Daily Archives: November 13, 2015

Pig-headed Labour MPs who welcomed ‘killing’ of Isis militant ‘Jihadi John’ should be vilified for it

Yet again, Corbyn is right and his rebellious backbenchers are wrong.

Not only that, but by making a song and dance about it in public they are courting disciplinary action. Corbyn has made it clear that such behaviour is not acceptable.

Austin in particular deserves to be flung into the political wilderness for his arse-headed tweets, which say more about him than his party leader.

Challenged by a fellow Labour member as to why he thinks it is acceptable to fight terror with terror instead of relying on international justice, he responded sarcastically that the other gentleman was “volunteering to round up the posse and head to Syria to arrest the rest of them. Please form an orderly queue.”

After such a vile display, that’s exactly what Ian Austin can do. He and any like-minded friends can form an orderly queue to leave politics for good.

Jeremy Corbyn is facing a backlash from his own Labour MPs after saying it would have been “far better” if the Isis executioner Jihadi John had been tried in court rather than killed by a US drone strike.

Ian Austin and John Woodcock welcomed the news that Mohammed Emwazi was suspected dead after an air strike targeted him on Thursday night and rounded on their leader’s critical response.

Mr Austin took to Twitter to mock Mr Corbyn’s suggestion that Mr Emwazi should have been put on trial, while Mr Woodcock said the suspected killing of the British militant “sends a clear message”.

Mr Woodcock, who chairs the internal Labour party defence committee, also criticised those opposed to Britain bombing Isis targets in Syria – a position held by Mr Corbyn.

Source: Jihadi John ‘dead’: Labour MPs welcome ‘killing’ of Isis militant in backlash over Jeremy Corbyn comments | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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Disabled man died of heart attack after being told of ESA sanction threat


The accusations against DWP are coming thick and fast now. Here’s the latest, courtesy of Disability News Service:

 A disabled man died of a heart attack, just an hour after being told that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was threatening to stop paying his out-of-work disability benefits.

Alan McArdle, who had previously been homeless but was living in council accommodation in Slough with the support of a charity, told the friend who had read the DWP letter to him: “They’ve sanctioned my money,” before he collapsed.

The government contractor responsible for finding him work, the discredited outsourcing giant Maximus, had reported him to DWP for failing to attend appointments intended to move him towards work, as part of the Work Programme, despite being told about his severe ill-health.

Slough’s Labour MP, Fiona Mactaggart, accused DWP of being responsible for her constituent’s death, and told Disability News Service she would raise his case in the House of Commons.

The mitigating words from DWP and Maximus manage to be both pathetic and infuriating at the same time. The DWP spokesperson came out with the current excuse:

“It’s misleading to link a death to someone’s benefit claim.”

Readers of This Blog will know that this replaced the previous excuse, “It is irresponsible to suggest a causal link between the death of an individual and their benefit claim”, after it became plain not only that it is possible to suggest such a link but also that it would be irresponsible not to point it out.

The Maximus line was:

“Participation in the Work Programme is mandatory for people in the WRAG who are in receipt of ESA. We make strenuous efforts to inform participants about their obligations and contact them if they fail to show up for arranged meetings.”

The reason Mr McArdle had been sanctioned was for failing to keep in contact with Maximus. His mobility had become so poor that the organisation had allowed him to do this by phone – this fact alone is enough to raise questions regarding why he was not allowed to join the support group of ESA, where he would not be required to attend meetings and in which he obviously belonged.

He had suffered injuries after a fall that required him to be admitted to hospital, meaning he had been unable to contact Maximus as usual. When Mandy McGuire, project manager of the charity Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC), who had supported McArdle for 16 years, had told Maximus the situation, she said the company’s reply had been a little different:

“He hasn’t come in, so we will get him sanctioned.”

This is a clear example of DWP persecution leading to a claimant’s death. How obvious does it have to be?

He died from the shock of being told his benefits had been cut off while he was in hospital, for crying out loud. He didn’t belong in the work-related activity group at all; his health was so poor, he should not have been subjected to its pressures.

Maximus, the company monitoring his performance on the Work Programme, is also the company responsible for carrying out work capability assessments. It seems clear that Mr McArdle’s assessor was very badly mistaken about his condition.

He was wrongly assessed, put in the wrong group of ESA, and wrongly sanctioned – but both the DWP and Maximus are, incredibly, trying to say it isn’t their fault.

They must be held to account.
Source: Disabled man died of heart attack after being told of ESA sanction threat

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Labour MP says Corbyn critics receiving ‘vile abuse’


Pot, kettle, black?

This Graham Jones character is so far off-message, the best thing he can do is just shut up and think for a while.

Corbyn allies have “taken over” Labour? NO – Tony Blair’s allies took the party over; Corbyn’s supporters have taken it back.

