Thursday, 30 August 2012

A bit of me...

What is it me and sleep?

three sleeps today.

bad night last night... what the f*** is wrong with *normal* sleeping?

Can i have it back whoever stole it from me?

oh wait.. no one stole it... illnesses did, and tablets.

ok *grabs* an "accept it" attitude...



Opening Ceremony Paralympics. *WAS* atos branding hidden by athletes?

Via Ch4 news blogs


Did GB Paralympians choose to hide ATOS branding?

Disability campaigners took to Twitter last night during the
Paralympics opening ceremony to speculate on why ParaGB athletes had
hidden the Atos branding on their passes.

The company, which holds the £100 million Government contract to carry
out controversial "fit to work" tests, has been fiercely criticised by
some for its role in slashing the benefits bill.

As a main sponsor, Atos has its logo clearly featured on Paralympic
signs and the accreditation lanyards (the tape that is used to hang a
pass around the neck) which are worn by all athletes, officials, media
and volunteers.

But Locog today said it was unaware that athletes had concealed the
branding and again defended its use of Atos as a sponsor.

"They are one of our sponsors. Without them, as I said yesterday, we
don't have a Games," said Locog's director of communications, Jackie

'Clear message'

Disability activist Kaliya Franklin told Channel 4 News that the
protest by ParaGB was "incredibly powerful" in its message to the
wider disabled community.

"It says we've found a way to show solidarity with you that doesn't
breach regulation or contravene the spirit of the Paralympics.

"Our Paralympic heroes are sending a clear message to the wider
disability community that they're not entirely comfortable with Atos
sponsoring the games.

Our Paralympic heroes are sending a clear message to the wider
disability community that they're not entirely comfortable with Atos
sponsoring the games. "They're saying that this is not an acceptable
way to treat disabled people.

- Kaliya Franklin, disability activist

"They're saying that this is not an acceptable way to treat disabled
people," Ms Franklin said.

At the Olympic park the day after the opening ceremony Channel 4 News
spoke to Tracey Homden, who has partial feeling in her feet and hands,
short term memory problems and fluid on the brain following a car
accident in 2009. She supports any demonstration against Atos which
found her fit to work, a decision that was later overturned at appeal.
Ms Homden says that the whole system of disability benefits needs "a
kick" and that it's a "battle" to get any benefits.

The Chief Executive of UK Disabled People's Council Jaspal Dhani told
Channel 4 News

: "We've received many reports from members who have been assessed and
lost benefits and many people have appealed. In one case our chairman
represented an individual at tribunal and it took nine months during
which time the individual was without benefits, so I don't know how
they survived."

More protests

Activists from UK Uncut and Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) are
pressing forward with demonstrations against Atos, vowing to shut down
its HQ in Central central London.

Tara Flood, a gold-winning former Paralympian, has come out in support
of the campaign.

"It is a shocking irony that Atos is a main sponsor of London 2012
whilst destroying disabled people's lives on behalf of the
government," she said.

But Kaliya Franklin told Channel 4 News that the criticism needs to be
directed at the government's Department of Work and Pensions.

"The root of the problem is the DWP. It will be pleased with all the
negative attention Atos receive because it's deflected away from the

"But ultimately, the government sets the guidelines and the descriptors.

"Atos workers are just doing their job and following them. Most of
these people are trying to do they best they can in incredibly
difficult circumstances," she said.

Atos is in the running to secure a string of multimillion-pound
government contracts to deliver eligibility assessments for
independence payments which are set to replace Disability Living
Allowance (DLA) in 2013.

Around 500,000 people are expected to lose this benefit over four
years as the government tightens its criteria to qualify for payment.

#DidDLAhelp is running on twitter for use as protest against
introduction of PIP.



Wednesday, 29 August 2012

What is the #DidDLAhelp HASHTAG on twitter?

The #DidDLAhelp hastag is a twitter based protest against the
introduction of PIP.

Let me explain a little simply here:
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a current benefit widely accepted
as neccessary to provide a life opportunity to disabled people that
they otherwise wouldn't have. A splendid principle allowing transport
and facilitations of costs associated with the disabilities the
benefit is allowable for.
The reason people are complaining is in last two years criteria and
awards have become tighter, and its not easy benefit to obtain even in
times of need these days.

To top that, it is going to be replaced with:
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Where its estimated those enabled by current DLA will be reduced in
number and its mooted that life opportunitires and basic facilitation
will be removed from about half a million didabled people.

