In Memory of all Who Have Died as a Result of Government Welfare Reforms

“It’s right to stand in solidarity with people from many different organisations to draw attention to the needs of some of the most deprived members of our society. Many disabled people feel desperate facing possible cuts in support, the bedroom tax, and in particular an inflexible and failing Work Capability Assessment scheme which can blight and even cut short their lives. The Government needs to respond by enabling disabled people to live with dignity and security.”
David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral

Today 28th September a ceremony of remembrance and solidarity takes place in London for all who have suffered and or died after ATOS assessments and as a result of the government’s viscous welfare reforms

white flower

Please watch the video In Memory


There are thousands more, the misery and suffering goes on.

Over ten thousand people have died after being found fit for work, still others have taken their own lives as a result of fear, anxiety and stress as a consequence of vicious welfare reforms and unfair assessments. Untold thousands more have suffered serious detriment to their lives because of these  reforms. According to the DWP’s own figures 10,600 people died during the months of January and November 2011. There are no records for 2012 and 2013. Therefore the number of deaths are much higher

I offer my sincerest condolences to the relatives, friends and loved ones of all those who have died. To those who have suffered greatly as a result of the continued assault on the sick and disabled I offer my solidarity in the struggle for justice and hope that this nightmare of abuse at the hands of the coalition government will come quickly to an end and that justice will prevail. Please please do not despair.

More information about the ceremony

10 Thousand Cuts and Counting is a ceremony of remembrance and solidarity led by disability activists, Occupy activists and the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral for those who have had their lives devastated by the austerity programme, including more than 10,000 people who died shortly after undergoing the Atos Work Capability Assessment, the degrading test used by the government to assess the needs of people receiving benefits related to disability and ill health.

Led by disability activists, Occupy activists, David Ison – the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Michael Meacher MP and other representatives.

With all welcome to attend, the event will include Atos testimonies, prayers, silence and meditations, a carpet of white flowers on Parliament Square with poetry, choral music and scenes acted by disabled artists depicting experiences of Atos.

The gathering will demand an immediate end to the Work Capability Assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association, and a New Deal for sick & disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions as outlined in the WOW petition.

28th September • Parliament Square • London • 12 noon

Disabled people are leading the fight back against the injustices of austerity: we cannot stand idly by while our communities and institutions are devastated by this government.

On Saturday 28th September, the disabled and non-disabled community will gather to remember those who have died and those still suffering as a result of the Government’s austerity assault, which particularly affects disabled people.

Read More:


“Our campaign 10,000 Cuts and Counting refers to the 10,600 people who died during or within six weeks of being put through the Atos Work Capability Assessment between January and November 2011.

“For some of these people, the assessment contributed directly to their deaths and, for the rest, they were made to endure the indignity of stressful and humiliating tests during the final weeks of their lives.”

Alison Playford Read More:

There are lists on the Internet of some of  people who have died as a result of welfare reforms,  here is one:  This is just the tip of the iceberg

For anyone unfamiliar with what is happening in the UK today concerning welfare reform here is a summary of the main points:

Please read the following advice From :

“VERY IMPORTANT If you are one of the people affected by the Welfare Reforms to such an extent that you are feeling suicidal, PLEASE contact one of the following:- Samaritans UK: 08457 90 90 90 NHS UK: 08454 24 24 24 Breathing Space UK: 0800 83 85 87 Republic of Ireland: 1850 60 90 90. Or use the SEVEN DAY RULE. Whatever you are feeling now, the old saying that suicide is permanent holds true. PLEASE make a contract with yourself. Do nothing precipitous for SEVEN days. Many, many people have found that whatever psychological anguish occurs in the darkest depths of despair, just weathering the storm and holding off for seven days is sufficient to come through and recover enough not to go that way.”

The Mass Killing of Romanian Dogs Must be Stopped

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead 1901 – 1978

In Romania on the 10th September 2013 a law was passed that legalised the killing of homeless dogs even those who are housed in shelters. The result, a horrific on-going massacre.


You can read more information about this shocking slaughter of helpless animals further down.

