Iain Duncan Smith told a boy to ‘go to the Jobcentre’ when his disabled father died a day after after being declared fit for work by the DWP. Kieran McArdle claims that the stress caused by the results of an Atos test contributed to the death of his dad, who was left half-blind and paralysed following a stroke.

When the 13 year-old wrote to IDS, however, the response from the work and pensions secretary concluded with a ‘cut and paste’ invitation to make an appointment with a Jobcentre to “discuss the outcome of your father’s claim”.

The derisory reply was sent despite extensive media coverage of the case of Brian McArdle, who was just 57 when he died.

Thirty two claimants each week — nearly 1,700 per year — have died after they were branded “fit for work” by Atos and the DWP.

  1. “Thirty two claimants each week — nearly 1,700 per year — have died after they were branded “fit for work” by Atos and the DWP.”

    Can that possibly be true? Be interested to see where you got that from.

  2. I also know enough about UK mortality statistics to be somewhat dubious about such a precise figure.

    We may well know how many people are branded fit for work by Atos, we know (or can at least make a highly accurate estimate based on past data), how many people die per year – but I can see no obvious way of connecting these two sets of data.

  3. Not very “newsy”, it is a three week old story first seen in the Scottish Daily Record. Do you call yourself Political Scrapbook because you cut ‘n paste old stories and put them up?

  4. Rob those are the Government’s own figures. If you did a little research you’d find figures as high as 73 dead a week. Of course you won’t find this in the mainstream media as most of the owners and executives are Tory voters and most people appear to be either too lazy or don’t think this will effect them to find out for themselves… just don’t go off sick at work!

  5. james coull-kidd says:

    Can I just point out that you have provided a quote from a 13 year old boy stating that his father died due to stress of the ATOS test ? My heart goes out to this child but he is hardly the person to ask for an assessment of his father’s physical condition. We should police ATOS but emotional relatives are hardly the poeple to interview

  6. Does this story provoke outrage, anger, disgust, sympathy for the McArdle family?
    No, it brings out the fact-checking apologists for the modern fascist Tory trash…

    Many of those who have died since being declared “fit for work” may well have died of their illness no matter what… THAT ISN’T THE POINT. It’s that these obviously ill people were treated with contempt by callous ATOS beaurocrats who were more obsessed with meeting ‘targets’ than affording the sick & disabled people a little dignity as they neared the end of their lives…

  7. Guido: “Seriously, first seen 3 weeks ago in SDR”
    Um, no. The story of Brian McArdle dying after being declared fit to work was in the Daily Record (not Scottish Daily Record) three weeks ago. The story of Duncan’s Smith’s appalling response was in the Daily Record two days ago.

  8. What the hell is wrong with you right wing nuts?, not one of you seems to have any empathy at all for the people that are dying on a daily basis after having the Atos fit work assessment. You are either ignorant of the real fats or just plane nasty individuals.

  9. Quite right, Karl Winnett – I often ask myself how on earth the Tory filth can be getting away with their atrocious acts, then I see some of the responses on here and the likes of Huffpost and I know EXACTLY how they’re getting away with it: A complicit, “I’m alright jack” population fooled by the “scrounger” myth into not givng a damn about anything they don’t think will ever affect them… Well, when the Tories DO come for you apathetic sheeple, who’ll be left to campaign on YOUR behalf?

  10. Any statistics which are not cited or referenced should be pretty much discarded. if you’re too ashamed to put up the source then they basically aren’t real anyway.

  11. Let us not forget that it was a Labour government that created ATOS and started this process.

    That fact is somehow always omitted from articles like this.

    Secondly, it is easy to create a headline designed to provoke simple emotions amongst people not familiar with the facts of the case. IDS did not ‘tell’ a boy to ‘go to’ the Job Centre. He merely invited him to contact the people involved in his fathers claim if he wished to discuss it. There’s nothing evil or nasty about that. IDS is a government minister. He doesnt get involved in the minutae of individual claims so he directed the enquirer to those that do. That’s all there is to it. Whether or not you agree with ATOS is irrelevant.

  12. A lot of scrounges are ruining it for other handicappers they can’t work but these others can. Now the good foe and the bad know how to play the system. Ban the scrounge

  13. Guido seems to have gone bonkers anyway. His weekend piece about Rotherham was a classic example of weirdo right wing ranting and raving.

  14. My husband aged 61 just been put on work related benefits he has COPD had heart attack suffers arthritus he is on higher rate DLA which you only get if u can’t walk far! It is scary he is very stressed

  15. Just to clarify the figure of people put into the Work Related Activity Group and so expected to return to work with suitable “support” and dying is now around 73 per week.


