Posts Tagged ‘learning disability’

This is an unacceptable abuse of power

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

The government are accused of taking money and services from disabled people and carers, without any attempt to measure the cumulative impact of what they are doing. They do not deny that this. Apparently they think their duty of care does not extend to knowing what they are doing to disabled people.

Last night in the House of Lords there was a Motion of Regret moved by Lord Alton of Liverpool, with much discussion  following.

That this House regrets that the Social Security (Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, laid before the House on 4 March, will result in the loss of Motability provision for many disabled people; and that this House considers that transitional arrangements should be put in place urgently. (SI 2013/389

In his closing remarks Lord Alton stated –

House of Lords : 24 Jun 2013 : Hansard Column 599

I repeat what I said in our deliberations earlier this year. It is our duty to understand the impact of the decisions we make. The Minister has just said that we cannot reliably estimate the impact; we do not know. That is not a good position for us to be in. Decisions will affect the mobility and independence of people with disabilities. The noble Baroness, Lady Hollis, put it very well when she said that you turn a person from being independent to being dependent when you take such decisions

The economic crisis shows no sign of coming to an end. The Government and the Opposition remain determined to carry on with Welfare Reform and cut the Welfare Budget.

They haven’t predicted or measured the damage that they are inflicting on disabled people and carers. It is one big unquantified social experiment on vulnerable people who have nowhere else to turn. So we have no choice. We have to carry on fighting and asking the government to measure what it is doing.

The WOW petition is following on from Pat’s Petition and after that – we will do whatever it takes.


The government cannot carry on

taking from people

who have so little,

Government are refusing to take responsibility

and record what they are doing.

This is an unacceptable abuse of power



Pat’s Debate – your support needed more than ever

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

After a year of very hard work and wonderful encouragement from all of our friends and supporters Pat’s Petition  closed with over 62,600 signatures. We then sent an open letter to Liam Byrne.

We are delighted to announce that all the effort succeeded

and we have a result.

Liam Byrne has been in touch and the Labour Party are giving us an Opposition Day Debate in the Commons based around Pat’s Petition. This means the debate will take place in the Chamber at the House of Commons with Ministers and front benchers as well as back benchers.

So fantastic news – Pat’s Petition is moving to Pat’s Debate. Tell everyone – shout, sing, tweet using hashtag #PatsDebate. Let’s shake this government into listening to us at last.

The debate will probably take place some time in January and we will only have a weeks notice so the important thing now is to get ready for the debate and make sure all the issues we have been campaigning on get attention.

The theme of the motion for the debate will be the Pat’s Petition demand that the government – Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families and a demand for a Cumulative Impact Assessment. It’s a very wide brief so if you want to focus on a particular issue that’s fine.

We will need lots of help from you all to make sure that after all your effort this debate gets real results.

We are hoping that many of you will put up blog posts in support of Pat’s Debate and that we can collect the links together here.

We will also need your help to ask MPs from all Parties to speak in this debate and if we can direct them to your blog posts it will show them the kind of messages we want to put across.

Contact your MP details via this link

Watch this space to see how the plans for the debate are progressing.

Time is running out.

Please get behind this debate and make it a game changer.

Pat x

for further details contact  –

If you have any suggestions/comments, please add them below.



The onslaught continues – sign Pat’s Petition

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Sign Pat’s petition here.  

Conservative conference is underway and by the hour we are hearing statements and interviews from government ministers regarding welfare reform and cuts. See links below

 It is even more vital now that we have all these issues debated in parliament.

Will Pat’s Petition achieve 100,000 by Nov 1st? We believe it will if we all push it forward as wide as possible.

The petition has reached over 50,000 signatures – quite incredible for this small group of unfunded friends with no large organisations behind them. But we need to reach 100,000 by the deadline at the end of the month.

As Pat says –  “That can sound quite daunting, but other petitions have done it. Anne Williams last year got 40,000 signatures on the very last day for her petition about her son Kevin who died at Hillsborough. Richard Branson had his support within a week. And the cuddly badgers achieved their target in weeks. If only people would support disabled people in the same way.”


link to Youtube video, click here –       Pat’s Petition


The group are asking people to be quick about taking actions:

Sign the petition at

Check junk boxes for activation emails.

