Saturday Summary 8/6/13

Exciting news! Let’s do it for ME/Invest in ME (see my plug here) have reached their goal of raising £100,000 for a biomedical research centre in the UK. Their next project is to see a Rituximab trial carried out here too, check out their blog post:
This is great as it won’t be enough to have just the one trial in Norway – multiple Rituximab trials will be important to show whether the drug is a suitable treatment or not. “Independent substantiation” (several independent research results supporting the same conclusion) is generally required by law in order to license a drug for a new use.

PFAM: Call for Submissions – Getting the Attention you Need (Abigail Cashelle, Hidden Courage)
A call for submissions from any patients or friends/carers/family of patients, on the topic of “Getting the attention you need”. This is for the ‘Patients for a moment’ blog carnival, where a different person hosts each month, providing links to lots of articles on the subject. I’ll be taking part too!

DWP Plots Workfare for Part Time Workers(Johnny Void, the void)

The Ultimate Theft (Pam Field, Think Left)

U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program (Barton Gellman & Laura Poitras, Washington Post)
It was strongly suspected, but still scary to have it confirmed.

Thirty things I want the church to know about Christian Feminism (Leigha Cann)

All God’s Children: Loving our LGBTQ friends as we love ourselves (Sean Palmer)

Petition to end gendercide in China

Cat cuddling panda toy

I’m watching… Yuyushiki
I’m reading… A Crown of Swords (Robert Jordan)
1 Samuel/2 Samuel
I’m coding… First iteration of a flash game!
I’m playing… Munchkin Quest


Saturday Summary

So, the post-Christmas return to parliament seems to have resulted in nothing but further misery for those already in a dire situation. I honestly feel right now like I’ve said everything I can say on the matter, which is why I haven’t really been posting much. It’s made me so angry that I can’t work out how to express it, and I’ve not been reading so much because sometimes, it’s just too upsetting. Those without enough to live on are having even that taken away from them; there aren’t enough jobs so they’ve introduced slavery; if you’re unable to work, our society no longer wants to keep you alive; those who are forcing millions to starve are demanding their own already-massive salaries go up again; those in charge do horrendous things, lie about them quite obviously, and get away with it. There’s one word that sums up what’s happening: evil.

But whilst I’ve been a bit quieter, I have been scheming away on an idea I’ve had for a while for raising disability awareness. I’m not giving up fighting, no way. I just wish I knew what to do, more than linking to things and shouting away. Part of the disillusionment – if it’s as far as that – is that I feel the awareness is too insular. What’s the use of making noise if the only people who hear it already know about it? There’s spreading information, yes, which is good – but I want to be changing things as well.

Having said that, if all I can do is a small thing, I’d rather do that small thing than give up and not have done anything at all!

Councillors against Cuts
A new network of counsellors who are pledging to vote against cuts. Worth supporting.

Is the public prepared for the benefits battering of 2013?
Millionaire’s government will make paupers of us all. (Mike Sivier, Vox Political)
An overview of the trials to come.

Austerity is a lie (Dr Simon J Duffy)

Until We Have a Cure: What CFS Patients Want Well People to Know (Priscilla Larson, ProHealth)

RE: Comparison of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy with other disorders: an observational study (Tom Kindlon, RSM Journals)
A good retort to yet-another misleading study.

Also, please remember to contact your MPs about the PIP criteria:

Sunday Summary

But what can we do? (Dr Simom Duffy)
Some strategies for dealing with the current UK government problems.

PIP needs to assess costs, not proxies & PIP: ignoring the costs(Aida Aleksia)
Summarising some of the many problems with PIP.

Money to burn: Fixing the economy part 4 (Mike Sivier, Vox Political)

Who pulled the switch? (Frances Coppola, Coppola Comment)
A great explanation of the cause of the economic crisis.

The government is in denial over the impact of cuts on disabled people (Left Foot Forward)

David Dennis – Disregarded? Not anymore! (Mike Sivier & David Dennis, Vox Political)
An interview with the author of  ‘Disregarded: The True Story of the Failure of the UK’s Work Programme’; provides a great overview of some of the issues involved.

The Big Picture – What Government should do and why they are doing the opposite (Alex Little, alittleecon)

Legal Analysis: Welfare Reform Bill & the Financial Privilege: the Lords have both the constitutional power, and good cause, to assert themselves (JJ, Black Triangle Campaign)
A lot of legal detail, but worth a read if you have the time.

