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Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

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Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by tlttf on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:16 am

First topic message reminder :

Fantastic article from the "New Statesman", sums up politics as is?

Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

All parties love the easy, polarising rhetoric of “us” against “them” – but how distinct are their ideas?

By Rafael Behr, Published 31 January 2013

There is a reliable way to tell if David Cameron is rattled. When the Prime Minister is on shaky ground, he hurls the charge of being “left-wing” at Ed Miliband as if it were the foulest thing he could say within the bounds of parliamentary protocol. The “Red Ed” label has never been a plausible line of attack but it is a comforting fiction for senior Conservatives who deride the Labour leader’s agenda as a slide into unelectable socialism.

Take time out from tribalism and read the article!

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:17 am

Would their being a 'group of cranks' be an especially compelling attraction for you, landy...? Very Happy

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by tlttf on Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:53 am

Absolutely Phil, how else could I cope with some of the stuff written here? Very Happy

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:00 am

tlttf wrote:Absolutely Phil, how else could I cope with some of the stuff written here? Very Happy

tittf I will tell you about a party that is not a crank and could take seats at the next general election NHA party, they will take a few seats of the Tories and maybe the Lib-Dems.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by bobby on Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:33 pm

No one can tell me there isn't any bias in the media. Yesterday we had displayed prominently on MSN's home page, an interesting article about the Chancellor of the exchequer Mr George Gideon Osborne’s Land Rover parked in a disabled bay, as interesting as the article was it vanished a few hours later. Today I received an E Mail from Ed Balls and MSN placed it in with junk mail, in the hopes I expect I do as I usually do and delete them without reading. If the Tory’s or their media supporters think that their party are doing such a fair job and carrying public opinion, why then do they feel the need to resort to skulduggery and not do things honestly. Or could it be that they simply do not know how to do honesty.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:51 pm

It would be a mistake to assume that just because the Tory Party has a poor record as Administrators, that they lack a political determination to match the Borgias.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Ivan on Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:26 pm

Today I received an E Mail from Ed Balls and MSN placed it in with junk mail
bobby. Not to worry, Ed sent it to me as well:-

Hello,

In difficult times people want and need a government that’s on their side. Who’ll help make things a little bit easier. They want to know the government has a plan for the future, to deliver the jobs and investment we need to succeed. And they want fairness – an understanding that everyone’s doing their bit, that we are really ‘all in it together’.

That was the mantra of David Cameron and George Osborne’s government – and today we’ve seen the truth.

At midnight 13,000 millionaires received a tax cut worth an average £100,000, while millions on low and middle incomes will continue to pay the price of this Tory-led government’s economic failure

While millionaires get an average £100,000 tax cut today, the average family will be £891 worse off this year because of tax and benefit changes since 2010.

And the new changes this week mean the poorest 10% are losing £127 on average while the richest 10% gain ten times that - £1265.

A One Nation Labour government would not be making these deeply unfair choices this week. We’re on the side of working people, and we want an economy and a tax system that’s driven by the many, and works for everyone, not just a few at the top.

Don’t let them get away with it.

Thank you,

Ed Balls
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by bobby on Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:11 pm

bobby. Not to worry, Ed sent it to me as well:-
Yes he has sent one to all Labour party members . My point is that MSN saw fit to put it in my junk mail whereas any other Labour party E Mails find there way to my inbox. Not only that but the missing article re his use of a disabled parking space, even worse imho than trying to fiddle a few quid from the railway companies.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by sickchip on Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:34 am

The Labour party are looking extremely weak. Do we really think the next election is a foregone conclusion?

They won't fight welfare reforms because they are frightened of losing votes.....it is extremely disappointing.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:52 am

sickchip wrote:The Labour party are looking extremely weak. Do we really think the next election is a foregone conclusion?

They won't fight welfare reforms because they are frightened of losing votes.....it is extremely disappointing.

I think you will find that the Labour party will come out with reforms for the Welfare state "But it will be a FAIR ONE" and not the one that the Tories are rolling out at the moment which treats everybody on benefits as if they where related to Phillpott.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by sickchip on Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:57 am

Redflag,

Fair? In what way? The only fair welfare reforms would be to increase income support and JSA by about 10%.

Are the Labour party going to do that?

Apart from that the system didn't, and doesn't, need any reforming.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:15 am

sickchip wrote:Redflag,

Fair? In what way? The only fair welfare reforms would be to increase income support and JSA by about 10%.

