How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling?


9:34 am - June 9th 2011

by Sue Marsh    


      Share on Tumblr

Yesterday, the Conservative minister Chris Grayling told us that assessments used to determine whether or not someone is “fit for work” or not are “not money driven” – somehow ignoring the “target” of saving £1 billion from the sickness benefits bill.

And here’s Mr Grayling, during a recent DWP committee meeting, telling us that the decision to stop all ESA benefits entirely after one year – whether the person is then fully recovered or fit for work or not – was entirely based on cost cutting.

When asked if after one year these vulnerable sick or disabled people would have found work or even be fit for work, he replied:

[it] is not about recovery times. It is not about a decision that 12 months is an appropriate time for recovery. These are people who have other means of financial support, so what we have sought to do in difficult times financially, and by taking tough decisions,…is hold the line on this difficult issue and do not accept the right hon. Gentleman’s amendments. We do not believe that financially we can do so.

And how much is this financial support that people have, to fall back on? The means test is set at just £5000 per year. So any working partner who earns more than this will become totally financially responsible for a sick or disabled partner!

Next, here’s Mr Grayling telling you that he’s “bemused” over being criticised for saying people should not be judged as “scroungers”.

He said he had advised “a number of media outlets” about the need for careful language but said some stories the department considered insignificant had shot to the top of the tabloid news agenda. “Sometimes stories run in a way that completely bemuse me,” he said.

However, the independent media checking site FullFact.org collected four pages of misleading headlines that have been questioned and complaints upheld.

All of the stories quote the DWP’s own press releases and most refer to “government sources” using the most colourful language.

As a result, the Press Complaints Commission has demanded retractions from the Telegraph, the Sun, The Mail and the Express.

Mr Grayling has twice been reported to the Cabinet Office for breaking the ministerial code on politicised press releases.

Last month, the minister for disabilities herself, Maria Miller, made claims that more alcoholics claimed higher rate DLA than those who were blind. She was wrong. Or she lied.

I know that facts get in the way Mr Grayling, but we can’t have you all “bemused” now can we? We can’t have a government minister who has no idea of the effect of his own press releases? We can’t have a minister who happily admits that the very worst of his policies are purely financial and totally unresearched, whilst trying to persuade us that others are caring, compassionate and all for our own good now can we?

This shouldn’t be legal let alone ignored.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sue is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. She blogs on Diary of a Benefits Scounger and tweets from here.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Westminster

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


I’m still undecided whether Mr Grayling is a deceitful manipulative shit, or just incredibly stupid. Probably a combination of the two, to be honest.

As to how he sleeps at night – soundly, I should think. If he had any conscience or a shred of decency, none of this would be happening the way it is.

“These are people who have other means of financial support…”

Sounds reasonable

“The means test is set at just £5000 per year.”

5 grand? Jesus H Christ, what planet do these neolib fascists live on where 5 grand is enough to support 2, one of whom requires care? Out-of-touch doesn’t even begin to describe it.

3. Thatcherite Clegg

How does Nick Clegg sleep at night ?

The sick, disabled, poor and vulnerable aren’t part of “alarm clock britain” so I guess he and his lib dem sheep don’t give it a seconds thought.

Remember. The Tories need scapegoats to deflect public attention from the misdeeds of their friends the bankers. So they’ve decided to pick on the most vunerable groups in society and demonise them because they know they’re an easy target.

Utter scumbags the lot of them. So much for the Tories being “detoxified”.

Thick, vicious and rich. The only qualifications anyone needs to be a member of this government. Claimed expenses for a flat in London despite his home being less than 20 miles away and owning two properties he rented out. Also charged the taxpayer for renovations and decorating. Compared Moss Side to The Wire and was awarded Stonewall’s Bigot Of The Year after homophobic comments, dished out welfare to work contracts to Deloitte (who have no experience in the area) after receiving £28,000 from Deloitte. His resemblance to The Simpson’s Monty Burns is remarkable. “Poor People? Unleash the hounds”

6. Chaise Guevara

“As a result, the Press Complaints Commission has demanded retractions from the Telegraph, the Sun, The Mail and the Express.”

Those hallowed institutions? I don’t believe it!