Share the petition link by e-newsletters, facebook, twitter – get to places where people are already online

Add to blogs, write letters to media and your MP

If you are attending A Future that Works Oct 20th march ensure the petition details are shared with fellow marchers

Grassroots groups have been extremely supportive and we ask you to give this a final push.

Campaign teams from charities to come on board and raise awareness to your memberships. Time is running out so you need do this quickly.





1. David Cameron on Andrew Marr show

Q: Nick Clegg said there would be more austerity after 2015. Was he right?

Yes, says Cameron. The cuts will have to be decided before the election. The government will have to look at things like welfare

2. Iain Duncan Smith Guardian 19.26 pm

“This quote is from 19:26 Sunday –

“A delegate asks Duncan Smith if he could cut more from the welfare budget, saying that would be very popular with the public.

IDS says he’s cut more than any other secretary of state – £18bn – but these are “difficult” times.

Once he has reformed welfare, everyone will be able to recognise that those who are on benefits are genuine claimants, he says, and not scroungers.”

3. George Osborne plans to cut another £10bn from welfare budget





Newcastle conference on the impact of cuts on disabled people

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

On Friday 1st June I will be attending a conference on Welfare Reform to be held in Newcastle. The organisers have done an excellent job of bringing together people, from all over the North East, where views, opinions and real life stories will be discussed.

I have been invited to speak which I will do willingly. Nothing unusual so far, as I have attended many conferences over many years. This one is different though as it brings together 2 ‘on line’ friends.

Way back in the murky mists of early last year – I was invited to join a new joint Google group. It was set up by Rhydian Fon James – one of the founder members of The Broken of Britain, and founder members of CarerWatch. Delighted to be asked but not a clue what a Google group was or did – I pressed the button which said ‘CONFIRM.’

During the next 6 months the group, all with different ideas but the same common aim, discussed, debated and deliberated over a variety of changes, cuts and amendments to the Welfare System. We shared so much – got to know each other – laughed, cried and angered over what was the beginning of the end of our Welfare State as we knew it.

I then attended the Edinburgh Hardest Hit rally while, my new ‘on line’ friend was at the event in Newcastle. The outcome of these rallies was the birth of Pat’s Petition  and the meeting face to face with my ‘on line’ friend – Rosemary.

We will stand together at the conference tomorrow – united in one voice. In the word’s of Pat’s Petition – to ask the government for a ‘pause’ – to stop and review how all the cuts will affect so many disabled people, their carers and families. The Perfect Storm.

Pat x
Please sign the petition here, over 37,000 people have supported it so far. Share the link with as many people as possible, asking them to do the same.

We will report back after the conference.

Learning Disability Alliance Scotland fully support Pat’s Petition

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Ian Hood, Coordinator of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland said,

We fully support Pat’s petition.  The implications of the proposed welfare reform have been poorly thought out by the government. We recently carried out research which found that up to 40% of people with learning disabilities could be adversely affected by the changes to Disability Living Allowance. In fact, nearly one in ten might lose all entitlement to benefit leaving them thousands of pounds a year worse off.  Pat’s Petition calls for a halt to this process and will allow the government time to make much needed changes to protect those with disabilities.

Report ‘Worse Off’ can be read here

Pat’s Petition now has over 36,000 signatories and needs your support.

Please sign and share, asking others to do the same.

The Centre for Welfare Reform support Pat’s Petition

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Deep cuts in benefits for disabled people, combined with cuts in social care for children and adults, are a twin pronged attack on the citizenship of disabled people. These cuts target disabled people and are unfair on every level. With this in mind we support Pat’s Petition fully

Dr Simon Duffy, Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform

Please   sign Pats Petition here   and share as wide as possible asking others to do the same.

Scottish Campaign for a Fair Society support Pat’s Petition

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

 We offer our complete support to Pat

says Norma Curran

Chairperson, Scottish Campaign for a Fair Society


“What Pat’s Petition has achieved is to encourage 34,700+ independent people to take the time to support her petition asking that the UK Government pause and think about the implications of these welfare reforms that will damage the lives of countless sick, disabled and older people across the UK. This is no mean feat given that HM Government petitions are not as accessible as they could be for people with learning difficulties and/ or visual impairments. Many people with other disabilities are also frightened to sign for fear of repercussions. Nevertheless more than 34,700 people, so far, feel strongly enough about these “reforms” to stand up and be counted.

