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37 Comments on “play film

  1. This is a brilliant film which really gives an idea of what it is like to try and live a life on benefits and the impact of the government cuts. Thank you!

  2. I’d like to watch it but i don’t PAY enough to my provider to be able to watch streams

  3. An excellent reminder of life for some people, too many people, in 21st Century UK an ‘advanced nation’.

  4. Very impressive presentation of what life is like on welfare for those who would really like to work …. shows how much more must be done to humanise the system, to completely revise the Bedroom Tax which is a spiteful way of hurting those least able to change their situation and to offer much more help to those who want to help themselves. I hope the film gets a wide showing.

  5. At last a film that tells the truth, not propaganda either produced by or inspired by ids, osborne, cameron and co. Pity this can’t be shown on one of the main TV channels. Being on benefits can be demoralising and depressing. I can’t see how anybody would make it a life-style choice. You can guarantee that ids or mcvey won’t be watching.

  6. Well done team! This illustrates so well the hardships and humiliations of people really trying to find work, and leaves me feeling depressed and scared that this is how our country is going about reducing it’s debt. Is this really the way we want to do it? What about taxing all the rich people who don’t work instead, or perhaps insisting that they go do some volunteering, and if they don’t, then they get taxed, kind of like a mirror image system, but for the wealthiest! Afterall, we’re all in this together…

  7. Your fim is a powerful challenge to the polarising rhetoric and stigmatising language of contemporary politics. Thanks for making it, and congratutions to all involved, especially those who have shared personal stories and been so open about the daily realities of relying on benefits in the UK. I hope the film is widely viewed – I’ll do my bit to spread the word.

  8. I was struck by the how the film sends out the message right from start that it can happen to any of us e.g. through poor health etc; that was made clear at the end too. It’s very powerful and well done. I’m be interested in how it will be used.

  9. and will sickeningly rich that are playing real monopoly with real people CARE i think not! they just want us all dead……………………

  10. As I lie here in a level of pain that is impossible to quantify the magnitude of my pain I felt as if this spoke about my struggles directly linked to my struggles I can barely endure today. What is even more frightening is looking at my projected quality of life. I have seen my gas and electric soar over 275%. VAT up 33%. Let up 258%. Food up over 200%. However the Government capped the increase solely for the DLA at 2.5% last year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has to be understating the true inflationary rate, but they did vote for a 33% pay rise.

    I worked hard until my disability struck me, and my ability continues to deteriorate, and Atos determined my disability (Generalised Idiopathic Familial Dystonia-Parkinsonism with Neuroacanthocytosis) impaired my abilities to work indefinitely. There is no cure, yet I am constantly viewed with derision, have personally have been assaulted, called names, and spat on in public by this man in front of his family.

    I am in severe pain. And the DWP has their propaganda machine is in full speed, where little is mentioned of legitimately chronic and incurable illnesses. They decide instead to promote the cheat. Thank you for verbalising my concerns.

  11. Like 1000’s of other human beings,and I sress those words! I too am unable to work because of acute illness. Prior to this terrible illness taking over every aspect of my exsistence,(not life), I had a very successful business and travelled the world. Now I cannot even leave my own home. What would you do if this happened to you?. There is no structured medical help in place to help treat this illness and its only getting worse.I am a prisoner in my own home and now, as if my quality of life was not bad enough, I have to face the constant interogations of the DWP and its army of emotionless drones. We are just statistics in this war on “scroungers”. We have no voice. Anyone reading this who is healthy, working with prospects and a future, ask yourself……If i was suddenly struck down with a horific illness, with no medical help, no support from friends or family, no contingency plan….nothing,all alone and seriously ill. what would you do? Who can you turn to? How can you survive?
    It’s easier for this country to pick the bones of the helpless. We should really be asking ourselves why that is?! We cannot and should not enable a government to continue with this brutal and stupid plan to supposedly rake back revenue from those of us who already have nothing! It has to STOP!

