Monday, 27 August 2012

Cameron and the Paralympics

Well my friends, it is 2012.

Just 2 years ago, this coalition government, led by David Cameron and Nick Clegg launched the single biggest attack on the lives and livelihoods of sick and disabled people this country has ever seen.

They did it as wolves dressed in sheep's clothing. They lied about their intentions, justifying their attacks with pretty words. They told the people of this country that they were "supporting us" into work, but there is no support. They told the country so many of us were just cheats and scroungers, not really sick or disabled at all, but leeches on the state, sucking money from hard working people. But fraud is less than 1%.

They whipped the media - and so the country - into a frenzy of hate and disgust. They said we were "mugging the state" (Osborne) "festering on benefits" (Iain Duncan-Smith) or referred to us as "stock" (Freud) like so much cattle.

Just two years ago we were alone in our horror. We could see the truth, but few cared. The media would not report our stories, eager to believe the dangerous rhetoric of millionaires crushing those with nothing. Politicians of all parties too, were eager to turn away from a regime of cutting support, cancelling services and a harsh and degrading "assessment" process that saw hundreds of thousands wrongly re-classified as "fit for work"

As cancer patients on chemo were sent to the jobcentre, those with kidney failure were stripped of support and 32 people a week died having been found "fit for work", we fought alone.

But how we fought!

We told our own stories on blogs and twitter and facebook. We sent our stories to our MPs - not just once but endlessly, we insisted that politicians could not turn away from this disgrace. We built up relationships with journalists until they saw for themselves how clearly we were being betrayed.

On Wednesday, the Paralympics opening ceremony will dazzle us all. Those incredible athletes will amaze the people of Britain.

This Paralympics will be covered by Channel 4 as no games for disabled people has ever been covered before. The advertising for the games cleverly thanks the Olympics for "the warm up" putting disability sport front and centre as never before.

With the games being staged in the UK, we have a chance to show our disability credentials to the world. For all our many faults, this country is accessible to disabled people in a way many are not. It values the lives of sick and disabled people as many do not. It values equality and inclusion as many do not.

At least it did.

Many of the athletes competing from Wednesday relied on the Disability Living Allowance to achieve their great success. A working benefit, it is designed to pay for the extra cost of sickness or disability. To pay for transport or mobility aids or extra heating or food. It will have helped very many disabled people competing  to get to training sessions or to afford the extra costs of the modified equipment they use.

This allowance is being scrapped by this government, replaced with a benefit that will only help the incapable or the housebound, and trapping so many more in a life where just getting up and dressed in the mornings will be a challenge just as great as winning Paralympic Gold.

David Cameron will take his place in the stadium, smiling and complacent, knowing that half a million people who previously qualified for DLA will be cut adrift as a direct result of the policies of his government.

He will bask in a glory that is not his, as he callously strips sickness benefits from over a million more.

He will pay lip service to independence as he scraps the Independent Living Fund

He will ask you to wonder at the great achievements of those with severe disabilities as he scraps the Severe Disability Premium. 

He will encourage young sick and disabled people of today to strive for greatness as he halves tax credits for disabled children 

He will perhaps feel a terrible pain as he remembers his own disabled child who tragically is no longer with us, yet will choose to look away from children just like his own who will no longer have the opportunity to achieve what the great athletes will achieve from Wednesday. 

I hope he is met with silence as he takes his place.

But today, I wanted to contrast the isolation campaigners felt in 2010 with the media this week.

Here is Polly Toynbee on slashing DLA and the Paralympics :

Here is Owen Jones in the Independent :

Here is Disapatches and Panorama on the failure of Atos and "fit for work tests"

Here is the BBC :

And there are many more. We are no longer alone. The country is waking up and despite the efforts of ministers, every day, fewer people believe their lies, and fewer are willing to stand by and allow sick and disabled people to suffer in their name.

As the saying goes, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

So if you are reading this article, if you clicked on a twitter link or facebook page, if it is sent to you by email and you are going to the Paralympic games 2012, by all means, marvel at the unbelievable endeavour, wonder at the great sacrifice and bravery that brought the athletes to the pinnacle of success, but don't forget that it was only possible through support. Your support.

Like the Olympians who went before them it took family sacrifice, amazing support and personal will. But it also took state assistance and cold hard cash. It took a country prepared to make the lives of sick and disabled people as equal as possible and all of that is under threat today. In the case of ex-military competitors, it often took months - if not years - of intensive rehabilitation, exercise regimes, committed physios and caring nurses. These are never free.

If we ever again want to see a Paralympics like we are about to see here in the UK, we must oppose the systematic destruction of independence and inclusion sick and disabled people have fought so hard for.

And please, when David Cameron or Nick Clegg take their seats, smug and smiling, hoping to bask in a little  of the glory of others, remember that the glory is not theirs.

But whatever you do, do not clap these men. You will be giving credit where it is not due. They aim to dismantle the very support that made the Paralympics possible at all.


  1. ...the coalition seem more and more to be copying the tactics of Hitler...the demonisation and systematic destruction of a vulnerable group in society is terrifying to watch and I can't believe there isn't more anger and dissent. People set fire to buildings last year for bottles of water, basmati rice and Debenhams kitchen bins but we're genuinely looking at a return to the fascist 30s and people are waving flags and clapping. Terrifying.

    1. Godwin's Law. Your argument is invalid.

    2. That isn't what Godwin's Law is.

      To find out more, buy my book Godwin's Law: The Musical.

    3. Give 'em a chance, MD. Godwin's Law clearly doesn't apply, it isn't a GOJF Monopoly card. Let's see an appposite defence of the complete argumentative response "Godwin's Law".

      I for one am intrigued

  2. It is a great pity that Scameron, Clegg and their ilk (would Smith or Grayling dare put in an appearance?) cannot be barred entry to the Games. My guess is that they will have a private entrance far away from where the great unwashed can protest or throw eggs.
    Is there any truth in comments I have seen on the Interweb that ATOS ('proud sponsors') are watching participants and spectators to see if they are 'faking their disabilities'?
    Gosh I'm a cynic!


