PMQs video: Dennis Skinner tears into the ‘heartless monster’ Atos – parliamentary oratory at its finest (Daily Telegraph)




By Will Heaven October 16th, 2013







‘When I interviewed the Bolsover MP for Sky News later, he wiped tears from his left eye as he told the harrowing story of his constituent’s crippling illnesses, which eventually cost him his life last week.’

Click here to watch: Interview with Dennis Skinner

NOW ALL PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE : ~ We need another 33,000 signatures by the 12th December 2013

Dennis Skinner, the Beast of Bolsover, was once haughtily dismissed by David Cameron as a “dinosaur” (the PM later apologised). Other MPs – particularly on the Tory backbenches – view him as little more than a pantomime Left-winger and a Scargillite relic.

But watch the video above, in which Mr Skinner tears into Atos (the French company that carries out work-capability tests on welfare claimants) over a particularly tragic case from his constituency.

Is that not, as James Kirkup says, a piece of first-class parliamentary oratory from the 81-year-old MP?

What a shame we don’t hear more of it in Parliament: there’s no better cure for political apathy.





63 thoughts on “PMQs video: Dennis Skinner tears into the ‘heartless monster’ Atos – parliamentary oratory at its finest (Daily Telegraph)

  1. Ian says:

    BUT HIS COMMENTS GOT BRUSHED ASIDE.Great and thanks Dennis but whats the point if you dont get an answer?

  2. Mary Jackson says:

    Good on you Dennis, and Labour have promised to sack ATOS if/when they win the next election

        1. jed goodright says:

          labour via Liam Byrne said that David Cameron should sack ATOS – Labour have never said they would sack ATOS and, indeed, are very happy to get into bed with them!

          1. Mary Jackson says:

            Ed Milliband has said on more then one occasion that Labour will sack ATOS, Do you not listen to what he says, Or are you a Tory,?

            1. jed goodright says:

              you prove me wrong I have googled this matter several times because I’m sick of hearing what Miliband has said about ATOS when his party provides opportunities for ATOS at Labour conferences – whilst he sees the ESA/WCA as a valuable tool!!!

              Typically, your partisanship rules your thought process – I am not a tory and don’t be so bloody crass!

  3. JEFFREY says:

    there are not a shortage of workers but a shortage of jobs
    due to tecnological advancement and cheap good from over seas.
    why keep on the ill must work there are no jobs for the well let alone the ill,this just a cull dressed up in a white coat.

    jeff lph .. aspergers and sick of being demonised ..

    1. Susan McCann says:

      Jeffrey, you are absolutely right about the shortage of jobs and right again about there not being enough jobs for those who are well, or who don’t face difficult barriers to working full-time. People with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism are still being left outside “in the cold” despite the legislation. Misunderstood by every service they come into contact with, except if you are lucky to come across an individual who has a genuine interest in you. Dennis Skinner is also right and puts the rest of the Labour party to shame. There are no loud voices for the vulnerable in our society except when they are criticising them, or punishing them for being less than able.

  4. Boadacia Iceni says:

    We all know there’s a purposeful annihilation program being run to deviate public attention from far more serious fiscal crimes, and only many more deaths will change the views of those sucking in the daily lying propaganda, and change the system.

      1. Boadacia Iceni says:

        That mail address bounces Ian. =>

        Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

        Technical details of permanent failure:
        Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain by [].

        The error that the other server returned was:
        550 #5.1.0 Address rejected.

            1. Ian says:

              no bo,dont have a clue about internet but very interested to follow your comments,could you log off and retry?

              1. Boadacia Iceni says:

                Just tried a second time Ian and it is your BT Internet settings that are rejecting my Gmail. Some servers have very tight spam controls and don’t recognise the difference. Have you thought about giving BT the elbow? mine might not be the only mail rejected? 🙂

                Here’s the second attempt report. => Technical details of permanent failure:
                Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain by [].

                The error that the other server returned was:
                550 #5.1.0 Address rejected.

              2. Ian says:

                bo can u give me your address and then delete it 4 privacy?

              3. Boadacia Iceni says:

                Just put after my first name Ian. But don’t tell anyone! If my server accepts it, it will then probably return to yours.

