Monday, October 05, 2009

Conservatives target 2.6 million on ‘Incapacity Benefit’

One would think that the United Kingdom were the most disabled nation on the planet. With nine per cent of its working population declared incapacitated, one could be forgiven for thinking we were subject to some chronic pandemic or a profound flaw in the genetic pool.

But the reality is that we have developed a cultural aversion to earning a living. Statistics indicate that five million people have never had a job under Labour as the dependency culture has gripped poorer neighbourhoods. No adult works in 3.3 million households and 800,000 have been claiming incapacity benefit for more than a decade. Perhaps the greatest tragedy is the wasted potential of the one-in-five young people who have never had a job.

Tony Blair appointed Frank Field, an independent-minded MP, to be his welfare reform minister with a brief to ‘think the unthinkable’. Unfortunately for him, he did – and Gordon Brown thereafter ensured that Mr Field’s political career was ended.

New Labour have micro-managed and centralised welfare and spawned a myriad of benefits – Job Seekers’ Allowance, tax credits and the New Deal for the unemployed to name but a few. And what have these yielded? Despite a lengthy period of low unemployment, welfare spending has continued to increase. This is the defining characteristic of our welfare state: it is expensive, inefficient, bureaucratic and fails to deliver what it is supposed to.

It is crying out for reform.

The Bible has quite a lot to say about not working. It talks of the inevitable fate of the sluggard lying in bed; the sloth too lazy to find employment: it tells us that if a man will not work, he shall not eat.

It is ‘nasty’ stuff – uncaring, uncompassionate, harsh and ‘right wing’.

Nasty or not, today in Manchester the Conservative Party will declare war on the sick-note culture, unveiling plans to slash £25 a week from the benefits of the work-shy.

Of course, the Party will not use the words ‘war’, ‘slash’ or ‘work-shy’, for they are seeking to sound reasonable, huggable, fluffy and pink.

But in the UK, it pays not to work. Indeed, it frequently pays more than work. And it must be a wholly justifiable welfare reform to redress the absurd situation in which a man can ‘earn’ more by lying in bed all day than he can by getting on his bike and finding a job. If he is incapacitated, he receives £89.90 a week: the unemployed receive only £64.30. In addition, of course, to having one’s rent and council tax paid, children supported, and a host of other benefits to keep one from the ever-rising threshold of poverty.

The Conservative welfare reforms have been drawn up by David, Lord Freud, who defected from Labour to become a shadow minister in the Lords earlier this year. If only Tony Blair had trusted Frank Field, we would not now be a nation of supplicants, with one in three households dependent on the state for at least half its income.

But Cranmer has a question (or three):

In order to be declared incapacitated, one must obtain a ‘sick note’ from one’s doctor. One would think, being professional and qualified, that doctors only issue such a note to those they judge to be incapable of work – the severely disabled, the mentally ill, those who have had heart attacks or been afflicted with a debilitating illness. By talking of compulsory health assessments by ‘super doctors’ from ‘private firms’ who will test how genuine a claimant’s incapacity may be, are not the Conservatives effectively accusing the nation’s GPs of not doing their jobs properly? Are they not interfering in a delegated, professional judgement? Are they not creating a further centralised bureaucracy instead of insisting on localised efficiency?


Anonymous philip walling said...

Everybody knows the doctors were bought off with huge chunks of taxpayers' money a couple of years back.
Now, if a conflict arises between their duty to their patient and to their paymaster the state, the money makes sure they do the right thing.
They will do whatever their masters require.

5 October 2009 at 09:30  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Many GPs in inner city areas are stressed out and afraid. The Liberal-left encouraged growth in the number of claimants for incapacity benefit by turning a blind eye to liberal interpretations of incapacity. This increased pressure on GPs (and threats of violence) to issue ‘sick notes’ for the mates of those on incapacity benefit.

This has resulted in GPs’ judgement becoming skewed. Now somebody has to summon the courage to say that the socialists got it wrong and so somebody has to fix the system. The working-class know that the system is being abused and New labour are the party of benefit cheats.

The people who are going to complain are the few middle-classes who have jobs and salaries to protect.

5 October 2009 at 10:02  
Blogger Gnostic said...

The welfare state is a shambles because, as Your Grace says, no one is allowed to slaughter such a sacred cow even though it's become necrotic.

Growing unemployment is also a crucial issue. Perhaps El Gordo or Cameron could bring the exciting and innovative green jobs agenda forward.

Pie in the sky

I wouldn't be too surprised if they base it on the benchmark Spanish model.

Paella in the sky

5 October 2009 at 10:03  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

No doubt many of the comments here will be studied by delegates at the Conservative Party conference.

It is suggested that the debate between means testing and universalism might also be reopened in the future.

Means testing is about assessing individual circumstances and if merited proportional state support to alleviate difficulties.

Universalism is about giving state support in a defined situation to the multi-millionaire and the poor man next door.

It is said that means testing involves stigma. But so does a GP looking at the individual circumstances of a claimant for incapacity benefit.

5 October 2009 at 10:14  
Anonymous Simon said...

The problem with relying on the doctor to sign-off the claimant is that the doctor is not in a position of impartiality. The claimant is the doctor's patient. When in doubt, and as medicine is not a precise science this will often be the case, the doctor is professionally obliged to rely on what his patient tells him.

5 October 2009 at 10:29  
Blogger Bardirect said...

The sick note starts out being job specific, so illness or injury may preclude a return to that job. You cannot work on a building site with a broken leg. Unfortunately it is then treated as being incapable of any work. Even amputees and paraplegics can work, many do, many more seek to do so, often creating jobs rather than being employed.

Labour tolerated the situation because they expect votes from it.

5 October 2009 at 10:44  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

A Conservative means-tested welfare strategy would be more efficient: it would select for aid those most in need.

It would encourage our neighbour to suppress his pride (that supports social isoaltion) by encouraging him to ask for help from his neighbour.

A Conservative welfare strategy must have the wisdom and strength to transform the socialist vice (payind lazy men to turn like door hinges upon their beds) to Conservative virtue.

5 October 2009 at 10:52  
Anonymous Bill said...

Are Doctors part of the problem?

Ask Dr Crippin

5 October 2009 at 11:16  
Blogger Demetrius said...

There are some areas within the figures that are intractable. One is the increasing numbers of over 50's dumped out with nobody interested in employing them. The other is the less healthy end of the young who face real hurdles of getting a job under current employment requirements and legislation. The disability payment has become a means of avoiding tackling the issues, and keeping down the real unemployment figures.

5 October 2009 at 11:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that some people on incapactity benefit can't work, not beacuse they are lazy or 'work-shy' but because they are incapacitated?

5 October 2009 at 11:44  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Tax credits: the most stupid, bureaucratic idiocy ever invented. This is how they work: the government (i.e. G Brown, Chancellor of the E) takes money off people in taxes. It then pays some other people to give some of it back to them. The recipients are given the impression that they are receiving something from the government, whereas they are simply being given a small proportion of their own money back. Smoke and mirrors.

Getting rid of tax credits would be unpopular among those who receive them, but is absolutely necessary.

The only answer is to lower taxes for the less well-off. Brown, of course, has raised them (remember the 10p band?) in order to fund the handouts that make him appear generous. Don't it make you sick?

5 October 2009 at 11:45  
Anonymous Brian E. said...

I live in what would be called "a respectable area", yet there is a notice in the surgery waiting room about not tolerating violence towards staff. I commented on this to my GP as being somewhat unexpected, and he told be that several of the doctors had been threatened when they would not issue a sick note, or if they insisted that the patient went to the hospital for specialist attention. Reception staff had also been threatened when, on instruction, they refused to give the "patient" an appointment for the third time in a week.
So it is easy to understand how a doctor, working in an inner city environment, can take the easy way out, as it at least then gives him a chance to look after those patients who need care.

5 October 2009 at 11:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the powers that be simply can't see the logical answer.

The benefits culture cannot be solved until such time as the tax system is overhauled to ensure that working is something that is worthwhile doing financially.

For instance, this disasterous Government has repeated increased the minimum wage - the minimum someone should earn per hour of 'graft'. Let's say that's £6 per hour as a round figure - it soon will be.

So someone working 40 hours a week earns £240 per week, £12,480 per annum. However, tax and National Insurance are now payable, bringing the employee's NET income down to a tocuh over £201 per week.And don't forget, the Employer NI contributions on top!

Out of this, rent, food, council tax, utilities, travel to from work. Not much left after that, eh?

Why does someone who contributes to society be penalised for so doing, whilst someone who does NOTHING for society have all his or her bills paid ad infinitum?

Until work pays, the benefits culture will flourish unabated. It CANNOT be solved.

