Over 121,400 people in London who tried to claim ESA were actually found fit for work after thorough assessments: http://t.co/iqL43f4Nd5
— DWP Press Office (@dwppressoffice) January 27, 2014
Language matters; our choice of words doesn't just communicate to others the ideas we want them to infer about the world they see, those words also communicate our intent.
To say that ESA claimants 'tried to claim' the benefit carries only two meanings. The first is that they made an attempt and failed, therefore they did not 'try and claim' but 'tried to claim'. The fact that they did claim ESA makes this gibberish, so only the remainder could possibly be true. You only get an assessment after spending a period of time in the assessment phase, during which you are claiming ESA at the assessment phase rate.
The DWP press office is trying to get those who follow the Twitter account to infer that these people were not merely found 'fit for work' and therefore ineligible following the assessment, but from the moment their attempt to claim began. The only reasonable conclusion that follows this inference is that over a hundred-thousand people were wrongly making ineligible claims.
In a world where the government is actually held to account by someone, a message like this put out by a government department directly into the public domain would be swiftly corrected. In a world where the government felt the slightest bit threatened by social security e-pamphleteers like myself, they would quietly remove that tweet and hope no one notices.
But we live in this world, so the most likely thing to happen is that this will be ignored, nothing will happen and they will get away with it as has been the case non-stop for three and a half years now.