Archive for August, 2012

13 Simple Steps To Get You Through A Rough Day

August 31, 2012 Leave a comment
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DWP announces Living Dead initiative

August 31, 2012 Leave a comment

In another landmark policy innovation, Iain “Dunkem in a river” Smith, and Chris “18 miles is too far to travel home” Grayling are to reclassify the sick and disabled as the living dead.   “As dead people have no legal rights, benefit payments can be dropped; they can’t sue us for discrimination, and we can tax their estates.”  Stated Grayling, from one of his numerous London properties.   He added.  “People do not pay National Insurance to Insure the Nation, they pay National Insurance to subsidise high-rate  taxpayers like millionaires David Cameron and Gideon Osborne, so they can carry on doing work experience and practicing compassionate conservatism.”

“Before the introduction of benefits, there weren’t any poor unemployed or disabled people. Mostly, they simply died, leaving the rich, self-proclaimed, and self-appointed elite to carry on without the silly need for compassion, welfare or collecting tax from Libor fixing Money Launderers. The few sick or infirm were either our kind of disabled (i.e., Edwina Currie fancied them), or they joined a travelling freak show.” Added Grayling from his taxpayer funded flat.  “Our aim with the Living Dead initiative is to return to this simpler time, if someone can be classed as Living Dead, then, we have no need to pay them the exorbitant rate of benefits.  This way we have more money available, so I don’t have to travel 18 miles home from London, staying in a B&B with homosexuals, on the few weeks of the year MPs actually work.”

“We agree with the widespread concern that the WCA  [i]  is not fit for purpose.”  Stated Ian Duncan Smith from Easterhouse, the scene of his conversion to the innovative oxymoronic Compassionate Conservatism.

We see the following issues with the WCA:

“Work:  People continue to cling to outdated notions that work should pay fairly; promote health and well-being; and do something useful for society.  [ii]  In the 21st century we just cannot support state subsidised monopolies; dodgy banks; lending to PFI companies so they can charge seven times the standard rate to lease us a hospital; MPs expenses, summer breaks, etc;  AND the sick and unemployed.  Something has to give, and the common sense and compassionate approach is to reduce our spending on the corrupt and useless benefits system by reclassifying anyone poor, sick or non-Tory as the Living Dead.  It is also a lot easier to do this than collect tax from our party donors and lobbyist friends. Who being able bodied, and not suffering from debilitating mental health issues; are able to apply their Sociopathic and Psychopathic mind-sets to avoiding tax and screwing everyone else and not providing the services we pay them for.”

“Capability:  People cling to notions that to work one has to be capable.  The last two years of the Tory Coalition have proven that this is no longer a dogma.  Nick Clegg’s party has voted against the amendments his own party made to the NHS bill.   He has demonstrated that consistency of belief and effort are not needed.  Furthermore, in choosing between defending the NHS as laid out in his manifesto; voting for a budget that reduces the highest rate of tax, and later calling for a wealth tax; alongside pushing through a piss poor Lords reform agenda that no one has managed to do in 100 years, Clegg shows political insight and incapability comparable to a moose.  [iii]  Gideon Osborne has undertaken two work placements without any success.  One as electoral strategy ToryBoy has seen a massive decline in party support.  On his other paper round as chancellor, we have seen growth stagnate and debt increase.  Vince Cable and Jeremy Hunt (surely a spelling mistake) failed to deal with the expansion of Sky.  This led Sky to withdraw their bid after a little misunderstanding about voice mails was brought to light by a local left-wing and no doubt corrupt newspaper.  David Cameron is so incapable he can’t remember: that his father made money from morally reprehensible offshore tax schemes; where he left his children; or that he has blamed the opposition for over regulating and under regulating the banking sector; or that turning up at the Paralympics is about a coherent and act as the Pope attending Gay Pride.   Pob Gove can’t even add up the number of school playing fields he sold off, and even managed to sell 2000 schools to the private sector but forgot to collect the cheque.”  Clearly, capability is not needed to work in modern compassionate conservaistic Britain! However, such levels of incapability demand the finest in Private and Oxbridge education and cannot be achieved on benefits alone.  So why pay benefits to gain incapability, it only detracts from filling in our expense forms and living off Daddy’s offshore tax funds.

