Parliament should have power to force Duncan Smith to resign over WCA deaths | Michael Meacher


It’s good to see Michael Meacher responding to new developments on an issue in which he has played a major part in the past:

The report that in just over 2 years up to  February last year no less than 2,380 disabled claimants died within 2 weeks of being assessed as fit for work and then having their benefit either reduced or stopped altogether, is beyond shocking.

It is arguably the most damning statistic yet of the sheer callousness and brutality of this government towards the most helpless victims in our society.

But there are further profound issues behind this dreadful story.

The most important issues are holding to account those who are responsible for this utter tragedy and even more important still, the power to stop this lethal policy in its tracks.

On both there is at present a vacuum.

We’re all working on it, though!

The DWP’s response to my FoI request shows three things very clearly:

Firstly, that the DWP is very bad at responding to FoI requests – in terms of both timing and content. The response is deliberately written to make it as opaque as possible and this reflects poorly on both the department and its ministers.

Secondly, that despite the poor quality of the report, it is clear that the work capability assessment is not fit for purpose and the misallocation of people with long term illnesses – either into the work-related activity group or into the jobs market, classified ‘fit for work’ – has certainly led to needless deaths. Iain Duncan Smith said as much last week but it should not save him. Evidence that this was the case has been available since December 2011, when the number of deaths of people on ESA tripled – yes, tripled – in comparison with the average for the previous 11 months. The DWP and its ministers have been hiding this information from us for nearly four years. In the eyes of the law, that is criminal negligence – corporate manslaughter.

Thirdly, that the principles on which Employment and Support Allowance was designed are causing deaths. When Mrs Mike’s Contributory ESA ran out (she used to be in the work-related activity group), her benefit was cut off with no notification or advice about what to do next. How many others have received the same treatment? Many, it seems, according to the DWP’s statistics which show that the number of ‘unknown’ cases (into which these people are thrown as their NI credits are still paid) has dropped while the proportion of deaths in that group has increased hugely, year on year.

Other conclusions are available, although it could be argued that more evidence is needed.

For now, we need to see the elimination of the work capability assessment and the prosecution of the ministers who hid the facts from us for nearly four years.

Source: Parliament should have power to force Duncan Smith to resign over WCA deaths | Michael Meacher

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14 thoughts on “Parliament should have power to force Duncan Smith to resign over WCA deaths | Michael Meacher

  1. Nick

    Michael Meacher is spot on and not only should should IDS and his team resign they should be prosecuted in the high court for all of the deaths in which they have been negligent and that i myself be called before a judge to give my account of how i have manged to stay alive with my own personal dealings with the DWP over many years in that today through years of stress they have left me looking like prisoner of war a skeleton

    That’s my wish and i know that is the wish of the vast majority of the sick and disabled who are still alive today

  2. Joanna

    A little less known fact I have found out is the Moron can’t even ask IDS to leave, IDS has nothing on DC, only that it’s because IDS was once leader of the party, it automatically covers him in teflon. All dc can do is ask him if he will consider moving departments, I don’t even know if dc, has the power to sack him, even if he wanted to, which he doesn’t!!!

    I might have all this wrong Mike and I have no idea how I discovered this info.

    1. Florence

      IDS was not only leader, he was also a party whip. They keep the little black books of MPs foibles, and their misdemeanors, and the whips are the fix-it & cover-up go-to guys. So IDS does have a great deal of dirt on most in the Tory party.

  3. Jackie Cairns

    I don’t think he should have the right to resign. he should be sacked with immediate effect. Why should he resign and still get all the perks? the people he murdered didn’t get a choice. So why should he?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I think he should be prosecuted, along with a rather long line of ministerial flunkies and advisors including the one who’s just been elevated to the Lords.

  4. chriskitcher

    No Mike, Parliament, on a non partisan basis, should have the power to try Idiot Duncan-Smith for crimes against humanity. Preferably before the UK is humiliated by the UN for this callous b*****d’s actions.

  5. mrmarcpc

    They won’t make him resign because he is doing a good job, he is doing exactly what the tories want him to be doing so there’s no way in hell they’re going to sack him, plus he’ll know where the bodies are buried too, that’s another reason they won’t fire him, they do and he’ll spill his guts to the press about what the tories are really thinking so remain he will. The only way he’ll be booted out of his job was if public unrest got so bad and there was a massive protest about him and I mean massive, then they would take notice, heed what the public are saying and then sack him, other than that, he’s going nowhere, unless the UN or the EU step in and do something about him and the tories!

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