Monday, 16 January 2012

Spartacus Stories

This week, the focus in the Lords will shift to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Government plans to scrap it entirely and replace it with Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

It is this proposal that prompted us to produce the Spartacus Report or Responsible Reform.

Sick and disabled people, their charities and organisations do not support the plans, which are based on an ignorance of disability, flawed evidence and will do great harm to millions. The Government are steamrollering the changes through despite growing calls for PIP to be put on hold until the plans can be made safe.

We do not oppose reform of DLA - sick and disabled people want the benefit to be simpler and better targeted. We DO oppose plans that will fail causing millions to suffer. We call on the House of Lords to attend the debates tomorrow and vote for a pause. 


This morning, we see desperate attempts at propaganda from the DWP. Once more, we must ignore it, however painful it is. We must ignore the fear that these attacks inspire and make our own case honestly, calmly and clearly. Once more, we must present the British public with evidence and trust that they will not accept this attack on the most vulnerable of all.

All day, we will be posting stories here http://spartacus-stories.blogspot.com/

They will tell people what DLA is really used for and how it helps us to live as independently as we are able to. All over the internet, people will tell their side of the story and the blog will be updated all day. Please use the hashtag #spartacusstories to tell your own story on twitter or to post links to your own experiences.

Update your statuses on Facebook, calling for a pause to PIP and asking peers to attend the debate tomorrow. Blog, send the links to your local paper, ask friends and family to join in.

We must report our own news, we must be our own advocates.

It is becoming clearer every hour that the Government have no understanding of their own policies. Their arguments are unravelling by the day and no amount of lies or spin will hide us away.

If the best argument the Government can make is "we can't afford it" or "you don't deserve it" then we must just trust the public - and the Lords - to decide for themselves who to listen to. We must hope that they ask who they believe - corrupt, out of touch, ignorant, politicians or the very people they hope to silence and ignore. 


I am confident they will hear our stories and reject the arguments of MPs who receive more in food expenses than we must live on for a month. 


#spartacusstories is our chance to be heard. 

19 comments:

  1. Good job with everything Sue, really respect what you're doing.

    Anyway speaking of DLA, mine goes on food and stuff required to live, I havent been on holiday in many many many many years(Emphasis on many) and havent gone outside 30 miles of where I live in over a decade.

    Hope I don't have to go through the hastle of appealing DLA because of these cost cutting measures the goverment are doing.

    - Matt

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  2. Fantastic work Sue, read the Report and thought to myself - after that how can the newspapers print just the government spin? Then I saw the editorial in the Sun today and my heart fell. Like Anonymous my DLA goes on essentials like food and petrol so I can keep driving a really old car to get into work now walking is so iffy. Have to say that without it I don't know what I would do. One ATOS interview was enough to set me right back and that was with someone on my side to fight the initial refusal. After about four months we got it back but the time waiting was sheer hell.
    If the cost cutting goes through I can't forsee anything but disaster for so many of us that I get very frightened.
    Keep up the brilliant work
    Roger

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  3. It is really important for people to complain to the papers about some of the revolting comments directed at the disabled. I recently saw one that referred to the disabled as 'a human cabbage' and 'it' - I reported it and it was withdrawn. We must no longer turn a blind eye to this sort of thing - it was a moderated comment too, which made it all the more inexcusable. If enough of us complain - and it only takes the click of a button - we CAN start to turn the tide of public opinion.

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  4. Becoming too ill to work after 30 years is no easy transition; the physical and associated mental health issues are catastrophic enough. Not only is my constant chronic body wide pain crippling but add this to the feelings of worthlessness, as I can no longer financially or domestically contribute to my family, and I battle serious depression on a daily basis.
    My current situation is fluctuating between coping and suicidal, but the additional emotional turmoil I am facing as I stand to become destitute as I turn 50 in April is terrifying.
    Why did I bother to work whilst bringing up my children, maybe I should have stayed home and lived on State Benefits, as that group of Welfare seems to be safer than the ones I genuinely believed I had earned.

    I was awarded my DLA at the 5th attempt and without it I would not be able to afford the 8/10 taxis I need each week to get to my 82 year old mums who I care for; nor could I pay for my ridiculously high fuel costs I need for extra heating and laundry to manage my pain and incontinence. Never mind the ever increasing GP, hospital visits!

    In short I, and most likely my mum would no longer be here.