Please sign the petition to ask the President of the Senate, Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta, Romanian Tourism Minister to stop the mass killing of dogs. Lets get as many signatures as possible to stop this outrageous abuse and cruelty:

And please send emails or letters to the addresses included in the petition which I have also included below:

President of the Senate- Crin Antonescu

Please note at the time of publishing this entry, the link above did not work. Please keep trying

Prime Minister of Romania– Emil Boc
Piata Victoriei no.1
sector 1, Bucharest
Phone: +40-21-314 34 00, 319 15 64
Email :

The Romanian Tourism Minister– Elena Udrea

If you prefer there is a form letter for you to edit and sign. Click the following link to send a letter to officials in Romania requesting them to immediately put an end to the mass killing and adopt mass sterilization laws.

Please sign the form letter and read more from In Defence of Animals.

“IDA has learned from our Romanian activist friends that it is now legal to murder every stray dog in Romania. On September 10th, a law passed sanctioning the killing of all homeless dogs captured in the streets, sterilized or not, friendly or not, puppies or old, and those in the shelters. According to witnesses in Bucharest, many of the known strays have already disappeared. Gunshots have been heard at night. Hundreds of thousands of dogs’ lives are at stake. The week leading up to this criminal government activity was a state-inspired kind of mob violence toward stray dogs, resulting in a horrific ongoing massacre.”

Continue reading and sign the letter. Please personalize your letter to increase your impact and submit the sample letter to send your comments to Romanian: officials:

You can use the form letter as a template for your personal  e-mails or as the basis of a letter to send to the addresses above.

Here is yet another petition you may wish to sign:

Let your voices be heard, speak out against this shocking atrocity towards  sentient beings, the massacre of Romania’s dogs!

More information from Occupy for Animals please read:

“The street dogs of Romania are hated, poisoned, beaten, stabbed, shot, run over by cars, burned, and dumped in pits to starve to death. Some who are killed have their ears cut off by people who are able to turn them in for “rewards”. Hundreds of thousands of innocent dogs condemned to death every year, their only crime is being born.

Animal advocates say the pointless deaths will never cease, as long as Romanian authorities fail to address the cause of the stray problem, and fight only the effects. Dog owners have little responsibility for their pets. Many are not compelled to identify, register, or spay and neuter them.”

Continue reading:–organized-crime–stray-dog-business.html
The first film describes Corruption in Romania, followed by information and films about the shocking abuse of Romania’s stray dogs.

Please be warned there are some deeply disturbing and heartbreaking imagines of animal cruelty.

Please take as much action as you can

It can get depressing when each and everyday there are petitions and letter writing requests concerning such awful things that happen to both people and the other creatures with whom we share this world and at times the world can seem as though it is a very dark place. However despite all the awfulness, the cruelty, the abuse, the exploitation and the greed, which sadly is behind much of the horrors that man inflicts on his fellows, other animals and the environment , there is the goodness of the thousands if not millions of people who take the time to sign petitions or write a letters and of course the many who give up their entire lives in the service of a good cause.

Petitions do have an effect as do letters or e-mail and it is always worth taking the time if you can to add your name to a petition or send a letter or e-mail. So today I am asking you to help a much-loved animal, man’s best friend the dog.

The dog is a much-loved animal worldwide and companion to many people therefore I was shocked to learn of events taking place in Romania where 3 million dogs face the prospect of being slaughtered in order to control the population of stray dogs. Other more humane methods exist such as the spaying and neutering of these animals.

A selection of thought-provoking quotes about man’s best friend:

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.” 
Milan Kundera

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
Josh Billings

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.
Sigmund Freud

A young woman stepped away from the throng and asked: “Oh great prophet, tell us how we might find love that is unconditional, unwavering and unending.”

The prophet did not answer right away. He looked off into the distance, gathering his thoughts. Silence descended upon the crowd. Then he turned this gaze upon the young woman and said, “Get a dog”.
Kahlil Gibran

Welfare Reforms: Take Action

“Welfare reforms and the whole “happy” exploitation movement are not “baby steps.” They are big steps–in a seriously backward direction.”
Gary L. Francione

One of the greatest of social injustices perpetrated by the coalition is the round of vicious welfare reforms aimed at the most vulnerable in our society, the sick and disabled.

Things must change and thankfully now our voices are being heard by the UN with the visit of Raquel Rolnik special rapporteur and also by Amnesty International who have condemned the coalition for their assault on the disabled. You can read more about Amnesty International’s stance further down.

It is important that our voices continue to be heard

Please take the following two actions if you can

Attend a ceremony of remembrance and solidarity on Saturday 28th September for all who have suffered and died after ATOS assessments

“10 Thousand Cuts and Counting is a ceremony of remembrance and solidarity for those who have had their lives devastated by the austerity programme, including more than 10,000 people who died shortly after undergoing the ATOS Work Capability Assessment, the degrading test used by the government to assess the needs of people receiving benefits related to disability and ill health.

Led by disability activists, Occupy activists, David Ison – the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Michael Meacher MP and other representatives.”

The gathering will demand an immediate end to the Work Capability Assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association, and a New Deal for sick & disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions as outlined in the WOW petition.

28th September • Parliament Square • London • 12 noon

Read More


Also a face book post by Katy Marchant – Amnesty International

Please spread this information far and wide by social media

Write to the UN

UN special rapporteur Raquel Rolnik wants people to write with their experiences of welfare reforms, she has pledged to read every account.

Please read the following appeal from Sue Marsh, Dairy of a Benefit scrounger

“Raquel Rolnik, special rapporteur for the UN has called for the UK government to scrap the Bedroom Tax. She will, it is widely reported, also call for them to scrap the Benefit Cap. They are unlawful under every global convention on human rights.

She is now asking for you all to send in your stories and evidence relating to ESA, Atos and Work Capability Assessments. I want to beg every last one of you who has written to me, who has shared your story, who has filled in a DWP form, who has been mistreated and let down to write to her.

Raquel Rolnik’s email address is:

You can also write to:
His Excellency Mr Ban Ki Moon
United Nations Secretary-General
UN Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017

TELL YOUR STORIES. If you never told it before, this is the time to be brave and be heard. “

Read more from Dairy of a Benefit Scrounger: Spartacus : Please write to the UN

Amnesty International has condemned the welfare reforms here in the UK

Amnesty International UK, at its AGM on 14th April 2013, passed a resolution on the Human Rights of sick and disabled people in the UK.

Amnesty International condemns the erosion of the human rights of sick and disabled people by the coalition.

Finally the voices of sick and disabled people here in the UK are being heard. No longer is the outrage left unchallenged. Please attend the ceremony of remembrance. Please write to the UN . As I mentioned in a previous post don’t be put off it doesn’t matter if you are not a good writer just do your best, share your own experiences or simply write and express your support for the plight of disabled and chronically sick people here in the UK and condemn the unfairness of the welfare reforms in general or other aspects such as workfare. Workfare involves sanctions for non compliance to what basically amounts to working for nothing. Both the unemployed and those sick and disabled people who have been assigned to the Work related activity group may be required to participate.

It is shocking the way the government are destroying the already difficult lives of sick and disabled people. It is time they were held legally accountable for all the damage they have done to people on benefits as a result of their vicious so-called welfare reforms.

The continuing welfare reforms are causing a climate of anxiety, despair, depression and outright fear within the disabled community. For the duration of their lives sick and disabled people will live in constant threat of frequent tests called work capability assessments WCA to determine finesses for work. These tests are demanded from two to as many as four times each year! The WCA conducted by French IT company ATOS Health Care is not fit for the purpose and has wrongly declared seriously sick and disabled people fit for work with the results of many deaths either by suicide or as a result of the worsening of the persons conditions due to all the stress and anxiety.

The DWP has stopped giving out information of those who have died after being declared fit for work

However it has been previously reported that about

32 die people die each week after being found fit for work

32 die a week after failing test for new incapacity benefit:

Read about some of these grave social injustices. Here is a list of some of the heart breaking tragedies that have resulted from the government’s welfare reforms:

East Grinstead Man 63 Dies of Kidney Failure and Starvation after being cut off benefits and declared “Fit For Work”

Blinded, Half- Paralysed Man Dies Day After ATOS Stop His Benefits

Atos Benefits Row: Transplant Patient Linda Wootton Dies After Being Judged ‘Fit For Work’

Amy Jones, Woman With Cerebral Palsy, Given Prognosis By ATOS That Her Disability ‘Expected To Improve’

Benefits row dad takes his own life and is found dead in his flat by his fiancee

Severely disabled man told he must take medical to prove he is not fit for work

In Time a targeted 500,000 are set to loose their DLA when it is replaced by PIP. How on earth can you target a set number of people to loose a benefit. All 500,000 qualified for DLA after all said and done, and therefore are genuinely sick and disabled. it is just the government has made it much more more difficult to receive the new benefit which has been overhauled to achieve precisely this goal.

ATOS assessments branded farcical by charities:
The controversial Work Capability Assessment “defies belief”, Parkinson’s UK said after figures showed that 45% of people with four progressive diseases were being deemed capable of working.


Save Grandmother Lindsay Sandiford from Execution by Firing Squad.

“I think life is sacred, whether it’s abortion or the death penalty.”
Tim Kaine

Please sign an urgent petition to save grandmother Lindsay Sandiford from execution by firing squad. Sandiford’s punishment should be comparable to other sentences for similar crimes in Indonesia. Others involved got lighter sentences. Three other Britons and an Indian national connected to the case were jailed for terms ranging from one to six years.

Please read the following below and sign the petition or go directly to the petition by clicking the following link:

“British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford has apologized to Indonesians for her involvement in smuggling cocaine into their country. All she asks for is fair punishment, but instead Bali has sentenced her to death by a firing squad.

Even though two others involved in the crime served only short sentences, and Sandiford’s role in the smuggling is under question, the country just rejected her final legal appeal against execution.

Sandiford’s supporters are expressing bewilderment at the severity of her sentence in comparison to those imposed on others involved. And human rights groups believe Sandiford acted only as a “mule” in the operation and was exploited by those higher up on the chain. In fact it was her cooperation with authorities that led to the arrest of two others.

The circumstances of this case demand that Sandiford receive clemency or at least a “sentence proportionate to her offense.” as she requests.”

Please read more and sign the petition:

I think this unfortunate women has suffered enough, she was only acting as a mule and was exploited by others.

Zoe Bedford, from legal charity Reprieve, says:
“It is clear that Lindsay was merely a vulnerable mule, exploited by those further up in the chain who have avoided serious punishment,”

Lindsey was targeted by drug traffickers who exploited her vulnerability and made threats against her children.

Read More:

Also see :

Indeed this poor women has suffered enough.

I abhor the use of the death penalty in any circumstances but in this particular case it is unusually harsh. No one has the right to take the life of another person.

The Bedroom Tax is a violation of Human Rights

“It is undeniable that every human being is entitled to living space, daily bread, and the protection of the law as a common birthright; these are fundamentals and should not be handed out as an act of charity. ”
Alfred Delp, S.J.

Finally someone is taking notice of the plight of vulnerable people in the UK.

The British coalition government has been told by Raquel Rolnik, a UN special investigator on housing, to scrap the Bedroom Tax. Furthermore the government has been critisized for its failure to provide sufficient affordable housing and social housing

During her visit to the UK where she visited Belfast, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London,visiting council estates, food banks, homelessness crisis centres, Traveller sites and new housing association developments,  she came to the conclusion that Britain’s housing crisis is in need of urgent investigation:

“I was very shocked to hear how people really feel abused in their human rights by this decision and why – being so vulnerable – they should pay for the cost of the economic downturn, which was brought about by the financial crisis. People in testimonies were crying, saying ‘I have nowhere to go’, ‘I will commit suicide’.

The state has an obligation to “put in place safeguards to protect the most vulnerable and what I am seeing here is quite the opposite – the most vulnerable are having to pay for these cuts”.