Are the Labour party going to do that?

Apart from that the system didn't, and doesn't, need any reforming.

To a certain extent they do sickchip, they're people like Phillpot who need to be brought to book so that we can afford the rises in all benefits to help people who are in need of it. The first thing they should do is build council homes that will leave the private landlords on there butts and cut the housing benefit bill halved or even more, plus stop the rhetoric public services bad private good when in reality it is the other way around.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by sickchip on Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:25 am

Redflag,

The first thing they should do is build council homes that will leave the private landlords on there butts and cut the housing benefit bill

I agree.....but have little faith in the Labour party doing that. They had 13yrs last time and Gordon Brown's 'no more boom and bust' comment was largely the result of the 'created' housing bubble, ie. false economics. They could have, and should have, embarked on large scale building of council homes then......I said this at the time, but they didn't appear to have the will or inclination.

Do you really think Labour will do this IF they are elected? I hope you're right, but I doubt it.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:55 pm

sickchip wrote:Redflag,

The first thing they should do is build council homes that will leave the private landlords on there butts and cut the housing benefit bill

I agree.....but have little faith in the Labour party doing that. They had 13yrs last time and Gordon Brown's 'no more boom and bust' comment was largely the result of the 'created' housing bubble, ie. false economics. They could have, and should have, embarked on large scale building of council homes then......I said this at the time, but they didn't appear to have the will or inclination.

Do you really think Labour will do this IF they are elected? I hope you're right, but I doubt it.

Ed Miliband is NOT Gordon Brown or Tony Blair, using your ananology there is no difference between a Tory voter and a Labour voter sickchip, but the Labour party did build many houses in 1945 they need that core value with a 21st century twist.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:48 pm

It is an odd thing that the British public will willingly donate tens of millions annually to the likes of 'Red Nose Day' and 'Children in Need' and yet they seem to resent state benefits going to people who are in dire straits week by week.

We all recognise that there is, inevitably, a small minority of people who will grasp anything they can for the minimum ( or no ) effort, but we generally discriminate between them and the truly needy. So why is the Tory propaganda currently so persuasive to so many who should know better...?
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:17 pm

Phil Hornby wrote:It is an odd thing that the British public will willingly donate tens of millions annually to the likes of 'Red Nose Day' and 'Children in Need' and yet they seem to resent state benefits going to people who are in dire straits week by week.

We all recognise that there is, inevitably, a small minority of people who will grasp anything they can for the minimum ( or no ) effort, but we generally discriminate between them and the truly needy. So why is the Tory propaganda currently so persuasive to so many who should know better...?

There is another question needing to be asked PH, why are normally sensible people letting the Tories lead them by the nose down the path of nastiness allowing the Tories to place a wedge between the low paid and the Unemployed when in reality the Tories and L/Ds economic failure caused quite a lot of the unemployment plus Cameron sacking so many from the public sector and the NHS ??
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:21 pm

1. Nobody really LIKES the idea of someone else deciding how their money is to be spent.

2. When publishing a Budget, a Chancellor should be bound to take into account Rule One.

3. The National Press should publicly and frequently acknowledge the above.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by boatlady on Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:46 pm

Sometimes I just think there's no hope.
I'd like to move to a proper socialist country (preferably one with mild winters)
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Ivan on Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:56 pm

Part of an article by Mark Latham:-

"We have to realise that Osborne and Cameron think this administration is doing very well. The NHS has been dismantled by enforced competition and the bizarre idea that commissioning groups can commission themselves; school’s freeholds are handed out to Tory donors and no longer require qualified teachers; banks are still unwieldy, ungovernable, socially useless and reliant of taxpayer subsidised capital. Tories are happy to cut benefits, block the construction of social housing, price education beyond reach, move the poor, the unfortunate or the ordinary out of homes, communities and networks because they have no experience of upheaval or deprivation and less interest.

These cuts are reducing taxes and making the rich much richer. They are not just embarked on tax cuts for millionaires; they are actively subsidising multimillionaires. This government has been hijacked by ‘graft’ and corruption working solely for its paymasters.

So keep looking at the immigrants, your neighbour’s curtains, the disabled scroungers, the single mothers, the beggars, universal benefits for mothers or old people, keep looking anywhere but at what Osborne is doing. Cameron and Osborne think everything in our nation is going well because it is going very well for them, and theirs."


