Tag Archives: Gentleman Ranker

If DWP workers are unhappy, where are the whistleblowers?

Distortion With Prejudice: Will we ever get some FACTS from the Department for Work and Pensions - or just more spin and spiel?

Distortion With Prejudice: Will we get some FACTS from the Department for Work and Pensions – or just more spin and spiel?

The controversy over the non-existent ‘Zac’ and ‘Sarah’ on the DWP’s sanction-supporting leaflets has turned up some very interesting questions – not the least of them being the involvement of the secretary of state, Iain Duncan Smith.

Vox Political received a comment yesterday from a person who works at the DWP, who did not provide a name but went under the moniker “Atthecoalface”. This Blog won’t publish the comment as it was sent, in order not to compromise the identity of this person – but the comment itself was fascinating. Here it is [boldings mine]:

“IDS had no direct involvement in this leaflet whatsoever, I can tell you that as a fact,” says our informant. “It is very rare a minister is involved in literature sent out, beyond occasionally being aware of it. He certainly wouldn’t take the time to read it, as us minions who actually work for DWP are rarely worthy of a moment of his time unless he drops in for a photoshoot or tells us how valuable we are, before saying we deserve no pay rise again.

“All written things are signed off by a senior civil servant though. And this is where IDS does have an impact.

“In recent years, the Department has gone further and further away from helping people and more to saving money. Many who create written letters are as empathetic as ever, but get told by senior managers that they’re either not harsh/strict/stern enough.

“So the tone of all of our output is disfigured to represent the views of those in charge. Of course, you then get those who are obsessed with climbing the greasy pole, who put falsified things like this in to gain extra brownie points. Well, it’s backfiring now. Emails sent out saying this [have] been withdrawn immediately. Interestingly, the senior management who made these calls are not apologetic in any way.

“There are many within DWP who do care, and in equal number they all detest the way Department is being run by those on high. I’ll continue to do the right thing where I can, as I know my colleagues will, and I know I can sleep well at night knowing that I’ve done the best job each day. When Labour lost the election, there was a collective sigh.”

Firstly: If the tone of the output is disfigured to represent the views of those in charge, doesn’t that mean the Gentleman Ranker (as we like to call him here) has had direct involvement in this – and every other leaflet? If he wasn’t demanding publicity materials that support his insupportable policies on benefit sanctions, assessment and whatever else, then the civil servants working for him would not be forced to provide them.

Secondly: If there really are many within DWP who do care, and detest the way their department is being run, then why aren’t they whistleblowing left, right and centre? That’s what the public needs – a source of genuine information to counter the propaganda being pumped out of the DWP press office, the Tory mass media and Job Centre Plus offices across the country.

Where are the whistleblowers?

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Sanction threat to health: Duncan Smith replies with lies

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Iain Duncan Smith has responded to the concerns of fellow Catholics over the harmful effects of benefit sanctions on health – by lying to them.

Earlier this year, Catholic magazine The Tablet published an open letter from fellow Catholics to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, urging him to rethink his welfare reforms, and warning that vulnerable people will be harmed by cuts.

Now the man we call the Gentleman Ranker, in tribute to his failure as an Army officer, has responded with a letter published in the current edition. Thanks to Samuel Miller for bringing the matter to This Blog’s attention.

In it, he claims that “safeguarding the vulnerable” is at the heart of the Conservative Government’s changes to the benefit system, and goes on to say, “Let me be clear that there is no evidence to suggest that sanctions have caused claimants’ health to deteriorate.”

Oh, really?

Take a look at this excerpt from the Department for Work and Pensions’ own guidance on the effect of benefit sanctions:

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Note that it does not say anything about there being no evidence that claimants’ health will decline – it automatically assumes that this will happen.

“It would be usual for a normal healthy adult to suffer some deterioration in their health,” according to the DWP’s official guidance.

It goes on to say that, in the case of claimants with a medical condition, a DWP decision maker (DM) must decide whether they would suffer a “greater” decline in health than a “normal healthy adult”.

Yet again, Iain Duncan Smith is revealed to be a liar and, more importantly, a man who would deceive the public in order to continue inflicting harm on his fellow human beings.

Is this a Catholic attitude?

Is it a Christian point of view?

Remember, Iain Duncan Smith lied to Parliament recently, when he claimed that statistics on the deaths of incapacity benefit and Employment and Support Allowance claimants are not collected by the Department for Work and Pensions. Not only are they collected, they are being prepared for release to the public.

The data has been delayed for several years, however – because he wants it released in a form that will not reveal what is suspected to be a horrifying amount of blood on his own hands.

The claims in the rest of the letter pale into irrelevance next to these facts.

How can anyone trust the claims of a habitual liar?

