Sanctioned for not writing long enough sentences and new shiny windows at the Jobcentre.

Yesterday when I arrived at the Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre I thought I was seeing things. They had taken down the paper that was covering the windows. Great I thought, the claimants will feel much more secure knowing that they can see outside now. I would have thought that they would have felt very intimidated upon entering a building that you can’t see out of. I walked. Up to the building and I noticed that they had placed some kind of reflective film on the glass, presumably so we can’t see inside. We don’t look inside anyway we are too busy helping people and handing leaflets out. My question is this. At what expense was this decision to put up reflective coatings on the glass? And who’s decision was this? Once again we come in peace and this is not needed at all. 

Whilst standing outside a young woman approached me. She looked like she was in her early 20s and she looked very stressed. I asked her what was wrong. She replied “Ive had no money since October nothing. They sanctioned me for not writing long enough sentences on my job search. I’m not stupid I did everything right. I know I did. I keep asking for a hardship form and they keep refusing me, I know that’s illegal and I am appealing but I’m so frustrated. You see Im lucky because I live with my mum but it’s very hard on her. She can’t afford to keep me, ive got brothers and sisters that need feeding as well. I know she’s angry, she’s beginning to resent me being there but if I leave I will have no where and won’t be able to eat. If that happens Im thinking the worst because there isn’t any other way around it” I gave her some advice and a hug. She needed both. She said I know that I’m not alone because you lot are here.

Later on another young man walked over to me and spoke to me. It’s hard to tell his age because he’s so thin. Not being able to eat ages you dramatically.Ive wrote about him before, his sick notes aren’t good enough the Jobcentre say…. Even though they are. He suffers from clinical depression after a series of tragic events took him to nearly taking his life. He’s had no money since October as well. I asked him how is he doing. He said he’s so hungry he’s had a bit of food off a food bank but he has to make it last. He said he came over to tell us that he’s still here, that his sick notes aren’t good enough but he wanted to thank us for being there. He said we are the only reason why he is still here. “You’ve given me hope. Before I saw you all I had nothing. My world had been destroyed and I was close to taking my life. I know that you are all here for me and that keeps me going” I wanted to meet him this coming week but he’s got lots of appointments at the hospital. His doctor is very concerned about him. He said he would have lost his flat if we hadn’t told him that he could still claim housing benefit on a zero income basis.

Another man approached me he said “hello my diamond you will never guess what ive got a job!! Thank you for being there for me I will keep in touch” that also brought tears to my eyes. 

This is just a usual Thursday outside the Jobcentre. And this is why we are there every week. Next Thursday is the national day of demonstrations against sanctions. It has been organised by unite the union and I urge everyone to join us all in standing outside your local Jobcentre to demonstrate against the sanctions. We will be outside as usual.

And a big thank you to dispatches for making two truthful programmes about the whole corrupt system. We enjoyed working with you. A massive thanks to the Green Party for supporting us and to the Morning Star newspaper for publishing my articles. 

We don’t think that this should be allowed to continue. One death is a death too many.

The irony of this poster. We don’t condone violence in any way. We just wish the DWP would start treating people with respect…. 

40 thoughts on “Sanctioned for not writing long enough sentences and new shiny windows at the Jobcentre.”

  1. Thanks for bringing the truth to people, these sanctions need to stop. They are unfair and immoral. How can taking away someones only form of income be a help to get them into work?


  2. In my honest opinion the state is wanting to have its cake and eat it too. This is because capitalist economic systems NEED a certain amount of unemployment in order to prevent wage inflation. Imagine a country where everyone was fully employed. Employers would have to pay very high wages to “poach” workers from rivals. What is actually done when the management cannot obtain staff for the wages on offer, is that migrant workers are imported. A classic case was London Transport when they poached bus drivers from Jamaica in the 1960s.

    Sometimes foreign workers are extremely artful with their ways of beating the system and a true story was the one told by a retired toolmaker who had worked for a company that made industrial safety boots. The boots were guaranteed to last at least six months and the company had never had a claim until one arrived from Southall. New boots were sent to the claimant but five months later a similar claim arrived from the same address! The toolmaker who made the tooling that made the boots was then sent to the address and he had a stroke of luck. Whilst talking to the householder a man arrived home from work wearing industrial boots. He took the boots off then another man put them on and went out to work! The boots were being worn 24/7. Surprisingly the owner of the boots seemed to think that the six month guarantee should still apply even if several people shared the boots and used them 24 hours a day! Businessmen love to employ people like those as they can work for less!

    As to Ashton-under-Lyne, I used to live in Audenshaw and I’ve seen a lot happen. The best looms of the cotton mills were taken out and shipped to India but in its hey-day King Cotton produced the bulk of Britain’s GDP. British Rail moved engine maintenance from Beyer-Garret/Gorton Tank to Swindon and later the Woodhead Tunnel was shut. The thousands of workers spilling out of Gorton Tank used to support thirteen pubs in Ogden Lane but when the works closed the pubs followed. It all seems to be a conspiracy to shut down the north.


  3. I have been out of work for ten years plus I have been involved in voluntary groups while claiming then I was told that both my benefit was ending as my wife works full time plus I have been paid in full my employment contributions so I was signed off
    Since then I have started dog walking on a cash in had basis plus work at a local football club as a steward watching the crowd .


  4. It is the Government who should be getting long sentences – About 5 years for the cruel persecution of the poor and vulnerable !!