    1. Its always been the same government shout Sh*t and the sheeple jump on the shovel but what do expext from a country of inbred pricks

  3. I am nearly 58 years old and for the past 40 years have taken some interest in politics. But I cannot remember ever feeling physically sick when seeing certtain politicians on the televsion. Evry time I see David Cameron or Nick Clegg I now have to switch over. They just remind me each time I see them of my ESA form (still trying to fill in), my DLA, which I will probably lose next year, and the way my whole life will change due to lack of finances and resources. Worked all my life - when I started work at 15 (disabled from birth) I worked under the assumption that the government would look after me when the time came that due to my disability I could no longer work -I worked and paid my bit - they have renegade on the deal. Now I need them - they are not there.

    1. I find myself in a very similar position anna, after working for many years, disabled from age of two and never getting, or expecting, any special treatment during my working life. Now I can no longer work at age 54, I find the welfare state, which I happily contributed towards when working knowing that there are, and always have been, people just too disabled or ill to work, is being dismantled and much of the vile media see me as a scrounger.
      I remember the Thatcher years as being particularly horrible but not a patch on this lot for lies, spin and propaganda.

    2. One of the problems though is there are not any jobs for people with no health problems, so there should be more help for those who have got them.

      All of this equal opps b******s is a joke as an employer facing two people, one who is fit and well and the other who may have regular appointments or need to take breaks etc. Who would they hire???

  4. Let's not forget either that their excuse for cutting benefits is the country is skint. We should bear in mind that right now this minute there's £31 billion sitting in the Bank of England getting dusty that Osborne's been keeping secret from us, hoping no doubt that even though this is the information age we're all so X-factored and footballed out we'll never notice. We did though. Where it comes from, it's interest on all the gilts the Bank's been buying back from creditors with Quantitative Easing. One other little oddity of the Bank, which we as the public are supposed to own, buying back gilts using QE is that it rather changes the nature of the National Debt. OK, by some standards we still owe it, but we now owe a rather large chunk of it to ourselves. That means we can null it, write it off, forgeddaboudit. Instead Osborne and Cameron, Clegg et al continue with this bizarre pretence the country is skint and desperately, eye-wateringly in the most terrible unending debt and on that basis they have tp make cuts cuts and more cuts, never to them or their friends you notice but unendingly to everybody else. These men are fraudsters, pure and simple. Never forget that and remind all who will listen of it at every opportunity.

    1. Thank you Bill for that link. It does seem extraordinary that this is not more widely known, or is it known, but just being hushed up?

    2. You know the rule Bill, "Never let a good crisis go to waste." And now we can add an extra clause, "and make sure it keeps going until you no longer need it."

      There's still a lot of the Welfare state to dismantle and hand, in pieces, to private businesses (or multi-national crooks) or back to charities where it belongs.

  5. It doesn't end there, though, Sue. Removing DLA is just one component.

    There are those who have a disability but are "fortunate" (all luck of course is relative to your starting point)enough to be able to hold down a job with a bit of intervention in the guise of reasonable adjustments.

    Within government, the Home Office as an employer this year has revised a policy it once had regarding disability leave - leave for treatment, assessment and rehabilitation. It allowed among other things people to take time off for surgical and medical intervention and it not be treated as sickness absence.

    It has now removed a provision in the treatment aspect where if you were absent as a result of treatment, it would be considered a continuation of treatment. Now you are considered "sick".

    The easiest, most barbaric example of how that works is the chemotherapy patient who is allowed disability leave for "poison in" but next day, the "poison out" vomiting and other problems is no longer disability leave but sickness absence.

    The government's reason for this change of legally bound reasonable adjustments is the only avenue it can go down - it is supposedly "unsustainable". Except of course that it isn't - no-one has costed it because the second they do, they realise that this provision costs less than a penny a day per member of staff across the entire organisation.

    It isn't unsustainable - it's simple naked ideology and either a way to either enforce presenteeism of the sick and those who need that little bit of help or a way to remove them through medical inefficiency.

    What price fair treatment for those who need help constantly, day in, day out, when the government refuses to maintain even minimal assistance to its own staff with a measure that has worked perfectly well for a decade (yes, it dates back to 2002)?

    They hate us. They have leverage and they are going to punch home that advantage because you can't complain from the grave.

  6. I have just promptly burst into tears.....

  7. Thank you again for a brilliant and timely reminder

  8. Just cried reading this. Its all true. I was looking forward to the Paralympics but my ESA50 & the subsequent nastiness that goes with it, the stress, the tears, the anxiety of waiting for a consultants letter to go with it as last years letter isn't good enough. Wondering if I will go from support group back to wrag as before. Long term degenerative conditions don't get better. Something I have raised with my 'tory' mp. We were supposed to be left alone. He says he'll help but he needs my NI number so he can write to the dwp. Not sure I want to give my NI number out.

  9. my sister died at end of march this year after being assessed as fit to work. she lost her appeal-2 weeks after she had passed away!!!

    1. Anonymous, I am very sorry to hear your sister joined a growing number of people whose sad deaths can be connected to the terrible assessment process. May I respectfully suggest you contact if you haven't already, as they are collating numbers of people who have suffered this fate.

  10. sport is really for nazis clean body clean mind

    1. Are you trolling? Sport has a good place in society - especially one which spends as much time sedentary as we do. It's just that some of us can't do sport. Indeed some of us hate sport (my school experience put me in that category).

      But "physical activity makes you a fascist"?

      Not sensible.

  11. A small point for you to ponder. Due to having leukaemia, for which I'm on daily chemotherapy in tablet form, my employer has placed me on their Permanent Healthcare Insurance scheme, paid by UNUM, which purports to pay me half of my pre-incapacity pay. I had a very well paid job in construction for over 30 years.
    UNUM, in their calculations, deduct any IB/ESA I receive through the Benefits Agency. They make this assumption of entitlement irrespective of whether you claim or not. So when I became sick I was forced to claim IB, and will have to go through the ESA transition at some point, knowing in the back of my mind that chemo in tablet form doesn't exempt me from anything.
    I would have preferred not to have claimed IB, and therefore not to go through all of the assessments, but UNUM forces me to, indirectly. So who's the "benefit scrounger" - me or UNUM?
    Incidentally my leukaemia isn't curable, but isn't terminal either.


