Tag Archives: offensive

Is Liz Truss schmoozing her MPs with meals and drinks subsidised by you and me?

Liz Truss: is the evil Queen of Cheese even capable of charm?

Liz Truss is apparently going on a “charm offensive” (the “offensive” part I can believe, but I have trouble with the “charm” element), wining and dining her backbenchers to win support for her lunatic policies.

But is she charging these meals to the public purse?

Let’s go into that public subsidy element of the scheme in a little more detail, shall we?

It seems to This Writer that the cost of any schmoozing by Liz Truss should be met by Liz Truss. I don’t want Tory backbenchers supporting her madness so I don’t see why I should have to pay for it. And it seems I’m not alone…

It’s clear that the expenses system in Westminster is broken, and has been used to bleed money from the public to our elected representatives for a considerable amount of time. Oh, and also to our unelected representatives, it seems:

No, it isn’t hard to see where we are going wrong.

But how can we put it right when the people taking the cash have such a tight group on how it is controlled?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Hypocrisy over language used to describe DWP oppression of benefit claimants

Offensive: Did the same people who branded graffiti outside a job centre as offensive criticise Iain Duncan Smith for using the same words – in translation – in a speech after visiting the concentration camp where they stand over the gate?

This is genuinely offensive – and no, I don’t mean it is offensive that somebody sprayed “arbeit macht frei” and “DWP Nazis” on walls outside a job centre in Norwish.

It is offensive that people are saying it is inappropriate.

Have they forgotten that, when he was Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith visited Auschwitz and, on his return, actually said “Work sets you free” (the literal translation of “arbeit macht frei”) in a speech?

Don’t tell me that was an accident!

And consider the language used by Conservatives, over many years:

So the Tories have used Nazi language to characterise benefit claimants – particularly the sick and disabled. And This Site is full of articles showing how they have persecuted the same people – just as the Nazis did.

So I say: yes, it is criminal damage and that is a crime.

But it is also unacceptable for anybody – particularly Tories – to deplore the language used without considering its context. It is a supportable criticism of Conservative government policies.

Source: Nazi slogans appear on buildings in Norwich | Crime | Eastern Daily Press

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Hypocrite Bradley’s ‘apology’ video for ‘vasectomy’ blog makes matters WORSE

Ben Bradley: Two weeks ago it was “Vasectomies for wasters”, last week it was “Splat the chavs”. This week it’s “I have matured”. What pearl of wisdom will we have from him next week? [Image: Getty.]

Ben Bradley has turned out to be just like every other Tory recently tasked with improving the Conservative Party’s profile with the young – he just can’t get anything right.

Yesterday (January 23) he posted an apology for blog posts written in 2011, calling for unemployed “wasters” to have “vasectomies” and saying he could not wait for water cannons to arrive in London so police could play “splat the chav”.

It’s a cringeworthy performance, made worse by his claim that matters have improved across the nation since he scribbled those appalling blog posts, with the arrival of the benefit cap and the limiting of child benefit to just two children.

So enforced poverty on families who rely on benefits is a good thing, is it?

The so-called ‘rape clause’ – that says mothers can only receive benefit for a third child if it is the result of sexual assault – is a good thing, is it?

I know many mothers who would disagree. But then, Mr Bradley isn’t a mother. He just thinks he can tell them what’s good for them.

Here’s his video; see for yourself:

The Daily Mirror has been having fun with Mr Bradley too, pointing out that he reckons he should be excused because his time in politics has allowed him to mature – just three months after he said Jared O’Mara should be “condemned” for offensive homophobic and misogynistic posts he put online.

Mr Bradley begged for his own mistakes to be forgotten – having already, it seems, forgotten that he said Labour’s failure to condemn Mr O’Mara was a “copout” and “weak”.

But that’s Tories for you. They are the Party of Double-Standards, after all.

A Tory MP has begged for his online mistakes to be forgotten just three months after saying another MP should be “condemned” for comments he made on the internet.

Tory youth spokesman Ben Bradley called for the unemployed to have vasectomies in blogs that were unearthed last week.

In another post he said it would be “incredibly sensible” to relocate people on benefits hundreds of miles from home.

Theresa May has been under pressure to sack Bradley, now 28, over the posts which were made when he was 22.

Bradley today issued a video, admitting he had “cocked up”, but pleading to be “judged based on what I’m doing now as a member of parliament, not stupid things I said as a young man.”

But just three months ago, he launched an online attack on another MP over posts he made online as a young man, criticising Labour for insufficiently condemning him and accusing them of a “cop out”.

Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara, who defeated Nick Clegg in June’s General Election, was suspended by Labour in October, after a string of misogynistic and homophobic online comments posted when he was in his early twenties were revealed.

Many of O’Mara’s posts were published when he was younger than Bradley was at the time of his blogs.

Bradley also mocked O’Mara’s claim to have been “on a journey” since making his offensive posts.

But when he was forced to apologise over his own posts, he claimed he had “time in politics has allowed me to mature”

Bradley tweeted: “Labour totally fail to condemn Jared O’Mara again on Daily Politics. He’s been on a journey you know! #Copout #Weak”

Source: ‘Vasectomies for jobseekers’ Tory begs for mistakes to be forgotten months after attacking Labour MP for online comments – Mirror Online


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BBC confirms ‘Tory mouthpiece’ accusation with updated lies about ESA

131029bbcbias

I have complained to the BBC and the UK Statistics Authority about this disgrace.

