Wednesday 1 February 2012

Vote with your Hearts

Today, at 12.30pm the welfare reform bill will return to the House of Commons.

Let's be very clear - it is a dangerous, incomplete bill based on flawed evidence and unpleasant ideals. It is vast and impenetrable - most of the ministers arguing for it have very little understanding of the detail within it. Yes, that's right, they don't understand the details or effects of their own policies.

The welfare reform bill will affect every one of us, not just the "feckless scroungers" the government have led you to believe. Child benefit will be cut, tax credits for "hard working families" will be cut, tax credits for disabled children, NI credits for disabled children, we will all eventually be transferred onto Universal Credit where both parents will be expected to be in full time work when their children reach the age of 12. Everyone will face sanctions.

Make no mistake - this bill fatally erodes the already inadequate social security provision we have in the UK. For all the big numbers the government like to toss around, we have the lowest levels of benefits and the toughest sanctions of any developed nation. This bill is the tipping point. People are going to die and we've done everything - and more - that we possible could to highlight the most dangerous areas.

The House of Lords is described as:

"A forum of expertise, making laws and providing scrutiny of Government"

And so we've found them to be. The Lords is packed full of ex-CEOs of charities, disabled members and those who have enjoyed full and varied careers before becoming peers. They analysed every line of this bill carefully and thoughtfully. They were concerned by the same areas that concerned campaigners and charities alike - the dangerous parts. In fact, they were concerned by many, many more aspects of this bill and only the most disgusting, pointless, cruel clauses have been overturned. Many amendments were argued for passionately yet withdrawn after reassurances from the minister.

And we are still left with a dangerous bill. It may just be slightly less dangerous than it was.

-What has been amended? Well, if you fall desperately ill, you will now have at least 2 years to recover instead of 1. Frankly, that's pathetic, you are just as likely to be ill with Parkinson's or MS after two years as you are after 1, but it's something. (Time Limiting contributory ESA)

-The most disabled children, who will never work will keep an entitlement to NI credits if the Lords amendments stand. This makes the difference between a degree of independence in adulthood or total dependency for the rest of their lives.

-Tax credits for disabled children would not be halved if the Lords amendments stand.

-Cancer patients would not have to look for work while suffering through chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

-Single parents would not be fined £100 to gain access to the Child Support Agency.

-Child benefit would be excluded from the Universal Credit benefit cap so that children are not penalised for the decisions of their parents.

Do you see how pathetically modest these changes are??? Can you believe we're even arguing about whether to send cancer patients to the jobcentre or not? Does that not tell you everything you need to know about this bill?

If even that doesn't convince you, then remember, the entire disabled community are united against this bill. Not just a few campaigners, but every national charity, every campaign group every church group, every poverty group, everyone who actually knows the details of it. They represent an electorate of millions and every MP going in to vote today will have received thousands of pleas not to overturn these amendments. The Government claim to be working with disabled people. They are not. They are meeting with disabled people, their groups and charities, and then ignoring them. Scope, Mind, Mencap, Macmillan, Sense, Papworth Trust, RNIB, The Disability Alliance, the Disability Benefits Consortium... the list goes on and on and on. No-one with any real knowledge supports this bill.

The crossbenchers in the Lords are not political. They heard the "evidence" presented by the government and they heard our evidence and overwhelmingly, on every issue that was overturned, they voted with us.

So what sickening arrogance is it that says "We don't care and we will do exactly what we like"? What kind of people believe that in a bill of over 175 pages there is no room for improvement at all? Most disgustingly, what kind of people look at the very modest changes above and believe that "We can't afford it" is a valid argument? Seriously? What kind of people? What kind of brains are so weak, so unimaginative, so mis-guided and dull that they cannot think of anywhere but cancer patients and profoundly disabled children to save a few pounds??? Should we not have looked everywhere else first? Should ministers not be refusing their bloody salaries before they take money from disabled children??

Yet today, the DWP expects Conservative and LibDem ministers to saunter into the house of commons, without having heard any of these arguments and vote as they are told to. To vote with a few misguided DWP ministers against the will of the entire sick and disabled community. Against sense, against reason, against safety. The painstaking work of 18 months of reasoned argument all undone in an afternoon - if they're lucky they might even get away for a quick 9 holes before supper!!!

It disgusts me.

This is not democracy, this is utter cowardice. This is not sane it is utter madness. This is not safe.

And so, as you might expect, I implore MPs to vote with their consciences. Not to follow the party whip but to think of loved ones who have suffered terrible illness and ask themselves if that loved one could certainly have returned to work within a year? To ask themselves whether or not they could look for work if they had a child so profoundly disabled that they needed 24 hour care? Do not inflict on us what you would not accept for yourselves or your families, please.

I promise you, now, today, that this bill will be an utter disaster. It is like watching a slow car crash. By the next election, hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people are going to be affected by it and the headlines will be unremitting. At the very least, those of you who vote to keep the Lord's amendments today will have gone some very small way to making it less of a disaster.

And those that don't? Well shame on you.


  1. They are without knowledge pity or compassion.They don't speak for me or my children but you do Sue and Kaliya and everyone behind responsible reform. Thank you. All love Nik xx

  2. Great Piece Sue, But they have no shame im afraid.

  3. Sent it to my MP as a link in an email, he's a tory bastard who actually wrote something suggesting he'd be in favor of bringing back capital punishment though, so I'm not holding my breath. :(

  4. Just received a letter from my MP Esther McVey in answer to asking her to vote on Lord's amendments, after a short "I realise you may be concerned" she then goes on to give the BS party line on reforms like I didn't know them and platitudes that she/them remain committed to the vulnerable.
    Do MP's think this BS will keep us happy? not one mention on voting as I asked her to. when will they realise that my vote counts to when the time comes around for voting for representatives.