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Conduct complaint over Iain Duncan Smith’s lie to Parliament

Lie: Some might believe Iain Duncan Smith told a bigger whopper than his gesture indicates.

Lie: Some might believe Iain Duncan Smith told a bigger whopper than his gesture indicates.

Parliament is to investigate a complaint against Iain Duncan Smith, after he was recorded presenting inaccurate information to fellow MPs in the House of Commons.

Vox Political reader Helen Groves stated in her complaint that she found it “deeply troubling” to hear that a government minister responsible for the welfare of millions of vulnerable people “continually misrepresents” information to other MPs.

She was referring to the Gentleman Ranker’s reply to Debbie Abrahams’ question on June 22. Ms Abrahams had asked: “Why does he refuse to publish the details of the number of people who have died within six weeks of their claims for incapacity benefit and employment and support allowance, including those who have been found fit for work?”

The Secretary-in-a-State replied: ” She knows very well that the Department does not collate numbers on people in that circumstance. It deals with individual cases where things have gone right or gone wrong and reviews them.”

Everybody reading Vox Political knows this to be untrue, as an email from the DWP, dated October 21, 2013, now-famously states: “The Department does hold, and could provide within the cost limit, some of the information requested.”

In her complaint, Ms Groves states: “I feel this calls both his position and the government into disrepute, domestically and internationally, due to his high profile. I can only assume that… Mr Duncan Smith deliberately provided false information.

She continued: “Mr Duncan Smith must be aware that his department [has] already provided such information to the data commissioner and that his department [has] been fighting a legal battle to prevent publication of this information. As such it is not plausible that Mr Duncan Smith provided this information without knowledge that it was false.

“This subject has been widely reported by [the] media and as simply a member of the public I am conversant with the issues. How can it be credible that the minister is not?

“Only days later, Mr Cameron has acknowledged in PMQs that this information does indeed exist though like Mr Duncan Smith he does not seem to be willing to release it in full, but rather in a form which would prevent the general public from being able to make a clear assessment of the data.

“I would therefore wish my complaint to be addressed as a formal complaint against the Minister Iain Duncan Smith on the basis that his conduct calls his position, The UK Government and the House itself into disrepute.”

In a comment to Vox Political, she added: “they have to investigate and I have no intention of letting them skip over it. Conduct is one of the easiest ways to go after a minister or MP. I think IDS has earned a bit of being held to account.”

Bravo!

Vox Political will publish updates on the progress of this matter as they become available.

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It’s your conspiracy of silence over benefit deaths that is disgraceful, IDS – not our hugely popular petition against it!

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Iain Duncan Smith has hit a new low this week.

The Gentleman Ranker has labelled the British people as “disgraceful” because they are supporting a petition to force his Department for Work and Pensions to reveal information that should be published routinely.

“Disgraceful”, is it?

To This Writer, it is “disgraceful” that the Secretary of State has lied to his fellow MPs yet again about the facts relating to people who have died while claiming sickness and disability benefits.

The “disgraceful” Duncan Smith said, “The Department does not collate numbers on people in that circumstance.” In fact, we all know – because I have published it here – that the DWP does hold, and could provide within the cost limit for Freedom of Information requests, figures on the number of claimants who have died. That was said in an email between the DWP and the Information Commissioner’s office on October 21, 2013.

His attitude has been pilloried by the Daily Mirror. Under the headline, “Iain Duncan Smith claims 200,000-strong campaign to reveal Tory benefits deaths is ‘disgraceful'”, reporter Dan Bloom stated: “Iain Duncan Smith has attacked a ‘disgraceful’ campaign to reveal the number of people who died after being declared fit for work.

“The Work and Pensions Secretary lashed out after coming under fire over the figures – which his department is waging a legal battle to keep secret.”

Duncan Smith, who readers of this blog like to describe as RTU (Return To Unit) and SNLR (Services No Longer Required) in acknowledgement of his failed career in the Army, was reacting to questions from Labour MPs Marie Rimmer and Debbie Abrahams, in the House of Commons yesterday (Monday).

Ms Rimmer asked “why the Government are refusing to publish—even though the Information Commissioner has instructed them to do so—the up-to-date statistics”.

His “disgraceful” response was: “I find it absurd that Opposition Members deliberately try to misrepresent what happens under such schemes. I remind the hon. Lady that it was her Government who introduced the employment support allowance and the work capability assessment, and at no stage did they say that that led to people committing suicide. People in that situation are often in a very delicate and difficult position, and I find it disgraceful that she is going round making such allegations.”

Let’s just correct him on that. When Labour introduced ESA and the work capability assessment ‘medical’ test, it was not perfect – This Blog has campaigned for the removal of both and their replacement with a more humane system since it was founded in 2011. However, it was not until Duncan Smith arrived at the DWP and ratcheted up the stress for claimants with the additional of hugely stressful conditions and demands that the deaths started mounting.

