Wednesday, 9 November 2016

DWP - Liar, Liar

Given the slogan of the DWP now appears to be a variant of “Arbiet Mach Frei” and its sickness benefit regulatory system has been condemned by a UN raporteur (Nov 2016) as being a manifest breach of the sick and disabled of the UK’s human rights I wish to appeal the arbitrary decision of the discredited US Company, currently contracted to carry out these assessments by the DWP, whose contract is in the process of being terminated. I note the DWP claims on the subject of the accuracy of its assessment process and its misuse of NAO statistics to cover up its clear failings. This misuse of national statistics has been condemned by the Welfare Committee of the House of Parliament and the subject of protest by the NAO itself.  It appears the manipulation of facts is the norm at the DWP which raises the question, “Why should anyone trust a word the DWP says?”. As your political bosses are proven liars and have been called out for their lies by the UK Parliament, just where does this leave public confidence in the rest of DWP decision making process at all levels?

UK Mental Health Charities have raised issues as to the nature of the ipsative psychometric model used in the DWP ‘health’ assessment on the grounds it makes no allowances for mental health issues or their impact on the client.  Having held a licence to use psychometric testing I am fully aware that any single ipsative test is only, at best, 60% indicative (not ‘accurate’ in any shape or form). To achieve this level of indicitiveness requires the company who created the test to make monthly corrections and reviews based on feedback from the program's users and the collection of data from the program. The level of successful appeals indicates the ipsative test used by the DWP, in this matter, is well under 40% indicative for each applicant and the results are by and large meaningless, even more so for those with mental health conditions. This assertion by me is clearly backed by the DWP's own figures regarding the successful appeals percentage against these decisions.

The attempt to redress this by use of a different sub-contractor by means of a formal interview as a medical ‘report’ also clearly fails the requirement of an ipsative test to be fully discussed with the client in a face to face meeting, according to psychometric standard practice. A phone call does not equate nor does it meet this basic requirement when using any psychometric test in any shape or form.

I further note that to date the DWP’s own figures now indicate a total nearing 23,000 UK citizens have died as a direct impact of being sanctioned since this regulatory regime’s inception. My training as a Combat Triage Officer would indicate this means there will be at least 46,000 other UK citizens whose health or state of mind will have been further damaged since the inception of Ian Duncan-Smith’s re-run of the National Socialist Party’s 1934 Nuremburg Law clause regarding the sick and disabled.

Between the National Socialists program commencing in 1937 and its full operation in early 1939 some 7,000 sick and disabled died as a result of government sanction, by 1945 that number was 270,000. It would appear Mr Duncan Smith’s adaption has been far more effective in ridding the UK of the incapable and the useless, in the DWP’s eye, over its initial period.

My point is; even though the 1934 Nuremburg Laws were legal in the eyes of the German State they were a direct abuse of the people’s human rights by the taking of innocent lives for political purposes, as established by the International War Crimes Court at Nuremburg in 1948. Subsequently in trials of officials, Doctors, nurses and others involved in carrying out the Nuremburg Law selection and sanctioning of the sick and disabled in all three post war occupation zones, the defence of ‘I was just doing my job’ was deemed to be no defence in matters involving the sanctioning and the deaths of innocent people. Many involved in the process of sanctioning faced long jail terms, those at the centre of the process faced the noose, as history recounts.

We live in more enlightened times but at some point the dam will burst, the law will seek justice for those whom have been abused and pushed to their deaths by sanctioning under the current DWP regime and as it will be a human rights issue there will be no scope for a ‘jobsworth’ defence as the damage being done to and its impact on ordinary UK citizen’s by the DWP is being carefully recorded by the NHS and health charities. I note the courts both in Scotland and England have consistently found for the plaintive against the DWP in their rulings. This indicates, to me, the court’s judgements also cast doubt the legitimacy of the current DWP regime and the regulations which underpin it in the eyes of both English and Scots Law.

The basis of my appeal is this;

  • The DWP regulations and sanctions your are seeking apply to me are unjust and contrary to my human rights, enshrined in the UN Charter of Human Rights to which the UK Parliament is signatory, they may be ‘legal’ in the eyes of a Tory Government but are in reality illegitimate in all and every sense of the word and no better than the 1934 Nuremberg Laws regarding the sick and disabled which proceeded Mr Duncan-Smith’s political brain wave to institute a similar system, with the same impact (death amongst those sanctioned), laws which history has utterly and totally condemned.
  • The DWP use of ipsative testing as a means of decision making are seriously flawed (less than 40% indicative) and are being operated contrary to industry standard practice as the client is not informed of the indicative accuracy of the test before commencing nor is the client given a face to face opportunity to discuss the results 
  •  The ipsative test makes no allowance for the impact of mental illness
  • The medical assessment is purely looking at simplistic physical norms and not the actual impacts nor the impact of mental health conditions
  • The report is in error as what I actually stated is that I wake up most mornings with the wish to self harm, most days I use my cognitive tricks to get over it or wait for my medication to cut in but on others, especially during a depressive swing, I simply bury my head under the duvet. The other aspect is that during a depressive swing my temper is very short and I can be very rude and abrupt with people which is another reason I isolate myself during depressive swings as I dislike the person I become. It is this abruptness and rudeness as an impact of my mental health issue which has, more than anything, cost me my marriage of 30 years
  • As I have appealed, until any Tribunal decision, my benefit is protected under law and due to its inappropriate removal I will seek fiscal reparations on its re-instatement

