Tag Archives: report

Greensill: civil servants told to declare unauthorised second jobs while independent inquiry move is rejected

David Cameron: he could almost be saying, “Don’t look at me! There’s a civil servant over there who stacks shelves at a supermarket because I froze her pay in 2011!”

The latest developments in the Greensill scandal show typical Tory attitudes – one rule for them and a different rule for the ‘help’.

So – as predicted by This Site – Conservative MPs have rejected a Labour plan for a full Parliamentary inquiry into lobbying by former MPs on behalf of their current employers. Instead, the government has commissioned a review, to be run by a friend of the Tories. It will be a whitewash.

Meanwhile, civil servants are being ordered to declare second jobs they have that “might conflict” with their rules. This is after repeated assertions that former procurement chief Bill Crothers’s second job with Greensill was thoroughly vetted and above-board.

It seems to This Writer that Boris Johnson is looking for someone to blame; trying to take the heat off his school chum and former colleague, David Cameron.

Of course, civil servants shouldn’t have second jobs at all, let alone second jobs that may create a conflict of interests with their duties in the interests of the nation.

But I wonder how anyone has the time. And it also seems to me that if they have managed to get away with this, then we still have to question the behaviour of government ministers who devised the rules on outside employment.

So if any civil servants – especially those in top jobs – are found to have broken the rules… and if serious conflicts of interest are discovered… then Boris Johnson is still going to have a lot of explaining to do.

Source: Greensill row: Civil servants ordered to declare second jobs – BBC News

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Downing Street definitely rewrote race report – according to commissioners hired to make it

Duper’s delight again: picture this look on the face of the man who described black people as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”, after he saw his government’s rewrite of the so-called race report that claims there is no institutional racism in the UK.

This is a huge blow to the government’s credibility. One of the so-called ‘independent’ Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparity has said Downing Street rewrote its report that claims the UK has no institutional racism.

Kunle Olulode, an anti-racism activist and director of the charity Voice4Change, reckons evidence was cherrypicked, distorted and denied in the final document.

Another commissioner, who wished to remain anonymous, accused the government of “bending” the work of its commission to fit “a more palatable” political narrative and denying the working group the autonomy it was promised.

The Observer, in its article, said it has been claimed that significant sections of the report were not written by the 12 commissioners who were appointed last July – or even read by them before it was published.

The group was not given an opportunity to sign off the document, nor were they made aware of its 24 final recommendations. Instead, the finished report, it is alleged, was produced by 10 Downing Street.

The revelations mean the report has lost any authority it may have had, with claims that it was produced independently of the government now thoroughly discredited.

The newspaper report goes on to remind us that the document had been commissioned by Samuel Kasumu, No 10’s most senior black special adviser, who resigned on the day it was published, in shock at its findings.

And the race commission itself seems to have set itself against its own commissioners, with a spokesperson asserting that they “are deliberately seeking to divert attention from the recommendations”.

I disagree. It seems to me that they have attracted attention to those recommendations – by rejecting them.

It is clear that the report isn’t worth the cost of the paper it was written on and nobody should take any action on its recommendations, or base their behaviour on any claims it contains.

If the government won’t withdraw it, then it should be ignored.

Let it hang around Boris Johnson’s neck like a millstone – a constant reminder of his arrogance and incompetence.

After all, he’s the prime minister who refused to even shake hands with black people:

Source: Downing Street rewrote ‘independent’ report on race, experts claim | UK news | The Guardian

Thousands demand Boris Johnson withdraws race report whitewash

Sulky: Boris Johnson thought he could gaslight us all with a report on racism that pretended it doesn’t exist in the UK’s government and institutions. He was wrong. Will he grow up, throw it away and make a start on tackling race prejudice? I think we all know the answer to that.

Boris Johnson is facing demands by more than 20,000 people to withdraw a report claiming there’s no institutional racism in the UK.

Instead, they say in an open letter that he should implement recommendations from previous investigations, to combat the institutional racism that Johnson’s report claims isn’t there.

Organisations including Charity So White, Liberty, the National Education Union, The Runnymede Trust and, yes, Black Lives Matter called on Johnson to “repudiate the … findings immediately and withdraw [the] report”.

