Disabled claimants told: 2 yrs to get job or be sanctioned for a year


dwpp2The government is pressing ahead with the roll-out of its Universal Credit (UC) replacement to the benefits system in spite of huge delays and problems – and continuing problems so ingrained that foodbank use has increased sharply in every area where is has been implemented.

UC contains a draconian set of provisions, including a ‘Claimant Commitment’ (CC) – a set of imposed requirements to which the claimant has no right of appeal whatever. As the government’s guidance on CCs states:

There is no right of appeal if a claimant refuses to accept their Claimant Commitment and the requirements that have been set out in it.

A JCP adviser – who might be incompetent, inexperienced, bitter, have a personality clash with the claimant or just simply be having a bad day – is the final arbiter of whether a CC is reasonable and achievable, and even a patently bad decision…

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Never had a party political broadcast make you want to applaud? Watch. #GE17


Labour put out a party political broadcast on national television on Monday night that many are calling the best ever shown. This writer watched it and literally wanted to stand and applaud.

It perfectly encapsulates what is great about Labour, what is great about this nation. It portrays the terrible threat facing us and our NHS from the Tory party that despises it and routinely lies about it. But it is also full of that rarest commodity in modern politics: hope.

It shows the heart and heroism of the people who work in this country’s greatest achievement – the NHS.

You’ll fall in love with it, and with them, all over again – and be inspired to save it.

It’s less than five minutes long. Please watch it. Please share it with everyone- because everyone needs to see it.

Everyone needs to understand what’s at stake on Thursday and why it’s vital

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Desperate, underpaid NHS paramedic tells Theresa May: “I’ve seen things no one should have to witness”

A heart rendering plea from someone who has served this society well but only values those with wealth.

Pride's Purge

A paramedic has written a moving description on Facebook (see below) of the difficulties he has to face every day in his job, and how he is paid a pittance of just £12.35 an hour to do it.

This is because the Tory government has over the last 7 years capped paramedics’ and other public workers’ pay rises at 1%.

The cabinet ministers who made that decision, however, have seen their own pay rise over the last 7 years to the point they are making approximately £117.92 an hour*, on top of which they can also claim expenses, subsidies and other perks.

A perfect example of Theresa May’s warped Britain today.

Brian Mear:

I joined the Ambulance Service in 1986.
For over 28 years I worked doing “Front Line” work. That’s Emergency work. Covering 999 calls. For the last 6 years of my service I worked alone predominantly on nights at…

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The Word Newspaper




Starting in September of 2015 the project was put together on facebook. The idea is to create a popular and entertaining socialist hub with the involvement of as many people as possible from the socialist movement in Britain. As the project has proceeded it has become increasingly clear that the media in the UK is run for and by big business and as such will always need to oppose socialist values to keep their position.

The project was then crowdfunded to raise the money and has enabled us to print and distribute a physical newspaper which was launched at the Tolpuddle festival and in in all good newsagents. The plan is to eventually go to a daily edition.

The politics of this project are broadly inline with those of Jeremy Corbyn and believe in justice, equality, truth, courage and that only by sharing as fairly as possible the resources of this planet will we be able to live in harmony with each other.

If you want to see what it is all about follow the link below for the latest copy in pdf formant

The Word Edition 20

SKWAWKBOX legal fighting fund – please share and help if you can


The SKWAWKBOX has received a threatening solicitors’ letter from the subject of one of its exposés. The complaint is unfounded, factually incorrect and vexatious – it even contains a remarkable admission that the subject did do as the article indicated, yet alleges defamation anyway.

It’s a transparent attempt to silence this blog and prevent further investigations and revelations.

However, there may be some legal expenses involved in seeing off the attempted intimidation, so the SKWAWKBOX is looking to raise ‘fighting funds’ to ensure it can properly resist this and any future attempts.

boxing.pngMore detail will be released as and when it becomes possible to do so, but formal legal advice will need to be taken first, so if you’re able to make a small contribution please click here and also share the article to ensure that this blog is in a position of strength to be able to keep bringing you the…

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The United Airlines debacle isn’t about customer service. It’s about the morality of capitalism.

In this Sept. 8, 2015, file photo, a United Airlines passenger plane lands at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. Twitter users are poking fun at United's tactics in having a man removed from an overbooked Chicago to Louisville flight on April 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)In this Sept. 8, 2015, file photo, a United Airlines passenger plane lands at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)  

Here is why United Airlines kicking off and countenancing the assault of a paying customer is a big deal: It helps to reveal how corporate America often puts rules before people and how capitalism often places profits before human dignity. (I am speaking not only as a Jesuit priest but as a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, someone who considers himself a capitalist and a veteran of several years in corporate America.)

Overbooking is a device that most airlines use to maximize their profits. Unfilled seats mean lost revenue. This means that some people will inevitably be bumped from flights. But in the airline’s economic calculus, this is deemed an acceptable trade-off. A customer’s inconvenience is subordinate to profits.

You can already see the inherent problem.

The man had purchased a ticket from United, so, as a consumer, he was justified in expecting that he would be able to use it. That is the essence of capitalism: a fair exchange of money for goods or services. But the airline decided they had “overbooked” when some airline employees needed last-minute seats on the flight, so they asked passengers (who had already paid) if they would be willing to relinquish their seats. They offered increasing levels of money to make it more palatable. Several took the offer.

No matter what the fine print said, the man had a right to expect to fly that day.

Not surprisingly, one person did not want to leave. Why should he? He paid for his seat and was anxious to reach his destination. The airline had also entered into a contract with him. And the argument that the airline had the right to eject him is, to me, fallacious. It was not any sort of emergency. No matter what the fine print said, the man had a right to expect to fly that day.

Likewise, the argument that overbooking reduces the price of tickets, and therefore actually helps the consumer, is also something a dodge, because the goal of the corporation is not to reduce the price of tickets but to maximize profits for shareholders. One reduces ticket prices to increase volume, which raises revenue. Airlines are not charities.

When the man was unwilling to give up what he had paid for, he was forcibly removed from his seat by security officers, who ended up bloodying him and dragging him along the floor of the plane.

When we watch the video of the event something in us says, “That’s not right.” Pay attention to that feeling. It is our conscience speaking. That is what prompted the widespread outrage online—not simply the fact that people who have been bumped from flights share in the man’s frustration but the immorality of a system that leads to a degradation of human dignity. If corporate rules and the laws of capitalism lead to this, then they are unjust rules and laws. The ends show that the means are not justified.

A toxic cocktail of capitalism and corporate culture led to a man being dragged along the floor.

Someone in authority—pilots, stewards, ground crew—might have realized that this was an assault on a person’s dignity. But no one stopped it. Why not? Not because they are bad people: They too probably looked on in horror. But because they have been conditioned to follow the rules.

Those rules said: First, we may sometimes overbook because we want to maximize our profits. Second, we can eject someone because we have overbooked, or if we decide that we want those seats back, no matter what a person can reasonably expect, and no matter how much of an inconvenience this is. And third, and most tragically, human dignity will not get in the way of the rules. A toxic cocktail of capitalism and corporate culture led to a man being dragged along the floor.

That is why bland “nothing to see here” defenses of the ills of corporate America and of the dictates of capitalism bother this capitalist and former corporate employee so much. They fail to see the victims of the system.

Is this a “first-world problem”? Yes, of course. Most people in the developing world could not afford a ticket on that flight. But it is very much a “world problem” because the victims of a system that places profits before all else are everywhere. The same economic calculus that says profits are the most important metric in decision-making leads to victims being dragged along the floor of an airplane and eking out an existence on the floor of a hovel in the slums of Nairobi.

The privileging of profits over people leads to unjust wages, poor working conditions, the degradation of the environment and assaults on human dignity.

A day after the incident, Oscar Munoz, United’s chief executive, apologized for the treatment of the passenger, saying that “no one should ever be treated that way.”


He also said, tellingly, that employees “followed established procedures” and that he “emphatically” stood behind them.

What is the solution, then, to a system that gave rise to such treatment? To recognize that profits are not the sole measure of a good decision in the corporate world. To realize that human beings are more important than money, no matter how much a free-market economist might object. To act morally. And to respect human dignity.

Murky Dealings on Merseyside

So let me get this straight. You are telling me a ‘Labour’ administration does a deal with Capitalist companies to indemnify them against strikes by their workers and to do so they will use taxpayers money.
 Merseyside taxpayers to foot bill for Merseyrail strike loss

5 April 2017

RMT Press Office:

Merseyside tax payers and passengers to foot bill for Merseyrail revenue loss during Guard strikes.

RAIL UNION RMT today exposes documents which reveal that Merseyside tax payers and passengers are to foot the bill for revenue loss as a result of strike action on Merseyrail over plans to remove Guards from trains.

Dutch state owned operator Merseyrail will not lose a penny thanks to a deal signed with Liverpool politicians.

Instead, astonishingly, a clause in the agreement between Merseyrail and the controlling transport authority Merseytravel has shown that Merseyrail – which is which is also owned by Corporate giant SERCO – are protected from any revenue loss caused by industrial action.

The “Force Majeure” clause in the agreement says:

“The Operator shall not be responsible for any failure to perform its obligations …. to the extent that, such failure is caused by or is due to any Force Majeure Event…

“and such an event includes

“any strike or other industrial action by any or all of the employees of the Operator.”

The latest revelation in what is fast becoming a Merseytravel new trains’ scandal comes on top of the news that the profit share agreement signed by Merseytravel means Merseyrail are taking up to a quarter of all passenger fares in profits while not paying a penny for the new trains.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“First, we learn that Liverpool’s politicians signed a deal with Merseyrail that allows the company to skim a quarter of passenger fares in profit whilst paying nothing for new trains and instead getting rid of train guards.”

“Now we find out that another part of the deal they have signed is that Merseyrail are protected from any losses as a result of industrial action and instead hard pressed Merseyside tax payers and passengers will have to pay for Merseyrail’s war on our Guards.”

“There is a growing stench of scandal surrounding the new Merseyrail trains in which the fare payer loses out, the taxpayer lose money, passengers lose the protection of train guards, guards lose their jobs and the only winner is Dutch owned Merseyrail”

“We are calling for an immediate inquiry into this whole murky deal”

The Force Majeure clause is Clause 5.4 and can be found on pages 55 – 57 of the agreement.https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/355198/response/861577/attach/5/ConcessionAgreement.pdf

Gerard Coyne and Data Breach

If you are member of Labour and not of Unite but have had an email from Gerard Coyne, please contact SKWARKBOX as a matter of urgency

The SKWAWKBOX is gathering information relating to the DPA (Data Protection Act) breaches by Gerard Coyne and individuals within the Labour Party hierarchy, which this blog broke when non-members of Unite began to receive campaign emails from Unite General Secretary challenger Gerard Coyne.

lab dpa smoking gun

People all over the UK, including Scotland and Ireland, have been affected by the breach but the SKWAWKBOX wants to collate more information on the geographical spread of those who received the emails and texts.

If you are not a Unite member and have received these emails or texts, you have been a victim of the DPA breach and we want to hear from you – even if you’ve already checked in, so we can collate the fullest possible information in one place.

Please email a short summary of what you received and your town or region toSKWAWKBOXDPA@outlook.com and spread the word to widen the net.

Thanks for your help.

Labour non-Unite member? Had Coyne email? SKWAWKBOX wants your help