    My answer to Ester McVey= I see your point but I still think your full of shit!!

    1. esther mcvey used to be on tv sprouting her developing tory ideologies from the breakfast sofa. She is cretin. A try through and through, she would happily kill disbled people if it helped the tories. her and cilla black make a right pair of scouse loons

  5. Have emailed what you've just written to my Conservative MP with (another) covering letter.
    With love, Peta

  6. It may be a vain hope, but if enough Lib Dems realise that this really is their very last chance of regaining any support whatsoever, then they may - just may - vote with their consciences. We can and must hold out that hope. I believe the Tories are simply past redemption, but if any want to rebel - well brilliant!

    1. the lib dems have already shown that they do not have a brain between them. the nasty jenny willott mp is talking having already suggested that even if disabled person has no money they can live on DLA. These are NAZIS

  7. Steady on Sue! I can see the veins bulging from here! You know what they say, "Don't get angry get even".

    In reality those LibDems that would gladly have voted this utter nightmare down are all far too much in the pockets of wealthy lobby companies funded by huge multinationals who, even as we speak, are arranging the champagne and caviare reception for the "David Freud Victory". All kinds of goodies await those who sell their souls.

    But as Faust found out, there comes a day of reckoning, and that day may not be too far ahead as more economic gloom spreads there is an ever growing likelihood of a coalition split which may force a no confidence vote....maybe.

    I think there must be a rallying call to all sick, disabled, elderly, single parents, the poor to band together and be able to put forward a voting block of at least 10 million.

    If Ed Milliband continues to alienate the Unions who fund him we may find a natural ally there soon.

    We can only live in hope!

    1. Unite the Union are setting up 'community branches' for anyone who is uunwaged or disabled, sick, etc. They say members will have an opportunity to influence policy, make motions, etc, this is very good news and an oportunity for us, Unite has over a million and half members!..

  8. Margaret Hodge (Labour, Barking and Dagenham) is fully supportive (as you would expect) and has written to IDS and sent a copy of the report to him. DOubt he'll read it, or if he does will probably dismiss it. But at least she tried. We'll see, she's asked him to write to me (I'll probably get some standard letter from an intern!)

    If anyone can post here the emails of key MP's to contact in last minute emails, that would be very helpful :o)

    1. Hi, not sure why you would expect it, Hodge was a key propopent of welfare reform while a minister, but if she has changed thats good...

    2. margaret hodge - change - oxymoron

  9. Have emailed my MP
    "Dear Mr Robertson

    I would respectfully ask for you to abstain or vote against the Welfare Reform Bill or at least vote in favour of the House of Lords' amendments.

    I attach the text of one of the leading Disabled Right Campaigners, Sue Marsh's recent blog on the subject.

    Yours sincerely....."

  10. If this goes through looks as if the only way to revisit things is to push for Pats Petition as Parliament should look at the whole thing again. Just a pity the new sparatacus website did not provide a front page link like you have on this one for Pats Petition. It has over 27,000 signatures and surely if all sparatacus supporters voted as well it would at least make those in Government think twice.

    1. It's got 27,000 votes. There were NEVER going to be 100,000 by today!! Sorry but never, we've all supported Pat's Petition and we all want it to de well, but I don't think we need these constant snippy messages about it. I don't even know who SET UP the spartacus website.

      Hopefully, it will reach it's 100,000 signatures within the year time limit and we'll all do everything we can to make sure it does.

    2. SUE let em whinge all they want...its you and kaliya who aare the heroes in this for all the work you have done at GREAT personal expense both in terms of health, family life and monetery areas.
      WE know today will be Black Wednesday as these bloody cowards will never admit they are wrong on so many fronts and they may have won today but we are NOT defeated as now we have to fight on.
      Remeber i said in earlier posts about our own union called solidarity well why not go one further and become a political party...yes we could join unite as either a body or individuals but why not go the whole way.There will be mony many more individuals and families who if the day turns out as we expect will be left up the creek without the proverbial so once they DO become aware of just how this party,,,and lets not forget the other ones involvement too...have affected thier lives may want to become part of a wider movement for change and lets face it to fight em we have to take it to em and get in the building or should i say get inside the machine and fight from the inside so why not become what we need to be... ...a political fighting machine.We would be elligible for everything they have so why not use what WE pay for...
      Spartacus ...Revenge

  11. I've emailed my Labour MP again I've still not had any reply at all but as long as she votes correctly today today I'll forgive her. Good luck to everyone,

  12. btw, I was seeking clarification of part of the amended Bill as published recently (I know there will be changes) that mentioned giving ministers the power to decide to give things like Food Vouchers instead of money for benefits. Can anyone confirm or otherwise explain that part of the Bill?

    1. This is very worrying , there is no mention in the media or the debate about this, anyone can indeed clarify

    2. Its here, this is the endgame, US style vouchers can be applied to universal credit

      'Paragraph 6 of the Welfare Reform Bill. "allows for regulations to provide for liability to pay all or part of an award to be discharged by the provision of a voucher. In such cases, entitlement to the amount of universal credit in relation to which the voucher is provided is extinguished." '

    3. I've had a look myself, and I can't see how this would work in practice.

      I have coal fires, and am I supposed to pay the local coalman with them? A few points down, and it states that only the person who is issued them can use them; what if your carers do all of your shopping? What if you need to have a special diet, as I do (so you cut down on other things), and the vouchers are only payable to a certain level? How do you pay your transport costs out of this if most taxi firms only accept cash? How do I pay my gardener (which I am obliged to employ with regard to my social housing provider) when I usually pay him in cash? Or for extra help around the house, payable in cash, over and above the amount I pay back to the local authority for my care? Window cleaners? Carer's bus fares when they fetch shopping? Sticks from the local village hardware store? Newspapers? Internet provider? Phone? Washing machine repair man who does a 'moonlight' for you so that you can afford to have it repaired... I could go on, but you get my drift. Is this the way they will get rid of money altogether?

