Tories will continue to kill the poor as long as ordinary people keep trying to blame Labour

Labour's Anna Turley MP, standing up for victims of Conservative 'welfare' policy in exactly the way some people want you to think Labour doesn't.

Labour’s Anna Turley MP, standing up for victims of Conservative ‘welfare’ policy in exactly the way some people want you to think Labour doesn’t.

Some readers of This Blog may be unfortunate enough to have witnessed a conversation with a person calling him- or herself ‘Ghost Whistler’ in the comment column of the recent article on Momentum, in which this person has resorted to accusing the Labour Party of complacency in the deaths of benefit claimants. What a despicable distortion.

“Where are the Labour politicians when kids are taking their own lives due to benefit sanctions and DWP bullying?” That’s what this person asked, in a clear reference to the case of David Brown that This Blog covered yesterday (December 7). The implication is, of course, that Labour was complicit in the death.

Clearly this person had failed to do any research at all, as that particular comment was made more than four hours after Labour MP Anna Turley directly challenged the government over that very case, during Prime Minister’s Questions.

She told Leader of the House David Lidington, standing in for Theresa May while she’s off on a junket to sell weapons to Middle East countries: “I know that the whole House will join me in sending heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of David Brown, from Eston, who, aged just 18, took his own life.

“The inquest into his death has heard that he did so on the day he was due to sign on at the Job Centre, after saying that he felt ‘belittled’ by staff despite actively looking for work and seeking an apprenticeship. Shortly before taking his own life, he told his mum: ‘The way the Job Centre treat people, it is no surprise people commit suicide.’

“Will the Leader of the House undertake to review that individual case? Will he also undertake to take stock of six years of brutal welfare reform, and look into the way the Department for Work and Pensions treats its most vulnerable constituents, particularly young people?”

If anybody wants to find complacency about this death, they need look no further than Mr Lidington’s reply. After expressing what he described as “unreserved sympathy” for Mr Brown’s family, the Leader of the House contradicted himself thus: “Clearly, human beings in any organisation sometimes make decisions that get things wrong, and I will ask the Department for Work and Pensions to have a look at the particular case that the hon. Lady has described.

“However, I have to say to her that I think the principle remains right that while staff should always behave with courtesy towards people seeking to claim benefits, it is also right for us to expect people who are receiving benefits to be subject to the kind of disciplines that apply to people in work even if they are on low pay. There is a principle of fairness here, which is what lies behind the approach that the DWP takes.”

What’s fair about putting an impressionable young man into the clutches of a woman who clearly had not respect for him at all and from whom he could not demand proper treatment for fear of being removed from the interview by the guards that are now routinely posted at these facilities, his benefit sanctioned on the grounds that his behaviour fell short of the mark?

Who says it is right that jobseekers must be placed under the same pressures as people who are in work? They are not in work. They are seeking work. The two conditions are not that same and it is wrong to pretend that they are.

What will be gained from asking for the DWP to examine the David Brown case individually? This is not an isolated episode. DWP ‘advisers’ are constantly attacking claimants.

Today I read of a young man with severe disabilities that mean he has the mentality of a small child, being called in for a highly-distressing and pointless work capability assessment by the DWP.

The Department later apologised, saying he would not have been invited to an interview if the Job Centre had known the full extent of his condition – a condition for which the same department had been paying benefits for his entire life.

The problem is system-wide. Singling out a single case won’t stop the abuses from happening – unless the DWP intends to give, to the woman who forced David Brown towards suicide, a bonus? That seems far more likely.

The DWP’s response to Mr Brown’s death was an insult to him and everybody else who has died as a result of Conservative ‘welfare’ policy – and, make no mistake, there have been thousands upon thousands; far more than those covered by official statistics, even though they now run into the thousands.

A spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Brown’s family at this difficult time. Suicide is a very complex issue and there is no evidence of a link between Mr Brown’s suicide and his interaction with Jobcentre Plus.”

That is exactly the same line the DWP always trots out when somebody on benefits commits suicide – in defiance of the facts.

