Sunday 4 December 2011

Dear UN : SOS!!!

The quite excellent John Pring at Disability News Service dug up this murky little nugget of breathtaking cheek from our delightful coalition.

It seems that the government had to prepare a report for the UN disability convention. Apparently, the report was meant to describe

"measures that are being taken to implement each of the articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities."

However, in a dazzling piece of collective amnesia, our very own UK government didn't seem to think it necessary to mention the eye-watering level of cuts to disability benefits, services and support. 

Despite an "Initial Report" running into a zzzzzzzzzingly epic 126 pages and an even more lengthily off-putting "Annexe" of 167 pages, there appears to be nothing at all discussing the impact £9.2 billion of cuts will have on disabled people's "rights"

One might think that up to 600,000 people losing Disability Living Allowance, for instance, might, you know, impact on how Disabled people erm, Live? That abolishing the Independent Living Fund might, well, have some impact on how Independently we can Live? That cutting Access to Work might make it, erm, harder to, well, Access Work? Cutting Social Care might make the care we receive a little less Social? Capping housing might, well, lead to some people losing trifling little things like, THEIR HOME??? Never mind the astonishingly sinister Disability Denial of ESA, where nearly 2 million people will miraculously be found "Fit to Work" after all, simply by pressing a few buttons on a LIMA computer screen? 

I can only hope that whereas misinformation, distortion, omission and double-think seem to be perfectly acceptable in the UK, the UN will take a rather more "Real-Life" view of our rights. 

SOS UN : UK disabled people here! You can skip the 293 pages of fantasy our government just sent you if you like. Send food packages!! Send tents! Send Peacekeepers! 


  1. Oh, why am I not surprised?

    Weren't the Nazi party also guilty of distorting the truth and hiding certain facts and figures?

  2. Government reports to treaty bodies are pretty much expected to be whitewashes. The treaty bodies expect/rely on national NGOs to tell them what governments won't tell them. I have some knowledge of this, and could probably get more advice, knowing some people who work in the NGO-reporting-to-UN-treaty-body (and other organs) field.

    However, they do want it in the sort of format the government used - simple, direct paragraphs, numbered and sectioned, with case studies and detailed stats in an annex, not the main body of the report.

  3. "One might think that up to 600,000 people losing Disability Living Allowance, for instance, might, you know, impact on how Disabled people erm, Live?"
    Oh, not at all. If you're not eligible for DLA, you're clearly not disabled. Sciencefact. It looks more like the UK government has actually reduced the number of disabled people by 600,000. Even Jesus never pulled that off.

  4. Sam if the UN ever caught up with me and my struggles with the DWP the days of Cameron and co would be over so i live in hope

  5. Alex, they will also miraculously cure long term and fluctuating illnesses. Annual reassessments of incurable and chronic conditions will see to that.

  6. Govt sometime play to characters either they show to look smart or they are helpless.

    Disability forms


  7. Disability Rights Watch is collecting its own evidence from the disabled about their experience of current policies to send to the UN. You can contribute your views here: