Tag Archives: man

Elderly man’s health failed and he died after council sent his wife to a care home

When care isn’t so caring: one partner was taken into a home and the health of the other deteriorated until he died. Why didn’t the council consider this? Or was it just a financial consideration?

In these days of Covid-19, one might be forgiven for thinking this gentleman was worrying himself sick that his wife would catch the virus and die.

But it is also a recognised phenomenon that if a couple who have been together for many years are split up, most commonly because one of them dies, then the remaining partner’s health often suffers – possibly to death.

So This Writer is led to question why the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead didn’t take this into account when it split up the couple in this story. Was it just a question of money – that it was cheaper to split this couple, and never mind of one of them died? And what happened to the house where the deceased gentleman had been living?

An elderly couple of 59 years were split up with little regard for their welfare by Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

The couple were separated when the wife was discharged to a care home after leaving hospital.

The husband was left to live in the family home with the help of care workers, but quickly deteriorated.

He became very low, did not eat or drink properly and lost weight. He stopped going out and instead spent a lot of time in his bed.

When the family complained a few days later the council agreed to take more steps to help the man visit his wife, but he passed away just a few weeks after.

A report by the Ombudsman found the council did not do enough to consider the man’s situation when his wife left hospital, despite his family telling it he would suffer at home.

Windsor and Maidenhead Council has a history of ill-treating people. Back in 2018, it tried to get police to arrest homeless people under the Vagrancy Act so they wouldn’t be on the streets during the Royal Wedding.

Then it imposed a fine on aggressive or proactive begging, requests for money, leaving bedding and belongings in a public area and other behaviour associated with homelessness – totalling an unaffordable £1,000.

Needless to say, it is a Conservative-run authority.

Source: Elderly man suffers after council splits him from his wife

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You can believe the Jamaica deportations are questionable after this Home Office boob

Computer says no: the Home Offices systems can’t be trusted – but the Tories happily uses them to deport people.

How can we accept the justice in Home Office deportation decision when civil servants asked a 101-year-old man to get his parents to confirm his identity?

People like Boris Johnson claim the information used by the Home Office to deport 17 people to Jamaica was accurate, but consider this:

Giovanni Palmieri is 101 years old, and Italian. He has lived in the UK since 1966 and applied for settled status in advance of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

But in a classic Little Britain-esque ‘Computer says no’ moment, the Home Office app into which he scanned his passport in order to send his biometric data to the Home Office misunderstood his date of birth.

It interpreted it as being 2019, rather than 1919 – and demanded that his parents must confirm his identity. That would have been a bit tricky!

The Home Office has claimed that other people aged over 100 have successfully used the app – but doesn’t that indicate that other Home Office decisions are also ripe to be queried?

This brings us back to the Jamaica deportation.

How can we be sure of the Home Office’s justification for the removal of those individuals, if its systems cannot even tell that a man is 101, not one?

I am reminded of a time a few years ago when people going through checks on their suitability to work with children, or in security, or other restricted-eligibility jobs were refused because the government’s system showed them as guilty of crimes.

This came as a jarring shock to them – as far as they knew, their records were spotless.

Of course it was another glitch in the system.

But Tories like Boris Johnson are happy to quote such information in order to support the removal of foreign-born people from the UK.

What does it prove? That these individuals had committed crimes? Or that the Tories are racists?

Source: Home Office asks 101-year-old Italian man to get his parents to confirm his identity – Mirror Online

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‘I’m starving’ says man in protest against the benefit system on Job Centre roof

Sometimes people have to stand on rooftops to make a point, it seems.

This Writer can’t approve of the damage to property implied by this particular gentleman’s behaviour, of course.

But I certainly sympathise with the motivation behind it.

He is reported to have said, “I’m starving” at one point.

Standing on the roof and shouting about it suggests this was the only way he expected to get his point across.

I wonder if he had already tried talking to the staff inside Upton Job Centre Plus before he resorted to standing on top of it and shouting.

It’s hard to get through when nobody wants to listen.

And now that they can pin criminal damage on this man, I wonder whether anybody will bother listening to him again.

