Mar 012011

Message from our close ally, Black Triangle

The Black Triangle campaign has been set up to help defend ALL disabled people from the constant media and government portrayal of disabled people as “scroungers” and thieves for claiming benefits that they are not entitled to. This despite the fact that benefit fraud for those claiming Disability Living Allowance one of the main benefits that can keep disabled people independent and in work is currently only 1%. The wide spread lie that a huge amount of those currently claiming health related benefits are frauds, combined with the pretty badly discredited assessment criteria that see the majority of claimants fail despite having high levels of care and support needs cannot be anything other than an attempt to put disability rights back to a time where most people with disabilities were kept hidden away from society.

Despite having the legal right enshrined by European law and United Nation convention, individuals with disabilities will have no access to homes, jobs public transport, family life, or dignity. Why will all these be lost, because they need resources, and this Con-Dem government seem to be saying that the British people “can’t pay won’t pay”. Blaming the economic crises on the disabled by constantly saying how high  the welfare bill is, or how much extra services like “Access to Work” or “The Independent Living fund” cost so they are closed down to save money, is basically untrue and at odds with the much trumpeted “fairness” agenda the government constantly talk about.

The Black Triangle campaign is a small group of local activists who have already been active in direct action protests. We held protest actions, taken part in public forums, joined with the TUC, and STUC in joint action. We have organised FREE accessible transport to the STUC “Better way campaign” rally in Perth this coming Saturday. We will also be working with the organisers of the huge national rally in London on the 26th of March to provide FREE accessible transport.

All we need is people to use this transport, we need anyone who wants to go, even if all you want to do is show that you think disabled people deserve respect, then please come. Use the transport and show the government that you are a human being and deserve to be given the courtesy of being treated like one.

Go to the page that the Link below leads to and register, or go to Face Book and search for BLACK TRIANGLE. Or email me your interest in attending and I will pass your details on. Take the time to look at the main Black Triangle pages and see if any of the messages or posts give you a sense of what the campaign is all about. If you can please just register with the page, we are only asking for your support not your money.

Lastly please will you all have a careful think about all the people that you know. Work, family, neighbours, friends whatever, who ever, please think if this information could be of interest or use to anyone else. Let them know and give them the opportunity to make up their own minds if they wish to be involved or not.

—George Lamb

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  12 Responses to “The Black Triangle campaign”

  1. I have been ill since may 2009,was put on jsa (even though job centre were well aware of my as yet undiagnosed condition and was never told about esa until nov.2009.I had to attend an atos(medical servises)
    assessment in march 2010, but no doctor was present and was told I had to re-attend 2weeks later.
    I was rebuked at the first attendance for not telling them of the new nature of my condition which was now neurological as I was given an MRI scan in the preceeding jan.I was never told that I could request a home visit backed up by medical evidence(and was later told by the ICS Independant case examiner “that they would not impart that information to ‘CUSTOMERS’. The assessment was not carried out correctly and no medical evidence was referred to.The report itself dertermined that I was both fit and unfit for work by nature that I was only given six points but went on to say that a return to work COULD be considered within six months.I collapsed at home home the following evening unable to move and a paramedic attended.I was vomitting uncontrolably and was told this was due to adrenaline induced pain.3 days later my money was stopped as the decision maker classified me fit.I won my appeal, but this was costly as has remained so throughout all the time I have been fighting their continuous negative assessments and judgements.That cost has been financial,physical,emotional,mental,social etc.I have been through MPs,Ministers,ATOS own Independant tier, The Independant Case Examiner and The Parliamentiart Ombudsman, and they have not upheld my complaints,which Irrespective of Lord Freud writing to me and pointing out that it is a requirement
    that all evidence is taken into account, the DWP have also written and told me that it is up to the Discretion of the decision maker what evidence is taken into account.HOW CAN THIS BE. It is flouting the the law.
    The only time I have not had a problem with benefits is when I asked my clinician to be at my home assessment.I have also had money stopped by a decision maker without an ATOS assessment.
    Part of the Parliamentiary Ombudsmans report says that “they can not believe that I did not know anything about ESA. I have sat across from many Medical Professionals dealing with my medical problems who have never heard of ATOS or ESA.I have seen 2 solicitors in regard to sueing those in breech of these rules.Both have said that I have more than a case but are unable to take this up on my behalf either because of time or having no funds to pay for it.I cannot find any help anywhere as institutions like CAB or all other advocacy establishments have the time or funds.This is just a just a tip of a very nasty iceberg that I have had to go through.In December 2011 I was in so much pain I decided that I would rid myself of this pain for good.I took a great deal of medication in order to help with sleep and connected a hose from the exhaust on my vehicle etc etc.I was discovered and escorted by police (iniatially manhandled) to hospital where a GP refused to contact any or all of the medical professionals including my GP,Osteopath,Clinician,Physiotherpist,Neurosurgeon etc, or look at any of the impirical written evidence I had regarding Spinal and other associated medical diagnosis,and told me that the only problem I had was a severe mental health problem obviously going back to ‘something’ that happened to me many years prior!!!!
    and wanted me committed.I ask to as I would have to be anyway assessed by a Psychiatrist who within ten minutes of explaining my health problems over the years declared me perfectly normal.Needless to say I had to make a formal complaint about the GP.Three months ago approx. I was diagnosed with cancer and have refused treatment on the basis that getting justice for all the LIES from ATOS,DWP and its various agencies which have contributed to my further demise.Why is it not possible for your organisation along with its supporters to take Government etc to court through for example ‘ABUSE OF DISCRETION or HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS.I for one am very close to the edge and know only to well that eventually I will have to consider when such pain becomes unendurable my only option.
    I would very much appriciate a reply as I would like to explore any avenue to get my and other peoples stories into the public domain.
    If the TRUTH is to be ‘the signature tune to our DEMOCRACY then something is very wrong when you have a person like Ian Duncan Smith heading both the DWP with its liars through atos and decision makers,and at the samr time heading the CENTRE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE.