Recommendations by Johnson’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities included:

  • Forcing school children from disadvantaged areas into extended school days to catch up on missed learning caused by the Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Better quality careers advice for children from disadvantaged backgrounds – to be funded by university outreach programmes (This Writer has a few doubts about whether this would happen in any case).
  • Research on why children from some communities do better than those from others, in order to replicate conditions that help all children succeed (again, this seems unlikely to happen).
  • Retirement of the acronym BAME because minority ethnic groups should be recognised for their differences rather than their mutual disadvantages (but doesn’t this open them up to discrimination because of those differences, which is exactly what the report should be avoiding?) and an end to unconscious bias training.

People named as contributors to the report have distanced themselves from it, with some saying government representatives used false pretences to secure their participation, or misrepresented their contribution.

An expert on race-related health inequalities said the report used outdated references and notably underplayed the impact of structural racism in health outcomes.

Sir Michael Marmot said there are health differences between races that are not fully explained by class, and so therefore racism must play some role.

And these are just some of the criticisms that have been lined up against Johnson’s report.

That’s why its lame recommendations have been dismissed by the more-than-20,000 signatories of the open letter.

They want recommendations from previously-published reports to be put into practice instead, like:

  • The Home Office appointing a Migrants Commissioner, develop a programme of cultural change for the department, and establish a race advisory board.
  • The justice system introducing targets for a more representative workforce, to reduce race-related bias; allowing low-level offenders to “defer” prosecution and opt for a rehabilitation programme before entering a plea; and gathering more data on the ethnicity and religion of offenders.
  • Firms with more than 50 workers publishing a breakdown of their workforce by race and by how much they are paid (to establish any disparities between the different races).

To be honest, to This Writer, even these ideas seem like pussyfooting around the subject.

Those other reports, and Marmot’s work, and no doubt many others, have already established that the UK’s institutions are racist, and if measures to combat that racism haven’t been devised already, then I have to ask what all these commissions, organisations and pressure groups have been doing with their time.

So let’s have a bit of honesty about the real situation in the UK.

And then let’s have a bit of real action to put the prejudice in the past.

Source: Race report: Boris Johnson urged to withdraw ‘whitewashing’ inquiry – BBC News

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Coverage of Kill the Bill protests shows continued bias against the public

Police at one of the Easter Saturday ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstrations: who do you think is being more violent here?

Dozens of demonstrations against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill took place across the UK on Saturday (April 3).

I held off reporting on them because I wanted to see how the national media covered the protests first.

Remember my article on how the media try to turn the public against ordinary people by slanting their stories, from a few weeks ago? Here’s a reminder:

First the press [respond] … by reporting it in ‘passive voice’. Reports stated ‘clashes occurred…’ or ‘clashes between protesters and police’. Words carefully chosen to not indicate who had started the clashes (the police) and who had been on the receiving end of the majority of the violence (those attending…)

They will report on any police injuries ‘six police received medical attention due to the protest’ they might say… It is very rare that figures are collected for how many protesters were injured, and the assumption may be that this means that number is zero, and the police were thus on the receiving end of more violence than they dished out.

Many news outlets chose to term everyone present as ‘protesters’.

Politicians… chime in condemning the ‘violence’ caused by ‘protesters’.

Now let’s have a look at some reports from the police and the mainstream media.

Who do you see being violent in the video clip?

How many members of the public were injured?

Agents provocateurs? Police plants? We’ve seen evidence of those in recent demonstrations.

Members of the public saw matters from a different angle – such as the following, showing a policeman very clearly kneeling on the neck of a member of the public. Shades of George Floyd?

The Met Police has issued a statement:

The best that could be suggested is that the Met’s spokespeople may have been accidentally looking at a different incident in which somebody was indeed kneeling on a person’s back. Of course, this would imply that they make a habit of attacking members of the public in this way. Not a good look!

And their images of protests around the UK were similarly divergent from the impression being pushed by the police and the press:

The ‘Kill the Bill’ protests (which are about terminating the Police Bill, not the ‘Old Bill’ which is a colloquial name for the police themselves) have been supported by opposition MPs like Jeremy Corbyn…

Mr Corbyn said the bill would prevent protest without police approval.

