Wednesday 26 September 2012

Labour finally accept that ESA isn't working

Every single email and phone conversation I've had with Labour over the last two years have started with the line "If you don't accept your part in ESA and that it is NOT working as you hoped, you can never move on." Sick and disabled people will always blame you and will never believe you really want things to change.

So far, it has been the last major sticking point. Unwilling to say the actual words, we had reached a kind of impasse.

This morning, in a last ditch attempt to move things along, I emailed Liam Byrne and Anne McGuire. The time for "tinkering around the edges" had passed. Oh how I would like to tell you more, but I was clearer than I'd ever been.

Finally, after nearly two years of lobbying, pleading cajoling and VERY hard Paddington bear stares, with just a few days to go before conference, here are the words I've been waiting to hear. Enjoy.

UPDATE : As if we didn't feel the above article was enough of a breakthrough for one night, The lead story on Channel 4 News tonight was that of Colin Naylor. Finally, the country gets to hear of a story where the WCA has failed utterly. Colin lost his life and the inquest concluded that the assessment had been a factor in his death. at last, the country is listening.


  1. Fabulous. Well done you. And thanks to you and Bendy for keeping at em.

  2. Congratulations! It's incredible to see this call being made, and the likes of the Daily Record and C4news speaking up about what's going on, altering a far wider audience.
    Thank you so much for continuing to fight. So many, myself included, cannot even begin to say how grateful we are for putting yourself out there.

  3. This is great. I had given up on Labour.

    Thank You for fighting our corner.

  4. This was raised by my MP Michael Meacher in an adjournment debate on 13th Sept
    at long last we are finally getting through well done Sue and everyone else.

  5. I am feeling closest to self harm I have felt for a long time....I want to draw blood. I have never felt like that before...going to the doctor today was anxiety in itself the consultation chilled me to the bone...I was given a note for a month but made to feel I really should not be asking for it and I should really be complying with the dwp decision to declare me fit for work...

    1. Hang in there. We all know how hard it is at the moment but please don't lose faith. We can't let them win and destroy more and more lives. Be strong and just take comfort from the knowledge that there's lots of people fighting this vicious government and we will win in the end.

  6. Liam Byrne has still failed to openly talk about all those that have died so far in the reassessments of the welfare reform bill of which the labour party introduced

    his words mean nothing and am sure i speak for all of the relatives to date

    He should know more then anyone in that to put things right he must first acknowledge the deaths so far and seek redress for the relives concerned and bring those responsible for these untimely deaths into a court of law so that justice may be served

    As it stands at the moment his words mean nothing and that is how decent people will judge him

    those deaths need to be read out in public so the police can get to do there work in gathering evidence for criminal negligence

  7. i have spoken at great length to the team responsible for the clip above and highlighted this blog
    i should have not have needed to highlight this blog or sue marsh at all as they are synonymous with the sick and disabled

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  8. the labour main team have all seen the clip so I'm told so at the conference next week Ed should be able to knock out the conservatives and send them running scared

    so hopefully it will be the biggest eye opener of the decade and definitely one to watch as these deaths are what we know off are just the tip of the iceberg and it's about time these deaths were halted

  9. Nice to see more coverage..but both Too little and Too Late..this should have been covered in 18 months thier silence both are accomplices to the crimes committed.....and Byrne's call is only for a long will the Condemns draw THAT out for I wonder?..and how many more suicides or associated deaths will occur?...the call for a review doesn't even begin to go fsr enough!

  10. Making Rights a Reality for Disabled people, Liam Byrne. (PDF)

  11. i could have told him that mark 4 years ago there is nothing in this new draft labour didn't know then

    They got the welfare reform bill wrong 4 years ago when they set it up and the conservatives with their don't care approach is just cut things in half

    Liam Byrne pdf is still just a minefield of many
    words and in reality doesn't address anything

    We have know mention in this pdf of the death toll of those that having been found fit for work and have died either shortly before or after woods of the assessment

    no mention in the pdf of how those responsible for the criminal negligence so far will be bought to trial and justice served

    a very poor pdf written by a so called educated person i don't think so

  12. Mandatory consideration of revision before appeal – Government response

    The DWP has now released their response to the ‘consultation’ on a mandatory revision before appeal system. Under the new system, claimants who wish to challenge most benefits decision will be prevented from lodging an appeal with the Tribunals Service until the DWP have had another look at the decision. There is no time limit for how long the DWP can spend on this mandatory reconsideration.

    This is particularly important for ESA claimants who are found fit for work, as they are legally prevented from continuing to receive the assessment rate of ESA until they have lodged an appeal.

    After months of refusing to answer the question, the DWP have now revealed in their response document that they are still undecided as to whether claimants will be allowed to continue to receive ESA during the reconsideration phase. Worryingly the document does state that “other benefits may be available to claimants where ESA has been disallowed”.