Friday, 3 February 2012

Withhold Royal Assent from the Welfare Reform Bill

We have always said that we will do everything in our power to stop the welfare reform bill.

-We lobbied MPs.
-We lobbied grassroots members of political parties and persuade the Lib Dems to oppose an arbitrary one year time limit to cESA.
-When the bill passed to the House of Lords, we lobbied them - I'm not sure to be honest, whether peers have ever been lobbied by ordinary people in the way that we lobbied over the welfare reform bill.
-We highlighted evidence the Government didn't want people to know.
-We built relationships with journalists, persuading them to break the silence over Disability Denial
-We made our own media - social media and used it in a way no-one had seen before.
- We held vigils outside parliament
- We blocked Oxford Street
- We produced our own report - Responsible Reform or the Spartacus Report - so that this government can never say they didn't know the horror of what they were doing and just how little support this bill has.
- We set up a network of "constituency representatives" to lobby MPs and write to local papers.
- We launched "Pam's Petition"
- We protested outside Atos offices

Now, the bill is all but law. Despite misleading parliament and the public at every stage, despite riding roughshod over democracy, flouting the conventions of both Houses and breaching parliamentary protocol, our ministers are about to get their way and democracy is all but dead.

The final stage, for any bill is "Royal Assent"

Someone, somewhere (when I find out who I'll give them full credit) has set up this petition,  requesting that the Queen refuses this Royal Assent. Not because "we don't like it" (though we don't) Not because "it's mean" (though it is) but because it is dishonest. Parliament has been misled, the public have been misled and democracy has been trampled.

If we are to do everything we can, we must ask the Queen not to pass this bill.

Please sign it. Whether you are ill, disabled, poor or simply disgusted by the total disregard for the law shown by our government, please sign. We only have a day or two and no matter how anachronistic our political process, it is what it is.





99 comments:

  1. links not working, or is it just me?

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  2. might as well carry on the theme of doing more unprecedented things for the WRB :)

    (links not working)

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  3. The ability of the Monarch to withold Royal Assent is a theoretcial perogative. In practice this has not been done since 1708.

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  4. So, we have done many things in this campaign that have not been done before - why not try this?!! What's the point in not trying?!! It can't do any harm...it might just do something - if only raise more awareness.

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    1. This is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard of. For a start, the Queen has no opportunity or power to withhold assent, it is given at the end of the parliamentary process without any input from the Queen. Secondly, regardless of what you might think of the way the bill has been put forward to parliament, it would utterly unacceptable for our unelected, hereditary and entirely unaccountable head of state to interfere. It's bad enough having the Lords involved, getting the Queen involved would be ten times worse. Third, if she withheld consent that would be the end of the monarchy. Now that's not a bad thing, but that's exactly why it won't happen. Fourth, what makes anyone think the Queen cares one jot about welfare or about this bill?

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  5. http://withholdtheroyalassent.org/

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  6. This link needs to be placed in a prominent postilion at all times sue and that of your teams blogs

    I know the queen and her family very well and she is fully aware of what goes on that you can be assured of

    Can she help us out ?

    I think she could if she was bold but I'm afraid she will not get involved nor will any of her family and that regretfully will be final

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    1. Got to agree sadly, the kind of constitutional crisis that would ensue would not be desirable.

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    2. Worth a try, but have to agree. If you understand what has happened to our country over the last 30 years or more, she has signed away her sovreingty.

      If she'll do that to the whole country, she'll hardly support the bottom rung!

      These petitions should be made known however, if anything, but for history's sake, and for future generations.

      Clarebelz

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  7. Fourbanks - since you know them all very well, couldn't you write a personal letter to them?

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  8. I signed this petition early this morning,there were only 25 sigs at that time.

    I have just recieved my e-mail to confirm my sig.

    I noticed on twitter many are saying they have'nt recieved confirmation yet.

    So i thought i would let you know how long mine took.

    Hopefully they will all get through.

    Very pleasing to see the sig count going up so quickley.

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  9. It probably won't make a difference, but we can't just sit here moaning about it, we need to try and make a difference.
    I've been sending letters and emails to my Con MP for months and to be fair to him he's rang me a couple of times, I think he's fed up with me now as he's coming to see me next Friday. I'm not very well at the moment and I won't know until the day if I'll be able to let him in, I could do without it but I feel I need to have my say. I know it won't make a difference but I'll feel better knowing I've tried.

    Thanks Sue your an inspiration

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  10. Done - and will share on facebook too.

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  11. Not going to happen. Her Mag is not the head of state nor able to object to government policies. She can give her opinion privately, but there is no obligation on any government to to take any notice.

    In other words, she's just like me and you. She'll just have have to post like the rest of us, and offer solutions.

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    1. To be clear, no I don't give it any chance at all of "working" but it is the process we have. I didn't ever think it would make the slightest difference if we wrote to Tory MPs either, but it has to be done.

      We are so committed, so sure of our facts, so completely convinced that truth is on our side, that we are prepared to ask the Queen to overturn the bill. THAT'S the point.

      Delete
    2. Wheelie is right the queen does know of our plight which is true but could never do anything about it even if she could she wouldn't

      Of course if things got bad and the suicide death toll was to rise to a level that she was to read about in one of papers then that's another story and would have a private word in the prime ministers ear


      Sort of on the lines off that your welfare reform bill is causing much death and anxiety with the public and i think it needs addressing before it gets out of hand

      That is the sort of reply that the queen would give to her prime minister so that he is more focussed on what IS going on and to what HE thinks is going on which is very big difference

      Some sick and disabled people across the uk may find that their local DWP department have understanding most do not have however and their is much evilness and cruelty that goes on behind closed doors

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  12. At least we're all trying to exhaust every avenue. If it doesn't work, which I have no idea if it will or not, we can look future generations in the face and say, we tried to do everything within our power! We tried and the system of democracy failed us! The media failed us! Public opinion failed us! Our government failed us! The only ones I have any faith in now are everyone who has been fighting alongside me, the lords who did their upmost to fight our battle and that's it. I've signed and am telling everyone I know about it. This government is so fowl!

