This ‘fit for work’ death story SHOULD move you to tears – because it’s years old and nothing has changed

Jodey Whiting, 42, took her own life after her benefits were stopped.

The story of how the death of Jodey Whiting while the DWP insisted she was ‘fit for work’ stunned delegates at the Labour Conference moved This Writer – but not in the way the author of the Mirror piece quoted below might think.

Jodey Whiting took her own life – in what we must consider to be despair at the DWP’s refusal to acknowledge the illnesses that made her eligible for state benefits.

She had missed a work capability assessment because she had been in hospital undergoing treatment for a brain cyst – and pneumonia.

She had been taking 23 tablets a day, and morphine twice daily, for conditions including scoliosis and bipolar disorder.

The DWP’s decision-maker refused to reschedule the assessment and found Ms Whiting ‘fit for work’ instead. The DWP then rubber-stamped a refusal of her request for mandatory reconsideration.

She contacted Citizens’ Advice – and an attempt to secure a new work capability assessment was put in motion – but Ms Whiting took her own life days later.

That was in February 2017.

She was not the first to suffer this mistreatment from the Conservative-run government – nor has she been the last.

This Site has written about Ms Whiting many times – and about the others.

I spent two years fighting for the DWP to publish figures on the number of people who had died after being found ‘fit for work’. All the Tories stumped up in the end were those who had died within two weeks of the ruling and there were still more than 2,000 of them between 2011 and 2015.

Of course, most of the deaths happen after that two-week period has elapsed.

Ms Whiting’s death occurred after the Tory-run DWP failed to follow its own safeguarding guidelines no fewer than five times.

The DWP also destroyed a report on other safeguarding failures – in only 18 London job centres – rather than allow it to become public after a Freedom of Information request was submitted for its release.

The government has rejected the demands of the ‘Justice for Jodey Whiting’ petition, that has attracted nearly 56,000 signatures.

It called for an independent inquiry into deaths linked to the DWP.

That’s all. It’s not much to ask – an independent investigation to find out why so many people have died when the government said they should be alive and working.

But it was too much for the Tories, it seems.

And people at the Labour conference were “stunned” and “moved” because they didn’t know?

Why didn’t they know? 

Did you know?

If you have been reading This Site for any length of time, you should.

But then – as Jeremy Corbyn has noted only today – the Establishment closes ranks to ensure that some stories don’t get the oxygen of publicity.

It’s very easy. Those of us who rely on social media platforms for our readership may expect to be deprived of those platforms when we deliver a message their rich owners don’t like.

And somebody else dies.

And the Establishment closes ranks.

And somebody else dies.

And on it goes.

And at another event, hundreds of people will be shocked to discover that somebody else has died after being found “fit for work” by the DWP.

Just like they were at this one…

Joy Dove, mother of Jodey [Whiting], stunned and moved delegates … as she told [a] Labour conference event: “A letter arrived saying she was fit to work. She was at the undertakers”

Joy … made the six-hour journey from her home 315 miles away in Darlington, to tell people about the shameful way her daughter Jodey was treated before her death.

Jodey, 45, was a mum and grandmother who took her own life in February 2017 after being declared fit for work – despite battling serious physical and mental health conditions.

The harassment continued even after she died – with another letter reminding her she was fit for work arriving as her family struggled to come to terms with her death.

Today her mum, Joy, 65, moved delegates to tears as she shared treasured snaps of Jodey as a child and as a smiling young mum – before revealing a final, tragic photograph of her well-kept grave, surrounded by colourful flowers and tributes.

“Now I get people in-boxing me to tell me how much they’re suffering. I’ve just heard from the mam of a 21-year-old lad in the same position and his mother doesn’t know where to turn.

“So I do it for them and to get Justice for Jodey and I won’t stop.”

Ms Dove won’t stop, and neither will I.

But we won’t get anywhere if everybody’s too busy being hypnotised by the BBC to care what’s really happening.

You can change that, just by talking about it. But will you?

Source: Brave mum moves Labour audience to tears over her daughter’s fit-for-work death – Mirror Online

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6 thoughts on “This ‘fit for work’ death story SHOULD move you to tears – because it’s years old and nothing has changed

  1. trev

    I’ll never stop talking about it, to anyone who’ll listen, and to those who don’t. It’s a few years ago now since the DPAC Report listed everyone who had died where the Coroner had ruled that Benefits or concerns about Benefits had contributed to the death. There were over 50,000 people on that list. The Government took some sort of legal action to make DPAC remove that report from the internet.

  2. kateuk

    The trouble is, on this and other similar sites you are preaching to the converted. The media refuse to inform the general public, and I find that people don’t believe me when I tell them this stuff. “If this was such a widespread problem it would be in the news!”. So people remain in blissful ignorance and continue to vote Tory because they believe all the smear stories instead. Until something affects them personally, then it’s “why isn’t something done about this?”.

    1. trev

      Kateuk, there are lots of people who are blissfully ignorant and shockingly unaware, as well as the Politically illiterate. It’s like they live in a bubble. Just recently I was chatting to two women who work in the local Chemists, and was amazed to find that they had very little understanding of what a foodbank is, what it is, who it serves, one of them thought it was something to do with helping the homeless, then ended up saying that foreigners get everything given. I despair! A while ago a nurse at the local clinic that I attempted to chat to about Universal Credit and all the problems it was causing, said to me that she doesn’t know anything about all that and that she doesn’t understand it. I don’t know if because people are busy with other things, or whether they’ve been putting something in the water that has lowered peoples’ IQ. Whether it’s the result of 40 years of neoliberalism or we’ve just got a nation of thickos.

  3. jan scott

    Im Joy Doves friend for well over 50yrs! and was with her at the conference and i can tell you now she was very nervous b4 the speech we all told her to just speak from her heart and she did…. What my dear friend has had to go through no mother should have to go through No mother should have to bury their children but that’s what Joy and her family have had to do because of the DWP, it breaks my heart watching her suffer but still carrying on with her campaign (Justice for Jodey) a fb page she set up to try and let people know about what happened to her daughter Joy wont stop until she gets justice for Jodey and will carry on fighting for others.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I wish her all the best, of course. Do you think she’s likely to get any mainstream recognition from this? That’s what her campaign needs.

  4. jeffrey davies

    aktion t4 rolling along without much of a ado. while the big chiefs talk about the culling of the stock through benefits denial nah its not true most say then why have in 9 yrs around quarter of a million died while fighting this injustice culled by the state history repeating itself

Comments are closed.