Tag Archives: bullied

Thugs who don’t understand the rules are terrorising people over face masks

A face mask: these are mandatory in enclosed spaces in England – but some people are exempt from the rule and anybody trying to bully those people needs to be shown the error of their ways.

Look at this: a woman has received abuse for not wearing a mask while out in England – even though she is exempt.

The problem isn’t just that the abusers don’t understand the rules.

It’s that they don’t care.

They’re using Covid-19 restrictions to bully people – especially disabled people and their carers.

That’s the result of 10 years of unremitting government anti-disablist propaganda.

So not only do they think it is okay to abuse Louise Sharp, of Whitley Bay, for not wearing a mask when she needs to have her face clear to communicate with her autistic daughter; they think they are encouraged to do so.

Ms Sharp ended up having a panic attack and now she simply doesn’t have the confidence to go out.

That’s because of these abusers.

They don’t have the right to question her; it’s none of their business.

Shop staff do, along with others in authority in enclosed spaces – as long as they do it in a polite way that doesn’t assume wrongdoing.

And everyone needs to be aware that some people are exempt from wearing masks, and who those exemptions cover. In England, they are:

 

  • Children under the age of 11.
  • Those unable to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability.
  • People for whom wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress.
  • Anyone assisting someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.

 

This Writer is unlikely to be accosted by such bullies; if I were to go to places where the mask rule is in effect, I would wear one.

But if I saw someone being – call it what it is – attacked in that way, rest assured I would not walk by and let it happen.

I hope Vox Political readers everywhere would do the same.

Source: Whitley Bay mask-exempt woman urges ‘more understanding’ – BBC News

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If May is being bullied by Boris Johnson, why should she ever stand down?

[Composite: Evolve Politics.]

We stand up to bullies, here in the UK, don’t we?

Oh, sorry, did I miss a memo? Theresa May is supposed to stand aside because Boris Johnson is bullying her? The man who said Sirte in Libya would be a brilliant tourist destination after they “cleared away” all the dead bodies? The man who repeated a colonial poem by Kipling in a Myanmar temple, only to be told it was “not appropriate” by his own ambassador?

The man who was told by Tory grandee Kenneth Clarke that he needed to research what being foreign secretary means, and then try being one?

No.

Boris Johnson will never be prime minister of the UK.

Even if the Conservative Party offers him the job, the rest of the country will tell him to, basically, kiss our rosy behinds before we’ll give him a single damned thing.

Individually.

That creature is an embarrassment to every single citizen of the United Kingdom.

Conservative donors have called for Theresa May to stand down because she is being “bullied” by colleagues including Boris Johnson.

Following an ill-fated conference speech and rumours of a backbench plot against the prime minister, two wealthy supporters said the party must act quickly and install another leader.

Source: Conservative donors call for May to stand down over ‘bullying’ by Johnson | Politics | The Guardian


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Jobseekers told to do more to find (non-existent) work

Esther McVile: The employment minister, who claims adamantly that changes to housing benefit do not constitute a 'bedroom tax', is pictured complaining about a so-called 'tunnel tax' in her own constituency in a blatant display of double standards.

Esther McVile: The employment minister, who claims adamantly that changes to housing benefit do not constitute a ‘bedroom tax’, is pictured complaining about a so-called ‘tunnel tax’ in her own constituency in a blatant display of double standards.

WARNING: This article has been edited using the ‘Guide to DWP euphemisms’ published by Richard Hutton, and with inspiration from it.

New rules coming into force at the end of the month mean jobseekers will have to do more to find work – even though there are currently five of them for every job available – the Department for Work and Pensions has announced.

Simply ‘signing-on’ for benefits will be a thing of the past under the draconian and repressive new rules.

Employment Minister and double-standards queen Esther McVey has hailed the new rules as undermining the range of support available, which helps diminish aspects of the social security system so that it no longer protects anybody from being left impoverished – in this case by making sure people cannot start claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) by just signing-on without first humbling themselves before the Tory-led government.

