Saturday 7 January 2012

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. And then we win.

By Kaliya Franklin

Some much needed positive news....

As most of you know Sue Marsh has been co-ordinating a report researched, authored and funded by sick and disabled people which is released formally on monday.

As happens with every government welfare report, mysteriously, details leaked out to the media yesterday and so the coverage has already started. It turns out that Boris Johnson's submission to the DLA reform consultation which closed in February 2011 was the smoking gun we needed - and the government perhaps hoped no-one would ever find? The Mayor's submission stood out from the other consultation responses, not because it was supportive of our claims (almost all the submissions were) but because it was incredibly thoughtful, well written and researched. Some people are concerned that this may be to do with the forthcoming mayoral elections. Whilst we understand the concern, we do not believe that is the case as the Mayor's submission was completed in February 2011 along with all the other submissions. It would be very helpful if we could all let Boris Johnson know how much we appreciate his carefully considered and supportive statement over the weekend. 

We must keep up the momentum over the weekend to ensure this becomes an even bigger story.

We all need to pull together to make this happen. If everyone shares the news on their facebook, twitter, google+, blog, email list, friends, family etc we can keep the focus on the report.

AllBigIdeas is collating a list of the news articles here and so far we've had coverage in:

The GuardianThe TelegraphThe Mirror and The Mail!! Yes, you read that correctly. No you're not dreaming. The Daily Mail have actually covered a welfare story, from a welfare campaigners perspective and had to include the fact that the fraud rate for DLA is only 0.5%. (Thanks to the lovely, lovely lady at the Mail - yep, amazingly there are such people - for making it happen) Left Foot Forward have always led the way amongst the political blogs with their support for sick and disabled people's campaign against the Welfare Reform Bill and have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help us. They would never ask us for anything in return, but one way we can all thank them for their support is to ensure their articles are widely publicised.

So please, share these stories everywhere, with everyone you know. Leave your opinion in the comment threads, email the papers, contact your local media, tell everyone and anyone. Keep watch here, on Sue's blog and The Broken of Britain and Where's The Benefit for us letting you know the latest developments and most of all take a moment to step back and think.

Finally we are breaking through. We can be ignored no longer. We have truth and justice on our side. The next few weeks will be the fight of our lives, but no-one is better prepared for that than us. We are people who face and overcome challenges in our everyday lives bigger than many ever have to face in a lifetime. We are used to dealing with confusing bureaucracy, lack of proper support and having to find our own solutions. Above all we know how to endure, that however dark the night, tomorrow will be another day and eventually we find another way.

If you are scared, remember you are not alone. We have come together to show the true power of our community and that we will not be ignored. If you think you won't be affected by these cuts, remember those who will. If you think it'll never happen to you, remember anyone's life can and does change in an instant. We fight this battle not just for ourselves, but for you, your family and loved ones to make sure that in the darkest times of your life the protection you need and have given to us will be there for you.

With love from Kaliya and Sue.

"Alone We Whisper. Together We Shout" 


  1. Great Blog Ladies

    As a campaigner for Motor Neurone Disease I see the effects of the coalition's policy on vulnerable people. We are engaged in our own cutswatch programme to map out where the cuts and removal of social care provision are happening.

    Check out where you will find blogs and articles concerning disability issues. Check out the blog section for the past week by myself (Michael Cronogue), Lucy Brown and Rodney Willett, any comments would be welcome.

    Keep up the good work, we can force Cameron into another U-turn!!!

  2. blackcountrylondoner - If you'd like to help launch the report on Monday, just email me at for a copy to cross post x

  3. Fantastic well done to everyone involved - let's keep this pressure up.

    I hope supporters here have all signed Pat's Petition by now - and thank everyone for that - but we want to make sure that the message gets sent further afield so that we reach 100,000 signatures.

    Please could everyone share the link - send it to three friends - get colleagues to sign. This is Your Petition.

  4. i am right next to you on this as i am not the only one in my family who claimes DLA

  5. Thank God for the people that fight for those who are too ill to. I salute you x

  6. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I care for someone who was recently "reassessed". The DWP requested further information from the doctor, who came to the house and then submitted his evidence. However, the decision had already been made, BEFORE receiving the medical statement, and was based on a completely incorrect diagnosis! If it wasn't for all the information and links to articles I have found via this blog, I would have had no idea where to turn for help. Thank you.

  7. How/where do I sign the petition?

  8. VQ, hi there, petition is at following place:

  9. Thank you very much.
    Mission accomplished!

  10. Sorry VQ - and thank you Oya's daughter. I should have said that the link was on my name and Pat's Petition does come up well in searches.

    Here's the epetition link - please do share!

    And the new facebook link is here

  11. I read a book where the convicted had to lose an arm, and were then sent off to hide in a ghetto of one handed people as the ruler couldn't bear to see deformity.

    The innocent man, convicted, is sent there and rouses the people to action, saying they could make a proper noise together. Everything they thought of needed two hands to do, except ... OK I'll spoil it for readers ... he brought all the one armed people back and marched through the streets, playing trumpets.

    Can't remember what the book was called, either One Hand Clapping, or The Still Small Voice of Trumpets, I think, but it certainly made an impression on me. We need to sound those 'trumpets' now, become visible, and make ourselves heard.

  12. I just got my IB notification of assessment. I am 61 with bi polar so my condition is variable. I was also given 'exempt category' years ago which means I was considered to be unable to work and need not have annual medical reviews. I am scarred.

  13. I am the anonymous commentator above and want some one to contact me.

  14. The Watcher - Try Benefits and Work They are excellent source of advice.

  15. Your, sons and daughters fight for QUEEN AND COUNTRY,,,,,HOW come we dont hear any objections FROM THE QUEEN against the way HER troops are being treated,by HER goverment,

  16. Having watched someone very close to me suffer the indignity of a [successful] IB appeal a few years ago and decide not to appeal when the so-called 'assessment' was rejected the next year because we'd rather lose money to which we're entitled and struggle financially than go through it again, I'm only too happy to sign the petition. We're lucky in that one of us was able to work and we have no dependants, so were able to take that decision because no-one had to suffer but ourselves but a lot of people aren't so fortunate.

    The problem with the assessments is that they don't take account of the real world. Yes, on a good day, you might be able to work but who's going to employ someone that can only work one day in 5? The questions are also flawed and extremely biased to physical capacity. Who cares if you can lift a 1kg bag of potatoes if your job involves sitting at a keyboard and reading and you can't concentrate for more than 5 minutes at a time? At appeal, you're normally judged by a panel of real people rather than awarded meaningless points, which is why most appeals are currently successful and the fraud rate is so low, but why should anyone (especially those most vulnerable in society) have to be made to feel like a cheat almost by default? What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    Petition signed.