To many who are unaware...
This will mean many disabled people will be shut in there homes,
social interactions will cease and isolation / despair will ensue.

This in basic form is why many of us are asking that the #DidDLAhelp
hashtag is used on twitter as a protest against this change.
We have introduced it to highlight even many paralympians would not be
competing if it wasnt for DLA in there lives , not paying for
training, but enabling then to engage with life. Which then enables
then to participate.

I hope this explains it succinctly enough to those in the sick and
disabled community and those outside with a keen interest in social




Paralympic sponsor engulfed by disability tests row - Paralympics - Olympics - The Independent

One of the best media outputs in this area I have read to date, and this was supported by a front page headline on the hard copy papers. Many thanks to the Independent

Many Thanks


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Personal Independence Payments - The Points needed Via Benefits and Work

For those that need reference to PIP points system...

PIP points system

PIP daily living component points

To get an award of the daily living component, you need to score:

8 points for the standard rate
12 points for the enhanced rate

For daily living, the points need to be scored from activities 1-9 below.

You can only score one set of points from each activity, if two or
more apply from the same activity only the highest will count. So,
for example, if:

4 d. Needs assistance to groom. 2 points
4 g. Needs assistance to bathe. 4 points

both apply you will receive only the 4 points for the 'Bathing and
grooming' activity. These can then be added to points for other
activities, such as 'Dressing and undressing'

PIP mobility component points

To get an award of the mobility component you need to score:

8 points for the standard rate
12 points for the enhanced rate

For mobility, the points need to be scored from activities 10-11 below.

As with daily living above, you only score the highest points that
apply to you from each activity, but you can add points from
activities 10 and 11 together to reach your final total.


1. Preparing food and drink.

a. Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided. 0 points

b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to either prepare or cook a simple
meal. 2 points

c. Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but can do so
using a microwave. 2 points

d. Needs prompting to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 2 points

e. Needs supervision to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 4 points

f. Needs assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 4 points

g. Cannot prepare and cook food and drink at all. 8 points

2. Taking nutrition.

a. Can take nutrition unaided. 0 points

b. Needs either –

(i) to use an aid or appliance to take nutrition; or

(ii) assistance to cut up food. 2 points

c. Needs a therapeutic source to take nutrition. 2 points

d. Needs prompting to take nutrition. 4 points

e. Needs assistance to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition. 6 points

f. Needs another person to convey food and drink to their mouth. 10 points

3. Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition.

a. Either –

(i) Does not receive medication, therapy or need to monitor a health
condition; or

(ii) can manage medication, therapy or monitor a health condition
unaided, or with the use of an aid or appliance.

0 points

b. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to manage medication or
monitor a health condition. 1 point

c. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to manage therapy that
takes up to 3.5 hours a week. 2 points

d. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to manage therapy that
takes between 3.5 and 7 hours a week. 4 points

e. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to manage therapy that
takes between 7 and 14 hours a week. 6 points

f. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to manage therapy that
takes at least 14 hours a week. 8 points

4. Bathing and grooming.

a. Can bathe and groom unaided. 0 points

b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to groom. 1 point

c. Needs prompting to groom. 1 point

d. Needs assistance to groom. 2 points

e. Needs supervision or prompting to bathe. 2 points

f. Needs to use an aid or appliance to bathe. 2 points

g. Needs assistance to bathe. 4 points

h. Cannot bathe and groom at all. 8 points

5. Managing toilet needs or incontinence.

a. Can manage toilet needs or incontinence unaided. 0 points

b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to manage toilet needs or
incontinence. 2 points

c. Needs prompting to manage toilet needs. 2 points

d. Needs assistance to manage toilet needs. 4 points

e. Needs assistance to manage incontinence of either bladder or bowel. 6 points

f. Needs assistance to manage incontinence of both bladder and bowel. 8 points

g. Cannot manage incontinence at all. 8 points

6. Dressing and undressing.

a. Can dress and undress unaided. 0 points

b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to dress or undress. 2 points

c. Needs either -

(i) prompting to dress, undress or determine appropriate circumstances
for remaining clothed; or

(ii) assistance or prompting to select appropriate clothing. 2 points

d. Needs assistance to dress or undress lower body. 3 points

e. Needs assistance to dress or undress upper body. 4 points

f. Cannot dress or undress at all. 8 points

7. Communicating.

a. Can communicate unaided and access written information unaided, or
using spectacles or contact lenses. 0 points

b. Needs to use an aid or appliance other than spectacles or contact
lenses to access written information. 2 points

c. Needs to use an aid or appliance to express or understand verbal
communication. 2 points

d. Needs assistance to access written information. 4 points

e. Needs communication support to express or understand complex verbal
information. 4 points

f. Needs communication support to express or understand basic verbal
information. 8 points

g. Cannot communicate at all. 12 points

8. Engaging socially.

a. Can engage socially unaided. 0 points

b. Needs prompting to engage socially. 2 points

c. Needs social support to engage socially. 4 points

d. Cannot engage socially due to such engagement causing either –

(i) overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant; or

(ii) the claimant to exhibit uncontrollable episodes of behaviour
which would result in a substantial risk of harm to the claimant or
another person.

8 points

9. Making financial decisions

a. Can manage complex financial decisions unaided. 0 points

b. Needs prompting to make complex financial decisions. 2 points

c. Needs prompting to make simple financial decisions. 4 points

d. Cannot make any financial decisions at all. 6 points

10. Planning and following a journey.

a. Can plan and follow a journey unaided. 0 points

b. Needs prompting for all journeys to avoid overwhelming
psychological distress to the claimant. 4 points

c. Needs either –

(i) supervision, prompting or a support dog to follow a journey to an
unfamiliar destination; or

(ii) a journey to an unfamiliar destination to have been entirely
planned by another person. 8 points

d. Cannot follow any journey because it would cause overwhelming
psychological distress to the claimant. 10 points

e. Needs either –

(i) supervision, prompting or a support dog to follow a journey to a
familiar destination; or

(ii) a journey to a familiar destination to have been planned entirely
by another person. 15 points

11. Moving around.

a. Can move at least 200 metres either –

(i) unaided; or

(ii) using an aid or appliance, other than a wheelchair or a motorised
device. 0 points

b. Can move at least 50 metres but not more than 200 metres either –

(i) unaided; or

(ii) using an aid or appliance, other than a wheelchair or a motorised
device. 4 points

c. Can move up to 50 metres unaided but no further. 8 points

d. Cannot move up to 50 metres without using an aid or appliance,
other than a wheelchair or a motorised device.

10 points

e. Cannot move up to 50 metres without using a wheelchair propelled by
the claimant. 12 points

f. Cannot move up to 50 metres without using a wheelchair propelled by
another person or a motorised device.

15 points

g. Cannot either –

(i) move around at all; or

(ii) transfer unaided from one seated position to another adjacent
seated position. 15 points


Variable and fluctuating conditions

Taking a view of ability over a longer period of time helps to iron
out fluctuations and presents a more coherent picture of disabling
effects. Therefore the descriptor choice should be based on
consideration of a 12 month period.

Scoring descriptors will apply to individuals where their
impairment(s) affects their ability to complete an activity on more
than 50 per cent of days in the 12 month period. The following rules

If one descriptor in an activity applies on more than 50 per cent of
the days in the period – i.e. the activity cannot be completed in the
way described on more than 50 per cent of days – then that descriptor
should be chosen.

If more than one descriptor in an activity applies on more than 50 per
cent of the days in the period, then the descriptor chosen should be
the one which applies for the greatest proportion of the time.

Where one single descriptor in an activity is not satisfied on more
than 50 per cent of days, but a number of different descriptors in
that activity together are satisfied on more than 50 per cent of days
– for example, descriptor 'B' is satisfied on 40 per cent of days and
descriptor 'C' on 30 per cent of days – the descriptor satisfied for
the highest proportion of the time should be selected.

Awaiting treatment

If someone is awaiting treatment or further intervention it can be
difficult to accurately predict its level of success or whether it
will even occur. Descriptor choices should therefore be based on the
likely continuing impact of the health condition or impairment as if
any treatment or further intervention has not occurred.

Reliably, in a timely fashion, repeatedly and safely

An individual must be able to complete an activity descriptor
reliably, in a timely fashion, repeatedly and safely; and where
indicated, using aids and appliances or with support from another
person (or, for activity 10, a support dog). Otherwise they should be
considered unable to complete the activity described at that level.

Reliably means to a reasonable standard.

In a timely fashion means in less than twice the time it would take
for an individual without any impairment.

Repeatedly means completed as often during the day as the individual
activity requires. Consideration needs to be given to the cumulative
effects of symptoms such as pain and fatigue – i.e. whether completing
the activity adversely affects the individual's ability to
subsequently complete other activities.

Safely means in a fashion that is unlikely to cause harm to the
individual, either directly or through vulnerability to the actions of
others; or to another person.

Risk and Safety

When considering whether an activity can be undertaken safely it is
important to consider the risk of a serious adverse event occurring.
However, the risk that a serious adverse event may occur due to
impairments is insufficient – there has to be evidence that if the
activity was undertaken, the adverse event is likely to occur.

Aids and appliances

The assessment will take some account of aids and appliances which are
used in everyday life. In this context:

Aids are devices that help a performance of a function, for example,
walking sticks or spectacles.

Appliances are devices that provide or replace a missing function, for
example artificial limbs, collecting devices (stomas) and wheelchairs.

The assessment will take into account aids and appliances that
individuals normally use and low cost, commonly available ones which
someone with their impairment might reasonably be expected to use,
even if they are not normally used.

Individuals who use or could reasonably be expected to use aids to
carry out an activity will generally receive a higher scoring
descriptor than those who can carry out the activity unaided.

Support dogs

We recognise that guide, hearing and dual sensory dogs are not 'aids'
but have attempted to ensure that the descriptors capture the
additional barriers and costs of needing such a dog where they are
required to enable individuals to follow a journey safely. Descriptors
'C' and 'E' in activity 10 therefore explicitly refer to the use of a
'support dog'.

Support from other people

The assessment will take into account where individuals need the
support of another person or persons to carry out an activity –
including where that person has to carry out the activity for them in
its entirety. The criteria refer to three types of support:

Assistance is support that requires the presence and physical
intervention of another person i.e. actually doing some or all of the
task in question. This specifically excludes non-physical intervention
such as prompting or supervision which are defined below. To apply,
this only needs to be required for part of the activity.

Prompting is support provided by reminding or encouraging an
individual to undertake or complete a task but not physically helping
them. To apply, this only needs to be required for part of the

Supervision is a need for the continuous presence of another person to
avoid a serious adverse event from occurring to the individual. There
must be evidence that any risk would be likely to occur in the absence
of such supervision. To apply, this must be required for the full
duration of the activity.


Within the assessment criteria, the ability to perform an activity
'unaided' means without either the use of aids or appliances or
assistance/prompting/supervision from another person.


Epilepsy is a marked example of a fluctuating condition where an
individual can have no functional limitation one minute and
considerable limitation the next. Assessment should be based on the
impact this causes.

Key to assessing individuals with epilepsy is the consideration of
risk. Within each activity, the relevant descriptor should apply to a
person with epilepsy if there is evidence that a serious adverse event
is likely to occur if the person carried out the activity in that
descriptor. It is essential to consider the likely effects of any
seizure – type and frequency of fit, associated behaviour, the
post-ictal phase and whether there is likely to be sufficient warning
to mitigate any risk of danger.

Source: Benefits And Work

And Thanks to Steve Preece.




Monday, 27 August 2012

Cameron and the paralympics. A big GGRRRR from Sue Marsh

Guest Blog
Cameron and the Paralympics

Well my friends, it is 2012.

Just 2 years ago, this coalition government, led by David Cameron and
Nick Clegg launched the single biggest attack on the lives and
livelihoods of sick and disabled people this country has ever seen.

They did it as wolves dressed in sheep's clothing. They lied about
their intentions, justifying their attacks with pretty words. They
told the people of this country that they were "supporting us" into
work, but there is no support. They told the country so many of us
were just cheats and scroungers, not really sick or disabled at all,
but leeches on the state, sucking money from hard working people. But
fraud is less than 1%.

They whipped the media - and so the country - into a frenzy of hate
and disgust. They said we were "mugging the state" (Osborne)
"festering on benefits" (Iain Duncan-Smith) or referred to us as
"stock" (Freud) like so much cattle.

Just two years ago we were alone in our horror. We could see the
truth, but few cared. The media would not report our stories, eager to
believe the dangerous rhetoric of millionaires crushing those with
nothing. Politicians of all parties too, were eager to turn away from
a regime of cutting support, cancelling services and a harsh and
degrading "assessment" process that saw hundreds of thousands wrongly
re-classified as "fit for work"

As cancer patients on chemo were sent to the jobcentre, those with
kidney failure were stripped of support and 32 people a week died
having been found "fit for work", we fought alone.

But how we fought!

We told our own stories on blogs and twitter and facebook. We sent our
stories to our MPs - not just once but endlessly, we insisted that
politicians could not turn away from this disgrace. We built up
relationships with journalists until they saw for themselves how
clearly we were being betrayed.

