Friday 14 October 2011

New Shadow Minister for Disabled

Yesterday, Kaliya Franklin spoke to Ed Miliband while I suffered through a birthday party for my just-turned-7 year old. All morning, we rehearsed lines as I baked cocktail sausages and planned strategy while I stuffed plastic party bags with plastic rubbish.

I'm sure Kaliya will be writing up an article later today, so I won't go into details, but the conversation went very well and Ed did a lot of listening and asked a lot of questions.

Late yesterday evening, John Pring from the excellent ** heard from the new Shadow Minister for Disabled People. Anne McGuire was confirmed in the role and sent him this statement  :

“I’m delighted to have been appointed as Shadow Minister for Disabled People. There is a responsibility on all of us to care for those in need. However, many disabled people feel that they are unfairly being portrayed as scroungers and are feeling very vulnerable"

“Labour will be the voice for those in genuine need, who need extra help to live a full life. The introduction of the Universal Credit will see support for disabled children halved, while the Severe Disability Premium is to be scrapped with nothing appropriate put in its place. We believe there can be reforms made to the system, but this is the wrong way to do it, and we will do all we can to stop these changes.”

I'm sure sick and disabled people will be encouraged by this comment and very pleased that Labour appear to finally be listening to campaigners and most importantly, to them, the people affected by this government's eye-watering cuts to disability support.

** If you haven't bookmarked John's site, please do. He is the only investigative journalist focused solely on reporting disability issues and his weekly updates are invaluable.


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  2. Are they listening though!! they needed to be prompted at the confrence regarding disabled people, Support genuine people how are they going to do this!! they introduced ATOS. my best guess its lip service

  3. I'm delighted at this news, I think Anne will make an excellent choice.

  4. Sue in all reality Ed should know all about sickness and disability issues with his education and should not need any prompting whatsoever from Kaliya

    I myself do and have had a poor overall education but it seams I'm just one of a handful that has a full grip on this topic and for the likes of Ed to say tell me more is him just playing the fool as he knows full well what our concerns are and always has done

  5. Maybe he shouldn't have neeeded prompting or reminding, maybe this is late in the day, but better late than never. This is a huge achievement and the first press release in our favour I have seen in a very long time. Thank you for the work and effort to make this happen.

  6. Shame he isn't talking about his Shadow DWP colleague's belief that an arbitrary one year time limit might be damaging for cancer patients and should therefore be extended to an arbitrary two years - completely ignoring disabled people in the process.

  7. After studying up as much as I could on Anne McGuire I as a sick and disabled person feel that she is a good choice for this position but sadly I also feel it is far too little too late. We are already past the point of no return.

  8. It is merely lip service from Miliband and too little, too late. Let us not forget which party introduced ATOS. Agree with Anon above - we are past the point of no return.

  9. Any government minister or mp from whatever rank should not need any addressing us to the issues that are faced by the sick and disabled as it's the most basic of human instincts and anyone who says that are not aware of the issues should not even be in politics in the first place as all their doing is playing the fool at the public's expense and could never be taken seriously

  10. Not me one thing after going to 26 in total conferences and hundreds of local meetings, TV radio and speaking about the closure of Remploy factories, with MPs would would lie through their teeth and yes Mr Hain I mean you.

    Three weeks ago Mr Miliband stated on TV he knew Labour had gone wrong on immigration, nice to know, but I do not agree with him, oh yes Labour made mistakes, then he spoke about welfare, he stated we did not go far enough or fast enough.

    He has been repeating this for about a year, I asked him what did he mean, he stated Labour should have gone further in ensuring people who and I quote, are undeserving must not be allowed to stay on welfare, and Labour did not go fast enough on these changes, the people who are hard working deserve to know they are not keeping the undeserving with tax.

    The words are gone the work shy and scroungers for the undeserving, and he made sure to say we have to many people who are able to work who do not.

    Look lets be honest if you have a person with pain like myself their are days I can work and days I cannot, which employer will be willing to employ me , none.

    I went down to day to a charity for the disabled in my town for a job which is 16 hours a week as an office tempt, and I was told we do not think this job would suit a disabled person, this from a charity for the disabled.