Perhaps that’s how the Tories get away with victimising these people. What do you think?

Source: Man on roof for hours in job centre standoff with police – Liverpool Echo

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Loach heads campaigners calling for benefit assessment ban after job centre death

Pointing the finger: Ken Loach joined the call to end unfair benefit assessment interviews after the death of a man in Llanelli.

A campaign to ban benefit assessment interviews has been launched after a 65-year-old man with diabetes collapsed and died after being found ‘fit for work’.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) has called on the DWP to halt assessments for Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance after the man died while waiting for an interview to discuss his future benefit options.

Discussing the death, This Site stated: “He would have been old enough to retire if the Conservatives had not decided to raise the retirement age for both men and women in an attempt to save a few pennies.”

I wrote: “Yes, he was obviously ill. But that doesn’t mean a thing to a Tory government… They call it a ‘positive benefit outcome’.”

Others compared the tragedy to a similar scene in left-wing film-maker Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake.

Now Mr Loach himself has spoken in favour of DPAC’s campaign.

Unconsciously paraphrasing my words, he said (according to the Morning Star): “What has happened really was disgraceful. The man was only 65 — he only had a few more months to go and he would have been retired anyway.

“Such is the brutality of it, but it’s clear that the Tories have no intention of changing their harsh system.”

And he said: “We have to vote them out — we may as well start with Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of this misery, who is as callous as he is sanctimonious.”

That is already well in hand – as you can read here.

Demanding an end to PIP and ESA assessments, DPAC activist Jennifer Jones raised the relevant point – that a man has died in a manner that could have been prevented.

It happened because a benefit assessor “lied about his fitness levels and abilities and he wasn’t given the support that his individual needs deserved”.

She’s right – and it makes a nonsense of repeated attempts by the DWP to claim that it does provide support tailored to the needs of each benefit claimant.

So far – in this case – the DWP’s only comment has been a message of sympathy to the deceased man’s family and friends.

DPAC – and Mr Loach – have demanded an end to benefit assessment interviews, for the obvious reason that they have now been proven to do more harm than good.

But there is no way the DWP – run as it is by a Conservative government – will take such action willingly.

Labour has promised to overhaul the benefit system completely, though.

The only way to be sure this does not happen in the future is to elect a Labour government.

Source: Campaigners call for benefit assessment ban after man dies in jobcentre | Morning Star

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Elderly man – with long-term illness – dies at Job Centre after being found ‘fit for work’

Protest: This is the most appropriate image I have for the story below. It shows a protest by an artist known as VoidOne. More information is available here.

If this does say everything about why we need a change of government, I don’t know what does.

A man collapsed and died while he was waiting for an appointment to claim unemployment benefit at a Job Centre in Llanelli.

We are told he was diabetic, and must have been receiving some form of sickness or disability benefit until recently because his appointment was a consequence of being found “fit for work” after an assessment interview.

We are also told he was 65 years old, which means that he would have been old enough to retire if the Conservatives had not decided to raise the retirement age for both men and women in an attempt to save a few pennies.

Metro quotes a witness who said: “The man next to me told me that the poor guy had diabetes and had been declared fit for work by the job centre earlier in the year but he was obviously ill.”

Yes, he was obviously ill.

But that didn’t mean a thing to a Tory government that would rather see you dead if you can’t be made to work for a pittance to increase the profits of the super-rich.

That’s why so many people are refused sickness and disability benefits, even though they clearly qualify; without the money they need to support them, either their condition will kill them, or stress, or they may take their own life in despair.

It’s all the same to the Tories; they call it a “positive benefit outcome”.

There is only one way to end this barbarity – and that is to vote a Labour government back into office.

Source: Man dies at Llanelli Job Centre while claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance | Metro News

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Man arrested after terrorising staff at office of Jess Phillips. Did they use the panic room?

Jess Phillips: Was this shot taken in her Birmingham Yardley office?

Years ago, I criticised Jess Phillips for installing a panic room in her office – on the grounds that her own poor behaviour had attracted unwanted attention to her.

I wrote that I hoped she had not demanded that the work be funded by the public purse.

