George’s CALL TO ACTION letter is below.
Today, 3rd June, 2013, George Rolph was banned from Facebook, without reason. He is in Day 14 of his Hunger Strike, which he is doing for others going through what he has had to endure, whilst also trying to get the general public to wake up to what is happening to the most vulnerable people in the United Kingdom, a country which once cared for those who are vulnerable, sick and disabled.
He will not stop this Hunger Strike until the British Government and ATOS stop their persecution of the Sick, the Disabled, the Poor, the Carers, the Unemployed, even if it means he has to die in doing so.
Please, share his story, and please note that the government, have been pushed, albeit unwillingly, by the public’s reaction, and have now reinstated the benefits due to George, but he remains on Hunger Strike until this horror stops, for so many have already been driven to take their own lives. Many have died because they are ill and cannot cope with the strain of the “revolving door” process and the dreadful uncertainty about their future: having the money they need to survive taken from them, being told they have to work when they are too ill, repeated assessments and appeals, all just months apart. It’s a constant ordeal. It is wicked persecution and bullying of the worst kind, and directed at our most vulnerable citizens.
To the people across the UK and the World, please read and hear UK Hunger Striker George Rolph’s call to action, read publicly at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool, June 1st, 2013!
Today is Day 13 of George’s Hunger Strike and he asks “Will You Fight With Me?”
And we must fight.
We all know about the growing disconnect in this country between those who claim to lead us and the people they want to lead. We have all seen the ever more intrusive nature of government poking into our daily lives. Right now you are on cameras that are watching you closely. Give them a wave and a cheer. We have witnessed the awful corruption going on, both here in the UK, and in the EU.
We have sat and gasped as politicians have openly led us into illegal wars in other lands. All of these things and much more than I have mentioned here leave us feeling soiled as a people. As if we have been dragged unwillingly in some perverts private party. It feels like our land is not our land any more. It has been stolen from us and we are just drones who keep it all ticking over so others can benefit from your labours, while you get fed in drips and drabs, the little bits that fall from the table. We watch as the London Mayor and other politicians take our money to build huge expensive projects, so they can strut around looking proud and having massive ego trips in front of the cameras.
Yet, in the midst of this financial splurging, we see the same people hammering the poorest and most vulnerable people in the land. Energy prices are zooming through the roof. That drives all prices up. Yet, at the same time, benefits for the poor are either cut or done away with. A new bedroom tax is imposed which is making people homeless or causing massive problems for people who have to find the money in the face of shrinking income. Make no mistake. This is not accidental. The politicians know EXACTLY what they are doing and they are following a script, the details of which they have hidden from us, but which they are feeding to us a little at a time. Did you notice, for example, that just before the new welfare reforms for the sick and disabled were announced, the media had a propaganda blitz on people faking sickness to scrounge dole money? It is called social psychology and you and I are the targets of it.
When those reforms came in I went happily to the ATOS assessment interviews, because I had nothing to hide. I was sick. I was not scrounging anything. I needed help, that is all. Three times I passed. Three times I answered the same questions the same way and passed unfit to work. On the forth time, despite the questions and answers being the same, they took all of my benefits away. Someone, to meet a target set by government, decided to ignore the other three assessment reports and single me out for another kind of treatment. The imposition of total poverty! I knew what was coming to me then, but I was too shocked to think about it.
No money to pay rent. No money to pay gas or electricity bills. No money to pay council tax demands. No money to pay the phone bill. No money to buy clothes. No money to buy food. I was facing bailiffs, eviction, hunger and homelessness at 60 years of age. I knew I would not live long on the streets. I knew they were condemning me to certain death. I only had two things left. My dignity and my fighting spirit. I decided to fight back! I decided I would not just tug my forelock and accept my fate as I backed away from my “masters” in government. I decided I did not like the idea of being their serf! I decided to use what they had planned for me, against them.