Don’t take away my sheep (Aida Aleksia)
A Biblical take on austerity

Lib Dems’ new message for the new year: Don’t laugh – they mean it (Mike Sivier, Vox Political)
A great riposte to Clegg’s New Year message.

Sunday Summary

Welfare Reform and ME/CFS (syzygysue, Think Left)
An interview with an expert on parasites in society (fairly long)

Letter from Countess Mar to Professor Simon Wessely
Totally worth a read

When Did We Forget? International Day Of Persons With Disabilities (Kaliya Franklin, Benefit Scrounging Scum)

Nurses have not stopped caring (Ellie Mae O’Hagan, Guardian)

Where is this ‘Free press’ that needs protecting? Does it report the reality of Welfare Reform and Climate Warming? (syzygysue, Think Left)

Better Together’s Tory Gold for Activists (Tommy Ball, Gauging Govan)
The highlights of the “No” campaign in Scotland.

Welfare & Economics

The Work Programme (alittleecon)
Comment on the “success” of the work program to date
Part 1: Worse than doing nothing
Part 2: Having a laugh at the public’s expense

Before the Budget: Why We Need Welfare (Aida Aleksia)

Saving the economy (Mike Sivier, Vox Political)
Get a clue, George! (Or, Saving the economy, part two)
Does anyone remember those pesky banks? (Fixing the economy part three)

It’s Official: Austerity Economics Doesn’t Work (John Cassidy, New Yorker)

Responses to the autumn statement (petitions)

Increase Benefits by Rate Of Inflation (Michael Moulding)

Let’s have a vote of no confidence in the UK coalition government (Stuart G)

Responses to the autumn statement (articles)

What will they do with all those Mobility Scooters? (Pam Field, Think Left)
“Welfare Reform and Remploy Closures: The Double-Edged Sword”

Unfair, incompetent, and completely out of touch”- the chance(llo)r’s autumn statement (Mike Sivier, Vox Political)

The Price of Tory Failure (Jude Robinson, (Hey) Jude’s blog)

Sunday Summary


Cameron’s Government Has Declared War On Its Own People, It’s Time To Fight Back (Gina Ravens, Welfare News Service)

‘Elf and Safety (Sue Marsh, Diary of a Benefit Scrounger)
The shocking legal changes that the current government has managed to put in place so far, which have undermined our fundamental rights and are destroying our country.

A few simple ideas to save the UK economy (Part One) (Mark Sivier, Vox Political)

Lord Freud for the third time (Aida Aleksia)
A response to Lord Freud’s enquiry

Leveson: what the enquiry missed (Katherine Quarmby, 4news)

We’ve been betrayed by David Cameron (Steve Coogan, Guardian)
A response to Cameron’s response to the Leveson enquiry

Subsidy for MPs’ bars and restaurants rises to 5.8m (Matthew Holehouse, Telegraph)
The e-petition against this

Arguments that every Liberal Democrat would do well to hear (Jim Grundy via syzygysue, Think Left)

Work placements

The work programme – a £527 million failure (Mike Sivier, Vox Political)
“As many unemployed people are finding sustainable jobs on their own – and are staying in employment six months after joining the work programme – than if the scheme had never existed.”

Leaked memo shows that mandatory work placements are to be introduced for those in the WRAG ESA group from Dec 3rd. (DWP)
Yes, that’s forcing people who have been legally declared as currently unfit for work due to serious medical conditions, to work anyway, or lose all their support.


Revealed: Fate of axed Remploy staff was sealed as part of a secret deal by private firm one year ago (David Clegg, Daily Record)

Time to probe Remploy deal (Record View, Daily Record)


Next Month’s International Threat To Control The Internet – Act Now! (syzygysue, Think Left)
The ITU’s plans to control the internet and limit basic freedoms.

How private is your private life? Help us stop the Snoopers’ Charter (Liberty)
The campaign against the Communications Data Bill, which seeks to have private companies record excesses of private data about individuals.


Academisation, ME/CFS, and the Neglect of Sick Children (Pam Field, Think Left)

Update on the “Secret” Files on ME/CFS + Wessely and the Wok? (Valerie Eliot Smith)
Information on the status of two of the files.