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  13. I work full time supporting people with mental health problems. Every single one of the people I work with get between £900 and £1,100 per month in benefits, this is as well as having their rent and bills paid.. That means they have approx £250 p/w DISPOSABLE INCOME. For the work I do and the bills I have to pay, and in this current climate I have less disposable income than that in 6 MONTHS. This is absolutely NOT an exaggeration, nor is it uncommon, not at all... I have eaten twice in three days (and I'm not talking hearty meals here), my shoes have holes all the way through the soles and i have to sleep fully clothed as my house is so cold at this time of year. Yet, I've just sat at work and listened to one of the clients talking about how she's just bought (yet another) new wardrobe's worth of clothes, how she had sea bass for lunch and has been out for lunch four times this week, how she's booking a holiday soon and is thinking of buying a new computer when her next money comes through.... She is ABSOLUTELY typical of the people I work with, I've been doing this nearly ten years now and it's ALWAYS been the same.... Disability benefits don't need reforming? The new system will be unfair? UNFAIR?!?! Ha... You don't know the meaning of the word...

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    1. IT is not the fault of the people who you support that your wages are so low as sue says below and not only should the fight be against this bill it should also encompass a proper wage for people like you and please be aware that most recipients get nowhere near the figures you quote.

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    2. Well this is a new and interesting contribution, not to mention plausible and realistic. *yawn*

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    3. I don't know anyone who gets that amount in benefits - and the only bills they get paid are council tax and rent. So that would mean that their benefits are NOT disposable income.

      I agree that people who work in mental health often have low wages - such that they claim working tax credits, housing benefit and council tax. Perhaps the poster needs to check their own entitlements to benefits.

      And since they have such little understanding of the people they've been supporting for the last ten years, I hope they get out of mental health work soon. It's certainly not suited to them - it is unfair on their clients to have to put up with workers like this.

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    4. Actually, they also have their electric, water and tv licence paid, the flats are all fully furnished and they have access to the internet and phones for free. Their income IS disposable and it is exactly the amount I quoted. This is and always has been the case for the last ten years. As for my understanding? What a silly comment to make.. I am well qualified, well experienced, have a very high success rate and get on famously with all the clients I work with... That has NOTHING to do with my opinion on the benefits system.. What a stupid and unfounded assertion... Also, I am not entitled to any benefits as I (apparently) earn to much.. However, this doesn't change the fact I have barely eaten for the last three days... Irregaddless of the particulars of my situation (which I mentioned merely for comparison purposes and to illustrate my issue with the fairness of benefit payments), I still think that it needs reviewing... I don't see what the problem is, if you are disabled and assessed as such you will still be entitled to benefits will you not? If you are assessed as being ineligible it is because it has been identified that you could do some kind of work in some capacity. That seems reasonable to me...

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    5. What a load of made up nonsense. Provide citations or troll off.

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    6. Reads like the rantings of an intern at the Taxpayers Alliance. High in vitriolic hyperbole, low in factual content. Please provide citations.

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    7. Well, clearly I can't give details of exactly where I work so I'm not sure how I can prove that all bills etc are paid for, only that, it's really not that uncommon in these services to house people in furnished accomodation and pay all the bills with only a peppercorn rent charhed to the service user (in this case it's £15.00)
      As for the benefits well in addition to housing benefit (which is £115.00 per week) and council tax benefit, and free bus and rail travel they also get:

      IS: 67.50 pw
      SDP: 62.50 pw
      DLA CARE: 73. 60 pw
      DLA MOB: 51.40 pw
      Now if you add all that up and multiply that by 4 then that totals £1,020 every month and out of that £15.50 is payable as service charge... So... There's your citation.. Go look up the figures, they're on the website I'm sure.... As I said, I've seen this for the last ten years. It's not made up... It's simply the truth... Sorry if that doesn't fit exactly into your 'evil government' picture of the world but, there it is....

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    8. You have included DLA higher rate care and mobility in your calculation of your "service users'" incomes, whilst some may be entitled to HRC, it is extremely unlikely that they are entitled to HRM. Sorry but I find you totally unconvincing but if you do work with MH service users I respectfully suggest that with an attitude like yours you should be looking for alternative employment.

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    9. If you are in a residential situation you dont receive the care or is with sdp it pays for your residency. 'Inmates' as my brother referes to himself get about £21 a week to spend. They may get mobility if they qualify, suprisingly enough they use it to pay for taxi services or wheelchairs that cannot bw supplied by the government. There maybe sheltered accomodation where you get fully furnished units but the care still has to be paid for.

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    10. Haha... My attitude to what? You know nothing of my attitude to the people I work with. I respect and support every individual i work with, just because I don't think they need a thousand pounds a month to live on doesn't make me bad at my job? What utter drivel... And, as a matter of fact, they are ALL on the top rate of benefits which was exactly my point. They have been awarded money they don't need by a system that fails to review. That was my point and it's absolutely valid. Just because the facts of the matter don't fit with your barrow world view, in the same way you can't possibly imagine how someone who doesn't agree with you (obviously the good guys) can also be a caring and decent person who supports the people he works with and does a good job at it to boot. I couldn't care less if you find me convincing, I know the facts of the matter and so I, for one, will be pleased when the system is changed and there is a stricter review process. I don't need alternative employment, I am good at what I do. My knowledge of the people, conditions, psychology, pathology, pharmacology etc of the job I have done for the last 10 years is excellent, the therapeutic relationships I have developed and continue to develop are solid and effective. I have supported people throughout the recovery process, starting from nothing and finishing at independence and a better life. My opinion on the state of the welfare system has nothing at all to do with my ability to do my job and the fact that you (and you're the 3rd/4th on this page to do it) would suggest that it is demonstrates your narrow-mindedness and willingness to twist and distort the facts in order to discredit someone with a different opinion (and one which is based on actual facts not scaremongering like "if you bring in welfare reform hundreds of people will die!!! Honest!")
      You are no better than the weasly politicians
      you decry for using the same tactics. I'm sorry to resort to name-calling but you and your ilk have repeatedly cast aspersions about my ability to do my job, simply because I have a different point of view so, I consider myself justified.

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    11. Your information regarding the residential services is incorrect. We are classed not as a hospital or a care home but as the resident's OWN home. Therefore they DO receive any and all benefits they would be entitled to which includes SDP, DLA etc... You can disagree all you like but I know full well that it's correct. I know exactly how much everyone of the service users I work with gets as it's part of our remit to do budget planning. I know how much they get to the penny and I haven't exaggerated a single thing.