  12. Already seen Cameron trying to make Political Capital out of this. Absolutely nauseating. Hope someone "Does a Murdoch" on him! Pity Olympic security aren't savvy enough not to let him in. He has been quite possibly the laziest PM I've seen this Summer. Seemingly at the Olympics every day and then on holiday after that - now he's going to turn up here? Unbelievable.

    1. they should let Cameron in .... and not let him out ....

  13. I'm very surprised that the queen may attend i think she may not knowing the background with ATOS SHE MAY READ MY LETTER AND REFRAIN from going ?

    I like the queen as she has my equal sense and share of values and have always regarded her as to do the right thing just as i have always done throughout my life and just hope she doesn't let me down by turning up as doing so would leave me in the eyes of many as above her in diplomacy and yes i am a retired diplomat with high worldwide standards but I'm sure the queen wont let me down although having said that theirs always the first time ?

    As for Cameron and co turning up that's no different from any of the worlds tyrants weave seen throughout history always turning up for an event despite having no knowledge or care or like of the people their and with a smile on their face waffle on about how great these people are without having never met any of them

    A complete shambles if ever i saw one thank god i was at an age when i saw true greatness in the likes of Neil Armstrong in my younger years who i much admired and then getting into the bank of england and being able to serve the then lord Richardson and directors world leaders in international banking so yes I've been very lucky that from birth until my early retirement I've been conditioned in mind by the worlds finest.

  14. I don't think it's over-dramatic to say it's like the Nazis at all. Same propaganda, one of the same target groups, same lies, same media manipulation. Just because they're not wearing swastikas...

  15. Nazis /dictators /tyrants I've seen them all like most have here and even today in most parts of the world they thrive day in day out persecuting those they don't like be they a Jew or a type of immigrant and especially the sick and disabled

    all on a mission to make there lives as hellish as possible and that has always been the case in my life time

    The only difference between now and then is were able to communicate via the internet so that we are all aware of the pain and suffering that go on

    it will never stop and many have had to take their own life over the past decades as it's been going for many years even in Mrs thatcher reign although not to the level seen today

  16. The Coalition is very likely to issue a blanket exemption from any DWP assessment to the athletes in order to deflect criticism from, and provide political cover to, the continuation of cuts for "ordinary" disabled people.

    1. You could well be right on this as it would backfire badly if this was not the case
      However it is a high risk gamble for the government to take if they were seen to favour only those competing in the games and leaving the rest of the sick and disabled to battle on with the DWP/ATOS for evermore

      there will be many sick and disabled who find that being continually tested for work will bring about severe depression which will lead to more deaths

      As for those participating in the Paralympics I wish you well but I need to remind you and yes many of you will be reading this and that your involvement in the games comes at a great cost to your fellow sick and disabled who are not at the same level of fitness as yourself so I do hope that at some point you will sit back and spare a thought for those that are suffering today and give your full support to them in the future as and when the need arises and not need reminding by the likes of myself or sue

      You've proven you're not daft by competing in the games so don't act daft after woods and try to make out you're not aware of your fellow sick and disabled peers predicament because you are

  17. You know what I dream of. A Spartacus protest by athletes on the medals podium, à la Black Panthers, all in the presence of Cameron. Do you think one could be organised, Sue?

    1. I hope so too. I've pitched to write something along those lines for the Guardian, just waiting to see if they take it up.

    2. Where are Pussy Riot when you need them?

    3. Please do not bring those idiots into this. They are nothing more than a bunch of vandals.

  18. Just seen this excellent article by Debbie Jolly of DPAC:

  19. Nobody has yet pointed out that the Paralympics will probably be used as a stick to beat the rest of us with.

    "Look at what disabled people can do if the REALLY TRY."

    No excuse for the rest of us claiming we can't walk when there are all those Olympians with artificial legs or killer wheelchair handling.

    There are certainly those in certain papers who will say so, and I think Chris Grayling has the brass neck for that sort of line. And IDS will imply it, with his very sincere look on.

  20. Sadly it appears many of the paralympians have little to no political understanding of these issues. What is worse those featured in the media (including Channel 4 adverts and trailers) appear to be buying into the 'Disability is a state of mind' codswallop, and happily taking up roles as 'elite disabled'. The whole thing has so much that is wrong with it in terms of how disabled people are seen and treated - I cannot in good conscience support the Paralympics now, and I won't be cheering anyone on.

    1. I won't be watching the paralympics. I am already sick of the 'inspirational, courageous' rhetoric. The athletes are highlighting an 'elitist' mindset - as are the disabled people lined up to provide media commentary etc. Obviously all points of the political spectrum are represented by the disabled athletes taking part. I have yet to see or hear any of them support the protests or call for the WCA to be abandoned.

  21. I wish i could still comment on the bbc link. Someone thinks that 60% r failing at tribunal meaning the decision to not give benefit is being upheld. What he/she doesn't realise is that the other 60% have been told that they r not allowed to go to tribunal so their not failing @ tribunal cause they don't get one. My advice to all disabled people is to get legal representation when filling out the form citizens advice if u can but even if u have to pay a solicitor u've only lost a small amount of ur benefit as oppose to all of it. I was lucky enough to be able to get help from the CAB to fill in my ESA form. I have been found unfit for work (just) but i am sure that they would have found me fit if i didn't have the representation. Keep strong everyone. We only have 3 & a bit yrs till we can vote these genocidal maniacs out of office. (hopefully)

    1. My worry is that even if Labour win the next election with a working majority, they will not change anything. Never forget that Labour unleashed ESA and its assessments on us, and appointed ATOS. Successive governments, of all persuasions, have eroded the welfare state over the years. Never are cuts reversed.
      At the next election Labour will wring their hands and tell us that there is no money to support the disabled.

    2. Miliband is very happy with the current situation and will not change anything. This is the man who has never had a 'proper' job in his life and has massively gained from the questionable tax gains from selling his father's house. A lovely man indeed!!!!!
      Just don't let him come near me.

  22. It saddens me so much to see that so many people have died or committed suicide after being found "fit for work" when they clearly aren't.I am among millions who have incurable illnesses. THAT MEANS THEY WILL NEVER GET BETTER OR GO AWAY, MR CAMERON... In fact I have 3 incurable illnesses, Fibromyalgia and all the nasty symptoms that go with it,Arthritis and Asthma,and add to that,Depression,stress and high blood pressure.Incurable means you have to endure some level of misery everyday of the rest of your life.Im not religious and wont apologise for that, but who does david cameron think he is, JESUS?? "Pick up your bed and walk".?? It isnt going to happen. WE ARE NOT FIT TO WORK. If a disabled person feels they are able to work, that is their decision and I respect that, but dont assume we can ALL do it.