  12. Short: Clear: To the point. A wonderful creation. As Ghandi said – “Poverty is the worst type of violence”. Been stuck on benefit for over eight years. Kept there by an inept, disfunctional, self serving unemployment system that obstructs more than it helps. And ignorant employers that blatantly discriminate against moderate health issues, & can see no further than the (enforced) jobless-ness. Can’t even work out that a middle aged ex-aerospace engineer must have something to offer.. May-be ‘we’ should copy the continentals and use mass rally protests to force the point against the un-caring sound bite politicians. In the mean time bombard them with complaints; they are supposed to represent us after-all!

  13. The fight back has begun.


    We are shadows

    We are rarely seen; our voices are rarely heard.

    We exist on the margins of society.

    Individually, we are powerless.

    We are the working poor, the workless, the homeless, the sick, the disabled.

    We are told that we are to blame for the economic and social ills of our society

    We are at risk of being persecuted by those who do not think that we contribute enough to society.

    We have had enough.

    We will no longer tolerate being made the scapegoats for all the ills of society.

    We will no longer tolerate the vile rhetoric that has been directed towards sections of our society, such as the workless.

    We will no longer be compliant and submissive.

    We will be united when those in power seek to divide us and turn us against one another.

    This is a warning shot across the bows of those in positions of power who would continue to persecute and abuse us. The tide of public opinion is turning against them.

    We are shadows.

    Our actions will be seen; our voices will be heard.

  14. OK I’m scared. Now what?
    Clearly for some it’s fun to impose suffering. And see how most people just put up with it for shame. Shame on our goverment able to dream up and impose these rules. Someone had to say ‘look here boys having sanctions is gonna save money, all those in favour say Aye!’ Could you say Aye to someone having to live in this country with no money? I feel sick watching what the goverment is doing to people who either have no work or can’t work.. Our government feels satisfaction. Think about it. They are satisfied the new rules are working. Our government has turned on it’s people. If they used guns there would be an outcry. People are losing hope, stressed, and dying and our Government is still satisfied it is doing the right thing. I’m not satisfied. I’m disgusted. I’ve lost 10% of my body weight since my WCA. We need to come up with a plan PDQ.

  15. good way of drawring attentsion to a ticking timebomb; that at the moment is being treated like the big white elephant in a very small room,,we all know its their,we all know its wrong,we all want it to stop,yet we all do nothing! the outcome being, the timebomb keeps ticking,the big white elephant keeps getting bigger,and people like me,the scroungers;the work shy, lazy;uneducated,uncouthe,unemployed , you know the sort ,you have seen us on tv,playing on the xbox,on the widescreen tv,or chating on facebook all day,and after a hards nights
    boozing and smoking,you might catch us on NEIGHBORES FROM HELL ;but the gravy chain payment is supposed to last 2 weeks,,but no matter how hard i try;£70 pound a week just dont cover the BRIGHTHOUSE payments for the xbox/telly/laptop(5x moor than you paid on the highstreet)THE VIRGIN payment for the phoneline/broadband(standard,now the dole require you to spend hour upon hour,everyday ,job log,job search,jobmatch,on line,if you dont have your own pc/broadband conection;then you are required to spend hour upon hour walking round,joining every gov/org bar the UN who will prvovide you with the internet access,that is on certain times/days,but you need daily access within walking distance)THE BUSFARES i was told to keep for getting to these places;and the other apointments they thrust upon you 2 or 3 a time,so trying to budget,to get to these places,2 weeks in advance,as we are paid in arears,its hard, SO WALK,i heer you say,I DO ,i say,but when you live in NEWTON LE WILLOWS and all your dole appointments are in ST HELENS,its a fair arl walk,i give myself a good 2hrs to do it,but i have no option,after paying ,part council tax/rent(private landlord)food/bills ,their is no money left after 2 days never mind 2 weeks,thats when you see us on JERRY KYLE, £100 pound appearence fee.and a night in a hotel,thats like an all inclusive holiday to me
    if you dont laugh,youl cry,it aint to good for the mentel state either, but you soon realise(after leaving school in 1985 thatchers hayday,sighned
    on the next day and for one reason or anouther at 43yrs old,i am still doing ;and never had a job)i think this is what they call the long term unemployed,about 2 months ago the dole got me to sighn a document saying that i must provide every week written documentation to prove
    i spend 30 hrs a week this idea of people on the dole being lazy or like on the tv,just aint so its a full time job for me.
    but the time bomb i talk about is the underhand way people are being sanctiond,and having payments stopped for stupid reasons,iwould love
    to see the percentage figuire on the amount of people who recive job seekers allowence who have recieved a sanction in just over the last 2yrs,the start of gov back to work program begun,wich iv compleated by the way,it helped me get my first abode,after years of homlesness
    in liverpool,i had to fight for my rent to be sent direct to my landlord ,so no matter whot i can or carnt afford,i know ,i can keep the roof over
    my head WRONG, i miss an appointment,get 1 wk sanction,unknown to me,they stop my rent,didnt find out for 2mnths,by the time its sorted 3 mnths then pay it for1 mnth,then stopped it again,sighned on 3 days ago,went the bank to get xrayed,no money in their,spent 2hrs
    on the phone,to be told,pays been suspended and the women on the phone carnt tell me why,she hassent got that information,but she said
    the often do that when theirs a DOUBT about if your doing enough to look for work!
    IV JUST TOLD MY LANDLORD I WILL BE OUT BY THE END OF THE WEEK backrent/bond just about to marry.

  16. Re: Job vacancies, Universal Jobmatch and data protection

    As a jobseeker, it is encouraging to see that the number of job vacancies being advertised in my regional newspaper, the Express and Star, is steadily increasing. However, it is somewhat disturbing to find that the majority of these vacancies do not appear on the Universal Jobmatch website.

    It would be interesting to know why so few local employers are putting their vacancies on the website. It should be remembered that claimants of Jobseekers’ Allowance need to prove that they are looking for work, and this is measured by their activity on the government website. Under the current legislation, any claimant who does not show a satisfactory level of activity on their account could face sanctions on their benefit. It may well be the case that claimants have applied for vacancies not advertised on the website, but these would not appear on their account.

    It should also be remembered that there have been concerns about this website from the very beginning. Within three weeks of the site being launched claimants were interviewed on the Channel 4 News programme who had registered their details on the site only to find that their personal information had been accessed by criminals and misused. Jobcentre Plus staff continue to insist that the website is safe to use despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    There have recently been some concerns about the other major IT project, Universal Credit. Is it not the case that the Department for Work and Pensions has wasted an enormous amount of money on two IT systems that are ‘not fit for purpose’?

  17. I was in the first influx of those to finish the 2year job program as I started, unemployed, I knew it was going to be that way as I had already completed simular programs with most of the private companies used in the northwest area ,and all to the same result,still unemployed,as I have been from the age of 16 to now,age 43 not something am proud of,and not for the lack of trying,as the benefit I now claim, j.s.a requires you to put in the same amount of hours a week proven job searching,as a job of paid work requires,so after 20 odd years of applying for jobs with a c.v with no work history,no qualifications,and a long past criminal history, so if 4 private companies paid by the government,then 2 years of the work program,between them could not get me as much as an interview,then why the job centre treat you like a parrisite ,and being from liverpool living in st Helens ,I must be a liar,this has resulted in me becoming homeless for none payment of rent,even though my rent was paid direct to my landlord by housing benefit.? Go figure, I’ve lost months worth of money over this year,sanctions, what a joke that is ,if it was not so serious it would be funny,I wonder if through the freedom of information act you could find out how much money the government have underhandedly saved by theas sanctions ? And way this number against the number of people killing themselves because of these same sanctions,and see just how much money this government think our lives are worth ? And the other side to that one is, how long before people stop killing themselves,and start killing the little Hitler’s who implement these sanctions ? How some of these job centre workers sleep at night I don’t know,the incompetence these people show and the affects they have on people’s lives is can only push people so far.

  18. Re: Job vacancies, Universal Jobmatch and data protection.

    I have been asked to make further comments on this issue.

    It would appear that JSA benefit claimants are being misled by Jobcentre Plus advisors in that they are given to believe that opening an account on Universal Jobmatch is compulsory if they are to receive benefit payments. This is not the case – it is not mandatory (or at least not yet).

    Those claimants who suspect that they have been the victim of a data protection breach will find that Jobcentre Plus staff are extremely unwilling to investigate the matter. Claimants face many obstacles and need to be persistent. When it becomes clear that a breach has taken place, claimants will find that the onus is upon them to engage a solicitor to take action against Jobcentre Plus. .

    This is a government department which never seems to apologise for the mistakes it makes and is both dishonest and lacking in integrity.

  19. Don’t these job centre workers realize that,when they do eventually push people to the point of no return,and the only people in the job centre is themselves,who do you think will be the next lot of public sector workers getting the, nine,ten ,Jack ? .so,think on little Hitler’s,what goes around comes around,there but for the grace of God go you.

  20. You film is indeed brilliant and deserves mainstream exposure but then where are the primtime programmes about this shocking system and the unfairness of it being shown?
    I am very concerned about my friend, a 57 year old male who has mental health problems and is alcoholic. He has been on ESA and we have successfully appealed previously against decision stating he is fit for work that is until recently. His money stopped again in November and we were going to appeal again..this time going to a tribunal..however as his money was suspended whilst we went to appeal ..a new rule apparently brought in by the gov in October, he couldn’t face it. He had no money for food and electricity. I was on the phone on his behalf, for two hours over two days, being passed from one dept to another. Apparently he can claim JSA whilst appealing, according to one dept, then another says he cannot as by going to appeal he is admitting he isn’t fit for work. It was a Kafka nightmare. I did all the phoning as he could not have coped. We have decided to not appeal as the stress is too much for him but I don’t think he realises just how bad it is now on JSA. He has already been warned he must show evidence over the Christmas break that he is applying for work..he cannot use a computer, has had no support to find work, although he needs it as he is long term unemployed, and where we live has high unemployment and the work is seasonal. Go figure…

  21. Hate to say it but you went about the appeal the wrong way. How were you to know? You should have gone to CAB or MIND or some other charity. They could have explained the new rules and maybe helped. Sadly DWP isn’t paid to help, hence two hours spent getting nowhere! Your friend is sadly showing how well the benefit system is working and getting people off incapacity and ESA. I suggest your best bet is maybe to get him to make a new claim for ESA, presumably its too late to appeal? He will need to be assessed again and next time he has to get it right, get advice and get medical evidence of his condition and how it affects him. You as a friend can write to say how he is affected if you like. One of the charities may help. There is a company on the internet ‘work and benefits’ where you can subscribe to get help. It’s worth doing a free subscription to get basic info and if you can afford it and are appealing or need help maybe pay your money to upgrade and get the info you need.

    I’d be worried about leaving your friend to cope with being on JSA. If his mental health is poor he will struggle more. Unless he is lucky he’s likely to fail to keep up with what’s required and then risk being sanctioned. I Suggest you also write to your MP explain the situation and ask them what you should do. They should be aware of how the system is failing their constituents. This falling between two benefits seems to be common. Too fit for ESA, not fit enough for JSA. Presumably the designers of the benefit system have an answer for you. You could write to Esther McVey and see what her department says.

    Had your friend asked to appeal, he would have had to wait about a month ish, according to Ester Mcvey, to find out if he is allowed to appeal, then if they allowed it, he would have gone on to appeal rate money. £71 total and no housing benefit. I think you say why the decision is wrong and the Decision Maker, if your evidence is good enough can overturn the decision or at least allow you to put in a proper appeal which can go to tribunal. It’s a mad system and as far as I can see you get assessed each year with the problem of failing each year too. Lets face it, pressing a theoretical, conveniently placed button and lifting a theoretical empty box from time to time is not that hard but it hardly equates to the difficulty of finding and holding down an actual job! Was your friend assessed by a doctor? If he wasn’t, you could appeal on those grounds because his mental health needs would not have been properly assessed by a nurse or physio. You could maybe say it’s been difficult for you to help in the time allowed, given how your friend has mental health problems and finds it hard to cope with making the right decisions, ie he likes to be thought of as well and has not grasped how he is not able to do what is required for JSA.