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    12. also, having a ' mental ilness' (which is debeateable as to whether half of my clients even do, though I won't get into the discussions around personality disorders etc) doesn't mean you need a wheelchair to get about, nor does it mean you need 24 hour support. The problem is that the applications are filled in on a 'worst day' basis: which, if you are suffering with severe depression and presenting in a catatonic state means you're pretty much incapable of anything at all... Fair enough... High rate care and mobility they cry!
      Problem is, I may have suffered that episode ten years ago, have been doing fine since BUT I'm still under a consultant psychiatrist and I'm on CPA so I'm basically left alone indefinitely to claim my 1,100 per month plus housing, council tax, travel benefit and will never be reviewed again... And if I am, I phone up and say that my mental state means I can't actually attend and, after a couple of attempts they stop trying or 'put a note on the system' as I was informed by the lady at jobcentre plus... This isn't a rarity, this isn't an isolated incident, out or all the people I currently work with there is maybe one or two individuals who couldn't do some sort of work and not one of them that's so incapacitated by their ilness that they should be entitled to all that money... So you see, it's one side of a coin, the government have both sets of arguments and they are trying to balance things a little... Unfortunately it may effect some people unfairly, however it may also mean that, on the whole, the system awards sums of money that are more appropriate and in line with the individuals ACTUAL needs, not their percieved needs....
      Anyway... I'm wasting my time here seeing as you are "so convinced that the truth is on our side" sounds like every religious extremist, evangelical crusader and closed minded
      individual in history.... No point in trying to reason with that...

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    13. Dear Anonymous,

      Not sure who you work for, but your allegation that people with mental disabilities have £250 excess disposable income is far fetched to put it politely.

      You should leave the press office of which policital organisation I think you work for, and get into the real world. Try sitting by the bed of someone who is dying and has had their small amount of remaining benefit removed.

      For that matter have a look at the wretched list we have had to draw up. Richard Sanderson had little left (certainly not your fictitous £250 a week surplus), and decided to fatally stab himself twice through the heart because he, his wife and 9 year old son were being made homeless to save your bosses £30 a week.

      If you are going to debate here, please keep it real.

      Regards,

      Calum.


      http://calumslist.org/

      or

      www.calumslist.org

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    14. I know of a similar situation, some mental health hostels house people for very little money. I also know people who work there who are completely fed up, not just because of what you mention, but that nowadays, carers are more likely to be servicing clients with drug habits and/or petty criminals. Alongside those people are others who only have mental health problems, and it is not good for them at all to be in such an environment when they are trying to manage their lives and recover. Unfortunately, a family member is in such a place, and I also know the staff, so I appreciate where you are coming from on this.

      That said, I know that residents receive a little more than I do, and I have to maintain a home, as well as pay back £3000 per year in care fees from my benefit income, whilst they pay £50 per week, sometimes a little more if they need 'full board', all in, which doesn't seem fair somehow. I know from the family member that access to too much spare money in this case has not helped recovery at all.

      My family sent me away to a single mothers' hostel to give birth to my first child (who I kept against their wishes), and we had to hand over almost all of our benefit, and we were left with a little pocket money. I'm not saying that this is right, but in contrast, I do absolutely know that too much disposable income is allowed. As our family has learned from the experience, this disposable income is not always spent in the spirit that it was granted.

      I wonder how a balance in these circumstances can be reached. Again, I know personally, that most of this income is spent on the wrong things. There seems no way of teaching some of them otherwise. Sometimes I feel it is because they are wired the wrong way, and some never will just 'get' it.

      I have to budget though, and pay more out than just care costs because of additional things I cannot do, and have to employ people for, like garden maintenance which is a stipulation of my social housing contract. The bills keep coming whilst I see others frittering money away; not always easy to deal with.

      All in all, it is definitely not fair that you should have to sufffer financially in such a job. That is the fault of the system however that does not tailor personal circumstances to welfare or to work. Everyone should have a decent income, least of all those who are caring for other people, and some people need to be cared for, which ready cash will not always 'benefit'.

      The whole system for the times that we live in is incredibly unintelligent; really 'not fit for purpose', or able to respond to particular circumstances, yet the 'gov' are about to embark like never before into a 'one size fits all' scenario.

      People like yourself deserve a medal in my book though: knowing what I do, who else would do what you do?

      Clarebelz

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    15. Anonymous

      I am reminded of two statements when I read this. Bearing in mind that the person you talk about so 'freely' has income of lesss than half the national average:

      "The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get to the office." - Robert Frost.


      “Never argue with an idiot. They bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” (George Carlin)

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    16. That's a very thoughtful answer Clarebelz.

      I don't like to think that just because someone is disagreeing with us they're trolls or just lying. I'm sure it's not the case.

      It sounds a bit like Anon does a similar job to two of my friends here in Sussex. It does seem very unlikely that his clients get to keep so much of their benefits, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Even so though, some able bodies people earn an awful lot of money. Many millions more than a disposable income of £250 per week.

      Even if that figure is correct - is it so terrible to think that some disabled people have disposable income? £11k a year? That's not riches is it? If they get HRM and HRC, I'm sorry but they're pretty profoundly disabled. For someone to get HRC and HRM for 10 years, they have to have no hope of recovering not just one catatonic incident!!

      Why shouldn't they have a modest amount of disposable income to enjoy? When did we decide that all disabled people should live in poverty? Why should they?

      If Anon does do the job my friends do then he is certainly not wealthy, but neither is he a minimum wage bottom wiper. My friends earn an above average wage and certainly don't live in luxury, but they manage to eat every day and pretty comfortably at that.

      We just have to stop this idea that disabled people aren't worthy of a decent life. That's the bit that scares me most I think.

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    17. Weasly (sic) Politician4 February 2012 08:16

      @Anonymous Feb 3 2012 01:20PM

      You chose to comment on a blog which, because of its content, could reasonably be expected to have a large readership of sick and disabled people, some, like me, physically disabled, others experiencing mental distress; you chose to comment, not as a member of the public, but as a MH professional, you used examples of individuals with whom you work in order to support your case - is that not a little unprofessional? - and your posts contain a number of factual errors. When these were pointed out and concerns were raised about your attitude towards your clients who are in receipt of benefits, you re-asserted your professional status which you appear to believe also qualifies you to be an expert on the benefits system and resorted to personnal remarks. Do you really expect people with personal experience of disability and/or mental distress and of the benefits system to accept your analysis of the failings of the Welfare State and your cure for those failings?