Speaking in Parliament Square in central London, Mr Corbyn invoked figures such as the suffragettes and Nelson Mandela as he urged the crowd to oppose the bill.

“Stand up for the right to protest, stand up for the right to have your voice heard,” he said.

“I want a society where it is safe to walk the streets, where you can speak out, you can demonstrate and you don’t have to seek the permission from the police or the home secretary to do so,” he said.

… and Zarah Sultana:

Unsurprisingly the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Keir Starmer, has been nowhere to be found.

Source: Kill the Bill protests: Defend right to protest, Corbyn tells marchers – BBC News

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Windrush campaigners are right. Tories can’t recognise their own racism; their report is meaningless

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

This Writer was hoping people affected by the Windrush scandal would have something to say about the government’s attempt to whitewash institutional racism in the UK.

And they do.

The Windrush scandal happened because a Conservative Home Secretary deliberately destroyed documents that proved people who immigrated into the UK to help rebuild after World War Two – and their descendants – had a right to remain here.

Years later, after allowing time for those affected to forget that there was likely to be any problem, the Tory government started contacting members of the so-called “Windrush generation” and their descendants, declaring that there was no record of their UK citizenship, stripping them of their rights and deporting many of them.

It was, by definition, a racist scandal, instigated by the nation’s most fundamental institution – its government. And now a government run by the same party is trying to claim that the UK does not have a problem with institutional racism.

The report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities mentions Windrush in its foreword, as an instance “where ethnic minority communities have rightly felt let down”, but continues: “Outcomes such as these do not come about by design, and are certainly not deliberately targeted.”

The second, and only other, reference to the scandal comes in the conclusion, when it is mentioned in passing as an exceptional example of things going wrong.

This is clearly inaccurate. The Lessons Learned review, an independent investigation into the causes of the Windrush scandal, found that the Home Office had displayed “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness” on race issues, “consistent with some elements of the definition of institutional racism”.

Let’s see what some of the Windrush generation have to say about it:

Patrick Vernon, whose campaigning helped force the government to take action on Windrush, said: “I can see why they haven’t included it. If they had focused on the scandal they would have had to admit that there was a systematic, structural failure in how the Home Office targeted the Windrush generation.”

Anthony Brown, who runs the Windrush Defenders Legal group in Manchester, and who was himself affected by Windrush problems, said he was frustrated by the suggestion that the scandal had been dealt with and it was time to move on. “I don’t feel that the government has fundamentally taken on board what the Windrush scandal means. A whole cohort of people were marginalised.

“The narrative of the report is that it is up to the individual to succeed: if you work hard, keep your head down, you will achieve and be successful in Britain, and if you don’t then, that’s your fault. The policies of the hostile environment took away people’s rights, but the report tries to say: actually you have all the rights you need.”

Satbir Singh, the chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said it was remarkable that Windrush attracted barely a passing mention in the report. “To suggest that these are solved problems that do not need addressing is to gaslight millions of people who know the difference between their own lived experiences and the fictions the government would prefer us all to believe,” he said.

Community activist Desmond Jaddoo, who helps run the Windrush National Organisation to secure justice for thousands of people who were wrongly classified as immigration offenders by the Home Office, was disappointed by the report. “There was a culture of not believing members of the Windrush generation, who had to jump through hoops to prove that they were telling the truth.”

Elwaldo Romeo, who was told he was in the UK illegally and faced detention after 59 years in the country, said he was disappointed by what he had heard of the report. “There’s no compassion and no understanding of what we have gone through,” he said. “Of course they want to sweep it under the carpet. Is there racism within the governmentint and the Home Office? Yes.”

Yes there is. Think of the obstacles Priti Patel put in the way of people trying to get the compensation they deserved after being targeted for discrimination.

Even after being told they were wrong, Tory ministers tried to pretend they didn’t owe restitution to the people they had wronged for the injustice they had wrought.

The only question now is how long we have to wait until Boris Johnson retracts the report and apologises for releasing such an arrogant screed of gaslighting propaganda.