If they wanted me dead OK. I would die, but I would do it exposing them for what they are, and I would do it for all the other sick and disabled people they had already driven to suicide, despair or were about to hurt. I went on hunger strike. I went on Facebook and I began to yell the place down. People began to come and see what all the noise was about. At first a few. Then more. Then more. Then more. I have told them NOT to copy me but to fight with me. I have told them the same truth I am going to tell you now. THIS LAND DOES NOT BELONG TO THE POLITICIANS AND NEITHER DO YOUR LIVES. THIS LAND IS YOURS AND YOUR LIVES ARE YOURS TOO. NO ONE OWNS YOU. NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO ABUSE AND MANIPULATE YOU THROUGH SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OR ECONOMIC TERRORISM.
There is however an even deeper truth and it is simply this: YOU, ARE WHERE THE REAL POWER LIES and if you will stand together as one, you can make those politicians that are hurting and killing our people in the name of ideology or profit, back into the public servants they really are. STAND TALL. STAND PROUD. STAND STRONG. You do not need to be violent. You only need to be united. Tell these corrupted, ruthless and vile politicians that you DEMAND your country back. You DEMAND that they take care of our weakest. You DEMAND they withdraw their poverty creating taxes. I am willing to give my life to help those who cannot help themselves.
Not because I am special. Or a hero. Or because I want to be famous, but because I have a heart that bleeds for them and I cannot bear what these vermin in Westminster and beyond are doing to our nation. WE MUST STOP ATOS AND WE MUST DO IT FAST. Don’t let them fool you. You do not need to gain power. YOU ARE THE POWER UNDER GOD IN THIS LAND. WILL YOU HELP ME TO FIGHT FOR YOU BY FIGHTING BESIDE ME? God bless you all. Look me up on Facebook and lets get to work.”
George Rolph 6-1-2013 Alteri serviens consumor – “In serving others, I myself destroy:”
Today, 3rd June, 2013, George Rolph was banned from Facebook, unofficially and without reason. He is in Day 14 of his Hunger Strike, which he is doing for others going through what he has had to endure, whilst also trying to get the general public to wake up to what is happening to the most vulnerable people in the United Kingdom, a country which once cared for all those less fortunate than ourselves. We once celebrated the achievements of people with disability, but we are no longer a civilised society that values the equal worth of all of its citizens. Because of our Government and its policies.
Our government has organised and directed hate speech in our media – propaganda – that is a sustained psychic attack on sick and disabled people, and to attempt to”justify” taking away money for their basic survival needs. The Equality and Human Rights Parliamentary Committee have expressed grave concerns about the subsequent rise in hate crimes directed towards sick and disabled people because of media “distortions”. (Let’s be honest, that means “lies”.) What kind of government would do such brutal and terrible things?
ATOS assessment starts on the day of your appointment with the Health Care Professional (HCP) reading the form you completed when you applied for benefit. Every single question you are asked is designed to justify ending your claim for your support and passing you as “fit for work”. That is what Atos are contracted to do by the Government. No matter how sic and disabled you are. This is not a genuine assessment, but rather, an opportunity for the DWP to take away the financial support that you are entitled to. Atos is contracted by the government to take benefit from 7 out of 8 of us. How can that be a fair assessment, when those targets exist prior to our having an assessment?
Since the Welfare “Reforms” Bill was passed, almost 11,000 deaths have happened as a consequence. Last year, a friend and fellow campaigner, Karen Sherlock, tragically died because of the strain she was placed under when ATOS ruled her to be fit for work, and she lost her disability benefit. She was very ill, and even though she won her appeal, the constant struggle and fight were just too much for her, as is the case for so many. It really is a “revolving door” – a brief respite, then bleak hardship, fear, pain, despair and desperation. Over and over again.
Owen Jones raised her death, amongst others, with Iain Duncan Smith on Question Time. Iain Duncan Smith IGNORED what Owen said, spoke over over him, disrespectfully raised his voice and uttered that he was PROUD of his reforms. No concern, inquiry or even acknowledgement of those deaths from our Government.
