The news at the moment is full of the ‘revelation’ that the ‘enhanced (or coercive) interrogation’ techniques used by the CIA on so-called ‘enemy combatants’ amounted to torture.
These techniques, including waterboarding, extreme sleep-deprivation and forcing people into contorted ‘stress positions’ for hours on end, were devised by a US psychologist who has been called a ‘torture guru’.
When you see these reports, remember this: psychologically-coercive techniques devised by this same individual and his team have been forced upon British benefit claimants at the behest of David Cameron’s ‘Nudge Unit’, via a bogus ‘psychometric test’ that they had to take or else lose their benefits.
Remember this, too: the DWP’s abuse of claimants using this test was so unethical that the ‘torture guru’s organisation objected to its use – use that they had never authorised in the first place: the Nudge Unit had basically stolen parts of the material and cobbled it together in a completely untested, unethical way that had the British Psychological Society (BPS) up in arms and formally investigating the psychologist responsible.
What’s even worse is that this abuse has not stopped. Quite the contrary, in fact.
As this blog by refuted.org.uk shows, the government is planning to extend the reach of the Nudge Unit even further – as part of a package of abusive measures that will allow the DWP to abuse working claimants in exactly the same way as jobseekers:
Under the pilot scheme created by these Regulations the suspension will be lifted for claimants chosen at random. The claimant will then become subject to the same obligations…as claimants who are not in work
In other words, you can be working hard but if your employer is greedy and pays you so poorly that you need to claim top-up benefits, the government can randomly choose to subject you to punitive measures, including immediate benefit ‘sanctions’, if they don’t fit the same job-search activities as an unemployed person into your already-working schedule.
(Please read the article in full to get a grasp of how hideous – and yes, even evil – these latest moves are. And if you want to read more about the fake ‘test’ and the government lies and squirming that followed its exposure, please search ‘psychometric’ on this blog.)
Subjecting anyone to this kind of treatment – not just the psychological abuse but the immediate destitution that benefit sanctions routinely represent – is criminal. To subject working people to them is even more unconscionable.
But then, it’s the kind of behaviour you’d expect from a government that even a ‘torture guru’ finds beyond the pale.