Posts Tagged ‘visually impairment’

Point of Order re Pat’s Petition

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Many of you will remember the Parliamentary debate Pat’s petition secured just 2 months ago. The motion calling for a Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) was led by a powerful speech from Liam Byrne. Other Labour MPs were just as supportive for us in their knowledge of how disabled people and carers are facing such unjust hardships under this Coalition government.

Speaking against the motion was a Tory MP – Paul Maynard. His choice of words angered and upset so many of us especially when he named Pat’s Petition team as ‘extremists’. In the days immediately after we corresponded with him in a series of open emails.  He agreed to follow Parliamentary procedure to gain a further entry in Hansard.




True to his word an entry appears in Hansard on September 2nd 2013  ….. details here

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. May I clarify for the record that, in the Opposition day debate on 10 July, I did not intend to suggest that I regarded either Pat’s Petition or We Are Spartacus as extremist groups?

John Bercow (Speaker)

That is commendably clear and pithy, and we are grateful to the hon. Gentleman.





Maria Miller sits back and waits for the ‘car crash’

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

You wouldn’t change the layout of a busy road junction; add traffic lights, a roundabout, a cycle lane, a pedestrian crossing, plus a one-way system all on the same day without studying the effects first. I hear those who say they have witnessed similar works and it has been disastrous. Cars crashing, people getting knocked down and no one knowing which way to go next.

This is actually happening. Not with traffic cones and diggers but with disabled people with real lives under the heading of Welfare Reform.

The Lords challenged the government when they brought in Welfare Reform and said it was one big social experiment and that they were being asked to sign a blank cheque. The government said they would monitor it as it went along. Stable doors and horses come to mind.

Now the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) is challenging the government to conduct a Cumulative Impact Assessment. Law requires this.

It means look at all the individual changes and how they add up and interact. It means look at the totality of the changes taken together.

It is one thing to look at each change by itself. For example – look at what impact changes to Disability Living Allowance might have –  the loss of a care package, inability to meet huge heating bills or be able to leave your home. To many disabled people DLA enables them to get to work to pay their ‘hard earned taxes.’ Reduction or loss of DLA will result in a loss of their employment.

The so-called ‘spare room tax’ hits those in work as well as disabled and long tem sick. The government is trying to uproot vast numbers of families from London to a city hundreds of miles away. Oh yes they CAN stay but only if they pay another stealth tax. They can’t afford it so leave friends, move children to completely alien schools. All this allegedly to save money.

How will cuts to local authority budgets affect those in need of respite? To be able to go to local day centres and give their unpaid carers a little time to themselves?

What impact will losing legal aid have at a time when welfare changes may mean more appeals?

What is needed here is an assessment of how all the changes affect each other.

We know there are so many changes at the moment. Welfare Reform – cuts to local authority budgets – legal aid, NHS in England, pensions, Remploy, to name but a few.

How will these affect each other?

Do we just wait and see and pick up the pieces later? Or do we look at and change it before the worst happens?

Like the new traffic system. Any one of the changes could possibly work but put them altogether and it is a disaster of magnitude proportions.

Support the JHRC in its call for a Cumulative Impact Assessment.


The government have set up an epetition site so that people can let them know what’s important. They said they would consider debating any petition which achieved over 100,000 signatures. Signing a petition is the simplest way of letting them know this is important.

Please sign Pat’s Petition and encourage friends and colleagues to sign it too. By everyone sharing the link we can gather more signatories.

Join us on Face Book here

Follow  @patspetition  on Twitter

Want to do more?    Make a noise

Let charities you belong to and your MPs know that you support Dr Francis and the JCHR’s call for a Cumulative Impact Assessment. Make sure Maria Miller knows that she can’t just sit back and wait for the car crash

Contact your MP here

Send support to JCHR here

Letter from Maria Miller to JCHR    an extension has been granted till May 21st

Question asked in Parliament by Caroline Lucas



Are you one of the 3 or one of the 37 – Experiment 18

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

.Thanks to Ian for this

Why are politicians from all three main parties, and the public, going along with Welfare Reforms when they can the see how unfair the reforms are and how much pain they are causing disabled people.

This experiment  showed that 37 out of 40 people would carry out the instructions of someone in authority even if they knew it would hurt someone. Please don’t be one of the 37 who go along with authority.
Be one of the 3 who have the courage to say NO.
Pat’s petition  is now number 11 out of 11,000 e-petitions. Please help Pat get to the top.
Can you add the link to Pat’s Petition to all your Face Book posts and ask people to share and use the share button on the petition
.Link to be shared –

Pat on Hazel Quinn’s ‘Hopefully Not Too Bad’ Radio Show

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Hazel Quinn will be interviewing Pat on this Monday’s show and you’ll hear in greater detail WHY it’s so important. 100,000 signatures are needed to get the Welfare Reforms discussed again in Parliament .

This is democracy in action; be a part of it to protect ALL our futures. This is SO important. So please listen to Hazel and Pat – 3-4 pm Monday

Click here to listen

Click here to sign Pats Petition, then share with others asking them to do the same.


Ask US what we want and LISTEN

Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Pat writes…..
 When I lost my sight in 1984 there was little if any support for us. You sank or swam. Together with a folding white cane, free only in a very few local authority areas, I launched myself into my new, unrecognisable world. The simplest of tasks were, and still are, impossible.Washing machine settings – to boil socks or not?. Housework – polish or air freshener? Toothpaste or hand cream? Shampoo or bubble bath? Beans or dog food on toast? All this before even venturing into the outside. The list is endless. The worse thing for me, and so many others, though is literacy. Without sight you can neither read nor write. No matter how many hand held magnifiers you have – you are still illiterate.The best for me was a ‘liquid level indicator.’ You put it in your mug and it vibrates when the boiling liquid reaches a certain level. The fact you have no idea where to pour the liquid seems immaterial to its designers. I found it works equally well when pouring gin with the only downside being no room for the tonic. My friends love coming here.


March 1st organising meeting to save the welfare state

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Pat has travelled to London for this meeting

Emergency Organising Meeting

Against Implementation of

NHS & Welfare Reforms

 Thursday, 1 March 4-5pm

Committee Room 15, House of Commons,

St Stephen’s entrance,

Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

Hosted by John McDonnell MP

All welcome

 Speakers confirmed so far:

Akira, Boycott Workfare, Disabled People Against Cuts, Pat Onions ( Pats Petition), Housing Justice, Mad Pride, Sue Marsh (Spartacus), Medical Practitioners’ Union – Unite, Single Mothers’ Self-Defence, Social Work Action Network, Taxpayers Against Poverty, UK Uncut, Where’s the Benefit, WinVisible, Zacchaeus 2000

Messages of support: Bishop of Ripon & Leeds

(Allow about  20 mins to get through House of Commons security)

Access: fully wheelchair accessible

For more info: Single Mothers’ Self-Defence

WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities)

Global Women’s Strike 020 7482 2496

Please sign Pat’sPetition

Be an organiser. Gather as much support as you can for the petition and ask those people to do the same.



Disabled people face unlimited unpaid work or cuts in benefit

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Some long-term sick and disabled people face being forced to work unpaid for an unlimited amount of time or have their benefits cut under plans being drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions.

see article in full here

This is a scandal  as the WRAG ( work related activity group) is not a fit place for disabled people.

Sign Pats Petition now and get everyone else to sign here



Deafblind UK support Pats Petition

Monday, February 13th, 2012

‘Deafblind UK   is committed to ensuring that deafblind people do not experience an unfair reduction in their benefits. We support Pat’s Petition and urge the government to consider how the cuts to benefits and services are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families.’

We will also be promoting the petition via our social media as well.

Kind regards

Christine Hardy

Policy, Information and Advice Manager

Please sign the petition here    and share with your contacts asking them to do the same.


Now we are speaking up as One

Monday, February 6th, 2012
I’m sure like me you are feeling battered after the Welfare Reform Bill process.
The government showed no respect for us in the recent debates – overturning the hard won Lords amendments and stating they will use financial privilege rule to force through welfare reform - an unprecedented move that is possibly being challenged. They were shocked because they thought we wouldn’t speak up, but they were wrong: activists and charities across the board have united in challenging them on this disastrous attack on disability benefits.
For far too long, the government thought they could do what they liked to us. Now we are speaking up as one, the government is closing the debate down by extraordinary measures, so that we still feel unheard. If the government closes debate down, we believe we could all use Pat’s Petition to make sure we open it up again.
So far, the petition has reached over 28,000 signatures to be number fourteen out of over 11,000 petitions on the government e-petition site. It did that in its first three months. We know it can get to 100,000 if we continue working together. That gives us the opportunity for debate.
Being an electronic petition this means every one putting the link to Pat’s Petition  in newsletters, on websites, in mail outs – every where you can. Ask people to sign themselves, and also to ask friends and family and people on their networks to sign. Please encourage everyone to be proactive in this – if each of the current signatories got just 4 other people to sign, the target would be reached.
In the age of social media – we can do this.
Pat’s Petition is for all of us. For every one who is angry about the way the government are treating disabled people and carers.
Support Pat’s Petition and take the debate right back to Westminster where they have to hear us.
If you can help raise awareness further please do contact me at  –
Pat  x


Sunday, January 29th, 2012

On Wednesday 1st Feb 2012 the government is planning to reverse the Lords amendments on welfare reform

Sign Pat’s Petition here before Wednesday to show MPs they can’t do this

Don’t just be a signer — be an organizer. Turn your signature into hundreds more by asking your friends to sign. Then they’ll ask their friends. That’s how we win.

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