We offer our complete support to Pat. We are delighted that she has joined Scottish Campaign for a Fair Society and will help us to promote our alternative policy proposals. Our proposals are efficient, fair, and will reduce crisis intervention costs therefore representing a short and long term saving to the tax payer. Most importantly, the proposals will protect the human rights of UK disabled people (that many people fought long and hard for).”

Join SCfaFS and over 34,700 others by signing Pat’s Petition . Use the buttons to share it on Twitter, facebook. Email it to all your contacts asking them to sign and then forward to their family/friends requesting they do the same.

Together we can do this





Dyslexia foundation support Pats Petition

Monday, February 13th, 2012
‘The rights and needs of disabled people need to be supported. Welfare reform should look at supporting disabled people in their day to day life, stigma and financial cuts do not promote equality. This petition is important and people should take the 2 minutes it takes to get involved’.
Steven O’Brien
Chief Executive Officer
 Sign Pats petition here    and share with contacts asking them to do the same.

It’s YOUR petition – reach out to others who can help raise awareness

Thursday, January 5th, 2012


New Year’s Eve in the Pat’s Petition camp was verging on melt down. A significant milestone, of 10,000 signatures, suddenly seemed within our sights. Numbers, which, for a few days, had been gently rising, took on a life of their own. Frantic emails. Quickly “sign”  “tell everyone” ” Twitter it quickly” it’s only 120 short no it’s 79 oh 50, 19, 3…It hovered between 9,997 and 10,000 for what seemed an eternity. The virtual atmosphere was electric. Someone was ready with the cold flannels if anyone fainted. Yes! Yes! Yes! The cry went up – we had made it and it was still climbing. My hard working team, but most of all YOU.

Many of you are worried about signing on this government e-petition site. Fear of leaving your name that would identify you as wanting to show your support against this tyranny. Actually they aren’t interested, but the law says that, even with a written petition, you must leave an address. I have signed it and you know who I am. If they so wanted to, it will be me they find long before any of you.

Signatures have come in ones, twos, tens and hundreds. From everywhere imaginable. Little groups, big groups. Small charities and big voluntary units – but mainly they have come from YOU – disabled people, carers and your families. You know if you’ve signed so thank you. You know if you haven’t. Tut tut, there are no excuses.

So into 2012 and we have a long way to go. The press are already knocking on my door, but I have a few mince pies and some turkey soup to finish first. I’ll be ready with our aims and objectives, plus a cuppa and custard cream for them. That’s an optional extra.

Pat’s Petition has been featured on many blogs, web sites, Facebooks and Twitters. It has been talked about in the pubs, on buses, trains and in board rooms. It has even reached the corridors of Holyrood and Westminster. So it should. It is really the People’s Petition and you are the people it will affect.

My message to all of them is – it should not just be looking at the financial costit is the human cost, which is by far the more important.

Now it is time to reach out to all those newsletter owners. Don’t be shy, tell them – “share it with your members” – no good being coy. It is disabled people, their carers and families whose lives are being destroyed.

If you are someone who gets a newsletter and haven’t spotted Pat’s PetitionSHOUT and ask where is it?  Tell them no one knows what tomorrow will bring. If they don’t act now there won’t be any tomorrows or safety net to catch those who fall.

Our chorus of protesting voices is growing. How loud do we have to get before we see true compassion, and duty of care.

Pat x

You can find further information on the links below:


Look what happened on New Years Eve

Sunday, January 1st, 2012


Happy New Year to each and every one of you. It was a hectic time last night for my little team and me as we realised that our first  10,000 milestone was in sight. How amazing for that to happen as we brought the year to a close. It certainly gave us something to celebrate!

We got more excited as we realised that our team is now all 10,000 of those signatures. And if every one of these first 10,000 supporters each got just 10 friends to sign, we would have reached the 100,000 that we need. And that’s possible isn’t it – it’s realistic. That is something to celebrate.

So, let’s take this one step at a time.

For a brilliant start to the New Year, please can you get just 3 more signatures for the petition? I’ve found it helps to ask people who already have an email address – as you know, it doesn’t take long to sign if you’re already set up.

Please can you email or face book three people and ask them to sign up?

Send them the link to this letter or directly to the petition site.  Tell them why it’s important to you that they sign it. Let them know how easy it is. Remind them to check their email for the confirmation message that they’ll need to answer.

Please do that for me – for a Happy New Year

Pat x

You can find further information on the links below

On twitter