Unhappy DWP staff telling us directly that they are unhappy. The reality of the situation has now hit them. 

Some people mistake the reason why we stand outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. We stand there in protest of the disgusting regime enforced by the government. We also stand there to help and advise claimants, both are equally important. We don’t stand there shouting, our main purpose is to empower claimants, so they can feel confident enough to fight back against the system, and the advice that we give them is invaluable. 

Today was a strange day, the weather was warm, and a good crowd turned up. We were busy helping a claimant who had been told to claim JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) because she had failed her ATOS assement. She is appealing this, and as a result now has to apply for JSA whilst her appeal is dealt with. She was given no information on how to conduct her job searches etc, and I’m sure that her advisor was expecting her to fail on this. She won’t however, because I instructed her on what to do and not to do and she felt happier. She had told us that her advisor had warned her not to speak to that lot outside, but thankfully she ignored her and asked us lots of questions. 

Just as I was finishing helping this woman, two DWP workers purposely walked out of the building. This is a very rare sight indeed, because they usually prefer to use the back door, or they take their badges off. It certainly looked like they had had enough. They shouted that they only do sixteen hours work a week and will be punished for doing this. I said, yes you will be because it’s all part of the new in work conditionality of which everyone who will be shifted over to universal credit off JSA or Income support will have to do.  ( I’ve wrote about this in an earlier blog.)  Our answer to this was, yes we know that you are having a hard time, we do sympathise with you, and we also know that you will be sent to another Jobcentre to comply with the rules and receive any sanctions etc that you may receive. They were angry, but sadly are a victim of the system that they have helped to create, either knowingly, or un knowingly. I’m not going to go into the problems that exist within their union the PCS. There’s a lot of internal things that urgently need to be sorted out, and help from the top is much needed. But I sympathise with the decent workers and union reps trying to take a stand and to change things. This does not mean that I sympathise with the workers who actually enjoy applying sanctions and harsh conditionality for claimants. They need to be held accountable for their actions, as do those who prevent positive action. One day I hope that this will happen. 

I’ve no idea if these women are unionised, a fair amount of DWP workers aren’t, and here also lies the problem. But what I can say is that you can never dance with the devil and expect to get away untarnished. Everyone working less that full time hours and claiming any type of benefit will be affected when they get shifted over to Universal Credit. And as I’ve said before, Universal credit has been purposely created to work this way. There’s no mistakes, it’s created to harm and demoralise people to push them to the edge. 

I also believe, alongside others, that the only time that people will start protesting against Universal Credit is when they are hit themselves by the in work conditionality element of it. It will affect working people, people who thought that they were safe, will soon realise that they aren’t safe. Maybe the regular claimants won’t be demonised as much then, but I doubt that. 

Many thanks to everyone who came along and supported us today. It makes all the difference. Thank you very much. 

DWP plans to harass children. 

Not content with harassing adults to the point of dispair, the DWP now have plans to come into schools and offer “advice”. This will consist of workshops and one to one sessions to ensure that no child is at risk of “worklessness”. 

They’ve already stated that children are at risk of worklessness in their Troubled Families phase 2 scheme. This is terrible. Children should be allowed to be children. To deny them of this ability is in my eyes downright cruelty. 

No child wants a DWP official constantly brainwashing them into becoming a drone for the capitalist society. They want to learn standard lessons and to be able to play with their friends. Work should be far from their minds. 

The school that has allowed this to happen have stated that they find this “exciting”. I don’t know if it’s just me but I don’t agree with this. 

Having witnessed many, many accounts of DWP cruelty, bullying and harrasment I cannot see this as being exciting.

There’s an old saying and I can’t quite remember exactly how it goes, but it does say that to fully indococtrinate society you have to start with the young. They are easily mouldable into new ways of thinking. 

Parents need to oppose this. There aren’t enough job positions out there for all young people to become employed in. A lot of previously paid jobs have now been changed to workfare positions. But maybe that’s what they want all our young people to do, to work for nothing. After all they’ve made it impossible for poorer children to attend university and achieve good qualifications so that they can find a good job. 