  23. Today, 38 degrees sent an email out to all its registered members to sign the petition against Atos. Numbers shot up within an hour!

    Sign the petition and add your comment.

  24. it's a pity Richard bransons not on their blog as he got 100'000 signatures very quickly for his virgin trains failed contract i think it was a world record ?

    which proves the point that some people like Richard are the very best when it comes to get the public's attention

  25. I always feel a little confrontational on this topic, and I don't have the evidence to back up what I say, but I feel those who participate or at least the majority of those who participate in the paralympics come from "more well off" families, that perhaps don't feel threatened by the loss of DLA. Or if benefits were withdrawn they would be able to survive.

    The competitors are obviously fit and of a healthy mind, they are surrounded with good friends and good support, with a healthy family support network.

    But other disabilities that have been brought on by abject poverty, dire living conditions in badly built council homes, consequences of bad education and low self esteem will probably fail the new PIP. eg - Personality Disorders, agoraphobia, obesity, hypertension, alcoholism, addiction, Behavioural Disorders, Generalized Anxiety, PTSD etc. Many of these complaints combined have severely Disabled members of society.

    I don't like to see a divide in the Disability community, but of course there will be, and there is. There is intolerance from the Disabled towards the Disabled because they "chose" to destroy a liver, or eat themselves into heart disease. ,

    I heard Gordon Brown give his last speech at the Labour Party conference. I am not a Labour supporter, I'm not an anyone supporter, but he spoke about the marginalized, and the sad people others are afraid to mention, and he said he gave no apology for letting them taste a little bit of middle-class life. And that is what I witnessed with DLA, people began to look better, eat healthier, make their homes cleaner, address family dysfunction, stop drinking. The extra few quid allowed people a little sense of self respect. It kept them out of Hospitals, it ended abuse in homes, and it touched the lives of the marginalized in a massive way.

    I'm one of those people. I'm guilty of not taking care of my body, but I wasn't guilty of being born into squalor.

    DLA gave me peace of mind for the first time in my life. I can see now that many people resent that, because on this coalition journey I have learned a lot about the Public. Before this government I rarely read a blog or even watched the News. I was very unaware that so many people out there despised me, and for me that has been the bitterest pill of all.

    Maybe we'll never win the things we want, because it's not just the Tories or the General Public who believe there are an undeserving poor, but also many Disabled people.

    1. Everyone here should go and comment on the order-order guido fawkes site. There you will find the most horrendous comments about disabled people. We should bombard his blog and aim to take it down. The festering resentment of the bigoted is there for all to see. I warn you it is foul.

      I was involved in the disability movement around London 20 years ago. I met and worked with some great people. The divides you talk about were present then. Like in general society there is not a consensus amongst disabled people.

    2. In reply to Anonymous, I regularly post on Order Order, but only in a trolling capacity. My political stance is fairly left. Yes you need a strong stomach to read some of the postings, but a lot of it is also tongue in cheek. You'll see words like 'Spazlympics' and that does, unfortunately, give you an insight into the neo-fascist brains out there. Many of the posters on there help to remind us just how bad things could get in this country if the Tories won an overall majority, so if you want truth in politics, read Order Order rather than listen to the lies the politicians tell.

      Ah must go, Dominic Littlewood's on TV showing another of his crusades against scroungers.

    3. The uk people are very selfish despite their charity generosity

      If sue run a poll which read should the sick and disabled people get nothing and starve to death you could be sure that over one months of votes the answer would be yes

      the public are indeed not so much sick their just of a mind "if i cant have it then you cant " which by and large is a very depressing place to live in

  26. A typical day at Atos:

    knock, knock ...........

    Atos: Agh, good morning Mr Cameron, please sit down.

    Mr Cameron: so what's your decision?

    Atos: You're obviously not fit for work, you are anally retentive. Off you go.

    knock, knock ............

    Atos: Agh, Mr Miliband, good morning, please sit down.

    Mr Miliband: so, what's your decision?

    Atos: You're not fit for work, you are constipated. off you go.

    knock, knock ..........

    Atos: Agh, Mr Clegg, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah, please come in, sit hahahahahahahah down

    Mr Clegg:: so what's your decision?

    Atos: you're so funny, hahahahahahahahah, you're not fit for work, go hahahahah go, go now hahahahahahahaha

  27. Kay Adams doing a great job of defending Atos on the 'Wright Stuff' on channel 5 this morning. This whilst reviewing the Independent article on the company. She claimed the small amount of criticism was merely allegation and that Atos are firmly commited to performing well!! She also confessed to not knowing much about it!

    How do these bastards get away with it?? Kay Adams is a shit!

  28. as i say the Paralympics will be a big success but the price paid by the average sick and disabled person will be vast
    Those sick and disabled living alone will be the hardest hit so if you do live alone and start to be victimised by ATOS/DWP then make contact with your mp and let him or her deal with it

    as for the CAB their ok to a point that if all's going well but the reality for most is that things can go badly leaving oneself feeling suicidal so it's best to get off on the right foot and make your MP aware of your vulnerability right from the start


    1. your joking!!
      my mp is mark harper, former tory minister for the disabled. he's now at the cabinet office. i'm not sure he been to his constituency for 2 years
      harper supports 100% the government - in all it does - hes happy to be an arrogant, insidious nazi who takes no notice of what his constituents say. he doesn't take any notice of disabled peoples views. he came in for a lot of stick when the government wanted to sell the forests. he hid in a policeescort van whilst at a public meeting. he has since taken down his personal website so locals can only go through his appalling constituency office where they scriutinise every mail and detremine what he should see!!
      mps are a fucking joke and a waste of OUR MONEY

    2. sorry about that comment i meant to have said if you were able to i do understand that most mp's do not talk or even like the public they represent and are indeed a complete waste of money but for many sick and disabled that is all they have regretfully to fall back on and if that doesn't work your finished

  29. these 'men' are evil scum and should be treated as such.
    If this is true (below link) then 99.9% of disabled people will be thrown to the wolves

    And they read nothing like the ones above :-(

    I pray this is just a nightmare and I can wake up and for it to not be so inhumane. tho with cameron at the helm - it dont feel like a dream!

