long about it. I have explained how. You are choosing not to pay attention.
          You have no reasoned arguments, either.

  28. Sandra Forrester August 19, 2015 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Obviously austerity has not reached government departments or they would not have the money to waste on frivolous appeals like this. Perhaps we should hold them accountable for how they utilise their departments budget, hospital wards are having their budgets cut and if the DWP can afford to spend money on a tribunal to fight statistics that they should have published anyway, then their budget is way too big.

  29. Barry Appleby August 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Now we need to know how many peopel have died because of the gross mismanagement of NHS hospitals by the grossly overpaid managers.

  30. marie August 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    IDS The universal idiot should be tried for corporate manslaughter!

  31. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) August 19, 2015 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you for all your endeavours Mike. With your perseverance we should be able to get the DWP’s request denied. The DWP want one rule for themselves and another for the very people they are supposed to serve.

  32. amnesiaclinic August 19, 2015 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    Excellent – and well done!!

    You have handled this really well, Mike.

    Now, what is going to happen on 27th August to detract and bury this???

    • Mike Sivier August 28, 2015 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      Release of immigration figures.
      Announcement of new Tory peerages.
      Any number of ‘off-diary’ stories.

  33. AL August 19, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Has anyone asked what these tribunals have and are costing the tax payer? Presumably the Govt must think it is money well spent to continue to keep us in the dark re; the number of deaths?

    If erroniously judging and hounding people is proven not to have contributed to a significant number of early deaths, I doubt folks will believe the figures. What possible reason would the govt have had to hide the lack of harm done for so long?

    Too many of us know the damage the WCA has done in destoying aready fragile lives. How many people are there who whilst they have not actually died are also no longer really living since experiencing the abuse of the WCA and its aftermath in their lives?

    Your tenacity in pursuing this matter is an inspiration Mike.

  34. Mike p August 20, 2015 at 5:43 am - Reply

    Why has no one taken IDS to court over corporate manslaughter?

    • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 11:42 am - Reply

      We need the evidence.

      • William G. Hampson August 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm - Reply

        I,obviously, don’t know the average age of the commentators, to this situation,but, as the 27th is my 69th birthday I can tell you all now that the Tories and the Labour{old/new} Governments ALL lie. They ALL bend stats to suit the situation. As for taking IDS for Corporate manslaughter. Grow UP. As for changing the voting system where were you all in 2011?? “They” don’t want a change. There has only been one Government since 1945 that had a “democratic” majority.
        The 1945 Labour. What happened, they got kicked out in 50/51.For your edification, the day after my birthday I am attending a Benefits Tribunal,because my local Labour council has curtailed my HB&CT benefit. The reason? The council Bureaucratic Buffoons of Tameside/Gt Manchester cannot do basic arithmetic. This has been going on for 10 months, 3600+ pounds owing. Pick the bones out of that lot,and have a good DWYL

        • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 3:02 pm - Reply

          With the greatest respect, I hope to be able to prove you mistaken on or after November 10.
          By the way, please don’t blame your council for having to enforce central government policy on Housing Benefit and Council Tax.

  35. mrmarcpc August 20, 2015 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    They’ll try to wriggle out of this the best way that they can, they shouldn’t, got to keep the pressure on them so they don’t get out of facing the music that they sorely need to!

  36. Kevin Hall August 20, 2015 at 2:40 pm - Reply


    For the avoidance of doubt, I support your campaign 100%. Get the ASMR data analysed when it is released. It will be more damning for the DWP than you seem to think.

  37. mrmarcpc August 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    I too am right behind you Mike!

  38. JohnDee August 20, 2015 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    The problem is that once the figures are released, any analysis at a later date loses the impact of immediacy on the sheeple.

    They’re then too distracted with the lame-stream news of which celebrity is bonking the other celebrity’s wife.

    Result Torys: 1 People: 0 “Move along, nothing else to see here…”

  39. Nayyar August 20, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Er just a thought. Gavels are not used in English courts. Kinda undermines the whole debate, ay. Been watching too much TV?

    • Mike Sivier August 20, 2015 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      Are you for real?
      We all know that – it’s just an illustrative image.

  40. Maz Talbot August 22, 2015 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Ooohhh – don’t go using “illustrative images”. That’s what the DWP have done and lying through their teeth, again!

    • Mike Sivier August 22, 2015 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      There’s a huge difference between something that is acknowledged as a reference to the courts and the DWP’s outright lies. Don’t get carried away because you’ll only muddy the issues.

  41. Florence August 23, 2015 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Mike you asked for more info on the FoI Act changes proposed, and sorry it’s taken a couple of days, but here goes. I don’t expect this to be put out as a comment, so feel free to remove it.

    It looks like in addition to the “thinking time” being chargeable, and hence taking the costs over the £600 costs, there are proposals to introduce charges for Trinbunal hearings and appeals, which are such a dogs dinner it looks like the appellant could be charged if the other side decides to appeal! Very much in line with current Tribunal charges for other courts, CCC, and rich man’s justice.

    The next change is at the moment wafted in the musings of un-name Tories. These are that the minsters must be allowed to have an absolute veto over anything, and not be able to be challenged, substantially extending the 2011 changes. It looks like (and this is IMHO) very similar to the other trojan horses on Tory legislation that by allowing the ministers certain powers of veto over certain classes of document (2011), they are now free to extend it to cover much, much more. Here are a few quotes & sources.


    “Senior Tories have previously said they are considering strengthening the ministerial veto after the Guardian’s successful 10-year campaign to release Prince Charles’s ‘black spider memos’”

    Discussion of the ministerial veto changes from current to blanket..


    “David Cameron is to try to build up a cross-party consensus with the aim of guaranteeing that ministers will be able to veto the publication of documents under freedom of information requests in exceptional circumstances”.

    “As 27 memos between the Prince of Wales and ministers in the last government are set to be published, Downing Street indicated that legislation might be introduced to guarantee a blanket ministerial veto over publication.”

    “A change in 2011 means that an absolute veto is now in place, covering correspondence from the monarch, the heir to the throne and the second in line – currently the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge. The memos by the Prince of Wales are being published because the Guardian submitted a freedom of information request before the change in 2011.”

    The veto proposed will be for any documents, not just royal family.

    Reported in the FT (paywall) so using the report of the report……

    “Justice Secretary Michael Gove is considering making it easier for government officials to turn down Freedom of Information requests.

    “A move to restrict the information accessible by the public would be a considerable blow to government transparency.

    “According to the Financial Times, Gove is considering introducing more “thinking time” to be made available to officials to calculate how much time, and money, an FOI response will take……………………….

    “Meanwhile, another method being considered to reduce accessibility is to introduce ministerial vetos on the publication of certain documents.

    “Speaking to the FT, Maurice Frankel, director of the UK Campaign for Freedom of Information, said that freedom of information was “coming under a two-pronged attack”.

    (The attack was on the extension of the veto, and the imposition of charges for FoI appeals & challenges)


  42. Mili August 26, 2015 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Tweeted @melissacade68

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