The public has little “appetite” for Corbyn’s welfare, economic and immigration policies? The very policies on which he was elected leader of the Labour Party? Come on!

As for “unpleasant” political backgrounds, perhaps someone should research Mr Jones’s past – he certainly hasn’t distinguished himself in the present!

A Labour MP has claimed those who have defied the party leadership have been subject to “vile abuse and pure bile” from supporters of Jeremy Corbyn.

Graham Jones, the MP for Hyndburn, told the BBC Mr Corbyn’s allies had “taken over” Labour but some of them had “unpleasant” political backgrounds.

He suggested the public had little “appetite” for Mr Corbyn’s policies on welfare, the economy and immigration.

Source: Labour MP says Corbyn critics receiving ‘vile abuse’ – BBC News

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Who cares about ‘Jihadi John’? People here are more afraid of Cameron

Cameron with his 'stern' face on.

Cameron with his ‘stern’ face on. Terrifying.

Responding to a previous post, one Vox Political commenter said they were less scared of ISIS than they were of David Cameron.

It’s a good point. The Conservative Government has certainly killed more UK citizens than Islamic State.

Then, as the commenter said, David Cameron turns up on TV, wearing his ‘stern’ face, and tells us targeting so-called ‘Jihadi John’ was “the right thing to do”.

Why was it right for US forces to attack and kill a British subject?

So Cameron can add him to the list of UK citizens killed on his watch?

US forces have carried out a drone strike in Syria against the Islamic State militant known as “Jihadi John”.

A US military source said there was a “high degree of certainty” he had been killed in Thursday’s attack in Raqqa.

Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British militant, appeared in videos of the beheadings of Western hostages.

UK PM David Cameron said although it was not yet certain whether the strike had been successful, targeting Emwazi was “the right thing to do”.

Source: ‘Jihadi John’: US air strike targets Islamic State militant in Syria – BBC News

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Corbyn activists call for ‘no cuts’ council budget

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with supporters in Brighton in October. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/the Guardian

What do we think of Momentum?

A group of Jeremy Corbyn supporters is to call on a local authority to decline to set a budget complying with the Treasury’s spending cuts.

In a move that could be copied in other constituencies, the Lewisham for Corbyn – Momentum group, a part of the mass movement that grew out of Corbyn’s leadership campaign, agreed to protest against its Labour council’s proposals to close libraries and community centres.

The group is also “initiating and collecting signatures on an official petition across Lewisham for a no cuts budget, trying to collect the necessary 8,000 to trigger a debate in the council”. The group wants to mobilise support also for a lobby of Labour’s local mayor, Sir Steve Bullock, and his cabinet.

The decision is only a local one but other Labour councils could find themselves coming under more pressure from Momentum groups to resist the government’s demands for further deep cuts to public spending as they draw up their budgets for next year.

Source: Corbyn activists call for ‘no cuts’ council budget | Politics | The Guardian

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‘Infighting’ Labour not standing up for low-paid workers, says Unison


Just so there’s no doubt: He means you, Maria Eagle!

He also means you, Simon Danczuk, even though you’re not in the shadow cabinet! It goes for you, Tristram Hunt – and you Mike Gapes. You, Chris Leslie, and you Caroline Flint.

And you, Graham Jones.

UPDATE November 14: And now you, John Woodcock and Ian Austin.

You have all spoken out of turn. Now shape up – or ship out.

Labour must “get its act together” so it can defend low-paid workers who are facing the most concerted attack on their living standards in a generation, the head of the UK’s biggest public service union has said.

Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison, said it was unacceptable that while tens of thousands of teaching assistants, carers and support workers were worrying about how they were going to “put food on the table” because of the government’s austerity programme, members of the shadow cabinet were indulging in infighting.

“Right now, our members – many of them low-paid women – are lying awake at night, wondering whether they will have a job in a few months or fretting about how they are going to feed their children once the tax credit cuts hit,” he said. “Meanwhile, we have a Labour party which does not seem to be focused on standing up for them. Labour cannot afford to degenerate into infighting.”

The warning follows a series of statements and briefings by the party’s MPs, which critics say have been intended to undermine the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. In the latest case, Maria Eagle, speaking on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, backed the head of the armed forces when he voiced opposition to the Labour leader’s position on Trident nuclear weapons.

Source: ‘Infighting’ Labour not standing up for low-paid workers, says Unison | Society | The Guardian

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Who is ‘extreme’, Jeremy Hunt? Striking junior doctors… or YOU?

Jeremy Hunt has absolutely no right to complain about “extreme” or “unwarranted” action by anybody else.

Let us remember that he is prepared to negotiate on only one of 23 points in his planned new pay scheme for junior doctors – a plan that he intends to impose, rather than trying to reach agreement with those whose remuneration and working conditions he intends to degrade.

