Sunday, February 03, 2008

Where are Labour on 'Welfare' Reform.

Didn't get around to reading the Sunday's until tonight. The rugby reports saved it for me. Otherwise, it was depression all around for anyone who wants to be an MP. I suppose its even worse for anyone who is an MP. Reports of 'snouts' and 'troughs' on almost every page. It seems that politicians have never been held in such low esteem. Could hardly find another story to comment on. I'd hoped there would be a lot about the thoughts of David Freud, who has been taken on as an advisor by Peter Hain's successor at the Department of work and Pensions, James Purnell. I'd read an article by Freud in the Telegraph last week, and it was radical stuff about welfare reform. The only comment that I could find was by Iain Martin in the Sunday Telegraph.

Martin quotes from the Freud article. "Gordon Brown has now said that they are going to do it......welfare is a mess that no-one can manage.......the system we've got at the moment sends 2.64 million people into a form of economic house arrest........its got to be the private sector.......somebody will see a gap in the market and make a fortune." We know what Gordon Brown has thought about what David Freud has been saying in the past. He'd have been shown the door in seconds. Now he's been taken on as an advisor.

Now this is really important stuff. Its territory that excites some of those who comment on my blog including Sanddef and Christopher Wood. I suppose this furore about allowances and employment rules will ease as policies are adopted to deal with an issue that has dealt such a heavy blow to the body politic. And then we can return to one of the issues which will decide the next General Election.

UPDATE - Worth reading debate on this in the comments on David Jones, MP's blog


johnny foreigner said...

One question that bothers me a little about this is:

David Freud? Investment banker? What on earth makes him an authority on Welfare Reform?

His claim that two thirds of claimants have some capability for work is a prime example of his total ignorance of these matters.

He just completely fails to show any justification for his belief.

The Iain Martin article that you quote from the Sunday Telegraph is portentous of what is to come.

"........its got to be the private sector.......somebody will see a gap in the market and make a fortune."

He's a little behind the times. They're already here in the form of the "OUTLAW" American Insurance company UNUM.

UNUM's share price on the NYSE is at an all time low due to the many successful litigations against them in the USA for unlawful claims denial. Further, they have been fined over 25 million dollars for the same reason.

They are desperately seeking new markets for their wares and we appear to be it.

I have been blogging about UNUM for some time and I invite you to view my blog for a little insight into their methods.

The link to is also available for the elucidation of all.

I have mentioned UNUM on your blog before and you claim to have little knowledge of them. Hopefully my blog may be of a little assistance to you.

As you are a prospective MP, may I ask you the same question that has been asked of many Secretaries of State, Ministers and other politicians? The latest being Peter HAIN who found that it would be:

"inappropriate to comment on what has been said about UNUM either in Great Britain or overseas". I'll bet he did!

I even asked Huw Lewis AM and he 'ran a mile' claiming that my comments were defamatory. The truth is that he didn't want to address the matter as he had eulogised UNUM's local agent Prof. Mansel Aylward, in the Plenary.

Incidentally, UNUM have chosen NOT to sue Mr. Garamendi. I wonder why? Could it be that he has spoken the TRUTH?

Here you are Glyn, give it a try. Once you've done your homework, of course.

Q........Please provide your observations on Governmental and Assembly association with UNUM, a company that has been described as "an outlaw company that has operated in an illegal fashion for many years" and have been been running "claims denial factories".

This quote was made by Mr. John Garamendi currently Lieutenant Governor of California, who, at the time, October 2005, was Insurance Commissioner for California. Credibility by the bucket full, IMHO.

Just Google UNUM Garamendi 2005 for the source.

As a disabled person myself I have much experience in the methods of claims denial currently being used within the DWP and have helped a number of claimants to overcome some quite frankly ludicrous decisions made on the basis of questionable medical reports made using the UNUM method of claims denial.

It seems that Freud's opinion wil be used to further demonise the disabled and brand us as scroungers, malingerers and fraudsters, whilst UNUM's illegal methods will be used to simply disenfranchise disabled claimants and reduce them to poverty.