Source: Windrush campaigners alarmed by omissions of No 10 race report | Race | The Guardian

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Did Tory ‘politics steeped in division’ force Johnson’s top black advisor to quit?

‘Politics steeped in division’: Samuel Kasumu.

Samuel Kasumu, the Tory government’s top advisor on ethnic minorities, has finally quit – over a controversial report that claims there’s no institutional racism in the UK.

Mr Kasumu is known to have had deep concerns about government policy on race; he submitted his resignation in February, while working to promote the Covid-19 vaccination programme among minority ethnic groups.

At the time, he accused the Tory government of promoting “a politics steeped in division”.

He agreed to remain only after senior government figures like Nadhim Zahawi lobbied him to stay on.

It seems the racism report was the last straw.

Sadly we have no comment from Mr Kasumu himself explaining the reasoning behind his decision.

Downing Street has leapt in to “manage” the resignation with a claim that he had been planning to leave the government in May anyway.

That may be true, but: It isn’t May now. It’s April. Therefore he has left early. And right after publication of a report whitewashing the government’s record on racism – a record he has very clearly criticised in the past.

In This Writer’s opinion, there’s only one conclusion to draw:

The Tories’ top black advisor quit because he knows his government is racist and he can’t stand the hypocrisy any more.

Even the Tory-supporting BBC seems to agree:

Samuel Kasumu has been unhappy with the government’s stance on race for some time, sources say.

Source: Samuel Kasumu: PM’s adviser quits amid row over race report – BBC News

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Police inspectorate skewed report to support government clampdown on protests – claim

Whistleblower: this image is representative (the revelations in the article were made by a woman). Many whistleblowers suffer for their principles, in spite of assurances that this won’t happen. It will be interesting to see what happens to Alice O’Keeffe’s career from now on.

The timing is exquisite.

On the day This Site published an article about allegations that a report on institutional racism was scripted by the Tory government to support a lie that there isn’t any in the UK, a whistleblower attacked another report – on the policing of protests – saying it was scripted by the Tories too.

The claim is a huge blow to the credibility of HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. Another blow to its credibility is the fact that it will apparently examine whether there is any truth to it.

For clarity, whistleblower Alice O’Keeffe has said

The official policing inspectorate showed repeated bias in favour of the police and against peaceful protesters…

[The report] was skewed in favour of the government view, with conclusions reached before evidence was gathered and assessed.

The civil service code was breached.

HMICFRS told the home secretary in a private letter it backed the need to change protest laws five months before its report was published.

Some in the inquiry team… likened peaceful protesters to the IRA, which waged a terrorist campaign against the UK.

Ms O’Keeffe’s written complaint was made as HMICFRS worked on a separate report on the policing of a vigil for Sarah Everard. She said the biases she had seen left her fearing a report into the policing of the vigil would be a whitewash.

And, as we have seen, it seems she was right.

That report totally exonerated the police and found fault with those of us who criticised police violence against and manhandling of women at the Clapham Common vigil.

HMICFRS has defended itself by claiming independence – based on nothing more than reputation. But reputations can be broken by facts.

And Ms O’Keeffe has spent five years working for the police inspectorate, so it is reasonable to believe she may know her subject.

Well, I hope she made copies of her evidence and put them in a safe place because if HMICFRS holds any information corroborating her claims then you can bet the hard drives have been wiped and the hard copies shredded already.

The upshot of all this is that in the short term we have another reason to distrust a police service that seems to be working for a totalitarian Tory government – and against us.

And in the long term?

We can expect another report that whitewashes the Tory-supporting inspectorate and gives us even more reason to live in fear of our government and the police force that smashes our heads in its name.

Source: Police watchdog accused of skewing report to back protests clampdown | Police | The Guardian

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Racism by gaslight as the UK’s racist government’s new report is a #whitewash

Tory racists: let’s remember that the government currently claiming there’s no institutional racism in the UK is led by a prime minister who had to apologise for an article claiming black people have lower IQs, then went on to say Muslim women in burqas resemble “bank robbers” and “letterboxes” and told us black people are “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. His novel 72 Virgins also contains an anti-Semitic trope.