Today (January 25) the BBC published a scurrilous little screed claiming that “nearly a million people who applied for sickness benefit have been found fit for work”. Needless to say, the figures come from the Department for Work and Pensions and aren’t worth the time it took to type them in.

The story states: “The DWP claims 980,400 people – 32% of new applicants for Employment and Support Allowance – were judged capable of work between 2008 and March 2013.

“More than a million others withdrew their claims after interviews, it adds.”

It goes on to say that disability campaigners had stated that the work capability assessment tests were “ridiculously harsh and extremely unfair”, but says nothing about the fact that an almost-identical story was withdrawn last year after it was found to be riddled with inaccuracies – if not outright lies.

Even more bizarre is the fact that the story does provide the factual reason for claims being withdrawn. They “either returned to work, recovered or claimed a benefit “more appropriate to their situation”.

In other words, these people used the system in exactly the right way, yet the DWP – and the BBC – are pretending that they were trying to fiddle it in some way.

To explain what happened last year, let’s look at a letter from Sheila Gilmore MP to Andrew Dilnot, head of the UK Statistics Authority, and his response. You can find it on page 39 of the DPAC report on DWP abuse of statistics.

The letter from Sheila Gilmore states: “On 30 March 2013 an article by Patrick Hennessy entitled ‘900,000 choose to come off sickness benefit ahead of tests’ was published in the Sunday Telegraph. Please find a copy enclosed. I believe that the headline and the subsequent story are fundamentally misleading because they conflate two related but separate sets of statistics. I would be grateful if you could confirm that my interpretation of what has happened is correct.

“The sickness benefit in question is Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). People have been able to make new claims for ESA since October 2008, but those in receipt of the benefits it replaced – Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, and Income Support on the grounds of disability – only started migrating across in April 2011.

“The article implied that many of this latter group were dropping their claim rather than having to go through a face-to-face assessment, with the implication that they were never really ill in the first place and had been ‘playing the system’.

“However I have checked the figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions and it would appear that the figure of 900,000 actually refers to all those who have made new claims for ESA since its introduction over four years ago, but who have since withdrawn their application before undergoing a face-to-face assessment. These people were not claiming the benefit before and generally drop out of the system for perfectly innocent reasons – often people become ill, apply as a precaution, but withdraw when they get better.

“Of the 600,000 people who have been migrated from Incapacity Benefit over the past two years, only 19,700 have dropped their claim. This is the figure that should have featured in the headline, but the 900,000 figure was used instead.”

Mr Dilnot replied: “Having reviewed the article and the relevant figures, we have concluded that these statements appear to conflate official statistics relating to new claimants of the ESA with official statistics on recipients of the incapacity
benefit (IB) who are being migrated across to the ESA.

“According to official statistics published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in January 2013, a total of 603,600 recipients of IB were referred for reassessment as part of the migration across to ESA between March 2011 and May 2012. Of these, 19,700 claims were closed prior to a work capability assessment in the period to May 2012.

“The figure of “nearly 900,000” referenced in the article appears to refer to the cumulative total of 878,300 new claims for the ESA (i.e. not pre-existing IB recipients) which were closed before undergoing assessment in the period from October 2008 to May 2012.

“In your letter, you also expressed concern about the apparent implication in the Sunday Telegraph article that claims for ESA had been dropped because the individuals were never really ill in the first place. The statistical release does not address the issue of why cases were closed in great depth, but it does point to research undertaken by DWP which suggests that ‘an important reason why ESA claims in this sample were withdrawn or closed before they were fully assessed was because the person recovered and either returned to work, or claimed a benefit more appropriate to their situation’.”

What he was saying, in his officialese way, was that the Conservatives had wrongly ‘conflated’ monthly figures into a cumulative total; they had misled the press about the figures’ significance; and the press release (which then mysteriously disappeared) ignored a clear caveat in the DWP’s own report that the reason the claims were dropped each month had nothing to do with fear of medical assessment but were because people recovered and went back to work, or else were switched to another benefit deemed more suitable to their circumstances.

Now the BBC has resurrected this story, with brand new, larger numbers that add in the totals for 2013 without telling you whether these were all new claims, or repeat claims, or a mixture; they are all treated as new.

The claim that 980,400 people had been found fit for work after medical tests – the feared Atos work capability assessments – is also extremely questionable – as the BBC well knows.

Its own Panorama programme, ‘Disabled or Faking It?’, investigated whether the DWP was knocking people off-benefit in order to hit financial targets – in essence, making people destitute in order to show a budget saving. A Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, ‘Britain on the Sick’, proved that this was happening. Both were shown at the end of July 2012.

I have complained to the BBC and to Mr Dilnot about the deeply offensive and defamatory way in which these lies have been resurrected, in order to encourage the general public to hold people who are genuinely ill in hatred, ridicule and contempt. If you believe this cause is just, go thou and do likewise.

This behaviour is even more appalling when one considers the rise and rise of hate crime against the sick and disabled.

Members of groups such as DPAC or Black Triangle may even wish to take libel action against the corporation and the DWP on the basis of this report.

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