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  5. WITHOUT MY DLA I WOULD HAVE NO TRANSPORT, NO WHEELCHAIR SUITABLE TO MY NEEDS, NO MONEY FOR SPECIAL DIETS, HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES, NO LIFE STUCK INDOORS, NO HOBBIES NO VOLUNTARY WORK THE LIST IS ENDLESS

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  6. How long does the debate go on for in the HOL?, is it a number of days, my ME is bad atm, so it would be wednesday before I could start lobbying Lords, etc, inc local bishop..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To the best of my knowledge the Lords are debating the Welfare Reform Bill tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday 17th, and again next week, on the 23rd I think. Tomorrow they will be covering the Personal Independence Payment and the Benefit Cap, so it's a key day for Spartacus.
      I'm open to correction though.

      Delete
  7. I use my DLA for taxi's, without I'd probably be at home all the time...

    Just seen this on the right side of the blog...

    "Lord Fraud has sent a letter to the peers about #spartacusreport !!"

    Of course he has and he's probably telling his fellow peers loads of half truths about who is behind the report and what it says and trying to rubbish the report and the campaign. He'll also say that what the criticism it highlights is unfair.

    its highly unlikely he'll cotcat Sue or any of us...

    ReplyDelete
  8. To anon above,the debate on DLA and PIP in the HOuse of Lords will be done and dusted tomorrow night, probably starting mid-afternoon and going on late, because they still need to get the rest of the Welfare Reform Bill finished by the end of the month.

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  9. there are those in the corridors of power who have never been in contact with a disabled person so they have no concept of the rigors and trauma that they go through on a daily basis. That which is the norm for them would be extremely difficult to cope with for a 'normal' person. If those in power were to be subjected to half of what an average disabled person went through they would be screaming for MORE funding not agreeing to reduce it. Perhaps they should think about reducing overseas aid first and forcing the energy companies to reduce prices and stop subsidizing every other country in the EU etc etc... the list is endless! commit to looking after our own first for a change!

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  10. here are those in the corridors of power who have never been in contact with a disabled person so they have no concept of the rigors and trauma that they go through on a daily basis. That which is the norm for them would be extremely difficult to cope with for a 'normal' person. If those in power were to be subjected to half of what an average disabled person went through they would be screaming for MORE funding not agreeing to reduce it. Perhaps they should think about reducing overseas aid first and forcing the energy companies to reduce prices and stop subsidizing every other country in the EU etc etc... the list is endless! commit to looking after our own first for a change!
    the above was written by me but it wouldnt accept my profile....

    ReplyDelete
  11. My DLA pays for the care I receive to get up in the morning - which was increased by £105 PER MONTH last year. I'm managing at the moment, but my savings will dwindle soon. DLA also gives me my Motability car, which means I can go WHERE I want WHEN I want to - and not rely on expensive taxis or family to ferry me around.

    Lord Fraud is a disgrace to the noble House - a liar and a scoundrel!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm probably one of the few who don't 'do' Twitter-yet!! So maybe OK for me to say a few words here about DLA? - My son claims DLA, it supports him in employment, and to have access to a life. He has many additional expenses,including his adapted vehicle and his wheelchair, repairs and insurance for example. He lives near a train station, but it is not fully accessible so he can't use it.In order to live independently, he had to buy a property, as he needed to make extensive changes (overhead hoist,widening of corridors etc) which would not have been possible in a rented property. The waiting list for local authority housing was YEARS, and he'd been offered a job in the locality.....My husband claims DLA, he has a progressive condition. We spend much time indoors,and we have extra heating costs because he feels the cold, not moving much. We bought an adapted vehicle ourselves, from savings, without which we would be lost. My husband has an electric wheelchair which doesn't work well outdoors, is quite unsafe. We have a mobility scooter which we bought ourselves secondhand, and that is how we 'walk'to the town centre, there is no bus, and only one wheelchair accessible taxi in this town. As my husband has turned 65, we are worried that we may lose money which enables us to have some mobility.
    I am so angry!!! Months and months of worry about all of this, and being for the most part denied the 'oxygen' of publicity from the mainstream media, in order that the general public may know the truth of the situation, and the Human Rights disaster which is unfolding in our midst. You feel like you want to go out into the street, any street, and yell 'WAKE UP', tell everyone what is happening here. Then I remember that we must be dignified and factual...so just off now to write many emails to the Labour and Crossbench Peers before tomorrow dawns...