  30. We've obviously got it all wrong!

    I've just seen Cameron on another of his jollies at the paralympics. he was saying his often spoken mantra - it's about what people can do rather tha what they cannot do -

    if that is true why is he still PM? because he obviously can't do the job - he is a lying cheating fraudulent pr speaking shit! oops, maybe they are the requirements of his job - what a two faced bastard he is

  31. Well said. This government seems to want us all to just give up and go away. We have to keep fighting.

  32. I was very surprised the queen turned up as she would not normally attended anything controversial such as a ATOS event and funding

    Plus the fact that the royal family don't like to been seen with disabled people such as the queen cousins who were disabled and prince phillip's mother along with princess Margaret when she was alive they were all kept out of sight out of mind

    now it seams that the disabled are the bees knees and are loved by all politicians and royalty if only that were true ?

  33. Anyone watching Newsnight?

    "£600 million going out to people who are no longer eligible" says Maria Millar.

    1. I hope she is asked to explaine this figure in detail; it's the very first time I have heard of it, and the other Tory MP on Newsnight slipped up by saying that maybe the 3.2million people in receipt of DLA deserve it. So how would Miller know that £600million is being overpaid to people no longer eligible? The BBC failed to ask for an explanation of this.

      She should be hounded to explain this figure in detail, because it was the only argument she came equipped with. She had absolutely nothing else.

      I was watching on BBC iPlayer, and I could clearly see the pulse in her neck throbbing at speed, and she looked to be under tremendous pressure.

    2. Newsnight on the Paralympics, AtoS and Disability Cuts: Not one word of truth from the Government and Not one word of a lie from Francesca Martinez

    3. Surely only those who "pass" an assessment that has been designed to deny benefits to as many people as possible are deemed to be entitled to benefit and those who do not "pass" are not. Is this not the way their nasty little system works? Given that, how can Maria Miller truthfully say that people are receiving benefits to which they aren't entitled? I suspect it means that they have already decided that a saving of £600million can be made by even further reclassification of the sick and disabled as "fit".

      What is really sick though is that Maria Miller is Minister FOR The Disabled. Aren't we lucky to have her on our team?

  34. yes i saw that liz just a wild figure plucked out of her brain
    she didn't mention about those that have died and was sorry for all the upheaval and stress going on which a normal person would have done

    Ah well she will have to do better then that should she be held to account before a judge for those that have died unnecessary through her reform ill thought out package


    Let the Games begin

    When I am ill I look for a place of safety

    There is nowhere to hide



  36. I was told in 2005 that I would never have to attend another medical for my IB as I would never be employable again due to back injuries. I exist on pills, and have just refused morphine as I do not want to go on it yet as I know it is the last chance to rid me of my pain and mind but low and behold my time is up for migration to the new system. I’ve filled in my form and sent it to ATOS and even though I have not got better and can do less when I was granted IB, I know ATOS will find me fit for work.
    What shocked me no outraged me was hearing yesterday that ATOS is funding this Olympics. It is an obscenity that this company is funding the Games. I wonder if the hours and hours of video and programmes will be stored by ATOS and DWP to use as evidence of lack of need for some of the competitors later on, because there is no doubt about it, we benefit recipients are either heroes, or scroungers to many. I wonder if the eyes of the people of GB will finally be opened that we are not scrounging if we claim and that disability through illness or accident can happen to anyone.
    I was once a healthy, fit, athletic young man when my back injury occurred and I sustained my injury protecting our country and its people, so I thought they would take care of me. Was it worth it, the years of pain and operations, to be glossed over by simpleton press and politicians as a scrounger. No, if I had my time again I would do nothing to protect the people who now make me suffer.

  37. You know what, I don't care about the athletes. Many are paid and sponsored, even by the uk taxpayer, beyond anything that Incapacity Benefit could bring. They are the elites. In what way have any of them expressed any concern for the majority of dsabled people in britain?

    The media coverage over the next couple of weeeks will only serve to reinforce the notion that if the athletes can do it - so can all other disabled people. There will be no debate about it - rather the criminal abuse of all disabled people will continue apace. Look at Cameron last night - glorying in the parafest in the ceratin knowledge that what he and his nazi government are doing to disabled people is right!!!!! I am very scared for the future of disabled people in this country because the effort of governemtn is not one based on true concern for their welfare - it's based on saving money by ruthlessly abusing the vulnerable.

    1. I agree. I have no problem with anybody (disabled or otherwise) pushing the boundaries of their abilities and good luck to those who excel in difficult circumstances. What I do have a problem with is the portrayal of these paralympians as representative of all disabled people in this country. Sponsored, supported and to some extent insulated from all that the rest of us have to endure just to survive, they are not the "norm".

      How any disabled person can participate in an event sponsored by a company that is in the business of disability denial is beyond me. I may have missed it but as far as I know the paralympians have made no collective statement about the treatment of the sick and disabled by ATOS and the government. If disabled people are (to use Cameron's words) "all in it together" then a total boycott would have said more than anything they think they will achieve by winning medals.

      It has been said elsewhere that the paralympians have adopted an elitist mindset. In this their focus, dedication, determination, sacrifice etc. etc. is all and the only thing that matters is winning that medal. Of course, these attributes will be used by the ConDems to define how the disabled SHOULD be and we will all be judged in that way.

      The sight of Cameron basking in the reflected glory, believing that he and his policies are making it all possible, and that the athletes prove he is right about sickness and disability makes me heave.

  38. i must admit i was shocked by those participating in the uk team without any reference to any other sick or disabled person in the uk

    I mean what about people like myself who have to ask permission to even go out THE HOUSE unaccompanied in order to receive my DLA/IB
    Where was their a thought for me ? i don't like selfish people i never have done and that's the bottom line for me

    Even the lady who got bombed in the 7/7 attacks seamed just to be grateful to be alive and Glad to be able to be fit enough to be participating in the games with not a thought about anyone else suffering at the mercy of ATOS and the DWP

    you then have the queen and prime minster turn up along with Boris Johnson who themselves don't even like being in the same room as the sick and disabled and now they all seam to bosom buddies where the hell did that come from ?