      It seems to me that the perfect way to stop any kind of opposition, is to restrict everyone's access to media if they claim the credit. How will we oppose anything, or be able to directly communicate anything other than by letter. If we are to have vouchers for basic living, it won't include a phone, tv access, internet; we'd be lucky to get some stamps and paper out of it at that rate, and yet stuck at home all day it is your only window on the outside world.

      How very very clever. Then we will all suffer in silence, unable to communicate or support each other. How very very evil.


  13. I also have a true-blue tory MP who continues to robotically regurgitate the party line. I have done my best to change his mind but have come to the conclusion that he doesn't actually have a mind...

  14. I researched my MPs voting history (hes a con) Seems he either fails to attend or votes in favour of everything cameron tells him to vote for. He has repeatedly failed to read my letters to him properly and only ever sends me copy paste responses from his Conservative Book of Permitted answers !! He has even referred to me as an OAP (despite my letter telling him I am a young disabled person) I have, once again written to him but am certain it will fall on deaf ears :( (Leigh / Fibrography) Had to use anon option to post this comment, wouldt let me use my WP account :(

  15. The whole Tory agenda is driven by their love of the pseudo science called Eugenics. They have a long long History of trying to implement this utterly false ideological and foul agenda upon Britain. It is beyond contempt or foolish notions of right and wrong, it is an agenda based purely on their hatred of the poor and anybody who is not white rich and extremist in their right wing views. It is their stated ambition to scrap the welfare state, and to set up their new world order with them at the top and global on universal indentured economic slavery.

    1. That's very true it is worldwide known that the conservatives have many fascist members within the party

      Even the royal family don't like any sickness it's all in your mind they say

      They both deep down and in private dont like disabled people they belive it's not natural for this type of person to be alive as it dosent happen in the animal world

      They also believe that breeding should only take place with good blood stocks backed up with education and work India and certain other country also believe in this way of life

      The future for the UK sick and disabled is bleak and over the next 30 years the government will do it's best to irradiate these groups from society so that it can become a fully united country radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology as that is where it's great strengths lie

  16. emailed my local Tory, expecting the usual party BS that I always get! But its fun to vent!

  17. Here's a really good list of LibDem MPs to email -

  18. Its looking likely the LD's have been bought off, on the daily politics the LD said that the 'transitional arrangements, eg money to 'ease the transition' has been enough to assuage the rebels...

    1. They also talked about foreign aid to India. Ed Vaizey said that aid is given to "the people" of India - the poor and the sick. How is it that when services and benefits are being cut for the poor and the sick in this country, "because there is no money", there are no qualms about the coalition sending money to support the poor and sick in another country? Presumably the poor and the sick in India are "really" poor and sick, unlike us here, who are all feckless workshy scroungers.

      Yes, the LibDems and peers were conned by promises of "transitional arrangements" and other concessions which were never ever going to be realised. Shame on all of them who allowed themselves to be persuaded so easily.

      Like others here,I can't see any party now that will represent us from this point on. Whatever they may promise, they will always say they are bound by what has happened today. "We inherited this from the previous administration...." Blah, blah, blah.

  19. My MP is a tory waste of space and her reply was... I knew her reply woudl be thus, she has no heart, just like most torys :-(

    The one year limit on the length of time that people can receive contribution-based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) is an important measure designed to ensure that people make the journey back towards work, as ESA for those in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) was always meant to be a transitional benefit. The time-limit strikes the right balance between restricting access to contributory benefits and allowing those with longer-term illnesses to adjust to their health condition and surrounding circumstances. It is also double the length of time allowed for contribution-based JobSeeker’s Allowance (JSA) in recognition of that fact. It is important to point out that only the contributory element of ESA will be time-limited, not income-based ESA.
    With regard to your point about fluctuating and degenerative conditions, under the recommendations of the Harrington Review which the Government has accepted, these conditions will be more carefully considered during the assessment phase. Furthermore, should a person’s condition worsen after their initial assessment, they are able to be reassessed and placed into the Support Group if necessary.
    With regard to the proposed reforms to the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the plan to introduce a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will continue to offer disabled people a non-means-tested benefit that people can spend as they choose. It will also remain a benefit that is paid to people whether they are in or out of work with the main aim being to support those facing the most difficult challenges. One of the main problems with DLA is that the majority of people receive this benefit indefinitely and there is no follow up assessment, which has led to a situation where £630m has been overpaid while some claimants whose conditions have deteriorated have not received the full amount that they are entitled to. The PIP will require people instead to undergo a face-to-face assessment and this will ensure people receive a far more personalised service.
    Although I appreciate you will be dissatisfied with the response, I voted for these measures as the Bill was initially brought before the House of Commons and I will not be voting in favour of the Lords Amendments today.

    1. Yes, the "permitted responses" and "template replies" allow them to continue to support the reforms without conscience or shame.

      Another plus for them is that it saves them a lot of time and leaves them free to do other important things. My local MP must have dealt very quickly with all the correspondence about the reforms from her concerned constituents. She was able to take time out yesterday to appear on The Daily Politics and participate in an item about "ugly food" and state that millions of pounds worth of food is wasted and just thrown away. Maybe in households with incomes of around £60,000 a year but not, I'm sure, in households trying to survive on the minimum wage or benefits. She also said that we had to realise that food has been "too cheap" for too long.

