I wrote to you on 29th Sept about what is fast becoming one of the greatest Government deceptions ever – not quite on the same scale as Iraq, but certainly up there in terms of domestic policy. It achieves this honour primarily because of who it is aimed at – the most vulnerable group in society and for this it will be remembered and rightly vilified.
The perpetrators of this deception are without doubt Messrs Duncan-Smith & Grayling. When I first saw the effects of their policies, I was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt in that the injustices created were down to unsympathetic, malicious and vindictive civil servants. However it has become increasingly apparent that this attitude pervades the entire reform programme, so it must be permeating down from the most senior levels of Government in the form of a deliberate and coordinated attack and for this the Government should be ashamed of itself. Whilst its sound-bites are laudable and altruistic, its real objectives are precisely the opposite. There is plenty of evidence around, albeit it most is empirical, which they must be aware of, but are simply choosing to ignore.
I am now convinced that this motivation is a significant influence in the decision to retain the services of Atos Healthcare. Albeit naive, it does allow the Government to claim and even convince itself that actually someone else is to blame, but this is rather like a murderer protesting innocence because it wasn’t his gun.
I wrote to you on 23rd September regarding the absurd and dishonest Government assertion that bending and kneeling are “no longer requirements of the modern workplace”. You will recall that I was initially told this by an Atos HCP whilst she was bending and kneeling to complete my WCA, but she could not see the irony. I also reminded you of the storage arrangements in every warehouse and self-service shop in the country, but I’m afraid it gets worse.
The latest revelation for me is a wonderful document called the WCA Handbook, which provides the detailed guidelines for HCPs. To be fair, parts of it are well written and clear proving there is undoubtedly a separate problem with inept HCPs and their inept management within Atos, which is a different issue to the one I wish to highlight here.
I will give you just one small example from this manual:
“Bear in mind that a person who can easily manage around the house and garden is unlikely to be limited to mobility of less than 200 metres”
200m is significant as the distance dictates the points allocated and in turn ESA entitlement.
Just think about what this is saying – someone who can perhaps stagger and stumble around their home, only keeping themselves upright and stable with the aid of walls and furniture and pausing frequently due to pain of tiredness can also make it half way round a running track. The surgery I had on my spine kept me in the operating theatre for over 6 hours, so you can imagine how immobile I was afterwards. I was discharged from hospital after 7 days and encouraged to keep moving as part of my recuperation and within a few days, I was able to slowly totter around the house and parts of the garden whilst taking heavy doses of painkillers. I could not however have crawled 20 meters out in the open let alone walk 200m! What do you think? Is the correlation in this manual reasonable? You cannot possibly hinge such an important decision on the interpretation of the word “easily”.
As an aside, “mobilise” is another one of these PC euphemisms designed to act as a disguise – a bit like referring to me as “customer” – changing a word means nothing unless whatever is behind is likewise changed – if it is not, it is just part of the same deception.
I have so far been reluctant to use the word “conspiracy”, but increasingly this is what this plan is shaping into. Unless it is addressed now, the legacy will remain with you forever. I am particularly surprised a by the PM who claims to have sympathy as you would expect from his own unfortunate family circumstances, but is doing nothing to stem the tide.
Again, hoping I can stimulate your overt support.