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  13. Our 8 year old son has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. One thing we have used DLA for is to buy him a specially geared trike - much more expensive than a standard trike or bike. He rides this to school each morning, which is an important part of his physio regime to maximise his muscle strength. Riding to school like this also allows him to join in an activity with other kids. That's what DLA is about for us: help for living as well as possible for as long as possible, and for social participation and inclusion.

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  14. My #spartacusstories on my blog http://fibronewbie.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. STOCKTON ON TEES


    TO THE TRIBUNAL,
    I AM A 53 YEAR OLD MALE WHO UNFORTUNEATELY IS RELIANT ON OTHERS TO OFFER SUPPORT AND KEEP ME SAFE.
    I AM A PROUD MAN AND I TAKE NO PLEASURE AT ALL IN BEING RELIANT ON OTHERS JUST TO LIVE A LIFE I AM NOT ENJOYING.
    I NEED FULL SUPPORT TO DO WHAT PEOPLE DO WITHOUT GIVING IT ANY THOUGHT AT ALL.
    EXAMPLE BATHING,WASHING,GOING TO THE TOILET,SHAVING,HAVING A MEAL OR A CUP OF COFFEE,ENJOYING PLAYING WITH THIER GRANDCHILDREN.
    SIMPLE THINGS LIKE WALKING TO THE SHOP,DRESSING,UNDRESSING,TAKING THE CORRECT MEDICATION AT THE CORRECT TIMES WHICH EFFECTIVELY
    KEEP ME LIVING.
    MY WIFE,S LIFE MUST BE AN ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE LOOKING AFTER WHAT I WOULD DESCRIBE AS AN OVERGROWN CHILD.
    SHE NEVER COMPLAINS BUT IT MUST HAVE ADVERSE EFFECTS ON HER LIFE.
    YOU HAVE SEEN PHOTOGRAPHS OF INJURIES CAUSED BY BLACKOUTS
    YOU HAVE SEEN THE HOSPITAL REPORT HLS/DM/98/10801 DATED 2009 CONFIRMING THIS.119
    YOU HAVE SEEN 126 127 128
    YOU HAVE SEEN 121 OSTEOGENESIS IMPERFECTA-NO CURE ONLY WORSENING OF THE CONDITION
    YOU HAVE SEEN 122 CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE 122-POORLY REVERSIBLE AND USUALLY GETS PROGRESSIVELY WORSE
    YOU HAVE SEEN ISCHAEMIC HEART DISEASE 123-TREATMENT BY MEDICATION,MADE WORSE BY STRESS AND COLDWEATHER
    YOU HAVE SEEN HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE 129-AND HOSPITAL LETTER HLS/DM/98/1801 DATED MARCH 31ST 2009-KNOWN AS THE SILENT KILLER SEE % ON PREMENTIONED HOSPITAL LETTER.
    YOU HAVE SEEN HIGH CHOLESTEROL 130 LEADS TO OR HAS LEAD TO ATHEROSCLEROSIS AND CARDOVASCULAR DISEASE 131 CAUSES PAIN WHEN WALKING-INTERMITTENT CLAUDICATION
    YOU HAVE SEEN 132 STROKE-PROBLEMS WITH BALANCE OR COORDINATION THESE CAN MAKE IT HARD FOR THE PERSON TO SIT,STAND,OR WALK EVEN IF THE MUSCLES ARE STRONG ENOUGH-PROBLEMS WITH MEMORY,THINKING,ATTENTION OR LEARNING COGNITIVE PROBLEMS
    133-TIRES QUICKLY-SUDDEN BURSTS OF EMOTION AND DEPRESSION
    ALSO I HAVE SEVERE DEPRESSION,LOSE INTERESTS IN THINGS,POOR CONCENTATION OR CARE,ATTEMTED SUICIDES,I DO NOT REMEMBER WHAT MEDICATION TO TAKE,AMOUNTS OR WHEN.

    MY APPEAL IS ON THE GROUNDS OF BOTH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH DISABILITES.