Saturday Summary


Only you can close the Atos salughterhouse (Mike Sivier, Vox Political)
Disability specialist Samuel Miller is putting together a file of the atrocities committed against UK sick and disabled people, and needs more input! Send your story to

The People’s Review of the WCA: A summary (Aida Aleksia)

Why Iain Duncan Smith should look at himself before complaining about people who live off the state (Fleet Street Fox, Mirror)

Out of love or out of data? (Aida Aleksia)
A sensible rebuttal to Sandbank’s Daily Mail article on Britain’s dislike for the Welfare State. 

Scounger myths and the Tory fightback (Jude Robinson, (Hey) Jude’s Blog)
On some of the current set of lies that the Conservatives are using against the people of the UK.

The state can’t tell us how to spend our money (Siobhan Courtney, Aljazeera)
“The UK copying the US by dictating how benefits are spent is an infringement of personal liberty.”


An army of benefit scroungers? The evidence just doesn’t stack up (Matt Barnes, Guardian)

Poverty in Perspective
The project the above article refers to which looks at classifying and understanding types of poverty in the UK

Yes, we British hate our poor. That’s nothing to be proud of. (Sonia Poulton, Daily Mail)

Millions Forced Into Jobs That Do Not Pay Enough To Get By (WNS & Rory MacKinnon, Welfare News Service)

Softly, Softly, into Slums: New Law permits Councils to turn Homeless away (Pam Field, Think Left)

Number of rough sleepers in London increases by 26% (labourwestminster)

And last, a poem by Paula Peters:

Lest We Forget

I miss you every single day
The pain it never goes away
I hear your voice whispering in the trees

The whispering of the leaves saying talk to meI remember every smile in the sun
The days of laughter and having fun
The days of seeing you fight terrible pain
Nothing in this life feels the same againI have to live without you and be so very strong
I wondered what I could have done, why did they get it wrong?
The stress and the fear it tore you apart
I feel so much anger within me, where do I start?I know if you were here right now here is what you would have said
Put the anger to one side, and concentrate on justice instead
Get my story out there and get my story told
But I am safe from harm now I will never grow oldI feel you all about me just beyond my reach
I feel you in the wind in my hair while walking on the beach
Feel your warmth and wonderful spirit in every setting of the sun
Now I am crying once again, I am hurting everyoneEvery day without you is tearing at my heart
It is pure hell without you, I hate being apart
I hear you saying to me, you have to go on
Come on you can do this, you know you are strongI hate what happened that you took your life that day
I so wish you had talked to me; we would have found a way
The Government have a lot to answer for, trust me they do
But I make you this promise I will get justice for youI will never forget you and the others too
Or the horrendous hell you were all put through
You live in my memories and in my heart every day
I just wish there was something to take the pain awayAt 11 am 3rd December, please pause and remember and reflect
For two minutes we remember those who have passed with love and respect
They are in our hearts every single day
We pay tribute to them all todayTo the 10600 disabled and ill people who have lost their lives
You will live on through us, you will never die
For your stories are inspirational and your stories will be told
You are not in pain anymore and you will never be oldTo this government shame on you for this
We who campaign so hard have one lasting wish
To see justice served and to bring you down
We won’t stop campaigning until we get out.

Rest in Peace. You are never forgotten.

© Paula Peters 2012.

Recent politicsy articles (NHBPM 22)

Universal Jobmatch or Jobseekers’ Home-grab? (Mike Sivier, Vox Political)
Analysis of the new, soon to be mandatory, work search system reveals it has sneaky ways to implicate genuine searchers as scroungers, force seekers into unsuitable work and remove benefits for mistakes.

There Are Three Main Political Parties In The UK,… Shame They’re All Tories (Gina Rivens, Welfare News Service)

Why do we tolerate ‘slavery’ schemes that rely on secrecy? (Mike Sivier, Vox Political)

The Sun, The Mail et al – sorry, did we say 120,000 problem families? We meant 16. (Tom Pride, Pride’s Purge)

How can unemployment be dropping at the same time as claims for joblessness are rising? (Mike Sivier, Vox Political)

The Energy Trap (Think Left)
The unfortunate state of Energy companies doing whatever they like, to great detriment.

Garages to provide ‘pop-up’ housing for homeless people (Oliver Wainwright, Guardian)
AKA: nothing says “big society” like a shanty town.