  2. hi, just to say thank our lord for people like you, i have read so many horrendous blogs of the plight of theese so called wca may god forgive those in power for letting all those people down, and for all those who have died through this goverments deciet, i cannot believe all this is happening in this country, may they have shame to all those that took there lives, unforgiveable, god bless them and there families, its so good to know that people really do care and this goverment cannot get away from all there wrong doing,

  3. I have just received a phone call from the d.w.p saying that i wont even have to go for a medical and have been transferred from incapacity benefit to e .s.a although i an not sure which type. The relief was overwhelming but has now given me a real feeling of guilt. My closest friend who has aids and hepatitis b and c along with various other medical problems had to go through a medical ,get zero points then have an appeal.which thankfully he won. I have no where near the illness problems that my friend has and they put him through a year of hell. I think the system is so arbitrary because if i was put through to a medical then i know i would have got zero points and possible been put back onto the job market. Good luck to everyone and i feel almost guilty for getting what is only what i deserved because i am sick just not on the same scale as people who have been ‘failed’. Good luck everyone.

    • I too was put on ESA, but despite not being able to work due to 4 strokes, arthritis of the spine, enlarged heart and type 2 diabetes, they put me in the “work” group and then said because i’d been gettng it for 365 days I had had my lot, now I get nothing at all.

      • Join the club Eric. I was pushed into the work club last November, now i have been told because i have already claimed 365 days of contributions based ESA it will stop this May. I will not get income based ESA because my wife earns to much so like many, many others i will become part of IDS,s statistics that the Sun and Mail like to write about, showing how many people the ConDems have taken off benefits. Problem is they never say how they have managed to get people off benefits.