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A tale of two Maggies

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:57 pm

Original at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Today made me think of a couple of Westerns. In one of my favourites, Tombstone, a member of Curly Bill’s gang has been killed. Even though this gang of Cowboys has terrorised the town for years, the gang arranges a grand funeral and marches the coffin through the streets expecting everyone to pay their respects.

In the other, The Magnificent Seven, the bandit tyrant who has impoverished the villages for years justifies leaving them to starve by explaining how onerous are the responsibilities of leadership. He is so wrapped up in his own myth that he expects the people he is robbing to feel sorry for the ‘weight’ he has to carry.

In similar fashion, the Tories have paraded the pomp of Margaret Thatcher’s ‘state in all but name’ funeral in front of us all, with no regard or sensitivity for the misery inflicted on ordinary people by Thatcher’s policies when she was Prime Minister – or for the miseries that are being re-intensified by the current government and inflicted on vast numbers.

Just like Eli Wallach’s bandit character in The Magnificent Seven, Tories have shown no embarrassment as they have shamelessly distorted the truth and rewritten history to eulogise Mrs Thatcher. If they were to be believed, she all but saved the world and turned Britain from a 3rd-world country into a paragon of prosperity.

The divisiveness of her policies, and the misery they inflicted, are brushed aside as ‘tough decisions that had to be made’. One former Tory minister, who claimed to have been elected by a mining community, even went so far as to blame the victims. After all, his community in the Midlands had ‘picked itself up and got on with it’ after their pits were closed – so those in South Yorkshire, Derbyshire, the North, Scotland and Wales just didn’t try hard enough to get back on their feet. They only have themselves to blame, apparently.

Poor old Eli Maggie. Rotten, lazy old villagers miners and their families. Don’t they realise the burden of power and responsibility? How dare they bemoan their miserable little wounds when Maggie was only doing it all because she had to.

The crassness of it all was no less staggering for the plummy voices of those justifying it.

A million miles away from the vile pomp and circumstance, a very different set of events was taking place. A very different ‘Maggie’ was at the Job Centre facing the consequences of the policies initiated by Margaret Thatcher and continued by her ideological children.

Her name isn’t really ‘Maggie’. I’ve changed it to protect her identity. But as she represents the end of the supposed rainbow that Thatcher’s ‘light’ created, it’s as good a pseudonym as any.

The living ‘Maggie’ is 29 and barely literate. Her only experience of work is a temporary Christmas job in a shop, and she has a couple of young children. She lives on one of the town’s poorer estates, where the unemployment rate is extremely high even for part of a town which has one of the highest rate of unemployment in the country.

Magge had received a letter from the local Jobcentre Plus on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) advising her,

You must do everything you reasonably can to find work and to improve your chances of being employed. In order to help you with this, we require you to take the following action:

(I’m going to paste an image of the description of ‘the following action’, so you believe it really was written like it was)

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Maggie would struggle to read good English. I’m a writer, yet even I struggled to parse that passage, which has various random capitalisations, lacks commas where they are needed and misses the occasional word – and which runs one clause into another without punctuation.

To make things worse still, the letter refers to a ‘my skills questionnaire’, when in fact the questionnaire is called a ‘my strengths’ questionnaire – more than enough to terrify someone with poor reading skills and low self-confidence that they might be completing the wrong documents and suffer a benefit ‘sanction’.

But even if the letter had been perfectly worded and completely accurate, the expectations it contained are ludicrous:

- Apply for 3 jobs via websites
- Register with 3 agencies and apply for jobs through them
- Complete 15 prospective jobs (whatever that means – we worked it out eventually)

All in the space of the couple of days from the arrival of the letter to today. I’m highly literate, and I like to think I’m no stranger to organisation and effort – but I would have struggled to complete all that in the time available. Especially with a couple of young kids.

‘Complete 15 prospective jobs’ turned out to mean completing this form:

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‘Identify a list of employers…business directories..or the internet may be useful’.

‘Identify why you would like to work for the organisation; think about the type of organisation..how your personality and skills would fit…research the company ethos’

Identify a contact name; to maximise your chances of success, identify the person who deals with employment for your chosen organisation, and contact them directly’

‘This will allow you to build up rapport with an employer’.


‘Ethos’, ‘rapport’ – and a detailed, intensive series of actions, to be completed for 15 companies in a couple of days. By someone who can barely read or write. And if you can’t do it – we’ll sanction your benefits.

The ‘My Strengths’ task was no less ridiculous. The worksheet begins:

When applying for jobs it is important to emphasise your strengths and abilities..This exercise has been scientifically shown to find people’s strengths..

Instructions:

Go to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

The website will ask you to complete 48 questions. This should only take you 10 minutes.

48 questions?! A woman who can barely read is told to enter a website address, answer 48 questions in less than 10 minutes – one of the early ones is “When the topic called for it, I can be a highly rational thinker”! – and all in addition to the ’15 prospective jobs’, working out how to apply for jobs on 3 job websites and visiting 3 employment agencies to register and apply for at least one job at each.

And, just to put icing on the cake, once the strengths questionnaire is completed and the respondent has entered his/her email address and received a copy of the 5 strengths (!), he or she is expected to:

aim to use each of your strengths in a new way everyday (sic) for at least a week.

Leaving aside the impossibility of using strengths in a new way for at least a week in a period of a couple of days, what staggers me about all this is the absolute lack of even the remotest commonsense appreciation of the reality and limitations faced by a lot of long-term unemployed people. Whoever wrote this letter and the forms that came with it clearly had not the faintest idea of the lack of skills and confidence of a lot of unemployed people from poor backgrounds, nor of how to communicate in a way they might understand.

‘Maggie’ was absolutely thrown into a panic by this letter when she received it. Life is hard enough with state support, and the fear that her benefits would be stopped if she couldn’t complete this impossible set of tasks in a couple of days. Fortunately, she went round to see some friends of mine who live near her, and they were able to help her get at least the basics done, even if the exercise and its results were meaningless. She has more chance of winning the lottery than of finding a job via that process, even if she manages to complete it with help.

The process, the way the letters were written and the ridiculous expectations betrayed a staggering callousness, lack of empathy and a complete ignorance of the daily reality faced by millions of people; people that this country has failed, abandoned – and then blamed for their plight, just like the idiot former minister blamed mining communities for not making enough effort.

That social psychopathy, and the swaggering arrogance of those who ordain it, is Margaret Thatcher’s real legacy – that and the misery of millions that it ignores.

And on the day she was buried, the way our living ‘Maggie’ was treated showed what a travesty the decision to award her a state funeral in all but name really is.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:21 pm

If the Head of State is there, it's a State Funeral. God Save The Queen.
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FAKE DWP 'test' reveals sinister govt 'psy-war'

Post by skwalker1964 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:59 am

Original including a lot of links at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I wrote yesterday about the psychological bullying being inflicted on unemployed people by Jobcentre Plus on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions, as huge, intimidating tasks are inflicted on people with minimal literacy, confidence and computer skills – backed by the threat of benefit ‘sanctions’ if they are not completed by a very short deadline.

But it gets even worse. One part of the series of tasks being imposed is an online ‘My strengths test’, consisting of a series of 48 multiple-choice answers to questions about your personality.

I can reveal that this ‘test’ is a completely bogus scam designed to manipulate unemployed people into performing a completely random, week-long exercise of incorporating supposed ‘characteristics’ into their daily behaviour.

How do I know this? Because the ‘test’ is fake – it allocates you a ‘personality’ even if you don’t answer the questions.

Try it for yourself here (at least until the government finds out it’s been rumbled and changes or removes the test). I clicked ‘next’ on each of the 48 questions until I reached the end. This is what came up after the last question page:

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The page goes on to list 5 ‘strengths’ and to instruct respondents to enter their email address so they can discuss the ‘results’ with their Jobcentre Plus advisor. Not only this, but the covering letter that comes with the instruction to complete the ‘test’ tells the recipient that he or she must

use each of your strengths in a new way everyday (sic) for at least a week.

Untold numbers of people running around trying to use ‘strengths’ that actually have nothing to do with their actual personality – all under the threat of losing their income if they fail to comply.

A quick search of the root directory of the site reveals that, even though this site is called ‘Behaviour Library’, there are no other tests on the site. The title of the site is selected to give the impression that there is a scientific basis for the test and that it is conducted by some kind of specialist organisation competent to conduct psychometric testing – but there is not even any information to identify who devised the questions.

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What there is, however, is a couple of Tory white papers – and a very revealing Powerpoint presentation. While the information in the presentation is clearly designed to provide prompts for someone to speak over, it is clearly about a particularly dark version of the government’s ‘nudge’ theory to influence behaviour.