On Wednesday, the Paralympics opening ceremony will dazzle us all.
Those incredible athletes will amaze the people of Britain.

This Paralympics will be covered by Channel 4 as no games for disabled
people has ever been covered before. The advertising for the games
cleverly thanks the Olympics for "the warm up" putting disability
sport front and centre as never before.

With the games being staged in the UK, we have a chance to show our
disability credentials to the world. For all our many faults, this
country is accessible to disabled people in a way many are not. It
values the lives of sick and disabled people as many do not. It values
equality and inclusion as many do not.

At least it did.

Many of the athletes competing from Wednesday relied on the Disability
Living Allowance to achieve their great success. A working benefit, it
is designed to pay for the extra cost of sickness or disability. To
pay for transport or mobility aids or extra heating or food. It will
have helped very many disabled people competing to get to training
sessions or to afford the extra costs of the modified equipment they

This allowance is being scrapped by this government, replaced with a
benefit that will only help the incapable or the housebound, and
trapping so many more in a life where just getting up and dressed in
the mornings will be a challenge just as great as winning Paralympic

David Cameron will take his place in the stadium, smiling and
complacent, knowing that half a million people who previously
qualified for DLA will be cut adrift as a direct result of

the policies of his government.

He will bask in a glory that is not his, as he callously strips
sickness benefits from over a million more.

He will pay lip service to independence as he scraps the Independent Living Fund

He will ask you to wonder at the great achievements of those with
severe disabilities as he scraps the Severe Disability Premium.

He will encourage young sick and disabled people of today to strive
for greatness as he halves tax credits for disabled children

He will perhaps feel a terrible pain as he remembers his own disabled
child who tragically is no longer with us, yet will choose to look
away from children just like his own who will no longer have the
opportunity to achieve what the great athletes will achieve from

I hope he is met with silence as he takes his place.

But today, I wanted to contrast the isolation campaigners felt in 2010
with the media this week.

Here is Polly Toynbee on slashing DLA and the Paralympics :

Here is Owen Jones in the Independent :

Here is Disapatches and Panorama on the failure of Atos and "fit for
work tests"

Here is the BBC :

And there are many more. We are no longer alone. The country is waking
up and despite the efforts of ministers, every day, fewer people
believe their lies, and fewer are willing to stand by and allow sick
and disabled people to suffer in their name.

As the saying goes, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is
that good men do nothing"

So if you are reading this article, if you clicked on a twitter link
or facebook page, if it is sent to you by email and you are going to
the Paralympic games 2012, by all means, marvel at the unbelievable
endeavour, wonder at the great sacrifice and bravery that brought the
athletes to the pinnacle of success, but don't forget that it was only
possible through support. Your support.

Like the Olympians who went before them it took family sacrifice,
amazing support and personal will. But it also took state assistance
and cold hard cash. It took a country prepared to make the lives of
sick and disabled people as equal as possible and all of that is under
threat today. In the case of ex-military competitors, it often took
months - if not years - of intensive rehabilitation, exercise regimes,
committed physios and caring nurses. These are never free.

If we ever again want to see a Paralympics like we are about to see
here in the UK, we must oppose the systematic destruction of
independence and inclusion sick and disabled people have fought so
hard for.

And please, when David Cameron or Nick Clegg take their seats, smug
and smiling, hoping to bask in a little of the glory of others,
remember that the glory is not theirs.

But whatever you do, do not clap these men. You will be giving credit
where it is not due. They aim to dismantle the very support that made
the Paralympics possible at all.

Posted by Sue Marsh




Saturday, 25 August 2012

Oh how luxurious, how divine, in being sick, and on the breadline.

Thoughts on Food when On The Sick

I was thinking along these lines just earlier today, hope i capture
the thoughts correctly.

i did buy a pack of prawns earlier 1.99 bargain. Thats for tomorrows dinner.

Also bought lots of cheapy cheapy stuff. Stuff you eat cos you gotta eat.
I have some spices in and rice / pasta so will make a few things up as
i go along next couple of days. How? Dont know yet.

Might make a curry in a couple of days that means buying whatever the
meat deal is CHEAP.

Also need get some baking potatoes. but will only buy one or two at
time else they go mingingly off. The hottest days are over i hear so
can get some nice bread in too.

Cant buy stuff and waste it at all, and dont have a fridge freezer. my
fridge quite small too. Oh sorry gone on a pauper food ranty
splurge... but hey kids thats what goes through mind when poor and
trying to eat regularly. Sort of anyway.