Please read the below post. Oh and my daughter will not be attending any of these DWP sessions if they do start in her school. They aren’t getting their hands on her. After all th DWP wanted my unborn grandson to die. 

Do not let this happen folks. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/jobcentre-plus-support-rolled-out-to-schools

There’s more chance of dying at the hands of the government than at the hands of a murderer in the UK. 

Sounds obscene doesn’t it? Sounds like I’m scaremongering but I’m not. This is the reality of being poor and disabled and living in the U.K at the moment. 

We don’t have fun, life is very hard. I don’t know of anyone that actually benefits from being on so called benefits at the moment. It’s a word that I don’t like using. It’s social security and we need to start using the correct wording. Blairite and Tory language should not be used in my eyes.

The reason why they don’t like us saying ‘social security’ is because it actually states what it is. It is a safety net that most people have paid into throughout their life. When you fall on hard times its there to provide some security from starving and the other results of poverty.. 

What this government has done very successfully is to make people forget this. They’ve got total control of the media. The red top newspapers are having a field day. Not happy with that they started to produce hateful programmes such as ‘Benefit Street’. This has resulted in the poor turning against the poor. They believe what the newspapers and the TV programmes say. And people have been discriminated against and bullied by others as a result. 

We have a society that is falling apart at the seams. This government has failed everyone except the rich, which of course is their plan. The poor cost them money in their eyes so therefore they want rid. They forget though that it is the poor that has helped to make them rich, and always have done throughout the ages. It’s a dog eat dog world out there now and the poor are the fall guys, taking the blame for the mistakes of the richest in society. The amount of stress I’m under because I’m poor at the moment is unbelievable. I’m the worst of financially than I have ever been and I always have the fear of loosing my home at the back of my mind. 

My grandmother told me that when the NHS was created it was the best thing that ever happened. When the safety nets were created it made sure that there was no more suffering in the workhouses. If you had asked anyone of an older generation the very mention of the words workhouse would send shivers down their spines.. But we don’t even have that anymore. People I know have committed suicide, have had nervous breakdowns and their families have fallen apart as a result of this governments draconian system. But one thing that we still have the power to do is the power to react. We can fight back. Being poor makes you very resourceful and when you have nothing you have nothing to loose.

This is the tweet that prompted this blog. I feel much safer walking down the street on a dark night than I do walking into a Jobcentre and dealing with any DWP department. I think that’s an astonishing statement to make. But this government is running riot and we need to stop them.

I believe that the European court of human rights has been contacted again. This time over the release of the figures of those that have died after being declared fit for work.. Now I’m sure that these figures are on the lower limits but what did annoy me slightly is the fact that this doesn’t contain the total for the amount of people that have been sanctioned and have then died. Their life’s matter as well and we need to demand another inquiry into this as well. One death is a death too many. 

  
Scary isn’t it. 

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New targets for DWP compliance interviews.

Sometimes I’m taken by surprise. Mostly I’m not. But this is a new tactic. A new target driven tactic employed by the DWP. 

For anyone claiming JSA, ESA Income Support or universal credit you might be familiar with a local service compliance interview. They send these letters out usually on a random basis or sometimes on the say so of a suspected fraud taking place. Now these interviews are compulsory and if you don’t attend then your money will get stopped. 

Whilst attending one of these interviews you are normally treated like a criminal, guilty before being proven innocent, most likely innocent of any wrongdoing as you have been randomly picked in the first place. You are taken to a room which looks just like a police interview room. They record everything like the police do, only in this case you are most likely innocent. You are asked to bring with you all documentation and proof to say you are who you are. This is what happened to a local lady who will remain anonomous to prevent any harrasment from the DWP. Here is what happened.

 After being admitted to hospital for an operation, she returned home to a “compliance interview” letter.Now the only “crime” that this lady committed was to become ill. She is claiming ESA and was previously claiming JSA. There has been no other change in her circumstances, but she is regarded as a criminal and will be treated as such. 

