Canterbury father-of-three Rob Watson killed by ‘time bomb’ inside his head after suffering brain aneurysm while decorating bedroom

canterburyA DIY father-of-three suddenly collapsed while decorating his family home – and died just 26 hours later.

Rob Watson, 41, was halfway through wallpapering his Canterbury bedroom when an aneurysm burst in his brain.

He started vomiting and was helped downstairs and into the garden by his fiancee Sharon O’Reilly, where he collapsed in front of their 13-year-old son Tommy.


Socialist Criticism of the Financial Sector from 1986

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

The present savage cuts to the welfare state by the Tories and their Coalition partners are legitimated by an appeal to the massive debt created by the financial crisis of four years ago. The root cause of this was ultimately the wholesale deregulation of the financial sector by Thatcher’s government, a policy that was carried on by Major’s, Blair’s and Brown’s administrations, and which the Coalition today promotes even further. The conspiracy/ parapolitics magazine, Lobster, has also carried a number of articles showing how the Tories’ preference for the financial sector has severely damaged British manufacturing industry. This was clear from as long ago as 1986, when the book Socialist Enterprise: Reclaiming the Economy, by Diana Gilhespy, Ken Jones, Ton Manwaring, Henry Neuberger, and Adam Sharples, was published. Looking through it recently, I found this passage criticising the rise of the financial sector and the harmful effect it…

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Claimants lose all their income under disability benefits reform

Benefit tales

Under new rules introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions, anyone wanting to appeal a decision that they are fit to work first has to have all their paperwork looked at again, while receiving no sickness benefits

People with serious disabilities and health conditions are being left for weeks with no financial support by Government changes to benefit assessments.Under new rules introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions in October, anyone wanting to appeal a decision that they are fit to work first has to have all their paperwork looked at again, while receiving no sickness benefits. The Citizens Advice Bureau believes this will result in thousands of people being wrongly forced to survive on no income at all.

The Government said that this “mandatory reconsideration” would cut down on bureaucracy and take just two weeks, but some disabled and sick people are being wrongly assessed and left…

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All repeat WCA medicals to be stopped

Benefit tales

All repeat medical assessments by Atos have been suspended due to backlog.

In an urgent memo obtained by Benefits and Work, the DWP have told staff that due to a growing backlog at Atos all current employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants will be left on the benefit, without further medical checks, until another company can be found to do repeat work capability assessments (WCAs). The memo, dated 20 January, goes on to say that this will reduce the number of claimants moving off ESA, but that there are no plans to inform claimants or MPs about the change.

Benefits and Work obtained the memo from the DWP via a Freedom of Information request. It is headed: ‘FOR URGENT CASCADE. Control of the Referral of Repeat work Capability Assessments’.

The memo explains that back in July a ministerial statement announced that:

“in the drive to continually improve the Work Capability…

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Huge Victory For Sick And Disabled Claimants As Atos Chased Out Of Vicious Benefit Assessments

the void

atoskillsgraf French IT firm Atos saying they are planning to pull out of Work Capability Assessments, the shambolic and cruel tests designed to strip away benefits from sick and disabled people, is the most humiliating blow yet for Iain Duncan Smith’s bodged attempt at reforming social security.

In a stunning victory for campaigners, Atos say the Work Capability Assessment isn’t working, for them, claimants themselves and even the hapless DWP.  The attempt at early withdrawal from the contract comes just days after protests were held outside Atos assessment centres in towns and cities across the UK.

The astounding announcement also sheds new light on The Guardian story which revealed that the DWP were secretly plotting to get rid of Atos and bring in new contractors to run the tests.  There is truly no honour amongst these thieves as Atos and the DWP bicker in public about who dumped who first.  Meanwhile…

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FINED by a Judge for failing to turn up for UNPAID WORK

This morning my Son pointed out something to me which he could not believe in the Court Round Up in the local Portsmouth News paper.

A young man of no fixed abode and thus effectively homeless which itself brings issues was


Yes that is right he was fined £250 plus £50 Court costs for failing to turn up for unpaid work.


Now this could be due to say failing to turn up to a previous order of say a Community Service Order but the article does not say that it clearly says UNPAID WORK.

The very thought you could be fined for failing to turn up for work and be FINED should send shivers down your spine and probe many to further research as I will but we should also take into accunt this man may very well already be under a Sanction and is homeless so is trapped and the prospect of him finding full-time employment is remote.

More research needs to be done on this and I will bring you what I find in due course, however this goes out now as a warning to all.

Delights – and disgraces – of the Atos day of protest

Mike Sivier's blog

Taking sides: Some of the demonstrators at Newtown, Powys. [Image: Mike Sivier] Taking sides: Some of the demonstrators at Newtown, Powys. [Image: Mike Sivier] Were you one of the many, many people – both able-bodied and with disabilities – who gathered outside Atos assessment centres yesterday to demand an end to the system that continues to cause the deaths of thousands of innocent people every day?

I was.

I attended one of the 144 locations used by Atos to carry out the discredited work capability assessments – in Newtown, Powys – where I was just another face in the crowd that had gathered to remind the public of the atrocity being carried out with their tax money.

The Newtown campaign was undoubtedly small in comparison to others around the country, with a maximum of 15 protesters at its height, but the public response was excellent. The assessment centre is next to a major traffic junction, meaning there were plenty of opportunities to…

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Fit Enough to Protest, Fit enough to Work?

Benefit tales

Yesterday was a national day of protest against Atos, there were demonstrations outside over 140 regional offices across the country.

One demonstration arrived to find a placard outside saying:

“Fit Enough to Protest, Fit Enough to Work’

Here is the response from one protestor, written on the Facebook page ‘Atos Miracles’

This needs to be officially complained about and PROOF that Atos DO NOT understand what sickness and disability is. Yep, I went to a protest today. In so much pain as a result I would cry if I had the energy. I have not eaten properly today and have bags of crisps next to my bed for the rest of the night, no chance of getting to the kitchen for a hot drink. Will be sleeping in my clothes tonight. My professional carer is prepped that I’ll be unable to move and speak when she comes in the morning…

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Don’t Blame Us For The Suffering We Cause Say Atos, We’re Just Making Money

the void

atos-bannerPoverty profiteers Atos have published a whining blogpost asking for people to blame the Government, not them, for the shambolic and cruel assessments for sickness and disability benefits.

The statement comes in advance of a day of action tomorrow which will see protests outside Atos assessment centres throughout the UK.  The company, who have made hundreds of millions out of welfare reform, yet still pay no fucking tax, have pleaded:  “Atos Healthcare has no control over welfare policy, the design of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), or the specific eligibility criteria for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).”

Not for the first time, the excuse I was only following orders has been replaced with but I was only trying to make money.  It is  truly a sign of the times that a company like Atos would even dare attempt this as a justification for their vile activities.  There was…

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Work fitness tests are ‘confrontational’ – review

Via The BBC of all places

An independent review of fitness-to-work tests has found “considerable dissatisfaction” among disabled people.

Dr Paul Litchfield, an occupational physician, highlighted the need to treat people with dignity and respect as a particular area for improvement.

Communication with disabled people by assessors was another area of concern.

Training advice on assessments showed a “confrontational set up”, the report found, which “is not accepted practice in clinical healthcare”.

Assessments could be improved by adjusting the layout of interview rooms, better listening skills and the avoidance of inferring answers not provided by interviewees, according to Dr Litchfield.