1) Benefit claimants will face new ‘attitude to work’ tests
Benefit claimants will have to undergo new ‘attitude to work’ tests to assess whether they are psychologically resistant to work, in new plans proposed by employment Minister, Esther McVey. The tests are already being trialled in 3 job centres.
“It will be scales of eager, despondent, maybe apprehensive. There are factors within that: somebody who is apprehensive but willing is different from someone who is reticent but disengaged,” said Ms McVey.”
Those who seem reluctant to work will receive intensive training from the job centre. Those who seem more willing to work will be put on less rigorous schemes.
2) Police increasingly telling the public to solve crimes themselves
A police watchdog has warned that there is an increasing trend for the police to tell the public to investigate and solve crimes such as criminal damage and car crimes themselves, by checking CCTV footage or searching secondhand websites for their goods.
The watchdog warns “that in areas where the police have given up investigating these offences, they are “on the verge of being decriminalised”.
3) Daily Mail shuts down Black Triangle website
The Black Triangle website received a cease and desist letter from the Daily Mail’s lawyers and was taken offline following a blog post looking into inconsistencies of the tabloid’s reporting.
The Daily Mail ran a story on a woman who claimed she was £400 worse off for not claiming disability benefit and working instead. Black Triangle decided to look deeper into the story and ran a post that challenged the story.
They then received a notice from their host Orange, which claimed the photos used were a breach of privacy laws, thus giving reason for suspending the site.
The host has now given permission to get the site back up after removing the offending post, but the situation smacks of an attempt to silence a challenging voice.
Black Triangle will never be silenced from telling the truth. Anyone who defames disabled people can expect us – it’s in our name” – Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence of Disability Rights
4) Fracking bosses sit at heart of coalition government
The government may be pushing forward with damaging and controversial new energy plans to benefit fracking industry links at the heart of the coalition, campaigners have warned.
Despite having overwhelming opposition from the public, the government has aggressively pushed ahead with plans to frack for shale gas, going as far as bringing in laws to end a need for permission to frack under homes. The reason for this tactic, according to anti-fracking campaigners, is that some government figures will personally profit from the industry.
“Conflicts of interest?
“The former BP boss is chairman of Cuadrilla, which is exploring for shale gas in Lancashire and West Sussex. He is lead “non-executive” across Government, meaning that he helps recruit other non-executives to Whitehall.
“The non-executive for the Treasury sits on the board of BG Group, which has significant shale gas assets in the United States.
“The non-executive to the Transport Department is also chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, which recently bought a 25 per cent stake in Cuadrilla’s most promising shale gas prospect.
“A former executive at BP when Lord Browne was at the helm, he followed the peer to Riverstone Holdings, which owns 42 per cent of Cuadrilla. Moxham was energy adviser at No 10 but quit in May.
“George Osborne’s father-in-law is also president of the British Institute of Economics, whose backers include BP and BG Group.”