    Miliband is a politician he'd sell his own mother for a vote.

  11. a vote a vote give me your kingdom for a vote. its all bxxsxxt we will get nothing from no one and that is a cold hard fact. One other thing who was the mp for disabled before new one

  12. Well here we go again.This from a govt who gave us Atos with the help of Cooper etc.There lips move but the words dont match.Milliband is no saviour here.If these people think we are fooled by this then wait until the next election and neither them or the condems will triumph .......unless of course the song isnt true and we do get fooled again

  13. Robert and shame this charity.Surely thier first priority is to give jobs to the very people they purport to support.Name and shame and lets get on to them.Enough crap comes our way without this outrage...

  14. Just a little prediction…keep this and see how accurate it may be.
    We are living in turbulent times those who are still alive by the end of this decade will live in a very different world indeed. The United Kingdom(s) will no longer exist. England will be reduced to an unstable overpopulated part island. The USA could itself split apart but still retain its military superiority. The EU and Russia will form a closer bond for mutual preservation. South America will be the new dominant world economic powerhouse but at a high cost and short lived. Bread will be around £5 or more a loaf, high street shops will become increasingly rare, young people will suddenly find they are in great demand though out the western world as most of the populations will by then be old and sick and disabled and dependant but these young people will be poorly equipped and not up for the challenge. Modern air ships will make a huge comeback and mostly replace cargo ships and most road/rail/sea transport to avoid the need and costs for new road and rail construction. Freeze dried foods will become more popular as prices of all other escalate.

  15. agree name and shame them robert only way to sleep well of a nite

  16. yep name and shame and a letter to Anne Maguire too.And to anon above a trip back to your home planet might work

  17. I'm still bothered by the g-word (genuine)... after all, those not in genuine need aren't in need at all, so it's tautological, simply reinforcing the idea that there's somehow two levels of need, including a sort of need that isn't really need (if that makes any sense, which frankly it doesn't, that being my point).

    That said, it is great progress and fantastic work from all concerned. You and Kaliya should give yourselves a party :)

  18. Well we need the new shadow minister to investigate the truth,and fight off,of the new proposal to remove benefits from those who appeal against benefits being stopped after assesment.Just when you think it cannot possibly get any worse then IDS and his cronies come up with this latest attack.Rights are being eroded further and we are surely at the tipping point now...

  19. can anyone tell me what is a genuine case?, cause i think its open to a lot of bebate and thats the issue

  20. I think these comments show just how upset, worried and disillusioned disabled people are.
    But after speeches starting with "I met a disabled man I thought could work" this is a huge step forward. Please let's not forget it, nor the huge work Sue and Kaliya have done.

    This IS a step in the right direction. Let's celebrate it. Because let's face it, we have had precious little to celebrate this past year.

    I too have reservations about what will come next. I too fear that these may be but words. But let us wait and see rather than giving up before giving anyone a chance.

  21. Fox resigns as defence secretary Oliver Letwin apologises for dumping papers in park bin

    This my friends is how the uk is run today and is why so many people have all sorts of problem in living in the uk be it from drink or drugs or depression or martial breakdown

    How the hell you can you say that you are running a country when at the end of the day you just in Oliver Letwin case just dump your constituents letters in the trash

    That is how the government see the British people as trash and i know from my own experience that to be true and that is why the uk will never be the right place to live with such brazen disregard for it's people

    To do the right thing for the sick and disabled is not going to happen and i know that sue believes otherwise but if it were to happen i myself would see a sigh that it was forthcoming but i don't and don't think i will from the government

    Sure there is much talk going on between the sick and disabled by the government but it's all bad it's hardly a joy to listen to and in reality not the sort of thing a sick person could even deal with as most illnesses are made worse by stress to a fatal level in some cases

    Now some may say that's the governments intention and that's to cause as much stress as possible to kill off as many sick people as possible and yes that could well be the answer not the full answer but it would make sense from a legal viewpoint as most of the deaths would go unchallenged so no one would be any the wiser