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  14. I too seem to be still waiting for my signature confirmation which is normally recieved almost instantly. However if others have received theirs, i'll wait awhile longer...meanwhile I have also shared the petition within two 'private' facebook groups requesting the members help to sign and disseminate to all their sick, disbaled, and other vulnerable friends. I don't know how you do so much Sue but I hope you take strength in knowing you have so much support for your inspirational and time consuming efforts so far. Forget Fred The Shred..how about a gong for Sue, Kaliya and all her team of friends and helpers for their services to us all? Where would we forward such a proposal? Anyone know or care to start the ball rolling..I wanna be one of the first in line to suggest her. Maybe any such link could be posted on here or the DaABS Facebook page.

    'Don't let the buggas grind you down!'

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    1. Direct this suggestion to The Honours Committee - probably in the purlieu of The Cabinet Secretary at Whitehall. And I would second it like a shot!!

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    2. Me too...sign me up!

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  15. Anonymous 08.18

    So it's the fault of the disabled people you "support" that your wages are so low? You think it better that they get less rather than questioning why you don't get more?

    I'm very glad indeed you don't "support" me - I can only imagine the resentment and jealousy of your post seeping into everything you do at work.

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    1. Well said Sue...The Politics of Envy this coalition pretend not espouse, personified....It also clearly slipped anon's mind..that this might be an isolated example..whereas the vast majority need these extras to cover genuine needs, hardship, and extra care....

      But hey lets tar everyone with the brush and forget the obvious facts and truth eh? Why go with truth when lies are more easy to purvey

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    2. Not at all, I do not resent, nor am I jealous of the people I support. I do the job I do because I care about people, however, throwing money at people has nothing to do with caring (and in this case actually does more harm in many cases as they spend the majority of it on drugs and alcohol that actually worsen their conditions). The issue is fairness. How is
      it fair that someone who doesn't work is
      considerably better off than someone who
      does? The point is, there should be reform of the system. There should be more regular and more rigorous reassessment of Individual's suitability for benefits and they should be set at a more realistic level. To have that kind of disposable income I would have to earn an annual salary of
      about 40k. Is that a reasonable sum to give someone? Does that encourage independence and a desire to return to work and be a productive member of society? The answer, I can tell you, is certainly not. I have heard, on many occasions, from the recipients of these benefits: "why should I work? I get my benefits for nothing"
      I don't resent the people I work with, I try to help them BUT I am fighting a losing battle as they don't want to help themselves, and that is because they have no incentive to do so.... It's easy to point at the "government want to take money off children with cancer" reports but it's one side of a coin. One lady I work with has 37k in savings,she clearly gets considerably more than she needs to live on. It needs reassessing. She has never worked a day, would be capable of doing so but chooses not to. She hasn't been reassessed in years and was actually allowed not to attend last time because she rang and said she 'didn't feel up to it" (before going off into town shopping for new furniture). The fact is, just because I believe the benefits system is wrong doesn't mean I'm bad at my job, or resentful, or prejudice or that it affects my ability to do my job one bit. I am not jealous at all! The idea is laughable, I wouldn't swap any amount of money in the world for the traumatic lives and disturbing experiences the people I work with have suffered.... It doesn't mean they should have excessive amounts of money thrown at them for the rest of their lives though... It does however make me feel that reform is required. As for questioning why we don't get more? We've tried that... In fact; we wre just asking to be paid the same... If you haven't noticed, those who work for a living (those in the public sector being the most prominent in the news recently) are having their 'benefits' (pensions) cut AND paying more AND will have to work longer. All workers, public or private sector, are having to face cuts and reductions and make sacrifices. Why should welfare be immune from scrutiny and from cuts and savings? I don't begrudge anyone help who needs it, but the help should be proportionate to the need and it patently isn't at the moment. Therefore, I personally support the reform of the welfare state. that doesn't make me the heartless, bitter
      Individual you try to suggest I am, just one who thinks things could be a bit fairer.

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    3. Also, this is not isolated at all. It's every individual I've worked with in the last 9 1/2 years. You're right, not everyone gets that but I've seen enough to know that there are too many who do. It's excessive and should be reviewed. To cry "ha! Jealousy!" is moronic to say the least. Why on earth would I be jealous of someone with a life altering disability? My issue is with excessive payment of benefit: not with whether we should help those who news it or not, but with how much help is fair and reasonable.

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    4. To be honest mate that just how your first came across as so be fair here if you read it again bearing in mind the suffering of people on here it does read like that.Obviously you are a caring person and my sympathies are with you in regard to the low pay but really very few on benefits are like that and some people will die as a result of this bill BUT lets not turn this particular posting in to tit for tat game of whom is entitled and who isnt as its not gonna help take u forward here.

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    5. See again, I find your posts confusing - that doesn't mean I doubt them entirely, but they are confusing.

      On minute you talk about people who won't help themselves frittering their money away on drugs and alcohol, the next people with a life altering disability. You mention a patient with £37k in savings - then she certainly doesn't get income support a that is strictly means tested. Just about the only benefit they would get with that level of savings is DLA.

      As for phoning up to say she didn't feel like going in, well that's an anecdote and I could share 100 where if anyone even dared to suggest they couldn't get in for an appointment their benefits were stopped summarily.

      Finally, part f my 2 friend's jobs is to actually fill in the benefit forms for their clients. If they qualify for HRC and HRM then you almost certainly have to do that for them too. They have, at the very least severe learning difficulties to go with their MH problems. Why are you filling in the forms to say they should qualify for these rates if you don't think they should? It is literally impossible - impossible for people like you mention to fill in the forms themselves and be granted HRC and HRM - so who's filling in the forms for them and why are they exaggerating and why in every single case (according to your accounts) are they being granted these benefits they clearly don't need?

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  16. Signed, shared and 'tweeted', Sue. Just awaiting confirmation. Keep up the good work - you keep our spirits and our hopes high.

