[Activism] The Work Capability Assessment For Idiots

Atos Hollocaust

I know you’re probably very sick of this by now but it is my life and the life of every other mentally and physically disabled person in this country that’s now on the line.

This is an email sent to the Permanent Under Sectary of the DWP (which strangely still has control over the entirely MEDICAL Disability Benefits System). It would be funny if it wasn’t so terrifying.

Mate, you have been duped, or you are part of the duping!

The Emperor is naked.

You have paid for snake oil.

For all your wriggling and Patronising Margaret Hodge.

Anecdotal evidence.
Uhm. Good job you are not a Mathematician where a theorem is cast aside on 1 anomaly; or a scientist where, whilst the outriders are often dismissed, they can also be the breakthrough into a whole new insight.

Let me explain.

Part 1
Were you to throw a coin to decide if a person were fit for work or not….. we all know 50% chance of getting it right)

Now were you to put the ‘bleedin obvious cripples’ aside (you know, the ones even a Daily Mail reader could identify) and flip the coin for the rest.

What would the stats be like? Pretty accurate?

The decision makers are wrong 70%. No 38%. No X%. No….. of the time.

I can rearrange the Maths for you several ways, if you like, to give very different figures.
All ‘True’.

Let us agree on the lowest possible figure. 15% mistakes. And working towards a target of 5% mistakes.

Remember the Daily Mail reader and the coin, yes well! Very likely pretty similar stats. 85% correct identification. We do not know but…..

And suppose you sent round a couple of bright primary school kids? I’d be willing to bet they’d get the target 95% correct categorization.

So, what we are paying £100 million for, is accuracy, above a coin or a child.

We are not paying for the obvious, we are not paying for the easy to assign, we are paying for the difficult to assess cases.

Part 2
A person as a statistic.

As a teacher, had 85% of a GCSE Maths class gained A* grades…. pat on the back, nay, ecstasy.
On the other hand, had I taken out a school trip and returned with 95%, having lost 5% to crocodiles at the Safari park, no pat on the back.

If I had taken 100 every year, for ten years and I lost 1 to a crocodile… my career might be recoverable.

Do you really not understand the difference?

You are dealing with people’s lives (and deaths). The target should be 0.1% wrong, or less. And the smug ‘well statistically we are doing fine’ is inappropriate even with one mistake, one death.

Suppose it were your life. Can you make yourself imagine the level of pain and anguish you personally would have to be feeling to kill yourself and your children. Go on try…. in pain perhaps, cold, hungry, seeing them cold and hungry, not understanding why you have been told to go to work when you can barely struggle out of bed. How lacking in hope? Can you even imagine it? I can imagine it, I know about it, and it is awful, and I would not wish it on any other human, and I will do everything in my power to protect them.

Shame on you!

Just an anecdote?

If you were brutally murdered that would be anecdotal. Statistically speaking a person is less likely to be brutally murdered than to have their ESA claim cut wrongly. Does that mean the police should dismiss it? Burglary is common so let us concentrate only on that!

Do you really not see how ‘silly’ you are?

Do you really not comprehend data specificity?

Frankly I am beginning to understand why missives from DWP are so commonly nonsense. And why the whole thing seems so shambolic.

You are in charge of £3 billion of my money and resort to glib dismissal of real people. I want someone a bit brighter in the job. I want someone with truth and understanding in the job. I want someone who does not simply bandy statistics but understands data.

One point which really amazes me is that no one in power seems to comprehend that most sick and disabled people want to work. To the discerning, the fact that some people think the unwell are shirkers who lie, is rather less based on fact and rather more a reflection on their own character? Had £100 million a year been spent on a voluntary scheme to aid people into work, I fully believe, it would have been very much more successful.

Now! You are losing 15 children to crocodiles every trip, can you understand why no one wants to go? And what are you going to do about it?


Ah sod it!


4 thoughts on “[Activism] The Work Capability Assessment For Idiots

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