  5. Reblogged this on glendrixglendenning1 and commented:
    The commitment needed to maintain this vigil outside the job center is very high; and can only inspire great admiration for those involved. Once again, Charlotte has produced a blog post that exposes a little of the genuine hardships and entirely un -called for suffering which is, apparently, routinely imposed on job seekers by staff within this particular job center. Similar scenes are repeated with distressing regularity right on up and down this land of ours on a daily and weekly basis. It is wrong, Nothing else, just WRONG.


  6. …JobCentre Staff Face Losing Pay Rises For Not Meeting Sanctions Targets, Say PCS
    FEBRUARY 3, 2015

    Documents produced by the PCS union at the committee’s request present a series of emails from Job Centre Plus managers which the union says show that staff who fail to instigate or approve enough sanctions are subject to performance reviews.

    It says the emails reveal how staff are pressurised to meet sanctions targets, seemingly regardless of whether the penalty is appropriate.

    Staff who do not meet “expectations” are given a “must improve” rating by managers and in some cases are denied performance-based pay rises, it says.

    Read more on Same Difference, a campaigning disability website


    In amongst those sanctioned are the 1 million 60-64 year olds only on some kind of welfare.

    By the raised retirement age face the flat rate state pension of nil state pension for life from 2016.

    Sanctioning means not on benefit so nil National Insurance credits, just like the working poor on wages below the Lower Entitlement Level to get automatic NI credits.

    So out of the welfare state, the longer not on benefit and so getting NI credits.

    Now you get some state penson for at least 1 year’s NI record.

    The flat rate state pension grants nil state pension for life
    for less than 10 years NI history.

    See why under my petition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:

    This also is a sign or starve in penniless starving old age petition.


  7. The Green Party’s Basic, or Citizens’ Income is the answer to this nastiness. I keep trying to brief our press people on it but they don’t get the connection, as per my blog
    I’m still working on them. Rachel Reeves will have no more mercy than IDS, but if, during the next 54 days, we can get the Basic Income understood by millions, whoever gets in will have to implement it.


    1. The Greens abandoned the Citizen Income in a BBC Radio 4 interview with MP Caroline Lucas as they could not cost the £280 billion of the policy.

      The Greens will not answer if the Citizen State Pension policy has also gone, but then as that was irregardlness of National Insurance history as well and their none answer to me both local candidate and national policy office, it has gone as well.

      The press are aware of the loss of the Citizen Income policy of The Greens.

      UKIP have a basic income to the level of Jobseekers at £72 per week, but don’t make it known for obvious reasons of their kind of voter.

      The parties who offer the poor anything are not getting any media coverage.

      See more about them at:

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is no such word as irregardless. You meant regardless. You distract from your case when you allow illiterate mistakes to pass.


  8. When meeting people at Job Centres, check to see if they are registered to vote, and encourage them to do so, if all Job Centre claimants vote, the bigger the chance of ousting this immoral government. Many areas have many thoudands more claimants than the Tory local majority, they can be easily out-voted in at least 18 areas, that wouuld reduce their overall estimated majority to 2 seats!!!


    1. Tory and Lib Dem marginal seats in England are far more than 18.

      The claimants do outnumber all other voters, but also so do the working poor with tax credits, poor pensioners, disabled and chronic sick losing those benefits and then getting sanctioned.

      Poor pensioners will become liable for Universal Credit if one partner is below the raised retirement age and thus losing access to Pension Credit.

      Universal Credit will mean permanent sanctions from Hardship Payments becom,ing recoverable loans against future benefit or from your job. Either way you apply for Hardship Payments and any future job they will take your food money anyway.

      So this is a Vote or Starve election on Thursday 7 May for poor in or out of work and of all ages.

      As Gandhi observed, People’s Politics Are Their Daily Bread.

      If the claimants going in and out of the Jobcentre can survive til May, then voting can indeed ensure an end to starvation for all in the UK.

      The logos by which to end hunger are on my little website,
      by which to put pencil cross in box,
      what is a polling station, a poll card, a ballot box, and
      when is the deadline in April to register to vote, with link to official government website to do so.


  9. Reblogged this on The Greater Fool and commented:
    More Ashton-under-Lyne Job Centre. These people are the lowest form of scum. Traitors and collaborators. I look forward to most of them being on the receiving end when the Tories implement their plans to cut thousands of their jobs.


    1. Whilst I understand your frustration Paul and I do share your anger at those who continue to do the governments’ dirty work and wo then expecy our support and sympathy when they are being shafted by those same government miisters, our ire and energywhilst remaining vigilant to the constant attacks from the Capitalist class – which to be fair is never surprising, given from their point of view this is wholly necessary, should be directed at the treachery who actually claim to represent our interets i.e. the TUC leadership. We have 6.5 million members in the unions, NO organisation of any nature comes anywhere close to that and that economic power needs to be brought to bear, very forcefully and without delay on all these matters. The leadership in the TUC – including Serwotka – need to go. 2 years ago at the TUC Conference the POA were able to have passed – despite the rest of the platform – that the TUC would commit to investigate the practicalities of a General Strike and here we are in 2015 and nothing has happened. We have the numbers and we have the will, the majority of the populace would follow if we had a leadership with the spine to confront the Capiyalist class once and for all. They are on the road to the abyss and have no answers for humanity’s future. They are weak and in the words of one Karl MArx are trying to hold back the tide of history. So, by all means vent your frustration on a system that will not and cannot offer anything for us but more constructively direct your energy towards removing these spineless factotums for Capitalism and building a leadership that will not bow the knee and let’s rid ourselves of the capitalist class and their political administrators of ALL political hues. We, the people are the answer.


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