    Someone once told me that the British were a odd lot i didn't understand at the time as i was only 10 years of age but i do now

    1. That the Queen turned up was appalling but I guess that any news/media is so sensored that she has no idea what is going on, that her subjects are being hounded to destitution and death by her own government. I doubt she or any of the other Royals know anything about ATOS or care anyway. As a very elderly, wealthy and healthy woman there isn't much she has in common with us. Has any attempt been made to contact the younger royals, the Princes Trust?

    2. [QUOTE] Has any attempt been made to contact the younger royals, the Princes Trust?[/QUOTE]
      the princes trust i have contacted many times but it's not what you think it is by a long shot
      It helps those that need a leg up in life like the young unemployed and it is run as a business as it needs donations for it to work from the public and it only highlights those that are successful and those that are not don't even get a look in.

      It's a bit like the lottery you either win or spend the rest of your life thinking if only. The Princes Trust does NOT support sick and disabled people and never has done it's role is outlined here
      Inspiring young lives

      It like the vast majority of charities that i have been involved with over many years it purports to speak on behalf of the community that it aims to help without ever even had any consultation with that community hence the reason for most projects that are started worldwide fail
      projects like the Haiti earthquake where there still living in tents or in Bangladesh where the majority of children under the age of 16 are working as slaves i could go on but am sure you get my drift

      as i say i have been involved with many charities worldwide over many years and regret to say that none of them have come up to a level of integrity or to a standard that i would call charitable other then the fact they they do a lot of talking year in year out and nothing moves forward for the people they purport to be helping

      You need help like that like you need a hole in the head as all they do is to leave you worse off and mentally unstable it would have been better to have done nothing at all and cut out all the talking

      Also don't forget that at the head of all charities are very wealthy people so I'll say no more as you all understand on what I'm talking about
      i am no longer involved in any UK charity as the overall standards across most of them has declined to a point i have found unacceptable

    3. When my father was dx in 1995 with MND I had to deal with various charities as he declined so quickly (and was dead within 6 months of dx) we could not get benefits, equipment, chair, hoist, hospital bed et etc fast enough.
      The big charties were not much use but a tiny local one for retired/injured ex-jockeys were, and still are for my Mum (RA), totally marvelous.

    4. the only charitable people in the truest sense of the word are the ones that have the means to work for free mainly in overseas territories in what are normally horrific condition's

      these people are the real deal but sad to say like i found the only place worth doing this work is overseas where you will be treated with great respect by the locals and rightly so i may add

  39. I've just finished my ESA form, i've completed many over the last number of years, but this was something else, full of ommissions, little tricks, its clearly designed for claimants to fail, as we are all aware of, but still shocks and angers. I wrote loads of information, but now its posted realise with being so ill/under pressure while completing it that I missed important bits of descriptors out, what can I do? One of the nastiest things about it, they have removed the right to an extension so the pressure to finish is incredible, shame on them..


  40. 'The rules for sanctions are as follows from Regulation 60 of ESA Regs :

    The sanction for failing to comply with work-related requirement provides for the reduction of the WRA component by 50% for four weeks and by 100% for continued failure thereafter.'

    The new ESA sanction regime is in place now and claimants are being threatened no matter how sick they are to do a 'back to work plan', etc, obscene...

  41. Er, that may be wrong information, i would hold back on that for now

  42. Sue
    Thank you for another hard hitting piece, right on the button, as it were!
    I am very worried about the perception of disabled people in our mainstream society, in an article I read the other day some Focus Group concluded that disability benefit fraud is running at 70%! Completely ridiculous and bears no relation to the under 1% reality. But perception is reality - whether true or not, if enough folks believe it then it may as well be true.
    The Paralympics are for elite athletes, not the mainstream folks living with disabilities. Peter White made an excellent comment on the Today programme yesterday - "cheering on the disabled athletes doesn't mean you support the disabled - you could cheer on Mo Farah and yet still be a rascist!"
    The paralympians are elite athletes, and wonderful as they are, very few disabled pople could emulate them.
    Heck - even when well I could not run like Jessica Ennis or cycle like Victoria Pendleton, and neither could the majority of able bodied folks!

  43. In reply to Terry who replied on the 27th August - re UNUM and their insurance policies.
    You are SO correct, their permanent health insurance policies are insidious in deducting an amount equivalent to Incapacity Benefit whether you claim it or not. This is for the benefit of a wealthy multinational, not the unfortunate claimant who is unable to work and loses much income as a result.
    I have been claiming PHI for many years via my employer on a Unum policy. In my experience they are one of the most ruthless organistions I have ever come across. I have been put through the mill by Unum and even after all thse years, still have to 'prove' I remain unfit for work on a regular basis, even though they have themselves decided that I am "permanently and totally disabled".
    My illness is not curable, although neither is it likley to be terminal either.
    I also have to claim IB, even though I rather would not, as a result of the Unum policy rules. I therefore have to undergo two separate sets of assessment, which leave me stressed out and exhausted. None of this helps my health in any way.
    I am currently awaiting the outcome of the ESA migration, and not hopeful. ESA will probably be seen as a 'successor benefit' in terms of the policy and an amount will be deducted whether I receive it or not. What happens if I fail to qualify for ESA? Would that give them an opportunity to stop my PHI claim too?
    Although I could be considered on of the lucky ones, in that I have some income from the PHI, I do feel like Unum is very much having its cake and eating it. The insurers should not be allowed to deduct amounts for state benefits, and in turn anyone in receipt of PHI should not be able to claim IB etc.
    I do wonder whether the terms of their policy could be challenged as being unfair?

  44. Sue
    having read your article in the guardian I am now more than convinced that the legacy of the AtosParalympics will be the death of all disabled people - we won't exist anymore.

    the majority of comments are seemingly made by people who until recently wouldn't know a disabled person if the stood on one. The general ignorance about disability and the complete lack of understanding of what this government is doing to disabled people is amazing. I can't see the AtosParalympics going any way to helping this.

    ignorance, prejudice, discrimination all lead to oppression - and that is what most, not all, disabled people are feeling TODAY.

