Sometimes I just have to laugh at the Child Support Agency. When I first encountered them, like most people, I was staggered by the lack of understanding, their indifference, their incompetence and, yes, their lies. I thought I must be really unlucky. Of course, four years on I realise that I wasn’t unlucky, I wasn’t cursed, I wasn’t being singled out – the CSA really is that bad… to everyone.
The website CSAhell.com (which is being mentioned in the Sunday Telegraph this weekend) receives dozens of emails every day from people pouring their heart out about how the CSA has failed them, is persecuting them or just isn’t listening to them; and no, it’s not just fathers – it’s an equal split between mothers and fathers. The CSA is useless on every level.
We have documented proof of their having lied, their having sent documents to the wrong addresses, breached the Data Protection Act and, most worryingly, of them having attempted to goad fathers into suicide. This isn’t rhetoric, this has all happened and has all been reported on the website CSAhell.com. These are facts.
Now however it seems that the Child Support Agency isn’t happy with the website and, in particular, its Facebook page. It seems that the CSA is unhappy that members of the Facebook page have been posting links to profile pages of people who have listed the CSA as their employer.
This news story chronicles the complaint from the CSA, and reports how they’re intent on shutting the website down. Here’s a quick quote from the piece, where Dave Richards, the PCS DWP Group Assistant Secretary, boasted:
“Staff in CSA do an important job collecting record amounts of maintenance and helping lift children out of poverty. They should have the right to do so free from harassment and threats of violence.”
“I am pleased to report that CSA and the Security Management Team are taking the matter very serious and are having successes in closing the site and/or having the worst elements removed.”
“It’s important that any staff with a Facebook account make sure it’s locked and they remove their employment details from their pages. This will stop such anti CSA sites from getting easy access to your details and putting you on their name and shame list”.
I find it hilarious that the CSA is looking to close the site down, and that they’re upset over how our members have been posting links to the profiles of their staff. However, here’s some advice for the CSA…
If you don’t want your staff to be plastered all over the Internet, how about you:
- Don’t post on websites such as Facebook that you work for the CSA
- Don’t post up photos of yourself, next to the aforementioned information that you work for the CSA
- Don’t set your profile to ‘public’
- Don’t post on websites such as CSAhell.com and the CSAhell.com Facebook page abusing people
These simple ideas aside, here’s one for the CSA itself. Rather than investing so much time (and public money, our money) trying to cover up the mistakes, incompetence, lies and general abuse of power by trying to shut down sites like CSAhell.com, and trying to gag people from speaking about their cases online (yes, we’ve heard about them too) why not just tackle the route of the problem and do your jobs properly in the first place? We, the public, have had enough of the corruption, the lies, the feathering of nests, the hatred and the lack of empathy from the CSA – we’re not going to go away quietly, we’re not going to stop what we’re doing, we’re not going to give in to your demands.
Throw your worst at us. We’ve already taken more than most would believe humanly possible by the very fact they we deal with the CSA. That in itself is more than any threats could afford.
We await your next move.