Bath Campaigner to go to Police to Bring Charges Against Tory Ministers

Keith Ordinary Guy – the Bath man who sends a letter to David Cameron every day – is heading to Bath Police Station at 2pm on Friday 2nd May to send the message that the government’s new Claimant Commitment Contract contravenes the Human Rights Act (HRA), and that Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud are in breach of the Human Rights Act.

The message reads:

Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud Breach Human Rights

The Claimant Commitment Contract. Policy Aims:

The conditionality regime will recast the relationship between the citizen and the State from one centred on ‘entitlement’ to one centred on a contractual concept that provides a range of support in return for claimant’s meeting an explicit set of responsibilities, with a sanctions regime to encourage compliance.

Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud have reintroduced slavery through forced compliance (sanctions regime), denying people the means of survival if they do not comply or fail to meet conditions.

 – Article 4 – Prohibition of Slavery and Forced Labour

2: No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
Exclusion: Any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.

Under these contracts the work or service cannot be considered normal because it involves the loss of means of survival. 

The new Claimant Commitment Contract means that claimants are required to perform forced or compulsory labour via contracts set up by DWP work coaches.

Claimants who refuse to sign the contract or breach it will be denied Universal Credit (JSA etc.), i.e. the means of survival, thus breaching Article 1 of the HRA.

HRA – Article 2 – Right to Life

1: Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.

Earlier today we caught up with Keith to find out more about the campaign:

What drove you to to take this action?I’ve been writing ‘A letter a day to number 10’ for over two years now, currently on No 728, and it is clear that the government have an agenda that they are pursuing regardless of public outcry, facts or the suffering they are causing. I have been to the police twice attempting to bring charges against Iain Duncan Smith and was fobbed off both times. This time, I called on Sonia Poulton and her camera man Lee to, at the least, make this a very public ‘event’. Whatever the outcome I hope that we can bring the glare of publicity to bear on the inhuman policies being inflicted on the British people. I have a particular care for disabled people as someone who has experienced severe mental health problems all my life. The treatment of disabled people by this government is so inhuman it beggars belief.

Do you think it will make a difference?Yes I do think it will make a difference if in no other way than to raise awareness. People have felt comforted, supported and encouraged by my letters, I have been told many times that seeing that days letter gave someone the strength to go on for another day. Even if just one person is helped to keep going that was a letter worth writing as far as I am concerned.


read the rest of this article here:

Half-Naked Man Rips Tiles From London Roofs ‘In Protest Over Benefit Changes’

A disgruntled man flung roof tiles from the top of his terraced home in a six-hour protest at the government’s welfare policies as police attempted to talk him down, it has been reported.

A crowd of neighbours gathered to watch the man strip to his waist, then strip the entire roof of tiles, causing thousands of pounds of damage, with cars below damaged by the cascade from the building in the Wanstead cul-de-sac.

A neighbour told the Evening Standard: “He was shouting and taking tiles off, yelling ‘they stopped my income support, they stopped my housing benefit, how am I supposed to live?’

“He worked himself up into a bit of a frenzy and started smashing things. He was in his 50s or 60s and was wearing a t-shirt that he soon ripped off. He had a hammer and a can of beer. A few days ago he was playing music so loud it sounded like a rave in the street. The day before that he had all these strobe lights going, like it was a concert. I think he’d just worked himself up and it built to this.”

A Met Police spokesman told the Daily Mail the man had been sectioned. “Police were called at 2.45pm to reports of a man throwing objects off the roof of a house. Road closures were put in place,” a spokesman said. “Shortly before 9pm the man was arrested and released on bail. He was not taken into custody.”

reported in the huffington Post:

Jobcentre Adviser: “I am unable to emphasise enough, what a massive con and waste of taxpayer’s money the Work Programme is.”

In the second part of our interview with a Jobcentre adviser we talk about sanctions and the Work Programme. Read the first part of the interview here.

Image: Image:

Have you ever experienced any use of target culture for sanctioning? If not, what are you told about sanctioning? If yes, how are you told to sanction and by who?

“This is the type of thing that would not be out of place in the novel ‘Catch 22’. We are constantly told by managers ‘there are no targets, only expectations.’ However, the expectations are based on the highest performing local offices or Districts. So, say I work with a colleague who sanctions because they get some sort of sick power kick from it (I do know some people like this, there are some in every office).  They might refer 7 people for a ‘doubt on their actively seeking’ per day. In…

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Benefits and Work Newsletter: Revealed, Truth About Atos Death Threats


Benefits and Work has obtained documents via the Freedom of Information Act that may undermine claims by Atos that its staff were the subject of nearly two thousand episodes of assault or abuse, including death threats, by claimants in 2013 alone. Atos used the claim to justify wanting to exit early from the contract to carry out work capability assessments (WCAs).

This was, by any standards, a very serious accusation.

Characterising thousands of sick and disabled claimants as violent thugs that Atos could no longer expose its staff to is likely to have increased the level of prejudice against benefits claimants. It may even have contributed to a rise in the number of violent hate-crimes committed against disabled people.

Benefits and Work, however, has now obtained a month-by-month breakdown of all the incidents of violence and abuse reported by Atos to the DWP throughout the whole of 2013…

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Judge refuses DWP leave to appeal ruling on Universal Credit reports


By Tony Collins

An information tribunal judge has unexpectedly refused consent for the Department of Work and Pensions to appeal his ruling that four reports on the Universal Credit programme be published.

