Tag Archives: Zac

DWP lies about Universal Credit again: Poster boy ‘Charlie’ is an ACTOR

Here’s Charlie. According to Amber Rudd, he’s a Universal Credit success story who has now embarked on a “training career”.

And… here’s Charlie. According to The Canary, based on research by Universal Credit Sufferer writer Alex Tiffin, he’s a TV extra who has appeared on programmes including First Dates.

Yes, we’re discussing the same person.

Here’s what Mr Tiffin found:

Gosh – a Universal Credit claimant who’s been able to travel extensively and enjoy other recreational activities (without being harassed by the DWP)? It seems too good to be true!

One wonders if the DWP got him from the same acting agency as the so-called Vicar of Brexit?

But the DWP said it was true…

… and then the DWP deleted the advert from its website, perhaps after reading the details of Charlie’s recent life in the Canary article.

Still unanswered are the questions asked in that piece,  which were:

  • Why it got a media professional to take part in its video.
  • Why it got someone who has seemingly not been in extended periods of financial difficulty.
  • Why it thought Watson was representative of Universal Credit.
  • Why it failed to inform viewers of his background.

It’s like some kind of reverse IQ test – are people stupid enough to believe the DWP’s lies yet?

Remember Zac and Sarah?

‘Zac’ – he doesn’t exist either and his story has also been faked by the DWP.

‘Sarah’ – she doesn’t exist and her story is a fake.

Fictional people, played by actors.

They were part of a publicity initiative by the DWP under Iain Duncan Smith in 2015, which I discussed in this article at the time.

It seems the DWP has not learned its lesson – or its leaders think we have poor memories.

Perhaps it is hoping that our intelligence is failing us.

Well, it isn’t and we don’t.

Amber Rudd is trying to brazen it out – all she has done so far is remove the offending advert from the DWP’s website.

But she has tried to deceive the people of the UK – as Iain Duncan Smith tried in 2015. We deserve an apology –  or better still, a resignation. She’ll be familiar with the process.

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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Zac and Sarah don’t exist – why should we believe anything from the DWP?

'Sarah' - she doesn't exist and her story is a fake.

‘Sarah’ – she doesn’t exist and her story is a fake.

How can we trust the Department for Work and Pensions’ figures on incapacity benefit claimants’ deaths when we’ve had scandal after scandal from it over falsified evidence?

The Department for Work and Pensions has been caught out in another lie – this time over the existence of people in two fake ‘case studies’ used to promote its cruel, unfair and vindictive sanctions regime.

‘Sarah’ was quoted praising the DWP for threatening to withdraw benefits if she refused to complete her CV, while ‘Zac’ praised the new benefit rules, which had allowed him to continue receiving his money because he had offered proof of a hospital appointment.

'Zac' - he doesn't exist either and his story has also been faked by the DWP.

‘Zac’ – he doesn’t exist either and his story has also been faked by the DWP.

There’s only one problem – neither ‘Sarah’ nor ‘Zac’ exist.

The woman posing as ‘Sarah’ was also pictured in another government blog, The Daily Job Seeker, which offers advice on interview tips along with techniques and information about Universal Credit.

The DWP has been forced to admit that their comments were among a series of quotes on leaflets that were “fabricated” for “illustrative purposes”. All references to ‘Zac’ and ‘Sarah’ have now been removed from the various DWP information outlets.

The revelation that the DWP has been lying about its policies, using fake identities, has aroused yet another storm of protest against the Department and its Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith, the former Army bag-carrier who, This Blog maintains, should be removed from office as SNLR – ‘Services No Longer Required’.

It seems the DWP is claiming this blockhead had no knowledge of the deception, but it is impossible to accept this claim. The fictional accounts are intended to justify his failing policies and it is impossible to believe that civil servants would have created them if he had not demanded it.

Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn was quoted saying: “It is a damning indictment that civil servants are now being forced to make up quotes to cover for the failed political agendas of ministers, after the numerous debacles of Universal Credit, the work capability assessment, and the delays facing disabled people trying to get personal independence payments.”

Further embarrassment is in store for the DWP, after the industry body responsible for regulating the behaviour of organisations producing public relations material, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), launched an investigation into whether any of its members were involved.

CIPR president Sarah Pinch said: “Falsely creating the impression of independent, popular support is a naive and opaque technique which blatantly disregards the CIPR’s standards of ethical conduct. It is deeply disappointing if public relations professionals allowed it to be published.”

“A naïve and opaque technique which blatantly disregards… standards of ethical conduct.”

Let’s look at the DWP’s planned publication of Age-Standardised Mortality Rates for claimants of benefits including Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, and Several Disablement Allowance.

Firstly, we must ask why these figures are being prepared by the Department for Work and Pensions, and not by the Office for National Statistics (the organisation that has produced other age-standardised figures for the UK Government). Why?

The DWP and its representatives in Parliament have claimed that the creation of ASMRs has been undertaken by the Department, in order to meet “the high standards expected” by the UK Statistics Authority. Has anybody seen evidence that the UKSA has made any such demand?

Considering the ASMRs themselves, they provide a rate of deaths, per a certain number of the population, in comparison with the death rate among the population as a whole. It seems they are primarily used to predict future deaths. But the number of people on ESA is constantly fluctuating, meaning that a ‘standardised’ rate will be misleading – especially as we are led to believe the figures used will cover a 10-year period between 2004 and 2014.

Even if the DWP publishes a year-by-year analysis, the death rate per, say, 1,000 will not tell the whole story as a lower ratio in a year when more people were claiming may mask a higher number of deaths.

And that’s if the DWP is using reliable figures in the first place!

The only way to have factual accuracy from this lying tool of Conservative Party ideology is to have the data on which it is based – the genuine numbers of people who have died.

That’s what the Tribunal hearing on benefit-related deaths is all about.

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