I read that comment on the Channel 4 News Facebook page and was so incensed I penned the following in response: “This is a person who made it clear he was being treated like dirt by a DWP staff member – and actually said, ‘The way the Job Centre treats people, it’s no surprise that people commit suicide’. Then on the day he was due to visit the Job Centre again, he was found dead.

“And the DWP wants us to believe there is no link?

“I’d like to know who made that comment and ask them just what somebody would have to do to get them to accept that there is a link.

“Their comment is an insult – not just to David Brown and his family, but to everybody else who has lost a friend or loved one because of the Conservative Party and its homicidal attitude, and to the public in general who they think they can patronise in this manner.”

All of the above was triggered by a Labour MP’s concern over the death of young man due to his treatment by the benefit system.

But that doesn’t matter because ‘Ghost Whistler’ wants to blame the Labour Party for it.

These deaths aren’t going to stop any time soon – not because Labour isn’t opposing them but because people like ‘Ghost Whistler’ are blaming Labour rather than putting responsibility where it is due, on the Conservatives. ‘Ghost Whistler’ is contributing to the problem, along with anybody else who would rather accuse the wrong people to make some obscure political gesture. This person is such a coward, they won’t even support their words with their own name.

So I’ll tell you what, ‘Ghost Whistler’ – do us all a favour. Take your ill-informed and offensive opinions, take yourself, and take all the other blinkered bigots like you, and toddle off back to whatever slimy hole you call home.

Don’t come out again. Don’t try to infect anybody else with your ignorance. Don’t insult the memory of the dead.

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19 thoughts on “Tories will continue to kill the poor as long as ordinary people keep trying to blame Labour

  1. Jeffrey Davies

    hmm b hes or shes put a bee in your bonnet but like everything theres always one who gets to take the p yet they point out that labours no good hmmm better open their eyes corbyns trying and without support well more aktion t4 wb better hope that corbyn can win throufgh jeff3

  2. NMac

    It is a puzzle as to why a great many working class people continue to believe the poisonous right-wing propaganda which denigrates Labour and many decent Labour politicians. Unfortunately, when one sees the large numbers of people who read the Sun and Daily Mail, with their hate-filled nationalist propaganda, one can better understand why the Tory propagandists, to whom money is no object, are successful. The continual lies and sneering, insulting smear tactics which they have been using relentlessly against Jeremy Corbyn have, I fear, have had the effect these nasty right-wing propaganda rags intended.

  3. Barry Davies

    So they think the DWP staff have some sort of inkling what courtesy to claimants means. I thought they were likely to try to wind you up so they can sanction you to get their bonus’.

    1. Justin

      they do and it backfires when there up against someone who knows there stuff and turns there suggestive comment around on them, i did that and the person stated well in this case you should not turn up for this interview and then face a sanction and a appeal, asked him to put what he said in writing, they put me on hold and came back and said i suggested that, shame the phone was on speakerphone and three people heard him say it, still awaiting the outcome of that but whatever way it goes the complaint is written, only need them to get on my nose once and it leaves the laptop, another day another scalp

  4. Justin

    we all know the dwp get a buzz about insensiticing sanctions, the same buzz that i get when i help someone win a tribunal or make a case against wca assessor, it is also really sad that again another suicide with causal links caused by a backward stone ages policy that tied in with the current 3 clowns sorry companies that also run the failed wca tick box regular get it wrong process that is costing the taxpayer more money in terms of nhs care,long-term as opposed to short term support and making issues like recovery extremely hard and even worse when faced with the level of incompetence and arrogance shown here by way of stating that again it was not there fault,really they allow a policy where you get paid big amounts of money for failing someone with no direct recrimination apart from a limp wristed letter that means absolutely nothing and that well go ahead and do it again and again.

    this whole policy needs legal scrutinisation and a warning to all involved that if you make a wrong decision you should go to prison for as long as the crime fits the sentence, my heart goes out to this family, i hope they sue the dwp trash into the ground

  5. Michael Broadhurst

    well said Mike,i could sense you were really annoyed with this person,and rightly so.
    what sort of people do we have in this country,to not think that this is nothing short of an outrage by this dispicable govt.
    what happened to May’s statement that this govt would work for EVERYBODY.
    more Tory lies.

