Wednesday, 1 August 2012

This should be compulsory viewing

On Monday two brilliant documentaries were aired - one by Dispatches and one by Panorama - which I think should be compulsory watching for anyone who's ever expressed any kind of opinion about disability benefits or who has read a tabloid headline about scroungers.

Both documentaries looked at the controversial Work Capability Assessment (WCA) which determine whether sick and disabled people are entitled to receive benefits or not. Panorama was a broad investigation while Dispatches, on the other hand, managed to find out that WCA medical assessors are threatened with having their work reviewed if they declare more than 14% of claimants to be fit for work - despite the fact that people at the top of the DWP insist that there are no targets set within the WCA.

The two documentaries are still available on iplayer and 4OD so please go and watch them while you still can.

Panorama :


One of the things revealed in the documentaries was that Malcolm Harrington, the man responsible for reviewing and reforming the WCAs to make them fit for purpose will be leaving his post in 2013 after three years in the post. Given the speculation as to why he's leaving (was he pushed, etc.) I think I should point out that I have incredibly reliable information that Harrington does not feel that he is being forced to leave or that there is anything sinister behind it.

Also, something else that came to light this week was that Chris Grayling, the DWP minister who keeps on spouting off about "scroungers" has himself claimed £100,000 from the taxpayer to renovate a flat in London, increasing it's value, which he doesn't use very often due to having three other flats within the M25. You can draw your own conclusions about his level of integrity from that and whether a disabled person getting £92 a week is a bigger scrounger than a government minister claiming £100,000 in addition to his salary.


  1. 14% was the support group % I think, not FFW %

  2. Dear George, All i can say on the matter of the destruction of the social safety net in favour of privatisation, endless money printing for Wall Street and the City of London and the utter sell out of the current crop of Lib Dems (Tories in disguise) to you is,.
    When the Welfare destruction was being put through committee and then through the Commons you had the pleasure of interviewing my MP, the MP for Cardiff Central Jenny Willott. Will you, or do you have any plans to re interview Jenny Willott MP in regards to the situation now being faced by not just people with clear disabilities unable to work and therefore should be awarded the greatest amount of protection and support but also the rising number of unemployed, Food banks rising, Loan Sharking and the rising inequality currently ravishing this country under this utter disgrace of a government, Because, and sorry to sound so bitter but, i do beleive Jenny Willott should get a pat on the back for sitting next to Mr Grayling and ignoring the Lords amendments and voting through this quite disgraceful act.

    If so i have some food for thought, Miss Willott MP got a pay increase of £26,000 when made a whip, which actually puts her in the top 1% of earners in Cardiff and south wales.

    But we have Austerity.?

    I will not even start on the wealth and pay of the Feckless tories.

    1. My impression is that Jenny Willott would not be likely to let me talk to her again.

    2. Well George i think that reply sadly sums up the level of disconnect between MPs and the constituents they work for and represent, and also the Lib Dem activists like your self who i would imagine are the ones in fist contact with the public on some of these important changes.

      I read a previous post by you on your anger and distrust with Labour, and while i agree having worked and lived through the insanity of Labour and Jacqui Smith, sadly my distrust and anger with the current 650 MPs on all sides will never cease, We have been sold a defecit and debt lie that was never caused by you, me, my family or children.
      and yet the manipulative way which these essentially salesmen for wall street and the city of london have levied the bailout debt on the people of this nation is something that will in the long term be far worse than anything Labour could have ever conjured up.

      I have every sympathy with Lib Dems and activists and bloggers like your self but the impending slaughter of the current mob is thier own doing.

  3. Well, your Party continues to bolster this Tory led government, allowing Grayling to continue to persecute ill and disabled people through the vile Work Capability Assessment carried out by ATOS. So, until the Liberal Democrats actually remember where they left their "liberal sensibilities" and consciences, I don't think any of you should really be commenting, do you?

    After all, remind me how many Liberal Democrats voted against the (then) Welfare Reform Bill??

    1. Wayne, given the campaigning and work I've done on disabled issues, and the campaigning and work I continue to do, I think I have every bloody right to comment. And if you don't think so then I don't really see why you bother reading my blog.

  4. People who wrongly claim to be disabled are costing this country a fortune and give people like me a bad reputation. I am disabled and know a number of cheats. Dealing with this is extremely difficult whilst avoiding penalising genuine claimants. I don't know what should be done and so am loathe to attack those who have to try. To do so would be hypocritical of me.


I'm indebted to Birkdale Focus for the following choice of words:

I am happy to address most contributions, even the drunken ones if they are coherent, but I am not going to engage with negative sniping from those who do not have the guts to add their names or a consistent on-line identity to their comments. Such postings will not be published.

Anonymous comments with a constructive contribution to make to the discussion, even if it is critical will continue to be posted. Libellous comments or remarks I think may be libellous will not be published.

I will also not tolerate personation so please do not add comments in the name of real people unless you are that person. If you do not like these rules then start your own blog.

Oh, and if you persist in repeating yourself despite the fact I have addressed your point I may get bored and reject your comment.

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