Joint Statement on campaigning against the DWP/AtoS WCA by Black Triangle and DPAC

We do not believe that any individual or group who claims to represent the disabled people’s protest movement should engage with DWP/Atos/Capita without insisting upon an end to the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) with immediate effect as a prerequisite to any discussion.

We regard any such engagement with DWP/Atos /Capita without this insistence on the above as a prerequisite to be nothing less than collusion in policies and systems that have been irrefutably shown to be harmful and, in many cases, lethal to the sick and/or disabled person being ‘assessed’.

The WCA has no empirical, scientific medical evidence-base and the process has never been risk assessed.

There remains no feedback or reporting mechanism.

The discharge of both a statutory and ethical duty of care – owed by professionals, citizens and public authorities – to others in a vulnerable situation depends upon the existence of a reporting mechanism whereby any potential or actual risk to the life and well-being of a patient or to those around them may be reported and adequately addressed.

 This is precisely why the entire British medical profession has demanded that WCA end ‘with immediate effect to be replaced by a rigorous and safe system whereby avoidable harm’ may be prevented.

 That the General Medical Council (GMC) continues to accredit Atos assessment centres with ‘approved medical environment’ status is an utter disgrace.

 The Work Capability Assessment has caused death, suicide, homelessness, and left people without income dependent on family and friends. The WCA also causes an increase in mental health issues and a worsening of impairments. The latest figures show 73 deaths and suicides per week amongst those subject to this brutal process.

 The WCA is based on the discredited UNUM manufactured bio-psychosocial model. The   Centre for Psychosocial & Disability Research at Cardiff University literature has provided the academic foundation for the increasingly notorious WCA administered by Atos Healthcare in the UK, and without it is unlikely that the WCA would exist in its present form. The volume of incriminating evidence against the WCA has grown phenomenally, as people with serious, incapacitating illnesses continue to be found ‘fit for work’.

 When Freud set out his vision of welfare reform for disabled people he used a number of references to back up the plans for reforms.  No less than 170 of these references came from a group of academics based at or connected to the Cardiff University Department:. This centre originally led by ex Chief medical Officer at the Department for Work and Pensions Sir Mansel Alyward was funded by Unum to the tune of 1.6 million pounds from 2004 to 2009 to add academic credibility to the bio-psychosocial model: a model used by Atos to identify that if someone can press a button they are ‘fit for work’ and ineligible for any disability support.

 The connection between the WCA and the Cardiff Centre are only too obvious. The latter seeks to locate the source of incapacity in the individual’s psyche/attitude, promoting a form of ‘positive thinking’ as being curative, while the WCA claims to focus on what sick/disabled people can do as an argument that they have even the merest work capacity. But there is a more important connection. The Centre’s funder, Unum Insurance, employed tactics of ‘disability denial’ in the U.S. to avoid paying out on legitimate health claims. And since founding the CPDR Unum have sought to promote their ‘Income Protection’ product, marketing it upon the fact that the British public can no longer rely upon the state to support them if they become sick or disabled. Are we really to believe this is a coincidence?

 For more see:

 DPAC and BT want to state categorically:

 1. We reject all ideas that ‘tinkering’ with WCA descriptors will serve any positive purpose. We call for the complete removal of the WCA with immediate effect and we have remained unwavering and constant on that position.

 2. We reject the bio-psychosocial model as having any purpose but to cut state support and replace it with private insurance and other company profits.

 3.We work from the social model philosophy and this means a pan impairment approach with no hierarchy of ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ groups or individuals; this is in complete contrast to this government, or any set of groups intent on taking us back to medical model terminologies or helpless victim approaches

 4. We will work with any group who we believe genuinely opposes the government’s attacks on disabled people. However we are seriously concerned with those organisations who believe that they can work with the government to lessen the effects of these attacks. We believe that there is no alternative to outright opposition to the government if we are to stop the impoverishment and destruction of the lives of millions of disabled people in the UK. We are particularly disturbed that some of the large disability charities seem willing to work with the government effectively giving cover to their attacks on disabled people. We call on all disability charities and other groups to immediately withdraw from any work that lends credibility to the government’s so called welfare reforms.

 5. We do not support in any shape or form what this government is doing to disabled people: we classify disabled people as those who have to endure the negative attitudes of others, and those disabled by the ways this so called society treats us as less deserving than non-disabled people. We support all people going through the WCA, going through the forthcoming DLA to PIP transition, losing ILF, being rejected for support by their local authorities-we will not identify false divisions of deserving and undeserving individuals within this Tory cuts agenda.

Black Triangle Campaign and our sister organisation Disabled People Against Cuts 

October 30th 2012


25 thoughts on “Joint Statement on campaigning against the DWP/AtoS WCA by Black Triangle and DPAC

  1. jed goodright says:

    As somebody who is disabled, has trained and worked in disability and equality issues and gained professional qualifications therein, has worked and trained professionally in a variety of social care positions and in health care, has managed resources and staff over numerous years with large budgets and thoroughly despises what is happening in the UK concerning disabled people – I wholehreartedly support the above statement.

    I actually wish I could do more but am concerned about my wellbeing and the stress such moves would inevitably make. I am thoroughly aquainted with the Direct Action Network and worked with many of the good folk in that organisation. I see what is happening today as a return to those days in the late 80’s early 90’s. If anyone wants to contact me please do so but via these pages in the first instance. I cannot, however, guarantee, the extent of my input.