  22. WE know now have they work.We know now that they intend to take all benefits away and ANY right of appeal so there is one question to answer and it is this..In the end what have we all got to lose by protesting by whatever means.Nothing thats what so you all know whats needed and thats to take it to em we have No option so the first step is for us all to contact anne mcguire and tell her we are having no more of this nonesense and she has to help us and then we tell the rest of them .Make ourselves heard.Become the bloody nuisance they think we are only not in the way they think.Being sick and or disabled is not a crime but hating and persecuting is and we will take them to the european courts if they dont listen.Somebody amongst the ranks here must be a legal eagle so step up or get your friends to and help.Blitz the mps and lords and be a bloody nuisance and keep on.The work sue and others do in these blogs and the activism is fantastic but we ALL need to do the same.No backing down...Come on then..

    1. I simply cannot agree with you more...
      And believe that it is a case for the European Court of Human Rights...
      If our politians won't do anything for us..
      Then I beklieve that any further castigation of sick people in general, should be suspended, pending judgement from the courts...
      Be they in this country - or otherwise...

  23. Name of Shame.... Remploy.....

  24. Robert, Thanks for that i have few story's regarding them as well but will prefer not to say them on here

  25. Ok Remploy ....lets get on to them and Demand answers...As for the move to remove benefits from those who appeal a negative assesment well this is one the most important developments to unite against so lets find out whats the truth here it just rumour or yet another ids attack and abuse of position...

  26. Anne Mcgurie would be a good choice? Have none of you the capacity to remember her when Labour was in power? Good God the desperation to get the Tories out and Labour in would mean accepting a woman who screwed disabled people and carers the last time she was a Minister!!! She is a step away from Maria Miller.

  27. Oh, I see. Now that they're in opposition they're on our side? Let's see, we got the ball rolling on this, but since the current administration decided to carry it on, we're now vehemently opposed to it if we think it will win us votes next election.

  28. flapjackboy - Not really, no. They're in just about exactly the same place they were in power. Ed M only spoke to us because we forced him into it at Labour Conference. Anne MacGuire may or may not turn out to be an ally.

    At the same time, we can all sit around and gripe and moan and criticise or we can try to get out there and bully them, lobby them and generally try to force them to change their minds.

    Should we have to force them? NO!!

    Does that mean we all just sit around moaning that nothing can be done and the people trying are simply misguided fools? I hope not.

  29. Posted on Benefits Scrounging Scum also:

    Hope you both manage to keep fit enough to keep it up and can't say WELL DONE loud enough,

    but,,, the rest of us need to do our bit to aid the fight. My local BBC radio has asked for an interview on my condition - Fibromyalgia following an email I sent; small success but little acorns!!

    Thank you both

  30. Rethoric, rethoric, and blah, blah blah...
    The Tories are making mince-meat out of this country, and nobody seems to have the guts to stand up to them.
    What are the shadow cabinet proposing?
    Where is their defence for the sick and the vulnerable? Ed Milliband is little short of a pathetic marrionette, being jerked around to any tune that is being fiddled.
    These are serious times, that require concertive opposition to evil intent. Who will raise the sword of Justice...?

  31. and so, I ask again... Because everyone in their right minds, that have any sort of a heart, are by now fully aware of the inexorable plight that the sick and disabled are being forced to shoulder for the sins of the elite...
    So what can we do?
    Moaning is useless... any more than is anarchistic dissent..
    Maria Miller is my local Mp.. and I view her as the 'Devil incarnate'.. for she has no IDEA of the difficulties faced by the sick or disadvantaged...
    In fact, it is my view, that the polititians in whom the generally misguided electorate place their trust, are culpably guilty of 'mis-representation'.. dishonesty, and the 'breech of promise'...
    Who is going to upbraid them for this?
    Who is going to 'means test' their particular 'toilet habits'? Scrutinise their expence sheets? Call them to account?
    When Tannie Grey-Thompson's was overuled by the house of Lords last week by 16 votes.. One simply has to ask, who are they to pass jurisdiction.. many of whom have criminal records themselves..?
    Who is going to challenge the unmerciful persecution of the most vulnerable in our society..
    Is there anyone there to step up to the plate?