The Tory government has released a report claiming that, despite thousands of cases of casual, institutional racism that we all see every day, the UK should be seen as an “exemplar” of racial equality.

Who do these racist Tory twits think they are going to fool?

The answer to that is obvious – the majority population of white British people who don’t experience racism in their day-to-day lives, many of whom habitually vote Conservative even though it is against their own interests to do so.

You know… the gaslit millions.

The report by the Tory government’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities was scripted by Downing Street and released under what Peter Walker of The Guardian described as “some pretty cynical news management”.

He explained in a short series of tweets:

He concluded: “We just ignored the “no approach” aspect as it seemed weird to not ask expert groups about a major report in their own subject area, and cynical for government press officers to expect this.”

It wasn’t weird at all. He was right the first time: it was an attempt to ensure that coverage of the story would only highlight the positive message – the lie – that your racist Tory government was peddling.

And let’s not have any nit-picking about my reference to these Tories as racist. This report deliberately hides the racism with which UK society is riddled in order to gaslight the gullible into thinking it doesn’t exist. That in itself is racist.

When you see the head of the commission, Tony Sewell, speaking about it, bear in mind that he is distrusted by the minority ethnic community because he has long claimed that institutional racism does not exist.

A summary of the report focused on education, claiming that many students from minority ethnic backgrounds do as well or better than their white peers.

That is not the experience of youngsters who continue to be treated as backward, simply because of the colour of their skin. Read Akala’s book Natives for a ground-level account of what it’s really like.

The Guardian article, having ignored the Tory embargo, features some on-the-nose responses too:

The shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, told the same programme that disproportionate rates of school exclusion and arrest among black children underlined evidence of an institutional problem. It would roll back progress if the government sought “to downplay or deny the extent of the problem, rather than doing what it should be doing which is getting on the front foot and tackling it,” she said.

A spokesperson for Black Lives Matter UK said that while the report focused on education, “it fails to explore disproportionality in school exclusion, eurocentrism and censorship in the curriculum, or the ongoing attainment gap in higher education.

“We are also disappointed to learn that the report overlooks disproportionality in the criminal justice system – particularly as police racism served as the catalyst for last summer’s protests. Black people in England and Wales are nine times more likely to be imprisoned than their white peers, and yet, four years on, the recommendations from the Lammy review are yet to be implemented.”

Halima Begum, the chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, said: “As we saw in the early days of the pandemic, 60% of the first NHS doctors and nurses to die were from our BAME communities. For Boris Johnson to look the grieving families of those brave dead in the eye and say there is no evidence of institutional racism in the UK is nothing short of a gross offence.

“The facts about institutional racism do not lie, and we note with some surprise that, no matter how much spin the commission puts on its findings, it does in fact concede that we do not live in a post-racist society.”

Maurice Mcleod, the chief executive of Race on the Agenda, described the conclusion of the inquiry as “government level gaslighting” and criticised the summary for claiming communities are being “haunted” by “historic cases” of racism, creating “deep mistrust” in the system that could prove a barrier to success.

He said the implications of the report were that “the reason so many black people don’t get on well in this society is because they are stuck in the past and this makes them mistrustful. So racism isn’t the problem, people talking about racism is the problem.”

“Government level gaslighting” is right – and is a theme that has been taken up on the social media by people who should know:

You get the picture?

Perhaps worst of all is the fact that this is only one example of the deception coming from your Tory government – which is gaslighting us so heavily that one Twitter user said it was in danger of breaching the Paris Agreement on Climate Change:

But there is an easy way to fight back:

Here’s some information to get you started:

Source: Downing Street suggests UK should be seen as model of racial equality | Race | The Guardian

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‘Left-wing’ Mash Report axed by BBC to make way for ‘new comedy’. It won’t be funny!

“Blatantly Backing Conservatives”: I know this image refers specifically to BBC News. It seems with the arrival of ‘Tory Tim’ Davie, the Corporation’s right-wing bias is spreading to its comedy output. Look out, drama and documentaries!

The BBC has axed Nish Kumar satire show The Mash Report on the grounds that it was biased toward the political left.

