Saturday, February 20, 2010

Complaint against Haringey Council

Yesterday Haringey Council refused Declan written information on their internal procedures for appealing a decision about Housing Benefit because his request for same was not articulate enough! So in a letter of complaint (presented below) he has asked the Council’s Corporate Resources Complaints Team to provide him with this information, just in case the Council decides not to pay our live-in landlady, Belinda McKenzie, the £100 (pcm) rent increase she requested over a month ago – see an article in the New Statesman stating that Belinda’s house “doubles as the hub of the British and Irish 9/11 Truth Campaign” here. Actually, it was Dr. James Fetzer, an Honorary Associate of Network of those Abused by Church (NAC), who was put in contact with Belinda on 13 July last (see blog of 12 July 2009 “Police threaten us with physical force at the place we sleep, Salters”).

It is understandable, in my opinion, that Declan would be quite thick about such procedures. Not only did the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) put us to the street in November 2006 because he did not “sign on” for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) two days before he was due to do so, but we were denied the Department’s internal appeal process by procedural impropriety on the part of the enforcement authority (see “About us”). His case was subsequently dismissed by the High Court (Judicial Review), Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights, and we were kept to the street for more than two and a half years. In fact, the reinstatement of Declan's joint claim JSA, as distinct from Housing Benefit which is administered by local councils, was further delayed another three months after we came off the street because my National Insurance number was “lost” from the Department’s computer system (see blog of 7 October 2009 “After a huge run-around, the Department for Work and Pensions denies me a Crisis Loan”)!

In addition to Haringey Council, the DWP continues to make life as difficult as possible for us – see, for example, the previous blog “Sisters of Mercy withhold evidence from the police” for a letter written by Dr. Fetzer that Declan is delivering to solicitors and public access barristers throughout the City of London in the hope that just one might get back to him. As Dr. Fetzer has observed, it would not surprise us in the least if the difficulties we are encountering are intended – at least in part – to subvert our current efforts to help him organise a symposium in London on “Debunking the ‘War on Terror’”. This symposium will accent the abuse of human rights, and it is an understatement to say that we are 100% behind the endeavour. (NAC carries the website for the event here.)

The symposium will feature, as speakers, Drs. Jim Fetzer and Kevin Barrett from the US, Elias Davidsson from Germany and a prominent Muslim speaker from the UK. As well as Dr. Fetzer, Dr. Barrett, co-founder of Muslims for 9/11 Truth, is an Honorary Associate of NAC. This is a ten-minute video with Dr. Barrett, in which we are mentioned:



For the record, this is Declan’s email of complaint to the Corporate Resources Complaints Team at Haringey Council yesterday, a copy of which he sent by registered post this afternoon to the Leader of Haringey Council, Cllr. Claire Kober:


Subject: My complaint against Haringey Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

This morning I attended Haringey Council's Wood Green Customer Centre and handed to Customer Service Officer Esther Malone a letter of even date addressed to the Benefits Service requesting an information sheet or booklet that provides me with “general guidance on the rights and responsibilities of customers when it comes to disagreeing with a decision about Housing Benefit”.

I wish to complain that Ms. Malone told me that if I wanted written information on disagreeing with a decision about Housing Benefit, I should resubmit my request in writing to the Benefits Service using the wording “internal procedures regarding appealing a decision that has been made”.

Surely this particular articulation is not vastly superior to my own?

I hereby request from the Corporate Resources Complaints Team an information sheet or booklet that provides me with internal procedures regarding appealing a decision about Housing Benefit.

I understand from the booklet I received from Ms. Malone, titled “I want to complain … What do I do?", that you will write to me within two working days of your receipt of this complaint, and reply in writing within 10 working days.

Yours sincerely,
Declan Heavey

cc The Local Government Ombudsman (at advice@lgo.org.uk)
Benefits Service, Haringey Council (by hand)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sisters of Mercy withhold evidence from the police

Our local jobcentre, Highgate Jobcentre Plus of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), has once again selected us to be formally interviewed about the jobs we are applying for – our interviews tomorrow morning will be our 7th each in 11 weeks (allowing for the 2-week Christmas recess, and excluding my interview last Monday which was cancelled when I turned up be interviewed!), and that's on top of our standard attendance every 2nd Thursday to show what we have done to find work. Moreover, when it comes to this jobcentre, we have had to deal with our fair share of dirty tricks and devious practices (see, for example, blog of 14 January “2nd letter to the manager of Highgate Jobcentre”).