And yeah, there’s nothing wrong with “tough decisions” in themselves, but that’s not how I’d describe a policy of making the worst-off suffer for the good of the country’s balance sheet. I think “utter callousness” would be more accurate.

Marienbad – Thank you! Sometimes I wonder I’m the one living on a different planet!

Particularly eagle eyed readers might not that there is some confusion over the level of the means test. DWP figures say it is set at just over £102 per week or 24 hours work per week. That is just over £5300 per year. I don’t knowhere they get the figure of £7,500 from

8. Charles Wheeler

David Cameron made a big play in his pre-election broadcasts of his understanding of the problems faced by families living with severe disability. Ian Duncan-Smith announced the welfare reforms with the message that the disabled ‘have nothing to fear’.

Now we learn that, effectively, disability benefits are to be abolished. The Independent Living Fund is being phased out, making it impossible for a single adult with no other means to live outside institutional care. Disabled adults assessed as capable of ‘work-related activity’ – which covers anyone able to operate a keyboard – will no longer be eligible. And, those who are categorised as unable to work – even pretend work – will not be eligible if their partner earns £5,000.

Guess what? The partners of disabled people usually have to combine caring with a paid job because their partner can’t work! Many couples will not be able to survive on a single usually part-time wage, with the added costs of disability, forcing severely disabled adults into institutional care.

It will certainly reduce the claimant count – but at what cost?

This is a throwback to the Poor Law Amendment act, and repudiation of the idea that a disabled person has the right to some kind of quality of life through the pooling of risk.

If you become disabled you’re basically f*****

And he’s at it yet again http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/251798/Chris-Grayling-Benefits-commentary/ Iain Duncan Smith may be a buffoon but at least he actually believes the shit he’s shovelling, however misguided it is. Grayling is simply a liar who’ll spout any garbage

You are wrong when you say that all ESA payments will end after one year. This applies to ESA based on NI contributions, which at present are not means-tested. It does not apply to income-related ESA, which is already means-tested.

Generally, of course the government are trying to save money. But it won’t work. More and more people who are genuinely ill and cannot work will find themselves increasing the unemployment figures. The appeals will grow and grow. Example is myself: I am 51, and have been suffering from chronic depression since 1997. I had a nervous breakdown (and a brief stay in a psychiatric unit) in 2009. Atos Deathcare and DWP (the latter hardly ever disagrees the former) declared me fit for work in August. I await an appeal tribunal (earliest expected is March 2012). If the appeal is turned down, the most likely outcome would be a further deterioration in my mental health – and certainly not a search for work.

On Channel 4 News tonight, Chris Grayling sounded as confused about the system as the DWP decision makers themselves. Doctors at present do not have the right to sign people off work for long periods of time; they have strict limitations on the length of ‘fit notes’ they can issue. Mr. Grayling’s talk about ‘DWP specialists’ doing this sounded like another run-around the Atos box-ticking scheme. The chances of a person like me (I was doing research at Cambridge when I had a complete breakdown) being given a meaningful job even in the best economic climate is pretty slender. In the present climate, it’s about nil.

Jon Snow should have asked Mr. Grayling about the absurd ‘descriptors’ that the WCA forms use. If you can use a computer and a TV, you’re capable of work. One’s mental health history is completely ignored, both by Atos and DWP decision makers. My best friend suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and is quite capable of looking after himself day to day. But that is not the same as being fit for work – never mind the mental stress of looking for one.

Amazingly enough, the government hope to start a similar attack on DLA before very long. This will result in the same catastrophe and chaos. Mr. Grayling will probably have been moved onto another ‘office of state,’ and passed the sorry mess onto someone else. I have written to both my Tory MP and my Liberal Democrat PPC to tell them that the chance of my voting for them ever again is pretty much nil, probably for the foreseeable future. But, oh dear, might I have to vote Labour in 2015 – it was they who started this iniquitous system in 2008!