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  17. Much as I respect what we are trying to do the Queen cannot refuse to sign the legislation, she can only advise and warn but legally she can't refuse to sign it. All we can do is continue to lobby and start to keep notes of all the cases that go wrong & use them to get the legislation overtunred.
    I know thats negative but as long as we keep telling them where there crappy legislation has left us thats the best we can do.

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    1. I can assure you Moni WRO that HRH need to give the welfare reform bill royal assent for it to become law and under UK constitutional law if she sees fit to refuse to give it royal assent she is perfectly entitled to do so.

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  18. Anonymous 08:18 AM
    If you earn so little that you have not money to buy food you might be entitled to benefits yourself. I have also worked in social care for a number of years and I have never met people that buy wardrobes full of clothes at a whim. I have seen many sick people who do struggle a lot just to get by. Secondly, I am getting fed up with people that because they earn low wages they want everyone else to suffer more than they do. Fairness should be that everyone works for a fair wage and people should be looked after when they cannot work, to have a decent standard of living not allowed barely to survive. You should point your fingers at the real culprits of this situation, if wages are too low is not the disabled or sick's fault.

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  19. Sue makes a great point which I have so many times...don't have a go at those on benefits and what they supposedly receive(most of the figures mentioned in the media are incorrect)and statistics skewed but ask why the wages or incomes of many who work are so low and often still have to be made up by various help from Government schemes?

    The Works programme doesn't seem to be working(40% were supposed to find work, it appears its nearer 20%)and contractors are saying they are finding it difficult to find work for those taking part especially in the present climate...

    The minister in charge of the scheme seems to still say its a success...

    Do I believe anything I am told about any government story if they issue the information?

    In a word...No!

    ReplyDelete
  20. The request can be made under the provisions of the Bill of Rights Act 1689, whereby the right to petition the crown is not just enshrined in law confirming the earlier rights under Magna Carta, but also explains the relevant section in the Coronation oath sworn by the Queen shortly after I was born in 1953 and only monthsw after her father (who the world now knows from "The Kings Speech" had a speech impediment that made him one of us) sadly had passed away the year before making her Our soverign not Parliament's it is her parliament and they are HER ministers and let them never forget that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, to those saying the Queen hasn't refused Royal Assent since 1702 - the Government haven't tried to use financial privilege on a bill NOT designated a money bill to overturn ALL Lords amendments before either.

      The response has to fit the crime.

      Delete
  21. I have signed and I think the petition originated with DWP examinations website. Although it can't do any harm to sign it I don't think personally that the Queen will do anything about it but all publicity is good publicity.

    By the way is Pam's Petition the same as Pat's Petition at the top of your page on the right, if so that is still ongoing and I would have thought if everyone through their weight against it as well as taking other actions we might stand a chance of having it debated again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is all this about Pam's petition? It doesn't say Pam that's the second comment I've had.

      People HAVE thrown their weight behind it!!! It's got nearly 30,000 signatures!! It's at the very top of my blog and the link works.

      Delete
    2. @ Sue Marsh you blog post DOES say Pam's Petition, you just need to correct that, when you can.

      Double Karma

      Delete
  22. Hi :)
    I have made all of the royal family aware of this blog and they all know the score the queen more then anyone
    She has seen it all before and is well versed in most topics

    But as i have said above she herself will not ever involve herself with what the DWP do or not do and i can understand that view point at her age

    However the same cannot be said for prince William and harry or indeed prince Charles contrary to belief the three of them will and are upset to see any of their chartable work being undermined by the government

    One of prince Charles great strengths is in getting a person to believe in himself and go forward

    Of course being ill or disabled is in a slightly different league as the royal families charitable work involves mainly fit people

    They are involved in homelessness but as i say not sick or disabled

    They are of course involved in some overseas charities which do include the sick and disabled but not at home we are on our own on this point and we have only ourselves for support sad but true

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should add thou that if many deaths were to occur because of the welfare reforms then i do believe that William or harry would speak out i say that as they are very much like myself in temperament they will only take so much and then like myself you had better watch out

      Delete
    2. They are involved in homelessness yes, by having loads of vast empty properties that could be used as housing. Charlie made a fair few farmers homeless during the Foot & Mouth crisis by kicking them off land that he owns for no reason. That William is a patron of Centrepoint is hypocrisy in the extreme.

      Delete
    3. If you have the rayal families ear fourbanks, could you please point them in the direction of www.calumsplace.org where they will find details of at least 17 deaths where the blame could be firmly laid at the feet of welfare reforms.

      Delete
    4. Hi phil
      you make the most important point and that is the deaths that have been caused by the welfare reforms so far

      The point you make phil with regards these deaths has never been mentioned at all by the lords or any mp over the past year and had they been the whole welfare reform bill would have been under much greater scrutiny by the police and in all probability the welfare reform bill would have had to be put on ice while these tragic cases were investigated

      This has not happened as yet and the deaths as far as i am aware are being swept under the carpet by the mp's in the lower chamber and the lords in the upper chamber

      However the police may at some point with the right type of evidence charge the prime minister and all of those involved with a charge of crimes against humanity and for taking passive action to protect the well being of the sick and disabled

      Of all of those that have died so far the police will have been involved as to why that person has died and what has led up to it

      All we can hope is that justice for the family's that have been left behind will get justice in the courts at some point

      One of The prime minister main responsibility is to make sure that the sick and disabled are protected at all times from harm and persecution and that their lives are made peaceful and free from worry and stress

      At this time David Cameron is falling well short and is achieving the opposite so much so that the sick and disabled have committed suicide with the family that has been left behind wondering why

      I will indeed let the royal family know of www.calumsplace.org and am sure like we all are they will be very shocked

      These deaths are key with these reforms and everything else is secondary and unimportant at this time we must at all times focus on the deaths so far to prevent more from happening in the future

      everyone here in agreement with what i have stated "Content" (in favour ) or "Not Content" (against)

      Delete
    5. I'm sure Calum will be along shortly to advise you how far up the police ladder a formal complaint regarding capital crimes committed under the Health & Safety laws by the Department of Works and Pensions has got, and the DoH and Government Ministers are not exempt from liabilities regarding offences committed under Health & Safety legislation _ He has been advised of this thread and your vies, I'm sure as an ex police officer his views will be of interest to you.

      Delete
    6. The website is http://calumslist.org/ not calumsplace.org

      A to the other: Content

      Delete
    7. Dear Fourbanks,

      Very interested to read your comments here.