George will not stop this Hunger Strike until the British Government and ATOS stop their Persecution of the Sick, the Disabled, the Poor, the Carers, the Unemployed, even if it means he has to die in doing so.
This must stop. The persecution and deaths must stop.
Please share his story. Let’s show that censorship always achieves the opposite of what the censor intends.
An Announcement About My Protest.
“When I began my protest my aim was not hurt or cause distress to anyone but those who should be hurt and distressed because they deserve to be. Neither did I intend to take my life, but to give it in the service of others also suffering under the brutal and cruel regime of ATOS and the DWP.
I did not ask to be placed on disability benefit. My doctor made that decision when he gave me a sick note to take to the DHSS as it was then. He gave me that note because it was clear I could no longer hold down a job. I wanted to work but I just could not do so. I have PTSD.
I sought help for the PTSD but It was almost impossible to find any. This country is way behind America in that regard. My doctor got me a counsellor. She asked me to lay on a couch while she played dolphin music to me. I left in disgust. I wanted help coping with the symptoms, not to be a part of some new age hippy experiment.
I found a psychiatric drop-in centre nearby and went in and poured out my heart to a bored looking man who said virtually nothing. At the end, he left the office and returned shortly after with a piece of paper. He handed it to me; made it clear it was time for me to leave and showed me the door. When I got outside I looked at the paper. It was a list of books to read. One of the titles I remember was “How to contact your inner child.” I was stupefied that this was the level of care being offered to the sick by people being paid very handsome salaries. Sheer, disinterested laziness lay behind that book list!
I took the list to the Library and the girl took it to see if they could order them for me. Some of them cost over £60 one of them was over £100. She laughed and said the Library could not afford to buy books like this and said I needed a specialist reference Library. I threw the paper in the bin.
The level of benefits I was getting placed me just above the poverty line and sometimes, when many bills came together, below the poverty line. I watched my life going down the toilet. I was eating rubbish food. Wearing second hand clothes bought from charity shops. I was never totally on top of bills, so to pay them I would have to eat beans on toast every day for two weeks and vitamin supplements. In Winter I was frightened of turning on the heating. I had a fridge-freezer that I turned onto the lowest safe setting to conserve electricity. I would never have more than one light bulb burning and those were energy saving bulbs. When my hoover burnt out I could no longer clean the carpet and I watched as the grime built up. I could not afford a new hoover.
In time you become inured to living in filth. You stop seeing it because you can do nothing about it. You just try to keep yourself clean and presentable to the world. I wore a false smile everyday so people would not know the strain I was feeling inside. I felt like half a man; a failure; but I went on in the hope that the future may get brighter some day.
One day I saw a job advertised. Working from home in Telesales. I decided to give it a go. Maybe, if I was working from home, I could fit the job around my symptoms. It was a big decision. If I took the job and could not handle it, I would lose all benefits. I took the risk. I worked very hard for three weeks and then I fell apart. It is the nature of PTSD that routines can be almost impossible to maintain. You cannot go night after night with little sleep and remain a fully functioning human being who rises at 7am and works to 5pm. I quit and I lost all benefits.
When my last pay cheque ran out I sat in a house with no power and no food wondering if I would starve or freeze to death first. Finally I went to a local church and began to beg. I had never felt so degraded in my life. An old Scottish couple heard my pleas and came to my rescue. Out of their own pockets they began shopping for three and they paid my power bills too. I now had heat, food and light again. I then went to war with the DHSS, won the battle and my benefits were restored after three more weeks. God bless that Scottish couple. They were a model of what Christianity is supposed to be.
My life returned to a routine of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Just trying to keep my head above water. I used to read reports in the media of people living a life of luxury on the dole and wonder how they managed it. I never read about what it is really like.
Of course, I saw through the government and media agenda on the subject. If they could blame those on the dole for daring to take it, they could hide the truth of what life was like for those honest people living on it. The government needed cash for wars, grand building projects, like high speed rail links and for fiddling their expenses. They did not want to give cash to the poor, but they also wanted to look like they did.