  2. Lying Cow says:

    as someone who is fighting an appeal against a DLA decision, I wholeheartedly support this cause

  3. SHARON says:

    you have totally got my support, but what I would like to ask is the government is stopping child benefit for anyone earning over £60,000 yet I have just read that this is illegal under the Europe rulings as discrimative to the well paid. So why the hell is it NOT illegal to make disabled people go through hell and back to keep there DLA when most have already been assessed in the past to qualify. CAN ANYONE ANSWER THIS PLEASE

  4. Richard Sullivan says:

    Thank you for stating the truth so fully, powerfully and eloquently. I am 100% in support of this statement and your continued efforts.

  5. Ato⚡⚡ are murderers says:

    Unum is in the bizne⚡⚡ of disability denial and enabling Ato⚡⚡ in that endeavour as it continues to be the greatest wholesale miracle cure in history and barely recognses the concept of ilness.
    So…how come it advertises its fraudulent income protection plan on primetime t.v?
    And the rarely pay out anyway.
    The devil is aways in the detail, and these bastards are murderous devils: of that there can no longer be any doubt, as the death toll inexorably rises as a direct result of their govt. sponsored activities.
    Profiting from misery and death. Scum.

  6. Linda Nightingale says:

    Well said! I’ve thought for a long time they have been trying to privatize our welfare state. All those people who support the governments attack on benefits for the sick and disabled, won’t like it when THEY have to pay out for insurance against becoming sick.

  7. Julie Carwardine says:

    I fully support this statement. I tried to take my own life, which I now regret, when after winning my appeal for ESA, I was again put in the working group, although I had contested this and they took it off me just two weeks later. This was due to the government guidelines on being in WRAG and length of claim time. I appealed against the decision and lost at the tribunal. I am currently battling for DLA and its taking its toll on me.

  8. Allen Vincent says:

    A very deep and profound yet true statement of which I also fully support. This is how the unregulated 52 Billion pounds worth of Charities in England should be helping to protect and support us.

    I’ve already given a statement to Folkestone Magistrate Court that I am prepared to die to expose what is unlawfully happening to my 75yo Mum and I. This will indirectly highlight the same fights of DPAC & Black Triangle. I have been arrested and tortured by Canterbury Police on behalf of Dover Kent Police 4 times since May 11th 2012. Whatever comes out it is because of my RNID recorded verbatim system for deaf people called talkbytext home edition of which is being closed down (very suspiciously next year March 2013) I believe logically that the Government have given RNID now Action on Hearing lose (stupid name) extra funding to remove the excellent talkbytext home edition system that turns a computer into a minicom and actually shows the true unlawful face of many big named charities, regulators and public authorities under the Equality Act 2010 and a lot of what is happening to my Mum and I is related to me apparantly being the first vulnerable disabled adult to make a County Court Claim (N1) via corrupt Sheffield County Court under the Equality Act 2010 “unassisted” using my recorded verbatim system that prints out actual calls (Imagine MSN) case 1SE06800 officially they say the claim never past issue stage but in actual fact it was unlawfully struck out without any adequate reasonable adjustments being made and extreme breaches of the Equality Act 2010, Public Sector Equality Duty, EC Human & Disability Rights so what is happening to the majority of us is very deep, how does one beat the stubborn wall of ignorance and indignation?
    Stay in the fight as much as possible people, if we’re going to suffer and potentially die then may as well go down fighting.

  9. Findlow says:

    That’s a brilliant statement, DPAC and Black Triangle, which deserves a wider audience – if only the public understood about the immoral and corrupt tangle of DWP/ATOS/UNUM, if only it was all over the mainstream news….but these are such enormously powerful companies it seems they can do what they want, and have so far been successful in their use of ruthless propaganda against claimants. Channel 4 News have tried hard to lay into the ridiculous and cruel farce of the Work Pogrom, sorry, Programme…. is there any chance they would take this up?
    Meanwhile, more scary stuff about ATOS:

    Thank you, as ever, for your tireless and intelligent campaigning.

  10. Paul Smith says:

    I support this statement 100%
    I too am annoyed at the individuals and organisations that are getting cosy with the bloody enemy.

    Paul Smith – Founder – Atos Victims Group

  11. Dissabled dave says:

    I hope you have someone fit enough to e-mail the statement to all newspapers, television, radio, charities, and unions. If only I was fitter I would offer to this, but unfortunately, more than a few minutes on my computer sees my arms going totally numb, and then I have to rest them for several hours.

  12. David Gillon says:

    (2nd try, either my 1st response was lost, or it’s stuck in moderation hell)

    Stop and think for a moment what this statement actually commits DPAC and Black Triangle to. It commits them to never negotiating with the government, ATOS or Capita, because they will never accept preconditions. Or, in other words, it commits them to losing, to betraying the disabled people who desperately need us to win, not create an excuse for our defeat.

    Worse, it threatens other DPOs who may be making some progress, for having the temerity not to impose preconditions. Do we really want to see DPAC and Black Triangle condemning Sue Marsh and Kaliya Franklin, our two most powerful voices in this struggle, because they dared to meet with Esther McVey, Lord Freud and IDS at the Tory Conference, to publically talk to them about how Tory policy is failing disabled people? If so, count me out.

    DWP and ATOS must be killing themselves laughing.

    My more detailed response to this ‘statement’ can be found at:

  13. Nicola Jones says:

    Great statement a s one I also support 100%. Thank you for all your hard work on our behalf.

Leave a Reply