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Archive for March, 2015

My experience of #workfare

I'm a JSA Claimant

Today there is an article in the Guardian discussing workfare titled ‘The charities who are challenging the government’s workfare programme‘ so I thought now enough time has passed and it was time to post about my own experience.

I was told to do workfare as a punishment for my benefit sanction. The adviser said my sanction indicated to her I needed to learn a work ethic and therefore I would be put on Mandatory Work Activity (MWA).  MWA lasts for 30 hours a week for 4 weeks, 120 hours in total. DWP  describes it as a “community benefit work placement” that is “intended to help claimants move closer to the labour market, enabling them to establish the discipline and habits of working life, such as attending on time regularly, carrying out specific tasks and working under supervision while delivering a contribution to the community.”  The letter I received…

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Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

Cameron and Clegg’s stupidest policy?

Introducing formal testing and grading in schools for 4 -year olds.

I mean – have any government ministers actually ever spoken to a 4-year old?

When this hairbrained policy was first proposed in 2013, I wrote about the breathtaking stupidity of it then:

Plans to test 4-year-olds is not the coalition’s worst policy – but it’s their stupidest

And now the policy has started being implemented – we have proof from teachers that not only is it a very very very stupid idea – it’s actually endangering the education of our children:

Baseline tests will damage our children’s learning

I’ve got a much better idea than testing 4-year-olds.

Perhaps we should introduce more rigorous, formal testing of prospective government ministers before we allow them to get their hands on our children’s education?

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Please feel free to comment. And please share. Thanks:

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Same Difference

I spotted this on Justice4JobSeekers’ Facebook page.

Please share widely.

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the void

zac-videogames Someone buy Zac a pint.

The rules on what constitutes work related activity for those claiming Universal Credit would be laughable if they were not backed by sanctions that can plunge people into destitution for up to three years.

As part of Iain Duncan Smith’s obsession with forcing unemployed, sick and disabled people into ever more irksome and pointless activity, unemployed claimants are now expected to spend 35 hours a week looking for a job.  The guidance for Jobcentre decision makers gives an example of a typical day:

“Dave is in receipt of UC. His expected number of hours of work are 35 a week. “On a typical day, Dave spends
1. two hours on-line looking through recruitment sites
2. one hour reading the “situations vacant” pages in the press (local papers,
national papers and trade journals)
3. one hour and a half completing a job application and covering letter

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Vote Them Out (On May The 7th)

VOTE THEM OUT ON MAY 7TH
We need to vote Labour in, then we can work with the smaller parties where ideas are similar.

But we need to first get Labour a majority……

The only real way to get rid of the Tories is to vote Labour…..

Same Difference

Music and lyrics by Media Blind; images by courtesy of @LivingstonePics.

Let’s get this to Number 1 as soon as possible, readers!

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UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR

Please note: there are repeated references to suicide in the final section of this article, headed: “Is there anything else you would like to tell us about issues covered in this survey?

A Benefits and Work survey has revealed an overwhelming distrust of the DWP, with the majority of respondents considering that the department:

  • has negatively affected their own health
  • treats claimants inhumanly
  • causes claimants’ deaths
  • covers up the poverty, suffering and deaths it causes

Benefits and Sanctions deaths survey
In the last Benefits and Work newsletter we published a link to a ‘Benefits sanctions and deaths’ survey.

Two things prompted us to create the survey:

    the preceding week Conservative business minister Nick Boles told charity volunteers that some benefits sanctions were ‘inhuman’ – then changed his mind.
  • Channel 4’s Dispatches revealed that that more than 30 secret reviews carried out following the deaths of benefit claimants called…

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War inside the court room

UK Human Rights Blog

iraqAl-Saadoon & Ors v Secretary of State for Defence [2015] EWHC 715 – read judgment

The High Court has ruled that the ECHR applies to situations where Iraqi civilians were shot during security operations conducted by British soldiers. When taken together with the parallel cases being brought against the MOD for breach of its Article 2 obligations towards its own soldiers, it appears increasingly likely that any operation undertaken by the British Army in the future will lead to legal challenges being brought against almost every aspect of its actions pre, during and post any use of military force.

Mr Justice Leggatt was asked to consider the scope of the UK’s duty under the ECHR to investigation allegations of wrongdoing by British Forces in Iraq. The Secretary of State accepted that anyone taken into custody by British Forces did have certain rights under the ECHR, in particular the right to life and the right…

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