Sunday 20 June 2010


I’m a little worried.

I heard that Mr Cameron was going to get a little harder on people who persistently refuse to work, and who scrounge off society. And, having worked in the business of getting people into work for more than 10 years, I thought ....Good.

He’s going to do something about the ones that the DWP are afraid of... you know, the ones who’ve been done for murder or GBH or armed robbery, and who present a thug-like exterior to the Job Centre and who, therefore, are excused most of the 'back to work' rubbish that successive governments have churned out.

I also thought that it was likely that he would target the “I’m going to have babies for a living” set. The ones that every time it looks like the dole may be catching up on them get themselves pregnant again. “Oh... I’ve fell pregnant... I dunno how that could have happened” (Maybe the same way as last time and the time before and the time before that... just with a different partner.)

But I was wrong. According to
The Sunday Post, Willie Durrent of Dunfermline was called to a “fit for work” interview while undergoing radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. He was being fed through a tube in his neck and the man has less than a year to live.

OK, you might think that the Dept of Work and Pensions, like the rest of us, is capable of error and that, when they were called to appraise them of the fact that he wouldn’t be able to attend and explain why, the clerk would have apologised profusely and given sincere condolences... you know, like human beings do when they discover that they have got it badly wrong and one of their number is terminally ill.

Well, that’s where you’d be wrong. To the Durrents’ shock, they were told that the meeting was compulsory and all the DWP could do was delay the interview.

No, “sorry you’re dying...” just “get your lazy arse in here for an interview or we’ll stop your benefit”.

Mr Durrent is not a compulsive scrounger. He has in fact worked all his life and he is 58. He is however dying of cancer, and that makes it impossible for him to work any longer. You’d really think they could do better.


  1. Bit rich blaming CMD for the system the previous government put in place.
    That said, words, particularly words from a politician are cheap.

    I do hope Mr Durrent can be spared this indignity though, having had and recovered from cancer I know that you do not need state interference messing up your life and priorities.

  2. Agree with Quiet Man this was a Labour system but as Scunnert says the Tories will just carry on with it and make it tougher if they can.

    Agree entirely with Tris also they will ignore all the "scum" basically and go for the easy targets - the people who are genuinely ill.

    There are too many people playing the system that is what they should be trying to weed out not picking on the ones like this with the genuine illnesses.


  3. IDS will doubtless have been briefed on a system that was, I agree, put in by Labour, on the advice of an ex-merchant banker (says it all)...... But we are now 6 weeks into Mr Duncan-Smith's reign. If the Toridems wished to change the system, they could have at least made it clear that people with less than, say a year to live, might be spared the indignity of being interviewed by an 18 year old and told they had to take whatever work was going.

    Of course there's not much in the way of work going and very very little for people being fed by a tube.

    All this may sound flippant, and I'm sure that IDS will be horrified at this, but it does prove the point that I have made over and over again, which is that up at the top there are people having perfectly reasonable ideas. However, 45 pay grades lower, the clerk on just above minimum wage, who has had little training and has a steep target to achieve (remember I worked for them, I know), is sticking to the script. And that's no matter if you are on life support, in a coma, your money will be cut off and your wife and kids left homeless if you don't somehow manage down to the job centre for the interview. If he gets a mark for getting you in, he will want you there even if you are dead!

    As I said draconian measures need to be administered with some sort of care, compassion and a sense of propriety. Clearly Mr Durrent was a great deal more polite than I would have been in the circumstances.

    There are people who are genuinely ill, just as there are (possibly) members of the House of Lords who are not on the fiddle.

    I'm very glad to hear you recovered QM. <:¬)

    And yes, the state needs to butt out at the point where you have to cope with the diagnosis of cancer. That's enough for any man to deal with without having prats from the DWP bothering you.

  4. Hello Scunnert... Long time no see.

    Well, as QM said the system was put in by Labour, with the backing of the Tories.... In view of the fact that the UK is bankrupt, I understand that the Toriedems are going to be even more demanding.

    However, I'm really interested to see from where they are going to get all the jobs into which they intend to deposit the mass of unemployed that they ingherited and that they are creating.

    It seems to me that the Labour governments in the Uk always wreck the economy, but the Tories always fix it for them, and in doing so they completely wreck society.

    Best thing, I would say, is to no longer be a part of the UK.

  5. Billy:

    Welcome to the blog.

    They are too scared to try anything with the real toughs.

    They know that there's no danger of them ever getting a job (most employers baulk at the idea of employing murderers, rapists, psychopaths, paedophiles, armed robbers, etc) and the JC+ employees are scared that if they push them too much, that THEY will be the next victim.

    As for the serial child producers, they are frightened to do anything much with them as it's probably against the equal opportunites bill... "you wouldn't do that to a man if he was pregnant"...

    In any case, as soon as you say course to them they "fall" pregnant.

  6. Sorry, that's nonsense to make a fuss over that.

    It would be a one off mistake. You're making it sound like it happens all the time.

  7. Well, I don't know. It could be, but you see, the thing that makes me think that it's not is that...well, put it like this. If I discovered that I had sent an appointment to a man who was dying, when he got in touch to tell me that he wouldn't be able to come because of radiotherapy, I might have asked him to provide proof (eg another sick line from the hospital), and then I would ahve apologised and said that I hoped he got better, and so on. I wouldn't have said that I could put the appointment off... but he would still have to come in.

    I don't know though, why they are bothering with 58 year olds, whether or not they have cancer.

    They should be concentrating all their efforts on the youth unemployment. Don't let it get a grip on the kids. If they leave school and haven't got work or training within a year their chances start to disappear like melting snow.

  8. tris

    I wouldn't fret about benefits etc. Get a woodburning stove, a crossbow and grow your own veg. Store tons of dried foodstuffs while they're still cheap. Stockpile cash of various countries. Society is going to crash soon. Get to know your neighbours and their various skills.

  9. A sad individual case to be sure Tris. It is strange how empires of box ticking always are devoid of any human element.. that is why I continue to have faith in IDS. He has impressed me with his left field thinking since he was ejected as leader.

  10. Well, me too Dean, and this may have been a case of an unfortunate error in NOT ticking a box that said "do not contact, serious illness (will cause distress to family) or words to that effect, allied to a particularly stupid clerk who took the telephone call from the distressed man in hospital.

    But with masses of 18-25s unemployed, why are these people wasting their time with people only a couple of years from retirement, who are highly unlikely to be offered work, even if they are fit and well, never mind seriously ill.

    I think once again I'd say to IDS, remember that there are two sides to employment... one is a willing worker, but the other is an employer who wants the willing worker.

  11. Think Ahead:

    Do you really think it will be as bad as that?

    I foresee that people will perhaps react "poll tax" fashion to some of the cuts, particulary given the fact that the people most involved in causing the crash, the "masters of the universe" will pay for this with slightly higher taxes that they won't really notice. In the meantime the ordinary guy is going from Tesco and Sainsbury to Pound Shop living.

    Camerclegg will have to ensure that the rich are seen to be suffering too though

    Fortunately I'm pretty handing in the garden and have, as the French say, "a green thumb", so I'll be OK for tatties and carrots... and hopefully some nice lettice soon...

    Mt neighbours have hens...

    So egg and chips on the menu round our way.....

  12. Tris,

    It will be more difficult, as the reforms in many areas, like pensions and unemployment etc are review committees headed by labour MPs, Frank Fields for example, among a handful of others.

    Prezza has labelled them "collaberators", I see an inability for the left to capitalise on the public backlash for the cuts

  13. The stinking scummy Torys are all about finding a scapegoat used to be the blacks(who they still hate) and the trade unions(who they still hate)

    The feckless unemployed about due for another duffing up big time and if some innocent people get hurt fuck em as Cameron was heard to say.

    and now we also have the public servant which was once was a career considered worthwhile.
    but today they are portrayed as a load of low life scroungers with their gold plated pension early retirement(at 21)..there gonna get it to

    If we all go around and burn down the houses of the civil servants and public workers and then drown all the unemployed in the north sea..
    everything will be hunky dory for the rest of us the sun will shine and all will be right with the world once again.

    thats all the torys are about get a majority to attack the minority(very Democratic) and while they do that.

    The torys can continue to keep all the cash and live the high life away from the everyday probs of the ordinary person.

  14. Tris

    you say

    'there are two sides to employment... one is a willing worker, but the other is an employer who wants the willing worker'

    The Tory answer -is what has that got to do with the state this is a private matter between employer and potential employee.

    keep the state out of the private sphere what becomes of the unwanted worker well thats not the concern of the state- charity perhaps more philanthropy maybe less welfare definitely only make people lazy and feckless

  15. "Mr. Mxyzptlk said...
    The stinking scummy Torys are all about finding a scapegoat used to be the blacks(who they still hate) and the trade unions(who they still hate)"

    What kind of pathetic nonsense is that? Where do you get off?

  16. Well Dean, I'm not sure that the Tories who joined the Labour Government (goats), some of them as ministers in the House of Lards, didn't have a hard time with some of their Tory collegues in the same sort of way. Didn't some of the Tories whistle the red "flag"?

    Peter Mandleson on the other hand made it perfectly clear that he would work with a Tory government. I'm sure if "Davick Cameregg" offered him a ministerial role he'd be at it like rat up a drain, or indeed at rat into a ministerial job.

    They are a bit like school boys. They like fighting with each other for the sake of it. I sometimes wonder if they expended a little less energy on trying to be comedians at Question Times and a little more in the gentle art of governing, we might all be better off.

  17. Nah Niko. They will ahve to make it their business. They have 2.5 million on the dole right now. There are a tiny number of jobs available. They are about to make another 3 million unemployed by taking them off the sickness register, and make another million or so state workers unemployed, with the resultant fall off in the economy, and added joblessnesss that that will create.

    That's going to be a lot of unemployed. I guess there won't be too many redundancies at the Dept of Work and Pension!!

  18. Rats, drainpipes, petty arguing - yep, its another episode of "westmidden", the exciting tv series; longest running farce in British tv history... featuring the miliblands, and the new Cleggaroon duo...

  19. A good man! at last! i've only ever found fools, hourray henries and seperatistss in this blog - but Mr Mxyzptlk is correct.

    Tories = scum

    I'd add the SNP, the tartan tories of Scotland, but, they are goin to loose in 2011! Prepare for a new Labour government in Scotland. We can then destroy the torie capitalists across the country.

    Oh, and cut any benefit and they are criminals. People depend on those to live, it is criminal to cut them.

  20. Peter, what utter drivel.

    Did I ever tell you that your politics are horrible to see?

  21. Och, go and get depressed over yer tax cuts Tory boy!

    Leave the politics to those old enough to have lived through it all. Your 80s purges for example.

    Your as guilty as every other torie, nat for all that.

  22. For heaven's sake stop using the word 'scum'. People are people. You may or may not agree with their politics but, at least on this blog, let's try to keep the discussion civilised and adult.

    We got the government we voted for. They are elected under the system that so many of the readers think is the best one.

    If you are a unionist you must expect that Scotland will frequently be ruled from London by Tories.

    If you don't want that, you vote SNP, you vote YES in the referendum and you consign the Tories to the third party status.

    I really can't understand you Peter. If you have lived through it all, as you imply in your patronising post to Dean, I'm surprised you don't see that.

    Dean, sorry. My mum reads this blog... I can't let that one pass!! :-)

  23. Peter,

    "fools, hourray henries, seperatistss" - yes, I tick all the boxes.

    "we can destroy the tories capitalists across the countrie"

    Excellent, Peter, having destroyed the public's confidence in politicians, having destroyed the economy, having destroyed Iraq, and destroyed the aspirations of the "working classes", destroying the "tories capitalists" would be a doddle.

    With apologies to Tris's Mum, if you had an enema that would not be a lot left.

  24. LOL Brownlie... I'm sure my mum won't have an issue with that.

  25. I have had cancer many times, but as I am self-employed and have always worked very quickly after surgery, out of necessity or panic, the medic who assessed me said I did not deserve to get DLA as my stoical attitude meant there was no true level of disability...... must remember to stay at home and starve the next time.

  26. Anon.... The guy has less than a year to live.