The ruling undermines the DWP’s claim that there would be “chilling effect” if the reports were published.

The judge’s decision, which is dated 25 April 2014, means the DWP will have to publish the reports under the FOI Act  – or it has 28 days to appeal the judge’s refusal to grant consent for an appeal.  The DWP is certain to appeal again. It has shown that money is no object when it comes to funding appeals to keep the four reports secret.

In 2012 John Slater, who has 25 years experience working in IT and programme and project management, had requested the UC Issues Register, Milestone Schedule and Risk Register. Also in 2012 I requested a UC project assessment review by the…

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423,000 Single Parents Face New Benefit Sanctions Threat

Single parents with children under the age of five face the threat of ‘punitive’ benefit sanctions, due to the introduction of tough new rules and over-stretched jobcentre’s, the charity Gingerbread has warned.

Jobcentre staff have been given new powers to remove benefits from single parents with young children in receipt of Income Support, otherwise known as sanctioning, should they fail to adhere to strict new requirements which may include attending more jobcentre appointments, participation in training programmes or work experience placements, depending on the age of their child(ren).

read the rest of this article on the Welfare News Service here:

Chaos At The DWP As Bungled Help To Work Scheme Attempts To Launch

the void

Unlike Help To Work, the new Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign has already been a huge success. Unlike Help To Work, the new Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign has already been a huge success.

Despite wildly optimistic claims from the DWP, today’s launch of mass workfare seems to be in chaos behind the scenes.  With barely any information yet available on the scheme it appears that the flagship Help To Work programme has no-one actually running it, no guidance for companies involved and no real plan to deal with the huge influx of claimants to Jobcentres from daily signing.

According to the BBC a mere 70 so-called charities have signed up to provide placements on the scheme which will involve forcing unemployed people to carry out 780 hours of unpaid work.  For ‘Help To Work to be successful, these charities will need to accept hundreds, or possibly thousands of placements each.  Predictably the DWP are not saying who the charities are.  So far the only voluntary sector organisation…

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GRASPING UK Government bureaucrats are taking a disabled Port woman to a tribunal in a desperate bid to overturn her landmark ‘bedroom tax’ case win.

Wheelchair-bound Margie Sherrard, 52, became the first person in Inverclyde to beat the unpopular Westminster levy last October, because the charge breached her human rights.

A tribunal ruled that the £14 a week subsidy for having an ‘extra’ bedroom in her specially-adapted Moray Road house was unjust because her husband Roy, 56, sleeps there due to her series of health issues. Those include a complex condition meaning Margie has constant pain and numbness in her legs and relies on the use of a wheelchair to get around.

Her condition is now rapidly deteriorating and spreading to her arms and hands — but she is facing another battle to win her case all over again due to a UK Government appeal. Margie feels she is being persecuted because she fought the controversial tax — and fears the powers that be will not give up.

She told the Tele: “It’s a kick in the teeth all over again — it’s really awful. Who says that if my case goes to court again and is decided in my favour once more that they won’t just appeal it all over again?  I am worried this will be an ongoing thing until they get what they want. Folk were saying ‘I saw you in the Tele and you won your case, that’s brilliant news’, and now here we go once more. I think I’m being singled out — what other reason is there?  I’m stressed enough with my health condition without any added worry.”

Margie and Roy gave up their long-term four-bedroom family home two years ago before the start of the bedroom tax in April 2013, after they were offered a bungalow specifically built for wheelchair users. It was a dream come true for the Sherrards but just months later they were told they would still have to pay the charge — despite downsizing and even though Roy uses the second bedroom.

After winning their case six months ago, the couple were paid back nearly £300 they’d had to fork out for the tax.

read the rest of this article in the Greenock Telegraph here:

Rough sleeping on the increase in London

The number of people sleeping rough in London has risen again despite the country’s economic recovery, new figures have revealed.

The amount of people sleeping on the capital’s streets in the first quarter of 2014 rose by 8% compared with the same period in 2013, with 2,029 found living without shelter.

The figures come on the back of three years of rises in rough sleeping, representing a 75% increase.

Housing charity Crisis is now calling on the Mayor of London and the government to take urgent action to stop further rises by reversing damaging housing benefit cuts, building more homes and protecting services that prevent and solve homelessness.

The figures, released by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN), present information on those seen sleeping rough by outreach workers on the streets of London from January 2014 to March 2014.

Leslie Morphy, Crisis chief executive, said: “It is nothing short of a disgrace that, in one of the world’s most prosperous cities, so many Londoners continue to be left out in the cold. Yet more rises in the number of people sleeping rough in the capital only serve to highlight politicians’ failure to ensure the economic recovery is felt among the most vulnerable in society.

“The Mayor of London must make good on his pledge to end rough sleeping in the capital by building more affordable homes and investing in homelessness services. But, to see an end to these ongoing rises in rough sleeping, we also need national government to reverse the cruel cuts to housing benefits that have left far too many unable to afford a roof over their heads, condemned to the horrors of life on the streets.”

by Max Salsbury on

Nearly £11bn housing benefit paid to private landlords by 2019

Nearly £11 billion in housing benefit will be paid to private landlords by 2019, sparking criticism that the government is inflating the housing market by encouraging buy-to-let.

The latest Department for Work and Pensions figures show £9.5 billion will be spent on housing benefit this financial year, a figure set to grow to £10.8 billion by 2018/19.

read the rest of this article in ‘Inside Housing’ here: