Go ahead, Scotland: Vote NO to independence and sign your own death warrant

Scotland Decides jpg

A lot of people wish that this referendum campaign had never happened.

They wish the whole damn thing would go away and be forgotten.But a wish for a return to “normal” is a wish for a Scotland that is already in the past. A No vote will change things just as radically as a Yes vote. 

It is not only Yes voters who should be called on to look into a crystal ball and imagine a future that is radically “not the same”

Every vile piece of Westminster legislation that has attacked the poor and dismantled the Welfare State, every policy that has ensured that it is only the poor who have paid the price of the recession caused by the greed of the rich, every act of economic and social vandalism – it has been the comfortable pose of the well-meaning voters of Scotland that none of these things have really been our fault.

That we didn’t vote for them.

DWP Wheelchair Cliff

Well, after a No vote, we won’t be able to say that any more. Up until September the 18th, we have all been able to hide behind it all being someone else’s fault.

Either way the vote goes, Yes or No, that comfortable position is already shattered.

On September 18th, either we vote to take responsibility for our own economics, our own wealth distribution, our own decisions to make war or peace…or we are voting to mandate away control over all of these matters to Westminster forever.

Either way, we will be responsible.

If a Yes voter has to take on board the moral hazard of whatever happens for good or ill in an independent Scotland, a No voter must equally accept moral responsibility for having given Westminster permanent permission to do whatever it likes forever.

Moral Hazard works both ways.

Whatever austerity measures are coming down the line, all those policies that weren’t our fault before September 18th?

After September the 18th, they will be our fault.

No.

Sorry.

Every single one of them will be our fault.

This is the trap that history has set us. Sorry about that.

But that’s the way it’s going to be.

It will feel very bad to have actually voted for all that.

But your No vote or your failure to vote will have signified that it in your view it is better for Scotland to suffer neo-conservative governments it didn’t vote for than to take responsibility for its own affairs.

You will have voted for Scotland, politically speaking, to cease to exist.

For Scotland, considered as a distinct political unit, to disappear. Alex Salmond, is not the only begetter of this referendum.

David Cameron agreed to it too.

Now why do you think he did that?

Because he is a friend to democracy, perhaps?

You know and I know that Cameron agreed to the referendum in order to call Scotland’s bluff.

To settle and silence the “Scottish question” for a generation.

But what else have the Tories, and others in the British establishment, to gain from a No vote?

I think they know that if we take independence off the table, if we remove, voluntarily, that bargaining chip from future negotiation, then there won’t ever need to be any negotiations ever again.

And having actually voted for that, we will have thrown away any electoral influence over what happens next. We will have given them a mandate to ignore us.

Everything we have gained since devolution, in terms of the painfully slow emergence into democracy we are still undergoing has been predicated on the “or else” of independence.

Does anyone in the No Camp seriously expect a prize for loyalty when we remove the best card we’ve got from our hand?

One or two of you can expect knighthoods, maybe, but what can the ordinary No voter really expect as a reward?

The Yes camp are constantly being asked about what kind of negotiations we can expect after we “reject” the United Kingdom – on currency, NATO, oil, Trident and the rest?

Well, what kind of negotiations do you expect when you’ve said to other side; “whatever you want to do is fine with us”?

A replacement for Trident?

You don’t want that?

Shut Up.

A slashing of consequential health spending as privatisation of the NHS in England and Wales speeds up?

You don’t like that either?

Shut up: You voted for it!

Before September the 18th, nice folk in Scotland chatting about the Welfare State and the decline of local government and the miners and the poll tax and the sale of council housing and the destruction of our industries at dinner parties could say in their comfortable, pre-democratic way:

“Oh well, it’s terrible. But it’s not our fault. We’re not responsible. We didn’t vote for that.”

No more.

After September the 18th, we in Scotland will be responsible for whatever happens to us.

Our choice is whether or not we want democracy to go along with the responsibility.

A No vote is not a place to hide from that responsibility.

It is just a vote to have no influence over that future.

Everything has already changed.

Everyone has to face the reality of that.

Our only choice in September 18th is:

Do we make the way we change subject to democratic control within Scotland, or do we leave the management of that change to whomever somebody else votes for?

For hours in September, for the first time in history, Scotland will be a democratic country, with its people responsible for themselves.

Putting your head in the sand of a No vote won’t make our responsibility go away.

So shut up, and decide.

By Peter Arnott, published in Bella Caledonia

See also:

Scottish independence: A lifeboat for disabled people drowning in a sea of cuts

Jewels and tiaras ‘fail to disguise emptiness of Queen’s speech’

About John McArdle

Co-founder of Black Triangle
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129 Responses to Go ahead, Scotland: Vote NO to independence and sign your own death warrant

  1. kittysjones says:

    We didn’t vote for any of this either, here in England. Indeed it was people NOT voting that landed us with this state of affairs. The answer isn’t an insular, nationalist, self-serving disregard for your brothers and sisters suffering equally here. Or a campaign based on lying about the opposition and their proposed policies. That further undermines OUR hope of escaping the tories tyranny. THat ISN’T” socialism”, btw, it’s the complete opposite

  2. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Thatcher and her mindless tory thugs ripped the entire heart of our once proud nation. There is absolutely nothing rising from the embers, what they left is towns and villages without cohesion, cities without substance……………………
    You are constantly being raped and shafted by persons having no interest for anybody but themselves.
    If the people of northern England, especially where i live in Yorkshire, had the opportunity to rid this piece of dog shit from the soles of their shoes, i doubt if they would hesitate.

    London is the be all and end all of their tiny little mindset, money has been withheld from the rest of the country for decades, while they thrive and prosper we fall into obscurity and poverty……….

    I can remember being on holiday many years ago and talking to a guy at the bar. He asked me where i was from and what i did for a living.
    We then talked of money and what the average wage was in my area, being from London he did not believe what i told him.
    Calling his wife over, he then called his in laws over too.
    They thought i was joking when i told him my weekly wage, he said come on mate, nobody exists on that amount nowadays, you’re taking the piss surely? None of his party would believe me, everyday they would jest at what i had told them……………..

    He was earning nearly eighteen hundred per week and i was on one hundred and sixty and i was more skilled than him. Despite the anomaly in wages i think my family enjoyed it more because it meant a hell of a lot more to us than them. They threw away money like confetti while we had to be prudent with every little transaction……………….

    The skeletons of Thatchers legacy are to be seen in most mining towns, the winding gear…………

    By voting to stay in the union you are accepting the consequences.

    “FOR FUCKS SAKE, STAND UP AND BE COUNTED AND PUT THESE BASTARDS ON THE BACK BURNER FOREVER”

    “a unique chance to break from the shackles of the second class status that has been thrust upon you, against your will”

  3. joe kane says:

    The foul-mouthed Labour troll Sue Jones/kittysjones covers up and whitewashing the crimes of the Labour Party against disabled people.

    The authors of the recent report on disability and poverty, commissioned by the Labour Party itself, was buried by Labour on publication which led the authors to publicly protest at such treatment of their work. Reading their version of events and Sue Jones is like something out of George Orwell.

    Read this and follow the links to see how the authors, some of them Labour Party members, express their outrage at the treatment they received at the hands of the Labour Party -
    Actions speak louder than words – Labour publish Poverty & Disability taskforce report
    Benefit Scrounging Scum
    25 Apr 2014

    Here is Sue Jones version of events. A complete whitewash -
    The Labour Party commissioned Poverty and Disability Taskforce Report in a nutshell
    27 Apr 2014
    https://archive.today/9iUXl

    • kittysjones says:

      Actually the person who authored that was on the Task Force Committee, Joe.

      But you show your’ prejudice and bullying side very well here. Must feel really good to bully a disabled disability campaigner simply to achieve your own selfish nationalist ends.

      • Stepping Razor says:

        PLEASE PEOPLE THERE IS NO NEED FOR ANY OF IT.

        At least I call you people rather than ……… like the poll a tricks.

        • kittysjones says:

          A few caompaigners have voiced their concern and disgust about the comments here, especially the ones that claim i’m a labour troll. I’m not even a party member as it stands. I am entitled to support any party I choose, and I am entitled to challenge lies about policies. Yet my comments addressing labour policies have been deleted.. That is not open debate, this is simply a propaganda and personal bullying campaign, and given what BT originally set out to do, it’s pretty disgusting

          • Stepping Razor says:

            LETS GET BACK TO DISABILITY & POLITICS CAN TAKE A BACK SEAT.

          • joe kane says:

            kittysjones\Sue Jones is a foul mouthed Labour tribalist troll who disseminates whitewashing propaganda on behalf of a Labour Party which is attacking the human rights of disabled people.

            Nobody is accusing you of being a member of the Labour Party, god forbid.

            I look forward to you publishing comments by the authors responsible for the report, and from others who have criticised the Labour Party treatment of the report on its publication. But that’s never going to happen. Hence the reason I took it upon myself to do so realising full well I was going to be subjected to your trademark internet abuse if I did such is your dedication to the truth about your beloved British nationalist One Nation Labour Party.

            As for bullying, you’d know all about that as you’re banned from a few disabled internet forums because of your hectoring, name-calling and foul-mouthed abuse, a tactic you immediately resorted to on this thread.

            As for Scottish independence – Scottish voters have never had an influence on which party gets voted into government at Westminster, except for two fleetingly small, insignificant periods in the late 1970s and early 1960s, We’ve made no difference to date on UK Government policies and with independence it will stay that way. No-one in the rUK should notice anything amiss with no Scottish MPs at Westminster, apart from the times when Scottish MPs vote for tuitions fees for English students but English MPs can’t do likewise for Scottish students.

            • kittysjones says:

              I have not subjected you to any abuse,it isyou doing the name-calling here, not me, Joe. i have been banned form 2 groups – one being black triangle, the other being DPAC for simply defending labour policy. I run my own apolitical groups, one for supporting people with ESA and PIP, another is more generally about supporting people with chronic illness, and 3 others that are political commentary groups

              I have 2,000 friends and many followers on FB alone, I work with many individuals and organisations to promote human rights for disabled people, so hardly the “infamous” character you make out

              • kittysjones says:

                So i’ve gone from – “Sue Jones, campaigner, writer and activist. Suffers from Lupus , declared ‘fit-for-work’ by DWP-AtoS after almost dying last year. Runs and Co-runs support groups to help others. Describes the “Reforms” as “eugenics by stealth”. – Black Triangle Campaign New Year Honours List 2012/2013

                to

                August 13, 2014 at 12:30 am
                “You are a fully paid up Labour Party troll.”

                Remarkable transformation. Especially for someone who isn’t even a Labour Party member, as it stands.

                My crime? I’m a Labour Party supporter that challenges SNP lies about Labour, because as I’ve said elsewhere if debates are not open and honest, and if criticisms of parties and their policies are not based on facts, that isn’t actually debate you’re engaged in: it’s a propaganda campaign.

                Just to clarify, I’ve no issue with independence, however, i do have an issue with lying and smearing tactics, bullying and denigrating those who try to tell the truth or who simply challenge blatant lies.

                I am a disabled person who happens to be english, not scottish. Our only viable option for getting rid of the tories is a Labour vote and victory. Black Triangle plainly don’t give a shit about that, or about the fate of english disabled people.

                I’ve worked with BT previously, and was a friend, having met JM on local protests. It’s such a shame that an organisation that could potentially do so much to help ALL disabled people, regardless of nationality has opted for supporting independence only, and furthermore, bullies and denigrates people who have a much wider agenda for change that includes ALL disabled people.

                And EVERY effort towards that wider agenda is precious and valuable to us. It’s ALL we have.
                .

      • kittysjones says:

        I must also add that Iam not the only labour supporter subjected to abuse from you

  4. joe kane says:

    kittysjones/Sue Jones repeats the same old tired lies that Scots are abandoning English people to Tory rule when we’re sick and tired of repeating the same old facts that Scots voters have next to no influence on which political party gets voted into government at Westminster and that we only get the party of government we voted for just over 50% of the time.

    Yet in the logic of these rabid internet Labour tribalists it’s the Scots who are abandoning the people of England when we have exactly no influence on what goes on there. Yet its ok for them to subject us to Tories for 50% of our existence.

    I really wish they’d stop indulging us with such examples of their international socialism. We’ve really had enough of their Tory pals in the Better Together campaign.

    Maybe instead of focusing their energies on a country with just a single Tory MP they could focus their energies on their own country and sort out its problems. It’s been well over 50 years since Scotland voted in a majority of Conservative MPs and even then it was our own version of a conservative party.

    • kittysjones says:

      Joe, itis plainly YOU and the other cybernats here that are TRIBAL!

      • kittysjones says:

        And you leave out the fact that people here didn’t vote for the tories either, they got in through people NOT voting, and through people like you endlessly smearing labour and lying about their policy intentions, just like you are now.

        That does NOTHING for disabled people. It is YOU that is the nationalist troll, and it is you that is bullying other campaigners, not me.If debates are not open and honest, and if criticisms of parties and their policies are not based on facts, that isn’t actually debate you’re engaged in: it’s a propaganda campaign.

        I work hard promoting awareness of issues affecting ALL disabled people, human rights issues, I exclude no-one and don’t bully people who disagree.

        With regard to my party politics, I am entitled to support any party I wish without people like you bullying and harrassing me.

        • Stepping Razor says:

          Politics can`t help disabled people what ever party time you might choose. Equality Laws & Human Rights Laws can help disabled people except the UK is breaching them. So Freedom, Justice & Equality For All.- Politics is scared of dealing with the slave trading of disabled people in the uk 2014 !!

          SR

          • Stepping Razor says:

            Politics is dealing with the slave trading of disabled people in the uk 2014 !!

          • kittysjones says:

            Yes, that would be labour’s equality law, and human rights act…:-) And the few successes we’ve had in courts are down to those key legislations made under the last government.

            • Stepping Razor says:

              There are already l;aws – Equality & Human Rights but no one is doing nothing & all breaching these laws !!! So all you need to do is implement these exsisting laws & not flout them for political gain. ACTION NOW NOT 2,000 DWP DEATH LATERS & COUNTING !!

            • kittysjones says:

              They passed the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, introduced the Equality Act 2010, and formed the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and, in 2009, the Labour government signed the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. We can use these

              • Stepping Razor says:

                LOL what do you think we have been doing for 4 & a half years hanging ourselves !!

                Reality Hurts !!

                Falls Pon deaf ears !!

                Why are we going over old ground?

              • kittysjones says:

                The Commission means we can use british courts instead of having to go to Strasbourg. BUT, the commission has been severely underfunded by the Tories, leading to staffing cuts and a massive backlog of cases…not by coincidence either :-(

              • Stepping Razor says:

                “The Commission means we can use british courts instead of having to go to Strasbourg. BUT, the commission has been severely underfunded by the Tories, leading to staffing cuts and a massive backlog of cases…not by coincidence either :-(

                LOL New British Human Rights Courts still not approved by Europe – That in itself in breaking the Human Rights Act. So utter bullshit something is being done.

                SR

            • Stepping Razor says:

              Why has it turned in to such hard work all of a sudden !!!

        • joe kane says:

          One National Labour tribalist troll kittysjones/Sue Jones arguments against Scottish independence are as pathetic as the rest of the scaremongering and fearmongering tory-subsidised propaganda from MP Alastair Darling, director of the tory Better Together campaign.

          According to her anti Scottish independence argument, nobody in the rest of the UK voted for the Tories either.The strange thing is she seems to believe this is true and expects others to share in her delusion. I have to say it’s one of the weirdest anti-independence arguments I’ve come across yet and there are plenty of them.

          Anyway, her beloved Labour Party in Scotland hate the Tories so much they are campaigning side-by-side with them, taking Tory money and providing the personnel used by the Tories to front their Better Together campaign. Tories know that if they led the main pro-Unionist campaign in public in Scotland it would almost guarantee it would fail.

          So its good to see what solidarity actually means to Labour in the context of Scotland. Just like its neoliberal policies on welfare, it has nothing to do with the interests of the Scottish working class and everything to do with their adopting and supporting tory policies, that’s when they’re not actually trying to keep the Tories alive and in buisness in Scotland that is.

          • kittysjones says:

            Oam not anti-independence at all, Joe, nor doI engage with the better Together campaign, you misunderstand me. I am an english disabled person who has watched friends die because of this government’s policies, and my issue with you is regarding lies about the labour party, and misinformation and smearing that you use to support your aim.

            In england our only hope of changing things for the better is the labour party, and I do what I can to lobby and campaign for positive change, because the situation is fire, and cannot continue – it’s eugenics by stealth

            • kittysjones says:

              If you try, see beyond scotland for just a moment, I am sure you will see where I am coming from here, too

            • joe kane says:

              You really have no idea what you’re saying from one comment to the next. You’ve already argued pathetically against Scottish independence. Now you’re claiming you’ve nothing against independence. I wish you’d make up your mind.

              Your beloved right-wing Labour Party, which fully supports Tory welfare policies and whose only criticism is that they aren’t tough enough, is campaigning in Scotland with the Tories. That is’t lies.That’s how much they care about the interests of disabled people.

              • kittysjones says:

                I’ve actually explained my position twice Joe. i’ve also posted labour policy statements to challenge your claims but they have been deleted…

                You have turned this into a personal attack rather than a debate, so it’s not worth pursuing further.

  5. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    I WAS FULLY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR ARTICLE, WHERE HAVE MY COMMENTS GONE?

  6. stitchedupand broken says:

    I don’t want to brown nose with Geoff Reynolds,but I always follow his comments: they echo my own.

    Leaving aside the above,read the DM today…or it’s comments. Think it was about someone killing themselves because of the bedroom tax. You want to see the comments: a viscious tribe of people who HATE anyone with any weakness,or puts in for any benefit. I want to see Scotland leave the union. I will be sad. But that leaves England dominated by the Conservatives and the evil people of England. It’s sick,I know. I’m English. But the spite and venom they spew…I want it to come back to them in spades when they become ill,become disabled,old. I really can’t understand where their evil comes from. But then,a critic could say I’m no more evil then them wishing them evil. What a twisted world the English have become. Still,it must be understood. The Queen of Venom was Thatcher,followed by spinmiester and money grubber Bliar and his cohorts

  7. Serenity says:

    Whatever happens the ordinary person won’t get too decide anything, will avaricious, covetous, greedy, self serving, sociopaths that are Scottish be any better than the ones we have already?
    All we will achieve is throwing down the the drain over 300yrs of shared history.
    What we really need too do is get rid of the shower of elite bastards we have in power all of us English & Scot’s together get rid of all of them.

    • GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

      I agree with you entirely Serenity, not one person on any of the government benches, echo the requirements of their electorate.
      They are driven by the needs of corporate giants and multinationals who cross their palms with silver,

      Corporate greed ahead of public need, nepotism in office, corruption at the highest level……………….

    • joe kane says:

      Try and make sense Serenity.

      First you talk about sociopaths then you go on about 300 years of shared history with these sociopaths being thrown down the drain.

      The UK is the most unequal society in the West, so yes, an independent Scotland will be a better country to live in for everyone than the one currently being mis-ruled from a foreign capital hundreds of miles away by a government that Scottish voters have no influence over.

      If you want to get rid of politicians you don’t like then go ahead and do it. Nobody is stopping you.

      • GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

        “To illustrate what evil bastards are at the helm of our sinking ship Joe, just clock this comment by justice secretary, Chris Grayling, when told that SUICIDES IN PRISONS IN THE UK HAD RISEN BY 69% OVER THE LAST YEAR”

        …………………………he said, “WE’RE SEEING AN INCREASE OF SUICIDES ACROSS SOCIETY”…………………………………………as if to say it’s just the norm…….

        These are the twisted mindsets of the state enlisted butchers who consider the deaths of the poor, disabled and vulnerable to be just another worthless statistic………………

        Deep down they are all shitting themselves, hell bent on trying to keep the true mortality figures out of the public domain

        They have gone past the point of no return, having had the opportunity to put things right.

        The deaths will tarnish all parties for decades to come, as did the fallout from the nazi’s.

        ………………….but who will eventually carry the proverbial can?

        Will it be the ministers, the DWP, ATOS, or the discredited killers of the PCS UNION?

        “CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER”

        • geoff reynolds says:

          “THE REST OF THE WORLD SHOULD READ THIS, HOW THE UK GOVERNMENT TARGET THE DISABLED”

          The number of sick or disabled people who have had there benefit sanctioned for not taking part in ‘work related activity’ has almost tripled compared to just six months ago the latest figures show.

          7.507 claimants on Employment Support Allowance (ESA), had their benefits sanctioned in March 2014, up from 4,698 the previous month and 2,369 In Sepetember 2013. This has taken the total number of ESA claims sanctioned to over 100,000 since the regime was disgracefully introduced by Labour.

          These clamaints are in the Work Related Acivity Group (WRAG) of ESA, meaning they have been judged unable to work at present but may possibly be well enough for employment in the future. They include people with serious and life-threatening conditions including cancer. Astonishingly this group are still sent on the Work Programme, where they may face compulsory ‘back to work’ training or even workfare. Should they fail to attend any activity the private sector providers running the scheme dream up then they will have their benefits sanctioned.

          These are not the only sick and disabled claimants who face sanctions. Inhumane Atos assessments have led to many people with serious health conditions or disabilties being forced to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. According to the DWP, since the tougher new sanctions regime was introduced in December 2012, over 150,000 disabled people have had their benefits stopped. Whilst people on sickness benefits only generally lose a portion of their benefits, those on JSA can lose every penny. For people with special dietery needs or other conditions, this can prove fatal as the tragic death of David Clapson recently showed.

          Appalling many of those sanctioned will have been driven into poverty due to failure to attend workfare with so-called charities and community organisations. The first names of these organisations accepting workfare placements on the latest scheme, which involves 780 hours of unpaid work, are now starting to leak out. Lanarkshire Association for Mental Health (@_LAMH_ also on facebook) have been reported to be accepting this form of workfare and have remained silent about their grotesque exploitation since being exposed. @SumoWaste have protected their tweets on twitter and also have nothig to say about their grubby exploitation after they were named and shamed on the facebook page of Edinburgh Coaltion Against Poverty. Also recently named as taking part are @DISC_Services, a so-called charity who will be receiving tax payer’s money to arrange workfare placements and who are also on facebook.

          The DWP refuse to name the charities taking workfare placements, if you know of one contact Boycott Workfare to have them named and shamed.

          Please sign, share and tweet the petition for an inquiry into the benefit sanctions that killed David Clapson: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-hold-an-inquiry-into-benefit-sanctions-that-killed-my-brother

          The latest benefit sanctions figures can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/jobseekers-allowance-and-employment-and-support-allowance-sanctions-decisions-made-to-march-2014

          ……….taken from the johnny void website

      • Serenity says:

        The Uk did not become so unequal overnight,I have not seen a rush of Scottish MP’s resigning or refusing too implement unfair policies en masse, they just went along with it, with a never mind we can blame the English anyway attitude!The politicians in Scotland are so greedy they want the whole pie they are self interested opportunist. Salmond is so greedy Trump made him look a complete starstruck clown while getting land worth millions on the cheap from the fool.
        Is it fair that less than one per cent of Scots own over half of all Scotland’s private land.
        Wales and NI both have free prescriptions and pay £3600 Uni fees so the only bribe the SNP have given is free fees which aren’t free as to do it cuts are made elsewhere also if they get a yes vote they will no longer have too bribe the plebs.
        Also I do not appreciate the personal attack, because you hold a opposing view does not make my comment senseless surely you can make your point with civility and without resorting to insolence.

          • Stepping Razor says:

            Atos succeeds in bid to buy Bull, will boost security and cloud offerings

            PCWorld.com: – 11th Aug 2014

            Atos’s offer to acquire servers and services specialist Bull has been approved, making it possible for the company to beef up its security and cloud computing offerings.

            The French IT services company announced a €620 million (US$830 million) bid for Bull at the end of May.

            The deal required Atos to acquire 50 percent plus one share of Bull’s equity, and that condition has been met, Atos said Monday. It will hold 84.25 percent of Bull’s share capital and voting rights and 18.4 percent of the convertible bonds in circulation by a settlement date set for next Monday, the company said.

            With the approval out of the way, Atos can get on with the integration work. The goal of the acquisition is to take advantage of Bull’s know-how in sectors such as cloud operations, security and big data.

            Additionally, Bull is a well-known vendor of supercomputers. The company had 17 entries in the June edition of the Top500 supercomputing list. However, Atos’s ambitions for its high performance computing business goes beyond simply building supercomputers: the company plans to draw on Bull’s expertise to boost the aforementioned cloud and big data services.

            The deal will also enhance Atos’ offerings for the manufacturing, healthcare, and public sectors, and will reinforce its footprint, mainly in France but also in other parts of the world such as Poland, Africa and Brazil, Atos said.

            Bull isn’t the only company Atos has acquired recently. In June, it bought Swiss IT consulting firm Cambridge Technology Partners. The goal with that deal is to strengthen its digital marketing expertise in the consumer goods, pharmaceutical and financial sectors, it said at the time.

            PC World.com: -
            http://www.pcworld.com/article/2463600/atos-succeeds-in-bid-to-buy-bull-will-boost-security-and-cloud-offerings.html

        • joe kane says:

          Accusing me of a personal attack because I dared to criticise your comments as nonsense doesn’t surprise me. Your latest comment barely rises above the level of absurdity of your last one.

          According to you free student tuitions fees in Scotland are a bribe but charging students to go to college and university is also evil. So really it doesn’t matter what the Scottish Government does according to you, they always bad. If they nationalised all land in Scotland you’d claim it was a bribe too no doubt.

          If your worried about Scottish MPs voting to support horrible policies in the UK Parliament there’s a an easy solution to that called “Scottish independence”. But I get the feeling you’d just call them selfish for abandoning all that “300 years of shared history” which has done so much to make the UK the most unequal state in the West.

          • Serenity says:

            “Try and make sense Serenity”.
            Is a personal attack as is commenting I am even barely absurd.
            According too me, really! I fear you assume far too much.
            Clearly I have hit a nerve as your excessively confrontational, aggressive reply exhibits.

            • kittysjones says:

              “Clearly I have hit a nerve as your excessively confrontational, aggressive reply exhibits.” ‘Twas ever thus!

              • Stepping Razor says:

                1st time I reason with KJ – The word reasoning means to reason, not to have words used as a ego gain for FB friends. How good to be hijacked from the great works people do hear on black triangle – The best place for research results in whats new & important !!

                SR

              • Stepping Razor says:

                ALL THE INTERESTING & IMPORTANT INFO IS NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THE THREAD PAGE !!! READ & LEARN !!!

            • joe kane says:

              Stop talking rubbish.
              If your comments are making no sense and I prove they don’t then they can be properly called nonsense.
              If you’re not interested in proper argument and debate then don’t use public forums dedicated for that purpose.

              • Serenity says:

                The only thing you have proved beyond doubt is that you are not a reasonable person but a intimidator a oppressor of any view that differs from yours using strong arm tactics and shouting them down with personal attacks thrown in for good measure.
                IF you represent the debating strategy and style of the Scot’s nats then clearly the NO campaign can’t lose, which is reassuring.
                You suggest I no longer use public forums, that’s a shame that you can’t ban me then. Heaven help us if that’s your idea of independence tyranny & oppression.

      • JJ says:

        Black Triangle ‏@blacktriangle1 Jul 11
        #bbctw #IndyRef I am NOT a ‘Nationalist’ I’m voting #YES for #socialjustice pic.twitter.com/NRPowiEMCz

  8. Stepping Razor says:

    Don`t let the foolishness of politics get in the way of the REAL ISSUE [DISABLED HUMAN RIGHTS & EQUALITY] which politics can`t help you who ever is in the hot seat. Politics want disabled people to fight against each other, makes their job easier.

    It show action is needed NOW not when some bingo vote election happens !!

    I have always been disabled – There seems to be newbies that have become disabled & find it had to cope with the new function of disability.

    So I have been on disability benefit for over 30 years – In that time I must have got about £200,000 [More if you include housing benefit} The DWP say I am not disabled & have never been disabled. In that case because you found nothing wrong with me the DWP should be taking me the court to get the money back. COME ON DWP WHAT ARE YOU WANTING FOR !! THE DWP ARE SCARED.

    Yes Such Hard Work DWP – ==== Not Fit For Purpose.

    SR

    • geoff reynolds says:

      “THATS EXACTLY RIGHT RAZOR, IF WE HAVE BEEN FOUND NOT TO BE DISABLED, WHY ARE WE NOT UP BEFORE THE JUDICIARY, CHARGED WITH THEFT?”

      WHY AREN’T OUR DOCTORS, WHO ADJUDICATED ON OUR CASES AND AWARDED US OUR BENEFITS BEING SUED FOR NEGLIGENCE OR PERJURY?”

      …………………..all the evidence is building up in the offices of the COURTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, as we speak.
      The fallout from this scandal will tear the heart out of the present government, not they had one in the first place…………………

      UNUM MEDDLING IN DISABILITY DENIAL HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED BEFORE AND WILL BE IDENTIFIED AGAIN.

      WHISTLEBLOWER’S MUST BE ITCHING TO PUT THE RECORD STRAIGHT AND EXPOSE THE CANCER OF YOUR INHUMANE THINKING……………..

  9. Stepping Razor says:

    Living a lie is hard work, it is even harder work to keep living a lie [Untruths] You have to keep on remembering all the lies so as not to make a mistake. Living a lie = mistakes. Mistakes are picked up by be.

    Disability Strategenarian !!

  10. Stepping Razor says:

    Disabled people can`t wait for Poll A Tricks to sort it`s self out from disability fraud & MP`s shares in UNU & Atos !! Main reason Poll A Tricks has lost ATOS & UNUM Shares that dodgy dave owns disabled cash cows !! Head Count On Cattle Markets at the DWP DM.

    SR

  11. Stepping Razor says:

    ACTION NOW – I COME ON HERE TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN !!

    SR

    • Stepping Razor says:

      You know the Tories read Black triangle to keep up to date with their own contradiction policies. So hello fraudsters welcome to the Truths & Rights oh Equality !!