He knows perfectly well that 10,600 people died between January and November 2011. Why did his department not publish statistics for the full year? Was it because he and his ministers know that the period leading up to Christmas regularly suffers an increase in suicides and they did not want the figures to be even more calamitous than they were already?

Those numbers are a disaster for the UK’s social security system, yet this man seems to be proud of them. He is certainly determined to defend the regime that created them, and to keep it in place.

Debbie Abrahams – a long-time friend of This Blog due to her actions as a member of the Work and Pensions Committee in the last Parliament – asked: “Given that on 5 June the High Court found the Department’s actions—this time on PIP delays—unlawful, does the Secretary of State think that he and his Department are above the law? Why does he refuse to publish the details of the number of people who have died within six weeks of their claims for incapacity benefit and employment and support allowance, including those who have been found fit for work?”

Duncan Smith’s “disgraceful” response failed to answer either of these questions. He whined: “I find it unbelievable that she, the hon. Lady and others have spent all their time trying to make allegations about people going about their work. She knows very well that the Department does not collate numbers on people in that circumstance. It deals with individual cases where things have gone right or gone wrong and reviews them. It is a crying shame that Labour Members want to go out every day scaring and frightening people. It is no wonder they lost the election.”

No – he knows that the statistics he is withholding will terrify people. That is why he is trying to keep them secret. If they had been published, his Conservative Party would undoubtedly have lost the election instead of Labour.

It remains to be seen whether the facts are so abominable that Duncan Smith himself should face criminal proceedings, as many believe.

Is he withholding the evidence simply to save his own scrawny neck?

The petition currently has around 220,000 signatures. Please sign it if you haven’t already, and publicise it widely so we can push it up to 400,000 signatures as soon as possible.

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The Tories’ benefit cap is social DARWINISM, not ‘social justice in action’

Here’s a grinning ape: ‘Gentleman Ranker’ Iain Duncan Smith.

Can you believe Iain Duncan Smith is still trying to say his Benefit Cap, which pushes people into poverty, is “improving social mobility”?

The only way this could possibly be true is if that social mobility was going downward.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper the Work and Pensions Secretary claimed that his reduction in payments was providing people with a “clear path to fulfilling lives and independence from the state”.

“Welfare reform is improving social mobility for families across the country,” he argued.  “A key example of this is the benefit cap which we brought in to put a stop to sky-high benefit pay-outs. Under the Bill, the cap will be lowered from £26,000 to £23,000.”

Noting that a number of those who had been hit by the cap had found jobs, he said the cuts were not just about saving money.

“This is social justice in action, welfare reform that improves individual lives, not that just generates savings,” he wrote in the newspaper

Mr Duncan Smith presented no evidence to establish that the households had found work because their benefits had been cut, however.

We’ve heard this nonsense before, of course. Remember back in 2013, when the cap was first imposed at its figure of £26,000 per family? ‘Gentleman Ranker’ IDS tried to claim that 8,000 people had moved off-benefit and into work, just after being informed of the change.

He was later found to have been lying.

Pollsters Ipsos Mori surveyed 500 of the 8,000 people concerned, and found that 15 per cent of them hadn’t even heard of the benefit cap, and another 31 per cent only knew a little about it. Only 57 per cent remembered being informed that the cap would affect them, and of these, 71 per cent were already looking for work.

About half of those who remembered getting a letter about the cap took action afterwards. For 31 per cent, this meant looking for work (although half of these were already looking).

This means of the 500 surveyed, only around 45 people started looking for work because of the cap that weren’t doing so before. The best that could be said in reality was that about 720 people started looking for work and found it after hearing of the cap, who weren’t looking before.

This is not a particularly impressive behavioural change – in fact, on May 9 of that year, Andrew Dilnot of the UK Statistics Authority wrote to warn the Gentleman Ranker that he was playing fast and loose with the figures, and to demand that he correct himself.

Now he’s back, doing more of the same and expecting a different result (a sure sign of madness); spouting the same nonsense and expecting us to believe it.

He has no evidence to support his childish claims.

Charities dealing with poverty and homelessness, on the other hand, do. They say the benefit cap will become an even worse disaster for the people of the UK than it is already.

The biggEST disaster for us all, of course, is Iain Duncan Smith and the Conservative Party.

If you know anybody who voted for them, be sure to remind them of their mistake, every day, until the next election.

Source: The Tories’ benefit cap is ‘social justice in action’, says Iain Duncan Smith – UK Politics – UK – The Independent

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pointing out the facts behind Iain Duncan Smith’s lies.

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