Archive for October, 2015

Halloween approaches – get your crosses and garlic out people!!


Sunny PAUPS Steve Bell“Sunny PAUPS” Steve Bell

Thanks to NLAT for finding this Steve Bell Cartoon.

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Politics and Insights

With many thanks to the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.

Benefits claimants are subjected to an ‘amateurish, secret penal system which is more severe than the mainstream judicial system’, writes Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow.

Few people know that the number of financial penalties (‘sanctions’) imposed on benefit claimants by the Department of Work and Pensions now exceeds the number of fines imposed by the courts. In Great Britain in 2013, there were 1,046,398 sanctions on Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants, 32,128 on Employment and Support Allowance claimants, and approximately 44,000 on lone parent recipients of Income Support. By contrast, Magistrates’ and Sheriff courts imposed a total of only 849,000 fines.

Sanctioned benefit claimants are treated much worse than those fined in the courts. The scale of penalties is more severe (£286.80 – £11,185.20 compared to £200 – £10,000). Most sanctions are applied to poor people and involve…

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I regularly receive emails from our local MP Mr Ben Howlett, a newly elected Conservative MP.

As a new member of the Labour Party, I find it a bit odd to be receiving these emails, but nevertheless, its a good way to keep an eye on what he is up to in Bath.

I find I am most disturbed to find him to be offering the following…. I quote (I have emboldened the part which I find disturbing).

“Since my election in May I have been surprised at the number of my constituents with different mental health issues, so much so I am looking to run a surgery ‘hub’ with a mental health specialist so people can drop in and have their needs assessed and be issued with a form of ‘social prescription’I recognise many mental health issues are caused or exacerbated by social factors so sometimes a social solution can be more effective than a medical one.”


Who is the ‘mental health specialist’ to be running this ‘surgery’ with Mr Howlett?

What are their qualifications?

What form will this ‘Social Prescription’ take?

Will both Ben and the specialist be bound by the Hippocratic Oath?

What is the real agenda going on here?

I have serious concerns about this.

Will this be yet another roll out of the Governments modified CBT program? perhaps an idea born out of the now privatised Behavioural Insights Team aka Nudge Unit?

and my final question,

What the hell is going on here.

It may be that Ben Howlett has honourable intentions and a genuine desire to help mental health sufferers in Bath, I don’t dispute that possibility but from what I have seen of him he appears to be a rather young inexperienced and naive Tory MP.

I wonder why he would think it acceptable to take on such a role, ie, that of a psychiatrist and potentially dishing out dodgy prescriptions.

Are the BMA in approval of this venture?  or even aware of it?

Since when did we give our government permission to take on the roll of a doctor.

Please circulate.

It may be that other Conservative constituencies are being offered the same psychological treatment via the back door of Conservative Headquarters?

Comments and Thoughts Welcome

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