5 October 2009 at 11:49  
Blogger The Young Oligarch said...

I have been in receipt of Incapacity Benefit for nearly 2 years , following a heart attack while teaching a class . My caring , sharing socialist employers terminated my contract to avoid paying sick pay . Nor would my Trade Union back me up in taking legal action .

The sick-note-only period of claiming this benefit lasts for only around six months . After that the claimant is called in to a nearby city to be inspected by a doctor employed by the DWP who bases his examination on a series of highly prescriptive questions to assess capability for work .

If you are judged able to perform any work your benefit is immediately withdrawn and you have to go to the JobCentre to sign on , going through the whole bureaucratic process of application again .

This process will be repeated every 6-12 months until such time as the claim ends , i.e. if the claimant finds work or dies .

In between government medical tests the claimant is bombarded with appointments and exhortations to get back to work .

Anyone still on this benefit who is not seriously unwell must be an actor comparable to Gielgud or Olivier .

Not only that , but IB has been abolished for new claimants . A new Employment and Support Allowance replaces it with a regime of even more bureaucratic prodding and accusation . (My blood-pressure is getting dangerously high even thinking of this).

How Cameron can make this regime even more harsh , without throwing the chronically ill into work houses , escapes me .

The idea that the rate of Incapacity Benefit exceeds the wealth of Croesus is pitiful . Anyone who has tried to run a house on this amount will tell you how far it goes .

I want to work .

I am sick of being considered a scrounger because I have been incapacitated (hopefully temporarily) in the service of my country - i.e. dealing with the fallout on our children of the great liberal experiment while trying to educate them .

Cut me , and all the others , a bit of slack .

Look at the facts , as a conservative should , not at the press release .

5 October 2009 at 12:08  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 October 2009 at 12:45  
Blogger Dave said...

About five years ago I was signed off with a work related injury. I then lost my job and had to sign on.
The Job Centre asked me if I was fit for work. My injury hadn't healed so I rightly said no. They said that I wasn't eligible for Jobseekers and dismissed me.
I went to the DSS and asked if they could help. The only thing they could offer was Incapacity Benefit. My GP signed the forms and I got some help from the government.
Eventually I was assessed and it was decided that I was not ill enough to claim Incapacity Benefit. However, I wasn't fit enough to work so the Job centre couldn't help.
Do you see where this is going?
Eventually I persuaded the Job centre to send me on a computer course. (This means that I didn't count as unemployed so it made their figures look better). I managed to get a temporary job soon afterward, and was lucky enough to find full time work later.

It's the sheer inflexibility of the system that's at fault. The reason so many people claim incapacity benefit is because Job Seekers allowance is denied if you are unfit, signed off with depression (caused by unemployment?) or just unemployable.

Perhaps we should have another allowance for those who will never ever work because they are bereft of suitable skills, or there are no jobs available, or they are too old or too young to find work.

I'd suggest a form of national Service, cleaning drains, digging ditches, etc. It won't happen of course.

5 October 2009 at 13:31  
Anonymous Laurence said...

"By talking of compulsory health assessments by ‘super doctors’ from ‘private firms’ who will test how genuine a claimant’s incapacity may be, are not the Conservatives effectively accusing the nation’s GPs of not doing their jobs properly?"

I am utterly bewildered by this news item. After an initial period on Incapacity Benefit, incapacity for work is not judged by GPs anyway. The 'private firms' of 'super doctors' have been performing 'Personal Capability Assessments' (PCAs) for many years already. PCAs are already compulsory to attend or the benefit is stopped. I have attended many such assessments and they are extremely rigorous. There is nothing new in the plans proposed by the Conservatives - they have been in place for many years. The effectiveness of the PCAs may be debated but their long-standing existence is a question of fact.

5 October 2009 at 14:34  
Blogger Frugal Dougal said...

I'm totally in favour of this initiative because, being on Incapacity Benefit for quite a while after my diagnosis as manic-depressive, I hated myself for being part of a group containing many members who weren't disabled at all. It didn't help with my recovery.

5 October 2009 at 14:51  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

Hm. So unemployment feeds the bureaucracy and keeps the professional euro politicians (the 'elect') and their vocalisers (media) looking as if they're at work.

What idustries of its own does this country have, that might provide work and that would re-invest in the society?

What encourages people to set up services and renovate the society?

What do we do to generate a self-sustaining society?

How many of the 'beneficiaries' are British and how many are foreigners forced on us by euros?

How does our 'benefit' expense sheet compare with our euro expense sheet?

Surely there is much more to this than our marxist henchmen are capable of discerning? Shouldn't we be re-defining our terms and parameters for ourselves, instead of relying on those shoved under our noses by enemies, foreigners, liars and cheats?

5 October 2009 at 16:18  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 October 2009 at 16:41  
Blogger The Young Oligarch said...

You keep your closet to yourself , McKenzie !

5 October 2009 at 16:47  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Some nasty things come out of closets - skeletons and the like - so you won't find me lurking in one...

5 October 2009 at 17:55  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 October 2009 at 19:02  
Anonymous ad said...

The Spectator points me to this article by James Purnell:

5 October 2009 at 19:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The New Labour Tories Employment & Support (support! they are kidding) benefit is underpinned by a privatised, incentivised "capability assessment" carried out by often under qualified "medics".

I have severe heart failure which my consultant regarded as sufficient reason to end my 37 years of gainful employment. My pension fund doctors agreed. But ATOS the DWP contractors, assessed me as capable of work! No doubt earning themselves a bonus in the process.

This system is a blunt & heavy instrument that crushes the genuinely incapacitated while probably missing the fraudster who is adept at lying.

Now the Tory Tories are making play at how much better they will be at wielding the same stick.

We need politicians who will cure the disease not beat the patient. We need equal access to the best education. We need full employment and a generous minimum wage. We need fulfilling employment opportunity for the non academic worker. We need safe workplaces that don't injure and incapacitate workers. We are a fantastically rich nation and have the capacity to look after all vulnerable people properly, but we lack the will to do it.

If these things were fixed then the benefits culture would be irrelevant. We can produce wealth without the need of lifelong work.

And you know what you can do with your protestant work ethic your reverence.......and then get back on the fire will you.

5 October 2009 at 20:08  
Blogger ZZMike said...

This is the nature, and the result, of the welfare state. It grows from generation to generation.

In the US, in the 1930s, unelployment stood around 25% or more (probalby more). But many people were too proud to go on relief (as it was called then) - and they didn't.

McKenzie: "by introducing the merciless American system which hoofs the scum out on their arse,..."

Evidently you've not lived there much. I rather think your Jolly Old England has that award tied up in knots. See, for example, Anonymous at 20:08, or just read the Daily Mail for a few days.

Anonymous (20:08) and Dave at 13:31 (and others) show us clearly that the government giveth, and the government taketh away. (As we like to put it, the big print giveth and the fine print taketh away.)

Somehow I have a feeling that their stories are unique.

5 October 2009 at 21:10  
Blogger ZZMike said...

....... not unique .....

5 October 2009 at 21:11  
Blogger Jess The Dog said...

In some parts of Scotland, 25% of working age population are claiming incapacity benefit, whereas in others it is zero. While it is certain that the genuinely ill are amongst the ranks of the incapacitated, it is also true that there are many who are incapacitated through drug or alcohol abuse.

In some areas, 10% of those of working age are "incapacitated" in this way. Alcohol-related hospital admissions range from zero to 5,000 per 100,000 of the population, and drugs-related hospital admissions range from zero to 1,000 per 100,000 of the population.

That doesn't consider mental health issues, often a long-term consequence of alcohol and drug abuse. All this is made much worse by an 'infinite tolerance' culture exemplified by the prescription of methadone.

Removing those incapacitated by drug and alcohol abuse from the ranks of those claiming incapacity benefit would make a massive difference, not just in the direct bill to the taxpayer but in terms of indirect effects by reduced anti-social behaviour and crime and increased economic productivity. That is not an easy task, it is a very difficult cycle to break, not least because of generations of social care practice which refuses to criticise behaviour types, instead offering vacuous "choices" and "support" which just sustains these livestyles.

5 October 2009 at 22:52  
Anonymous caesars wife said...

it has to start somewhere , the only real way out of this is a short few years of pain . the tax receipts dont look like recovering and the wrong sort of taxation will make any recovery patchey , dont forget we are on about finding at least £100bn just to put the defeit to normal levels.

the labour socialist ecnomics doesnt really do it , not that we have had any details to judge it by . they believe the debt to pay for the bloated state will work , when in fact all they are doing is denying a return to earnings earlier in the rest of the economy.

All gordon brown is hoping to do is spin socialist ecnomics for an outcome he knows cannot cure the debt , and hoping we will buy it .

way to go yet on this one and treasury pre budget isnt due till november , yet more delays and dithering in what has been a 2 year saga of no plan of action .

This goverment deserves all the contempt it gets , it cant even be bothered to tell us how they are going to pay the debt off

6 October 2009 at 00:46  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Well my former GP, Dr.B, didn't sign many sick notes.On one occasion one of his elderly patients(Mr M) went to him complaining that he was feeling unwell,Dr B told him to pull himself together!So Mr M went away untreated.He died the next week.

6 October 2009 at 04:46  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Here is a question for you all?
If you have one eye,would you qualify for incapacity benefit?
I remember Margaret Thatcher had eye trouble during her reign.

6 October 2009 at 05:17  
Anonymous Seymour said...

as an eye specialist I would not certify a unilateral loss of an eye as incapable of work. There are some jobs such as hgv driver, pilot and eye surgeon that are impossible, but many more that are.

The major group on this benefit are psychiatrically ill with depression and addiction. 200 000 on it foralcohol and drug addiction alone. I think that they should only recieve it whilst in a treatment programme. Otherwise we may as well pay the money straight to the pusher.

IDS wrote an excellent report on all this last week, I hope that it becomes party policy. Simplification and getting rid of the poverty trap are keys to getting people back to work. Even if wise so much worklessness is not affordable.

6 October 2009 at 07:50  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Jess the Dog

Outstanding analysis.

6 October 2009 at 07:51  
Blogger John Woolman said...

part of the problem is that the National Health Service now has the major function, not to maintain the health of the nation, but rather to facilitate the re-election of the current government..

6 October 2009 at 08:07  
Blogger True Belle said...

Tories cannot be immune from job loss through heart attack, stroke/ prostrate/ mental illness?


6 October 2009 at 09:51  
Blogger Dissenter said...

I am a GP and I am so busy that I have no time to argue with the determined disability benefit seeker who claims backache and/or depression. I was once threatened (credibly) with violence by challenging a sturdy beggar with a (violent) criminal record who had been signed off sick for a year with back pain. Neither I, the X ray or the specialist could find anything wrong with him, ut still he insisted he was disabled.

When I suggested he might be fit to return to work he snareld, said 'wach oo sayin? you callin' me a liar?' and punched the table. He was bigger than me and I was really frightened.

There is an entire industry of 'tax eaters' (as William Cobet called such) built around the 'needs' of these people, and always a sob story to tell.

Please understand that GPs know very well that we are signing off milions of people who could work, but we don;t know which ones, we are trying to be sympathetic to everyone, and the system will NOT back us up of we call someone a liar and they then complain. The 'depressives' in particular will be back-day after day-until they get the sick note they want. I look them right in the face and ask them 'are you telling me you are completely unable to work?' and when they say 'yes' I give them a sick note to get them out of my office-I have a work ethic and too much to do if they don't.

But would your Grace or anyone emply these folks who are so determined not to work, at least not in the sector of the economy where there are 'stoppages' (i.e. tax and national insurance). Many of course work the 'cash in hand' economy while claiming.

The trouble is, they all have the vote, and many have been in jail where amongst other things they learn the exact phrases to use to get signed off with depression, and exactly when to wince during the examination to claim disabling back pain. You cannot disprove a claim of back pain or depression, I suffer from both problems and keep working, so perhaps that explains a slight lack of sympathy. Furthermore, doctors are trained to believe everything patients tell them. Would you expect any less as a patient? Jusat as the criminal jusstice sustem will aquit 20 probably guilty p[eople where there is doubt rather than convict one innoccent person. Certifying those who are lying about their disability is a simuilarly difficult problem.

Its not our fault and we don't like it either.

6 October 2009 at 10:21  
Blogger The Young Oligarch said...

The thug who threatened Dissenter should be in gaol , not on benefits .

What bothers me about his response is the term "sob story" .

By the nature of the benefit we're talking about every case will involve a fair degree of pain , suffering and misfortune .

To characterise these as self-indulgent "sob stories" is emotive and calculatedly offensive .
(And not in the hi-jacked New Labour sense of the word).

Is it not part of the state's role to protect those who have fallen on hard times , as has been the case since the National Insurance Act (1911) ? If not , I want my National Insurance contributions back .

Jess the Dog is correct in his assertions regarding the numbers of drug addicts and chronic alcoholics who are unable to work .

The problem is that the money they receive from the state in no way pays for their habits . There simply is not enough to feed , house and clothe yourself while getting blind drunk every day . The money must , therefore , come from crime .

A further reduction in the money they receive from the state will result in a massive increase in that crime .

Then again , I'd put arsenic in their methadone .

6 October 2009 at 12:18  
Blogger Dissenter said...

Jez, your response to my use of the term 'sob story', underlines my point, which is that one simply cannot say anything about the possibility of the existence of undeserving benefit claimants without being accused of having no sympathy or compassion. Perhaps 'illustration concerning a person who is genuinely feeling very hard done by' would be a better expression than 'sob story'?

I remember a man, as if it was yesterday, who was writhing in agony in my surgery complaining of severe back pain. I signed him off and prescribed strong pain killers (which he probably later sold). An hour later, out doing visits in my car, I saw him unloading boxes of goods from the back of a lorry. He was moving very differently to the individual who had been all but sobbing with apparent pain earlier that morning. No, I did not report him to the authorities, we were getting the surgery windows smashed on a regular enough basis as it was.

This is why most GPs won't say anything about this problem, we don't like being accused of lacking compassion and of course very many, probably a majority, of disability benefit claimants are at least halfway genuine. But a lot aren't.

PS You can;t have your NI payments back as they were all spent before you paid them, repaying previously incurred government debt which had funded benefit payments in earlier years. Todays benefit claimants, all 5 million or whatever the number is, are being paid out of government borrowings which our children will be taxed to the hilt for decades to repay. That is why there is a problem.

PPS Philip Walling, yes GPs did get a large pay rise (about 30%) for extra work and because of a serious looming GP recruitment and retention crisis some 4 years ago.

Despite an effective pay freeze since then, the story about GPs' 'massive pay rise' is still popular currency, proving how effective the government spin machine can be.

However, the transfer of a million and a half people from unemployment benefit to long term disability benefit had mostly taken place before then. In New Labour's early years, huge numbers of patients arrived at my surgery (and from what I hear, everyone else's) having been told at the benefit office to 'go and get your doctor to sign you off'. A lot of these people were over 55, unskilled, and with some degree of ill health. Although theoretically fit for some work, many were in effect unemployable in the extant skills market and many GPs thought, why argue?

It is widely believed although unproveable that it was government policy to shrink the unemployment figures by transferring such folks from job seekers to sickness benefit. One can feel some sympathy, but I wish they'd been honest about it. And however generous one feels like being, there is a limit somewhere to how many benefit claimants, deserving pr otherwise, the increasingly overtaxed workers can support ontheir backs.

You can see why Frank Field was sacked!

6 October 2009 at 12:51  
Blogger The Young Oligarch said...

Apologies , Dissenter . I thought you were trying to be provocative .

You will , of course , know better than I what sort of patients you come across .

My earlier point , however , was that , after the first 6 months , it is not up to the local GP whether an individual continues to receive this benefit . It is already decided by doctors employed by the DWP , through outside private contractors (ATOS , I think) , just as this new policy suggests .

It is therefore an announcement of "more of the same".

Unfortunately it uses those at their lowest ebb , and least able to fight back , to make this meaningless political non-point .

I would say that I thought better of Cameron , but that would be a lie .

PS I did know that National Insurance was a Ponzi scheme . It was a rhetorical question , meant to illustrate that those who receive have also contributed .

6 October 2009 at 13:25  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

How did it ever come to this?

Men who are alcoholics and drug addicts classified to receive incapacity benefit.

GPs – for the sake of peace issuing sick notes and afraid of being seen as uncompassionate.

The USSR became a nation of drug addicts and alcoholics because they could see no way out of the banality of Soviet administration.

What has twelve years of prosperity under a socialist system done to this nation?

All that taxation; all that expenditure; all that material wealth: wasted.


Why have suicide rates gone up? Why?

Even Alexander Solzhenitsyn reported that under the gulag regime – despite men’s hardships – suicide was rare.

6 October 2009 at 15:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 'Bad Back Syndrome' is a problem, and I think the medical profession could help to sort it out.

I would like to know why most GPs seem not to know how to use the tools at their disposal, and appear unable to agree on criteria as to what constitutes danger for the patient. The tools, e.g, include MRIs and Nerve Conduction Tests; and the dangers include paralysis caused by physical damage to nerves (and possibly even death, if some nerves are impinged).

