Creating A PR Disaster - The AMF Way

8/28/2011 11:34:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 10 Comments

Step 1: Pick a snazzy, slightly secretive name which bears no relation to your company's role...let's say AMF*.

Step 2: Become a large, powerful and wealthy multi national corporation engaged to carry out government contracts. Warning note to any sick and disabled people on benefits considering this as a viable route into work; you will need a bike, ability to ride said bike and a magical, contract creating, money shedding tree. Rumours of similar duck house providing, moat cleaning and grocery shopping trees abound, but sadly the equipment, social care and benefits fairy has proved too elusive to pin down at point of writing without fear of libelling said fairy.

Step 3: Do not concern yourself with the trivial details contained in any of the actual contracts the government agreed with you. There is no need to answer phones on time, organise appointments or comply with accessibility legislation. Never forget such rules don't apply to you. To be fair...they don't apply to the people who make them either so you're only following their sterling example. 

Step 4: Be sure to tend your magical, contract creating money tree with great care. Treat your staff and 'customers' with equal disdain. Rely on media hysteria to ensure staff and customers never compare notes about their treatment. Ensure the removal of any potential awkward public questions by making sure the questioner ends up in a position of power and forgets their former role as champion of the vulnerableworld.

Step 5: Create magical, contract creating money tree arboretum as solution to that disturbing scent of human suffering which occasionally penetrates past the moat and duck house.

Step 6: Act rapidly and decisively to negate any criticism from customers or staff. Enage expensive lawyers to protect your continued right to enjoy and protect the reputation of said magical, contract creating money tree arboretum. Breathe deep sigh of relief as you are reassured by staff's continued disdain for customers drawing attention  away from arboretum.

Step 7: Remind staff of the threat their social media use poses to arboretum. Offer up a potential holiday in said arboretum to ensure compliance.

Step 8: Negate customer criticism of arboretum by hitting them over the head with spare magical, contract creating money trees. Enjoy satisfying splatter noise as trees impact and decide to extend 'splatting' policy to all customers whether critical or not.

Step 9: Threaten anyone supporting or allowing customers to speak with splatting policy.

Step 10: Pat self and lawyers on the back

Step 11: Become aware of irritating whimpers arising from beneath successful splats.

Step 12: Become aware of rational voices alerting you to irritating whimpers. Suffer the deep psychological trauma this poses to continued enjoyment of arboretum.

Step 13: Forget to check content of any alleged whimpers. That first one was definitely absolutely bullying so decide the rest will definitely absolutely be bullying tactics too. 

Step 14: Insist irritating whimpers are just that. Whimpers. After all, only whimpers would ever choose to become customers of AMF and whimper opinion widely considered invalid. Decide to ignore futher.

Step 15: Rational voices invade the peace of arboretum. These voices are a bit too loud actually, not usually classed as whimpers and not similar enough to a character from Sesame Street to be bought off as successfully as previous rational voice rebutting policy.

Step 16: Whimper and wail. "It's not fair". After all, it seems to have worked for the whimpers out there and the lawyers are too busy enjoying arboretum access to come up with anything better.

Step 17: Locate lawyer sulking just outside arboretum and promote them to chief executive officer of splatting.

Step 18: Attempt to remove backbone from lawyer and divert permanently to whimper class as punishment for temerity in suggesting some whimpers might be valid and therefore not defamatory.

Step 19: Concede grudgingly now spineless lawyer might have had a point actually. Reassure self by relegation of newly disabled lawyer to whimper classes. No-one listens to them anyway.

Step 20: Whine about relentless bullying from whimperers and continue to insist their whimpers are not legally valid opinions.

Step 20: Decide it's probably time to check content of whimpers. Especially those pesky, particularly vulnerable ones.

Step 21: Realise pesky, particularly vulnerable whimperers might have been telling the truth all along.

Step 22: Pee pants a teensy bit. Whimperer, schmimperer's totally irrelevant but idea of life outside arboretum not quite so conducive to continence.

Step 23: Engage lawyers able to tell the difference between Streisand and the Streisand effect.

Step 24: Scream at and permanently remove arboretum access from whichever department insisted whimper content checking was an unneccessary act.

Step 25: Wonder if possible to employ those particularly vulnerable annoyingly rational whimperers to replace previous allegedly qualified legal advisors.

*Points but no prizes to anyone who knows why AMF and can say so in the comments thread without libelling anyone. As it's my blog and me who'll get sued I decide what constitutes libel!


Rozz & Friends Go The Extra 131 Miles For Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

8/24/2011 10:06:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 0 Comments


Can I Have A 'P' Please Iain

8/19/2011 09:15:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 8 Comments

 A Guest Post From HossyLass inspired by Personal Responsibility: The IDS Way 

Taken from, and adapted, twisted, tortured and completely abused;

After the shock of mobs terrorising communities and setting buildings ablaze has begun to subside, and as we watch the number of arrests and stiff sentences rising, the public is angrily asking how Britain, this tolerant and fair-minded nation, could have arrived at this point.

While I am, like many, appalled at the events of last week, I am not entirely surprised – I have felt that Britain's social fabric has been fraying for some time. On Monday the prime minister spoke of the social problems in some of our communities, characterised by;

the breakdown of responsibility,

of respect for one's neighbours and for authority.

He spoke of morality, the rise of dysfunctional and broken homes, fatherlessness, and a culture in welfare

and in schools that puts entitlement and rights above responsibilities and hard work.

These are all issues I examined in detail as chairman of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ). I spent years visiting our most deprived communities, speaking with individuals and families whose lives were blighted by social breakdown, and learning from the dedicated practitioners and volunteers working to turn those lives around. It became increasingly clear that six key pathways were driving the poverty and disadvantage: family breakdown; worklessness; educational failure; addiction; debt; and the need to pee.

While the Labour government focused on money, arguing for a bigger welfare state and more facilities for disabled people, those we heard from said toilet abuse was a symptom of fractured, dysfunctional lives, and tackling it meant addressing its root causes, such as the need to pee, and the disregard for those whose need is greater and whose facilities I was abusing.

In the past week we have had a harsh reminder of how dysfunctional able bodied people abuse disabled facilities and feed off social breakdown. Even without the riots this is a phenomenon we should be deeply concerned about. Disabled facilites are no-go areas and I, as an able bodied person, made impossible the very things that could help a disabled person to pee. Able bodied abuse of the disabled and using the disabled toilets are both a product of social breakdown and a driver of it.

That is why, almost four years ago, I commissioned the CSJ to look into Disabled Toilets. The resulting report, Dying to Pee, revealed a rising trend of abuse in one of Britain's most disadvantaged communities - disabled people. As far back as 2004, research estimated that up to 96% of disabled people needed to pee, a proportion that will only have risen since. The report revealed that the age at which disabled people were needing to pee was getting lower, blood pressure was rising, and communities were living in sewerage. This should have been a wake-up call to spur national and local government action, yet the problem was allowed to grow, mostly unchecked, culminating in the events of last week.

The report showed it is possible for able bodied people to effectively stay out of disabled facilities, but to do so you have to understand what you're doing. Disabled people have NOT invariably grown up in broken, chaotic homes, often experiencing domestic violence; they have rarely truanted from school and yet many have been excluded because of the lack of adapted toilet facilites; and they often live in neighbourhoods where worklessness, addiction and crime are rife, even though they never chose disability, or any of those lifestyles.

So we must address why disabled people need to pee, try to prevent them being forced to wait in the first place and help those who want to access disabled toilet facilities.

We can learn much from Radar, an effective programme in curbing disability facility abuse, in the UK. Mapping toilets and their facilities, a clear message was delivered: disabled toilet abuse by the able bodied will not be tolerated.

If you stop we will do everything in our power to help you to stay out of disabled toilets, if you continue we'll do everything to bring you to justice.

Intensive, targeted enforcement should be coupled with an intensive offer of support, delivered by community organisations, faith groups and local service providers. One unified message from community and police.

Someone somewhere will adopt this model in Channel 4 Studios and enforce it, with real results.

Of course there are wider social issues to be dealt with, and the early intervention work I have been asked to do, such as find an able-bodied toilet a few more strides away, is central to this; but dealing with the other able bodied people who abuse disabled facilities is a vital place to start – with local government, police and the community united.