      SR

  12. Stepping Razor says:

    Music therapy is the use of interventions to accomplish individual goals within a therapeutic relationship by a professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.[1] Music therapy is an allied health profession and one of the expressive therapies, consisting of a process in which a music therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients improve their health. Music therapists primarily help clients improve their health in several domains, such as cognitive functioning, motor skills, emotional development, social skills, and quality of life, by using music experiences such as free improvisation, singing, and listening to, discussing, and moving to music to achieve treatment goals. It has a wide qualitative and quantitative research literature base and incorporates clinical

  13. Stepping Razor says:

    DWP refuses to respond to MSP concerns on welfare

    Sun, 10/08/2014 – 09:22 – 10th Aug 2014 – snp.org

    The DWP’s attitude to Scotland has been thrown into focus again this week- after Iain Duncan’s Smith’s department told MSPs it would refuse to respond to their serious concerns on the impact of Westminster’s welfare cuts in future.

    SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse received a response from the DWP to an enquiry regarding the impact of welfare reform on a constituent – only to be told that in future the department would only respond to queries from MPs.

    Mr Wheelhouse has written to the DWP expressing his concerns at this new approach – pointing out that the DWP has a duty to reply to whichever parliamentarian a constituent is seeking help from and asking for clarification on which directive from the department has led to this change of approach.

    Fellow South of Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has also written to Iain Duncan Smith to express her concerns about the impact of Westminster’s punitive welfare policies after a recent visit to a local foodbank.

    Ms McAlpine has challenged Iain Duncan Smith to accept that his welfare policies are directly responsible for the 400 per cent rise in foodbank use in Scotland – and expressed her concern about the impact of the UK Government’s sanctions on jobseekers.

    Commenting, SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse said:

    “Westminster’s welfare cuts are having a devastating impact for communities in the south of Scotland and across the country – for the DWP to refuse to respond to MSPs on this issue is disrespectful and nothing less than an insult to the ordinary people suffering as a result of these policies.

    “The DWP may want to stick their fingers in their ears when MSPs ask them to face the consequences of their disastrous welfare cuts – but they can’t be allowed to ignore the devastating impact their policies are having on communities across Scotland.

    “I’ll continue to represent any constituent who comes to me with problems caused by Westminster’s welfare cuts – the DWP simply can’t ignore concerns raised by ordinary people suffering as a result of Westminster’s warped priorities.

    “If a member of the public doesn’t feel comfortable approaching an MP who supported the very changes that are so damaging, then their choice of alternative elected representative should be respected by the DWP.”

    SNP MSP Joan McAlpine added:

    “Iain Duncan Smith’s punitive welfare policies are punishing the people in our society who can least afford it – and we are seeing the evidence of this at foodbanks up and down the country.

    “We have seen a 400 per cent increase in foodbank use in Scotland since Westminster’s welfare cuts started to bite – it’s time Iain Duncan Smith faced up to the truth and accepted his responsibility for this and took immediate action to rectify the situation.

    “Independence offers Scotland the once in a lifetime opportunity to create a fairer society and a welfare state which tackles poverty and is a springboard to a better life – rather than one which penalises the most vulnerable people in Scotland.

    ENDS

    snp.org: -
    http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/aug/dwp-refuses-respond-msp-concerns-welfare

    • Stepping Razor says:

      Joan McAlpine MSP

      South of Scotland Region

      Room M3.10, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP

      Unit 7, Loreburne Centre, High Street, Dumfries DG1 2BD

      Tel: 0131 348 6885 01387 255334 Email: Joan.McAlpine.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

      The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP House of Commons London SW1A 0AA

      7th August 2014

      Dear Iain,

      I am writing to you to highlight my grave concerns regarding the impact of the UK Government’s welfare reforms upon a number of my constituents.

      On the 29th of July, I visited a food bank run by a charity called First Base located in Dumfries where I spent the day helping to deliver food parcels and speaking with the individuals and families unfortunate enough to require such a service.

      While I have many concerns relating to the Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP) overhaul of the welfare system I would like to take this opportunity to draw to your attention specifically to the consequences of increased sanctioning on those claiming Job Seekers Allowance.

      I was concerned to hear from the owners of the First Base charity that they have seen the number of sanctions claimants requiring food aid soar in the last year.

      This seems to be related to the huge increase in people relying on zero-hours contracts for an income as the contracts result in a variability of earnings which throws into doubt an individual’s eligibility to claim benefits.

      For example, at First Base I met one woman who was given a job believing it was full time – only to discover that she had instead been given a zero-hours contract. She was offered three hours of work the first week and four the second. Predictably, this resulted in her rent going into arrears and she was forced to attempt to go back onto benefits. However, when she tried to claim she was denied any benefits as she was deemed to have deliberately made herself unemployed. She now depends on the food bank for her meals. Press reports and anecdotal evidence suggest her experience is far from uncommon.

      It seems that we now find ourselves in the ludicrous situation that job seekers who
      accept these controversial zero-hour contracts which do not provide them with enough
      of an income to afford the basic necessities are then sanctioned due to circumstances
      completely out-with their control.

      During my visit I was also shocked by the number of people asking for non-cooking food
      parcels because they could not afford to pay for gas or electricity. Some of these people
      had young children which caused me grave concern.

      I also heard stories about people with children who in the depth of winter did not have
      money to heat their homes. The owner of the charity told me about a young family
      whose new baby was released from hospital after several weeks in intensive care.
      The infant required apparatus to help it breathe but they had less than £4 in the meter
      and needed electricity to run the baby’s life-saving equipment. It fell to the local
      community to donate the money.

      I want to emphasise that the people I met did not wish to be claiming, they were
      embarrassed by their situation and attend the food bank as a last resort.

      I put it to you that the overwhelming majority of people would never willingly attend a
      food bank to feed themselves and their children. It is a degrading experience – and yet
      there has been a 400 per cent rise in the use of food banks in Scotland in the last year.
      Do you accept that the hardship experienced by my constituents is a direct result of the
      DWP’s increasingly draconian sanctions regime and benefits cuts, and what action will
      you take to reverse this trend?

      Furthermore, what measures are in place to ensure that claimants are not being unfairly
      sanctioned because unreliable zero hours contracts are forcing them back onto
      benefits?

      I look forward to your reply.

      Yours Sincerely,

      Joan McAlpine

      MSP for South of Scotla

  14. Stepping Razor says:

    The work of a disability doer is getting things done !!! It slows thing up when politics gets in the way. Will They Won`t They !! Bingo Gambling on disabled people`s live as some tool of slavery to gain power !!

    Watch My Side I`m Blatant !!

    Dangerous Systems !!

    SR Sound System

  15. Stepping Razor says:

    UK security firm snatches up £70 million contract to supply Gitmo

    rt.com: – Published time: August 14, 2014 12:05t.com

    UK security company G4S has been awarded a new contract worth $118 million (70 million pounds) to supply materials and services to Guantanamo Bay, the US military base notorious for its alleged human rights violations.

    G4S ‘government solutions, a US based subsidiary of the world’s largest security company, will be contracted to supply Guantanamo Bay with ‘custodial services’, as well as providing housing and facilities to soldiers operating on the base, according a statement issues by the US Defense Department.

    The department’s bulletin emphasized that G4S would not be providing staff to run day-to-day operations in the prison.

    While G4S declined to comment on the specifics of the contracts, a spokesperson told the Independent that G4S solutions was an “independent company” and operated “within a proxy agreement framework approved by the US government.”

    Kat Craig, the legal director of human rights NGO Reprieve, said G4S needed to be transparent about the nature of its work in Guantanamo will be, saying that it may have a negative impact on the UK government in the long run.

    “Any company which associates itself with the legal black hole which is Guantanamo Bay has serious questions to answer. Guantanamo has been the site of detention without trial and brutal mistreatment for over a decade – even now, Reprieve’s clients are being subjected to torturous force-feedings in response to their peaceful protests,” she said.

    G4S currently operates in around 125 countries, and has secured partnerships with hundreds of defense companies, private organizations and national governments.

    Data from the Department of Defense showed that the company was providing security services to the British-owned territory of Diego Garcia, where it is suspected that both the British and American governments conducted extraordinary rendition during the ‘War on Terror’.

    History of abuse

    The company has been embroiled in numerous high-profile scandals that have caused serious damage to its global reputation.

    In October 2010, three G4S guards were accused of using lethal force while restraining 46-year-old Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga while on a British Airways flight, which eventually led to his death. While an inquest jury agreed nine-to-one that G4S did use “unreasonable force and acted in an unlawful manner,” the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was “insufficient evidence to bring any charges for Mr. Mubenga’s death.”

    G4s has also come under fire for its work abroad, including supplying services to the Israeli Defense Forces operating in the occupied Palestinian territories. According to a report produced by Who Profits, the G4S Israeli subsidiary supplied equipment to the Kishon and Jerusalem interrogation centers, where abuse of Palestinian prisoners was said to have taken place.

    “Reports by human rights organizations show that while there is ample evidence of torture incidents from the time before the systems were installed, there is a considerable amount of evidence of such incidents which have happened since,” the report said.

    The findings led to an Early Day Motion being filed in the UK parliament, condemning Israeli prisons serviced by G4S for subjecting people, including children, to “violence and inhumane treatment.”

    More recently, the company was forced to replay 108.9 million pounds to the UK government after whistleblowers exposed that the contractors had overcharged British taxpayers for tagging offenders. According to the whistleblowers, G4S routinely charged taxpayers for tagging criminals who has already been tagged once, and even tagging offenders who were deceased.

    The scandal “led to huge damage to the public’s confidence in [the] criminal justice system” said Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan MP.

    G4S’ activities has also resulted in heavy criticism over the government’s reliance on private contractors to outsource work to, especially as 10 percent of all G4S work is commissioned by the British government.

    However, while G4S remains under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), it recently recorded profits of 85 million pounds in the first half of this year – a huge transformation since its record loss of 94 million pounds in 2013. Much of the company’s successes have been attributed to its new CEO Ashley Almanza, who has sold off a number of the company’s subsidiaries since he took over last year.

    The company has also secured new contracts in countries such as Iraq and South Sudan, as well as being the main beneficiary of the government’s controversial ‘back to work’ placements for the UK’s unemployed.

    rt.com: -
    http://rt.com/uk/180228-g4s-guantanamo-contract-uk/

  16. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    “SOON IT WILL BE AN OFFENCE TO BE DISABLED”

    ……………ONLY THE TRUE ARYAN BLOODLINE OF THE OLD ETONIANS WILL FLOURISH AND PROSPER.