I have a bad back. I have a very bad. Had I not taken care of that back, I would have been paraplegic years ago. At the same time as taking care of the back, I have continued to work - although often in the face of insults by co-workers, managers, and doctors, who behaved as if occasional exacerbations were either psychological or a scam.

Basically, I regret never having sued the NHS for workman's comp. when I injured my back in their service, over forty years ago. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and set myself up, financially, for life. But I didn't think I should sue them. I didn't think young conservatives like me should do things like that.

My point? I think big government, in all its ignorance, generality, and bestiality, can only make a problem like this worse. What's needed is better and more informed diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. But - under big government or politically motivated 'private' research - we won't make any such advances, will we?

So how about creating an economy that promotes both wealth and work? Instead of liars, and cheats, and swindlers?

6 October 2009 at 15:26  
Blogger Edgar said...

When you read those people who claim that welfare benefits make work unprofitable for people, you just know that their 'solution' is going to be cutting benefits. The alternative of raising wages just never is given any consideration at all. Christians? Yes, of course! Just look at the very selective Biblical quotations that are supposed to lend weight to the argument.

6 October 2009 at 15:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What we need is more bankers in this country, so we should pay them more bonuses in order to get the business here. This could be paid for by cutting the minimum wage down to something more realistic.

We should also be looking at new models of employment like sweat shops. Old shipping containers could be modified into accommodation units for the lower classes - and cheap food could be purchased in bulk to keep profits high. Introduce electric shock treatment as an incentive to do compulsory overtime.

Anyone who becomes long term sick after the age of 40 could be processed into animal food for battery farms. When the work force exceeds demand, then exam results in schools should determine sterilisation programmes to keep the gene pool healthy.

50 or so years of this and there would never be a need for anything other than a Tory party. Sounds fantastic eh! Where can I stand for election?

6 October 2009 at 20:12  
Anonymous anon 2 said...

And there I thought Anon was describing what we have today - whatever colour european bureacrats paint themselves: Those who parade as an 'elite' of politicians - elect(ed) are they?

Funny, the present eruption of the 'class hatred' card on the blogosphere. I do believe it needs turning back against the communists and euros who are so busy turning our countrymen against each other.

Funny how this 'class hatred' card is suddenly evident just as we are in danger of uniting against communism and europe.

Surely Britons understand that what franco-german marxists have designated as our 'deep class hatred' is really 'race hatred' (Britons vs. franco-german conquerors)? Surely we see that euro-communists are more of the same ... just another wave of invaders from the continent?

P.S: and how considering the NHS as a possible 'Agency for Genocide' - where they're killing off Britons?

6 October 2009 at 21:05  
Anonymous anon 2 said...

... 'how about considering' ...

6 October 2009 at 21:06  
Anonymous Adrian Peirson said...

The welfare state could have been an admirable social policy, instead it has become a trap to ensnare us all.
Give people the opportunity and of course they will live on hand outs, meanwhile, the middle class must pay for these habdouts.
If we didnt have such a large welfare state, there wouldnt be the need for such huge taxation, people would learn that for a little work, you can earn a decent amount of money because we wouldnt be taxed as much.
Even those who couldnt work could be given help by freinds collegues and family because they too would be paying considerably less in tax.
Sadly, I feel the trap has been sprung by the One World Communists and only a revolution involving their blood or our will save us.
We are being herded towards Agenda 21.
The UN's Agenda 21

6 October 2009 at 23:46  
Blogger ZZMike said...

Dr Dissenter seems to have unearthed the root cause:

"... An hour later, out doing visits in my car, I saw him unloading boxes of goods..."

Why bother to work at a job that isn't thrilling and exciting when you can have the British taxpayer support your investigations into the effects of Guinness vs Happy Hooker?

It does sound like there are many people on disability because of eye trouble - not being able to see themselves actually working.

7 October 2009 at 19:30  
Anonymous BoB said...

The fact is that the vast majority of people getting benefits for incapacity are getting them for good reason, and all this scaremongering about people who should or could work makes things even more difficult and distressing to those who genuinely can't.

The prejudice we face, along with the the stigma against mental illness for instance, is rarely acknowledged. Those who get well and look for work frequently can't find it because they have gaps in their history of paid work. Others have conditions which change from day to day - one day they may be relatively well, another unable to get out of bed.

Some people seem jealous that someone may "earn more" by being sick than by getting a job, but do they really want to trade places with someone who suffers from constant mental torment or physical pain? I think not.

10 November 2009 at 14:47  

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