“We British have a fine tradition of incompetence that is best served by using government money to subsidise private education through VAT breaks, and such forward thinking schemes as GS4’s invisible security force; ATOS costing 60 million a year in contested assessments; and lending money to PFI firms ”

Not turning up for work because the building has no lifts; you are terminally ill; or suffer from hallucinations; fits; breathing problems; cancer; learning disabilities or extreme risk of suicide and self-harm; cannot stand in the way of practicing incompetence.

In addition, the DWP hit man stated.  “People using suicidal impulses as an excuse for not being able to work really need to buckle down and follow the fine example of The Lib Dems.  Their participation in the alleged coalition has been driven by suicidal urges of the most magnificent and public kind.  The kind that would make Cameron’s mate and Mental Health expert Jeremy Clarkson foam at the mouth with self-righteous indignation, er I mean compassion.  Clearly, their Conservative co-workers have not been perturbed by the Lib-Dems suicidal behaviour, so everyone else could work alongside the depressed worker without problems.”

Assessment.  With regards to assessment criteria Grayling,  noted, “Whilst we have deep disdain for any publicly funded role or department (except our nice big salaries, pensions, expenses and long holidays), we believe assessment has to made on spurious objective and numerically dodgy numbers that are pulled out of Eric Pickles’ substantial arse at great effort in order to beat the poor, the bruised, and anyone else who never voted for us (most of you in fact). In fact, we are happy to shaft people who voted for us, as once we class them as living dead, they won’t be allowed to vote anyway.”

“If you are capable of applying for the benefit in the first place, then the person is most definitely capable of work filling in forms.  Thus, the very application qualifies you for “Living Dead” status.  However, a progressive government needs to appreciate that there a definitional and pragmatic problems.”  A DWP hit man went onto say.

The rigorous documentary makers, the “Daily Hate Mail” and “The Kneejerk Conclusion on Spurious Data Sun” class the living dead anyone who claims benefits (but NOT expenses).  The living dead are sometimes hard to discern, they can be rich, claiming an MP’s salary, or on the Royal List.   These sparkly living dead are the right kind.  We aim to eliminate the wrong kind of living dead, a simple set of tests can be applied to ascertain the living dead:

1)      Where you able to fill out an ESA50 form, or find someone to do it for you? (You could get a form filling job somewhere)

2)      Are you suffering from the many fake illnesses identified by the renowned medical expert and adulterous wife beater [iv] Rod Liddle identified in the esteemed medical journal “The Sun”?  [v] (NB, this esteemed journal is not available to Merseyside readers).

3)      Can you attend an ATOS centre when threatened with removal of your benefits? (Then you are showing initiative and drive).

4)      Do you feed your own cats, rather than have them die, and then be sectioned under the mental health act?  (Then you could work in a zoo or cattery)

5)      If we leave you in your wheelchair a car park, are you able to use your mobile phone to call a relative to retrieve you and deal with your panic attack? (You could clearly work in a prison based call centre).

6)      Are you horrified to find out that a man is incapable of travelling 18 miles back to Epsom at the end of a hard day’s harassment of the sick, unemployed, and gay B*B guests?  Then this would also class you as Living Dead!  Compassion is clearly a form of capability that is much prized in modern Britain (Or so David Cameron told us via little slips of paper in our GS4 Christmas Crackers).

7)      Are you peeing on British Industry? (You are capable of working. Golden showers are a growing pastime among many sectors of the population, and you could set up as a non-unionised self-employed piss taker!)

8)      Can you use Twitter? (According to the eminent ex Nurse Nadine Dorres [vi] this means you are capable of working, unless you happen to be called Louise Mensch).

9)      Are you terminally ill?  (Then you could act as a life model for undertakers, or take part in clinical trials)

10)   Are you capable of blogging or protesting in person to protect the benefits system you spent the last years paying into. (You could help Dominique Jackson edit her articles and reply to fan letters from retired WW2 German “prison” guards).