    This issue needs tackling individually for your friend but also as a principal. It’s a system that is not fit for purpose and it’s abusive. A person should not need to turn to friends or family to be able to claim and keep benefit that is essential to live. are trying to get the Govt to look at how people are being affected by the benefit changes and it’s people like yourself who see how it is and care, who need to get involved, tell people how it is. Tell what your fears are. Are you scared your friend will give up? Are you scared his drinking will get worse? Are you scared he will not eat or become homeless? Are you scared that you won’t cope with being his friend? Will you feel guilty if the worst happens? Will your life be ruined too? Are these changes really worth the theoretical savings that might one day be realised? What is happening to your friend is happening to many many others too, who can’t work. And your experience is replicated by other dear friends and families who are hurt and baffled by a system that refuses to care. Just think it could be worse, your friend might have no-one to care about him at all. Best wishes for a fairer 2014.

  22. Has anyone else noticed that DWP Junior Minister Esther McVey is beginning to resemble a certain character in a well-known children’s fairytale, cackling and snarling at those who oppose the government’s welfare reforms?

    Rumours that she will soon be handing out poisoned apples to welfare recipients so that they will no longer be a burden on the state are being strongly denied.

  23. There are those within the Conservative Party who feel that David Cameron is lacking in leadership qualities and that they have little chance of winning the 2015 general election with him as their leader.
    Could David Cameron be facing a leadership challenge?

    There are some, both inside and outside the Party, who question his decision to allow Iain Duncan Smith to remain in his position at the Department for Work and Pensions despite an appalling track record; decisions overturned in the courts, overseeing the implementation of two costly IT projects that are ‘not fit for purpose’, the dismal failure of the Work Programme, the poor performance and sometimes unlawful activities of the programme providers, and the relentless adverse publicity arising out of the controversial welfare reforms.

    However, as Mr Duncan Smith turns his attention towards pensioners and their benefits, there are some on the right wing of the Party who are applauding his ruthless determination to slash the welfare budget. In showing himself to be a strong leader, do you think that Mr Duncan Smith could be positioning himself for a leadership challenge?

  24. The P..M s days are numbered,the Tories did not win the last election,the American led policies of the Blair/Brown Labour party ,lost it,by making the liberal party,look the better option! Giving us ,THE COALITION GOVERNMENT= THE TORIE PARTY=WAR ON THE POOR/SICK/VULNERABLE, .The easy target,staple of the bully!But this time the Bullingdon boys have bit of way moor ,than ever before,by taking on THE PENSIONERS, I.D.S. has let it slip that,bus passes,winter fuel payments,pensions are the next on the list.Upset the grey army at your peril,this is the one section of society,who can make or break a government ,So old and young together,along with the working poor that’s a whole lot of people,are we all in this together? I don’t hear to many TORIE voters/Donors worrying about winter fuel payments or the bedroom tax or working tax credits ,so why do we let the whims and wants of so few come before the will and the need of so many?

  25. the holocaust went like this.1. unwanted handicapped 2.unwanted gypsies. 3.sub human jews. 4. chopsy germans. 5. I’m not joking..

  26. It is worth noting that one of the providers who was successful in being awarded a contract by the Department for Work an Pensions, the Shaw Trust, issued a booket for jobseekers with the title ‘Feel the freedom a job can bring’ which is uncomfortably close to the National Socialist Work Programme slogan ‘arbeit macht frei’ (‘work gives you freedom’).

    Sadly, the lessons of history are too soon forgotten.