The art of spin.
Then one day the call came to visit an ATOS assessment centre in Croydon. I duly went along. I went without food for two days to pay for the train and bus fairs to get there, but they said I could claim those expenses back. I would have to wait three weeks to get those fairs back though.
I went, I sat through the interview. I passed. Later I was called to do the same again. I went, I sat through the interview. I passed. Then again.I went, I sat through the interview. I passed. Then once more. Same questions. Same responses to those questions. I failed!
They did not tell me there and then I had failed. I found out a month later at a compulsory job centre interview. I had drawn my last benefits that day. All benefits were now cut off.
I was in shock for three days. I could not read, let alone fill out the appeal form I had been given. I would stare at the form but the words would not penetrate my mind. My whole world was crumbling around me. The terrible implications for my immediate future were pounding at my mind.
Bailiffs banging on the door. Power cut off. No food. Eviction for non payment of rent. On the streets at sixty years old. Dying in obscurity down an alley somewhere.
Why? Who did I hurt? Even criminals get a warm bed, three meals a day and clothing.
I was not stealing from anyone. In fact, when a friend gave me £20 for helping load a van when he moved house, I took £10 of it and handed it in the DHSS office in Bromley because I was not allowed to earn more that £10 a week. Why was I now being punished by ATOS for being sick and being honest?
How did I fail? There was no sense or logic to it. If I passed three times and nothing had changed, why had I failed on the forth occasion. This smelt of a whim. Someone at the assessment centre had made a decision that I was going to fail in order to meet their target. They met their target. I met horror.
How do they sleep?
I typed “Dealing with ATOS” into Google and I started reading. What I found horrified me. They had done this to thousands of people and people were dying!
Dear friend and supporter. I am going to make an announcement, but before I do so I want to strain your patience just a little longer. I want to show you what REAL criminal scroungers look like and then I want you to remember that this government and Prime Minister insists we remain a part of this villainous exercise, while at the same time they beat up the disabled in our own country.
This is part of a report from the Times newspaper.
February 22, 2009
By Jonathan Oliver (Times Online)
A LEAKED internal report has revealed systematic abuses by Euro MPs of parliamentary allowances that enable them to pocket more than £1m in profits from a single five-year term, writes Jonathan Oliver.
The auditor’s confidential report, suppressed by the Brussels parliament, discloses the extraordinary frauds used by MEPs to siphon off staff allowances funded by taxpayers.
It shows that some claimed for paying assistants of whom no record exists, awarded them bonuses of up to 1½ times annual salary and diverted public money into front companies.
An investigation into the abuses of staff allowances worth up to £182,000 a year — many of which are paid by MEPs to members of their family — was delivered in January last year but was not published.
A copy of the 92-page report, prepared by Robert Galvin, the parliament’s head of internal audit, has been seen by The Sunday Times. It reveals:
Payments were made to assistants who were not accredited with the European parliament and to companies whose accounts showed no activity.
End-of-year bonuses worth up to 19½ times monthly salary were paid to assistants to allow members to use up their full annual allowance.
Payments, supposedly for secretarial work, were made to a crèche whose manager happened to be a local politician from the MEP’s political party.
Payments were made straight into the coffers of national political parties.
Some assistants doubled their money by banking pay-offs from outgoing MEPs at the same time as receiving salaries from incoming ones.
One MEP claimed to have paid the full £182,000 staff allowance to one person, suspected of being a relative.
The revelations come as British MEPs look forward to an inflation-busting pay rise this year that could see their take-home pay rising by almost 50%.
In his report, Galvin said that overpayments of allowances were common, adding: “Remuneration paid may not always be justified by the real costs of providing parliamentary assistance.” He warned that abuses exposed the parliament to “financial, legal and reputational risk”.
The report was based on a representative sample of 167 payments — out of a total of 4,686 — made during October 2004. It suggests that Galvin unearthed only a tiny fraction of the many corrupt practices employed by some of the 785 members of the 27-nation parliament. His analysis of the 2004 figures then took years to surface within the secretive Brussels bureaucracy.