Her attitude continues to put people off – as evidenced by the following response to her entirely justified criticism of Boris Johnson’s choice of language in Parliament:

Ray’s right too – she was entirely wrong to walk with dozens of other MPs to the hearing before Labour’s National Constitutional Committee that expelled anti-racism campaign Marc Wadsworth from the party on the basis of lies from her colleague Ruth Smeeth.

It is, therefore, very hard to sympathise with Ms Phillips on any level at all.

But Boris Johnson has found a way for me to do so.

As I noted above, her criticism of the language he used in the Commons chamber on September 25 was entirely justified.

He had deliberately used references to a “surrender act”, “betrayal” and “traitors” – words that appear in death threats sent to MPs.

And it seems one of the people who uses such language in his communications with MPs – or responds to it in a negative way – got the message loud and clear.

Consider:

A man has been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence following an incident outside the constituency office of the Labour MP Jess Phillips, in which the suspect is reported to have banged on the windows and shouted “fascist”.

Phillips, who represents Birmingham Yardley, said her staff had to be locked in the office while the man tried to smash the windows.

West Midlands police confirmed a 36-year-old man had been arrested outside the office on Yardley Road in Acocks Green, Birmingham.

Back in 2016, I wrote: “Nobody should be put in fear for their life while carrying out a job that doesn’t carry that kind of risk with it – and I would certainly suggest that being a representative of the people like an MP should not.”

My belief at the time was that Ms Phillips was overreacting to people who had themselves overreacted to her less-enlightened comments.

It seems that, three years later, Mr Johnson has proved her right after all.

Of course, if they didn’t actually use the panic room, it’s still an enormous waste of money – public or not.

Source: Man arrested outside office of Labour MP Jess Phillips | Politics | The Guardian

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Another Tory success as homeless man dies under blanket at packed shelter on Christmas Eve

The man lay down under a blanket and “never got up again” (file picture) [Image: Daily Mirror].

David Gauke said the Conservatives aim to halve homelessness by 2022 – this is how he proposes to do it (although he’ll never admit the fact).

The death of ‘Christopher’ at a shelter in London on Christmas Eve means homelessness has fallen, according to Tory government figures.

Mr Gauke will be delighted.

Tories don’t understand the human tragedy and certainly won’t lift a finger to prevent it.

A homeless man died under a blanket at a packed shelter on Christmas Eve – despite the desperate efforts of other rough sleepers to save his life.

The man, called Christopher and aged in his 60s, had laid down on the floor of the London-based shelter’s sleeping area, surrounded by around 130 others.

But tragically, he “never got up again”.

A devastated Crisis worker broke the news of his death to volunteers and other homeless people, telling them he “gently” passed away of natural causes.

Shift leader Ros Ponder … shared the heartbreaking incident on Facebook on New Year’s Eve.

She said: “We are not living in Victorian times.

“This is 21st century Britain. We’re a nation that spends more than £78billion on Christmas food, gifts and parties… and yet more and more people are living on our streets – curled up in doorways, on buses, park benches, even in dustbins.

“The average age of death for a homeless person in this country is just 47.

“We should all be horrified.

“In 2018 let’s all try a bit harder to put an end to this.”

Source: “No one should take their last breath like this”: Homeless man dies under blanket at packed shelter in Christmas Eve tragedy – Mirror Online


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If police face charges for forcing people to die on the street, why not the DWP?

Two police staff could face manslaughter charges after a homeless man died [Image: PA].

Sometimes reporting these deaths seems a thankless exercise; they keep happening and nobody is ever brought to account for them.

Not in this case – perhaps.

But if police officers are brought to court to account for their part in the death of Pericles Malagardis, why not Jobcentre advisors working for the Department for Work and Pensions?

This Writer knows of at least one occasion in which a benefit claimant froze to death after being sanctioned by the DWP.

Their excuse: “We were only following orders” (as used at Nuremberg).

It isn’t good enough.

If this case does go to trial, it will be time for pressure to bring DWP staff to book as well.

Prosecutors will decide whether two Metropolitan Police Service employees should be charged over the death of a homeless man, the police watchdog has said.

Pericles Malagardis, 63, was found unresponsive outside Uxbridge police station in west London on March 5 last year, hours after being ejected from the reception.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has asked the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider if charges of gross negligence manslaughter should be brought against two members of Metropolitan Police Service staff.

Mr Malagardis, who had been sleeping rough at Heathrow Airport, visited the police station on March 4, 2016, to collect his dog, which had been put in kennels while he went to hospital.

The Greek national was asked to leave at 12.40am the next day and removed by staff, but stayed outside.

He was found unresponsive at around 5.30am and taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6.45am.

The IPCC said its investigation had centred on the decision to remove the man and the level of care provided by staff in the hours after and when he was found unresponsive.

(Source: Homeless man died ‘after police kicked him out of station on winter night’)


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BBC whitewashes ‘government propaganda’ NHS story

131029bbcbias

 

Back at the end of September the BBC News website ran a story on 91-year-old Harry Smith’s speech to the Labour Party Conference, in which he detailed the miserable state of healthcare before the arrival of the NHS and stated his fears for the future of the service under the Conservative Party.

This was all fine. What a shame Auntie’s unnamed reporter had to spoil it by adding in two extra paragraphs that parroted – almost word-for-word – comments made by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that seemed to contradict what Mr Smith had said. Tom Pride, over at Pride’s Purge, put the statements into an image, allowing people to compare Mr Hunt’s statements with the BBC’s. That image is reproduced again here:

bbc-hunt-quotes1

The BBC report was clearly paraphrasing Mr Hunt’s words. No attempt was made to indicate that this was the government’s side of the issue; the offending paragraphs were stationed at the end – as statements of facts that contradict Mr Smith’s words.

That’s blatant government propaganda, in the view of this blog – especially as both statements are false.

That’s right – analyse the facts and Mr Hunt’s/the BBC’s assertions fall apart.

Did the government increase NHS spending in the UK? The BBC attitude was that it has, because the amount of money spent on the NHS – in England alone – has increased.

But Mr Smith wasn’t talking about England alone. Look at the BBC article (which has been revised since Vox Political complained) and you’ll see he refers to “the Britain of my youth”. The final paragraph (as it is now) does not separate England from the rest of the UK.

You may think that’s nit-picking. Try this instead: A “money-terms” increase in NHS spending is not what the Coalition government promised. The Coalition Agreement of 2010 promised a “real-terms” increase and that is what Jeremy Hunt said had happened in the comment from 2012. But spending on the NHS has fallen in real terms.

The BBC’s complaints director, Richard Hutt, in a letter of October 31, admitted as much: “My research suggests that spending on the NHS has increased marginally in terms of the amount of money spent… but as you are aware, if GDP deflators are applied a slight decrease is shown.”

But, following on from a previous BBC response in which we were told, “your blog talks about real-terms spending. Our original article did not, and had we wished to refer to real-terms spending, we would have said so,” he continued: “Nothing in the article indicated that the intention was to refer to “real-terms” spending and so I have difficulty in agreeing that this is how it would have been understood.”

Then what was the point of mentioning spending at all?

The promise was to increase “real-terms” spending, and “real-terms” spending has in fact decreased. Any reference to spending other than in “real-terms” is therefore irrelevant to the debate and can only confuse the issue in the minds of the public.

In the face of the facts, Mr Hutt – it seems – isn’t having this. Doesn’t that suggest that he has been told to whitewash the BBC – deny any wrong-doing, no matter what?

Let’s move on.

Does the Coalition support the founding value of the NHS that nobody, regardless of income, should be deprived of the best care? The easy answer to this is no, it doesn’t.

It was the work of a moment on a search engine to find a story demonstrating the opposite. It was this Daily Mail article, detailing the predicament of a gentleman who has been forced to pay £450 per month because his local Clinical Commissioning Group (brought into being by the Coalition government) would not provide him with a drug that is available free on the NHS elsewhere in England. Ironically, the cash-starved NHS in Wales is reported to have agreed to provide the drug.

In response, the BBC changed the wording of the last paragraph slightly, claiming that this changed the meaning. It didn’t.

The BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit has done nothing but whitewash its story.