It is on these grounds I assert there is no objective evidence nor medical evidence to give any credence to the medical assessment process currently used by the DWP and its ‘result’ nor has my condition changed substantively for the better since the previous overturning of the DWP decision by tribunal, given I am aging and have declined further.  I consider this a scam based on the need to achieve DWP head office sanctioning targets and does not reflect the actual state or needs of the clients.

Yours faithfully,

Friday, 4 November 2016

Constitutional hugger-muggery ...

According to the legal decision of three English Law Judges, the purely English Law concept of the 'Crown in Parliament' (aka 'the Royal Prerogative') can not be used the UK Government executive (Prime Minister and Cabinet) to rail road through their non existent plans for Brexit by unilaterally triggering Article 50, with out first consulting the MPs and Lords in the UK Parliament and gaining their approval by means of a Parliamentary Bill as that is the only constitutional way to do this.

Ms May is now going to appeal to the UK Supreme Court to have this legal opinion overturned in her government's favour. Ms Sturgeon is now receiving brickbats from the usual suspects after announcing the Scottish Government will observe the appeal proceedings with due diligence and may join the action to prevent this judgement being overturned.

So far, so good but given the issue there is no written UK constitution and the UK Parliament's sovereignty is limited, under the Treaty of Union courtesy of article 19 of the treaty, will a Scottish Law Lord be a member of the UK Supreme Court panel to give weight to the Scots Law view which does not recognise the purely English Law concept of the 'Crown in Parliament' in any shape or form. There is, after all, no such beast as 'British Law' except in the increasingly hyperbolic, lunatic rantings of the Express, Mail and Torygraph as they try to claim the application of English Law is somehow unconstitutional, as it fails to support their highly jaundiced view of English Law, by applying legal and constitutional precedence and the current interpretation of the law.

I think we Scots need to watch very carefully the make up of the Supreme Court Judges hearing Ms May's government's appeal and if there is no Scots Law and constitution expert on the panel kick up a right old stooshie since, as I have argued quite often through the years on these pages, there is a legal necessity for the considered will of the people of Scotland to be an integral part of the argument against this appeal by the Tory Government. The considered will of the people of Scotland, by a sizable majority, is to remain within the EU and under the Treaty of Union these views must be properly considered. This time around there can be none of the usual Westminster political games played by both Labour and Tory MPs which allows England's view to be the only view which counts. 

It is time for the Scottish Government to exercise the arguments against the UK's unwritten constitution and Scotland's supposed subservient position within it, first exposed by Lord Cooper in his review of McCormack vs the Lord Advocate in 1953. At the time Lord Cooper wrote his review he could not see a time when the status quo could be challenged but he did not forsee the majority of SNP MPs at Westminster, a devolved Scottish Parliament governed by the SNP or the creation of a UK Supreme Court whose origins lay in the need for Blair to be able to impose control over the devolved Scottish Parliament. A move which fell at its first hurdle when it was pointed there was no such creature as 'British Law' and Scots Law Lords needed to be on hand in the UK Supreme Court to decide and advise on judgements and parliamentary acts which impacted on Scots Law and constitutional practice.

This all leaves the intriguing prospect that this dysfunctional Tory Government, seeking to appeal to the UK Supreme Court, could trigger the unraveling of the current Anglo-centric, UK Parliamentary, unwritten constitution as the UK Supreme Court will have to consider the merit of the considered will of the people of Scotland being ignored and side lined by this government on the issue of Brexit. A considered will, as expressed in the recent EU referendum, which is binding on Scots MPs and MSPs under Scots Law and constitutional practice as, as Ms Sturgeon has made clear in her opposition to Scotland being dragged out the EU, the considered will of the people of Scotland is paramount.

Will this misguided appeal by Ms May's Government become the straw which breaks the UK Parliamentary camel's back as its basis of operation collapses around its ears?

What a grand hugger-mugger, stramash and potentially fatal, UK constitutional stooshie that will present.