Show us your mettle Glyn. Step up to the 'plate'.

This matter will eventually affect ALL people in the UK and is ignored at our peril.

Your pal.


Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Well Glyn, my excitement is somewhat tempered by a growing feeling (but it’s not quite yet emanating from my gut) that a dreadful terror act is in the works. I hope a big one will not execute a full blown recession. 9-11 presaged a big yin (the dot com implosion lent a ‘helping hand’). But with the credit squeeze and big banks under stress, a big terrorist outrage now would have asymmetrical impact. With a full blown recession Brown’s plans on getting people on invalidity back into work would be clobbered.

Glyn Davies said...

johnny - I'm not sure that I can come up with a judgement when so many others, including the UK Government have been able to do so. But I've asked one of my former researchers, who still does some work for me, to do a short paper for me on this.
I will add that I too know of what seemed to me to be unreasonable claims denial - but I sense that there are a lot more cases of unjustified claims. I've no idea whether David Freud is capable or not - but Labour's decision to employ him on the basis of what he has been saying seems to me to be highly significant. And lets hope Christopher's gut is unduly concerned!

johnny foreigner said...


Thanks for your response.

I presume that you have ommitted an 'un' as prefix to the 'able' in the first sentence. I will take that as read.

I appreciate your reluctance to comment in accord with the rest of your political colleagues as this is a particularly awkward question, as intended.

Hopefully, after further research you may be persuaded to make an 'observation', although not necessarily an opinion.

I'm heartened that I have stirred your interest sufficiently for you to ask your former researcher to produce a paper, regarding UNUM, for you.

Much of the UNUM controversy is available on on my blog and Google is so helpful. I hardly forsee a 'short' paper.

If required, I can direct your researcher to plenty of official documentation, from a variety of sources which clearly show the extraordinary efforts being currently made to 'muddy the waters' regarding Governmental association with the "OUTLAWS" and which outline UNUM's intentions in the UK.

A Google search for UNUM Hungry Vulture will reveal the true ethos of this compnay.

I appreciate that there is an element of Benefit Fraud, but percentage-wise it is the low single figures. I would venture to suggest that the percentage of questionable expenses claims amongst MPs may be similar.

Unfortunately, the rest of we legitimate claimants have been demonised and denigrated.

Having been researching Benefit denial matters for some time, in order to assist some less able claimants, I have been shocked and disgusted at some of the decisions made by DWP doctors in order to meet the arbitrarily set 'targets' set by Government in order to remove claimants from benefits.

For example: the double leg amputee denied benefits on the grounds that her prosthetic legs enabled her to walk in comfort and unaided for 800 meters. The Doctor failed to note in his report that the lady's stumps were ulcerated and bleeding, two years post-operatively, and that she was in a wheelchair.

A gentleman denied benefits due to a doctor stating, again, that he had no mobility problems. The gentleman, at the time, was in his home whilst lying on his sick-bed suffering from an angina attack, having been medicated by his GP and had at no time risen from his bed.

A gentleman, 'forgotten' about at an examination centre at closing time. He was 'examined' in a corridor by a doctor as he was leaving the building. The doctor made a few notes on the margin of his newspaper and the 'examination' took less than 5 minutes. The doctor's subsequent 'report' made no mention of the method of examination and lied that the 'examination' took 25 minutes.

Another gentleman described as having hard skin plus to his feet, which the doctor equated to walking plus i.e. to a greater degree than the norm, and that "minimal disability" was found. This same gentleman was, at previous and subsequent examinations, described as having "disability not in doubt" and "chronic knee pain and increasing hip pain that will increase".

Two of these four examples were awarded benefits on appeal. I'll leave you to decide which. The other two cases are still being investigated at Ministerial level.

All of these can be verified.

I bring these matters regarding UNUM to you and your readers attention in order to warn you all of the infiltration of this "OUTLAW" company UNUM into the DWP and the NHS right before your very eyes.

This affects us all.

Your pal.