      Seems like the plan is to cut benefits and then, to make absolutely sure you can't survive, put up food prices as well.

      Today she had the opportunity every MP craves, to ask a scripted "Does the Prime Minister agree with me?" question at PMQs. Well done, your elevation to minister is imminent!

      They just don't get it do they?

  20. I've emailed my MP, Tony Lloyd (Labour) several times about this bill and I am glad to say he has supported us all the way with his votes against this nasty piece of so-called "legislation". I assume all Labour MPs will be voting against this bill today, but it means nothing in the end when the sell-out LibDems will slavishly vote in favour of this bill.

    I already have a deep-seated anger for the Tory party. But I never thought I'd feel the same way towards the LibDems. Yes, the same LibDems who campaigned against ATOS while in opposition and now vote in favour of ruining the lives of people whose only crime was to be unlucky enough to fall ill or be disabled.

    I want to destroy their party and hopefully we will in 2015, as well as throwing out the Tories. Yes, if this bill passes it will be a nightmare for us all. But justice will prevail even if it takes years. This *will* be a national scandal when the deaths start to increase and cancer patients take their own lives because they've been forced into work.

    We may lose this battle, but we will not lose this long war.

  21. My worry is this...

    Torys are just evil. Labour seem pretty useless, and Lib Dems are a waste of air as they have shown themselves to be lapdogs to the torys and to have no brain cells of their own. So WHO do we vote for that is not going to just lie to us like Cameron did when he said he understood and cared when touting for votes. Lib Dems I always thought would be ok and caring but they have proven they hold no harts or brains. Labour have shown they are Red torys. I really am at a loss as to who would be able to be trusted with the good of the UK. Though I would vote for Sue and Kaliya, I hold out no trust for any of the parties now and am at a loss of what can be done if they are all as evil as each other. :-(

  22. Stephen timms the labour mp is doing well and making good sense
    regretfully he is not my mp had he been then i would have been able to get together with him as he is a great man and fine tune some small things that need fine tuning and what he has missed albeit small but very important for a few

    Yes it's is a great pity as the two of us have a very similar back ground and both of us extremely of a nature what can i do for you very subtle but the mark of greatness

  23. trying to watch this debate on tv. finding it very difficult as my blood pressure is rising and my anger increasing - not good of course. I think we may as well prepare for the torture chambers and death row. the nazis have been found to be living on these shores all this time.

    these people are evil

  24. The ConDem government is attempting to cut £18 billion from welfare benefits in the latest wave of austerity measures, that they insist is necessary to cut the UK budget deficit and borrowing requirements. This policy seems to have attracted a fair amount of populist support in the country, with the government’s friends in the right wing press producing screaming headlines about ‘benefit scroungers’ and the like.

  25. It is difficult to know who one should vote for in future, when the choice seems to be the Evil party, the Lapdog party, or the Useless party. I like the idea of the Greens; they seem to be real human beings with sensible ideas. Otherwise, the hope is that Labour will find itself a leader with integrity and charisma, who will carry the day against the most toxic bunch of people I've ever witnessed in my life. This week we received a letter from our Tory MP in reply to ours of 3 weeks ago, in which we drew his attention to the Spartacus report. He proudly enclosed a 'very full reply' from from the talking doll, otherwise known as Maria Miller ( you pull a string in her back, and she says 'I've been up and down the country talking to disabled people, and they all agree with me...I've been up and down the.....) Anyway, I noticed that it was word for word the same letter written by David Freud to Peers on the 16th January - found it on this blog. Talk about being fobbed off, doesn't exactly make you feel they're taking us seriously, even though they're not.
    The good thing right now is that we've all 'found' each other, so hopefully we can stay in touch and monitor everything that happens, just as we have over all these months. This could never have happened just a few years ago.

  26. I can see another holocaust in the making with the current attitudes to those on benefits and in need. I am in no way proud to be british when the people are seen as commodities instead of human beings.

    1. Barcode on good
      And the NI ?
      Wake up

  27. Government admits failing to analyse results of DLA consultation

    what a cruel farce, not surprising though, Freud cooked up the last welfare reforms after only 13 weeks of study, and he knew nothing about welfare, crazy...

  28. I don't want to depress people still further, but this article in Guardian Comment is Free about the huge numbers of people needing to access foodbanks shoud be read, then thrust down the throats of all MP's who supported the government today:

    and this is just the start..

  29. 'The Government has successfully fought back in its battle with the House of Lords over changes to its welfare reforms.

    Further votes are due later on measures including a £26,000 per year cap on benefits. Peers, led by the group of Bishops, had voted to remove child benefit from the cap.

    But changes to the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) have been reversed by MPs.

    The Bill as now drafted means people who are recovering from an illness or injury can get contributory ESA for one year rather than two.

    The limit would also apply to cancer patients, despite moves by peers to exempt cancer sufferers from the time limit. Further changes relating to when people join the ESA as children were also overturned.

    cruel, cruel, cruel...