Yes, strike action in the NHS is unwelcome, but the only reason this is happening is the intractability of the Secretary of State for Health.

If you – or anybody you know – feel the need to blame anybody for this, blame the right man.

Blame Jeremy Hunt.

Jeremy Hunt has condemned what he described as “extreme action” after the British Medical Association (BMA) said junior doctors would take strike action on three days in December.

The health secretary is gearing up for a fierce battle with the profession, despite NHS bosses and leaders of the medical profession warning him that a protracted dispute will seriously disrupt services just when they are under the most pressure.

The BMA said junior doctors would walk out on 1, 8 and 16 December over a new contract Hunt is threatening to impose on them if, as expected, their ongoing ballot approves industrial action.

“Threatening extreme action is totally unwarranted and will harm vulnerable patients. Refusing to talk to a government that wants to improve weekend care for patients and reduce doctors’ hours can only damage the NHS,” said Hunt on Thursday.

Source: Hunt condemns junior doctors’ ‘extreme’ three-day strike proposal | Society | The Guardian

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Deaths caused by the DWP: Will this be the fourth CONFIRMED case?

[Picture: Skwawkbox blog]

[Picture: Skwawkbox blog]


A Vox Political commenter is currently awaiting confirmation from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman that her brother’s suicide was due to DWP benefit cuts.

Linda Cooksey wrote: “My brother Tim Salter committed suicide on 25th September 2013.

“The coroner’s report stated, ‘Mr Salter … had hanged himself. He had problems with his mental health and was partially sighted.

“‘A major factor in his death was that his state benefits had been greatly reduced leaving him almost destitute and with threatened repossession of his home’. [Bolding mine]

“Tim had just over £50 in money and no food in the house when I found him on that Wednesday lunchtime!”

The DWP’s current mealy-mouthed excuse for these deaths is as follows: “Suicide is a tragic and complex issue and there are often many reasons why someone takes their life, so to link it to one event is misleading.”

Do you believe that? Should anyone?

Right-thinking people must judge this government department’s behaviour on the evidence available. It seems clear that the removal of benefits from a person who quite clearly deserved them – according to Her Majesty’s Coroner – was the most significant element leading to his death.

This could be the fourth confirmed case of DWP ill-treatment leading to the death of a benefit claimant.

One was too many.

When are we going to see justice?

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Benefit sanctions against people with mental health problems up by 600 per cent

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The number of benefit sanctions imposed on people with mental health problems has increased by over 600 per cent over the last four years, Department for Work and Pensions statistics show.

A joint analysis of the figures by the Independent and the mental health charity Mind found that 19,259 people with such conditions had their benefits stopped under sanction in 2014-15 compared to just 2,507 in 2011-12 – a 668 per cent rise.

The finding comes weeks after ministers rejected a call to investigate whether such sanctions – which involve stopping a person’s disability benefit income for weeks at a time to enforce compliance – are damaging to mental health.

Source: Benefit sanctions against people with mental health problems up by 600 per cent | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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Corrie’s Cherylee Houston wrongly branded a benefits cheat in attack on her own doorstep

This is how the Conservative Party has managed to get away with victimising the disabled and people with long-term illnesses for more than five years – driving many to their deaths.

It is clear from this account that members of the public are far too easily-swayed by a slick PR line and are too willing to believe anything the government tells them.

The fact that the fool in this incident called Cherylee Houston – who is a professional actress in the UK’s longest-running television soap opera – a “benefts cheat” shows how deep the Tory rhetoric has penetrated.

It is how the Conservatives have managed to cut the benefits of hundreds of thousands of people, despite the fact that they were in genuine need.

Vox Political recently reported that, after the Tory-led DWP suspended repeat work capability assessments for ESA claimants, the number of claimant deaths started to fall.

Coronation Street star Cherylee Houston was wrongly branded a ‘benefits cheat’ in an attack on her own doorstep.

The soap star, who has played Izzy Armstrong since 2010, was threatened with being reported after a man saw her walk a few steps.

Cherylee, 39, was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome when she was 23-years-old.

The rare connective tissue disorder affects the joints and leaves suffers in chronic pain.

After witnessing the actress struggle a few steps to her wheelchair, the man claimed to have snapped a picture to ‘expose her’.

He approached her home and ended up ranting at her husband Toby.

Cherylee tweeted: “Wow disability hate crime knocked on our front door today literally. Scary as shows how much our country’s instinct is to hate not think.

“He was very rude to Toby and obviously disgusted that I wasn’t paralysed.. Said it wasn’t right and he was going to papers. Vile. Ignorant,” she added.

It is some source of comfort that Ms Houston’s story prompted an outpouring of support after she recounted the events on Twitter.

Source: Corrie’s Cherylee Houston wrongly branded a benefits cheat in nasty attack on her own doorstep – 3am & Mirror Online

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