      You have incisively got straight to a material point. A senior police officer at a certain police force to whom files evidencing 11 alleged welfare reform deaths was very helpful, but unable at that time to act because of jurisdictional issues. One welfare reform death here, one death there. All below the radar. I also suspect there was some incredulity that the figure was 11 deaths.

      Now the welfare reform death toll is at 17 and another three to take it up to 20 in the next few weeks once we have gotten through the due diligence.

      The place we are now at is that a cross-jurisdictional police force liaison officer will need to be appointed to investigate the formal complaints of alleged criminality that have been lodged against the Secreatry of State for Work & Pensions. What charges the CPS might libel is beyond comment at the moment.

      On 23rd January 2012 (reported in the House of Commons Hansard) Katy Clark MP bravely asked Chris Grayling about our initial allegation in terms of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. He avoided the question.

      As a former police officer myself, I think it may not be the Corporate Manslaughter Act, but one of the other pieces of legislation that leads to the door of the MPs concerned.

      An analogy may be drawn with the resignation of Chris Huhne today. Most folk thought he might be charged under the Road Traffic Act, whereas he has instead been cautioned and charged with a much more serious offence of "Conspiracy to Pervert the Course of Justice".

      One thing I am now sure of. The formal complaint of alleged criminality surrounding the Welfare Reform Death Scandal has been raised from Chief Superintendent level to that of the rank of Commander at Homicide. That added to the correspondence received indicates to me that this issue is being treated with sufficient gravitas.

      Hope this is of interest.

      Kind regards,

      Calum.

      www.calumslist.org

      Delete
    8. Thanks culum
      I do so hope that the police as I'm sure they will get more involved as time goes by

      It can be very difficult for the police as invariably the sick and disabled are tormented like i have been in the past at the end of the phone not to say anything about a whole rafter of letters to deal with

      All of the DWP abuse is done in private so that the police and everyone else in society is none the wiser and left to afraid to speak out

      If it wasn't for this blog things would be very much worse that's for sure

      Thanks once again calum for looking in and i do so hope that someone has a word in the prime minister ear about these welfare reforms before it's to late and he gets arrested

      I'm sure he is aware of his wrong doing i myself made my own statement on how i wonted the welfare reforms to be presented and backed by my tory mp who thought it not only very simple but easily implemented with no fuss

      If i could achieve it then how the hell is the prime minister making such a pigs ear of it
      Most probably we'll never know

      Delete
    9. For the record my way of getting the welfare reform bill put in motion is to have a specialist doctor along with a DWP benefits adviser go to the homes of those receiving IB/DLA/JSA so that any stress is minimal they will have all of there notes history to hand and the recipient along with any carer they have will be able to put their case forward in a straight forward way

      They can then be placed accurately in the correct grouping for work or not pure and simple their id's can also be checked at the same time so that any benefit paid is going to a genuine claimant so that fraud is stopped

      I have not said on record anything with regards the £26000 cap as i myself pay my own full rent and council tax and therefore i find myself unqualified to speak on behalf of that group of people

      But for the DLA/IB of which i do receive i am more then qualified in this area

      The benefits of my plan means that once you have been seen you can go straight through to your PIP allowance and if done in the correct manor everyone over the next three years can be accurately assessed

      I do admit thou that my plan will not be perfect for those that are semi fit one day and fit the next and then ill but overall my plan is solid and would work well i feel for most people

      everyone here in agreement with what i have stated "Content" (in favour ) or "Not Content" (against)

      Delete
    10. Good Evening Fourbanks,

      Thank you for the reply. Don't worry about the police. We all have tried our best to write, email and plead with our MPs etc. In my own view the only way to get the Ministers to now listen is to properly hold them to account. The senior officer I have been dealing with has taken the matter seriously. At first the police view from a number of forces was that this is a "one off". But when the cross-jurisdictional extent of this fatal welfare reform system is exposed, and the evidence presented, the reaction of a premier force in the UK is to escalate the matter up to a very senior rank.

      I now have more faith than ever that this welfare reform mess will be made safe and fit for purpose. Not by the chance those Ministers had at respecting democracy, the electorate and for example our second chamber in Parliament - all of which they have ignored, but with the gaolers keys rattling.

      Many MPs have been sent to prison for what are relatively lesser crimes than having their hands covered with the blood of the weakest in society. That may sound pejorative. But it is based on fact.

      Kind regards,

      Calum.

      Proof of fact at www.calumslist.org

      Delete
    11. Thank you calum and very much sincerely hope that you are correct that the welfare reforms will be made safe and fit for purpose.

      Delete
  23. I'm afraid I'm as against monarchy as I am the #WRB, they are the personification of the unfairness that blights our country, so I'm afraid I can't sign it.

    As you know though, I think what you do is ace! xx

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sue, would it help your fight any to show that you have international support (since we can't sign any of the petitions that are currently out there?)

    I'd be willing to start and plug a petition for international supporters, if you think it would help (I'm in Canada)...email me at girlwiththecane@gmail.com if you'd like to discuss...

    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  25. Not all mental health patients get that amount of money, all I get is my rent and council tax paid. I survive, there are so many cuts to the services here, I have to fend for myself. I haven't bothered to try and get more benefits because I cannot face the continual uphill struggle. Most of the time I am on the edge and scared that one day I will just say to hell with it all. No one comes looking for you when you miss a doctors appointment for vital medications because you just cant face leaving the house. People that were once friends drift away, or you push them away because thats what being mentally does to you in the end. I hate my life, I hate how I feel, but most of all I hate what I have done to friends and family. Only other true sufferers understand what it feels like and for someone to judge how much money someone else gets says to me they shouldnt be in job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very well put across and so true

      Delete
  26. Very moving and heartfelt comments on the petition website. I've signed it at about 4.30pm, no email confirmation as yet, at 10.30, hoping this is because of numbers not a glitch.
    It's a good idea, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would like to make a point if I may about one ANONYMOUS commentator above who seems to think quoting what disabled people are ELIGIBLE for is what they actually receive ! ! !

    He or she is on Planet PolicyWonk. THE main problem is the current, FATALLY FLAWED welfare reform system is depriving many disabled people of ALL of any benefit they may be entitled to.

    That is THE problem and one which our Anonymous friend above has no idea of.