The lady concerned phone up the DWP on the number provided.To ask why she has been asked for an interview (interrogation ) and to inform them that as a disabled person and therefore classed as vulnerable she will be bringing an advocate with her. Here is a summary of the conversation. 

It took her a while but she eventually got through to a real person. This chap sounded quite nice apparently but wasn’t expecting any questions. People normally just comply, they don’t question the DWPs decisions he said. He sounded compassionate for a DWP worker, that he was under great pressure to perform these interviews. He didn’t say he was under pressure but I am presuming that he is because he has been told that he’s got to claw £1000 back from innocent people, people that have been claiming the correct amount of money and have committed no benefit fraud. So she is just a person on the list of targets for this clawback. He said that the DWP had supposed to have sent her a previous letter, which surprise surprise they didn’t. He didn’t argue the case for the DWP as he believed that she was knowledgeable and it was pointless doing so. She asked him why he had given her all this information… He said that he did because she had asked lots of questions and his tone wasn’t of a person happy in his job. She also informed him that she will be taking a witness into the interview and that she wants proof of all said letters from the DWP to herself that hadn’t arrived. After all it’s a well known fact that these letters don’t get sent out in the first place and the onus is on them to prove that they sent them and not on her for not receiving them. 

There are several issues that need to be spoken about here. The first is that these compliance letters are now being used as a form of target for the DWP. Never before have I heard of this. We all have heard about sanction targets, but compliance targets? Wow. That’s an all time low.

The second is the fact that you are proven guilty before you are even seen and are even interviewed in police like surroundings. This is shocking because even in a court of law you are supposed to be innocent before being proven guilty. The DWP doesn’t see it this way. And now they have a £1000 target to aim for innocent victims are going to be fraudulently accused of committing benefit fraud and will be asked to repay money that they do not owe, and have never owed. After all the DWP will want to reach that £1000 target so the most vulnerable will be targeted for this. 

The third is that the DWP are openly committing fraud. It’s much the same as demanding money with menaces. A very vulnerable person sitting in a compliance interview hosted by usually two very hostile DWP workers will agree to anything just to get out of the building. Their money will stop and they could well loose their home. 

The fourth and the last for now because I’m sure that I could think of more is that the decent members of staff working for the DWP are being put at risk by being forced to comply to enforcing these actions. The man concerned knew it was wrong but because he most likely he knows how bad it is to be unemployed, he has had to choose to enforce it. This is very wrong. Not all DWP workers are bad but the good ones tend to be the exception to the rule these days. They end up leaving or becoming ill because they cannot stand the stress and the wrongdoings anymore. 

Please share this blog. Let the DWP know that we are aware of their latest trick. If you receive one of their compliance letters always question it and demand a witness to any interview. That is your right so use it. We cannot allow them to get away with this fraud. Making the poorest pay for the banking crisis which was created by the richest is never acceptable. 

As my comrade States “With every twist of the screw that takes place it becomes more urgent that the jobcentre workers stand shoulder to shoulder with the claimants. Each generation has to relearn what solidarity means – that what the power of capitalist ideology does to us!”

Quick note. ESA is employment and support allowance. JSA is Jobseeker’s Allowance. Universal credit is what it says on the tin. 

  
It would be wonderful if anyone could donate to keep this blog going. I’m on a very low income and I need to continue this blog. My Paypal add is seercharlotte@gmail.com thank you! 

Please note none of this is hearsay it is based on good evidence from genuine people. 

For anyone who thinks this isn’t a true account of events, it was. I was accompanying this person and I have mentioned that it is a compliance letter. I have also attended many of these meetings with claimants. Some go ok, some don’t. It’s pot luck with who you see at the interview. I will not edit it because it a truthful set of accounts. Thank you. 

National day of demonstrations against sanctions and attempted suicide by man who attends Ashton Jobcentre.