11)   Can you use your phone? (Then you could help the newspaper run by David Cameron’s friends and ex-employees and hack into dead girl’s phones)

12)   Are you bedridden, then you could work as a bed tester in the thriving British bed industry [vii] or world-renowned  NHS hospitals [viii]

Specific exclusions can be made:

  1. Does Edwina Currie fancy you, if so we will continue to pay your benefits and increase the rate and throw in one of Chris Grayling’s spare flats.  This will keep her away from affairs with our beloved PM.
  2. Can we make a celebrity campaign from your war injuries?  For now, we won’t cut your benefits, but use you as publicity material, until such a time that ATOS tell us they have found a way of overturning Dalton Trumbo’s assessment of your injuries.
  3. You are an incredibly rich PM, then it is okay to claim DLA for your offspring, as hypocrisy was your PPE undergraduate dissertation.


Grayling went on to state that “The Living Dead come in various forms, the LD vic.. I mean clients will be set and assessed by the reputable company called ATOS.  Their state-of-the-fart computer software (Down&OutKILL), will, in an intensive 300 second question and answer session, ask the LD candidate whether they can feed a pet; use twitter; remember to bring their child home from the pub; screw the economy up further;  vote against their own amendments; or other objective tests of capability.  Through an objective assessment the pre-set target of everyone who claims and looks a bit funny and never voted Tory, or never worked for ATOS or Gs4 or A4E will be met.

[i] See BMA, Mind, everyone with a beating heart and sense of compassion

[ii] Which as we know from the famous Sociologist er we mean er Chemist, Thatcher does not exist, even in its big form.

[iii] We apologise to Moose everywhere as they are generally lovely creatures and show no inclination to get involved in politics.  If they did I am sure they would keep their election promises and not force reindeer into slave labour schemes claiming that they only work at Christmas.  Or pick on sick or disabled Mooses, reduce their berry ration; ask them to undertake a Moose Capability Assessment undertaken by Wolves.  The MCA would essentially note that if you can escape the wolf pack you are fit for Moose related activity, and if not well, you made a damn fine lunch.   Moose would probably also collect taxes from all the woodland animals in a fair and non-regressive manner and wouldn’t pump funds into Beavers and Dutch Elm Disease destroyed vast parts of the wood in the first place and called all the problems.

[vi]  Dorres does not appear to have worked as a Nurse since 1982, but can make an assessment on your work capability without the use of ATOS’s state-of-the-fart software or even meeting you!

[viii] Unless we sell them all for £2 to the man down the Bingo hall.

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if they can do it so can you

August 31, 2012 Leave a comment

After reading snippets of Cameron’s comments at the opening of the Paralympics, it would appear that our dear leader subscribes to some kind “Law of Attraction” like nonsense.   With statements like “if they can do it so can you” implying you can do anything if you just try hard enough.  Having been through a CBT course recently (finally after years of on and off depressive bouts) I appreciate the value of being able to turn around thoughts.  Something I have always tried to do, but now have a richer and tested toolkit to do so.  But a major insight from that process for myself was that optimism and ambitions I could never fulfil are as damaging as unwarranted pessimism.

So can you cheat death by putting your mind to it?  Can you win a parliamentary majority if you put your mind to it?  Can you reduce the deficit if you put your mind to it?  Can you form a coalition with a party famed for its nastiness and retain your liberal values and the same portion of the vote?  Can you find an exist strategy for Afghanistan, that protects the innocent,and stops the Taliban from rising again?  Can you protect the innocent as Syria or Libya descend or descended into civil war?  Can you find a humane way of getting the masses of unemployed back into meaningful, productive valuable secure jobs that doesn’t across as bullying at best and slavery at worst?    Can you outsource security to a two bit firm and not have to draft in the police and army to cover them when they fail?

If they can’t do it so can’t you?

How does putting your mind to it work, is it truly value free? If I thought hard enough, and tried hard enough could I make Cameron’s left nostril hair set on fire using a banjo a banana and three rolls of gaffer tape?    Doubtful, but maybe I could get a outsourced contract to investigate this.

If I put my mind to it could I envisage a UK where people were valued intrinsically, where we don’t pretend that 0.5% of fraudulent claims for benefits mean that any anyone claiming a benefit is a scrounger.  Where we find dignified and meaningful ways of providing training and experience for NEETS, and the others without work.  That we can find a way of supporting people through all of their life circumstances, both positive and negative.

