Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Four stages of deceit

It's very noticeable that the government now has four ways of deceiving us over figures which ought to show the effects of their actions.

  1. Spin.  We've been used to that for many years.  It means that you publish the figures but play down the negative, never mentioning it, and play up what look like the positives.  We saw a very good example of this with the second year Work Programme figures.  A week before their publication, the industry was encouraged to put out a raw figure of how many "jobs" had been secured, and this was all the politicians talked about, ignoring the fact that, as a percentage of the total on the programme, this was way down on the minimum targets.
  2. Lie.  This can be done in many ways, which don't actually look like lying.  There was Osborne's claim to have created half a million private sector jobs.  This was untrue.  The figure included thousands who were unemployed and on benefits but doing mandatory work activity.  It also included everybody working in FE colleges; they were simply reclassified from the public to the private sector.  But the lie was repeated ad nauseam and the truth drowned out.  Then there's Iain Duncan Smith's habit of linking unconnected facts and figures to arrive at a picture he "believes" (wants) to be correct.  
  3. Don't publish.  This has become a popular method of deceit.  The publication of the first year's WP data was delayed for as long as they dared, in the hopes that another couple of months would produce a figure which could be successfully spun.  It didn't work that time.  But now we have an apparently indefinite delay on the publication of the sanctions data.  No plausible reason has been given for this, so we have to assume that they simply want to suppress the figures.
  4. Don't collect.  This appears to be the latest trick.  We read on Sunday in the Mirror that IDS has dropped the rule requiring Jobcentres to collect data on why they are giving people food bank vouchers.  The Labour MP Dave Watts says that this is in order to hide the fact that the DWP often fails to process benefits claims within the regulation 16 days.  But "the DWP said the rule was axed as councils now have more responsibility for giving emergency help."  This is patent nonsense.  
Are these four methods sufficient to manipulate the truth in the way the government wishes, or will there be more?


  1. It seems to me that is only a matter of time (how much time, who knows) before the sanctions data, zero hours contracts, WP etc all this stuff comes to a head. All politicians make mistakes/lie (delete as appropriate) but mostly get away with it, expenses claims a good example. In May 2015 those who vote will have their say...

  2. Food banks only supply enough food for three days, on three separate occasions. Hardship payments are now loans that have have to be repaid, but they are only granted to claimants who are considered to be vulnerable.

    My question is what happens when people run out of money, are not eligible for hardship payments, and have used up their food bank allocation?

  3. This gov't are playing on the prejudices of the British people. But that can only work for so long. Sooner or later, the lie will unravel and the Tories will be exposed for what they are and what they have always been - ignorant, backward, bigoted and lacking in any empathy and humanity.

  4. IDS: his failure as leader stings his very soul (or that which passes for one in the essence of a tory). No other MP i have seen behaves as he does; his petulant outbursts, his lack of self control. All of this betrays the man's insecurity; the motive for his attitude. Combined with his class aspirations, the attitudes born of marrying into wealth (I wouldn't be surprised if his in laws don't really think he's proper aristocracy), he feels he cannot fail. But he's incompetent: he has grand ideas 'oh how i will change the lives of the poor', but gives the details to his lackeys who haven't the skill, time or resources. In fact I bet he even resents his colleauge, Lord Fraud. This creature has managed to get to where he wants to be without the bother of representing the proles (or the aristocrats he wishes wiould accept him), being elected, or even having expertise or experience as a politician or minister. Fraud is in the House of Lords for life while IDS has to deal with shouty lefty ingrates like Owen Jones and those other trouble making scroungers on the sick.

    Spare a thought for this poor soul!

  5. Deceit or stupidity? My WP Adviser scheduled my next appointment for 26 August,a bank holiday,for the last week I have tried to contact her to confirm if this was correct,today I received a response to confirm that the appointment was made in error,and she had not checked her E-mail in the last week,what struck me was the last sentence in the reply "I have been out of the office all week and would of called you,but as we leave at 10am I did not want to disturb you if you were still sleeping"

    What a cheeky @%£,but it does sum up the attitude!

  6. Should this site not be titled 'Watching The Work Programme' as there is precious little about A4e here anymore. Lots about government and IDS which you can hear about in any number of media articles. This forum seems to have really lost it's way. Shame.

    1. How nice of you. Do you have some news about A4e which you can share with us?

    2. A4E is keeping a very low profile as with much of the WP,a few "Success" stories carefully planted in the local press but nothing of substance and very quite about the last statistics that were released.

    3. I for one await any possible fraud allegations against a4e or any other WP. Zere hours contracts and Sanctions/Food Banks statistics are relevant too. I regularly read and have had comment's posted here. Cheers.

    4. Keep up the good work Historian. This blog has enough positive supporters and contributors to compensate for those who have nothing better to do than make petty and negative comments!

    5. Anon 22 Aug 2013 11:34

      You have to realise that A4e is wrapped up in the WP. Just as they were regarding previous failures such as ND and FND.

      As such keeping tabs on the WP is MORE important than just looking at one provider in the shape of A4e.

      I share Anonymous's sentiments. This blog is a valuable resource.

  7. I just wanted to add I have just finished the 2yr WP at A4e and not had 1 interview. Now having left I got an interview and await the result. If I get the job I will be so happy to say A4e had nothing to do with it.


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