  30. Well once we knew the bastard party had found they could use this financial privelege bullshit then we were to put it bluntly...well it begins with f and ends in d..
    Never Ever again can any party be trusted on any sick or disabled issue.Never ever again can any party be trusted on any issue come to that.In a world where banks in London run roughshod and unregulated (remember all the major us banks live and work in the city too and they started this bloody mess)over all of society while the poorest are made to pay the most for thier criminal activities and this bloody tory party would have us back in the workhouse for the crime of becoming sick or becoming or being born disabled and for the crime of becoming unemployed (read Heffer in the daily jail from saturday and he was allegedley in case the legal eagles are swooping..frothing at the mouth calling for the 16th century Poor laws to be brought back and the poor whipped in the street the prick thenwe know we are not and NEVER were all in this together.
    WE know the amendments will now be overuled by cowards and the spineless so we now have NO CHOICE but to fight on and fight harder and smarter.What Sue and kaliya have does deserves medals and it is becuase of them that we today have learned one valuable lesson and that is exactly who and how to fight.
    WE now need to mobilise even more and make thos ehwo are going to be affected aware of what is coming and indeed where to go when it does affect them which is why ,if you read my comment further up the posts in reply to sue's i say we should now become part of the machine and fight from the inside.Become a political party.....its cant be that hard as others have done it with less so come of people lets fight on...WE KNOW ITS WAR and one we have to win...lets not let Black Wednesday get us down..

  31. Not only is my heart broken, now is my spirit.

  32. The real world is coming, and it's going to land with a thump.

    Don't worry though, surely the progressive majority will be given its chance to shine, and step into the vacuum left by the government to support those around them?

    You know, people like Polly Toynbee? Like Eddie Izzard? I mean, they wouldn't just stand on the sidelines would they?

    Would they?

    1. Thr real world was always bloody here if you are sick or disabled or indeed umemployed.
      Just what is the progressive majority you speak of that will step in to the vacum left by the govt.If we had a progressive majority that actually cared about sick ir disabled people then we wouldnt have had the likes of cooper and purnell and thier offspring ids ,grayling etc and we wouuld not have atos and its bastartd twin unum and we sure as hell would not have a tory govt or a blue labour one we would have a caring govt.. a financially regulated banking system brought about by a caring govt because only a caring govt would stop the imbalance we have now with the fred the shreds of this world not giving two fffs about any of the us as long as they can pay off the bullingdon club to put us all under....NO what we have now is a bunch of heartless bastards who could care less unless you have the money to donate to them and eat cake at thier table......all on expenses paid for by the taxpayer...namely the sick and disabled are taxpayers too...I mean just to claim 400 quid a month for food alone these cheeky bastards are having a laugh.....scrounging bastards MPs ..all of em the pig nosed troughing lot of em.I bet they are all in the bars now drinking subsidised alchol and twittering and tittering like the rest of the bullingdon mafia..Fuck em all

  33. I'm looking at a huge pile of cardiac drugs and a bottle of JD as I write this. Should I get pissed, turn up some fierce tunes and finish myself off before the bastards do ? Or hang on in there till surgery ? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    1. Hang in there, and chalk Don't let the bastards get you down on the wall! Sooner or later, a whole lot of these bastards will get their comeuppance, one way or another.

      I am sure they are chortling at the success of the con trick they have pulled, but it can bounce back on them in so many ways - and I don't think it will take that long.

      Good luck with the surgery.

    2. Does prove a point, JD is a very expensive drink and the working classes have to drink the supermarket own brand.
      Would drinking have anything to do with your health issue, did you bring it on yourself... and who the hell do you think has to pay for the pills you have with you..... back to my squash (31p bottle)
      read between the line for your answer.

  34. Well, a lot of people proved they don't have a heart, Sue. Those of us who have will continue to foght on with you.

    "We're not gonna take it anymore....!"

  35. it looks like it's all over it was always on the cards
    I have always known that the conservatives were an odd bunch as i have known many of them over the years

    They are so fascist with their logic it's hard to believe that the people of this country have gone along with it but they have and the games over

    eugenics will be their next move I'm sure so that over the years ahead they will try to get the breeding right as they believe if they can get that right the nation will be fit in years to come

    1. you said all along fourbanks that is was a forgon conclusion, my hat off to you sir

    2. This vote has hit me hard made far worse by being ill had i not been so ill then i would have been active like sue

      Would it have changed anything ?

      I don't think so in my eyes this was always on the cards partly by the way i have been treated by the DWP over many years which has left me in a very weak situation unable to eat or drink very much so i have to be watched over by all sorts of people from the DWP to my carer my wife and doctor the whole thing is a mess

      Could i have tried a different route ?

      You get a set of cards in life and it's up yo you on how you play them i have played them as i have seen fit at the time there's no point in going back in what might have been you are where you are

      Will my life change with these reforms ?

      Only time will tell i guess I'll battle like i have done over the past 31 years until my death and i think that will be the case for most people

  36. My 2nd husband has left me once, met me 2years before I had to give up work. God help me when my (8year) IB is ended. I watched the entire debate today. They simply have no idea, I would much rather still be running an Accounts Dept than on IB. Almost all the MPs went off for lunch when Labour were speaking. My entire female family have auto-immune illness, lets get private insurance shall we! Interesting that the critical illness insurance ads have started on TV.
    Perhaps we can get a refund of NI contributions as they seem to count for nothing................

    1. I've noticed the ads too. Considering the lead time in arranging a TV ad campaign, the companies must have been told ages ago which way things were going to go. Of course, you get the cover "through work" (and of course, we're all able and ready to walk into that full time job that pays £35,000 a year) but, even though they say you get paid monthly while you are off work sick, they don't tell you the limitations. More than likely some illnesses will not be covered and those that are will probably be time limited and you will only be allowed one type of illness in a given period.

      So we're forced into a situation where we pay NI and cannot count on support resulting from those contributions because of the reforms, and we have to pay for private cover in the hope we can claim on that. Paying more and getting less. It's an all too familiar theme with this coalition. Still, I'm sure they've made sure their pals in the industry are able to make a nice profit from it.