  5. David Calvert says:

    Typical Tories, taking coals to Newcastle again we don’t need ATOS to assess us persecute us and judge us on wether we can drag ourselves around the house. Our hardworking NHS Doctors, Nurses and GP’s are the best advocates of our health, just think of the money it would save!

  6. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    David Cameron has shares is ATOS !! He has a lot of money invested in shares in ATOS.

    The House Of Commons have a big behaviour problem – Unruley Posh Os.

  7. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    When the right to appeal is taken away, it then becomes a closed court in a closed state with no appeal system !!! Dictatorship !!

  8. kasbah says:

    I have sent an e-mail to Dennis Skinner thanking him. A great man. We need more politicians who are willing to stand up to “Flashman” Camoron, exposing the bitter truth about ATOS and WCA.

    By the way, Steppin Razor (great song), how did you learn that Camoron has shares in ATOS? I’m intrigued.

    1. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

      Only people that stay failing with failures don`t cut their losses & run. ATOS is so [too] important to cameron personally for cameron to condem ATOS & sack them as his sub contractor. It`s not that easy when one has a vested interest [shares] in a gagging order of failures with anyone that speaks out about the contradictory tory policy which is WCA. We [the disabled] are seen as customers to the WCA State [cash cows]. So the privatising of the disabled using the WCA as a tool to get there. What is worse is that the WCA are saying, not only are the disabled fit for work, but they also there is nothing wrong with them & they are not disabled. That is where the contradiction policy is at it`s best.

      Yes I Music – Watch My Side I`m Blatant Like A Stepping Razor !!

      1. kasbah says:

        Yeah, love that track!

        If Camoron has shares in ATOS, could we get him on conflict of interest? you are right -the system is devilishly rigged-you couldn’t think this evil up it is like “doublethink” in Orwell’s 1984. The Bio-Psycho-Social model of disability is not based on research There is a fab book about the erroneous myth of positive thinking as medicine, called “Smile or Die” (cracking title!) which blows the roof off crap ideas like it being wrong that disabled people are disabled, rather their thinking is faulty, so wheel out the CBT. .Like you say all this serves as a money making machine , with us, as it’s fodder. Having been sucked in chewed up and spat out by DWP and ATOS, (before winning 2 Tribunals)I now know to the marrow of my dodgy old bones that to Camoron and his cronies
        money really is King. More valuable than life itself. Shame on them.

  9. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    The best thing to do Cameron is to hide behind ATOS [being a French Company] & you are utside uk laws. So it`s ATOS`s french law to charge Cameron for fraud making fraudulent claims!!

  10. nick says:

    the only error of small detail is that Dennis should have used the words THOUSANDS OF DEATHS with much regret he didn’t so it come across as just one death in which had no impact on the prime minister and was brushed aside

    Had Dennis of course used THOUSANDS OF DEATHS the prime minister would have been stuck as both Dennis and i have many names that he could have read out over a 2 hour sitting

    1. AL says:

      Beware of divide and rule. Work capability assessment is not fit for purpose for anyone. It’s abusive, crude, expensive and does not tell an employer what a person is capable of and it doesn’t guide the person toward a suitable career. It is a waste of precious resourses which would be better spent on helping sick and disabled people into work. Assessment, re-training, confidence building, encouraging employers and support at work. Plenty of people would like a bit of help, training, the chance to have a life. Even if they can only manage part time. What ever the Govt say, that help does not exist. If there were experienced and capable people to give real hope to people with long term problems it would help not only with improving finances but with health too. I asked for help and they said you have to make a commitment. I said if I could make a commitment I could probably get a job. She said impatiently, ‘well do you want to work?’ The woman had no idea what it is like to live with a fluctuating health condition and did not want to know. They get paid on results so they won’t take people with problems, now that is crazy. If ATOS say we are fit then we should automatically qualify if we apply. Precious Govt money meant to help the likes of all of us is used only if they think it’s going to make financial sence. Who’s to say what a person could be capable of if given the right circumstances? Surely volunteering for the programme is a good start? Sadly I don’t think they care about people it is simply the bottom line. We already know similar companies have been accused of falsifying their results just to get paid. Money Money Money!

        1. AL says:

          Sorted, ha! One day at a time I’m afraid. Today someone unexpected gave me a boost, another day I might do the same. I do try to. I reckon we gotta look after one another. We can’t afford any of us to lose hope. United we stand even if we are a bit weedy and need a lie down.

