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Friday, 24 June 2016

Tony Cox trial and the EU referendum: Whose 'evidence'? Whose 'verdict'? Whose politics? Whose 'voting rights'

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug
16-06-23 Dundee Sheriff Court
Tony Cox' supporters rolled up outside the court in Dundee on his trial day

The report from Scottish Unemployed Workers Network (SUWN) — Class 'Justice' —regarding Tony Cox' trial yesterday does not make joyous reading for KUWG members (Kwuggies) and welfare advocates everywhere: 

The sheriff (judge) presiding in the case found Tony 'guilty' of 'threatening behaviour' towards the staff of privatised disability assessment company Maximus, acknowledging in his verdict that it all boiled down to whose evidence he preferred despite contradictions in the evidence provided by Tony's accusers. 

It would also seem — at least according to this blogger's perception of things —that regarding the Sheriff's apparent contempt for the evidence available from the vulnerable woman Tony attempted to accompany to her Work Capability Assessment, he sided with the view that as the taxpayer-funded privatised assessor, Maximus and its staff knew what was best for the vulnerable person Tony was attempting to support. And it did not matter one jot what the vulnerable person herself had to say in response to very loaded questions from the judge.(1) 

Loaded questions betray one's prejudices, and that is a clear basis of rapport between Sheriff Griffiths and what MaximusUK likes to represent its 'Eligibility Support' [sic] as.
Maximus | United Kingdom: Eligibility Support — "Processing eligibility support claims quickly and efficiently" [sic]

Whose 'evidence'? Whose 'verdict'? Whose politics? Whose 'voting rights'? And allegiance to who and to what?

The SUWN blog post reports on an 'in our experience' framework regarding MaximusUK and its 'output' or the fruits by which Maximus and Tony shall be comparatively 'known' and omits reference to, say, Labour MP Louise Haigh's evidence regarding the 'corporate outsourcing giant's "track record, ethics and even criminal behaviour of Maximus in delivering public contracts in the US" before being appointed to replace Atos as WCA company of Conservative Government choice. Haigh has said of MaximusUK 'Eligibility Support' output on the basis of her publicly funded casework:
"There seems to be an alarming trend of cases being rejected based on factual errors or even — I hesitate to say this — falsification.

"I have had several cases of people telling me that their assessment report bears absolutely no relation to the assessment that they experienced with Maximus or Atos [the company that it took over running of Work Capability Assessments (WCA's) from].

“One or two cases could be dismissed as an honest mistake, but the situation appears to reveal a disconcerting pattern of behaviour that indicates that the trade-off between cost-cutting and profit maximisation is being felt by very vulnerable people.”(3)
This blogger would say that MaximusUK's claims in general are about as valid as those of the Vote Leave campaign regarding how much money could be re-allocated to the NHS by Britain leaving the European Union. Now that Britain has apparently voted to leave the EU, we shall probably see what truth there is regarding such claims, and what the real public spending priorities of those left in charge will be.

Regarding the downfall of David Cameron resulting from the Vote Leave decision of those who were deemed 'eligible' to vote in that referendum — whatever their reasoning for that decision — there will be new 'leadership' in Downing Street. I suppose that that 'leadership' will reward its BBC News supporters for all their 'services to democracy' in favouring Vote Leave propaganda during that referendum.

As a Green Party member, I shudder regarding the diminishing prospects for furthering of equalities legislation and democracy that EU membership has brought us. Further, to combat such international issues as climate change, terrorism, tax evasion, imbalances of economic power, international disputes, etc, UK involvement in EU cooperation is essential and will be tragically absent

Kilburn Unemployed (KUWG) members are of various political parties and varying positions regarding EU membership. Some though have had no say in this referendum because of their nationality not being British. 

One of the huge advantages that birthright British citizens have over those wishing to claim British citizenship is that they do not have to 'pledge allegiance to the Crown'. As someone who very much prefers monarchy and finds the kowtowing to court decisions such as the 'Tony Cox is guilty despite absence of CCTV evidence' that would 'reward' Tony with a lighter sentence to the detriment of welfare advocates everywhere.

I regard such directives as worthy of contempt rather than allegiance. (I have greater 'allegiance' to my non-UK citizen friends and comrades in Kwug than I have for a birthright publicly funded family of benefit claimant royalty and the courts operating in its name that make some very dodgy decisions.) What do you reckon?

Link addresses

  1. https://scottishunemployedworkers.net/2016/06/23/class-justice/
  2. https://www.maximusuk.co.uk/health-programmes/eligibility-support
  3. http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/maximus-has-falsified-results-of-fitness-for-work-tests-says-mp/

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