Four year demo anniversary, man sanctioned for 96 days, food parcels handed out. 

Charlotte, and her hardy group, have been protesting every single week, for the last Four Years, outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcenter!
I wish someone in authority could explain to me how they think it right – or even okay – to take away the very little, allowed by Law, for a person to live on, in order to punish that person for not trying harder to find a non-existing job?
They call it Sanctions, but I call it abominable!

The poor side of life

Today was the day of our yearly anniversary and we had decided on a theme… Prisoners of the DWP. Claimants are treated by the DWP like criminals and every aspect of their life is effectively controlled by them. If you don’t believe me just ask someone who is a victim of this regime. It’s cruel and horrible and has the ability to destroy a persons life at the push of a button. Hence our demo theme.
I arrived slightly early awaiting the delivery of the pasting table that we were using today, the big flask donated by Ray Woolford when he visited, and also tea, coffee etc.

I arrived early, I was expecting Roy early, but I wasn’t expecting anyone else to be but they proved me wrong, everyone was either early or on time which was amazing. Thank you folks it is appreciated it really is, you guys are…

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September 8, 2017 · 9:05 pm

DWP Loses Fight To Stop Claimants Appealing, But Tries To Cover Up Possible Differences Between Atos and Capita PIP Assessments . . .

I belong to an online group, called Benefits and Work, and they have been an amazingly accurate way for me to find out exactly what my rights are as a disabled person.

I get emails from them regularly, mostly when they get updates in the Law, and especially when it concerns the DWP. So their latest email gave me this following news, which made me feel so angered at the sheer waste of money being allowed to continue, while the same people accuse anyone claiming any sort of benefit as losers, users, and any other pejorative phrases they can think up – and all of this, in the so-called pursuit of saving money – by spending far too many pounds, in saving mere pennies!

The way in that the DWP are spending our Tax money, especially as it involves blocking as many vulnerable people as possible from claiming the benefits they are entitled to, is a crime, and it’s about time some Body took them to court over the disasterous actions the DWP have taken, and continue to tak, despite being shown, continuously, all the proof against their austerity-driven actions.

Here’s what they have to say about it all, with a link, immediately below, straight to their Latest News page:

DWP Loses Fight To Stop Claimants Appealing But Tries To Cover Up Possible Differences Between Atos and Capita PIP Assessments

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Dear Reader,

Welcome back to the first newsletter following our summer break.

We hope you had a peaceful, if possibly rather damp, summer.

Sadly, it’s clear that peace is the last thing that the DWP has in mind. More so now than ever before, the DWP is determined to fight every attempt to challenge its decisions or to get it to disclose information.

It is an agency remorselessly at war with the people it is supposed to support.

So, in this update, we have news of the fight the DWP have put up to prevent claimants who are late asking for a mandatory reconsideration from getting to an appeal.

Entirely unlawfully, the DWP has been blocking people from appealing if they miss the one month deadline for asking for a mandatory reconsideration. In truth, the deadline can be extended by a further year where the claimant has good cause for being late. But the DWP had decided that it was up to them to be the judge of whether the claimant had a good reason for missing the deadline and that tribunals shouldn’t be allowed any say in whether they could hear the case.

Happily, a panel of three upper tribunal judges have now said that the DWP must stop preventing claimants from exercising their lawful right to appeal. The case involved ESA, but will apply to all other benefits too.

The Independent, meanwhile, has managed to get the DWP to hand over details of how much they have spent on trying to stop people getting ESA. And, in particular, on fighting appeals against sanctions of sick and disabled claimants ESA.

The cost to the taxpayer has been a staggering £39 million. And that’s just the DWP’s costs. It doesn’t include to cost of the tribunals themselves.

The fact that the DWP has been losing over two thirds of these cases doesn’t discourage them in the slightest.

Far from it. According to the Independent, spending on ESA appeals has increased by 77% in 2017.

We also have news of the DWP refusing to accept the ruling of the Information Commissioner that they must publish a report that shows how well Maximus, and Atos before them, carry out work capability assessments.

The reason the DWP have given for the refusal?

Publication of the report could‘give a perception of under-performance’ which could ‘damage the reputation and standing of the companies involved’.

In other words, they don’t want anyone to know how bad things are, so they are trying to use commercial confidentiality as a reason for withholding the truth.

The matter will now be decided by an information tribunal.

Then there’s the fight that Benefits and Work is having with the DWP, which is currently on its way to the Information Commissioner.

We’ve asked to see guidance and training materials used by Atos in relation to PIP assessments.

One of the things we want to discover is whether Atos and Capita are following the same procedures or whether the outcome of your assessment depends in part on what area of the country you are living in.

The DWP are fighting to withhold the documents, however.

Their reason?

You’ve probably guessed it: the information is, in some unexplained way, commercially confidential.

The matter is now going to the Information Commissioner and then, quite possibly, to an information tribunal.

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Well, as you can see, the DWP really don’t care in the least just how much Taxpayer’s money they squander – just as long as they can continue getting their own way, and causing the maximum hell to every single person who has to deal with them 😦

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Shocking, graphic illustration shows depth of Tory police cuts

Yet another way the Tories are making life so much less safe than before they conned their way into power!


When the government broke its own rules to put troops on British streets in the aftermath of the terror attacks to fill gaps in police cover, the SKWAWKBOX exclusively revealed that Theresa May had authorised the deployment of troops before the official start of Operation Temperer – and that she and her Home Secretary Amber Rudd had stripped a UK anti-extremism unit bare in order to release resources for Brexit.

Theresa May put us all at risk in her pursuit of the Tories ideological and counterproductive agenda.

In 2010,  England and Wales had 143,737 police officers. According to the Home Office ‘Police Workforce Data’ published in July, we now have 123,142.

Che Donald, the national lead on firearms, tasers and police mental health for the Police Federation of England and Wales, looked at these numbers and translated them into a shocking graphic:

dfmw5fxvwaaoptnThe loss in police numbers…

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Sanctioned for not being able to sign on on bank holiday Monday. Tears, frustration and rain.

Charlotte and her wonderful team continue to perform small miracles, and help all those new people who have been sent to Ashton Under Lyne, after their own jobcenter closed!
I don’t know how they have managed to keep doing this every week, but next week is their fourth year of standing up to fight against the intolerance of the jobcenter – well done to you all 🙂

The poor side of life

Today’s demo started rather hurriedly and to be honest I didn’t know if I was coming or going. This feeling was amplified because it was cold, rainy and my daughter was a bit fed up. understandable of course. But she soon settled down into our usual routine and all was well.


We are seeing a lot of new faces due to Stalybridge Jobcentre shutting. They don’t know us and what we are doing, and we don’t know them or their situations either. So we have to start from scratch, which at times isn’t easy.  But it’s a whole lot harder for them.

I started a conversation with a man who had been previously attending Stalybridge Jobcentre for his appointments. The first thing that he said to me was that he couldn’t believe how rude the front desk staff are at  Ashton Jobcentre, and how rude some of the advisors are also…

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New Tory youth movement ‘Activate’ deletes webpage after ridicule

So this is the face of Tory Youth . . . . . if so, I’ve definitely gone back to mine! Lol

Pride's Purge

Oh dear.

The Tories have launched a new organisation called ‘Activate‘ in a vain attempt to capture the youth vote.

The organisation is supposed to be run by and for young people.

But if that’s true, why does the Activate website keep referring to young people as ‘them’ and ‘their’:

Could it be because Activate is actually being run by a bunch of old farts from Central Office?

Or is it because the organisation’s Chair is middle-aged Tory councillor Gary Markwell – who is also Tory MP Nick Herbert’s campaign manager, someone not particularly known for his youth-orientated views?

And why – within hours of the launch – did the Tories delete the page from the new Activate website which showed the names and faces of its leadership?

Mind you, to be fair, I wouldn’t want everyone to know I was involved in such an embarrassing project…

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Type 1 diabetic left without food and income. New people requesting food parcels. The struggle continues.

Once again, this wonderful lady, Charlotte, has been doing everything she can to help those who have to visit the Jobcenter in Ashton Under Lyne, but now she, and her trusty band of Demonstrators, are having to help even more people, as the jobcenter at Stalybridge, around 2 miles away from the Ashton jobcenter, has been closed, and all those forced to sign on, must now try and either find the money to travel to the Ashton center or, if they don’t have the money, walk there – and considering so many people who should have been having disability benefits, have been refused them, and are then forced to sign on instead, there’s every likelihood that there will be a few who will be having sanctions very soon, because of this situation!

I hope Charlotte and her team can keep on going, especially as they have now reached their fourth year of demonstrating outside the Ashton jobcenter – and if anyone can either help financially, so that more leaflets to help the unemployed and ill, to claim what they should rightly have, can be printed, or maybe can help with more food parcels, which are gone the minute they arrive or, if not that, then maybe with standing together with Charlotte and her team, I’m sure they will have a very warm welcome 🙂

The poor side of life

My daughter and I arrived at our weekly demo a few minutes early, it’s always good to get everything set up first so that we aren’t too rushed. Unfortunately my plan was thwarted, because I was busy from the minute that I arrived. It’s like this most weeks sadly.

I’m sure that some people might think that we really aren’t that busy and it’s quiteeasy going. They have the misconception that we just stand around protesting and handing a few leaflets out. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone thathas attended our weekly demos can attest that we are busy, that we don’t just stand there and we doa lot of work on foot. This is also hampered by the fact that we are outside, in a public space which iswhere we are supposed to be, but it isn’t easy to give advice on a busy street and at…

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There’s nothing on my Crochet page . . .

 . . . because it’s been almost eight months since I last held a crochet hook – and it was only a few days ago that I picked one up again.

It was then, that I realised just how badly I’d been depressed since I’d had to fill in the forms that would begin the changeover of my DLA to PIP, which came on 24th December, 2016 (and wan’t finished with, until April, 2017) – right at the same time that my Mum was rushed into hospital, seriously ill (she died on 1st January, 2017).

I realised, after I decided to finish some of the projects that I’d abandoned at the time this all happened and, as I slowly began to make a start on them all, that the actual act of crocheting was, in some way, and despite the pain it caused me, making my depression lift a bit and so, although it’s going to take me some time to finish all I need to, as my hands have got a lot worse since I stopped crocheting, it will at least bring me back onto my journey to a better mental health 🙂

So it might take me a while to get back into the swing of things again but, as I told my sister Lynn, yesterday: ‘At least I’ve got my Crojo back again!’ 🙂


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