    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING AND I HOPE AFTER CONSIDERATION YOU CAN SEE I AM ALMOST FULLY DEPENDENT ON OTHERS FOR ANY LIFE I HAVE.
    i was refused in april 2011
    my appeal jan 17 2012
    adjourned because they did not have enough medical records this after 8 months
    please do not confuse genuine claimants with less truthful ones-my mp wants the reforms to be rethought with empathy and even the slightest commen sense
    think again
    mike gargett

    ReplyDelete
  16. STOCKTON ON TEES


    TO THE TRIBUNAL,
    I AM A 53 YEAR OLD MALE WHO UNFORTUNEATELY IS RELIANT ON OTHERS TO OFFER SUPPORT AND KEEP ME SAFE.
    I AM A PROUD MAN AND I TAKE NO PLEASURE AT ALL IN BEING RELIANT ON OTHERS JUST TO LIVE A LIFE I AM NOT ENJOYING.
    I NEED FULL SUPPORT TO DO WHAT PEOPLE DO WITHOUT GIVING IT ANY THOUGHT AT ALL.
    EXAMPLE BATHING,WASHING,GOING TO THE TOILET,SHAVING,HAVING A MEAL OR A CUP OF COFFEE,ENJOYING PLAYING WITH THIER GRANDCHILDREN.
    SIMPLE THINGS LIKE WALKING TO THE SHOP,DRESSING,UNDRESSING,TAKING THE CORRECT MEDICATION AT THE CORRECT TIMES WHICH EFFECTIVELY
    KEEP ME LIVING.
    MY WIFE,S LIFE MUST BE AN ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE LOOKING AFTER WHAT I WOULD DESCRIBE AS AN OVERGROWN CHILD.
    SHE NEVER COMPLAINS BUT IT MUST HAVE ADVERSE EFFECTS ON HER LIFE.
    YOU HAVE SEEN PHOTOGRAPHS OF INJURIES CAUSED BY BLACKOUTS
    YOU HAVE SEEN THE HOSPITAL REPORT HLS/DM/98/10801 DATED 2009 CONFIRMING THIS.119
    YOU HAVE SEEN 126 127 128
    YOU HAVE SEEN 121 OSTEOGENESIS IMPERFECTA-NO CURE ONLY WORSENING OF THE CONDITION
    YOU HAVE SEEN 122 CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE 122-POORLY REVERSIBLE AND USUALLY GETS PROGRESSIVELY WORSE
    YOU HAVE SEEN ISCHAEMIC HEART DISEASE 123-TREATMENT BY MEDICATION,MADE WORSE BY STRESS AND COLDWEATHER
    YOU HAVE SEEN HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE 129-AND HOSPITAL LETTER HLS/DM/98/1801 DATED MARCH 31ST 2009-KNOWN AS THE SILENT KILLER SEE % ON PREMENTIONED HOSPITAL LETTER.
    YOU HAVE SEEN HIGH CHOLESTEROL 130 LEADS TO OR HAS LEAD TO ATHEROSCLEROSIS AND CARDOVASCULAR DISEASE 131 CAUSES PAIN WHEN WALKING-INTERMITTENT CLAUDICATION
    YOU HAVE SEEN 132 STROKE-PROBLEMS WITH BALANCE OR COORDINATION THESE CAN MAKE IT HARD FOR THE PERSON TO SIT,STAND,OR WALK EVEN IF THE MUSCLES ARE STRONG ENOUGH-PROBLEMS WITH MEMORY,THINKING,ATTENTION OR LEARNING COGNITIVE PROBLEMS
    133-TIRES QUICKLY-SUDDEN BURSTS OF EMOTION AND DEPRESSION
    ALSO I HAVE SEVERE DEPRESSION,LOSE INTERESTS IN THINGS,POOR CONCENTATION OR CARE,ATTEMTED SUICIDES,I DO NOT REMEMBER WHAT MEDICATION TO TAKE,AMOUNTS OR WHEN.

    MY APPEAL IS ON THE GROUNDS OF BOTH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH DISABILITES.


    THANK YOU FOR LISTENING AND I HOPE AFTER CONSIDERATION YOU CAN SEE I AM ALMOST FULLY DEPENDENT ON OTHERS FOR ANY LIFE I HAVE.
    i was refused in april 2011
    my appeal jan 17 2012
    adjourned because they did not have enough medical records this after 8 months
    please do not confuse genuine claimants with less truthful ones-my mp wants the reforms to be rethought with empathy and even the slightest commen sense
    think again
    mike gargett

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for sharing the stories. I like reading here.
    hermes bag

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete