bigleyma is thinking…

A Clarification About ‘Work’

with 6 comments

Someone commented on my last post regarding what they perceive to be my encouragement of a negative perspective to work for the sick and disabled, which they evidently feel could deter others from attempting to work, something which has been beneficial for them personally. Since comments are not viewable unless you click on them on here, I am repeating my response to them .

My previous post was not denying that work plays an important part in our lives, or that it can make a valuable contribution to our self esteem. In a broad sense, that is, as in my long working history I have experienced both sides of that coin. Some jobs actively undermine self worth and health, but some as you say challenge us in positive ways and help us develop both socially and personally, developing relationships and skills that enhance our lives. There is probably nothing better for our self esteem than to experience ourselves as useful, purposeful beings, in an environment where our efforts are valued and rewarded appropriately. The potential beneficial effects of work I expect to be taken as a ‘given’ in my writing about this subject. But that piece is not about whether or not work is good for us.

It is about the cynical misappropriation of that idea to quite different ends than those which are claimed by Professor Aylward and his colleagues, and subsequently our government. There is a great deal more history to this situation than I have been able to cover in the two pieces I have written on the subject.

I am merely trying to highlight certain important factors that have played a part in a process which, if you have read any of my other posts, is having  a devastating effect on sick and disabled people in this country. The horrifying cases continue to mount daily. In a sense my piece is not even about that. It is a direct challenge to Professor Aylward’s claim to have no involvement in this. I hope you would see that his denial of his involvement and attempt to distance himself from the huge part he has played in it is convincing proof of how toxic these ‘reforms’, in particular the Work Capability Assessment, are.

That the most influential person, the one who has been singularly instrumental in propagating the ideas (on a worldwide scale) which they have been constructed upon, attempts to extricate himself, that surely is validation enough. The WCA is a fraud. Even the most superficial investigation such as mine exposes its bias, and its hidden agenda. The effects, which should be the final determiner of whether a process is successful in its (asserted beneficial) aims, prove that conclusively. People are dying after being found fit, others are being driven to suicide, certainly many more are living in fear and desperation. This is not sensationalising the situation it is the plain truth.

I am glad that you have not suffered too much from your WCA experience, and have managed to obtain work which has restored your self esteem. That can not be said to be generally true I’m afraid. That a few may escape the ill effects can in no way justify the many who are being brutalised by this process.


6 Responses

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  1. George Potter exposed UNUM Insurance at the Lib Dem conference and refered the audience to my work, so the exposure is growing despite monumental gvt attempts to keep this info concealed.

    Aylward has been in touch with me and provided his ‘presentation’ in the form of slides, which he claims he talks to at conferences, hence there is no access to any transcript of his recent speech. HOWEVER, the slides he has provided from a world expert (?) are so elementary as to be breathtaking and I’d like to share them with you but would need an email address. I intend to expose Aylward in my next feature.

    Kind regards
    Mo Stewart

    Mo Stewart

    September 28, 2012 at 12:03 am

  2. Gill – Young George Potter identifed the links to Unum Insurance re the WCA at the Lib Dem conference and refered the audience to my work. He tells me there was a lot of interest after his speech.

    Aylward has been in touch and claims the reason there is no transcript from his recent presentation at the IFDM is because he uses slides as a presentation and ‘talks to the slides’. He has provided me with his presentation but these slides are ‘elementary’ at best – and this from a ‘world expert’….

    I’d be happy to share the slides but would need an email address please. Regret, unable to use Twitter or You Tube.

    Kind regards. Mo Stewart

    Mo Stewart

    September 28, 2012 at 12:09 am

    • Hi Mo,
      You actually have my email address, but I’ll go and send you an email now. Very much like to see those slides. If his presentation method is that he ‘talks to the slides’ he must either have a marvellous memory or just be making it up as he goes along 😉
      Presentation slides tend towards ambiguity, perhaps that’s why this lot favour them. They can always argue that wasn’t the meaning they intended, and it was ‘different’ at the actual event. That said some of the stuff I’ve seen complete with sarcastic cartoons depicting ‘malingerers’ leaves no doubt about the meaning.


      September 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

  3. PS: Reports from the Centre for PSD Research now has Aylward claiming he was at the DWP as CMO from 1996 but, in fact, he was there from 1993 – is this his attempt to distance himself from the introduction of Unum to the DWP in 1994?

    Mo Stewart

    Mo Stewart

    September 28, 2012 at 12:13 am

    • Debretts has him holding posts with the Department of Social Security from 1988, as Senior Medical Officer until 1990 (Prior to that occupying a regional post with them in Cardiff, from 1985).

      It states that he was Principle Medical Officer and Director of Medical Policy for the ‘Benefits Agency, London’ from 1991-1995 THEN Chief Medical Officer, Medical Director and Chief Scientist at the DWP (concurrent with being Chief Medical Officer and head of the Profession Agency at the Ministry of Defence < I can't find any reference to this MOD Agency) until 2005.

      The different terms used there for government departments make it a little difficult, but I'm sure the 'Benefits Agency' was part of the DHSS. And the title says it all: 'Director of Medical Policy'. How could he not have been involved in any policymaking decisions with that description? He's obviously trying to make a distinction between that role and becoming CMO at DWP in 1995, though they both may turn out to have been the same role, only the titles have changed due to the reorganisation/renaming of departments.


      September 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

      • The ‘Benefits Agency’ was the part of the DHSS that ran the social security offices. It merged with the Jobcentres to become JobCentre Plus.

        Money isn't Real

        September 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

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