The way the Government has implemented and managed the ESA/WCA process is not just a sign of poor judgement or incompetence, it reflects a dogma based on contempt for the sick and disabled, a belief that they are an avoidable drain on society and the sooner they stop it the better. If they will not pull themselves together and sort themselves out, we (the Government) will have to do it for them. Society only has room for those that make a net positive financial contribution measured by the standards dictated by a capitalist elite. We might just feign a little compassion for some of the more seriously ill, but only under sufferance and against our better judgement. Sorry, this may sound harsh, but this is just Nature at work, first summed up by Charles Darwin many years ago and it is wrong to meddle in the process that God himself probably intended – our attempts at intervention in the past have created the current mess and we do not want that all over again do we? They don’t put it quite this way, but when you look at what they have allowed to happen (in fact engineered), this is precisely the overall plan and indeed it is going quite well.
Of course, Ministers and the PM fiercly deny that this is the case, but the evidence speaks for itself. Most telling is the fact that way back in 2008, no risk assessment was undertaken prior to WCA introduction. If you have not come across the expression before, RA is simply a standard feature of good management practice when changing something whereby you think about all the things that could happen as a result of the change you are making (good, bad & indifferent), assess their likelihood & consequences and put together a prevention strategy, i.e. a proactive plan designed to keep the likelihood of unintended events arising to an absolute minimum, particularly if these events have devastating consequences .
The current Government blames this omission on the previous Government, but it is never too late, so they could easily have initiated an RA once they were in office. They do point out that they did undertake an RA following the so-called Internal Review in 2011, but don’t mention that it is incomplete - it misses completely the potentially dire consequences of an incorrect fit for work decision resulting in a deterioration in someone’s health.
To be fair, the best assessment process in the world would contain some small risk of an occasional mistake which could never be eliminated completely, but at least one has the comfort of knowing that the risk was recognised and every attempt was made to minimise it. Not so with the WCA.
Of course there is a risk of error with potentially monumental consequences, but the Government chose to ignore it. They cannot have been so naive to believe that the WCA process was perfect and would never make a mistake, so the only conclusion one can draw is that they simply don’t care – so what if some people die along the way, one cannot after all make an omelette without breaking eggs, the end always justifies the means and a bit of collateral damage is a small price to pay.
What every voter in the country needs to understand that this philosophy will not be limited to the sick and disabled – it will manifest itself through every Government activity from NHS Reform to motorway speed limits.
More specifically, much criticism is directed at LiMA (the computer system used by Atos), but at the end of the day there needs to be a standardised database for all sorts of good reasons and properly used, this is probably as good as any. The mischief lies in the simplistic diagnostic algorithm it contains and the way in which it is manipulated to produce the desired results.
The DWP knows this (of course it does), but as long as LiMA/Atos is “doing its job” (designating large numbers as FFW whether they are or not) they do not care. Its own Decision Makers are perfectly able to rectify an unsound recommendation from an Atos HCP, but rarely do – why should they when they can hide behind the pseudo-intelligence of LiMA – sorry, the computer, it says no. If DWP had the will, it could change this attitude overnight.
So yes, have a go at LiMA and Atos, but don’t forget who is really driving the “agenda”. Anyone who has suffered at the hands of a WCA will understand all of this and most politicians do not care, but there is a huge group of people in between that needs to know the true colours of our politicians. My hope is that we can get the message to them through posts like this, so they know the truth, not the illusion painted in the mass media.