          1. Ian says:

            You sound like a strong person,take any help you get,hopefully the person who gave you it gets rewarded in their own way?

      1. David Calvert says:

        Work capability assessment is not fit for purpose for anyone. I agree fully but if we want rid of the WCA we need debate and to educate the public, many people out there are suffering, and many people out there are misled by newspaper propaganda, which creates prejudice. The WCA fiasco has been going on for far to long and will continue until way after the next election. If we really want to change public perceptions we need to take a piecemeal approach and educate the public more about the way our specific health issues affect us, but please understand this is about people whose lives are affected by conditions that will never change and never heal, not about people who may be able to work if given medical appliances. For an a person on the autistic spectrum life is completely different, to put it in a nutshell your everyday person wouldn’t have a clue if they saw an intelligent man or woman have a complete meltdown due to sensory overload. And to put a fine point on this issue neither does ATOS, Cameron or IDS, cruel, very cruel. This is why we need greater public understanding, a little compassion goes a long way!

        1. AL says:

          Perhaps people with real problems could wear badges so the rest of society could understand. Those with say, Cancer, who could get better can just go fish huh? Or die, who knows? I’m sorry, I get that some people may just be what they are, some have no hope of recovery or a cure but the rest, while they wait, are suffering too. Some may wait a lifetime but they still hope to get better and find their place. Autism isn’t bad, just different. Some people with it find their place and acceptance. Do you want to be questioned about why you have failed to? If someone can’t work and needs help, then they need help. You can’t live on fresh air. This issue is not about good and bad, deserving and non-deserving, real problems and pretend ones, it’s about real people with all sorts of complex problems suffering. Please don’t try to say you are different from the rest. If you suffer when you are misunderstood and left with no help, then you are just like us. You are human, living in a society that fails to understand and meet your needs. If you insist on divide and rule we will all be weak. Others can argue that you have always had your condition so you are perhaps used to being you and understand your level of functioning, so ‘sort yourself out’. Will that help you? or will that just put you into overload? They will pick us off one by one if we don’t stand together. They will find where you are weak and shame you in to submission. Most people want to belong, to be useful, to have purpose and their own earned money to build the life they choose. People on benefits don’t chose to be sick and disabled because it’s not a full life. We end up excluded. I’ts not a choice. Forgive me if I have misunderstood but understanding specific problems is now not the point. ATOS employ Nurses who understand very little about the vast range of conditions they are faced with each day, the assessment is crazy. It doesn’t assess what a person can do in the real world of work. Govt is spending vast sums of money to rubberstamp people off benefit when they could spend it on helping people understand and manage conditions in the workplace. That was all I wanted and it wasn’t there. Now with the help of bullying by the DWP I have made myself sicker and less able to do anything. Society is being manipulated into seeing all who don’t work as lazy scroungers, envious of a life in bed or in front of the TV. If people are envious of that, then things must be pretty bad all over. And here I am envious of a life with purpose. I can’t have it because I can’t manage my condition and there is NO help.

          1. David Calvert says:

            This is the whole point; a lot of people out there have invisible but debilitating illness. We also have ATOS examiners who are convinced that they know if someone is feeling pain! The whole system is a sham. But when the media publishes lies about people being fit for work when clearly they are not it affects everybody with illness and disability. Perhaps if the negative effects of illness and disability where made clear by the media, instead of the glorification of those who struggle through, the public would adopt a different attitude towards illness and disability as a whole, and honest you wouldn’t need a badge. That is why the Autistic Spectrum is so typical of this, it’s invisible, so is Depression something that can arise for many reasons, but for many undiagnosed people on the Autistic Spectrum this can be a precursor to their eventual diagnosis and a serious health issue that is merely exacerbated by this current one size fits all government policy. This isn’t just about money, this is about being called a liar and scrounger after years of continual suffering. Cameron, IDS and their merry men seem to be under the impression that illness and disability is a nice holiday and one that is funded by Mr Taxpayer. Basic Social Security is a human right and should be there without question in times of need.