Never mind; there was still one more bullet in our gun. An email has just been sent to Mr Hutt, pointing out the words of Tom Pride that kicked off the whole affair:

“These are not facts. They are the opinions of a government minister being reported as facts by the BBC.

“That’s not news. It’s propaganda.

“Mind you, I don’t know why the reporter who wrote the article is so keen to remain anonymous.

“I mean, we all know that the reporting of unattributed propaganda from government ministers is a sackable offence for professional journalists in reputable news organisations.”

It’s best not to expect a reasonable response.

It’s clear we aren’t dealing with a reputable news organisation at all.

You will not benefit from Britain leaving Europe

Run, David, run: UK Crime - sorry, Prime - Minister David Cameron has found a reason to be in America while his party tears itself apart over Europe. Nice one, David! We all thought the Tories were turning their Lib Dem Coalition partners blue but in fact, they've turned you yellow!

Run, David, run: UK Crime – sorry, Prime – Minister David Cameron has found a reason to be in America while his party tears itself apart over Europe. Nice one, David! We all thought the Tories were turning their Lib Dem Coalition partners blue but in fact, they’ve turned you yellow!

Look at all this political theatre over Europe. It’s for the entertainment of you, the voter – even though you won’t actually gain a thing from staying in or leaving the Brussels-based bureaucracy.

The Conservative Party is going into meltdown about it, certainly – but that’s because individual Tory MPs fear losing votes to UKIP at the next election, making it possible for their party to lose the only thing that matters to them: Power.

UKIP wants out because it is composed – or was, back when it began – of businesspeople who believe that they are being over-regulated by the European Union. They want the freedom to sell inferior products to you, without being penalised for it.

The Tory amendment to the Queen’s speech is nothing but a performance, put on for the benefit of the plebs. It’s a pantomime, with the British public urged to shout “Look out behind you!” at David Cameron’s Widow Twanky, whenever we see the Eurosceptics creeping up out of the shadows.

Note that, in this scenario, Education dunce Michael Gove and damp squib Defence sec Philip Hammond play the ugly sisters; they say they want out of Europe, but they won’t actually do anything about it. Straw men.

The amendment, which condemns the Queen’s speech for failing to include a bill preparing the way for a referendum on whether we stay in the EU, is not only pointless but dangerous. As mentioned previously on this blog, amendments to the Queen’s speech are traditionally taken as confidence votes. The fact that this is a Conservative Party amendment suggests that the government no longer has confidence in itself. If the amendment succeeds, the Prime Minister should resign and the government should fall.

Perhaps I am mistaken. This is not pantomime – it’s farce.

And the amendment is certain to be defeated, according to the pundits, because all the Liberal Democrats, most of Labour and a significant proportion of the Conservatives will vote against it. This means that even the question of confidence in the government can be avoided because nobody will be able to raise it as an issue.

That’s why I said, elsewhere on the internet, that Labour should abstain.

On the Huffington Post site, I wrote: “Labour’s best move is to abstain, let the Tories defeat their own government with the amendment, and then see if Cameron follows Parliamentary convention and resigns. It’s possible he’ll say that a vote on the Queen’s speech is no longer a confidence issue because of his Fixed-Terms Parliaments Act, which defined a ‘no confidence’ vote for the first time, but this may be countered by saying that, if Parliament does not support the planned legislative programme, then it does not support the government or the Prime Minister who leads it.

“If the PM ignores the resignation issue, then we can all say he is running an outlaw government and nothing he does from now on should be considered legal; if he resigns, then the amendment won’t matter because it won’t go forward.

“And let’s face it, if Labour can abstain on the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill, there’s no reason not to abstain on this!”

If the amendment succeeds, we can have a proper debate on whether this government is fit for purpose – at a time when people are still coming to terms with the first death directly attributed to the imposition of the Conservative Bedroom Tax, which itself follows the deaths of thousands due to the Conservative-employed Atos firm’s mismanagement of Employment and Support Allowance assessments.

It won’t, and we’ll be denied our chance to have that debate.

But just remember – despite all the swagger and show – you’re being denied the chance to have a proper debate on Europe as well.