    Personally I have no problem with a FAIR Work Capability Assessment. Most, if not all of my friends with disabilities have no problem with this principle either.

    The serious failure with welfare reform so far is it is not fit-for-purpose; it is gerrymandered so those in need are left to die. Welfare reform requires an urgent and major overhaul.

    As the politicians are not for listening to mere cripples like us, nor the electorate in general, then it is gloves off. One by one those ministers with blood on their hands will go the way of all ministers, politicians and civil servants. To court, and perhaps to jail.

    It seems then and only then will the political elite start to listen, let alone 'get it'.

    Kind regards,

    Calum.

    www.calumslist.org

    ReplyDelete
  28. Calum your site is excellent and we should all go and have a look at it and save it on our pc's just in case it is taken down as i can bet it is being looked at right now.
    This is the sort of thing i was talking about in my earlier posts and backs up what i mean when i say fight them on all fronts and by whatever means we can.
    If indeed some of the people concerned with the implementation of the wrb are found to be liable under law for the deaths we have so far then good because we know there will sadly be many more added to the list and we have to stop this.
    There was talk on your site of a new political party being formed so any info on this would be good as i did suggest this too and pointed out that 10 million sick/disabled and affected family members would be able to influence greatly the future of our present partys and actually bring about the political change that this country needs.If it comes in to being we should all join it and work towards that goal.
    To fight them we need to realy organise and carry on the marvelous work of people like sue and kaliya and the crew and i suggest a joining of forces.
    I do know that a big shove will get you through any door that says push on it and if the doors wont open then we should make them open.
    These mps work for us andthey now need to know we wont let them kill anymore sick or disabled people and we will fight back by whatever means.
    Now where does it say in any oath you take as an mp that you can lie ,mislead or cheat the people and where does it say you can disregard 10 million people and treat them and thier familys...indeed brand them via the media..as social pariahs and third class citizens.I do know this we are all in it together but not in the way call me dave envisaged as we now have ,and must actively promote,a new movement of people and our voice must get louder and louder and louder until they do bloody listen.We should actually all email ALL the Mp's,not just our own but ALL, and inform them we are not and will never give up and we will take our rights back..If we lose anymore people to this bill then we should all march on to the steps of the parliament and do it when it will have the most effect and guess what event that would be..see how lord coe and the rest would like that.Cant arrest us all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarcboy,

      Many thanks for looking at the website. It isn't finished yet, but I must congratulate you on being so thorough. Yes there is talk of a new political party. Apparently "soundings" are about to be taken from certain politicians in marginal seats before, and after the May elections to see if any have a conscience and are willing to leave the current political mess that all political parties are in, do the decent thing and help start a political party that is fair and for the electorate, not just a Westminster club for professional politicians of whatever party colour.

      When I get the link to the new website I will post it on this excellent DoaBS Forum so you can keep up to date. I understand the modest group have promisory notes of funding and are looking for candidates to stand in the 40 of the most marginal seats come the next Westminster election. Should prove interesting ! Especially if several MORE MPs and a couple of Government Ministers are, by then doing jail time. It has happened before, and it will happen again.

      Delete
    2. We sure do need a new political party for this country but it will be some years before we make any headway in this direction

      Delete
  29. The public has been successfully brainwashed by the media about the sick and disabled; the Government has taken advantage of the mean-spiritedness, spite, self righteousness, selfishness, gullibility and general trusting childlike ignorant minds of the Great British public. It was like taking candy from a baby.

    The only way to make the Government reconsider what they are doing is to somehow get the self-righteous selfish Right-wing Newspaper addled, spiteful morons known as the British public to oppose what is going on and to get outraged about it and to make them feel like it could hurt them and those they love as well.

    Since the mainstream media will not cover this fairly or at all most of the time and we still have the Internet for now, we have to somehow use it to circumvent the mainstream media and get our message to the country.

    The British people don't have the attention span or the interest to study reports in detail. They respond to simple simplistic messages being repeated over and over again. My suggestion is a counter-Propaganda video showing the reality of the situation.

    A very simple short video with a simple message that even a Sun reader could understand, with the simple message being hammered home through the thickest of skulls by the video over and over again: "This could happen to you at any time" "This is how bad your life will be if you get sick" and containing the message for the Middle-Class who think they are untouchable "Health insurance wont save you because like America the Insurance companies will use loopholes and tricks to get out of paying up when you get ill".

    It would have to be a bleak hard hitting graphic shocking video that tugs at the heart strings with a few different segments showing different possible scenarios. The Spartacai could post this video everywhere online. We could post it so often and in so many places that it becomes well known.

    ReplyDelete
  30. this is nonsense

    the royal faamily are only iterested in being 'patrons' of disabled/ care/ welfare groups - not being active on their behalf - they have enough problems of their own

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have tried several times to sign the petition since yesterday - but never get a confirmation email.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I signed yesterday too, and have not had a confirmation email yet.

      Delete
    2. Yes, sorry, me too. I signed yesterday afternoon and haven't had a confirmation. Perhaps a corgi wee'd on something crucial.

      Delete
    3. Hi Yell In The Dark,

      I have it from the site creator that he was shocked so many people have signed, and the site is almost crashing under the strain.

      So oddly it might be a good thing it is taking your comment so long to appear.

      I have a funny feeling that http://withholdtheroyalassent.org/ might just go the whole way and rattle the cages that need rattling.

      Cheers,

      Calum

      Delete
    4. I do think thow that the queen will not see this petition as her staff are very very protective of what she gets to see

      She does on her account read some of the newspapers but anything odd that could cause her a problem or concern then that is most unlikely to get through to her same goes with most of the royal family

      Their motto has always been one of out of sight out of mind

      Delete
  32. I signed it but when I clicked on the confirmation email it said it was an invalid code!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. To the person who somewhere asserted that to earn what their "client" earned in benefits they would have to earn £40k per year.

    PLEASE stop peddling these types of lies.

    I know these are lies and will explain why.
    I am "lucky".
    I am severely disabled but get all the support I need.
    This means that after being assessed I get the very maximum benefits it is possible for a single person to get in the UK.

    As such I represent perhaps 3% of people on benefits in this country.