  6. Florence

    The “ghostwhistler” posts are a commonly presented distraction non-argument about Labour as there is no defence for the Tory persecution of the disabled and sick and poor. It is difficult at times to resist getting into a slugging match. It is difficult to try and present the fact the Labour is now under “new management” with policies like the abolishing the bedroom tax, and the WCA too because of the MSM news blackout.

    However I also contend that it is a difficult sell because of the continued presence of the neoliberal elements like Yvette Cooper, Rachel Reeves, Frank Field and all the others who still want to pursue the discredited policies they promoted pre-2010 of persecution of the vulnerable, and austerity. What is indisputable is that the laws and systems of democide were put into operation by Cooper, Balls, etc and that the deaths had started before the 2010 election.

    I find it difficult to actually reconcile their continued presence in the Labour party with Democratic socialism, so it’s hardly surprising those who are not in the labour movement or users of non MSM news sources are able to argue or are sysciptble to the proposition that Labour is in either denial or in disarray.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Why do you suggest they don’t know any better?
      I provided every opportunity for this person to educate him- or herself, and still the comments were the same.
      That’s someone who knows better, but is ignoring it.

  7. John

    I’ll leave you to make the judgement as to whether you think it’s safe to make this comment public or not Mike (i.e. on this page), but why is it, that every time I read articles like this, that my fists clench, and I want to grab hold of Iain Duncan Smith and throw him across the room? (btw, that wasn’t REALLY a question, and I’ve kept that reasonably ‘polite’)

  8. Gary Aronsson

    If you want the ends then you must will the means. I have nothing but contempt for people who bleat about the poor but refuse to accept that their position is made worse by importing more poverty.

    The UK has just seen yet another record breaking year of Net Immigration that breaks the previous years all time record, which in turn broke the previous years all time record ! Why do people who claim to be Labour supporters refuse to recognise that increasing the SUPPLY of Labour reduces its Price ? Total Net Immigration over the last 3 years is almost exactly 1 million and recorded Unemployment has barely changed because of it yet the number of people in employment, much of it badly paid, is at an all time high.

    Try to imagine , just for a moment, that Employers didn’t have access to the entire Third World and the Unemployed of the EU ! Instead of being able to choose from this ever increasing range of pick n mix they would have no choice but to employ BRITISH people. Our present total of Unemployed would now be nearer 600,000 rather than 1,600,000 and Employers would be scurrying around trying to entice prospective employees with rising wages and improving conditions of employment.

    Under these conditions the likes of this young man would have been pursued by job offers and the DWP would never have the opportunity to demean anyone. Doesn’t the fact that it is always Employers who are so keen to support unrestricted mass immigration suggest anything to you , like maybe it gives them access to an unlimited supply of people desperate for work who will accept even horrible treatment and low pay rather than being unemployed and left to the “mercy” of the DWP !

    This young man is dead because of the intolerable pressure put upon him by the DWP, but that pressure was made possible by the fact that he was made to compete with the entire world for every job in the UK. Without unrestricted mass immigration unemployment would disappear from the UK within a single Parliament and poverty would steadily reduce as wages rose because Demand exceeded Supply, rather than simply because the CHANCELLOR ordered an increase in the Legal Minimum Wage!

    This young mans despair would never have existed if he had been unemployed in a nation that was desperately short of labour, he would have been pursued with job offers and able to choose a CAREER rather than desperately grabbing at anything and everything simply to try and keep the DWP off his back.

    If you want the ends then you must will the means to achieve them. Allowing Employers to rob people of the scarcity value of their labour by giving them access to the entire planet is a recipe for low pay and poor conditions and anyone who claims otherwise is at best an idiot. If you want to defend unrestricted mass immigration because of some idiotic fancy that opposing it is racist or xenophobic then you must accept that low pay and poor conditions are here to stay as employers will always seek the path of least resistance, and in the UK that pathway inevitably leads to the decision to employ cheap foreign scab labour rather than indigenous British workers.

  9. Martin

    Unless I am mistaken workers get two verbal warnings and a written warning before they are dismissed unless they do something really bad to deserve instant dismissal. Jobcentres regularly sanction people with little or no warning and so there really is no parallel between the treatment dished out by Jobcentres and employers. More and more Jobcentres have become laws unto themselves: some are very good and far too many very bad simply because their behaviour is dictated not by rules and regulations but by the calibre of the managers and staff in them them.

    There is no caparison that can be made between Jobcentre sanctions and penalties faced by the working population: As far as I know no worker on a monthly salary, in living memory, has had to wait without any income whatsoever for five to ten weeks or longer before being paid (as is now the case for Universal Credit claimants) or lost a fortnight, month, or three months wages for being ten minutes late for an appointment or missing an interview.

    The government claims that parity exists between the unemployed and the employed as far as rights and responsibilities are concerned.

    This is one of their greatest and most pernicious lies.

    It is an absolute disgrace.

  10. Paul

    Ghost Whistler is an ill person who writes a blog detailing the torment and difficulties he has experienced, under the Tories AND Labour, called Quacking Plums.

    He doesn’t deserve your attack for having a different viewpoint to yours, Mike, and you do yourself no favours by coming across as like as unthinking abusive Corbynite aficionado come bully. Reign it in, sport. It doesn’t make you or the party you claim to support look good by association. Forth place in Sleaford, wasn’t it. Second place for Labour in the general election and now, under the great leader, the party drops two places and comes forth BEHIND the Conservatives, UKIP and the Liberal Democrats!!! It’s Richmond Park all over again! Beaten in by-elections by the Liberal Democrats TWICE and dropping in the ranking by two whole places since the last general election.

    You may bury your head in the sand like an Ostrich and ignore the polls, pollsters and pundits but what about actual by-elections not held in safe Labour seats? Aren’t they real enough to demonstrate that the party is in trouble? As for Ghost Whistler I’d try reading his blog before I mouthed off like an angry child.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I reject your arguments.
      This is a person who was provided, several times, evidence that disproved their claims – and yet still carried on making them.
      I tolerated the ignorance far too long, I think, and the slapdown was well-deserved.
      Your own comment does you no favours.
      For example, haven’t you heard that Labour’s fourth place in Sleaford was due to only 1,063 fewer votes than UKIP? Statistically, that puts the second, third and fourth-placed candidates neck-and-neck – as you’d know if you had read my article.
      You suggest I “mouthed off like an angry child” but I make that accusation right back at you – and at Ghost Whistler.
      And I repeat what I said to him: Stop being part of the problem.

  11. tom warner

    Well it was under b-liar’s watch that they did away with IB and it’s PCA (personal capability assessment) and brought in it’s evil replacement ESA and it’s even less fair WCA farce , as well as the WRAG which should not exist,
    Successive governments have thrown cash at the likes of ATOS just as Labour did, And they too have further reformed the benefits, NEW labour are just the same as the tories,
    As both are not for the working classes both have persecuted the poor and sick of this country so Labour are no different and heaven forbid that the get into office in their current form the indigenous people of this country and their values and culture will be a thing of the past in a very short time

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Under Brown’s watch that it was brought in, but the wheels were set in motion by the Blair government, certainly.
      Do not confuse Blair and Brown’s Labour with Corbyn’s Labour – unless, of course, you want to help the Conservatives stay in office and continue persecuting the vulnerable, until there are none left?
      And who will they attack then? Tories need an enemy – their creed is “divide and rule”.
      Perhaps they’ll turn on you.
      And nobody will help you because you helped them to undermine Labour.

      1. tom warner

        Corbyn is a danger to the indigenous people and our culture, whilst he may want to scrap the WCA ect, His other policies would not be sustainable especially on open borders , the Tories aren’t the answer either neither are the dims we should not become a sanctuary for the 3rd world we cannot afford it for one thing

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        So much stupid in one comment; what a shame.
        You do not explain why you dislike Mr Corbyn.
        You do not explain why you disagree with the Conservatives, and you are merely insulting about the Liberal Democrats.
        We are not, and never have been a “sanctuary for the third world”, and we are perfectly capable of affording anything we like, because we are one of the richest countries in the world. A proper tax system, properly enforced, would sort it all out.

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