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January 26, 2009


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It's wonderful when people keep voting for parties with near identical policies intit.

Well the people have a choice.
Lets hope for once that large numbers don't try to cast the winning vote and instead actually vote for those views and policies which best represent them.

Because we know, whoever gets in, will reasonably assume that people voted for them and their policies and will claim a mandate.


Thousands will lose benefits as harsher medical approved
Tens of thousands of claimants facing losing their benefit on review, or on being transferred from incapacity benefit, as plans to make the employment and support allowance (ESA) medical much harder to pass are approved by the secretary of state for work and pensions, Yvette Cooper.

The shock plans for ‘simplifying’ the work capability assessment, drawn up by a DWP working group, include docking points from amputees who can lift and carry with their stumps. Claimants with speech problems who can write a sign saying, for example, ‘The office is on fire!’ will score no points for speech and deaf claimants who can read the sign will lose all their points for hearing.

Meanwhile, for ‘health and safety reasons’ all points scored for problems with bending and kneeling are to be abolished and claimants who have difficulty walking can be assessed using imaginary wheelchairs.

Claimants who have difficulty standing for any length of time will, under the plans, also have to show they have equal difficulty sitting, and vice versa, in order to score any points. And no matter how bad their problems with standing and sitting, they will not score enough points to be awarded ESA.

In addition, almost half of the 41 mental health descriptors for which points can be scored are being removed from the new ‘simpler’ test, greatly reducing the chances of being found incapable of work due to such things as poor memory, confusion, depression and anxiety.

There are some improvements to the test under the plans, including exemptions for people likely to be starting chemotherapy and more mental health grounds for being admitted to the support group. But the changes are overwhelmingly about pushing tens of thousands more people onto JSA.

If all this sounds like a sick and rather belated April Fools joke to you, we’re not surprised. But the proposals are genuine and have already been officially agreed by Yvette Cooper, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. They have not yet been passed into law, but given that both Labour and the Conservatives seem intent on driving as many people as possible off incapacity related benefits, they are likely to be pursued by whichever party wins the election.

and yet we have this.....

Paul Flynn

Thanks. Jolly Roger.

I read your excellent verse to a group of MPs at breakfast this morning. they applauded the truth and the humour.

Graham Marlowe

Perhaps this really belongs in the "Daft MPs" strand, though, of course "Lord" Moonie only stopped being an MP to oblige his friend Brown:

" Lord Moonie, a former defence minister, recently gave a parliamentary pass, primarily intended for staff, to Robin Ashby, who has previously lobbied for BAE Systems, Northern Defence Industries, Boeing and Rolls-Royce.

Mr Ashby, who is also the director of the UK Defence Forum, an organisation sponsored by the country's major arms companies, and who still owns a consultancy, was given the pass by Lord Moonie in the autumn."

What is unforgiveable is that none of these 4 men, if found guilty of wrongdoing will lose their titles: they will merely have to issue a grovelling apology

Jolly Roger

First we had foreplay, now we've got buzzing,
Of their Lordships caught out with their unscrupulous scuzzing.
Their Lordships are embarrassed and I'll bet that they're fuming,
As the Times got the scoop as a result of their grooming.
Fire and Brimstone, eh? I wonder who's for it?
It won't be their Lordships, any way you score it.
Lord Taylor's confession is as good as it gets,
But he'll get off scot-free, what are the bets?

I loved Taylor's speech with his 'umble regret,
Of disreputing the House, what a snivelling old get.
He then goes on to boast of his thirty one years,
Of trough-snouting way past his sticky-out ears.
I wonder how much he's snouted in the past.
A check of his Bank Account should be a revealing blast.
Please forgive any pre-judgement with which I've been blessed,
But it's difficult not to when the old git's confessed.

Of course his excuse, as presented to we fools,
Is that he acted completely within the rules.
Just like your colleagues in your 'other' place,
Who have reduced NuLabour to the Party of Disgrace.
Root and Branch are the reforms that are needed,
To ensure that both Houses are adequately weeded,
Of these useless Lords and MPs of their ilk,
Who see Westminster as the Land of Honey and Milk.


Good post Paul, it seems like a very odd set of things for someone to think could not be done by someone disabled.
Especially someone from a nordic country, my impression is they have always been more progressive about support and access then the rest of us.
Was she serious or just trying to provoke a response?

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