ATOS and Fascism

It’s been a while since I posted a blog; with university (postgrad) around the corner again, I am hoping to get back into more of a routine.

One of the byproducts of the riots was the potential for a shut down of social media networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter at times of ‘social unrest’; such an occurrence would have obviously been subjective and misused by the increasing fascist nature of those in power. The government realised that the public wouldn’t allow a move towards China style human rights and that they would have to implement their fascist activities through other channels. Fascist, as a term to describe the worrying political climate developing, may to some seem rather melodramatic; but if you consider the unraveling policies economically, socially and politically there is a strong hint of Social Darwinism – as a response to people who have been oppressed through social conditions and turned to violent activity (as the rioters did), the most violent element of society (as Emma Goldman argues) of ignorance and biased representations is implemented by those in power resulting in people being thrown out of their homes and losing their benefits, for instance. It’s a worrying time. Economic sadism, the restriction of freedom of speech, the implementation of policies where only those with money can survive is a capitalistic form of fascism.

Consider ATOS and the government’s continual support of a corrupt profit driven corporation, with very little to do with understanding disabled people’s needs, as employees are expected to meet targets of assessing 5 ‘claimants‘ (not patients) within a morning or afternoon session, giving only 45 minutes maximum for a thorough assessment. They are an IT company after all. I had it pitched to me that ATOS’s recent closing down of internet sites was a form of internet fascism – and the person had a point.

ATOS Origin, the branch of ATOS dealing with the health assessments etc., have been on a frightful shutting down of websites spree because the websites dare to report the truth in terms of the incompetent, sometimes even lethal assessments ATOS put people through. Carer Watch Discussion Forum was shut down with ATOS not given the Carer Watch any prior warning, instead contacting their ISP to remove the site. This was because of a post that was five months old that linked to another site, the content therefore was not even directly on Carer Watch and still remained on the other site that had obviously not been attacked by ATOS as the private discussion forum had! Carer Watch removed the post and ATOS allowed their site to be reinstated. To read the email exchanges regarding Carer Watch and ATOS check here.

ATOS also threatened Paul Smith with legal action because of his ATOS Register of Shame providing a list of medical professionals who had performed poor medical examinations. Full credit to Paul, as he has set up a new site called A### The Truth, where people can keep providing information about their personal experiences as they had done before on the Register. The fact ATOS can claim libel illustrates the increasingly damaging climate we are in, where a company can have no financial penalties for facing appeals and can carry on making money for destroying people’s lives.

They also threatened AfterAtos with legal action because of one of their spoof designs of the ATOS’s logo (the picture included in this blog is a perfect example), using the words “ATOS Kills” – which is hardly libel given that it sometimes has truth to it! This attack upon freedom of speech is appalling when considering that 1/5th of the ATOS centres do not have wheelchair access, only a 1/3 have on site parking, with many having to walk several minutes to access the site, only 1 centre has car parking facilitates for disabled people and 30 of the centres are not on the ground floor and some do not have lifts! Given that these buildings are there for disabled people to be assessed, this shameful disability provision is disgusting and further evidence of why disabled people have every right to use social media channels to get their voice, so often silenced through oppressive mainstream media coverage, of their REAL experiences!

It’s a time where job centres are being passed around guidelines for people feeling suicidal – the fact that one job seeker worker who has been there for over 20 years said nothing of this nature had been given to workers before (so this obviously covers the Thatcher era) illustrates how frightening the potential effects of the government’s policy changes are:

We were a bit shocked. Are we preparing ourselves to be like the Samaritans? The fact that we’ve dealt with the public for so many years without such guidance has made people feel a bit fearful about what’s coming.”

In a recent Mind survey, they found that at least 3/4s of those surveyed felt worse after their work capability assessments and that 51% of them had been left with suicidal thoughts! This strongly relates to a blog post I did a few months back regarding ethics and welfare. Essentially, the point of the blog was to demonstrate how the increasing interconnection of society is connected to the vulnerability that each one of us has. Judith Butler argues that there is a difference however between those seen as having ‘livable’ and ‘unlivable’ lives, where the former’s vulnerability is respected and cared for, whereas the latter’s is ignored and thus they are treated unethically. This can apply to those who experience ATOS examinations, their vulnerability and the respect people should have for each other is lost as people become mere codes placed into a totally objective inadequate computer system. This construction of ‘unlivable’ lives relates to the current sociopolitical conditions and the rising fascist tide in society, as people who don’t meet the capitalist model are chucked onto the scrap heap as ‘unlivable’ in a Social Darwin purge.

On a personal end note, I was at the London Vegan festival a week and a bit ago and bought an “against fascism, racism and nationalism” patch to sew on to one of my many holey pairs of trousers and couldn’t help but think that now is a time when these words are so true and worth remembering in our fight against this Tory government.

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15 thoughts on “ATOS and Fascism

  1. WHEN Governments realise that a country’s happyness depends more on a smaller difference between rich & poor the better. BUT even realising this point , in itself will not help in the slightest, until significant moves have been made for achieving this. When one person can earn 1000 times the amount per hour over the poorest, what hope have the poorest.? The super rich are an obscenity to humanity. I totally condemn the violence that flared up, because a) I am against violence, b) the violence hurt the poorest in society more than the richest. BUT I do understand why those people felt so disgusted with life etc.
    It is a known fact that the countries in the world which have the smallest differences between rich & poor have the happiest population. We must all work hard to find ways of closing the gap.

  2. Did you manage to see the AlJazeera segment on Atos and the disability websites last night Jane?

    I’m a bit dissapointed it was so short, Black Triangle put over some good points but he wasn’t given enough time to really tell the whole story, better than nothing though I suppose…

    1. I did tune in for it, yes. The Rick Perry feature did run over into the ATOS time, that was disappointing. But least they are covering it in some form, the mainstream media channels often only perpetuate the ignorance involved in ATOS’s and the government’s actions.