    It is possible that some of these people may have died anyway for reasons not related to their claim for ESA but it also possible this is an underestimate as data on the number of ESA claimants that have died following a fit for work decision is not available, and the DWP does not hold information on a death if the person has already left benefit.
    The DWP does not hold information on the number of claimants who died whilst an appeal was in progress.

  16. As personally tragic as this is for the family, do you expect IDS to call round in person? They are complaining about ATOS and he’s suggests following it up. Very practical advice. What should he clearly have done differently?

  17. “Thirty two claimants each week — nearly 1,700 per year — have died after they were branded “fit for work” by Atos and the DWP.”

    Anyone know how many of these were suicides? I’m sure the stats must be broken down somewhere… and I know at least some people have killed themselves after being refused benefits.

  18. Grimly Feendish says:

    First they came for the socialists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Add the poor, sick, disabled and people made redundant on benefits to make it a commentary on the Nasty Party.

  19. Brian F Kirkham says:

    To those Liberal Democrats who caused this aberration….

    I thought you had some kind of Conscience

    I thought you wouldn’t sell your soul for your Liberal Principles

    I thought you would protect the needy, the poor, the Unemployed, the Homeless

    And I thought you might have a safety net for those people who need Care, The “Disabled” and Poor

    It turns out, I was wrong.

    Hope you can look yourselves in the mirror each morning

    You’ve aided and abetted in a system that attacks those who cannot defend themselves.

    However, the nation’s disabled will have the last laugh

    Look out for me in a Northern JCP some time soon – and the Horror of your staff when they see me

    You see – Your Private Firm deemed me fit for work – When clearly I’m not

    and under the new rules – YOU have to find ME – what do they call it – “SUITABLE EMPLOYMENT”

    (I’ll look forward to that – when it comes – or possibly when hell freezes over :))

  20. Just goes to show what a twisted and frankly evil cunt Iain Dumbo-Smith is along with the all the other moronic and sick specimens that form this wretched, unelected shower of shit that calls itself a government.

  21. Horrible situation and I sympathise and send condolences to the family.

    But aren’t there 1.2M people with health concerns applying? Let’s just say a ‘normal human’ mortality rate of 1% per year, you’d expect 12,000 of the applicants to pass away naturally in a year. Factor in the applicants are more likely to be elderly and suffering complex medical conditions..

    On balance, this article was skewed to score cheap emotional political points, the headline is deceptive and I would suggest this entire article smacks of “Nasty Labour party” (fwiw, I’m still vaguely a Lib Dem, albeit a little disillusioned).

    I’ve been on the dole in the past and I was grateful to take any help to have any sort of working life. A life on benefits was a prison sentence of humiliation.

  22. terence mciver says:

    I think it’s a joke the company that has the contract from the goverment to means test the disabled and ill for their benefits when are they going to take the contract from them. They will kick all disabled off benefits just so they get more money, is that ok as long as the goverment are making money. Yes i understand that their is people out their making bogus claims but the ones that are suffering are the disabled and the ill so get a grip and give a company the contract thats going to be just and fair or their will be alot more people in dirstrates do use the goverment want to keep answering to all the unjust well keep going with all the new stupid rules use are coming up with it wont be long before the uk are in a civil war remember i said that all the cuts will cost more than use save.

  23. Firstly Keiran deserves a lot a of praise for his courage and bravery and indeed sympathy on the loss of his dad. I thought this government had rendered me un shockable but even by I.D.S’s standards this is unbelievable. He tells a little boy to visit the job centre to discuss his father’s case correct me if I am wildly wrong but does this not go against data protection and confidentiality. I am almost speechless here. and if I said exactly what was on my mind the words would be deemed unfit for print and I would be here all night. . xx

  24. Philip Erskine Ferey says:

    We are people who support our friends, black, white, yellow, red, with disability or with out, Ian Duncan Smith when you die in your own piss we will be watching.

  25. Philip Erskine Ferey says:

    I am a man from scum bag city I am not nice I am not pretty…..I ammm..Iaaan Duncan Smitttzzz

  26. It seems the loathsome Duncan Smith is trying hard to get the Tories the reputation as the Evil Party, perhaps he thinks that is better than just being nasty.

  27. megan epstein says:

    Gosh that seems so cold and heartless. why didn’t he handwtmrite aletter and at least pretend to care especially with heavy media coverage…is this england?

