Friday 5 July 2013


Well! Well! Look what just landed in my inbox!!! Are Labour finally getting real on sickness and disability? This is VERY important. We've been calling for a cumulative impact assessment for some time. If you want to know why it's important that government look at how ALL the cuts COMBINED will affect disabled people, please read this article I wrote for #Occupy (reproduced in full at the end of this post)

Please do try to write to your MP and use the hashtag #makerightsreality on twitter to build pressure before the debate at 16:00 on Wednesday 10th July.

Maybe, just maybe all the meetings and emails and campaigning are getting through. Don't let cynicism stop you from getting involved, things WILL get better one day, We always have to keep believing that this will be the day.

Email from Liam Byrne : 

"Time to come clean

After more than three years in power, it’s time for this Government to finally come clean and tell us exactly what impact their changes will have on the lives of disabled people and their carers.

So on Wednesday 10 July, Labour will drag Ministers to the House of Commons to debate the changes they have made that affect disabled people, and at about 16:00 we will force a vote to demand a Cumulative Impact Assessment by October 2013 at the latest - and we will be calling on MPs from across the House to support it.

I am asking supporters to help build pressure on the government in three ways:

Write to your MP and ask them to back the motion
Write to your local paper and explain why we urgently need a cumulative impact assessment
Tweet your support using #MakeRightsReality – here’s the link to the motion

This government is failing to support our disabled people. It’s time for Ministers to come clean, admit where they are getting things wrong and change course.

It’s time to start making rights a reality for disabled people.

Please forward this email to anyone who might be interested.

Here’s the motion in full:

That this House believes that the Government should publish a cumulative impact assessment of the changes made by this Government that affect disabled people (to be published by October 2013).


Liam Byrne"

Here is the full text of my article on why we're calling for a cumulative impact assessment. Teh government have simply told us over and over that "They can't afford it" or "It would be too difficult" (I'm not kidding!) 

"This is a piece I wrote for Occupied Times, and they have kindly said I can re-produce it here :

"To do his schoolwork, the bare minimum Johnny needs is: paper, a pen, a teacher, a school, a chair to sit on, a desk to sit at, and a packed lunch.

If you take away just Johnny’s lunch, he will go hungry. It would be almost impossible for him to concentrate and do well in school. However, in theory, he could still do schoolwork.

If you just took away his desk, it would make it tricky to write, but Johnny could still do his schoolwork. It would just take longer and be less neat.

If you just took away his teacher, he could, in theory, go to libraries and museums to learn. In theory. Hypothetically, it’s still possible that he could teach himself something, so he could still do his schoolwork.

If you take away his paper and pen and school all at once, he can still sit on the floor and use chalk to write on the ground.

But if you take away Johnny’s paper, pen, teacher, school, chair, desk and lunch, all at once, Johnny is sitting on some ground with nothing, hungry, without a roof over his head. It’s hard to learn anything at all sitting alone, on the ground, with nothing but a piece of chalk.

Now imagine you have a disability or a long-term chronic illness. To manage it with a degree of dignity, you need a carer, a roof over your head, a bed, heating, food and transport. You rely on the carer, who comes in twice a day from social services, because she helps you to get up and get dressed and washed. Without her, you would have to spend all day, every day in bed. But at least you still have a bed.

Or maybe you rely on housing benefit to keep a roof over your head. You are forced to move to a smaller property on the 5th floor of a tower block when your housing benefit is cut. The lift doesn’t work. It means you have to move away from family and friends who help you out whenever they can. They cook meals perhaps, or help with all those jobs around the house you just can’t do.

But at least you still have somewhere to live.

Or maybe you rely on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for transport. It means you can get a taxi to the hairdresser or social club. Without it, you would become isolated. It would be impossible to get to your GP or make hospital appointments.

But, in theory at least, you don’t actually need to go anywhere.

If, however, you cut Disability Living Allowance, housing benefits, social care, hospital budgets, the Independent Living Fund, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), income support and the Social Fund, then you are just lying in a bed, hungry and isolated, a prisoner in someone else’s home.

