The UK’s Parliament, Judiciary and media owners are on a sticky wicket if they choose to defend a DWP embroiled in all kinds of graft scandals and allegations…in preference to supporting female SPA Reform victims. For the sake of our culture’s reputation, 1950s born pensioners must be seen to get justice.
If there is a British politician out there arrogant enough to believe that the cheated SPA “reform” women (‘Waspi/2020/Backto60’) are going away any time soon, then events at The Slog over the last week should give them pause for thought.
As happens from time to time, a post I put up in 2018 has been rediscovered. This time, it involves the tragic plight of 1950s born British women. Three years ago, it got 14,490 hits; so far this week, it’s had 17,329 visits. In total, over 40,000 people have read it…and (judging by Twitter posts, and comment threads at this site) anti-government feelings about this disgrace are even stronger now than they were then.
I spell government with no capital G there advisedly: because first the Major, then the Blair, then the Brown, then the Coalition, then the Cameron administrations were all equally guilty of bad faith and sharp practice. Given that Farage also flatly refused to acknowledge the injustice of this malodorous stain on our history, he too can hardly be placed among the guys with the white hats.
So it was, I believe, very unwise of the Prime Minister to dismiss the SPA case in the cavalier fashion he demonstrated before the recent General Election, when his letter said he had spoken to his advisers (meaning the crooked men of Whitehall) and they had “satisfied” him that the Waspi/Backto60 pressure groups had no case.
If he is that easily satisfied by mandarins who (a) upped their own pension emoluments around 2005 under the Brown tutelege without any reference to Parliament and (b) are happy to ignore unfunded promises for ordinary citizens, but keen to keep their own nine-times-bigger equally unfunded pensions, then he remains what he has always been: a shit who can’t be trusted to spot a moral infidelity.
The fact is, all Governments and Whitehall ‘advisers’ are guilty of serial mendacity over the last quarter-century since they all cynically singled out female pensioners as an easily malleable group to scam. They are no better than the slithering reptiles who mis-sold bonds and derivative ordures to the entire World and its mother prior to the financial crash of 2008-9.
In the coming days, I propose to reissue on social media all the posts I wrote earlier this century pointing out specific examples (with ample evidence) of how one Cabinet after another either lied to these women and/or fell back on the risible ‘but you should’ve known’ excuse. In an open democratic society, it is the job of a Government to broadcast good and bad news with equal vigour….and this they all failed spectacularly to do.
But in the meantime, I sense the time has come to lay bare the true nature of the Holier than Thou Department of Work and Pensions.
From the moment it began outsourcing to the private sector, the DWP has been bedevilled by doubt, scandal and sociopathic practices.
In July 2018, outgoing DWP Minister Kit Malthouse revealed, in answering a Parliamentary question, that the DWP is paying out over £150m per annum for Serco to provide various services. Some of you may remember Serco as the company investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for overcharging the government for the electronic tagging of offenders – many of whom were dead, abroad, or still in prison.
More recently, Serco was named in the ‘Paradise Papers’ tax avoidance scandal. It was also involved in the controversy surrounding 450,000 women not receiving scans for breast cancer.
As recently as June 2019, the DWP’s own figures illustrated clearly the growing proportion of complaints about personal independence payment (PIP) assessments carried out by outsourcing giant Capita. From 2015 to 2018 in fact, complaints about Capita’s behaviour increased by nearly 60%.
Only yesterday, Ministers secretly launched a panel to examine deaths linked to serious failings by the DWP – apparently without informing MPs and peers. Its launch only emerged when the department admitted that the circumstances surrounding the death of Errol Graham had been referred to the panel. Mr Graham starved to death after DWP officials wrongly removed his out-of-work benefits, leaving him without any income.
There is a general feeling held privately among my media contacts that there is and always has been the stench of brown-envelope corruption surrounding two companies supplying Whitehall…..G4S and Serco. It seems that, no matter how crooked and incompetent such suppliers are, they seem to carry on getting government work.
There may indeed be a telling clue in the Serco overcharging ‘dead, abroad or in prison’ scandal. Because in 2017, I discovered even more murky practices afoot at the DWP. In, of all places, India.
The coastal province of Goa in India is popular with mainly working class Brits – not only because of its reliable sun and gorgeous beaches, but also its very cheap cost of living. Clean accommodation is easy to find there, and the ‘beach shack’ food generally of a high standard.