  28. I have lost count of the times I have posted the following….

    There is no good signing countless petitions…[ I,ve signed loads]
    We know people have died in their Thousands,,,We know that Thousands more will die….So what are we going to do about it….??? Nothing is knitting together here or anywhere, Even the protests are not being properly shown because of media gags..And all the time the Government wont budge,why wont they BECAUSE THEY DONT CARE HOW MANY PEOPLE DIE…I have suggested not buying any newspapers that do not act in our best interests…They continually debase the unemployed,the sick/disabled…Many are suicidal this is clear,,The media only add to their despair,,And if they kill themselves because of that the same media will not report it…..The only time all the covered up deaths will be exposed is when Cameron is thrown out ,then they will all be fighting over the horrific headlines….I have also made a big effort to get the young to vote starting with the local elections.you,ll notice the young are over looked, There is no future for them not with this Government..So i,m looking for something different to knit together,,do we have to wait until we see people dying in the streets…until we find children living in alleys…Lets get rid of the fear,,,lets not even read the stupid propaganda…lets do something constructive….

  29. IDS is a complete and utter [fill in the blank here] . We paid our contributions whilst working you took the NI contributions unconditionally. Why should anybody be subjected to the humiliation of having to justify claiming what is rightfully theirs. Hope you die a political death very soon , the sooner the better you utterly vile waste of oxygen.

  30. william forrest says:

    ian Duncan smith has never realy worked has a rich daddy wiping his nose and all his life has been a brown noser in collage is nickname was whinger becaused he sobbed in rugby after a hard tackle what a tosser

  31. william forrest says:

    Scotland for gods sake vote for independace and we can rid our selfs of these mass murdering tory bastards

  32. Down with ATOS… down with fascism!…. hail the greatness that was Great Britain, down with tory tax evading scum and multi-millionaire chancellors who does not practice what he preaches.. the coalition is one big shameless stain on the fabric of this country.

  33. To all the smug tory voting scum who in their deranged and deluded belief that the shower of shit excuse we have for a government are “clearing up the mess blah blah blah and will get rid of all the scrounging,poor,disabled deadwood ” ….. just don’t come whinging when cameron,duncan smith and the rest of the thatcher creature afterbirth come looking for YOU – because be assured they will !!

  34. Spartacussssss says:

    Well, Iain Domehead-Smith is humming for the pensioners now. No winter fuel allowance, no free tv license, no life-prolonging/saving drugs – old people no longer contribute enough to the country financially apparently! Plus, he wants to redefine “child poverty” too. Probably a child will have to be living rough on the streets wearing a sackcloth and eating discarded potato peelings to be considered poor now! Look up Fritz Sauckel on Wikipedia. He even looks like IDS. The ConDem coalition is the Fourth Reich!

  35. This vile despicable piece of shit wants – – ————- imagine if he or should I say IT was unable to do things he would not have to claim any benefits cos he has got plenty of money mostly from where he shouldn’t, have got it greedy git , he has a nerve , hope he and his cronies rot in hell

  36. See him cheering like a little boy at the conference as his mate said there would be more money for the rich – – nob head

  37. I am very left-wing, totally anti-Tory and completely despise what they (with the help of their LibDem trained poodles) are doing to the people of the UK who can least afford the strain. However, I am also in sympathy with the people who posted here, questioning the ‘facts’ of this case. If you’re going to quote facts, it’s a really good idea to let people know where they come from. Otherwise it weakens your argument, and can even make you look silly if you get the facts wrong. I saw a great saying not long ago, which sums it up: “87.5% of all internet statistics are made up on the spot” – Mark Twain

  38. I wish people would stop hammering on about the individuals who spout the policies in public. They didn’t dream them up, they have a rightwing thinktank of emotionless morons behind them, and if IDS disappeared up his own arsehole tonight, do you think that would be the end of the policies? It’s the system that sinks, changing the expensive suit who mouths the shit will not change the policies. However while we all get angry at the personalities, we miss the real villian, the system we live under.

  39. To my knowledge ATOS was told to step down as the court deamned them unlawful and breaking Human Rights the Government kept using ATOS and the court sent the case to the Court of Human Rights maybe one of the reasons concervatives suggested god help us a new human rights made by them hm hm so you see nothings cut and dry here they have deemned fit for work dying people people with MS Parkinsons Cancer And MND beggers belief

  40. IDS and his cohorts will pay for their atrocities. Talking and moaning about them does nothing. Voting obviously does nothing. What does that leave us with? Something must be done to stop these nazi bastards and quickly. Leave your keyboard and opinion at home and let’s get out there and end this any way we can.

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