Report – OPPOSITION DAY – EFFECT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY ON DISABLED PEOPLE

  Wednesday 10th July 2013 was a great day for Pat’s Petition.  After a year of working to get over 62,700 signatures we finally had our debate  in the House of Commons. Two of our team travelled from Scotland and the North East to watch the debate live from the gallery. Pat is blind, and Rosemary is a family carer, but they made it. On arrival at Kings Cross they met with Rick and Jane from WOW petition, ( please sign and share as widely as possible), and then all made their way to Westminster. There they met with more campaigners, Ian, Andy and Adam. Following a short chat it was time to gain admission to the debate. Jim Hood MP, who had secured the tickets to enable Pat and Rosemary entrance to watch/listen to the debate live arrived, and pointed out that HoC business was running late. This caused all previous plans about meeting up with other campaigners afterwards to be changed. Following section from Pat and Rosemary. Having to hand over phones meant we were unable to keep supporters informed as to how the debate was going but we knew many many people were watching the event on parliament tv, and engaging with each other via social media. We were later informed the hashtag #CiaDisability had trended for over 2 hours, peaking at UK trend no 3. The MPs who spoke in favour of our petition could not have done more to support us.  Coalition ministers that spoke were unable to name an individual, academic, grassroots group, a charity – that agreed fully with their policies. Instead many names were...

URGENT CALL TO ACTION FOR DISABILITY CAMPAIGNERS

  What a weekend! We have done an amazing amount of work over these last few days, and amazing to see all our supporters rally round. At the beginning of last week, no way could we envisage the events of this weekend just gone.     On the sunniest weekend of the year, we have been sweltering inside, organising blog posts, booking train tickets, desperately trying to arrange seats to watch the debate inside the House, contacting the many MPs who have been sympathetic to us, finding out about pauper’s picnics and now asking every one of you to make one final push for Pat’s Petition.   You have rallied around. Supportive MPs have now found seats for Pat and Rosemary so that they can be there on this important day.   The debate on Wednesday will be the last chance to get our voices heard in Parliament for some time. MPs will break up for the summer recess and then return, after their Party Conference, in October.   We need to make sure they are all briefed to understand the impact of Government Policies on disabled people and carers.   They need to know we are watching this debate. They have to be aware that they are under scrutiny on this issue.   We need them to vote for a Cumulative Impact Assessment. They have continually said this is impossible and too complicated, and we have answered that they wouldn’t conduct huge experiments with anything else, so why do it on disabled people? We have now heard that “the publication of cumulative impacts is a Coalition initiative” so...

Letter from Samuel Miller to Liam Byrne

Permission has been granted to copy this letter here, that was originally posted on Twitter. Subject: July 10th Parliamentary debate: Cumulative Impact Assessment (‘The effect of Government Policies on Disabled People’) 3:36 PM (1 minute ago) To: Rt Hon Mr. Liam Byrne, MP Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions House of Commons London, England SW1A 0AA Dear Mr. Byrne, I am a 56-year-old Disability Studies specialist from Montreal, Canada who has been reporting frequently and voluntarily, since January 2012, to senior United Nations officials (see attached) on the crisis for the United Kingdom’s sick and disabled. Austerity measures, consisting of draconian welfare reforms and “sham” means-testing (Atos Healthcare U.K. and the Department for Work and Pensions) are ostensibly to blame for their plight—with disability hate crime and inflammatory media attacks factored into this mix. I am writing you regarding this Wednesday’s Parliamentary debate on the effect of government policies on disabled people (http://carerwatch.com/reform/?p=1697), and in your capacity as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. It is vital that such a cumulative impact assessment include a thorough and proper investigation of the number of sick and disabled benefit claimants who died, committed suicide, or became destitute as a result of the draconian austerity measures and welfare reforms. I am currently experiencing difficulty procuring post-November 2011 benefit claimant mortality statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions. Please see DWP refuses to provide information on ESA/IB deaths. What is it hiding? http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/dwp-refuses-to-provide-information-on-esaib-deaths-what-is-it-hiding/, Atos deaths: A letter to Mr… Smith http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/atos-deaths-a-letter-to-mr-smith/, Requesting that the DWP hire an epidemiologist and consult with David Stuckler of Oxford University http://mydisabilitystudiesblackboard.blogspot.ca/2013/07/requesting-that-dwp-hire-epidemiologist.html; and related:...