Tag Archives: Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament heckler provides more proof that Esther McVey really is a ‘stain’ on humanity

McVile: Esther McVey during her evidence session before the Scottish Parliament.

Congratulations to John Pring at Disability News Service for interviewing the man who heckled Esther McVey during her evidence session before the Scottish Parliament on Monday.

It turns out that ‘David’ had raised the case of Jodie Whiting, who took her own life after her Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was sanctioned away from her. This Site covered the case here.

It is disappointing that the interruption was not reported fully by the mainstream media because it highlights the cruelty of both the Department for Work and Pensions and its current boss, and illustrates why they both have to go:

Ms Whiting lost her benefit because she missed a work capability assessment appointment because she was in hospital being treated for a brain cyst.

Let’s all stop for a moment and think about that.

It is entirely reasonable for a person on a long-term sickness benefit to require hospital treatment for their health condition.

While it may legitimately require people to prove their eligibility to receive ESA, it is entirely unreasonable for the government’s benefits agency to demand that sick people miss their treatment in order to tick a box on a bureaucrat’s paperwork.

Health comes first, or it is the system that is sick.

And the Tory-run system is terminal – for users like Ms Whiting. Instead of rearranging the assessment appointment, the DWP cut her off without a penny, triggering a chain of events that led to her untimely death.

When the case was raised, Ms McVey didn’t even have the decency to apologise. Instead, ‘David’ was removed from the meeting.

Could anything be a better demonstration of the arrogance and ignorance of our current rulers?

Rather than face up to their failings, they remove anybody who mentions them. And their complicit media mouthpieces gloss over the incident.

The mother of a woman who killed herself after her disability benefits were sanctioned has praised a disabled activist who confronted work and pensions secretary Esther McVey about her daughter’s death as she gave evidence to Scottish MSPs this week.

The activist, David*, had told Joy Dove of his plans to question McVey about her daughter’s suicide as the minister was giving evidence to the Scottish parliament’s social security committee on Monday.

Jodey Whiting, a seriously-ill mother-of-nine, from Stockton, took her own life last year after having her employment and support allowance (ESA) sanctioned.

She had her ESA stopped after missing a work capability assessment because she was in hospital being treated for a brain cyst, and never opened the letter telling her about the appointment.

David, from the campaign group Class War Scotland, who was sitting in public seats behind McVey, called out (listen from 52 minutes) as she was replying to a question from an MSP about her government’s policies on social security reform and whether she should apologise to the people of Scotland.

David called out: “What about Jodey Whiting, mother of nine, who committed suicide after her ESA was stopped?

“It was stopped because she missed an appointment.”

The committee meeting was suspended and David left the hearing.

Source: Mother of ESA suicide mum-of-nine praises activist for confronting McVey


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‘Monstrously unfair’, Damian Green? I, Daniel Blake’s writer stands behind every word

161103-laverty-message-to-green

Paul Laverty’s message to Damian Green, writing inside a copy of the screenplay for I, Daniel Blake that was handed to him in Holyrood. Chances of Mr Green reading further are zero, I would expect.

I note that Damian Green has very quickly got into the habit necessary to be the Work and Pensions Secretary, in that he is a liar and may not be trusted with anything at all.

He was in Holyrood today (November 3), defending his department’s homicidal track record against a panel of MSPs who didn’t believe a word of it – and quite rightly.

Mr Adam, who presented Mr Green with the book (screenplay author Paul Laverty was also present) stated that I, Daniel Blake, the story of a 59-year-old joiner who is plunged into extreme poverty and confronted by a faceless bureaucracy when his benefits are stopped was drawn from real-life research.

He also said campaigners from the Black Triangle Campaign group had told the Scottish Parliament’s social security committee that “basically the regime of Personal Independence Payment assessments (which assess people with a disability for benefits) is sending people to go and commit suicide”.

He added: “They almost accused you of murdering people.”

Mr Green said: “There is no evidence, and I think bringing people who committed suicide into political debate is always unfortunate.”

Liar. There is evidence, and plenty of it. The DWP fairly recently had to change its story from complete denial of complicity in benefit-related suicides to saying there were many reasons. Mr Green is only denying the existence of any evidence because he knows the DWP deliberately fails to collect it.

“Clearly every suicide is a tragedy, there are complex reasons behind everyone, and as I say to try and politicise individual tragedies like this always seems to me to be very unfortunate.”

Liar. With any suicide, one may whittle away those complex reasons to discover the trigger. Many DWP-related suicides are characterised by a note – blaming the removal of benefits.

He added: “It is absolutely not the intention of anyone connected with the welfare system, whether it’s ministers or staff of the DWP, to cause distress.”

Liar. Here’s a video of DWP staff setting out to cause distress, published… Oh! Goodness me, it was published today* – the very same day Mr Green was denying any such behaviour taking place.

And what does he have to say about a government building discriminating against the disabled?

Mr Laverty’s message reads:

“To Mr Damian Green,

“We noticed you condemned our film in Parliament as “having no relationship to the modern benefit system” and as being “monstrously unfair” to the Job Centre staff.

“It is a pity you didn’t see the film first.

“Do you always reach conclusions before examining the evidence? Especially, which speaking at the dispatch box?

“I thought the script might be [useful?] for you in your busy schedule.

“FOR THE RECORD WE STAND BY EVERY SINGLE INCIDENT AS A FAIR REFLECTION of what is going on today UNDER YOUR WATCH.

“IF YOU HAVEN’T TIME FOR THIS SCRIPT, VISIT A FOOD-BANK. They will tell you, as they told us.

“DO THE DECENT THING – put a stop now to this barbaric and systematic attack against YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS.”

If Mr Laverty is willing to stand behind those words, This Writer is happy to do the same. How about you?

MSPs have given the UK government’s work and pensions secretary a signed copy of the I, Daniel Blake book.

It was presented to Mr Green by SNP MSP George Adam, who suggested he use it as “light reading” for his journey back to London.

It came as a Holyrood committee repeatedly challenged Damian Green over the benefit system’s sanctions regime.

Mr Green strongly rejected claims that the welfare system had driven people to commit suicide.

He also accused MSPs of attempting to “politicise individual tragedies” and said the system was there to help people.

Source: Damian Green given signed I, Daniel Blake book – BBC News

*Before any smart-alec says the timecode shows the video was taken on October 3 – that’s all very well, but it was posted on YouTube today.

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