Sometimes with lowappetite / or illness i dont want to eat.

But advice is advice from docs. Cant follow to the letter cos to do
that theyd have to up my money which aint gonna happen.


Update for those that dont know
Oh: not sure you know this... The witness to my WCA assesment was sure
when we left that atos should not say fit. they said fit. DWP looked
at it and overturned atos. DWP on phone to me said "Atos missed
something important from their report, based on your form we
overturned their decision" They wouldnt tell me what that was though.
- ESA WRAG group given.




Friday, 24 August 2012

Illness and fatigue

Illness and fatigue #storify

click. Its stuff I tweeted about being thrown out of a store. Thanks to Steve for collecting the tweets.

Many Thanks


Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Are You A Carer Of A Disabled Child Or Adult?

If so would you be willing to write/keep a diary to share with others
as a guest post on the Social Welfare Union website?

All you need to do is write a short entry each day (or as often as you
can manage) for up to a month detailing your day and how it is to be a
in a word-processing programme (any will do). You can then send us
that document file which will be copied and blogged on your behalf.
Don't worry about typos we'll fix that for you. You do not need to
provide your real name or that of the person you care for if you do
not wish to.

Help us spread awareness about the demands of caring and how caring
duties affects those who look after disabled people. You may even be a
disabled person yourself who cares for someone else?

If you are interested please email >> <
with a little bit about yourself and who you care for.

If enough people respond we could even turn this into a full feature
on our website.

Mr Steven Preece

Founding Member, Social Welfare Union



Sunday, 19 August 2012

Continuing recent propaganda theme...

I'm quite annoyed.
I try to do as much as I can. With two physical diseases, and what some call Black Dog. one or all debilitate me. But being invisibly debilitated sometimes is completely ignored by people. I would like your views on something from my twitter timelime that does concern me greatly as to whether sick and disabled will be shot at as fakers even more. Please read the pic I put on this post. It's a screen shot which made me blog this what may seem light unclear entry.
Your comments are welcome as always.

Many Thanks


Saturday, 18 August 2012

A way to make a difference..

via email from Steve Preece.

Letter For Publication

Dear Sir/Madam,

We all know in our sound judgement that it is unfair to judge the
abilities of one person against another – we are told this when we
have children. Each will strive to reach different milestones in their
own time. We are told that we shouldn't worry if one child starts to
crawl, walk or talk earlier than another and that we should give all
children the time they need to blossom.
One cannot deny Paralympians have worked hard to succeed and overcome
many obstacles their disabilities present. They rightly deserve our
support and admiration for their achievements. The many hours of hard
graft and pain they endure to be able to reach the pinnacle of
sporting excellence shows the high level of commitment and drive
needed to become the best they can be.

As the Paralympics prepare to get under-way there are many disabled
people who fear that the media, and even the government will use this
display as an already growing propaganda tool against sick and
disabled people claiming benefits.

When you have a private healthcare company at least partly responsible
for wrongfully finding sick and disabled people 'fit-for-work'
sponsoring both the Olympics and Paralympics it is easy to understand
why so many disabled people believe the games have a hidden agenda.

How would you react if told you could – if you put your mind to it –
run 100 metres in less than 10 seconds just because Usain Bolt can, or
compete in a heptathlon just because Jessica Ennis does? Everyone has
different capabilities, learning styles and ways of processing
information. Some people are good with their hands and others in
mental tasks, not everyone is the same or can achieve the same as
others. You could train just as hard as Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis
but never necessarily reach the same level as they are and never
necessarily become a celebrated Olympian.

This is not a defeatist attitude, and for the purpose of health and
fitness sport can be highly beneficial for everyone but in the wave of
national hysteria that has followed the 2012Olympics and will now move
on to the Paralympics we must also calm ourselves down a little with a
reality check. If you are lucky and work hard you may find that you
excel at sport and become our sportsmen and sportswomen of the future
but sadly not everyone will achieve these heights no matter how hard
they work at it. We all recognise this basic fact of life just as we
recognise that not all children will develop in the same way and not
all of us can become famous singers.

The whole propaganda machine against benefits claimants and the push
by the Tory led government to get as many sick and disabled people off
benefits no matter the cost now risks expanding to comparing
Paralympians to sick and disabled people claiming benefits. If you are
a Paralympian reading this then ask yourself if you would agree with
the media and others using your achievements as a tool against sick
and other disabled people just because they are not fortunate enough
to follow in your footsteps?