  45. it sure looks like it Pete there is a bbc article here that is starting to ring bells in some quarters
    The Holocaust and disabled

    The Nazis claimed that the social and economic problems that Germany experienced in the 1920s and early 1930s were due in part to the weakening of the population created by an unfair burden.

    Nazi propaganda in the form of posters, news-reels and cinema films portrayed disabled people as "useless eaters" and people who had "lives unworthy of living". The propaganda stressed the high cost of supporting disabled people, and suggested that there was something unhealthy or even unnatural about society paying for this. One famous Nazi propaganda film, Ich Klage An (I Accuse), told the story of a doctor who killed his disabled wife. The film put forward an argument for "mercy killings". Other propaganda, including poster campaigns, portrayed disabled people as freaks.

    Hitler ordered the suspension of the program in 1941 after opposition from groups within Germany, including Catholic churchmen. However, killings were restarted the following year in a more secretive way, and continued until the end of World War Two. (Hadamar only ceased operation shortly before liberation by American troops in March 1945). During this latter phase of the T4 Program, death was via an overdose of lethal medication or by starvation.

    In total, an estimated 275,000 disabled people are believed to have been killed by the Nazis.

    this is a very dangerous time we live in and the outfall could go either way

    the downfall of the disabled or the downfall of the government

    1. As I've said many times before... the extermination of the sick and disabled has begun...

  46. Fascinating info Nick

    at this moment channel 4 are showing the paralympics - and BBC2 are showing an international athletics meeting from Zurich for 'normal' athletes!!! Coincidence?

  47. the contract Pete forbids the bbc from showing any live coverage of the Paralympics the contract went to channel 4
    as the bbc won the contract for the Olympics because of the cost

  48. The Daily Mail in support of us - yes honestly the DAILY MAIL!!!!

    Thank you Sonia Poulton

    1. Sonia is great and its a fantastic article, but please don't make the mistake of thinking the D/M will ever defend disability benefits/claimant's, it won't.It will attack them relentlessly, highlighting infrequent benefit fraud cases, focusing on the 'silly' illnesses people get DLA for: one can expect this onslaught to get more intense as we get nearer to PIP implementation, this happened with ESA.


    If it is the case that the athletes refused to be "branded" by ATOS round their necks, they have all just gone up a lot in my estimation.

    1. i doubt that is the case Liz. These sleaze type of large companies like ATOS/G4S/LOCOG/are just like the companies that apple use in china with a complete strangle hold vice like grip on it's workers

      no sane person would ever work for these types of companies but tragically many do even to the point of working for them and then go on to kill through the stress the sick and disabled

      every one working at atos knows what's going on and it's about time someone somewhere brought a halt to this company's work practice

      even the likes of dr shipman made a case in which he felt he was doing the right thing in helping the elderly to die pain free just as his mother had died pain free.

      The same for ATOS they have made many errors and people have died now ATOS will say that they've done that person a favour and there no longer a burden on their families or there'll say what deaths it's the first we've herd of it

      the bottom line is if it were a care home the police would have shut it down long ago and it's about time the police acted and remove this type of company

      As i say who in their right mind would wont to work with a company accredited worldwide with death
      no one only people mentally sick like dr shipman

    2. there's an article somewhere that states the athletes did not do this rather tucked their scarves or whatever in because of the wind!!!

  50. Wolves in sheep's clothing? Ha Ha You can talk!

  51. the bbc at their disengenious best:

    disabled people are divided about the games - who put them up to this? Atos?
    What with challenging the paralympics by showing able bodied athletics at the same time last night you have to wonder whether the licence fee is worth paying

  52. I don't waste much time thinking about the creepy types who are prepared to do the Government's work for them. I assume they are cut from the same cloth as those who think laws like this are a good idea, or so desperate for work themselves that they don't do much thinking at all. I have never forgotten the oily, sleek creature who tried to trick and humiliate my eager to please daughter as a prelude to withdrawing Mobility Allowance. (Restored on Appeal, of course. But how many don't know that's how it works?)

    It is the thought of other disabled people being complacent because it doesn't (yet) affect them that troubles. These athletes deserve recognition and admiration for their accomplishments, but they know, in a way that the general public don't, how hard it is. Right now, disabled people are beginning to get together and end the isolation that makes them invisible easy targets. They, perhaps, have a platform to speak and be heard, and help change the toxic climate the Government has created.

    I am not disabled. (Well, not yet. Carers are not the healthiest people.) I speak out on behalf of my daughter, who cannot speak for herself. It grieves me to read of so many frightened people and I would like to say - hang on, don't let them destroy you. There are, still, good people out there, ready to listen and learn,if we do not go quietly; and the Government might rue the day they mounted this attack.

    1. Great post Liz, and you sound like a fantastic mum and carer...

  53. The opprobrium, negative publicity, hostility etc ATOS is now receiving(and not just from disabled people) is reaching a level one hasn't seen since the days of the Barclays anti-apartheid boycott's in the 80's. The problem is, this isn't the 80's: Neo-Liberalism is embedded in the political system, mega-corporations don't seem to pay consequences for failures, abuses, etc(wonder what Hollande thinks of ATOS's handiwork here, France looks after its sick, etc) and of course many politicians, from all parties, will end up on the boards of companies like ATOS, A4E, etc.

  54. adrian lightfoot31 August 2012 at 13:10

    Very good article, I've to be reassessed yet,and find the thought gut-wrenching,
    I know that I could not survive financially,to the point of not being able to get to hospital for appointments/live.
    I live in fear of these cuts.
    It seems to be yet another page from a Dickensian novel, either very very poor or disabled or mega rich / tycoon

  55. lets be frank here how many normal bodied people have sick or disabled as friends?
    not many i can assure you the prime minister doesn't the queen doesn't Boris Johnson doesn't and the list goes on and on then all of a sudden the sick and disabled are the greatest thing since slice bread and all is great on the surface

    but underneath lies a much more sinister picture and if it wasn't for the internet only god knows what would happen so we need to focus more on those that are struggling often alone trying to make sense of it all but cant and are desperate like we all are for the nightmare to end and for many people the nightmare will never end and it is to those people i will be thinking about much more so then someone trying to get a gold medal

    At the end of the day the vast majority of people couldn't care less if one disabled person can swim faster then another and am not sure where this mentality has crept in from as all the disabled people my mother use to look after for over 50 years of her working life never showed the need to be or sound great the only great people in their lives was the likes of my mother

    maybe this mentality of the elite disabled is a new idea in where their only way of coping with life is to try to out do their fellow peers of which we here will never know the true answer

    most disabled worldwide are just content with good stable friendships where available and if lucky a happy marriage but the idea that is not enough is restricted to only the elite few



    The AtosGames Closing Ceremony is happening now, it looks like the biggest anti-welfare protest yet, the Reverend Billy is healing sick and disabled people using an Atos Miracle Machine(TM), go through the arch and you will lose that disability, that crippling pain, that bowel disease, you are healed brother!

