who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
have died after being found fit for work, DWP
2. Climate Change: A
Warning from Islam
This is a Nederlog of Friday
August 28, 2015.
This is a crisis
blog, but it is restricted to two items.
First this: There also is another
Nederlog for today which is not about the crisis, but about
The Guardian, which shocked me yesterday by having pictures on its
opening page, and sharp photopgraphs, while these were out for 8
months; about psychology, in which I made a brilliant M.A. - mostly on
logic, mathematics and physics - which can now be regarded as
definitely a non-science (2 out of 3 studies are irreproducible); and
about Edward Gibbon, who is one of my favorite writers and historians.
The other Nederlog is certainly more readable than this one, that is, if
you are not a strong Tory or a member of David Cameron's
government. For it seems now as if David Cameron's government is systematically
driving ill people to suicide, namely by making them work,
in spite of the fact that they can't, simply by denying them any money.
There are many things I could say about this, but I restrict myself to
two, and both are personal remarks.
First, I have lived for over 30 years with the threat that my
dole would be stopped, for while I was and am genuinely ill since
1.i.1979, this was not so according to the Amsterdam
bureaucrats - all too stupid to get any degree -
who decide these things, and who decided that I was fit to work.
It didn't happen, because I had a very good GP from 1986-1999, and
after that - when it was tried quite a few times - it didn't work
because of my site, but if either had not been the case, I
would very probably have been forced to suicide, quite possibly
already in the previous millenium, for no: I really cannot work, and it
is in fact a miracle I survived the horrible years 1995-2010, which I
spent for a good part in bed (with an M.A. with an average of 9,3 out
of 10 maximally, which I do not know anybody else ever made: most score
between a 6 and a 7).
Second, I do not need to fear maltreatment of the Amsterdam dole
anymore because two days ago (!) I got my first pension paid,
which - I am extremely happy to say - does not get paid by or
via the Amsterdam dole.
I will write about the maltreatment I got for 31 1/2 years, but not
just yet. Also,
although I will write in the hope of changing a few things, the chances
I will succeed are low.
And meanwhile, everyone who is younger than I am, and who is
ill in the dole, especially if he or she has a disease that is not
both fully known and since tens of years in the
medical handbooks, risks being forced to suicide by being forced
This is how it is done in present-day England, by the Tory-government.
I will not comment the following two articles from The Guardian,
because I cannot do so honestly without risking court
cases, but I will say this:
According to 16 philosophers who worked in the philosophy department
and according to the Board of Directors of the University of Amsterdam,
I am both "a fascist" and "a terrorist", basically because I dared to
insist that truth exists and that I am not a Marxist, in the year 1988.
Since then I have very many times protested, but neither my
my mails were answered, except for two, and those "answers" were plain bullshit: In
fact, my parents were for 45 years communists; my
father and grandfather were convicted for resisting the Nazis as
"political terrorists" and sentenced, by collabo- rating Dutch judges,
to concentration camp imprisonment, where my grandfather was murdered;
and to say that I, have been, tended to, or sympathized
in any way with any fascist or any terrorist was a dirty
Well, since I also learned in the UvA (another thing I was about the
only one to protest) that "everybody knows that everybody is of equal
value" - that is: You, Einstein, Hitler, and Newton all are of equal
value - I may be permitted to say
that it does seem to me that David Cameron and his government are all
precisely equivalent to me, according to the Board of Directors
of the University of Amsterdam.
But judge for yourself:
1. Thousands have died after being found fit for work, DWP
The first article is by Patrick Butler on The Guardian:
This starts with this
welfare overhaul after statistics reveal 2,380 people died between 2011
and 2014 shortly after being declared able to work
And the article starts as
Nearly 90 people a month
are dying shortly after being declared fit for work, according to new
data that has prompted campaigners and Labour leadership contenders to
call for an overhaul of the government’s welfare regime.
Statistics released by
the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on Thursday revealed that 2,380 people died between December 2011 and
February 2014 within 14 days of being taken off employment and
support allowance (ESA) because a work capability assessment (WCA) had
concluded they were able to work.
Ministers insisted that
the data could not be used to link claimant deaths to its welfare
reforms, but the figures focused attention on the government’s
fit-for-work assessment process, which has been dogged by controversy
in recent years.
Anita Bellows, researcher
with campaign group Disabled People Against the Cuts, said it would
take time to fully analyse the figures, but added the group was “very
worried by the number of people who died within two weeks of being
found fit for work”.
The mortality data was
compiled in response to freedom of information requests, and was
released by the department only following a ruling by the Information Commissioner’s Office in April.
Note the second
paragraph says (correctly, I strongly believe) "because" - and I strongly
believe it because that would have been the only choice left to
my dole been stopped.
The WCA, currently
administered by private outsourcing firm Maximus, having for
most of the last government been run by Atos, has been widely criticised as error-prone and mechanistic,
often causing harm to the sick and disabled claimants who
are obliged to undergo it. It has been dogged by administrative delays, which have often left
claimants stressed and penniless, and there have been hundreds of thousands of appeals against
fit-for-work decisions in recent years, about four in 10 of which have
Which means that 6
out of 10 have failed - and please note that the dole in England is
less than in Holland, and that you must be either quite crazy or quite
ill to depend on it if you can work (and I indeed think most of the 60%
who were declared "fit to work" by immoral bureaucrats in fact were ill).
Incidentally, although I fully
qualified for the Dutch ESA from 1.i.1979 onwards, it never was
assigned to me, although I have asked for it when I first asked
dole, in 1984 (for until then I lived on a study loan, that was lower
than the dole), and I have also pointed out that both my father and
grandfather had been locked up in a concentration camp, which made me -
in Dutch parlance - both "a second generation" and "a third generation"
victim of the Nazis.
The figures relate to
people on or applying for employment and support allowance (ESA), a
benefit paid to people unable to work. Claimants found to be “fit for
work” either move on to jobseeker’s allowance, which is paid at a lower
rate, or off benefits altogether.
The figures also revealed
that between December 2011 and February 2014, 50,580 recipients of ESA
had died within seven days. Of this number, 2,380 – or 4% – had
received a decision that they were fit for work, meaning that they were
at risk of losing their ESA benefit. Another 7,200 claimants had died
after being awarded ESA and being placed in the separate work-related
activity group – a category which identifies claimants who are unfit to
work but may be able to return to work in the future.
But in spite of the fact that my father survived more than 3 years and
9 months of four German concentration camps as a "political terrorist",
and in spite of the fact that he was knighted, a doctor of the
Amsterdam medical services (GGD) decided in 1984 that my father was "a
sick and crazy small strike leader", (Dutch: "een ziek gek
stakingsleidertje") and I was completely fit to work...
I never found the name of the moral degenerate who wrote this, for his
was unreadable, and every colleague of his acted as if they didn't know
But this is how the Amsterdam dole and the Amsterdam medical
"worked", and explains why I am extremely glad that I, at long
last, am rid of them.
Back to England: There is also this in The Guardian by Frances Ryan:
with this text:
Go to your local
benefits office and desperation can be boiled down to a six-point plan,
mounted on pink laminated card. The Department for Work
and Pensions (DWP) has assembled written guidance on suicide for its
“frontline staff” – a euphemism for workers hired to call people and
break it to them that they’ve been rejected for benefits. One section
of the guidance – that is to be reported to managers to alert them of
“a suicidal intention” – instructs jobcentre staff to find out what the
person plans, when it is planned for, and whether “the customer has the
means to hand”.
Put otherwise: This means that
it is full well known that the people are ill
left with only one choice: suicide or starvation. But
small amounts of money they got was terminated.
Death has become a
part of Britain’s benefits system. That is not
hyperbole but the reality that the stress caused by austerity has led
us to. Shredding the safety net – a mix of sanctions, defective “fit
for work” tests, and outright cuts to multiple services – has meant
that benefit claimants are dying; through suicide, starvation, and even being crushed by a refuse lorry when a 17-week
benefit sanction forced a man to scavenge in a bin for food.
As I said, I think this is
full and intentional murder, though I accept that those ordering and
those executing it will look otherwise upon it. But once again: I have
been threated for 31 1/2 years with it, and it was damned real
This morning, the
government released mortality statistics – or rather, was forced
to after several freedom of information requests – that show more than
80 people a month are dying after being declared “fit for work”. These
are complex figures but early analysis points to two notable facts.
First that 2,380 people died between December 2011 and
February 2014 shortly after being judged “fit for work” and rejected
for the sickness and disability benefit, Employment and Support
Allowance (ESA). We also now know that 7,200 claimants died after being
awarded ESA and being placed in the work-related activity group – by
definition, people whom the government had judged were able to
“prepare” to get back to work.
Again this could have been put
in much starker terms: You seriously risk being murdered by the
bureaucrats who took your money, except that they are handy
leave it to you, after having made it impossible for you to
statistics do not simply point to the death of disabled, poor, and ill
people but of the system that was meant to protect them. Before our
eyes the principle of a benefit system is being reduced from
opportunity, respect, and solidarity to destitution, degradation and
Six-point plans to avoid
people on benefits killing themselves do not exist in a society that
has hope for their lives. The welfare state was built on the idea of
“the cradle to the grave”. Now for thousands, all they receive is help
to that grave.
Yes, and it is a damned
shame - and the only three reasons I am not much sharper in my language
are that it probably won't help others and it may harm me, and I have
been harmed enough by the sick moral degenerates who rule Holland.
2. Climate Change: A Warning from Islam
next article is
This starts as
I say - and this is somewhat
hopeful. Then again, there is also this in the article:
On August 19, a
convocation of some sixty leading Muslim clerics and religious scholars
from around the planet, spurred by the growing siege of climate
disasters affecting the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, issued an Islamic
Declaration on Global Climate Change. It was far shorter than Pope
discussed encyclical issued early in the summer, but it arrived in
much the same spirit:
though selected to be a caretaker or steward [khalifah] on the
earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it that
we are in danger of ending life as we know it on our planet. This
current rate of climate change cannot be sustained, and the earth’s
fine equilibrium [mīzān] may soon be lost.
The signers of the statement
include the grand muftis of Uganda and Lebanon, scholars from leading
universities, and several leaders of the main Islamic disaster relief
charities. It cites Koranic chapter and verse, as well as hadith,
or sayings, of the Prophet. And from them it constructs a series of
postulates at least as provocative as Francis’s. Like the pope, these
scholars are dubious about “the relentless pursuit of economic growth
and consumption,” and believe that “an urgent and radical reappraisal
is called for.”
By itself this
declaration will not lead to much. Islam, for better and for worse,
lacks a central governing body; there is no pope. And even the pope’s
words are only words—happily he has no governing authority beyond the
walls of the Vatican. But what they signal is an ongoing shift in the
zeitgeist, to the point where most thinking people in our civilization
realize that we have to take dramatic, even “radical,” action to blunt
an emerging crisis. This is new. Ten or twenty years ago there was no
significant religious environmental movement.
This is also true, I think
(though I don't believe in "Zeitgeists", which also is written with a
capital Z, if it is German).