She said: “With the economy growing, unemployment falling and record numbers of people in work, now is the time to start expecting more of shirkers if they want to claim benefits. It’s only right that we should push people who are unemployed into such a depth of poverty that even ‘in-work’ poverty is a step-up.

“This is about taking support away from people and undermining the range of support available to them so they can hit rock bottom faster. In return, we will give people as much harassment as possible, to make them stop scrounging or face sanctions, because we know from employers that we have to break people’s spirit before they’ll work for a really low wage.”

To prepare for their first interview with a Jobcentre Plus adviser, people looking for work will be told they will not even be able to sign as unemployed until they have prepared a CV, set up an email address – even though they might not have a computer on which to use it – and registering with the government’s discredited jobs website Universal Jobmatch, which will expose them to identity thieves and exploiters looking for sex workers. This change will make it possible to exploit people as soon as they start their JSA claim.

People who don’t tow the line will receive more harassment from their Jobcentre Plus adviser – weekly rather than fortnightly – to ensure they can be cleared off the books via sanctions if it proves impossible to push them into poverty work.

All new JSA claimants will also now have a quarterly review with their adviser, who will try to find a reason to impose sanctions and get them off the books.

These new measures are being introduced as figures show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by over 363,000 on the year, the largest annual fall since 1998. This shows that the system of sanctions, putting people on Workfare to hide the fact that they are unemployed, and asking them to pretend that they are self-employed in order to fraudulently claim tax credits instead, is working.

The government is committed to sanctions and the vast majority of people are bullied off JSA quickly – more than 75 per cent of people end their claim within six months. Every working day Jobcentre Plus advisers shout at 98,000 interviews jobseekers and there are a range of ploys available to push them off the system. These include:

• Hiding them on the Work Programme
• Referring them for ‘training’ by companies that provide the minimum help available, take the money and run
• Putting people on pointless ‘work experience’ that won’t lead to a job but will clear them off the claimant count
• Fooling people with ‘incentives’ that mean nothing
• Getting people to pretend they are self-employed.

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Private company given contract to harass the long-term sick

The pretext: These are the figures showing the amount of working time lost to companies in the UK because of illness. Remember that these figures have halved in the last decade.

The pretext: These are the figures showing the estimated amount of long-term illness in the UK per year. Remember that these figures have halved in the last decade.

The Department for Work and Pensions is setting up a new “service” offering “advice” to people who are off work with an illness for more than four weeks.

No reference is made to improving people’s health.

It should also be noted that sickness absence in the UK is among the lowest in Europe, and has halved over the past decade.

The announcement was made on the BBC News website shortly after midnight. Nothing has appeared on the Government’s own website so it seems the Corporation has gone back to being Westminster’s poodle again – breaking news for the government in order to give spin doctors time to assess the reaction and then write a press release that is more acceptable to the public.

The Health and Work Service will be a privately-run operation covering England, Wales and Scotland, offering “non-compulsory” medical assessments and “treatment plans”. This is reminiscent of the way Universal Jobmatch was introduced to jobseekers as a “non-compulsory” service – which many thousands of people have been bullied and harassed into joining.

The scheme will allow employers or GPs to refer employees for a “work-focused occupational health assessment”, according to the BBC report. So this means the employee has no say in whether to go on the scheme – it is down to bosses and doctors. You are invited to consider whether this represents another great step forward in the Conservative Party’s claims to be crusading for patient choice.

The story says workers will be allowed to refuse assessment or to follow any course of action that is recommended but, again, we have the example of Universal Jobmatch.

The “assessment” is meant to identify the issues preventing an employee from returning to work and draw up a plan for them, their GP and their employer, showing how that person can be “helped” back more quickly.

One is forced to question the efficacy of such a system, if faced with illnesses or diseases that must receive medical treatment.