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://bit.ly/m8D2jU

  2. Sue Marsh

    RT @libcon: How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://t.co/dzr79Gb

  3. Linda Marric

    RT @libcon: How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://t.co/dzr79Gb

  4. BendyGirl

    RT @libcon: How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://t.co/dzr79Gb

  5. Justin McKeating

    How does Chris Grayling sleep at night? Like a baby sociopath, I should imagine… http://bit.ly/iJwpNt

  6. dontplaymepayme

    How does Chris Grayling sleep at night? Like a baby sociopath, I should imagine… http://bit.ly/iJwpNt

  7. Ulrike Singer-Bayrle

    Chris Grayling is very likely the most odious man in government. And a brazen liar http://bit.ly/m8D2jU @by @suey2y

  8. barry leary

    Chris Grayling is very likely the most odious man in government. And a brazen liar http://bit.ly/m8D2jU @by @suey2y

  9. Mark Carrigan

    Chris Grayling is very likely the most odious man in government. And a brazen liar http://bit.ly/m8D2jU @by @suey2y

  10. Jill Hayward

    How does Chris Grayling sleep at night? Like a baby sociopath, I should imagine… http://bit.ly/iJwpNt

  11. Jill Hayward

    Chris Grayling is very likely the most odious man in government. And a brazen liar http://bit.ly/m8D2jU @by @suey2y

  12. Simon Bestwick

    How does Chris Grayling sleep at night? Like a baby sociopath, I should imagine… http://bit.ly/iJwpNt

  13. tony zimnoch

    How does Chris Grayling sleep at night? Like a baby sociopath, I should imagine… http://bit.ly/iJwpNt

  14. John Kenzy

    Chris Grayling is very likely the most odious man in government. And a brazen liar http://bit.ly/m8D2jU @by @suey2y

  15. enya

    RT @libcon: How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://t.co/ygxRqVz

  16. Mabel Horrocks

    Chris Grayling is very likely the most odious man in government. And a brazen liar http://bit.ly/m8D2jU @by @suey2y

  17. Paul McGlynn

    How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://bit.ly/m8D2jU

  18. Aaron Chandra

    Chris Grayling is very likely the most odious man in government. And a brazen liar http://bit.ly/m8D2jU @by @suey2y

  19. Watching You

    How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://bit.ly/m8D2jU

  20. Nell Epona Bridges

    RT @justmckeat: How does Chris Grayling sleep at night? Like a baby sociopath, I should imagine… http://bit.ly/iJwpNt

  21. Steve Hynd

    A wee criticism of Chris Grayling on @libcon this morning http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/06/09/how-do-you-sleep-at-night-chris-grayling/

  22. richardbrennan

    How do you sleep at night, #ChrisGrayling? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/GwE2tBD via @libcon #benefits

  23. Peaceful Crocheter

    How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/LN0dirG via @libcon #disability #cuts #notfair #government #sick

  24. joe donnelly

    RT @sunny_hundal Chris Grayling is very likely the most odious man in government. And a brazen liar http://t.co/p1OXP6S @by @suey2y

  25. David Poole

    Chris Grayling is very likely the most odious man in government. And a brazen liar http://bit.ly/m8D2jU @by @suey2y

  26. Guy Manchester

    How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://j.mp/iwvK6b

  27. Afro Celt

    How does Chris Grayling sleep at night? Like a baby sociopath, I should imagine… http://bit.ly/iJwpNt

  28. Lexin

    RT @libcon: How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://t.co/cvaflAA

  29. Emily Davis

    Chris Grayling is very likely the most odious man in government. And a brazen liar http://bit.ly/m8D2jU @by @suey2y

  30. Keith Williams

    Chris Grayling happily admits that the very worst of his policies are purely financial and totally unresearched http://bit.ly/jPnKCC

  31. Thomas Hemingford

    How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? – http://bit.ly/kDPjyN

  32. Phil McDuff

    Link: How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://j.mp/kFBBKF

  33. Chris Bryant MP says Defence minister broke code | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] is not alone either. Conservative minister Chris Grayling has been referred twice for politicised press releases regarding welfare cuts. […]

  34. Matt McG

    http://bit.ly/ix4wOa – truthiness, Frankfurtian 'bullshit', etc

  35. Mid June mail-out of mental health, health, and social care news,views and stuff « Launchpad: By and for mental health service users

    […] (a comment well worth reading) , while there is a a marvellously excoriating piece to be read here ("How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling [Work and Pensions […]

  36. Rachel

    How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/g1a8H8L via @libcon

  37. Rachel

    RT @libcon: How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling? http://t.co/nWwiGfj

  38. Is the Guardian as bad as Tesco on work experience? | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] And don’t forget the time he misled on benefits cuts. […]





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.