Some people with disabilities may never find themselves in a position
of becoming sportsmen and women. By all means disabled and able-bodied
people should be encouraged and assisted to take part in sport but not
through the use of cruel propaganda attacking those in receipt of
sickness and disability benefits. There are times when we wonder what
has happened to the country I grew up in as a child – the country that
used to show respect and compassion to all sick and disabled people
regardless of ability – because from what we see on a daily basis that
country no longer exists.

We ask that the press and wider media report on these games in such a
way that will help tackle the growing prejudice and discrimination
being shown toward sick and disabled benefit claimants and not use
this great event as a cruel and malicious propaganda tool – hopefully
they will not.

Link to letter:
Many Thanks



Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Dear Atos...

You take money from people like this regularly. Does your job help you sleep at night? Just one example of people who are really not supposed to be targets of austerity. You need to step away. In my case the DWP OVERTURNED YOUR REPORT.  I'm not the only one. This person WILL face you soon...  Do you have any shred of humanity?

Many Thanks




Message for ATOS

To the ATOS workers who deliver the work capability assessments. After watching the Dispatches programme on Channel 4, well actually before that but the definitive proof and truth emerged during the documentary. You do realise that you are taking part in real world version of the Milgram experiment.

The Milgram experiment 'on obedience to authority figures' - It measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience.

You get crisis every so often due to the job, at least I do (atos trainer) Dispatches. I would say this quote shows that the people carrying out the work capability assessments get crisis of conscience from the work they are carrying out.

Miligram designed this experiment to try and find out why so many people in Nazi germany, post war, were using the defence that they were 'just following orders'.
The experiment was set up so volunteers were asked to give 'students who were in fact actors' stronger and stronger electric shocks if they kept on getting a set of answers wrong. The volunteers were prompted by an authority figure if they questioned the 'authority figure' with regard to them increasing and administering the electric shocks.
Atos assessor Dispatches 'Ive recently had somebody with prostate cancer but of course that's not traditionally treated with chemotherapy – so I gave him no points and I couldn't do anything else – it's the same with breast cancer – the hormonal treatments don't count – so he was given no points – I felt very uncomfortable doing it I didn't like doing it but I had no way of scoring him.'
Most volunteers continued after administering stronger and strong electcri shocks in the Milgram experiment after they had been assured that they would not be held responsible.

Again I return to quotes from the Dispatches programme so you can compare the 'experiments'

(Atos Trainer) always emphasis that the final decision comes from the descision makers at the dwp – just to push the kind of guilt from yourself – the dwp agrees with atos 94% of the time

(Atos Trainer) good thing for us is that even if you make the wrong decision – you don't see x-rays – you don't see ECG you just only see the person – so you can be wrong but you never go to the tribunal – this is the good thing – you never go to the tribunal. So sort of, you won't be blamed.

As can be seen from just a quick comparison between these 2 'experiments' there are extremely obvious similarities the only difference being that in the Milgram experiments the 'students' receiving the electric shocks were in fact actors. In the ATOS/WCA/DWP 'experiments' the people suffering and dieing are real people. They could be your brother, your sister, your neighbour, your cousin, your children.
Sources http:



Saturday, 11 August 2012

Competitiveness in Sport


Competitiveness in Sport (in more than 140 characters) (this guest blog is because twitter was'nt enough) 

This is my first ever blog post and I'm a little nervous, admittedly. I'm known for having opinions (who doesn't have opinions?), but not known for sharing them freely online. But after a few tweets in reply to @puffles2010 on the subject of competitiveness in sport in school, I was asked by @Jules_Clarke if I wanted to guest blog on the subject here. I'm interested in this issue because I have so often heard the opinion that kids are missing out by being denied competition in PE and Games, and like many didn't have a great experience of PE and Games when at school. Firstly, I want to get explain that I have no idea if it is the case that competition in sport has declined in schools. I've seen arguments claiming this is the case, and I've also seen counter arguments suggesting there is some myth to this, but this isn't the debate I'm interested in; more the merits or other of competitiveness on the sports field.

The Olympics has rightly highlighted this as an issue. As I type, Team GB has won 26 Gold medals, with one day left of events still to come before our attention turns to the Paralympics. As with a majority of people, I have been glued to the BBC's Olympic coverage, and have been amazed at the successes of our sportsmen and women. Such success has come from self-belief, determination and sheer hard work, in partnership with the support and funding they have been able to receive. In some cases there have been hardships along the way, which makes such achievements all the more amazing. Without competition, there is no doubt that these Olympians would not be able to succeed. But does this mean it's a good thing for everyone?