Dear friend. Can you see? We are being run by gangsters in expensive suits who are lining their own pockets while they strip all they can get away with from our own people. They are stealing your money while hypocritically blaming the poor for doing the same!
THAT is evil. No matter how you cut it, that is EVIL.
I fought back with the only weapon I had and decided to go on a hunger and water strike in protest and to try and alert as many people as possible to what is going on. I know that politicians willing to do these things are not going to listen to me. BUT I also know that if YOU raise your voices loudly enough they will HAVE TO listen to YOU!
However, there was a flaw in my strategy that I did not take into account. In doing this and making my time so short, I was actually going to be hurting the very people I needed to support me. I have been so moved by people who have been saying to me that they support me 100% but would I please just drink.
My dear friends Jess and Ian, who have been stalwarts in backing my protest have both carried a lot of anxiety about my health and I know many of you have also. One of the biggest problems has been the time factor that my hunger and water strike imposed. A maximum of just 12 days to live but probably shorter than that in reality.
After much soul searching I have decided to drink today, but I shall not eat until victory has been won. I gather I can expect to live for around 60 days without food. That should be enough time to mobilise a huge protest to get ATOS stopped and to demand retribution for the needless deaths that have already happened.
Murder is wrong! Officially sanctioned murder is just as wrong!
Please. Let us all fight back and for once, let the decent people be heard instead of those evil voices that con, deceive, lie and pervert our country and its values for their own ends.
We have to take our country back. This fight will be one step on that journey. I beg you. Help me to win it so we can help those who cannot help themselves.
NO MORE SILENCE!
George Rolph, May 28th, 2013.
There is a sort of unwritten maxim that says when the government, or one of its departments, does bad things to the people, then the people have to grin and bare it until the next election comes along and they can vote them out. The politicians know we think this way because they HELP us to think this way.
In practise, this means they can roll out their most damaging policies in their mid term, and then feed us sweety polices just before an election to make us all forget the fact that they dumped all over us during their second and third year in office, and then vote them back into power.
They also rely upon us not to notice the stuff they do when something big happens, like a terrorist attack. Those big news days are when some of their most vile legislation gets passed and the press are looking the other way and fail to spot it. Some of the press, on purpose, of course.
I do not believe in that maxim though. I believe that when a government hurts its own people they should be held accountable at the time, not two and half years later after they have given us some goodies to make us all forget and calm down our anger. Now, in order for that to happen the people have to stand up, at the time, and say, ‘we will not let you do this in our name.’
Today is one of those times. Today is a day for standing together.
As I started to research what ATOS were doing to people I was ASTOUNDED by what I was finding. I am not over stating this. I really was astonished. My first thoughts were. ‘This cannot be legal!’ How can a company and government, put such pressure on people that it drives them to suicide or causes that pressure to make them sicker – sometimes to the point of death, and not find themselves raided by police, prosecuted and sent to jail?
But there was silence from the police.
Silence from the legal profession.
Did the government tell the police to stand down and did they meekly do as they were told. Tugging their forelocks as they backed away? Why were the opposition parties so quiet over this issue? A few minor complaints, but nothing of any substance. Then I remembered it was the now-in-opposition-party that brought ATOS here in the first place.
Something started to stink! An agenda was afoot and we were being kept in the dark.
Something about the way we are being governed and policed is very, very, wrong. Evil kills the innocent but as Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I decided to do SOMETHING. I decided to stand up and shout:
“NO MORE SILENCE!” I cannot – I will not – stand by and let some faceless, over paid socio-path in a suit, tell me it is time for those selected by them to die in the name of saving money, while we go on pouring money into the Communistic purses of that monstrosity called the EU that few people in this country want any part of!
I am all for helping the poor. It is a fundamental part of my Christian faith, but should I let my children starve to do so? Of course not! That would be obscene parenting. Why then are our government pouring vast amounts of our cash into overseas aid when they claim not to have enough money to take care of the disabled and sick here?