    I am in the support group of ESA (approx 7-9% of claimants get into this group) as will probably never be well enough to work again.
    I am on HRM and HRC DLA (again very low % of claimants).
    I live alone with carers coming in to help me. This also means I qualify for SDP. (even lower % of claimants)
    I also get housing benefit.
    I do however have to contribute £4500 per year out of all this towards my care. I also have to buy, maintain and insure my electric wheelchairs and other disability equipment. (This isn't a complaint, just to let people know that this income isn't all "disposable")

    However I worked until 2 years ago. Originally I had a good job which paid about £30k gross. As my illness progressed I had to go part time, increasing each year. As a result in my last year of work I was only earning £17500k gross.

    When I went on to benefits my income DROPPED.
    I am less well off now than when I was working on a salary of £17,500k and I receive the maximum benefits it is possible to get for a single person.

    So your assertion that you need to earn £40k is completely and utterly off the mark.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would like to add that I am very well looked after. The amount I get is perfectly adequate for my needs and I get enough care to live independently, hence my comment about being "lucky".

    I would however prefer to still be healthly, enjoying my old career (and earning a lot more money!).

    Some people though do not get the same support, even though they may need it. For instance councils have rationed care to all but the most disabled. People with so called "lesser needs" get nothing where 5 to 10 years ago they were supported. These people are struggling.

    Tightening criteria will mean they will lose the disability benefit which is helping them cope.

    That is why, even though I personally have little to fear from the welfare reform bill, am fighting it tooth and nail.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I think that 40k figure comes from someone, somewhere, calculating from an assumption that taking into account income support, housing benefit, council tax benefits and a broad assumption about disability benefits, and assuming that as a net income 'in the pocket'. Prob. max everything.

    Then they've looked at the net income of some hypothetical person in full employment with the same net income, and hiked it up to the gross - their income without deductions.

    Either way. It's just plain silly. Neither hypothetical person exists or can exit.

    Doesn't stop the chattering class looking at ball park figures and not doing the rational research.

    For the record, I'm on DLA and I have no independence. I dream of the day I can walk, unaccompanied and unsupported to a local shop to buy a newspaper.

    ReplyDelete
  36. For those having trouble signing the petition, the site has posted this:

    "Could people who have not yet received their confirmation e-mail please check their spam folders as the volume of mail that people signing this petition has generated over a short period of time has possibly triggered the mail as potential spam."

    I suggest it would also be not in some people's interest to let this petition site function. If so, my answer would be to revert to good old-fashioned pen and ink and post a letter to the Palace. It is, after all, illegal to interfere with the "Royal" Mail!

    Thank You Calum for all the work you have done.You are truly an inspiration and much needed.
    I don't think I am the only one here, that thinks my name could well be on your list one of these days, if this is not stopped and soon.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I don't think I am the only one here, that thinks my name could well be on your list one of these days, if this is not stopped and soon.

    I've been saying that for years and I'm still here but that is only because of the help and support i have received by my caring team and the police

    ReplyDelete
  38. 'Lazy Cow' syndrome spoof video becomes internet hit

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9062318/Lazy-Cow-syndrome-spoof-video-becomes-internet-hit.html

    ReplyDelete
  39. I disagree with this Bill as much as anyone but I will not sign a petition asking for democracy to be sacrificed to stop it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wtf! You having a laugh, what democracy is that then? Some warped logic you're using there.

      Delete
    2. You're right letting an unelected unqalified single person stop the passage of a law passed by the elected parliament just because it's a bad bill is far more democratic.

      Delete
  40. done. may it raise awareness to critical mass and at the very least get the WRB and the way that benefit decisions are made and conducted competently reviewed.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Who would hack the petition?! I just went to see how many signatures were there and got "Damn ! Th3 Viper Pwnz u"

    I hope they rot in hell whoever they are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw that too :( The more troubling thing is that both the choice of target and the style of writing don't really fit with your average hacker's modus operandi. They tend to go for much more high profile sites and at the very least they know the correct usage of "leet speak" The phrase "Damn! Th3 Viper Pwns u" is far too well spoken (for want of a better term) and comes accross more like someone trying to make it seem like a random hack rather that a genuine one (as that calling card would be greatly mocked by anyone with any real hacking links.

      Before anyone says anything, I'm not a hacker, I just used to knock around with some when I was younger.

      Delete
    2. Have also just seen that calumslist has been targeted too. Definitely suspicious now, especially as the "hacker" has made a monumental error in his leet speak terminology! No real hacker would write "noob" with capital o's, standard form is either "n00b" or "nub".

      Delete
    3. I was a security specialist before my ill health retirement and i would think that the hacker is from the government
      Pat's e-petition will also be taken down should she reach the 1000'000 mark i would think
      Hopefully calum will stop by to confirm what HE thinks about this attack

      You have to keep a open mind on the net as there are to many Anonymous people posting and without the right skills of the blog owner most posts could be void as there from the same person

      Delete
  42. I can confirm that it was a very sophisticated hack, not the usual brute force attack and involved far more than just breaking in to the server and throwing the files around, they pulverised every file in the folder to metaphorical powder, bagged it up and removed it while wearing forensic suits :(

    Fortunately, all the signatories contact details were encrypted, so whoever hacked the site has not got access to them and I have a full back up of all signatories, (apart from ones that signed in the last couple of hours before the hack), and the final set will be printed out and sent to HRH before the end of the week.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi All,

    The taking down of various disability websites has caused a lot of problems for people with disabilities over the past couple of years. Many are housebound and rely on the internet for support and advice.

    Whoever is behind such cowardly attacks is despicable.

    However, they have done a favour to some sites, as protocols are now in place to reproduce identical sites on a two for one basis should any further of these scum try to take down websites.

    By that I mean any further disruption of certain disability sites will result in two of the same being automatically uploaded. An online backup for insurance purposes. Each site removed will result in a two fresh identical ones going back up. EVERY TIME. We may be disabled, but we still have some fight left!

    In a touch of irony here for those in the know....

    'Everyone needs a backup plan!'

    As for our own small contribution centralising a definitive database, and collating the evidence required to make a prosecution of those responsible, www.calumslist.org is back online.

    Kindest regards,

    Calum.

    www.calumslist.org

    P.S. The subscribers to the www.calumslist.org site WANT to remove it, but will only do so once welfare reform is made fit-for-purpose and stops killing people.

    ReplyDelete