The visa system there is, on paper, very strict: only two months at a time, and no more than three months in a year. But the regional police in Goa are notoriously corrupt.
While in India, I met many British people who appeared to live there all year round, perhaps going elsewhere during the rainy season. Some of these are residents who do so quite legally. Others aren’t.
Of those who aren’t, a surprising number were UK high-rise council tenants. Having stumbled across a conversation one afternoon (I was myself having some issues with the visa police) it became clear that they were illegals, but had “all the necessary, genuine paperwork” if challenged. After some further conversations elsewhere, this appeared to be the racket:
- Unemployed UK council house tenants claiming various benefits were using corrupt DWP admin suppliers to get ‘signed off’ each week as “seeking work”. In fact, they were in Goa.
- They had no trouble staying in Goa because they were issued renewal or permanent visas by the local officials, no questions asked….except a price.
- To further cover living costs, they were illegally sub-letting their UK council flats – sometimes to migrants who were themselves illegals. (Many readers will remember the glaring inconsistencies in the enumeration of those who had been occupying flats in the Grenfell Tower tragedy)
So by illegal Rachmanism and at the expense of the UK social security system, they were soaking up rays 4,500 miles away. Nice work if you can get it.
None of this is news in Whitehall: in 2017 (the year when I was in Goa) the National Audit Office estimated that the DWP had been defrauded on benefits alone to the tune of £5 billion.
Here is an interesting extract from the NAO site:
‘Despite efforts to tackle the causes of fraud,
DWP spending is not in line with Parliament’s
intentions, so the Comptroller & Auditor
General ‘qualifies’ his opinion on DWP’s
accounts. This has happened every year for 29 years‘
There is no sign that C&AG do anything about this, as such. But the NAO confirms that the Department’s fraud record has been getting worse consistently since 2010.
The DWP, if you look at its record, generally answers Freedom of Information requests pretty well…..but not when it comes to outsourcing. Here, they seem somewhat sensitive. In October of the year I’m talking about, one Mark Bennett got this back from officialdom:
All Mr Bennett wanted was some names. Clearly, he wan’t going to get them. Perhaps he’s also heard of the alleged scam.
Earlier in this post I wrote the words ‘in India of all places’. Since returning from Goa, I came across this from a 2012 Computer Weekly article:
‘The government is outsourcing the IT development for the universal credit welfare programme to India despite promises to keep large data projects in the UK’.
Unemployment benefit is included within the UCW reform, and the offshored outsourcing continues. Well just fancy that, eh?
Postscript: in November 2011, Chris Grayling told parliament: “We have a policy to control contracted work being offshored…..I should also say that, as a team of ministers, we have indicated very clearly to our suppliers that we will not countenance seeing existing UK employment offshored.”
There you are: you always know when a Minister is lying, because his lips move.
During 2018, I contacted every Fleet Street journo I still had with this story. The general response was “Nobody writes this kind of story any more Wardy, there just isn’t the money available to do it”.
Our media no longer hold Whiteminster to account, and they no longer consistently campaign on behalf of worthy causes like SPA Reform victims. As the Slogpost that’s gone sub-viral all over again showed – as this post shows – and as the posts to be reissued will again show, feather-bedded MPs and their functionary lackeys can lie for England, and the private sector sees government as an easy mark.
This article is primarily about allegations…but it is far from beng baseless innuendo. Nor (despite what I’m sure will be charges of classism and racism from the Libleft sugarplums) is it designed to score political points.
What we are talking about here is the theft by a multivariately privileged Establishment class of a Civil Right to the State Pension. Phasing it out for future generations is one thing: welching on a 60 year promise 46 years into the contract is another thing entirely. It is criminal embezzlement.
Slowly but surely – so far, oblivious to the objective advice I’ve tried to give them – the Waspi/Backto60 movements have gradually realised that they are dealing not only with incorrigible gargoyles, but also with a media set, a legislature and a Judiciary that supports the system, not the citizen. I regard that as an horrific Truth – and one of many reasons why I quit the UK – but it does not represent the central point of this post.
The bottom line is this: if the SPA Victims appeal fails, then it is time every one of those victims took the gloves off, and used both nuisance value and community power to remind these lowlife that they work for us, not globalist bankers, Brussels, NATO or the energy sector.