I left sixth form in the early-mid 90s. Throughout my time at high school, I found it almost impossible to be involved in sport. It's true that I didn't have much of an inclination that way, and I was largely content that there were other subjects which worked better for me. I still remember that overwhelming sense of fear I had immediately before games lessons. I am no Alpha Male, and so to me the whole system seemed designed to humiliate anyone without any sporting prowess. I do however remember being occasionally interested in the idea of running. I wasn't any good at it, but given the right set of circumstances, I would have been interested in trying. The problem was that any running we did involved a race, and potentially further humiliation because I was able to run, but not able to compete. There was no place for me in this system to enjoy a sport for its own sake. Consequently, like many of the less-sporty types, any such interest was short-lived. We knew the script: the same boys always won the race/scored the goals/got the glory. Looking back on that time, I now realise that there wasn't really much competition for the race winners anyway. If a good percentage of the boys already felt defeated before they had pulled on their shorts, then this surely meant that the more sporty boys would be even more likely to be winners and not ever experience much of a challenge.

During these twitter exchanges, I started to wonder how one might apply such a competitive ability in the real world. We are clearly surrounded by competition in many walks of life, but are these experiences the same as a race? I posted a tweet saying that I couldn't easily think of examples where the kind of competition you might experience in a race is played out in the real world. It was suggested to me that getting a job is competitive, which is very true, but it's not the same as a race. In a race, you are competing directly with known opponents. You can clearly see where you and your opponents are while progressing. Over time, you can get to learn your opponents' strengths and weaknesses. In an interview, you wouldn't have any relationship with, or knowledge of, your competitors, and so all you can do is be as good as you can be in order to impress the interviewer. The prize is the job, but you're not competing directly with anyone. In other words, it would be like several people running in the same race, but on their own. If there had been such a race at school, i.e. if I had been able to just go for a run and enjoy the experience, the barrier of humiliation and pressure of knowing I couldn't realistically compete with the top guys, wouldn't be there. I may have become quite good at it.

Later in life, I shocked myself. Clearly I was no good at sport, but I developed an interest in getting fit. I started to run. On my own. And I ran.. and ran some more. Before I knew it, I found I actually enjoyed it. The interest I have in running has a lot to do with the escape it gives me; I can leave the pressures of the real world behind. The fact I don't have to compete with anyone means I actually want to do it. I'll confess that I do struggle to stick with it, but that's largely because I am also quite lazy..

It is true that there are a great deal of very competitive jobs out there. I work in the creative industries, and creative environments can often encourage competition. Sales jobs also demand this. But most jobs don't seem to require direct competition; rather cooperation in order that the company itself can compete. Sure, it's important to have aspiration, but companies which require staff to be divided into winners and losers are only going to attract people who fit those personality types, and end up excluding anyone with other skills to offer. The irony with relation to my industry is that the majority of highly creative people are actually quite introverted people who don't thrive on direct competition. Instead, if they are allowed the space and time to use their imagination without the distraction of competition, then they're more likely to come up with the goods.

So, back to school sports day.. does the egg and spoon race provide essential life skills? I do believe children should experience direct competition to some extent; competition is no bad thing in itself. If someone excels at sport, they clearly need competition if they are serious about taking it further. The same applies to any subject in school. If you're a great musician/writer/artist, then you should be encouraged to develop, but that approach shouldn't be at the expense of allowing other pupils good experiences of those subjects. I don't remember competing with other students in art classes; I was graded against the curriculum.

So I don't think it's fair to implement a blanket, default approach; especially if that approach is likely to alienate many people and turn them away from sport and exercise. The numerous other benefits of exercise (health, well-being, reduced NHS costs etc..) are far too important to allow the championing of a single approach to sport. Emphasis on taking part in sport is, I think, extremely important in a nation where exercise is very much lacking in most of our day-to-day activities. I believe dividing people into winners and losers can for some people be useful, but for many can be as restricting as 140 characters sometimes is to me.

via mark. @labourbirstall 

Jules - you can ask for inclusion on this blog any time. 

Statement from Labour Lords Chief Whip

So I asked him for Ed Miliband view. He told me he hadn't stated any.

Many Thanks


People must wake up to what is happening in the welfare state. (Spartacus Article 1 - updated)

Please link to this and read it . Share as widely as possible and do something however small to help make a change. The WCA IS FLAWED, AND SICK AND DISABLED SHOULD NEVER BE A TARGET .

Many Thanks