It was the DWP that put us to the street in November 2006 because Declan did not “sign on” two days before he was due to do so, and kept us there until NAC Honorary Associate Dr. James Fetzer by some sort of miracle found us a roof over our heads on 13 July last (see blog of 12 July 2009 “Police threaten us with physical force at the place we sleep, Salters”), more than 2 1/2 years later. Declan exhausted the appeals process from the street: his case was dismissed by High Court (Judicial Review), Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights (see “About us”). In fact, the reinstatement of my part of Declan's joint claim for Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) was further delayed another three months after we came off the street because my National Insurance number was “lost” from the Department's computer system (see, for example, blog of 7 October 2009 “After a huge run-around, the Department for Work and Pensions denies me a Crisis Loan”)!

 Providence Row

As I stated in the previous blog, things have gotten so bad with this jobcentre that Declan has been calling into solicitors' offices and direct contact counsel with a letter of introduction from Dr. Fetzer. To the core of this new revised letter from Dr. Fetzer is the Sisters of Mercy's withholding of evidence from the police in relation to the robbery of all our money and documents, including academic qualifications and references, from the Dellow Day Centre in Providence Row (see blog of 4 July 2008 “Second Request for Priority to the European Court”; for an account of the robbery, see blog of 18 June 2008 “Declan robbed in the Sisters of Mercy Dellow Centre”):


Lawyer
Civil Liberties Specialist
London, UK

To whom it may concern:

Declan Heavey and his wife, Lola, are in difficult straits because they have encountered enormous obstacles in obtaining benefits to which they are lawfully—and, in my judgment, morally—entitled. They suspect, as I believe, that their ongoing abuse at the hands of the authorities (which is continuing to this very day) is almost certainly related to a website that they maintain and I fund, which deals with controversial issues. Notice, in particular:

* They have been living homeless for more than 2 1/2 years of the last 3
* They have only rather recently gained access to a roof over their heads
* They are being directed to apply for specific positions on threat of termination
* The suspension or termination of benefits would return them to the streets
* They—and I—strongly suspect their ongoing abuse is politically motivated

On 18 June 2008, the Heaveys were robbed of all their money and documents, including academic qualifications and references, in the Dellow Day Centre of the Providence Row charity run by the R.C. Sisters of Mercy (crime reference no. 4215697/08). The police investigation into the robbery was closed because the Providence Row charity refused to provide the investigating officers with CCTV coverage of the robbery or corroborate the identity of the two thieves. In my opinion, this was outrageous conduct by nuns who grossly violated their rights by withholding crucial evidence.

Declan and Lola have documented the violations of their rights at many levels in her blog, "Network of those Abused by Church Blog". What makes their situation of more than ordinary significance is that we believe their difficulties appear to be motivated by the desire to suppress or otherwise undermine their exercise of freedom of speech by means of the website they maintain at religionandmorality.net. If you visit the site, you will see that they address many controversial issues, from the abuses inflicted by religious entities to 7/7, 9/11 and the “war on terror”.

They and I are currently in the process of organizing a symposium on “Debunking the ‘War on Terror’” that will feature, as speakers, Elias Davidsson from GER, Kevin Barrett and myself from the US, and a prominent Muslim speaker from the UK. We are going to accent the abuse of human rights, where I have now interviewed Yvonne Ridley about her experiences, which is archived at http://tinyurl.com/yaxu4ql. It would not surprise me in the least if the difficulties they are encountering are intended—at least in part—to subvert our current efforts.

In my opinion, treatment to which they are being subjected appears to involve coordination by several layers of authorities to deny them benefits to which they are entitled. It bothers me tremendously that the Crown should be engaged—directly or indirectly—in such corrupt conduct. I have encouraged them in this search in the belief that there must be at least one lawyer in the whole of England who will oppose this abuse and stand for what is right and just.

We would be especially appreciative if you might be able to tell (a) whether the statute of limitations has run out on the theft of their money, documents and references or the withholding of evidence by the nuns, (b) whether Highgate Jobcentre Plus are acting lawfully by directing the Heaveys to apply for specific jobs on threat of termination, and (c) what can be done to prevent recurrence of this form of unfair treatment by the Department for Work and Pensions.

We believe that a serious indication of interest in their case by a lawyer may well be enough to straighten this out forthwith. They are being denied basic rights and stand in urgent need of counsel. Is there any chance that you may be able to assist them in any way? I would be glad to discuss all of this either via email using jfetzer@d.umn.edu or even by phone at my home in Madison, WI, (608) 835-2707, if that would be preferable.

With great appreciation,

James H. Fetzer, Ph.D.

McKnight Professor Emeritus,
University of Minnesota Duluth
http://www.d.umn.edu/~jfetzer/
Founder, Scholars for 9/11 Truth
Scholars Site: http://911scholars.org