  57. yes, 100's there, lots of young people too, so different from five years ago, when NCAWRB held their protest at the LP conf, same weekend 60'000 marched 'against the war' and we had 80 to try and challenge the initial NL welfare reforms.

    I hold the SWP, partly responsibile for the lack of interest then, all the effort went into 'antiwar'


    online BBC coverage....

    for a change...

    1. Some improvement in that the BBC actually mention online that there is a protest. But no film coverage.

      The BBC completely ignored the fact that as the protest moved to the DWP headquarters at Caxton House, the police laid into a perfectly peaceful protest. One minute some disabled people and wheelchairs had got into the DWP building and had demands they wanted to give to IDS or Miller. Outside a handful of police stood in front of the entrance. Out of nowhere a whole load of police suddenly appeared and started shoving people around, with a helicopter appearing overhead. Several riot vans suddenly lined the road. One disabled person has been taken to hospital and another protestor arrested and taken to Charing Cross Police station.One woman was pushed to the ground out of her wheelchair.

      The whole thing unfolded live on live streaming.

      How proud can Britan be that during the Paralympics the police started roughing up disabled people protesting against atos and the DWP. And not a word from our public service broadcaster as usual.

      I wonder if it was the "you can stick your work assessment up your a**e" chant that findally got up the DWP's nose?

      The live footage is recorded and available from james albury site: You can see from the live commenting on the side that the police move came completely out of the blue (at about8 minutes in).

  59. The anti-welfare reform movement has left the net and is on the streets( not a criticism of anyone, btw)

  60. HuffingtonPost have covered it, but not a word from the BBC that a government building was invaded by disabled people protesting against ATOS while riot police were obviously waiting on standby.That is the nature of our so called democracy now - don't tarnish the Paralympians with tales of ordinary disabled people being targeted.

  61. DPAC say the TSG rushed into the crowd pushing people onto the wheelchair users. One has been hospitalised with a fractured shoulder.
    Is this meant to frighten disabled people into not protesting like with the kettling of the sudents? It won't work.
    The world is watching.

    1. Now that's what I call PARALYMPICS!!!!

      well done to all concerned

      We will not be INVISIBLE anymore

  62. Kerry McCarthy well at least that's one mp speaking out a list needs to be made of any others that do although i suspect most wont if they wont to stay on as a mp ?

    what we see today is an outrageous attack on those most in need those that live on the breadline in most cases and never did i ever think i would see the day that on one hand the elite participating in the Paralympics being the bees knees and yet outside of that elite group the sick and disabled being treated as if they were scum

    i think the whole thing is a very sick joke if I'm being honest

    1. Wiki
      In May 2009 McCarthy repaid £402 for a second bed claimed in expenses for her one bedroom flat. She stated the claim had been made in error.[13][14]

      In October 2010 McCarthy admitted a charge of electoral fraud, accepting a police caution for revealing on Twitter the number of postal votes cast per party in her constituency at the 2010 election. McCarthy apologised for her actions.[8][15][16][17][18]

      In May 2012 McCarthy branded a fellow train passenger a "lager drinking oaf" and suggested he should "have been killed before he could breed" in comments made to over 13,000 followers on Twitter.[19]

  63. fascinating that there's a riot going on down at the DWP with police rushing protestors and the british media ARE SILENT!!!!

  64. I can't help but think that the Paralympics will set the interests of 'ordinary' disabled people back immeasurably. Many people out there in Blogland are saying "those disabled people - watch them go!"
    My wife has Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. There is no way on this earth that she could participate in sport. Do paralympians take pain medication, and do they fail drug tests?
    I bet none of these elite, though disabled, athletes were living on the breadline.

    ALSO ATOS/DWP make no allowance for the number of sick/disabled persons living in a household. As stated above my wife cannot work, and I was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. So two potential breadwinners hit. Compare that with a couple, say, where one partner is still able to work. Very different circumstances.

  65. I don't like this authoritarian man but he paid for his seat and was turned away from the parlympic opening ceremony because he had his dog

    you won't find it on the front page of the paper though!!

    1. well i think this highlights more then most in that this country is run by very backwood people

      lord coe the prime minister etc if you can't accommodate a blind man and his dog then in no way is it possible you are fit to run either a company in the case of lord coe or a country in the case of David Cameron and what's being taught in some of these universities is a complete disaster

      it's no wonder today's kids do badly overall in secondary school when they see such poor judgement from coe and Cameron at the top

    2. Blunkett was the DWP Minister who said people on IB ''sit at home watching daytime tv''(not just any old tv.)I know it is indicative of what disabled people face, But I can't help thinking now he hasn't got his minions all round him,he may at last get a taste of what it is like for others he regularly disparages, although he will never have to face ATOS...

  66. I would like to tell Cameron and his nazi cohorts that they ARE NOT MY BOSS!!!!

    Through my taxes I PAY THEIR WAGES

    They have misappropriated power unto themselves in order to create a world that they want NOT WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT


    1. you shouldent applaud cameron but you at the games did you shouldent accept attoss medals but you did you had the chance on the world stage to make the greatest statment but you dident , sheep with no idea of principle and thats why cameron will win attoss a few crumbs a bit of tin and the games will pass and he can again contain your protest away from the worlds gaze but it needent have been this way, what a chance to stick it to them was lost i feel all the work i have done is wasted by you and those who went like lambs to this media cameran freakshow the freaks being him and attoss pretending they care about you your lives your familys and your hopes and dreams but most of all your well being and health, im so disapointed

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