    2. Yes and don't forget that the reason UNUM was outlawed in some states of the US was for not paying up for claims people had paid insurance for.

    3. Stop looking for ways not to work, this may be the first time you have done this may come as shock,,,,TURN OFF THE TV .. People will always find ways to make money from idiots .. so why not fill in an application form for employment. Then and only then your life may stop centering around TV adds.
      And Findlow your answer is your stupid,, it was some crap on television, its not real its a bow with light in.

  37. Pulling oneself towards oneself before one shits thyself, I am not scared.The worst that can actually happen is that our conditions are actually exacerbated and that we completely fail the WCA's in the future, not nice I know, perhaps risky, yes. I am more than happy to state my case, be forced into work, lose benefits, almost drop dead, and then reclaim with a "I told you so." attitude. What I cannot stand is waiting for someone to die so I can have their "spare" parts in order for me to carry on with my life.

  38. We must ensure that we remember this government when the time comes.I have never voted tory and never would but rememeber Labour started this so i wont vote for them either and as for the dimleds well they lost any cred with clegg poodling up to call me dave so who is left?
    If there are 10 million sick/disabled (claimants or not) and thier familys then this is a very sizeable percentage of those who do actually bother to vote and i would think could have the election in thier hands if we all voted together.What power that is so that should indeed be the aim when the time comes.
    WE should start a campaign to make these Mps realise we are not defeated and will vote against all of them when the time comes.
    Look what happened to Brown when he upset the voters last time..Gone gone gone so we can do it and we really really should now start the letter campaign to tell them that the 10 million are not having any of it.
    Maybe it wont change anything but it puts these bastards out on thier arses and see how some of em like actually having the navigate the system when they are unemployed
    WE need a political change in this country so now is the time.
    Dont be defeated be angry and get even....10 MILLION VOTES WILL SCARE THEM COS THEY AINT GETTING EM...LETS TELL EM

  39. Very concerning, especially the way they state about people on Support group money won't lose ESA after 12 months but other people will on contribution related ESA, that means anyone on Work Related status is screwed.

    They say people who really need ESA will be in the Support Group but thats a lie, why are so many people found fit for work or placed in the Work group?

    These people are pure evil. I bet none of them are disabled, and I bet none of them have disabled kids, or friends etc.

  40. A victory for FASCISM

    well done to all those MPs and Lords who stood against evil

    Workshy? Disabled? Lazy? - gas chambers at the end of the corridor

  41. a song for our times

    "This is my town
    Out in the rust belt fields
    We were bangin' out Buicks and Oldsmobiles
    There was always a job
    And the money was there
    Some say we got a little lazy
    Nobody seemed to care
    But they figured it out
    And shipped the elbow grease
    Down to Mexico
    And off to the Chinese
    And I learned a little a something
    About how things are
    No one remembers your name just for workin' hard

    Drove it into the ground
    Til the factory's cold
    Then they tear it all down
    And the parts get sold
    Come the lawyers now
    Pickin' over the bones
    This street is just ghosts
    Where there used to be homes

    There's a casino boat
    Up around Boone
    Think I'll buy me a bottle
    And a motel room
    Put all I have left
    On a little black square
    Risk it all like the big boys
    Like I don't even care
    No one gets a bonus for bloody knuckles and scars

    Check out "Welding Burns" the latest record from Rod Picott. The song "Rust Belt Fields" is a co-write with Slaid Cleaves.

    Exclude child benefit from overall cap
    Not charging single parents for Child Support Agency if they've taken steps to reach a settlement
    Exempt cancer patients from means testing of ESA
    Means test other ESA claimants after two years, not one as planned
    Allow young disabled people who have never worked to keep claiming "contributory" ESA
    Exempt social tenants with one spare room from "under occupancy" penalties
    Limit reduction to lower rate of "disabled child element" of Child Tax Credits

  43. Yeah ALL in this together.What a liar cameron is.Just tonight we see that the the man put in charge of the students loan company by the torys has his own unique arrangements to limit his tax liabilities so even though he works for a public service he pays himself through his own service company thereby saving an estimated 40 grand a year in PAYE which he should be paying and of course he gets 28 grand a year on top of salary fro travel expenses for his travel from his home in the south to bleedin glasgow.WE pay this so ALL in this together my bloody backside.
    This bunch are so blooddy arrogant that they get away with anything. YEAH 10 million votes would be great and we should leeet them know they are not getting them.Somebody do the maths on the govts majoritys in various areas and i bet we can get rid of alot of them with that kind of voting power.This fight is not over by any means.

  44. Thanks for an excellent article! I appreciate your insights and agree with what you wrote. northwest house plans

  45. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 sets out the circumstances in which it considers a person to be ‘disabled’. It says you are disabled if:
    - you have a mental or physical impairment;
    - this has an adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities;
    - the adverse effect is substantial and long-term (meaning it has lasted for 12 months,
    or is likely to last for more than 12 months or for the rest of your life)

    If this is the definition of disability in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights then aren't some of these policies contravening them? Many people who are placed in the WRAG group will be denied ESA after 12 months and access to the specialist teams (presumably) trained to help them prepare for and return to work too.

    What about the spare room penalty? Are disabled people exempt? If people are forced to move out of their homes as a result of them not being ready or able to work because of the spare room penalty or local authority housing benefit reclassification and cuts etc, won't this be a breach of 'the right to respect for my home?'

    Any attempt to move you from your home would have
    to be justified as being lawful, necessary and proportionate.

    and what if your support and care comes from friends and family who live nearby and you are forced to find cheaper accommodation that is too far for regular visits?

