What’s the real story behind Jobcentre’s ‘dehumanising’ Space Invaders poster?

DWP insist they do not set targets for getting people off ESA [Image: Reuters].

DWP insist they do not set targets for getting people off ESA [Image: Reuters].

“Not presented in the best way”. That’s a hell of an understatement for a poster that depicts people who are too ill to work for a living as Space Invaders.

It may be a classic video game but it seems clear the comparison was intended as a vulgar insult – what is the space that ESA claimants are supposed to be invading, anyway?

More disturbing is the tweet by Justin Tomlinson, the minister for people with disabilities, stating: “Definitely right to help sick and disabled into work, but this not presented in best way.”

For what seems like the hundredth time: It is not right to “help” (read “force”) the sick and disabled into work that they are too sick or disabled to carry out.

This is exactly why the Commons vote to cut ESA-WRAG payments by £30 per week is not valid – because Tory MPs thought they were cutting payments for people who are able to work, rather than people who are defined – by their doctors and the government itself – as people who absolutely cannot.

We deserve the facts about this matter – not some wishy-washy niceties from a DWP flunky. Let’s see Cameron answer a question about this on Wednesday.

A Tory minister ordered a Jobcentre to take down a ‘dehumanising’ Space Invaders poster which appeared to target disability benefit claimants.

The huge poster, hung on the wall of a staff office depicts the classic arcade game, with alien enemies being picked off one-by-one by a spaceship, under the heading “Yardley ESA Challenge”.

Disability minister Justin Tomlinson said the poster would be taken down as it’s not “presented in the best way.”

The Department for Work and Pensions today insisted the department do not set targets for getting people off Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

But they were unable to explain what the poster was supposed to represent, or what the ‘Yardley ESA Challenge’ was.

A picture of the poster was tweeted by Labour MP Jess Phillips after it was sent to her by a constituent who took it in her local Job Centre in Yardley, Birmingham.

Mrs Phillips said: “There is a feeling amongst the disabled that they are being dehumanised. Unfortunately this picture proves their point.”

Source: Tory minister insists Jobcentre’s ‘dehumanising’ Space Invaders poster didn’t target disability claimants – Mirror Online

9 thoughts on “What’s the real story behind Jobcentre’s ‘dehumanising’ Space Invaders poster?

  1. Terry Davies

    the poster is a dehumanising aid which would have been enthusiastically been welcomed by the third reich. Hitler would have been salivating over this comparable to the way he reportedly enjoyed hangings by piano wire.!!!!
    yet a’ naughty’ approach is adopted to an action which discloses attitudes of those recruited to the DWP.
    Nazis and potential gestapo – like seem to be not overtly strong words or inappropriate to describe an action of mounting this poster in a job centre. The waste of space definition are more accurately describing workers in the job centres who are now rendered vulnerable to assault by the DWP policies.

    1. Barry Davies

      Indeed Terry the sick and disabled were the first group the nazi’s attacked before attacking the Gypsies Jews and other “undesirables” for the benefit of the “hardworking” germans.

  2. Simon

    Seems the Tory’s and some DWP staff are actually “sicker” than some of those claiming ESA and could use mental health treatment.

  3. toocomplex4justice

    So they are getting bolder, The Nazis had to get the staff used to witnessing atrocities and it was done in small increments. Three years ago the staff would probably have complained about the poster themselves. If a customer had died because of a decision to decline benefits to a paraplegic ex fireman the entire country would be demanding an enquiry. Now we are not only used to this type behaviour, we expect it and accept it from the DWP. Small increments. ,next they put up a row of pictures of real people they were targeting, and marking them off as “dead” by putting a sticker of a bullet hole on their head, we still could do nothing about it. It’s lucky Ian Duncan Smith lost his bottle and thought he would get away with it by crying and pointing his fingers at his mates. Typical bully.
    Now how do we prosecute this lot of scum and their pet rats who did the selections for them for misuse of office and hate crime?

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