This PowerPoint file contains some very sinister images about the kind of psychological impact the government is aiming for:

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There is no doubt at all that the point of this ‘test’ – and the process of which it is part – is to terrify unemployed people into compliance and to set many up to fail so that they can be ‘sanctioned’ and have their benefits stopped.

Could there be any clearer demonstration that this government has no concern at all for the unemployed and the unfortunate? The Tories don’t even want everyone to be in work because they fear it would push up wages from the pathetic levels we see in many jobs – and it’s on the official record that this is the case.

But it goes beyond that. Chillingly, this Tory-led government has taken a cynical decision to terrify disadvantaged people into jumping through hoops to manipulate them into taking even the most insecure, unsuitable and low-paying jobs – or else be cast onto the ‘sanctioned’ heap and cut off from support anyway.

And this is not the only way they do it, as you’ll find out if you ask any disabled person about their experiences with the DWP – while they demonise them to turn so-called ‘strivers’ against them. Divide and conquer.

This ‘test’ is a tool for abuse and psychological torture and a ruse to fool the electorate into thinking the Tories are interested in getting people back to work. They’re interested in cutting them off from their benefits, but that’s a different matter altogether.

If you’re not worried about this, you should be. This is a government that wants the right to access all our emails and the right to try us in secret. If this is how they behave in one area, can they be trusted in any other?

This sinister government ploy needs to be exposed as the ‘Big Brother’ mind-control torture that it is – and its perpetrators must be held to account. Including David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith.
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The file the DWP doesn’t want you to see

Post by skwalker1964 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:02 pm

Original including many links at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Over the last couple of days I’ve uncovered how the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is conducting trials that force unemployed people to take a meaningless online ‘test’ (which gives you a personality profile even if you click right through it without answering any questions). The test is accompanied by a letter that tells the respondent that he or she must implement the 5 ‘identified’ ‘strengths’, which bear no relation to their personality, in a different way every day ‘for at least one week’.

Treating people as guinea-pigs by deceiving them to make them ‘jump through hoops’ is bad enough. But benefit claimants are forced to take this ‘test’ under the threat of losing their benefits if they fail to do so.

Until last night, a visit to the root directory of the site revealed a number of files but no other personality tests. Even though the site is named to appear to be a specialist behavioural science site, it is a sham set up by a ‘Behavioural Insight Team’ advising the government on ’1984′-like ways to control people’s behaviour.

Until last night, entering the URL ‘behaviourlibrary.com’ would have shown you the following:

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However, if you visit it now, this is what you’ll see:

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Clearly there’s something here that the DWP and its advisors would prefer you not to see. But what is it?

Most of the files on the root directory would be available in other locations, but one in particular isn’t – a PowerPoint file that outlines the methodology of the test. This file – a presentation on ways to influence behaviour, especially of benefit claimants, contains a number of images, including one of a bailiff removing a television from someone’s house.

In the context of the threat of ‘sanction’ – the removal of benefits that people rely on to make ends meet – these images take on a particularly sinister aspect. Even if there could be an innocent explanation for the images, the manner in which the government is using coercion to make them undergo a meaningless ‘test’ for the purposes of psychological manipulation is extremely worrying. The fact that access to the site has now been blocked (presumably because someone realised it was known to the public) suggests that the government does not want the contents of this file to be known, whatever the precise reason.

Fortunately, that’s not the end of the matter. I stored a copy of this PowerPoint file on Dropbox, so you can read it and decide for yourself. If you would like to see the file, please visit the links below – and spread the word so that others can see exactly what the government is trying to hide.

The DWP’s ‘behavioural control’ presentation.

The DWP’s ‘behavioural control’ presentation in movie format.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:41 pm

Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

I hope I'm not straying off-piste too far in commenting on the latest published reactions to the well-publicised failure of a Care Home in which the "Carers" regularly bullied their charges for amusement. The explanation now given for previously excellent Inspection Reports is that the so-called "Inspections" were mainly concerned with the correct maintenance of PAPER RECORDS.

Governments' attempts to "manage" their responsibilities are inevitably paper-based, whatever the topic.

Understanding this, one can achieve one's own objectives, by fighting fire with fire. Bombarding the Government Department concerned with counter-paperwork to stymie their robotic bunff can have positive outcomes.