            1. AL says:

              Help in time of need was a right and a right people fought for and paid for. We are on the same page here. I like you have an invisible illness, and as yet no cure. It’s tough. Just dealing with my health, is tough. But it’s tough for people with visable problems too. We can’t judge each other, we just have to support each other. The govt seems to prefer spending on harrassing people rather than helping them. It cannot be value for money to make people sicker. They are hurting people and unbelievably the rest of society are saying quite right too, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are waving goodbye to their rights. I guess it’s easy when you think you will never get sick, or old, or have an accident, or loose your job, or die. We have to speak out an ask for change, It’s no longer possible to live on benefit and simply existing is not enough. I may not work but I still have worth and I bet we all have. I try to make a life around my condition and I do do what I can. I wish the world didn’t have to measure worth in terms of money. I meet such amazing people who make the world a better place who can’t work.

  11. AL says:

    So lets see where we are. Decent people having to appeal unfair decisions so they can have enough money to survive. Until we are either better or Dead. We have all done our Freedom of Information requests by now haven’t we?
    We have all found out that they help not al all because they withhold all the information pertaining to your appeal, haven’t we? And now we are are thinking, what a waste of the Hard Working Taxpayers money aren’t we?
    Worse, we all have snippets or more of somebody elses information tucked into our bundle of papers haven’t we?
    And likely we are now all wondering, what we are supposed to do about it? And Yuck! Has anyone got my stuff? Should we all get together and share? It could be like doing swapsies. I’ll give you your bit if you give me mine? I reckon we could trust each other.
    Have we all told the DWP yet? And Have they said, You better return it PDQ? It’s against the law for you to have it. Because they have no idea what info you have? Did they tell how they were going to sort out the mess? How they would take care and not hurt the individuals concerned? No? Was that a worry? Did we all say that the information was received and signed for and as such, it’s mine and my responsibility to do the right thing by it. Especially as the DWP with all their rules and regs didn’t? Did we all tell how the info is now subject to our rules and moral code? Did they get a bit cross and ask again, not being threatening at all, oh no! Did they say they would need to have an investigation? (Witch hunt to you and me.) Heads would roll? Did you we all think, Hey wait up, DWP lose info all the time, it’s endemic. It’s not individuals to blame, it’s the system. Do we want individuals to suffer and potentially lose their jobs to protect an institutionally abusive and broken system?
    And are we still hanging on to the papers because while we do no-one has the right to go through this innocent persons file? Or hopefully do much at all? And do we think if we give up the name, that file will be ransacked? A team will have to decide if there is a problem and then come up with a containment plan. Are we all worried that in all this, the rights, privacy and the feelings of the other person are of no importance? There is no policy to cover feelings. Do we wonder if the person finds out what we have, will it hurt them? Will they cope? Will we read in the paper they topped themselves out of sheer horror and fear? Or will they always wonder if the lying scumbag returned everything or did they just pretend to, to preserve their dignity or to blackmail them later? Do we wonder why the DWP would trust us on this matter, on somebody elses behalf, when they would never trust our word in the usual way? Are we all wondering what is the right thing to do?

  12. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    The appeal system is going to be scrapped very soon. No money is what they say !!! Or it is they are losing so many appeals that the figures need changing like no appeal system.

      1. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

        Totally scrapped. It is the only thing to do to keep the flag ship from sinking !!

  13. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    ATOS & DWP system in Welfare Reform has left it open to fraud. It is so easy to defraud the DWP & ATOS. Being a disabled person I have not had anything to do with ATOS. ATOS rang twice 6 months ago & I told them to *** off & put it in writing without mistakes. What a failure, they have now given up on me like they give up on most Disabled Cash Cows. I am still getting my full benefit SDA not DLA. My circumstances have not changed – Thalidomide [test test read up the history] If the DWP & ATOS want their £300,000 back from over 40 years, then they will have to prove I don`t have a disability – Thalidomide – To prove Thalidomide does not exsist !! Until then you can call me a benefit fraudster & I owe the DWP £300,000 !!! Ready & Willing ATOS & DWP failures.

    1. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

      See how easy it is to defraud the DWP if I was not disabled.
      Simple people with a simple policy that is flawed from start to finish !! Wake up the common sense or is there no common sense any more !!

  14. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    It seems I am the only one who has not filled out the ESA form & still getting my full benefit. Once something can be done without mistakes, then it might be or maybe fit for purpose.

