What We Learned Last Week (03/11 – 09/11)

kamsandhu —  November 10, 2014 — 3 Comments

1) ‘If people knew what we were doing, they would protest’ – DWP ‘indefensible defence’ for not revealing workfare companies

Image: Coalition of Resistance

Image: Coalition of Resistance

We reported last week that John McArthur, 59, was staging a one man protest against the DWP for attempting to send him on a six month work placement at his old employer, for free. Since, @TheMediaTweets have highlighted that the reason given for the DWP not revealing the places that use workfare is because ‘if people knew what we were doing, they would protest’.

@TheMediaTweets sent out this:

B1lYFCoCAAABThgMake no mistake, this is illegal. Several courts have ruled that the DWP MUST release the names of all companies using the workfare scheme.

The DWP have used similar reasoning in the past, in saying that it would bring the company using workfare into disrepute or lose them business. If a company would be publicly shamed for taking part in a workfare scheme, that is for the public to decide. What the DWP is doing in hiding their names is indefensible. This is an attempt to cover what is a degrading and disgusting forced employment scheme, the discriminate nature of which is shown by the desperation to hide it.

The entire workfare scheme needs to end. Let the DWP know what you think.

Find out more about workfare here.

Read more about this story here.

2) George Osborne accused of fuelling ignorance of welfare claims

Image: The Telegraph

Image: The Telegraph

Personal tax statements sent out by Chancellor George Osborne are misleading and hiding the truth about government spending (so some more lies, then).

The statements say that a quarter of spending goes on welfare when this figure includes things that would not normally be listed under welfare such as care for children.

The Chancellor has already announced that he would cut another £25bn from welfare spending and this distorted breakdown to fluff up welfare figures only suggests that the Chancellor himself knows that it would be wrong to cut further from those who have least. As Armando Iannucci said in his article, ‘Why Politicians of All Parties are Kicking The Poor’ for The Evening Standard the other week ‘You don’t have to be a Harvard-trained economist to know that the last people to have a  spare £25 billion sloshing around are the poor.’

George Osborne is attempting to mislead the public in order to justify further cuts for the poor, at a time when there are record numbers of people on low pay, when there are 3.5m children in poverty, when there is still around a million people in need of a food bank, but a tax cut for the rich remains in the Tory party manifesto.

Just as Iain Duncan Smith was reprimanded by the UK Stats authority for lying about disability and sickness benefits in order to push through unjustified cuts for the disabled and sick, Osborne is taking aim and pushing out propaganda to drop those on the lower end of the economic scale into abject poverty.

Read more about this story here.

3) George Osborne lies about EU bill being halved, and pays in full

Anyone noticing a pattern here?

After Prime Minister David Cameron’s outrage at the £1.7bn EU bill, and claim that he would not pay it, George Osborne conceded we would pay it but that he would halve it. In fact, we’re paying it in full.

The Chancellor claimed that taking into account a rebate that the UK receives, and has done since 1980, the bill had been chopped in half.

He was immediately challenged by the EU commission who said that the rebate had always been there and this had no effect or discount on the bill. lol.

The Chancellor did manage to split the payment in two, originally due on December 1st, the payments now will be made by September next year.

Read more about this story here.

4) DPAC:  “Stop using the ‘v’ word”


Campaigners and activists from the group Disabled People Against Cuts have put out a plea to the left to stop using the ‘v’ word. Please take heed. We will.

The post says:

“A plea to the left – STOP using the “v” word about us, it’s way past time to know that’s not acceptable

“DPAC would like to make a plea to the left to stop referring to disabled people as “vulnerable”. There is nothing inherently ‘vulnerable’ about us – it is society that makes us vulnerable by failing to value and include us.”

Read the full post here.

5) Iain Duncan Smith faces Select Committee questioning

You can watch the meeting here.

6) Expenses records from scandal era destroyed, hindering investigations

Image: Shouldwe.org

Image: Shouldwe.org

Expenses records from the scandal era have been quietly shredded, destroying all evidence and hindering ongoing investigations.

The shredding took place as part of ‘longstanding data law’ according to Parliament.

Denis MacShane, a Labour MP who was jailed for six months for £13,000 of bogus claims, celebrated saying that he was ‘so glad’ they had gone.

However, the expenses watchdog, which was set up in the wake of the scandal says that the paperwork should have been kept for seven years and there is mounting pressure on Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, for overseeing the destruction of records which will now make it impossible to properly investigate dubious claims under the old regime.

Read more about this story here.

7) UK Uncut Guest Blog: An open letter from a firefighter

A firefighter has written an open letter on the UK Uncut website. The media say little of it, but firefighters are striking once again over pay and terms and conditions. Our firefighters shouldn’t have to do this.

“Dear Citizen of the United Kingdom,

“It is with a heavy heart that I feel I have to write to you. I am a Firefighter and I feel it’s my duty to explain to you why I have chosen to take Industrial Action. This I’m afraid is the only option I have left. I have spent my working life serving you. I have seen and done things that nobody should ever have to, but I do it and live with the scars because I am Firefighter, it’s what I do. I am there when you need me the most, willing to lay my life on the line to help you and your family in your darkest hour. I am not a hero, in fact I resent that title. I am a human being just like you, only a human who has dedicated their life to train and train and train again for any situation. Who has fought through heat and smoke to be there when you need me the most. Who has studied for hours numerous cars to know the best way to cut you free. Who has swum in icy lakes to save you from drowning. This is to name but a few.  I don’t do it for thanks, I don’t do it for praise, I don’t do it for money,  I do it because I am a Firefighter. It’s what I do. The only thing I ask, which I never thought I’d have to, is to be treated fairly and with respect.”

Read the full post at UK Uncut.


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3 responses to What We Learned Last Week (03/11 – 09/11)

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