  3. Atos are trying to claim that they helped CarerWatch get back up and running after the terrible publicity they have had in shutting it down. Utter lies again from ATOS- it was really Black Triangle got CarerWatch onto their server in Icelend where our freedom of speech is protected! Atos has had nothing – zippidy- nada-nilch to do with CarerWatch getting back on the web. It’s terrible that to have freedom of speech in a so called free and democratic country like UK, the disabled have to go to Iceland for protection! Something has to be done to stop ATOS. ATOS KILLS people and stomps all over the rights of the disabled to tell their truth.

    1. Totally agree, and well said. It is disturbing that such censorship can occur with a government supposedly for human rights saying nothing about it – it’s all about profit and there is no concern for human value and respect. It does show the power of disabled and non-disabled activists fighting against the disgusting direction of our governmental policies though!

  4. Hi Jane, keep meaning to respond to you having responded to me in another of your posts.
    Im in severe withdrawal from a medication (have been on continuum for the past 19months, not looking for sympathy lol, just so you know, i come and go alot depending on severity).

    Again, i say how beautifully you express and explain your article, it is truly a matter i am passionate about.

    My comment on Bob/Pauls ‘Atos Victims of Corruption’ site says what i will say here also.

    The delving into ‘us’, monitoring and/or attempting to ‘shut us up’ is already in play, at least i believe it to be, they monitor us daily, know who we are, where we are etc.
    They see us as small fry but are becoming concerned enough with the attention of, insanely expensive employing of, Atos and Atos’ flaws of non qualified ‘drs’, a computer score sheet, the blatant abuse of disabled and terminally ill, along with all the additional companies involved with work related schemes that are being exposed as frauds and or of the theft.

    We are getting an interest of many within the country, in parliament too, its causing resignations and infighting that is a massive bonus.
    To hope to deter all the deceit as is from the focus, the new scandal of China being given our cash is a bullshit attempt to deter the country from the reality that is killing 32 people a week in the benefits, welfare and back to work brutality.

    The country is falling for it, Scameron the Unelected has a job to do, he cares not of a non popularity, only cares of his succession of purpose that is to fascistly anihilate the unwanted weak, disabled and useless to the coming NWO/OWG.

    NOTE: how easy it is to sway focus for the Government, its pointless crap that people fear will harm them, a clever tactic only driven by peoples selfishness, caring for yourself outweighs the everything.

    I always say, money is the biggest con, it was invented to be just that, money is a fear of loss of money, without it people attack others for it.
    We raise kids to get jobs with a good income, its as if life was meant for material worth.

    Life is for living, enjoying, being in control of your own desire, yet we are raised on lies of historical events lies of science advancement,we believe what we are told and educated from a young age, yet all is lies and damaging as also keeping us under control from having our own minds, lives etc…
    -drugs are bad unless from a Dr.
    (medicinal trials last 3-6 months, ever exposed as falsified evidence to get drug to market and still prescribing lasts years even after exposure).

    -killing is murder is wrong, unless in a uniform and for your country.
    (all war is for agenda, terrorism doesnt exist, the scapegoated are willingly so… For a price)

    education is based on being taught bullshit and memorising that bullshit in an exam its preset and futile, kids are groomed throughout school to be dumb and clueless to politcal actuality, only those who go on to think for themselves find the truth, the rest end up on the dole, dead end jobs and turning to crime of which attacks their own kind, its the elite intention.

    No rich kid ends up this way, all rich kids end up as Drs, Scientists, Politicians etc, a few of ‘us’ will show promise, when we do? Snapped up and groomed asap to despise their pasts, showered with cash and other material shit to ‘better themselves’ to be ‘above the little people’.. Its a game that too many people cant see.

    The all of it all is, no mans life is worth more than another, money is easily made daily via paper and ink, billions upon billlions of billionsay dormant in rich accounts that is merely theoretical until needed, thus out comes the printing press-basically out of thin air,

    NOTE: crisp bank notes are being dished out of the cash machines, i have, 60p in 20s/ 15p in 5s/6p in 2s/1p in 1s all dated 2012, makes me wonder how the hell the big no cash lie still has belief?

    Ive gone off topic again, blah i do it alot lol.
    Call me crazy (coz i actually am, or have been many years, but being so has given me time to educate myself on what ‘sanity and uncorrupted decency’ would have never given me lol).
    Sorry such a long post, probably stating what you know already too lol.
    All the best to you, i like reading your articles, they are intelligent, fair and well put.

    1. Hey,

      Aww, well it’s nice to hear from you and hope you’re doing ok!

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, I really appreciate it. These are issues we both feel passionate about.

      I totally agree with your sentiments. What angers me, and what I often say to people who seem to be in danger of falling for this government’s propaganda is that Cameron and Co. choose to focus on those who need support to be independent, the most, when fraud by those at the bottom only accounts for £1bn a year whereas those at the top commit over £100bn in fraud every year, at least, alongside resulting in a £1.3 trillion bailout that has been converted into ‘public’ debt, hence the cuts to things such as benefits? It’s a social Darwinist practice where the rich are allowed to succeed at the expense of everyone else. Alongside shock doctrine policies.

      I especially concur with your comments regarding the importance placed on material things for people to be ‘happy’. Capitalism needs people to have ‘false needs’ in order to maintain the excessive consumption and exploitative system that it is. The school system is in definite need for reform, it’s bias, authoritarianism and is all about creating a certain subordinate worker to fit the needs of the economy.

      Don’t apologise; your comment was brilliant and I agree.

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