  4. Hi again just wanted to give the experience of the assessment both myself n partner went through. Our assessment was at five ways islington Birmingham on the 20th of June this year. Now that day we arrived by taxi at 10:37 our appointment was at 11:10 we got there early because I wanted to really observe and take notes of anything that seemed off key. First of all there was an elevator but the main reception waiting room was on the 3rd floor? Not very disabled freindly n the fact that the elevator was quite small could effect people with clostrophobia not a good start. We had our visitor tags on which we never put on this made no difference upon entering the interegration room lol. Now I booked my partner in at reception coz had my partner tried the recording CCTV will use such things to say if u can book yourself in you are able to display such n such skills (be able to work in other words)z. The woman at reception was very miserable and showed no form of emotion as I showed my partners ID to her. Filled in travel expenses form, from there we took a seat and continued to wait. Now I was looking around and paying close attention to everything, there was a toilet not far down the hall but I told my partner if u need it let me guide you as again it is all recorded to use against you, she never did as she was very anxious and continued to bite her nails with worry. The waiting room itself was large but I have to bring to attention two things that made the whole 47 min wait not to helpful. First of it was quite a warm morning yet all the windows where closed not open y? The room had air conditioning available but it was not in use again y? A over warm room with no operating air conditioning does not help with ones anxious moments does it, now the other thing that really got me and I am quite sure it was a form of physiological reassurance, but a small drinks and snaks cart was brought into the room about 25 mins into our wait. Again I told my partner to avoid you see I could be wrong but I feel this was done to try and relaxe people to the point where they would forget the stress for a while, but again if you are recorded eating and drinking it will be used to say things like you can move your limbs and arms to do such and such. I was convinced by this point that they screw you long before you go into the assessment room. Why a drinks and food cart? We don’t get anything like that at our own doctors?. I got up many times to refill the water cup as I had sussed what they was upto I made sure I did everything for my partners needs. But I knew even by sitting for 30 mins already to them that’s a fail because by sitting down for a long time you can work apparently. Then at 11:27 we finally got called into the so called medical assessment room. Now upon entering a quick look around and to put it simple no bed for physical examinations, no wash base in fact nothing other then 3 walls a window & computer & desk n chairs. Not medically arranged I thought to myself. I had came prepared you see lol we sat down my pen and pad was ready to note everything said. Now the woman was apparently medically trained for physical examinations just can’t spell the word. Her name was lindsy and upon seeing my note pad tried to make me feel very underpowered by saying you can take notes but they are for your own record? I said I am basically writing down everything you ask my partner but it’s just for my own use. (clearly she was not happy that my notes could come in very handy to establish an appeal) I stayed calm and was imeadeatly asked are you recording I said no, but also returned a question to her which she cold not fully answer. Are these medicals recorded for company and training purposes she said no. I asked why can I not have it recorded . To be told you have to request it in advance I then asked why in the atos information booklet that was sent with the appointment letter, does it it mention this. She looked at my partners file, but my partner through stress just asked can you take it really slow with me please to which she got an over nice of course take your time and ask me to repeat if you don’t understand anything. I won’t go into everything question but no physical examination was done and the questions that was related to her mental health where fine at first, my partner looked at me regular as she finds it hard to understand and gets confused very easily. After about 20 mins when the so called doc released that my partner was scoring a fair few points. Then came the reverse physcology or trike questions should I say, her words was now let’s ask you some easy questions. I looked at her and thought you mean this is the part where I will screw you out of your claim. Her words where now in this section we will look at what you can do. To keep it short questions like can you change your sons nappy? To then follow it with your son is potty trained now isent he? Contradictive or what?, to follow with do you like watching tv what’s your fav programme I knew where this part was going. Other questions included was where do you like going as a family n so on. So to conclude she was way over nice saying things at the end like I know this is not nice and you don’t wanna be here but you ve done really well (fake ballcrap or what) to end I asked her a medical question just to concern what I knew all along, I said based on your clinical research what causes developmental delay the answer? I have no idea lol I could not believe such an unprofessional answer or what. Healthcare pros huh more healthcare fail pros. Sorry this was very long people just wanted to give an idea of what we recently went through. But to but it simple you are guaranteed to fail just by turning up this is not to help fairly assess people it’s a smoke screen hideing behind the medical industry.

  5. Hi there, I really am inspired by the work you guys are doing including the protests that have already taken place. I am a carera for my partner who had medical complications at birth n since has suffered with servere learning disabilitys (developmental delay) II have been with her 11 years of her life and she does strugle with many everyday things that need both my time n surport. She has been on incapacity since the age of 19. There has been no change in her condition despite us recently attending an atos medical. I said at the medical that if you fail her how are we to find jobs as we are completely unemployable, all I got back was company black n white n how the government will continue to assess ppl. More like fail ppl regardless of what’s wrong with them I thought. Anyways we are awaiting the inevitable fail letter soon n will definetly pursuer an appeal. The point I am making is the whole system is not designed to find out what one can do, more like fail every single person who is assessed, I mean y assess ppl if there has been no change in their condition, a true doctor would never ignore all of the medical problems a person has would they n let a fixed software programme decide what they r and r not entitled to. Imagine if a doctore let a software programme decide what Meddicene a patient needed every time they came to visit a doctor?. These atos desk jockeys r not equipped with enough medical knowledge to give judgement based on medical findings. I agree with all you guys are doing so please keep up the good work. I will report them to watchdog if we win our case, I would gladly love to give an interview even if it was recorded on tv to show the public that this whole ESA system, is nothing more then a reducing the numbers programme. Keep it up guys your a small ray of hope for those that r being purposely victimised.

  6. total disgrace whats going on (eyes been well opened)

  7. Can we have a link to the black triangle, please?

  8. The Government and the DWP are ignoring the Law regarding the duties of the DWP Decision Makers, the Law is quite clear : The Decision Maker is obliged by Law to take into account ALL evidence at his/her disposal.
    Harrington has stated in his review The Decision Makers have been ignoring other evidence,the Government and the DWP accepted his findings in full.
    This alone is grounds for a Judicial Review :The Government cannot ignore the Law because it isn’t to their advantage.

    However the Decision Makers are further breaking the Law by rubber stamping the Atos HCP’s Decisions: The Law states Decision Making cannot be sub-delegated to a third party ,Harrington says the Decision Makers have just been rubber stamping the Atos Helthcare HCP’s and this amounts ,in law, to sub-delegation.
    As all the Decisions are made in the name of the Secretary of State ,it is he who is libel to prosecution ,by allowing this situation to continue he is condoning the breaking of the Law.
    Taking into account both these points it is almost impossible for the powers that be to refuse a Judicial Review of the ESA system.
    How is it that those that are charged with upholding the Law can ignore it ,at their pleasure?????

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