But try as I might I cannot imagine a UK parliament where over 50% of the last parliament did not have to pay back fraudulently claimed expenses.  Where a cabinet is not dominated by privately educated millionaire Oxbridge graduates .    Nor can I think of a situation where a government composed of two parties neither of which gained enough seats for a majority and think okay, lets not over reach our mandate, lets listen to a range of views, not just those who donate to our funds and see what we can do….

Is that a lack of effort on my part?

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Not sure if it’s satire or a policy announcement!

August 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Disability benefits to be replaced by medals


THE disability benefits system will be replaced by medals for things like shutting up and getting on with it, it has emerged.

Heroes don’t get pissed off

Ministers have hailed Paralympians for smashing the stereotyped view of the disabled as people who need money to do stuff.

Under the new Disability Medal Allowance system, financial support will be replaced by gold, silver, and bronze awards for not causing a fuss.

They will be awarded by Iain Duncan Smith at a weekly gala ceremony with free biscuits and disability-themed special guests like Bouncer from Neighbours, who looks like a guide dog.

A government spokesman said: “When you look at Paralympics heroes, they prove that disabled people – however debilitated they might seem –  need true grit rather than money to achieve their goals, whether that’s winning a race or simply getting to work.

“Certainly they are not to be pitied. In fact, they’re pretty much all brilliant at basketball, have massive JCVD-style biceps, and would hate to be seen sponging.

“The more medals we win, the more it proves our – their – point.

“Gold – or at least gold-plated – medals are so much more gratifying than cash, and will really get the disabled off their arses.

“Metaphorically speaking, of course, I do appreciate that some of them have trouble standing up.”

38-year-old Stephen Malley said: “I tended to spunk my disability benefits on frivolous things like wheelchairs, which is basically the same as pissing it away in the pub, so this will really help me get my act together.”

Sorry, the Paralympic spirit insults disabled people like me

August 30, 2012 1 comment, Thursday 30 August 2012 15.11 BST

I am not a sports fan. Loathed it at school, steadfastly bored by it since. So I was not a keen observer of the Olympics and won’t be following the Paralympics either. This might seem strange. The Paralympics, after all, promise the opportunity to show that disabled people are not work-avoiding stay-at-homes glued to daytime TV. And as I’m disabled, I should welcome them – greet with open arms this opportunity to show the world what so-called disabled people can do.

I won’t. Not because I don’t give a damn for sport generally, or the Paralympics specifically. While I don’t understand why people should want to run, row or swim faster than others, I’ve never known why people would want to be accountants, either. It’s the baggage associated with the Paralympics that’s my problem – the subliminal and explicit messages.

Able-bodied people aren’t expected to reach the standard of Usain Bolt or Mo Farah – they’re accepted as being exceptional. But there is an implied expectation on “the disabled” that if only they would throw away their crutches, dispense with their wheelchairs, flush their drugs down the loo, make an effort, the rest could stop having to pay for them. After all, look at … name your Paralympian, Stephen Hawking, or one-handed concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy.

Such people are definitions of exception. Whereas no one expects Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, to run like a Bolt or a Farah, it’s commonplace to hear “if he can do it so can you” as a rebuke or encouragement to disabled people. This really misunderstands the nature of disability itself. Particularly when it involves state benefits, and particularly when irresponsible ministers and journalists can’t or won’t distinguish between fit young athletes – even with bits missing – and the generality of disabled people.

I became disabled slowly, progressively, after I broke my back in a car accident. I was never good at sport even before then – probably why I hated it. I was the last to be picked for the football team – didn’t see well, had fits, flat feet, got depressed. But I managed – until the crash. Complicated by a family history of osteoarthritis, over decades I became less able. Life became punctuated by increasing pain and stronger drugs to limit it. At no point did I opt for disability as a lifestyle choice – it chose me.

I have as much in common with the Paralympian Oscar Pistorius as you, gentle reader, have with Bolt – which for most of you isn’t much at all. If people accepted that, there wouldn’t be a problem, and I would feel less chippy about the Paralympics – but they don’t.

I don’t believe in role models in general. I never could fathom why judges should admonish footballers who get caught doing something drunkenly with no trousers on that they’ve let everyone down, since young people look up to them. If Paralympians are role models – and I really wish they didn’t have to be – let them inspire everybody, able and disabled, rather than be exploited to make disabled people feel inadequate and guiltily dependent on the hard-working taxpayer.

The Paralympics, like the Olympics, is a circus – it has its stars, its pretence, its sheer silliness – and on that level, I don’t object to it. I don’t want to watch it, neither do I want wall-to-wall coverage so reminiscent of fiddling while Rome burns, but if that’s what fills your boots, go ahead. But it isn’t a sermon in form-fitting Lycra. It’s not, or shouldn’t be, a big party for the Friends of Atos – the firm that conducts controversial medical assessments for benefit claims on behalf of the government – to hug us as if we were all the same while surreptitiously snipping away at our sole means of support.

I’m in my 60s now, and there’s a limit to what the coalition can do to me. I worry about the young – those who can no more choose work than choose not to be disabled, but will have their benefits slashed anyway. As a spectacle, the Paralympics might inspire them, but as a symbol of what society thinks disability means, it will hurt them. And sponsored by Atos and welcomed by David Cameron, the Paralympics are in danger of turning into an insult to all of us.

Categories: Disability, Stigma Tags:

Atos bring ‘bad news to the poor’ says Christian network

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Christian campaigners have backed nonviolent direct action against Atos, a company accused of wrongly declaring thousands of disabled people to be fit for work to meet government goals of slashing the welfare bill.

Atos is facing a string of protests this week, triggered in part by the company’s sponsorship of the Paralympic Games. The sponsorship has been slammed as cynical and hypocritical by Atos’ critics.

Supporters of Christianity Uncut are backing the protests against Atos, including an attempt to close the company’s London offices tomorrow (Friday 31 August). The action has been organised by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and UK Uncut, who have dubbed it “the Closing Atos Ceremony”.

“Jesus said he had come to bring good news to the poor. Atos bring bad news to the poor.” declared Christianity Uncut today (30 August).

The company has £3.1bn of government contracts. Over 40% of appeals against Atos decisions are upheld, suggesting the company is either incompetent or deliberately conducting biased assessments. However, legal aid for most appeals will be scrapped from April.

At least 43 doctors and nurses working for Atos have been reported to professional regulators for misconduct, according to evidence published by the Independent newspaper yesterday (29 August). There are countless stories of people being forced to miss meals or turn off heating after having benefits cut.

Sian, a disabled Catholic who was assessed by Atos, said that the cross over her bed was noticed by the Atos doctor who asked if she went to church.

“She said she was asking this because I should have freedom of religion and be able to go to church,” explained Sian. “She lied. She wrote ‘claims cannot leave house even to church’. She was checking to see if I was’really’ disabled. I had my Disability Living Allowance stopped.”

Christianity Uncut urged churches to take sides with the poorest members of society “who are losing out most from cuts while the very rich remain largely unaffected”. They accused David Cameron of snatching away the livelihood of thousands of disabled people at the same time as welcoming the Paralympics to London.

Symon Hill, a Christian writer and associate director of the Ekklesia thinktank, said he would be at the protest at the Atos offices in London tomorrow.

He added, “Ministers could save billions by cracking down on corporate tax-dodging and ditching Trident, instead of attacking the poorest members of society. Many Christians recognise that there can be no neutrality in the face of injustice. Now is the time to act on that conviction.”

Christianity Uncut is an informal network of Christians campaigning against the UK government’s cuts agenda and what they regard as the injustices of capitalism. They say they are inspired by Jesus and his nonviolent direct action in the Jerusalem Temple in solidarity with people who are poor, exploited and marginalised.

Earlier this year, members of Christianity Uncut were dragged from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral as they knelt in prayer during the eviction of Occupy London Stock Exchange.


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On workfare and work!

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment



“”Earlier this month, the Daily Mail’s Dominique Jackson made an ill-advised attempt to rehabilitate the Nazi slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei,” or “work sets you free.” But it wasn’t her bizarre Nazi apology that caught my eye the most; it was her reasoning behind it: “There is dignity to be gained from any job, no matter how menial, and for young people at the start of their careers, there are valuable lessons to be learned from any form of employment.” Jackson is wrong: there is no dignity in risking your safety and self-respect for wages you can’t even live on. Dignity comes with the recognition that we are not simply workers that create value; but human beings who have value, innately.””


Full article from the wonderfully named Ellie Mae O’Hagan, in the Guardian 30th August 2012…

Categories: Media, Stigma, Workfare

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

the void

David Cameron yesterday used the Paralympics Opening Ceremony as an opportunity to spout crass propaganda for the toff Government’s ruthless disability benefit cutting regime.

Speaking to Channel 4, Cameron said:  “It’s about the inspiration and it will change people’s minds and that’s what matters. It’ll teach people about what they can do, rather than what they can’t do.”

This is the exact same line that has been used to strip benefits from hundreds of thousands of disabled people.  Here’s a DWP spokesperson saying the same thing in the Daily Express to justify the Work Capability Assessment, the brutal computer based tests used to declare sick and disabled people fit for work:  “We’re overhauling the whole system of incapacity benefits to place the emphasis on what work people can do, not what they can’t”

This line as been trotted out time and time again by Ministers and DWP officials as justification…

View original post 123 more words

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National Survivor User Network, NSUN Recommend a resource on Bi-polar disorders

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment
Take a look at this FREE online resource for people with Bi-polar and their families.
Healthline provides a comprehensive overview of bipolar disorder as a critical starting point for individuals and/or their loved ones.

Categories: Health, Mental Health, Resource

Mark Steel: They can’t be disabled – they can swim

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Mark Steel on form as ever!

Having Atos sponsor the Paralympics is like having a gay Olympics and letting the Pope sponsor them

Wednesday 29 August 2012

There’s a company called Atos, that you may have heard of, and the achievement it’s best known for is to be despised by thousands of the disabled. Graffiti such as “Atos kills” is common on some housing estates, which must be why Atos is one of the main sponsors of the Paralympics. It makes sense, in the way that if you had a gay Olympics, you’d get it sponsored by the Pope, or you’d get an Olympics for people who idolise tall buildings automatically sponsored by al-Qa’ida.

The reason Atos is unpopular is that it receives £100m a year from the Government for assessing the claims of the disabled. The method Atos chooses is to interview each claimant, ignoring old-fashioned nonsense like medical records and asking them a series of questions such as “Do you look after your own pets?” You get points for each answer and your final score determines whether you keep your disability benefit. Because, as the old saying goes, if you can pat a hamster you can do an all night shift as a security guard.

Of the thousands who have appealed against Atos decisions, 40 per cent have been successful. This is admirable, seeing as you’d get half of them right if you decided each claim by asking them to guess which hand you were holding a peanut in. So maybe Atos should be in charge of deciding who has won each event at the Paralympics. Instead of using unreliable data such as who came first, the company can interview each athlete, declaring one the winner because, although they came seventh, they gave correct answers to the questions “Who was your favourite Doctor Who?” and “Have you ever been to Runcorn?” And commentators will have to shout, “GREAT run from the Kenyan, but answered ‘Andy Pandy’ when asked to name a 1980s kids’ TV show so not likely to make the final”.

Atos could also conduct the post-race interviews. Rather than the jaded old format of congratulating the winner, we can have an enlightening conversation led by an Atos clerk that goes, “Can you swim?” “Of course I can, I’ve just won the blind swimming race.” “Well, if you can swim, you can’t be blind, you cheat. Now apply for this job as a crane driver.”

Maybe Atos will get itself in a complete philosophical tangle during the games, applauding each event, then thinking, “Hang on, they can’t be disabled, they’ve just been playing basketball”, until the entire Paralympic village is disqualified, unless one country enters a couple of dead athletes, giving them a 40 per cent chance of being accepted into the table tennis.

Protests against Atos by the disabled have been planned throughout the games, so this shows that sponsorship pays off. Before the games, few people had heard of Atos, but by the end millions will know them as the bastards who make a fortune out of ruining the lives of the disabled. They’ll have brand recognition – proof that advertising works.

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