Governments must perform what is called an “impact assessment” on any new policy or law. This government has done the bare minimum to fulfil this commitment. Would it surprise you to know, for instance, that when considering the greatest cuts to disability support in living memory, they claim that they will have no impact on health, no impact on well-being, no impact on human rights, and no impact on the justice system?

The crucial flaw is that they have independently assessed each cut to the services disabled people rely on, as if it existed in a vacuum.

The government has refused to do an overall impact assessment. They have repeatedly refused to assess what the combined impact of their cuts will be. First they said it would be too expensive, then they said it would be too difficult!

Why might it be too difficult? Because they know, as we know, that, metaphorically speaking, the result will be little Johnny sitting on the floor with nothing but a piece of chalk, hungry, without a roof over his head.

The combined impact of removing someone’s DLA so they can no longer afford care or transport, heating or food, cutting their ESA so that they must look for work with cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting their local care support so that they cannot clean themselves or feed themselves, cutting their housing support so that they risk homelessness and, to cap it all, scrapping the Social Fund so that there is no safety net when all else fails, is a strategy so risky that it ought to be criminalised.

We call upon the government to immediately carry out an overall impact assessment of all the cuts to the support that sick and disabled people rely on to live. I’ll say it again – to live. And they must do it now, before it’s too late. Because it’s hard to survive, sitting in the dirt with nothing but a piece of chalk."


  1. Nice to see them getting serious on disability. It's a shame they're still staying so close the Government position on welfare. Must be causing them a bit of a headache keeping the two in tension. Hopefully the focus on disability will allow the welfare question to swing back towards some sense.

    1. Liam Byrne is about as trustworthy on welfare reform as Gerry Adams is to the peace protest in Northern Ireland?

      The Labour Party are an absolute disgrace in the way they have supported the coalition ober it's welfare reform policies, trusting Labour is a huge mistake, once in power they will be just as nasty as the real nasty party have been?

      Paul Smith

  2. Dear Mr Byrne & friends, Want to convince me of your credentials? Make an unbreakable commitment, right now, to reverse the welfare changes bought in by the Coalition, to remove ATOS et al (brought in by your own government), reverse the H&SC Act and restore the NHS. But I really can't see that happening. Do you?

    I am afraid that all I see is piss and wind in an attempt to convince us that Labour will actually be different.

    If a court order is not enough to force Cameron to publish the NHS Risk Register, what on earth makes anyone think that this will be any different? Unless the bastard and his cronies can be held in contempt and locked up, nothing, NOTHING, will change for the better. Except we all get compacent for a few months and perhaps start getting our hopes up.

    I'd like to believe it. I used to be Labour through and through. Until Blair hijacked the party and destroyed it.

    1. Thank you megbitch, Spot on, Labour siding with the Toy's on workfare, Ed Balls at the Bilderberg meeting,
      Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Liam Byrne, and the majority of the Labour party are about as much Labour men as phony Tony Blair, what a shower of shit, They should be called the new Tory.

  3. Keeping fingers crossed that this goes through.

  4. The impact is being felt Labour won't undo it, they just want your votes in next years election so they will promise the earth. They won't be happy until all disabled people are living in workhouse type places out of sight out of mind. All the good work that has helped so many live independently in the community is now going down the drain. And what really gets my gaul is the genuine claimants are now paying for all the dishonest people that have lied and stolen disability money then ran marathons, and I can't help but notice there seems to be lots of Lord Mayors on the list!

    1. Please keep this in proportion and don't be fooled by the often totally extreme claims in the national press. I have just completed in excess of three years of research and the numbers of dishonest people who claimed disability benefit then ran a marathon are a tiny, tiny fraction of the majority i.e. 0.5%

      Of a much bigger problem are the significant numbers of ERRORS made by the DWP - which is 3.9% of the total - but the DWP & the press tend to put these totals together when the real fraud rate is actually 0.5%.

    2. Beverley

      Labour are just trawling for votes, your 100% right...