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by blueturando on Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:56 pm

Much to the denial of the left (including posters here) the simple truth is that the country cannot afford the welfare state as it is. Watch any political programme on TV and this is the agreed consenus, even amongst Labour MP's.

EVERYBODY.....Wants a welfare state that is there to come to the aid of people who are genuinely in need, but again the simple truth is that set up as it is at the moment, the benefits system is open to abuse..and is being abused regularly by a small but significant number of people.

There are no political dividing lines on this issue and it would seem that 'working class' people are more in favour of welfare reform than anyone else in our society. Many hard working people are just fed up seeing the abuse being played out all around them and a system that unintentionally rewards the feckless and lazy.

There simply has to be limits on welfare payments, if only to make it fair on the working & middle classes...but ideally to try and reverse the unhealthy culture created by various govenments over the last few decades. Maybe, just maybe we will end up with more funds to direct into social care and othe more worthy causes

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:32 pm

blueturando wrote:Much to the denial of the left (including posters here) the simple truth is that the country cannot afford the welfare state as it is. Watch any political programme on TV and this is the agreed consenus, even amongst Labour MP's.

EVERYBODY.....Wants a welfare state that is there to come to the aid of people who are genuinely in need, but again the simple truth is that set up as it is at the moment, the benefits system is open to abuse..and is being abused regularly by a small but significant number of people.

There are no political dividing lines on this issue and it would seem that 'working class' people are more in favour of welfare reform than anyone else in our society. Many hard working people are just fed up seeing the abuse being played out all around them and a system that unintentionally rewards the feckless and lazy.

There simply has to be limits on welfare payments, if only to make it fair on the working & middle classes...but ideally to try and reverse the unhealthy culture created by various govenments over the last few decades. Maybe, just maybe we will end up with more funds to direct into social care and othe more worthy causes

"....the simple truth is that the country cannot afford the welfare state as it is...."

The customary flat statement with no supporting evidence.
What is meant by "The Country", blue? Do you mean you and your mates down the Pub, or do you mean one of the wealthier Countries in the World. In Britain, 10% of the population own 50% of the wealth. Obviously THEY could afford to support the Welfare State, but unsurprisingly they are content to leave such tedious matters to you and me.

Why is that OK with you?
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:08 pm

Because OW its the Tory thinking they do not believe in the public sector or the Welfare state and that includes OUT NHS, that is the reason for privatizing the NHS which will help there friends in the private health Insurance business and the private health clinics but the majority of people in the UK could not afford to pay for health Insurance there premiums are sky high, how do I know this I phoned and asked a few of these companies and they would not include any present illnesses.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:16 pm

Absolutely, Red. Insurance works on the principle that there will be more people paying-in than there will be claimants, thus providing a profit for the Insurer.

Clearly the main problem with Health Insurance is that subscribers are very much more likely to become claimants as they grow older. So unlike most other businesses, there is little interest in customer-retention. The elderly, and those with a history of illness, are not welcome.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:28 am

oftenwrong wrote:Absolutely, Red. Insurance works on the principle that there will be more people paying-in than there will be claimants, thus providing a profit for the Insurer.

Clearly the main problem with Health Insurance is that subscribers are very much more likely to become claimants as they grow older. So unlike most other businesses, there is little interest in customer-retention. The elderly, and those with a history of illness, are not welcome.

I have heard that some health Insurance companies try to get out of paying out to claimants whenever possible GREEDY BACKSTUDS, this is what Cameron and his shower of dick heads want us to vote them back into power in May 2015 as far as I am concerned "NO BLOODY CHANCE" for me and I think Millions of others.

Have you seen OW the UK has been downgraded by another company so one more to go and we will be on SKID ROW.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:15 pm

Smoke and Mirrors, Red. Down-grading or upgrading exist solely to provide the COMMERCIAL Credit Rating Agencies with a "reason for being there". They earn FEES for their pronouncements.

Not unlike the manner in which some Clergymen justify their existence by preaching Hellfire and Damnation. (Though they could have chosen to use the parable of The credit-rating).
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Ivan on Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:31 pm

oftenwrong is quite correct about credit ratings. However, the significant point is that Osborne said, when he became Chancellor in 2010, that he wanted to be judged on his success in defending the AAA rating which he inherited from Labour.

Osborne is an abject failure, even by his own benchmark. If he had any integrity, he would resign.

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:47 pm

But who can exude a comely tear, when the occasion appears to demand it.