  15. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Cameron wants all the disabled people to go away & die. Cameron has a personal hatred of the disabled, shown in his Welfare Contradictory Policy. Since cameron has just written off £120 M for another Welfare Reform failure. You too scared to get up to court for defrauding the DWP & ATOS. If you take me to court the Welfare Reform ends in Serious Failure to Human Rights & **** the welfare Reform. It`s just business nothing personal dictators.

    1. AL says:

      ATOS may be right, it’s government policy to have so many people fail their WCA. Where are the DM’s saying the assessments are not of good quality? They are not. They just fail the person and say ‘you need to appeal’. £80m wasted on appeals. If ATOS were in the wrong they should pay for them. Work it out. £110m contract to make assessments and then they need to return £80m because they failed to assess properly. Where is the govt in pursueing this gross waste of public money? Hoping we don’t notice because ATOS will prove them wrong if they try, is my bet. The govt is hoping to blame everyone but themselves. It won’t wash. They should sort this out. As they haven’t and can’t it should simply stop. The govt is abusing vulnerable people and hoping to shame them into keeping quiet. Shame on them using th old ABUSERS trick. Nobody should feel shame for being abused. No-one. And if the Govt keep doing it we need to shout ABUSER! SHAME ON YOU! And we need to do it DPQ No-one deserves to watch their loved one suffer and die accused of being underserving.

      1. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

        ATOS is a sub contractor hired by the DWP !! The sub contractors in any field are there to rip off their pay masters the DWP !!

        The DWP are not medically qualified to make judgements on people`s Health that is why they got in ATOS.

        All good & flowing in the contradictory Policy !! Keep it that way because it`s not Fit For Purpose !!

        1. AL says:

          I thought you got Subbies in for cheapness? Some underqualified bod who will do it for half the price of the professional except he might be rubbish and you have to get it done twice!

          1. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

            Sub Contractors want to do the same job at least 3 times to make it worth their while. Nothing new in that. ATOS are also liable because they have broken their contract with the DWP. The dwp says it`s ATOS`s fault round & round in contradictory Policy circles. Soon to see the DWP & ATOS in court or perhaps they are scared of the outcome. So take heed you ATOS DWP criminals there is no way out of your failures. It is not my fault I am a very bad cash cow, just common sense. I am still waiting ATOS for you to think I have signed up to agree to genocide by having anything to do with ATOS. By law you can not cut my benefit. If you spell it out to them you are deemed differcult & not an easy cash cow!!

  16. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Since books are on the internet we don`t need books & librarys !! That would solve the energy crisis with all them books to burn for fuel. Sounds familiar !! There will be no fuel crisis if we burn all the books to keep warm !! Cameron Rules !! Well we don`t need books they are all on the internet !!

    Cameron the selfish ego is failing you again !!

  17. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    I have been waiting over 6 months for the DWP to stop my benefit = No joy there.

    As soon as they cut my benefit I will be talking to the DWP`s Data Protection Officer [DPO] & saying `You have false info on me, if you do not correct it you the DPO are breaking your own laws as a DPO. Until you remove the false info you are liable to be charged for a criminal offence. So DPO sort it out now & put the benefit back hows it was because my circumstances have not changed. My circumstances have only changed because of false information that has no proof. The onus is on the burden of proof. Whilst taking down the DPO`s name to report his failures. You see how fast the DWP work now playing god with people`s lives. I am not playing at the DWPs DPO`s job he will get sacked.

  18. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Perhaps the DWP need to look closer at benefit & ID fraud within the DWP & leave the disabled out of it. There is so much fraud within the DWP that it needs to be looked at rater than cutting peoples benefit because they are not disabled & fit for Work – So shouldn`t the DWP be chasing up these so called non disabled people for benefit fraud. Yes it`s left open to then run a Benefit ID fraud by the DWP.

  19. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    So much Human Rights work to do after cameron has lost the election. But wait Cameron has to be a witness in the phone hacking case with his Sunday dinner people. Cameron will be charged for preverting the course of Justice. It get worse – Then charged with many charges under the human rights banner Europe or otherwise. So while I`m at that stage cameron can work really really hard in the cover ups in killing off the disabled as a vote winner. Cameron`s world of untouchable fraud !!

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