  5. Have written to my mp re this - he tends to support stuff re disability rights and is helping campaign to get the 20 metres extended to 50 metres re PIP so should come through on this one too. Fingers crossed that many MPs are seeing, via their constituents and protests etc., how appalling all these changes are for people who are sick and/or disabled.

  6. I smell a rat Sue! Labour have already stated that they won't change this tyranny if elected, seem totally without a useful alternative during debates in the HOC, have taken far too long to get to this point and are doing this I think to attempt to regain some credibility with the disability lobby rather than really being supportive of us.

  7. Below is a rough copy of what I shall be both posting and emailing to my mp (he's not all to good at replying). Feel free to use it as a scaffold.

    Dear MY MP,
    I write to you to inform you of a debate of the upmost importance that will be taking place on Wednesday 10th July. There will be a debate presented by labour on the creation of a cumulative impact assessment regarding the changes being made by government which are hugely affecting the lives of people who are ill or have disabilities. No such assessment has yet been made despite the majority of the changes being made together in the latest welfare reform act. While I am sure you know the value of cumulative impact assessments I would urge you to read the specifics of why this particular assessment is necessary are which is explained here:
    This government cannot say it knows the impact of their changes until a cumulative impact assessment has been created. There will be a vote on the motion “That this House believes that the Government should publish a cumulative impact assessment of the changes made by this Government that affect disabled people (to be published by October 2013)” at around 4pm. I ask that you would attend the debate and vote on the motion as your conscience sees fit as this is extremely relevant to many of your constituents.

  8. This all makes very interesting reading,, but how long will this all take, if it transpires at all,, in the meantime just take a look at the streets of China, India, and Brazil,, this is what our streets will look like soon, filled with sick, vulnerable, disabled people with nothing. There are already people who are literally starving in this country, this is disgaceful

  9. To those cynics above, of course you don't trust politicians!! I've said it many times before, but it's not a love affair!!

    You make them change. You make it too hard for them not to. You bend them over the same barrel they reserve for you, but you do it better.

    Do any of you honestly think Labour want the same treatment we've given this government over disability? Do you think for one moment they thought we'd organise as we have, be able to turn the media as we have, control social media with an iron grip as we have?

    You make it too unappealing for them to back out, too difficult for them to backtrack, too dangerous electorally for them to renege.

    We've done that and all should enjoy as little of the credit. We have 6 legal challenges for goodness sake, do you think Labour want to be dragged through the courts and the leftwing press too? They never thought we'd fight back like this in a million years, but we have and we just get stronger by the day. Every paper now has a dedicated wlfare journalist.

    You don't trust them, you play the game better than them and you WIN.

    1. As Mo Stewart has said "She smells a rat" and so do I?

      One of the greatest opportunities were thrown away at last years Paralympic Games?

      Whilst the Paralympians were trying to way themselves down with gold or silver to boost their egos, many thousands of their fellow disabled citizens were having their lives destroyed by the actions of the DWP/Atos, when they were asked to support action against Atos etc they shied away from supporting us, once the games were over they were all too quick to jump on the campaigning bandwagon?

      Whilst I think you have done much good Sue, sometimes I think you tend to believe too much of what your told by your associates who hold positions of power?

      Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson is a person I held in high opinion in her days as a para athlete but her recent outpourings that disabled people should shout louder to make their voices heard is just a bloody insult?

      I think the Baroness is deaf just like the vast majority of politicians, the disabled community have been shouting loud about their predicament for years, the problem is that politicians don't listen or only when they see a value in listening?

      Maybe Tanni should take to campaigning outside an Atos assessment centre with some of those people she so often tells us their lives are being destroyed, maybe then she'd be taken more seriously?

      This country needs a new political party that supports the ordinary man and woman, labour, tory,libdem, they all sing from the same song sheet, until we get a new party the real people will continue to suffer whilst the pigs continue to get fatter snuffling in the troughs?

      Hope I've not said something out of hand against a close friend Sue??????

  10. Whilst I think you have done much good Sue, sometimes I think you tend to believe too much of what your told by your associates who hold positions of power
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