Mark Cantrell, Author

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CITIZEN ZERO: More On The Prequel

Posted by Mark Cantrell on May 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

You must be mad to question authority

Welcome to another batch of links culled from the media and various websites. As before, these represent what might be called the backstory to Citizen Zero. Taken together, and they present a chilling insight into the world of the novel…


Centre for Medical Humanities, 10 December 2013


Whistle While You Work (For Nothing): Positive Affect as Coercive Strategy – The Case of Workfare


In this post, Lynne Friedli and Robert Stearn look at the role of psychological coercion, notably through the imposition of positive affect, in UK Government workfare programmes. There has been little or no debate about the recruitment of psychology/psychologists into monitoring, modifying and/or punishing people who claim social security benefits. This silence raises important ethical questions, including about the relationship of psychology to the medical humanities.


[Now this really is chilling; talk about echoes of the Soviet Union and the use of psychiatrists to declare dissidents mentally unwell...]

‘I have been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for about 8 weeks. I haven’t sworn or shouted at anyone. I have had 3 advisor interviews already; yesterday my adviser asked me to see their psychologist. I did not consent. I have been told that I shouldn’t look into things too deeply… and that I am asking too many questions … They were concerned that there might be ‘some undiagnosed mental illness’ which they said they were unqualified to identify’





Inside Housing, 27 February 2014


DWP: Housing benefit will be sanctioned


Part-time workers judged to be doing too little to find full-time work face having their benefit for housing costs sanctioned by the government for the first time under universal credit





Wales Online, 24 February 2014


Jobcentre whistleblower warns of helplines chaos for job seekers


Welsh MP Peter Hain was contacted by a civil servant who has outlined a range of problems in Jobcentres





The Intercept, 24 February 2014


How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations




The Guardian, 19 February 2014


Record number of sanctions made against benefits claimants in 2013


New figures show the highest number of sanctions against claimants since jobseeker's allowance was introduced in 1996





The Guardian, 18 February 2014


Welfare state presides over 'culture of fear', charities say


New figures presented to benefits inquiry expected to show record numbers of claimants have had cash withheld





Democratic Audit, 17 February 2014


Recent developments in the United States vividly illustrate inequality’s threat to democracy


The impact of socio-economic inequality on democracy has long been debated, with most agreed that the democratic notion of equal representation is undermined by large gaps between the wealthiest and poorest citizens. Looking at examples from the United States, Alistair M. Macleod argues that the corporate lobbying is but one manifestation of the malign influence that this imbalance can have on democratic processes.






The Telegraph, 16 February 2014


Downward mobility: Lucy Mangan on the fall of the middle class


The middle classes are being squeezed and stripped – of jobs, income and security – like never before. Lucy Mangan reports on 'a profound psychological shift in the nation's heartland'





The Guardian, 15 February 2014


Welfare reforms a 'disgrace', says UK's most senior Catholic


Archbishop of Westminster says Duncan Smith's reforms leave people with nothing if they fail to fill in forms correctly





The Journal, 27 January 2014


Government cuts creating a generation without hope say campaigners


Youth unemployment high, tuition fees creating huge debts, services and benefits being cut. Is this the worst time ever to be young?





Categories: CITIZEN ZERO

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