Phoenix Rising tells QMUL: release the PACE trial data
Mark Berry, Acting CEO of Phoenix Rising, presents the Board of Directors’ open letter to Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) urging them to release the PACE trial data, and hopes that other non-UK organisations will join British charities in the same request...
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UK Petition to publish death stats after benefits stopped

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by MeSci, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Just seen (and signed) this:

    https://www.change.org/p/hm-courts-...people-have-died-after-their-benefits-stopped

     
  2. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    MeSci likes this.
  3. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    Esther12, Countrygirl and Valentijn like this.
  4. SOC

    SOC

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    What kind of rationale (that any citizen would accept) could there be for preventing these figures from being made public? I don't see how any civilized human being could see this as a reasonable thing to do. Yeah, Ian Duncan Smith has an investment in this information not getting out or he wouldn't go to all this trouble, but how can the people who have to approve such a move consider it anything but a dangerous restriction of public knowledge? o_O
     
  5. SOC

    SOC

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    If anyone tries to give me one of those condescending, paternalistic "the public can't handle the truth without over-reacting so we have to protect you from yourselves" arguments, I'm going to :vomit:. :grumpy::cautious:
     
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  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    No-one's even trying that, AFAIK. I think the general perception is that it's been done out of fear of revealing exactly how many dying people they've hurt, or possibly how many deaths they've cause through stress (including suicides).

    It's unbelievable to me that this can be going on in a 'civilised' country.
     
  7. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    That article is dynamite. It would be great to have someone like Nick Cohen on our side.

    But I disagree that IDS is incompetent. As I think Cohen's article illustrates, and states, he is rather a habitual manipulator. I like the old saying that Cohen quotes (I hadn't heard it before): "A lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on."

    The last line of the article is powerful and true - and depressing with regard to the state of politics in so many countries:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2015
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  8. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    I was going to say that the point is more that he's both, but I'm not so sure that's true anymore. I still think that IDS is genuine in his ideas about welfare, that it can be used to change the behaviour of it's recipients. The problems come when the reality doesn't match up to the rhetoric, when you've got, for example, massive cues of sick and disabled people appealing ESA decisions over and over because they can't work and genuinely have nowhere to go. For a certain amount of time, so strong are IDS's beliefs that reality can't be allowed to get in the way of them - things look bad but they'll soon pick up because he believes they will. So comes the statistical manipulation, a kind of holding pattern that's pressed into service in the meantime until the world starts working to his ideological leanings.

    But it only lasts so long. What's been interesting as much as the vicious and failing projects has the been the massive retreats, under cover of extreme spin. Up until last summer, JSA sanctions were running at over three time as many as under Labour. When it started to get lots of unwelcome publicity, they halved in six months, the only example of such a massive month on month drop on record. In that time, ESA sanctions doubled - Peter was duly robbed to pay Paul. Presumably, the increasing fuss about how the mental ill are targeted on these sanctions will kick in over time and the pattern will change again.

    In terms of ESA, the sanctions and conditionality of the WRAG are the worst of things now - it's actually been easier to get on to ESA over the last couple of years than it ever was to get Incapacity Benefit, the tricky bit is in the keeping it. However, another smokescreen has been erected around this, the better to hide how incompetent the government's policy towards the disabled has been and how misguided their "scrounger" rhetoric was. PIP has been a similar disaster, another benefit set up primarily to cut the numbers which is collapsing under the strain and admitting more people than it's predecessor.
    Nick Cohen is a great columnist, but he takes a very establishment position on science matters. I strongly suspect that ME would be dismissed as quackery in his world without a second thought.
     
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  9. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Just received this update:
    https://www.change.org/p/hm-courts-...-died-after-their-benefits-stopped/u/11164878

    EDIT - there is a poll in the Mirror article - 97% currently voting for publication!
     
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  10. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    What a disgusting spectacle.
     
    MeSci likes this.
  11. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    Well, we'll always have Glenda (retired now alas):

     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
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  12. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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  13. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member

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  14. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Another update.

    24 Jun 2015 — Today Mr Iain Duncan Smith has been caught out being more than economical with the truth in his reply to Ms Abrahams
    http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/06/24/duncan-smith-chastised-over-benefit-deaths-lie/

    Today Prime Minister David Cameron insisted the data "will be published and is being prepared for publication as we speak". BUT .......
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/benefit-cuts-deaths-revealed-how-5939071

    From the latter article:
    Won't it be possible to calculate/estimate the actual death figure from the released figure and the usual age-specific death rate, which can probably be found somewhere (Office of National Statistics, perhaps)?
    Maybe this is a piece of clumsy journalism/misquoting, but if not, it would mean that the DWP were admitting that they were declaring seriously ill people fit for work!
     
  15. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Yes, basically.

    It makes sense to issue whole-population-age-adjusted figures because that that allows you to see if there's an excess in the group under consideration.

    But if they find an excess and say, 'well, they were more disabled and that's why they died' then yes, massive own-goal and freakish, really freakish stupidity.
     
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  16. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    The DWP admit nothing. Right up until their deaths, the former claimants were fit for work. The claimants have always been fit for work. Then they died. What possible connection could there be?

    In all seriousness, IDS is shameful. He's currently in Parliament attacking Labour's record on child poverty (one of the few things they got right, making massive cuts in the numbers) and accusing them of "hypocrisy" as he prepares to cut Tax Credit benefits at the same time as 'redefining' child poverty along the lines of his own prejudices.

    Although, in keeping with PR's new non-partisan political approach, I find it fair to point out that his predecessor at the DWP Yvette Cooper waived through the pilot stage of ESA, seemingly not noticing that acceptance rates had been halved from IB, rather than the modest reduction expected. The self-same Ms Cooper is currently dining out on her own tale of severe illness in the Labour leadership hustings:
    Ms Cooper's illness? ME! There's an interesting article from the time in The Independent, where she says, in her defence, that she never felt psychiatrically ill and feels strongly that she had a physical illness, but also that, because she recovered, she thinks most people can (also quoting some dodgy statistics which have since been refuted by the doctor she references, William Weir).

    People wishing for friends in high places should perhaps be careful for what they wish for!
     
  17. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    20 years ago Yvette Cooper would have been about 26 (born 1969). That means that she is likely to have been one of the post-EBV cases discussed in this thread, thus more likely to have a relatively-good recovery. OTOH she may have been misdiagnosed. As so many people are.
     
  18. Ian Duncan Smith...

     
  19. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    I HATE this insulting, patronising attitude that people who are not working all have to be HELPED back into work by incentivising them by impoverishing them; otherwise those who are able to work will just sit around helplessly waiting for someone to help them. So that they can't afford decent clothes to wear to interviews, can't afford transport to interviews (let alone to the job itself - in my area many employers require employees to have cars as there is so little public transport), can't afford proper food so that their health suffers further?

    Paying people a decent level of benefit is the way to help them back to work, not starving them into submission or treating them as though they are a different species.

    As for the disabled people who are able to do some work, they need flexibility from employers. Even those who have shown initiative and started small businesses will probably soon lose their support as they are not earning enough. In my case this would mean I can only get benefit if I earn enough not to need it! Weird kind of safety net...
     
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  20. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    Yeah, there's nothing that's made me more angry about the "Welfare Reform" agenda that this pernicious idea that IDS is doing all this because he refuses to give up on us. Interestingly, I heard much the same argument made by my GET. For god's sake, love us a bit less and we might just survive.
     

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