Director General ‘Tory Tim’ Davie at first said he would not make big changes to the corporation’s comedy output, saying that comedy had always “poked at authority”.

He seems to have changed his mind.

Of course, ‘Tory Tim’ is at a bit of a disadvantage when referring to political bias, since it is widely understood that he owes his position to Tory intervention:

Mash had been a target for right-wing commentators since 2018, when Andrew Neil singled it out while complaining that the corporation’s comedy output was too left-wing.

Neil is, of course, chair of that ultra-right wing publication The Spectator, so he’s a fine one to complain about bias!

Asked for a comment on Twitter, Nish Kumar responded with this:

Was this something he wasn’t allowed to do on the televised show, and he was taking the opportunity now?

Meanwhile, let’s have a look at the kind of bias supported by a show with similar ratings to The Mash Report. I refer to Question Time. This is an actual question from the March 11 edition:

Do I need to spell out the wrongness of the question and the thinking behind it?

This Writer certainly wishes Kumar, and co-presenter Rachel Parris, a brighter future beyond the Beeb.

As for the corporation’s new comedy output: I look forward to seeing the new wave of diversity heralded by ‘Tory Tim’.

Looking at comedy history, I think we’re about to be deluged with right-wing material that simply isn’t funny.

Source: The Mash Report axed by BBC bosses after claims of ‘left-wing bias’ | Metro News

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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Philippa Day was right to distrust DWP. Coroner’s report suggests she was DELIBERATELY driven to take her own life

Inquest: Philippa Day took an insulin overdose after benefit assessment provider Capita cut her benefits and demanded that she attend an assessment centre – which was impossible due to her disability.

Philippa Day believed her benefit claim would be mishandled before she made it – and she was right. A coroner found 28 “mistakes” were made before she took the insulin overdose that ended her life.

But were they mistakes or was Gordon Clow, the coroner who reported on the case, simply unable to attribute “malign” intent?

Ms Day, who suffered from mental ill-health, certainly believed that the Department for Work and Pensions had no intention of treating her fairly, as evidenced by Mr Clow’s report.

He said she

was predisposed by her mental health problems to wrongly imagine malign motives on the part of those administering her claim

– but was she wrong?

The coroner stated [boldings mine]:

The administration of Philippa Day’s benefits claim was characterised by multiple errors, some of which occurred repeatedly throughout the period of her claim.

As a result of errors made, Philippa Day’s income from benefits more than halved for a period of several months, causing her severe financial hardship.

To try to cope with the cash shortfall, Ms Day took out high interest loans, creating a financial problem that she did not have the means to solve – and attacking her mental health.

DWP officers – and private PIP assessors – must have known that this was likely but it seems that either they did not care or they wanted it to happen. It seems to This Writer that there is a question not put by the coroner, possibly because it does not fall within his scope. It does fall within mine:

Why would a government officer deliberately push a benefit claimant into severe financial pressure, mental ill-health, and self-harm*?

That is what we see here. There was nothing accidental about it. The officials involved knew what they were doing because they had all the relevant information. The coroner stated as much in his report:

[The] risk was implicit in the information held in connection with the benefits claim and explicit in advice given to those processing her claim by Philippa Day’s community psychiatric nurse shortly prior to Philippa’s overdose.

This information was ignored.

The coroner described the result in his report:

A decision was made in June 2019 to require Philippa Day to attend an assessment at an assessment centre.

No assessment was in fact required in order to determine her claim and there was clear and abundant medical evidence that an assessment outside of the home would exacerbate her mental health against a background of two recent overdoses. The requirement for her to attend this appointment created a risk of a mental health crisis resulting in
an overdose.

Although the error in decision making was drawn to the attention of those administering the claim on more than one occasion, it was not rectified as it should have been.

The DWP made a deliberate decision to ignore the risk of a suicide attempt. And the coroner clearly argued that it was this decision that led to Ms Day’s overdose:

The failure to administer the claim in such a way as to avoid exacerbating Philippa Day’s pre-existing mental health problems was the predominant factor, save for her severe mental illness, affecting a decision taken by Philippa Day to take an overdose of her prescribed insulin on the 7th or 8th August 2019.

