Man Jailed After Comments Made In Atos Assessment

the void

atos-killsUPDATE 26/04/13  Steve Topley has been bailed, has pleaded guilty and is now expected to receive a community sentence.  Seems he wasn’t such a threat to the community after all.

A Nottingham man has now been held in custody for two weeks after he was accused of “threatening behaviour”* due to comments he allegedly made during his Atos benefits assessment.

Steve Topley is a 49 year old father with multiple serious health problems who was required to attend a Work Capability Assessment with the notorious IT firm Atos – the company responsible for stripping benefits from hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people.  During the process Mr Topley made some comments about someone not present at the assessment.

These comments led to Atos staff calling the police and Mr Topley was asked to attend Queens Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham.  When he refused to do so he was arrested. …

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254 Lords betray the people of England


A few minutes ago, 254 peers betrayed the people of England, as they defeated 146 other peers in a crucial NHS vote on a Labour motion in the House of Lords to kill ‘secondary legislation’ that the government is trying to implement under last year’s Health and Social Care Act.

Why was it such a betrayal? Earlier today, one quisling Labour peer, Norman  Warner, gave the game away when he went on the record in the Guardian to explain

Why I, a Labour peer, am supporting a regulated market for NHS competition

An unforgivable treason when the amended secondary legislation the government is trying to implement (having failed to sneak it through unnoticed) is even worse than the original version and will mire commissioners of NHS services in England in such confusion and fear of legal action that will force them to play safe by including private health companies…

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The Man Who Pushed a Toy Pig to Downing Street to Save our NHS

Scriptonite Daily


Mark McGowan a.k.a The Artist Taxi Driver spent today on his hands and knees, pushing a toy pig four miles to Downing Street, with his nose.  He made his art protest as our House of Lords full of private health investors, voted through their own pay rises by approving new competition rules.

What’s All the Fuss About?


The S75 Regulations form part of the governments Health and Social Care Act, the purpose of which is to open up as many NHS services to private providers as possible.

The new ‘Competition Regulations’ force the NHS to put all but a minority of services out for competitive tender.  The majority of services currently run by the NHS will shortly and swiftly be turned over to profit making private healthcare providers. This is privatisation by the back door.

To make matters worse, the MPs and Lords drafting and voting upon this piece…

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Employment Support Allowance claim update: Exceptional Circumstances – Regulation 25

Politics and Insights


Regulations 25 and 31 will replace the old Special Regulations 29 and 35 when Universal Credit is rolled out.

However, the old Regulations 29 and 35 still apply to ongoing cases that are not yet affected by Universal Credit, and will remain in place indefinitely for all Contributions-based ESA. This means that most of you will use Regulations 29 and 35 at this time.

Income-based ESA will be replaced by Universal Credit, as it is rolled out, but there will be the same additional financial components added as we currently have for ESA – either the work-related activity or the support component.

The contents of both sets of Regulations are essentially the same. They are applied in the same way. 25 and 29 are for those who are not capable of work, and would usually be placed in the Work-related Activity Group, and 31 and 35 apply to those not…

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Demand a Public Enquiry Into 1300 Deaths After Atos Medicals

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything

The petition calling upon Iain Duncan-Smith to instigate a Public Enquiry into the conduct of Atos, with particular record to this appalling fatality rate has so far attracted 4,346 signatures.  That’s not a bad start, but much more is needed.  YOUR support, and YOUR willingness to help network this petition could be vital; if a Public Enquiry could be brought about, Atos would be well and truly under the spotlight and it’s possible they may be forced to change their way of working.  It’s not over-stating the case to say that this could save lives.  YOUR signature, YOUR support could actually SAVE LIVES.  It’s that vital.

An Enquiry would seem appropriate in any case, for an organisation which has been branded “Not fit for purpose” by the British Medical Association, and which has itself recently issued a wheedling apology to the people it has wrongly found fit…

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Meet the 28-Year-Old Grad Student Who Just Shook the Global Austerity Movement

AusterityMost Ph.D. students spend their days reading esoteric books and stressing out about the tenure-track job market. Thomas Herndon, a 28-year-old economics grad student at UMass Amherst, just used part of his spring semester to shake the intellectual foundation of the global austerity movement.

Herndon became instantly famous in nerdy economics circles this week as the lead author of a recent paper, “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff,” that took aim at a massively influential study by two Harvard professors named Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff.  Herndon found some hidden errors in Reinhart and Rogoff’s data set, then calmly took the entire study out back and slaughtered it. Herndon’s takedown — which first appeared in a Mike Konczal post that crashed its host site with traffic — was an immediate sensation. It was cited by prominent anti-austerians like Paul Krugmanspoken about by incoming Bank of England governor Mark Carney, and mentioned on CNBC and several other news outlets as proof that the pro-austerity movement is based, at least in part, on bogus math.

We spoke to Herndon about his crazy week, and how he’s planning to celebrate his epic wonk takedown.


An Important Call Out To Take Action NOW!! Update Round 2

Via PCS Union Email

Dear equality campaigners, 

Final push to save the general equality duty

Action now – please send the new updated email to MPs

Huge thanks to everyone for sending the campaign email to save our equality law. Nearly 4,000 people sent the email to their MP in just five days.

While most MPs voted on Tuesday to scrap our equality law, this was just the first round of voting on the issue. There will be another vote soon so we really need to apply the pressure once more.

The impact of your emails was significant. A lot of MPs are clearly troubled by the issue and refused to do what they were told by their political parties, and decided not to vote at all. A few in government were brave enough to vote against their parties altogether.

With one more massive push – with us and all our friends, colleagues and families sending the campaign email – we might succeed in getting them to take that extra step to voting against their government.

We’ve updated the wording of our email to MPs . Please send it to your MP again (particularly if they are in government) and send the link round to your friends, family and colleagues.

It is important that everyone does this, particularly if you/they live in a constituency of a government MP.

Please take two minutes now to send the automated message to your MP

If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, please post a link using hashtag #saves3

Thank you so much for all your help and passion on this,

Natasha Burgess, Campaign Officer

Campaigns and Communications
Public and Commercial Services Union
PCS, 160 Falcon Rd, London SW11 2LN