Ms. Rolnik says she is disturbed by the misery the tax has caused and how it was affecting “the most vulnerable, the most fragile, the people who are on the fringes of coping with everyday life”.  “My immediate recommendation is that the bedroom tax is abolished,” 

Read the full story:
‘Shocking’ bedroom tax should be axed, says UN investigator:

Indeed the bedroom tax does go against the declaration of human rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The latter was signed by the UK in 1968 and ratified it in 1976. .

According to Ms. Rolnik the bedroom tax constitutes a violation of the human right to adequate housing:

“ if for example the extra payments forced tenants to cut down on their spending on food or heating their home.”

It is not only the immediate effects of reducing expenditure on vital things such as food and warmth but as time goes on other essentials that we all need such as a cooker, a fridge or a gas boiler break down and more often than not radiators may need flushing out and many people could find themselves with no heating and no means of cooking.

The cost of replacing a boiler is an enormous expenditure, a new boiler and flushing out of your radiators may cost around £3000. A boiler lasts between 10 to 15 years, the cost of repairs is huge as is insurance for repairs which increases as the boiler gets older.

These items are essential . With the end of the government’s Warm Front scheme where are people to go who are on low incomes to get assistance to replace their heating ? Where are people expected to find the money. In the 7th richest country this is a disgrace.

These days slowly but surely many people even those not effected by the bedroom tax or any of the other vile and vicious welfare reforms can find themselves sinking deeper and deeper in the mire of poverty. It goes without saying the cumulative effects of these reforms has a wide-reaching impact that few, except those who are experiencing the effects, really understand.

It is clear that the UK government is in violation of Article 11 of the “The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

“Article 11 recognises the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to adequate food, clothing, housing, and “the continuous improvement of living conditions.” It also creates an obligation on parties to work together to eliminate world hunger.”

About the The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights :

“The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966, and in force from 3 January 1976. It commits its parties to work toward the granting of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) to individuals, including labour rights and the right to health, the right to education, and the right to an adequate standard of living.

The ICESCR is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),
The right to adequate housing, also referred to as the right to housing, is “the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity.” It requires “adequate privacy, adequate space, adequate security, adequate lighting and ventilation, adequate basic infrastructure and adequate location with regard to work and basic facilities – all at a reasonable cost.” Parties must ensure security of tenure and that access is free of discrimination, and progressively work to eliminate homelessness. Forced evictions, defined as “the permanent or temporary removal against their will of individuals, families and/or communities from the homes and/or land which they occupy, without the provision of, and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection”, are a prima facie violation of the Covenant.

Read More details:,_Social_and_Cultural_Rights

Also the UK are in violation of Article 25 of the Declaration of human rights

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Take Action

Raquel Rolnik, wants evidence of how the bedroom tax, council tax and welfare reforms have impacted on you

Raquel Rolnik’s email address is:

Please also sign the  petition also accessed by clicking the link above: We call for a Cumulative Impact Assessment of Welfare Reform, and a New Deal for sick & disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions

You can write to the United Nations Enable:

Why not write to the UN about the shocking treatment of the most vulnerable in our society, the sick and disabled who have seen their lives destroyed as a result of vicious, unfair and unjust welfare reforms which have resulted in many suicides and people dying as consequence of all the extra pressure brought to bear on lives already blighted by disability and ill health.

You might not get a reply but it is still worth writing, the more letters and e-mail received the more someone will take notice. I wrote a long e-mail. I did not receive a reply and did not expect to do so. But do not be deterred, unless we speak out nothing will happen.

Also see

Things are changing, these developments concerning the bedroom tax are a positive beginning

“The amount of violations of human rights in a country is always an inverse function of the amount of complaints about human rights violations heard from there. The greater the number of complaints being aired, the better protected are human rights in that country.”
Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Now I know to many that it may seem rather way out to write to the UN Enable but yes, you can write to them and I know of at least one other person who has done so and no doubt many more have. You do not have to be an expert just write and express your concerns, your own experiences and perhaps highlighting some of or even all of the issues. Regardless of experience or even writing skills the more letters they receive the more someone way take notice. Who knows it maybe worth a try.