    'Family life does not just cover blood relatives. The right to respect for family life includes being able
    to live together and, where this is not possible, having regular contact.'

    Okay, I might be clutching at straws, but if PIP goes ahead in it's current form I strongly feel there is a case to argue for human rights of disabled people affected by the benefit. Shall we form a union? Join forces with a union as suggested above? Increase the fighting fund and hire an expert lawyer?

    This government is treating people as 'sub-human'. Workfare for example, surely contravenes article 4 "No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour."

    ..and Mr Cameron wants a British Bill of Rights. Would be interesting to see what rights he wishes to remove!

    Today has been a massive disappointment and an eye opener. We know what we are dealing with for certain now. They did vote with their hearts Sue. Unfortunately, their hearts are made of hardest granite.

    1. extremely well said

    2. The thing is, the government is abandoning any duty of care to anyone who is in the WRAG (capable of only limited or therapeutic work or preparation towards work) once 12 months have passed. It only effects those who have previously been employed. It is discriminatory for this reason too. If the definition of disability is any condition that adversely affects daily living after 12 months then these people are essentially disabled. They have rights as such.

      The problem is that the work capability assessment ensures that those who genuinely ARE debilitated by their conditons are not being placed in the support group where they should be. Just because ATOS has made a decision does not mean they are not disabled. Carers, doctors, therapists, consultants etc have the proof otherwise. We know it and the government knows it! They have admitted that 94% of those people will not find work within the time limit. No one can argue they are neglecting disabled people if they not being correctly assessed. They just wash their hands of us. That simple. Even when we've worked and paid for what we believed was an entitlement to sickness benefit.

      The work capability assessment fails hundreds of thousands of genuinely sick people and places them in a cycle of appeal and reassessment every 3 to 6 months. For those with mental health problems especially, things like bipolar, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, these are illnesses that are made worse by stress. I seriously believe in such circumstances the government is causing intentional harrassment, causing mental illness and driving people over the edge. For those who have been hounded to suicide, the government ought to be made accountable for their deaths and sued.

      I am so angry. I've been left without any income since being refused ESA even though nothing in my life had changed. Still battling daily with the same illness as before. Once you've made your intention known that you are appealing money shoul be forwarded to you immediately. Instead you're left penniless and completely in the dark by the DWP who don't even seem to know their own proceedures.

      It is a complete and utter disgrace. Sick and disabled people should not be treated in this way. It's time the Court of European Human Rights was informed of what is happening in this country. We also know why Mr Cameron was so keen to undermine the authority of the European court. Secretly, I think he's terrified he'll soon be the one on trial.

  46. QUOTE: This government is treating people as 'sub-human'. Workfare for example, surely contravenes article 4 "No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour." UNQUOTE

    My thoughts exactly, and let us hope that there is an army of lawyers who see this too.

    1. there is no doubt in my mind that cases will be taken to the European Court of Human Rights - and they should.

      The UK must provide the lowest level of support for the vulnerable, the worst health care, the worst social care in the western world.

      They need stopping

  47. "The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not deter us from the support of a cause we believed to be just." 

    Abraham Lincoln

    That was such a moving piece of writing Sue which bought tears to my eyes, though I can’t help but feel a sense of profound sadness after all our efforts. I think you and Kaliya and all the others prominent in this endeavour and those of us less prominent did a marvellous job. Though we have not won the battle we have not lost the war. The Spartacus report and all our campaigning, letters, emails and tweets, blogs and so on have at the least highlighted our plight and have changed our public imagine from being unworthy scroungers to sick and disabled people with a genuine need. People whose lives are to be seriously effected by these cruel and ill thought out reforms.

    I may be naive but I was shocked yesterday as MPs voted against the amendments, including the need for cancer patients to have an assessment and including them in the one year time limiting Esa, these small concessions that would have mildly mitigated the cruelty and evil welfare reforms could not even be allowed to pass. What good is democracy? What democracy? How is it democratic that MPs are told how to vote. Your MP is supposed to represent you. I would well imagine that the majority of people would have supported at the least the amendment not to include cancer patients in the one year time limiting Esa or require them to go for an assessment.

    Yet if your MP was a Tory he voted against your wishes, if he was a lib/dem he or she also most likely voted against your wishes. They knew that at least regarding the amendment concerning cancer patients and the amendment that ensures that severely disabled young people continue to receive contributory ESA, that the vast majority of their constituents would not have wanted their MP to vote to have them overturned. Yet they did so with callous disregard

    I spent last Saturday until Wednesday preparing e-mails and sending e-mails to MPs and because of my medical conditions even with the base of a template letter it has taken hours. I wrote to all lib/dems and about sixty Tories and for what . Out of the whole bunch I got one personal helpful reply from a parliamentary assistant of one of the MPs . These people are arrogant, cold hearted, bloody cowards. I do not know what the consequences are for MPs of going against what he or she is told to vote but whatever it is it cannot be anything like as detrimental to what will happen to sick and disabled people as a result of their cowardly actions . When addressing each other they refer to themselves as honourable , sadly there is nothing honourable about any of those who voted to overturn the amendments

    Shame on the gutless cowards

    I hope we can continue the fight
    Though right now it does seem as though all is lost and our efforts have been in vain but we have all in ways large and small achieved a lot and we have to keep up the momentum. At the very least we have developed a sense of camaraderie with one another and we no longer feel so alone. I recall a couple of years back when my son first had to go for an new assessment how there was no help anywhere and how lonely it felt.

    You and Kaliya and the others involved in the Spartacus report did some thing momentous, something the charities should have done but did not. You gave us hope that things could have been better. And it was still worth the fight.

