Friday, 6 January 2012

The Coalition's Worst Nightmayor

A single large crumb from the forthcoming report has been released: the Mayor of London made his own response to the consultation for DLA reforms a year ago, so it was included among the papers Sue Marsh and Kaliya Franklin got from their Freedom Of Information inquiries. LeftFootForward has a copy here. His concerns are expressed as strongly as any campaigner, certainly more strongly than what the supposed Opposition in the House of Common has expressed. Boris Johnson's involvement seems to be genuine; he could not have been certain this letter would have been made public at any time where it would work to his own benefit.

I'm still feeling speculative however and it seems possible that the government got wind of the report. On Thursday the Daily Mail and Express each printed a story claiming that half of those Jobseeker's Allowance recipients who have been referred onto the trial workfare plan have supposedly failed to engage with it and had their benefits stopped. There is absolutely no public source for this, no data, no press release, nothing. investigated immediately and noticed that the Mail claimed their source to be 'a source close to the programme' which basically sells out Employment Minister Chris Grayling as having secretly briefed the newspapers. The truth of the claim can't be verified because it will be a month before the report for it comes out. But the Coalition ministers are getting more reckless; a year ago it was almost impossible to deduce if, not just who, was responsible for the articles which these ministers keep publicly distancing themselves from.

So when one leading Conservative politician is secretly arguing the facts for balanced debate, yet a group of others(always the same people) are secretly poisoning debate; the problem isn't the Conservatives. The problem is something Boris Johnson doesn't have to worry about but which Cabinet Ministers do. What those ministers briefing the newspapers have in common is David Cameron, who Boris Johnson can ignore.

David Cameron is responsible, so David Cameron will be examined very closely by The Files as we approach the day of the report.


  1. Hi Arec on the subject of workfare can you clarify something for me please?

    Had a bit of a run with one of the advisors at the work programme where I go, as my own advisor was off sick ( which was news to me ) and was told I had been booked in for a job search, when I queried this saying I had done did one at my last attendance 2 weeks a go was told I was supoosed to do 30 hours a week job search.

    Now I know you do a 30 week mandatory work boost/ placement because I did one of those last year, but this is the first time I have heard you are meant to spend 30 hours a week looking for a job.

  2. Obtain a copy of your jobseekers agreement immediately(do not wait until your next Jobcentre or WP provider appointment). The company providing this 'service' to you should also issue their own version specific to their engagement with you. When I was at A4e they called it the 'Action Plan'. I wrote about my time there in a Guardian article a year ago:

    It is a legally binding document and as far as I'm aware it's the only way you can lawfully be sanctioned or compelled to do anything. Simply keep asking for the document that says in writing and with your signature on it(which indicates you have read it before) that you must do 30 hours job-searching per week.

    Those were the rules under Flexible New Deal. The Work Programme may have some different conditionality rules but they still have to be lawful. If the provider goes to your Jobcentre and says you are not complying with their 'training' in order to get you sanctions, one of the first things they'll want to see is the Action Plan that you agreed which says what you are supposed to be doing with them.

    If they try anything funny, go to the Citizens Advice Bureau. During the FND period my boss at CAB told me our particular bureau got more complaints about the provider than anything else.

  3. Hey,how come the Daily Mail accepted your comment ,whilst not my(far better or worse?)contributions.Maybe MINE will be there in the morning.I ignored the "article"about housing benefit,there is only so much my constitution can take.Watch it ramp up as the WRB reaches a critical stage. regards

  4. Some contributions have disappeared from that page Adrian, including my first one. Before that, two other comments went missing and the number of green arrows I had went from 30 to 12.

    But remember, the Mail doesn't censor and edit the comments at all, oh no.

  5. And excellent ripostes on the Telegraph blog,I've just noticed,only hope that they read them and have an open enough mind to realise ACTUAL facts.I am rapidly coming to the same conclusion as you about the Guardian,within seconds of a Polly Toynbee article mainly about welfare reform(and the lack of opposition from the "official opposition)a storm of obviously coordinated trolls vented their vapid derailing nonsenses,previously I was moderated for the heinous crime of linking the LFF "Boris" story and lo and behold the same story appeared in the paper about an hour later.

  6. I self censor.What is happening to our ****ing Country?At a time when I (naively thought)I would be relaxing(after obligatory time of being "an angry young man)I find myself forced to argue for what I naively believed to be basic accepted concepts in a civilised Country.I should not have to ~~~~ing continually defend/prove my "worthiness" for daring to attempt to do what I think is right.I do not care a ~~~~ing hoot about being labelled "inactive,dependent,ill-educated,addicted,feckless,scrounger" or any other denigratory epithet the @@@tards throw at me,but I will not,cannot, relax whilst this Government (and the last)through lies and distortions and misanthropy rip up what I naively thought was a commonly held consensus concurrent with) a spiteful bile I honestly cannot understand.I look daily at my wife I think of all that will be unnecessary effected variously described in far worse terms than I ,we must fight on.

  7. Many thanks Arec for your advice, will check all documents I have been given.

  8. And now over to our reporter at the mail online comments cup(DLA)...well it has been an exciting contest,with posts disappearing and then reappearing and a few dubious tackles flying in .The Yorkshire Titan(MD,A)showing his strength early on with the older and rather weather-beaten Derbyshire of Dubious Character(A)bravely trying to rekindle past glories,but as of now,yet to be verified the score is MD,A 103+66=169;A 76+54 =130-a rather convincing victory;the ever reliable luce of Sheffield(South Yorkshire)however with an unassailable lead with her single yet pithy post.What is it about those three Counties that prodiuces such excellence.

  9. #prodiuces-like creates but with a extra secret ingredient