  27. The Shaw Trust are supposed to help Long term sick and disabled get into work. I’ve had two experiences. One was an assessment a while back. We did a computer work aptitude test whereby I was finally and with delight, advised to look for work as an abbotoir worker. I think I was supposed to be equally delighted and enthused, but likely I let out an involuntary UGH! This was said to me in all seriousness by a fresh, perky, young girl of about 19. I’m a little less perky and robust. An abbotoir worker i questioned? I like animals. “Yes” she said. I said “What would I do in an abbotoir? Pet the animals before they shoot ’em?” She looked confused for a bit and then said. There are other sites on line that are better than this programme, you could try those. I wondered why we hadn’t tried the good sites that were worth spending time on. It has given my friends and family many a hearty laugh tho, so I suppose my morning wasn’t completely wasted. We often wonder if she looked up what an Abbotoir was after I left.

    The second time I contacted the Shaw Trust they wouldn’t even see me without my making an agreement that I could and would do what was required there were no exceptions, even for those recently cured by ATOS. I said I’d work up to being fit enough. They refused to even inteview me. I was not a good commercial candidate. I was disgusted. I need confidence to get a job and even the work programme providers paid by the Govt were not prepared to take a chance on me. What chance would I have convincing an actual employer? The Shaw Trust PAH! Shaw Lack of trust. They may be charitable but they are just as financially motivated as the other providers. And still none of the providers can do even as well in getting folks into work as what the unemployed can do for themselves. It ought to be a disgrace but the govt is happy with the results. And they (with the hard working tax payers money) are paying them.

  28. Re: Welfare Benefit rates 2014 – 15

    I seem to recall both Chancellor George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith announcing that the rates of some welfare benefits (including Jobseeker’s Allowance) would remain ‘frozen’ for three years and that the previously-established link with the rate of inflation would be broken.

    However, having received a benefit award letter for the next financial year (for Jobseeker’s Allowance) I find that there has been a slight increase in the weekly rate, approximately in line with the rate of inflation. I was puzzled by this, having expected there to be no increase in the weekly rate. Has the Department for Work and Pensions made a blunder?

    Also, the letter states that the weekly rate is ‘how much money you need to live on each week’. As this legislation has not been repealed, does it therefore follow that decisions to impose benefit sanctions are unlawful?

  29. This is one method of fighting back against this uncaring morally destitute government . I am most impressed and look forward to seeing your struggle become a new model format for human beings. Pls keep me informed on every thing you produce !

  30. The sooner this uncaring government of posh boys is out of office the better, roll on May 2015

  31. Brilliant video that say’s it all ! You have struck a powerful chord in the heart & realty of what this uncaring ,inhuman Nazi replicon Government has introduced & glorified . I feel so proud that you are fighting back with the most powerful weapon TRUTH !
    I feel honoured & privileged to receive your message and to be included as one of your communicators to the world .
    Luv u all
    Martin WWW

  32. I would urge all benefit claimants to sign the online petition at

    Here is the text which accopanied my signature:

    ‘People who work in the field of abuse will be aware that abuse is most likely to occur in an environment where individuals with a degree of power are in regular and continuing contact with individuals who are, by comparison, powerless.

    As Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith has created an environment where abuse can thrive.

    It is likely that the scale of such abuse and the consequences for individual clients and client groups will only become apparent when he is removed from office.’

    John Costello
    (benefit claimant and activist for ‘We Are Shadows’)

  33. Now where did I leave my pitchfork?

    A few weeks ago the plutocrat Nick Hanauer appeared on the Channel 4 News programme (and also had an article published in Politico magazine). He stated that ‘no society can sustain the rising inequality’ (between rich and poor) and that he feared the arrival of ‘peasants armed with pitchforks’.

    Sadly, though, I feel that his fears are groundless; despite the suffering of the poor arising from the cruel and vindictive policies of the current government I see few signs of a new Peasant’s Revolt.

    When did we become so compliant and submissive?

    Where is the Wat Tyler for our generation?

    Without action, nothing will change.

    Me? I’m sharpening my pitchfork. How about you?

    John Costello
    Activist for ‘We Are Shadows’

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