As senior police officers on both sides of the Atlantic have said, "Mr Duncan Smith, you can't just excuse your way out of this problem".

That is why, perhaps most importantly, I don't agree with the pessimists who say that the social breakdown is irreversible. I believe in a nation of the second chance, which will ensure that from the despair of my actions, and the shame of my abusive behaviour, we can fashion hope of a stronger and healthier society, that pees in its own loo's.

In future I wont state one thing and do another, and I will stay out of disabled people's toilets, just as my Mother and my God would want me to do.

And I will remember to flush, just like Nanny told me to.

Please Note, this post is a spoof inspired by the the factual report of IDS & the disabled loo reported here


No Men Of Honour

8/18/2011 10:34:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 5 Comments

At The Broken of Britain we regularly receive emails from sick and disabled people in utter despair at the damage the cuts to benefits are causing to their lives. It's both the most difficult and most rewarding part of what we do. Although we are used to the fear and distress people are being put through, it's impossible for us to remain emotionally detached, and some cases are particularly hard to comprehend. Today is just one such example. A young woman with a life limiting, painful and severely disabling genetic condition is facing the prospect of losing her home due to the changes in the way local housing allowance is calculated. In her own words, she writes to the Prime Minister and Chancellor to remind them of their many, many promises to always protect the most vulnerable. 

"And I want to say to British people clearly and frankly this; if you are elderly, if you are frail, if you are poor, if you are needy, a Conservative government will always look after you"
David Cameron 4.5.2010

"I have never felt lower. Because of changes to housing benefit, I've been reduced to a worrying mess. I face the possibility of being moved out of my flat that has an extra room for when I need a carer because the local housing allowance is dropping so much.

I'm entitled to a two-bedroom rate of housing benefit, but it's dropping so much, it will be lower than the one-bedroom rate I'm currently on. 

I'm too severely disabled to work. I cannot walk far, my condition is extremely painful, and I face unpredictable fluctuations in my disability where one day I may be unable to swallow properly, be able to get onto my feet, or even see properly. It is difficult enough to look after myself on a day to day basis, yet you are making it harder.
I receive DLA, Income Support and even Severe Disablement Allowance. Yet despite being acknowledged as one of the most deserving recipients of housing benefit, the office who deal with my benefit do not understand why I am to be one of the worst off, with no exception.

This morning I listed ten items to sell on eBay. These were presents I received last Christmas and on my last birthday. The items I am selling are two well made winter jumpers, some DVDs of films I enjoy, and three handbags (from high-street stores).
I don't have anything of big value I can sell, and although I love the clothes and watching the DVDs I am selling, I have nothing else nice that anyone else would want. I am looking around for other things to sell, as times are hard enough without the impending drop in housing benefit. 

You and George Osborne said you would not leave the infirm without help. Well, you've let me down, and many others too. You have gone back on your word, and you are no man of honour."


More Or Less On ESA Statistics

8/12/2011 03:13:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 2 Comments

Professor Paul Gregg explains the reality behind the ESA headlines such as 9/10 incapacity benefit claimants found fit for work in Radio 4's More or Less Podcast
Relevant section just after 20mins in


BREAKING NEWS! DWP Admits Dodgy Data Use

8/11/2011 07:41:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 2 Comments

On the same day the UK Statistics Authority say the DWP must improve the way it presents data on disability benefit claims the DWP is forced to admit that it based sweeping disability reforms affecting hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people on dodgy data.


Let's Do The TimeWarp Again...

8/01/2011 08:49:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 2 Comments

"Coercion, tears, government rhetoric, employment gap and welfare reform" from Disability Now.

It sounds like a contemporary article doesn't it? All the ingredients are there, a desire to reduce the number of those claiming IB, disability groups outraged and a complicit media readily producing articles on benefit scroungers.

Except this was 2007* not 2011. Not of course that you'd know that unless you were well informed enough to know who Peter Hain is** and that his tenure of the DWP was in 2007 under New Labour.

**Winner of the "I've been Tango'd political award"