Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Report on my meeting with Jenny Willott

I met with Jenny Willott MP (and her research assistant Giles, and her toddler who she was babysitting at the same time) on Monday evening to discuss the Welfare Reform Bill. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to write up what happened until now.

Because quite a lot was discussed, and because I was busy yesterday and will be again today, I'm probably not going to be able to publish a full account until this evening.

However, just to summarise very briefly, the good news that things aren't quite as bad as we thought but the bad news is that the government doesn't seem likely to be able to be forced to give in on anything else - mainly because the Treasury has shut, bolted and barricaded its doors and won't give the DWP a penny more. Which, of course, means that the only way that stuff like time limiting could be reversed is if the DWP took the money from elsewhere in its department which of course means that other vulnerable people would be penalised instead. That or if the Treasury doors were forced open with a battering ram - something that seems unlikely given reality as reality as perceived within the Westminster Bubble.

A few good things came of the meeting though - it looks like IDS and Freud and Grayling and co have been yelled at to the extent that they won't be coming out with any more deliberately misleading "scrounger" press releases again, for example. And I did manage to mention the issue of DWP consultation documents not being available in accessible format for disabled people and it looks like that's something which Jenny Willott should be able to get fixed soon (either by herself or by her successor).

But I'll go into the detail properly this evening. Like I said, there is some good news - not that that will make the bad news any more acceptable.


  1. I wonder if the Treasury's barricaded doors will remain so tightly shut if Mr Obama tells Cameron to get involved in Iran, or Syria, or both...

    Probably not. That's what is always wrong with UK governments, no matter which party(ies) they comprise.

    Priorities are all wrong. No wonder the country is in a mess. No wonder people spend their small incomes on fags and drink and don't pay the rent. The example they get from the government is fur coat and no drawers.

    Looking after the ill and the old and the young is the governmental equivalent priority of food and rent for a household. Fighting unwinnable wars, is rather like spending your minimum wage on cigarettes, drugs and drink.

    But bless you, George. At least you are doing something. Thank you for what you do, and the results your perseverance brings.

  2. The problem is with the above, the money is there:

    It is just required to fund tax cuts for the rich.

    Look, I don't mind them lying to me, I am far too old and cynical to be swayed, I will never vote for either party again. It is lying to younger people I cannot stand. You must have seen this when you were at the meeting. I have no idea if Ms Willots is aware of the money slushing away for a tax bribe, but, assuming she did it cannot be right to openly lie about when the news is in the public domain? She was genuinely unaware of this, then do you think she will be knocking on the door to the treasury now?

    George you need to find a new Party, because the Liberal Democrats are now part of the enemy of the vast majority of the decent people who still make up a significant part of the population.

  3. I love the blog and all the work you are doing to highlight injustice with the welfare reform bill, just one niggle, I have noticed that Unum adverticements keep on appearing on your blog, this is rather disturbing as Unum have had such an input into our welfare reform system in this country.

    I wonder What your thoughts are on this?


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