Yesterday was the national day of demonstrations against sanctions organised by unite. We of course have been doing these demonstrations every week since August. August was the turning point for us, we saw how inhumane these sanctions were and we were determined to do something about them. Sanctioning a pregnant lady for no legal  reason and then saying when she asked how she would feed her unborn baby “tough your not Ill you are pregnant get on with it” still haunts me.Without the help that she got both her and her unborn baby could have been yet another statistic for this government to use in their “return to work” statistics. Make no mistake the Jobcentres aren’t there to find you work anymore. Unlike the old days. They are now used to take people off the unemployment register in any way possible. It doesn’t matter how. Then this cruel government can say that the unemployment figures are down. The truth of the matter is is that they aren’t down. They are higher than ever. People forced onto workfare or the work programme are taken off the unemployment figures amd the companies concerned get a nice sum of money for this pleasure. Workfare is another evil. It takes away paid employment and replaces a fully paid job with someone working for nothing. They make false promises of “you might get a job at the end of it” but that is very rare. Why? It’s simple. Why pay someone when you can get someone to work for nothing. Some people go into these workfare positions with hope… But that soon goes when they realise that they were being used. Does it make them feel angry? Yes it does and they are right to be angry. Does it make them feel like giving up? Yes it does.. You loose all self worth. You know that you are being used. Then the Jobcentre blame you for not getting paid employment. Even though it’s not your fault. You did your best to gain employment but the intention was to never give you employment. The Jobcentre then punish you with attending the work programme again, where the company receives a large amount of money for you attending. The longer you are there the more money they get. When you don’t find employment through them they will then put you on a gruelling punishment of daily signing on appointments. Taking away your prose and the ability to look for real work. A young man I spoke to yesterday who had always had a very good job and has a very high IQ said “I’m angry because they are treating me like an idiot. They want me to do things that Im overqualified for. It’s so frustrating.” They want you to be completely controlled by them in such a way that your life isn’t your own.

Another young girl the same age as my daughter came over to chat with me with her boyfriend. They’ve had no money since November and are relying on the one homeless facility for food. They look so thin and sad. They are only starting their life’s and shouldn’t be like this. I really hope that we can help them in some way. I’m still hopeful for them. I have to be we can’t give up hope. 

We also got some very bad news. The PCSOs that we talk to on a regular basis had just got back from an incident where a man had tried to hang himself. He attends Ashton Jobcentre and we probably know him. They aren’t allowed to say much but you could see the shock in their eyes. We hope that he recovers. It really upset us all. Will the Jobcentre take responsibility for this? No they won’t. Of course they are only doing their jobs. I say again I know where ive heard that before.

It was vey uplifting to see all the demonstrations up and down the country yesterday. We now know that people are in solidarity with us. For a long time we have felt alone in our quest to highlight how wrong sanctions are. And there were some fantastic demonstrations. I heard a comment yesterday that someone was disheartened because lots of people didn’t turn up. We don’t get lots of people except on special demonstration days that I create. It’s not about numbers it’s about quality. About you being there showing support to the claimants inside the Jobcentre. They have hope that there is someone outside that cares. It keeps them going. Even if it’s just one person protesting it’s enough. Don’t give up more people come the longer you are there. 

Why is this so important to me and my group? Because it is wrong and I personally aim to change it. We have put pressure on them to change this and we are making a big difference. But we are no threat. We are peaceful.  And many many thanks to everyone up and down the country for showing solidarity with us. Many many thanks to unite in the community for arranging this day of action. My union rep a lovely chap said ” I don’t know how you do this every week” I replied because we have to. We’ve got to make a change. It’s become part of our life’s, and a part of our life’s that we are very proud of.  Thank you everyone so much. 

    Keeping this blog and the Jobcentre demos is very hard work and time consuming. It’s taken over my life. I’m trying to put a donate button on here but I’m struggling with this. I need to pay for my internet to keep this going and a donation however small would be so fantastic. If anyone could help me with setting up a button on here please message or comment. I do have a PayPal account also. Many thanks I would love to continue blogging and writing it’s become my whole life and will be so until this evil stops!