The distress caused by the administration of Philippa Day’s welfare benefits claim led to Philippa Day suffering acute distress and exacerbated many of her other chronic stressors.

Were it not for these problems, it is unlikely that Philippa Day would have taken an overdose of her prescribed insulin on 7th or 8th August 2019.

The coroner stated – accurately – that “it is not possible to determine on the available evidence whether or not it was her intention to thereby end her life”.

But attempts to revive her failed and she passed away on October 16, 2019.

Mr Clow’s report went on to raise “matters of concern” that give him reason to believe that further deaths will happen due to deliberate, intentional behaviour by DWP officers.

He stated:

Call handlers [at] the DWP had not received, in their preparatory course prior to commencing work taking calls from claimants, specific training as to how best to interact with persons suffering from mental ill health in such a way as to avoid inadvertently exacerbating the difficulties experienced in progressing claims for benefits by such persons.

If true, this is a deliberate choice by the DWP’s bosses – to withhold training that could prevent deaths.

Records of calls handled were very brief and, at times, inaccurate. The records did not facilitate accurate decision making or enable queries to be dealt with efficiently and without inadvertently exacerbating the difficulties experienced by Philippa Day in progressing her benefits claims .

The word that sticks out like a sore thumb here is “inadvertently”. It seems Mr Clows included it because he had no evidence that the decisions “exacerbating the difficulties experienced by Philippa Day” were deliberate. But there must have been deliberate decisions to make inaccurate reports of calls handled – leading to the consequent failures that pushed Ms Day to her overdose?

(As a reporter, I have to make choices about what information I include in stories and what I leave out. Those choices are dictated by my judgement regarding what is relevant to the article. In this article, for example, I have omitted details of Ms Day’s mental health problems; it is known that she had a mental illness so there is no need to go into the details on this occasion. As benefit assessment officers, it seems to me, those responsible for handling her claim at the DWP had a similar responsibility – to include all relevant information – but they did not. That is a deliberate choice.)

The change of assessment process did not allow for a decision, which was incorrect, to be rectified without evidence of a subsequent change of circumstances.

That must have been a deliberate decision by whoever drafted the regulations controlling this process.

In addition, when a change of review process was appropriate, there was no means by which upcoming appointments could be cancelled without causing prejudice to Philippa Day.

Again, the regulations are drafted by people who know the consequences of the actions they require – and the consequences of the actions they forbid. The government has been providing state benefits for nearly a century and it is unrealistic to believe that cases similar to Philippa Day’s have not been handled before. In fact, the evidence of other deaths suggests that hundreds take place every year.

A misleading letter was sent which led Philippa Day to consider that her benefits would be stopped if she did not attend the upcoming appointment.

This is really vile. Knowing that an assessment outside her home would harm her mental health, DWP officers deliberately put her in fear of losing her benefits if she did not attend one. That is deliberate psychological torture.

Add it all up and we see deliberate decisions that mounted up into a force that pushed Philippa Day towards the overdose that ended her life.

But not one person involved in those decisions will face any penalty for having caused the death of another human being. Not one.

Information from previous reports shows that the identities of those responsible are known, but no action is being taken against them.

Meanwhile,

Analysis carried out by the Disability News Service suggests that there could have been as many as 750 benefit claimants of working age who took their lives in 2018.

I stated at the time that “the total number since the Tories introduced PIP – let alone the harsher benefit qualification laws brought in after they came into office in 2010 – is likely to be in the tens of thousands, if not, indeed, hundreds of thousands.”

It is worse than Aktion T4 – the cull of people with disabilities in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 1940s.

So I repeat my comments at the end of a previous report:

How many benefit assessors from Capita (and fellow private contractor Atos) have contributed to those deaths?

How many officials from the Department for Work and Pensions?

How many Conservative ministers, who imposed the legislation, and backbenchers, who supported it?

And I ask:

When will they be brought to account for the deaths they have caused?

*Not suicide – the coroner’s report showed that Ms Day’s motives cannot be deduced from the evidence available; her overdose could have been a classic “cry for help”.

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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