    It is a sad and frightening time for us all but
    I hope we continue to campaign and fight for our rights as human beings

    My heartfelt thanks to all who organised this amazing endeavour. Hopefully we have only lost the battle but not the war

    Maybe we can start with signing and passing on this petition concerning ATOS assessments:

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

    Margaret Mead


  48. When are we all going to realise that politicians don't represent the vast majority of people who actually vote for them. I've heard so much spin and mis information the last few months that you'd think we were living in an old style communist state, maybe we are.

    These reforms were never mean't to simplify or make sure the money goes where its most needed. I have just spent 3 months of the most stressful of my entire illness being transferred to esa and within a week of that I've had a letter calling me in for a work focused interview, which I can't attend as I'm feeling very poorly at the moment. Is this new system designed to kill people so saving the government money ?

    I will say this, in the 80's the government destroyed communities, created a society of greed and created a forgotten underclass, sounds to me as though thats what there trying to do again only this time its disabled people that are the scapegoats for all the ills of the economy.

    1. The underclass has never gone away. Indeed has become the ordinary voice of the right wing, UKIP and BNP are thriving and being allowed to do so because the Coalition caan rely on them to speak their vile evil rhetoric. You only have to look at the blogs on newspapers to read the vile unacceptable face of the underclass - acceptable only ot the Nazi Coalition.

    2. I agree its never gone away, just that there creating a new one, people living with disability. I see so much hate on forums towards people claiming benefits that the average joe on the street thinks were all on over 26,000 a year, spending 200.00 a week on ciggies and booze and driving round in new cars. The rise in support for UKIP and the BNP is just a sad reflection of our society, looking to blame all its ill on some part of the society we all live in. Instead of everyone being united, the nazi coalition keeps us all divided and arguing amongst ourselves about who's to blame.

  49. The problem is they did vote with their hearts. But too many of those hearts are cold and devoted only to themselves and their interests.

  50. What I find remarkable is that the LibDems have shown their true colours now, we know they are closet tories. The Lib Dem minister Collett was absolutely appalling in opening the debate. Her rancid tones set the atmosphere for the day - disabled people, most of whom are only so in their 'minds' are the enemy of the state, just like the miners apparently were. They don't care or even believe they are providing enough to support people - the agenda was to SAVE MONEY and bash the poor - it's what they do.

    At the same time of stripping disabled people of their humanity, their dignity and their income this self same government is looking to promote the invasion of Syria ... and has done absolutley nothing about the economy. Cameron a millionaire, has no trouble claiming DLA for his sick child but is now denying it to thousands of genuine disabled people - what a bastard

    They are the most vile set of miscreants ever to run the country - they have no mandate for this because nobody in the country voted for a coalition government. They are liars, cheats and rancid nazi apologists.

  51. Well, I'm dead then.

  52. I get more angry as time goes on, today I sit here seething with anger and frustration. Surely we must have some grounds for challenging them, the government’s welfare reforms will certainly contravene article 25 of the Universal declaration of human rights

    Article 25.
    · (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
    · (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    Even the benefits we have now are inadequate to meet the criteria above.

    Furthermore we have to fight to save the NHS

    The future looks bleak, we have to carry on with the campaign , we cannot give in. Often it takes a long time to achieve social justice, it is likely to be a long fight. They have attacked the most vulnerable group in society.

    Shame on government and all who support them.

    I don’t give a dam about the national debt or how they pay it back if they ever do. We did not cause it. Savings from destroying our lives are but a drop in the ocean of a debt of 1 trillion!

    Who does the government owe this money to? big corporations? other nations?. Why is not this information available? I mean precisely word for word, figure for figure, exactly who the hell do we owe this money to. I bet many of these evil MPs have shares in the very corporations that we own money to.

    Does anyone have an answers to these questions ; is it just me that is ignorant about such matters

    We have to continue to fight this corrupt and evil government, a government devoid of empathy, humanity, compassion or indeed any ethical consideration to those in society who are disabled, sick and vulnerable.

    Sue is right . We need to expose every infringement, every deprivation, every death, every injustice, every facet of suffering that will result from these heinous welfare reforms, and “hold them to account for every single person hurt by their policies. ...”

    For this purpose perhaps we could set up a Con/Dem Wall of shame blog similar to the Spartacus Stories where we could post accounts for every single person hurt by their policies, accounts of our personal experiences and those of others we come across on the net and elsewhere. Just a suggestion not sure about the practicalities or if anyone else has suggested this

    My son has been summoned to an ATOS assessment. His GP considers he should be in the support group, at the very least in the work related group. We will have to see what happens. A worrying time for me for him and for us all. Is it is not enough to struggle with sickness and disability day in day out without having to confront this nightmare of uncertainty. I fear for the future of my son, myself and for all of us who struggle with disability and chronic sickness which of course amounts to the same thing. If you are chronically ill and are not able to do what well people do, you are disabled are you not

    They can glibly present their tired rhetoric about benefits going to those who need them but we all know at the end of the day everyone will loose money and will have to struggle on much less in a time of escalating prices, of food, housing and energy. It’s going to get colder this week, already it is reported that 200 people per day may die from cold. That number will increase as these evil reforms kick in.

    Another good and inspiring piece of writing Sue.

    To answer your question:

    “Are we going to let this happen? Are we going to give up on democracy altogether? Are we so cynical, so fatigued by corruption that we're just going to sit back with a sigh and give up? “



  53. The above post Feb 3, 2012 02:11 AM was posted to the wrong place and should have been posted in 2nd Feb Entry: WARNING - TOXIC GOVERNMENT. I have reposted. Sorry about that but have a shocking headache and can’t think straight.