    “Lebensunwertes Leben”) was a Nazi designation for the segments of populace which, based on the Nazi regime of the time, had no right to live. Those individuals were targeted to be “euthanized”. The term included people with serious medical problems and those considered grossly inferior according to the racial policy of the Third Reich. This concept

    “THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE UK FOR GENETIC MUTATION, ILLNESS OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY, THE POPULATION WILL RESEMBLE A BLONDE HAIRED BUFFOON WITH AN ARCHED BACK WHO CANNOT GET HIS WORDS OUT PROPERLY”……………..ring any bells Esmeralda?

    ………..APPEARING SOON IN A CIRCUS NEAR YOU, WESTMINSTER TO BE PRECISE………

    • GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

      GEOFF REYNOLDS | August 14, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Reply

      “but mummy, why has the man with the piercing blue eyes and blonde hair, got his jacket on inside out?”
      GEOFF REYNOLDS | August 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Reply

      “and why is that ray of sunlight coming out of his ear?”
      GEOFF REYNOLDS | August 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Reply

      “HE IS ONE OF THE CHOSEN ONES DARLING, THE MEN WHO WENT TO A SPECIAL SCHOOL WHICH ALLOWS THEM TO CHOOSE WHO LIVES OR DIES?”
      GEOFF REYNOLDS | August 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Reply

      “do you mean like IAN DUNCAN SMITH, mummy?”
      GEOFF REYNOLDS | August 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Reply

      “does IAIN DUNCAN SMITH, have his jacket on inside out mummy?”
      GEOFF REYNOLDS | August 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm |

      “NO, HE’S JUST A HORRIBLE, EVIL CUNT DEAR!”

  17. Stepping Razor says:

    Iain Duncan Smith questions bedroom tax statistics

    InsideHousing.co.uk: – 14th August 2014 | By Pete Apps

    Iain Duncan Smith has questioned statistics that show two-thirds of tenants hit by the bedroom tax have disabilities.

    The Work and Pensions Secretary said there is ‘no check’ on the figures which are based tenants’ ‘self-declaration’.

    The figure is drawn from an impact equality assessment carried out by the minister’s own department, and has been used by Labour as a means to attack the government over the policy.

    In a radio interview yesterday, the Mr Duncan Smith said a third of tenants are receipt of disability living allowance (DLA)

    ‘The figures you use are figures used for people’s self-declaration of their disability under the Disability Discrimination Act,’ he told LBC Radio.

    ‘The fact is all social housing has exactly the same figures. This isn’t just people with spare rooms. The whole of the social housing network, two-thirds of them declare as having some form of disability.

    ‘I’m not saying they’re right or they’re wrong. I simply say that’s their declaration. There’s no ongoing check. About a third are in receipt of something like DLA, which of itself is a payment to support housing costs.’

    Meanwhile, Kirklees Council announced it would appeal a bedroom tax tribunal ruling to the upper tier tribunal.

    The council lost a claim from a couple with disabilities who said the benefit cut should not apply to their two bedroom home.

    The council’s appeal will be the second time a bedroom tax case has reached the upper tier tribunal (UTT), which is capable of setting legal precedents. Last month an UTT ruling found a tenant in need of over night care should not have her benefits reduced.

    InsideHousing.co.uk: -
    http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/regulation/iain-duncan-smith-questions-bedroom-tax-statistics/7005158.article

    • Stepping Razor says:

      Ivor Niver ——-

      What a load of babble !!

      • GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

        “stepping back from his bedroom mirror, Iain heard that voice again………..

        “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

        “Not you, you horrible, evil, twisted bastard”…………..came the reply.

      • geoff reynolds says:

        I just played it right through Razor, the guy is an absolute nutcase!

      • Stepping Razor says:

        Can he hear himself babble – it`s not even the queens English. Does IDS even knows what he`s going on about. The grammar is hard to spot, let alone any commas & full stop because its the adverts now. ATOS & IDS round 54.

        ATOS & CAPITA ARE RIPPING YOU OFF IDS ££££ TEN & HUNDEREDS OF MILLIONS. PERPHAPS IDS SHARES IN ATOS & CAPITA & G4S ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN POLITICS !!!!! 2 JOBS CHOICE ON NOT BOTH !!!!

  18. Stepping Razor says:

    Foodbanks desperately needed in Stirling

    DailyRecord Scotland Aug 13, 2014 10:14
    By Gareth Iwan Jones

    Stirling is hoping to get a slice of a half a million pounds fund which the Scottish Government has pledged to help food banks across the country.

    Start-Up Stirling is looking to discover if it can get more financial support, after Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Scottish Government is giving £518,000 to fight food poverty.

    An average of 80 families a month in the Stirling area are turning to food banks to survive.

    The charity’s figures revealed that it helped to provide food to 544 adults and children in its first year.

    But within the first six months of its second year it had provided food for 564 adults and children.

    With food banks already operating in the city centre and Bannockburn, Start-Up Stirling plans to open another bank in the Raploch/Cornton area very soon – and a fourth food bank in another location by the end of this year.

    Project administrator Jamie Gillespie said: “We’re trying to decide the location of our fourth foodbank, to ensure we cover as wide an area as possible.

    “The need for food aid is gradually increasing in the Stirling area.

    “Donations have gone down over the summer, but that’s to be expected with summer holidays and also with the schools being off.

    “We’re working to find out if there’s anywhere we can apply to get Government funding to help us meet the needs of people in this area.”

    The charity The Trussell Trust has revealed the number of people who use food banks in Scotland last year soared by 400 per cent.

    In April, the Scottish Government announced £1 million to support work of emergency food providers.

    From that, £518,000 is to be given to organisations who work with those in need through the Emergency Food Fund.

    The remaining cash has been allocated to the charity FareShare to further develop their infrastructure in Scotland and increase capacity to take good quality surplus food from the food industry and provide it to charities and community groups supporting the most vulnerable.

    The Deputy First Minister revealed almost £40,000 will go to a foodbank she visited in Maryhill, Glasgow.

    But the rest will be spread around food aid schemes in 17 local authority areas.

    While Stirling is not on the list of the initial 17 local authority areas, Start-Up Stirling is hoping there is still a chance for them to apply for much-needed funds.

    Anyone who would like to donate to the Start-Up Stirling foodbanks can bring items to the charities premises at Unit 9, 10 Munro Road.

    The food banks are currently short of UHT milk, tinned fruit, tinned desserts and tinned vegetables.

    DailyRecord.co.uk: -
    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/foodbanks-desperately-needed-in-stirling-4043362

  19. Stepping Razor says:

    Food bank shock

    Daily Record Scotland Aug 14, 2014 08:58
    By Stephen Temlett

    Massive increase for food banks in Dumfries

    Demand for food banks has surged by more than 2,500 per cent in Dumfries.

    Last June there were just four referrals to food banks by the Dumfries and Galloway Citizen’s Advice Service (DAGCAS).

    In June this year there were 110 referrals – a rise of 2,650 per cent.

    Now DAGCAS has been given almost £45,000 from a Scottish Government pot to create two part-time posts for advisers who will work with emergency food providers and people who use food banks in Dumfries and Stranraer.DAGCAS chief Sue Irving, pictured inset, said: “We are delighted that we are going to be able to provide extra support for people in need.

    “In the month of June, just in Dumfries, last year we had four referrals to food banks. In the same month this year we had 110. We are seeing more and more people sent to us every week.

    “We’d rather not be in the situation where it is necessary to provide advice to people struggling to put a meal on the table but that is the reality for many in our region. This funding will mean we can target those most in need and we thank the Scottish Government for it.”

    The rising demand for food parcels is being felt at the First Base Agency which is handing out up to 600 a month. Mark Frankland, from First Base, said: “This is a man-made problem. This isn’t some natural disaster – people come to us because of benefit sanctions.

    “If they’re five minutes late for
    an appointment at the Job Centre twice – maybe if the bus they’re on has been delayed – they will
    be sanctioned and lose their benefits for three months.

    “It’s a pretty bleak outlook. The money from the Scottish Government is not even a drop in the ocean. But it’s better than nothing and it’s good that they’re doing something.”

    DailyRecord.co.uk: -
    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/food-bank-shock-4045415

  20. Stepping Razor says:

    No camp slammed over “heartless” food bank remarks

    snp.org: -Wed, 13/08/2014 – 12:23 – 13th Aug 2014

    The SNP has today called on Alistair Darling to distance himself from the No campaign’s heartless comments on the rise in food poverty in Scotland.

    As reported in today’s Press and Journal, a Facebook post by Better Together Aberdeenshire claimed that the rise in food banks demand was “Scotland becoming a normal European country”.

    Dennis Robertson, SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire West said that the comments were insulting and called on Alistair Darling as the leader of the No campaign to distance himself from Better Together Aberdeenshire’s comments at once.

    Mr Robertson said:

    “These comments were made on an official Better Together Facebook page so it is vital that Alistair Darling distances himself from them immediately.

    “Not only are these heartless comments insulting to the 70,000 people who have been forced to depend upon emergency parcels in past year – they also uncover the complete lack of ambition that the No camp has for Scotland.

    “This depressing position that the No camp has taken illustrates just how vital it is that we gain the full powers of independence in order to build a better Scotland – one that protects people from poverty and helps them fulfil their potential in work and life – and where food banks are no longer needed.”

    snp.org: -
    http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/aug/no-camp-slammed-over-heartless-food-bank-remarks

  21. Stepping Razor says:

    Commons committee report recommends scrapping flawed disability benefit

    rcnPublishing.com 30th July 2014

    report by MPs recommending that a benefit for people who are unable to work because of disability or sickness should be scrapped because of design flaws has been welcomed by the RCN.

    The report by the Commons work and pensions committee warns that simply ‘rebranding’ the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) system and appointing a new contractor to replace Atos Healthcare will not solve the problems. The committee found the system was ‘not achieving its purpose’ of helping people back into employment.

    Atos was a ‘lightning rod for all the negativity around the esa process’

    Nursing unions have repeatedly called for an overhaul of the controversial system. At the peak of the problems in 2012, the RCN was receiving daily calls from nurses seeking advice about their ESA entitlement, many of whom had appealed decisions made by Atos.

    RCN advice and information officer Ian King said: ‘We agree with the findings that there must be a redesign, which will need to consider a person as an individual and in terms of their capability to work, instead of simply using a set of rigid criteria.’

    In evidence submitted to the committee, the RCN identified a lack of flexibility on the part of Atos when carrying out assessments, which resulted in individuals being wrongly assessed.

    Earlier this year Atos announced plans to exit its £500 million contract early in the face of harsh criticism that the work capability assessment process was flawed.

    The government has indicated a new provider will be appointed early next year after admitting that Atos had become a ‘lightning rod for all the negativity around the ESA process’.

    rcnpublishing.com: -
    http://rcnpublishing.com/doi/full/10.7748/ns.28.48.8.s4

  22. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    “HOW MANY HAVE YOU SENT TO THE CEMETERY TODAY, SMITH, YOU EVIL NARCISSISTIC, PSYCHOPATHIC PIECE OF SHIT?”

    STEP UP SECURITY, YOUR’E GONNA NEED IT…………………………………………….

    • GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

      “KEEP LOOKING FOR DANCING RED DOTS”

      • GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

        “The English government are so shit scared of Scotland voting for independence that they will try to get a judicial review or court injunction of the system of voting, in order to scupper the vote at the eleventh hour”……………….

        They are pulling their hair out trying to think of a legal challenge to circumvent proceedings…………………

        • GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

          “Hence all the time and effort, biased media coverage, disinformation and celebrity opinions”………………

          acts of desperation one would say………….

          the relocation of trident submarine pens to the banks of Westminster?

          • GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

            “HURRAH FOR THE SCOTTISH MINISTER WHO HAS THE BALLS TO SPEAK UP FOR THE PEOPLE ON THE FRACKING ISSUE……………………….

            HE WANTS THE SCOTTISH PEOPLE TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO OBJECT TO FRACKING ON OR NEAR THEIR PROPERTY………………..

            MEANWHILE, IN WESTMINSTER, OUR CROOKED POLITICIANS WHO HURRIEDLY CLOSED RANKS TO SUPPORT GEORGE OSBORNES, FATHER IN LAW LED FRACKING CONSORTIUM, SAID FUCK YOU TO HOUSEHOLDERS OBJECTIONS…………………

            ANOTHER REASON TO BREAK AWAY FROM THE WESTMINSTER GENTLEMEN’S THRIFT CLUB.

  23. Stepping Razor says:

    Canon Kenyon Wright warns of Westminster No vote ‘revenge’

    stv.tv Scotland – 14th Aug 2014

    Suggestions that Westminster would take “revenge” on Scotland in the event of a No vote in the referendum are very real, according to one of the leading architects of devolution.

    Canon Kenyon Wright, who chaired the Scottish Constitutional Convention which laid the groundwork to set up the Scottish Parliament in 1999, has urged people to vote Yes.

    The canon said independence is “the only way left open, to give Scotland power over her own affairs that is both complete and secure”, describing promises of further powers from the unionist parties as looking “suspiciously like a rather desperate bribe”.

    Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have all put forward their own proposals for further devolution in the event of a No vote.

    Yes campaigners have questioned whether these will be delivered, and have claimed Scotland’s budget could be cut in future years.

    The retired Episcopalian clergyman said: “I believe the suggestions of revenge against the Scots emanating from Westminster are very real if there was a No vote on September 18.

    “There will undoubtedly be cuts to the Barnett Formula, affecting the NHS in Scotland, social security, and that benefits will suffer – we’ve already had (Chancellor) George Osborne and his ‘bedroom tax’ – and I envisage devolution being undermined despite promises of more powers. Not that I believe that the devolved parliament will be abolished, but its powers will be diminished.

    “Like many, I argued for a second question offering a middle way – which I saw not as devolution but as ‘constitutionally secure autonomy within a reformed UK’. That door was slammed shut – but not by Scotland.

    “Devolution is no longer enough; it’s incomplete and even ‘max’ leaves key areas unguaranteed. So Messrs Cameron, Miliband and Clegg cannot be surprised if I now see independence as the only way left open, to give Scotland power over her own affairs that is both complete and secure. Their way offers neither.”

    He added: “The latest ‘offer’ of more powers from the unionist parties looks suspiciously like a rather desperate bribe – but it is not an answer to Scotland’s needs.”

    The canon was speaking as he signed the independence declaration at Yes Scotland’s headquarters in Glasgow, and ahead of an appearance in Edinburgh on Friday.

    He will be part of a panel at the launch of a new book, A Constitution For The Common Good by Dr Elliot Bulmer.

    His claims were later echoed by former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish, who told ITV Border that further devolution “could slip down the UK political agenda” if voters decide against independence.

    He said: “The real danger now is that the unionist parties are bidding up their offers in terms of more policy, but the debate has moved on. Quite frankly if you vote No you should be concerned about what that will mean, especially in relation to the general election in 2015.”

    stv.tv Scotland: -
    http://news.stv.tv/scotland-decides/news/288385-canon-kenyon-wright-warns-of-westminster-no-vote-revenge/

  24. Stepping Razor says:

    Relocating Trident ‘not impossible’ and would cost ‘around £3.5bn’

    stv.tv Scotland 14th Aug 2014

    Moving the UK’s nuclear weapons system out of an independent Scotland is not impossible and would probably cost far less than the tens of billions of pounds previously predicted, experts have suggested.

    Relocating Trident in the event of Scottish independence would be feasible, although it could take more than a decade and spark significant local opposition, a new paper from the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) military think tank has found.

    But the paper, published on Friday suggests that recreating the nuclear facilities outside Scotland would add between £2.5bn and £3.5bn to the cost of the UK maintaining a nuclear-armed fleet, plus the cost of acquiring and clearing land — but would be far less than a previously predicted £20bn to £25bn.

    Relocation, Relocation, Relocation: Could the UK’s Nuclear Forces be Moved after Scottish Independence? looks at the financial and political hurdles of moving Trident if Scotland becomes independent.

    Coming just weeks before the independence referendum, it addresses fears over the future of Britain’s nuclear forces if Scotland is no longer a part of the United Kingdom.

    Former cabinet minister Lord Forsyth has previously warned that the UK could be forced to give up its nuclear deterrent in the event of a Yes vote, saying separation could have a major impact on the defence of both countries.

    The submarines carrying the UK’s Trident nuclear warheads currently operate from the Faslane naval base on the Clyde and there are concerns over how they can be relocated.

    But the paper, by Rusi research analyst Hugh Chalmers and Rusi research director Malcolm Chalmers, says relocating Trident out of Scotland would be both financially and technically feasible.

    They estimate that recreating the facilities outside Scotland would add no more than £3.5bn (at 2012/13 prices) to the cost of the rest of the UK maintaining a nuclear-armed fleet, plus the cost of acquiring and clearing the land and costs of moving people and material around, but it is very unlikely to cost “tens of billions” cited elsewhere.

    But it would take more than a decade to recreate the facilities, rather than the four years to which the SNP is currently committed, the authors said.

    Hugh Chalmers said the research contrasts with an “unlikely consensus” between proponents and opponents of Scottish independence that it would be impossible to relocate nuclear forces elsewhere.

    “And therefore if you can’t base them in Scotland, you can’t base them in the UK, and you can’t base them elsewhere, you would have to disarm,” he said.

    But he said nuclear weapons still play a key role in defence and foreign policy, creating concerns over the effect that a Yes vote would have.

    If the question mark over Trident’s future could be answered, it would help untangle a difficult issue surrounding Scottish independence, he said.

    “When people start considering options for relocations it’s only natural to assume that it would be quite expensive and very difficult and that is certainly the case. But importantly it is not impossible.

    “We estimate that essentially the net costs of relocating could actually be £2.5bn to £3.5bn at 2012 prices, rather than the tens of billions or even £20bn that has been put forward so far.”

    But he said it would take a long time, and was unlikely to be completed by a target date of 2020, and a more “natural timeframe” would be linked to the entry of a new generation of nuclear-armed submarines, currently anticipated to start in 2028.

    “It may be possible to deactivate Trident by that point and have it out of Scotland but it’s unlikely we would have been able to have it up and running in a new location by that point.

    “The Scottish government has acknowledged that if they were to become independent there would be a period of time where the UK would be basing its nuclear forces in an independent country. The UK would be the first country to ever do this.”

    Mr Chalmers said the new paper showed the possibility of a “space for a friendly and amicable settlement” over Trident in the event of independence.

    He added: “Effectively this is a key aspect of any negotiations that will emerge after a yes vote.

    “This will be a very, very important issue. If both Scotland and the UK can show that they can come to some sort of amicable arrangement then that untangles a very knotty issue.

    “We are trying to essentially dispel the myth that relocating Trident out of Scotland is impossible and in doing so create some space allowing an amicable settlement to be reached in the event of a Yes vote.”

    A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Trident is opposed by the people and Parliament of Scotland. The Scottish Government position is that Trident should be removed from an independent Scotland by 2020 — before we are hit with a share of the further £100bn in lifetime costs, at 2012 prices, which are estimated for its replacement.

    “We will also propose a constitutional prohibition on nuclear weapons being based in Scotland, ensuring they would never return.

    “As the Trident Commission reported, when spending reaches its peak in the next decade, taxpayers will be spending nearly £4bn a year on nuclear weapons at 2012 prices — that is unacceptable when there are so many other pressing needs which public money is needed for.

    “As Rusi’s paper shows, the UK Government has choices on what it decides to do with its nuclear weapons following their removal from an independent Scotland, including of course the potential to reconsider the possession and planned renewal of Trident.

    “The Scottish Government will work responsibly with the Government in Westminster in securing the speediest safe withdrawal of Trident from an independent Scotland. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss these arrangements with the UK Government following a vote for independence.”

    A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: “The nuclear deterrent is the ultimate guarantor of our nation’s security and no alternative would be as effective at deterring threats now or in the future. There are no plans to move Trident from Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde and unilateral disarmament is not an option.

    “We are not planning for Scottish independence and as such it is difficult to estimate the total costs, or how long it would take, to replicate the facilities at Faslane, but it would likely cost taxpayers billions of pounds and take many years.”

    “HM Naval Base Clyde is the largest single employment site in Scotland, home to 6700 jobs and set to increase to 8200 jobs. The Scottish Government needs to be clear-sighted and honest about the risk to the local economy that their policy presents.”

    Jackie Baillie, Labour MSP for Dumbarton, said: “Once again we see the experts saying one thing, and Alex Salmond another.

    “Alex Salmond claimed that a separate Scotland would remove Trident within four years. This expert, impartial report shows he was wrong.

    “If we cannot trust what he says on this why should we believe him on currency or our place in the EU?

    “Employers at Faslane say that losing Trident would mean losing jobs, and we cannot trust anything the nationalists say about keeping jobs at Faslane when they can’t answer the basic questions.

    “Like everything else in his campaign to break up the United Kingdom, the details are based on guesswork.

    “Time is running out for the nationalists to be honest with the people of Scotland about what separation would mean for them. They should start by outlining their Plan B on currency.”

    SNP Westminster Leader and defence spokesperson Angus Robertson said: “This report puts to bed some of the ridiculous claims being put forward by the No campaign, including UK government ministers, on removing Trident from Scotland.

    “We are clear, however, that getting rid of Trident from Scotland by 2020 is a perfectly reasonable timescale — indeed, Westminster’s own Scottish Affairs Committee reported that Trident could be ‘removed within months’.

    “The new generation of Trident nuclear weapons to be dumped on the Clyde is to cost over £100bn, with annual spending rising to £4bn a year in the next decade.

    “That’s an obscene waste of money on obscene, unusable nuclear weapons which the vast majority of Scots do not want — when with a Yes vote Scotland’s share of this money could be used instead for childcare, nurses, teachers, schools and hospitals.

    “The UK Parliament’s Trident obsession highlights the democratic deficit that Scotland faces under Westminster control.

    “It is ludicrous that we are wasting billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on Trident — a Yes vote means it will instead be used to build a fairer society and stronger economy, with more opportunities for all.”

    stv.tv Scotland: -
    http://news.stv.tv/scotland-decides/news/288174-relocating-trident-not-impossible-says-rusi-military-think-tank/

  25. Damo says:

    I couldn’t care less what any of you in the rest of the UK think about independence. I’m making my decision for Scotland, if any of you are unhappy about the position that will leave you in then it’s up to you to change your government. I’m voting YES so I have a say in who runs my country, so my tax money doesn’t go toward the brutal slaughter of men, women and children in places we shouldn’t even be, so I’m not part of a country that indulges in illegal wars for money and oil and that funds both sides of struggles that have nothing to do with us. Stick yer party politics up yer arse, it’s not about Labour, Tories, the SNP or anyone else, it’s about Scotlands future and what WE want to make it.

  26. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    “THE INCLUSION OF TONY ABBOTT’S (AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER) COMMENTS ON SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE ARE THE ULTIMATE INSULT”

    Tony Abbott told the Times, while visiting London, those who would like to see the UK break up were “not the friends of justice… [or] freedom”, .

    He said the nations who would “cheer” the prospect were “not the countries whose company one would like to keep”

    ……….Absolutely typical propaganda from a liberal who lives virtually at the other side of our planet.

    Abbot is yet another arsehole who has been unleashing the same old welfare shit on the disabled, poor and unemployed in kangaroo and koala land, indeed his critics speak openly; especially about the budget in Australia…………………………..

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    “The budget attacks the old and the sick, at least those who are not so wealthy as to be able to fund every anticipated expense in retirement and ill-health. The budget attacks the disabled, it attacks women, it attacks the indigenous.

    The only things this budget does not attack is billionaires, mining companies and banks, as far as I can tell”.

    Tony and his crew would like to take us down the path towards the disaster that exists in the USA, where the poor are blamed for their poverty and a dignified minimum is viewed with fear and loathing as some form of socialism.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otsfhMFhi2s

    WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO AND UNDERSTAND WHAT A FIRST CLASS, ARSE LICKING TWAT, ABBOTT REALLY IS…………………….

    • GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

      “guess where TONY ABBOTT was born?

      LONDON, OF COURSE!

      WATCH THIS FOOTAGE OF A TRUE STATESMAN AND REALISE WHY HE HAD THE NERVE TO CRITICIZE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE………………

      ONE OF WESTMINSTER’S SPAWN……………………..

  27. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    …………….AND ANOTHER

    • GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

      “TWO OF THE BEST COMEDIANS EVER, THE FUNNIEST I HAVE SEEN FOR A LONG WHILE…………….

      NOT ABBOTT AND COSTELLO………….

      ABBOTT AND CAMERON………….

    • Stepping Razor says:

      Abbott intervention ‘bewildering’

      TheCourier.co.uk: – By Press Association – 16th Aug 2014

      An intervention by Australia’s prime minister in the Scottish referendum debate has been described as “bewildering” and “ludicrous”.

      Tony Abbott is the latest international politician to be asked for his views on the September 18 vote and said an independent Scotland would not be in the best interests of the international community.

      Mr Abbott spent two years at the University of Oxford and described himself as a “friend of Britain”.

      He told the Times: “What the Scots do is a matter for the Scots and not for a moment do I presume to tell Scottish voters which way they should vote.

      “But as a friend of Britain, as an observer from afar, it’s hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland.

      “I think that the people who would like to see the break-up of the United Kingdom are not the friends of justice, not the friends of freedom, and that the countries that would cheer at the prospect of the break-up with the United Kingdom are not the countries whose company one would like to keep.”

      Mr Abbott, elected Australia’s 28th prime minister last year, joins the likes of US president Barack Obama in commenting on the referendum. The American leader said his administration had a “deep interest” in ensuring the UK remained united.

      The Yes campaign believe Scotland would be strengthened by independence and Mr Abbott’s comments were described as a “gaffe” by a spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond.

      “Tony Abbott has a reputation for gaffes, but his bewildering comments have all the hallmarks of one of the Westminster Government’s international briefings against Scotland,” the spokesman said.

      “Seventy-one nations and territories were represented at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow but only Mr Abbott has put his foot in it. Many Australians, including the great number with close Scottish connections, will look on in bafflement at these remarks – Australia is a country that has gained its independence from Westminster and has never looked back.

      “Scotland’s referendum is a model of democracy, which has been cited as such internationally, including by the US Secretary of State. An independent Scotland will be a beacon for fairness, justice and co-operation in the international community – and a great friend of Australia.”

      Scottish Greens leader and independence campaigner Patrick Harvie said they have the support of the Australian Green party.

      He added: “In contrast, Tony Abbot’s ludicrous comments indicate that he thinks the Yes campaign are a collection of comic book super villains.

      “Australia has prospered as an independent country, able to make decisions for itself. I wonder how many Australians would like to see that reversed.

      “After a Yes vote Scotland will take our place as a valued and respected member of the international community, just as Australia and almost two hundred other independent states do already.”

      The Courier.co.uk: -
      http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/politics/abbott-intervention-bewildering-1.526032

      • Stepping Razor says:

        Scottish independence: Australian PM Tony Abbott’s comments ‘offensive’

        bbcnews.co.uk: – 16th Aug 2014

        Scotland’s first minister has said the Australian prime minister’s comments on Scottish independence were “foolish, hypocritical and offensive”.

        Alex Salmond was speaking after Tony Abbott told the Times it was “hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland”.

        Mr Abbott said those who would like to see the UK break up were “not the friends of justice… [or] freedom”.

        The first minister said this was offensive to the people of Scotland.

        Voters in Scotland will go to the polls on 18 September.

        They will be asked the “Yes/No” question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

        The Scottish government believes the 300-year-old Union is no longer fit for purpose, but the UK government opposes the move, saying Britain is one of the world’s most successful unions.

        ‘Most outspoken’

        Mr Abbott told the Times: “What the Scots do is a matter for the Scots and not for a moment do I presume to tell Scottish voters which way they should vote.

        “But as a friend of Britain, as an observer from afar, it’s hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland.

        “I think that the people who would like to see the break-up of the United Kingdom are not the friends of justice, the friends of freedom, and the countries that would cheer at the prospect… are not the countries whose company one would like to keep.”

        Mr Salmond told BBC Scotland: “Mr Abbott’s comments are hypocritical because independence does not seem to have done Australia any harm.

        “They are foolish, actually, because of the way he said it. To say the people of Scotland who supported independence weren’t friends of freedom or justice, I mean, the independence process is about freedom and justice.”

        The first minister said Scotland’s referendum on independence was a “model of democratic conduct” and Mr Abbott’s comments were “offensive to the Scottish people”.

        Mr Salmond said the Australian prime minister was “notoriously gaffe-prone” and he had “put his foot right in it” with his comments.

        He added: “If it does anything it will persuade people to vote Yes because the natural reaction to this sort of nonsense is ‘Who is Mr Abbott to lecture Scots on freedom and justice?’”

        Shadow international development secretary Jim Murphy played down Mr Abbott’s remarks.

        The Labour MP, who was campaigning for Better Together in Clydebank, told BBC Scotland that Australians were “famously outspoken and famously direct” but said “ultimately Scots will make their own decision”.

        Mr Murphy said Australian politicians liked to “shoot from the hip” and pointed out that other world leaders had also made their views known.

        US President Barack Obama and Chinese premier Li Keqiang have previously voiced support for the UK.

        Mr Obama said last month that the US had a “deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies we will ever have remains a strong, robust, united and effective partner”, while Mr Li said he wanted to see a “united United Kingdom” on a visit to Downing Street.

        BBC Scotland political correspondent Glenn Campbell said Mr Abbott’s comments were the most outspoken of any international leader on the forthcoming referendum.

        Mr Abbott also held talks with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on the subject of the Ukraine crisis and the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 during his visit earlier this week.

        bbcnews.co.uk: -
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28814936

  28. Stepping Razor says:

    Floundering DWP moves universal credit goalposts

    24dash.com: – Wednesday 13th August 2014 – 3:49pm

    The Department of Work and Pensions has moved the goalposts to make it appear that more people have signed up to its new universal credit (UC) system.

    Previously, a UC ‘starter’ was defined as someone who had completed the UC claim process, attended a UC interview with a personal adviser, and received a UC payment.

    However, the DWP has now removed the condition that an individual must have receieved a payment to be classified as a ‘starter’ and has added the condition that they must have signed a claimant commitment, instantly bumping up the number of people who appear to be integrated in the UC system.

    The DWP says that the move more closely reflects the number of individuals who have actually started UC.

    In its latest UC statistical release, the department writes: “The impact of these changes and moving to a new more robust data source is that more actual starts have now been captured although the effect on previously published caseload figures has been minimal.”

    The changes have only made a very slight difference to the figures, but could lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people who appear to be on UC in the coming months.

    The DWP’s latest figures, adjusted to fit the new criteria, show that only 8,500 people started on UC between April 2013 and May 2014, representing a slight increase on the 6,570 people listed under the old conditions.

    The latest data reveals that Oldham is currently the local authority area with the greatest UC caseload with 1,890.

    24dash.com: -
    http://www.24dash.com/news/universal_credit/2014-08-13-floundering-dwp-move-universal-credit-goalposts

  29. Stepping Razor says:

    Government’s silence over soaring use of sanctions

    By john pring

    DisabilityNewsService.com: – 15th Aug 2014

    Ministers have refused to say why the number of disabled people having benefits temporarily removed for breaching strict conditions has soared in the first three months of this year.

    The new figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that 2,882 decisions were made to sanction claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) in December 2013, rising to 3,750 in January 2014, them 4,698 in February and 7,507 in March, an increase of nearly 580 per cent since March 2013.

    The previous highest monthly total was in March 2010, just before the general election, when 3,673 ESA sanction decisions were made, and the lowest was just 138 in June 2011.

    Under current rules, claimants will lose at least a week’s benefit for missing a single appointment or session of work-related activity.

    Stef Benstead, lead researcher on the Beyond the Barriers report – which examined the failings of the ESA system and the Work Programme for disabled people, on behalf of the Spartacus campaign network – said the figures suggested that DWP was “inappropriately sanctioning loads of people”.

    She said: “We know from all the whistle-blowers that there is a culture in the jobcentres of trying to sanction as many people as you possibly can.”

    Benstead said evidence showed that sanctions were not an effective way to support people into work, and that removing people’s benefits was “entirely inappropriate for people who have quite a high level of illness or disability”.

    DWP has so far refused to say why it believes the number of ESA sanctions has risen so sharply.

    But a DWP spokesman insisted that sanctions were “nothing to do with controlling benefit spending” and were “only used as a last resort if people fail to take up the support which is on offer”.

    He said that sanctions were only used when someone in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of ESA “fails to take part in work-related activity or they don’t go to a meeting with their adviser, which are a condition of receiving their benefit”.

    He said the number of sanctions was “entirely dependent on how many people do or do not fulfil all their obligations”.

    The “vast majority” of ESA sanctions only last for a week, he said, while those who are sanctioned keep the additional WRAG component of £28.75, and can also apply for hardship payments.

    He added: “People who are in a job know that if they don’t play by the rules or fail to turn up in the morning, there might be consequences, so it’s only right that people on benefits should have similar responsibilities. However, sanctions are used as a last resort.”

    The DWP figures were released as the Liberal Democrat pensions minister Steve Webb said his party wanted to introduce a final warning for claimants who failed to stick to their out-of-work benefit conditions.

    He said the party’s general election manifesto would include a commitment to introduce a new “yellow card” system, with claimants given a reminder of their obligations and “clear information about the sanction process which would only be triggered in the event of a further misdemeanour”.

    Webb said: “It’s absolutely right that when we pay people benefits there are expectations of them and consequences if they don’t meet those expectations. But the process needs to be fair and clear.

    “There are too many examples of cases where people have been penalised unfairly.”

    Another new set of DWP figures shows that the number of people claiming out-of-work disability benefits – either ESA, old-style incapacity benefit (IB) or severe disablement allowance (SDA) – has now risen for the last two quarters.

    In February 2014, there were 2.459 million people claiming ESA, IB or SDA, compared with 2.456 million in November 2013 and 2.441 million in August 2013.

    Early estimates suggest that the number claiming ESA, IB or SDA has continued to rise through March, April, May and June 2014.

    The rise comes at a time when unemployment has fallen by 132,000 over the last three months, and the unemployment rate has dropped to 6.4 per cent, the lowest since late 2008.

    Benstead said the rising numbers of ESA/IB/SDA claimants could be caused by gradual improvements to the ESA system, following four annual, independent reviews of the eligibility test, the work capability assessment.

    But she said they could also be caused by huge backlogs in the ESA system, with 700,000 claimants stuck in the assessment phase of the benefit.

    Meanwhile, a new Scottish government report suggests that disabled people in Scotland are set to experience a “significant” and “disproportionate” loss of income as a result of the UK government’s welfare reforms.

    It claims that, of 190,000 existing working-age disability living allowance claimants in Scotland, around 105,000 will lose some or all of those benefits when reassessed for the new personal independence payment.

    Disability News Service.com: -
    http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/08/governments-silence-over-soaring-use-of-sanctions/

  30. Stepping Razor says:

    UK ‘is first country to face UN inquiry into disability rights violations’

    By john pring

    DisabilityNewsService.com: – 15th Aug 2014

    The UK government appears to have become the first country to face a high-level inquiry by a United Nations committee, as a result of “grave or systemic violations” of the rights of disabled people.

    The committee has the power to launch an inquiry if it receives “reliable information” that such violations have been committed by a country signed up to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and its optional protocol.

    These investigations are conducted “confidentially”, so the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) – which is carrying out the inquiry – has refused to confirm or deny that the UK is being investigated.

    But a recording has emerged [watch from one hour and four minutes] of a former CRPD member revealing that the inquiry has been launched.

    Professor Gabor Gombos, co-founder of Voice of Soul, Hungary’s first organisation for ex-users and survivors of mental health institutions, and co-chair of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, tells the audience on the recording that CRPD has “started its first inquiry procedure against the United Kingdom”.

    He tells the Sixth International Disability Law Summer School at the National University of Ireland in Galway in June that inquiries are only used where there are suspicions of “grave” violations of human rights in a country.

    He says: “Where the issue has been raised and the government did not really make effective actions to fix the situation… it is a very high threshold thing; the violations should really be grave and very systemic.”

    Only last month, a new report, Dignity and Opportunity for All: Securing the Rights of Disabled People in the Austerity Era, laid bare the coalition’s failure to meet its international human rights obligations under both UNCRPD and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

    That report – published by the Just Fair coalition, which includes Disabled People Against Cuts and Inclusion London – suggested that the UK had gone from being an international leader in disability rights to risking becoming a “systematic violator of these same rights”.

    Last week, Disability News Service (DNS) reported that CRPD appeared to have postponed its public examination of how the UK has been implementing the disability convention until after next year’s general election.

    Some activists were unhappy that the committee’s decision to postpone the examination would allow the UK government to avoid having to justify a clear regression in disability rights since the 2010 election.

    But it now appears that the committee may have taken this decision because it had launched the much more serious – and so far unprecedented – inquiry into the UK’s violation of disabled people’s rights.

    A DPAC spokeswoman said: “DPAC is not in a position to comment on the UN inquiry on the UK’s breaches of the UNCRPD, but we would share the view that there have been grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s rights especially, but not exclusively, articles 19 [on living independently and being included in the community] and 28 [on providing an adequate standard of living and social protection].”

    Jorge Araya, CRPD’s secretary, told DNS in a statement: “Inquiry proceedings regulated in article six and seven [which relate to the inquiry procedure] of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, are confidential.

    “So, for this very reason, stated in this treaty, I apologise but I cannot respond to your queries.”

    So far, the Conservative minister for disabled people, Mark Harper, has failed to comment on the CRPD inquiry.

    Disability News Service.com: -
    http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/08/uk-is-first-country-to-face-un-inquiry-into-disability-rights-violations/

  31. Stephen says:

    I have never voted for any government in the last 37 years yet I have voted at every election and local and European elections, so where do I run off too, independence for Devon?

  32. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    “WHAT A TOTAL CROCK OF SHIT FROM THE DEPARTMENT THAT JUST LOVES TO KILL PEOPLE”

    But a DWP spokesman insisted that sanctions were “nothing to do with controlling benefit spending” and were “only used as a last resort if people fail to take up the support which is on offer”.

    He said that sanctions were only used when someone in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of ESA “fails to take part in work-related activity or they don’t go to a meeting with their adviser, which are a condition of receiving their benefit”.

    ………………………………..Not happy to steal the benefits of the most vulnerable,Hitlers children want to kick the disabled into life threatening situations which could lead to further deaths amongst the disabled.

    The first paragraph is a complete oxymoron, it defies belief…………

    Mcvey, the daughter of satan, told parliament that 600,000 disabled would lose out on the welfare reforms, meaning that the whole concept of policy was to trim budget spending………

    All this shit about giving money to those who need it most is just a load of crap, they aren’t receiving any more, in fact they are receiving less!

    The UKis fast becoming the most corrupt nation in the world, the judiciary now the right arm of the politicians who seek only to bolster their ill gotten salaries.

    Where else in the world could armed police storm an underground train carriage and murder an innocent Brazilian electrician with no prosecutions?

    Where in the world are mortality statistics showing those who have died from welfare cuts, held from public scrutiny?

    Our government are nothing of the sort, they do not govern, preferring to rule by fear……..

    Since when has it been cricket, to withhold the very sustenance of life????

    Sanctions used as a last resort, bollocks!!!

    Imposing measures that take away ones basics is not the policy of a sane government, it is the act of a dictatorship……………..

    “do as i tell you or else”

    Talk about breaches of Human Rights, the commission could write a book on the breaches of the DWP……………………

    Human Rights gave everybody the right to a life, have the PCS renegotiated the rules to allow killing on our shores?

    Duncan Smiths office of state assisted suicide is now doctoring the universal credit fiasco to make it look as though everything is hunky dory……..
    How many people who have died would be still here if their benefits had not been stolen to fulfill the dreams of this narcissistic megalomaniac?

    “Smiths escapade is akin to refitting the titanic before it sank!”

    The bloke is an out of control, complete nutter, and everybody, including his own staff, realise this.

    THE SUCCESSION OF FAILED BOSSES ON THE PROJECT OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT TELL US ALL THAT THE SYSTEM IS DEAD IN THE WATER, I WISH SOMEONE ELSE WAS DEAD IN THE WATER……………………………