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by astradt1 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:27 pm

skwalker1964.........
Over the last couple of days I’ve uncovered how the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is conducting trials that force unemployed people to take a meaningless online ‘test’ (which gives you a personality profile even if you click right through it without answering any questions). The test is accompanied by a letter that tells the respondent that he or she must implement the 5 ‘identified’ ‘strengths’, which bear no relation to their personality, in a different way every day ‘for at least one week’.

For 'fun' I completed the 'test' to see if I was in the right frame of mind to carry one my current job......

I gave the most negative answers possible and was very interested in the results........

Your results!
Think about how you can use these strengths in your job search and in your life in general

Try to find a new way to use them then everyday

Strength 1. Modesty
You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. Others recognize and value your modesty.

Strength 2. Critical Thinking
Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.

Strength 3. Leadership
You excel at the tasks of leadership: encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included. You do a good job organizing activities and seeing that they happen.

Strength 4. Carefulness
You are a careful person. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.

Strength 5. Fairness
Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

Fill in your email address address below to have your strengths emailed to you. You may want to discuss these with your advisor at your next meeting.


I wonder how others on here would fair if they were to give honest answers?
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:59 pm

oftenwrong wrote:Smoke and Mirrors, Red. Down-grading or upgrading exist solely to provide the COMMERCIAL Credit Rating Agencies with a "reason for being there". They earn FEES for their pronouncements.

Not unlike the manner in which some Clergymen justify their existence by preaching Hellfire and Damnation. (Though they could have chosen to use the parable of The credit-rating).

I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop (downgraded by the third company that grades us) but I suppose that Osborne will say they are wrong and his plan A will get this country back on its feet, he will keep denying it until his face turns BLUE.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:54 pm

Wallpaper Osborne has changed his plans so many times we have gone to zzzzzzzzzzzzz....
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:34 am

oftenwrong wrote:Wallpaper Osborne has changed his plans so many times we have gone to zzzzzzzzzzzzz....

I do not think it is us that have gone to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz it's Osborne that is asleep on the job.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:16 am

astradt1 wrote:
I wonder how others on here would fair if they were to give honest answers?

About the same as if they weren't, most likely! lol
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:13 pm

DWP fake psych 'test' devised by US 'torture guru' [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Seems like it must be fiction, but it isn't.. Sad

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:17 pm

The first Rule of conducting a questionnaire that will produce the results you desire is ....

Find The Right People To Answer Your Survey.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:25 am

Ivan wrote:oftenwrong is quite correct about credit ratings. However, the significant point is that Osborne said, when he became Chancellor in 2010, that he wanted to be judged on his success in defending the AAA rating which he inherited from Labour.

Osborne is an abject failure, even by his own benchmark. If he had any integrity, he would resign.


Ivan what you have said about the credit rating agencies why did Osbourn put so much store by them, in regard to the standing of the UK and if the third credit rating agency takes away our triple A rating, what will happen ??
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by blueturando on Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:41 pm

Can I ask....Seeing as most of you think we (Britain) does not have a money issue, can afford ever higher welfare bills and more debt incured. When and how do you expect or think we are going to pay for it....Soon or just never?

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:28 pm

blueturando wrote:Can I ask....Seeing as most of you think we (Britain) does not have a money issue, can afford ever higher welfare bills and more debt incured. When and how do you expect or think we are going to pay for it....Soon or just never?


I will try and explain it as plain so that you can understand it blue, Yes we have money problems thanks to the banks antics in 2007/08, to start off its THIS gov't that is borrowing more money to pay JSA to those that it has flung on the scrap heap due to there cuts, we on the left think this is PURE STUPIDITY would it not be better to have people IN WORK paying tax & NI and not having to pay them JSA this would be a win win situation.

We may be skint as a country YET we seem to have FOUND £10 Million towards the burning of the Maggot where did that money come from for that ? or the Tory MP that is asking for a pay rise of £40,000 to there salary "Where the EFF" is that money going to come from, so maybe you can EXPLAIN where all this money is going to come from, Davey boy cut MPs salaries when he came into office by 5% but that was nothing more than a cover up for robbing the taxpayer blind. But not of course the rich and wealthy that pour money into the Tory party funds the likes of Michael Farmer who gave £1.3 Million or hedge fund boss Lord Fink who gave around £289,000 this is the4 reason that they where give the tax cut of over £107,000 per year so now we all know.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

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