You don’t talk someone better – the huge number of people who have died while going through the DWP’s Employment and Support Allowance sickness denial machine has proved that.

The government has made its aim in setting up the new scheme perfectly clear, saying employers will “save money” by having fewer staff off sick – possibly saving companies up to £70 million a year in reduced sickness pay and related costs.

The DWP says people will return to work earlier. This seems like a pie-in-the-sky aspiration, as illness does not go away in accordance with a timetable. This means the Department’s other claims – that there will be a reduction in lost working days and increased economic output – are also pipe dreams.

It is far more likely that sick people will be forced back to work before they are better – leading to an increased chance that illnesses will spread among workforces, there will be more lost working days and lowered economic output.

The Trades Union Congress, while supporting schemes that could help people back into work, agreed (with me) that this one creates a danger that people will be forced back to work before they are well.

Finally, any company involved in the scheme should be aware that it is unlikely to make a profit from it. Look at the effect on other firms of involvement with DWP schemes: Welfare-to-work provider A4e has reported a pre-tax loss of £11.5 million in the year to March 31, 2013 – up from a £2.1 million loss the year before. Turnover dropped from £194 million to £167 million.

So now we can say very clearly to all private companies:

Working for the Coalition government doesn’t pay.

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Will the government really penalise GPs whose patients opt out of data sharing?

n4s_nhs1

It seems the government has found a way to dissuade GPs from letting patients opt out of having their medical records sold to private firms – the threat of penalties or even an investigation into the way they run their practice.

Vox Political revealed earlier this month that the government is planning to make a profit from selling the private records of NHS patients in England to healthcare and pharmaceutical firms.

The records are said to be ‘anonymised’, but in fact anyone buying your details will be able to identify you.

The system, originally called the General Patient Extraction Service (GPES), now the Health and Social Care Information Centre, may also be described as the care.data scheme. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants you to think the information will be used for medical research and screening for common diseases, but in fact it could be used by private health companies as evidence of failures by the National Health Service, and could help them undercut NHS bids to continue running those services – accelerating the privatisation that nobody wanted.

Patients have the right to withhold their data, but they must specifically inform their medical practice of their wishes. This is why medConfidential created a web page containing a special opt-out form, along with a form letter in various formats, allowing patients to opt out themselves, their children and any adults for whom they are responsible.

Now GPs are living in fear of reprisals if they don’t deliver enough details to the new system.

According to GPonline.com, Health minister Dr Daniel Poulter failed to rule out penalising GP practices with a higher-than-average proportion of patients opting out of new NHS data sharing arrangements.

In a written answer to Labour MP and health select committee member Rosie Cooper, Dr Poulter also refused to say what level of patient opt-out from the scheme would trigger an investigation.

Asked whether practices would be penalised, who would investigate practices with a high opt-out rate, and at what threshold this would apply, Mr Poulter said: “NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre will work with the BMA, the RCGP, the Information Commissioner’s Office and with the Care Quality Commission to review and work with GP practices that have a high proportion of objections on a case-by-case basis.”

Ms Cooper took this as an admission that GPs were “being threatened and bullied into ensuring patients don’t choose to opt-out”.

Reacting on Twitter, NHS national director for patients and information Tim Kelsey ruled out fines for practices where large numbers of patients opt not to share data. He wrote: “Nobody is going to get fined if patients opt out.”

None of this offers a good reason for you to leave your medical records unprotected – in fact, it gives you more reasons to opt out than before, and might provide GPs with the excuse they need to retaliate.

Doctors have been pushed further and further by the Conservative-led government’s changes to the NHS. For example, they were told they would have a greater say in where the money went, as members of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), but that was not true – they don’t have the time to take part in such decisions so they have been handed over to firms that are often part of the private companies now offering services to the NHS (for a price).

Now they are being told they may face reprisals if they do not betray the principle of doctor-patient confidentiality.

But you can only push a person a certain distance before they push back.

How will NHS doctors in England respond?

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