Remember the much vaunted “Olympic Legacy” we were all promised to convince us that spending obscene amounts of money for a glorified sports day, so Boris Johnson and his mates could strut around looking and sounding ever more ridiculous. So where is this “legacy?” In the pockets of some big businessmen but how much reached yours?
We all got conned again and here is the tragedy:
They know if they can just find the correct words plus a little mass psychology, they can go on conning us and we will be dumb enough to believe them!
Our lives are being shaped and ruled by ruthless thieves and con men and they are telling us it is time to steal from the poor and give to the rich.
How can it be that MPs can dip their hand into the tax payers pockets and fiddle their expenses and then have the nerve to call people who need genuine help, scroungers? I have no moat to clean. I have a carpet I cannot clean because I cannot afford a hoover! I don’t have a second property and I venture to suggest not many other disabled people do either. What I have is an incapacitating illness I did not want, did not ask for but have to live with because when I called for help I was told, in a hundred different ways, we don’t help male victims of abuse.
Don’t call me a scrounger when you are sitting in the house of commons using tax payers money to purchase, renovate and furnish a second home. Who the hell do you people think you are? That is without mentioning the wholesale criminality going on in the EU.
The whole system is corrupt, from the top down, how dare those running it for their own benefit say to the people of this land, if your son, daughter, brother sister, mother or father get seriously ill or hurt, we are going to make them jump through a hundred hoops just to put bread in their stomachs and on a whim, pull the rug from under them whenever some faceless ATOS assessor feels like it.
That is not welfare reform, that is brutality! That, is not humane, that is cruelty. That is not human, that is demonic. Devilish. Wicked. Evil!
We, the people, have been slowly beaten back into serfdom. Frightened of raising our voices. We have instead taken to switching on inane soap operas or Hollywood mush and hoping the problems will go away. ‘let the government sort it out,’ we say. What happens though when those in the House of Commons are themselves the problem and sorting it out is the last thing they want to do? Well, I don’t know about you but I don’t want TV, Hollywood and the media doing my thinking for me. I have a brain and I want to use it myself.
I am very tired of governments, social workers, doctors, civil servants, weak little journalists and so on, talking to me as if I were five years old and saying, in effect, ‘be a good boy and accept this pain now and I will give you a nice bar of chocolate later.’ That is how paedophiles groom children and I don’t want to be raped by these people!
I know many, many, of you feel the same way. You see what is being done in your name and it disgusts you. It makes you angry and you wish you could do something about it.
Well, I think you can and I think it is time to hit back. To stand up for decency again. To reclaim those values and ideals that once made this the greatest nation on earth.
Let’s stand up as one. Proud. Determined and resolute and make this evil war on the disabled stop. It is time to make the powers that be understand the only power they have is that which the people give them.
How? I will have some ideas for you later. Feel free to think of your own and share them with me. I know this though, it only takes a small spanner, tossed into the gears of a giant machine to bring it shuddering to a halt. I think it’s time we picked up our spanners. The machine is out of control.
There is no need to fill bottles with petrol. No need to act like mindless thugs on the street smashing windows. We simply have to end our silence.
That then, is my cry to you. NO MORE SILENCE.
Petitioning THE HOUSE OF COMMONS THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: Permit a debate on the hunger striker, George Rolph .
A Parliamentary Petition has been denied and it is vital that this matter be debated.
Please sign here: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-house-of-commons-permit-a-debate-on-the-hunger-striker-george-rolph
(Please click on links)
The UK Government got it wrong about our human rights
Contact Iain Duncan Smith and tell him what you think of his welfare “reforms” (that is doublespeak for “CUTS”)
For anyone wishing to contact ATOS: 0207 830 4447 – Ask for Melanie Gundy, the manager of their Customer Relations Department.
With thanks to Lizzie Cornish for the original narrative, to which I’ve added some thoughts of my own.
Thank you to George: most of this is his work.
Thanks to Robert Livingstone for his brilliant art work